Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Information Overload - NOT!

Sorry, I don't have time to write this week...I will write everything next week, but I am doing well and we had a lot of milagros (miracles) this week. Below are some pics to keep you occupied until then

My Sister Companions

Gaggle of Sister Missionaries

Gaggle two

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Working together with the other Sisters

Tuesday - we went to teach "L" and see what's up - because she didn't come to church. As we got to her house in the morning she was walking with a woman that was from her church. She ignored us the entire time, only told us she has a meeting with one of the leaders of her church (the woman) and she can't meet with us today. Then the other woman started talking to us saying she already has her church. So we asked in a friendly way, what is the name of the church and where it is and then she asked us the same thing so Hna. "M" said "well, it depends on where you live" and started giving the direction to all the church building that are in Posadas, haha. Well anyways everyone was friendly enough but the woman was definitely trying to get us to leave while "L" ignored us. We went to lunch with the "D" Family. Duarte then we taught "M". We used the "cups and knives" example to show how important it is to pray, read the scriptures and come to church, and that by doing so you will receive answers. We also had a lesson with "A" and her daughter "Y" (who was a referrence from another Sister Missionary) and this time it was a lot better than before.

Wednesday - we had interviews with Presedent Svec and a few months ago he gave us a challenge to read the Book of Mormom in 90 days which is supposed to end in August and to mark our scriptures up with colours with the doctrine of Christ. I admit I had a lot of fear because well, I was only in 2 Nephi 3 and it's August already.....but he told me I was doing really well and my Book of Mormon looks all pretty. He even commented on the fact I am marking words that I don't know and putting the English word above it. Anyways, after lunch we taught "I" with the help of a local member, and we showed 2 videos so he could really feel the spirit and recognize it. He liked the first video, but it's kind of hard to teach him because he follows what his mom says, and his mom doesn't support him or us. 

Thursday - we had Missionary divisions with the Hermannas (Sister Missionarys) from Villa Cabello (who live with us). I was with a Sister from Bolivia who had was only 8 days in the mission. We went to see a few people in the morning and not one of them were home. So we went to our lunch appointment but when we showed up and they said they weren't ready for us yet, so we went and contacted in the neighbourhood for ten minutes more and came back. After lunch we went contacting some more and I bought us a little ice-cream.  After we taught "M" and during the lesson her son was throwing rocks and pieces of brick at us and wasn't listening to his mom, but not one of them hit us. I kinda felt like Samuel the Lamanite (if you don't remember, look it up in the Book of Mormon).

Friday - in the morning we passed by for people and again no one was home or were busy like "P", who was going to the hospital to check how her baby is doing. So we spent the whole rest of the day contacting.

Saturday - we had a district meeting and we were in charge of the practice and the theme was "talk with everyone". After we had lunch we made a cake because there was going to be a baptism for an investigators of the other sisters. We also taught "M" and she said she would be coming to church. That evening we went to the baptism and it was really sweet...we even sang "How Great Thou Art"

Sunday - no one came to church but we had a huge lunch

Service Cleaning - and "playing" with insects

Member Lunch Appointment

Our Wonderful Lunch Hosts
P.S. Winter here is like nothing! It is cold for like 2 days and it rains in the winter and that's it. I still suffer from the sun.  So far the most unusual thing I've eaten is Cow Stomach Soup - I don't remember what it is called but it is only cow with some potatoes and other vegetables.  I was offered blood sausage, but respectfully declined (I think you can see some in the lunch picture above - it is the dark, black sausage). The picture of me cleaning with the blue shirt was a service project. It was an apartment no one had lived in for quite some time, the door was left wide-open - and it was filled with cockroaches. Yuck!

A LOT of resistance and setbacks

Monday - we went to the placita and I bought a cup for tararé

Tuesday - we taught "T" who we contacted a few days ago, we only talked a little bit about the Articles of faith and she seems pretty interested. Then we taught a person who was referred to us from a member again and the mom made it pretty clear she is only listening to the word of God and will not be changing her religion. We tried to explain about the Priesthood authority but she still refused.

