Monday, December 30, 2013

Week 38 (Dec. 30, 2013 El Talar, Argentina)

Hey mom I am on!! There is no power in our city and so we just barely found a tiny place with power that we can email from! It is so crazy! So anyway, I am on if you need anything! :) But we have less time today because we have been looking forever for a place and still have to do some other things before we start working at 5:30. So this will be short! 

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´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. 


Con Amor,
Hermana Syphus
 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

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day (Dec. 25, 2013 El Talar, Argentina)

Hola! Hey we are here at the house of the family with skype and I have put in the user name and password that you gave me and it is not working...are you sure the user name is right and that you have an account?

Thanks to our computer genius son, Erik, we were able to get skype up and going...thank goodness. It was so wonderful and Katelyn looked so happy and angelic.  She truly glowed.  We loved talking to her!!!

Hey! I want you and dad to meet the people that we are with right now. The ones that are allowing us to skype. Can you get on skype again for like one minute?

We were also able to skype with the wonderful family who allowed Katelyn to use their home and computer to talk with us.  It was so good to meet them...such humble sweet people.

Pics of Hermana Syphus while skyping with her.  So fun!!!

Christmas with Hermana Jensen

Monday, December 23, 2013

Week 37 (Dec. 23, 2013 El Talar, Argentina)

Hey mom I am on! I literally only have an hour today cuz its not pday! And I had to write the pres first but now I am on!!!! Love you! 

Mom, can you send this to friends like Kortnie and her family, and Brittney, Zeiglers, Clel, family, and just anyone you can think of? I really would do it but we only have an hour and I have to do lots of things on the computer today! WOuld that be hard for you? 

Dear Family and Friends,

This time of year always seems to come up so fast and then end so fast as well. But each time it comes around, I can feel the spirit that it brings and it is one of the best feelings in the world. I know that this feeling and this spirit comes from our Savior, Jesus Christ and His life. Being on my mission, I have not been able to think about the temporal and festive part of Chirstmas much. I absolutely love this part of Christmas, but it has been nice to focus on the actual significance and meaning of this time of year, that being Jesus Christ. I love Him and know that he was born, died, and now lives for us. I know that He has the ability to change hearts. I know that He is the gift that all of us can partake of. I am so thankful for this beautiful time of year and the happiness it brings. I know this happiness comes from our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I love this time of year! :)

I am thinking of you all and am missing you as well, but the spirit is still the same everywhere we go and I can feel it here everyday with these people. And for that, I am so happy and feel so blessed and wouldn´t be anywhere else! What a blessing it is to be on my mission during this time! 

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas! Thank you SO much for all you do and have done! For your support, love, and prayers! I love you all so much and keep you in my heart. 

He lives and loves us to the end! His spirit is among us this season and always! 

Que el espĂ­ritu de Cristo pueda morar en sus corazones y con sus familias esta navidad y para siempre! 

Con todo el amor en el mundo, 
Hermana Syphus 

Ma, also I want to SPECIFICALLY let my grandparents know that I love them so much and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I hope all is well with them! I have been having dreams about gpa syphus and after you told me about kylie and her dream of joel, i am kinda worried! Is he okay?

I found a member that has skype already and we will be skyping on Wednesday at whatever time you all can!! :) We were thinking around 4 argentina time. What is that over there again?

Also a few little things!  Hermana Fullmer went home for a bit :( it was super hard but we are doing good. More info on wed. si quiere. I have a new comp and her name is Hermana Jensen from Springville Utah! She is 20 as well and was a visa waiter in the states for 6 months so I am not actually training her like I though! Pres didn´t know that either until she got here haha SHe is great though! You will meet her on Wednesday! Also, we had a baptism yesterday!!!!! I will tell you about it on CHristmas! My comp wants to know if she can use your accont for skype as well because I guess she doesn´t have one. 

Tell Erik thanks a bunch and that I love him so much! :) Man this is crazy, it´s almost Christmas! I can just imagine the fam and what you are all doing and it makes me happy! :) 

Okay these are going to be shorter! sorry!
Natalia: We were walking to a less actives house and Natalia stopped us and asked us where our church was. She told us that she was a member but had not been to church in 17 years and wanted to finally go with her family. It was a true miracle! God put us in each others paths and made this miracle happen! Natalia has 6 kids and 1 on the way and wants them all to have the gospel in their lives. She has realized that her life is much better when Christ is a part of it and wants to raise her children on Jesus Christ and His teachings!

Hernan: The first time we met him he didn´t want anything to do with the church or God in general. A few weeks later, we passed by him again and just started talking. He asked us what it was that we really did as missionaries and we started talking about our pupose and about the importance of Jesus Christ. He was interested and had a lot of great questions. He was lonely and has had a hard life. We started teaching him the lessons and he learned how to find peace through repentance and the Atonement. He was a completely different person and I know that it was through Christ that he changed! He was baptized a few weeks later! 

