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Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013

I had my first baptism this week!  His name is Aldo and he is 75-years-old.  He is the best. He will talk your ear right off, but I love him to death.  He has been visiting with missionaries before our little branch in Junin even existed, and he finally decided to get baptized.  It was a very lovely day.

Today we are in Ramos Mejia in the mission offices again because my companion had to take care of her DNI (ID) for here in Argentina.  But funny story... we took the wrong bus... and ended up in the Capital.  Luckily that´s only about 40 minutes away from where we needed to be, so our lovely office senior couple came and picked us up.  But I have some pretty bad luck with traveling. Before too long president is going to move me back to somewhere close to the offices and keep me there for the rest of the mission!

Speaking of traveling, Hermana De Leon and I had more flat tires this week.  Surprise, surprise.  But we´re hoping to get our bikes all fixed up this week and hopefully we won´t have any more problems this transfer.

So I included a couple of pictures this week.. the first is of the baptism.  The second is of one of a recent convert´s dog.  I don´t know his name, but we call him ¨nuestro amigo fiel¨because he follows us everywhere.  If we pass by their house, he follows us for hours, running from one end of the city to the other, alongside our bicycles.  It´s a little bit ridiculous, but sort of funny.

Other than that, Hermana De Leon and I are working hard.  We´re losing a few days of work this week because of all of our travels (we are leaving here today to go to Chivilcoy for a zone conference and then returning to our area Tuesday in the afternoon), but we´ll make up for it.

Love you all and hope you´re well!

Hermana Walton

Aldo's Baptism!  It's my first!

August 19, 2013

So this week I received the best gift of my entire mission... a dead bird in my helmet.  Thank you, random neighborhood kids of Argentina.  That was very thoughtful. 

Luckily for me, that wasn´t the theme of the entire week.  Other than that (and three flat tires between Hermana De Leon and I), it was a pretty good one!  We had our first baptism in our ward this transfer!  He was an investigator of the elders, but he´s super friendly to all the missionaries!  His name is Ruben.  I was so excited because it was the first baptism I´ve seen for the entire mission... I always seem to leave just in time to miss the baptisms.

Also, hopefully Hermana De Leon and I will be having our own baptism this week, for one of our investigators, Aldo.  He´s 75 years old and a funny little old man that rides his bike everywhere.  That´s something funny about Argentina... it doesn´t matter how old you are.  Everyone rides bicycles and motorcycles.

This week we had weekly planning as a district, with our zone leaders there to help us out.  It was actually super great.  Our zone leaders are all-stars and gave Hermana De Leon and I advice that we should try to find something fun to do everyday as a companionship.... I guess we´ve been working too hard all the time.  So we´re trying to have more fun everyday and focus on enjoying our time, not just working ourselves to the bone.  Hopefully there will be some good pictures to come with that.

Other than that, I finally remembered my camera and took some pictures of my area!  Yes... dirt roads and shacks.  I love the mission.  But I also got some shots of the city.  Enjoy.

I hope everyone is well.  I send my love to you all.

Hermana Walton

My area at its best.... yeah, it varies a lot.

August 12, 2013

Hellloooooo, friends and family!

´´I am so tired... all the time.  But I´m so happy.  I don´t understand it.´´
-The best line from The District videos, and also the sentiment that every missionary experiences for the majority of their time of service.

Yes, I am tired, but it´s because we´re working hard.  I really love Junín.  It´s very different from Caseros, but we´re working.  Wow, I just realized I don´t have time to write a real general email this week, so I´m sorry.  

But things are going well!  I´ll write more next week, I promise!  

Love you all!

Hermana Walton

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August 5, 2013 - 1st Transfer in Argentina - Junin

Helllllooooo, family and friends!

Transfers were last week and I am now serving in.... (drumroll please!)  Junín!  Woo!  For those of you who don´t know where that is, don´t worry, you´re not alone.  I still don´t know where that is.  Five hours by bus away from the mission offices?  But I´m here and that´s what matters!

