Tuesday, December 31, 2013



HOLA!

It was so incredibly wonderful to see and talk to you all on Christmas! I was so incredibly happy all day! It was the highlight of my Christmas! I am so glad you all look wonderful and happy and healthy. Sorry I wasn't able to ask more questions about all of you. Please send me ALL the details of your lives in emails! I LOVE hearing from you!

Christmas dinner at the Merlo's.
Also, THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOO much for the packages! They were wonderful! I opened them one day at a time to prolong the suspense.

Christmas packages all arrived there. Yay!
A shout out to Lindsay, one of my Kindergarteners. She sent me the cutest little note in the whole wide world. If you can get the email for her Mom then I can send her a reply. (If any other kindergartener Moms who follow this blog know Lindsay and her mom will you please see if you can get her email address for me?)  GRACIAS!

Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Kathy, THANK YOU! I LOVED your package! It was so fun that the presents were all wrapped. My companion and I took turns unwrapping them all. I am sooo grateful for the peanut butter and graham crackers, M&Ms, hand sanitizer etc. Everything was perfect. I can't thank you enough. I am also so grateful for the video you made for Skype! It was so great to see your faces! I love you all so much and pray for your health and happiness every day. Happy New Year! I love you!

Aunt Nancy and Sharon, you always know the best treats to send! Thank you so much! My companion and I are in love with crystal light and have been using it every day as well as the snacks. We take those with us for our dinner time snack around 5 or 6 (we don't really eat dinner here unless we eat something right before bed around 10:00) and they are perfect. The lotion is wonderful! Thank you so much! It was also great to watch your video as well! I wish I could have talked to you all over Skype but next year for sure! I continue to pray for your health and success! LOVE YOU!

And of course family... THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I am loving my pedometer. I now know our church is 2 miles away and I am continuing to track our average walking. Sometimes I accidently reset it so I don't have accurate numbers yet but stay tuned. I am SOO grateful for my puppy 2.0. This one is named Shayda haha. I loved the clothes as well and am so excited to wear the others when it is cooler. I'm going to make brownies for Hermana Castellano's birthday this Thursday.

Hermana Gardiner and Hermana Alley, companions at the MTC, with
Hermana Millet in front of the Buenos Aires Temple.
I hope I answered most of your questions when we talked over Skype. Things here are continuing to go well. Hermana Castellanos had a meeting in Ramos on Friday for her HLE calling. Originally they said we had to be there at 7:00 so we set the alarm for 3:30. Luckily at 10:29 they called and said we didn't have to be there until 8:30 so we got an hour more of sleep. HOORAY! In the meeting apparently President Carter 'bajana la cana' on the Zone Leaders for a bunch of things.(Jennifer later indicated that this was some kind of chastisement and has something to do with a cane.)  He also said that no one will be able to imagine how crazy this next transfer will be.  (According to the mission blog "The mission is super young at the moment and we are losing another 21 missionaries this coming transfer and receiving 24 new missionaries.")  Hermana Castellanos and I are praying to stay together in Lujan but I'm trying to be humble and accept wherever the Lord wants me to go.

Guess what. The other day a woman stopped us and asked if we could help this little puppy that was under a tree. It looked like it was only a week or two old. She lived near by but was waiting for the train so we took him to her house so her daughter could take care of him. He was super cute and black and white so we named him Elder because he was already dressed in his suit. Mom, you would've appreciated his cuteness lol.  And don't worry, I used lots of hand sanitizer afterward.

Our indicators were struggling a little this week as members weren't as available to work with us during the holidays and some of our investigators were out of town. I have been continuing to work on focusing more on my investigators and less on the numbers of the key indicators and in the past two weeks I have felt much more peace. We are still working to have success with the indicators and use them to plan well but I have not been stressed or worrying about them as I was in the first few weeks of this transfer. President gave us a message about the easy way and the right way and how we need to have faith in the Lord enough to focus on people and really find those that are prepared. This is my ultimate goal to increase in my faith and humility and really do everything in the Lord's way. I know that is how we will find success and see miracles in our area.

One of these miracles occurred for us this week on Saturday. We had contacted a family in the street a few days earlier and both Hermana Castellanos and I had a desire to visit them. On Saturday we had our first lesson with them and it was absolutely beautiful. We were able to have the whole family sit down and listen to us and by the end of the lesson they all agreed to be baptized (the mom, dad, and two of their three children who are old enough to be baptized). As the mom, Maria, said the closing prayer she began to cry as she thanked Heavenly Father that we had come. Her 13 year old daughter also started to cry as the spirit was so strong. It was AMAZING! I have been praying for a family that we can teach and this family is so prepared. I am so excited to work with them and help them progress. I know they will have challenges and struggles but as we continue to have trust in the Lord he will help us know how to help this family.

Another wonderful blessing this week was our ward activity last night. Our ward planned a living nativity and a bunch of the primary kids and adults all participated. It was absolutely beautiful. Hermana Castellanos and I sang the hymns that accompanied the story. All of the kids were dressed up soo cute (I'm sending pictures of a few). Our ward really is amazing! I love all of the members soo much.

The cutest little nativity cow ever!
Cast for the live nativity.
The best part was we had three different investigators come, two of which we didn't even invite! One family that came has listened to the missionaries for years and we have been visiting them and really working to get them to come to church. It was so great to see them interact with all the members. Hermana Castellanos calls them "dry members" because they are basically members but they just haven't been baptized.

We are continuing to work hard and try to find more families that are ready for baptism. Hermana Castellanos and I are excited to celebrate the New Year and her birthday together this week and have tons of success!

I love you all so much! Thank you for all your love and support!

Love,

Hermana Millet

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Family,

I still can't believe Christmas is almost here. It has been blazing hot these past few days and SO humid. Christmas is going to be pretty weird this year but I am so excited to talk to you all! I will not be emailing on Monday but I will have 40 minutes to talk to you Christmas day.

This week has been full of challenges and miracles. Hermana Castellanos and I are struggling a little to have progressing families and investigators in sacrament meeting and reach all of our goals. We are working with all of our efforts, however, to be worthy of the help of Heavenly Father. I am constantly trying to have more faith, live more obediently and work more diligently to see miracles in our area. I know that the success that we have had is directly from Him. Every new investigator and lesson is a blessing.

This week Hermana Castellanos shared a scripture with me from Alma during companionship study that I really needed. Alma 26:28-31 talks about how they are traveling all over, preaching in houses, in the streets to teach of Christ. They were rejected and cast out at times but Alma states that it is all worth it if they can save some soul. He says that the first of their labor is not small.

We too are preaching the gospel of Christ in homes, in the streets, anywhere we can find people and at times we are rejected and have afflictions (don't worry, nothing like Alma and his brethren) but it is all worth it if we can save some soul. This month we were able to baptized Diego. He is a choice spirit of Heavenly Father and I am so grateful we had the opportunity to help him make his first covenant with his Heavenly Father. At times I feel that the fruit of our labor is small right now. We have a goal of 4 baptisms this month that I felt was inspired and right now our possibilities are dwindling, but I know with faith God's will can be done. Even if Diego is the only person we baptize the fruit of our labor is not small. He is a soul that can be saved, and can help build the kingdom of God.

In my efforts to find a chosen family of our Heavenly Father I am really trying to improve my faith and worthiness and become the missionary Heavenly Father wants me to be. Today during personal study I read a scripture in 2 Nephi 33:3 which I love. Nephi is praying and crying for his people (investigators) and he says that he knows the Lord will hear his cries of faith.

I too have been praying for my investigators and worrying throughout the night like Nephi. I realized today, however, that I need to be even more focused on my investigators. I am sometimes more worried about the indicators and what my district leader will say when he hears my numbers than I am about the people. I really want to focus on loving my investigators more, loving them enough that my indicators are achieved because I am focusing on them, not on the numbers.

On Friday we had zone conference in Ramos Mejia. When we have to be there early in the morning we sleep in the apartment of the Hermanas in Lujan 1 because we have to wake up at 4:00 to be at the collectivo by 5:00 or 5:30. We sleep on the floor, which is pretty hard but this time I slept better than the last time. We really are blessed to have the energy though as missionaries. Many times we have to wake up early to be in Ramos and we never get a chance to catch up on sleep as missionaries but we continually have strength and energy.

During zone conference I was reminded again to focus on my investigators. One of my teachers in the MTC was always telling us to 1. Love the investigator and 2. Rely on the Lord. In California these things seemed easy, but I realized here I have maybe forgotten a little bit to really focus on loving my investigators and relying on the Lord. Yes the numbers are important, and yes the culture of the people here is different but I can still love them with all my heart and rely on the Lord to do his work.

