Thursday, November 23, 2017

Week 76: My Final Week- Serving 'til the End

This week was super great! We have been working hard with Marianela`s 13 year old brother Nicolas and if everything goes as planned, he should be baptized this Saturday! The first time he went to church he was super timid but in the three weeks he has been coming, he has made friends with the other young men. The young men's president is really close with him too. It is so awesome see him change and progress! I am so grateful for the help from the members. 

Highlights of the week:

We also found a new investigator named Valeria. At first when we talked with her she didn´t want anything to do with us. But we persisted a little and it turned out she just had some misunderstandings about the church. After we cleared that up, she said we could come in and teach! It`s the best when they let us in. 

On Wednesday I had my last interview with President Calquin and he only said the word "matrimonio" once! He was so loving and gave me some good tips for after the mission.​​

 I went to Adrogue for exchanges with Hermana Couto. It was actually a really great day. We talked with many people who were really nice and we found Guillermina (about 40 years old) in the street who had a lot of questions. We ended up walking with her to her house and teaching her! I definitely gained more love for Adrogue and I know that we can find people interested to learn in rich areas. 

Yesterday was awesome too. All the missionaries in the stake traveled to Glew to be in the choir for stake conference in 2 weeks. Even though I am not going to be there, I cherished singing hymns in EspaƱol. 

This week is going to be awesome- Thursday is the tour of Buenos Aires and Friday we get to go the the temple! Then Saturday should be Nicola's baptism and Sunday my last day of church in Argentina. There will be lots of food from members and lots of saying goodbyes. And in some moment I have to pack...

I don´t know how next Monday is going to be or if I am going to be able to write something- if not, see you guys next week! Love you all!

The family of Ana and Lucas from a few weeks ago 

Here is a photo of  me and of Hermana Couto who I love so much! I am also loving being with my comp Hermana Lopez! I have felt so so blessed with my companions.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Week 75: Seeing the Lord's Hand in our Work

This week we were able to teach Mica, Marianela, Ana and Lucas, and our 4 new investigators that we found. They are progressing slowly, but I loved the time we could spend teaching them. I am excited about an investigator that we found yesterday named Juana. I was amazed as she said she had been searching for something more because she felt confused in her church. The message about the restauration made sense to her and she accepted a baptism date so we will see! 

On Saturday Marianela (15) and Lucia (18) got baptized and it was the best baptism of my mission! It was super spiritual and both girls have such strong testimonies and have so much potential! Us 5 hermanas prepared a special musical number and I was able to accompany on the piano. And Hermana Molinero (now Camila) suprised us and showed up at the baptism! She went home in September and is already back to visit! Also Hna. Abate Daga got engaged and will get married on April 25! Wow!

I had taught Lucia´s family in my training and they were all really closed off to the church but now one of Lucia´s sisters is baptized and her mom Sonia is an active dry member- she has to wait to get divorced and then married to get baptized. Now every week they give us almuerzo and wash our clothes and Sonia is like our mom on the mission. She invited us over for lunch today on P-day! Their family is super awesome and I think it is only a matter of time until the whole family joins the church.

Mom- That's so great that you guys could find a van and that you got a good return for your bike! I am so excited to meet the Gonzalez family and be able to use my Spanish- it will be a bit different from their Puerto Rican Spanish, but I think we will understand each other just fine. haha That's great that Dad is eating healthy!

 Zone Activity with President and Sister Calquin

 Baptism of Marianela (15) and Lucia (18)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Week 73 & 74: Serving Valiantly As Time is Running Short!


Wow this week flew by so fast I can hardly remember what happened!

Highlights are:

On Wednesday I had my last Zone Conference! It was awesome and I enjoyed listening to the speakers. Afterwards we played a little soccer and paddle ball and afterward we were all super sore as always.

On Friday we had exchanges and Hna Couto from Brazil came with me to San Vicente and we were able to teach Jorge and Elena, a couple that are really active in their church but that are willing to learn more about the "Mormons". They are a little hard to teach but I feel good that I can testify and invite them and the rest is in their hands! I know there is power in El Libro de Mormon and that people can change.

We could only teach Ana and Lucas one time and it was a lesson a little rushed, but we hope to teach them more this week!

We are teaching a 15 year old girl named Marionela and she should be baptized on Nov. 11! She was an old investigator and has been coming to church for a month already! She was a little unsure before, but this week she finally accepted a baptism date! She is super awesome and I think that this baptism is actually going to happen! 

On the way to church, we rode bikes to pick up investigators and on the way, there was a problem with my chain so to make it on time, Hna. Lopez on a little seat behind me on the bike and I pedaled about 10 blocks as she pulled the other bike along side us. We arrived to the investigators and they said they couldn´t come afterall, but they were able to fix the bike and we raced to the other side of San Vicente and made it only 5 minutes late for church. As we were riding home at the end of a day, it started pouring down rain and we were in dirt roads and we arrived soaked and full of mud. haha I love these crazy experiences we have on the mission.

