Thursday, October 19, 2017

Week 71: Eventful week- Back to San Vicente!

Wow last night it happened again! Hna. Lopez and I recieved a call from President and for our protection, we have to leave Claypole. No nothing has happened to the hermanas in the mission, but we often feel uncomfortable- it is really poor here which makes us targets for robbers and there are lots of gangs of drunk men in the streets. It is really just better that Elders work here. Elders will come in our place and we are going to San Vicente!

  I couldn't believe it! I will finish my mission in the same city that I started! I feel so blessed. There are already hermanas there and so we will be working in what used to be the Elder´s area when I served there. The other hermanas are in a trio and so it will be 5 of us living in the same pension! The apartment is really small so it will be a little crazy with tight living spaces but the other hermanas are awesome. I already got to know them in the exchanges I had there last transfer. My companion is Sister Training leader so there will still be lots of traveling!



    

      After hours of packing we are ready to leave, and just so you know all the things in the picture not just mine! We will be picked up in about an hour! I will miss a few members and investigators here in Claypole but I am more than excited to work in San Vicente and be able to see how the branch has changed throughout my mission!

I don´t have much time, but this week was awesome! We had 2 Family Home Evening's: one with our investigator Nora and her spouse and three young sons. We made empanadas and watched a "Mormon message" video which brought the Spirit into the home. We were able to talk about God's plan for us. It was so great and I love teaching people like them who understand and want to learn! 

The other was a FHE with the Olariaga family, members, that have 5 kids. One of kids, Manu,  is about to turn 8 but had doubts about if he wanted to be baptized. So we did an object lesson about baptism and watched the video from the church when Jesus got baptized. The kids are all crazy, but during and a few moments after the video there was absolute silence and the Spirit was so strong! Now Manu is excited to be baptized at the end of this month. Afterwards we all played Jenga. In both of these nights I loved being in a family setting. I miss the craziness sometimes! 

Hermana Lopez is really persistent and has a way of persuading many of the people in the street to listen to us. With one man, she basically entered his house without permission and he didn´t know what to do! It was so funny! We ended up teaching him and his wife! We also helped a lady in the street move sand into her backyard and afterwards we were able to teach a lesson to her and her daughter. We also taught an old investigator, Ximena who is 13 years old who never knew her dad and lost her mom to cancer three years ago. I loved being able to testify of the Plan of Salvation and help her feel that she will see her mom again. 

We also taught a few other investigators including Oscar and Alicia. The Elders had a baptism this weekend and two boys were baptized whose parents have been reactivated in the church. 

We did service helping make mother´s day gifts since it was Mother´s day here.

Hermana Medford went home yesterday. It was so sad to see her go and start this new phase in her life! It was amazing to see how she worked until the end! I know my time is coming soon as well! 

I am just trying to think of everything that happened but I don´t have more time now! It was a great week to say the least!








Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Week 70:Visiting San Vicente/The Stray Cat

On Tuesday, we had a large meeting with Elder Sergio Krasnoselsky and it was really spiritual! He gave us tips on how to work more efficiently as missionaries and I learned a lot!

Then On Wednesday we had District Meeting and a Zone Breakfast where everyone brought something. There was so much food and we consumed a little too much sugar that day. Funny story, there is a cat living in the chapel and nobody can get in out! It always finds a way to get back in! It was a little weird to see a cat walking through sacrament meeting on Sunday. A few times dogs have entered the chappel too and many times there are stray dogs walking around in grocery stores or in banks or on the trains- there are so many that they just do what they want. I always laugh and think- this would never happen in the States.

This week on Wednesday afternoon until Thursday afternoon and then the same Friday until Saturday I went to San Vicente for exchanges. Lots of traveling, but I always love my time in San Vicente. So many memories always come back to mind from the beginning of my mission. On Friday night we were able to visit Laura and Brian and thier family and it was so great to be able to talk with them. Saturday for lunch the hermanas in San Vicente didn´t have lunch so we were able to eat at a big Mozzarella Festival that was happening! It reminded me of the E-town fair a little with lots of different tents selling things. 

Friday morning we cleaned the chapel as a zone.  Hermana Medford and I were also able to move bricks for our investigator Oscar and we helped a member paint her fence. I love it when we find opportunities to serve!

We were able to find three new investigators this week! One was on Thursday after exchanges. We only had 3 hours to work and in that time we were able to teach Oscar, help him with his bricks, and a lady named Nora (38 years old) let us in too! She is really great and receptive and I felt the spirit and I loved teaching her! Her obstacles for baptism is that she works every Sunday and needs to get married to the guy she is living with.

