Mendoza Argentina Mission
Serving January 2015 - July 2016

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015 - Maipú

It has been a week of Miracles!

The mountains were so fun!  So we went on the wrong trail and it ended up being trail blazing through prickly bushes and watching out for cactus!  But I loved it :)  Also, none of us brought enough water, so really, just an exciting trip.  We went with 6 elders, so we covered the US, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Brazil, and Argentina countries in our group of missionaries.  We had an awesome time exploring, hopefully pictures will work this week.

Our investigator Raquel is doing amazing.  She has been working on the word of wisdom and has kept it for a week now!  She is so strong.  She is trying not to drink wine and the occasional strong beer, as she likes those.  It is so exciting to watch her make these leaps of faith and grow in her conversion to our Savior.  Our next step we are focusing on is coming to church, as there is so much strength and support she can receive from coming to church.  She wasn´t able to come this past week because of elections, but I am praying she will come this Sunday.

Also, Mariela disappeared.  I guess she moved, last minute, rapid decision, and we have no idea where she is, as she won´t respond to calls or texts.  Her neighbors said something about her maybe being in Godoy Cruz, but we really don´t know.

We are working with an 18 year old guy too.  He told us our first visit that he wants to grow his faith in Christ and he asked us about how people can become missionaries...WHAT!  He has such pure and inspiring desires, sadly his friends are not the best influence, but he has been attending another ward for just over a month now, which is a huge step in faith, just to attend church.  I am excited to see where he progresses and how his faith grows.

Choir is just awesome!  Sadly, without me, the pianist, and Elder Christiansen, who basically carries the tenors, it might be a bit harder.  They work so hard, and the songs are beautiful, I love El Cristo Es, and we sing Oh Elderes de Israel, and who can´t smile and get inspired by that song?  We are also doing Divina Luz and Cuando Enseña a tus Hijos.

Sometimes things in life happen and we don´t understand why.  We want to question why and life is hard.  At these times, as I humble myself and pray to God, I have realized how much God knows me personally and answers prayers.  Sometimes, all I ask is for a little peace, knowing that I don´t understand, but God does.  He knows everything and everyone perfectly.  He tells us in the scriptures, "be still and know that I am God" and He gives us peace, as stated in Matthew 14:27, not as the world gives, but as He gives, which is a greater peace and assurance.  A hymn I have had in my head this weekend is "God Moves in a Mysterious Way".  I never fully understood that song earlier, thought it had an interesting title, but it is true.  We don´t understand the why of everything, especially in the moment, and sometimes it does seem like a strange way for things to work out, but God knows, and moves in His way, a mysterious way to us.  He loves us, and will not give us any trial too big that we can´t overcome with His help.  He is there to help me as I turn to Him on my knees in prayer and as I read His words in the scriptures.  He is there to help everyone.  He is there to help you, you just have to turn to Him.  I love the story in Matthew 14, when Christ walks on water and Peter tries too.  He becomes scared and calls out to Christ, and Christ is right there to help him.  Christ is right there to help us too, to reach out his hand to grab ours and pull us up and give us strength.

I love ya´ll!
Hermana Quain
Zone Conference

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015 - Maipú

It has been a week of miracles!

I am feeling loads better, which is such a blessing.

So, Raquel, I don´t think I have told you about her, is so awesome.  She is a previous investigator, but had tons and tons of questions and doubts.  We had a lesson with her, in which she prayed, then we sat in silence for about 5 minutes, and we could all just feel our Heavenly Fathers love.  We are just working with her on obeying commandments and going to church.

Mariela, who is our other main investigator, has been super busy, so we are working on trying to see her.  We got to see her once this last week, but were only able to pray with her and invite her to church, but she didn´t come.