Hey I am getting off now and didn´t finish the names! SO SORRY!! Here I am with this idea and don´t even follow through with it! Ugh sometimes I just don´t like myself. But on Christmas I will tell you about them.I know it will not be as special though :( man I am sorry mom. I will be better next time! I love you so much and really am so thankful for all you have done, Tell everyone hi and that I will see them all in a few days! Love you! 

This is Katelyn's zone in El Talar.  
She is with Hermana Fullmer (before she went home) and Hermana Jensen...her new companion.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Week 36 (Dec. 17, 2013 El Talar, Argentina)

Hey! I am on! I will probably be on for quite a while today because my companion is having to work through some very personal things. It will all work out I know, but she is having a hard time right now. I sure hurt for her. We are like sisters at this point and it is hard to see her suffer. So anyway, I will be on for a bit!   I am sorry about not writing much today! My companion is a really tough situation right now and might even have to go home. I am trying to write my email to you and comfort her as well so it is tough but if I don´t finish my email today I surely will tell you about everything on Christmas! 

If I don´t get to write much, at least know that I am doing great and that i am so very happy and healthy and HOT! ha :) I wake in the morning sweating! Literally! It will be a fun summer that´s for sure :) Love you tons!

Dearest Mom,

Thank you so much once again for the weekly email, I always look forward to them! The Ben Bens are sure going to be missed. I love that family so much and it will be hard to not see them there when i get home. But I am happy for them and all the miracles that they have seen this past year. Such a special family! 

So two weeks ago we had interviews with the president and they went really well. He asked my comp and I if we could meet with him sometime at his house and we said sure. We had no idea why but of course we agreed to. The next sunday we had stake conference and he was there. He came up to us afterward and asked us to join him and his family for dinner that afternoon. It was just going to be us, his two sons, his wife, and two elders. We still had no idea why at this point. Sorry if this doesn´t make sense I am trying to type fast ha! So we get there at around 3 and we helped hermana ayre prepare the food. It was SO good and exactly what we have at home! It was steak AND grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, garlic bread, and this amazing homemade oreo ice cream cake for dessert. It was super weird because I felt like I was at home again and I have not been used to that feeling for 8 months. It was like I wasn´t a missionary for a few hours because we just talked and visited and I even played their piano and after dinner the president´s 11 year old son taught me how to play chess and I played with hermana ayre! Now I know what return missionaries mean when they say they feel weird when they get home haha. It was different, but that doesn´t mean that I didn´t love it! Because I did! It was nice to have a family dinner like that again and just talk and cook and clean and such :) I thought of you and dad and the fam while I was there and it was nice. So anyway, the reason that we were there is because the pres. had to talk with my comp. I thought it was us both because he just told us that he needed have an interview with us. We got to the house and after dinner he asked my comp to talk with him. After they were done I asked him if it was my turn and he said no, you are good, I just needed to have a chat with you comp. Okay. I was still unsure about things but waited for my comp to tell me later what had happened. And that is what we are going through right now. The pres. was so sweet and nice about everything. He has one of the kindest hearts ever! Almost as kind as yours! He told us that we could stay and play ping pong with his kids and that we could just hang out for a while there at their home if we wanted. We stayed for about 15 more minutes and then left. It was a great time and an experience that I will always remember! I got a lot closer with the pres and his family and had a fun time! Just weird because of the change it was haha. 

Natalia and her boys didn´t come to church on sunday! We called the night before and visited them many times that week and everything was just great and prepared and then sunday we waited and waited and they didn´t show up! I thought that something had happened because they always come were so excited to come when we talked with them the night before! But yesterday we visited them and Natalia told us that they had slept in and her boys were at a late bday party the night before and were super tired. So we talked about the sabbath day again and the importance of it and they are for sure going to come this next week i just know it! :) But two of her sons have 2 asistencias at church so this sunday, two of them are hopefully going to be baptized!! Alex has only been once and so he will have to wait but the other two want to be baptized so we will see! Alex is super special though. He is 12 and doesn´t like reading at all his mom says but is reading the book of mormon like crazy. We leave him chapters to read each time and he always reads them. Natalia says that she doesn´t even tell him to read, he just does it because he like it so much. That is a testimony to me of the power of the book of mormon and the peace and joy that we have when we read it. It has been such a blessing to see these three sweet boys sprout and become what they are! I love them and feel so blessed to have this experience! 

 I love my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and I know that the truest, purest happiness comes from them and following the commandments. I know that He heals our hearts and replaces the hurt and anger and sorrow with peace, comfort, and joy. This week I have learned through studying the importance of faith and repentance. Sometimes I get caught up in wanting people to be baptized, and I forget that faith in Christ and repentance come first. I know that repentance changes people because Jesus Christ is the one that has made it possible! I know that if we want to do our best, we need to have faith in Jesus Christ. I cannot say that i am doing my best if I do not have faith in Christ, no one can. Because faith in Him comes first. Everything starts with faith in Jesus Christ and I know that when our faith in Him grows, we are more happy and we have the desire to serve Him and change things in our lives to become more like Him. He lives! 

