Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 29 (Oct. 28, 2013 Congreso, Argentina)

Oh mom I just always smile so big when I see and read your emails :) I sure love you and that love continues to grow greater each day that I am here in Argentina. I know I have said this before, but it is crazy how much closer I feel to you and dad being on my mission. Distance really does make the heart grow fonder. Thank you for your prayers and for always supporting me and the people here through them. It means so much and is helping us greatly. Thanks so much for the pictures! I love them and Joel and Kambree look so great! What good lookin´ siblings I have :) But it is no surprise that they are good looking when you look at their parents! :) And there is just something in the faces of you and dad that is so radiant and I just love it. You and dad have the image of Christ in your countenances and it radiates. Hermana Mowery (who lives with us) was looking at the pics of our fam on my calendar and commented that my parents and siblings are all so beautiful! Of course I am the odd ball and exception to that comment haha :) But that´s okay because I am a daughter of God :) Thanks for letting me know last week that you don´t notice a change in my weight haha. That is good to know although I have gained some for sure ha. But no worries I am not worried about that. To answer your questions, yes I still get to see Gabi because we are always in this building teaching people and most of the recent converts live there and so we get to see her often which is really nice :) She is precious and it is hard to see so much yuck around her in that building. I hope that she will remember the spirit she felt in the church and that someday she will be able to have the Gospel in her life. Yes we have running water and a working stove and such but some things are more complicated to get running haha. Adventures of my mission :) Our toilet has stopped working a few times and is currently broken but we get by and I know that these little trials are only helping me learn humility and are helping me to grow and so I am thankful for them! And my shoes...ha. Ya they are a little worn out by this time. I can still wear all of them but the one pair of brown shoes with the bow is getting to the point were I might need to stop wearing them. The black ones and other pair of brown ones are holding up well :) My feet are starting to feel the pain of walking all day though! But it is sure a sweet thing to see Heavenly Father´s hand and concern in things as small as sore feet. He is sure helping my do this work and I am very blessed mom. VERY blessed. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 28 (Oct. 21, 2013 Congreso, Argentina)

Dear Eternal Family and Friends,
I know that my emails are getting shorter and shorter each week and I apologize! But there is lots to do and the Lord´s work is moving rapidly! I am so thankful to be able to see this work moving so rapidly first hand by being on my mission. My testimony of member missionary work and of the small and simple things that we can do to help others has grown so much and I know that the Lord´s work can be accomplished in many different ways. Each person has a testimony that someone needs to hear. Your testimony can literally help someone receive salvation. Jesus Christ and His Atonement are central to God´s plan and we are saved physically and spiritually through Him. He will always be the one that will save us. But we are the instruments! God´s work and glory will be brought to pass when we act and when we use the agency that He has given us to help others come to know of their Savior Jesus Christ and His Gospel. I know that each person that we see is a son or daughter of God and that we are all brothers and sisters! I know that when we have a firm testimony of this truth and of the Atonement, we will have the desire to share the Gospel! I know that I personally need to have a greater desire to share the Gospel with others and that I fall short so much! I have been studying the Atonement in order to help me have a greater desire and it has really helped me understand more and has helped me have a greater desire to serve and share, but I still lack! I am thankful for what the Holy Ghost can teach us and I know that it is through him that we receive a testimony of the things that are true. It is so amazing to see people understand a doctrine or principal of the Gospel in the moment that it happens. As a missionary, this is one of the things that I LOVE to witness the most...there is nothing like seeing someone come to the understanding that Jesus Christ is their Savior, or that the Book of Mormon is true, or that they have truly been forgiven, or that there is a true and living prophet on the earth, through the witness of the Holy Ghost. It is a beautiful thing! :)
Real fast, we found 6 new people to teach this last week and 3 of them have dates to be baptized! The Lord is providing miracles and has been so good to us! I will write more about each one of these amazing people next week because I am of time. But the thing that was super hard was that none of these 6 people came to church on Sunday and we tried SO hard with each one of them! We are praying to know what more we can do to help these people attend sacrament meeting because we know that they cannot progress without this! I am not sure why we are being blessed with new investigators if they are not going to progress but I know that God has a plan and all I can do is my best. I love these people and I love being a missionary! I know that this work is real and that we are His hands. I love you all so much and hope you have a happy week! Thanks for all you do!!
Hermana Syphus :) 

Hello again Mom!

