Monday, July 28, 2014

Changes, Happiness and Love!

Hello to the most beautiful people on the planet,

I hope your week has been great and you are enjoying the sunshine and summer. I've got some great stories to tell so let's get down to business (to defeat the huns...) know how when you get a new mission president some things might change. Well it's happening!

On Friday we went to the leadership meeting and received all new instructions.

First of all, any rule that we had before is now being thrown out and we are just using the missionary handbook. Therefore, on Saturday when we went to Cecilia and David's for a Family Home Evening and they gave us Coke, I drank it. My first one in a year. It was super good but also made me kind of sick lol. We can also drink mate cocido (mate in tea form) and listen to music (too bad my iPod is broken and the offices took our DVD/CD player). But anyway, we feel quite liberated.

The second gigantic change was with our indicators clave. You all probably don't really understand this part at all, but basically we have these goals of numbers that we have to achieve. They contribute to our percentage for the week and month and every week all of your numbers are put in a report and sent to the whole mission so everyone knows who got 100% etc. (Basically it's like putting everyone's grades on each assignment or test for everyone to see) It was a good way to motivate us to work hard but was a ton of pressure (therefore all my freaking about achieving my numbers and trying to improve etc. in the past 9 months) Well, President Robertson last week stopped sending out the numbers and on Friday he told us that we no longer have mission wide goals. We will now set our own goals and use the definitions found in Preach My Gospel. It's a little hard to explain but basically there couldn't be a bigger change for our mission.

Anyway, we are all pretty excited about the change and how we can hopefully become more effective missionaries, but it's going to be very interesting.

This past weekend has been really eye opening for me. After our meeting on Friday we began thinking about the new indicators and applying the concepts in our work. It was very interesting to note the difference in our thought processes. We began to see how much control it is going to take to find a balance with our goals and helping our investigators. While we might not have the pressure of the indicators we still need to use our personal goals to drive us to work more diligently and in a balanced way. It was much easier to be relaxed and lose that drive to work with all our efforts Saturday and Sunday without the numbers pushing us. However, we were able to use the time we had effectively. Instead of scrambling for empty numbers such as contacts without the spirit etc. we used the hours we had to contact investigators whom we haven't been able to contact in days and visit those who didn't come to church.

Although I think working in this manner will take a lot of self control and adjustment I know if we can learn to be completely motivated by our love for the Savior and our brothers and sisters we will be more effective missionaries.

As Hermana Peterson and I talked about the changes we were experiencing we realized how much more we will need to learn to recognize and act upon spiritual promptings. We began questioning if we had even been acting by the spirit. While I know we were being led by the spirit before, many times we didn't recognize it because everything was so spelled out for us. I have been studying My Purpose and How to Recognize the Spirit in Preach My Gospel to relearn some of the basics about missionary work that I may have forgotten in the past few months. It has been an interesting process in asking the Lord questions and receiving answers about what I need to change to become the missionary he wants me to be.

These past few weeks I have felt as though we are spinning our wheels, finding and teaching, but not finding those prepared to keep their commitments and eventually be baptized. I hope and pray that I have learned some of what the Lord wanted through my study and will be more humble and receptive to His spirit this week to find those who are prepared for August.

A few happy moments from the week...

Hermana Peterson asked Cecilia what David does for work. Cecilia explained that he does facturas. (Factura has two meanings, 1.a delicious pastry doughnut type thing, 2. a bill). Hermana Peterson immediately thought of the first definition (obviously) and asked why he is at a computer all night to make facturas. We had a good laugh and Cecilia explained that he does the billing stuff on the computer for the meat company he works for and it really doesn't have anything to do with pastries. Then...we went to their house for a FHE on Saturday and David pulled out a big package of facturas (the doughnut kind) to give Hermana Peterson from "his work". It was hilarious and so cute.

Speaking of the FHE, it was wonderful! It was their first one and Cecilia, David and Jazmin where there as well as Alejandra and Soledad (David's mom and sister) and two of his nieces. They made pizza (with lettuce, which is actually pretty good) and watched Finding Faith in Christ while we ate. They then brought out a board game they had purchased (basically Monopoly Argentine version) to play. It was soo great.

