Hola! Como están?! Perdón por mi desanimo en la semana pesada. Estaba un poquito cansada y desanimado. Estoy mejor hoy y muy agradecida por sus cartas y fotos.
Lujan has gotten a ton of rain this week, but we have been super blessed that most of it is during the night or during our studies in the morning. There have been a lot of homes and streets flooded and some people can't live in their homes right now. The other day we also had an amazing lightning storm.
|Wet to the bone!|
I was excited and nervous for the opportunity to learn from and teach the Hermanas there. Both Hermana Leiva and Hermana DeLeon have more time than I do in Argentina, and I was a little worried they might not like being helped by someone so young. The Lord definitely qualifies whom he calls, however, and I felt the spirit of discernment with me as I listened to their concerns and worked with them to find the right suggestions and words of advice to help them. They were both wonderfully humble and grateful and willing to learn and hopefully apply what we talked about.
On Wednesday I worked with Hermana Leiva. I was immediately impressed with her love, openness and obedience. She is a wonderful missionary who is really trying to serve the Lord with all her heart, might, mind and strength. She has a great desire to improve and we talked a lot about setting goals and following through so that she can see progress in herself and her work as a missionary.
|Hermana Leiva and Jennifer|
|Hermana De Leon and Hermana Millet|
With Hermana DeLeon on Thursday we had an amazing lesson with a woman named Deborah. We were there to talk to her sister-in-law, a previous contact, but she wasn't super interested. Hermana DeLeon was extremely in tune with the spirit and was able to discern that Deborah needed repentance.
She began to cry as she explained that she has a great carga (no recuerda la palabra) ...load or burden. I took her hand and we read Alma 7:11-13 about the atonement and how the Savior understands her feelings. We then continued with the following verses about baptism. She committed to be baptized but is juntado (living with her boyfriend) and can't be baptized right now. I, pretty boldly, told her that to be baptized she needs to follow the commandments and get married and she agreed right away! I don't know what will happen with her but I felt an awesome connection with her and was so grateful to feel like I was in the right place at the right time to help this sweet woman.
We also have a miracle investigator in our area, named Ivana. She just so happens to be our next door neighbor in our apartment, literally a wall away. She moved in about the same time I did and is friends with a member. I knew that Hermana Suarez had tried to contact her but we never really got a chance to talk. This week she was outside talking with her member friend and we set an appointment to visit with her. SHE IS GOLDEN!!!
She talked with missionaries before but never went to church or committed. She has been praying to find a church and has been accepting everything without doubt. She accepted a baptismal date in the first lesson and is married!!! In the first lesson she asked about what happens after this life and we were able to share the plan of salvation and forever families. She loves the focus the church has on families (she has a 7 year old and an almost 2 year old).
She wasn't able to come to church this Sunday because she already had plans with her family, but she has already committed to go next Sunday. The only worry we have is her husband who doesn't want to listen to us and is worried that she will change if she joins the church. We are praying that he will be able to see the blessings that come to his family and with time he will be interested as well.
We still have yet to get Miriam (the mom of Bruno) to sign the permission slip for his baptism. This week we wrote an awesome letter to give to her with the baptismal date in hopes that she will sign it and he can be baptized this month.
In our area we are seeing more success but are still frustrated with the attendance in sacrament meeting. This week was a great test of faith for both Hermana Castellanos and I as all our perfect plans with investigators resulted in disappointment.
We were sure that Veronica and Bruno would be in sacrament meeting and we spent all day Saturday trying to contact investigators to commit to church. On Saturday night many of our prospective plans fell through but we received two miracle phone calls from investigators who wanted to go to church!
|This is Pascual, Bruno and Lautaro. Aren't they precious!!|
Finally an hour late for church we arrived and the only investigator we had was Bruno (porque Pascual es un capo). We set out with Presidente in his car to find Veronica so she can be baptized this Saturday and she wasn't at home. Therefore, our goal for 5 investigators and 5 progressando and 100% was down to basically nothing.
With all the stress and disappointment of the investigators and our physical pain we were basically both at our breaking point. Then President asked me to give a talk in sacrament meeting in about 5 minutes. I did alright but as I began to bear my testimony and thank the members etc. I started to cry. I couldn't contain all the stress etc. As I sat back down the pain in my back was really bad and Hermana Castellanos and left for the bathroom to cry together for a minute. When we returned we still hadn't composed ourselves and all the members started turning around looking at us in concern. After sacrament meeting they all came to talk to us and love us. They are WONDERFUL! However, with all the love we cried even more. We were a mess haha! The elders were great and gave us both blessings and we rested a little in the afternoon and are both doing a little better now.
My back still has quite a bit of pain but I'm going to try not to carry anything this week and be really careful and take a ton of ibuprofen. With our investigators we are still wondering what more we need to do to have success. This week I plan to search for ways to be more diligent and more obedient and really stress the commandment of the Sabbath day to our investigators. I am grateful for another week to improve and set new goals to achieve 100%.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and letters and love and concern! I am praying for you each day! I love you sooo much!
PS. Your question about meals with members. Argentines don't really eat dinner or if they do it is super late so we have lunch at 1:00 with members. Flia Magnu is wonderful and feeds us Friday and Sunday (their twin daughters are going to be baptized the week after transfers so we are teaching them right now and praying that we will be here for their baptism). Flia Merlo feeds us Saturday's and wonderful Hermano Luis buys us food to cook in our apartment on Thursdays. We used to have meals on Tuesdays and Wednesdays but they both left so we are searching for more because we don't have money to buy food.