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