Week 23: “And now, my brethren….”

“I wish from the inmost part of my heart, yea, with great anxiety even unto pain, that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance; But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering; Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his rest.” (Alma 13:27-29)

This week saved my mission. To be completely honest, for the majority of my first three transfers here in Argentina I didn’t understand why I was here or why I came on a mission on the first place, but this week something just clicked. I can’t even explain what happened that helped me feel so much more comfortable and confident in my decision about serving a mission, but I love being here.

Here are a few things that capas me ayudaron tener este cambio de corazón (Helped me to have this change of heart):
WORLDWIDE MISSIONARY BROADCAST: the leaders of this church are just so good and so intune with the Spirit. It is awesome. This week all of the missionaries in the world got to tune in and listen to the apostles and the rest of the missionary council. It was so inspiring. They taught us more about the doctrine of Christ (fe, arrepentimiento, bautismo, don del Espíritu Santo, y perseverar hasta el fin–Faith, repentence, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, and persevere to the end) and even though I teach and study this every day my mind was blown like wooooooooooooooow the gospel is so good. I left the broadcast feeling inspired to just go out and testify like crazy. ((((real quick a side note sobre esta transmisión mundial (about the worldwide broadcast)…. we were supposed to watch it with our whole zone on Wednesday so we travelled out there, and we all ate lunch together-we ate tacos so good-and then we went into the chapel to watch the video only to find that the broadcast wasn’t working…. so we all just waited for something to happen, but nothing happened….. so then we went back to Federal that night…. and we basically lost the whole day, but that’s okay.)))) One of the apostles said, “Always keep His name on your lips.” And it just hit me that I need to remember to testify of my Savior always when I am teaching. Sometimes I feel like it is so easy to get caught up in testifying of and teaching about like Joseph Smith or the Libro de Mormon that we forget that we are REPRESENTATIVES OF JESUS CHRIST and that we are really essentially helping people realize just how real our Savior is and how much He loves us.

FREAKING CLARA: okay I probably shouldn’t say freaking Clara. but that’s how we feel lots of times. To explain…. Clara has been an investigator for like 9 months, and basically we just keep running into the same wall: she doesn’t want to get baptized even though she knows it’s all true and loves everything we teach her, because she doesn’t want to change the religion of her parents. Also she says that because she is 68 years old it is too late to change. It is really frustrating. So on Friday (after the missionary broadcast) we went and taught her with a member. As we were teaching, we were just running into the same walls, and my companion was losing patience, and the member was saying that the Catholic Church is not true, and I was like crap. So I started testifying of Christ and of our divine, awesome calling as missionaries. I haven’t felt the Spirit that strong in a lesson in a long time. The problem is that it didn’t really change Clara’s mind, but it did change my mind and perspective on missionary work. I realized that I wanted to be a representative of Christ. I want to be here! So that really helped me this week.

NICO: Nico is our converso recién (recent convert). He is incredible, and all of the members here have also noticed that he has a lot of potential to be a really good member. Teaching him brought me so much joy, because he really had a desire to learn. As much as I love my other three baptisms here in Federal, Nico is special, because teaching him really helped me realize how good God is and how much we rely on Him in this work!

ADORABLE NAHIARA GOT BAPTIZED: baptisms are just always awesome. Crazy to think that I’ve been in Argentina for just under four months, and I already have four baptisms. Crazy.  I love each one of them, and I am so grateful to know them.

PERSONAL STUDY: I have a freaking strong testimony now of scripture study. I have learned so much from my daily one hour of study. I would encourage you all to increase and improve your study of the scriptures. THE SCRIPTURES ARE AWESOME.
Basically that was my week last week. This week is the last week of this transfer, and a lot of changes are coming this next week. Like 100000000 hermanas are going home at the end of this transfer and 7 hermanas are coming…. So the odds are pretty high that something is going to change…. Stay tuned!

I LOVE YOU ALL. TRUST GOD AND YOU WILL SEE MIRACLES.

