On Christmas Day we were able to Skype Amanda for 45 minutes. We loved seeing her and she is doing really well! Below are some Amanda’s thoughts from our Skype call as typed up by our mom.
Because of the heat, we are now on summer schedule, which keeps us in at the hottest part of the day. (there is no air conditioning anywhere.) We study in the morning until 10am, then walk to our area in the campo, which takes a half hour walking to get there. We usually have time for 2 appointments and then walk back. We study some more, and then head out walking the same distance for evening teaching and return home for planning the next day.
Planning time is one of my least favorite parts of the day. I am physically and mentally exhausted from trying so hard to speak the language that facing communicating to my companion for another hour about my thoughts on teaching for the next day is really hard.
I feel like I understand about 90% of what people say now. It is starting to happen that I don't notice which language I'm in. But it is SO good to talk to you guys because I feel like myself again, and I've missed being Amanda when I can't communicate. All of my leaders (trainer, zone leaders, and ward) right now are Latin, so there isn't anyone I can speak English with. I'm grateful for Sister Gonzalez because she is new enough that we are both just trying to figure out what we are doing and do our best.
It is extremely hot. All the skirts I have with high zippered waistbands are not comfortable because it is so hot. The best one is an elastic waist one that can be worn a little lower.
There are many treats here that I like and that is a way I make myself feel better when I’m missing you all, (which is also why the zippered skirts are uncomfortable.)
Every day we have lunch at the same members' home in a rotation. So on Mondays we always eat at one home, Tuesdays, another, etc for the week.
It's very different getting used to Argentine time! For our ward Christmas party, the starting time was announced as 6 pm. We went then, and there was only 1 person. So we waited around for a while. It was going to be a dinner and there was nothing started at the church to cook. At 8 pm, the person came with the meat to begin cooking. We didn't get to stay for much because we had an appointment to get to.
In Argentina, Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) is a much bigger celebration than Christmas Day. Pretty much, everyone just sleeps in and recovers on Christmas from the big party of the day before. So it was tricky because we were required to work on Christmas. We went to someone's house and woke them up so that was awkward.
We had a hard time saying goodbye when our 45 minutes were up, but we know she is doing an amazing job as an instrument in the Lord’s hands.