Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Challenges of the big city.

Hola familia! Como están! Espero que han tenido un buen semana!

This week we were hit with a freak heat wave! It just reminded me how much I am NOT looking forward to summer here. I have heard that last winter in Buenos Aires was horrible but this winter has been wonderful. It's cold but with leggings and a coat it is definitely preferable to the heat of an Argentine summer. Anyway, usually when it is hot and humid you know a storm is coming so we were waiting and waiting all week. And when did it choose to come? Sunday morning of course! Luckily we were able to get to stake conference okay but with Argentines even if it's not raining, if it looks grey and stormy they won't leave their house. Now it's back to winter and I couldn't be happier! I'm back in my giant marshmallow coat being blown around by the wind.

This transfer so far has been one of learning. As I look back on the day each night I am not necessarily filled with memories of the many lessons that we taught or grand spiritual experiences each day, however, I am freshly instructed by the Lord.

When I first arrived in Ramos I pridefully thought that I could be the change in Ramos; that the area is not the problem and I just need to figure out how to work here and the success would come. The Lord has humbled me. Although I still believe there is a way to find success here, I am learning that maybe the Lord does not have many baptisms and converts planned for me in this area. I might not find 10 new investigators each week or have a baptism every month, but I can still make a difference in my life and the lives of the people here.

This week I have been contemplating the life of Christ. I have been reading the New Testament in my personal study and it is amazing to see how much rejection Christ and his apostles received in preaching the gospel. When Elder Holland came to speak to us last November he explained that the journey wasn't easy for Christ and therefore we cannot expect it to be easy for us. Back then I thought mainly in the terms of the atonement and his physical sacrifice, however, this past week I have been thinking a lot about how difficult his years of ministry must have been as well. He was literally the Son of God and whole cities rejected his words and miracles. As his representative I too must experience this rejection as well. I can be 100% obedient and diligent and improve my faith, humility, etc. but these things will not gurantee that I will have success.

Therefore, if rejection is what the Lord has planned for me here I better make use of the time I have in other ways. In every moment, every contact, I have to share my testimony and fight for the salvation of that soul. In every lesson I need to give my all, improve my use of the scriptures and inspired questions to teach in the way the Savior would have me teach. With each member that we visit I need to give more love and concern and help them feel the joy of the work of salvation. In my companionship I need to learn from, love and serve Hermana Rohm and do all I can to make the last month of her mission sacred.

I still plan on fighting with all I have to find God's children whom I can help to be baptized but I want to enjoy each moment that I am given to share the gospel, in whatever form it comes.

I love you all soooo much and am so grateful for your prayers and support. I hope you have a wonderful first week of school!

Love your favorite winter lover,

Hermana Millet

PS. A few little side notes:

One of our greatest joys this past week has been working with an inactive woman named Felisa Underwood. She had surgery about a year ago on her hip and still can't walk. She's fallen twice and so she has a lot of fear. We go a few times a week to help her practice and share the gospel. We have also been able to teach her two granddaughters. It's just a tiny little act of service but it's so great to see what a blessing it has been in her life. She has told all of her family members and friends that we are coming by and many of them have thanked us for helping. She and her granddaughters speak English so we get to talk in English and enjoy all the great little phrases she says like, "That's enough baby". She's hilarious.

On Saturday we contacted a few families in the park and they were super nice! We're stoked to go visit them and start a little tradition of contacting in the park each Saturday to find more families. :)

Hey also, I now have a HUGE craving for Cafe Rio thanks to your last letter. We're also going on a fun food adventure today to...wait for it...SUBWAY! I hear they even have chocolate chip cookies. I might just die of happiness.

Guess what we have in our apartment! A washer!!! We're the only ones in the mission! It's about the best thing in the world. I will never ever complain about doing laundry again when I get home.

Editor's note:  I received this message from a sister in Bragado, the area Hermana Millet just left.  "I found these pictures in the Facebook account of the Ramos Mejia ward (where Jen is now).  The Relief Society second counselor of Ramos Mejia is the Bragado Relief Society president's daughter...how small the world is, huh?  So, I was looking at the pictures and I found these.  They had an activity about 1940.  They sang typical songs and wore typical clothes...that's why Hermana Millet and her companion are wearing those little hats.  I hope you enjoy them."  Below are the pictures she sent me.

Ramos 1940 Relief Society Party.

Nice hats

More Hats.  Looks like fun!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Transfer brings hard goodbyes and anticipation to make a difference in a new area.

Dear Family:

Memories of Bragado!

