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

Week 64: Family Progressing, Transfers Approaching

To answer your question Mom, yes, I am still playing the piano every week in sacrament meeting! That´s great that you guys were able to go to the Philadelphia  temple! My prayers have been answered and I will be able to go to the Buenos Aires temple on Sep. 9th to see the sealing of Laura and Brian who were baptized during my training in August! I am super excited!

On Wednesday we helped a few sisters in a Relief Society activity print family names to take to the temple. It was fun and I will send pictures afterward. The Relief Society president was really stressed out because everyone who was going to help cancelled last minute so she was so grateful that we could come and help. 

    Helping the Relief Society Sisters

On Thursday we had an appointment with Mariela, Alma, and Azul and the daughters have a baptism date for September 16. Transfers are next week and I will probably leave the area so I won't be there but oh well- I am just happy that this family is learning and progressing!

Afterwards we visited Alejandra and her kids, recent converts, and it was so great! Her kids had really awesome questions and we taught Ale about the meaning of a patriarchal blessing. I loved being with their family and she gave us really yummy cake so that was a plus! That same night a widow named Mirta Colosimo (member) called us and invited us over too. She lives alone and wasn't feeling good so we went and helped her in the house and gave her some company. And she gave us more food- we were so stuffed afterwards! We were overly blessed with food that day!

On Friday and Saturday we mainly stayed in the pench and rested because first I got sick and then Hna. Zarate! We have a sore throat, stuffy nose, and a terrible cough. We bought some medicine but it seems like every day we are getting worse so we are going to the doctor today to see if they can give us something that helps. We are so tired of feeling bad and I hope we get better soon! 

Yesterday we had a special video conference in the stake center where we watched Elder Rasband and other authorities talk specifically to all of Argentina, Uraguay, and Paraguay. One of the talks was about missionary work and the members and it was awesome! At the same time it made me a little sad that the members aren´t very involved in the work. I would love it if the members would give us more references and would help us find more people to teach. Just us, the work is hard and not very efficient. The people are more receptive if they can hear the testimony of a friend. I can count the number of lessons I´ve taught with members in my mission on two hands and I wish it could have been different.

This week is Week 6 of the transfer so we will be waiting anxiously to hear our transfers on Saturday! 

Love you!

Hermana McBride

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Week 63: Comraderie with Other Missionaries is a Blessing

We had interviews with President and it was super great as always. As we were waiting our turn, our zone sang songs and chatted. At one point, we sang "A Child's Prayer" each of us in our own language. Three languages at the same time. English, Portugués, y Español. Super cool experience. Hymns can bring the Spirit so strongly.

 Our district activity from last P-day- we ate chicken terriaki and played handball- super fun!

 With Hermana Gove from Utah

 Hermana Zarate and Hermana Gove

This week we were able to teach Evelin and Sol! Evelin (age 17) still has doubts about baptism that we have to help her with. And she has the habit that she sleeps in really late so she never makes it to church. The lesson with Sol (age 15) was super great and afterward she accompanied us for 3 hours and helped us make contacts. We also gave her a tour of the chapel. She is afraid that she will lose her friends if she gets baptized so its going to take some time. And she is hesitant to go to church. Little by little with these girls... :)

Our zone also came to work in our area for a few hours and they found some new investigators for us! We helped a member named Mercedes do family history. We were able to teach 2 other investigators named Sivia and Camila. The discussion was super great but they are hesitant to want to change.

We were blessed with great weather this week and it wasn't as cold! It was a much better week! My problem these days is that I am always tired. I am super excited to be able to take a good nap again. As hard as we work, the 8 hours every night just doesn't seem to get me fully replenished. 

And on Saturday we had exchanges and I was with Hermana Gove from Utah! She goes home 6 weeks before me and it was great to talk with her and get to know her better! She is super awesome and it made me crave a companion from the states! 

Aww thanks Mom for your kind words! Enjoy playing tennis for me- I miss it a lot! Every time we see people playing my heart breaks a little... It is good motivation to work hard to be back in match shape when I return. 

Love you all so much!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Week 62: Though Patience Required, Tender Mercies Abound

This week was a bit hard- it was really cold and windy all week and our investigators that we were excited about- Evelin and Sol are trying our patience. We couldn't find them both this week at all! We would call and make an appointment and then they wouldn't be there. We had a lot of other appointments but nearly all of them fell through. I feel peace because I know we are doing our part, but it still hurts a bit when we only were able to teach 1 lesson to investigators and the rest of the time we are just walking and knocking doors. Missionary work in the winter is a little slow at times. On the bright side, my legs are super strong! :)

Our only lesson was with Mariela, Azul, and Alma and we watched The Testaments as their first Family Home Evening. It was awesome and it is easy to see that they are changing and are more happy as a family. They have been reading and praying and are just waiting until September when Alma and Azul can go to church and be baptized!

The lunches with members are a big part of what keeps me going and I have come to love them so much! There are a lot of widows in the ward that give us lunch and they are so happy to be with us and have someone to talk to because they live alone! It is amazing to hear their testimonies that they have despite many deaths in the family and hardships in their lives. 

We started teaching a less active family and we were able to keep teaching Juana and Victoriano and his health was good enough that he came to church this week for the first time in 3 months! 