I also loved the focus on families during zone conference. More than anything I want to bring the blessing of the gospel to a family. The idea of teaching eternal families in the first lesson has always made sense to me and I had always assumed I would do so as a missionary but for some reason I haven't been teaching this principal initially. This week as we have begun putting this into practice I have already begun to see results as contacts turn into lessons and potential baptismal dates.

We received a great miracle this week when we found a woman named Sylvana. She was waiting for two of her children to get out of school with her baby and we taught her the gospel. She was so excited about repentance and baptism and she couldn't stop smiling. We almost couldn't find her house when we searched for it a few days later but we were able to find her again and teach her about eternal families. She is living with her boyfriend but wants to get married. She and her three children came to church on Sunday (unfortunately her boyfriend was working) and we have plans to teach her and her boyfriend again tomorrow. I am so excited to work with this family and hopefully see them progress.

We also found another amazingly prepared woman named Justina Sunday afternoon. She has talked to missionaries in the past and told us she has read almost all of the Book of Mormon. She accepted a baptismal date and told us she will come to church on Sunday. After she said the closing prayer she began to cry and told us she has been feeling alone but that she felt love in our lesson. It was such a miracle!

While finding miracle new investigators we also had some challenges with our progressing investigators this week.

On Monday night we visited Cinthia for the first time since her scheduled baptism on the 24th of November. I introduced her to Hermana Castellanos and we rebuilt some trust with her that evening. On Wednesday we had an amazing experience with her. We talked about the plan of salvation, her mom in the spirit world, and her agency to choose here. She told us a part of her wants to get baptized and another part doesn't. She decided to pray right then and there. The first time she prayed she wasn't sure how she felt but as we talked about listening to the spirit she decided to pray again. After the prayer she waited for a few seconds and then told us she felt peace, that she knew the church was true and that she needed to be baptized. As we walked away I couldn't believe what happened!

Unfortunately in the following days her doubt began to creep back again and she let Satan influence her. In our lesson on Saturday she was as closed off as ever and told us she didn't want to be baptized.

It is so sad to see someone who has received an answer reject the truth. She doesn't want to accept that the church is true. Hopefully someday she will be able to accept what she knows is true but once again we can't do anything for her at this moment. I am grateful for the experience we did have with her, however, and the spirit that we all felt bear witness that this is the true church.

The heat has been a killer and this week. We had a fast for our investigators working toward baptism in the zone. Hermana Castellanos and I tried to drink lots of water in the morning before the fast (here we fast from lunch to lunch) but by the evening we weren't feeling super great. We decided to cheat just a little and drink some water before bed and when we woke up so we would have energy for the next day because with the heat and the humidity we weren't sure if it was healthy to go without water for so long. Hopefully Heavenly Father understands and we can still see the blessings of the fast.

As far as daily life you have been asking about the food is pretty good. I LOVE empanadas and the pizza is pretty good as well. Milanesa is another food that is pretty good (it's a really thin slice of chicken or steak that has a special breading). Hermana Castellanos and I made tacos one day last week with this yummy sauce that she has. Usually in the apartment I just eat cereal and fruit and some crackers that are cheap kind of like saltines. We also have Oreo night occasionally. :) This week we splurged and bought a container of ice cream which I have been enjoying.

I am sleeping great, mostly because we're always so exhausted. This week I have slept without any sheet for the first time in my life with the fan full blast on us because it's been so hot (and will only get hotter HOORAY!).

I'm not sure what else you've all had questions about. Maybe we can talk about them on Christmas.

I LOVE YOU ALL SOOO MUCH! Thank you for your love and support continually! I CAN`T WAIT TO TALK TO YOU WEDNESDAY!

Love,

Hermana Millet

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Happiness!

Family! I LOVE YOU ALL SOOOO MUCH!

This week has been so full of miracles.

First of all, my new companion is Hermana Castellanos. She is from Honduras and is 20 years old. She has been in the mission for 3 months. She is absolutely wonderful. We have had such a wonderful week together full of miracles. The hermanas in our zone were so excited when we saw the changes for this transfer. Hermana Castellanos was companions with Hermana Patrone in Mercedes (in our zone) and Hermana Bangeter (my American friend) was in Lujan 1. We kind of just did a switcharoo and Hermana Bangeter is now with Hermana Patrone in Mercedes and Hermana Castellanos and I are together. I didn't know Hermana Castellanos very well but the first thing Hermana Bangeter told me was that she is "so loving". She was right! I have felt nothing but love from Hermana Castellanos from the first day. She immediately told me that she wants to be friends and wants us to feel open to talk about anything. I am so grateful for her desire to have a great relationship as companions, friends, and hermanas. We have already begun building unity through kindness, openness, Oreo night, goals, success etc. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with her this transfer. I have felt this week, with her help, that I am becoming the missionary that I want to be. The part of me that felt successful back in the states was missing last transfer and at times I felt like I was going through the motions of missionary work but wasn't myself. Hermana Castellanos is helping me to rediscover the balance between accomplishing our indicators and caring for our investigators and doing what the Savior would do in every moment. It has been so great to have her help to work together in unity in our teaching, in planning, and in the responsibility of accomplishing everything. I have felt that we are a team in all aspects which is the way I want to be with all of my companions. I am so grateful for her love and friendship and support and I know we will continue to see miracles this transfer together.

Also, random side note. She and I spent a little time Wednesday cleaning the pench. Hallelujah! There was a bunch of stuff that I didn't know who it belonged to and so we threw away so much stuff.  The pench is sooo much better now! Yay for having a clean companion!

My only concern with our companionship is obedience. I want to be completely obedient and this week I have seen little things, with us both being so new to the mission, that we could be disobedient without meaning to. I want to work really hard to make sure we follow every rule with exactness so that we can receive the help from Heavenly Father that we are going to need this week.

Our major miracle this week was with Diego. He had a baptismal date for the 24th of November but the morning of the baptism he told us he no longer wanted to be baptized (most likely because of the influence of his brothers and sisters).

We gave him a little space in the following week but on Tuesday of this week we stopped by and talked to him about testimony. I bore my testimony to him that even when we feel like we are being attacked by Satan and question some of our beliefs we can still rely on the knowledge we do have. I read a scripture in D&C about how we can rely on the knowledge we have already received and that we don't have to doubt. We told him that we know he has a testimony of the church and that all he needs to do is pray and ask Heavenly Father if baptism is right for him and that he can be baptized whenever he is ready.

That night Hermana Suarez called him to tell him she was leaving and he said he wanted to be baptized. He and his Dad had plans to leave for Paraguay on Saturday so we planned the baptism for Saturday before they left. It was such a miracle that he was ready and that we were able to have the spirit with us to know what to say to help him. We talked with him every day this week to help him prepare and he stayed strong.

His baptismal service was wonderful. Neither Hermana Castellanos nor I had really planned a baptism here in the Buenos Aries West mission but we worked hard to get everything ready. We have an amazing Branch President who was so wonderful to take care of everything as well as the Elders in our branch. We couldn't have done it without them. It was a little different than a baptismal service in the states but so beautiful. Sometimes the simplicity of things here in Argentina makes them even more special.

His father, Charlie, was able to baptize Diego and they ended up staying in Lujan for him to be confirmed in Sacrament meeting on Sunday by President Peralta. I am so excited for Diego and the opportunity he has to enjoy the blessings of the gospel. He is so special and I know he will find so much happiness!

Our other great miracle this week was a new family we found. I have been praying to find a family to teach and this week we were blessed to find an amazing family! We had contacted the mom on Sunday in her front yard and on Tuesday we went back to teach her. She wasn't home but her three children were. We taught them outside in the yard and it was amazing! Her children are beautiful. The oldest daughter, Camila, is 15 years old, but so mature. The two youngest are twins, Alma and Marcos, and will turn 8 years old on December 26th. We talked to them about faith and a little about the restoration and our purpose as missionaries to help people repent and prepare for baptism. As Camila said the closing prayer she asked for forgiveness for her sins and began to cry. She hugged us so tight as we left and thanked us so much for coming. It was absolutely wonderful.

We returned a few days later and again taught the children the restoration. As we walked to the door Alma and Marcos ran up to us to give us hugs. They had read the pamphlets we had left them and promised to begin reading the Book of Mormon and come to church. They are so sweet. Unfortunately, we still haven`t been able to contact Pamela, the mom, but we plan on working hard this week to find her and teach them all as a family.

Sunday was a little discouraging for us this week because we had many investigators who had promised to come to sacrament meeting and we were confident they would be there. As we called and tried to pick some of them up in the morning, however, no one answered. We ended up with no one in sacrament meeting, which was discouraging. I had felt more confident in our investigators this week than any other. This week I really want to focus on and learn how to make sure our investigators can come to church. Because they weren't there this week, meeting our goal of 4 baptisms this month is going to be really difficult. I have faith that Heavenly Father will help us to accomplish our goals, however, as we are obedient and diligent.

