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,
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. :)