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Monday, November 24, 2014

I Met and Killed My First Cockroach!

This week was a pretty good one! We had 3 investigators in church yesterday, Moira, Enso (her son), and Oscar. We found a new investigator that is pretty solid but we have only met with him once. I´m just so hopeful for the people here because I know the gospel could bless their lives so much. My Castillano is coming along pretty well. Don´t think I´m learning Spanish, and never tell an Argentino that they speak Spanish, it´s a major insult. Sometimes it is really hard to understand people because they don´t have ANY none. The dental hygiene here or lack there of is unreal.

A couple funny things from this week; we had a member take us out to a really far neighborhood in our area and we got in her car and I looked down and there was a shoe tied to her clutch pedal because I guess the pedal just fell off so ya know why get it fixed when you can tie a shoe to it with some nylon and call it good. Sometimes in lessons the people just start talking and they never really stop, I have never met someone in my life that talks as much as anyone here. They will tell you their whole life story even though they have no idea who you are. Sometimes in lessons when they start to ramble I will look at Hermana Zubeldia and go cross-eyed and she can´t do it so she just laughs. There aren´t a whole lot of funny things that happen on the mission so we have to take what we can get. 

We also had Zone Conference this last week. It was awesome, and all in Spanish, 8 am to 4 pm, I got super lost by noon. We also had hamburgers for lunch, no not hamburgers. They are sandwiches with 4 hamburger patties that aren´t real hamburger and the buns are like the size of printer paper. They were HUGE not real hamburgers...haha. The food here is always a surprise but pretty good, sometimes it´s better not to ask what it is and just eat it, sorry mom I bet that freaks you out. Nothing awful or super scary yet, I had ravioli this week with a family that owns a meat shop and it was homemade and it was seriously amazing, Ethan might have even liked it...hahaha!

I´m sleeping alright. It´s getting pretty hot here and we definitely don´t have AC. Oh and all the weather forecasts we looked at were super wrong. I guess they have ruined their ozone layer here so there is like no protection from the sun, so I guess winters are pretty cold, but no snow, and summers are SUPER hot. Like 50 degrees, Celsius some days, that is 122 Fahrenheit, oh no, I might melt here.

We have to walk 10 blocks just to get to our area and our area is huge because the edges of it are lots of fields and few houses so we definitely walk a TON, like probably 100 blocks a day. I´m getting some pretty nice tans lines from my shoes with the straps and my watch.

I love my house, it´s very interesting. Here´s a couple stories: we definitely had a pet cockroach that I figured out where it lived and sprayed Raid on it...yeah didn´t die just ran out of it´s hole and I had to kill it, so I stepped on it (with shoes, on thank heavens) it sounded like cracking an egg it was awful, I killed it at like 4 am so needless to say I didn´t sleep the rest of the night. Our washer is so loud, it literally howls on the spin cycle, we can´t hear each other scream super loud when it is on. Our bathroom definitely has bidet (one of those things that squirt your bum to clean it) we don´t use it. And our ¨shower¨ is just a spout and there is a drain in the middle of the floor so if we shower too long the water leaks out from under the door into the hall, haha. We don´t have AC. We have 2 fans one is definitely broken and only works if we point it like straight at the ceiling.

So a little bit about our investigators, Moira we have had for a while. She is super great and loves everything we teach her but she isn´t married and her husband isn´t interested anymore, so he´s not really in any hurry to get married, so she can´t get baptized yet. But they really want to get married; they just want to wait until they have enough money to throw a big party, so it´ll happen, just maybe not soon. We had an awesome lesson with her this last week though but I got super confused and lost, but I bore my testimony anyway and after Hermana Zubeldia said my testimony was amazing!!! The gift of tongues is so real, sometimes I don´t even know what I am saying! It´s super cool to see the Lord´s hand in the work! Anyway, her son Enso is so, so cute, he reminds me so much of the boys, he really likes the lessons too and wants to be baptized but we don´t know how his real mom feels about any of this and he hasn´t asked her permission to be baptized and she has to approve him being baptized. Oscar, he is like a 65 year old man who went to church for a year 10 years ago then just stopped and never got baptized, so we are working a lot with him right now. We have him committed to the 6th of December!! Super exciting! And then our new investigator is like 30, recently divorced and has an adorable 4-year-old daughter; he is committed to the 13th of December. The work really is under way here in Argentina.

For anyone still reading my blog, please, please, please go watch the Mormon Message ¨Good Things to Come¨ by Elder Holland. It is my favorite. 

