Thursday, December 24, 2009

New Life in Argentina - New Email

Hi All,
Please pass this on to everyone that I have a new email address: lamascastillo86@my I gave the wrong one. Sorry about the typing it is really different. The keys are missing and everything on the computer is in spanish. I need to learn spanish computer lingo! LOL OK, so I get to write on Tuesdays around 5.30 my time so if you want to talk to me then you can when you get on the same time. Next, I think I only get dear elder two times a week maybe only once but I still love it so ya keep them coming! Alright, the good stuff. I am serving in Tucuman. We are on the out skirts of the city and it is super poor, but I love it. It 110´ right now with a high humidity so I sweat more than when I ever played soccer. It is sooo green I love it soo much and my area is mosly dirt roads with random rocks. It rains somedays so then it is really muddy and stinky from all the trash that people leave in the river because they can´t aford to pay for trash pick up. LOL So the language is coming, I understand about half of it sometimes more if the person is drunk then they talk slower. LOL And I speak a ton with the kids because their spanish is simple and with the adults, well I speak about half as much as I understand. LOL So the area is really really poor. Most adults don´t have teeth, meaning they only have a few left in random spots. People dont have places to wash clothes so they wash in the sink when they can afford soap, therefore, people tend to be a little more dirty, but the thing is I really don´t care. They are soooooo sooo nice and so willing to talk and to just invite you in, and take care of you and give you anything they have. It's funny everyone thinks I am from Argentina, but from the more wealthy parts because I am tall, I have nice clothes, and I have white teeth. My comp is from peru. and she is 4.3ft LOL She is super skinny and dark as all get out. LOL We look so funny together but people love it. LOL Oh by the way being here a week outside all day and all night I am way tan already by next week I will look like a black child. It's crazy!

So let me tell you a few funny things. It seems like I always do something we are eating lunch with some member...(which we do every day and they are huge meals...huge....but we eat at 7:30am. a small meal and then lunch with memebers at 2:00 and dinner at 10pm..our hours are from 7:00am to 11:pm because of ciestas and late partying) anyway we are eating and its me my comp the husband and wife and their kid..well i am feeding the kid while everyione else is jabbing away..all of a sudden the kid is blowing his lips back and forth and shooting food in my eyes....i clean them and he does it again this time im blinded and im freaking out, he got a ton of food in both of my eyes and its not clean food nor is his mouth and now i can´t see. the first thing that runs through my mind is , ¨ great im going to be blind forever¨ so i need help i can´t see to clean my eyes out and nobody at the table even noticed that im blind, the kid is laughing uncontroable...hahaha...well im ok.lolnext we are at a other members house and is cooking hot outside and they ask me the regular questions and then they ask me if i ould like some water, i say yes and then they ask if i am hot, my reply was (mind you the whole family is there 4 kids and the parents all kids my age and older) si, estoy caliente...well that was the wrong thing to spanish that means ¨yes i am sexy, not yes i am hot¨ i should have said si, tengo the whole family just looked at me everyone stopped what they were doing and there was that awkward pause for a few seconds and then a roar of i didn´t know what was going on until they started explaining it to ya....oh ya my comp just reminded me about can send stuff though the pouch but it is better to send me cash... well i have to go but remember about xmas calling on the 23 some time so keep your phone by you .... oh ya i have my first baptism this week from someone we met this week my first night contacting and within this week we taugth him all the lessons and he accepted to be baptised.....ya.....!!!!! this sat!!!! i am sooo excited..... oh ya what do you do with the dogs there are a hundred and one out here and they are comp and i were walking and went around a corner into a dirt ally was were we were going to teach an investigator and it was packed full of dogs....about 15. they are everywhere and most of them are mean. anyway as we were walking they started to growl and then it was all really fast two dogs left the pack and ran for us we would have run butr i think we were too scared, i kicked the one that ran for me and nailed it in its head it flew back and wimpered off, but my comp was not so lucky. she is so small and these dogs prob weigh as much as her. it bit her arm and she fell on her back with the dog still on her by the time i realized what had happend and kicked the other dog off her is was a little to late. she now has 16 stiches in her arm and it is infected. we had a horrible experience with them but i don´t know what to do with them, they are everywhere. i only wear my big solid black shoes now incase i need to kick some more things.(don´t worry it protects my so anyway i have to go!