My favorite part of the week was when we visited a nursing home as a zone and talked with them and then sang hymns. It reminded me of visiting Masonic Village and it was so good to help make their day a little better. The lady that is in the picture appears depressed but I talked with her for a while and she is super awesome! Her name is Susana and she is 97 years old! She was born in 1920 and it was amazing to hear about her life. They had the heat turned up a lot so all of the faces of us from the states are super red! 
                                        Singing at a Senior Center with the Zone

Then this morning we had a pancake breakfast party with all the hermanas that are serving in the Banfield stake. It was super fun! We went to the apartment of hermanas that live in Lomas de Zamora, and the pictures are from on top of the skyscraper that they live in! Every P-day we go to Lomas to write our families and buy our food and it is so fun to go look on all the shops there are in the "mall" and be in the city for a few hours. I am going to miss Lomas!

Mom- I am excited to do excercise with you too! I am glad that you had a great anniversary and that you won those two league matches! You look so good and healthy in the photo Dad sent me! I am so proud that you are my mom! Thanks for being a healthy role model for me.

I love you all!


Hermana McBride

 The View from the Hermana's apartment in Lomas de Zamora

 All the Hermanas in the Banfield Area

Monday, August 7, 2017

Week 61: New Investigators/Seeing the growth the Mission has taught me

This week we were able to teach Evelin and Damian. They were super interested in Joseph Smith and I love teaching them. They weren´t able to come to church, but hopefully the next week!

We also taught Mariela and her daughters Alma and Azul. They can´t come to church all this month so they can´t get baptized until September... But we are going to do FHE with them and keep teaching and helping them learn. 

We have also been visiting recent converts Juana and Victoriano who are 72 and 78 years old. They are really funny and it is so great to see them smile when we come to visit them. They are a little lonely and they get so happy when we come! Through our little actions we can help others so much! This week we started teaching their granddaughter named Sol. She is 15 years old and wants to be baptized too! 

On Thursday we had zone Conference. I was uplifted as I listened to Pres and Hermana Calquin and the assistants. I felt so grateful to be here and learn the importance of service and how to share the gospel.  Afterward we played sports and I realized how out of shape I am. I was super sore afterwards and I am nervous for what it´s going to feel like to train for tennis again.

On Saturday the Elders had a baptism of a man named Carlos. They found him two weeks ago and he was so ready to hear the gospel! It was cool to see how somebody could accept the gospel so quickly! 

If we are not teaching we are walking in the streets and talking to almost everyone who crosses our path. We look for the old contacts or old investigators and try to make appointments with them. We have a lot of appointments the next week so we will see if we can find some new investigators. A lot of times the appointments fall through but now it doesn't bother me. It's the same thing every day so at times I don´t know what to write!

 My companion who has less time in the mission has a harder time accepting when the people aren't there, or when they don´t progress very quickly. I have learned not worry about things I can't control which is a something I think will be useful after the mission too. I have to be positive for her and help her have the faith that there are people for us to find. 
I can see parts of the old me in Hna. Zarate and I am happy to see that I have changed and progressed in the mission and I know that she will too! Some things just take time to learn. I am glad I can be an example for her. She is still super sweet and is always looking for ways to help! I am enjoying my time with her.

Bishop Pititto (the bishop here in Banfield 1) said in his testimony yesterday that getting angry or stressed or upset is our own decision. I think that is so true and it is definitely an important lesson to learn in the mission when we are surrounded by multiple disappointments and rejections every day. When we make the choice to not let it bother us, we can get a lot more done.

I love my area. I would be happy to be here the rest of my mission but I probably will leave after this transfer in the first week of September. I know my way around pretty well and we have friends that we always see in the street that we always say hi! The members are giving us lunch every day now and members that we have never eaten with have been signing up, so I am enjoying my  getting to know them. I am a bit comfortable here so I know a change is coming...

I love you all! 

P.S. Wow Mom the pictures of the waterfall are so pretty! That was scary about Champ and I hope he gets better soon! 

Awww JJ is so sweet haha I am excited to eat Mac and Cheese again too- they don´t have it here. Well they don´t eat very much cheese in general here- it is something I miss!

Week 60: I love my area of Timperley

Hi Mom. My health is just great! I feel super blessed with my health! Yes, if nobody lets us in to teach, we are walking all day in the cold but the movement of walking warms us up. But I don´t have pains or problems!

This week was awesome! Full of miracles. First on Monday we received a referral from a member and we were able to teach them! They are Miriam and her mom Marta and they have a lot of faith. It was rainy and cold on Sunday so they weren't able to come to church, but they want to next week! The lessons were so great and teaching the lessons have become one of my favorite things in the mission.

Yesterday we taught a 17 year old named Evelin and her brother in law Damian. She was a contact that we made in the street and she said that she was looking for a church to go to but didn't know which. Her mom let us in and we were able to gain a lot of trust in this family. Evelin has been struggling with depression but I think our message helped her. She has a lot of sincere desire to learn more about the church and God and has a baptism date! Damian too! I loved teaching them and helping them! 

Also on Saturday the Elders and us organized a Ward Family home Evening and they were going to give the lesson and we were in charge of the activity. An hour before it started they called to say that a dog bit one of the elders and that they had to go to the hospital and couldn't come! We had an appointment with Miriam and Marta right before the FHE and now it was up to us to lead the whole activity! We had invited all of our investigators and the members and it was pretty stressful! It ended up that 13 members came and none of the investigators, but it was still really great! We planned a quick lesson and had a lot of participation and it was fun to get to know the members better. I am loving my area!

The photo was when Hermana Zarate and I made Ham and cheese empanadas for lunch one day! They are one of my favorite foods! Hermana Zarate is super great and is always serving me. She makes me breakfast, or makes my bed, or washes the dishes. She is super sweet! She is a really great teacher and works really hard. If I didn't know better I wouldn't believe that she only has 3 months in the mission. I have been so blessed with my companions!

Love you all!

Hermana McBride