Then on Saturday we only had 1 hour and a half to work after exchanges and we decides to go to an area that we normally don´t work in and knock doors. The 4th door we clapped, a lady named Vilma and her 10 year old grandson Thiago let us in and we were able to teach! I love it when miracles like that happen! 

We were also able to teach an 18 year old named David who got baptized a few months ago but stopped coming. I think we got him excited about the church again because he came this Sunday and was even early! 

Also, about Brisa, the daughter of Ricardo and Karla who was going to be baptized this Saturday, I haven´t seen her or anyone in her family since last week! Juan told us that Karla and Ricardo separated this week and Karla took all of her daughters to live in Don Orione. We don´t know the address and they won´t answer the phone! So sad that just this week that had to happen- but hopefully in the future the missionaries can teach them more!

    Zone Conference

              Hermana Medford and I


                                            Too Much Sugar...But it was so Good!

The District with our Friend, the Stray Cat who Keeps Finding His Way back into the Chapel!

Week 69: Conference Came at the Right Time

Here´s a long message to make up for last week! 
On Tuesday this week we had interviews with President Calquin and I realized that I will only have two more interviews with him...wow.

On Thursday it was really hard because Karla and Ricardo, the parents from the family that we found told us that they didn't want to keep listening to us. They were progressing so well but they went to another church and said they felt better there. They also didn't like the idea of the Word of Wisdom and other excuses. I guess now isn't their time- they aren't ready to change for now, but they said that we could keep teaching their kids. Juan, Ricardo´s brother told us that he is smoking and he doesn't believe that he can quit. We think that for now the 9 year old twins, Morena and Alma can´t get baptized because the parents aren't going to take them to church. But the good news is that their oldest daughter Brisa (12 years old) loves the church and is excited to get baptized. We are planning her baptism for this Saturday. We´ll see what happens. The Young Women have really become friends with her. It will be a little harder since the parents aren't supporting her as much. 

Another investigator that came to church is struggling because her spouse is opposed to the church and won´t let us in. He is even hiding her Book of Mormon. Also, all of our appointments fell through. We couldn't find anybody new this week. We are having trouble finding our investigators in their homes. With all this, I was very discouraged. Satan is working hard against the people and it is so sad to see investigators who we are continually praying and studying for choose another path or put obstacles in the way of their progress. I was so glad that General Conference was this weekend because I definitely needed a spiritual boost. 

On Friday I had exchanges with Hermana Lima from Brazil. Her companion Hermana Chappel and Hermana Medford went to the temple since they are finishing their mission. She actually left for the mission the same day as Dean so she has been out only 3 months in the mission. I loved working with her. All the people I´ve met here from Brazil have really strong personalities and are so funny! Dad- are all the people from Brazil like that? I was reminded of my companion Hermana Dias from Brazil because they had similar accents and personalities. 

Then Saturday and Sunday we went to the stake Center in Adrogue to watch Conference! There was a room where all of us from the States could watch all the sessions (except the Women´s Session) in English. A few Latinos joined us to see how much they could understand! I am so grateful because it is just not the same to watch it in Spanish- the translator is a little monotone and it just isn't as great as listening to the real voices of the speakers.

In between sessions on Saturday we went to eat at a Chinese Buffet that was in Adrogue-so good! In the two hours in between sessions there was not enough time to return to our areas to work so this weekend was a little break from proselyting. On Sunday all the sister missionaries in the Stake got together and we ate and talked together in the chapel. We counted that we had people from 9 different countries! Amazing how the church is worldwide and how the truth unites us. I was able to see Hermana Lopez and Hermana Rivarola again so I was so happy! I love them so much and I cherish the time I had with them a ton! Right now they are both traveling sisters who stay in each area for one week. What a hard thing- I am so glad that I was never called to do that.

As for the Conference, I loved every talk in the Saturday morning session. Elder Holland´s talk was so great and I am amazed at how time and time again his talks are so powerful. I noticed the themes about the importance of service and of reading the Book of Mormon every day. President Russel M. Nelson´s talk about the Book of Mormon was so good as well and I loved the self-evaluating questions he asked. I liked Elder W. Craig´Zwick´s talk ``Look beyond what you see`` as well. I noticed that many speakers quoted Pres. Monson.  We heard a lot from him even though he couldn't go to conference. And of course it was really special to hear Elder Neil L. Anderson´s talk since Elder Hales passed away. I loved to hear what Elder Hales wanted to tell us and to hear more about how the Speakers prepare their talks. We are so blessed to be able to hear what God wants us  to change or continue doing through his servants the prophets and I truly felt the love of God as I listened.

Love you all!

