Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Week 78 (Sept. 29, 2014 Tigre, Argentina)

Dearest Family and Friends,

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!!! This is so precious I cant stop looking at these pictures!! Baby Packer is soo cute and sweet! And Kari and Rob with their kidlettes look so good too :) I am so happy to have another little nephew and soon ANOTHER one! I hope Kylie is doing well with her baby too! I cant wait to hold this little cutie! Yesterday Yoselin told me that my nephew was born and so I was expecting pictures! :) I will have to  tell you about my farewell next week or when I get home. I dont know how joels emails are so stinkin great with s much detail and funny things and spiritual things and just eveything in one email. I wish I had that ability! 

What a wonderful day to be a missionary :) I love hearing that you are all doing well and that life is treating you well. This week I was able to see and feel Gods love and concern for us and see the blessings of the Priesthood. I know that everything God does for us is because he wants us to live with Him again. He love us so much and allows us to have trials at times because he knows that they will help us recognize His love and help and that we will understand that we need him! I need him everyday and am so thankful that he is with us! 

This Sunday we had two investigators at church. They are sisters! :) Magdelena and Iara. And they are on date for the 5th of October! Iara is 11 years old and has a strong desire to learn about Christ and come unto him. We were teaching a lesson the other day and got interrupted by something and she was like, "hermanas keep talking, I am getting really interested!" We were teaching the plan of salvation and she really liked it. Everyday she would told us that on Sunday in the morning she would be waiting for us to come by and go to church with her. She is so special! :) We have to keep teaching them effectively and with the spirit if they are to be prepared for this weekend. They still lack some of the teachings but are excited to keep learning and be baptized! If they go to conference on Saturday and Sunday, they can be baptized on Sunday after the first session! :) But only if they are prepared of course. We hope that we will be able to teach well and that they will accept well all of the teachings and apply them so that we can see them being baptized this weekend! We are so excited to be teaching them and helping them and they are progressing well.

Our other investigator, Edwin, didnt make it to church again because of work. He told us at the beginning that he did not usually have to work on Sundays and the two sundays that we have invited him to church he tells us yes but then gets a call Sunday morning or Saturday night and has to work. I think Satan is working hard on him because he knows that he is prepared and doesnt want him to progress and follow Christ. We want to keep him, but we have to see if he really is going to progress at this time. Because if not, we want to continue using Gods time well, finding prepared people. Edwin has stopped smoking and is working on stopping drinking and is praying and reading, but just hasnt come to church! We are trying to think of something to help him understand better! :)
I know this is short but our pday is short today because it is not actually pday. We are going to the temple on Friday and so they are using the temple time as our pday and we can only write today and shop and have to be working at 2. So we are writting fast! :) General Conference in one week!!! I am so excited! It will be so wonderful to hear from all of them.Mom I am sorry for not responding much to things, this week is going to be crazy with meetings and the temple and general conference and my head is full haha. But I love you so much and thank you for everything. Tell everyone hello for my like always! Let Rob know that I read his email and was going to respond but ran out of time. But that next week i will try to email him. He is so amazing and I am so thankful for his email! Thank him for me if you could! We are getting off now! Thanks for everything and I love you all so much! 

Hermana Syphus :)

(From what I understand, each missionary has a "farewell night" where they are honored and the members and missionaries come and say their "farewells".  Katelyn didn't have time to post any pictures, but I found these on facebook from Roberto's pictures.  I cried through all of them.  She has been so happy in Argentina and the people have been so good to her.)





