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

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Week 59: My New Companion- Hermana Zerate

So I had written a nice long letter before and somehow it all got deleted before I could send it! :( Now I am out of time but I will try to sum up the week quickly!

Transfers: I am staying in Temperley and received Hermana Zarate from Peru as my new companion! She just left her first area and has 3 months in the mission. She was with Hermana Manner and didn´t move far- she is in the same zone! In the photo of the zone she is sitting to my right. She got baptized two years ago and is super sweet! It is going to be an awesome transfer! I feel so blessed for my companions! It was so hard to say goodbye to Hermana Rivarola! We are such great friends and the scary thing in the mission is that you never know if you will see them again. Hermana Roman has finished her mission and will be flying to Ecuador today- we were able to see her on Saturday for the last time! It is cool having all of my companions from other countries, but it will be difficult to see them again after the mission!  :(  At least there is Skype!

Other highlight: We have been teaching Marcela after all and even though she says she still isn´t ready to be baptized, she knows the church is true! Before she struggled with the idea of no coffee and tea, but this week she told us that for a few weeks now she had decided that she wasn´t going to drink them more! On the last night with Hna Rivarola she made us empanadas and told us she wanted us at her baptism! She still doesn´t accept a date, but her heart is softening and she is progressing! (the photo is of Marcela and her mom Kika- the people we found on my first day here in Temperley that I talked about in Skype)

We are teaching Mariela and her hijas Azul and Alma (ages 9 and 10). They are so fun to teach and we hope the daughters can be baptized this transfer, we will see!
I'm Going to Miss Hermana Rivarola Dearly!

 My Zone. My new companion Hma Zerate (from Peru) is just to my right

 Marcela and her mom Kika

Marcela made us Empanadas


Mom, I wrote Dean the first week and he didn´t respond my questions, so I have just been forwarding my weekly message to him. This week I will add something for him. sounds like it was a rough week for him.

Week 58: Great Reunion with my MTC Companion

This week was so awesome! On Wednesday July 12 we had exchanges and Hna. Manner, my companion from the MTC, is a sister training leader now and she came to my area to work with me for a day! We realized that it was exactly one year since we left the MTC and entered the mission field! How cool that we were able to be companions for a day after one year! We talked about the good old times and marveled at how much we have learned and all that has happened. It is amazing how fast time flies. Remember the Elder that scared us and told the joke about the shoes on the telephone wires? Well now he is my district leader and has to call us every night. It was funny because he called when Hna. Manner and I were together again and the three of were laughing about that day. Hna. Manner is still upset haha. This Elder served in CaƱuelas the same time as me and now is in the same ward as me again so I have already forgiven him, but Hna. Manner no!

Then on Saturday there was a Capilla Abierta in Claypole and it was great! In the morning we worked in a part super poor with dirt roads and with all the rain we´ve been having that means lots of mud. Luckilly we had our rain boots but I have never been so grateful for cement! In the afternoon it started raining but miraculously we were still able to give 6 or 7 tours of the capilla. The best part was when an investigator that got baptized this weekend came and wanted to hear us sing hymns so as we we waiting for more people to come, I sang with a couple other hermanas and the spirit was so strong! It was great to see a lot of other missionaries all together and to see friends from my other areas again.

The rest of the week Hna, Rivarola and I enjoyed our time together! We know that this upcoming week is our last week as companions because this is our 2nd transfer together. It rained a few days and these last couple days have been super super cold. Enjoy the heat of summer for me! We spoke with many people and invited them to come unto Christ and even though many didn´t accept our invitation- at least we opened our mouths! We are doing a lot of planting seeds here and the missionaries in the future are going to have a ton of baptisms I am sure! Even though our investigators aren´t progressing as we would like them too, we know we are doing our best and fulfilling our part. By small and simple things, great things come to pass! D&C 64:33-34

This is Week 6 of the transfer... on Saturday we will hear about transfers! It has been a great 3 months with Hna. Rivarola and I love her so much! If you remember from the Mother´s Day Skype, she is a bit crazy but it has been so great! She is really loving and funny and I am going to miss her! We are anxious to hear what will happen the next transfer!

Also, Hna. Dias is flying home to Brazil tomorrow and has finished her mission! Hna. Roman will go home the next Monday and I am grateful that I could see her at the Capilla Abierta before she leaves!As more and more of my companions are finishing their missions, I am realizing that my time is running short too! I only have 3 more transfers left and I am trying to make the best of the time I have in Argentina!