Oh ya! TRANSFERS! I almost forgot to tell you! I am staying here in EL TALAR this transfer with Hermana Fullmer and I couldn´t be happier! This is exactly what I wanted! But there is also something else! We will be receiving a new companion straight from the MTC this Thursday and so we will be in a trio! I will be training the new hermana for these next 12 weeks! I have never done this before and am sooo nervous mom! I don´t know how to train a fresh missionary straight from the MTC! Her impression of missionaries is going to be us and what we do, says the pres. I just want to do it well and in God´s way because these 12 weeks will affect the rest of her mission and even life. I don´t think I am ready to train a new missionary. I am so weak! I make so many mistakes and there are so many other missionaries so much better than me! I am just grateful that I always have the Atonement to help me. I have come to feel the power of it on my mission and I love my Savior Jesus Christ and all He has done for me.

 I am still not sure about the skype thing on Christmas but we are going to talk with some members this week to see who we are going to meet with and what time we will be doing it. The 23 will not be a pday because we will get to talk to our families on Christmas. But we can email our families from 11 to 12 on the 23 at least. I really wanted to right each family in the fam and give them a christmas greeting but i do not know if i will have time! I especially wanted to send something to my grandparents! I do not know if I can but I will sure try!  

It is going real great here in Buenos Aires! I have been wanting to tell you some fun facts about this place and maybe will get my chance on Christmas when we skype! I have some fun stories to tell you all! 

I hope the spirit of Christmas is in your hearts and that Heavenly Father has helped you to feel His love this season as we remember Jesus Christ, His Son. Christmas is different here but the spirit is the same and I know that although we will all be receiving different temporal gifts, we all the same gift of Jesus Christ, our Savior. I know that He lives and that His path is made. We just have to walk on it! I love you all so much and feel so grateful for the support, love, and prayers from all of you! Thank you so much for everything!

Hermana Syphus

OK! I have the people and their stories! It will take a bit to write them all but I will try to do it fast! Have you written the names on the gifts yet?

I still have three more to write but I really wanted to write an email to you about my week, is that okay with you if I finish next week? 

Familia Gomez: Congreso, Members
When I first got to Congreso, the only active member of this family was the dad. He asked us one day to start teaching his 14 year old daughter Rocio because they were inactive when she was 8 and she never got baptized. We taught her the lessons and as you all know, she was baptized! Since her baptism, this family has reactivated conpletely. Their 20 year old son is preparing to serve a mission, Rocio is actively involved in young wonems, her parents are examples to the ward and come to church as a family each Sunday. Their son Eliseo is blessing the sacrament and they have testified of how the Gospel has blessed their family. They have changed through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and have seen how much better off they are when Christ is the foundation of their lives! 

Adelis: Congreso, Convert, 18 yrs. 
Adelis approached us herself and asked for a pamphlet to read. She had a desire to know Christ from the beginning. She was taught and although received no support from her family, was baptized and is now one of the most happy, dedicated members I know! She is converted to Christ! Although she had a great realtionship with the missionaries, her realtionship with Christ is stonger and true. The Book of Mormon is her best friend. She recently moved to Paraguay and mentioned that although the nearest chapel was about 2 hours away, she was going to make sure that she partook of the sacrament each week. 

Linda: Ephrata, WA, Investigator, 50s
The missionaries contacted Linda one day while she was sitting ourside her rundown trailer. She was sad and depressed from past experiences and it was evident in her face. They taught her The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and bore testimony to her that through the Gospel, her life could change. She told them they could come back. The next visit, she looked different. She was more happy and had a light in her eyes and was excited to learn more. She started coming to church and each time we saw her she was more happy and the light of Christ was starting to change her appearance. When I left Ephrata, she was working on quiting smoking so that she could be baptized. The Atonement of Jesus Christ has changed her and her desires!

Elizabeth: Convert, Congreso, 60s
Elizabeth was an investigator who liked the church and it´s teachings, but didn´t want to have a baptism date (that NEVER happens jaja, chiste) We taught her, prayed for her, and fasted for her. She wanted to be completely ready and prepared for baptism because she knew how big of a step it was. She always told us that she wasn´t ready, even though her powerful testimony proved otherwise. She had come to know Christ but didn´t recognize it. One day Elizabeth called us and told us of a dream she had the night before. She was dressed in white and was talking with a man who was also dressed in white. Then she told us that she had decided to be baptized and knew it was what God wanted her to do. A true miracle! Elizabeth sells things on the street, like many people in the city. One week before her baptism, she was robbed. All of her merchandise and money was taken. She had been promised blessing by God through us as missionaries, that if she was baptized, she would live a happier life. Some people would have given up in this situation. But she was converted to Christ and knew that God would keep His promise if she kept hers. She was robbed two more times that week, one on the street again, and one in her house. But she still relied on Jesus Christ to help her carry on. That Sunday, she was baptized and bore her testimony about Jesus Christ and His love for her. The Spirit was present and the service was the sweetest I have seen! 