PS So this week a fun little friend appeared on my neck haha. It started out small, like a  red burn or something and we didnt know what it was. I thought it was a sun burn because it felt like a sun burn but a really bad one ha. But it was just in one spot on my neck and didnte make sense. And I didnt burn myself from anything else. It started getting worse and so we told a member, the relief society pres., and because she always is taking such great care of us, she called the doctor and we went to get it checked because at this point it was hard to even move my neck and look left or right. the doc told me that it was an infection that a bug can cause or a bacteria in the air that enters the skin. We bought a cream for it and i applied it like he told me to but it was getting worse and hurting lots too. So then i talked to a different member and they said that I should stop using the cream. I stopped using it and received a blessing from the elders in tigre. That day it hurt and was the same, but the next morning i woke up and it felt so much better!! It was hard sleeping when it was really bad because I couldnt turn my neck, but during the night I slept well and it felt better! And was starting to look better too! :) And now it is healing and looks really gross haha. But it looked more gross before. I really think it was a tender mercy of the Lord that it felt lots better yesterday because I was worried that for the farewell, I wasnt going to be bable to hug anyone because i couldnt because of the pain. But Sunday morning I woke up and it was wonderful! I am so thankful for the little things that God does for us to make us happy and care for us! :)

The first pic is what it looks like now, the middle pic was how it looked when it first appeared, and the last pic is when it was really bad with little white pockets of puss. Really gross! But at least it is getting better! :)

Week 77 (Sept. 22, 2014 Tigre, Argentina)

Hey mom! First of all haha, last week when I said that maybe no one is excited for me to come home, i didnt mean for you to send that to people so they would write me ha. I received lots of emails saying Kates we are excited to have you home! Haha I know that you all have just been helping me by not saying anything. But thanks ha :) Second of all, this was another crazy pday that i expected to be able to write lots of people like I wanted, but once again it will not happen. We went to a place to buy some things that I need to take home and got permission from Pres to leave early because it is an hour and a half from our area. I was able to buy some things so that is great! But we have little time to write :( When a missionary is leaving the mission, we say that the companion that they are with is "killing them" because they are "dying" My comp is killing me in that way, and sometimes I think that she is literally killing me ha.

This transfer I have been able to learn so much. Lots about myself and lots about other people. I feel so grateful for the many blessings that God has given me and for the opportunity I have to serve in Tigre and see miracles and blessings every day. God has helped me have patience and feel the grace of Jesus Christ and has comforted me so much when I have most needed it. I am so thankful for my many blessings! :) :)

We are currently teaching a friend of a member family. Her name is Magdelena and she is 20 years old. She just had a baby girl 2 months ago and is a wonderful mom and loves to learn about the Gospel. She has been so receptive and prays so beautifully and is reading the Book of Mormon and learning fast! She has such a sweet spirit and recognizes that she is blessed although her life is not easy. She lives with her family and is wanting to know the church in order to be more happy and learn about Christ. On Sunday she wasnt able to come to church because she was up all night with her baby and didnt sleep at all. We passed by Sunday afternoon and talked with her and she looked so tired but was so happy to talk with us. She wants to come this Sunday and also to General Conference in two weeks. She is on date to be baptized the 5th of October and is very excited! And so are we! :)

We are also teaching the cousin of a less active member. His name is Edwin. It was a miracle how we found him and through working with the members, we were able to receive this miracle! :) The President of our branch told us to visit this family. We went and found the less active there. He told us about his family and that is 10 year old son is also a member but his wife is not. He told us that his cousin and aunt lived in the house in the back. We asked him if his cousin had ever talked with the missionaries and he said no and we asked him if we could! He told us that he did not think he would like it. But we insisted :) Edwin was not there in this moment so we returned another day and found him there. He accepted the invitation to be baptized and wants to change his life!! :) We have been teaching him and he is very receptive and is excited to learn! I know that he has felt the spirit because his desire to learn more and progress is increasing. He was not able to come on Sunday because he got called into work, but tonight we have an appointment with him and we will see how he is doing! :)
Teaching the Gospel of Christ and seeing people happy is my favorite thing to do and see :) I love my Heavenly Father and I know that He lives. I know that he loves to bless us and that when we keep our covenants and the commandments, He will always bless us. Life is just so good when we have this good news of Christ and Gods plan and I know that I am so blessed and that we are all so blessed to be members of Christs church! :) It really is wonderful thinking about all the blessings we have been given, even when we are in our hardest times. On my mission I have learned to be grateful and have learned about happiness. It is a choice to be happy and we can always be happy knowing that God loves us and that we are part of His perfect plan. Sometimes we mess up and sometimes the agency of other people hurts us, and we get down. But as long as we are doing our best and helping others so that they can also do their best, we can be happy  :) :) I love you all so much and thanks for everything! :)
Hermana Syphus
Can you please tell Kari, Kylie, IvaLou, SIs. Condie, Joel and Trish, and Kortnies mom, THANK YOU FOR THE LETTERS AND EMAILS!! :) I wanted to write them all but cant today. But I really appreciate their emails! I hope Kari and Kylie are okay!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 76 (Sept. 15, 2014 Tigre, Argentina)