Love you tons!
I will call you soon!
Love amanda

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Letter from Mission President

Today, we received the following letter from Amanda's Mission President in Salta, Argentina:




To the Family of Sister Amanda Castillo

Dear Missionary Family,

We are excited to have Sister Castillo in the Mission Argentina Salta! She has just arrived and is in the process of recovering from a long trip. We wanted to let you know she arrived safe and sound and has been assigned to her new area in the mission. It was such a pleasure to spend some time with her and we look forward to working together for the rest of her mission! What a blessing this is to us!

Thank you for your love and sacrifice that has gone into getting this special missionary to our mission. She left here today excited and with one of our very best missionaries. We only assign our best as trainers for our new missionaries!

Thank you again for sending this wonderful missionary to us.

Our best wishes,

Pres. Dan Northcutt Sister Cynda Northcutt

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Adios MTC

I leave Monday morning at 5am from the MTC to head off to
the Salta, Argentina Mission. I fly for 24 hrs. and I have a bus
ride for 13 hours. That's a long time, but
I have a lot of
layovers. Excited to get to talk to my
family with my calling
card during those.

Don't forget that if you're going to write or send me something
(which I LOVE), you'll have to send it to my new Argentina
mailing address. (NOTE: Dear Elder has their pouch letters
to Amanda free. You can donate to them if you'd like.)

Sister Amanda Micaella Castillo
Argentina Salta Mission
Los Eucaliptus 75
4400 Salta

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Getting Close

**NOTE: Amanda is expected to leave Dec. 14th for Argentina.**

So this is getting down to the wire of my a few updates
on what is going on here. 1. I found the coolest girl here about 4
weeks ago and I am positive she was sent into my life! She is
amazing, like the Carissa away from home! 2. I am going to meet
with the Consul from Argentina this coming Wednesday. YA! So
let's pray that my visa went through and he is going to sign it.. 3. I
will be sending things home very soon. 4. I went to the doctor
today for my update. The fracture is still there but my pain went
away, so he is clearing me to go as long as I don't mess it up. I
have another check up before I leave. 5. The Dear Elder printer
was broken this week so if you sent letters this past thanksgiving
and this week I never got them so I'm sorry. Send more! LOL
6. I almost punched my companion but I just smiled and said
that's great Sister and I'm so excited for you. LOL Long story,
but just so you know I could take her!!! ( BIG SMILE) So anyway,
that's not really Christlike love but the second part was so I
consider myself a good person. LOL

So I am getting really excited to go, I am really antzy to leave yet I
am nervous about the language. I can't believe how much we learn
here in two months! It is more that what people have learned in
Spanish classes for 6 years. It blows my mind!

For Haley and Ammon:
Hey guys! Hows it going? Man, I miss you soo much! I can't believe
it's been two months since I have seen you. ONLY 16 more and I will
be home. Don't worry it will go by really fast. So, I am sorry I have not
written as much as you wanted, but I will work on it. When i get to
Argentina it will take a long time for mail to get to you. Ask Mommy
and Daddy why! But anyway, how is it going? How is school? Have
you guys done anything crazy fun? I miss you sooo much and am
doing my best to be a great missionary for you!!!! Write me and
send me pictures of you guys playing and having fun. Remember to
always be nice to each other or I will be very sad. Pray for me that I
will be safe and that I will be a good missionary. And tell Daddy to
write me...tell him he is a weenie tadpole!

Well everyone i have to go ... I love you so much and think about you
all the time.

Love amanda

Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone!!!
Well I just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving! So Thanksgiving was
fun! We had a full day of relaxing and devotionals. Elder Holland came
and spoke to us and so did Elder Oaks. It was amazing!!!! I loved
every bit of it and we got to do humanitarian projects. I loved it! So I
have been doing great! I am getting a little nervous now because we
should get our travel plans this week!!!! I can't wait! I am soooo
excited! Pray that my visa went through!!! Hopefully I will be in
Argentina for X-mas! Life is great! I have not been sick and that is a
miracle since everyone is getting the swine flu and other random things
that cause you to be in the bano for ever. So I took off my boot today
to see how I would be and I feel like I could fly! I hate the thing with a
firey passion of a thousand's a lot!!! It slows me down in
sports and is really obnoxious, but I am doing great! The doc should
get the X-ray scan thing back this week and tell me what is going on,
but I am very certain he will say I am fully'm just a

