Monday, June 24, 2013

The First (and I hope only) Kiss on the Lips of my Mission


So I have been transferred from Layton to South Salt Lake/Millcreek area meaning that in a couple of days I will be in a new mission because my mission is being divided.  Part of the Salt Lake Mission and part of the Salt Lake South Mission are being divided to form the new Utah Salt Lake City East Mission.  By the time I'm done in Argentina, I will have been in 3 missions (and served under 4 mission presidents.)  Currently, I have three companions and we split up for work during the day. My companions are Sister Guerra.........Sister Corrales.........And Sister Nielsen.  It is like a novella here because Corrales has served with Guerra and me, and I have served with Corrales and Nielsen, and now we are all serving together!

I am serving in the Granite Ward in the Granite Park Stake. So far the work has been great.  Just since getting here on Wednesday we have put three people on date, and an awesome lady came to church yesterday with us.  There is a lot more finding potential here than in Layton.  We don't have a car so we walk everywhere.  We don't have a washer and dryer so we go to a laundry mat, and other things are a lot different than cushy Layton.

I am still getting over the anxiety of transfers.  After transfers it seemed like I had a permanent sick stomach over all of the change.  And since this is only a 5 week transfer and with the mission split, I am anticipating more change pretty soon.  If I do get my visa and stay until the end of the transfer that will only be 4 weeks from today.  I am not really thinking about that anymore though.  I am getting over not leaving, and I have already met people here that I know that I needed to meet.

All of those missionary farewells must have been amazing, I can't believe that so many people are stepping up and choosing to serve.  I wish I could have seen all the Swarts family.  Good luck to Andrew, and Aubrey, I love you!  Hang in there. Good luck with your surgery.

Boulder City is awesome.  I can't believe that the boys who used to hang out in my basement with my little brothers are going to be missionaries.  I want one of the ones who hasn't been called yet to come to Buenos Aires with me! Or Salt Lake because this place is great too.

I will just share for you one funny story of the week.  This week I was kissed on the lips by a man from Africa.  No that is not a joke.  Sister Nielsen and I were walking home from an appointment, and we talked to this group of guys on the street.  One of them was a 25 year old guy named Omar.  He was from Africa and had a cool accent.  We shared the restoration with them, and then we had to go because we were late.  We went to shake their hands before we left, and once Omar was already shaking my hand he pulled me in for what I thought was going to be a cheek kiss. As I was awkwardly trying to pull away, he said this is how we do it in my culture.  Then instead of a side kiss, he kissed me right on the lips!  It all happened so fast.  After that we walked away, and as soon as we got around the corner, Sister Nielsen and I ran home (because we were late) and then did the freak out scene when we got back to the apartment. 

That is about as good as it is going to get for this week.  I love the scriptures, and I am still trying to get through the Book of Mormon in Spanish. It is going really slow, but my goal is my birthday (November 15th) so we will see. Hey maybe I might be in Argentina then too.  I love you all stay safe.  Pray that I don't have any more people kiss me :)


Hermana Chloe
MTC Buddies!  Sister Nielsen is again one of my companions!
Sister Adorable and Elder Verges--I'm going to miss them so much!
Yes, that's me in a shopping cart with Sister Corrales pushing.  Like I said, we walk everywhere.

Monday, June 17, 2013

And I'm off . . . to Salt Lake


I am writing you an email, which means I am not on my way to Argentina. This week we had a wedding on Friday and a baptism on Saturday. Sister Cleveland was in a trio with Sister Adorable and I after we dropped off Sister Arias at Temple Square. Transfers are this Wednesday.  I am being transferred.  The A.P.'s are our friends, and really worried about me so they told me where I am getting transferred.
My new area is Sister Adorable’s last area.  She said it is nice. It is in the new Utah Salt Lake City East Mission (our mission was divided), so I won't be in the same mission with Sister Adorable and Elder Verges anymore;(  Because they assume that I am leaving soon, they are putting me in a trio with the Spanish training sisters, Sister Guerra and . . . Sister Corrales!  I am excited to be with Sister Corrales again, but both of them are native Spanish speakers so that will be an adventure.  I am just happy that the A.P.'s love sister Adorable and I so they told me where I am going before transfers. Knowing about being with Sister Corrales again made this day bearable.  