Wednesday - we tried to find another reference from the elders but found "D" who is pretty catholic. We only sang a hymn and talked about faith. After we kept looking for the original person and asked "V" and her mom for directions and wow - was she excited to see us (we don't know her). She asked us to come back another day...but we found the house we were looking for with their help but not the people we wanted to see (other people live there). After lunch we taught "A" who was an investigator during my first 6 weeks here (in Posadas) but it was only something short. After we went with "S" (who is a member) and taught "M" and she has 5 kids who are all crazy! haha  One of them loves to listen to us, but they were at school so we taught about faith. We also taught "P" who we first met on Tuesday and she is basically just waiting for her baby to be born. We taught her a bit of the plan of salvation, and she told us her sister had died a few years ago and she has faith they will see each other again.

Thursday - in the morning we went to try several ladies and found "M" cleaning but, sadly, she said she doesn't want us coming back anymore because she is baptized and has her church and now that she is playing with God (by listening to us) she is suffering. Yeah, that was a little hard but we know we did our part. We tried to meet up with "C" who wasn't home. Funny thing was - an older couple passed by us as we were clapping (which is how people knock down here) and the woman was like angry at us, saying "oh its those Jehovah Witnesess!"  along with other stuff I don't remember...but she was really upset. So, we tried walking everywhere trying to teach, but "L" was at her church which we were a little sad about, and we called lots of members to help us teach "I" but no one was answering and it ended up that he was working or something anyway. We ended up buying some ice-cream (because it was also the day that Hna. M, my companion, reached her 9 month mark) then went to the apartment to do weekly planning.

Friday - we tried to find "D" again but she wasn't home, so we passed by for "L" and she was home...BUT she told us she can't be baptized because she was baptized in her church and she is going there instead. We just kinda sat quietly for a second and then asked her to think of a question and then opened the Book of Mormon and answered her question. It was a whole lot better than us talking because we knew she wouldn't listen to the words WE would have said but to the scriptures yes! We also showed her a Mormon message of Elder Holland and invited her to visit the church and she accepted!. We also visited "C" latter that day and he was not doing well health-wise so we prayed with him and waited with him until his brother came.

Saturday - we passed by for "A" again but she wasn't home. so we went to see "V" and we got to know her. She loves art and showed us her paintings, which are really good! She told us she wants to come to church and be a member but was scared she was too old (she is 16) and she wanted to know everything about a mission! Later we taught "I" with the video "Together Forever" with the different stories and answered his questions with the tree of life chapter. When we tried to invite him to get baptized he said he doesn't want to yet, he wants to understand everything and basically read all of the Book of Mormon. We tried to point out we are going to learn something new everyday for the rest of our life and that a baptismal date is a goal on a longer journey, and when I gave examples to try to explain better he acted as if he couldn't understand (and was trying not to laugh). I admit that upset me a lot but I finished my example because I knew he could understand me, he just didn't want to commit. 

Sunday - in the morning we went to the "D" family's house to do missionary divisions so that we could get 2 investigators. Sister "A" and I tried to meet up with "M" and her kids but they were sleeping and her mom came out and told us she would let them know that we came. When I tried to explain we were there to pick them up, she said she can't hear very well but she will tell them that we came and closed the door. So we didn't have anyone come to church but the talks were really good and really uplifting. Also a recent convert gave me a "Finding Dory" fold-able cup because in Relief Society we are doing a "secret friend" thing and I was hers (mine is Hna "M", my companion, how funny!) 

Apparently you CAN read the scriptures too much in one Day!
My Birthday Message to my Sister for the end of July

Monday, 24 July 2017

Crazy week - some ups, some downs and the loss of a friend

Monday - our P-day really wasn't even a p-day the morning we wrote our e-mails then bought tickets for the bus to Ituzaingo (another city) to have divisions with the Hermannas there, After waiting for the bus to come, we spend an hour riding and the hnas were just finishing up writing. I unfortunately decided the day before to wash my coat, and so did not have a coat for one of 2 coldest days of my mission. I used my rain coat and a jacket from another sister and it was sooo cold. Oh and I didn´t bring a blanket to sleep either, but luckily Hna. Q had a throw-blanket she could lend me. Neither Hna M (my companion), nor I slept very much that night, because one) it was cold and two) the little heater they had gave off a lot of light.

Tuesday - luckily I wasn't really tired all day, I was actually quite fine. This time I put on a shirt, skirt and the same dress from the day before so I wasn´t freezing to death. I was with Hna. Q and it was really cool because she is still new and being trained and I ¨made¨ her start one of the lessons we had. She admitted she was really nervous because she has never done it before but she did it so well!!!  One of the investigators asked me to speak in English after the lesson and she did too so I gave my testimony and he kept nodding and said I understood ¨people¨ haha but it was really cool to be with a new missionary. 

