Friday, April 28, 2017

Week 47: Upcoming Baptism

On Monday we had a fun district activity! We just ate and told jokes
and played Uno. I learned that I am not very good at understanding
jokes in Spanish...haha. I love the freindships that I have made in my

                               Fun District Activity!

This week we had three run ins with Jehovah's Witnesses. Three times
too many if you ask me. They always want to Bible bash with us and are
super closed off to anything new.  We don´t want contention and we
always just defend our religion and beliefs and try to calm the
situation and leave. Two times we were in an appointment and Jehovah's
witnesses already there or knocked on the door and were really rude to
us. They started pushing their beliefs on us and telling us we were
wrong. Another time we were making a contact in the street and a pair
of Jehovah's Witnesses just came right up and interrupted us and told
the person we were wrong and that he shouldn't talk to us. I could not
believe they did that and we were both amazed at how many times we had
problems with them this week.

But it was all good when on Saturday the doctors told Fanny, our
investigator in the wheelchair, that the infection she had in her leg
had healed and she was now able to get in wet and be baptized! What a
miracle! Members gave her a ride to church this week and she will be
baptized this Saturday! We will be busy all this week organizing the
baptism and teaching her so she will be ready for her baptismal
interview. We are so happy for her!

Other than that we found 3 new investigators this week and taught a
good amount of lessons! Next week is transfers!

Love you all!

If we get to go to the temple, it will be in zone conference at the
end of May. We will see! And no Harrison didn´t write me.

I am excited for Mother´s Day too! It is coming up soon!

Week 46: Bikes- Manna from Heaven!

Thanks mom! Last week we received bikes which helped a lot. Our feet were so tired from walking all day...everyday if nobody received us. This week I overcame a lot of my fears because Hermana Roman had me guide the area this week instead of me following behind. Our area is so big and it is so hard for me to remember where all the people we visit live. But this week I learned to use a map better and I was reminded that I can do hard things! I might get a new companion in two weeks so I would have to take the lead and I was pretty scared by the thought of this before. But I feel a lot more familiar with the area this week. And I can make contacts a lot easier now. It helps that I have improved in my language skills and with my time in the mission the rejection doesn't hurt very much anymore. I am so happy to be in this area with my sweet companion Hermana Roman. We get along so incredibly well and we have a lot of fun together!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Week 45: A Remarkable Connection; Loving the Area of San Jose!

This week was really great! On Tuesday we had a really great district meeting and had a pair of hermanas and elders visiting other areas helping out join us. We talked about overcoming our fears and had us imagine what things we could accomplish if we overcame our fears and weaknesses. It was a great exercise and the best part is that it is possible to overcome our weaknesses through Jesus Christ. I love the opportunity, the challenge to become better, of changing our bad habits and strengthening our testimonies. I am so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ.

After the meeting we had lunch with a member named Marie Velasquez. She turns 74 today but still is in great health and has a lot of energy and is still really active in the church. She was baptized at the age of 15 in 1958 and she showed us a book she has of pictures and cards from missionaries throughout the years. I was thrilled when I saw a card that said Elder Delbert W. Ellsworth! What a cool connection! I took pictures of the mission president too- I don´t know it Brother Ellsworth knows him or not. It was so cool to see the history and her old pictures and papers. 

Hermana Roman, Marie Velasquez, and Me

Missionary Card from Elder Delbert Ellsworth, a dear family friend in my ward back home in PA who served his mission in the 1960's!

Announcement of the Creation of the New Argentina North Mission

District Conference 3 February 1959 with Visit from Elder Spencer W. Kimball & wife Camilla

On Wednesday and Thursday highlights are that we got a baptismal date for two of our investigators! One is a man named Demasio that we found two weeks ago. He had come to general conference but didn't make it to church this week because there was a big rainstorm all Saturday and Sunday. The other is a sweet lady named Fanny who is in her 60's and is in a wheelchair. She has incredible faith and love for God even though her life has been very hard. She said she had never been baptized before and was excited about the idea. But with the rain she didn't make it to church either so we have to move the baptism dates later. Thursday after lunch my eyes started hurting and soon I could hardly keep them open so we returned to the pench at about 4 pm and I took a nap and took some allergy medicine thinking it was allergies. But afterwards it was worse and some sweet members took me to an eye doctor and I had pink eye in both eyes! They gave me drops that my compi has to put in my eyes every 4 hours and the next day my eyes were already much better. Now I can´t wear my contacts or makeup for a week- woohoo glasses! 