The Rizzo family is kind of a long story. They were inactive for a long time but about a year ago the elders in Bragado started working with them as well as President Carter and they were reactivated. The dad has brain cancer and is pretty much waiting to go. About two months ago their son headed off for his mission in Brazil and will probably not see his dad again. Hermana Peterson and I started visiting them because they can't come to church. They are wonderful! We always sing (sometimes in English because Hermano Rizzo loves it) and share scriptures and sometimes she even lets us do service. Anyway, I just wanted to share them with you because they are wonderful.
The Rizzo family.
Hermana Larralde gives us lunch every Saturday. Her two daughters are inactive and we have been working with them little by little every week. They're awesome. I'm hoping Sofia goes to church before Hermana Peterson goes home.
Hermana Larralde and her two daughters.
There was a beautiful sunset this day and it just happened to be right in front of the towers where David and Cecilia live and where we spent a ton of time hiking the stairs to contact references etc. 

My favorite person in the whole wide world.  I can't
even tell you how much I miss her!

Wednesday was transfer day and we had to leave for transfers at 3:00 in the morning.  On Tuesday we had lunch with the Lopez family and everything was going great, then I told them that I was leaving for sure. David just immediately shut down and didn't say anything and Cecilia was sad. I tried to play it cool and share a scripture but then I started to cry and Cecilia started to cry and Jazmin was just super confused. It was awful. I couldn't focus the rest of the afternoon thinking that was the last time I was going to see them. Luckily they are awesome and went with us to teach David's dad and his wife and everyone was much happier. After that we went to David's mom's house (yeah we're teaching both his mom and dad and their separate spouses) and taught them with Cecilia and Jazmin. (Jazmin told me I could stay as long as I didn't cry. :)) 

Noche de Hogar with the Lopez family.

Out first mate cocido with the Lopez family. Yum!

Then I went home and packed like crazy and we slept for like 3 hours. We called a taxi and when we pulled up to the terminal there was David and Cecilia standing inside waiting for us. AT 3:00 in the MORNING! They had an adorable sign (in English) and a picture that I now look at every day and the most delicious alfajores I've ever tasted. It was amazing! They stayed and waved goodbye as we pulled out and of course made me cry again. 

David and Cecilia at the bus station to say goodbye.

It was the hardest goodbye ever and I still miss them every day. (I'm sure Hermana Rohm, my new companion, is super sick of hearing about them) but I know we'll see each other again in July one way or another. :)  The goodbyes were extremely hard.  I still look at the picture of David and Cecilia every day, but I think it will be like leaving you all.  I've kind of had to put thoughts of you on the back burner so I can focus and I will have to do the same with the Lopez family.

So now I am in Ramos Mejia.  Is it as downtown as it gets.  My new companion is Hermana Rohm from California.  She goes home this next transfer (with about all my other companions, Hermana Miller, Hermana Morales and Hermana Peterson).  She is awesome and I'm sure we are going to get along great.  She is so full of animo, which is exactly what I need in this area.

Hermana Rohm in the city.

So in my interview with President about a month and a half ago he told me how he needs more animo (excitement) in the city. Hermanas literally cry when they get called to Ramos Mejia. He told me to enjoy my time in campo but that he was going to need my help in the city.

Therefore, I had a pretty strong impression I was headed to one of the harder areas in the city. I was, however, pretty sure that I would be released as HLE because I am now one of the oldest. 

And now here I am in none other than Ramos Mejia, still an HLE. I am extremely grateful that I had the forewarning and was able to prepare myself to come to the city because boy is it different. I know, however, that the Lord has great adventures planned for me here and a lot that I need to learn. 

There are some challenges with being in the city but also some really amazing blessings. I'm excited to give it my all and see how the Lord can bless us. 

One of the areas in our zone had a capilla abierta on Saturday. It's this awesome program where we give a little tour of the church and teach them basically everything in about 10 minutes. We pull people in from the street and bring them in to see the church. It was a HUGE success. I brought in a Bolivian family from the street and they LOVED it and ended up coming to church the next day. The other hermanas also brought in a man who brought his whole family to church the next day. We did basically nothing in our area that day but it was an awesome experience to share the gospel in Atalaya.

Las Hermanas de Ramos Mejia

As you well know I absolutely LOVED Bragado but I know I fulfilled my purpose there and the Lord has a plan for me here. I am fully willing and excited to give Ramos my all. My hope is that when I leave I will have as much love for Ramos as I do Lujan and Bragado. 