SO thanksgiving was really weird without my family. I was wanting to
eat all day long, watch fun movies, play cards and sing with everyone,
but I know you guys were having a blast and I wish I was there with you
to celebrate it. But I was there in spirit! Te agradecido por mi familia!!!
Mi familia es muy importante em mi vida!!! I love you all so much and
hope you know that you are in my prayers always and I talk about you
to everyone all the time. Well, I have to go. Thanks Josh and Lindsay
for the X-mas gift. It is awesome! I love the snowflakes! Why is it that
the woman always write more than the boys!!!! My own blood only writes
a few lines. lol Sisters teach my brothers how to write meaningful letters!
lol Well, I have to go. I love you all!

love amanda

Friday, November 20, 2009

Phone Call from MTC

Yesterday, Mom received a surprising phone call from the MTC informing the family that Hermana Castillo has a stress fracture in her foot. She will be wearing a boot for 6 weeks, so no gaming people on the court during gym time for her anytime soon!

This will probably be hard on her since she is not one to sit still very long so please send your prayers and letters her way. Mom got to speak with Hermana Castillo for 15 mins. and one of the main things she said was to write. She loves receiving letters, especially from b/c she gets those on the days that they are sent.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Letter to Haley & Ammon

How are you guys! I love getting your letters! This is my second letter to you. I hope you got the 1st one. I sent it to G-ma Mable, but I think I have your address now! :) I read your letters to all my companions and they love them. You two should send me pictures of the last time we were together! Ask Mommy to help w/ that one! So Happy Birthday Ammon! I was so sad I couldn't be there! But I was so excited that you got so many cool Star Wars stuff! Did you save me any Birthday Cake? But it might not be good in two years!! :) So Soccer is almost done, are you guys sad about that? Soccer is so much fun! I loved watching you guys play and playing w/ you! When I get back I bet you guys are going to be professionals! But make sure that you practice all the time! Have Uncle Michael practice w/ you an dtell him if he doesn't, that he is a weenie-tadpole! :) So Ammon you got a medal! Awesome! You should send me a picture of you wearing it! So Haley are you still doing gymnastics? How is it going? How is 1st grade? Are your teachers nice? How are the kids in your class? Are they fun? (Denise ... Does any kid pick on my niece? Cuz being a missionary I get what I pray for immediately! So I will pray for that kid to get sand thrown in his face! :) Just a side note .. yes, I love my niece & nephew and no its not mean to pray for that, I'm simply asking God to protect the righteous! hehe :)

So Haley & Ammon, how is Reina doing? Are you still training her? So what new movies have you seen? How is Primary? Do you like having Mom in ther w/ you! Daddy used to teach primary before you were born! Wouldn't it be fun to have them both in there! YA! Pray for it! So I am working hard to be a good missionary! I want you guys to be proud of me, so I am studying Spanish hard and my church lessons. I love being a missionary! Its so much fun and they give me ice cream 2 times a week! (FYI I only eat it once a week cut I'm a health nut!) :) And I get to play in the gym 5 times a week & play "almost" anything I want! And your Aunt Amanda still beats the boys in all the sports! :) Well I have to go, but send me pictures of all your fun stuff. (I don't get it on the computer) :(

I love you guys so much! I think about you everyday & wish I could be at home w/ you giving you hugs & kisses and playing soccer & Star Wars w/ you! Pray for me that I will be a good missionary & that I will be safe!

With all the love in my heart,
Aunt Amanda

Friday, November 13, 2009

To Amanda's friends

Amanda has asked me to forward her emails on to you virtually unedited excepting the assigned lists of errands... (I thought when she left that I'd get my life back....hmmmm)

Regardless - you'll soon find two things in these missives:

1. Amanda refuses to spell check AND
2. I make liberal use of run on sentences sprinkled with generous quantities of ( ) parenthesis.

Be forgiving is a by-product of raising selectively deaf learns to compensate with audible Narrations to oneself..... translated to paper it looks like a ( ) parenthesis. So, skip through the bad spelling (she claims the Friday 1/2 hour email window is too limiting). But the truth is -

   Alphabetic dyslexia: is the resulting after effects of strenuous & frequent texting
                *(see - Urban Legends Reference Pages)*.

