Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 52 (Mar. 31, 2014 Parque Chacabuco, Argentina)

Dear Family and Friends :)
This week we have seen many tender mercies of the Lord in His work and I am so happy to be serving where I am serving! It is a great blessing to be able to be in a ward where the members are so involved in the work and where they are willing to do almost anything to help the Lord´s kingdom grow! I have really seen a difference in the wards that I have been in my mission. They have all been amazing and I have loved all of them and the members so much, but I have noticed that when they are more involved and have a relationship with the investigators and the people that we are working with, that miracles occur and God´s hand is seen more.  Lately we have been really focusing on keeping the recent converts active and helping them receive a true conversion in order to be faithful members of the Church. Throughout my mission, this has been hard at times because Satan attacks them so hard after baptism. But I have noticed that there is a big difference in the converts when the members are working with them as well and when they are helping them with this conversion. Of course there are less active members in this ward, but the recent converts are doing so well because the ward is actively involved in their progress and I love it so much! I think one of the greatest things to see as a missionary is a recent convert staying faithful because the members are helping them when they need it. I know that the members of the church are the miracles! Through the members, the Lord´s work is growing and people are becoming converted to Christ! :) :)
This week we have been trying to find more people to teach! One morning we visited 16 people from the old records in our area book and I think two of them wanted to listen. It has been a bit hard but we are still seeing miracles and I know that the Lord is walking with us. We went to visit an old investigator and he did not live there but a woman named Maria was there and we talked to her. She is from Bolivia and has been here one year. We met with her on Saturday and she accepted to be baptized after we taught the restoration. I love that because people can recognize us as representatives of Christ, that they have confidence in us and tell us things that they wouldn´t tell other people. That shows me that the Spirit is guiding them and helping them feel of God´s love! Maria was going to come yesterday to church but because of her work, she wasn´t able to make it. Yesterday we returned to her home because we wanted to teach her again and have another date for her baptism. She 
wasn´t there but her son Rodrigo was and so we taught him a short lesson and he accepted to be baptized as well! :) They are both planning on coming to General Conference this weekend! I am so thankful for the Spirit and that in just a short amount of minutes, can touch someones heart and help them feel that God is near. I hope that Maria and her son will progress and that they can keep their baptismal dates and become faithful members of the church!!
The Rocha Family is doing well!! Alejandra is progressing the most right now and is going to be baptized this Sunday in between the two sessions!! She is very excited and very prepared and has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying every night and morning. I can´t remember if I mentioned this already but she is pregnant and is 20 years old but doesn´t have her boyfriend anymore. Yesterday we taught the law of chastity and it was a little hard because we did not want her to feel like she was a bad person for what she did. It was a great lesson in the end. She felt the spirit and cried because she wanted to change and also felt God´s love for her. We talked about repentance and Godly sorrow and explained that she was feeling it and for that she wanted to change. She knows that they church is true and is so happy to be baptized on Sunday and change!! She is so special and I love her so much and and feel so blessed to be teaching her about Christ and repentance and forgiveness and faith in Christ! Her brother Roberto is progressing as well but only in some ways. He is coming to church and reading but says that it is hard to remember to pray. He wants to be baptized but not right now. We are praying for him and know that it will come for him as well!! 

I think that is about it for the week. I am sure grateful for all of you and for what you are doing to help God´s kingdom grow! Thank you for your examples and hard work and testimonies! I know that lifes are being touched through what you are doing! Love you all so much and Happy April!! :) Being a missionary is the greatest and it is even better when you have the support of friends and family like you all!
Con Amor, 
Hermana Syphus 

Short little email she sent as well :

Hola!! Man I meant to get right on the comp and write my email but I wrote president first and the letter to him was pretty long and then Clel wrote me so I opened his email and emailed him back quick. And so now I can write you about my week! Thanks for answering the questions! That is so neat about Jordan! Man he is so amazing! I bet his parents are so proud! Tell Nik one more time that I love him and will be in contact with him! I wanted to email him personally but don´t think I will have time. My comp is already ending! And today she wants to go to a Mexican Restaurant in Almagro and do some shopping. So we are trying to hurry. it should be a fun day i hope. Glad to here that gma and gpa received the email!!! :) :) I have noticed that people have stopped emailing me. Did you tell them that I now have less time? If so that is just fine, just wondering if that was the reason. I can still print things off if I don´t have time to read them and hopefully respond the following pday. And Mom, I don´t know why you say that you can´t say things like you want to say them, because every email that you send me helps me so much and you are just so amazing with words! I don´t know what I would do without you helping me and encouraging me each week. Really, sometimes the only words of encouragement and hope and love come from you (besides the scriptures of course :) ) and I appreciate it so much!! Thank you for telling me about Laura! I miss her so much too and am thinking about her often and hope that she will find her way once again to the Gospel and that all will end happily with her. She needs the Gospel in her life and is so ready to receive it! Her family just needs to understand! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 51 (Mar. 24, 2014 Parque Chacabuco, Argentina)

Hey mom :) just a few random questions like always if thats ok and if you are there :)
1. Do you know Kimberly´s and Nik´s emails?
2. How did the cinnamon rolls turn out? I was really craving them this past week...thanks a lot. Ha 
3. Is Jordan Bell an assistant to the President in his mission?
4. Did you look up what a villa looks like?

