Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March 28, 2011

Hey Family,

How are all of you? I hope you are all well. 

You´ll have to remember to watch the TV program in between conference sessions because they are doing a thing about the MTC there too.  I might be on it, I know for sure that Elder Forkey from my MTC District is.  That´s crappy about BYU, oh well, Sweet 16 is pretty good.  I can´t believe it´s snowing there still.  Mom I still haven´t gotten your package.  Let´s just say that the Argentine mail system is less than efficient.  I should get it in the next week or so hopefully. 

This week has been a pretty good one for the area.  Things are starting to turn around in Portezuelo.  We are now able to get into doors where a few weeks ago we weren´t.  We are also just now seeing the results of some of our work a couple of weeks ago when we thought nothing was happening in the area.  People are walking up to us left and right that we contacted a few weeks ago.  It just goes to show that work you do doesn´t always produce immediate results.  Our numbers were almost doubled from last week to this week so that´s good news. 

We have also started English classes, we only had one person come but a lot of people here are interested in learning.  Argentines are interesting people.  They are pretty prideful in the fact that they are Argentine, but I think a lot of them are jealous in what we have.  I don´t know that´s a personal observation.

We are still working with Stella and Miguel.  Life is pretty complicated with them right now though.  They are fighting a lot and they just moved their store from their house to another place down the street.  They have stopped coming to church and don´t really have a desire to get married anymore.  They are lacking in the faith area.  Sometimes I just want to shake them, but things that are completely obvious to us aren´t to them.  That´s where patience comes into play I guess.  President Northcutt said that the church down here is equivelent to what it was in the states 100 years ago.  They are still learning, a lot of the members struggle with things too.  It´s not uncommon to see them in a bakery buying stuff a few minutes before church starts.  We are just praying the Stella and Miguel gain the faith to continue on.  We have been blessed a lot with really great investigators this week though.  One of them read half of the Book of Mormon in like 2 weeks.  So things in the area are turning around. 

Wow this is the hardest thing that I´ve ever had to do.  Through all of the hard times that I´ve had though I know one thing.  I know without a doubt that this is God´s church and that Joseph Smith restored it. I know that without a doubt, this knowledge and the help of great people are the only things that have gotten me through this experience.  I am so gratful for a family that taught me these things.  I just want to say thank you to all of you.  I love you.

Love, Hermana Wendy Evans

One Transfer Down... - March 21, 2011

Hey Family,

I guess this week is birthday week for all of you huh? HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM DAD & AL BAL!!! Dang it I wish that I was there with all of you.  I can´t believe I´m famous and in the Deseret News and I´m not even there to see it. People from the Deseret News just came in one day and started randomly taking pictures of us...I can´t believe I actually made it in there. 

Transfers were today.  Looks like I´m staying in Portezuelo 2 with Hermana Olsen.  This is her last transfer so we knew we were pretty much secure in being with each other again.  It´s crazy because the other two Hermanas in our apartment, Hermana Jensen and Hermana Lara stayed together as well.  This hardly ever happens.  So that´s pretty exciting.    Anyways so life is pretty much going to stay the same here in Salta. 

This week was an interesting one.  Everyone in the apartment got deathly ill except for me.  Hermana Olsen had a really bad stomach infection, Hermana Lara (who is from Nicaragua spelling) had a really bad allergic reaction to something, and Hermana Jensen got a really bad cold with a fever of over 100.  I´m just the exempt one I guess, anyways so we spent a lot of time in the apartment this week. 

These last couple of weeks have been really difficult because everyone just started school here and no one wants to listen to us.  So we knock doors for hours and no one will let us in.  Let´s just say there have been a huge drop in the numbers the last few weeks.  We are still working with Stella and Miguel.  They have just stopped progressing, we´re going over tonight and having a conversation with them about priorities.  They are just getting so caught up in other things.  The bad thing is that you love these people so much that you start to get caught up in all of their family problems, their money problems etc... but in all reality, it isn´t stuff we should be getting caught up in.  Our primary responsibility isn´t to advise them about all of that, just to teach the Gospel.  We´ll see what happens I guess.  We are working with a single mom named Laura.  It´s kind of funny because the Lord seems to send missionaries to people right before they need it.  A few days after we started talking to her, her Grandma died.  She´s super depressed but her kids love to learn. Anyways, we´ll see what happens there. 

