Monday, September 29, 2014

Day of Service & Maria


Wow, I don´t even know where to start! This week has been wonderful again- I´ve learned a lot and grown a lot and worked a lot. Argentina is beautiful and starting to warm up! Woo! The trees have leaves (leaves have trees- for all of ya´ll who will get that joke) and the nights are clear (for the most part) and the sand storms are plentiful- yeah, that´s where we´ll start! sand storms!!!

Saturday was our stake´s day of service! It was wonderful! we put on the yellow "mormon helping hands" ponchos or, in Spanish: "manos mormones que ayudan" ;) it´s not quite as catchy in Spanish, but you know, it works! We went block by block and house by house to tell people to bring out garbage and plastic and things that don´t work or have no purpose so that we and the city could clean it up. There´s a lot of diseases cause of this stuff that just sits in yard and streets and houses, especially in the poor districts. We passed out cards that inform people of how to get rid of mosquitoes (which I hope they do, cause I counted my bug bites the other day on my legs: 50 picos de mosquito... yeah. NOT fun. and that´s WITH OFF spray.) It nice to get to know people, work with the members, and help as many people as we could! A lot of people were really happy to see us! And other people were really happy to have access to the garbage of others so that they can use it- woo recycling! I´m so grateful that we had an opportunity to serve in such a widespread way! Like I´ve talked about before, even a smile can make a difference in peoples lives, and service with a smile- holy moly! how contagious and awesome is that!?!?! It definitely made the day for many of us. Even in the sand storm that blew up, service was good to do. We walked through the streets with our eyes closed, not cause there was anything profane (well, I don´t think there was, I don´t really know swear words in castillano) but because of the sand. Our hair, ears, clothes were full of it by the end. But still, it was a lot of fun! It was great to laugh at ourselves and our situation- a bunch of crazy people and kids, going street to street with smiles cleaning up garbage.

There are so many things one can learn from this experience! first off, wise is the man that learns to serve! I´ve found that many of life´s secrets are unlocked when one does service with a smile, with a good attitude and good heart. They learn to look at the world in a light of beauty. Service brings hope to people, that there IS good in the world. and that we can make that good in the world. We understand the people around us better when we serve them. When we can view them in the light of love, and help them. We learn about ourselves. I can´t explain it in a way that gives justice to the good feeling of doing service. Really, the only way one can understand, is to try it! And keep trying it, and keep smiling, and keep serving. reflect on your opportunities to serve. learn from every bit of it. write your experiences so you can go back and think and reflect and smile some more and do more in the future. If you have a doubt, if you're sad, if you're mad, serve, love, pray for charity and for hope. every heart can change! I have a firm belief in that!

Hermana Saunders and I had a really great experience last night. After a hard day and not much success in finding the people we had planned on teaching and visiting, we found María :) We pass by her house almost every other day in the hopes of finding her, she´s amazing and kind and it´s wonderful to talk with her and her children and to learn from her. She didn´t have very much time, but we were still able to have a short lesson of sorts. She told us kindly and gently that she really respects us and loves to talk to us, but that she really believes in the Catholic religion and doesn´t want to change. Her mother is Mormon, and she has learned a lot from her, but doesn't want to take up our time cause she has already found God. A thought came to my mind to ask her about if she has read the bible, so I did. She responded that she has, more or less read parts of it, but that she wants to read more and loves it with all her heart. :) she likes to flip open to a random page, read a random verse, and learn all that she can from it, cause every verse is important. (haha I love doing that too sometimes, there is so much to learn!) After talking with her about the bible, we introduced the Book of Mormon. It´s another testament of Jesus Christ, and just like the bible, by reading it, one can come closer to Heavenly Father. We promised her that if she reads this book, and prays about it, and knows that it´s true, then there is a prophet on the earth today and the same church that existed in the days of Christ is here, restored! At least, by reading this book and talking to us, we can all grow closer to Christ, and at the most, if she want´s to and feels that it´s right, with no pressure from us and no negative feelings, she can join this church, be baptized in the authority and with the power of God, and so much more! María is so kind, after we shared this with her, she invited us to come to church with her sometime and to continue to visit with us, because she loves us and God and wants us to feel the way she feels in the church. She´s going to pray and study, because if this message that we´re sharing is true, she wants to know. This warms my heart so much! Cause that´s exactly why we´re here preaching the gospel- cause we have prayed and asked and pondered and read and we know with all our hearts that this church is true and want to share it with all the people around us! We can´t go to her church right now as missionaries, but I really look forward to talking to her and getting to know more about her and growing with her in love for Christ :) There is a lot more I can say about this, but I don´t really have time, sorry.... :S I´m so grateful for the opportunity that I have to help others feel the love of our Heavenly Father! I´m so grateful for this gospel and the Book of Mormon! I know that it´s true. I know that this message sounds crazy to a LOT of people, especially coming from a 19 year old blondie, but hey- I know in my head and my heart that it´s true! :) 

You´re all wonderful! Pray for opportunities to share the gospel, it´s so important! :) I know that God answers prayers! If any of you have a doubt, or worry, or youre happy, or sad or anything, I know that Heavenly Father will help you! :)

Argentina funny for the day: here, they don't say "kinda". to describe things with the equivalent of kinda, they use "medio" (medium). "You know Antonio? You know, the medium fat guy over there?" "I can´t hear about the gospel right now, I´m medium busy" "um, my schedule is medium complicated, I´ll call you". Yep. Maybe it´s not funny for ya´ll, but I get a chuckle out of it okay!? 

I´m officially out of time. Love you all so so much!!! Have a great week! Watch conference and tell me how it goes!!! You´re great!!! 


Con Amor,
Hermana Hill

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