Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 33 (Nov. 25, 2013 El Talar, Argentina)

Man what a stinkin´good lookin´fella Joel is. Thanks so much for the pics Mom :) So I can´t finish my letter this week but you can read the draft if you want and I will finish it next week if that´s okay. I do want to hurry answer the rest of your questions though. My hips are fine thanks for asking :) And no I have not gotten boots yet but hope to soon. My comp doesn´t have any brothers and can´t think of anyone in her family named Jeff. And I absolutely MISS the Christmas fanfare of St. George!! It is like not even Christmas time here it seems! But maybe that is good because I will think more about Christ and the true meaning of Christmas. I still so miss the funness of it though. This is random but did thanksgiving already happen? And are we getting a real tree this year? 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 32 (Nov. 18, 2013 El Talar, Argentina)

Dear Family and Friends,

I am sorry for the lack of emails the past few weeks. I just have time to email the president and do some other missionary responsibilities and write me mumsy and a few other people and then the time is up! I tell my mom a lot of the things that are happening though and so I don´t know if she shares that with you all or what. 

I am sure my mom has mentioned that I got transferred and am now in El Talar with my new companion Hermana Fullmer from Idaho. She is a great missionary and only has 7 weeks in the field and is doing great! We have an investigator named Evelyn and she was going to get baptized last Sunday but her mom passed away and so she had to go super far to see her and couldn´t be baptized. It was a hard time but with the help of the Lord and the things that He has given us, we were able to get through that obstacle with Evelyn and she is doing better now. We had a great opportunity to re teach her the plan of salvation and about temple work. I don´t know how I would have hope in this life I didn´t know of the plan that God has for us and that all people can be saved physically and spiritually through the love and grace of Jesus Christ. It is a privilege to be able to teach people this truth and see the hope that they receive from it! So we changed Evelyn´s date to yesterday the 17 of NOv and we had everything ready and prepared and everyone was so excited and then we got to church and the lights did not work which meant that the water didn´t work and so we couldn´t fill the font. In fact, we only had sacrament meeting and then the bishop said to head home because the light didn´t work and neither did the water for the bathrooms. First time that has happened on my mission! I couldn´t believe it! Once again we had to postpone Evelyn´s baptism. It has been really hard to see someone be so ready for baptism and not be able to be baptized. All these things that are happening and have happened have tested our faith and trust in the Lord and have also tested the faith of Evelyn as well. She told us the other day that every time she is going to get baptized something happens and she can´t but that she is not going to give up because she knows this will change her life. She is so powerful and so strong and has been converted by the Lord. This Saturday she will be baptized for sure! I have been able to see the hand of God through this experience and although it has been a hard long road, it has been a blessing to see the Lord strengthen us and our investigators through these trials. 

I just have a few minutes to write about another amazing experience this week! Elder Holland and his sweet wife came to speak to us on Saturday! We met in a capilla in the west mission and so my comp and I had to wake up at 3:00 am in order to get there on time. It was a long process but a fun adventure haha :) It was an amazing and powerful meeting as you can image. Elder Holland was just as blunt and powerful and loving in person as he is in conference, and even a bit more! We were sitting about 5 rows from the front. His wife spoke first and oh my goodness what a gem she is. There was a translator of course and she was so cute because she would try to say a few things in spanish but gave up because it was to hard. She was so fun and sweet. She talked about the importance of having the light of Christ in us in order to help others come unto Him. And that the way we can receive that light is my giving glory to God and showing our gratitude to Him. Elder Holland spoke about many different things and I would love to share them all but don´t have time so I will share what I enjoyed best! I believe that some of his talk came from a previous talk of his called missionary work and the atonement but I am not 100 percent positive. He talked about how our missions will not be easy and should not be easy because we are teaching people how to receive salvation and salvation is not a cheap experience and is not easy so our missions will not be easy. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and His life was never easy. So of course we are going to need to experience pain and hardships in this life as well. Here is a quote that I really liked from him."Each of us have a little cross to help us remember the Big Cross." I am thankful for trials. I know I have not experienced too many great trials in my life in comparison to many other people that I know but the small trials I have had have taught me more about the grace of Jesus Christ and His atonement and for that I am grateful. I know that we all need to have small crosses in our lives in order to help us understand the cross that Jesus Christ had to bare. I know that He is our salvation and will always help us. Trials help us become closer to Him and develop a stronger relationship with him and they help us gain a more eternal perspective because that is where we find hope; in the eternal things. I love my Savior and I know that He lives! All of your examples have helped me in my life and I am so thankful for all of my friends and family and the things that you are doing to build the kingdom of God here on the earth! Love you all and hope you have a great happy week! 