Wednesday - we tried to pass by for "O" in the morning but she wasn´t home so we tried to call her and heard her cell ringing inside her house! haha! So we taught "G" but she was really sick and wasn´t paying a ton of attention to us so we only taught her about faith. We went to visit "I" and "L" again, and we invited them to the baptism of the Elders on Saturday but "L" said she will be going to her church on Saturday with another family member, then looked at "I" as if he would be going too. Then he said ¨I wont be going, I feel good here¨ (in the church of Jesus Christ) it was so awesome! We taught her about the Priesthood Authority and she asked why we keep asking her to ask God. She then asked "are you saying my baptism wasn't valid? because it was in water and my desire was right and God knows my heart". Hna. M said "no it wasn´t but we will show you why". So we explained that yes there are three things that are important to baptism 1) immersion in water, 2) the person's heart or understanding, and 3) the Priesthood. A baptism is not valid if it doesn't have even one of these things. She was quite for a second and said "I definitely need to ask God¨ - like wow. 

Thursday - We tried to pass by for "O" again and she was home this time, but said she is really busy.  She asked us to come back Tuesday. We taught "L" about Prophets and how Christ established HIS church on the earth when he lived. When we taught her the importance of Prophets - she was in awe. It was also friends day so we ate some ice cream.

Friday - We went to Lavalle for their district meeting then rushed back for lunch. We visited "M" and met his son. We also tried lots of other people but no one could visit. So, we planned a bit and then helped (basically forced) Hna. W pack because she will be going home next Tuesday.

Saturday -  was crazy! We moved everything around so we could be everywhere. We had lunch a little earlier than usual, then taught "I" with a member about how if he reads and comes to church and pray he will get an answer but he needs to do all three. Then off we went to Lavalle again to help contact people to come to the activity they were having...and as we were on the bus we received a message from another member that she won't be home,so we stayed a little longer than we planned. Still, we had to go back to our area to go to the baptism the Elders had arranged. 

Sunday - "I" came to church for 2 hours but had to leave after because he has a lot of pain in his back. After church we helped Hna. W finish packing the last of her stuff just before the Elders came for her - we took a bunch of pictures (on her camera - sorry I don't have the photos) and she left. It is weird to be so close to someone finishing their mission, I know I have a lot left, but it goes by so quickly. I have learned to not worry about the little stuff and to just work and everything will work out. After, the three of us Hermannas went and taught a family of 6 about the church.
P.S. some follow-up on lasts week's post.  Flan....Is....Super....Important (I finally got to have it last week after waiting sooo long). Actually I like Creme Brule better but it basically the same thing. Its a whole Latin thing down here. We had to get another Sister's ID because we have to have ID to live here. First, we get a paper that is only for a certain time, and then later an "official" card like my license. I've had mine for like 2 months i think. As I kinda mentioned on my Monday comment - the weather here is awful right now. It is freezing cold in the morning then really hot in the afternoon then back to cold in the night.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Using my voice to touch people's hearts!

Monday - P-DAY - in the morning we went to Lavalle to have a water-balloon activity where we tried to toss balloons to each other with our towels (see pictures below), then after we had to answer questions in under a minute or they would pop a balloon over our heads (there is a picture of me getting one wrong the blog post before).

Tuesday - we went to the center so that hna. M could get her ID from Argentina (I already have mine) and we bought lunch from the Chinese restaurant. We taught "L" after lunch about the Book of Mormon and invited her to pray about it and if what we are teaching is true. She said "I feel that it is - I know it is - but I will pray anyways." Then we went to visit M, who we haven't seen in a while - he said that he has a lot of question but he wasn't home when we came by. We did get to talk to his mom and at first she didn't want to listen to us but after we sang she asked us to come in and sit down (I am going to be singing more now) then we taught "I" and his mom and they have a lot of doubts but are really interested.