I am so excited for this transfer, for our wonderful investigators, for my developing relationship with Hermana Castellanos, for the progress I am already seeing with Spanish and will continue to develop as Hermana Castellanos and I work to teach one another the language (we're doing one day Spanish and one day English), and for the opportunity to continue to develop as a missionary.

A random note: you should like or join the page Distrito Lujan Argentina. It is the page for my stake (district) here.

That's about all for the week I think. It's been super great and I am grateful to finally be feeling more like myself with a wonderful companion. Thank you for all your prayers and love and support. I can't wait to talk to you all on Christmas!

Love,

Jen

Monday, December 2, 2013

It's CHRISTMAS TIME!

Hola Familia!

It`s officially December and the Christmas season and I am dying of heat...it`s kind of a weird thought. Are you all SOO excited for Christmas!? I AM! This week we have transfers. We will get the call tomorrow night and leave Wednesday morning. Hermana Suarez has been here for 8 months so we are expecting her to leave and me to stay. I`m kind of nervous to be left in the area. I think I will have a new senior companion but I will have to know the area and how things work. I basically know our area but I still don`t know if I can for sure get to our church building or remember how to pay the rent and utilities and all of that kind of stuff in Central. We`ll see how it goes. I am also expecting that I might have a companion who speaks no English. That will be a real growing experience for me. :)

Some news: I went to send letters again today and the regular post office is closed. I found another one but it cost 65 pesos to send one letter! I have like 10,000 to send so I probably won`t get any of them sent today. :( I`m so sorry! I`m hoping I can find a way to send letters that won`t be so expensive.

This week has been wonderful! On P day I was able to get a bunch of your dear elder letters and a letter from Aunt Kathy about her trip. It was great to read them all. Thank you! We also went to a restaurant with our district where they brought out platters of meat and we could eat as much as we wanted. It was good but I wish I could have just had a salad haha. I felt stuffed afterward. It was really fun to do something with our district though and relax a little. Today we are watching a movie at the church with our zone to celebrate our baptisms.

Hermana Roberts and Me
 There were a lot of interesting experiences and opportunities this week with exchanges. On Tuesday I began exchanges with Hermana Roberts. She was wonderful! I really appreciated her enthusiasm and joy she shared with me and with all of the people that we worked with. This joy was a great example to me. I want to make sure the light of Christ is always shining through me as clearly as I could see it with Hermana Roberts. Hermana Roberts was also a great example to me of service and kindness. Just in the two days that we were together she found so many ways to serve me, by making breakfast for me, doing the dishing, helping to update the area book, helping with my Spanish etc. Everything she did was focused on helping others. It was also great to experience another teaching style. I always appreciate opportunities to work with other missionaries and see how they contact, teach etc. Each missionary has characteristics and habits that I can learn from and improve upon myself. Hermana Roberts is a wonderful missionary and I was so grateful to learn from her. I hope I can learn to be as kind and Christlike as she is and be an influence for good in not only the lives of my investigators but also to other missionaries the way she is to me.

Being in charge of our area for two days this week was a little stressful. I knew Hermana Suarez expected 100% and with both of us being gone on Friday I had to do the majority of the work during the week during exchanges.

We were both inspired to make a goal of 4 baptisms in the month of December. This is a high number, and Hermana Suarez was especially worried about the stress this would put on our shoulders for the month, especially considering we only have 1 sure baptism at this point. I know, however, that Heavenly Father inspired us both to choose this number and that means He has four chosen people for us to find and prepare this month. I have had a great experience in choosing the goal for our area and understanding the purpose of numbers. Knowing that this number has come from Heavenly Father gives me assurance that it really represents four people that we have the responsibility to find and help develop testimonies. Heavenly Father is preparing these four people and I can`t wait to discover exactly who they are do my best to take care of them and help them find the joy of the gospel this month.

On Tuesday we worked hard, found a new investigator and taught a few lessons. It was a great day, despite getting caught in a downpour we had a great time doing the work of the Lord. By the time we got home that night we were literally drenched! Luckily I have two pairs of boots and so I was able to wear the other pair the next day. It was kind of fun. :) One of our members, Paula is a returned missionary (about 25 years old) and she went out with us all day. She was with us in the rainstorm and had to walk all the way back (about 30 minutes) after we had to be in our apartment. She is an angel! She was so helpful and I am SOO grateful for her! She is always helping us.

On Wednesday I was tested a little more as most of our appointments fell through and our contacts weren`t at home. We spent most of the day making contacts and talking with people who would not let us in for a lesson in that moment. I learned a lot and improved in my ability to make contacts, but I was really worried about our lessons. I really had to persevere and continue having hope.

That evening we were able to have a great Noche de Hogar with one of our progressing investigators and some members from the ward. It was a good experience for me to plan the Noche de Hogar with all the members and organize everything in castellano. It ended up being a great experience for our investigator, Antonio, to meet some people in the ward and discuss the Sabbath Day. Antonio was an old investigator who hasn´t been able to come to church because he worked on Sundays. He recently quit his job and is looking for a new one and so it was important to us to help him understand the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy. He also needs to continue developing his testimony so it was great for him to be able to hear from recently baptized members about their experiences joining the church. He and his 3 year old son Matias (Matias` mom and Antonio are separated) came to church on Sunday which was great! Matias was a little restless but we were able to talk them into staying for all three hours. Antonio really is a great father and wants to set a good example for his son. Much of his desire to keep the commandments and follow Christ stems from his desire to be a good example for his son, which I really respect. He is accepting everything so well and really wants to develop his testimony and be prepared before his baptism. I have really loved working with Antonio and I am so excited to continue to see him progress.

Oh also, random disgusting note (skip this part if you have a weak stomach) Hermana Roberts and I saw a dead dog literally split in half on the side of the road the other day. It was soo sad.

On Thursday Hermana Suarez returned and we worked hard to finish our indicators for the week. On Thursday we were able to find two new investigators who have great potential to progress. Jorge has talked to the sister missionaries before and has plans to come to church this next week. Clarissa was a referral we received from a member. She is a woman in her 50`s who took some convincing to let us in her home but once we began talking with her she was as sweet as could be. She really has such a special spirit. She wasn´t super receptive to our first lesson, but I hope that as we plan well for the second we can help her feel the spirit and want to learn more about the church. She has such a light about her and I know the gospel would just give her more happiness and joy. We were late after that lesson with Clarissa so we ran all the way back to our apartment. I have a cold right now so it was super fun to run while hacking up a lung lol.

On Friday I had the opportunity to work in Mercedes with Hermana Patrone while Hermana Suarez and Hermana Castellano went to Ramos for the leadership training. I really enjoyed Mercedes, the beautiful town, working with Hermana Patrone, riding a bicycle and again learning from being in a different area with a different companion.
I rode a bike!
We also made empanadas for lunch! It was super fun. They weren´t as good as the ones Bernardo brings us every night but they were still good.

I helped make these empanadas.
Hermana Patrone and I get along really well, even though we have to work hard to understand each other sometimes. She is a wonderful missionary and I am so impressed with her confidence after only being in the field one transfer.

On Saturday I had one of the best experiences of my time in Argentina so far. We were able to teach a woman we had contacted the week before named Grasiela, who has family that are members of the church. She was extremely warm and inviting and we got along well. As Hermana Suarez was in the restroom I talked with her about her family and the pictures in her home. I learned that her husband has passed about about 3 years ago as well as a son. As we began teaching the lesson I had the strong impression that I should bring up the deaths of her family members and how she can live with them again forever. Although I struggled to find the exact words I wanted to use in Castellano she was patient with me. I felt the spirit so strongly and had the opportunity to testify to her that we were sent here to help her find the peace she was searching for and to help her have an eternal family. We both began to cry as we both felt the spirit testify of the truth. Satan is still fighting within her to create doubt but I know she felt that spirit and that I am here to help her. I haven`t had an experience quite like that since being here in Argentina and I was such a tender mercy from the Lord to once again feel his spirit working through me.

Day by day I can feel my Spanish improving. I really want to put in the effort and become fluent as quickly as possible because I know that will help me to develop greater love for the people, have the ability to teach with more power and be a more effective missionary. This month I am fasting for the gift of tongues and the humility, patience and diligence to learn. I was a little scared to make this my monthly focus because I know it will be really difficult but I am going to try to trust more in the Lord and give more to be what he wants me to be.

I am so grateful for His help this month in finding hope in all situations. I am finding myself becoming more accustomed to the changes here and giving myself more to the people here. I still have a lot to work on but I am continuing to grow.
One of my favorite trees in Argentina.
This week with transfers coming I am thinking that Hermana Suarez might leave the area. I am so grateful for her example and all that I have learned from her. Our relationship was different than that of my other companions but we found a way to work together and have success. I have learned from her obedience, charity and selflessness, using the scriptures and teaching from them, how to make contacts, teach in any situation and gain trust as well as so much more. I hope to take what I learned from her and use it to become a better missionary myself. I am a little nervous for transfers but I am willing to go and do whatever the Lord wants me to do.