Our new mission President is native Argentine.  He´s from Santa Fe, that´ll be interesting to see the changes he makes.  President Northcutt is pretty strict, but in a good way.  I´ve just heard that the natives are a bit more lax.  That change will happen in July I guess.

Today was a good P-day we went and shopped at one of the shopping centers in Downtown Salta. I bought a few things, today was the first day that I have bought stuff so that was fun.  Anways, sorry this is short, we just spent a lot of time in the apartment this week so not a lot happened.  Thanks for sending the box, I´ll be looking for it in the next few days.  Please keep checking my bank account.  I love you all! Happy birthday.  I really do love all of you.  Tell Grandpa Evans thanks so much for the letter.  Give him a big kiss for me.  Tell him I don´t know much about the cattle herds here because I´m in the city, but that it does snow here.  Eww... not looking forward to that, but it´s better than heat I guess.  Haha! Love you all!


Hermana Wendy Evans

One Week Left in My First Transfer - March 14, 2011

Hey Family,

What´s going on? I´m glad to hear that you´re all doing well.  Did Dad finally make it to Nashville? And he thought we wouldn´t ever go back there again.  Dang BYU, I just want them to win something once.  Even if it is on my mission.  Haha! I´m glad to hear though that they´re getting some respect for doing what they did. Tell Grandpa Brownell Feliz CumpliaƱos for me!  I can´t believe he´s 82.  Tell Cami and Alex and Becca I want to hear from them sometime. 

Well this week in Salta has been pretty uneventful.  Other than it´s been super duper cold.  I was not prepared for that.  Will you send me some warm stuff.  Like more cartigans, especially a black one, and maybe my coat.  I know it´s expensive and it takes a lot of time but I had no idea that it gets cold here.  But apprently it gets a lot colder than it is right now even.  It´s really humid so I guess the humidity just goes right through you. 

We are still teaching Stella and Miguel and their family.  They are progressing and were supposed to get married and baptized this Saturday.  We´re thinking that they will still get married this week but not baptized because Miguel needed to come to Church yesterday, he didn´t because Stella flipped out.  Haha! Gosh I´m so gratful for my family... Can I say that enough. They have so many family problems that I´m just so glad I never had to deal with as a kid.  Home was a constant, that´s exactly what a family needs in a world like this, especially down here.  Prostitution is legal down here, it´s a regular occurance to see 6 year olds buying beer so their dads or brothers can get drunk.  On Saturdays and Sundays we have to be careful where we go.  Especially because I´m tall, American, and red-headed.  They are all obsessed with my eyes and my red hair.  Anyways, I am just so gratful for everything that I had and where I was raised. 

The work is really slow right now.  On Saturday we knocked doors for 4 hours straight and didn´t get into one house.  That´s really weird for my mission.  My feet were so swollen, they looked like Cheryl´s right before she had the twins.  We still are counting our blessings though- we have about 5 really solid investigators right now and we have others that are semi-interested. 

Since it was a pretty slow week, I´ll try and answer some of Dad´s questions, sorry if this gets long and boring.  I´m pretty sure I get released June 26th.  Our Mission President right now is pretty firm on those dates, who knows the new one might be different.  In my District there are 4 sister missionaries.  There are like 8 in my Zone I think.  Salta has the most sister missionaries in South America I believe.  I think it has like 30.  So you do the math.  I think there´s like 15 areas with sisters, but I know for sure they are the safest.  My companion and I are pretty sure that we will be together another transfer, she only has one left and it´s pretty common thing for them not to change anything your last transfer.  We´ll see on Friday though. Spanish is coming along okay.  I can understand or get the jist of what everyone says.  Speaking is a different story though, I´m still improving everyday though.  I can pretty much talk about the Gospel with people, it´s the other stuff I struggle with. 

We pretty much have lunch with members everyday.  It´s a very rare thing when we eat in the pension, so I calculated it and I only spend about 10 American Dollars on food every week.  Pretty good huh? Our pension is really nice, we live behind a rich doctor.  It has a bottom floor with a kitchen and then kind of a loft where the bedrooms are.  Washing machines don´t exist here, we do our laundry in a big barrel with a spinner.  Then we have to wring out our clothes and hang dry them.  Did I mention I´m gratful for the US?

