Spanish is going well! Whatever Michael has I think I also inherited because it is not easy, but easier for me to pick up than a couple of others in the district. The French grammar and some vocab is extremely helpful but sadly I find I've already forgotten much French. However, a word slips out every now and then, and everyone looks at me blankly so I know I used a French word!
It's not too crowded here. They do a good job of managing that except in the cafeteria on fast Sunday! Speaking of Fast Sunday, I bore my testimony in Spanish but I mixed up a verb. There are two kinds of "to be" in Spanish: one that describes temporary conditions and one that describes more permanent conditions. So, I accidentally said "I'm a happy person" instead of "I'm happy in this moment." Hahaha! No one noticed though.
E-mail June 6--Mom sent Megan a screen shot of the June New Era with Megan's photo and an answer to a question.
Oh my gosh! I totally forgot that I submitted that! That is so cool though!! I'm on the same page as President Utchdorf!!
I just saw Sister Kirsten Shell literally like thirty minutes ago! Her visa didn't come through so she came here instead! (Kirsten was one of Megan's roommates at BYU.)
Thanks for the package!!!
Spanish is fabulous! I think there is something genetic in this family that comes with a predisposition to learning foreign languages! I'm picking up the concepts easily and the pronunciation isn't that difficult. I was chatting with a teacher who served in Mexico, and I answered a question of his or something and he said, "Yeah, Hermana Arntsen, you sounded like a Mexican (except he said that in Spanish)." That's pretty cool, but I hope I'll pick up Castilian soon! I don't want to speak dirty Spanish!!! No offense Michael, it all sounds pretty, but I think Castilian will be much better for me. There is kind of a 50-50 chance of a teacher liking or hating the Argentine accent. To my teacher, Hermana Comacho, who is from Puerto Rico, it is annoying and stuck up. But then others like it or say it's an acquired taste. Either way I hear there is no mistaking it. I haven't even been to Argentina yet but I know I will come to love the people, places, and culture and want to share it with you.
We got two new "investigators" this week to teach. So now we teach all three of our teachers. Yesterday we committed Gilberto to baptism with a date and everything but I think we might have to move it up if he continues receive the lessons well. Antonio (Hermano Holman) is GODLEN! He has a religious background, married, a little son. He is trying so hard to provide for them but can't find a steady stream of work. He was so receptive to our message the other day! We invited him to pray at the end of the lesson. He was a little worried about not doing it right but he said, "Okay, I'll say it and then you tell me what I did wrong (but in Spanish)." He said one of the most heartfelt and sincere prayers I have ever heard in Spanish or English! He is so ready for the Gospel (even though he technically isn't our investigator, he is someone Hermano Holman taught so he already has received the Gospel I hope). We are also teaching a 12 year-old girl, Esmeralda. We've only had one lesson with her and it went okay but we are struggling to be creative and find ways to make the lessons interactive and enjoyable for her. Mom, I was wondering if you had any ideas or recommendations because of your time in Primary and Young Women? Friday we start TRC which is when members or non members volunteer to come in and we just sit down with them and teach a little message, like the Elders would when you feed them dinner. Or at least that is my understanding, but I'll find out tomorrow!!
Elder Bowers, in my district, got his visa and left the other day. He is now in the Columbia MTC. Before he left he said that his mother had found out that you can Dear Elder Columbia and Argentina. So while I'm in the field you can go on dear elder and just change the MTC to the Argentine one, type in my apartment address and they will print it out here and put it with the pouch mail. It is way faster than regular pouch mail so when I leave in four weeks you might want to tell people that or do it yourselves. But double check on that.
Hermana Jensen and I were trying to be more personable in our lessons so we thought talking about our families would be good and then easily tied into the Gospel. Well, Hermana Jensen, like the amazing daughter she is, had quite a few pictures of her family and me, being that not-as-good-of-a-daughter as I am, don't have any. Could you send me a couple please? Fortunately, as Michael lent me his Spanish scriptures while in the MTC, he has a few photos stuck in there: one of the Idaho Falls temple, one other the bug, and one of Franklin. As I had no family photo to show, I showed the picture of Franklin. Hahaha! Gilberto and Antonio got a kick out of that! I did talk about you guys but I just showed them Franklin. Boy is that a fun sentence to say in spanish: "No tengo un foto de mi familia pero tengo un foto de me perro." Caitlin will have to say it for you for you to hear how funny it sounds! Then in class I had the photo sitting out on my desk and Hermano Avila (Gilberto) saw it and burst out laughing: "haha no tengo un foto de mi familia pero tengo un de mi perro!" He just thought it was the funniest thing, and it is really funny!! So when in doubt, make your investigators laugh! Haha!
Speaking of Hermano Avila, I didn't get to tell you about him. We've only had him as a teacher and not just an investigator for a little over a week but he is the BEST! He understanding of the Gospel is so profound. He can relate any one concept to any other you give him and use scriptures along the way and he's only 21! He just got back from FL on his mission in January, met a girl a few days later, and now is engaged! I thought you'd get a kick out of that, Mom! But he really is the best teacher! He is teaching us to know the Gospel as he does in such a simple way: through the use of a doctrine, a principle, and an application. The principle is the what, so for example baptism. The doctrine is the why, so to be cleansed from sin. And the application is the how, so by someone who holds the priesthood authority, by immersion, etc. No investigator will really stick to a commitment unless they understand the doctrine. He said by learning the various doctrine of one principle we are able to select the doctrine (why) that will affect that specific investigators needs and help him/her find the motivation necessary to live the commitment. It's amazing! He also started a company to make study journals and mission t-shirts and half of the profit goes to the Church Mission Fund. He got us the prototype shirts so now I have a shirt that says Argentina Buenos Aires North Mission on it, and he gave us study journals. They are really nice. There is a spot for the date, what you're studying, a side column for titles and then lines for notes. He will help me become a very successful missionary. Funny story though, so his Spanish isn't as good as the other teachers because he served part of his mission in English. So yesterday he was giving an example of teaching and Elder Sorrensen (my district) volunteered to be his investigator. This first demonstration was supposed to be in English but Elder Sorrensen forgot that. Just before beginning, Hermano Avila's boss walks in to observe. When Elder Sorrensen opened the door Hermano Avila said "Hey what's going on?" and Elder Sorrensen replied "Hola" and continued in Spanish and Hermano Avila just went with it and taught in Spanish. Apparently Elder Sorrensen forgot and just happened to be in the Spanish groove. But Hermano Avila's boss was observing and Hermano Avila doesn't teach as well in Spanish as he does in English (which he teaches wonderfully in both anyway), so he was a little concerned about what is boss thought. It was so funny though when Elder Sorrensen opened that door and replied in Spanish!
God be with you all!
God be with you all!
Todo mi amor! (All my love!)