Evelin: El Talar, Convert, 37
Evelin was taught by the missionaries for 8 months before she got baptized. She was living with her "husband" who she had 3 kids with but was not married. Her process was long but it was worth it! Everyone thought she was member because she did everything that a member would do, but just was not baptized or confirmed yet. She bore her testimony every fast Sunday and served the ward. She was set to be baptized the Sunday after her wedding. But two days before her wedding, her mom past away. This was very hard for her. Her wedding was postponed and so was her baptism. She relied on Christ completely, especially during this time, and had many special and sacred experiences through dreams and the feelings she received. She knew God was with her and held on to His hand through the entire journey. Her baptism was rescheduled two other times. Satan was really trying to prevent her from making this covenant with God, but because she was converted to Christ and His Gospel, she never gave up. She was finally baptized and confirmed and is a changed and converted daughter of God! 

Marcelino: Warden, WA, Investigator, 40s
He had a difficult life and had gone through many trials. One of the things that he struggled with was drugs. He had a desire to stop and when the missionaries started teaching him, his desire to stop grew because he understood the miracle of repentance and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. One night we were teaching him the word of wisdom. At the end of the lesson he started crying and told us that he wanted to stop for good. He took the instrument that he smoked with out of his pocket and got up from his seat and walked outside. We watched him throw it away for good! He was pleading for forgiveness and asked for the strength to be better and change. This has been one of the most powerful experiences on my mission. Marcelino overcame this addiction through Jesus Christ and His Atonement and became a happier person because of it.

Natalia: El Talar, Member (less active), 30s

Edison: Congreso, Convert, 26

Hernan: Congreso, Convert

Are you there mom? I am just about to get off and wanted to give you one last love! Tell all the family hello and happy Christmas for me and that i love them all so much! Love you and miss you and can´t wait to see your face on Christmas! I know that I am a little embarrassed to show mine! haha but oh well it will be worth it! Even my comp said i have gained a little weight in my face but it´s ok, as long as you know before hand haha. Love you so much!

Hermana Syphus 
Kates :) 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 35 (Dec. 9, 2013 El Talar, Argentina)

Dearest Mother, 

Thank you so much once again for the wonderful email and news. This week I emailed a few more people than normal so I don´t have much time again :/ I never include all the info that I want to in my emails and I still have had a hard time finding any time to keep a journal, so I hope I can remember these experiences that I don´t write about. Anyway, I wanted to respond to your news more in your email but don´t think I will get to much of it. Sorry ma :( But I did want to mention how crazy the weather is there! I can´t believe all the snow you are getting! LUCKIES!! I am jealous! It is so hot here and stinkin humid and we are just dying. But it´s okay, it´s all part of my mission so I am going to love it haha. But really that is so crazy over there. I am so glad you are all safe and doing well and loving the Holiday Season. I sure do love this time of year. Thanks for the pics, Joel looks great as usual, and Kendyl is a real beaut that´s for sure. She and Kambree are getting more and more beautiful each picture I see of them. They better be good with how beautiful they are. And watch out for those silly young men. I WOULD SURE LOVE A PICTURE OF YOU MOM! Can you send me one please? :) 

This week was a good one but not as good as the last few. But i surely can´t complain. We had some great experiences this week. The family is doing good! Eric, Lisandro, and Alex are all reading the Book of Mormon and Alex is especially doing great with that. He reads it all the time is just trying to understand it. We know it will come with time and that Heavenly Father will help him as well. We are becoming closer with them and I really feel so happy and comfortable with this family. I can´t wait for the day when they will all be baptized, sealed, and active members in the church! It is so special and sweet to see them progressing and moving forward in Christ! But some news about them, they didn´t come to church yesterday because the baby was sick and so we have to move their baptism date to the 22. The investigators have to attend church at least 3 times before being baptized. So that was hard. We did everything we could to have them come to church with us but in the end it didn´t work out. We told Natalia that we could just go super early to their house (they live 30 minutes away from us at least) and take the boys to church with us and that she could stay home with the baby. Well her boys are great and they are liking church more and more (they have a lot of peer pressure from their darn friends) but they did not want to go without their mom. The are shy as well and didn´t want to be alone. We tried to talk her into it and even called members to see if they could go with them but it ended up not working. The transfer is before the 22 and we don´t know what is going to happen. It seems like so many times we get so close to seeing God´s children enter into this covenant and then we are transferred. It is super hard and lots of times I don´t understand it but i know it is all part of God´s plan. Sometimes it is hard because I see and hear about all of these missionaries baptisms going through so perfectly and I don´t understand how! It seems like each time we have a baptism, EACH TIME, something happens to hinder it, something. Like they don´t come to church one week and it had to be postponed, or the case with Evelin. So many things happen and it never turns out how we plan. Sorry for being so negative right there but I just want someone to understand me and my confusions. Although these things are happening, I know that there are ALWAYS blessings everyday and that when I think about the blessings and miracles we have, I am happy and remember that God is always with us. We are continuing in faith and prayer and I know that everything will work out! We have God´s promise! :) 

