Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Party and the after party

Dear Family and Friends,
This week was a blast!  Thanks so much for the recipes and the stories that you sent last week.  This saturday we had our family history activity and it went really well.  It was super stressful at first because members from other wards started showing up on time, but no one from our ward.  And it was the members from our ward that brought the food.  The bishop didn´t even show up until 5:40 and it started at 5.  We ended up starting the presentation on family history work at 6:10 and then every family presented a recipe their grandparents had taught them.  Everyone loved my peach cobbler.  It turned out really well and I think everyone had fun and learned a little more about family history work.  My one complaint is that we had to do everything, we as in the missionaries: planning, advertising, organizing, setting up, taking down. And then yesterday everyone kept asking us when the next activity would be.  Oh boy.  I´m tired.  But to celebrate today we did something special.  We went to this place that has massage beds.  It was us and the old people.  It´s completely free and it was a blast.  We first had to do aerobics, naturally, to warm up our bodies.  I was dying.  Old Argentines doing aerobics was a sight to see.  And then we layed on these beds for an hour and had a massage.  But they were also hot, so it completely relaxed me.  The best after party I´ve ever been to!
I met a new family this week.  They were offended (like everyone) and it´s been 4 years since they were active.  The boy´s 11 and wants to be baptized so he´s planned for the 31st.  He came along with his mom to the activity and it was their first time coming to the church in 4 years.  Next step, sundays.
Our recent converts had a hard week this week.  One is having problems with his grandson who is a drug addict living with him.  One is having family problems.  Two can´t come because their mom is sick.  One got in a fight with his girlfriend and said he´s never coming back to church.  And one got offended by something one of the elders told her this week.  So we have some work to do there...
Fun things:  The butcher cut our meat last week with his bare hands and then didn´t even wash them!  Sick.
"Turn around"  or that song that Karli and I did a music video to was playing on the radio in one of the stores and I laughed pretty hard.
Walmart is located in a very dangerous part of town so it requires it´s own guards.  I found donuts at walmart and found out the elders go there every day.  Lucky ducks.
I was the only american at our district meeting on tuesday.  It was sort of an adventure because one of the elders can´t use half of his face and so he´s super hard to understand.  I managed though.  The zone leaders are the other americans in my district and they were in Rosario for visa papers.
I found out that a lot of sisters are coming this next transfer and it´s likely that I´ll be put with one of them.  Hopefully she speaks spanish really well because I´m still not fluent!
That was my week.  I have one question for mom, how much flour does the bread recipe call for?
I love you all!  I´m praying that mom can get better soon.  And Weston sounds amazing.  I´m super proud of that boy.  He´s going to be an amazing missionary!  And my computer is again broken... sorry.  Next week I´ll send pictures.
Hermana Borup

Monday, July 22, 2013

Interviews and Tears

Dear Family and Friends,
Thank you so much for the recipes, the stories, and pictures.  That will help a lot and I was laughing pretty hard when I read the story of the chickens.
This week has been fantastic.  I´m starting to immerse myself more and more in the culture and I´m starting to love Argentina.  For the most part, I think Argentina´s starting to love me too.  I only had 1 medical issure this week! Well... two.  One was an allergic reaction to honey.  My lips, tongue, and throat swelled and itched so I took a benedryl.  I may have fallen asleep while waiting at the bus station for a sister to come through (she was on her way to Rosario for exchanges and stopped in Paraná for a couple of hours both Friday and Saturday).  The other came on Saturday because I think we walked 20 miles (if my calculations are correct).  But it was all day.  8 hours of straight walking because no one was home.  So by the end my knees were killing along with my back and hips.  I feel like an old lady!  Good news, I think I´ve already lost 5 lbs.  I´ll gain it back if my comp keeps making fried bread with dulce de leche, but it´s still exciting.
So we had interviews with President on wednesday and I got to talk to Hermana Giuliani before.  She´s amazing!  I really like her and I love president too.  They make me feel so loved which was nice to feel.  The interview was in spanish, but so was the last one, so that wasn´t a big deal.  This was my 5th interview with a mission president, 6th since being on my mission.  And I´ve only been out 5 months... not even.  I´ve had a very different mission so far than the normal, but what is normal in the life of a missionary?
Some cool things that I saw or did this week:
We walked down to the river to find an investigator and it was beautiful!  We walked on dirt roads, it was sunny and warm, and there was music playing and large fish hanging everywhere.  I was looking around for the photographer for the ensign, because it was a sight to see and we were in the middle of it!
This week I also saw mario and luigi driving a truck.  Seriously, it was great.
Also, the garbage here is different.  It´s in little baskets that are high above the ground so that the dogs can´t get to them.
Our investigators are struggling.  We have one that´s a little bit of an alcoholic.  He thought it was a little to drink a whole box of wine before bed every night.  So he never can wake up on sunday.  We might have to drop him.  He also lives in the very dangerous part of town.  Another one is the son of the second counselor and he can´t be baptized because his mom is in Buenos Aires waiting for surgery.  
So on to the tears... I think every house we went in, we found people crying.  We started to teach an ex-communicated man who used to be a patriarch.  He cried.  We went to teach a former investigator, she cried.  Everyone´s crying and I´m still not a very emotional person no matter how hard I try to be.  I think the lord´s trying to teach me something!
All for now!  Congrats to Weston for making it a week!  I love you!
Hermana Borup
P.s. Can you manage my bank account and facebook.  if yes, I´ll give you the password next week.  And if you want to send a package, include apple cider please!  And pictures are coming but this computer is a little broken.  Sorry!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Paraná, the City of Humidity‏