And happy mother´s day from Argentina!!! Ha Argentina has mother´s day on the 20th of October instead of in May. I am pretty sure that this is the only country that does this and I don´t know why haha. But Happy Mother´s Day ma and also to my grandma´s and aunts and sisters and all the mother´s in my life :)
Thanks again for your great and uplifting email. Really I just love to read them so much and take great interest in the things that you share with me about the family and such. Man I sure miss Shaun´s choir concerts and can only imagine how great it was. As well as his piano concerts!! Such talent in that boy. And Joel!! He is just so great and I sure love him so much. Those suits of theirs do sound a little strange haha. Sorry I am going back to last weeks letter because I wanted to respond to some things. But I bet All State was amazing as well and I am so proud of Joel for all that he is doing! What a great kid. How fun for you all to have had many exciting activities and experiences with the family. Tell Luke and Abby congrats for me! I love the story that you told about them in the temple haha :)

Oh yes and mom, you mentioned a little bit ago that after my mission we will be going on the church history tour! Well I didn´t respond to that yet but I think that that sounds like the best thing ever! I actually was thinking that that would be super fun to do when I got home. But then I thought about Joel and his mission. You say that he wants to wait until I get home? How does that make you feel? Like do you want him to wait or would you rather have him leave after high school? I agree with you that he should pray about it and PRAYERFULLY decide. Of course I would LOVE to see him before 4 years but I also know that if Heavenly Father needs him right away, that he should not hesitate to go as soon as he can! Has he decided yet?

I know that you tell me that I don´t need to worry about writing much because I can relate stories after my mission. But the problem is that I don´t know if I am going to remember!! I know that sounds awful and I don´t want it to happen but have leaned that I forget things very easily and I know that these experiences on my mission are sacred and special and I don´t want to forget them! I am trying to write in my journal but holy buckets I cant do it at night when we are supposed to because we are planning and doing necessary things until about 10:10 and then we have to get ready for bed. And the morning is a different story because there are 4 of us still in the apt. and so the time is short. At least when i get home I will be able to take a 5-10 minute shower! Haha. That is at least one thing I have learned to do on my mission :)
Also, thanks so much for sending that package! I haven´t received it yet but I have not said thank yet and I wanted you to know that I really am thankful. It is hard to imagine my life without you as my mother. What a blessing in my life! I love you so much mom and hope that all is well! I am doing great and am happy and healthy! I know that the reason that i can do this is because it is God´s work and that He is the head.
Ah one more thing. How is Kambree doing? I have been thinking about her lots and wanted to email her but don´t know her email. Is she happy and doing good things? I know she is a great example for her friends and that she has great standards but i also know that it is hard to be a newbie in high school and that there are many evil influences. Hope she is doing well.
Do you have any questions for me or do you want to know something that I haven´t told you? Is the rest of the family doing well? How are the Bennett´s doing and Celeste and other neighbors? Has anyone asked about why I have not written them? :/ I hope I will still have friends when I get home ha.

Well ma I just love you so much and am glad to here that all is well back home in the valley! Thanks so much for everything!!

Hermana Syphus :) 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week 27 (Oct. 14, 2013 Congreso, Argentina)

