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: Dearelder.com 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 dearelder.com me when you can and pray for my Spanish and confidence. I´m always praying for you!!! HUGS!!!!! Love, Hermana Tingey 4/22/10