On Tuesday we planned this awesome family home evening for Natalia and her kids. We were going to teach "The Sabbath Day" to them and had something really fun planned. It was planned to be at the church so that their whole family could fit and we also invited a great member family to join us so that they could help out. We were going to teach the doctrine and such and talk about the importance of the sacrament and then do a fun demonstration with ice cream. The ice cream represented "sunday" (ice cream sundae) and we had nasty toppings like ketchup, salt, cheese, etc. and yummy toppings like dulce de leche, cookies, etc. We were going to teach them the good things to do on sunday and the things we shouldn´t do on sunday and have two bowls of ice cream and add a yucky topping when we talked about the things we shouldn´t do and them with the other bowl we added the yummy topping for the things we should do on sunday. So this was our PLAN ha :) Natalia ended up not coming because she is prego and was having contractions. We had already set up everything and the member family was there already, so we wondered what we could do. We were in the church and there were tons of young men in the back playing soccer, probably around 20. I told my companion that I was sure there were some menos activos there because we didn´t know all of them, and that we should have the fhe with them! She thought I was crazy because there were so many of them and they wouldn´t want to leave their game. But we asked anyway and they decided it would be fun! They didn´t want to come in the chapel because they were super sweaty and such so we went outside and all the young men sat on the cement while we taught them el dia de reposo! They all participated and it went super well! I didn´t think it would be so fun and spiritual and organized but the spirit helped us and it was a great experience! It touched my heart to see all these young men just sitting and listening and participating. We sung a hymn and said a prayer just like a fhe and it was just really special. I hope the spirit touched their hearts and helped the less active young men feel the importance of the sacrament and of Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father helped us to see something great even though it didn´t happen the way we had planned. 

Next week i will tell you about eating dinner yesterday with the pres and his family! It was so neat! I feel like I am out of time though to tell the entire thing. When I first got to Argentina I asked the assistants how much time we had to email and they said 1 to 2 hours but never gave me a for sure answer. Since then, we haven´t really been told a time limit, and so I never know what it really is. But if you can remember, my comps in Congreso said 1 hour but the pres hasn´t really come out and told us a specific time. But I start feeling guilty after I have been a while so that is why I always say I need to get off. My comp always stays on longer than me though. I just don´t want to break the rules but I don´t know what they are regarding computer time! But I am going to get off now. I have been on a while :/  I love you so much mom and hope that all is well. Thanks so much for everything. I am really doing good and am loving my mission. The Lord has blessed me so much and through His Atonement people are changing and so am I. Tell the family hi for me and that I love them and appreciate them! Until next week! :) 

Con Amor,
Hermana Syphus 
Katelyn :) 

Hola Mi Madre! I think I will be using skype but I am not sure yet :/ Transfers are a week from tomorrow and so if I stay I will get looking for a member that has skype but until then, I don´t know because I might leave you know? Oh and I will be writing on Tuesday next week :) But that email said something about using a password that your parents give you, do you have that yet? I don´t really have any idea how it is going to work but believe you me, it is going to work. Just please warn everyone that when they see me through skype, my face is going to show the signs of the season if you know what I mean (chub chub) haha. So just don´t be surprised when you see that my face is a bit bigger. It´s okay though I am not worrying about it, just wanted to warn you. Haha :) 

I got my rain boots por fin!! They were like 200 pesos which I think is around 40 bucks. I used my card so it should say that I used it. Also, is the money that I have on my card to use for presents for the fam? Like is it my money or your money? I just wanted to get everyone a little gift from the great Buenos Aires before i go home and didn´t know for sure about the money. How much is left?  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 34 (Dec. 2, 2013 El Talar, Argentina)

Dear Mom, 

Katelyn is speaking of Joel's accident on SR 18 last Saturday.  He fell asleep while driving home and totaled the Saturn by hitting an oncoming truck.  He miraculously walked away from it all.
You have me in tears with that experience that Joel had. My heart as well is full and I don´t really even know what to say except thanks to Heavenly Father. Que cosa. I am so glad that he is okay. I just wrote him earlier without knowing what had happened. I can not imagine and do not want to imagine what could have happened. What a special spirit he his. I can feel it. He surely was protected by Heavenly Father and His angels. Thank you for letting me know about that mom. A miracle for sure that he will always remember and that will strengthen his as well as our testimonies of the love of God and the promises He keeps. Wow I am still in awe. I will surely be saying a prayer of gratitude for that. 