Mom:  Wow that kayaking trip sounds so cool! I would love to go on the next trip! The photos are so pretty. Wow Happy anniversary to grandma and grandpa!

Week 57: Great Week with the Sister Training Leaders (ETM's) 7/10

This week was so great with the Etms Hna. Davis and Hna. Lopez. It was so great to be reunited as a trio with Hna. Lopez. And Hna. Davis is super fun so we enjoyed our time together. It rained almost every day and was super cold but I am noticing that the weeks that the weather is bad are the best because there are always more miracles. God blesses us for our sacrifices! We walked so so so much and talked to nearly everybody that crossed our path.

 Every day we come home just exhausted- I have never walked so much in my life until I came to this area. We found a lot of new investigators. One of them, named Mariela is super interested and has two daughters ages 9 and 10 and they all agreed to be baptized! They came to church this week too even though it was raining! Woo hoo!

 On Saturday we had a Tormenta Blanca in our area where 16 other missionaries in our zone came and worked in our area for 2 hours and helped us find a lot of new people! Also, remember that I said we don´t have very many lunches with members? Well this past week almost every day members offered to feed us and this week too! One member in particular named Alba Rodriguez fed us 4 for two days in a row and gave us a bag full of the necesities shampoo, toothpaste, and handsoap- super sweet!

We felt loved by the members this week!   Also on Sunday we had a Ward Family Activity and even when it was pouring, 12 members came and we had a great lesson and activity! A sister from the ward who was serving the mission in Paraguay finished her mission this week and she taught the lesson for us. It is great to talk with her because she understands how it is in the mission! She is excited to help and I think she will be able to accompany us this week.  Today we had an district activity that was really fun. We ate pizza and ice cream and played Signs and ping pong. The friends I have made in the mission is a great plus!

Great Week with Hermana Davis and Hermana Lopez

Great relationships are one of the wonderful blesssings of our missions

Week 56: The Strength of a Companionship during Hard Times

 My District

In this area the members are not very supportive of us. :( Maybe 3 times a week we have lunch from the members, but they just give us something to go and we eat it in the pension. This past week we ate ravioles, milanaisas (like a chicken patty), eggs with squash, rice, and chicken. If we have to cook, we eat lots of eggs with guacamole, rice, salads, or tortillas. For breakfast I am eating granola, oatmeal, eggs, or yogurt, and we just eat an mandarin orange with a cup of herbal tea for dinner. We have a cook book in every pension in the mission so this week we planned to make empanadas, sub sandwiches, homemade mac and cheese, and hamburgers to change up the menu a little bit because only one member is going to give us lunch this week. More ideas would be helpful! It doesn´t bother me too much that we don´t have lunch- it is the hardest on Sunday. At times I wish we had better relationships with the ward- missionary work always works better when the members work with us. But I like that I can choose the food I eat so I can maintain my weight more easily. I am trying to limit how much sugar and wheat I eat.

And yeah we give out Libros de Mormon in the street in our contacts- Hna. Rivarola and I with the ETMs gave out 40 this week. We offer them a pass along card first and if they show a little interest we give them a book too. President Calquin wants us to flood our areas with El Libro de Mormon. 

This week with Hna. Chaffin and Hna. Ochoa was a bit hard- we worked a ton talking with the people in the streets but we only found one new investigator. Our other investigators aren´t progressing either- it is hard find them in their houses to have lessons with them. It was a bit frustrating but I have the peace of mind that we did everything in our power and that no effort is lost. God sees all of our work and sometimes the blessings come in different ways than we expect.

I am super grateful for my sweet companion, Hna. Rivarola. Without support from the members and rejection from the people everyday, she is the friend that makes me laugh and together we can make it through the hard times.

 Romina (one of our wonderful investigators) and her family!

The next week will be better! We have the other ETMs with us- Hna. Lopez and Hna Davis!

 My Zone

Sister Training Leaders with me and my companion Hermana Rivarola

The Elders that serve in our ward with us

To answer your question Mom: Okay the fulfilment Center pays well at least! I was thinking about whether or not I should work or not- I don´t know if the amount of money I would earn would be worth more than the time I could spend with the family. Maybe I should just be at home to help around the house, organize everything for college, and spend time the family. It depends on how much you and dad are able to help pay for college too. Maybe it´s better that I work part time to make connections for the summer and gain a little cash. I am willing but I just don´t want to lose time with the family or make things more complicated with transportation. Just my thoughts...indecisive as ever. :)