 

cookies for the baptism

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eating pizza and watching apostles
green-onion-pancakes
GREEN ONION PANCAKES THAT I MADE. SO FREAKING GOOD. I LOVE COOKING.
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cookies for the baptism
nahiara-got-baptized
Nahiara got Baptized!!!
meatloaf
meatloafffffff

 

Week 22: “For thrones, dominions, kingdoms, pow’rs…”

“And glory great and bliss are ours,
If we, throughout eternity,
Obey his words,
‘Come, follow me.'”
The greatest reward we can receive is eternal life, or the opportunity to live with our families and our Heavenly Father & Savior forever! This is what we all hope for!

NICO GOT BAPTIZED YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. He is the best. The baptism went really well, and he was so happy. It was so awesome. Then yesterday he received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the blessing was diez por diez. He was blessed that he would be able to prepare to serve a mission soon. Hermana Tinsley and I were sitting there dying. #sohappy #justfiguredouthowtousethehashtagbutton.

You might be wondering, What happened to the other girl who was going to get baptized…. Well on Thursday her parents decided to take their family out of town this weekend…. So Nahiara didn’t get baptized this week, but should get baptized this weekend!

This week we also had “divisiones” and travelled down to Paraná. I had a nice surprise waiting for me when we got there. ELEVEN LETTERS. THAT’S INSANE. I GOT ELEVEN LETTERS IN 3 WEEKS. You all are incredible. Thank you so much for thinking of me and loving and supporting me. I am the luckiest, most loved missionary in the whole world.

But the mission is going well for me. Even though at times things are not fun and way hard, I have grown so much. I can’t believe that tomorrow I will hit my 5 month mark in the mission…. Where did the time go?

 

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Hermana Tinsley and I ❤
letters-from-the-mission
Most Popular girl in the mission
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STL Hermana Jones.  She heads home at the end of this transfer…. I still can’t believe people actually go home
activity-at-branch
We had an activity in the branch and they made like 10000000000000000 empanadas
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Peanut butter bars for baptism
nico-baptism
Nico got BAPTIZED!!!!
sweet-and-sour-chicken
I made yummy sweet and sour chicken today for lunch.

Week 21: “Though like the wanderer…”

“The sun gone down,
Darkness be over me,
My rest a stone,
Yet in my dreams I’d be
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee!”

Well this week was NUTS. On Monday when we returned to the apartment we were determined to fix our freaking water, so we ran all over Federal and eventually we got someone to fix our water. I have never been more grateful for a shower in my life hahaha.

But every day this week was a little crazy. We had to teach our two investigators, Nico and Nahiara, EVERYTHING this week before their baptismal interviews on Saturday. It was easy to teach Nico everything, because he was sick and the doctor told him he had to be on bed rest soooooooooo he was always home YES. It was a little miracle for us :). He is awesome. We went and visited him the other day, and then we had a little jam sesh with his guitar. He is super pro at the guitar. It is awesome hahaha. He is so ready and excited to get baptized. Nahiara was a different story. She is a lot harder to find. She was never home when we went to visit, and then on Wednesday she was home, but she told us her mom said she couldn’t get baptized anymore, and we were like CRAAAAAAAAAAAP. But then we told her that she needed to be really nice and serve her mom a ton, and then maybe things would change. So we prayed really hard that her mom would change her mind again. When we went back to visit her on Thursday, she wasn’t there, and we were like CRAAAAAAAAAAAAP again. So we returned first thing on Friday, and she was there, and her mom said she could get baptized!!!! But the problem was that we had to teach her EVERYTHING on Friday before her interview….The good news is that she basically already knew everything so that helped, but still I don’t really want to do that again ha ha ha ha. But no worries. WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TWO BAPTISMS ON SATURDAY YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

But life is good out here in Argentina (now that we have water that is hahaha). My companion is such an awesome blessing for me. I love her so much. We work so well together. We balance each other out. It is nice.

Well sorry this email was boring again, but my life isn’t really that exciting. It’s pretty much the same every day lololol, but I love the mission. Yes. I love it. It is hard sometimes, but it is awesome. Sometimes I forget that this isn’t normal life. Or that Spanish isn’t my first language. Or that there is such a thing as cold weather.

I LOVE YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH.

