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