My Dear Beautiful Mom!
Oh goodness it was just so amazing to see you all on Christmas and hear your voices and just partake of the Syphus family happenings! I was so happy to see you and dad! I don´t even think I told you this but YOU looked so beautiful mom! You look so good and just as angelic as ever and I it was just such a treat to see your face. I did not get to talk to everyone like I wanted to but that is okay. I wish I could have talked to you and dad more especially. Boy I just can´t believe all the changes that have taken place in the family and in the valley! It is crazy to think that Shaun is getting married. I wanted it to happen but now that it is happening I am a little sad ha. I wish sure miss him and our little chats and fun nights together. It will sure be different but a good different I hope.
Thank you for telling me about Pete. I was very shocked and it is hard to know how to react to things like that, especially when you know the person so well. My heart hurts for their family but I know that they have testimonies of God´s great and happy plan and that this spiritual knowledge will get them through. Please send Marla and her family my love and tell them that I am thinking about them and hope all will be well. That is so great what Madeline said on facebook. What a positive, happy girl.
It is always a privilege to testify to people that God has a plan for them and that part of that plan is to live with Him and our families again. Just today someone asked us, "Do you know where we go after this life?" Of course we were so happy to explain the plan of happiness to her and testify that through Jesus Christ, will all have the opportunity to live in the presence of God forever. She wanted to know more about it and we told her that we would pass by this week! So I will let you know how that goes! I know that God´s plan is real and living! Many people don´t believe in miracles, or prophets, or the scriptures, or that we can live with God again. And I just want to ask them, "Is God living?" Because if He is, then all of these things are as well, because they are all His! I am so grateful to belong to the church of our Savior Jesus Christ and to have a sure conviction that He is at the head and that the power and authority of God is found within this church. I know that lives are changed, improved, and perfected through the Atonement of Jesus Christ! I love Him and am so grateful to be one of His representatives! I love being a missionary!
It has been a crazy, amazing, fun, HOT week here in El Talar! Christmas was just splendid! As I told you a little before, we spent part of the 24th as a mission. We had a slide show of all the baptisms of the missionaries, messages from pres and his wife, then we ate some food, icecream, and played a game. It was lots of fun! And then pres. told us that Christmas was going to be pday and that was a surprise! On Christmas morning we did everything the same, like always :) studies and such. Then because it was pday, we opened the gifts that we got (I LOVE mine by the way, thanks so much!!!) and took some pics. Hermana Jensen got a Christmas book in spanish about the 3 trees and we read that together. It was fun :) I really love that book. I have never read it I don´t think but it is now one of my favorites. Such a beautiful message about Christ and His life. Then we talked with our families!!!! :) And then the bishop asked us if we had food and we told him that we would be fine but then he just to come over and they would give us some food to take home and eat. We are so blessed!!! This ward is great and we are ALWAYS taken care of!! :) Then we went to work and later found out that we didn´t need to work that day. We don´t really know anything until about 10 minutes before or even after in this case. Haha :) oh well, we still had a great day and met some great people!! :)
So I don´t know if you knew this, but Buenos Aires is having record high temperatures and I guess it hasn´t been this hot in over 40 years or something like that. We are dying haha. The power has also been going off and on and we don´t have ac in our house so it is death. Honestly, from the moment I wake up to the moment I wake up again, i am sweating hahaha. LITERALLY. It is so gross mom. I don´t really sweat, but my clothes and garments are pretty wet at the end of the day. It is crazy! Some of the missionaries have been getting really sick from this heat. Throwing up and head aches and diarrhea and such. I have a little bit of that but i am doing great still. Learning to love this heat is all! haha :) You would not like this weather mom, NOT AT ALL. I can just imagine you being in it and it makes me laugh because I know how much you don´t like the heat haha. It has been like 40 degrees here which I don´t know how much that is in Fahrenheit (yup that is not how you spell that word ha) but it is hot! Plus with the humidity...it´s a little ridiculous. It is funny because whenever anyone asks anyone how they are doing, they don´t say good or bad or anything like that. They say, "CON CALOR!" which means, i´m hot!! haha it is fun. Okay I am done complaining about the heat sorry ha, just wanted to let you know that you should enjoy that nice st. george weather! :)
