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|
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!|
|I helped make these empanadas.|
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.|
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!