Hermana McBride

Pictures from General Conference and Exchanges:


9 Different Countries Represented Among these Sisters! Amazing to see the gospel go forth across the Earth

Friday, September 29, 2017

Week 68: Surprise Package from Argentina

This week was really great! We traveled a lot because Hermana Medford had 3 exchanges. Whenever she has an exchange I go with Hermana Martinez from El Salvador so she was my companion for 3 days this week! On Wednesday I went with her to San Vicente by train and bus and it was awesome! I love going back to my first area and we were able to teach a 9 year old girl named Milagros that got baptized this past Saturday! 

Then on Thursday until Saturday morning we were in Claypole and we were able to teach three more lessons to Alicia, Karla and Ricardo´s family, and to a new investigator Nilda! I loved teaching the kids and I was amazed how I was led to Nilda! I got lost because I am still pretty new to Claypole and so I was asking her directions and we began talking. She let us in to teach after we gained a bit more confidence! I love when that happens! 

We have to leave early this week so sorry that this is so short! But it was awesome. We found 6 new investigators in all, and 8 investigators came to church.  Karla and Ricardo´s family and a few other investigators! I think we will be seeing baptisms soon! I felt so blessed and it is a great experience to share the gospel with others!


Editor's Note:  Audrey sent us a package by sending it home with Sister Mckayla Davis from Las Vegas, who then shipped it to us! We were so excited. There were many different kinds of Argentine treats and trinkets. But best of all, she sent the sweetest, most sincere notes to each of us, including our dog Champ!   Below is a sampling:






Thursday, September 21, 2017

Week 67:Getting to Revisit my First Area!

Mom I am glad that you are feeling better and that JJ is feeling better now! How scary that she was so sick! I can see from pictures from dad that she is well taken care of. Hopefully she´ll be able to go home soon!

This week on Wednesday I had intercambios (exchanges) and I was able to return to San Vicente! I was able to see Laura and Brian again as well as Noemi and Claudio and a few investigators who I taught when I was there- Sonia and Graciela. It was surreal to walk down the same streets again and talk with same people that I remember I couldn't understand what they were saying before. We all laughed about the old times and were able to reflect on what happened this year that has passed.

Back in Claypole, in was harder to find Karla and Ricardo´s whole family together, but we were able to talk with Karla a lot because she sells toys and clothes in the train station of Claypole which is in front of our pension. It is a little different to teach in the middle of a train station, but I love that Karla is willing to study with us even at work. They didn´t come to church this week even when we went to pick them up, but Karla felt bad that they didn´t go and promised that the next week they would come. Finally on Sunday afternoon we could teach Karla, Ricardo, and Juan in their home and it went really well! They are excited to keep investigating and Juan and the three kids above 8 have October 7 as a baptism date! Ricardo is working on the papers for his divorce so they can get married. Karla already bought skirts for her and her daughters so they were more like everyone else at church.

There are so many people here that have to get divorced to be able to get married to their current spouse- we found a new investigator named Silvia who is in this situation. I can think of so many other famiies I have taught who can´t get baptized because they can´t pay what it costs to get divorced. It is so sad because they want to get baptized so bad! We had other lessons this week too and I love being able to share my testimony and teach the simple truths of the gospel!

This week was also Zone Conference and we all went to Adrogue. A lot of new missionaries have come and are continuing to come. As I heard other Americans trying to speak, I remember that I was the same, but now it seems so far away. As I was talking to a new Hna. from the States who couldn´t understand much, I had to think pretty hard to talk in English to translate. 

In the conference, they showed videos of converts from this mission thanking the missionaries who taught them and explaining how the gospel has changed their life. The work of a missionary really is amazing. I feel so grateful to be here. They taught us how to be better teachers and overall it was a great spiritual experience.



                              Saturday we helped a member in her garden for a few hours for service

 Monday morning for district activity we played paddle-ball!

                     I loved it so much- the first time in a long time that I could play on a court!


                           It was awesome and it was a beautiful day! It is starting to get warmer here! 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Week 66: To the Temple with Laura & Brian Fernandez

Hermana Medford and I were able to go to the endowment session and sealing of Laura and Brian Fernandez and their kids Tobias and Titi who got baptized in my first area San Vicente! It was amazing to see Laura and Brian in the temple. I am so grateful that they stayed faithful this year so they could be sealed! I know that will stay faithful- they are wonderful people! It was really an unforgettable moment to see their family in the temple. It was wonderful to go the the temple again and lots of memories from the MTC came to mind as we walked around the temple. It was a big reunion of he branch of San Vicente as many people came to support them and I loved being able to see them again after so long. Hermana Abate Daga, (now "Julietta" since she went home 4 months ago) was able to come from her home in Cordoba so I got to see her again!  What a blessing that I could meet this family early in my mission so I could see them get sealed and that the temple is in my mission! I am so incredibly grateful.​