Anyway, you are now on the Argintina family 'forwards' whether you wanted to be or not :)

Until next time, Happy Thanksgiving!
Janina (Amanda's mom)

Homework for CARISSA - send me your mother's email address when you read this por favor.
On a more personal note: I wanted to compliment you on your attn. to detail when you sent me Amanda's unpaid $148.00 Verizon wireless phone bill, her empty bank statements & a Power of Attorney to act in her behalf. *grin* The more things change, the more things stay the same...


i love your letters and everyone in the really helps me a lot ...oh and write me ( before 12.30 your time on sat cuz i only get mail once a day on sat...its wierd but thats that....

Ok so that is the list now for my week....MTC life is great...its interesting, they have a nack for digging in you to pull out all of your talents and make you the best missionary comps are great...we are learning to work well together and by now we know eachothers stengths and the work is moving along.....spanish is hard!!!! im getting it but dang it there is soooo much to learn!! i have already been here for 5 weeks...they counted my first 3days here as a week!!!! so i only have 4 as for my visa. i went and signed a paper as my last step for it before i meet the council so that is a good sign. but apparently he is coming tomorrow and is only going to sign 30!!!!!! and the next time he is coming is in DEc to sign another 30...i hope that i can meet with him in Dec. if not then i will be reasigned like everyone else for a few weeks!!!! it stinks...but i am really ahead of everyone..most people have not had the paper signing like i did. That means that he looked at my paperwork and is in the prosses of signing it..So ya pray extra ahrd for me.!!!!!SO tell me what is going on with everyone...i hardly ever hear form Josh and Hemo( only once) and Don and mike are non exhistant!!! YOu ahve to tell me everything i am dying for some real news fro the out side i sent ammon and haley a letter a week ago did they get it...and i wrote to them 2 weeks ago are they not getting them!!! i spent a long time writting them... i am sending another one off today to them and should get it on tuesda or wed!!!so let them know that i think of them everyday and that i pray for them. I love them sooo much and love theri letters and hope they keep sending me some and some pictures...forward that to them and read it to them so they know i have been writting them and i do miss them sooo mcuh....So next thing...when do i get some picutes s a little sad i have to dream about you guys to see you...ilike tangable things kidding...but i love all the packages thatyou guys have been sending!!! and the nylons are great...but the thigh highs don't really stay up....i tape if you feel so inclined or inspired to send others that would be great full tights and knee highs...if you feel inspired.....i am writting everyone back that wrote me from the ward....and i love the i have to get going my time is up...but remind everyone to dear elder me and that i will be sending out letters on monday to them so they should be there by wed or thurs...thanks...and tell everyone that i love them so much

...loveyou bye amanda

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My First Full Week in the MTC!

Tell everyone I only have 30 min & I’m sorry I can't always email them. Please use dear and include their email address and mailing address so I can write them a letter.

Well this was my first week in the MTC!!!! It has been a blast.... waking up really isn't that hard....I feel like I am back at soccer for early morning runs except this is less sweaty and I don't have someone yelling at me all the time to run harder. LOL

Spanish is coming great!!! I also ran into one of the girls I played soccer with in Virginia. She is going to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I also just ran into Sam my friend I knew from UVU. He is a teacher here. It was nice to chat with him and catch up on I can now hold decent conversations in Spanish.

In Spanish, I can bear my testimony and say the First Vision and a few scriptures. Right now, I am trying to memorize as much as I can. My teachers are amazing! Hermano Martinez is from Ecuador and he is one teacher that drills me. Everyone in the class thinks he is making up for lost time that I should have had growing up. LOL Everyday, he converses with me for ten min drilling me with everything in Spanish that I know of. It's funny! Everyone says they don't have to worry because they know when it comes to practice time in the class, I will be the first one up and the last one to go again. LOL So, I think I have to thank him for my fast learning skills. He talks really fast! LOL

My is on Friday at 9:00a.m. and, just so you know, I get dear elder at noon and at 5. Those are my favorite times! LOL I love mail! Well I have to go. I love you guys and will keep in touch.


Hermana Castillo

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Life @ the MTC is great! And better than what everyone has made it out to be! J There has been no adjustment. Life really feels very normal. For those of you that remember Brooke Deeme (Mine & Carly’s best friend: red hair in O’fallon) I ran into her within 5 minutes of being here! She has been here for a few weeks & is going to the mission right below mine in Mendoze, Argentina.

MY companion is amazing!!! She is so much fun. She loves to be active & is very socially normal J We will work on her Athleticism later…but bless her heart she’s really spunky!!