Con Amor, 
Hermana Syphus :)  

My Dearest Sweet Mother, 

First I need to apologize to you as many times as you will allow me to. I am SO sorry I didn´t tell you happy birthday on the 9th! Oh my goodness you have no idea how bad I feel about that. I really almost started crying when I realized what I did and I am so sorry mom. What an awful daughter to not tell her mom happy birthday! I remembered that it was your birthday the night before and was not going to forget to write you happy birthday but obviously I did and I am so sorry. :( I love you so much mom and I promise I always remember you but my brain was just in a different world! Man I hope you can forgive me. :( So what did you do for your birthday and how was it? 

Also, Happy Anniversary to you and Dad! I am glad you are going into town together and hope you both have a great day! I really do have the best parents that I could ask for and am so thankful to Heavenly Father for that blessing. 

So some news about this week:
A little more about my comp haha. She is completely different than me but we get along so great and that shows me that God can help anyone love anyone when it is His will to put them together. We already share clothes and food and such haha :) She is a fashion queen. Image the type of person that has 74 pairs of shoes, every color of skinny jean, get´s money from her parents for whatever she wants, won biggest flirt in High School...and that is my companion haha :) She is still a bit in the world which is understandable because she is new but she really is so great and loves to work hard. I love her so much. She knows this area well which is a great blessing and I am so thankful for her. Some things are hard but there are always a few hard things with each companionship. We work well together I feel. She likes to show me pics of her and boyfriend Tanner who is on his mission in El Salvador like Erik! She is fun and sometimes I feel like we talk about things of the world too much and am trying to be more strict but loving with things like that in order to help her. She is a great missionary though and although we are very different I respect and love her so much for the decision she made to leave the world and seve a mission. It is kinda fun to here about her life and then see her as a missionary. God really does help us so much on our missions to change and become better people! 

Oh!! SO guess what? Hernan got baptized in Congreso yesterday!!!!!!! Such great news and I am so happy! 

Oh and one more thing! I received a small package from Adele Clark with some stickers and gum and mints and letters from people in the ward and was wondering if you could tell her thank you so much for the great surprise! Let her know that I am so thankful and that it was so so sweet of her to do that and that I received great comfort from the letters! Another blessing! Love you Mom

I don´t think I need anything yet. My hips are starting to hurt a bit from walking I think but I am sure it will pass. I am doing great otherwise and am really enjoying my mission. Something really neat happened the other day in fact. I was just thinking about my mission and the time I have here and thought to myself that even though I love my family and my home and even though I still do get homesick a bit, that I got to that point that I don´t want to go home. I mean I have never wanted to go go home, but this feeling was different. It was like feeling like this right now is my home and it is my life and I don´t want it to change. It is hard to think about my life not being a missionary and I really want to do it forever. It is so hard but I is the best opportunity and I only have one purpose here and that is to help others come unto Christ. I feel so good and so happy and I really do love my mission! I hope I can do something worth while with this 18 months of Heavenly Fathers time. Well I think I want to write a mass email and hope I can get it done! So I better leave you, even though I would just love to type and type to you all day :) I wrote a little note to dad. Thank you for the news about the Bennetts. Wow what an experience that they have had. What an incredible family. I love them so much and am so happy for them and the things that are happening in their lived. I will sure miss them though. I hope Braquel will be alright. That is so hard I bet. She is amazing and so many people will be brought to Christ through her love and works. She is in my prayers and thoughts! That was great to here about the missionaries that are about to go out in the ward! And Nathanial has a Brazilian girlfriend!?!? Wow that is great news and I am so happy for him! Hope things go well! What about my brothers and their futures? Any news about them and their lady friends? Well ma I love you so much. Thanks so much for everything. I can really feel the prayers of the family and know that I am so blessed to have the eternal family that I have. Love you all so so much! Con Amor, 
Buenos Aires Mission Conference with Elder Holland.  
Katelyn is on the 5th row on the left with an orange sweater. 
 It was fun to see her :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 31 (Nov. 11, 2013 El Talar, Argentina)

