Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Week 55: Gaining Appreciation for Our Area

                           "The Best Trio in the World" (taken a few weeks ago)

This week we had a lot of success and we found 8 new investigators again! For some reason very few other missionaries before us worked in the lower half of our area. We are focusing a lot of time there and it is full of people who are willing to listen to us! On Friday we had Zone conference and I enjoyed it a lot! I love these meetings that we have and I always learn a lot.

Then on Saturday morning we had a "Tormenta Blanca" (where a lot of missionaries work in one area for a morning)  in Banfield 2 (Lomas de Zomora) in the area of the assistants to the president and we gained a new gratitude for our area. The people there weren't very willing to listen and were rude at times. It was amazing how this area was so much more difficult to work in even though it isn't very far away from our area. We managed to give out the 9 Libros de Mormon we had in the 3 hours we worked. It was so hard to get the people to accept the book! I learned how to shorten our message down as they were all pretty busy and how to be a little more persistent.  

This week two of our investigators who we thought had the most potential told us that they didn't want to be baptized but that they would keep listening to us. We were a bit sad but we are learning that we need to have patience and understand that the people we find probably aren't going to get baptized quickly as it takes time to accept a new religion. We are planting seeds!

The photos are of  and of . Also the other photo is 

This week we will have the ETMs (the traveling sisters) with us- Hna Chaffin and Hna Ochoa! It should be great and we will find even more people- woo hoo!

 Here are all the hermanas that were at the Zone Conference

Hermana Johnson- she is from Utah and reminds me so much of Aunt Ellen! Her appearance, laugh, and fun personality are so similar!

Week 54: Hearts Being Softened

With everything going on at home with Dean's departure, you'd think that I might be feeling some homesickness. But don't worry, I am super focused on the work here! Being comp. mayor (senior companion) with Hna. Rivarola is more responsibility and I am working hard to be an example for her. We are really busy trying to visit all of our investigators and a few of them are really progressing! This week we found 8 new people- we are talking with as many people as we can in the street and I am so grateful that here in Argentina the people give out their names, address, and telephone number super easily. I feel like in the US the people aren't as friendly and wouldn't be so willing to give out information.

My favorite moments from the week:

Remember our investigator Genoveva from a few weeks ago? She had been super sick but we were finally able to teach her again this week! But it wasn't only her. Her husband, two daughters, and granddaughter all listened to us and they all accepted a baptismal date! It was such an amazing lesson!

One day we had 15 minutes to spare before a lesson and we decided to pass by an old investigator named Maria that we thought didn't have very much potential to progress but she let us in and we taught her in 20 minutes and she said that she wanted to be baptized! 

That day the next lesson was with a woman named Karina who is super sweet but has been Catholic all of her life and is having doubts about whether she should be baptized.

We also taught a lady named Elizabeth and I was amazed at her faith as she said she believed that Joseph Smith had the First Vision and that it made sense to her that it happened when he was 14 years old because his heart would be more pure than older people. She has a baptism date too! 

I can´t explain how much love I feel for these people as I teach them. My prayers are more fervent and I want them to accept the gospel in their lives so much!  So in my personal study I have been looking for scriptures that we can share with them that would help them with their doubts, or I study Preach My Gospel to learn how to be a better teacher or to gain more motivation to talk to everyone! The Lord really does help our weaknesses become strong- I used to struggle to focus my mind on the mission but now I can honestly say that I am more focused than ever! It is an awesome feeling to lay down at night and be able to say that I did everything in my power this day to invite others to come unto Christ. 

We saw so many miracles this week and I know this is God´s work! We are working with so many people that could get baptized this next month! We just have to help them feel the Spirit more in their lives and get them to come to church. I am so unbelievable happy and I am loving the mission!

Wow this letter was so hard to write... I kept starting to write in Spanish or had to think twice about how to form a sentence in English... My companion has been telling me that I have been talking in my sleep- in Spanish! In language study I was helping Hna. Rivarola with her English and she wanted to have a conversation and I have to think a lot to talk in English. It isn't natural anymore. Wow, amazing how the mind changes. I am trying to enjoy every moment in the mission and speaking spanish because afterwards I won´t use it as much!

