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!|
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!