PICS:
Argentina version of “pumpkin pie cake” AKA canned pumpkin doesn’t exist here so I used sweet potato instead, and it was actually really good. I made it for the Elders’ baptism on Saturday 🙂
CLEAN DISHES. I LOVE CLEAN DISHES.
always eating ice cream hahaha it is so hot. jk it wasn’t too bad this week.
my cute companion with cute trees
freaking sunsets here are the bestest.

Week 20: “Then sings my soul….”

“My Savior, God to Thee, How great thou art! How great thou art!” (Hymn 86) I’ve been on my mission for 20 weeks????? Um what….. This week I felt all the mission emotions. Joy, sorrow, tiredness, happiness, grossness, frustration, awe, love. I felt it all. It was a bit exhausting really.

I saw lots of miracles in the midst of some dumb trials. I think one of the biggest miracles is that one day this week I just woke up and thought, “wow I love the mission.” It was the first time that I really just loved this freaking crazy thing that I am doing. I saw a bunch of tender mercies that day. Like we were trying to meet with one of investigators, who wasn’t there, so we went to a recent convert, who also wasn’t home. And we just happened to be standing in the middle of the road deciding who to visit next, when the granddaughter of one of the members walked past and came running up to us to share the news that she can finally get baptized!!! So even though we couldn’t find anyone that we wanted to, we found a new investigator who already went to church tons and actually wants to get baptized!!! Her name is Nahiara (yes finally someone with a name just as weird as mine lol) and she is so cute.

Another tender mercy I saw was that my Stake President at home just got called to be the Mission President in the mission just south of mine! And even better, when I told my Mission President he told me that he and President Allred actually served in the same mission together! Turns out President Allred trained President Perez’s trainer, so in mission language President Allred is President Perez’s grandpa hahaha. It just kind of showed me that God really is in the details in our lives. IDK why but it brought me a lot of comfort this week.

One of my favorite tender mercies this week was that we had zone meeting this week, which means I GOT ALL MY PACKAGES AND LETTERS AND HOLY COW I AM SO LUCKY TO HAVE SUCH AN AWESOME FAN CLUB BACK HOME!!! THANK YOU ALL SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO MUCH FOR THE LETTERS AND PACKAGES. MY HEART IS SO HAPPY.

Then on Sunday a recent convert, Lidia, BORE HER TESTIMONY IN FAST AND TESTIMONY MEETING. I CRIED SO MUCH. LIKE THAT IS MY GIRL YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS. It helped me feel a little better even though none of our investigators came to church and I was having a bit of a rough morning.

And our last tender mercy for this week is our investigator Nice. HE IS AWESOME. He is the friend of this girl that got baptized like a year ago, and he has such a big desire to get baptized and grow closer to God. He is awesome. He already went to church two times before we even started teaching him, so he and Nahiara have baptismal dates for the 21! Please pray that they can make it to their baptism lol.

But even when we are having crazy miracles, we still have trials out here in the field. It is so weird how you just feel like crying and shouting for joy at the same time out here on the mish. One of our really strong, faithful investigators, Griselda, told us this week that she can’t meet with us anymone, because her partner/boyfriend/”marido” said she can’t anymore. That just crushed us a bit. Okay a lot. Then this whole weekend we haven’t have any water in the apartment…. So we can’t shower or wash the dishes…. or anything. But don’t worry we have water to drink hahaha but nothing else. It is not very sanitary. And I think we kind of smell….

Anyways…. I would encourage you all to go and read/watch this talk: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/joy-and-spiritual-survival?lang=eng
It really helped me this week when I was feeling all down in the dumps!

I love you all so much, and I pray for you every freaking day.

sandwich
Fancy lunch before Zone Conference. SUCH A GOOD SANDWICH
cookies
AND COOKIES VAMOS
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When Argentina can’t decide whether it should rain or not.
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all my packages

Week 19: “I know that my Redeemer lives,”

“What comfort this sweet sentence gives.”

MY COMPANION IS AMAZING. WE ARE WORKING SO HARD OUT HERE IN FEDERAL. WE ARE ON FIRE. IT FEELS SOOOOOOO GOOD TO WORK AS HARD AS WE ARE WORKING. I  FEEL LIKE A MISSIONARY YESSSSSSSSS. Change is always hard, but we have something to learn from each of those changes.  Hermana Tinsley has changed my mission for the better. She has taught me so much. She already loves the people here so much and has so much excitement and motivation to work! VAMOS NUEVO COMPAÑERISMO!

