Wednesday, April 21, 2010


HOLY COW!!!!!! Estoy en Argentina and wow... I´m already loving it! It took about 2 days to get to Bahia - SLC to LAX to Atlanta, to Buenos Aires, and the last airplane to Bahia Blanca. President Detlefson and his wife were waiting there with the AP´s and office elders. The Detlefsons don´t speak English! So we had a translator, but I understood most of what they said anyway, which was encouraging. I´m sure they were talking a little more slowly than normal, but it was great. The AP´s took us to the mission home and when we got there, they said ¨who wants to contact right now? There are some girls across the street?´´ so I jumped out and ran to talk to them! Me and Hna LaPray and Hna Seegmiller did a good job! And the AP´s came to help finish it with us, but it was a blast!!! I spoke very poorly, but I had the courage to do it! So, then last night we stayed at a hotel and I stayed with a native Chilean and Argentine- two adorable sisters! They only knew Spanish, so I got to practice.
Then this morning we did a bunch of visa and passport things. I talked to a woman in line. Her name is Augustine and she´s from Guatemala. I told her my casi cunada (almost sister in law- Jackie!) lived there and we chatted for at least 15 minutes in espanol. I talked to her about the Book of Mormon and told her that if she prayed, read the scriptures, and kept the commandments of God, she would be blessed with help to find a job. I even got her information! My 2nd contact- and I did it ALL by myself!!! I will pray for Augustine tonight. I hope the other missionaries will go find her and teach her.
Later, I got assigned to my FIRST COMPANIERA - but it was crazy because President Detlefson didn´t interview me first! He interviewed all of the Elders, but never got around to the Hermanas. I mentioned that to Hna Seegmiller as he was telling everyone who their comp was and she said, ¨Yeah, but Hna Tingey, he HAS THE SPIRIT!´ haha. Yeah, I knew that, but it just surprised me he knew without even really talking to me. However, my first COMPANIERA is fantastic - her name is Hermana Kjar (pronounced ´care´) from Centerville, UT. She´s so great!!! At first I was a little worried I wouldn´t be learning as good of Spanish, but she is AWESOME and her Spanish is amazing! She dresses way cute. she´s been in the mission for a year already, so she knows what´s up. I know there are many reasons why she´s with me and why I´m with her. I´m excited to find out why!
My first area is right here - in la ciudad Bahia Blanca! At first I was a little disappointed because I wanted to go somewhere more exotic, but then Hermana Kjar (pronounced ´care´ just so you don´t forget! haha) said that the work is really strong here in Bahia! So, hopefully I´ll be just working hard and blessing a lot of lives- that´s why I´m here anyway! The city is very different than Ukraine- a lot is happening. Everyone´s chill and happy it seems like. The atmosphere is very ¨relaxed busy”and kinda carefree normal. Yeah... that didn´t make perfect sense, but I´ll explain it better later. I´ve already had the famous Argentine empenadas- SOO good! I´ve also had an alfahor de matecol (cookie that´s kinda peanut butter flavored), lots of dulce de leche- which seems better than nutella to me right now- yeah, it´s THAT good! :), and HELADO (ice cream)!!! I already am in LOVE with the food! haha
Oh yeah, so when I having a couple doubts about everything, President Detlefson was speaking and he looked at me straight in the eye and in Spanish talked about how important this work is. Then later while we had our interview (in Espanol- an AP was there to translate, but I didn´t use him! yeah me!), he looked at me in the eye and said, ¨will you covenant to work with all your heart, might mind and strength?¨ I promised yes, and he said, ¨When you´re down and things get tough and difficult, just remember what you promised me and do it. And the Lord will bless you.¨ In both of those moments, I felt the Spirit so strongly. President Detlefson is a man of God; Sister Detlefson is a sweetheart; and I am so excited to have a wonderful trainer! I promised President Detlefson and the Lord that I would serve with all my heart, might, mind, and strength! And I will!
Ok, so a few little things: still works here! The office prints it off and gives it to the zone leader to pass out. So, that´s a good thing! Also, there IS a new address for my mission. I don´t know it yet, but I´ll let you know next week (pday´s are Wednesdays). Grandma, thanks for sending me that package before I left! You have been so great! And Mom, don´t send peanut butter (tear tear...) or Beef Jerky or electronic items or anything expensive because I´ll have to pay a ridiculous tax on electronics. Hna Khar said to send packages in the plastic-paper package holders and not a box because those go through much better. I´ll let you know when I know better. Um, the area seventy challenged the missionaries to do 215 contacts weekly! Besides that, I don´t know much about the mission going´s on yet. OH! They totally have Siesta here! Everything closes down from around 1:30-3:30 and people sleep. So, at that time apparently we will be going home and having language study. Crazy, huh? Oh, and I live in a very poor looking apartment and area. The cities around here look MUCh poorer than the US, I can´t believe people said Argentina was like the US- it´s not. Even Buenos Aires looked poorer than Ukraine. But, I´m super excited to be around it- I´m sure it´s really humbling!
Ok, so Hna Kjar said we have a few teaching appointments tonight... I´m excited! I love you all SOOOOO much!!!!!!! Daddy, Mommy, Benji, Jackie, Biffy, Abby, and Snacky.... and everyone else... I love you all SOOOOO much! I pray for you! Please don´t forget to me when you can and pray for my Spanish and confidence. I´m always praying for you!!! HUGS!!!!! Love, Hermana Tingey 4/22/10

