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 

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