So for your questions, YES! YES! YES!  Evelin Elisabeth Rodriguez was baptized yesterday! And there is another story to tell about that. So we went to go visit her on Thursday I think it was and we were so excited to talk about her baptism and all that and so we get there and she looks at us all seriously and says, "I can´t be baptized this week because I am on my period." We coudn´t believe it. I was crushed for the THIRD time to hear the news that her baptisms yet again needed to be postponed. But we didn´t give up there. Not sure if you know but Argentina doesn´t have tampons. But my comp brought some and we offered her one and she said that they hurt her and can´t use them and doesn´t know how to use them in the first place. Great. So then we asked her when she started and she told us two days ago. That was the light at the end of the tunnel ha. We knew that if it was God´will, which it was, that her period would be over by sunday and that she could be baptized. So we talked about preparing everything on Sunday just in case she had ended and that we were all going to pray super hard and sincerely to receive this miracle. So that is what we did. We have to tell our zone and district leaders if a date for baptism gets changed and things like that so I had to call Elder Wade (district leader who is from St. George but went to Desert Hills and is SUPER amazing!) what had happened. He is the youngest child of 6 BROTHERS and didn´t really understand everything as you can imagine. He asked me if there were any "solutions" to that problem and I explained it to him but he still felt like we could do something. I had to hold in my laughter when he asked me isn´t there something she can use, like some type of diaper? Haha it was pretty funny. And really I am probably making it sound super immature and childish but promise it was not. My comp on the other hand was a little dramatic and teenagery about it ha. She is a goof. But no Elder Wade was super sincere and innocent and it wasn´t even weird to explain because as a missionary that is going to happen and we are adults so it was fine. Just a little funny at that one part. Poor Elder Wade haha. So anyway, we did pray lots for her and even mentioned that we would do anything to have her be baptized on Sunday. We called her Saturday and she told us that she had stopped and was going to be baptized on Sunday. Our hearts rejoiced! It was so special and I know that Heavenly Father heard and answered our prayers. We have received so many little and big miracles this week and I do not feel worthy of them! I don´t know what we are doing to receive all of these blessings but all I know is that i want to work hard and diligently in order to be worthy to have them. God is so good. You know when people say that God has a sense of humor? Well I guess he does because guess what happened? Sunday morning I started my period and was not supposed to start for another two weeks. Now that is pretty neat I would say ha. Who knows if it had anything to do with Evelin but if it did, I am more than happy to make the sacrifice ha :) Everything went great on Sunday and it was a great service. She will be confirmed this Sunday! The thing is though, that her husband is not a member and is actually an avid member of a different church. So if you all could pray for his heart to accept the message that would be wonderful. We want to see them enter the temple together and have an eternal family! That would be the best. 

Alright mom I need to tell you some other things about this week before my time is up. Maybe I can do it fast haha. As missionaries we have weekly goals. One of them is lessons with a member. Our zone leaders told all of us that 15 should be our goal. Well the first week in Talar Hermana Fullmer and I only had 5 lessons with a member. It was awful I know and I am embarrassed to say it but that is the truth. We didn´t really know any members the first week so it was hard. But anyway, two week ago or my second week here, we witnessed a miracle and actually had 15 lessons with a member. It was that week that our elders were pushing it and making sure we were going to get it. On Saturday two weeks ago we only had 9 lessons with a member and one one day of the week left. Sunday we put our daily goal of lessons with a member as 6 in order to make 15. It was going to be hard but we knew that this number of 15 came from God and that we could do it. We had a member scheduled but 5 minutes before we were going to leave they texted us and said sorry but they couldn´t come. Well that really stinks. And it happens quite a bit actually. We looked at each other and wanted to cry and then my comp says to me, we need to say a prayer right now. So we knelt down and offered a prayer and after the prayer a name came to my mind. It was a less active hermano who was 19 named Tabare. He had never helped us before but his mom said that sometimes he could. We called him and he said sure, I would love to help. So many miracles mom, so many miracles. We offered a prayer of thanks and left to go get him. And that day we had 6 lessons with a member. I am really learning of the power of grace on my mission. Jesus Christ´s grace and atonement allowed this to happen. We tried our best and he provided the rest. Yes we had to work for it, but it was Him that gave us the blessing and allowed it to happen. I know that the grace of Jesus Christ really is a strengthening AND enabling power. So I wanted to tell you that miracle and also one that happened this last week. So once again our goal was 15 lessons with a member and just to be short in writing, we ended our week yesterday with 26 lessons with a member. Oh my goodness I can´t explain how content and happy and grateful I am. Our first week- 5. And our 3rd week- 26. That is 21 more lessons with a member. I am sure that you probably are not sure what number is good and what is so so. I know I didn´t even have a knowledge about this goal at all before my mission. But I just wanted to share that because it has helped me see God´s hand in our lives and had really helped me develop a stronger testimony of faith and prayer. We really didn´t do too much to receive this great blessing. We just prayed each time we didn´t have a member and Heavenly Father provided us with someone each time. I still can´t really believe it! The strength that God gives us when we are trying our best is something great. I know that He provided us with the members and helped us to find people to teach with these members. Each and every little thing that happens is part of God´s plan and I know that we have been blessed! 