Hey I used up lots of time trying to put together the pics and descriptions of the converts
for my farewell in 2 weeks and my comp is getting a little frustrated because she wants to leave.When I am home I can tell you how it is with her. Right now I cant. But if you could just pray that these next three weeks i can love her and not take things personally that she tells me! I AM ok! :) just a few things that maybe Heavenly Father wanted me to learn before I go home! :) And so I am willing to accept it. It will be a great three weeks!!! I am going to enjoy and work and enjoy and work some more! I am still living my dream! :)

Thanks so much for your email mom! And for answering all my questions! I really appreciate it! I dont have much time right now to write about the week :( I am so sorry! Next week we are going to go to a place so I can buy some things and it is a little far but I hope we get back in time so I can write about two weeks worth of experiences! The main thing and blessing that happened this week is Milagros baptism!! :) She was so prepared and really didnt even have to do anything, just teach and testify! And she was so ready! It was so amazing how everything happened so fast! She was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday and it was so special! Her dad is a member and is the ward mission leader in his ward (he lives far away). She and her dad are not very close but we could tell that through her baptism, they became closer and now have a stronger relationship and it is so beautiful to see! :) He was so so happy to see his daughter being baptized! He confirmed heron Sunday! We are still working with Olga! SHe came to church on Sunday again and is on date to be baptized this next Sunday! Flor, her granddaughter came to church as well and they are doing great! We just need to find more people now!! :)

Milagro's baptism with me and my comp.
 Milagro and her grandparents
Milagro and her dad, his wife and her little brother

As for the dinner, oh man I will have to think about it hahaha. But if you do dessert, I think I would like the usual, chocolate Eclair. And broccoli and cauliflower with cheese sauce for sure. Roast beef and gravy! Man I cant remember the things i used to eat! I am trying to think! At some point after my mission i will eat all the things i missed so i am not too worried about what we have haha. But I think roast beef and gravy and b&c and cheese sauce for sure. I will let you know more next week? Hey I am so sorry for all of the requests today :( I had a list of things to write and ask you too! But thats ok, next week will come :) THanks for the update on everyone :) I cant believe that flood!! How crazy! Tell everyone hello for me please! OH!!! When I read that email about what Erik said when you asked him what he wanted from here, I read it and immediately started crying! It was the craziest thing! Something so simple and short but it touched me so much. Tell Erik that I cant wait to see him and give him a great big hug! I think I get really sentimental when I hear words like that from my brothers. And its ok if you need to talk to me about home mom, i wont get distracted :) In fact, I am starting to wonder if anyone is getting excited because no one has really said anything haha. ;) But maybe its just cause you all are trying to keep me focused :)

I too am so excited for general conference!! It came so fast and I cant wait to see it with our investigators! I need the words of the prophets to help me! :) Well I better go mom! Love you so so so much and thanks for everything you do. I dont know how you do it. Whenever I tell people how many kids you and dad had they always ask me how in the world do you do it.

​Love you all!!!