Wow thanks so much mom for that information and for taking the time to find that and help me. I am sorry if I have caused a mess. I am a missionary and shouldn´t be worrying about these things and causing people to worry over me! I hope you are okay and I really do appreciate what you are doing to help me. That must have taken lots of time to find that information and I am sure you are doing lots of other things because of what I have told you and I feel a bit bad for that :( I am doing great and I am happy and healthy and all is well. I wrote the pres and he told me to call if i want to talk. we will see. Ah my dearest mother thank you for everything. I can never repay you for all you have done for me! Heavenly Father is blessing me each day and I am great! Thank you for helping me see that other people have had the same issues with baptism and such and just with the feelings of depression in general. Wow you are just doing so much to help me and I really am so thankful. Please know that! To answer your questions :) 1. Yes there are blossoms on the trees (don´t see many of those here in the city but of the ones that I do see, there are blossoms :) )! And I know it is so weird! Christmas in the heat, whoo hoo!! ha :) it will be an adventure! 2. YES!! Holy toledo am I getting enough to eat! We eat at members homes everyday accept monday and they feed us tons. I am not kidding mom, I am going to be rolling home if I keep eating like this for one year. It is pretty ridiculous but I love it! haha. Ummmm, I really like the food here and I have been wanting to write about it for a while but always tell myself I need to write about the experiences that I have had first and then I never have time. But, there are many people here from Peru and so lots of the food is Peruvian. Like rice, chicken, french fries...and that´s `pretty much it haha. But no the food her is amazing. The cuisine in Argentina is meat and pasta. They have something called milanesa which is a thin piece of chicken or beef that is breaded. Kinda like your Parmesan chicken but with less flavor. We have that tons and it is really good! We also have lots of pastas and none of the sauces so far has beat dad´s! But all have been good :) OH, and the best thing ever that they have here...ALFAJORS. Oh my goodness these things are so delicious. Of course it´s a treat food haha :) I don´t really know how to explain it but I am wanting to send some home so that all of you can partake of their goodness and experiment upon my word :) The are cake things with dulce de leche and chocolate and there are so many varieties of them! I will take a picture one day and email it. But let me tell you, I am sure going to miss alfajors when I go home. Maybe a suitcase full will suffice ha :)
I forgot to say last week, but last week on the day that I emailed, I had one year left exactly on my mission. That is pretty nuts and hard to believe that it has been 6 months already! Times flies when your having fun! I look forward to the one year that I have left and know that it will be a year a great experiences and growth and I am so excited! I want to work so hard and be so diligent and so obedient and have fun for this year that I have left. I am so thankful for the experiences and memories that I have had on my mission.
There are two sets of missionaries in Congreso (us and the other hermanas that live with us) and they just had a baptisms last week of a 18 year old girl named Adelis. There is a neat story about Adelis. One day me and my previous comp were waiting to cross the street and there was a girl selling things on the sidewalk that we saw many times but never talked to (bad, bad, bad on my part). She saw that I had pamphlets in my hand and called to me and asked, "are you going to give me one of your little books?" I was shocked but so happy of course and gave her a pamphlet and explained a little about it and who we were. She was working and couldn´t leave so we got her info and gave it to the other hermanas because she is part of their area. Well this girl was Adelis and last week she was baptized! She is a testimony that the Lord is preparing His people to hear His word. I didn´t do anything, she is the one that came to us and asked us to help her! She is one of my greatest friends here and I love her so much and am so happy to see that she has made this covenant with God. A very special experience :)
 I love reading the dearelders from my cousins and Devin Bennett and Kortnie and other missionaries so much! I am going to miss them because I don´t know if you can keep sending them, and it´s a lot to read haha! But I really do love them. After reading their letters to their families I really am sorry for my emails ha. Jordan´s emails are always so full of great experience and are always uplifting and wonderful. He knows how to write about the things that matter. I hope i will get better at this. Is he a zone leader? I wasn´t sure but he sure is great and sounds like he is having loads of success there in his mission. So happy for him! :) This past week has been wonderful and has been a answer to my prayers. On Friday we went to the mission home to have a meeting with all the hermanas in our mission. We were able to watch the general relief society meeting together as hermanas of the ban north mission and it was a very great time. I learned from that meeting that I need to be more sincere in my prayers and pray more about certain things. Man I wish I could tell you everything I learned and felt- both in this meeting and in general conference. I was surely uplifted and felt the love of God. I learned that faith in Jesus Christ is vital in the work of salvation. I am learning so much more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ on my mission, about each principle and ordnance of the Gospel. And I am realizing more and more each day way faith in Jesus Christ is the first. Faith is everything! I need to have more faith and not only that but ACT upon my faith. That is where I lack at times I think. After we watched the broadcast we had lunch which was delicious. Carne and chicken tacos with tortillas from Costco! WHAT?! haha the mission pres. daughter brought lots of them from the usa to argentina and so basically we americans felt at home again while eating our tacos from costco haha :) Man I have lots to say about conference! Why is emailing so hard and why can´t I express all I want to say...someday i hope. General Conference was amazing once again! I brought my apples from home to eat and I felt close to the family which was nice ha :) not in a distracting way but in a way that helped me feel more happy :) We watched it in a stake center and it was in spanish of course but for the english speaking missionaries we were able to watch it in english downstairs if we so desired. 