Anyway, I hope that answers most of your questions. Let me know if you have anymore.  I hope you all have good weeks.  Please send me warm clothes ASAP because it takes forever for things to get here. I finally got Chaise´s letter on Thursday that you sent mom.  Thanks.  I love you all!

Love Hermana Evans

Sorry I'm behind!  Here are Wendy's last three emails!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Whole Month in Argentina - Monday, February 7, 2011

Hola Family!
I can´t believe I´ve been in Argentina for an entire month.  At some points it feels like an eternity, others I look back on it and I can´t believe it.  Things have kind of been the same this week.  We work really hard and are experiencing a lot of blessings.  We tract a ton.  It´s a pretty good source for new investigators but we´re running out of doors to knock.  Hermana Olsen has been here for a while in this area so she´s knocked pretty much every door.  We are trying to find new sources, I think we´re going to start English classes.  Things are going well with Stella and Miguel.  Athough for a while there last week we were a little scared.  Wow Satan has so much power over people who are trying to progress.  He worked on that family so hard, Stella even brought up the fact that she was maybe going to go back to fortune telling.  My experience with this family has taught me so much.  It has taught me how grateful I am for the way I was raised.  You guys are seriously the best.  It has also taught me what I don´t want to do in my future family.  Last week we found this woman named Laura, she´s the bomb!!!  She´s a single mom with 3 kids, so we´ll see where that goes.  The family of 7 that we found in the rainstorm told us that they are Catholic, their family is Catholic.  But they see the corruption and problems with the Catholic church.  We have faith that that is our way in, they are looking for the way and at least they are still talking to us.  

Today we went on a hike.  It´s called San Lorenzo, the view was awesome! It looks over the whole city of Salta! We went with the Zone.  Last week we went to a huge Catholic church here in Salta.  It was beautiful. But there were more satues of the Virgin Mary than of Jesus.  The Catholic church has such a hold on the hearts of the people down here.  It´s almost a part of their very fibers...very much a part of their traditions.  Anyway, it gets frustrating to deal with.  My Spanish is improving daily.  I wish I could say I understand everything and that after a month I´m fluent.  But I´m not, these things take time.  That´s a struggle. This whole experience has been rough, but I know that my Heavenly Father has been right there with me.  I have never known Christ so well, or had this good of a relationship with Him in my life.  I am so gratful for the things I have learned out here on my mission.  I am a different person, I don´t think you´d recognize me. Anyway, I just want you all to know that I know that this is true with all of my heart.  I couldn´t have done all of this without that knowledge.  It´s that knowledge that gets us through whatever hardship that comes our way.  This is the Gospel of happiness, of true and lasting happiness.  I know that with all of my heart.  I love all of you, more than words can say. Thanks for all of the words of love and encouragement! 

Love you,

Hermana Wendy Evans 

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Week of Ups & Downs - February 28, 2011