I love you all so much! You are the bestest family in the world. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Please tell everyone hello for me and I`m sorry I`m a terrible letter writer now. I will try to email them all eventually but right now handwritten letters aren`t really an option. I love them all anyway. Please let me know how David and Katie and all the family are doing!

LOVE YOU!

Hermana Millet

Sunday, December 1, 2013

This is Jen's letter from last Monday, November 25th.

Dear Familia:

Yesterday was probably the craziest day of my mission life. It was our district (stake) conference and our zone wanted to baptize all of our investigators together afterward. I´m not even sure how to explain it all...

Zone Baptism.  28 people baptized!
 Things with Diego went really well all week. He has been great from the beginning and continued to progress and look forward to his baptism. His sister Cinthia, on the other hand, has been doubting and we were having a difficult time contacting her. We continued to pray and fast for her and search for her each day to be able to talk with her. We were finally able to meet with her Thursday evening and talk to her about her baptism. She wasn´t near as enthusiastic about it as we would have liked but we assured her that it was a good decision. We could tell that she knew it was true in her eyes but she continued to doubt. Her mom was evangelical and she feels that following her mom´s beliefs is an important connection to her.

We were able to talk to her one more time on Saturday. She was angry and didn´t want to talk, but she eventually broke down and talked to us about eternal families, her anger with her father and her anger with God for taking her mom away. We tried the best we could to answer her questions with the spirit but her heart was closed. She really just didn´t want to listen. We knew she wouldn´t be baptized. We did all we could for her but until she decides to open up her mind and her heart to the spirit there isn´t much more we can do for her.

Unfortunately, we found out Sunday morning that Cinthia talked to Diego about all of her concerns and Diego didn´t show up for the conference. Part way through the conference, we left with his father and the President of the Rama to visit Diego and try to talk to him. He refused to open up and talk to us. He knows the church is true and has a testimony but somehow Cinthia convinced him he couldn´t go against his mother´s religion. Again, we did all we could to help him have the strength to do what he knows is right but his heart too was closed. Therefore, two of our baptismal candidates for yesterday fell through.

I still have faith that Diego will be baptized and I want to keep working with him. Cinthia might take more time. I´m not sure if we can help her right now at this time her in her life but I continue to pray for her. She is such a sweet girl who just misses her mom and doesn´t want to let her go.

Pablo and Tatiana were both doing well this week as well. But, as always, Satan found a way to try to stop their baptism as well. Saturday morning Tatiana broke her arm. We figured out a solution with plastic wrap, plastic bags and tape but when we went to pick their family up on Sunday her mom, Clara, told us Tatiana wasn´t going! We had to talk and negotiate but eventually we convinced her to let Tatiana go.

Things were a pretty stressful throughout the conference trying to take care of our other investigators, keep track of our baptismal candidates and the whole ordeal with Diego. Church here in Argentina is a little different. There isn´t the same expectation of reverence so kids are running all over the place and the halls are filled with people coming in and out and talking and hanging out. All of the missionaries were outside the ´chapel´ talking and trying to work everything out for the baptisms. Hermana Suarez was running all over the place talking really fast in Spanish and on the phone so I had absolutely no idea what was going on. After a hard week personally I was close to my breaking point.

Another surprise popped up when Hermana Suarez jokingly suggested to our zone leader that, Pascual, one of our investigators could get baptized. Pascual, who just so happens to be the Grandfather of Tatiana and Pablo, is amazing! He is about 80 years old and is so willing to learn, believe and read. He attended the evening session of the District Conference with us the night before and was there that day. We have only been teaching him for just over a week and he hasn´t had all of the lessons but he was well on track for baptism in December. Elder Streadbeck jumped on the idea of baptizing him that day, however. We pulled Pascual out of the conference, Elder Streadbeck interviewed him and 20 minutes later we were preparing Pascual to be baptized as well.

Jen with Pascual and Tatiana.  They were unable to find
Pablo to join them in the picture.  
I wasn´t sure how I felt about the whole situation, asking an investigator to be baptized who hasn´t had all the lessons and wasn´t prepared for that day. I trusted in my leaders' decision, however, and I know that it was a blessing that Pascual was able to make the covenant of baptism that day with his grandchildren.

We ended up not seeing any of the baptisms and only one of the confirmations and unfortunately I wasn´t able to get pictures with everyone because we were so busy trying to figure everything out. It was a stressful service, and to be perfectly honest, it was difficult for me to feel the spirit, but I know the most important part is that Pablo, Tatiana, and Pascual were able to be baptized.

Jennifer in front of the Lujan Cathedral.
This week I´ve really felt myself losing myself more in the work and focusing on my investigators. Especially with our baptismal dates for this weekend we really focused on helping them prepare. It has been a great feeling to really care about them and become more and more concerned about their progression and growing testimonies.

Personally, I am continuing to work on having humility, and patience. I am trying to learn all I can from Hermana Suarez and become a better teacher, companion, and missionary. I still have really difficult moments and really difficult days but the Lord is blessing me to overcome these difficult times and persevere. Today I read a passage in Preach My Gospel that I really liked that said that Heavenly Father knows what I need more than I do. As always, I need to trust more in him and his plan for me. As I continue to try to repent and be worthy of his help I know he will give me the experiences I need.

I am so grateful for your continued prayers for me. I
don´t know what I would do without you all! I won´t be celebrating Thanksgiving here but I will say a special prayer thanking Heavenly Father for all of you. I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to learn and grow.

Love, Jen

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Miracles!

This week has been wonderful! Each week has gotten better and better and each day is getting better and better as well. Throughout the week we had some stressful days and were worried about getting our key indicators completed for the week but we kept working hard and with faith we were able to see miracles.

On Wednesday Hermana Suarez traveled to Ramos Mejia for the Hermana Entranador Reunion and Hermana Patrone and I were left here in Lujan. I was pretty worried about knowing the area, speaking Spanish, and taking care of our appointments and investigators on my own. I really prayed for help throughout the day and it ended up being such a great experience.

Hermana Patrone doesn´t speak much English at all and so I was forced to speak Spanish all day. What a blessing! It was difficult at times but she was so patient with me and I learned a lot.

It also gave me a small taste of what it might be like to train. Obviously, I wasn´t training Hermana Patrone but trying to take the lead of the area and explain things to her was great practice for me. I also felt a little more confident in the area as I had to navigate the streets by myself and learn how and where to go.

One of the greatest experiences of the day was in teaching with Hermana Patrone. Since being here I haven´t always felt that I am a contributing member of the conversation in lessons or with members. I often just sit and listen. Hermana Suarez is a great teacher but our styles are not necessarily the same and I have a hard time knowing what direction she is going with the lessons. In teaching with Hermana Patrone I felt much more like myself, or the missionary I want to be, who receives inspiration during the lesson and who has something valuable to contribute. We were able to work together to teach the lessons simply. Neither of us are great scriptorians (we are both new and I don´t know my Spanish scriptures very well) but we had the desire to help the people we taught and I felt that we taught with the spirit. It was so nice to feel my purpose once again as a missionary and know that someday I can be the kind of missionary I want to be in Spanish as well.

On Friday we did not yet have all of the indicators and we needed new investigators. That day we were able to find five new investigators, one right after the other beginning first thing in the morning. It was such a miracle and a testimony builder for me to see how Heavenly Father takes care of us when we pray in faith.

On Sunday we worked really hard to get our fechas to church. We went to the home of Clara in the morning to help her and her children all attend together. She is a less active member and her two children, Tatiana and Pablo are going to be baptized on the 24th. We have been working with her all week to help her understand that she needs to attend church with her children and that this needs to be a change as a whole family. We had some setbacks along the way but eventually we were able to get Clara and all of her children at church. It was so great to see them all there in Primary and Sacrament Meeting as a family.

We were not expecting Cinthia to come to church because we she has been having doubts about the church but we found out at the beginning of Sacrament Meeting that she had been there the whole time and we just hadn`t seen her! We were so excited.

After church Elder Valdez interviewed Pablo, Tatiana, Cinthia and Diego for baptism. We were confident Diego, Pablo and Tatiana wouldn´t have problems but we
 weren´t so sure about Cintha. As we said a companionship prayer during the interview, we were really able to focus on the purpose of her baptism and remember that Heavenly Father will accomplish His purposes. I know how much Cinthia needs baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the influence of the church and if it is His will she will be able to be baptized. We received a call after the interviews that she passed and that she wants to be baptized! We were so excited and couldn´t believe what a miracle it was that she came to church and had a change of heart.