Asado last week was oh soooo yummy, and today we are going to the mountains!  I will make sure to take some pics. 
Elder Christenson, one of our ZLs, and Elder Vallecillo, DL and the
only missionary from Nicaragua here
This last week, Thursday, we had intercambios, exchanges, and I went over to Rivadavia with Hermana Workman, it is almost 2 hours away by bus.  It was so awesome!  Hermana Workman has been out for 9 months and gave me advice and was great to talk to.  I also tried my first pancho, and I love them!  Kind of like hot dogs but even better, and the place we went to makes them on homemade type bread.
 intercambios, exchanges, in Rivadavia with Hermana Workman
The sunset, it was so beautiful that we had to stop and take a picture

My first pancho! These are the best panchos too, homemade bread and toppings,
 they are kind of like hot dogs

We had zone meeting on Friday and I got to play piano for it!  And I played piano for church and for choir practice!!! Love, love, love!  Mom, I love the quote and talk about music from conference, I could relate to it more.
“We learn the dance steps with our minds, but we hear the music with our hearts. The dance steps of the gospel are the things we do; the music of the gospel is the joyful spiritual feeling that comes from the Holy Ghost. It brings a change of heart and is the source of all righteous desires. The dance steps require discipline, but the joy of the dance will be experienced only when we come to hear the music.” - Elder Wilford Andersen –

Saturday we had our first member present lesson, with Raquel, it was awesome!  The member was an older lady, as with Raquel, and they could relate so much more to each other.  We are working on continuing this having members there trend.

I am so excited!  The Cordoba Temple Dedication is coming up, and we will be able to watch it from here.  Temples are such a blessing.

As we turn to the Lord and rely on Him, He strengthens us so much.  I have felt this so much while being here, learning a language, new culture, and teaching about our Heavenly Father´s love.  He loves and knows each of us personally.
 so you can see a bit of what our pension looks like :)

huevos de pascua!  And my first day wearing my hair down for proselyting!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

April 7, 2015 - Maipú

It has been a week of miracles!

Monday: I extended the baptismal invitation to an investigator and she said yes!  However, we haven´t been able to get back in su casa, so hopefully she will not be so busy now.

Tuesday:  I couldn’t do much, as I had lost my voice and was sick with a sort of flu.  I did eat fiambre, which is basically just sandwich meat and cheese, a cheap snack.

Wednesday: Recovering from being sick, so we didn´t do a ton, though we had district meeting which is always awesome.

Thursday: We went to the offices for Hermana Jasso to be at a meeting.  I got to be with other sister´s for the day.  We went to a member’s house in one of their areas and helped to make huevos de chocolate por la pascua!  So much fun!  It was with Hermana Zoolinger(she didn´t send pics, but I am pretty sure she has a blog, so she might have our pics up on that to look at).  Warning family-I want to do this when I get back, it is just chocolate molds, you stick candies in the middle, it is a tradition here, not painting eggs.  Also, I tried dulce de membrilla, it is kind of a thick jam from a type of pear.  It is so good, especially wrapped in cheese.  The man we rent from gave us a thing of it homemade!  So nice!  He has started doing his own homemade wine, which is interesting to see, but it smells sooo strong.

Friday:  I tried sopapillas today.  We bought them from these little boys selling in the street and talked to them about the Sabbath day.  They are kind of like donut, fried bread with sugar on them.  I started getting sick again and losing my voice. :(

Saturday: CONFERENCE!  We watched the women’s session and the morning session in Spanish and the rest in English.  I love love love conference.  I really liked Elder Eyring’s talk about fear, and how it can be gone through Christ.

Sunday: Probably the roughest day of being sick: I couldn´t swallow, breath, or talk, but we still got to watch conference!  There are going to be 3 more Temples!  How amazing is that?  So in-between sessions, from 3-5, everyone just eats at the church.  Saturday we brought our own food, and Sunday the Obispo familia brought us a vianda, with enough to feed us and 4 elders and still have leftovers!

Monday: Went to the doctors and had to get blood work and swabs in my throat, because they were worried I might have mono or strep, but I don’t´!!  Yay!  We also went to the offices for entrevistas, and learned about the importance of the law of chastity and how to teach it.  A long but good day.  And I met the Maseda´s from Vacaville!  We ran into each other at the offices, which was so fun.

