Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Writing Rachel

I have updated the "Write Rachel" link.  Rachel has very limited email time and won't have time to respond to emails, let alone read most of them. If you want to contact Rachel please send a letter via mail, or use DearElder.com.  DearElder.com will print off your letters and send them via pouch mail to Rachel. 

Remember, Rachel only receives mail every 6 weeks, so keep writing, she will receive them eventually and get back to you!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy New Year!

  This week is New Year´s! I can´t believe that it´s almost 2015. I will be spending this whole year in the mission. That's so crazy to think about. Also, Happy Birthday Mom! How awesome is it that I get to email on your birthday?! So this last week was Christmas! Skyping on Christmas was...strange. I´m not even sure how to put it. Hna. Rodas told me that it was super weird for her to hear me speak in so much English. Haa maybe that's a good sign! I´m glad to hear that I´m not missing any snow back in Minnesota. This last week has been way hot here, as summer is just about to be in full swing! Hna. Rodas and I literally pray for rain! Haa it's so great because we just laugh all the time at the weather and our ridiculous tan lines.

    So what did we do for Christmas? Christmas Eve we had to be in our pension by 6 pm because it was dangerous for us to be out in the streets so we made tomales and watched Monsters University in Spanish with English subtitles. Maybe one day I won´t need those :) It was a super calm night. Oh, I also kind of got sick on Christmas Eve for a few days, but I´m all better now so no worries! A family invited us over to spend Christmas Eve with them, but we couldn´t go because they don´t have a car to bring us back to our pension. On Christmas we got to skype and then it was back to work! The work of the Lord never rests! We had a Christmas miracle...we taught a lesson!! We were looking for this lady we had been trying to find earlier this week and we found her daughter. She let us in and we were able to teach her a lesson. What a blessing. 
   Something that´s really funny here is that people have so much trouble with my name. People always say it´s too confusing or too hard and I even had someone ask me if I had another name...haa. There was this elder that just returned from his mission to Brazil in our ward and when we shook his hand he went, "Hna. Rodas." then he shook my hand, looked at my nametag...and walked away...things like that always give us a pretty good laugh. 
    Another miracle happened this week... yesterday actually! At chruch...I understood almost everything!! Best day of my life! Haa we had lunch after church with this lady who also works in the mission home and I remember my first day hearing her speak and thinking "I did not learn anything in the MTC" and then I understood almost everything she was saying during lunch! What a blessing. We've been working with members and less actives this week about setting goals for the new year. I never realized how amazing goals really are until the mission. If we set goals to do better, to be better, and to work harder, we are so much more likely to become the person that God knows that we can become. Goals help us reach our full potential and are so, so important. I encourage everyone to set goals for this new year and not just to set them, but to work towards them diligently so you can look back at the end of this year and are satisfied with what you achieved. 
    One thing that I´ve learned this week is how to be happy despite your circumstances. I think this is one of the most valuable lessons we can learn in life. One of Satan´s biggest tools is discouragement. When we are discouraged, we can´t feel the spirit, and then we start to lose faith. Heavenly Father believes in you. Christ is on your side helping you along the way. One of my favorite quotes from preach my gospel says, All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is because of Christ that we can have hope. Because of Him that we have all of the blessings of the gospel in our lives. He is the Gift.

Happy New Year!

Hermana Feldermann

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas/Feliz Navidad

It´s almost Christmas!!! It´s so weird because it honestly feels nothing like Christmas here because it´s so hot! My whole life I´ve had nothing but snow for Christmas and this quite the difference, but I mean I guess I don´t mind it. I´ll be tan for the first Christmas ever in my life! Haa so this week...I GOT MAIL! We had zone conference this week, and they brought us mail. I don´t know if I mentioned this earlier, but we only get mail once every 6 weeks (every transfer) or at zone conference (every 3 months). So anyways it was super exciting. Best thing about zone conference, I understood practically everything! Maybe it´s just because it was the gospel, but I definitely thing it was such a blessing of the Lord because after that I went back to my regular old not understanding much of anything self. It was such a blessing. That same day I had exchanges, which is where I switch companions for a day and go to a different area. It was actually super fun! The sister that I went with is from California and she has the most amazing Argetine accent every. Something that I hope and pray to one day have! We also got to speak english...which was the weirdest thing ever for me. I realized how grateful I am to have a companion that forces me to speak spanish otherwise I would practicaly know nothing. The trains here are something. We had to take a train to go to our area for exchanges, and it was crazy. People were practically hanging on the outside of the train to fit and we were all packed in like sardines!