Mom I am going to send this and you can send what you would like to people. Sorry it´s a bit crazy once again and not much info. :( Sure love you and the fam. Tell everyone hi and that I am doing great!!!!! :) 

 a picture of our street
 the view from our kitchen window 
 me and sweet Gabi whom I love ever so much
picture of us as a zone at the zoo in our mission

So I can´t remember the order of the pics but one of them is a view from our kitchen windo and the other is our street (you said that you would like to see something like that right?) The other is a picture of us as a zone at the zoo in our mission! I will tell about that day in my other email, but it was so fun! And the other is of me and sweet Gabi whom I love ever so much. She is an investigator, or was :( she came to conference with us and we have been teaching her but her parents will not give her permission to be baptized. I was pretty ruined when they told us they wouldn´t sign her baptismal record. We are praying to know how we can help them accept! Gabi is 8 and really wants to be baptized. She reads the pamphlets that we give her and is so solid and it is just her parents that will not accept! Ugh, this things do happen. So there are a few pictures mom :) and as you can see, I am eating very well haha. Honestly, do I look bigger? ;) 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week 26 (Oct. 7, 2013 Congreso, Argentina)

Mom, before I write to president about this depression deal, I wanted to ask you something. I was very blown away as well with conference and couldn´t believe my ears when Elder Holland started talking about depression. Never has any answer from Heavenly Father come to me in such a strong way. I am so thankful and I know that Heavenly Father has heard my prayers and yes I agree with you that it is so amazing that people can really receive such specific answers like that in General Conference. That is a witness to me that He lives and loves us and know us perfectly. So here is my question, and maybe I am just thinking to hard and analyzing things too much like always haha, but I am not sure if this talk was an answer telling me that yes, I do have a form of depression, or that I was supposed to learn from this talk what depression REALLY is and that I don´t have it. I know it was an inspired answer to my prayers but I am not sure in what way. Because I am still happy, I have not lost all hope like elder Holland said. He said that depressed persons don´t have a desire to do on and can´t go on. Well I am still on my mission and I want to become better and help others. I laugh, talk about happy things, and I am not sad all the time. Its just a feeling that I can´t really explain and so I don´t know whether Heavenly Father was trying to tell me that I have depression or that depression is something worse and I don´t have it. Bit confused and maybe you can help me?  

Okay I did it, emailed my pres. I dont want people to worry over me mom, especially if it is nothing. I don´t really know how to explain how I am haha. I think I am better a bit. Conference helped tons and I have been praying and seeking comfort from Heavenly Father. I am so blessed mom. I will never forget that. I am sorry for all this craziness and unsurety that I am causing. I promise I am not seeking for attention or anything like that. I just want to be better so I can focus on my mission and return home with no regrets, having helped God in His work with all my heart, might, mind and strength, and with a better heart. That´s all I want. Thanks so much mom for the prayers and for putting my name in the temple. I would feel super bad if I really am okay and am just being a baby and my name is being put in the temple for that reason. I know that the names that are put in the temple really need special assistance and help from God and that there are many others who need it more than myself. But I sure so appreciate it. You haven´t told anyone about this have you? 

Thanks mom! Uh I had lots to do on the comp today and so I didn´t finish my email to you but it is a draft if you want to read what is there you can and I will finish it next week :) After all that has happened, I am doing very well mom. I know that this experience will help me become more like my Savior and will help me be stronger, or at least I really hope so. Right now it is hard to see a stronger me in the future. I don´t feel like I am changing too much but I have faith that I can and I know that this is where I am supposed to be. I love serving a mission and know that I will come to love it more and more. Thanks so much for EVERYTHING Mom. I sure stinkin´ love you and the family so much. Tell everyone hi and that I am praying for yall and also feel your prayers here. I am so blessed and I feel good!! Love you! 
Kates :)