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!
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!! :)