Feliz Navidad & happy New years everybody!! What a week. I seriously feel like ive been here for YEARS. SO Tuesday morning we had a zone activity in Monte Grande which is a solid 3 hour bus ride, so we had to get up at the butt crack of dawn as usual. So we wake up to a full on lightening and thunderstorm. Like im talking lightening every TWO seconds!!! If you know me, then you would know I actually thought I was going to DIE haha. So we turn over to say our morning prayers and the lights go OUT. and now I REALLY think I am dying haha. all of the sudden we hear water in the kitchen, so we go and there is water coming through the light in our kitchen... 2 seconds later and it is LITERALLY RAINING in our kitchen!!! The whole ceiling was competely drenched. I ran to get my carry on bag and started shoving EVERYTHING I owned in it thinking the whole pension would be ruined hahaha, my companion was lookng at me like I was crazy lol. Ok so at this point there is an OCEAN in our kitchen and a river flowing down our marble stairs. In the midst of all of this, our bus drives by honks & then drives away haha I was dying. Luckily we got the elders to make it turn around and as I'm running down the stairs and out the door sure enough I FALL STRAIGHT ON MY BUTT SO HARD! It was at this point I was thinking to myself what in the world am I doing here, I was in pain hahaah! BUT all is well now:)
We finallly got our gas turned on so now we have hot food and hot water wooo SOOO nice!!
Christmas Eve was a party. We had no dinner appointments so we cooked a nice meal for ourselves, Milanesas & veggies and watched a Disney movie on the floor (we get to watch Disney movies only sometimes & we have no tables or couches) and had a grand time:)
It was soo fun talking to my family on christmas, but hard saying goodbye but that's ok:) Right after we left we felt inspired to visit one of our contacts Carlos. He is this old man with no teeth who we always find sitting on his porch drinking his mate (Argentinian green tea that I've drank my whole life too:) shirtless cuz it's SO hot We ended up teaching him about his purpose on this earth and where his son and grandson are (they have both passed away) and the spirit was SO STRONG. I invited him to be baptized and he said SI:)!! we were sooo stoked. So now we just need to get him to chruch first haha. For some reason going to church is hard for these argentines lol.
So I am pretty much getting used to just be constantly sweating 24/7. there is no AC anyyywhwerre and it is SOOO hot (it's like 90+ & 60% + humidity) I cant even breath but its all good!!
AHH. Just so you guys get the picture of where I am at. I am in a cute town, but lot's of the time I spend my days in the campos, basically it's off the beaten rode places, so I have seen 2 dead dogs, THOUSANDS of dead frogs & bugs & cats pooping wherever they want in the middle of a lesson we are giving and mucho mucho mas haha:) So.... count your many blessings everybody (((:
I hope your'e all doing well!!! I love hearing from some of you guys! Continue reading and praying. Just like it says in 2 nefi 32 - 3 the scriptures have ALL the answers for us!! The Book of Mormon has brought me SOOOOO much peace over the past few weeks.
I love you all!
Some of our brief Convo w/hermana Shepard
Guy:) It's Monday morning around 5:00 am & I can't sleep so I'm just waiting to get up to go to work. It was so good to talk & to see you on Christmas morning, but it left me wanting more of my Zo! This will be the hardest part of your mission, & I promise it will get easier from here on. Just turn your life over to the Lord & rely on him 100% & you will succeed.
Rio:) This made me feel so much better G!!!! best friends for LIFE! I'm doing a lot better! How are you???
Guy:) So glad!!! That was the HARDEST thing ever talking to you then having to say goodbye for 5 months! Are you doing good? Tell me everything!
Rio:) YES, I am good!! We have bikes now so my legs are going to get in shape real fast! I did T25 this morning, it's SUCH a blessing I can workout before I start my day, it changes my mornings around every time. I usually wake up really homesick, but after my morning prayer & my workout, I am ready to study & work & I feel so much better, total blessing!
Guy:) Do you & your comp speak spanish or english together?
Rio:) Both, we need to speak more spanish for sure though. I really want to be totally fluent G it's just hard cuz its easier in english haha.
Guy:) Boo I love you so much! Do you like Argentina??
Rio:) Yes I DO!!! I loooooooove walking down the dirt roads right before the sun goes down. It's soo pretty and everyone is outside in from of their houses and are friendly. It really is an awesome experience when it's NOT 100 degrees lol
Guy:) This made me tear up! Youre amazing Zo, enjoying the journey, the blessings we are receiving are amazing.
Mom:) so tell me, do you like your comp? Do you guys get along???
Rio:) yes she's nice & a good missionary. The only thing is when we have downtime or like @ lunch she wants to talk & get to know me better, But she doesn't understand that I NEED my NAPS to function lol
Mom:) LOL that's actually funny sorry! You DO need your siesta time! Just reminder her that you have Argentinian blood & your dads side are all big nappers too lol:)
Rio:) Ahhhh I love all these pictures of Christmas mom! You guys look so good looks like soooo much fun!