Arriving here I have seen some of the great challenges that Ramos brings but also some of the great blessings. I was extremely impressed with the way the ward works together to bring about the work of salvation. Our ward mission leader is incredible, full of suggestions and action to help us and our investigators. In our ward correlation we had the opportunity to go through all of our investigators and listen as they offered suggestions and offered to help. I am so excited to work with the members the way the Lord has planned! 

The wonderful planning also means I will have the opportunity to re-learn how to plan with the members. In California we found all of our success in working and planning with the members but that level of planning wasn't necessary in my other areas. I will now be able to incorporate everything I have learned throughout the past 14 months to bring about miracles in Ramos. 

We have already seen wonderful little miracles throughout the week and I know with diligence and lots of hard work we will begin to see the change that Ramos needs.

I'm sorry my letter is kind of short.  The time went flying.  I LOVE YOU!

Hermana Millet 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I spell happiness BRAGADO!


Have I told you lately how much I love you?! Cause I do SOOOO much. Once again I had an awesome week in the best city in the world, with the best companion in the world, with the best members in the world. I hope you have had wonderful adventures as well!

I'm feeling a little nervous for transfers knowing that I will probably be leaving my area. I have come to love Bragado so much and the people I have met here. I don't know if I've ever had a happier time in my mission. Ironically, we're still struggling a little without people progressing to baptism for this month, but I am finding so much joy in the work. Almost every day this week as we bike home I just thank my Heavenly Father for the miracles he is blessing us with. There really is no joy like that which can be found in the service of the Lord.

I feel that I should take a minute to tell you how grateful I am to have worked with Hermana Peterson this transfer. She has changed my mission. I have never worked so well with a companion in so much unity and love. In 8 weeks we have not argued once, or really even disagreed. The number of times which I have even been frustrated I can count with my fingers and those instances lasted no longer than minutes. She is so completely focused on her purpose as a missionary, she is the best teacher I have seen, and she is so completely full of love and patience for me and others. If I do have to leave, I know that she will take care of the investigators and less actives we are working with. I know she will continue doing the Lord's work here up until her last day. And I will continue trying to become more and more like her each day.

Since the beginning of this transfer, Hermana Peterson and I have been searching for ways to improve the way in which we work. We knew we wanted to work more with the members, but weren't sure exactly how. We started focusing on referrals and the recent converts but it was a little difficult to accomplish with the rules and indicators the way they were. Then we received the new direction for the mission and everything we had been wanting to do became so much easier and we began to do so with more purpose. Our teaching pool slowly began to increase in quantity and most importantly, quality. We went from having investigators that we knew from the first visit had no desires to change, to individuals with potential, to part member families with strong desires to be sealed in the temple. We have still not seen the fruit of our efforts with progressing investigators but I feel as though our trees are full of blossoms of potential that will be ready to harvest in the upcoming months.

This past week one of those wonderful miracles was with a reference from David and Cecilia. I have come to find that the true fruit of conversion is a desire to share the gospel and David and Cecilia have been giving us references every day. They told us of a family that lived above them that is married with three children. We were finally able to have a lesson with this family this week. We knocked on the door and Gisela (the mother) answered. Her parents happened to be there as well and we began talking to the whole family. It turns out that Gisela and her mom were baptized more than ten years ago but fell inactive for loss of the habit. They told us they had been having desires to come back to church for the past few weeks. We taught them and their husbands (both non members) about forever families and the temple and they were super excited. They really are a beautiful family with so much potential.

Miracles like this have been coming every day this week. We have found countless less active members just from contacts in the street or stopping to talk to them in front of their houses and with them we are finding potential investigators. This Sunday we still did not have investigators in church but almost every single one of the recent converts from the past year that we have been working with was in Sacrament Meeting. I know this work will continue to take time and patience but it will be so worth the effort to see families that stay in the branch and endure to the end.

A few other fun notes from the week:

I made homemade brownies this week based off what I have memorized from the recipe and throwing things together. They turned out pretty well, but not quite as good as at home.

David wrote Hermana Morales and me the cutest note all about their journey to find the gospel and how grateful they are. I'll translate it when I get home. They pretty much invite us to lunch every day and if we can't do lunch they give us facturas mate coido (because we can drink it now-I'd send you a pic but the computer isn't functioning).

We had a family home evening with David and Cecilia and his brother Carlos and Maria, whom we taught once before but were never able to go back. Carlos is curious and their daughters want to go to church but we're going to have to be patient in working with them. We played Pictionary and it was SOO fun.