This is the Acosta Family! We eat with them every Saturday and she always cooks a rice and chicken stew that is oh so delicious! :) 
In the photo with with funny faces, I was trying to wink and it didnt work hahaha. 
My winking skills have gotten worse during my mission...but that should be a good thing ;)

When it rains, our area is a muddy mess! Yesterday it rained all day and we were walking and jumping in the puddles with Camila, the member that was with us :) It was a great adventure. We were the only ones in the street all day and when we talked with people they were like, why are you outside in the rain on a sunday afternoon when you could be inside away from the water and mud! Haha I love when people ask that, because it gives us a great opportunity to explain to them out message and why we are here!! :) :) I love being a missionary, even in the rain! :) 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 75 (Sept. 8, 2014 Tigre, Argentina)

Dearest Family and Friends,
Hiya :) I hope you all are doing great and enjoying September as much as I am! I cant believe that we are already in September! August went by so so fast. I keep thinking that it is going to slow down but it doesnt. We had a wonderful week here in Tigre and I am so thankful for all that the Lord has blessed us with!

This week we had a huge miracle, and her name is Milagros (miracle in spanish)! :) What happened just goes to show how organized God is and how he plans everything so perfectly and helps it happen when it needs to! When we met with the branch president the other week, he gave us some names of less active families to visit. One of them was the Rojas family. Each day for a week we put this family's name in our agendas at a certain time. But each day for almost a week we never got time to visit them because we were visiting other progressing investigators. But on Thursday, after visiting all of our progressing investigators that we could that day, we looked at our agendas and had a few options. We asked the member that was with us who we should visit. Without knowing anything about the fact that we had put the Rojas family as a plan that day, just as we had each day that week, he thought for a moment and looked at us and said "what about Hermana Agripina? I dont know her last name but it is a family that lives here close." We recognized the first name of the Hermana Rojas and decided to follow this members idea to visit the family. When we got there, we found the Hermana sewing (her job) and met her granddaughter that is now living with them. Her name is Milagros and she is 16 years old. She is a gem. I love her! We talked to her for a bit to get to know her better. She recently moved to her grandparents house and knew and was taught by missionaries before. She was even about to get baptized, but her mom did not give her permission. Her dad is a member of the church and wanted her to get baptized but she did not live with him and so she couldnt get permission. Now she lives with her grandma and now has permission! She accepted the date for the 14 of September and yesterday came to church with her grandparents :) I cant even tell you how amazing the whole experience was knowing this family. God wanted them to be found and gave us so many signs in order to talk to them! He knew that Milagros was ready and that she needed to be found in order to help her spirit remember what she needed to do. She is accepting everything so well and each time we go to their house, they are all seated with their Books of Mormon and ready to listen, participate, and learn. It is so beautiful. I know that God leads us to those that are prepared and I know that even though he knows and wants them to receive the truth, we as missionaries have to be obedient and use our agency well and follow the spirit so that we can find our brothers and sisters that are prepared. It was even more amazing because the member that we were with had the spirit and was prompted to visit this family! Everything just worked out so beautifully I am so thankful for this miracle and I know that it was all inspired and directed by God! :) Milagros loved church and was accepted fast by the young women. If everything goes well, she will be baptized this Saturday or Sunday! :) Her family is now coming back into activity as well! Her grandma bore her testimony in relief society yesterday and said that she was so happy that her precious granddaughter will be baptized this sunday and that they are so happy! God is real and loves us so much! :)
Also, Olga came to church yesterday! Her husband Anibal wasn't able to make it though, and neither was Flor :( We are not sure yet what happened with Flor but we are going to talk to them tonight. Olga is progressing very well but feels like she needs more time to get to know the church. Her date is for this Sunday but we will see how this week goes :) They are starting to feel a difference in their home and can feel more peace and happiness! I love when they tell us this! It means that they are recognizing the blessings and that these things are true! :)
I will hopefully have more time next week to write more! Love you all so much and thank you for all you do! :)

Hermana Syphus

This is what we see everyday we leave our apartment :) 
Tigre has a river and it is a very touristic place in Argentina! 
 The picture with the two towers and the flag is where we live! 
The elders live in one of the towers, and we live with the other hermanas in the other tower   This is my home in Tigre!