So that has basically been my week, with the highlight being how amazing conference was.  I love getting to listen to the teachings of modern-day prophets! 

I love you all!
Hermana Quain

A pic of me at the computer!  Just so you know that I still look the same :)

Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30, 2015 - Maipu!

It truly has been a week of miracles!!                                                             March 30, 2015

Tuesday: zone conference!  We had 3 zones at this conference.  We are the only sisters in our zone, there were none in one, and 3 sets in the other zone.  It was so fun to meet some other sisters.  There aren´t very many of us in this mission, so I am hoping to get to know more throughout my time.

 waiting for the train to get to zone conference
 all of the Hermana's at zone conference, the other 3 sets are in another zone

 Wednesday: We talked to soooooooo many people today, somewhere between 30-50!  We are trying to meet people to teach, so lots of abrir la boca.

 Thursday: Oh my! So in trying to find a young man´s house, we started talking to this family, who set up an appointment with us!  We didn´t end up finding his house, but more on this for
Saturday.  We also had a woman, in trying to find an antiguo investigador, come up to us, ask us what religion we are, and tell us, I am interested, when can you teach me!!! What??  We are going by today, so we are praying that she will be there.

 Friday: So, again, we had lecciones planned, but all of them fell through, which is basically what happens every day, but we still had faith that Saturday would be better

 Saturday:  What, another day!! Amazing!  So, we finally found the young man´s house, and he is interested, and we are going by tonight!!  Hopefully we can bring the spirit with us.  Also, the family!!!  They have been so prepared by God!  Life has been really hard for them, especially recently, and they have had bad experiences with other churches in the past.  Therefore, we are emphasizing how this is a church of Christ, not man, and are not pushing them too fast.  There are three generations, the grandma, her children, spouses, and grandkids.  We taught 5 of them on Saturday, all except the grandkids, there are three ages 20, 6, and 2.  They have such an amazing spirit in their home, we are praying that they will maintain their interest and pray and ask Heavenly Father, and that all will be well with them.  Also, the 2 yr. old is sooo cute.  He just runs around, screams :), and even blew us kisses, ran in while we were teaching about prayer and clapped his hands excitedly.  They can only do Saturdays, when all are together, but we are going to drop by throughout the week to check on them, maybe give a short spiritual thought to whoever is there

Sunday:  I got to play for choir again!  And I might start playing for church, as right now they just use recordings.  As those who know me know, I am sooo excited to serve in this way, I just love it so much, love piano!  Also, a truck full of really drunk guys drove past us on our way to church, calling out for a miracle, then they passed by again, calling out for us to save them.  We couldn´t help but laugh, we can´t save them.  I also was so worried for them, they were sooo drunk and should not have been driving, I hope they didn´t get hurt or hurt anyone else.

Random advice:

* Bring as many underclothes as you can! Way more than the 8-10 recommended
* Girls- bring as many no-show socks as you want, you can never ever have too many.
* Go for durability, not cuteness in shoes, at least in walking missions

So, we found out that there is a Walmart, so we are going to try and find it today.  Otherwise we have been using little minimarkets, panaderias, and vea (kind of like Raley’s, but smaller).

So, in preparing to go home, Hermana Jasso is starting a diet today (she has this and next transfer left).  So to have unity, I am joining in on this, basically, she wants to actually work out in the morning, as she doesn´t always (yay! this includes running, though at a very slow pace, but it is still running!!!).  Also eating healthier, so she is on a strict no soda, and one treat a week.  Which means me too, soda, easy easy, treats, a bit harder...  to give you an idea, she is accusing me that I will get diabetes with all the sweet stuff I like.  This will be for the next 2 months, and then the last week or 2 before she goes home, we are not following this at all :)

Sé que nosotros tenemos un Padre Celestial.  Él tiene mucho amor por nosotros.  Podemos orar por ayuda y Él nos da. No estamos nunca solo.  Nunca.  Estoy agradecida por esté conocimiento y la ayuda que yo recibo. 