    So something that we did this week that was a lot of fun. We made a ton of cookies for all of the less active members in our area, and last night we got together a group of about 15 members and the elders serving in our area and went to their houses and sang them Christmas hymns and delivered the cookes. It was such a wonderful experience and the spirit was so strong. Christmas is such a wonderful time to have the chance to reflect on all the Savior has done for us and given us. 
A funny story from this week. So we had an appointment with this woman, who had rescheduled with us 2 times beforehand. We went to her house and she runs this business where she sells fruit and veggies and such...a ton of people here run little businesses out of their home like that. So we clapped at the door and a couple little kids rain out and we said, Hi! We´re missionaries from the chruch, is your mom here? So the little girl runs back and goes, Mom! It´s the girls from the church! She got hushed right away and then when she came back she goes, My mom isn´t home right now. Haa it was so funny. Hna. Rodas and I were just like hmm...oh really? That´s interesting. haa what can you do? I´ve been thinking so much lately that if only people could realize how important what we know really is. Not just people who aren´t memebers of the chuch, but memebers too! If everyone realized the magnitude of how much we have been blessed with the gospel and the knowledge we have to be able to return home to live with our Father in Heaven again then everyone would be running out to share the gospel with everyone. I firmly believe this. This gospel, is the most important thing in the world, because through Christ and his Atonement, throught baptism and making covenants with our Heavenly Father, we can be made clean and get to live with God again. We know where we came from, why we´re here, where we´re going, and the way to have so much happiness in this life! Is that not just the greatest thing that you´ve ever heard in your whole life? I know it is for me. I´ve also been pondering why people don´t want to have the gospel in their lives sometimes or hear our message and I think it´s because they don´t know what they´re missing. It´s kind of like this. Say that all you´ve ever had to eat for breakfast were cheerios. That´s all you´ve ever had and all you ever knew was possible to have for breakfast. You´re content, because you don´t know that there´s any more options, or that there´s something better out there. Until someone comes along and makes you pancakes and then you realize, that even though you were content with what you had before, you can now be so much happier! I think it´s a lot like that. 

 I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, and remember the true reason that we celebrate this time of year. Jesus Christ. The way the truth and the life, and the reason that we can have hope in this life of becoming better and returning to live with Him again. Feliz Navidad!

Con amor,
Hermana Feldermann

Monday, December 15, 2014

Biggest News Ever This Week!

You will never guess what I found out this week....THEY´RE SPLITTING MY MISSION. In July, they´re creating a new mission out of my mission, the Buenos Aires West Mission. Isn´t that just crazy? July is exactly halfway through my mission, and I may or may not be moving to a new mission and getting a new mission president! Are you as mind blown as I am? It´s crazy, and I´m not sure how I feel about it. They´re taking the whole section by the coast and making it into a mission. They´re also creating two new stakes. I´ll keep you updated when I find out if I¨m leaving or staying.

    So this week was so much better than last week! Haa first weeks, first days of anything are way hard and I knew that if I could just make it past my first week things would get easier. WE HAVE INVESTIGATORS! Yay!! Finally, we´ve gotten to know the members better and the area. My very first lesson was actually a huge blessing. We were walking down the street to try to find some less actives, and we ran into this man that we had talked to a few days prior and ended up giving him the first lesson right there in the street. I chimed in as much as I could in my broken Spanish. Hna. Rodas let me recite the first vision and the spirit was so strong. It was an amazing experience. My frist lesson!

    Something funny that happened this week. Actually, a lot of funny things happened this week. First, we taught a lesson to this menos actvio, and when we were about to leave she went wait, I have to show you something! And she brought us over to this big metal box on the ground that was covered with a mattress on top, and lifted up the matress and inside was....an albino rabbit! Haa it was the craziest thing! It was all white and had red eyes and I didn´t understand what she was saying at all really, but it was just so funny. On Saturday we had a ward activity at the chapel and we had the chance to play futbol, or soccer. It is so huge here, no suprirse! So we were playing right and.....I scored a goal! My first Argentina goal. Who knows, maybe after my mission I´ll just join the pro leagues and stay down here. Just kidding. But it was so fun and funny because I´m so awful. After the ward activity just as we were about to go out it started this huge thunderstorm, and Hna. Rodas and I were standing in the chapel and all of a sudden she goes... our clothes!!! Haa there´s some ladies in the ward that will do some of our laundry for us, but some of it we had to do ourselves and that morning we had hung them out to dry. We kind of laughed about it and then when we got back to our pension our clothes had fallen off the clothesline and were laying in the mud. It was actually so funny, to get to try to scrub the mud out of my clothes because of course they don´t have washers here so we have to do all of our laundry by hand.

     So yesterday, was awesome. I love Sundays. We went out after church and walked up to talk to this lady who was just about to shut her gate on us...side note; everything here is gated. All the houses are behind gates and the buildings and everything! We started talking to her and she warmed up to us a little bit and was telling us how she teaches Italian. Then I told her I have a friend serving a mission for our church in Italy and she asked me about it and we were able to set up a meeting with her and go on our way. After we left Hna. Rodas goes, I didn´t know you spoke Italian! I was so confused and told her I didn´t, then she told me that the woman spoke to me in Italian and I answered correctly. I told her I thought she was speaking spanish! Haa it was so funny, but also so cool at the same time. The gift of tongues is a real thing! That night was another huge miracle because we were looking at the house for an investigator and this grumpy old man answered the door and just said one word in spansh, which means across the street. So we turned around and there were two houses, so we picked on, and it was the right one! The man´s name is Martin and the woman´s is Celeste. They let us in and we had the chance to teach them the first lesson. They have 3 boys and a brand new baby girl. They aren´t married, but have an interest in the church, which was great. One thing about Argentine´s, they talk sooo much. Haa you ask them one question and they can go on for about 5 minutes!