Me and my comp, Hermana Traverso from Peru

The other Hermanas are the hermanas that came last pday! 
Hermana Johnson her companion :)
We went to a place called Retiro to buy some things that I want to take home :) 
We went with Hermana Hatch and Hermana Pardo, the other sisters in Tigre! 
It was a lot of fun!

We ate lunch at a Peruvian place and I had something called arroz chaufa. 

The other hermana trainer leaders at the meeting at Pres. house :)
 I am going to miss them so much :(


Monday, September 1, 2014

Week 74 (Sept. 1, 2014 Tigre, Argentina)

Dearest Family and Friends :)
I hear that in St. George you are getting to play in the rivers on the streets!!  That is so crazy that it rained so much! It has rained lots here as well lately but not too hard. The other day though it started hailing and they were huge pieces of ice, like the size of a blueberry! Luckily it was a sunday morning so we were inside the church :) The weather here has been really crazy lately. It will be super hot one week and the next week super cold. Right now it is cold again and i think it will get warmer this month but we will see.
We have has so many wonderful experiences this week and I just wish I could put in every detail but that would take to long and would also probably bore you all haha. We started a new transfer and for this transfer, President wanted to put a set of elders in Tigre! It has been 7 years since Tigre has seen elders so it is really different for the members but they love it! Two transfers ago there were three areas in tigre but then Pres took out tigre 3 because there was not much work there for a while and he felt like he needed to take it out. But this transfer, he wanted to add it again and put elders there instead of sisters. So now my comp and I are living with the other two sisters and the elders in the other apartment. We have been trying to help the elders because they know nothing about the area and it has been a busy week! We met with the President of the branch to divide the three areas to make it better than before and now we have a smaller area but we are excited to continue working hard with what we have! Our area is the poorest part of Tigre and there are lots of people there so we still have lots of work to do there :) When we met with President, he gave us a few families to visit. We went to visit the families and one of them is a part member family and the members are less active. They are from Peru and the father/grandfather was a bishop at one time in Peru but they moved here and he got a really good job really quickly and had to work on Sunday. We only met his wife, one of their daughters that is a member, and the daughter of this daughter and another granddaughter. The two granddaughters are not members. The parents we sealed in the temple with their children and everything! We talked about the temple and the covenants that they made with God and how their grand children need to make the same covenants so that they can be part of the eternal family. The two granddaughters want to learn more and we are going to visit them tomorrow!! We found them yesterday night so they have not come to church yet but are hoping to this coming Sunday! :) We are super excited to teach them and to help reactivate the family as well. Some less active families do not want anything to do with the church but some just need love and the invitation to come back and a little push and they feel the spirit again and want to come back. I love working with families that are ready to be rescued! It is the best to see them come back as a family and see how they change even as members. That was one of the great miracles that we received last week!

Hermana Traverso and I have been pondering on the promise that through the recent converts and less actives, we are going to find the elect. I know that this is true and we have been trying to help this promise come to pass! :) We are still working with Rosana, the girlfriend of the recent convert named Marco. She came to church on Sunday for the third time in a row and really likes it. She just needs to turn 18 now so that she can be baptized :) We also have to see if they are keeping the law of chastity 100 percent. We taught it to them and they said that they would live it, but we need to follow up better to make sure they are good.