Wednesday - we contacted SO much and we met really awesome people - like one woman we passed by and then stopped and turned around and talked to her. It was amazing because her husband died and she "even said you felt in your heart that you needed to talk to me, I knew that you were going to come back". Llike wow!!! because we almost didn't stop and turn around. After lunch we tried to find her house but couldn't find it, so we went to the apartment buildings to find a different contact we had made a little bit ago. She was so happy to see us and we talked with her but she is very Evangelical - like really Evangelical! She told us a woman can't cut her hair or put makeup on, and they also speak in tongues in her church and other different stuff. Funny part is though -  she also said "I know that my church won't save me". We invited her to ask God what is the true church. She thought for a moment and said she has listened to a lot of different missionaries from different religions, but no one has ever invited her to ask God. That evenging we ate churipan with "C" (it's a type of sandwich made with chorizo sausage that is popular in Argentina).

Thursday - we contacted a bit then went to try and find our lunch appointment and once we did (we only called them once) and for desert  they made FLAN!!!! I was so happy i have been here for 9 months and have not recieved one flan.  I have been waiting for this! Later we tried to find other people but they weren't home so we went and did weekly planning instead.

Friday - in the morning we tried to find the woman we almost didn't turn around and talk to on Wednesday ("G") and it took all morning but we found her! She is so sweet, we invited her to church and she said yes. After that amazing meeting, we had a zone activity where we gave out Books of Mormon and found a young family that is absolutely wonderful and interested in learning about the Gospel. There was a glitch though - they are from Paraguay, and guess what? They are absolutely in love with Canada! When I said where I am from the wife hugged me again, they said that their dream is to go there. They made me feel so important to them like they needed ME to talk to them 😍 and they gave us their home directions so the missionaries there can teach them. The rest of the day I sang with some other missionaries trying to bring people in - my voice hurt a lot! I think we sang for like 2 hours straight. 

Saturday - we visited "A" and it was a bit depressing.  She doesn't have the greatest influences in her life and really doesn't let us teach...she just wants us to listen to her, like a visit. So we won't be teaching her more. We did go teach "L" about Prophets and Jesus Christ and when he made his church, because she didn't have a lot of time but she was amazed when we taught about how important the Prophets are. After that we taught "I" and his sister, and how with the Book Of Mormon, it can answer questions and he agreed to come to church.

Sunday - Church went well "I" came for the first 2 hours then left, but the elders had their investigator come too and she is a love. She will be baptized on next Saturday. After church hna.  M was sick with her allergies so she slept and I read and cleaned a bit
Elder Pyramid P-Day Fun in Lavelle

Catch the Balloon

Toss the Balloon

Being Sung To for my Birthday (see previous blog)

20th birthday Treats

P-Day fun

2017 July Zone Conference

Sunday, 16 July 2017

My BIRTHDAY week and having some teaching success

Monday - we cleaned for a bit in the morning the hna. M and I went to the computer center to print off our email to read them, then as we were waiting for the other hnas (Sisters) a boy asked us if we were "Mormons" and, well yeah we are, so we said yes and he asked where the church is and was asking a lot about missions and said that he wants to serve one.¡Que milagro! (What a Miracle!) so we gave him the number of the missionaries where he lives and the directions to the church.

Tuesday - BIRTHDAY, I am now officially 20! It was a very cake-filled the morning I ate a piece of cake and hna. "M" bought me some things from an argentina version of Claires (a women's store we have in Canada). After we went to a house we had contacted at the day before, it was a woman and her daughter and they are really sweet! It is really funny though because her husband is a pastor and they want to make a church and we started teaching about when Christ established his church on the earth and the priesthood but didn't get to go any farther about Joseph Smith. We gave her the pamphlet to read and she said that later she has a meeting with other pastors or something like that and that she is going to share it with them - what could we say "yeah you should do is great to share the word of God". After we went to the church and studied the scriptures, then went to a member's house to eat chicken alfredo 👌 (my favourite!) and I got surprised by hna. M (the other Sister M, from Guatamala) and hna. W with a second cake and song singing. We put the frivolities aside and went back to teaching people, but as we were going to go home, hna. M said that our local Mission Leader (a member) needed us to come to the church for a meeting.  Again I was surprised with more cake and song singing from the elders and sisters, it was an awesome day!!!

Wednesday - we went to Lavalle (an area still in Posadas) to have divisions with the Hermanas (Sisters) there. In the morning there was a district meeting and we made a goal to invite everyone to be baptized, then hna. M and I went to an apartment complex where she had some investigators to visit but every single one couldn't meet with us so we clapped at like every door. No luck - we couldn't find anyone to teach. Later that evening we went to visit some local members.