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

MTC Travel Plans

I HAVE MY TRAVEL PLANS!!! I am leaving bright and early Monday morning!!!!! I'm flying from Salt Lake City at 8:33 to Los Angeles by 9:33, then from LA to Buenos Aires Tuesday morning at 7:45... I have no idea how that long flight works, but that's what it says. SO, I get to CALL HOME!!!!!! :) I can either call home HERE on Saturday or Sunday, or I can call at one of the airports. Please me your number (sorry, I forgot the Montreal vonyage one!) and when the best time would be to call. I want to make sure I can talk to everyone! ANd maybe Elizabeth can get on Skype or something!

I FINALLY saw Ben! It was literally 5 minutes after I got my travel plans, so I was bouncing off the walls and then in walks Ben! So I ran up and gave him a HUGE hug (my last hug to a boy for a year and a half!). It was so great to see him! He looks so OLD - and by old I mean mature, handsome, and content. I am SO excited for him and Jackie. Wow, what a wonderful day it will be! I am devastated when I think about what I'll be missing with the family, but there's no where else I'd rather be than on a mission right now.

Ok, so the major things I've been learning and practicing this week are 1. Being creative and memorable and 2. Having fe (faith). My maestro Hn. Dallon talked to us about why missionary work is not getting "better" in that we're not producing as much as we'd like. President Hinckley in 1998 or 9 that the members could double baptisms and we haven't yet! WHY? His take is a very interesting one: we're doing the same thing wrong over and over. Missionaries do the same things and say the same things all the TIME! "Hi, we're missionaries and we have a message of happiness..." When they go to members homes they give a spiritual thought and then beg for referrals. Hno Dallon is an intense individual, but he said this is a load of garbage and needs to stop! He has an idea called "the revolution." He said that when missionaries go to members homes, we should one of the orange activity boxes in PME (PMG). Then do a different activity the next week we go over. Then maybe a week or two later ask them to make a new friend with a non-member and then NOT talk about the gospel. The idea is that after a couple of months of loving and genuinely befriendly them, THEY are bound to ask, "So about your church..." or "So, why don't you drink alcohol?" And once THEY open the door, then the member has the opportunity to "dive in" spiritually. He said that this is a great way for us to teach the members how to be good, NORMAL member missionaries. (Instead of teaching them to be awkward full-time ones)
(Oh, and Mom do you remember when I asked you to call the Fox family? I want to follow up to see if you'd have a chance to do this. Because I realized I already talked to you guys about this a little bit and THIS is the idea. While he taught this I thought of THEM, and honestly, I think this could work with them! Mom, will you make sure you give them a 5 minute call? Will you promise to do that? I'm a missionary- I'm all about giving committments now! :) haha)

Another idea Hn. Dallon has is with street contacting. Hn. Dallon says, "Do not say you have a MESSAGE to share"- He said NEVER say that! haha He said be different, be memorable; give them something they actually WANT or NEED in this life. "Hi, we're missionaries and do you know anyone with troubled teens?" Then go to that family and say, "We want to talk to about how to better your teenage children..." He says it's not lying and it's not persuasion, it's giving them what they NEED. I really like his ideas. He is a very intense, weird, crazy teacher, but I love the fact that he's innovative and has these ideas that frankly, I think will help me out a GREAT deal! The two others sisters going to Bahia Blanca and I want to try this out in our mission.

The other thing I've been focusing on is faith. Faith is such a deep concept when you think about it. If I have the faith the size of a mustard seed, I could move mountains! WOW! What an incredible thought! So, then I was thinking about faith and how it applies to me as a missionary. In Eter 12, it talks about how the wonderful missionaries Alma, Amulek, Nefi, Lehi, Ammon, and others had FAITH and because of their faith, they were mission changing missionaries. That's what I want to be! Dad gave me the challenge to be a mission changing missionary! To do so, I need to seek and strive for the faith of these missionaries and disciples of Christ.

Norma! Oh really quickly, in the RC I called a woman named Norma originally from Mexico (yes, all in Spanish!). We talked about Christ and families and after a while I asked, "Do you know any mormones?" SHe said YES and then she said to me, "Can I go to your church?" YES!!!! I was SOO excited because even here at the MTC I finally was able to help someone's life!