Mom:) Well it was fun but we missed you;( But it wasn't fun that like 40% of our family got SOOOO sick w/that stomach bug lol!!! It was like an epidemic!!!
Rio:) Ahhhhhhhh!!! I just read that! Sorry but thats kind of hilarious hahaha!
Rio:) Ok I have to get off. I LOVE YOU ALL! Bestie for LIFE! Keep praying for your home girls por favor! I miss you guys BUT I got this! I LOVE you!
Mom:) Love you SO MUCH! BESOS! You CAN do this hermanita Shepard! Can't wait for NEXT Monday already!
Hermana Rio Savana Shepard
Buenos Aires South Mission
I have bearely any time to write today becase all of the cybers are closed so short email today sorry homies. This has been the hardest week of my LIFE!! not even kidding. But i have also seen miracles that keep me going. I am serving in this suppper cute little city called Las Flores that is the southern most part of my mission (& its pretty safe) It is a 4 hour bus drive to the mission home which we have alrady had to take 3 or 4 times haha. So to everyone who said wont be able to nap anymore, good joke!! ive been napping a ton on these buses hahaha so thats a plus:)
I love my companion Hermana Smalls from Pensylvanis. she is perfect for me and such a good missionary. We are living in a new pension because elders moved into the old pension and lets just say its been an adventure!!!
We have had NO gas the entire week (meaning NO hot water, NO cooking, NADA) and have been living off of crackers, cheese, and salame for the past week for EVERY SINGLE meal. I am not even exagerating. EVERY MEAL. we have practically no money to buy annything but crackers and cheese haha. I convinced my companion to let us buy spinach and bananas so i've had 3 spianch smoothies thus far, but other than that nope nothing else. Oh and we bought a pizza once which was HEAVEN sent haha. SO that has definitely been reallly hard for me, but its ok, i have no other options haha im just so glad we at least have something to eat:)
It has been a suppppper humbling experience being here so far. We have two investigators Noelia adn Santiago who are aweeesome. We went and visited Noelia on Thursday and oh my gosssh soo humbing. She lives wayyy out in the campos (the fieldas) and her house is not even a house. We walked in and there were bugs everywhere (for those who don't know I HATE bugs haha, you were right mom!) and she was with her new born baby and her todler. Her shoes had holes in them and it was just the craaziest experience. I couldn't understand anything she said haha BUT I could totally feel her spirit and how strong of faith she had. It is ammmazing to me. Santiago is 9 years old whose family have recentely been reactivated. We taught him after an entire afternoon in the sun. I was dyingngg to say the least haha, i was melting! We walk in their house and there are bugs everywehre as well. WE were all crambed around this tiny dinign room table with a small plastic christmas tree in the corner (so cute:) His mom is suppper nice and loving and welcoming.
Our branch is suppper tiny. i guess there has been bad blood with them and some of the missionaries in the past, so we really want to work on strengthening our relationship`with them all. Because of this we get hardly any meals with them soo yes haha -hence our yummy meals of crackers, cheese & salami!
We talk to everryyy one on the streets here. For the most part people are suppper nice and seem interested, but when we go to he appointments there almost never home haha. But all is well!!! i wanted an adventure and im gettinf one! I love you all!!
~~~~~~~~~~~ a bit of our short convo w/hermanita Shepard~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ME:) Hola que tal? Como estas hermanita:)?!!?! Como encontrasteis la Argentina? Como fue to vuelo de avión? Como te gusta el presidnete de la misión??? Y tu compañera? Que tal? Se llevan buen? De adonde es?
R:)this is SO hard mom the hardest thing ive eveer done!!!!!!
ME:) Tell me!!! It's ok! Its not suppose to be easy especially @ first:)!!!! Tell us as much as you can pour favor!
Dads reading your mass email outloud to us:) LOVE it! LOVE you so much poo! Can you send any pix??????? & SKYPEEEEEEE WHAT is GOING ON W/THAT:)?!?!?!
GUY) Do you like your branch?
R:) welll i can't understand any of them reallyyy, so thats that:)! but Yess but it's hard for me cuz I love connecting with people but i can't yet because I don't know hoe to talk to them, PRAYERS are be being accepted thank you!!!!
GUY:) You make me laugh Zo! I love you soon much!
R:) my pictures arent going through im so sad! It's super cute here, & VERY SAFE! I love my comp so thats good! But I neeeeed my veggies!
R:) i need to get off. yes VERY SAFE. we are waiting on bikes so walkijg everywhere. it just started pouring haha. LOVE YOU ALL!!! cant wait ot skype on CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!
Hermana Rio Savana Shepard
Buenos Aires South Mission
Hermanita Shepard had a busy day of travel from the 14th into the early morning of the 15th. She & the other missionaries had to literally run to their connecting flight, barely making it, BUT they made it! We received this short email & 2 photos several hours after she arrived in Buenos Aires!
This is the Buenos Aires South Mission President, President Thurgood & his wife. We've heard so many wonderful things about the both of them & we are so grateful for that.