We usually feel really sick going back home from the meetings in Ramos but this time we didn't and we think it is because we drank water and ate barbecued beef sandwiches, carrots, an apple, chips and snicker doodles (it may not sound like it but WAY healthier!) We LOVED it and totally didn't feel sick on the way back.

Cecilia went with us to teach a few lessons and she is AMAZING! She was so excited to go and shared her testimony so perfectly. I think she's going to be great to take with us when we have lessons with a member.

On Wednesday night in our English class with David, Cecilia, Romina and Rodrigo and Hermana Alldredge everyone was trying to help me roll my r's because I still can't do it. Well, on Thursday we were contacting some people in David's apartment complex after talking with him and Cecilia and he came up the stairs after a few minutes and gave me a piece of paper and left. When we finished talking to this woman I opened it up and it was full of tongue twisters that he had printed out to help me learn lol. I'm still super frustrated but maybe by December I'll learn haha.

I realized in these past few weeks that I am so incredibly happy. Although we still have bad days here and there I LOVE the mission. I LOVE Bragado. I LOVE my companion and I'm just so incredibly happy. I hope you can taste a little slice of my happiness from my letters and transfer it to your lives. Have a wonderful week!

Sincerely your favorite gringa, Hermana Millet

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My Best Friend's Wedding

Hello my beautiful family! I hope your week has been as wonderful as mine. I don't think I'll be able to explain how wonderful these past few days have been so hopefully the pictures will help to explain a little...

This week I experienced some of the best moments of my mission. My heart has literally been filled to the brim. While here in Bragado I have come to know some of my best friends, Cecilia, David and their four year old daughter Jazmin. This week I was able to watch them get married, baptized and then confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

This is a wedding in Argentina.

Awwww...Aren't they adorable?!
Throwing rice!
With their Hermanas!
They were so completely prepared last week but we warned them that Satan would be working really hard on them this week. And of course, he did, however, with the help of lots of prayers, good friends and members, they each were able to overcome the doubts and fears that Satan put into their hearts.

They were bursting with joy the day of their wedding and it just continued to grow over the weekend. The wedding in and of itself really isn't that exciting. We all just squish into a tiny room, watch them sign some papers etc. Afterward, however, everyone went to the church for a little lunch. Romina and her mom were wonderful and decorated the whole chapel so it looked beautiful. They also brought food which was great and Cecilia's family brought a ton of tartas (cake, pie things with fruit). It turned out really well. We sang Families Can Be Together Forever which is like their family theme song and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
The church decorated for the reception.
Helping Jaz cut the cake.
The whole feeding each other cake thing isn't really
a tradition in Argentina, but when I suggested it,
David knew exactly what to do. LOL
On Saturday as we walked up to the church, David and Cecilia were just getting out of a Remis (David went all out this weekend and paid for taxis, a suit coat and took Cecilia and Jaz out to dinner on Friday). They helped us set up and got changed and all ready. The service went beautifully. We watched from beside the font to give Cecilia the towel as she walked out and it was so wonderful to see her giant smile. She was so incredibly happy. David also had a smile from ear to ear as he came out of the water.

The baptism shot. :)
After the baptism.
I think this one is my favorite!
After the baptism Cecilia bore her testimony and shared how they had been going through a really hard time and were ready to separate but that when we came we brought peace and joy to their home. I of course started to tear up and then had to sing right after. We sang Te Hallare Mi Querido Amigo, the song of the mission, which I will sing for you when I get home. But basically it was made for them. It was wonderful!

After church on Sunday David had an interview with President Alldredge and so we waited outside and talked with Cecilia. She shared with us how she has already seen such a difference in David. After their baptism all he could talk about was the plan of salvation and their goal to be sealed in the temple in a year. He walked out of the interview excited to receive the priesthood (a miracle in and of itself) as well as get some family names ready for the temple.

The change I have seen in them over the past few months has been so beautiful. I have really come to understand how much love the Savior has for each one of us. I really feel as though I have found some truly wonderful friends and I am so excited to continue watching their life progress.

After church on Sunday we were waiting to talk to
President and Hermana Alldredge sat down and
sang hymns with Emma and Jazmin.
It was soooo cute!!
I love you all so much and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a forever family with you! Have a wonderful week!