Dear Family and Friends,
I´ve had the craziest week ever!  But I´m starting to really love Argentina.  People are relaxed and I´ve learned to just go with it.  Instead of talking about what I did every day this week I just want to talk about some of the things I´ve learned this week about Argentina.  Hopefully this will help you understand the country better, or just what I´m up to every day.
1. I learned that wild oranges are no good and have worms in them.  In our ward there are 4 sisters.  the other sisters are Hermanas Miranda (Chile) and Lake (Washington).  Well Hermanas Miranda and Gomez tricked the Americans last monday into eating oranges from the trees on the street.  Sick!  Super sour and gross.
2. Take Hermana Lake everywhere, you´ll get free stuff.  She´s tall and has really long blonde hair so everyone falls in love with her.  We get samples everywhere we go!
3. When it rains, it really does flood.  Holy cow I´m glad I brought rain boots.  The streets don´t have good irrigation so the water gets up to mid calf in a matter of minutes!
4. Don´t stalk people´s blogs before your mission, because they may turn out to be in your zone and be the Elder to give you a blessing.  Thanks dad.  That Elder that you found his blog?  Yep, he´s in the Paraná zone! 
5. Don´t go to the hospital.  Because it´s free, your spanish companions may want to go when they see the excima on your hands.  Because of the humidity here, my hands got really bad so I ended up going to a dermatologist because I also have an infection of some kind in my armpit...it´s fixed now.
6. You can make your own soda with water with gas.  It´s gross.  They mixed juice with that water and call it soda.
7. Sprinter vans are everywhere here.  Dad, when you decide to buy a small one for mom, buy it here.  Almost all the cars are sprinter vans!
8. Baptisms here start late and no one cares.  It´s the ordinance that counts.  There was a baptism of an 8 year old on saturday that we had to decorate for and put together.  It started an hour late and there were tons of kids running around the whole time, but it was still great.
9. There´s a lot of scooters here and they just drive on the sidewalks.  
10. Mosquitos like me.  I fear for the summer.
11. You clap outside houses when tracting.  It´s not good manners to go up to their door and knock.
12.  Even in a foreign country people think I look like their relatives... mostly granddaughters.  I´m also back to being called blonde.  I don´t understand it.
13. Mate is disgusting.  It´s worse than herbal tea!  My companion´s from Buenos Aires and she drinks it all day long!  And no, she´s not a convert and she has 8 siblings that have all served missions.  Her little sister is serving in Peru right now.
14.  My singing voice isn´t as bad as I thought.  At least I can sing the tune!
So to answer your questions about the ward, it´s small.  There´s only about 50 people that come every week.  And they don´t feed the missionaries for some reason.  We´ve only had one lunch appointment and the bishop fed us one dinner.  But that´s only Paraná, in other places the missionaries get fed.  Paraná is super humid and hilly.  It´s right by a river and it´s actually not very cold right now even though we´re in the middle of winter.  I hardly use my wool coat.  
We have 3 investigators right now and a lot of recent converts we´re working with.  Our zone doesn´t baptize a lot, but that´s changing.  People don´t really like to let us in because we´re strangers, so we do a lot of mini lessons on the streets.  Also, they won´t open their doors, they just stick their heads out the windows.  It´s super fun.  Mainly, I smile a lot and their nice.  if you don´t smile, they´re not.
That´s all I have time for now.  I have to talk to the financial secretary to get some money back from the doctor and medicine.  Tell mom that I´m praying for her and I feel super bad.  I love you all!  Don´t forget that dearelder is free!
Weston, read D&C 75:2-5.
Hermana Borup