We had a baptism on Saturday!! :) And I am so very happy! Another child of God has accepted and completed the invitation to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized! Eric Joel Fernandez is his name :) He just needs to have Shaun in there somewhere and look at that, all three of my brothers in one :) He is the brother of Lisandro Anchava and is 14 years old. Saturday was a crazy day. The baptism was supposed to be at 5:30 pm and Eric and his family were supposed to be at the church at 4:30 pm because he still needed his interview. He would have had it before but because of a 20 minute long chain of events that I will spare telling you, he had not received it yet. So saturday at around 4:30 we were walking to the church with the dl and this cop car stops us. Alex, the brother of Eric, was in the car. He tells us that he stayed on the bus when the rest of his family got off and so he got lost. He told us that he stopped us because Alex said he knew us. We told him how to get to the church to drop Alex off. We got to the church and he wasn´t there and neither was his family. We were panicking and waited for a while and then said a prayer that everything would end okay and that Natalia would find Alex and arrive for the baptism of Eric. We called the police station and nothing. Natalia´s phone didn´t work. And so it was just a trial of faith that we couldn´t do anything about! So to make this long story short haha, Natalia showed up with half of her kids (Eric being one of them thank goodness), and said that they were on time but had to then look for Alex so they left the church. They got in touch with the cops and they cops took Alex home. So he wasn´t there :( By this time it was 6:00. Eric had his interview and passed it! And we had the service and it was so special! Eric looked so happy! :) There were so many things that took place that could have stopped Eric from being baptized that night. But because it was the Lord´s will and because no one gave up, once again, He provided for us what we couldn´t do ourselves and He made it happen! It was a rough experience but I learned from it that our efforts are not wasted when we are trying our best and that even though obstacles will come, we can get through them when we have faith in God and in His timing! So everything worked out! But there is also a sad part to this experience. Sunday Lisandro and Eric were supposed to get confirmed. The most important part. Saturday we talked and talked about it and they were so excited and Natalia was so happy and excited, but they didn´t show up yesterday. We don´t know what happened and did everything to try and find out. We can not see them until tomorrow so we will find out then I hope. But I know that they will get confirmed and when they do, will be members of Christ´s church! They have another brother that is 12 named Alex as you know, and he was supposed to get baptized this coming Sunday but once again did not come to church. That is the hardest thing to see as a missionary...when people are so close to making this covenant with God, and they don´t come to church. Satan is working so hard! But we will work harder because God is helping us. I was reading chapter 5 of Jacob this morning and in many verses it talks about how the Lord goes WITH the servant to the vineyard. He is always there with his servants. I know that this is true and that because this is His work, He will be with us.
And Hernan´s last name is Sanchez :)
I will keep you updated with Natalia´s family! They are God´s miracles to me and I love them so much and am so happy to be teaching them God´s truth! The experiences I am receiving on my mission will always be my best ones! I just need to be better at writing in my journal so I can remember them!
I love you so much and am so thankful for all you do. I know that God is watching over you and the family and can definitely feel the prayers that you are offering. Thank you so much. Love you and hope you have a great week!
Tell Grandma Syphus that I hope she has a great day on the 5th! Tell her happy birthday for me and that I love her so much and hope she is doing well! Also tell her that everytime I look at "the blue bird of happiness" I think of her! :) And let gpa know that i sure miss scratching his back and giving him hugs.
LOVE YOU SO MUCH!! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! :)
Lisandro Anchava's Baptism
Dec. 22, 2013
Eric, Lisandro, Katelyn, Natalia (Lisandro & Eric's mom), Herm. Jensen and Alex
Eric Joel Fernandez' Baptism
Dec. 25, 2013