Hermana Millet

Monday, July 14, 2014

Please Cry for Me Argentina


How are you all! Were you DYING last night?! Because I was. I can't believe we lost. It was pretty much the worst three hours of my life sitting in my pench listening to screaming and not knowing ANYTHING! Luckily Hermana Islas is a saint and sent me text updates every few minutes. We did, however, get to watch the game on Wednesday. The most exciting Wednesday night of my life! It was an awesome game and I got to watch it with my favorite people.

Vamos Argentina!

Watching the game... Personalities of the members:  Veronica Islas
watching while crocheting, Cecilia interested but normal,
David "Don't you dare talk to me.  I'm busy praying."
Anyway, enough about soccer...

This week we got to have our first interviews with President and a meeting with him and all of Chivilcoy. My interview was super great and way over the five minute time limit haha. He basically told me I'll be going to the city (NOOOOOOOO!!!!) but I'm going to accept God's will and work as hard as I can in the short time I have left here in Bragado.

The Robertsons.  This was our first meeting with them last
 week with the leadership council.  All the hermanas gave
 Hermana Robertson a braclet and all the Elders gave President a tie.
   They are super cute.  You would LOVE them.
Chivilcoy Sur! (Chivilcoy South)
Flashback!  Our MTC group in Chivilcoy.
I am really excited about the progress we have made this week here in our area. Last week, although we had 'fechas' I couldn't see any of them progressing to baptism. This week we have found some wonderful people and are beginning to see them progress.

One of the greatest miracles we saw began with a less active family, Familia Arias. They are from Cordova and have six children (3 boys and 3 girls). The father has been a member for a long time but his wife and children were baptized about five years ago and just moved to Bragado in October. They have been inactive due to a really horrible situation in Cordova in which the members weren't very Christlike and their 10 year old daughter has not been baptized. I had heard about this family from Hermana Morales but we could never talk to them all. The first time Hermana Peterson and I went we didn't know their story and unfortunately, the father ended up getting offended. However, I went back this week with Hermana Adams in divisions and we saw miracles.

We entered the house and neither of the parents were home, but their aunt, Jimena was there with her 4 year old son. We began teaching her and all of the kids the restoration and it was wonderful. Ten year old Estefania was so excited to participate and be baptized and Jimena was a literal miracle. She understood the restoration perfectly and accepted a baptismal invitation without hesitating.

We were able to return and teach both families later in the week and for the first time I was able to really talk to Hermana Arias. She shared their whole story and really opened up to us. I know it will take more than a few weeks to help this sweet family come back to church but I have high hopes for them. Jimena is juntado but is also willing to get married so she can become a forever family. I can't wait to see the progress that will come with these families in the next months! I know the Lord is preparing them.

Hermana Adams made breakfast for me.  Can you tell
what it says?  H. M. I (heart) U! (Hermana Millet
I love you)  Isn't she the cutest?
Our next miracle is Romina. She is 24 years old and single. She is Evangelist but not active right now. This week we were able to teach her for the first time without her mom (who is SUPER firm in her faith and tends to dominate the lessons) present and we had an amazing lesson. She shared with us a part of her story that really opened all of our hearts to the spirit. Her three year old son was playing when he fell and landed on his head. He was in the hospital for a few days but eventually was pronounced brain dead and passed away. She then distanced herself from her church and God but wants to come back again. We shared the plan of salvation and the doctrine of eternal families. The spirit in the room was so incredibly strong not one of us could deny it. She really just has such a light and I know the Lord has prepared her life to hear this message.

And of course our two biggest miracles, David and Cecilia. Each time I am with them my love grows. Even when I am not with them I am thinking of how much I love them and what scripture, or article or lesson will help them next.

I love her!
This week I had the incredibly sacred opportunity to give them their pre-interviews for baptism. It was so amazing to hear their testimonies as they shared how they have grown and changed. I learned this week that they were at the point of separation when we first began teaching them. They didn't come to church the first two weeks because they were fighting, but thanks to the gospel, their relationship is now stronger than ever. David talked of how his faith in Christ has grown and Cecilia told us how she wants to be baptized so she can be a member of Church of Jesus Christ and become free of her sins. Being a witness of the change the gospel can affect in a family really is the greatest joy in the world.