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Quain
our funky washing machine, it just soaks the clothes, so they smell good, but aren´t cleaner
How do you get your clothes clean then? Do you hang out to dry or have a dryer?
They just don´t really get cleaned :), we are hoping to maybe find someone that we can use their washer at least every once in a while so they can actually get clean.  We hang dry too. 

What did you do in zone conference? Do you have Elder & Hermana Zone leaders? So is Hermana Jasso Zone leader? What does STL stand for? Maybe you could manually move the clothes around a bit to help them get clean? ;) Like with a big stick, ha.
In zone conference, we learned from our zone leaders, assistants to the President, Hermana Goates, and President Goates, it is kind of like a big seminar.  We start altogether, but then split up by zone and go to the different classes.  There is one set of Elders as zone leaders, and then Hermana Jasso is a sister training leader-STL, (female version almost of zone leaders, Spencer could also help explain).  Usually it is a companionship, but I am a trainee, so she is solo as sister training leader.  She is over me and one other set of sisters in a completely different zone, an hour and a half away.  There is maybe a 1-5 ratio of Hermanas’ to Elders here, maybe, so sister training leaders are sometimes over sisters pretty far away.  And we all cover big areas, so other missionaries are easily super far away anyway.

I have thought of just doing a more manual washing, as we have to manually bring the water by buckets into the machine anyway, and scrubbing my clothes, especially garments.  Or maybe find a big stick :)

How are your Sundays - church meetings?
We have all three hours, if you go on the lds tools, we are at the stake center of Maipú, and Spencer is good at figuring it out.  At 9-12 we have Relief Society first, sometimes only 4 of us at the beginning, but we can sometimes grow up to maybe 10 by the end, then gospel principles, then Sacrament, we have been having really good attendance, about 60 in Sacrament meeting, typical is 40.  We then go back and do studies, go to choir, then only have an hour and a half for proselyting. 

Do you eat any meals with the members? Does your ward have the missionary spirit?
They either feed us or give us viandas, togo lunches, as we do lunches with members.  We are working on building up the spirit, they have it in them!  They are super supportive and want to help out, which is awesome!

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 23, 2015 - Maipú

It has been a week of miracles!

I got to play piano!!!! For the choir practice!  I loved it so much, and was exactly what I needed.  I don´t know if I was just filling in or if this will be an every Sunday thing, I couldn´t understand completely the explanation.

Our investigator pool is basically about nobody, but that is ok, because we are working really hard and are going to find people, or have people follow through with lessons!  We have a few for this week, and many, many potentials.

So, we go to a cyber and use the computers there, where we pay for the time.  The people here would not be able to afford computers, I think there is a family history center in the offices, but not here in Maipú.  We are serving specifically in the Gutierrez area. Maipú is beautiful.  All of the streets are lined with trees.  It is getting a bit run down, but still so beautiful.

Hermana Jasso is 23, fluent in both English and Spanish.  She is in her last 2 transfers, and so will be heading home right when she is done training me. We work with just one ward, and we share the ward with the Elders Christensen and Fernandez.

So, yesterday, we taught Soc Soc and talked in Sacrament meeting!  Lots of talking.  Everyone is so patient and encouraging with my Español and castellano.  I get lots of comments about how I must have learned from a Mexican, or am used to hearing a Mexican accent, which is true...  It is funny when they use different words, or when I say something and get a funny look.

So I can receive mail, it takes 2 weeks.  Mission office is the best place to send it. Everyone tells me no packages, but nearly everyone who is older mission-wise has received a package at some point, but it takes a very, very, very long time.

Interesting things:

* The smells..
* I almost get ran over... all the time, every day, every hour, it is just a part of life.
* I tried fried pigs ear, and it didn’t´ get me sick!!!  They put them in tortitas, and it is actually pretty good.