 Friday we had interviews with President Calquin in Adrogue and it was only about 3 minutes long. He just thanked me for my service and expressed his love and told me to be careful in the streets! We have to return to the pench at 7pm and asked if I had any concerns.  Afterwards Elder Burton, an assitsant to the president had us imagine waking up on the last day of our mission and asked us how we want to feel about our missions, how Heavenly Father would feel about our work. Basically he challenged us to change the things that are disobedient and decide now to work in a way that would make Jesus Christ happy if He were always along side us. Because the truth is that He is always watching! What a mind exercise! I am not ready for it to be the last day of the mission yet!

At lunch we ate milanasas and afterward they showed us our lunch for next week-  a pig head! I don´t know if they were serious but we had fun taking pictures it! The ward was a part of a blood drive so I was able to go and donate blood! Woohoo- it was basically the same as in the US, but everything in Spanish obviously...

Next Week's Lunch?

Audrey Loves has Always Loved to Serve by Giving Blood!

Saturday the Elders in the ward had two baptisms and it was really inspiring. One was a man in his twenties with tattos- a tough looking guy who you wouldn't think would accept the gospel. The other was an old man in his 80's. I loved watching their baptisms and could feel the spirit. It just shows that the Lord works in mysterious ways and that we shouldn't assume that people aren't interested in religion. Even in his 80's, the old man decided to change his life for the better and accept the gospel. He's an example that it is never too late to change.

Sunday was fast and testimony meeting and it was powerful. The people who bore their testimonies were so sincere and humble. The Spirit was so present. I am loving serving in this ward and I love the people who surround me. I love being here and every week there are moments that I think that my mission is perfect for me. God really does know me and has his reasons for sending me to Argentina.

Dad,  I hope that your trip to Israel goes smoothly and that you all return safely!
 I like the poem you sent. It really is true that we can make almost any place sacred when we have the Spirit dwelling in us. I feel so lucky to be living on a higher spiritual plane in these 18 months and to learn how to follow the Spirit more. 

Love you and the family too! Happy Easter to all!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Week 44: Zone Conference, General Conference, & Seeing Old Friends and Companions

On Wednesday we had Zone Conference in San Vicente! It was so great to go back to my first area! After the conference, we all ate pizza and empanadas and played sports for a good 4 hours and President Calquin and Hermana Calquin joined in for the fun too! Hermana Manner was there too- we hadn´t seen each other since October and it was great to catch up! We played volleyball, frisbee, and a few other games and the following days we were really sore since we aren´t used to that much excersise in one day. At the end of the conference, president announced that for the next conference we would be going to the temple! We all cheered and I am so happy! I had been wanting to go for so long! 

Fernandez Family from my first Area Came Back to See Me!

Another great surprise was that the Fernandez family who got baptized in August came to the chapel and I got to talk with them for a few minutes! Laura is a really sweet lady in San Vicente who fed us every Tuesday and in the few minutes we talked she asked me about how my family was along with how was Matthew Rodriguez, Grandpa, if my mom was still teaching tennis,and if we had gotten a new car!  She remembered what I had told her in almuerzo over 6 months ago about when Matthew was diagnosed with leukemia, when grandpa had his heart attack, and when the car accident happened. I could hardly remember myself what she was talking about at first but I felt such love from this act of remembering things about my life- how sweet is she? Seriously I am so impressed with her and I hope to see her again! That´s the bad thing about a mission- when you change areas its hard to go back to see the people again and I was so lucky to have a few minutes with them.

 Former Companion Hermana Molinero

 Hermana Roman (comp, me, Hermana Molinero (former companion), & 
Hermana Manner (MTC Comp)

In the week we found 2 new investigators and one of them came to a session of general conference and brought a friend too! On Sunday, the ward all met at the chapel and we all went to the conference in Adrogue together. It was so fun to be with a bus full of members and writing about it doesn´t sound that cool, but being there was so awesome.

Also, I ate cow intestine this week and it wasn´t too bad but I don´t want to eat it again...haha  

I loved conference- we went to the chapel in Adrogue to watch it and they had an English room where about 15 of us missionaries from the US watched it. My favorite talks were by Elder Rasband about following the first promptings of the Spirit and Elder Uchtdorf about fear. As a missionary we have the responsibility to talk to everyone possible about the gospel and it can be hard at times to have the courage to talk to strangers especially after a lot of rejection. And we have to follow the Spirit to know what houses to contact or which less actives or investigators to focus on and I feel like I can definitely improve on acting on first promptings.
Mom: I don´t think I will will need to buy new shoes for the rest of my mission. I did buy rainboots here but my Clark´s flats summer proscelyting shoes are worn but are still holding up great! I have another pair of Clark summer shoes that I have hardly touched as backup. My winter boots from last year are destroyed but I have another pair that I brought. No there isn´t air conditioning in the new pench but we have a fan that we use at night. It is starting to cool down too. I am guessing Chile for Dean´s mission call! I had a dream about it.

I love you guys!!