Dearest Mom, 

I know that I have told you this before but I just really wish that you could read my thoughts because there is never enough time to write everything that I want to say and each week my list of things just keeps getting bigger because it is just adding and adding and then the news is old. It is a struggle! And also, I want so badly to reply to people and help other people feel loved and important and that I am thinking of them. But today is a crazy day and we are trying to get things figured out with our apartment and just lots of stuff that is making it hard for me to think strait and relax in order to write this email haha. But all will be well :) So to answer your questions, I don´t know yet if Hernan did get baptized but I am hoping to find out really soon! I will let you know though because I think he should go on the chart! I know that is a little selfish but I really feel like he was such a special investigator and even though I didn´t see him get baptized he still did (hopefully) and that is what counts right? :) And yes, the ward in Congreso was called Congreso :) And I am sorry that I never told you about the 12 week training! It is something that they have recently started maybe like a year or something I am not sure though. But yes it is 12 weeks from the time that we leave the MTC. SO when I talked about my trainers, it was because they were training me during the 12 week program. I had like 7 trainers all together because of all the times that I moved around haha. We just have to do certain things each week with our comp to help them understand how more how to be a missionary and what to do. There is a manual for it so we don´t have to do it solo thank goodness haha. And about Christmas, I think it will be through skype! And I can´t believe how close it is to Christmas! It doesn´t even seem like it here because they don´t really go all out like the US does. I have only seen one shop with Christmasy things and that is IT! It is really different! But holy smokes we have so many things to think about and so i don´t even notice that I am homesick which is really nice. Thanks for the questions :) I loved your email so much and you always make me laugh and feel so good when I read what is happening at home. I love the analogy Tonia made! Thanks for sharing that with me :) I am so thankful that you and dad are taking on the responsibility of every member a missionary! I can see such a difference in our investigators when they know members and when they are receiving hermanamiento de los miembros tambien! I know that when I get home, I am going to be better because I didn´t do anything before my mission to help the Lord´s kingdom grow and I am so thankful for what you and dad are doing with the neighbors and other people in the valley. I know that you two will be blessed for all you are doing and that through your efforts, you will find someone who is prepared to accept the Gospel in their lives. It is such a beautiful thing when we find someone who is completely prepared! Thank you for praying for these opportunities and for taking action. It means so much as a missionary! Man that experience that Luke had with that man on his mission is AMAZING! What a touching experience. I hope that I can be humble and worthy enough to have something like that happen to me on my mission. I am so thankful for the experiences I have had and I they have all been wonderful! But I think it would be so neat to have something like that happen! I need to count my blessing though and remember all the Heaven sent things that happened on my mission up to this point, because there have been many. Tell Margo and Luke and their family hello for me! :) That is perfect what you are doing with my inboxes thanks so much mom! Once again this week I have not been able to respond to anyone! Like I said, we are having some problems with our apartment and the rent and such and so I have been on the phone a lot during email time trying to get things settled :( So that was a lot of time that I couldn´t have for email :( It is hard being a senor comp but I love it! I think I am receiving more confidence in myself and that Heavenly Father is definitely helping me see that I cannot do this alone! I am so thankful for the strength that He is giving me and the support that I am receiving from Him. I don´t think I am the senor comp that He wants me to be yet, and I definitely don´t think that I am as good as a senor comp and trainer to my comp as my trainers were to me, but i am going to keep trying to improve because I know that I am here for a reason and that Heavenly Father will help me. I am understanding more the power of the Atonement and the grace that Jesus Christ gives us when we are trying our best. I just really want to be a good example for my comp and help her grow and I am worried that I am not doing my part but I continue to pray hard and ask for the strength to carry on this calling and to do it well. I need to tell you about my week! Man there is so much to say! I will try to sum things up and be quick. So first, we have a new apartment that is really nice but it doesn´t have a few things. Like a shower head, a shower curtain, a mirror, and some other odds and ends. My comp lived in it with her other comp 2 weeks before I came and the first week there was not hot water for them. But when I got there there was hot water :) But now there is not haha. So we are trying to get that fixed. Also, we need to go buy the things that we don´t have today after we email. And I am going to buy rain boots because it is raining every stinkin day and my shoes are getting ruined! But all is well because we are going to find some boots today :) My first week in El Talar has been good and I love it here. It has been a tough week with many new things to remember and learn