Anyways this week I wrote a very long poem that I would like to share with you all, so sorry if there aren’t a ton of details here. But one of my goals for this year (which I will spend all of here in Argentina which is crazy) is to use my talents and hobbies to share my testimony….

An eight-year-old girl
Steps cautiously down
The slippery tile stairs,
Feeling the skirt
Of her new white dress
Fill with water
As she reaches out
And grasps her father’s hand.

Maybe she knew
Whose footsteps she was following.
Maybe she knew that
Her big Brother
Went to the River Jordan
And that He too walked
Into the water
To make the same promise.

A twelve-year-old boy
Adjusts his tie
And fixes his collar
As he follows
The other deacons
To the Sacrament table.
He grasps the handle
Of the bread-filled tray
And passes it to the congregation.

Maybe in the back of his mind
He recalled his mother
Telling him of a thing called
“The Last Supper”
Where a perfect Man
Likewise passed the
Sacrament for the first time.

A nineteen-year-old girl
Slowly opens
A big white envelop,
containing an even bigger calling.
Tears run down her cheeks
As she reads,
“You are hereby
Called to serve…”

Maybe she thought of
The humble Teacher
Whose name she would
Wear in the dirt streets
Of a foreign country
As she preached His gospel.
Maybe she recognized
That His calling was a bit bigger.

A twenty-year-old boy
Knocks on a door
And silently pleads
For someone to answer
Because he has a message
That’s worth more than gold,
And for now all he wants
Is to share it.

Maybe in this moment
He saw His Master
Knock on a door
With no handle
And wait for
Someone to answer
With more longing than
This missionary can imagine.

A young couple
Walks out of the Holy Temple,
Smiling bigger than ever,
Because they, just seconds before,
Made the promise they had been
Preparing to make
For their whole lives.

Maybe they remembered
That their Savior too
Kneeled in a garder far away
To make a different promise.
However as He kneeled,
He suffered,
But perhaps He also smiled
As He looked towards the future
And saw a young couple
Kneel at an altar
And receive the promise of forever.

A new father
Holds up his baby son
After giving him
A name and a blessing.
His wife sits in the congregation,
Thinking that, really,
She has no idea
How to be a mother.

Maybe they both said a small prayer
Closing in the name of
The Innocent son
Who was lifted up on a cross.
Maybe they asked
For the strength to raise this child.
And maybe they heard
The Father’s Only Begotten say,

“Behold I am Jesus Christ…
Suffer the little children
To come unto me.”
Maybe during that prayer
They finally understood
That after all this time
Christ was always there.
He had already felt that
Newly born baptism feeling
And watched as those He loved
Partook of the emblems
Of His rapidly approaching sacrifice.

He knew what it was like
To be called to a work
That seemed too much,
To the point that He pleaded,
“Remove this cup from me!”
He too was rejected,
When all He did was
Offer the greatest gift of all,
An eternity to spend with
YOur family and God.

He also was given names,
Some not so kind,
ANd others filled with praise.
He lived a life
Full of prayers
Even up to the last moment
As He cried to His Father,
“It is finished,
Thy will is done.”

Undoubtedly He remembered
His little brother and sister,
Felt their fears,
And lived their sorrows
As He knelt in Gethsemane
And hung on Calvary.

Maybe today
We will confidently say,
“I know that
My Redeemer lives.”

Maybe one day
We will kneel
At His pierced feet
And bathe them with tears.

Maybe we will hear
Him say,
“Welcome home
Thou good and faithful servant.”

I hope this 2017 we can all grow closer to our Savior! I know that He lives and loves us all. One of my other goals for this year is to follow His example more exactly!
I LOVE YOU ALL. HAPPY 2017

 

ice-cream-with-new-district
Lisi said at Christmas that it is “hotter than the sun” in Argentina right now… that must be why there are so many pictures with ice cream.  This is her district with 2 new missionaries, one Elder and one Hermana.