I know this is the true purpose of the gospel: to bring families back to His presence. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this process. Each week I find myself understanding my purpose as a missionary more and finding more and more joy in accomplishing it.

Thank you for your love and support! I love you sooo much! Have a wonderful week!

Love, your favorite Messi fan,

Hermana Millet

P.S.  I forgot to send you this picture last week of Aldo and Patricia's baptism.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Semana de Mundial! (World Cup Week!)

My dear family:

Happy 4th of July! Guess what? I completely forgot until about 10:00 at night. We had a little conference call with our zone and Hermana Alley was singing God Bless America. I'll be much more festive next year.

I hope your week has been wonderful. Mine sure was. Here's a few of the highlights...

So we got to know President Robertson on Wednesday and I am so excited to work with him and his family. They were also so nice and full of love. We talked a lot with his 17 year old daughter at lunch (her name is Nicole btw, and President's is David Paul) and she is super cute. It was kind of amazing how quickly I felt love for them as well. I still love President Carter with all my heart but I am also super excited to accept President Robertson and follow his direction. He is very patient and loving and just wants us all to do our best.

Today in the SOL (the message from the President) he wrote to us about an article in the Liahona this month about perfection. It was exactly what I needed, and what I think a lot of the mission needs. I was reading that article yesterday as my companion and I were a little sad and thinking about how to improve. My companion was really upset and kept dwelling on our lack of success. I know that we should always be looking for ways to become better missionaries but I also don't want to be sad every Sunday. I think that the Lord is patient with us even when we don't do everything perfectly and he wants us to be happy as we continue trying to improve.

He also gave us some instructions from the church about retention. The church as a whole is focusing a lot more on keeping our converts active after their baptisms and I am sooo excited. That is exactly what we need here. Yesterday in church we had about 20 people (6 of which were missionaries) and the only converts from about the last year were Aldo and Patricia. I have felt like we needed to help with reactivation and retention but we just don't have the time or programs. I really hope we will now be able to help these efforts last.

This week we were really working to build up our teaching pool. We finished last week with just about no one who had potential to progress in the next few months. We worked on visiting less active and recent convert members to help them return to activity and to find more people to teach. Although we didn't find "golden" investigators who came to church their first Sunday yesterday, we did find some great people who have potential to progress. I know it will take time for us to continue to build up our area but we are getting there one person at a time.

On Saturday we had a wonderful experience as we were walking to an appointment. My companion asked if I had ever knocked a certain house as we passed. I never had so we decided to do it right then. The woman who answered let us in and we taught the restoration to her and her 24 year old daughter, Romina. They are evangelists but the daughter is not active right now. Her mother was a little more set in her ways but Romina seemed to really understand what we were saying and wants to know the truth. I hope that as we continue to work with her she will be able to feel the spirit and gain a testimony.

I am continually amazed with the faith of the people here in Argentina. Sometimes it is easy to complain about their faults and the things they don't do, but when I stop and think about the changes some of our investigators make I am so incredibly humbled. This week we taught David and Cecilia tithing. We practiced in our companionship with some of the doubts we thought David especially might have. I know they don't make a ton of money and his family is essential to him. I was expecting that being asked to give some of his hard earned money away might be something difficult, however, as we extended the commitment he accepted without hesitation. Although he doesn't always like it, I know he has a strong testimony of this gospel.

We've got a long way to go, but little by little I believe we are seeing progress here in Bragado.

Thank you so much for all of your love and support. I am so grateful to have the best family in the whole wide world. I pray for you each day!

Love your favorite mundial(World Cup) fan,

Hermana Millet

P.S. Wanna hear a funny story about the rain?

Sometimes as missionaries we take little bike rides in the rain at 8:30 in the morning on Sunday and knock on all the doors of our sleeping investigators who don't come to church. Then we get to church and our skirts are all muddy and wet and we look like wet dogs. And to top it off we have a wet dog that follows us around for an hour on our bikes and then finds his way into the church and enters the chapel. Yeah....that really happened.

P.S.S. Remember that big hideous coat that we bought because you thought I should be warm, even though I wanted to be cute? Thank you. It's still hideous but it's also really warm. I brought it out for the first time this weekend. :)