Thursday - in the morning we finished the divisions and hna. M made me a little card to wish me a happy 9 months out in the mission field (the half-way point) and gave me a card from hna. N, my first companion. I don't really remember much after that but we did weekly planning

Friday - in the morning we had a leader meeting, then we went to a local member's house for a lunch appointment with the zone leaders and it was so yummy and the desert too. After we walked a lot trying to  find and teach people. On a sad note....we have stopped teaching "J" because he is just not progressing. We taught a family that was referred to us and it went really well! The mom is a little hard about the Book of Mormon but she still wants to learn and the son had lots of questions and said that he'll come to church.

Saturday - in the morning we went to teach some people but they weren't there so we went to see "A" who also wasn't there (bummer) but her sister was (who we contacted in the first place) and we taught her. She said she wants to go to church but she can't go to hers, and we sang and talked about faith and Repentance and made another appointment to come back and see her. We had our district meeting and then after hna. W and I went and taught "M" and it was such a great lesson! She prayed too and hna. W said it was the most wonderful prayer she has heard from an investigator praying for the first time.

Sunday - the son from the family we taught on Friday came to church for the first hour because his sister came from Buenas Aires to visit. After church we had lunch with a family and I got to try Locro for the first time and I liked it (Locro is a hearty thick stew popular along the Andes mountain range. It's one of the national dishes of Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. The dish is a classic corn, beans, and potato or pumpkin soup). After my first Locro experience, my companion and I planned and studied and then taught a person who was referred to us from a member and that went really well.
A little water fun on our Day Off!

Division meeting July 3rd 2017

Monday - we had interviews with Pres. Svec then we ate, chinese food and ice-cream, wrote, did some shopping (I just looked - no buying) then cleaned a lot. We ended our P-Day by getting the cake for the zone conference the next day.

Tuesday - was the zone conference and this time, ALL the missionaries that had/have birthdays in june and july go up front and everyone sings to them in Spanish, English, Guarrani, and/or Portugese, and then they were all given a little cardboard box full of little treats. Since my birthday is  really soon they sang to me as well and the little box was really cute, and then we all get cake. When the conference was finished we wrote in some of the missionary's journals that are about to finish their mission. When all the activity/conference was over, we took a bus back to our area, and found "A" who we haven't been able to talk to forever! She told us she is having such a hard time - she got evicted out of her house and now lives with her parents and her 4 boys. She said she can't accept us right now, not because she doesn't want to but she can't, with her situation. So, we encouraged her to keep praying and when she is ready we are too.

Wednesday - we tried to teach young "A" (not yesterday's "A")  and her mom but her little sister said that they can't accept us now because she has a job in the morning and school in the afternoon.  Two others we were hoping to meet up with "V" and "S" weren't there when we tried to pass by. However we went to "L's" house and her mom, and sisters were there too and listened to us and when we ended we explained how to pray and "L" immediately asked to pray. It was so awesome! 

Thursday - We visited the grandma of the boyfriend of "Y" and she is always super happy to talk to us and hear us sing, and she said that "Y" lives in another place.  Later we caught up to "M" at his house and talked about the Doctrine & Covenants a bit, and then we visited "C". Also weekly planning

Friday - we had divisions with the other Hermanas (Sisters) that we live with - I was with hna. M and the other hna. M was with hna. W. In the morning we were working in my area and went to a place where it is a bunch of apartments and clapped at every door/floor of the building (remember we don't knock at doors in Argentina, we clap) and got a bunch of really good contacts it was my favourite part of the day. After we went to hna M's area and contacted a lot too and even found some people to teach there as well.

Saturday - We finished the divisions and then we went looking for "V" and "S" who we tried to find on Wednesday. We and found "V" and taught her about faith and a little about repentance. After were invited to a members house after lunch (we ate lunch with them) and went through a list of all the members and marked the ones that have people who are not baptized yet. After lunch we went to visit with "L" again and taught her, her sister and her daughter and invited them to church and she was really excited and said that she will come.

Sunday - Lorena didn't come to church, in fact we didn't have any investigators that came, but after lunch we went with members to find old investigators. Not much luck there so we went to visit a part-member family and they had been through some really hard stuff lately, so hna. "M" shared a scripture with them which brought tears to their eyes.

Sisters Pit Stopping for Ice Cream