Monday, May 29, 2017

Week 51: Miracles in Banfield

Thanks for all your prayers! Our health got better quickly and we saw miracles this week.

On Tuesday Hna. Rivarola and I had exchanges with Hna. Molinero and it was great to work with her and laugh about old times.

It was still really cold and we were blessed for our sacrifice and we found 5 new investigators, 3 of them on Thursday! It was rainy all day but in the morning we found a woman maned Nancy who is family of members in San Vicente and in the last 15 minutes of proselyting we found 2 more! The blessings of obedience and enduring to the end. We were so happy that we went and bought a dulce de leche pie and used our matching mugs to celebrate! On Saturday it was Hna. Rivarola´s 7th cumple mes (anniversary) in the mission. We bought sub sandwiches and ice cream. We are enjoying our time together! This week Hna Lopez and I have our cumple meses as well so the parties will continue!

We are Enjoying Being in a Trio

On Saturday we found a man in the morning who agreed to listen to us and he said that he just wanted to find more happiness in his life. It was great to teach him and promise him that he has a Savior who suffered for him and that has a Plan of Happiness for him. He was our other new investigator. 

Saturday night we were teaching one of our investigators named Romina and one of her friends named Genoveve knocked on the door. We introduced ourselves and she began to tell about how her daughter died and that she has been struggling to find peace for years now. Throughout the lesson we felt the Spirit so strongly and she accepted a baptism date for June 10. The next day Romina, Genoveve, and one of her daughters named Millie all came to church! 

Update on Marcela: She was sick all week but was finally able to listen to us last night. She didn't come to church but also accepted a baptism date for June 10. The lesson was so great and she had been studying El Libro de Mormon. She opened up a little more about her life and it turns out that she loves theater and has done a lot of shows in a theater in Buenos Aires. She showed us a video of her as the wicked witch in Wicked and she sings and acts so amazingly well! She is super talented and it was so cool to get to know her more. I love her so much.

This area is a gold mine of people ready to listen to the gospel- I hope I can be here for a good couple of months! My faith that there are people ready to listen is growing and I am learning so much from my companions. I feel so grateful to know that God is looking out for me.

Enjoy the temple with Dean! I love you all!

Week 50: Good Conference, Principle of Obedience

This week was a little rough. It got super cold and it rained almost everyday. Now all three of us are sick and we hope that this next week is better.
We taught about 10 lessons this week one of which was with Marcela and two with another investigator Miriam. They are our investigators with the most potential to get baptized but I think they both need a little time. Neither of them came to church. Three of our investigators told us they weren't interested anymore and we couldn't find anyone new. 

Family Home Evening with a Family that was Recently Baptized

Thursday was interviews with President and before hand they took away all the mini CD players TVs that the mission provided (every pench had one) and that we were not allowed to listen to any music not even hymns and that we will only be able to go to the temple in the last week of our mission as is tradition. (Evidently there was some abuse of the rules in this area by several.) I was sad that now we couldn't listen to music and that now we couldn't go to the temple. Before it was nice to watch church movies and we would do exercise videos in the mornings. But it's ok.  Now I thought of other ways to do exercises. The only electronics we have is one cheap cell phone just for messages and calls- one for every companionship. It really bugs me when we have privileges taken away because of the bad choices of others. I felt a little strangled by the strictness of the rules but I promised President that I would obey. I know there are deeper purposes for the mission rules than what may appear and that we will be blessed as we obey them. 

                                              Hermana Lopez works her Magic with my Hair

 After the interviews we did practices with the assistants and it was super awesome. We talked about promising specific blessings, talking less in the lessons, and choosing our words more carefully so the concepts are clearer and more powerful for the people. It is harder than it sounds to do these things, but I did pretty well in the practices with them even with the pressure. Hermana Lopez, Hna. Rivarola, and I are practicing- it takes a lot of effort to be a good teacher! I hope to improve in my teaching skills before the end of my mission.

My favorite part of the week was a Family Home Evening we did with a family of recent converts and practicing with the ward choir of recent converts. I love the power of music and that I can accompany the choir on the piano. 

Sorry I am out of time! But I love you!

Week 49: Unexpected Change

This week ended up being really different than I thought it was going to be- but it was so much better than what I had planned! On Monday night, the Sister Training leaders arrived and we worked super hard Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. We talked with so many people and it was so fun working with my roommate from the MTC Hermana Ochoa and my old companion Hermana Dias .With Hermana Dias we found a lot of people with a lot of potential. One lady named Susanna even said that they had been looking for a church but hadn't liked all of the ones she had gone to. She said she felt she needed baptism in her life and wanted a closer relationship with God. She was a miracle! We also talked to Fanny and she said that she was having some problems with her family and her health and that she didn't want to get baptized or go to church for now. She said we could pass by in a few weeks. We promised her blessings and invited her again but we can´t force the people so for now we just have to wait. 