Some fun stuff I have had:
* tortitas, grido-helado, facturas, alfajora de maiz

Oh, and elders will do anything for a coke :) and Hermana Jasso has a coke addiction like everyone here J

So, I have read and reread D & C 1 many times this week.  I sometimes wonder why Heavenly Father would call someone who can´t speak the language and is only 19 to teach the Gospel, but in this chapter, we are told that God calls the weak to do His work.  This is true in life.  As we are shown our weaknesses, and turn to God, He helps to strengthen us.

 Love you all!
Hermana Quain

Group of Missionaries that arrived the same time as me
View from the Hotel I stayed at in Mendoza
Hermana Sangama from Peru
Me & Hermana Jesso!
My first meal before we could go shopping :)
from on top of a hill outside of Godoy Cruz, BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY!
San Martin Monument

Monday, March 16, 2015

March 16, 2015 - Maipú!

It has been a week of miracles!                                                      March 16, 2015
I made it to Argentina!  After leaving the MTC around 6 am Monday morning, we flew to Georgia, then to Buenos Aires, then to Mendoza.  We arrived in Mendoza around 5 pm on Tuesday.  I was so tired as I didn´t sleep on the plane and Sunday night only got 2 hours of sleep, as the other Hermanas got up at 2am to leave to CA.  Something fun, I met Elder Holland!  He was on the same flight to Georgia.  In Buenos Aires, the Elders and I met up with the group from the Buenos Aires CCM, which had 5 sisters and 8 elders.  I was now comps with Hermana Sangama who doesn´t speak English.  She is so awesome and nice, and we were actually able to communicate ok.  We stayed in a hotel Tuesday and Wednesday night, and were at the offices during the day.  Thursday I found out who my trainer is, Hermana Jasso!  She is from Mexico, but also has lived in the US and is fluent in both Ingles and Español, which is such a blessing.  She speaks to me in mostly Español, except some random moments.  She is so encouraging and awesome.

I am in Maipú!  Sorry I don´t have pics of Maipú, but I love it here.  The trees aren´t as big as in Mendoza. We washed Maipú, so we are working on finding investigators.  It is a bit rough, as mostly what we do is walk around all day meeting people, and have only taught once.  But we have a few appointments set up for this week, and hopefully they are there and remember.  

There were a lot of people at the ward this week, which apparently is weird, we had about 90 at sacrament meeting.  It is us and 2 elders working with this ward; Elder Christensen & Elder Fernandez.

So, some interesting things so far:

* One man we met threatened us, telling us how much God loves us, which is a really strange threat.  He was also only wearing what appeared to be very small underpants, beautiful.  Then, when we were trying to leave, he kissed me!  Yay! Mi primero beso!  Luckily it was a nice wet one on the cheek, and not the lips.  It was a bit startling, but we just walked away and I couldn´t stop laughing.

* Sad- I saw my first dead dog.  Alive dogs are EVERYWHERE, but this one was bloated and covered in flies, really sad.

* I gave a tarjeta to a man, who then went on to say, I am Jesus, you can´t see me... ok... I just handed you a tarjeta... but ok.

* We don´t eat dinner here, only breakfast and lunch, which is different.  It works though.  We are shopping today, so we will now actually have non outdated food or cereal.  I have already lost probably 5 pounds this week, my body doesn´t like the food, even though we haven´t eaten anything strange.  I am hoping it will start to change and accept it.

* We have a really nice pensión, which is way worse than Spencer´s apartment.  I can send pics next week.  I guess we have a bit more room than Spencer, but not as nice.

A scripture that has really stood out to me this week is D&C 6.  It talks about putting your trust in God. I am learning to do that, as I can´t understand people when they speak and am adjusting to being here.  

Hermana Quain
Me with Sister & President Goates

Mendoza, Argentina

View from the Mission Home in Mendoza

March 8 - 10, 2015 - Leaving the MTC

 My Zone at the beginning with our Branch Presidency
 The 2 Districts that arrived together

Happy UnBirthday :)
Sad to to Leave  - But excited for Argentina!

With Hermano Dolbin - MTC instructor
With Hermano Rasmussen - MTC instructor