Mom:  I am so glad that your leg is getting better.  I have been praying every day for you! Thanks for always writing me- love you!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Week 53: Fantastic Conference with Elder Clayton; Transfers

This transfer I am staying with Hermana Rivarola in Banfield 1! Hermana Lopez left us and it is sad that we are separated now. She is going to be a traveling sister and will help a lot more hermanas just as she did with us. She is such a special person and a great missionary and it was a thanks to her example that we had so much success. She talks with everyone she sees in the street, teaches with confidence, and in the pench is always obedient and looking for opportunities to serve. It was a great blessing to be companions with her- our trio was so awesome! Now Hna. Rivarola and I are going to take what we learned with her and continue the work here! It is going to be a great transfer and I have found a new excitement and love for the work- I am more happy than ever! I feel so blessed to be here in the mission.

The conference on Wednesday was so great- it was the first time in my mission that all the missionaries were together. I sent the bulletin from this week that has a lot of pictures from the conference. It was so great to see old friends and to feel the spirit as Elder Clayton reminded us of our purpose here and the importance of our work. He talked about how quickly the church has grown in Argentina and all of South America and gave us tips on how to teach better. I also received a really sweet letter from Laura Fernandez by way of the missionaries in San Vicente. It was from the family who was baptized in August. She and her family are planning to be sealed in the temple in September and President Calquin said that I could go! I am super excited!

We found a few new investigators this week. We try to follow up with all of our investigators but a lot of them are sick or there aren't home for the appointment we set. As an update on Marcela who I love so much:  she is going through a lot of personal problems and needs to find a new job and is super stressed. We have only been able to teach her once in the last two weeks because she is so busy. She isn't progressing so we are going to have to discontinue teaching her, but I know that in the future once her life calms down a bit she will get join the church. 

On Sunday it was ward conference and the choir of new members and missionaries performed with me accompanying and it turned out so well! One of the photos is of the choir and the other is of a recent convert named Alejandra with her kids (and she has one more son). A few months ago her and the kids who were above age 8 all got baptized and they all come to church every week! Last week as we were arriving to the chapel we saw her with all of her kids a few blocks away walking to church. It was such a powerful moment for me to see Alejandra walking to church with her 4 kids- her faith and determination to live the gospel and teach her kids this new lifestyle that the missionaries introduced into her life. It gave me hope that there are other families like her who are ready to accept the gospel- we just have to find them! 

Sorry I am out of time mom- I´ll tell you about my personal studies next week! I love you all and will keep praying that your leg will heal quickly! Love you all!

Week 52: Over the Hump: the One Year Mark

It is hard for me to believe that I have been in Argentina for a year! I have obtained better study habits and a stronger testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have had to humble myself as I learned a new language. I have learned to trust in the Lord´s plan more. I know that complaining or comparing ourselves to others only hurts us. It is hard for me to answer if I have overcome weaknesses- I am proud that I have learned Spanish and have overcome thinking about home a lot. I am sure I have but it is hard to notice the changes in me- everyday I am learning little from the people we talk to, the positive attitude of my companions, from the experiences we go through but it is hard to recognize these little changes that become a part of who I am.

This week was amazing as we found 8 new investigators- 7 of them with a baptism date! We made a goal to talk to as many people possible in the street and I am amazed at how many people let us in! We are giving our about 25 Libros de Mormon a week and are teaching a lot- with all this practice I am feeling much better about my teaching skills! My companions and I have great unity and I love teaching in a trio. This has to be my favorite transfer so far in my mission.

From Tuesday to Thursday Hna. Rivarola and I went to Lomas de Zomora with Hna. Moreta while Hna. Lopez had exchanges with two other hermanas. My favorite part was that we got to teach Gaston again- the man (37 years old) that was so great who we taught one of his first lessons and got a baptism date with him. I was so happy to hear that he had gained his own testimony! It was so special to hear his experiences- he really is someone who was so ready to accept the gospel. Even his kids said that he was much happier since he started going to church and now the missionaries are going to start teaching his 17 year old son. He got baptized on Saturday!

Sorry I don´t have pictures this week and that this is a little short- I am out of time! We are all super nervous to hear what will happen next transfer. On Saturday our leaders will call us! On Wednesday we have a special Conference where all the mission and the Argentina MTC will be meeting in Adrogue to listen to Whitney Clayton from the Presidency of the Seventy. It should be an awesome experience!

Love you all!

Hermana McBride