Our day continued with more miracles as we still needed four more referrals from a member. During lunch one of the members prayed that they would be able to provide us with references and following the prayer he and his wife proceeded to give us names of people in the neighborhood enough to fill our key indicators. I couldn´t believe how much Heavenly Father was taking care of us.

That day we were feeling very blessed but we commented to one another that we only needed one more person in church to achieve 100% of our key indicators. That evening Elder Valdez called to let us know that a person who lives in our area attended church in Lujan and the Hermana´s made a return appointment with her, therefore, we had 5 investigators in church and 100%. We had already been blessed more than we deserved and Heavenly Father still gave us one more blessing. I could not believe it. I am so grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord and for His help this week.

Reunion of my favorite hermanas from the MTC.  Any time we can get together it is wonderful!
The other great miracle of the week was attending the special conference and listening to Elder Holland speak. It was so amazing to hear an apostle of the Lord speak. I felt the spirit so strongly just being in the same room as him. The greatest lesson I took from his talk is that I need to appreciate the gift of my mission. President Holland also talked about how the most important thing they want to express to everyone in the church is personal conversion. He talked about how we can solve our own problems by reading the scriptures and being personally deeply converted. I´m so glad our family is converted and that I can continue to work on my conversion throughout my life.

My goal this month has been to have hope and learn to be patient and positive but it has been coming slowly. This week I have been able to see more of a change and Elder Holland´s talk amplified my dedication to love this area, the people, the language and the opportunity I have to be here (the bad with good). As he read D&C 88:33 about rejecting a gift I really had to evaluate how I have been responding to my situation. This is a gift I have been given to be a missionary and I need to appreciate it all. If I reject this gift of the mission I am also rejecting my Father in Heaven. I had to go home and do some repenting. I still have a long way to go but my goal is to appreciate every moment I am given and lose myself in the work. His comments about having an eye single to the glory of God really hit home as well. I have a lot to improve upon in being more dedicated in my heart and mind and it might come slowly but my greatest desire is to be the missionary/person Heavenly Father wants me to be.

I am excited for this week and for the changes with our investigators as well as in myself. I know I will continue to change for the better which will help my investigators to progress as well. Each day is getting better and better and I know I couldn´t do it without the help of my Heavenly Father. He really is changing my heart and helping me to do things I can´t do on my own and I am so grateful.

The food is okay. There really are like no vegetables or anything healthy. Basically it´s rice or noodles with fried chicken and the same seasonings every day. We also have empanadas from a member on planning day and a few members who have a little more money give us pasta or milanesa. I have had "salad" twice which consists tomatoes and onions or eggs with oil. All of the food is pretty oily and fatty. They also feed us lots of soda because we can´t drink the water. (We´re not allowed to have Coke though, weird). I try to eat lots of fruit on my own. I also eat cereal and bread with "peanut butter" at home. Everything is pretty expensive to buy and we have to pay a lot for travel which is different than the states. We also have to buy things for investigators, which I´m not used to, like their travel to church etc. I think I´m doing okay with money but I have to continue to budget better. Hermana Suarez likes to buy treats during the day, and it´s really tempting to buy some with her, but I don´t need the calories or to spend the money.

I really do hand wash all my clothes. The language is coming slowly I think. I still have a really hard time understanding and I feel pretty stupid most of the time, but it´s coming. Hermana Suarez and I are getting along pretty well. There are some things which are difficult for me but Heavenly Father is really helping me to be more easy going. I´m really being blessed to get along pretty well though.

I think that is about all this week! There´s so much I still want to say, but my time is almost up. I LOVE YOU ALL SOO MUCH! I pray for you every day like 10 thousand times lol! LOVE YOU!

Love,

Hermana Millet

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Familia,

Hola! How are you all!? Thank you so much for your letters and emails! They are wonderful! Mom, I love your idea of sending your emails through dearelder as well. That way I can go back and read them again later. Today we had to make a trip to the mission offices (2 hours by collectivo (bus) and train) so our p-day is pretty much gone and we´ve done nothing. It´s a little frustrating but
 I´m learning to go with the flow and not expect much time to do anything on p-days. I have a few letters written but I doubt I will be able to make it to the post office today to send them. Hopefully next week. They´ll be pretty old by then but oh well, lol. I was able to get your dearelder letters when I went into the offices which was nice. I have one from Mom, one from Nicole and one from Aunt Nancy. It was great to read through them. Thank you so much for all of your wonderful stories and words of advice.

I am doing better day by day here in Argentina. It isn´t coming at lightning speed but I am slowly becoming adjusted to the area and the language and culture etc. I am sooo grateful for all of your prayers in my behalf. I can feel the power of your support and I am so incredibly grateful. I can´t even express what a comfort it is to me to know I have you all behind me. I pray for you all as well every day and I hope you can feel the blessings for your support for me.

I am continuing to work on listening intently to the members and people when they speak. For some reason I have a much more difficult time understanding than other people. It can be really difficult for me to stay focused when they are talking with Hermana Suarez but I am continuing to pray for the gift of understanding.

President Carter wrote some great words in The Sol (his weekly newsletter to the missionaries) this week which were a great comfort to me. It is so nice to know that he still has confidence in me even though I haven´t been as strong as I wish I was. It is always comforting to know that I am not the only one who has or who will go through struggles and that eventually I will make it through this trial.

Each day is getting better and better as I get adjusted to the culture, language, mission etc. I am not to the point where I can find joy in the journey. I have not come to feel the complete love that I hope to have for the people and the area yet here but little by little it is developing.

We are working with some great investigators right now who will hopefully be baptized in the coming weeks. Baptisms happen so much faster here than I am used to! I know we can prepare them to be ready by their dates; it will just take a lot of work and planning.

Diego and Cinthia are two siblings whose father was baptized within this last year. Cinthia is 15 and Diego is 14. They are wonderful! They live with their older siblings, who have a great influence over them, which isn´t always a good one, but they are sweet kids. Diego is very excited about the gospel and learning. He has already talked about going on a mission and his future plans in the church. Cinthia has a few more concerns, doubts and questions. Their mother recently passed away and that has been really hard on her. She feels right now that being baptized will somehow be dishonoring her mother because her mom was able to be at her last baptism. Her real need is to read the Book of Mormon and ask if it´s true. We talked to her about eternal marriages this week and she was really excited about that. She didn´t come to church this week but with continued faith I am confident she will be able to receive an answer and know what to do.

The other family we are working heavily with is a part member family. The mom, Clara, is baptized but inactive. None of her children are baptized. We have been teaching the whole family, especially her two oldest children, Tatiana and Pablo who are old enough to be baptized. Tatiana has a date right now but Pablo does not. Tatiana came to church this last week but we weren´t able to talk Clara into coming with us. We really want to emphasize with her the importance of making this transition as a family. We really don´t want Tatiana to be baptized just to become inactive. We want their whole family to be able to come to church and enjoy the blessings of living the gospel. Our goal for them this week is to begin making small changes as a family in preparation to attend church together this week.

In my personal study this week I have been reading in 1 Nephi. My reading of the Book of Mormon is coming slowly because I usually only have time for about one chapter but I am loving what I study each day! One of my favorite scriptures from this week is from 1 Nephi 7:12. It tells us that the Lord is able to do all things for us if we exercise faith in him. I know this to be true and I am really working on having that faith to be worthy of His help. Another scripture which touched me (I don´t have the reference with me), but similarly it says that according to our faith the Lord can give us strength to burst our bands. I want to have the faith to be able to burst the bands that I have in regards to learning the language and fully giving my heart and loving the people I am with.

This week we have a super exciting conference on Saturday with President Holland! It is in Ramos Mejia (the area of our mission offices) with our mission and three other missions as well as the missionaries from the MTC here. I am so excited! It´s going to be great. Can President Holland speak Spanish?! I don´t even know.

A few other fun facts from the week:

I saw my first cockroach in our apartment. It was high up on the wall where we couldn´t reach and I don´t know where it went after that. I´m not too excited to see another one closer.

I have now hand washed my clothes for the first time. We have to be constantly in the process of washing clothes because we only have room to dry a few at a time.  Let´s just say, I´m super grateful for washing machines.

Every night I come home and think I´ve never been so exhausted. On Wednesday, however, I think I hit an all time high. Out of the 10 hours that we were out of our apartment working I´m pretty sure at least 6 of them were spent walking. We had a 1 hour lunch in a member's home and a few other lessons that day where we were able to sit, but the rest of the day was walking. I wish I had a pedometer to know how many miles it was! My feet are still recovering.

It is a tradition here that you have to ¨kiss cheeks¨ (I
 don´t know what the official name is) with every female in a room or yard when you enter. Then you have to do it again when you leave, even if you were only there for just 2 minutes. I´ve never kissed so many people in my life!

There are squished frogs in the road everywhere. I did spot a live one the other day in the dark but mostly I´ve just seen dead ones.

