Thursday, March 31, 2016


March 31, 2016

Hola Familia!!! 

Well today I am writing you all from Olavarría - a city about 6 hours (by bus) away from Bahía Blanca [200 miles to the northeast].  That's right... I've been transferred away from my beloved Bahia Blanca, Villa Floresta y la Hermana Baird.  BUT... I'm still as happy as ever!! 

This week has been a little bit nuts and I don't quite know where to start.  :) 

So last Thursday we had our p-day with all the missionaries in our zone.  We went to the park and had an Easter egg hunt which was super fun!  We also painted eggs, and as a result, ate egg salad sandwiches the next day. :)  It was fun to be with our zone one last time because we all knew transfers were coming and that President was planning to change a lot of people and their areas.  

P-Day with our Zone - Selfie on the Bridge
They call us the "Triplets"
With Hermana Darrington
Chao Bahia - Our Last Picture together with the Zone

So Saturday morning we went over to the church to help the young women in our ward make cookies for new beginnings on Sunday.  As we were baking, our cell phone rang and it was one of the assistants to the President.  Now mind you, we were waiting for transfer calls but we never know when they are going to actually call during the day, so it’s pretty much just torture staring at the phone until they do call. 

So when the phone actually rang, we panicked and went in to another room.  Elder Chikoma started talking to Hermana Baird and was congratulating her on her new assignment and thanking her for being such a great missionary, etc.  My jaw dropped, and I immediately knew in my mind what he was referring to.  But in reality, we really didn't know for sure what he was talking about, so Hna Baird says "ELDER! What new assignment?!  What are you talking about?!"   Elder Chikoma goes silent for a moment and then started backtracking, "President hasn't called you?”  Ummm, NO!  He then proceeded to tell her that she had been called to be a new Hermana Entrenadora (sister training leader)!!!  What?!?!  So crazy!!  Haha it’s super funny too because the same thing happened when Hermana Palma left me a couple months ago.  I guess all my companions get called to be stl's right after they are done being my comp.  Haha too funny!  But yeah, from that phone call we knew for sure that we were being separated and that she was heading to a new area, but we still had to wait to hear about me. 

Our reaction when they told us we were being separated...NOT cool

Anyway, back to Saturday, poor Hermana Baird was freaking out a little bit, and we had to head right over to Hna Ortiz's house to have a lesson with Soledad.  It went well - we talked about the restoration of the gospel, and she accepted the invitation to read the Book of Mormon, pray and come to church with us on Sunday.  :)  We didn't have the heart to tell Hna. Ortiz right then that we were being transferred, so we just headed home to eat lunch and work on the area book for the next missionaries. 

Long story short, they tortured us by making us wait until 5pm that day to tell us where we were headed.  When we finally got that call, they told us that Hna Baird was headed to "White" which is just on the other side of Bahía Blanca from Villa Floresta.  Then we found out that I was headed to Olavarría... (6 hours away from Bahía in bus) and that I would be replacing Hna. Palma in an area called Mariano Moreno and would be paired with la Hermana Cardenas.  WHAT?!  :) So crazy!!  To be honest, I was super excited and actually mentally prepared and ready for a change - so it was perfect!  AND I get to be with another Latina!! Wahoo!

Hermana Baird and I spent the rest of the day packing and eating grilled cheese sandwiches as comfort food, because as excited as we were, we weren't quite ready to be separated... :(  

Sunday was a crazy blur of goodbyes at church and even a couple tears when they had us both share our testimonies in Sacrament Meeting as a goodbye... gosh that was hard.  Villa Floresta will always have a special place in my heart and I'm going to miss my ward family there lots!   

Saying Goodbye to my family in Villa Floresta - La Familia Luna
Familia Andrada

We will miss our Villa Floresta Ward Mission Leader and his wife

With our favorite abuela - Hermana Ortiz
Getting crazy with Hna. Ortiz

After church, we went home to eat and pack some more and then headed out to visit a few investigators and members to say goodbye to them.  Our last stop was to visit cute Tila with Hna Ortiz, and to sing to her one last time.  We made the dumb decision to sing "Para Siempre Dios Este Con Vos” (God Be with You ‘til we Meet Again), and poor Hna Baird couldn't make it through the song.  We really have loved our time together in Floresta.  Cute Hna Ortiz walked us back home and that is where we said goodbye to our cute abuelita [grandma]

We had to be in the terminal at 5:30am on Monday morning to meet my new companion and then catch our bust to Olavarría at 6am.  I got to see Hna Palma in the terminal and also got to say goodbye to both my mission "moms" as I headed off with Hna. Cardenas. 

With my two "moms" in the bus station terminal

So like I said earlier, Olavarría is about 6 hours away from Bahía Blanca...but our colectivo [bus] decided it was necessary to stop in every single little pueblito [town] along the it ended up taking us 9 hours.  Luckily, we were able to sleep for most of it and then got to talk and get to know each other for the rest.

Selfie on the 9 Hour Bus Ride to Olavarria
The beautiful campo of Argentina that we looked at for 9 hours :)

Hermana Cardenas is from Mexico City and is 4’10”.  She has been in the mission for about 7 months and is just the cutest thing ever!!  I seriously feel like a giant compared to her, but it’s all good.  We get along great and have had lots of fun these first few days in Olavarría together, getting to know the area and each other. :)  

I'M HUGE!!!  hahaha She's too cute!!
Introducing Hermana Cardenas to SMORES :)
Bad hair day - it was just a bit windy on the bridge!

Olavarría is a lot more laid back and más tranquila que Bahía [calmer than Bahia] and I love it!  The streets are all paved and are super wide.  The people all talk pretty slow and clear and I really feel like I can understand them all…and that makes me very happy :).  

Olavarria, Argentina
Olavarria, Argentina
Olavarria, Argentina

But yeah, that’s about it.  Sorry if I rambled a lot today, it’s just that life’s been a little nuts with this big change and my head is still spinning.

I'm so beyond excited (as I'm sure you all are too) for this weekend when we get to watch General Conference.  I hope you all pay close attention and really strive to listen to the Spirit and apply what we will learn from our church leaders in a couple days.  We really are so blessed to have a Living Prophet and the modern day revalacion and instruction from other men and women called of God to teach and help us all improve our lives and strive to be better disciples of Jesus Christ every day.  
Love you all and hope all is great on the home front. :) 

Hasta luego! 

Hermana Bartholomew 

Classic Argentina Picture of the Week:
Yup - you are seeing that right...this is definitely a statue of a mother breastfeeding.
Found in a little park in Villa Floresta 

And finally, the last episode of Missionary Master Chef with Hermana Baird...making SMORES!

Super yummy!

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