So here I am starting this email again on the 2 of December :)  

We have had some amazing experiences these past two weeks and I am so excited to share them with you all! I hope that as you read, the spirit will testify to your hearts that Heavenly Father knows and loves us and has a plan for each one of us, His children. This experience happened two weeks ago. We were walking to a house of a less active to go and visit her and a women walking with her kids stopped us suddenly. The first think she asked us was where our church was. We both looked at each other (my comp and I) and had a big smile on our faces! We gave her the address and asked her if she was a member. She told us yes but had been inactive for 17 years and had never gone to church since then. She was baptized with her family when she was young but after the death of her father she ended all contact with the church. We talked to her for a while and found out that she has 6 children, none of which are members of the church. Three of them are older than 8 years old and their names are Eric (14), Alex (12), and Lisandro (9). Her three youngest are girls. She told us that she wants them to be baptized! We asked her if she was going to be coming to church on Sunday and she said that yes, she wanted to finally go. We talked about the plan of salvation for a little bit and testified to her that it was not a coincidence that we crossed paths, but that God made it possible because He wants her family to be eternal and live together forever! We set up a return appointment with her and continued on to the less active members house to find her not at home. Natalia and three of her kids came to church that Sunday. After 17 years of not going to church, she came. I think this was one of the best moment on my mission so far. I don´t think there are words to describe how me and companion felt when we saw this daughter of God returning to church after 17 years. My heart is full of gratitude for this special experience that God allowed us to be a part of. But the happy story continues! :) We met with Natalia that week with ALL of her kids and to make my ramblings short, we committed two of her boys to be baptized on the 15 of Dec! Alex did not accept baptism this visit but we returned a few days later and asked him again and at first he said no once again but after explaining baptism and what is is and testifying to him, we asked him again and he said yes without hesitation! I did not think it was going to be that easy but have learned from this experience that when we testify of truth, the spirit will touch the hearts of the people and will help them know that these things are true! At first when Alex said no it was very hard, like it always is when people reject the invitation to be baptized. But I was not going to leave that house until he felt like he should accept! I cannot remember the things we explained to him exactly. I just remember that the spirit was something great and helped us say what Alex needed to hear in order to have a desire to accept. What a special sacred experience! So now all of her boys have a date to be baptized on the 15 of December and it is going to happen! It is the greatest feeling in the world to be teaching a family! I love it so much and want to see this family accept the Gospel and become an eternal family! We have already seen changes in each of them and are praying that everything will work out. God really made everything possible in order to help us meet this family. The amazing thing is, Natalia told us a few days ago that she never leaves the house to just take a walk with her kids, but that day that she met us she had a feeling to do it. And we were going to a less actives house who ended up not being home. We just needed to be in that path to meet Natalia! God is all knowing and His power is great! The people that are ready to accept the Gospel will come to us when we are trying our best and doing God´s will! I know that God answers prayers! I have seen His great love and power through this experience and I am so blessed to know this special family and help them receive Jesus Christ and His Gospel in their lives! I will keep you updated! :) :) 

Well mom I had some other neat experiences to tell you but this was the greatest one. Honestly though, my heart is so happy and grateful. A FAMILY MOM, WE ARE TEACHING A FAMILY!! I have been waiting for this my entire mission and I just cant thank Heavenly Father enough. This scripture describes how I feel, "Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all apowerball wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a cmerciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name." Alma 26:35. 

Love you so much mom and thanks for everything that you do! I was not able to write dad back :( I will next week. Tell everyone that I love them all so much and am so happy to hear that all is well. Thank you for your support, love, and prayers. I know that we are seeing miracles here because of you all and the things that you are doing! Happy December!! :)

Con Amor, 
Hermana Syphus 

Why good day Mom! I am here once again and just on cloud 9 after reading yours and dad´s emails. I just get so happy reading what has been going on and I love it so much. So much news and I want to respond to it all! I LOVE the pics! Wow I am so happy to see that Brett and Braden are dating! She is such an awesome girl and a great friend of Kortnie´s. She has always liked Braden and so I am so happy to see that it is working out! And Nathanial as well! She is sure beautiful that´s for sure! How neat :) I am very happy for him. Now is it Erik and Shaun´s turn wouldn´t you say?! Goodness I really sometimes get sad thinking about how they are not married yet because they will be such amazing husbands and fathers and their time is ticking. I just want them to enjoy that time of their lives and I know how much they want it too. I need to start praying for that specifically more. Nik is going on a mission!!!!! Wow greatest news ever!! I have been hoping and praying that he would decide to do it and am so happy that he has! Tell him that I am so proud of him and that I love him so much! Georgy Porgey or however you spell that haha, look so cute! What a fun activity for them to do. Sis. Hymas is such a gem and really knows how to love and care for the little ones, just like you :) I miss those boys so much. Dad looks great as usual haha :) Man I just love him so much. I can´t really even see his face in the picture and still I looked at it and got teary eyed. What special angels I have for parents. De verdad. I rarely think about when I get home, but I have to admit that sometimes I still think about giving dad a bug hug when I see him. That makes my heart feel good. And of course I think the same about you. Mostly I just want to see your face because it really is one of the most beautiful things. And I am being completely serious. I can just see you right now as you are reading this, laughing and denying what I just said about you but it is so true mom. Man I just love you and dad so much.