God gave us a great miracle the other day! A few weeks ago a recent convert named Alejandro gave us a referral. He told us that he had really felt strongly that we needed to visit this person and that his name just popped into his head one day and that usually doesnt happen. We always ask him for referrals and most of the time he doesnt know who to give us. But this time he felt really sure and excited to visit his friend Martin with us. We went to contact him and he told us that we needed to come back a different day because he was working. we invited him to church and he said he would talk with Alejandro to see what he could do. Alejandro invited him to church and tried to talk with him lots of times but Martin didnt give him much attention. He didnt come to church like he said he was going to either. The other day we passed by just to see what happened and why he didnt come to church. We were with a different recent convert named Camila. Martin was there and we talked to him a bit and decided with the help of the spirit and the filters that he is not an elect at this time. We asked for referrals and he didnt give us anyone. We were walking away from his house, analyzing the houses around his, and my companion said that one day, we should knock a certain house. Camila then told us that she knew a girl that lives in that house named Flor. Flor is the friend of another recent convert. We didnt have time right then to contact Flor but we came back the next day and met her mom and grandparents because she was not there. We found out that one month ago, Flor's uncle passed away. His wife and children are having a hard time. And so are the grandparents of Flor...the parents of the man that passed away. We shared with them the Plan of Salvation. Flors parents are not married and Flor has a boyfriend of 7 years (she is 18 years old) but doesnt live with him thankfully! Her grandparents, Olga and Anibal, are so precious and wonderful. We taught them all again when Flor and her boyfriend were at home and Olga, Anibal, and Flor accepted baptismal dates for the 14 of September! They are a miracle family that God put in our path through a recent convert! Olga and Anibal came to church yesterday but Flor couldnt make it because she had to go to the hospital for something that is bothering her on her leg. We are so excited to work with this family! They really need the Gospel and the knowledge that they can live with their family forever! I know that if they are prepared and if they are elect, that the Spirit will help them feel and know that these things are true!
It has been a good week and I am grateful that God is helping us see the fruits of our labors. I always need to improve and work harder, but i am thankful that he is blessing us with these wonderful people and families to teach. My joy is so full when we have progressing investigators haha :) I know that God loves us and that everything he does he does because he wants us back! I know that He lives! Thank you all for everything! Love you so much and have a wonderful week! Remember your blessings and think about them all the time and you will be happy! :)
Hermana Syphus

My rash is getting better. It is actually not a rash though haha. We found out the are bites from bed bugs!! Gross huh!?! It gives me the heebie jeebies thinking that I have bed bugs but i think I solved it! We washed my sheets and such and sprayed my matress with this one stuff prescribed by the doctor.

That thunderstorm looks CRAZY!!! Holy buckets those pictures are amazing!! I cant believe that! So beautiful!! Wow the combination of Gods creations, technology, and peoples talents is such a good one ha :)
I am sorry to hear about Kari and Kylie :( Poor things. I hope they keep getting better!
The bday dinner sounded like so much fun! And holy food! That is so neat that almost all of it came from the garden! I am excited to see it! you always work so hard with dad to make it so great, I hope that I will have those types of talents when I grow up.
 Oh ya! Last week we went to the doctors again haha! My comp was having trouble breathing and would make these weird sounding gasps for air and I told her that she needed to call the nurse because that was not normal. We called and she said we needed to go the doctors to get checked. So on Wednesday we went and the Dr. Smith checked her lungs and such. Then he checked me as well because I was pretty sick last Monday with a fever but received a blessing and had gotten a bit better but he still wanted to check me. And guess what? We both ended up having Bronquitis! Haha crazy huh!? She has it worse than me because she had it in both lungs and me just in one, but we bought the meds (she needed three and I two) and now we are both doing LOTS better! Whenever I get sick, I usually have the same symptoms and dont think anything of it, but I guess it was worse than I thought haha :) I am feeling good though now and so is my comp! So that is what counts! :)
I LOVE joels emails! He is so funny and I just love reading what he writes! I am glad that he is doing so well. Does he only have an hour to write?

I will try to watch out for the bed bugs in my luggage and be more careful! Ah man french toast made by erik sounds so good right now. i am hungry haha :) right now we are going to be meeting with some sisters in a different area. Pres called me and asked me if we could spend the day with them because one of them is a new sister that is having a hard time and needs some help! :) And when i got to argentina I was like her says President ha. So I hope that we will be able to help her! :) I am praying that I will be able to know what to say and do in order to help this sister. I dont know her at all and am not good with words, so hopefully it will go ok. Being sister trainer leader is hard at times but it gives me lots of opportunities to learn and think about others and strengthen my love for them! It is the best! :)