Thank you for all your support.

Love Always, 
Hermana Barker


Argentina hamburgers

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone

Clutch repair 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Getting Used to LIfe in Argentina

My companion Hermana Zubeldia and I eat lunch with members everyday and it´s always the same three things; chicken, bread and this awful potato mixture, it´s potatoes with carrots and peas and then SLATHERED in mayo. And yesterday we ate with the Relief Society President and her family and there wasn´t any potatoes just rice. Just plain rice and I was so excited then she pulls out a bag of mayo (yes bag...everything is in bags, even milk) and I´m wondering what in the world is that for.... we have chicken rice and bread....yupp definitely the sauce for the rice....we eat mayo multiple times every single day. 

Okay so this last week, Tuesday we had Zone and District meetings. They were super fun. We are practicing Christmas songs because I guess we are going to sing Christmas carols in the center of town all day on Christmas. We have like 20 elders, 3 of them are tenors 2 are basses and the rest are just horribly tone deaf...haha. For zone meeting we did an activity where we had to tie a tie around our eyes and teach a lesson alone, hardest thing I have ever done because the easiest way for me to understand is to watch their mouth, oh well. We also had a meeting with our Bishop and it went really well and at the end he told us ¨Go Home¨. All of the members have picked up little English phrases and I guess that is his, it was hilarious. 

Wednesday! We contacted in a new area that is literally in the boonies like a solid 5 miles away from everything else. We met an awesome family out there and I can´t wait to teach them more. They have a 7-year-old daughter. We had a FHE with a part member family and the mom made meatballs that were like solid grease. The food here is going to give me a heart attack I´m pretty sure. 

Thursday not a whole lot happened this day but we used a member’s bathroom because when we are out contacting all the stores were closed for the siesta, and this bathroom didn´t have a sink, the toilet seat was not attached and there wasn´t any light, definitely quite the experience, oh and the toilet didn´t flush.

Friday, I saw one of the members driving around on a Vespa. Everyone here drives them, but he´s 11.....what? There are no laws. Families use Vespas so like 5 people will be on one Vespa. I saw a lady holding a newborn baby in one arm and driving with the other, what? so scary. Oh and we rode the bus today because we thought it would save us time getting home we definitely waited for the bus that is supposed to come every 20 minutes for almost an hour! This place is crazy and great(:

Saturday We had an awesome lesson with our investigator Moira. She is doing so well. She came to church on Sunday she keeps asking about baptism but we need to get her and her husband married first. She is progressing super well and hopefully will be baptized on December 6th. She said she can´t wait to start the New Year off perfectly clean! How cool!!!! We also did service today, it was way fun. Oh and when we were walking to do the service there was a broken sewer pipe and to FIX it they were pumping it all over the street, ummm, yupp only in Argentina.  

We have two pretty solid investigators right now, Moira and Oscar. Oscar is like an 80 year old man with no teeth and 10 years ago he went to church for 1 year but never got baptized, so we have been working with him. He is quite interesting. I don´t know a whole lot about people because I don´t really understand what they say all the time, but I´m learning. The language is coming. I´m adjusting to life here, it´s so different but I really do love it. 

Thank you so much for all the love and support everybody. Please send me your address if you want me to write you, there is not enough time to e-mail on P-day.

Hermana Barker


The hermanas doing some service

Service day

Sewer repair in Argentina

It's not too hard to stay out of the pool

Monday, November 10, 2014

I am Really in Argentina!

Can you believe it? Because I sure can´t! This place is insane and awesome! 

MY AREA! I am serving in Santa Rosa La Pampa! It´s pretty interesting here! We actually work in kind of a dangerous area, so we don´t live in our area we live with two other Hermanas (Sisters) that are serving in a different sector of Santa Rosa. We have to be in our house at 8:00 every night instead of 9:00, but don´t worry we are still safe. The Church knows what they are doing and they wouldn´t put me here if I wasn´t safe! 

Okay so lets back up to last Monday November 3rd. I left Salt Lake International Airport at 11:15 AM, a short 4-hour flight to Atlanta. Then I boarded my flight to Buenos Aires Argentina....holy cow the longest plane ride of my life (literally.....hahaha) but I definitely fell asleep right when I got on the plane and missed the dinner they served..darn it. The plane was FREEZING cold and I definitely put my jacket in the carry on that I ended up checking....oh well I made it.