Also, I just wanted to tell you some things that I have been thinking about and maybe you could help me or give me advice. So this new calling that I have, I really love it and am so thankful that God trusts me enough to have it. But I just keep thinking that I do not deserve it and that I have no idea why i was called to this position. Throughout my entire mission I have tried to improve my comparing issue. I am still working on it ha. I just look at the other sister training leaders and they are so amazing. All of them. I am nothing like them. I was reading one of Jordy´s dear elders that I just received from you the other day. And i loved something that he said. That there are two types of faith. The faith to endure and the faith to change patterns. And that the definition of a leader is someone who changes patterns for something better. I loved that but thought about it and decided that I do have faith to endure because God could give me any calling I would be willing to do it I think because I have the faith that he will help me to it. But I am not the kind of person that can change patterns and I feel like that is what I need to do. Like the other hermana training leaders are doing. They are true leaders. I am not really a leader. I like to follow people and I often do not take the initiative like I should. I feel like I am not doing what I need to be doing and that I am not the example that the other sisters need or expect. I cannot really lead. I still get read in the face when I have to talk in front of other missionaries and we have to do that a lot. I feel like I can´t counsel or advice people to do things because I am not good at that and I need to be better myself in order to counsel people. In the missionary handbook it has a part for the leaders and I have been studying it and feel like I lack so much and that there are so many other hermanas so much better than me! I am not a really good teacher and Jordy also said something in his email about how they had to do practices or lessons and introducing the book of Mormon with all the missionaries in order to see how well they taught. Well we as leaders are supposed to be good teachers and know how to teach and I still feel like I can´t teach well and that I get scattered and I am just struggling to accept that I am good enough for this sacred calling. I want to be better and I am trying to apply the atonement to receive the help I need. Ugh, so anyway, that is that. I feel a bit better now that I have talked to you about it haha. Thanks mom :)

We gave her a picture of cousin Devin who came home from his mission.
Aww thanks so much for this!! I love it! Devin looks so happy and so does this cute family!! One of the hardest things in the mission is becoming so close to so many people and families and having to leave them! I am sure they are missing Devin too! 

Haha sorry about not explaining well again. My spelling was awful as well so that did not help you at all haha. But I was just referring to the number of people at church on Sunday. This ward has about 180 people at church each Sunday! That is what I was trying to say :) please let me know when you don´t understand and I will be happy to explain. Sorry about my crazy writing ha.
Before I forget AGAIN, I want to write a message for Nik! Just something short. 

Nik- You leave in 8 days for El Salvador!!!!!!!!!! Que loco!! Niko, you will be so great in El Salvador and will meet so many people that will have a desire to change their lives and become closer to Christ because of YOUR testimony and love. I know that you will love your mission and will learn so much!! You are so great already and will be even better in two years!!! I will miss you so much! It will be hard not to see you for so long but is totally worth it! AND, WE CAN TALK SPANISH TO EACH OTHER!!!! That will be the best!!! But I am sure you will speak a lot better than me haha. But my spanish will be prettier than yours haha ;) Aw man I am so excited for you :) :) Keep going when it gets hard. Because it will get hard. But all the hard times are so worth it because you will grow so much and feel so strongly God´s love for you and for those you are serving! You will have your happiest times on your mission!!! I do not have to wish you good luck because you will be so great!!! LOVE YOU TONS NIKO!!! See you in two years!!!! :) :) :) Le amo mucho mi primo!! Disfrute cada momento porque solo va a pasar una vez!!
Kimbers- Congrats on your call to SPOKANE WA!!!!!! That was my first mission!!!!!! You will love love love it!!!!! Man I can´t wait to hear your stories and experiences!!!! I am so proud to call you my cousin and friend and I love you so much! You will be such a great missionary and will change so many people´s lives with your testimony and with the way that your show love to all people!! I am so happy and excited for you Kimbers!! Love you tons! 

THANKS FOR EVERYTHING MOM!!!! I am finishing up my email to you and will be getting off! I wanted to write a few people this week so my email to you about my week is a little dry but next week will be better! But once again this weeks is just an email for you i guess. I don´t know why but I feel better and more relaxed if I know I am just writing to you and the fam. I need to be better though and address it to everyone. Is there anything you asked me that I didn´t answer? Sorry I am a scattered mess today! I hope I can be more organized and give you a better email next week! Love you so much mom!!! Thanks for everything! I am great and doing very well!!! :) :) Oh one thing!! How are Kylie and Kari and their babies?

