Monday, January 26, 2015

Brenda Yasmin Altamiranda

Hola Familia y Amigos!!!

GUESS WHAT!? I´m staying in Trenque Lauquen and will have the grand opportunity of killing my dear companion Hermana Mercado! We´re staying together baby! This means, I should be in Tre Lau for at least 1 if not 2 more transfers, and I´ve officially had a companion for more than 1 transfer. Which is a relief, cause 6 companions in 6 months, not that it´s not SUPER fun, but it´ll be good to keep going with the energy that we already have together. And I´m still learning lots, and we´re finding new success every day. Así que, Hermana Hill is here to stay for a bit at least.

I REALLY have to tell you all about the miracle of this week, (and the transfer), Brenda. This chicatine is amazing. In early December, in splits with the Sister Training Leaders, we contacted Brenda and her mom in the street. Brenda, with excitement told us that she had gone to church a LOT before with a member that lives nearby. Her mom didn't seem to excited about us passing by, so we kinda put the family in the back of our minds. This week, I don´t know what happened, but as our leaders more encouraged us to find people to be baptized, this family came to my mind, and I knew that we had to contact them. On Tuesday of this week, we contacted them with the invitation to be baptized. Angelica, the mom, told us that none of her children are baptized and that they would love to hear the message we bring and be baptized. (Already awesome, right?!) They told us that Brenda had been to church many times, like for more than 5 months, and, in the words of the mom, if this eleven year old wanted to be baptized even this Saturday she would permit it. (WHAT!?) And excitedly, Brenda accepted to hear a little more and prepare to be baptized this Saturday. I have to admit, when they accepted, I was only halfheartedly excited. With my little faith, I thought, "okay, we´ll see how it goes..." instead of "Woo!!! Let´s go!!! We can do this!!!" I’m repenting for that.

(Sorry if there are a lot of random typos in this letter, there’s a little girl playing with my keyboard right now... and I don´t have time to stop typing... She´s also playing with my hair... I don’t know who she is, but it´s sure nice to have some help writing my letter! haha) anyway... (her name is Mili).

Where was I, oh yes! We went by to teach them the first lesson, and the whole family listened to us and want to be baptized. (Already more than a miracle) They came to the Family Night that we had for our ward, and loved it! And the next day, we taught to Brenda everything that she didn´t remember from the times she went to church. And the elders interviewed her, and that very night, Brenda Yasmin Altamiranda was baptized :) I left out a lot of details for the sake of time, but I´m so grateful to have gotten to get to know this spunky 11 year old! She´s VERY smart and extremely loving. In the family night, although there were many other kids running and playing, she stayed by her blind mothers side and helped her. There are so many things that I learned from this experience, but I KNOW that there are people prepared here in Trenque Lauquen. There are even people that have testimonies of the church and just haven´t been baptized because nobody´s invited them, or their relatives don´t support them- but miracles are happening, and the ways are being prepared for every person to make the covenant of baptism with our Heavenly Father. I know that this work is guided by Him, and that by listening, miracles are promised, not just thought of. I´m so grateful to be able to be here and grow so much in my testimony of the light of His love!

Love you all tons! Hope that you have a wonderful week and remember the importance of the scriptures and going to church. There are more than 10 commandments, and in keeping them, we WILL receive the blessings of heaven. Talk to you soon!!! Take care of yourselves!

Surviving Martes 13 in Argentina

Buen Dia again to everyone!

First off, I´d just like to apologize for my last email and its lacking, well, lots. But hey! At least ya´ll know that I´m alive, so I regret nothing.

This week has been awesome! We've worked hard, found new people to teach, and I´ve learned tons. This week the missionaries of our branch got to sing in church! It turned out surprisingly well for only having 5 minutes of notice. But, from the smiles of the moms in the congregation, I think I´d have the courage to do it again if they asked. We've been doing a lot in our little area to strengthen the obra misional. 2 Sundays ago, we missionaries talked in church. It was great to be able to share the stand with Hermana Mercado, and Élders Scruggs and White. I was a little nervous, cause it was my first time having to give a talk in church (I've born my testimony, nothing more). It´s weird that even with talking to strangers on the street every day, having to give a talk can give one butterflies. But as I talked about President Monson´s talk from General Conference 2012, Seeing others how they can become (or some other title in English), my fear melted away and I was able to talk freely. I love the thought from that talk that if we can just see others how God intends to have them be, all of our actions will change to help them do it. It doesn't matter how a person is right now, people change every day, and with God, the change can be drastic. I´m NOT saying that you shouldn't respect and love people how they are right now. We should love people enough to help them fight to make their lives better. To help them fill their lives with the gospel. and not change who they are, but help them become who they want to be... haha just read the talk ;) I know that studying the words of our prophet have helped me a TON here in the mission, and know that they´ll help you all with whatever you are doing in your life.

Also, real quick, for those of you who share the gospel and are rejected, DON'T LOSE HOPE. People remember every invitation, every testimony, even when you think they won’t. Sharing your testimony matters. I can´t even count the amount of people that I meet in the street that have said something like- "oh! I know, you’re from the church that so&so attends. She´s invited me to go before, I´d like to one day". And then we can talk to them about what they know, and things build and build to be something great. By small and simple things, great things really are brought to pass.

Love you all tons! I hope you have a wonderful week! Remember to study the words of conference and to study Preach My Gospel. Until next week!


Hermana Hill

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"Wait, you don´t drink maté?!"

Buen Dia Todos!