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Argentina tiene Morcilla!

Dear family and friends,
Well I´m finally here!  It´s been overwhelming and we have even less time here to email so I´ll have to be quick. 
Monday we went from Atlanta straight to Buenos Aires.  We got there Tuesday morning and then got on a bus after 2 hours of standing around to Rosario.  That bus ride took 5 hours and so we didn´t get to the mission home until late afternoon.  We ate there and had interviews and slept there that night.  The next morning we had a training and then met our companions.  My companion´s name is Hermana Gomez.  I don´t know how old she is and I don´t really want to ask but I´m gonna guess she´s in her late 30´s.  She´s really nice though and we´ve been working well together.  She understands that I¨ve already been trained, so she goes easy with the things that she has to train me on.  Then we ate lunch, took pictures and left at 6:30 for Paraná.  Oh my goodness I love Paraná!  We got here at 10 that night and the zone leaders helped us bring up our bags and then we slept.
Thursday we walked a ton.  I met some investigators and recent converts.  One of the houses was so small that there were two beds and a fridge and that was all it had room for.  The other house had a cockroach sitting on the table, which distracted me so I didn´t really pay attention to anything else.  Really, we walk a ton in this mission.  I´ve never walked so much in my life and I´m a hiker!  I also lived in Spain with Pachi!  It´s incredible.  Sometimes we have to walk an hour to get to a house and then an hour back.  So basically, we do less missionary work than I´m used to, but we also get to talk to more people. 
Friday we tracted a bunch and that was basically the same as Saturday.
Sunday I met the ward and it´s super cute.  There´s four sisters serving in this ward, but the other sisters don´t live with us.  After church we went to their apartment and ate together.  It was so much fun that now we´re going to make it a tradition every Sunday.  I need recipes for brownies, scones, and anything else you think I´d need!  Thanks!
Differences:  We don´t see any other missionaries around!  It´s almost like our leaders don´t exist.  Also, traffic here is crazy.  There are a ton of scooters and I even saw a couple of wagons driving around.  Argentina is a little bit of everything.  It´s a lot poorer and dirtier than I was expecting, but it´s been good.  We wash clothes in a bucket and then pray that they will dry.  It´s super humid in Paraná and hilly.  Our apartment has hot water, but that´s about all it has.  It´s nice though, I just wish it had heat!  I´m freezing half the time and sometimes I do my studies in bed so that I can think.  As for the food, we don´t really eat with members so I´ve just been eating whatever, nothing new yet.  But my companion told me that Argentina has morcilla!  I´m super excited.  All the food looks like Spain!
So that´s me.  It´s been a little bit of a struggle adapting and I miss Utah like crazy and all the missionaries there, but I´m loving it.  It can only get better.
I love you all!  And I´m so sad I missed the 4th this year!
Hermana Borup

P. S. If you want to send me a package I would really love more peanut butter, anti itch cream and some face medicine.  Thanks!  But send it and put the value at less than 25 dollars or Í´ll have to pay to pick it up.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Made it to Argentina

As you can read in the last post Madison got her visa to go to Argentina. She left Salt Lake City Monday July 1st.  She called us Monday afternoon from Atlanta but only had a few minutes because she was borrowing a members phone. She said she thought it was too expensive to pay $20 for a phone card just to talk to her parents. She obviously takes after her mother when it comes to being frugal.  She is very excited about going to Argentina but is sad to leave the Salt Lake City South Mission.  Here are some pictures sent to us by the mission president's wife. The mission President and his wife aren't the tallest people.