This week we had the blessing of having 6 investigators at church!! We are still teaching the Rocha family and some of them are progressing well! Yoselin we haven´t been able to see as much because of her work but Robert, Alejandra, Rosario, German (brother), Fernanda (sister) and Laurtaro (cousin) all came to church yesterday and enjoyed it once again! We also had Nancy and her daughter Milenka at church as well! They are a mother and daughter and are antiguo investigators (I really can´t remember how that is said in English) from last year and we went by this past week to teach them and only Nancy was home. We asked her if she would like to continue learning about the church and she said that she had been having lots of family problems and had a desire to learn and start going to church again and so we are hoping that we can continue teaching her! And she came yesterday with her daughter! But only for sacrament meeting. But at least it was sacrament meeting! I am always so grateful to partake of the sacrament and think about the Savior during this time. I love thinking about the things that I need to change that week in order to become closer to Him.
Alejandra and Roberto should be getting baptized this Sunday but they still lack a few lessons and so we are thinking that two weeks from now will be better. But we will see! This family is a gift from God! They are doing very well and really feel good in the church and love going on Sunday. I will let you know about what goes on this week with them!
So apparently all the missionaries that come to this area gain weight because the members are so awesome and give us TONS of food. We have already seen this...and felt it too. So Hermana Lobo and I decided to wake up early and go running every morning so we don´t get too fat haha. It has been nice but we are pretty tired! It´s okay though because I have gotten used to it by now i think. It is also nice to be able to go running again! I am loving it!
I went on my first exchange this week with the sisters in Liniers and it was a great experience! I learned so much from them and loved seeing the work that they are doing in their area! They are seeing so many miracles! We went to go contact a referral and had a 5 minute lesson with him and invited him to be baptized and he accepted! i believe he came to church yesterday as well! It was a great day with them and I was able to learn so much. They are exactly obedient with is what I love the most! I am so happy as a missionary when I see that other missionaries are being exactly obedient! It helps me feel so blessed to be a part of this mission!! :)
We have taught the plan of salvation a few times this week and i was thinking about how amazing this knowledge is. I realized that all my life I have known about this plan and that my family can be together forever, and that I haven´t really had to wait for anyone to tell me. I thought about how I would feel if I was an investigator, learning for the first time in my life that my family could be together forever through Christ. I feel like the spirit would enter my whole body and I would feel like the happiest person ever! It would be such a powerful feeling I feel like. I hope that this is how people feel when they hear this. I know that when we bare our testimonies in words as simple as I know that families can live together forever, that the spirit can testify to the people and that they can feel this happiness and hope and love that we feel with this knowledge!! i am so blessed to have the family that I have and to know that we can all like together forever! i am grateful to be a missionary and to teach this divine truth to God´s children. I love being a missionary and I love these people so much.
Love you so much Mom and Dad and thanks for all you do! Give everyone my hugs and kisses! I am so blessed to have the family and friends that I have! Thanks for your prayers and thoughts and love! They are felt here!
Hermana Syphus 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 50 (Mar. 17, 2014 Parque Chacabuco, Argentina)

Hey there Mom! :) Well I have read my emails, looked at the weekly numbers for the hermanas in our mission, and written President...and my companion is already expecting me to be done. She finished everything in 35 minutes. These native companions just don´t understand and it is driving me nuts!!! The most important thing for me on pday is to write my loved ones and they couldnt care less about that. She wants to get together with some other hermanas and so she is already done and waiting for me :( This is stressing me out. But I will be okay. I will just only be able to write you and that is it. I can´t write clel or his family anymore, or anyone else in the family..this is bogus I tell you. Just bogus. I am sorry if I don´t respond to the things you wrote to me :( I will for sure answer your questions though so no worries :) 

We received a surprise email yesterday from a man who video taped Katelyn in Argentina.  He was there picking up his son from his mission and thought it would be fun for us to see our daughter.  What a wonderful surprise it was!!!
So that video yesterday haha. He was just like, "Hermana I am going to video you and send it to you mom...okay get ready!" I had no idea what to say because it was really sudden and I couldn´t even think for one second of what I wanted to say! And I was speaking spanish right before that so my head was thinking in spanish I was speaking in english and it was just not what I would have said probably if I had more time to think haha. So sorry. I hope I looked happy haha. I really was though! Yesterday was our first Sunday in this ward and THEY ARE SO AWESOME!!! I LOVE THIS WARD SO MUCH!! Really, I feel so blessed to be in Chacabuco! I want to explain everything to you and I can´t! Hermana Lobo must not say hardly anything to her family! She literally finished everything in 35 min. But anyway, to answer your questions,

Because there are 5 sister training leaders, we each have a group of sisters. We have around 15 I believe. We are in capital, so we are in charge of the capital sisters. There is also another set of stl in capital so we divided the different areas so we each have some. Then there are two sisters in provincia over the provincia sisters and one stl with her comp in a place called zarate, which is pretty far away I think and so that´s why she is over that part only.