A bit about Junín... everyone thinks it´s campo (country) and they´re partly right.  We do have a bit of city-like areas, but only about half our area is city.  The other half is dirt roads, wild dogs, and shacks.  I´ll try to send pictures sometime, but I am very limited as to when I can carry my camera.

We don´t have a ward here.  We have a branch.  We have roughly 15-20 members that are active here, which is definitely a change of pace from Caseros, which I found out last week was the first ever ward in all of Argentina!  Very well-established, very different from here.  But that´s okay, that only means that my new companion, Hermana De Leon, and I have plenty to do!

A bit about Hermana De Leon... she is from Guatemala and arrived here in Argentina about 3 weeks ago.  She only has one week more in the mission than I do, so it´s interesting for the two of us to work together.  Even though she´s young in the mission, she is very hard working and very powerful.  She´s the senior companion of the two of us and is dedicated to transforming our area.  I´m really grateful for her desire to work hard and really make a difference.  She has some very different habits and methods of doing things than myself, but we are learning a lot from one another.

This week was (obviously) my first week here and it just so happened to be the same time that President Carter was coming to visit to do interviews with the missionaries and to show the Work of Salvation broadcast that happened last month.  President asked us to work especially hard to bring investigators to this reunion... we ended up having more investigators in the meeting than members!  What a sight that was.

I think I´m going to wrap this up for now, but first... pictures!  One is of me and Hermana De Leon in our apartment (which is super nice!... except that it smells like mold, but ya know, you win some, you lose some...) and the other is of me and one of my favorite people in Caseros, Marta!  We visited her maybe once or twice a week while I was there and she was the sweetest.

Anyways, I love you all and hope everyone is well!

Hermana Lauren Jane Walton


Some pictures...
The first is the baptism of Ana and Leah, a mother and daughter that my companions and I taught when I was in Louisiana.  I was so sad to miss out on that, but I am so excited for them!
The second is me and all of my companions in Louisiana the day before I left.  Love those girls!  (Hermanas Blauer, Rohm, and Walker)

Pictures - She must have forgotten the pictures :(

My district and I went out to pizza last P-day.... at a Pizza Libre restaurant.  basically they bring pizza around to you and ask you if you want a slice and which one.  It was kind of fun and very delicious... but we ate a TON of pizza this week.

July 29, 2013

So something sort of weird happened this week.  On two separate occasions, people asked me if I am from Brazil.  In case you're wondering what Brazillians look like, it's not me.  Maybe I'm starting to pick up my companion's accent. Either that, or she's been teaching me Portugese in leiu of Spanish and I just didn't know.  Uh-oh.

Okay, so something really weird that I just realized this week... I'm about 1/4 done with my mission!  Whaaaat?!  I can't believe that.  This week was the final week of my first transfer here in Argentina.  Transfers are this Wednesday, so we'll see if I stick around in Caseros for a bit longer, or get moved.
We had an incredible week. We really saw miracles.  We had a lot of bumps in the road and a lot of change of plans last minute, but we had more success this week than ever before.
One thing I've learned this week is the importance of goals and working diligently to achieve them.  I've struggled with that before, but this week Hermana Costa and I were really dedicated to achieving them.  We had a goal to teach 15 lessons this week, and it came down to the wire.  We needed to be in our apartment by 8:30 on Sunday night, and we had 14 lessons at 8:00.  We really wanted to achieve our goal, but had no idea how to do it.  We decided to head in down a street to visit a woman we met Saturday night... while we were heading there, Hermana Costa all of a sudden paused, looked to her left, and exclaimed "Juan!" We were in front of a house that we had passed a thousand times to visit a man we met there, but he was never home.  WELL, he was home that night!  We taught him and met our goal!
I am out of time, but I love you all and hope you're well!
Until next week,
Hermana Walton