There are fruit and veggie stands everywhere along the streets. Have I been fed fruits or vegetables once in a meal? Never. I had no idea I loved vegetables so much until now.

I bought a 50 peso jar of peanut butter in the store last week. It isn´t real peanut butter.

Any time I hear an American song or see an American brand, my heart pitter patters. I love America.

Thank you so much again for all of your love and support! You are wonderful! I hope you are all doing well. You are in my prayers constantly.

Love Hermana Jennifer Millet

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hi family!

This week has been one of the hardest weeks of my life but I have found great comfort in the scriptures and understanding Heavenly Father´s plan for me. I have started the Book of Mormon again this transfer and I found a scripture in 1 Nephi 1:20 that really helped me. It talks about how Heavenly Father gives us tender mercies which make us mighty enough to deliver ourselves from bondage. For me, this was a great reminder of all of the little blessings He is giving me every day and that through using the atonement I can be strengthened to overcome my trials.

I then found great knowledge in the next chapter. Lehi is called to take his family away from their home into the desert. Laman and Lemuel begin murmuring because it is hard. They have left their home, their friends, and everything they know to travel to an unknown place. I can relate with Laman and Lemuel in this situation. I am here in a country with customs and a language completely foreign to me and it is hard. It is really easy to murmur in these kinds of situations.

But Nephi gives a better example of what else I can do. This chapter tells of how Nephi wanted to know the mysteries of God and so he cried unto the Lord. I like to think it was difficult for him as well. He was struggling and he cried unto the Lord for comfort. The Lord did give him comfort and he softened his heart so that he could understand and accept his circumstances and trust in Heavenly Father.

This past week I have found myself being more like Laman and Lemuel. I have murmured and complained in my head and made the situation more difficult. I want to choose to be more like Nephi and ask for Heavenly Father´s help to change my heart. I have already seen evidence of his help this week as I go through discouraging and frustrating events; He has helped me to get over my anger or my sadness more quickly than I know I could on my own. He is helping to fill my heart with love and charity that I don´t have yet myself.

Each month of my mission I have decided to fast and work toward one of my mission goals. This month I decided I need to work on the Christ like attribute of hope. I need to develop optimism, patience, gratitude and positivity in all situations.

I have faith that in the long run my experience in Lujan will be for my good and that I can help others while I am here but I want to develop a more positive outlook with patience and optimism so that I enjoy the work and can find peace. I have already seen the Lord´s help this week and I know He can continue to bless me as I study and work to develop a better attitude.

Things have been really really hard this week. I was able to go to an Hermanas Conference on Thursday. It was wonderful. It was an answer to my prayers this week. I was really struggling here after a few days and being able to talk to other Hermanas (in English) was so comforting. I was able to learn that I am not the only one having doubts and fears and discouragement.  We all basically want to go home.  The culture is so different and being with native companions is really hard and the apartments are not very nice. All of the Hermanas are experiencing these emotions.  It was so nice to be able to talk about all of these things and know I'm not alone and we can get through it together. Just being able to talk about it with others who relate was so wonderful.  I don´t want to scare you too much so don´t worry about me but your continued prayers are wonderful. I think your fast has already helped because I started feeling a little better yesterday.

On the way back to Lujan I was also able to talk with Hermana Bangeter, a sister from Utah. I had no idea how difficult the language and culture barrier would be with a native companion and how much I would treasure being able to speak with English speakers from my own country. Hermana Bangeter is wonderful!

I have never felt more alone than I do here where I can´t express myself or understand others. Many times in conversations I am in my own world and when Hermana Suarez and I are together we don´t talk a lot either. I am working on listening more intently though so all the noise coming out of their mouths will slowly mean something.

I am slowly learning the area, the investigators and the way the work is handled here. The way we teach, find, plan etc. is completely different than I was accustomed to in California and I am working to adapt to this new environment. We have some great investigators and members that are helping along the way.

Our two investigators with plans to be baptized and confirmed this month are Cintia and Diego. They are 15 and 14 years old and their father was recently baptized. I was able to meet Cintia at a YW activity on Saturday and both she and Diego came to church Sunday. They are great kids and I am excited to continue getting to know them and teaching them.

We also have a few other investigators who we are working with but were not able to make it to church on Sunday. Hopefully we will be able to continue to help them.

The language is slowly coming. I am trying to listen intently to every conversation, even when it is easier to zone out. I think I am understanding a little more each day. I am hoping to make language study a greater priority during our day so that I can also study the grammar and vocabulary I need, because I know that is a great way in which I learn.

Hermana Suarez is great. There are many things which she does a lot differently than I might but I am really working on being teachable and accept her style. Sometimes it is hard because I felt so capable in my last area and here I feel very much like a junior companion who is being trained and doesn´t have much to contribute but I know I can learn from Hermana Suarez if I am willing to be humble.

On Friday it rained all day here. I was happy to find out that my boots and raincoat worked pretty well. Walking in all the mud was kind of difficult but I stayed relatively warm and dry.

We walk A LOT! I am learning to adjust though and so are my feet. I´ve got some pretty blisters and bruises but hopefully they will adjust. I pretty much always feel dirty with all the dust and sunscreen (I got burnt my first day out) and bug spray (apparently the mosquito bites stay as scars for the rest of your life here) and sweat haha. I´m learning pretty quickly not to care at all about what I look like.

I´m not quite sure what to tell you about all of the day to day activities. We leave the apartment by 10 and then do a lot of walking to investigators and different people. I am still trying to get to know them all.

Living conditions: compared to the members we live in a mansion. I have never seen such poverty. They live in tiny little shacks built of cheap bricks or this metal stuff. They burn the garbage in the street and it´s just crazy. My apartment is...okay. It stinks really bad and has mold and is kind of dirty but it´s not awful. There isn´t really anywhere to put my stuff so a lot of it is still in my suitcases in the kitchen and I have to search for it in the mornings. I am going to try to buy some cleaning things and clean up a bit today so it will be better. It really isn´t too bad though so I shouldn´t complain. It is worse than anything I´ve ever lived in before though.

The stray dogs are super sad. They are really cute but I don´t ever pet them or touch them because they are not as nice and they are really sick and dirty. It makes me really sad.

I didn´t know Sarah was going on a mission!!! That's awesome! Tell her congratulations!  Tell Mary Isom congrats and I love her.

I appreciate everything you do for me! Your letters are the highlight of my week. I love you all soo much and am so grateful for your prayers and love. Sorry if this email sounded negative. As I said, I´m still working on being positive.

Thank you so much for everything! I love you!

Love, Jen

PS There are fireflies here at night which are really cool.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hola familia!

How are you all? I´m sorry I wasn´t able to call you on Thursday Daddy! There wasn´t a lot of time during the layovers and it was costing money. It was good to hear all of your voices on Wednesday night though.

This week has been full of travel. The 10 hour flight here was...LONG. We got a dinner and breakfast on the plane which was kind of fun. I had a hard time sitting for so long and I didn´t get a whole lot of sleep. I´m here though now and I don´t have to do that again for another 14 months!

BTW in Texas we met up with some other missionaries traveling to Argentina. I was able to talk to Elder Cline and Elder Kelley from my district in the MTC. It was great to see them. When we got to Argentina we had to go through customs and visa checks and everything. It was pretty overwhelming to do all this in a language I can barely speak. I passed though haha. Apparently we are all here on tourist visas, so they are still working on getting us real ones. We were then met by the AP´s and President and Sister Carter. Guess who else I got to see!? Heremana Redford! She came in on a different flight! I was so excited to see her.

We took a little drive to the temple where we took pictures (I should get to go to the temple around Christmas time). Then we went to a park where Elder Marvin J. Ballard dedicated South America for missionary work almost 100 years ago (I think it was about that long). President Carter talked about the dedication and how we are continuing to fulfill that revelation. He talked about how this area is growing like an oak tree in which it starts out small but will be strong. It was pretty cool. We then went back to President Carter´s house where we ate a delicious lunch of salad, mashed potatoes and some sort of steak with gravy. They also had a delicious cake with layers (kind of like pie crust) and dulce de leche and chocolate. Me encanta! We then had some training and interviews there at their home.

President Carter is very different from President Castro. He is much more...to the point. President Castro was very meek and quiet and President Carter is kind of more normal and/or down to earth. They are very different but I love them both. My interview with President Carter was pretty normal, nothing too exciting.

We then went to the mission offices, had a little more training and ate sandwiches. Afterward some of the elders took Hermana Redford and me to an apartment near the office. It is an empty apartment they have on hand so it was just the two of us. It was great to catch up with her. The next morning we had a little more training and by 11:00 we were out with our temporary companions for the weekend. I went with Hermana Stevens and Hermana Gomez in San Justos. I spend Saturday and Sunday with them and then we had transfers today.