No it does not take much time away from teaching and proselyting and such. We have the same schedule but just more responsibilities. Like each week we have a few meetings that we have to be to with the Pres and other leaders. And then we have to go on divisions or exchanges with each hermana that we are over to see how they are working and what we can do to help her. I am really excited for that! I am excited to learn from the other hermanas and see how they are working so that I can improve and be a better missionary. I don´t how much I am going to help them, I think they will just all help me haha. We have had to do lots of things this week though to start it all up and I am pretty tired! It is good though because it keeps me working and that is what I love!
Yes, we are part of Parque Chacabuco :) That is the name of the ward. And ya, there were two other sisters here before us. I think there have been sisters here since July of last year if I am correct. Sorry I did not really explain that very well. What happened is that the sisters that were here got taken out and Hermana Lobo and I came in not knowing anything. Usually one sister that knows the area will stay and one will come in, but in this case it was different. It has happened a few times. It has been an adventure!!! :) A little about this area: There are 8 missionaries in the ward including us and we are the only sisters. It is a great area but a bit dangerous. No worries though. We are not in the really dangerous part. The elders have what is called the "villa" I don´t know if I explained what I villa is to you yet. Maybe you could look it up "villas in argentina" I really want to explain it in detail but I have a feeling a won´t be able to do much of that anymore. It´s ok, it will help me :) A villa is a really poor community where tons of people live. They are just houses on top of houses and it is dangerous because thats where the drugs happen. The largest villa in Buenos Aires in in Chacabuco!!! I have always wanted to enter a villa and work in one because the people are so humbly and accept the gospel so well. the elders have lots of success there! But tons of members in the ward live in the villa so we get to go there when we have lunch with the members that live there! I am excited! In this area it is not recommended to take your camera around and we even have to put our cell phone and money and keys in our shirts. Never have done that before. But I really want a pic of the villa and of course the area so I will see what I can do. Don´t worry, I will do it in wisdom :) The ward is amazing. Seriously. Bishop Nogales is the man and is so chill and easy going but so powerful and inspired at the same time. He really is the best. The ward is organized and we have meeting scheduled for each week and at specific times. It is so wonderful! The asistance her in this ward is around 180 each week!!! That is so much here! In El Talar it was around 60 or 70 each week and so it is a huge difference and so special to see that the members work so hard here to create zion where they are and that they help and support one another. The people that get baptized here usually have no problem staying active and faithful because the members completely take over and assist in the work of salvation! It is such a blessing to be here and see how the work and efforts of the members really bless and save lives! I know that through the members of the church, God´s work will progress and grow! I am seeing that already here in Chacabuco and it is a great blessing! I really am so happy to be here and although it has been a hard week because it was all new, we have seen miracles and I know that the Lord will bless us. The hermanas that were here before us left us with some info that we could use. Like some people that we could see and all that jazz. Thank goodness for them!! :) They found a family like two weeks ago but didn´t teach them all together. Just a daughter that they talked to in her work. Her name is Yoselin and is 22 years old. They gave us the name and address of the family and we wen this past week to visit them. They are golden. I am so grateful for the other hermanas and for their work and inspiration and that they opened their mouths in order to find this family! There are 7 children and a mom and a dad but they are not married. Yoselin is the oldest and then they have a 20 year old named Alejandra, 17 year old named Roberto, a 9 year old named Herman I believe, and the youngest ones I am not sure but will get to know them better this week! The mom is Rosario and we haven´t met the husband yet. But we had a lesson with Yoselin first in her work one day and she said that we could come by and meet her family and teach them but that her mom might not like it. Well we went one day and only the mom Rosario was home so we taught her a bit about the plan of salvation and she loved it. So we set up a return appt with her and went back and this time with the family! This is when we met Roberto and Alejandra. We invited the entire family but they did not all stay. Just like any other family though haha. Wandering off. But Rosario, Alejandra and Roberto committed to come to church and to be baptized! And they came to church!! :) Hermana Lobo and I were so nervous because it was our first sunday and we didn´t really have anything but the Lord blessed us and when we went past their house sunday morning, they were still sleeping but told us that they wanted to come and to wait! So we did and they all came and loved it! Yoselin can´t come on sundays as of right now because of her work, but we are trying to see what can be done so that she can come with her family! They are on date to be baptized the 30 of march so we will see! Rosario also has this date but is not married so that is something we are thinking about as well. But I am so happy and I know that the Lord as been preparing this family to receive the gospel and to accept it! It was so special teaching them all the plan of salvation as a family and helping them know that their family can be together forever because of the love God has for us. Oh and their last name is Rocha :)
We met with the bishop and the other elders in our ward yesterday to talk about a plan that we are going to start that will help the ward grow even more and will help the less actives and recent converts to stay firm and steady. It was a good meeting and I am excited to implement what we learned! Each organization in the ward chooses 5 families or names that need to be fellow shipped or helped. We work with these 5 families or people and think about what they need. Bishop wants 300 people at the ward conference in july I think it is, and we believe this will help. I am just explaining it in a nut shell but that is pretty much what it is.
I feel so blessed to be here in this area and I know that God´s work is being done here. The members are so willing to act and help and support and everything is just so great! We are still trying to get to know our area and the members and people, but I know it will come with time. Hermana Lobo is really amazing I am so blessed to be with her as well. She has taught me so much already and I hope I can act upon the things that I am learning so that the Lord can better shape me and prepare me for what he needs me to do.
I was reading Preach My Gospel and it talks about how when God called upon Christ to perform the Atonement, that Christ was prepared and ready. Even Christ had to prepare himself for the calling that he had. This taught me that I need to prepare myself for what God has for me and that when he calls upon me to do something, I need to be ready and willing to do it. I am grateful for the blessings in my like and for the callings that he has given me. I am excited to continue serving Him here in this part of HIs vineyard and I know that all will be well!!
Love you so much Mom and Dad and family!!! :) Thank you for everything that you do for me!! Hope you all have a great week!
Hermana Syphus 