   Brian, Laura, Tobias, and Titi Fernandez after being Sealed as a Family at the Buenos Aires Temple



       Laura, Brian, and many members of the San Vicente Branch who came to support them

Also I love my new area Claypole! Hermana Medford and I found a family who let us in to teach on Tuesday! The parents are Karla and Ricardo and their 6 kids ages 12-3 and the Ricardo´s brother Juan are listening to us! We had two more lessons with them with a member who accompanied us and they came to a ward activity on Friday! As we were walking to the activity, a few friends wanted to come too and a group of 15 people ended up walking to the church with us- 12 of them being kids under the age of 10. It was amazing and a little crazy walking in the street with all these people. But they loved the activity and the members welcomed them really well and exchanged numbers with the mom. Then on Sunday, we went to pick up the family for church and the whole family and Juan came with us! They live relatively close to the church so the walk wasn't so bad! What a miracle, seriously! The parents have to get divorced from other marriages and then get married, so they can´t get baptized for now. But 3 of the children and Juan are all eligible for baptism!

I am out of time, but I loved a lesson with another investigator named Oscar who is an older man who is already in Jacob chapter 6 in El Libro de Mormon! We are struggling to get him to go to church and he is still looking for his answer of the truthfulness of the gospel. But we are working with him! 

What a great week! I am so happy!

Hermana Medford is so great! We only speak English if we don´t know the word in Spanish. We get along great especially since we have been on our missions for about the same length of time and are from the same culture, so we understand each other!



                     Saying goodbye to wonderful ward members in my last area of Temperley 


           Wonderful Young Women and Return Missionaries in Temperley


                       Hermana Zarate and I with our wonderful investigator Sol


                                                 With the Bishop and his Wife

                                    Hard to say goodbye to Hermana Zarate



                                           Hermana Medford and I

                                             Buenos Aires Temple in the distance

                                                  What a Joy to go to the Temple!


                                              


                                                        Brian and Laura on their Sealing Day

                          Wonderful friend and ward member from San Vicente

                      Julietta Abate Daga and her boyfriend who lives here in Buenos Aires. :)



       
                                                          

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Week 65: Transfer to Claypole/New Companion Hermana Medford

So we recieved the news on Saturday and I am now in Claypole with my first companion (other than the MTC) from the US! Her name is Hermana Medford and she is from Pleasant Grove, Utah. She finishes her mission in October so I will be her last companion! She is a sister training leader so I will be having lots of exchanges! I heard the best news yesterday! The other sister training leader is in San Vicente so in half of the exchanges I will be able to return to my first area! I am so excited!

                 Here is Hermana Medford with a former companion, Hermana Chaffin

Last week, I was still sick and not getting better but we went to the hospital and they said I have bronchitis. So we rested a few days and only went to the appointments we had. I feel better now and am only congested with less cough now. We were able to teach Mariela, Alma, and Azul which was great- they are reading and praying as a family! There was a huge storm on Sunday so they didn't come to church. :( But we have gained a lot of confidence with Sol and she were able to teach her and she did come to church even in the rain! I know she is going to get baptized one day! She wrote me a really sweet letter since I was changing areas and I won´t be able to see her again. 

Deborah, the return missionary, accompanied us to teach Evylin and the lesson was so great! They got along realy well and Deborah bore powerful testimony. With her help Evylin should progress more quickly! We were also able to teach a new family named Angelina and Emanuel. She is a member but he isn´t and he is already super prepared to be baptized. My companion has a lot of people to work with for baptisms! :)

Also on Tuesday the district meeting was so spiritual! Two missionaries that have finished thier missions bore their testimonies about what they learned. We learned about making decisions and how to make the best ones and not just good ones to use our time in the most efficient way possible. I felt the spirit a lot and we said lots of goodbyes as I might not see the other misionaries again in our zone because I was changing areas.

                                           Final Week with Hermana Zarate

 It was so bittersweet to say goodbye to all the members- I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting. I realized I only have two more testimony meetings in Argentina! I grew to love Banfield 1 and I already miss it so much! I felt their love as we hugged for the last time and as they thanked me for my service. It was hard to say goodbye to Hna. Zarate too! Yesterday afternoon I was driven here to Claypole. So this week I will be learning and meeting the members and investigators. Hna. Medford said that almost all of the area is dirt roads and we are expecting lots of rain so its a good thing I have rain boots! Woohoo lots of mud!

I have a lot of pictures but the computers in this cyber don´t read my card so I can´t send them! :( Hopefully next week!

I love you all!

Hermana McBride