Hola Familia,
How are all of you? I hope everything is great! It´s good to hear that Cami is doing well... even if she is addicted to pain medication. Haha!  Tell her Feliz CumpliaƱos...19 Holy cow she´s old! I can´t believe it´s been like 7 years since the girls last went to State. That´s embarassing!! Meh... What do you do? Tell Doug to keep pushing them.  That´s crazy that yo Beav gets married in like 2 months.  Where is her wedding going to be? Tell her I expect an invitation!! I can´t believe you have so much snow there... it´s a balmy 75 degrees here usually. It rains everyday here now because their summer has pretty much ended and we are now entering the rainy season.  It is SO HUMID!!!! You can probably tell from the pictures that my hair is freaking out here. The coat has been wonderful...worth every cent. It´s just really hard to imagine that it´s still February and that there is still snow on the ground.  It´s like I´m in a dream world most of the time, like time at home has completely stopped. 
Salta is a beautiful city, it is so green.  It is surrounded by really green hills.  In the distance you can see mountains, probably the Andes. Salta isn´t really that big. Big cities here in South America are a lot different than in America. I have come to really appreciate so many things about America in the 3 short weeks that I´ve been here. The food down here is so good though.  They eat a lot of pastries...they are a lot different than the pasteries in the states though. They have a ton of delicious desserts here! I am probably going to gain so much weight. They eat a lot of meat here. They eat these things called Empandas.  It´s a mix of meat and vegetables in a pie crust shell. Then they bake it! SO good! Tacos and burritos are a foreign food here. I have not once had a taco. These people are very interesting.  They think that Americans are so uptight.  They have absolutely no concept of time or keeping appointments so it´s a good day when catch people at home.  A lot of times I think people make appointments with us so they know when not to be home! Haha! They sleep all the time too! There are absolutely no people on the streets during the siesta from 1 to 3.  Dad, guess what, the compass still points North here.  Wierd huh... I thought for sure it would point South.  I was mistaken though.  I also saw a drunk Gaucho! haha! That was fun!
When I say this week has been full of ups and downs I´m not kidding.  We had two more baptisms this week.  Paula and Rita. They are twins!  Oh my gosh I love these two girls! They understand English so I talk to them a lot! They are members of the family that I mentioned a few weeks ago that gave us the bags, the family of Miguel and Stella.  Not the ones from the rain storm.  I LOVE the family of Miguel and Stella! I was having a hard time in church yesterday because I was frustrated with the language and the culture, I started to cry but Stella gave me the biggest hug and told me that everything was going to be okay. She said that she would help me with the language.  Anyways, I love this family so much.  It was really awesome to see them get baptized.  They used my white shirts from Banana Republic and my white skirt to get baptized in... I´ll probably end up using those a lot! Anyways, the dad Miguel and mom Stella aren´t married.  That´s a big problem down here.  Miguel has been dragging his feet and waiting for an answer that the church is true for a long time.  He has had a pretty hard heart... what´s cool though is that in the short time I have been here, I can tell he is changing.  During Rita and Paula´s baptism, a member of the Area 70 showed up... scary.  Anyways he wanted to talk to their family after the baptism.  HOLY COW!!! Amazing, that doesn´t just happen! Anyway, the spirit in that meeting was so strong, even I could feel it and I can´t understand the language very well still.  Anyways after the meeting Miguel came up to us and said that he wanted to get married and baptized on the 11th of March!!! So cool! We are so blessed in this area. 
Anyways, even though all of that happened, we have not been able to find new people. That is a huge part of this.  We knocked doors for 2 solid hours yesterday and no one would let us in. When you hear of doors getting slammed in your face, that is truly what was happening to us.  We even found two Athiests... do you know how rare that is here? We also got, Don´t bother me I´m Catholic...that´s a super common one. To top it all off we got water dumped on top of us... not even kidding.  My companion even got hit. Yes, hit.  We were standing at a door and a crazy guy was walking past us and he like slapped my companion in the back of the head.  I´m sure my face said it all.  So for finding new people and with the language it´s been pretty hard.  I just have a hard time thinking I´ll ever learn this stuff.  Hermana Northcutt came to our ward yesterday and I had a complete break down in front of her. She´s like my mom out here, it´s like I was talking to you mom.  I´m okay...you just have to take it a day at a time out here. Everyday is a new adventure.
Sorry for the novel, there is just so much I want to tell all of you.  Mom, will you just keep watching my account.  I´m going to make a pretty big withdrawl here in a few days.  I want leather scripture covers, they are like $50 dollars a piece in American money.  Is that okay? I think I´m going to get about 3 of them.  Will you tell Brother Wood sorry, the Teachers Quorum wrote me and I haven´t had stamps so I can´t write them back. I´ll write them ASAP  I´ll let you know when I get the package. Will you send me a white Shade cap sleaved shirt sometime too?  I love all of you... SO I might attach some of them too.  Thanks for the letters, keep em coming!
I love you!
Hermana Wendy Evans
PS Mission policy here is that Sister Missionaries go home a half a transfer early so it looks like my release date is going to be June 26, 2012.  Are you guys wanting to come down here?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Baptism Pictures

Wendy, Alfredo (their newest convert), & Hermana Jensen

Familia Rodriguez, Alfredo, Hermana Jensen & Wendy
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