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Week 49 (Mar. 11, 2014 Parque Chacabuco, Argentina) STL

Hey Mom :) WOW I do not even know where in the world to start hahaha. WHAT A MOMENTOUS WEEK FOR OUR FAMILY!!!!!!!! :) :) JOEL IS GOING TO THE PHILIPPINES!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D I AM SO HAPPY!!!!!!! That is the craziest!!! Never expected that!!!!! I am in tears here at the computer!! When I read that from Joel I got chills through my body. AAAAHHHHH!!! This is so wonderful!!!! :) :) :) I wanted to celebrate this moment with Hermana Jensen in El Talar :( We were both so so so excited to finally see where he was going and we were going to take pictures of my reaction and everything just like we did with her and her brother but I got transferred and my comp is native and is AWESOME but once again I will not get to be on the computer as long with her. She told me that she likes to go out and do things on pday which of course is very understandable and that she only need like 45 min. to and hour to write!!! :/ I don´t know how I am going to do this all over again haha. But the people that have so kindly been emailing me might not be receiving responses anymore :( I always have so much to tell you and now I don´t know if I will even get to do that. I also like to respond to the things that you write. 

Anyway, I am so happy for that boy :) :) He leaves on July 4th?! That will be fun!! And Kimberly turns her papers in!!! Man this is so exciting!!! I can´t wait to hear where she is going too!!!!!! Sorry I can´t express myself and my happiness justice through the internet!!! :( I am really blown away though! And mom, I know you worry about how immature and such Joel still is ha, but he will change and grow up so fast as soon as he is set apart a missionary. Seriously, the elders here are so young and seem so mature, and I know that they not all like this before their missions. I think being a missionary just helps them realize things and that they need to live on a higher plain and they really do become better so fast! Joel will be so great and I am so excited for him!!!
YES I got transferred, how did you know that???

Thank you for the bits from Laura and Hermana´s mom. I really appreciate that :) Hermana Jensen is the best and I will sure miss her so much. She is training a new missionary!!!! She is nervous but I have so much faith in her and know that she will do so well! She really is one of the greatest missionaries I know. Very diligent and obedient and is always on top of things. She will be a perfect trainer. I will sure miss Laura. Just in case I don´t have time to write the entire story today, she didn´t end up getting baptized :( Probably the hardest few days of my mission. It was really heartbreaking.

My new area is called Parque Chacabuco :) I am companions with Hermana Lobo from Mexico!!! :) She is great!!! And guess what?! We are both new to this area. We don´t know anything about it. We are white washing it which is a term for when two missionaries that know the area leave it and two other missionaries enter it knowing nothing. It is extremely hard already and my brain is like it was when I first became a missionary. So many things to do and learn and get settled but it will be a great adventure!!! i am happy!!! :) :) so no worries about that!! This morning at the church when we were being transferred everyone asked where i was going and when i told them they all just kept telling me how amazing this area is and how great the members are and that the bishop is the best and that I will LOVE this area!!!!! So I am really excited!!! This first week will be super hard because we are building it completely new but we are ready for it and I know it will be great!!! Or I hope so at least!! :) Did Hermana Jensen´s mom tell you anything else about me getting transferred?
Shoot my comp is already done writing. Transfer weeks are always so crazy and I want to write tons but never can. Since we are both new here, we have to do lots of learning and getting to know. It will take some time!!! But so goes the work! :)

The wedding seems like it went great!!! Sorry I can´t comment on it all like I would have before! :( Congratulate Shaun and Katie and Nathanial and his bride for me!! I wrote Shaun last week so I hope he got it! I LOVED THE PICS!!! THANKS SO MUCH FOR THEM!! :) :) Everything looks so perfect and beautiful!! And YOU look so great Mom!!! I want to see your entire outfit!! Where did you end up getting it?? :) 

READ THIS QUICK CUZ I MIGHT NEED TO LEAVE! :) Awe so cute!!! And this week I think I need you to chat...i am pretty stressed right now and I think we are just about to leave. But my head is going in circles again, just like when I started my mission. I do not work well under pressure ha. We are completely new to this area. Right now we are trying to get things figured out and I probably should help my comp. I guess I should tell you something big that happened ha. I was going to hold off but I will just let you know so you understand why I am stressed and feel like i am going to die haha. Yesterday President called us during the day and we thought that was pretty strange because we already knew that Hermana Jensen was going to train and President usually never calls. We were going to receive transfer calls that night and so we thought maybe President was going to tell us this time. Usually it is the zone leaders. Anyway, we answered the call and he told us that we had better be sitting down because something big was going to happen. I had no clue at this point. He told us that Hermana Jensen would be staying in El Talar and then he said hermana syphus, you will be opening the area of Chacabuco 3 with Hermana Lobo and we would like to call you as a sister training leader if you accept the calling. I am sure I had a blank look on my face at this point haha. I told him that i was definitely not expecting that but that yes, i would accept if it was what the Lord wanted. So, here I am haha. I don´t know if you know Mom, what a sister training leader is, but she is like an assistant to the president but a sister instead of an elder. I am a bit blown away still. Don´t feel like I am ready for this or prepared! There are now 5 sister training leaders. Hermana Lobo has been one for a while and so she is senior comp and is training me to become a stl. I do not know why the Lord would have called me to this position but I hope I can serve these hermanas well and be the missionary that He wants me to be. Crazy stuff. 