So the ladies are offered extra workouts in the morning @ 6:00, there are 6 different classes:

Pilates, Kickboxing, Tae-bo, Cycling, Sport performance, & Yoga!


Today at gym we played King of the Court (Volley ball – Dad – ask Denise or the boys). Anyway I spiked the ball & hit Elder (something – there are too many people in this gym) in the face & he had to go to the nurse for his bleeding nose! So…..that was interesting. Sad for him. Funny for everyone in the court with us & embarrassing for me. Now the elders are picking me FIRST instead of other elders on their team J.

Life is funny too…My Spanish teachers are great, but Hermano Martinez speaks too fast & his English is not great, so a lot of the time our class looks like a group of deer caught in headlights. Somehow I became the class scribe & put to sit in the hot seat, he always asks me to translate when he says something! (Ahhhhh! Curse my last name! LOL) EVERY Spanish sister & elder think I speak & automatically strike a conversation! I respond very basically & then run to catch up with my companion before they keep talking J. I’m picking it up though because it’s all I hear. Oh…and there are only 2 floors of sisters on the whole campus even though there are over 2200 (something) missionaries here! Wow! OK I have no time left. I can email next week so be ready. I love you guys so very much & look forward to hearing from you!

I love you,

Hermana Castillo

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My First Hola from the MTC

I love it here! Honestly it is not bad at all, I don't know why everyone says that is is such an adjustment and that it is sooooo hard. Life is normal and they fill your days. And I have to admit it feels as if I have lived her for a week from all of the things we have learned. I know how to pray in Spanish, bear my testimony and communicate on a basic level in Spanish. And it is awesome! I figure if I learn about 20 words a day I will have learned around 2,000 words when I get out to Argentina. Spanish is coming along but I have to work at it, but very surprisingly easier than I anticipated.

Oh and I got sick! The second night I was here I was vomitting from 12:00 till 4:00am. Then the nurse gave me a shot that hurt bad!!! She put it in my hip and the pain shot all down my side but it knocked me out and took away my nausea, so that part was great. I am doing well now but I really haven't eaten anything. The doctor said it was most likely caused from stress.... hmmm ... I wonder why he would say that. LOL I never get stressed!!! LOL.

So, my companion is amazing, but a little forgetful. Well, she forgets where she puts things a lot, so I guess that would be spacey, LOL but she is very spunky, outgoing, pretty and SOCIALLY CAPABLE of communicating. Thank goodness for that! My other girls in the group are great, but the also tend to want to "one-up" one another so it makes me laugh. They always have a story if any girl has one to share that is always better than the first one, it really is funny. The last two girls in the room, well the poly girl is normal but the other girl is really, well, a horse of a different color shall we say. LOL She is an insomniac. She is always up before us and doesn't go to bed till after us, so she is dressed when we get up and just stares at us while we get ready and the night I was sick & was up all night, she was talking in her sleep half of the time. She was then hanging upside down on her bed the other half. It was funny!

I love you guys and hope to hear from you. I can get letters everyday but only email once a week. My mail is:
Sister Amanda Michaela Castillo
MTC Mailbox 269
ARG-SAL 1214
Provo, Utah 84604

I love you guys and miss you! I hope everyone is doing great. 
Keep me informed of what is new.

Write me or else!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I'm officially HERMANA CASTILLO!!

Today, Hermana Castillo is now official!  The stake president came to my brother's home, where my family and I were gathered, and set me apart as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I will be going into the MTC on Wednesday and will be prepping for my time in Argentina. Lucky for me, it will be summer there when I arrive!!!  A lot of great adventures ahead, but for now I'm enjoying those last few moments with my family.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How to contact me!

My email will be posted on here by OCT 30 at the latest!  This will be the most efficient way to reach me.

While I am in the MTC for the next two months, mail may be sent to me at this address:

Sister Amanda Michaella Castillo

Argentina Salta Mission

Provo Missionary Training Center

2005 N 900 E

Provo, UT 84604

While I am in Argentina, packages can be sent to:

Sister Amanda Michaella Castillo

Argentina Salta Mission

Los Eucaliptus 75

4400 Salta



If you are going to do snail mail to Argentina, then it must be sent in the following format!!

Only postcards and letters that are single sheet, folded into three-panels, and taped at the top only(no envelopes), maybe sent through. This is done through a special service to help with the reliability. Send it to this address:

Sister Amanda Michaella Castillo

Argentina Salta Mission

POB 30150

Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150