We didn't teach a lot of lessons, but I love being able to teach and testify in the contacts we make.  I love sharing the gospel everyday. I love being able to feel the happiness that comes from talking with new people and learning about their lives and inviting them to come unto Christ. There are always people who aren't very nice, but we always find people who are really great and receptive and those are the little miracles everyday. That is why we do what we do.

I felt a lot of different emotions this week as it hit me a little more that my time in Argentina is running short and that a lot of changes are coming. I am really trying to enjoy my time here. I was able to reflect about how I have changed and the things I have overcome and really just how well God knows me. I felt so humbled and grateful to be here.


I had a few days when I was still in Claypole that I wanted to go home, esp. seeing my companion go home and everything. But here in San Vicente I am not having problems with this. San Vicente is really pretty and our area is all country with lots of trees and I am loving my time here! Being in my first area again makes it hard to want to want to go home. But these past few weeks I have been feeling more tired than usual so I don´t think my body can take much more. On the bikes everyday, as we are riding from one place to the next I often have time to just look around, enjoy the scenery, and count my blessings. We keep really busy here and I love the lunches with members. The time passes by so quickly here it´s insane!

On Tuesday we were able to teach Marionela and she is progressing super well! Her baptism is still on for this Saturday! Jorge and Elena are still loyal to their church so we are going to drop them. We are working with a 19 year old girl named Mica who is Jehovahs Witness but lives with her boyfriend who is lessactive Mormon... She is reading the Book of Mormon and prayed to know the truth and seems to have real intentions. They went to the wedding reception and had a great time and last week they came to church. We also found a lady named Alicia who was really receptive and had just lost a grandson. We were able to help her feel better about the situation and we offered to visit the mom (Alicia´s daughter) whose son had passed away. She is named Gladys and on Saturday we were able to teach her and her 8 year old son and they both have baptism dates now! Super humble, receptive people!

This week we had exchanges Thursday and Friday so my comp Hna. Lopez went with other Hnas and I spent two days with my part-time comp Hna. Couto from Brazil. She is super awesome and we enjoyed our time together. The first day was in San Vicente and we were able to teach Ana and Lucas. They have a 10 year old daughter named Morena who wants to be baptized so now it is up to the parents to bring her to church! They didn´t come again...but its okay- some people progress more quickly than others.

On Friday we went to Hna. Couto´s area, Adrogue and it was pretty boring to be honest. Super rich and almost nobody is in the streets or answers the door. I feel so bad for the missionaries in rich areas because the people don´t have time to listen or don´t want to change. But that´s where the faith comes in that there is somebody waiting... 

After the exchanges we met up in Temperley with our real comps. There had been an accident with the train so we had to ride the bus along with all of the other people who usually use the train, to San Vicente. We were able to barely squeeze into a hot bus and there we were for two hours, standing up and pressed against other people. It was terrible but I was glad that we had a bus at least. There was a ton of people who were waiting for buses but there were all full. At the stop lights, angry people could come and pound their fists on the bus wanting to get in, but there was no room! After a time, the bus broke ran out of gas and we all had to get out and wait for another bus. When one finally came, it too broke down after about 10 minutes. So three buses and three hours later, we finally arrived in San Vicente just in time for the wedding reception. Wow...I learned that when the public transportation doesn´t work, there are big problems because so many people depend on it!

Friday night was the Veronica´s  wedding reception. She is an investigator from the other hermanas in San Vicente and she got married to a member who is now returning to church thanks to her interest to know the truth. They got married and the next day she got baptized! When I was here a year ago we worked with the family of Veronica´s husband who were all inactives (the Dominguez family) and now they have a son on a mission and they are all active now! I love seeing people change. 

On Saturday we we able to teach a 26 year lady named Cecilia and the first thing she told us was that she wasn´t going to go to any church. We talked with her a little more and thanks to my awesome como. Hna Lopez who can gain the confidence of people really fast, she let us in and we learned that her uncle had died recently. We read Alma 40 with her and she understood it really well! It is the best to teach people who understand. At the end of the lesson she said "Tomorrow I want to go to your church because I felt something as we were reading." And she stuck true to her word and arrived 30 minutes early. We gave her a tour of the chappel and she was able to talk to a few members before the meeting. And luckilly, my prayers were answered and it was a testimony meeting super spiritual! She had to leave after the sacrament meeting, but she said she liked the meeting! Woo hoo!

So yeah, it was an awesome week and I had the priveledge to help many people learn more about the truths of the gospel. This brings a joy and a satisfaction that is only given to a missionary. I feel so grateful to be here.