I guess Hermana Jensen´s mom gave you a bit of info about Hermana Jensens bday. Laura helped out and it worked out really well!!! :) I was so surprised that Hermana didn´t her me during the night decorating but it ended up working! I know she would have done much more for me on my birthday but I hope she enjoyed it. It was funny because I had to blow up the balloons in the morning when she was in the shower and hide them throughout the house haha. Because during the night she would have heard me!! I was able to make some signs and Laura also got some other cute decorations to use. It was really fun!! I wish i could comment more about it and what we did throughout the day! We had lots of food that day though! :) Hermana Jensen is SO LOVED!! The members love her and so does the whole world!! I am going to miss her so much!!!!
Laura did not got baptized. It is a pretty long story which I hope I can tell next week better. But basically, she told us that Gabriel left the house and got super mad about the whole thing. He said that he was going to take their son Matias if she got baptized. She said that she didn´t care if Gabriel left but that Matias is the thing she loves most in the world and couldn´t leave her son. It was so crazy and just a really depressing few days for us all. I never thought I would see something like that happening. Laura apologized so much and felt so bad and still wants to be baptized but just can´t right now. I know that she will another opportunity in the future. She will always have such a special place in my heart. She told us that although she can´t be baptized, she is still going to live the commandments like the word of wisdom and not shopping on sunday and such haha. We were very happy about that! Gabriel returned home and they are happy now, she just is different a bit, not as happy. I hate to give that bad news. I know that God had a plan for her and that it will all work out someday. We are still praying for her.
So now I am here in Chacabuco 3 with more miracles and adventures awaiting me :) I am very excited to be here although i will miss so much El Talar and the people and my comp.
Mom I promise I am happy and doing very well!!! Things will work out how the Lords wants them if we are obedient. I know that we will be blessed here in this area and I really am excited for it. And about my new calling, I would only like you and dad to know because it is nothing of great importance that needs to be shared. I just figured I´d better tell my parents haha. I am still a normal missionary like all the other hermanas. I feel like there are so many other hermanas so much greater than me, and I really don´t understand why I have this calling.I know it has nothing to do with being the greatest! I am a lost puppy right now but I hope things will clear up soon.
I better go! Love you so much and thanks for the great emails this week! I love being a missionary and I am grateful for the blessings received! Thanks for everything and I hope you have a great week. Love you!!
Hermana Syphus 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week 48 (Mar. 3, 2014 El Talar, Argentina)

Buen Dia! :) 

So much is happening at home! Thank you for sharing everything! This year will be one to remember for our family with all of these exciting things happening! God is blessing our family so much and I am so thankful for everything we are receiving and for the tender mercies we see everyday! One of the most precious things that we have is the knowledge that we can live together forever, and in happiness and joy! I love God´s plan and I love sharing it with others! I know that this this is God´s work and glory and that He is leading and guiding us all in this work! It is so wonderful to feel the power and the strength that he gives us and I am thankful to be one of His missionaries! This is the greatest thing that I have ever done and that God has done for me. Thank you for all the support, prayers, and love! 

That is good to know about Joel. I will pray for him! I know what you said Mom is true, that he will go where God want him to go and that the papers don´t determine where he will go, but that God determines where he will go! He will be a great missionary! 

Thank you for sharing about conference and new beginnings, very neat messages. I got chills and felt the spirit when I read the words "Don´t try to be like her...try to be like HIM!" I love that so much, thank you. That is something that I have tried to improve being on my mission. I have always compared and have really tried to think about Jesus Christ and that he is the only person that I need to be comparing myself to. I am still working on it and another reminder was needed. Thank you mom :) 

I can´t believe that Shaun and Katie are getting married this weekend either. So crazy. I will be there in Spirit to see the happy couple :) So excited for them! Send pictures and more pictures please!! :) 

Mom the end of your emails always gets me. Thank you so much for your kind uplifting words once again. As a missionary, I can see my flaws so much more and sometimes it is hard. I get hard on myself and then I think I am not enough. Whenever I read your emails my spirit is lifted and I feel better. Thank you so much. And don´t worry, I WILL treasure every minute on my mission. I have arrived to that point where I don´t want to go home and I feel like this has been my life forever! Even though I still do miss my family and am excited to see you all! It is a weird feeling. And although it is hard to see growth in myself, I have a hope that I am growing am changing and becoming closer to Christ and helping others to do the same. 

