June 13th, 2011
Family and Friends!
How is everyone doing?! All is well is happy Candyland! It is definitely winter here and getting colder by the day. Its truly been such an amazing week I don’t even know where to start!
First of all - we were working on Monday night after p-day and felt like we couldn’t find anyone because all of our appointments were ditching us, so we just kept going and praying hard and tried listening to the spirit to be guided to the right people for that specific night. So we were contacting and knocking doors and we talked to this one lady named Nelida and she is about 65, lives alone, and her husband just died about 7 months ago, and she was just a mess. She began crying and talking about how she has lost hope in everything, and is sick of trying to receive help and strength from others, but she wasn’t getting it, and didn’t feel like God was listening to or answering her prayers. We testified to her that we were sent as servants of God to come to her door and share with her a message of hope, and that she would be able to see her husband after this life and be with him again. We left her with a prayer and hugged her so tight and it was just so sad to see this poor woman all alone with no hope in the world to live - we were so grateful to be able to promise and testify to her that god does live and listens to and answers our prayers and she could receive peace and comfort for the message we shared.
Then we left and kept on passing for more people and got to about 830...we were just going to start heading home, but I said we should try a few more houses and call it a night. My comp walked straight up to this door and this girl came out and let us in because it was truly soooo freezing outside and we were shivering. We walked in to a cute comfortable home with the heater on and a whole family of 7 just sitting all around the table ready to listen to us. Sometimes I get so nervous, and intimidated because now that I am senior comp, I have to talk most and understand everything and I always wonder – am I even capable of doing it...the family – Romero -was SO nice and as I began to talk to them I just felt such a love for them and just felt so much trust and confidence in God and I knew he would carry me through lesson and have the spirit speak through me. We sang a song and told them who we were and our main purpose as missionaries, and testified of the truth and importance of our message. They really liked it and the spirit was strong and they said we could come back another night! So many miracles!
Then Tuesday we were walking around after some of our lessons and trying to figure out what to do, because we had gone through all of our plans and none had worked out. My comp was really down and tired and mad and she didn’t have any idea what to do. We sat down and I asked if we could pray – (something I love about the mission is just sitting down anywhere, and pleading for the Lord’s help and guidance of the spirit….good stuff!) So we prayed and I kept feeling impressed to go to this specific house, but my comp wanted to try other things so we did but then I told her we needed to go back to this one specific house and knock this door and I just knew they would let us in. We go up to it and the doors cracked open and they tell us to come right in. We met a cute older lady sewing, her daughter, and then another little girl of her daughter…..a house of 3 girls! They were SO cute and welcoming and loving and said they knew about the church and had heard about it from a member here and just moved into Arroyito, and said that they love to study religion and search for answers to questions of the soul.....yes!!!! We sang and testified and talked a little about the restoration and promised blessings and answers to their prayers if they read and prayed. It was such a miracle!
Also on Saturday morning we were passing for some investigators and references from members and everyone was rejecting us and we were so over it- haha- and a little discouraged...but of course we pressed forward with our faith and hope in the Lord and the spirit and continued searching for those people that were ready to hear our message. We talked to this one lady who seemed very busy and said she was Catholic and didn’t have any interest. I was so ready to be over it, thank her and keep going, but my comp just looked her in the face and boldly and lovingly testified to this lady that she knew that our message was true, and if it weren’t she would not have traveled so many miles to Argentina to be at her door step telling her about it and she promised her that if she just gave us 5 minutes of her time she would feel the same way. It was intense! I was way impressed. So she rejected us again and we took off. Then we went and found a guy named Maricio, who has been taught by elders before and knows some English, and we didn’t get to teach him but set an appointment to pass for him again and teach him and his family. As we were walking away I felt like I should turn around, and I see this girl running after us saying senora senora....she said her mom wants us to come back and teach her now! The stubborn lady from the door... I knew she had felt that strong spirit when my comp testified! So we got in and talked to her and she talked about her dad recently died and she has all these questions and we talked to her a little about the plan of salvation and we testified so much of the truth of the gospel and how it has all of the answers to her questions. We said that if she would study what we give her and prays about it, she will know for herself! It was so neat.
