Sunday, January 24, 2016

December 7, 2015

Well, let me tell you, it's been a weird week. I broke out in hives, and my comp made me take massive amounts of allergy meds and sleep. But today I think I'm finally good with my health and I think this is gonna be a good week. I hope. The weather has been nice this week, warm enough that I can leave in just a skirt and blouse. And sometimes a light sweater. But people always talk about the weather here, and how it compares to other years. About every hour someone- my comp, the people in the streets, the members, someone says "it's been warm, but not as hot as last year..."

It has now been officially 13 months since I left home and 13 months as a missionary.... what can I say... I'm tired and happy! One of my district leaders told me that's the secret to being a good missionary, so I think I might be a good missionary.

Here are some answers to questions from her dad:

What's satisfied you the most the last 12 months? 
     I think what's really satisfied me is progress- the progress I've seen in other people, and the progress I've seen in me. I've helped a lot of people, from investigators who got baptized like Juan in Tandil, to the family that I helped change their lives, the Grondona in Tandil, to members that I've helped stay on the straight and narrow to other missionaries that I've been blessed to help on their way. And my progress- how I've learned how to be a missionary and a disciple of God, how I've matured, how the way I talk and treat people has changed. 

What's been the hardest? 
     The fight against the natural man. I always feel like I'm losing, but I think I'm just getting stronger. The mission takes a toll on anyone, especially a walking mission. And I'm always hungry and always poor. I'm pretty much always sore and tired. But I think I'm a lot stronger than I was before the mission. Also, the other thing that I didn't even think would be a problem is the idea of leadership. Everyone my whole life has told me that I'm a natural-born leader, that it's something I do really well. I always figured that if I was a good missionary, I would be a leader- there are senior comps, trainers, Sister Training Leader, etc. And my whole mission, I have had to act like a leader, but I've never had the title, the calling, or the support of someone who's a leader. I've been junior comp my whole mission- and everyone always tells me I'm gonna train, and they get me super excited, and then it doesn't happen. I'm coming to understand that there are other people who are not natural leaders, and they get called to learn. I try not to take it personally, but sometimes it's a little hard. I feel like I'm not good enough, or that president or the Lord don't believe in me, but I know that's just the adversary talking. I just have to focus on working with the Spirit in my area, the things I can change, and everything will be ok.

Was there anything hard that became easier? 
     YES! I had to learn how to talk to people, how to express myself- from my comps, to the street contacts, to the members to the investigators. In the begining I didn't know how to make conversation, how to teach how to share my testimony, not just for the language barrier, just cause I realized how awkward I really am as a person. But now that's a lot easier. Also, the studies. In the begining, I didn't know what to study, and they were just long spans of sitting down, but now I really enjoy my studies.

And with six months left, what would cause you to look back on that time and feel it was the best season of your life? 
     That's a good question. I think if I had a time where I got along with everyone- my comp, the members, the other missionaries, the investigators, and I was working really hard all the time. That would be the trigger. I try everyday to make that happen, but the natural man always gets in the way.
Well, those are my thoughts.

Well, the news for the week... pretty much just the hives... my comp freaked out and wouldn't let me leave the house. So it was kind of a rough week. But some good things happened- on Saturday the ward went to the temple and came back with a lot of really great stories. One lady went for the first time to get endowed, and was super excited. Another went for the first time to do baptisms and took her son. The couple that's getting married next month went to make their appointment for the wedding day. They all came back super excited. And last night we went out with a girl from the ward. She's 20 but she lives alone cause she's studying. It was really nice to go out with her and get to know her and talk to her. Also, we started teaching a new family- the mom is a member from childhood, but hasn't gone to church since she was a teenager. Some of her sons are members, but one isn't, and she and he are super excited to learn and grow. She's also got a little kid who's been living with her, a "child of the state" kinda deal, and he's just a mess, the poor guy. She's been trying to deal with being a single mom and raising this other kid, and she really needs the gospel in her life. So we've been working with them. 

Well, that's about all the news. Now, some pics-

This is S and his mom S, our investigators. He was progressing a lot, but then something happened in his work and now he's gone back to his drinking ways and doesn't want to listen. It's been a little rough. She's been progressing little by little, but she goes to a "Spiritual School" where they teach her weird things. But she really wants to learn about the church and has been missing someting spiritual in her life. She wants to learn how to be a better parent and a better person. So little by little, she's been receiving her testimony and learning. This was his birthday, we made him a cake and went to vist them.
This is me, Hna F and Hna Chestler, our third for a few days. It was a pretty good adventure to be with her.
This is liz- the youngest kid of the familia F, our investigators  She's got really long hair, and one day we went to have a spa day- I did her hair, we did nails, and we got to know the mom and teach her a little alone. It was nice.
This is the son of the ward mission leader. He had a concert for guitar, and invited us. We went for p-day, and it was really nice. He's a cute, talented kid, he reminds me a lot of Ben. They sang incredibly Argentine songs. It was just a really cute event.

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