I love you all so much and am so grateful for your wonderful letters of support and love. I hope you have a wonderful week! Wish me luck in the city!!!

Sincerely your favorite country girl,

Hermana Millet

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

La Rama de Bragado Esta En Mi Corazon!


I'm sorry this letter may be a little short today. I'm afraid I may have spent a little too much time enjoying all your letters and now time is about up! I'm as happy as ever, however, and LOVE each of you sooo much! I hope you enjoy some of our miracles for the week!

This week we began with literally about 0 investigators with potential. For a few weeks now we have been searching to find prepared people but really have just not found those with a sincere desire to come unto Christ and change their lives. Therefore, this week we had no set appointments or investigators progressing to invite members to help us. We still searched for ways to include them but without success. For the first time in my mission we only had 3 lessons with a member for the week. I feel awful about this number and it is not acceptable for me personally, however, I also know that we really did work to include the members each and every day. This week, although our numbers do not reflect it, I feel much better about the situation we are in. We have found some wonderful people in the last half of the week which I really believe have potential to progress.

One of the best experiences of the week occurred Wednesday night. I was in divisions with Hermana Hale and we had not had much success. Almost all of our plans had fallen through and we had just sent a member home because three of our appointments were not there. I was at a loss for what to do so we found a somewhat secluded spot in the apartment complex where we were and said a prayer. After we finished the prayer we headed to contact a referral. We took about two steps up the stairs when I paused and looked behind me to an open door with a family sitting inside. We both immediately turned around to contact this family. They immediately let us in and we ended up teaching a great lesson about the restoration to six new investigators. It was one of the best lessons of the restoration I have had in my mission where I really felt that I was teaching with the spirit. It was such an immediate response to our prayer and I was so incredibly grateful for the tender mercy of my Heavenly Father. From that lesson we now have two families who readily accepted baptismal dates and whom I believe have great potential to progress.

Divisions with Hermana Hale
Another miracle occurred Friday afternoon. Hermana Peterson and I went to contact a member referral in the same apartment complex. We knocked on the door looking for a single man but a woman came to the door and informed us she was his sister. In talking with her in the doorway she explained to us that their sister was in the hospital after having attempted suicide that day. She was extremely sensitive to the spirit and we had a wonderful lesson about the atonement. I know that Heavenly Father wanted us to find this woman and help her and her family. We have plans to talk with her tonight and visit her sister tomorrow. I am so grateful for the Lord's hand in our work. She mentioned that we looked like angels and I just couldn't help but think how little she knows of how much her Heavenly Father loves her and how much he had done to put us in her path to help her.

Unfortunately, neither of these families came to church (not too unexpected after finding them in the second half of the week). I was a little disappointed in sacrament meeting as the sacrament was about to be passed when the doors opened and in walked one of our less active families that we had been teaching since I have been in Bragado. I still had a small bit of disappointment that we didn't have any investigators in church but I just couldn't stay sad as I watched this family partake of the sacrament for the first time in months.

It has been a difficult few weeks without a lot of success but I believe we are now on the upward climb to seeing much more success in the weeks to come.

This Friday we had Super Viernes (Friday) with the branch. Hermana Alldredge has been planning it for months about the pioneers of Bragado. They showed pictures of when the church was in a house and some of the old members talked. It was a lot of fun for them (and for us too although we weren't paying quite as much attention when we had adorable little kids dancing for us and asking us to braid their hair). We listened for a while and then spent a lot of the time in the kitchen heating up the food, which was great because then all the hermanas of the branch could spend their time talking and socializing.

My friends at Super Viernes!
Hermana Alldredge had written a song for the event, which you will get to hear in a few months, and they were planning on singing at the end, however, branch parties in Argentina start at like 8:00 or 8:30 and last until like midnight, which means we couldn't be there to sing. Hermana Alldredge is awesome, however, and called President Robertson to get permission for us to stay out late for the party. We got home and into bed at about 11:00 (only half an hour later than usual) but I was DEAD the next day haha. I'm such a missionary.

Anyway, it was a great night and this is a picture of one of my best friends in the branch, Emma. She was just baptized and comes to Enlish class sometimes. She's adorable.

One of my best friends in the branch, Emma!
Oh and finally, the last miracle. For the Super Viernes (Friday) we had to make a cake but didn't have a mix. As you know, we don't have any type of measuring equipment in the apartment and I don't have any recipes so I decided to wing it and just threw a bunch of ingredients together and made my own! Is your jaw on the floor? It should be. It actually tasted quite good. Maybe I'll teach you how when I get home haha. :)


Hermana Millet