Wow... I can´t believe that another week has gone by! I feel like I just came out into the field and I have almost FOUR MONTHS!!!!! Yikes! Time really does fly!
No baptisms again this week. The Torres Family didn´t come to church, so they have to wait another week until they have their 3 assistencias, María wants more time to prepare, but she is SOOOOOOOOOOO ready, Isabel and Nadie are amazing 11 and 12 year olds from a part member family who want so badly to be baptized (they come to church every week) but their Mom (not a member) won´t give her permission, Elías worries that if he is baptized a second time (was baptized Evangelical), he will be mocking God even though he KNOWS that the church is true... Sigh. We need your prayers!!! Not going to lie, I was getting a little down on myself... what am I doing wrong? How can I change? Etc etc. However, this morning, Hermana Malhue (have I mentioned how much I LOVE her) and I had a really great study together. I had studied Elder Oak´s talk from April about Desires and we discussed it together. We need to have righteous desires and it takes a LOT of work to obtain righteous desires but we CAN do it. We realized that we have been worried about what President would think since he put a lot of confidence in us, 2 new missionaries at the end of the world, what the Zone Leaders would think, how many baptisms we have, etc. We have refocused and remembered why we are here... We are here to help people come unto Christ!!! Through baptism, YES, of course. But we need to make sure that we are relying on the Spirit and not worried about what other people think or about numbers. We really do feel that all of our investigators will be baptized. We just need to help them and work to teach with power and authority! We are going to do it!!! I know that when we "forget ourselves and go to work" that we will find success. What I have a lot of peace with is that we work SO hard! I love it! We come home every night completely exhausted and we wouldn´t want it any other way! haha. We really do as Preach my Gospel says and "find when we teach and teach when we find" I love it! We taught so many lessons this week! 63 total lessons! I am so grateful for the strength of the Lord to be able to do it and I know that it is only for Him that we can do so. We have AMAZING members here in the Branch and so we have a ton of member present lessons. I love love love it!
My companion is amazing. She is such a sweetheart and we are really learning a lot together. The only problem is that we are both so similar in how we are SO hard on ourselves. We know that we need to change that and have more faith and not worry so much... just get out and work. She is really great though and I am SO grateful for the opportunity that I have to work with her. She is really an angel. I learn from her every day and my Spanish is WAY better since there isn´t the option of speaking English! ha. Hermana Malhue is also learning English, so we help each other. She is super adorable and learning really fast.
We had a training with President this week. It´s kind of weird here in the south, because we obviously can´t go to the training in the mission offices, so we were Skyped in! haha. Kind of different, but still awesome. We learned a lot. President told us that we need to focus on our recent converts to teach them the lessons of retention so that they stay active. He talked about how President Hinckley has said that if we are not retaining our members, missionary work is in vain! Wow. That was powerful. We are really excited to work with our converts. We have some great recent converts and many of them come out with us and accompany us to the lessons, so that is wonderful! Not only do they get the lessons, they are participating and helping to teach, which definitely helps with their testimony. A testimony always grows when we share it! Love it, love it! We are also going to ask for more references. President said that references are the key and that we are going to create trees of converts... people who came into the church thanks to a reference from a reference from a reference, etc. Cool, no? Not sure that makes sense... but seriously, references are everything. Please give the missionaries references! They love it, and seriously EVERYONE has SOMEONE who they can share the gospel with. I promise that if you pray about it, a name will come to your mind.
The investigators are moving along.
Sergio is doing great still, but he got called into work last minute yesterday, so we had to push his baptism back a week. Bummer. He is really great though and down to 1 cigarette a day, and said that he will be totally off them by the end of the week. He has a plan to stop, and while we wish that he wasn´t smoking at all, he is really trying hard and progressing and relying on the Lord. So great!
The Torres Family we worry about. They are great, but their Grandma came into town and she doesn´t quite love the church, so they haven´t been reading or praying for a week. That is dangerous, because that is how we get and keep our answers... They will be okay. They just need to remember how important it is. We haven´t been able to teach them much this week, because every day when we go by (EVERY DAY) they don´t let us in because the grandma is there and we have to teach a quick principle to whoever answered the door.
The others are doing well and progressing. Our struggle is to get them to church. The branch starts at 10:00, which seems really late, right??? Well, you would think it was 2AM. haha. People like to sleep! We will keep working though. Once they come once, it´s easier to keep coming.
I learned this week that I am relatively handy in the kitchen! haha. The other day, our lunch appointment canceled, and we didn´t have much non-breakfast food in the house. I looked at what we had and thought "I think I could make some sort of sauce with this" and decided to experiment... We had milk, some kind of cheese, similar to cream cheese, chicken bouillon, mixed veggies, and pasta (and a couple other things, but they wouldn´t go... stuff like canned peaches). I put the milk and cheese in a pan to melt the cheese and added some spices that seemed right, then chicken bullion and mixed veggies, and done! It was actually super delish!!! haha. Not as good as yours, Mom, but good. We actually don´t have to cook that often, but we do bake a lot! haha. I think that there is an unwritten rule that the Hermana´s always have to bring treats to the District meetings... I think the Elders need a turn! ha. But I have taught Hermana Malhue to make a few things, and I learned how to make merange!
I am loving the work and the people and the culture and Ushuaia! I am grateful to be here and I know that we are on the verge of exploding with success! haha. It will all come.
I love you all tons! Thank you so much for all of your love and support. I hope that everyone is doing well!!!
Picture: Boats in the harbor-Ushuaia, Argentina