but we have already had some great experiences together. I will tell you more about my comp next week because not much time today. I am so thankful for the gift of tongues and I know that the grace of Jesus Christ is making it possible for me to communicate with these people! I was so scared when I found out that my new comp was american and onl had 6 weeks and I thought to myself we are going to die because I don´t know spanish and I can´t understand it and I have to talk on the phone with hundreds of people everyday, understand investigators, talk to my comp in spanish, and just do everything in spanish that senor comps have to do which a lot! I have a testimony that God really does prepare us for what we need in the future. Because the last transfer my comp was a little like me and neither of us liked to be the leader even though she was senior comp and so I had to step up a bit. And I knew the area and she didn´t because she was new and so I had to think about members that could accompany us and call people and stuff like that. And that prepared me so much for this transfer! The Lord in His mercy and love has helped me so much and I so grateful! Although I still don´t feel like my spanish is too great, I have been able to talk on the phone, make appointments over the phone with people, talk about money and our apartment, ask people for directions when we were lost (story for next week haha) and my favorite, say everything I want to say to our investigators in spanish! I still cannot understand perfectly and even though I say that I can talk on the phone, it takes me so long to understand people and I am pretty sure i am driving the elders crazy because I am so slow at understanding and have to ask so much times for them to repeat themselves and I feel so bad! But I am so thankful that Heavenly Father has helped me with learning and understanding spanish and I know that it is His strength that is helping me. I could definitely not have learned spanish like this without His help. I promise I am not boasting when I say this, but I was just really super happy about what someone said the other day about my spanish and I just want to share it with you so you know how much help I am receiving from the Lord haha. So we were giving a tour of the church and I was explaining things and such and at the end of the tour one of the people asked my comp how long she had been out and she told them and then they asked me and I told them 3 months in Argentina but 7 months in total and he was surprised because he told me that he thought that I was ending my mission (he was a member). So that was a confidence booster for me! But still, I am so so very far from where i want to be with spanish and I really only know gospel things ha :) But when Ammon says that he is not boasting in his own strength but in the strength of the Lord, that is what I can do as well because He really has helped me and given me so much strength! We have an investigator named Evelyn and she is going to be baptized this coming Sunday! She is so prepared and has had a true change of heart and I am so excited for her. This past week has been hard for her and we even had to postpone her baptism date from yesterday to this next sunday because her mom passed away and she went to see her. I will hopefully fill you in on more detail next week. We are also teaching a man named Marcelino and he came to church on Sunday...on his own! This is his second time at church and he has a date to be baptized for the 24 of this month! Yesterday we were walking to an appointment and I saw this red headed kid doing flips in the street and really wanted to tell him that his tricks were impressive (he was only like 9!!). So we stopped and talked to him and found out that he really is 12 and his sister Juana is 8 and they have a sister Micaela who is 16 and they all have red hair! I felt so good about them and they told us that we can come back and share a message with their entire family!! We have been praying to find families and I am hoping that this is the answer and that God will give us the opportunity to teach this family about the Plan of Salvation and that they will accept it! I want them to know about it so badly because I know that because of this knowledge that I have, I can always have hope that I will live with my family forever and that through Jesus Christ and His atonement, our families can be eternally bound. So we are hoping to go back this next week to see this family! :) Man I need to get going and I know you were excited to get my email because you probably thought it was going to be so nice and understandable and all about my first week in my new area. But, i am sorry that it is not like that :( Next week i promise it will be better and i hopefully will not be as scatter brained. I love that you send me the dear elders from the cousins and friends by the way! Is Jordan the zone leader in his zone? And holy cow I read his dear elder that said he had 10 investigators at church and was so blown away by that! Man what is that kid praying for because I sure would like to have those types of blessings! But that is super awesome and I super happy for him. He seems like the best missionary ever. And Kortnie´s emails are so stinkin good too! She is just a positive ball of joy and I  hope that when reading my emails after hers you do not think I am a bad missionary or person, because I think that is what I would think ha. She is amazing. Okay, I am done now :) Tell the family hello for me and that I love them all so much and so thankful for all you all do for me and the support you are giving me. I know that God answers prayers and that this Gospel is a Gospel of happiness! I love my Savior and I know that we can find true happiness through Him and His teachings! Love you SO much mom, so so much! 

