Dearest Mom and Dad,
Happy days from El Talar, Argentina :) This week the whether has dropped a bit due to the rain and so that has been nice. It is hard to work in the rain but it sure is nice when the temperature drops a bit. I have been able to sleep with my nice family blanket lately and I love it so much :)
There have been some great happenings and some hardships this week, but we know that God has a plan for us and for these people and that we will get through it as we stay firm in Christ. First with Karina. This past week we wanted to visit her various times but she kept telling us that we couldn´t pass by because she wasn´t home or her cousin was sick and she had to take care of her. So that was hard. She has a date to be baptized on the 9th and still hasn´t been taught all the lessons so we wanted to see her as much as we could last week to help prepare her but if didn´t happen. On Saturday we called and texted to remind them about church but they didn´t answer. Sunday morning we called and once again nothing. We were both fasting that she would be able to come to church, as well as our other investigators. The meeting started and she and Karla her cousin still did not show up. It was raining yesterday and for some odd reason people here think that the rain is a good excuse not to come to church. I don´t understand it. It´s just water after all haha. So when it rains there are less people at church which is always hard to see. But after the sacrament we went outside because one of our other investigators said that she was outside waiting (i will get to that). So we went outside to get her and to our great surprise, Karla and Karina were walking up to the church as well!!! We talked with Karina after the meetings and she said that because she hasn´t had a religion in her life, it would be hard to be baptized in this church even though she likes it and feels good about it. She told her that we would be passing by all the days this week to help her feel prepared and ready and on Saturday we would see how she feels. We invited her to pray to receive a sure answer from God and to read the BoM as well. So we will see tomorrow how she is doing!
We met with Natalia and her boys a few times this week once again and they are doing okay. Sunday they didn´t come because of the rain :S But the ward is trying to be really supportive with them and the boys. Like invites to young men activities and to jugar la pelota. They also have managed to combine forces to get them some sunday outfits! Eric is really being influenced by his friends though and that has been a big struggle and hardship. Remember Angel? Well now he is just all against the church and is telling Eric that he is following satan. The other day when we watched the restoration dvd and Eric felt something, he afterwards told Angel about that feeling and Angel told him that it was Satan and that he is crazy. Eric then told Angel that his evangélica church is crazy and then they got in a fight! It is just really hard right now with his so called friends. Sometimes Hermana Jensen and I want to give his friends a piece of our minds haha, but that would definitely not be the Christ like thing to do, especially as missionaries ha. I try not to get angry but it is hard because I just love Eric and his family so much and know that God has such a great plan for them. We taught them the priesthood the other day and Eric and Alex both said they wanted to prepare to receive it. So we are now trying to help them understand the importance of that and how to prepare to not only have the authority, but also be worthy to always have the power to use it.
I forgot to mention this, but Natalia told us something really neat the other day. She said that her baby of 6 months (in her belly) never moves, except when she is in church on sunday. And he/she moves LOTS! We told her about what happened to Elizabeth and John in the Bible when Mary walked in her house and she thought that was really neat. She knows that the church is where they need to be and she has a stronger testimony that this church is true and that the spirit is found there.
It is a long story with Laura but I will try to make it short!....er! :) This week she told us that in the Book of Mormon she learned that she shouldn´t say "I don´t know" when we ask her to come to church, but that she needs to say "yes" or "no" haha. We were glad she learned that but we are not sure where she read to find that out haha. She is so funny. We have had some great lessons with her where she has felt the spirit and that she knows these things are true. The other day she told us that when she first met us, it didn´t make a difference if we didn´t see her and teach her something everyday or every other day. But now she says that it is hard when we can´t come by and teach her something. She doesn´t feel the same she said. She said that we are her closest friends and sent from God and that she gets really excited when she gets a message or call from us. We are so happy about this of course, but have also been a bit concerned because we don´t want her to be getting closer to us as friends, but rather to God and Christ. We are trying to discern if she likes us coming because of the friendship, or the teachings and the spirit. We do know that she really does have a testimony and loves this church because we can see a change in her. She is also so sincere and i can feel the spirit when she is talking. She gave us free icecream the other day and also bought us this friendship charm thing that is really neat. You buy it as a circle and it has three parts to it that are equal. But then you break it in three and each person has a part of the circle. She has one, I have one and Hermana Jensen has one. She told us that she would never forget us and that she doens´t want us to ever forget her. Ah she is just so sweet. Definitely one of the strongest, most faithful that i have met. So on to what happened, she told us that she would come to church on sunday, but that it would be hard because her husband still is against it. Through fasting and prayer, we received a miracle. Sunday morning we texted her and she told us that she convinced her husband to take her to church because it was raining! We were amazed and so grateful! She came and was a little late and missed the sacrament again :( but still loved everything that day. We went outside after the sacrament to meet her and we met her husband. He was nice and seemed just fine at this point. She stayed for a baptism afterward as well and really like it and felt good and said that it was really beautiful. Her husband came to pick her up and drove away pretty angry. Later she texted us and told us that when she got home her family told her that she had to choose: this church or them. She told us that she doesn´t know if she can continue coming to church but that she wants to keep being taught because she loves it. Hermana Jensen and I were quite emotional when we received this news. Last night was tough and it really hit me how much I love her and how much God loves her. We are praying to know what to do. We know that if she can´t come to church, she cannot progress and be baptized, so we are seeking the will of the Lord to know what to do. Tomorrow we will see her. So that is where she is right now. She texted us to apologize about yesterday and told us that she wants us to please continue coming to teach her because she always feels good and loves learning. We are in a rough spot but hopefully it will work out. We just really feel that she is ready but now we are confused as to what to do. We know the Lord will guide us. Please pray for her and her family if you would.