So we got off the plane in Buenos Aries at 7;30 AM the next day and it was such a blur we were all in such a hurry and there were so many of us. There were probably 50 missionaries, because there was a whole group of ‘Visa waiters’ that ended up coming with us too! But we went through customs (I didn´t even get stopped) and then the madness started. We walked through these opaque doors and all of a sudden there were like 200 Argentinians. No more speaking English. We found our travel guide, who was a hoot. Then we threw all of our luggage in this big truck and got in vans and none of us knew where we were going, because all the missionaries going to all the missions in Argentina were still with us. We drove past the Temple, didn´t get to go though ); Our travel guide couldn´t speak English so we were all pretty confused then we finally figured out that he was saying ¨another airport¨ what!? Yeah apparently we only got half of our travel we went to an Argentina airport and that is where we started branching off. We got there at like 10 AM and our flight didn´t leave until 5 PM forrrrreeeevvverrrrr layover. Anyway, then we got on the plane it was a 1-hour flight to Bahía Blanca.

There are 24 new missionaries in Bahía Blanca this transfer!!!!! We met our Mission President right off the plane then we all got our luggage and threw it in another big truck. We got in taxis and went to the Church. Where we had dinner and interviews with the Mission President (yupp in Spanish). After that all the Hermanas got to sleep at the Mission Presidents was so nice. It was like a mansion, hahah. Then we got ready the next morning headed back to the Church had more training and then we met our companions! My companion is Hermana Zubeldia! She is from Kaysville Utah! And this is her last transfer!!!! Crazy! She is so sweet and I am so happy that I have a companion that speaks English too! The language is interesting. I´m pretty sure they taught me the wrong kind of Spanish in the MTC. It´s a lot different here and it´s on fast forward....hahahaha I´m working on it though. I can understand a lot but it´s super hard to talk because I don´t talk fast enough so they think I´m done and they start talking over I don´t get to say much...hahah Most of them like to hear me talk though because they think it´s funny. 

Oh so after I got my companion we started contacting people in Bahia Blanca because we needed to wait to take a bus to our area that didn’t leave until 10 PM...definitely a 4-hour bus ride.... so we got to our home at 2 AM and I still had to make my bed and that stuff....hahahahaha. I was so tired day two. 

I literally don´t have enough time to tell you everything I want to today.

Oh my favorite thing about Argentina, Facturas; they are like a yummy croissant kind of thing with dolce de leche inside....they are amazing. Oh and dole de leche is heaven. I put it on everything. 

One weird thing about my mission...since night time is the best time to meet with people we NEVER have dinner, We have lunch with a member every single day and we don´t get to eat dinner until we are home for the day, super weird. 

The worst part about my mission...the drivers...they are crazy! There aren´t any stoplights or stop signs it´s like constantly playing chicken. Oh and pedestrians DO NOT have the right of way. Oh and NO one has teeth. 

To greet someone in Argentina you kiss him or her on the cheek. That´s interesting to adjust to but Hermanas obviously can´t greet men like that but men always try to anyway, it´s awkward to stop them...hahaha The kids here are adorable. 

There are dogs everywhere. 

Our area doesn´t have any sort of paved road or sidewalk so we walk in the dirt and sand streets. Every house has a bucket on a pole in the front yard. It’s for garbage, so the dogs don´t eat it...hahaha.

My District

dolce de leche

My Companion Hermana Zubeldia

 My kitchen

 The streets of Santa Rosa La Pampa

Jus chillin' in the front yard

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Arrived in Bahia Blanca Argentina

We would like to inform you that your Daughter, Hermana Barker, has arrived safe and sound here in the Argentina Bahia Blanca Mission and she is excited to help more people to come unto Christ, being baptized, confirmed to endure to the end. At this moment she is traveling to her new area and on Monday she will be able to write you and tell you how she is doing.

Argentina Mission President Manuel Pannero Ruiz with Hermana Barker 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Bon Voyage

Monday morning at 6:00 am I finally leave the Mission Training Center in Provo headed for the Salt Lake International Airport via the FrontRunner. I was a little surprised we were not riding in a bus to the airport.

A nice visit with my Uncle Rod in the Delta Sky Club where he spoiled me, Hermana Ballard and Hermana Snyder with a few Shirley Temple drinks and a lot of yummy goodies (thanks Uncle Rod, you are the best) and I am off to Atlanta to start my adventure to Buenos Aries, Argentina.

Thanks for the VIP treatment in the Delta Sky Club Uncle Rod 

Anxiously awaiting our flight