Sister Nielsen, Elder Morgan, and I are all staying. One Elder got a phone call on Friday and he left this morning.  So I could literally be leaving any day.  But who knows what the new mission president will want--for me to leave right away or wait for transfers?

Still I’m kinda down today.  You don’t even know how hard this morning was.  I had to go to the drop off of all the missionaries leaving, wake up at 4 in the morning, and see them all there with their travel plans and everything.  And saying bye to Sister Cleveland was super rough too.

Mom, your letter was awesome, it came at the perfect time, thanks. I liked the Maxwell quote especially. “Patience is not indifference. Actually, it is caring very much, but being willing, nevertheless, to submit both to the Lord and to what the scriptures call the “process of time.” Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best—better than does God. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than his.”

I just need my mom here at this time to take me to buy new shoes and make everything better:) 

There was some great news this week.  We finally had America and Jose’s wedding and Jose’s baptism.  America is a member Jose was not, and it has been kinda a combined effort of all the missionaries in our ward to get them married and baptized transfer.  Their house is like our mission home.  They are awesome; we planned the whole wedding.  It was great.  I did America's hair.  Jose was so excited to be married. It was cute. And when he showed up to be confirmed on Sunday instead of his jeans and cowboy boots, he was wearing a suit, a white shirt, and a tie.  He is going to be an awesome member of the church.

Another good thing was we went to the cemetery last Wednesday; it was cool.  We were walking through seeing all of the church history and hearing cool stories and our tour guide stopped and pointed at a bit of grass in the middle with no marker and said this is where Sister Monson is buried.  She doesn't have a headstone yet.  We just all stood there for a while in silence.  It was weird because a cemetery should be sad, but one with that much history was happy.  Those people made a big difference.  Angels were there for sure.

I don't have a lot to more say.  So I am just going to send you a bunch of pictures.  Kind of a week in the life of a Sister Missionary photo journal. Have a great week.

Love you all so much,

Hermana Chloe
Tuesday--a little district meeting
Wednesday--walking around the cemetary after we dropped off Sister Arias at Temple Square.
Thursday--My Crazy District!!
Friday--Doing America's hair for the wedding :)

Friday--The wedding!
Saturday--the baptism!

Saturday--great big goodbye photo shoot with America, Jose, and all the missionaries in my ward!
Sunday--Elder Morgan and I didn't get travel plans so we are both staying.  Elder Morgan was in my district at the MTC :)
Sunday--Elder Verges crying so he can't take a picture with me :)
Sunday--Sister Cleveland and I smiling through tears.  Sister Cleveland left for Argentina.
Sunday--Elder Morgan and I saying goodbye to Elder Blotter who also left for Argentina.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Off to Argentina. Maybe?


I had a good week.  I hope I am leaving on Monday, but I haven't gotten my travel itinerary yet!  Two weeks ago or so my status on my mission portal and for the mission president changed from Salt Lake City Mission back to Argentina Buenos Aires West Mission.  Sister Winn and everyone said that is because I got my visa.  The mission president got an email to be prepared to transport us to the airport on Monday.  My roommate/companion, Sister Cleveland, got an official itinerary emailed to the mission office last week.  Of the 21 visa waiters going to Argentina, all but a few of us, got official travel information.  They are all leaving for sure on Monday at 8:00 AM.  They say I might still get travel plans for Monday.  

Pray for travel plans.  I refuse to let myself even think that I am not leaving.  SO I am packing today with Sister Cleveland.  I am hopeful that I am leaving. I am hopeful that it is all but a sure thing.  Especially since I don't think that I could handle if it wasn't.

If my travel plans come, I'm sure I'll be able to call and let you know.  In the very least, I will have Bishop Isaacson call and let you know when to expect my phone call on Monday from Atlanta :)  Positive thinking.  Faith.  12 weeks is long enough to wait.  18 weeks might put me over the edge; however, I am getting very good with patience and waiting.  This uncertainty is SOO stressful!!!

I had a good week and have a lot to tell you, but I'm almost out of time because I sent so many pictures and because I can't seem to formulate a rational sentence.  I am stressed, and I just want to go to Argentina.  I have loved my time in Salt Lake Mission as you know, but the uncertainty is difficult.  So check Sister Adorable's blog or Sister Cleveland's blog for more of what we did this week.  

I love you all and thank you for your support and prayers.