Thank you for all you are doing and for your constant love and support. I am thankful to be a missionary and know that miracles happen everyday! I love to experience and see them. I know that God has a plan for each of us and that we can fulfill this plan as we exercise our agency in the right way and apply the Atonement to our lives. i know that God answers prayers and wants the best for us! Love you all so much and hope you have a great week!
This is a painting on a wall on the street Las Violetas.
Hermana Jensen and I love it!
If you can´t see it it says "El dia mas oscuro puede ser celeste."
Which means, the darkest day can be celestial.
Thank you for your email this week! I loved it so much and just wanted to keep reading and reading!
Dante- we haven´t seen him since that day because of his work :( we had to drop him as an investigator because he is not progressing and we don´t have contact with him. It is super hard but we know that when it is his time, the Lord will help us. Thank you so much for your prayers, fasts, and thoughts. I really am so amazed and grateful for the support that you all are giving me and these people here in El Talar. You are my miracles!
Temple- GUESS WHAT! We are going to the temple next Monday on Pday!!!!! It was so out of the blue but it is happening! Just as we were talking about it too! But the zone leaders told us specifically, "that the temple trip is not to take a break and enjoy ourselves, but it´s too receive revelation on how to baptize mas y mejor, or more and better." So that was a little harsh ha but it is true. I am hoping that Hermana Jensen and I really will receive revelation for this great area of El Talar and know the things that we need to do to help save more of God´s children. I am so excited!!!! It has been so long since I have been in the temple and I can´t wait! It will be in spanish too so that will be a neat experience!
Great to hear about katie and her temple experience! Tell her congrats and i am excited to be her sister! Give Kerry and Courtney and fam my love and greetings as well. They have always been great examples to me in so many things.
Pat and Holland will be in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for letting me know. Hope it all ends well.
I like that idea for Katie and Shaun :) Very cute! i remember that from Michonn´s wedding! I will think of something soon i hope and let you know. Thanks for including me in it! :) I am not very clever and creative though so it might take a while. i will get it to you soon though no worries. Gracias ma.
That is crazy about Joel! How in the world did all that happen so fast? Man that is crazy. I am so happy for him, he will LOVE his mission. Haha he is such a goober, I just smile when i think of him and his little ways. Hmmmm, I think i will guess Norway. I can see that....yup, I can see that. Or maybe Korea! He would fit right in there! hahaha I can just imagine him opening up his call and seeing Korea and then yelling in his little girly voice "Asians, asians!" Or something like that ha. Maybe Devin will train him :) I will stick with Norway though. I think that would be so special.
The comment of Kambree and Linkon got to me real good for some reason. I think I just feel so much love and happiness when you tell me things like that and I get emotional. Thank you for letting me know about that. I really so love these little things that you tell me. Like that, and the earthquake, and the whether, etc. I have a soft spot in my heart for Kam as well. I don´t know why, but it is for sure there. I don´t know if this is bad to say but it makes me feel good when I know that my siblings still miss me. Not in a prideful way. I just fear that after being gone for a while, they will get used to it and move on and change and forget about me haha. So thanks for sharing that. Let Kambree and Linkon know that I love and miss them too. Kam is such a sweetheart. She and Kendyl make me so proud! I love them so much.
Let Kendyl know that I am so proud of her and that she looks great in her necklace from Young Womens! What a great acomplishment! She looks beautiful and bright! :)
Thanks for the pics of nathanial and shaun and katie. Finally I see those two together! :) they look like a good, happy couple. Nathanial and his lady tambien :)
Haha Mom you sure know how to make me feel good. Thank you for the comments from the other friends and family. They are too nice that´s for sure. That was very nice of them and their words really helped me. Even though i still can´t see it in myself at this point, I am still very grateful for what they said. We actually wieghed ourselves today for the first time in a long time and I wanted to cry haha. I have gained more weight! It might not look like it in the pics but I have! When i show people my pics from home they tell me I look a lot different. That I look older now even though it was only 9 months ago and that I have lost my innocent look that I used to have. :( I liked that look and I guess it is gone now. People used to give me 16 or 17 years old and now they all guess 20 or older. I don´t know what happened! But oh well, I will get over it. I just won´t look as innocent and sweet when I get home is all. But really, thanks for the uplifting words. Really helped me, more than you know.
Alright, love you so much mumsy and thanks for everything once again. Thanks for the last little bit that you sent, even from far away you help me feel better through your words. You are the best. Let them all know I say hi :) Until next week!
Hey ma! While I am on for a bit here are a few questions if you are there :)
1. Do you have access to my facebook? I forgot ha. And if so, are you adding people that friend me?
2. When are Shaun and Katie taking their pics and you will send me an invite right? ;)
3. Have you sent that package yet? Just wondering to see if we need to go to San Fernando to pick it up, that´s all :)
4. No one in OUR family has cancer right?
5. How is Kari doing with the baby now?
6. Is it hard for you when i don´t send pictures? Hermana Jensen I know sends lots to her mom and I know they are of things that you would like to see, like the house and such. I am sorry I not creative and think about that kind of stuff :( I thought about being a mom with a child on a mission that didn´t send pics and that it would be hard. So I will try to better with that. i am sorry! Hermana Jensen thinks of everything. She is going to be one of those moms that is just so cute and does so many things for everyone and has so much to do, but is always happy! JUST LIKE YOU!! She somehow finds time to write in her journal and she takes TONS of pictures. She has a memory card for EVERY MONTH of her mission! That is crazy! I just have one haha! She will definitely not regret her mission as far as recording memories and people go. I need to be better!
7. That is it for now but if I think of more, I will let you know :)