Hermana Shepards Pday will be on Mondays, & we get to FaceTime her (assuming she has internet:) Christmas Day & we cannot wait:)! We're excited to hear all about her new adventures!
Dear Shepard Family,
I am writing to inform you of the safe arrival of your daughter in the Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission. Attached here you will find a photograph of Sister Shepard with President and Sister Thurgood. Her trainer will be Sister Small and they are going to serve in the area of Las Flores A. Their preparation day will be every Monday and you can expect an email letter on that day.
Thank you for sharing Sister Shepard with our mission. We appreciate your support and also the fact that you have a daughter who wants to serve. We will take good care of her! God bless you.
Hermana Rio Savana Shepard
Buenos Aires South Mission
So this was hermanita Shepards last several days @ the Provo MTC....it's bitter sweet for her. She has really loved the MTC, she's made some really great friends, has learned & grown spiritually, & in espanol & truly has been blessed w/an awesome MTC companion & roomies, & teacher <3 BUT she is way excited to get to Buenos Aires Argentina! Hermana Shepard will be flying out tomorrow December 14th w/19 other missionaries who will be serving in Argentina too!
Hermanita Shepard didn't write a mass email this last week, she had to do lots of laundry & figure out how to make 200 pounds of clothing, shoes, & personal items fit into 2 pieces of luggage! (I'm GLADDDDD I wasn't there to help her lol!)
These guys above have been like Rios family these past 6 weeks, they've been together day & night & night & day!!!! & I'm sure she will miss them as she continues her mission in Argentina!
Rio did write us a lil family email, saying she is really grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord, & she is extra excited to teach people about one of her favorite things in the Gospel, The Plan of Salvation <3
Sooooo, this missionary mamma is asking for extra prayers over the next day or so, that hermanita Shepard & all the missionaries leaving tomorrow will travel to their various destinations in safety <3 & that all well go well & as planned:)
I will update her blog once I hear from this crazy but cute hermanita Shepard in
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA:)!
ps Rio will have the same email, & IK she would love to get emails every now & then:)
her new address for the next 16 months + will be:
Hermana Rio Savana Shepard
Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission
This mission does NOT allow any packages;/ It will not get to her sadly;( But regular letters DO:)
Hola!! Nothing too new or exciting happened this week. "running into" sage at the temple this morning was the beeeest. It was sooooo goood talking to someone from the outside world hahaha.
uuummmm lets see. we get our flight plans today I am SO excited!! in just over a week I'll be in Argentina! crazzy! We had our last TRC investigator appointment yesterday. It was proabably one of the best lessons weve taught. We started by showing A Savior is Born video ( its on mormon.org I highhhlyyyyy recomend it, soo good) and then we talked about Christ the whole time and how we can genuinally be happier in this life because of our Savior. I loove the scripture John 14:28. If we truly loved the Savior we would rejoice!! It is soo true. One of the main reasons we are down on this earth to have JOY!! So we just talked about how we can truly be happy because of the Savior and his atoning sacrifice for us. We ended with all of our testimonies and it was sooo precious Rosi started crying. The spirit was so strong it was honestly so rewarding. We asked Hermano Barret to take a picture of us and send it to mom and I guess he sent it to the wrong number (oopsies:) hahahah so some random person in Orange County has received a picture of some random missionaries :))
So it was heartttbreaking saying bye to Ammon and Lauren this week. I feel soo extremely blessed to have not only been in the MTC the same time as them,but I was in the same zone as lauren, and mine and Ammons zones did practically everything together. It was a fun 4 weeks with them. I know they are killing it out in the field!
Honestly this week wasn't too different from the rest. (no embarrassing things happened to me this week haha) The spirit is great, the spanish is improving, I feel like my relationship with my Savior is continually being strengthened as well.
I am honestly soooo excited for Christmas this year. The Savior is the greatest gift we can ever ask for and I feel so honored that I am representing Him. It will be a great Christmas focusing soely on bringing others unto Christ. Well, I love you all!
ps next PD will be my LAST one here @ the MTC!
R) what esle is new???
nothing really lol I think I keep you updated w/all my LONG dear elders lol So dad said you should be getting your flight plan!!!!!!!!!
R) I LOVE the dear elders!!! im going to be so sad without them!! and yes were supposed to today!!! crazy!
IK it's gonna be weird not emailing you almost every night hahahaha dad is all why are yours so long? what do you say in them....I told him pretty much everything, I write like I talk....ramble ramble lol & I am SOOOO excited to know what they are!! So are you friends w/anyone who is going to your mission w/you???
R) yeah 3 of the elders in my distcrict are, and then stapley and his companion but i think im the only girl lol a tonnnnn of people go to Buenos Aires, most of them are elders though lol, hardly any sisters are called there!
You ae the ONLY GIRL going that day O.O crazy!!!!! SO only like 5 of you?
R) no im sure theres more! but thats all i c and think of that are leaving the same day. I'm SO excited
Wow....so this is REALLY happening :)?!?!
R) yes, your girl will be in ARGENTINA soon:)!