Hermana Lopez, me, Hermana Rivarola and Hermana Abate Daga (sitting down)
Thursday night us four hermanas were enjoying ourselves chatting and eating popcorn and hot chocolate when we got a call from the assistants to President Calquin, calling in his behalf. They said that an Hermana had gone home early and so as part of emergency changes her companion, Hermana Ortiz (with whom I was in a trio for two weeks in Aldo Bonzi) would be coming to San Jose and be Hermana Roman´s new companion and that I would be going to the area Banfield 1A to be in a trio. We were so surprised and they said that they would come to pick me up the next morning at 8:30. Luckily, Hna. Roman, Dias, and Ochoa were there to comfort me in my tears and shock and they helped me pack my suitcases. And just like that I was in my 5th area in a trio and I had to start all over with meeting the members, learning the area, and getting used to all the new surroundings. I loved my short 6 weeks in San Jose and I didn't get to say goodbye to any of the members. It took me a few days to get my mind around the change since it all happened so fast.

 But I have learned that God had a better plan for me and now I am very happy in my new area. My new companions are Hermana Lopez from Paraguay with 9 months in the mission and Hermana Rivarola from Cordoba Argentina with 6 months. I wasn't excited to be in a trio again but they are both really awesome, sweet, and crazy at the same time and it is so fun to be around them. This weekend was so special because my trainer Hermana Abate Daga was living with us for her last week in the mission. My companions and I had some really fun experiences in Hna. Abate´s last days of her mission. There were lots of jokes about dating and marriage and all the new things awaiting at home. We also had super spiritual experiences talking with her reflecting back on her mission and the things she had learned. We were able to look at pictures and notes from the beginning of my mission when Hna. Abate and I were companions and remember the good times we had together. We both couldn't believe how fast the time flies. She was picked up for the airport this afternoon and we were all crying and hugging and it was such a bittersweet experience. I never thought that I would get to see her in her last days of the mission. It was such a tender mercy to be able to spend these last few days by her side.

 My Hair-Do for Church by Hermana Lopez

My two new companions- Hermana Rivarola (sitting down)
 and Hermana Lopez (braiding the hair)

To help me accept the change of areas, Friday night, we found a lady named Marcela outside of her house raking leaves and we offered to help.  (It´s fall here! getting colder every day!) With a little persistence she finally accepted and we helped her rake for a good hour. While we were working we told her who we were and what we believed and she was super interested in the Plan of Salvation. We gained her confidence that day and we were able to teach a lesson on Saturday. She is seriously so ready to accept the gospel and has so many great questions! I am so excited to keep teaching her and help her progress! 

The going away party for Hermana Abate Daga

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Week 48: "After the trial, cometh the blessings!"

So sorry that I couldn´t write yesterday! It was a holiday here and everything was closed so we couldn´t write!

Here is my update: 
So last week we taught Fanny and Maria Mercedes  everyday and everything was so ready for the baptism. Maria is her niece who lives with her and takes care of her. She is less active in the church. On Saturday morning Maria Mercedes sent us a message saying that Fanny wasn't going to be baptized. She offered a bunch of excuses and then hung up on us. When we tried to call back she wouldn't answer the phone or respond to messages. We don´t know what happened or why they are acting like this.  We had such a great relationship with them. So we had to call and tell all the members who were a part of the baptism that it was cancelled... I hope it is just postponed, but with Fanny very dependent on Maria Mercedes I don´t know if she will be able to progress. We still haven´t been able to talk to Fanny so we don´t know how she is or if all of this is just her niece. I really don´t like all of the drama.  We are going to pass by today and see if she can talk to them.

The whole week was a bit rough. We couldn't find any new investigators and we ended up discontinuing with 4 investigators because they weren't progressing. The ETMs (training sisters) arrived just in time to help us find more people to teach. It is times like these when the lunches with members save us and it is what we look forward to everyday. 

Saturday we helped deep-clean the chapel with the ward. It was so great to do a little service and be surrounded by members while we were disappointed about the baptism. On Sunday I gave a talk about faith and hope and it went really well. You guys should study Ether 12 and Moroni 7 this week. They are such great chapters! I just had a few quotes and scriptures to read and then just said what came to mind about what I had studied and prepared during the week.  I remember before the mission I would write word for word my talk and read it so I am glad I am progressing in my public speaking skills a bit. The members were so nice afterwards. I really love the members in this ward. 
Me, my companion Hna Roman, Hna Diaz, & Hma Ochoa

We are going to try to coordinate where and what time we will do our mother's day Skype this next week. I am so excited to see the family again! I don´t know how my English will be! Even today just writing in English is a bit hard. I keep wanting to write the Spanish words...

Hermana Roman and I are staying together for another 6 weeks! Yesterday we got a call and we will be having the ETMs (the traveling sisters) stay with us this week! For this new transfer there are 3 of the 4 hermana ETMs are new. We will have one pair this week and the other two the following week. This week is Hna. Dias and Hna. Ochoa and the next week Hna. Davis and Hna. Menezes! I´ve had great experiences with all four of them so it is going to be so fun! We will do the same thing as before- rotating companions everyday. I will be planning and guiding the area for my half and Hna. Roman for her half. I am so excited! 

Today marks 11 months in the mission! I cannot believe how fast the time flies. It is May now! I also finished studying El Libro de Mormon cover to cover today! I have a testimony stronger than ever that The Book of Mormon is the word of God and that it can help us everyday of our lives. 

I love you guys so much!