There is lots to say about our investigators! To start I guess, we had 4 at church on Sunday which was a huge blessing! It was fast Sunday and we fasted again that Gabriel would come and our other investigators as well of course. We have also been teaching a family that I don´t know if I have mentioned because they were not really progressing and we didn´t see them that much, but the mom Soledad has come to church three weeks in a row and yesterday she finally came with her husband Mauro and their daughter Brisa!! It was the best surprise ever! They are not married and so cannot be baptized yet but last night we talked about the plan of salvation and about the law of chastity and they said that they know they need to get married. They are going to think about a date and pray about it and we are hoping to have a wedding!! And a baptism!! They have two children. Brisa is 8 and Eziquiel is 14. He did not come to church because he slept in but committed to come the following Sunday. Soledad is reading the Book of Mormon every day and really likes it. Yesterday at church she told us that she felt something that she has never felt before :) I love the spirit so much. They have been really struggling lately with money. Brisa needed to start school but they didn´t have the money to pay so they needed to sell their car. Neither of them have a job right now so they are vending on the street. We promised them that prayer and keeping the commandments would help them through this trial. Well last week someone decided to buy their car and they were able to receive the money to pay for Brisa´s school!! :) They recognized it as a miracle and blessing from God and that made us so happy! :) They want to continue learning and coming to church! But the zone leaders told us that if they don´t have a date to be married and baptized within three weeks, we should drop them, or stop teaching them. Sometimes I don´t understand the leaders but I still respect them. I understand that the field is white and ready to harvest and that we need to look for the prepared people, but it is so hard to stop teaching someone just because they can´t be baptized in three weeks. It is odd but I will be obedient. I know it is coming from God so that helps me :) 

LAURA IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS WEEKEND!!!! :) Remember the long journey with her and how at one point we had to stop teaching her because her husband wouldn´t allow her to come to church but then because God is good and has a plan and fulfills His plan and promises when we fulfill ours things turned around and we started teaching Laura and Gabriel BOTH!? Well now Laura is getting baptized and i think this is probably the happiest I have been in my whole mission! I wish everyone could feel this!! I love it so much and can´t even describe it but know that it is from God and that it is the best feeling ever. Laura has been trying so hard to KNOW for sure that this church is true. She admitted to us that at first she was interested because we were friendly and she wanted a friend. But now she doesn´t really care if she doesn´t see us in church because we are not the most important!! :) Haha We were so grateful to hear that from her haha! She has the right intentions! She came to church yesterday and is practically a member already. She is so comfortable in the church and knows so many people and it has been the best journey with her. This entire process with her really has been a miracle. Everything that has happened has shown me that God has prepared her and that she is ready to make this sacred covenant with Him and remain faithful and true throughout her life. She just gets it. One thing I love about Laura is that she doesn´t just look at what will happen in this life if she gets baptized, but in the life after death. She wants to be with her family forever and she knows that it only through Jesus Christ and His Gospel, which is found in this church, that she can achieve that. We are so happy and blessed! I know that God has been with us, helping us to arrive at this point. Laura will be a great missionary to her family and I am so blessed to have known her and see her change through Christ! I really wish that you could all just see her and her desire to follow Christ. It is so wonderful. I have never seen an investigator desire to know as much as she has. And she doesn´t just desire, she acts. She has been praying, and thinking and reading and studying and just fighting Satan to come to know and now she does :) She has developed a friendship with us but has developed something even greater with Christ. She had such a desire to know, that she prayed to Heavenly Father telling him that even though she loves us so much and never wants us to leave, that we needed to stop coming by to visit her and seeing her if this wan´t true. But we just kept coming! She has told God so many times that she wants to walk in the correct path and she doesn´t want to be wrong. She wants to be sure and follow Him. Man I just can´t describe it justice but she is so ready. It warms my heart so much knowing that people want to listen to and accept the Gospel because THEY want to become closer to CHRIST and follow HIM. And this is what Laura wants. We did have a problem with her though at one point. She told us that she didn´t believe in later day prophets because in the Bible it says that there will be false prophets and she was concerned because our church is the only church with prophets and so she just assumed that they were false. Haha she is so good. She didn´t want to follow a false prophet :) We had a lesson with her and the bishops wife Hermana Brosio who is the RS 1st counselor. It was a good lesson and she was able to understand more about prophets and why we have them and the importance of them. She prayed about it and know believed and sustains president Monson :) She signed up to feed us yesterday and so we walked to her house with her after church and had a lunch of milanesa and eggs and cheese :) Then we talked about a few of the commandments that she hadn´t learned yet. Like word of wisdom and tithing and such. She doesn´t have a problem with the WOW and said that tithing would be hard because Gabriel right now doesn´t have a job, but that she would be willing to do it. Oh and speaking of Gabriel, he didn´t come to church again yesterday and we did everything! he had to leave on a trip with some people that he might start working with. Ugh. We don´t know what we are going to do with that man. He is so great but is so hard and stubborn and doesn´t want to change his ways. We will see about that though :) Laura will help him and we continue to do all we can as well. He is changing slowly. He allows Laura to come to church and is supporting her. Although she has told us that he told her that he is afraid she is going to change and not be the same and as fun. She still has not told him that she is being baptized and that is worrying us lots. Hopefully it goes well this weekend! I can´t wait to let you all know! Man that was really long sorry! If you could read my thoughts that would be a lot better ha :) But I know that Heavenly Father is hearing and answering our prayers and that we are being blessed. I know it is through His love and mercy and grace that we have seen these miracles. I LOVE EL TALAR AND I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY :D And you all make it even better! 