Hermana Chloe
My roommates/companions.  We're cute; I know :)

The District!  We love each other!

The lovely Sister Adorable and I.  Yes, I am wearing pink and red and Sister Adorable is wearing an animal print skirt :)  We are twin sisters separated in heaven.

This is my dear Sister Cleveland.  We have been roommates for 3 months.  She is one of my best friends, and I am so grateful for her.  I love her!

Don't really know what to say about this one :)

Dirt. Gross. One day we did a service project and planted sod: longest 7 hours of my life!  On the bright side, I am getting really tan and really strong.  My brothers would have been shocked to see me carry giant rolls of sod :)

We all made it out alive. Somehow.

Then the next day for 6 hours we moved Angie.  I will never make up for how tired I am.

Monday, June 3, 2013

I Don't Spend MyNights Thinking of You - A little song for the Elders :)

4 Months on the Mish, and Almost to Argentina


So it's official, and we are leaving Monday morning, June the 17th, with the final destination of Buenos Aires Argentina!  It is weird.  I just thought that eventually they would tell me that I was never going, but here I come.  Sister Winn said that we are all to be prepared to leave at 8 am on the 17th.  I don't have my actual itinerary yet, so I don't know exactly when I can call home.  I think I am ready to go, just a few last minute things.  I would like my white collared shirt that I think I left hanging up in the Laundry room, and my random gray shorts from Target if you can find them.  I also heard that there is something that you can clip to your backpack that will repel all bugs. I need one of those.  I also need a camera charger because I lost mine.  I am not really sure what would be the best way to do it because I don't know how to best charge my camera in Argentina, but problem I forgot my camera so I will let you know what kind I need next week, and then you can like amazon ship it. And when is Camron coming back to Utah? Because if I have Sister Adorable take my stuff to the mission office on transfers, could he come pick it up?

This week was rough.  The fourth week of the transfer is always the worst.  Basically A.'s divorce is not yet in, and M. didn't show up to her own baptism.  Depressing.  But we continue to be busy, and I am excited for the two weeks we have left together in Layton.

Something I have neglected to mention is the problem Sister Adorable and I have when it comes to members of the opposite gender.  One of our most notable experiences with this problem has been our investigator M.  The first time we saw M. he jogged past us, jumped up onto an electrical box, and then started doing pushups in front of us.  Obvious is an understatement.  As we continued to walk down the street he ran past us another 4 times, before he went away for a while.  We thought we were home free, but then he came back with two glasses of juice for us.  He gave them to us and then said he would be back for the cups later.  Well he did, and out in the open public we talked to him for a while, invited him to be baptized, and he is coming to church on Sunday.  To be safe we are giving him to the YSA Elders, but it is still super funny.  He found out that I was going to Argentina and was upset.  He asked if he could come visit me.  Sister Adorable and I laughed like we thought it was a joke and moved on.  But ya this is just a representation of what happens at least once a day.  I guess this a common problem for the sister missionaries that I just hadn't anticipated. 

We had quite a few miracles this week.  One was the fact that I had to go to the doctor. (No big deal; I just have an infected bug bite.)  When we arrived at urgent care my nurse ended up being a referral that I had only met one time.  We talked, and she invited Sister Adorable and I to her wedding the next day, and we met her two unbaptized daughters :) Even going to the doctor is a blessing on a mission.  I am a firm believer that nothing on a mission is coincidence. 

We continue to invite people to be baptized, and find new families.  I know that if we just keep up the obedience and the diligence that Heavenly Father will lead us to those who are prepared.  I am reading through all of General Conference again, and have grown quite fond of Elder Scott's talk.  Go read it it is amazing! It brings to your mind so many things you can improve on.  

I love you all,
xoxo Hermana Chloe

p.s. I am actually leaving the country in less than two weeks...just saying. Cheaper stamps here in the U.S. to mail me letters before I go :)
p.s.s. Good luck Marc and Nic with school
p.s.s.s. Anna you are beautiful, and I am so sad that I missed your dance recital.  I know you were amazing.  I love you so much sissy.

The awesome Sister Adorable and I

Here is a picture with Sister Isaacson (Her husband is one of our Bishops).  Since I am currently in mission limbo as a visa waiter, I consider them my mission mom and dad.
Sisters' Meeting!  Pedicures!

 The Sisters of the Utah Salt Lake City Mission!