Do you already have the secret names picked out for Christmas? 

Sorry I didn´t answer all of your questions last week. I think you mentioned something about really liking my companion of something like that. Haha yes I really do like my companion. I am finding more things our about her each day but she is great. We work hard together and she is not a stress ball like me so that has helped tremendously. She helps me stay calm ha. And she has great faith in Jesus Christ and what He can do. I have learned this from her and it has been a blessing serving with Hermana Fullmer. :)

Me and Hermana Fullmer (she's from Idaho)

Was there anything else that you asked that I didn´t answer? 

Love you :) 

Oh ya! Hernan´s last name is Sanchez :) :)

And about Clel hahaha. Iva Lou is such a sweet heart. I love her. Tell her not to worry about me and Clel because we are fine haha. It has just become weird or unusual I guess I should say, to always talk talk talk about him. I hate to say this but I got a laugh out of what she asked you, if I still love Clel because he still loves me. Don´t tell her I thought that was funny. I just can see her saying that and think it´s cute that she is worried about that. But yes I still love Clel. Or at least I think so haha. It is just a little weird saying it right now. When I have time I write him and tell him that I love him and it is a little weird but it is true still so Iva Lou shoudn´t worry. Poor thing! 

Kambree is so funny!! She is going to marry Tyler I just know it. That would be the cutest couple ever if you ask me! And we will see about Dev Dev haha. You mentioned that kam went black friday shopping with Char and her mom. Well I kinda missed not doing that with her not going to lie! In fact, my comp asked me what we did for thanksgiving and I told her and then told her about balck friday shopping with my sisters and how i was going to miss doing that with them! That is honestly one of my favorite parts of the year for some reason haha. Tell Kam and Kendyl that I thought about them that night and missed it too but am excited to go next year with them! And just to let you know, when I say miss things it´s not in a distracting way. Of course I still miss things from home but I am my happiest here on my mission. I can still miss things and what to be here at the same time :) 
That is so cute I love it!! I was thinking of something if you didn´t have it already but Smurfs is a great one! Oh yes, I will let you know about the member lessons thing. And Shaun is dating Katie Wall! That is great! :) So happy for him! 

So to answer your question about the member lessons, we have these things called key indicators. It is in preach my gospel ch. 8 if you want to read about them :) Seriously, if I would have read pmg (all of it) before my mission, that would have given me a much greater understanding about what missionaries actually do! PMG ch. 8 will help you know what I am talking about if you have time to read it :) But I will explain as well of course. One of the key indicators is "Lessons taught to investigators with a member present" or in other words, "lessons with a member". I am just so used to saying it like that that I didn´t even think about what it actually sounds like...teaching members like you thought. Sorry about that! We try to teach as many lessons with a member present as we can each week because when we have a member, it helps our investigators know other people and they receive another testimony from an actual member other than a missionary. It is so much more powerful when we have a member with us and I have developed a strong testimony of member missionary work by seeing how much this really helps! Maybe you have heard of going on "splits" with the missionaries? Well that is pretty much when a member goes with them. I did not have any idea before my mission that this was an actual goal for the missionaries each week and each day for that matter. But it is! That is why after my mission, I am going to go out with the missionaries whenever I can because I know how stinkin´ hard it is to find a member who is willing and who has time to do it! It is difficult sometimes to find a member each day for the entire day but like I said last week, Heavenly Father honestly has blessed us SO much. Sometimes we have to have two or three members each day, and sometimes we like specific members with specific investigators because we pray about it and Heavenly Father helps us. We also have to coordinate when and where we are going to meet them and how long they can do it and sometimes it is just complicated and hard, especially in spanish haha. But I really can´t complain because we have received so much divine help and the strength and tender mercies that Heavenly Father has given us have been incredible. I will never forget these special experiences that we have received on our missions. And this past week we had 21 with member present. Not as good as last week but we still made our goal which was 18! Did I explain that okay or do you still have questions about it? 

Oh and for the names I was thinking that I could send you the names of investigators, less actives, recent converts here on my mission that I have seen change through Jesus Christ and His Atonement and then I could write a small explanation about the change they made or how they came closer to Christ and after you tell the family who they are on Christmas morning you could read the explanation of who the person is and how they came closer to Christ. :) It´s a little weird probably but that is just something that randomly came to my mind one day haha. But do what you have already because it is great and probably more fun for the kids! :) 

Yup that counts :) You all should do it!!!

And mom I really didn´t want to take away the smurfs idea! You are too nice to reject my idea and I knew you would do that! But listen, I will send you some names but you really do not have to do it okay? It was just an idea. I have to get off now though so I will do it fast. 
Thomas, Marcelino, Evelin, Linda, Natalia, Hernan
Umm I need to think more and have to get off so can I send you the rest next week? Sorry! :/