The Hermanas I worked with in San Justos.  We bought a pizza
for lunch and they made a cute welcome sign.
Hermana Gomez spoke basically no English but luckily Hermana Stevens is from Utah and was able to translate a little. On Sunday all of the members were really nice. They had me bear my testimony is Spanish which went pretty well I think. They all think I know Spanish but I can speak better than I understand at this point.

The work is quite different here. Everything is different. The milk comes in bags. There are stray dogs EVERYWHERE: The water really is toxic. I´m not allowed to drink out of the tap, and have to have my filtered water bottle for everything or put bleach in it. Apparently I might also come back with basically no hair because the water is also hard on our hair haha. We don´t really eat dinner here (maybe I really will lose some Solvang weight lol) so the members feed us lunch. There is no carpet in any of the homes or buildings. The people have siestas every afternoon and all the stores close for a few hours. Those are just a few of the changes.

The living conditions are also really sad. The apartments I´ve been in aren´t too bad but it makes the one in Solvang look like a palace. It´s kind of cool how I have had the opportunity to work with really wealthy people in Solvang and now I am seeing the poorest of the poor. Some of the places we go are so sad. There are new born babies living in basically shacks. There is so much trash everywhere and it is all just cement walls and floors. It´s crazy! Some of my favorite lessons from the week were in these places, however.

This week has been full of travel and experiencing different companionships and areas. In the Ventura Mission I was able to work with a companionship of sisters for a few days in their area before flying here to Argentina. I was then able to work with Hermana Gonzales and Hermana Stevens in San Justos here in the BAW mission. It was good to experience different kinds of missionaries and areas and learn from all of them.

I have learned a lot here in the past few days. I am still getting used to the focus on the key indicators here in this mission. It took me a while, personally, to not focus so much on the numbers and focus more on my investigators. When my companion and I really focused on the numbers one week and were working like crazy to achieve them all I didn´t feel as successful personally. I didn´t feel like we made as much of a difference in the lives of our investigators. On the other hand, in the past few weeks in Solvang our numbers didn´t look very good but our investigators were really progressing. We had several that were extremely close to accepting baptismal dates and had come so far.

The missions are very different, however, and I know that the council President Carter gives is what is right for this mission. I want to fully adopt this mission and the culture here and accept what President Carter teaches, while taking what I learned in Solvang and finding a way to use that to help me be more successful here. As an educator I appreciate using results to drive how we do things and so I appreciated seeing today how focusing on the indicators has proven to bring more people unto Christ, because that is the ultimate goal. If I can be assured that I am helping people to come unto Christ I know I can gain a testimony of the way things are done in this mission.

Today's transfer meeting was also very different. I liked it a lot though. It is super exciting! In Ventura we got a call the day before about transfers, where we are going, who our companion is etc. Here you get a call the night before letting you know if you need to back your bags but you have no idea where you are going until you go to the meeting. They have a slide show where they go through all the areas. When your face pops up that is when you find out where you are going. Even the Zone Leaders and HTL (Hermana Training Leaders) don´t know about their calls until that moment. It´s crazy. I have a great companion. She is from Mendoza Argentina. She´s 28 and is trying to learn English so she can sometimes revert to English if I really don´t understand but hopefully she will speak mostly Spanish to me. She seems great and everyone tells me what a great missionary she is. She is also an Hermana Training Leader. (If that tells you anything about what kind of missionary she is). I know that having a native companion will help me to learn Spanish quickly. I can speak better than I understand and I really hope to work on listening intently to everything I hear in order to learn quickly. I think we will get along great and I want to learn all I can from her.

We are in an area called Lujan. It is about an hour and a half from the mission home by bus. It is in a more suburb area which I like. Our zone seems great as well. I am really excited to be in this area. I think I may be riding a bike here too. We´ll see.

I still don´t really know about mail because I don´t have all the info with me right now. I know you can find it all on the blog though. You must use USPS or dearelder etc. I believe I only get it when I go into the office. I do get a little more time on the internet usually though, except for today.

I love you all lots and lots and lots! Sorry this letter is a little crazy. Thank you so much for being so amazing! You´re the best!

Love Hermana Millet

Monday, October 21, 2013

IT'S HERE!!!

IT'S HERE!!  Stop any mail you might be sending today! I won't get it!!! I'm going to Argentina on Thursday! AH! I'm freaking out a little. I'm super sad to leave Solvang but also super excited!  I will be traveling with Hermana Parrish who has been in the California Ventura Mission and is going to Buenos Aires West as well. Hopefully one of my other Hermana's might be with me as well.

I have been having mixed emotions about leaving here. I am so sad to be leaving everyone here. I love them all so much! I am terrified to go to Argentina where I know the culture and the food and the people and the language will be so different but I'm also excited for the adventure and I'm trying to remember the excitement I felt when I first got the call. It's hard now that I've gotten so comfortable here but I'm trying to trust Heavenly Father. I know he has a plan. I've been here for a reason but I'm also supposed to go the Argentina for a reason. This is the right time. I know I'll probably go through a lot of hard times in the next little while though so please keep me in your prayers. Pray that I will have the gift of tongues and that I will be able to adjust to the culture and people and a new companion and not get too homesick again. I'm so lucky I have you to rely on and to know that I have your support. Thank you so much!

So yesterday we get this text from President Castro before church that says, "Call me when you are done with your church meetings." What the heck?! Does he know how much stress that causes?! Needless to say, we had a hard time focusing in church yesterday. When we finally talked to him that afternoon he told me my VISA had arrived. I am so excited and terrified.

I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity I have been given to serve here in Solvang. I have learned so much being in the California Ventura Mission, from President Castro from my wonderful trainer and from the people here in Solvang. This mission and the people here will hold a special place in my heart forever. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has a plan for me and that he knows what is best for me, even when I don't. I know I have been here for a reason to help people here and to learn and grow personally. I now feel at peace about going to Argentina and continuing my mission there. I know it will come with many more trials and challenges to face but I know if I trust in the Lord it will all work out. I am heartbroken to be leaving my amazing investigators, the ward members and Hermana Cannon here but Heavenly Father has given me such peace to know that they will all be taken care of and that things will all work out.

This week I have continually felt that peace, knowing that Hermana Cannon will continue the work here as we've anticipated transfers. Our numbers this week have been considerably lower than we would like but the conversion and change in our investigators has been so great. I have truly come to see how the key indicators are just a means to an end. At week six last transfer we almost achieved the Standard of Excellence, which was a great feeling, but now, with dismal numbers, I feel such greater joy knowing that the people we did meet with are changing drastically and coming closer to Christ and the lessons we did have were full of the spirit.

On Thursday we had another great lesson with Andy. We wanted to keep it very concise and directed on the 10 commandments. As we went through each one we had great conversation with him and he seemed to enjoy the focus and structure we were trying to create in the lesson. The biggest challenge we knew he would have is with keeping the Sabbath Day holy. Andy has arrived at the point where he will come to church every Sunday unless his friend Barb comes down and wants to go to lunch. As we talked about keeping the Sabbath Day holy he didn't completely agree or understand the need to not spend money. He is changing so much, however, and he continues to soften his heart and be open to the commandments. He agreed that it would help him to focus more on the Savior by not spending money and committed to live the commandment. He really is making all of these changes slowly but surely. He is continuing to pray about baptism and is even starting to mention planning it out. I am so excited for him to make this commitment. He knows that it will be a lifelong change and I know it will bring him such happiness!

That day we also had an amazing lesson with Alisa. We found her by a miracle weeks ago as we were tracking. We also taught her daughter, Ashley, at one point but haven't been able to have a solid return appointment with either of them. Each time I have talked to Alisa or Ashley I have felt so guided by the spirit. They are both so ready to hear the message of the gospel and find the truth and Heavenly Father has filled our mouths to give them the words they need to hear. As we taught Alisa the plan of salvation she said, "This is like what I believe! No one has ever explained it to me this way before!" I am so grateful that Heavenly Father led us to her. If she continues to learn and pray and feel the spirit I have no doubt she can change her life and be baptized.

We also had a miracle moment with Carl that day as we taught the Word of Wisdom. He had talked to Hermana Bartschi and Hermana Cannon about tea on their exchanges a few weeks ago and had some questions about it. As we began teaching the lesson, however, we realized he had completely resolved his own concerns about tea. He decided the habit alone can be addicting, whether or not it has addictive properties or negative health affects, if it takes him away from God then it is a bad habit that he shouldn't do. This was such a wonderful tender mercy. He is now working on quitting coffee. He was able to attend a baptism with us on Saturday, which he enjoyed. We are praying that his soon to be ex-wife will cooperate so he can finalize the divorce and get married soon in preparation for his own baptism.