    This week I´ve been so much more grateful for the opportunity I have to serve the people down here in Argentina. I know that this gospel is true, and that this gospel is for everyone, no matter what. If we look every day, to try to see the hand of the Lord in our lives, I promise that at the end of every day, we can look back and see how he touches our lives every day. One thing that I´ve learned a lot here, is to trust in the promises the Lord has made to us. He will always, always, answer our prayers. He will never leave us alone and if we live obediently to the commandments, we can have the blessing of always having His spirit to be with us. What a wonderful gift God has given us.

Con amor,
Hermana Feldermann

A few pictures from the Asada

Monday, December 8, 2014


Wow, so I´m here! I just finished my first week in the mission field! I don´t even know where to begin. The flight to Buenos Aires was long, but we made it! And when we got to the airport...they weren´t expecting us! haa it was kind of funny. So we had to hang around in the airport for 40 minutes and wait for someone to come pick us up. Someone came and got us and took us to the mission home. The driving here is insane...haa it´s so funny and I feel like I´m going to die everytime I´m in a car or on a bus and I just kind of laugh because I´ve never seen any accidents or anything, so they must know what they´re doing. There´s no street signs anywhere, and the only traffic signals are the occassional stoplight.

My mission president is so great! His name is President Thurgood and him and his wife are so sweet. I met my trainer, and her name is Hna. Rodas, from Mexico! She´s been in the mission 15 months, so I´ll probably be her last companion. She´s way sweet, but hardly speaks any english. It´s hard because I like to know what´s going on and how to do things but I can´t really understand her too much and so it´s been a little challenging. It´s good for me though, because it forces me to use my spanish at all times!

Hna. Rodas and I are whitewashing our first area, which means that we´re both new to the area. I honestly feel so bad for her because she knows nothing and I know even less than nothing. We have no investigators, and we´ve been trying to get to know the ward and meet people as well. It´s amazing, how I understand just a little bit more every day. I understand and can speak a little bit more every day and I know the Lord is helping me. The accent here is hard. They speak with so many sh´s all the time that it´s an adjustment for me to try to speak and understand. It is definitely not what they taught me in the MTC!

 So the food here is so great. It´s funny, because our big meal for the day is lunch. We have lunch almost every day at a members house, and then we don´t eat dinner because we have such a big lunch! It´s actually the best thing ever. Something that´s really popular here are empanadas and pizza. Empanadas are like tortillas almost stuffed with all sorts of different kind of things and they roll them into different crescent shapes. Also the pizza is nothing like what it is back in the states! When I say pizza I mean a crust with queso and peppers and onions, or something like that. It´s way interesting.
It´s so hot here! Hna. Rodas keeps telling me that it´s only the spring still! haa it´s so great. There´s no air conditioning anywhere really, the only place I´ve seen it is in the bishops office at the chapel and at the stake center. Other than that we usually keep our windows open. Everything here has about 6-7 ft tall fences around them, and all of the windows have bars on them. 
None of the windows in our pension have screens, and so bugs like to come and visit us sometimes. One morning when I was exercising, I found a cockroach under a bookcase that we have. When we sprayed it with Raid it started doing this little dance and it reminded me of the song that´s like "cuchara...cha!" I hope you know what I´m talking about. It was pretty humorous. We find an average of about one cockroach a day. Something different here is...there´s horses all over! The recycling men ride horses everywhere and they share the roads with people. 
Our pension that we live in is nicknamed hotel, because it´s where missionaries stay if they come from a long ways away, so it´s bigger then normal. The church is amazing, and they have put filters in all the pensions so we have safe water. Most people have filters in their houses, but people here don´t like to drink water. They drink so much pop and tang. One custom I love here is that the women at least great each other with a kiss on the cheek. It´s so friendly, and I think someone should start that in the states. It seriously makes everything so much more friendly! 
There are also dogs everywhereeee. Everyone has a dog and our neighbor has this tiny little weiner dog that likes to come visit us sometimes. Hna. Rodas and I were practicing starting teaching a lesson and when I opened the door to go outside he darted in our pension! Haa it was funny.
So we taught our first lesson on Saturday to this sweet lady that´s less active in the ward. We have these little targetitas...I´m not sure the word for them in english...that we pass out to people on the street and it´s a video the church made for Christmas called "He is the gift". the link is navidad.mormon.org. Go look it up! It´s just so wonderful. It´s such a great missionary tool as well. One thing I´ve learned this week is to have patience. 
Starting out, things are a lot harder than I anticipated. The language, the culture, the lack of investigators...but I´ve been realizing that everything happens according to the Lord´s timetable. If we can learn to accept His will and follow it, we will be sooo much happier in our lives! I love this gospel, and I know this church is true. No matter where you go in the world, Minnesota to Argentina, you will find the same gospel of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It´s such a small sacrifice to make, to follow Him, when He´s given us so much.

Con amor,
Hermana Rachel Feldermann