Oh ya I forgot to mention the dream that Gabriel had!! He told us that he prayed for the first time the other night and asked in his prayer if what we were teaching was the truth. This was the night we invited him to be baptized and he said no yet but that he would pray about it. Well during the night he said that he had "nightmares" of this pure white owl returning again and again to his window. He kept shooing it away but it always returned. Hermana Jensen and I thought it was funny that he thought it was a nightmare hahaha. Baby. You have to know his personality haha he is big and muscley with tatoos but is tender in some ways. But we explained what we thought it meant which as you can imagine was baptism and how we keep coming because it is true!! He said that could be it but still doen´t know yet. That was a neat experience though! :) 

I think that was it for the week! I hope you are all happy and healthy and can see the hand of the Lord! Love you all so much and thanks for everything!

Con Amor, 
Hermana Syphus 

These are just little tidbits back and forth before she sent her email for everyone....
Hey Mom! I got on my email and didn´t see an email from you and to tell you the truth I got a bit teary eyed haha. I thought for a minute that maybe you thought transfers were tomorrow and so that pday was going to be tomorrow. But then I thought more and figured that you just had not written an email yet and that I shouldn´t be such a baby haha. I have opened your email but have not read it all yet because I wanted to get a few things to you first. I just read the part in caps that said where joel was NOT going!!!!! You little stinker Ma! I was about to start flippin out haha. You sure got me though, good one ma, good one ;) Anyway, I have a few things to ask. As you know, Hermanas birthday is this Thursday and I want to decorate the house but i can´t bye anything because of course she is always with me. So I thought of something that I hope will work but I am not sure. First thing, ARE YOU FRIENDS WITH LAURA ON FACEBOOK NOW? Because I was thinking that I could type a message in Spanish to you but it will be me talking to laura. You can just copy and paste it on her personal board and tell her that it is from me. I was thinking that on Wed. we can go see Laura and before Wed. she could buy (I will pay no worries) balloons and such and give them to me on Wed in a bag. I don´t know if that will work but I want to try it. So this is the message that I would like you to send to her if you can:

Laura!! Soy la Hermana Syphus!! Mandando mensaje por medio de mi mama! :) Tengo un favor de usted y no puedo hablar personalmente con usted porque es una sorpresa para la hermana jensen! El cumpleaños de ella es el jueves (6 de Marzo) y yo quería comprar cosas para ella pero no puedo yo porque ella siempre esta conmigo. Entonces, yo quería saber si usted puede comprar las cosas y el miércoles vamos a pasar y puede usted darme en un bolso oscuro las cosas para que la hermana jensen no vea :) yo quiero decorar la casa un poco y pienso que los globos seria suficiente :) puede usted comparar globos no mas entonces? Y voy a pagarle devuelta no se preocupe! :) No se si va a funcionar pero quiero probarlo! La Hermana Jensen no puede saber que estoy haciendo nada. Porque es una sorpresa!!! :) La quiero mucho Laura!! :) 

Great thanks so much mom! You should talk to her when you can!! Like send her messages and such! She doesn´t know English but she wants to learn and she writes back in english through google translate haha. She and Hermana Jensens´s mom send messages once in a while and she shows them to us haha. She is SO AMAZING!! She told us she wants to visit us in the USA. I just wanted to cry. I have a feeling i am leaving El Talar next week and I don´t know how I am going to do it. It will be SOOO hard. Much harder than Congreso. I don´t like to think about it. I want to stay here forever. 

 I have a few more questions:

1. How are things with Shaun´s wedding and did my thing work or are you going to do something else? I forgot if you told me that already. It is not creative at all and i know I could think of something better but I just can´t
2. How do I let Shaun and Katie know that I am SOOO SOO HAPPY for them?!?! This is a huge thing and I feel so weird not being able to be there. I haven´t really had time to think about it much but sitting here thinking about it, i realized that i should have done something special or something because this really is such a huge thing. It just doesn´t seem the same being on a mission across the world. I want them to know that I am so happy for them but I don´t know how to let them know. 

OH!! I received the letter you sent with the announcements of Branae and Bronte and Kam´s letter and such!! Thanks so much!! still no packages though. I also received a letter from sweet Kristin and Brandon and their girls for valentines day! It was the best and such a pleasant surprise! Let them know I say thanks and am grateful and love them too! 

Me and Hermana Jensen with Laura outside her ice cream shop in El Talar.
 Us on the bridge going to Laura´s house in Panamericana for lunch :)
This is us and Nicolas. We are teaching him English! He wants to visit us in the US! 
 Sign at the mission office building in San Fernando, Argentina
 Billboards in Pacheco that we liked a lot
 "Our language is Futbol"  

 Beautiful Argentina sunset
 I tried making strawberry empanadas haha. 
They were okay but it was a struggle and I made a mess :) 

Pizza night with Mauro, Soledad and their familia!! :)