On Friday we met with Georgi. She is so incredibly sick but so full of faith. She really is an inspiration. She has such faith that her prayers and our prayers will help her to heal but also accepts that if she doesn't get better it is God's will. She was able to come to church on Sunday and meet with the Bishop to begin her process of returning to the church. She has no doubts the church is true and this is what she wants. It is amazing to see how she has changed in the past 12 weeks. The Lord really prepared her for us. She was just waiting for us to love her and help her see the light of the gospel again.

I have learned so much about trust from Georgi and from other experiences over the transfer and this past week. On Saturday evening we taught a lesson to a Spanish woman named Maria. She has not read the Book of Mormon because she knows it will change her life if she reads it and knows it is true. It was a really powerful lesson but I was having such a hard time understanding. In this past transfer Hermana Cannon and I have really only taught about two Spanish lessons per week and so I have gotten really out of practice. Saturday night I was tired and so frustrated that I couldn't follow along. As Hermana Cannon and I talked about it afterward I broke down and explained my fears about this next transfer and not being able to speak the language, whether I was here in Solvang training, in Argentina or transferred to another Spanish area I was terrified about what all the possibilities would mean.

Connie, my favorite Grandma investigator.
We then received a call from Robert, one of our ward missionaries who is headed on his own mission soon. He was having a really hard time and felt so alone. He told us he has no relationship with anyone that he feels that he can turn to as he faces doubts, questions, and concerns that Satan is placing in his path before he goes on his mission. He has been such an example to Hermana Cannon and me as we've seen his faith amidst so much adversity his whole life. We have grown to feel so much Christ like love for him and it was so hard to see him suffering.

The cutest ward missionary team ever.
I had such a moment of sadness that night as I thought about Robert and all of the other people we are trying to help and all of their problems. I knelt at my bedside praying for all of them and I really understood how Enos and the Nephites and so many others in the scriptures felt when they poured out their hearts for their brethren. I just wanted Heavenly Father to make their pain go away. I felt such an ache knowing that I can't fix all of their problems. I know that is where faith and hope come in and trusting in Heavenly Father and his plan for all of us.

We were able to meet with Robert on Sunday and share a message with him about hope and comfort and the joy he will feel on his mission. It was such as blessing to be able to help in some small way. Just as Heavenly Father can't take away all of our pain and trials, we can't take away the struggles Robert, or Toni or any of our other investigators face, but we can hopefully help them find joy in the gospel and comfort in the atonement of the Savior.

I am so grateful to have you, my wonderful family to rely on. Everything in life can be dealt with when we know that we have a family who loves and supports us, but some of the people we talk to don't have that at all. Their family is their struggle. They really are completely alone. Thank you so much for being there for me so that even when I go through hard times I know I am not alone.

I wish I could express to you all how wonderful the people here are and how much I love them. I am so full of love and gratitude for them all right now. Here are the top ten things I love about Solvang:

1. Hermana Cannon
2. My investigators (who are all getting baptized this year!)

Carl and his baby parakeets.
Carl and Woody
 3. The amazing ward members
4. The fact that they have Danish Days and Scarecrow contests and fairy festivals etc.

Our favorite scarecrow in the scarecrow contest.
5. The Christmas lights that are on the trees every night
6. The delicious Danishes and pastries and fudge

Our last Burrito Loco dinner.
I probably won't get to send you all a handwritten letter today but know that I love you so much! I pray for you every day and I am so grateful for your love and support!

Love,
Hermana Millet

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Surprise! It's a Baptism!

Familia!

Sorry my email is a little late today. The wonderful Haws family offered to give us free teeth cleanings this morning (Brother Haws has his own Dentistry practice) which was during our regularly scheduled email time. He said my teeth look beautiful. :)

This week turned out to be a little different than we had planned, but so much better!

We have been debating about what date would be best for our investigator Dane to be baptized for a few weeks now. We had originally set it for the 12th of October but last week we weren't sure if he was ready so we talked to him about pushing it back to the 19th. We had concerns about receiving ward support on the 19th because it is ward temple day and two of our ward missionaries will be taking out their own endowments on that day, meaning a large majority of our ward council and fellowshippers for Dane would not be in attendance. Ward fellowship is so vital for Dane and we really wanted to make sure he had the support of the ward at his baptism.

Jennifer, Dane her first convert, and Sister Cannon
We gave him a list of the baptismal requirements in D&C 20 and the baptismal interview questions and asked him to read them before our visit on Tuesday to see how he felt about them. When we had that visit he had studied each question and answered affirmatively to each one. He was so ready! We asked him when we would like to be baptized and he chose the 12th. After a lot of questions and concerns on our part over the past week we both felt great about that decision. So we called our district leader and scheduled the interview for that evening. By 7:00 that night he had passed his interview and we began planning a baptism for Saturday.

The rest of week was a whirlwind of phone calls and planning and meeting with Dane to continue to prepare him for the ordinance and give him support. When Saturday came both Hermana Cannon and I were giddy with excitement.

Pre-baptism excited faces!!
The service was absolutely beautiful. Robert, one of our ward missionaries, who will be heading out on his own mission to the Philippines in about three weeks, and who accompanied us on about 50-60% of our lessons with Dane was able to baptize Dane. They were both a little nervous but it went so well. I felt such an amazing rush of the spirit as Dane went under the water. I can't explain what a beautiful feeling it was.


Jennifer with two of the ward missionaries.


Sister Cannon, Jennifer, Dane and Robert
After the ordinance I was able to give a talk on the Gift of the Holy Ghost. This was another highlight for me. I felt the power of the Holy Ghost testifying through me as I bore my testimony to Dane and to a room full of investigators, fellow missionaries and ward members I have come to love. There is no greater feeling than knowing the words which you are testifying of are true and that the spirit is touching others' hearts through you.

I feel so blessed to have been part of the whole process with Dane. I not only got to be here for his baptism but I got to experience his whole conversion, from finding, teaching, growing to membership in the church. It was such a wonderful blessing and I'm so grateful Heavenly Father allowed me to be a part of it.

Sister Cannon & Jennifer with Andy
Our investigator Andy also had a major baptismal breakthrough this week. We haven't brought up baptism with Andy for a few weeks now because we were trying to address some of his more immediate concerns such as the Word of Wisdom. In the middle of our lesson this week, however, he suddenly brought it up and started talking about his desire to be baptized! We couldn't believe our ears. I remember just sitting and saying a prayer of thanks in my heart as he opened up to us. He still has some word of wisdom issues to work out as well as fear of change but he has a desire to be baptized which is a miracle! He was able to attend Dane's baptism and he told us that he experienced a feeling of happiness as Dane came out of the water. We explained to him that is the spirit! He asked us to give him two weeks to pray about it and Hermana Cannon explained to him exactly how to ask Heavenly Father if he should be baptized. I am confident he will receive his answers if he continues to display the faith he showed this week.

We also had continued miracles with one of our less active sisters, Toni, this week. We were able to teach her on Wednesday and then have her over to dinner on Thursday at the Relief Society President's home. She has a lot of questions and lot that she doesn't remember from her childhood growing up in the church but I am confident that she can find happiness in coming back to church. She has a lot of unhappiness and hard trials in her life right now but hopefully we can help her experience the atonement of Christ and see that He really can help her through those struggles. She came to church on Sunday and told us today that she felt herself smiling a real smile in Relief Society which she hasn't done in a long time. The sisters were so great to fellowship her and love her and I am so excited to see her life continue to change.

Hermana Cannon got sick this week and so part of Friday she spent sleeping while I planned for the baptism. She got kind of stressed about the whole last minute baptism thing. Luckily I like planning though so I was able to take over some of it so that she could rest.

Jennifer and Hermana T with their fingerprinting cards.

On Wednesday we ended up having to drive all the way to Santa Barbara to be fingerprinted again for our FBI clearance, which apparently they have to redo. In some ways this makes me excited thinking at least something is being done but if they have to reapply it could take a while. I'm trusting the Lord. I'm trusting the Lord. (That's what I have to repeat over and over again.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be in Solvang. I have really felt my purpose here and I know I am here for a reason. While I have trust that the Lord will do what is best for me I am hoping that I will be able to continue working in this area for another transfer to continue to work with our wonderful investigators and ward, helping them and learning from them. I love the ward so much! We have such wonderful members who are so sweet to us. I don't even know how to thank them for all they do. It just makes me feel so happy to sit is sacrament meeting or see our dinner calendar and feel like I'm home and love them all so much. Unfortunately, this might be a sign I'm leaving. Each time we visit with some of our investigators I kind of get the feeling that I might have to accept that Hermana Cannon is going to take care of them. I hope they will all get baptized even if one or both of us leave. We have so many that are so close and it's hard to leave them all. I'll go where he wants me to go though haha.

Wow. I think I might be done a little early. I love you all SOOOO much! Thank you for all the love and support! You are the bestest family ever. :)

Love Jen