Love, Hermana Syphus 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Week 30 (Nov. 5, 2013 El Talar, Argentina)

Oh why hello Mom! I have 30 minutes left and I am working on my email from last week and so I don´t know if I will have time to write a big email to all people about this past week and so I need to at least tell you what has happened! So last night we were anxiously waiting to receive the call from the elders about transfers and I felt a desire so strongly to stay in Congreso. I have really come to love Congreso, mom. It has become a very special place to me and I didn´t realize how much I loved the people and how close I became to them until I realized I was leaving. Yes, I left Congreso. I wanted to stay so badly, especially since Hernan is going to be baptized this Sunday and it would have been our first baptism of the transfer (well technically it is going to be in this transfer but we met him in the last transfer and it would have been the first baptism of someone that didn´t have a connection with the church at all). We have been working so hard with him and he is so prepared and doing so great! Heavenly Father sure knows how to get me out of my comfort zone haha. I get comfortable in an area, I know the members and love them, we have someone that is solid and that is going to be baptized, I know my way around, and then what happens?! I get transferred. Yup I just love it so much :) haha. But I am trying to remember that the only thing that matters is that he gets baptized. And I know he will :) But I am trying to stay positive because I know that this is the Lord´s will. You know? I just really am thankful that I can know that all these things happen because Heavenly Father has a plan and a will. Because if I didn´t have that knowledge, I would just be so sad and depressed that all these things are happening. But because I have a knowledge that God is great and good and that His plan is perfect, I find comfort in the things that He sends me and the trials that I have. Because I know that they will help me fulfill the plan that He has for me. 

So anyway ha, about my new area and companion! My area is called El Talar and is in Provincia. It is not as much city as Congreso but is still similar in many ways. My companion is Hermana Fullmer and she is from Jerome, Idaho. She says she knows some Morgans but not sure if it is the same family. She is 19 years old and has been on her mission for 6 weeks! Yup you know what that means! I will be training Hermana Fullmer for her last 6 weeks of the 12 weeks program! And I am so stinkin´ nervous. I never thought this day would come. I don´t want to ruin any of God´s missionaries and I sure hope that He will give me the strength to train her like He wants her to be trained. Last night at around 8:30 we got a call from the assistants telling me that I was going to be senor companion this next transfer and that later that night I would find out where I was going. I was so shocked and really thought that someone had made a mistake haha. That night (last night) I found out I was going to El Talar and that tomorrow (today) I would know my comp. So at this point I still didn´t know my comp or how long she had or that I was going to finish her training. I found all that out about 3 hours ago! Wow ma, I just don´t know how this is going to go down but I do know that it is the Lord´s will and I will be trying my very best to do it right. I know I will be praying lots more to receive the strength that I NEED in order to take on this responsibility. I am so nervous and do not think I am ready at all to train yet, let alone be a senor comp, but i am trying to have confidence and trust in the Lord so that I can be an example to my comp. This will be an adventure and I am excited to have this opportunity because I know it will stretch me and help me become a better missionary. And as I said before, Hermana Fullmer only has 6 weeks and she is American and didn´t know any spanish before her this is going to be really fun haha. :) I don´t want to get into the habit of talking english with her because that is just going to ruin us. But it is sure hard because we both know english and she still can´t really speak much spanish so it is a huge temptation to speak english! But i am going to take on the responsibility that God has given me and run with it. Man I need to go mom and once again I didn´t finish my email :( I want to say lots more about what has happened! Oh! I got my package today! Thank you so much! I am not going to open it until Christmas, or at least I am going to try haha. But thanks so much mom. I sure appreciate it! I will continue next week with my email and hope that I will not be as rambly as I was in this one. Sorry about that :/ Oh and can you leave the in boxes that came from this past week in my email and not separate them? I want to reply to some people but didn´t have time today. Thanks :) Let everyone know that I love them and am so thankful for them and their prayers and support. I know that God lives and that even though we will always have trails, we will also ALWAYS have blessings and happy moments. :) I love this work and hope to always be qualified and worthy in order to do it. Love you so much Mom and have a great week!!!! 

Oh and to quickly let you know that your most gracious and heart felt prayers have been answered, we had TWO investigators at church on Sunday!!! Hernan and Luis :)  It was such a blessing and miracle and I know that the Lord´s hand made it possible. Details next week! :) But I am happy and so thankful to Heavenly Father and so thankful for you and the family for your prayers! You are all so wonderful and I know that because of your faith and prayers, the Lord is blessing us and our investigators all the way in Argentina and I am so thankful. I know that when we pray for specific things, the Lord will give us specific answers when we need them and if it is according to His will! Thank you thank you thank you! Sunday was a happy happy day thanks to you all and thanks to Heavenly Father´s love and grace. :) :)  

Love, Kates 

Just signing off mom but want to tell you that I am in tears because you are in tears and that I love you so much. I really hope it will be okay, I am really relying on the Lord and His grace because I know I can´t do it alone. I don´t know how to do this but I know that He is my strength. Thank you mom for helping me feel your love and support and words of encouragement. I really do get chills every time I read the words "we are proud of you and we love you" because it helps me so much. Love you so much too mom!! You and the family are always in my heart!