I have a ton of photos but I can´t send them now, maybe next week!

About the accident: Wow I never even got to see that van!  -I remember that you guys had the other crash last summer and changed vans. I am glad that nobody got hurt but that is so sad about your bike! You were so happy to find it and you could only enjoy it for a few weeks! Oh well there must be an even better bike waiting for you! :) ooh I am excited to play challenge Trent to a tennis match and see his new skills!

Editor's Note:  FLIGHT PLANS have ARRIVED!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Week 72: A Year Makes a Ton of Difference in San Vicente!

I had forgotten how much food the members give us here. They get offended if we don´t eat a lot and this week it was all pastas or pizza or empanadas for lunch- so much wheat! Even with us 5 hermanas to feed, there is no problem with the members. But I am so grateful for their sacrifice for us! Now that it is warming up and San Vicente is pretty safe, Hna. Lopez and I are going running in the mornings to try to maintain our weight, since we can already see that it is impossible to lose.

So a little more about my roommates. They are: Hermana Gardener from Colorado, Hna. Lopez from Mexico, Hna. Gonzalez from Barriloche, Argentina, and my comp Hna. Lopez from Cordoba, Argentina. It is a little crazy to live all together but we all get a long just fine.

Wow a lot has happened this week! On Wednesday we ventured into our new area on our bikes and were able to contact a good amount of people. Remember how it was to move to PA and not know anything about where things are? Well since I worked in the other half of San Vicente before, that was us! We were looking at the map and asking for directions a lot and it is quite an adventure. But it is also exhausting trying to remember all the streets and names of people. 

On Thursday I had my last exchange of the mission with Hna Manner, my companion from the MTC! I went to Adrogue for a day and we had a good experience. We were able to remember good times and we went out for ice cream. We both can´t believe how fast the time flew. I was grateful that I never had an affluent area in my mission because it is a little slow as there is almost nobody in the streets and we are left to knock (clap) doors.

On Saturday we had a Gratis Feria (free yard sale) outside of the church with the help of the Relief Society. We contacted the people that came and showed them videos in the chapel about the Savior, the church, and the gospel. It was a great activity and now we have a few more people to teach.

One of the highlights of the week was when we found a family to teach! Thier names are Lucas and Ana and they have 2  kids.  We were able to have 2 lessons with them. The second lesson was with Noemi (member) and the Spirit was so strong! They are such amazing people and are so ready to accept the gospel! I think I was the first person from the United States that Ana had ever talked to and she was so amazed that I could speak Spanish. She loves listening to me talk and said she wants an accent like me! haha She is awesome. They have to get married before they can get baptized but their 10 year old daughter can be baptized! They were unable to come to church this week, but we are going to work hard with them so that they can come! 

On Sunday I loved going to church and seeing a lot of the members! This week 65 people came and there was 1 new family that had moved in. Also a few of Toby´s (Laura and Brian´s son) friends had been baptized, and 3 families that had been less active in the church came. Laura is the Relief Society president and Brian is a counselor to the branch president. I was so happy to see them serving in their callings! I shared my testimony as is tradition for the new missionaries in the branch. Afterwards many people commented about how much I had progressed since I had left. We had lunch after church with President Pelero (branch president) and he said that San Vicente is really close to being a ward! In the next year they should reach the requirements.

Sunday night we had a Family night with Graciella, Juan, and their sons and it was so great! Hermana Abate and I had found them over a year ago and now their two sons are baptized. They already reserved my last night in Argentina for a going away party in their house. They are such great people! 

During the week the other hermanas that we live with contacted a lady on the bus that works in the "Quinta de Peron" that is here in San Vicente. It was the weekend home for Pres. Peron and Evita who was the president of Argentina 3 times and is really famous. It is usually closed on Mondays. But she gave us an exclusive tour of his home to us 5 hermanas and it was so cool! Throughout the tour she asked about what we believe and learned that Mormons are more normal then she thought! We had a free tour of his house and of his huge property that he had. He is buried there too and we were able to see the museum and learn a little more about Argentina´s history. 

I am so grateful to be here and be able to have these awesome experiences! I am going to miss it a lot!

Love you!

P.S. Mom that´s awesome that you are getting into shape and riding your bike a lot! We have bikes here too the same purple one that I used here in San Vicente, but half way through the week mine is having problems and now I have to pay to fix it. :( Until then we are riding the bus and walking to get around. 

 Final Exchange with my MTC Companion, Hermana Manner

 Our "Free Yard Sale" at the Chapel

 With Dear Friends back in San Vicente

 Pres. Peron's Property in San Vicente

 Pres. Peron's Grave

           Awesome Tower on the Property

 "You find yourself in the home of Peron & Evita, the birthplace of the National Justice Revolution"

Me and Hermana Lopez, my Companion from Cordoba, Argentina

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

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