Wow... I´ve been here for 3 weeks! That is crazy! This week was another good one. It´s still a trial for me to see people choose not to come unto Christ, whether it´s people who have been progressing not accept more lessons, less active members, or people not accept baptism. It´s really sad. There was one day where literally EVERY plan (most actually scheduled lessons) AND EVERY backup plan literally fell through. That mixed with one lady who told us that she was inactive because people in church are poor and that she had nothing to talk to missionaries about. What could 19 to 23 year old kids know and why would she want them telling her about religion? Then another inactive sister told us that she didn´t think it was right that girls would ask to come into her home when she had a husband and a son and that she would be calling the Elders. And then I was feeling pretty junky about my Spanish. Yes, I will admit it, I was getting a little bit discouraged, and I was this close to letting satan get me down. Well, I woke up then next morning and told myself that I am WAY stronger than anything that satan can throw at me and that I can get up and get going or I can wallow in self pity and be a failure because I choose to be. So in my studies, I studied President Uchtdorf´s talk from last Priesthood session about the privilege of the Priesthood, and every time he said Priesthood, I said ´missionary´ in my mind (I don´t think he would mind) and it was AMAZING!!! I then went to Alma 26, which he mentions in the talk which talks about glorying in the Lord. And verse 27 says that if we endure our hardships well, that we will be able to find success. All the talk about glorying in the Lord made me think, "I am a SISTER MISSIONARY!! This is what I have wanted to be for a VERY long time and it´s actually happening! I have the chance to get a front row seat to the Lord performing miracles in the lives of His children!" Wow... seriously though, maybe it´s dramatic, but I am a missionary and that is COOL! I felt much better after that study and even when things are less than stellar or plans fall through, I can glory in my Lord. It´s like Ammon... when the robbers came to steal the sheep, he didn´t freak out. He basically said "How great! I am going to show forth the power of God!" I want to be that way.
This week we had Zone Conference. The night before, our district leader called and told us that we were all supposed to prepare 3 or 4 minute talks about counseling with the Lord. I didn´t think much of it, and prepared a simple talk the next morning before leaving. Basically just some notes and scriptures. Well, we got there and President started calling people up to speak. I figured I was safe since all the Elders he was calling up had been there for a long while and there were 5 other Sisters there. Well, by the 2nd talk I had a feeling that I would be asked to give my talk. I think the Lord had to tell me early, because I might have passed out otherwise. Ha. Well, President called me up and I was SUPER nervous, because it´s not like in the MTC where all of the missionaries came in with you or after you. There were many missionaries there who are on their last transfer, and most everyone else has mastered Spanish. The other new missionaries that were there were honestly all natives. That´s why I thought I would be safe because I was the only one, totally 100% honestly, who didn´t speak Spanish. Yikes! Well, I did okay. I said 2 English words because I had no idea how to say humbling. Humildad is humility, but humbling is a totally different thing. I can´t remember the other word, but there was another one... it was okay though. I actually think it was good for me to know that I can. People seemed to know what I was saying, so they were either super nice, or something I said made a little bit of sense. Ha! Small Spanish victories.
We have the best ward EVER!!! Our Bishop, Obispo Valle is really super awesome. I am in awe at everything he does for the ward. We had ward council on Sunday and his love and concern for the ward was especially evident. He is a good man. Everyone sacrifices a LOT to serve in their callings. Like the YM Pres. He is 25 and from Haiti!!! He is here studying, working, AND is the YM President. Wow. We took him to a lesson with us yesterday and that was super awesome. More on that lesson later. Also in the ward council is Hno and Hna Pinto. We had lunch with them yesterday and we LOOOOOVE them! They are a SUPER cute young married couple from Brazil who are just adorable together. We had such a good time with them and are so impressed with their service to the ward. Hna Pinto is only 21 too and she is the kind of cute wife I want to be some day. She studied in Utah for a year as a youth and now makes cute little cupcakes, cookies, etc. She made us chocolate chip cookies and it was like tasting home! Their apartment is adorable and super nice. We love meeting the people in our ward and building relationships with them is great because then they trust us and will let us teach their friends and family.
YM President with us so that he could get to know him and that was great. Hermano Alfredo is amazing and was super helpful. Jimmy is 16 and Hermano Alfredo was also 16 when he converted and is still really young, so they connected well. It was really inspired to ask him to come with us.
Rudecinda and Sandra are both doing well. They have started their paper work and we are slowing going to be able to get them baptized!!! We just love them so much.
Pray for our investigators. We have baptismal dates, so that´s great. There are some who just can´t make a commitment and some who we still need to make some changes. Then of course, there are many to FIND. That is always the first step! Finding. It´s fun to try different ways of finding people. This week, our focus is Conference. We are SSSSSOOOOOOOOO excited about conference and can´t wait to tell EVERYONE that there is a literal Prophet on the earth today! Wow! How amazing is that truth??? Will you all take a challenge?? Will you all invite at least 1 person to watch conference with you? Because really, we have a Prophet of God and he is going to speak to us! How can we keep that a secret??? Conference is a spiritual feast and a great opportunity to share the truth! I can´t wait to hear about all the success you have with this.
My Spanish is progressing. I even talked on the phone, which is huge because I am scared of the phone because if I can´t see mouths, I have even less of a chance of understanding! But it actually was okay and I even set up an appointment. So it´s coming.
In all, things are great. I feel so humbled by this work. I have a very long way to go, but I am so grateful that the Lord is teaching me with every single experience!
I love the gospel and I am so happy for the chance to take it to the people of Argentina. It really is the truth in the earth today and we have the authority and power of God. Wow, wow wow!
Thank you for all the love and support! I couldn´t do it without you!
All my love,