May 19, 2014

Here In Santo Tomé

First off, CONGRATULATIONS to Alden and my brand new sister Katie! And oh my word I cannot even believe that Elsa cut out! Whose idea was that??? But seriously, everyone looks so good and happy! And Katie! Her dress is stunning!  Thanks for sending the pictures :)

So, I’m a liar. I promised pictures, but the computer I’m using won´t let me upload them right now. I´ll try again after I finish writing my letters, but I’m making no promises. Sorry!!!

This week has been LONG. I´ve never walked so much in my life! But I love it because I’m getting in such good shape right now, it´s kind of fantastic. Also, the language is slowly, slowly coming along. Some days are better than others, and actually some people are better than others. Some people slur so much! And drop consonants left and right! Honestly, when I can´t tell what someone is saying I´ll just watch my companion and mirror her facial expressions haha. It probably looks pretty comical to everyone else since my facial expressions are all about 2 seconds too late, and probably quite exaggerated.

I don´t really have any exciting experiences to relate. We´ve just been doing a lot of walking and contacting with people the past few days. Oh, and apparently may is the "month of spiders" here, so that´s pretty great. There was a huge one on the wall above my desk the other day, and another just lounging around on my bed. They were both promptly put to death for their crime of existing in the same world as butterflies and rainbows and chocolate chip cookies. Spiders (and all the other weird insects here) just need to not be here haha.

Hermana Tapia and I were out contacting last night, clapping at every house (they clap at the gate here instead of knocking on the door). We got to one house and the lady seemed super interested in what we were saying, so we set an appointment to come back another time a little earlier (it was about eight and already pitch black). Anyway, so we turned to go and as we were walking away from the house, I felt the ground disappear from beneath my right foot. All I could think was "I´m going down, and I´m wearing my favorite black skirt!" haha. Apparently there was a little ditch in front of this woman´s house, and I didn´t realize that I was walking right on the edge of it- when it gets dark here, it gets DARK. So I ended up slipping and my foot went down straight into about an inch of mud. Awesome. But luckily the ditch was only about a foot deep, and it was only my right foot, so it could have been a lot worse. But yeah, it was pretty thrilling, and the lady came rushing out from behind her gate apologizing and asking if I was okay (I wasn´t- my hands were a bit scratched up and my shoes were disgusting), but I was embarrassed so I just said "yes, yes thank you" and we went on our way.

One thing I´ve realized while here is how accustomed we can become to things. And unfortunately, once we´re accustomed to it we don´t appreciate it as much. For example, I´m fairly certain that the moon here is about a billion times bigger and brighter than in the States. And there are so many stars! The night sky is incredible, but nobody here seems to care since it´s something they´ve always known. I do the same thing. When I was little I always thought "I have a pretty great house and a pretty nice family." When I got into high school and got a little older I realized "Wow, I´ve been really blessed in my life." And then I arrived here in Argentina and I realized that honestly I have been so spoiled all along! My family, my friends, the convenience of life in the United States, my teachers and education, etc... Everything! I always knew I was blessed, but I never realized exactly how much! Psamls 8:3-4 "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him?" All blessings really do come from God, and it´s so incredibly important to thank Him for everything we have- from the view of the night sky to a spider-free bed! It never ceases to amaze me that Heavenly Father is so wonderful and powerful, yet He loves us enough to bless us so much. And His Son Jesus Christ loved us enough to die for us! Even though sometimes I feel so small and insignificant, They are mindful of me! And my companion! And my family! It´s amazing.

I love you all! And I´m going to try to see if I can send some pictures!
Hermana Simmons


Golden Corral sounds so good right now! haha It´s hard not having all the food or ingredients or utensils that I would like right now haha. But it´s an exciting adjustment. It´s kind of lame but sometimes when  I´m frustrated I just pretend I´m my own protagonist in a novel or movie and then it´s a little easier haha. Because if my life right now was a book or movie I would totally be cheering myself on, so that´s something that helps a little, as embarrassing and lame as that is haha

And oh my heck that Elsa cut out!!!!  That cracks me up! I´ve never been a huge fan of the whole missionary cut out thing, but I have to say, at least you picked a fabulous character to bear my name! :) haha

And I totally understand about keeping my mouth shut sometimes! Proverbs 21:23 used to be my motto! but It´s hard because here in the mission they actually WANT me to talk, even if I don´t always feel like it. And It´s hard because I already know that I´m going to make mistakes with the Spanish, but sometimes we just have to forget what we want or our own pride and just do what the Lord wants us to do. Sometimes that´s stay silent, and sometimes that´s open our mouths and speak.


Photo:  Proof that I am actually alive, here in Argentina :)

Photo:  on the bus from the Buenos Aires airport to the Buenos Aires temple! We had to wait at the temple for a few hours since our flights from Buenos Aires to Salta and Posadas were delayed due to the fog!

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