I LOVE this gospel! I LOVE the Book of Mormon! I love how when we keep the commandments, we are blessed (by laws of Heaven). I LOVE the temple! I LOVE being a misionera!!! It's my last week, so please keep me pumped! I love you all SOOO much!!!!!! Thank you for your prayers. HUGS and HANDSHAKES!!!!

Hermana Tingey

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

General Conference & Easter in the MTC

Feliz Pascua! (Happy Easter) Thank you SOOO much for the package, Mommy! The Lindt chocolate was exactly what I needed! :) A lot of the Hermanas in my district and a few of the Elders received packages. We ate SO much candy, it was ridiculous! So this week I'm having a candy/dulces fast! It's helped a lot so far! I have more energy and I'm feeling a little better.

I am not leaving next week. I met with the Argentine Consul today and he was GREAT! He told us ALL about Argentina - WOW, I'M GOING TO ARGENTINA!!!! I still can't believe it! He said the people are very open, loving, and inviting. A huge change from Ukraine! haha He said we have to be careful though, because many people will just want to talk to young Americans and won't want to know anything about the church. He said they are very touchy and often kiss each other on the cheek. Most of the Elders looked freaked out by it- clearly they have never been outside the country. One of my favorite quotes was the Consul said, "Argentines are all a little nuts!" He said Pedestrians do NOT have the right of way; the mail system is awful; that if they insult you it's a sign of affection; there's a LOT of Italian influence, so sometimes people are moody; there are 40 million people and it's the size of UT, CA, TX, and quizas AZ combined.

I have not received my travel plans, but we're scheduled to receive them this week! So, I will let you know by Tuesday! It's frustrating because we don't know if we have Visa issues until a week before we leave. Hopefully I'm fine- keep praying! Also, I will be able to call you either here at the MTC or at the airport. I'll need your number again. Oh, and can I have Ben or Jackie's number again? I'm going to put some extra things in a box and leave it at the front desk for them to pick up. So, I have not yet accidentally run into Ben yet, but I keep trying. I went up to the fifth floor to see him, but I couldn't find him. I am a very obedient missionary and I promise I want to keep all the rules, but I really do want to run into my wonderful older brother before he gets married! OH! I got a picture with Ben Portwood, Sean Livingston, and Luke Walk. Go Park City missionaries!

I finished the Book of Mormon again! It's true- I know it! It's so wonderful to feel the power of the book. Conferencia was INCREDIBLE!!! I absolutely loved it! Time flew by and I couldn't get enough of it! I especially loved D. Todd Christofferson's talk, Holland's talk, Uchtdorf's, Anderson, etc. We also got to see the YW's broadcast. I thought of Abby the whole; a little about Elizabeth too, but a lot about Abby because she's an amazing Laurel facing all kinds of challenges. I absolutely LOVED Uchtdorf's talk. I've realized that I LOVE the "Happily Ever After" stories! I love the adventures of princesses and courageous heroines - like Belle, like the Jane Austen books, like Chronicles of Narnia Lucy and others, like the Shannon Hale books, etc. These women were courageous, virtuous, and obedient daughters of God- princesses - who are going through the refiners fire of adversity to eventually be crowned queens. This has so much more significance to me now being endowed as well. Abby, you are one of these courageous princesses! I know it's hard; but I promise if we do what the Lord asks of us - if we pray with real intent, study the scriptures, serve others with a smile, go to seminary, be a missionary, etc. We will be blessed and ultimately become royalty! I miss hearing that all the time- YW's was so great because it was such a great morale booster! :)

Hermano Dallon said something that hit me the other day. He asked us what is the most powerful missionary tool. We all said, "The Spirit!" "Scriptures!" "Member help!" and everything else we've been taught. But he said, "WHO YOU ARE is your most powerful missionary tool!" And he showed us the Rasband talk from the Priesthood session. My missionary call was from a Prophet of the Lord through inspiration. I am needed in Bahia Blanca- there are certain people I am supposed to influence, love, and teach. That's quite an interesting and wonderful responsibility. It's funny because I wrote in my journal about meeting TJ McMullin two years ago and hearing all of his mission stories. I LOVED Argentina from that point on. I was never sure exactly why, but after I received my call I knew I had been preparing my whole life, and that that incident with getting to know TJ was a tender mercy of the Lord. I've also been pondering about Ukraine and my experiences there. It was wonderful; it was hard. It was preparation. So was seminary, everything I learned from my parents in our home, sports, college, Education in Zion, etc. etc. etc. EVERYTHING was preparing me for my mission and for my marriage and family after, as well. I am grateful for all who helped get me where I am today. I am grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and for the sacrifice He gave for me and He felt my physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, etc. pain, in the Garden. I will be forever grateful for his love, mercy, and grace. I am longing to testify to the people in my mission- I am longing to share with everyone the message of the Atonement and Restoration! I LOVE this gospel! HUGS (to family) and HANDSHAKES!!!! :) Hermana Tingey 4/6/10