This week has been great! I still love Argentina, still love Trenque Lauquen, still love my companion. All is good! To answer the questions of my mother, yes, I am eating, yes the mosquito are biting (but much less! Thank you SO much!) and well, I think I´m safe, so... ;) Oh, and can you send me the recipe for snicker doodles? The members here love them :) Cookies here are different, they´re meant for maté or milk. They´re super yummy, but will probably never go bad cause theyre so hard. I love them! Anyway, the members like learning how to make "galletas yankies"

I only have a little time to write today, but I want to tell you all about our investigator Julio! He is just fantastic. This little old retired man brightens my day every time I get to talk to him. He´s trying to stop smoking, and even though he thought it was impossible, he´s already cut down half! And we have another little chickadi that we´re teaching, Evelin. We love to watch "the living scriptures" videos with her :) 

Wow, so so sorry, I´m already out of time, but I love you all so much! And I hope you like the pics! (mom, please add the pics I put on dropbox.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Slug Bug Amorillo - Feliz Nuevo Ano!

Buen Dia!

Okay, I´m on a ghetto computer again, so mom, can you do me a flavor and send this to my weekly email group? Super sorry, but thank you so so much!

This week was a great one! Hermana Mercado and I feel like we have had 5 weeks together- who knows why! Maybe it´s cause we´re working hard haha or maybe because we´re already comfortable together- whatever it is I´m grateful for it! She´s the She has the habit of making origami swans every night so that on the streets or in lessons she can give them to crying kids and hopefully brighten their day. Who would have thought?!? haha it´s also an awesome example of how to use your talents to help others and to spread the gospel. I can´t exactly go around the streets playing my horn or trumpet and shouting "Hey! Listen to the missionaries!!!"... but... I´m sure I´ll find my unexpected random talent soon enough ;) She also has random talent for finding cars that look like VW Bugs, and proceeding to punch me in the arm... That shorty always finds them first! haha one day she was especially sharp at finding and decided to only shout out the color of the car, without punching- that was a good day ;) Don´t worry ya’ll, we don´t have companion abuse here in Trenque Lauquen.

I´m amazed day by day by the people that I get to meet and I´m so grateful for the opportunity that I have to learn from so many their great examples! Having lunch with one family this week, we shared a message about "member missionary work". They then proceeded to give us 10 references, faster than I could write! And then gave MORE! In the end, Hermana P told us- "I have Tuesday off of work, why don´t you come over in the afternoon and we can go around and visit these people." WOAH, WHAT?!?! That´s like, more than unheard of! How humble and wonderful are these people! It´s one thing to even give a reference to the missionaries, because the majority of people are afraid that their friends/neighbors/family are going to be angry with them. But to physically come with us to present us to their friends and neighbors, that´s just stinking awesome. I know not everyone has time to be able to do that, or not everyone initially wants to, but I think it´s awesome what this family is working on doing. They know that their religion is something that they love, and those around them know it too. To show their love for the people around them, they share something that they love with them! Really, this work can´t function without the members in the areas that we´re serving. And we're really just here to help the members be able to do it! There are a ton of ways to share the gospel too. Just being excited during the week to go to an activity, or to the temple, or to church, that´s sharing a lot! That´s showing that the gospel is something that makes you happy!

Basically, just be you. Whether you´re sharing the gospel or your love for collecting stamps, or whatever, nothing is more beautiful than a passionate person. Don´t hide your light under a bushel. If you love something, offer it to those you love or want to love! Pray for opportunities to do so! I know that you´ll feel better socially and spiritually by doing that- It´s hard, it takes getting out of your "comfort zone" a little bit. But we only learn by doing hard things.

We only grow by pushing ourselves. I´m learning that a little every day, haha and I have the responsibility and opportunity to invite people here in Argentina to do the same. To take a step in the safe uncertain to look for something more. If there´s anything that you want to know more about, anything that you want to say to someone (nice thing, thank you.), anything that you want to do (that, yeah, is a good thing), DO IT! :) It´s never too late, or maybe, it´s better late than never. There´s a woman who works in our apartment building that we pass by every day. I kinda always just thought that she didn´t want to talk to us or something. But FINALLY, after ashamedly way to long of waiting, my companion and I asked her her name and started to talk to her. And she was SO glad to have someone to talk to! We talked about her family and her worries and her hopes and her religion, and when we finished and she had to go to work, she said, "thanks for listening girls". It was like someone had punched me in the gut, but also taken a huge weight off of my shoulders. I felt so bad that it had taken me so long to ask her her name, but so good that finally; we could pass by a friend every morning, instead of just a nameless person. NEVER PROSPONE A PROMPTING. I had a LOT of tiny impulses over the weeks that I was here before that I should talk to her, but I feared "the norm" more than I feared God. My companion and I are working so that every good thought, and every good desire that we have during the day happens. Even when it´s as small as knocking on a certain door, or talking to a certain person. We´re learning, that even when the person doesn´t really want to hear us, or nobodies home, at least we can have the confidence that when God tells us to go a certain way, in a still small voice, we will go. And God can have that confidence in God too. I love the talk that I heard in the MTC that talks about people asking "How can I know if this thought is from God or from my own mind?" Elder Bednar responds, "QUIT WORRING ABOUT IT" If it´s a good thought, if it leads us to do good, it´s from God, because all that is good is from Him! Wow, I could really talk about this principle for a whole lot of time, going in depth and explaining all my thoughts and my testimony, but instead, I´d like to invite you to try it :) To decide to believe in your promptings and act without delay. And if you feel in your heart and mind that it´s something good, and study it out and practice, you´ll learn to recognize the promptings of the spirit. I don´t think that anyone on earth can really be completely perfect at this, haha at least, I know for sure that I´m not!!!

Happy new year to all of you! I hope you have a great year and the best week anyone can ask for. God bless you and keep you!


Hermana Hill