Also last night we had a lesson with an investigator, Claudia, and she was just SO hard and SO Catholic, and we taught the restoration and the spirit was VERY strong and she got it but is just so stuck on tradition, and didn’t agree and commit to pray to see if its the truth. We were way sad about her, so we left and we ended up just walking down this road, and I was so flustered and sad about Claudia, and we found ourselves at a house of some contacts and felt we should see if there home. They were home, and invited us in, and had SO many good questions that literally every lesson would answer, and as they were asking each question, I just felt so much love for them, and the spirit was just confirming to me and my comp and them--because they felt it too! They were so prepared and ready to find the truth and all these answers they have been looking for! I love them, and truly have never felt so guided in a lesson with such a clear and powerful feeling of the spirit, and my comp felt the same...Lorena and Walter! They will definitely progress!
Also on Sunday was a conference we had in San Fransisco, and we traveled with the whole ward on a bus in the morning there and we got to listen to a Satelite talk from apostles just for South America - it was SO good! I took so many notes! The bus ride was way fun, and all the members brought food and were drinkin MATE’ and it was such a party. The best part ever is that the Familia More came!!!!! Raquel, Makarena, Marilin, Myra and Milagros...so stoked! I was just beaming to have investigators there to hear the words of apostles and be uplifted and feel the spirit. It was so amazing!
Now the best miracle of the week! Since I got to Arroyito when I started my mission I just fell in love with this family who live below us and take care of us….they are practically my family, and I just have so much love for them. They have had so many problems in their lives and they have been inactive now for like a year. It has been my dream to get them reactivated since I met them, and we have seen a little progress…..the dad is now going sometimes with his two younger kids, and Cookie’s girlfriend got baptized and is now a member, but he doesn’t go. So one night we talked to them and planned a family home evening and they agreed! I was so nervous, because all were going to be there, and I had no idea what to do and we didn’t have anything planned. We were sitting in the apartment like 10 minutes before the appointment and we both felt we needed to focus the message and night on Christ. As we kept thinking of activities and things and scriptures to use literally it was like revelation and all of it came together so perfectly. My companion loves the idea of “hands”…..and she has this song she loves to listen to called- “his hands”-and as we listened to it this night, I was looking around the apartment at all the pictures we have of Christ and in all of them you could see Christ’s hands, and in all of them he was reaching out or holding or carrying or touching or loving someone or just extending his hands. We then found some of our favorite stories in the scriptures when it talks about Christ’s hand and how its always extended out to us, and we took all the pictures-the one famous picture -my child- and Jesus Loves Me - and all these of Christ with his hands and made this our lesson.
This lesson was honestly so powerful! We shared personal experiences of how we have literally seen the Lord’s hand in our lives to lift and help us and we heard their stories, and we talked about how like it says in the scriptures in Isaiah 59:1 - behold the Lord’s hand, is not shortened, that it cannot save...and in Jacob 6:4 and how merciful is our God unto us for he remembereth the house of Israel both roots and branches and he stretched forth his hands unto them all day long. And how literally we are engraven in his hands, like it says in 2 Nephi 21:16 behold I have engraven thee upon the palms of my hands and in 2 Nephi 19:12 where it talks about that his hands is stretched out still.
We focused on how much Christ loves us and how much he did for us so we don’t have to suffer. He sees us just so weak and sad and down on our hard times and always extends that hand out to us - offering his love and strength, because he knows that he is the one that can help us overcome those trials because he has been there before and has felt that pain and he wants to help us. So many times we don’t think we are worthy of his light and his love, and we think we are just so far off and its been so long that it’s too hard to find him, but Christ is always with us and ever around us, and waiting there with that extended hand out to us...we just need to make that decision! We need to accept and take his hand and accept his love and forgive ourselves and have that change of heart and make that step to change. That is why we have Christ! We know we need him! He is the only way that we are going to be given that strength to continue. No one elses hands can do that for us. I love the scripture in Philippians 4- 13 that says I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me. Its so important that we remember those hands.…those mighty strong and pure hands that are out and extended to us daily to take hold of them and lift us up and receive help to try and try again. There is never an end. He is always here!
I am so grateful that I can testify with all the strength and energy and power that I have in my soul and heart that Christ does live and loves me and has always been there to lift me up with those hands of his. I can testify that I have literally seen his hand in my life daily in the mission and without his help, this work would not be possible. I invite you all to see the Lord’s hand stretched out to you and accept it and walk with the Lord and I promise you that his path will bring you lasting and promising light and joy. I have seen, felt, experienced, cherished and loved every part of the light in my life and especially in my mission……and for that reason alone I stand as a witness and representative of the living Son of the living God daily to shine that light and bring it to others. I love this work and I love this gospel!