Hola a Todos!!! AND FELIZ DIA DE LA INDEPENDENCIA!!!!
There are almost too many adventures to write about this week! So let’s get to it...
Monday we visited the cemetery of Toay, all the graves are above the ground and there are even "houses" where families put their caskets all together. It was nice to be able to visit a few of the people we know. The grounds keeper showed us symbols on a few of the graves and asked us if we know their meaning. Most of them, not a clue! But we assume the skull and crossbones mean pirates... hey, you never know! The coolest part was that we got to share about the plan of salvation with the man that works there.
That night we had a super ward activity- TALENT SHOW BASED ON THE BOOK OF MORMON! Not very many prepared talents, so it was kind of a "Sister Missionary Show" but luckily we were able to incorporate the kids so that they could show their skills too. They colored and showed off their art, played "heart and soul" with us on the piano, and in our play about Ammon and King Lamoni they got to be sheep and servants :) It ended up being a SUPER fun night!!! We were overjoyed too because the family that the other Hermanas are teaching came, and so did a family of less actives that we visit! And a HUGE blessing was that they came to church on Sunday too!
I love you all tons and tons! I hope you all are sharing the gospel and reading the scriptures- get involved! I love the conference talk "Soy yo Señor?" um... don’t know what it is in English... but remembering that we CAN change. (“Lord, Is It I?” given by President Uchtdorf October 2014 – see link https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/lord-is-it-i?lang=eng). We don’t have to be miserable creatures that are stuck in routine of guilt and mistakes. The atonement of the Savior is for EVERY ONE OF US. For those that say "I’m better than everyone" and for those that say "I’m worse than everyone"- both sayings are to negate that His atonement reaches every person. "I’m weak, but I CAN be made strong in Christ."
Love you all!!! Have a great week!!!! God bless you and keep you!
Monday, May 18, 2015
This week has been spectacular. There is so much that I can and would love to talk about! The most important and wonderful is that THER IS NOW A DEDICATED TEMPLE IN CÓRDOBA. President Uchtdorf and Elder Christofferson, with other area leaders came to celebrate and dedicate the temple! It was wonderful to hear elder Christofferson talk completely in Castillano, and President Uchtdorf even showed off his Spanish skills with a little German accent and a few lines of welcoming and jokes. ("for those of you who didn’t understand me, i wasn’t speaking German"). The talks gave me chills and we cried with the complete joy of it all. The temple is HUGE and so elegant! Surely, and I know it too, it has been and is and will be a blessing and a life changing spot. I already feel the difference of having another temple in our country. It will bless and protect the members and all the people of Argentina. I want it to be filled with people always, and I hope that I can do my part as a missionary to make that happen. I hope all of you are going to the temple! Serve within it’s walls or enjoy the beauty of the grounds around it. EVERYONE is invited to partake of the beauty and spirit of peace resides in the temple. GO OFTEN. I know that the lord has established these houses and named them His. In them we can learn of His love and feel it too. I can talk about temples all day- please go!
This week I also went in divisions for two days in Santa Rosa. Brendan- I met a baseball player FINALLY! The first one that I’ve found in Argentina yet. He has a scholarship for Stanford <- SAY WHAT? We found him in a miraculous way too. My companion Hna Antuña and I prayed, and picked a spot on the map to knock doors that day. Without knowing beforehand, we had picked the same area. So, in contacting in that street, with every door every person said "nope!" "NOT INTERESTED" and we even got a polite "please go away". But that last door that we knocked was a good one. Franco opened up. He doesn’t even live in that house so it was a "coincidence" that we found him (Nope). He’s super excited to learn about the church and go to activities with his friends. I learned so much in divisions!!!
Love you all lots! Go to the temple! Share the joy of the gospel! Pres. Uchtdorf promised us that if we practice joy and smile more that the churches will be filled. Make it happen!
May God bless you and keep you!
Monday, May 11, 2015
Whoa, where do I even start this week?! It was especially great to be able to talk to a few of you yesterday! Happy Mother’s day to all that I didn´t see!
This week we met a man when knocking doors that proposed a question a Little out of the norm. When usually we get questions like "where are you from, girls?" or at most a "what´s the difference between your religion and mine? God is the same." He asked: "What´s this in the bible that talks about the Trumpets?"
"Um, the part about the apocalypse?"
So we got to explain!!! It was so cool. We were able to jump right in and explain prophets and to him and that we should prepare for the second coming of Christ by following these prophets and follow Christ, and being baptized. When we went back to teach him, it went so well! We couldn't have done it without the help of, well, first off, the Holy ghost, but especially in this case the member that came with us. They connected so well! They have sons of the same age, both employed in the army. She was able to explain things to him in a way so simple and personal. I´m really grateful for her help. WE CANNOT DO THIS WORK WITHOUT MEMBERS!!! Even if you´re not leaving to go out and teach with the missionaries, share your testimonies in small simple ways. you don´t have to hide that you went to the temple the other day and how you felt about it. Or that you´re getting ready to go to trek. Or that you love doing family history- Whatever it is, dare to let your religion show! I promise you, it DOES make a difference. A big one. Invite the missionaries to bring an investigator to your family home evening! get to know your neighbors. This principle applies to everybody- Mormons or no. You don´t have to be ashamed or afraid of what you believe. And never should we chastise ANYONE because they believe differently than we do. By sharing willingly and respectfully, we can be the hands of the Lord to bless the lives of others.
On a cultural note, not only are the trumpets of apocalypse sounding, but so are the rosters! I have the grand pleasure to wake up to the chickens next door every day. I´m telling you people, they don´t just greet the sun, but they warn you of it, a good 2, 3, 4 hours before even a hint of light escapes the horizon.
Also, I just have to say that I love the Hermanas that we live with! Hermana Mancuello and Hermana Baird are AWESOME. Hermana Mancuello is from Paraguay and like a Latina princess- graceful and Smart. Hermana Baird is from Idaho and hilarious. I don´t know a better way to explain it tan to say that she is a human girl version of "Olaf" from Frozen.. I don´t know if I already said, but Hermana Castleman my companion is from Centerville Indiana, has an amazing voice, and is just all around awesome.
I love you all so much!!!
¡Write ya soon! Have a wonderful week, and may the Lord bless you and keep you.
Monday, May 4, 2015
Querida familia (y todos!),
It´s hard to believe that another week has already passed – it’s true that time goes by faster with more time in the mission. Tuesday was the birthday of my dear compañera Hermana Castleman. She made brownies!! It rained A TON this week. The streets transformed into rivers. Man, am I grateful for my rain boots! What was 80 degrees a month ago is now 40 or 50 degrees with humidity and wind :). We are the walking marshmallow missionaries once more... but don´t worry mom, keeping warm. Eating lots.
They say that Toay is a city, but a town would be more accurate. Part of our area includes the farms and fields around the city. We get to teach the people, horses, and cows every now and then. That being said, this week we rescued a horse! The poor thing caught his front hoof in his ground tethering and was forced to keep his head to the ground, eating the same little square of grass. Who know that when I was called to serve in Argentina that I wasn't only called to help the people, but also to save the animals! The horse thanked us by following us for as long as his rope permitted. I feel more and more cowboy by the day :)
This week I've been thinking a lot about reaching my potential as a missionary and person and how I can know if I´m doing enough. It´s a comfort to me to know that He has called the weak to this work, and that if I serve him with all that I have, he will turn it into even more. But still, I want to be sure that I´m giving my EVERYTHING in this work. I love that my companion has the habit and deep desire of giving all we can for every person with which we can talk. If they say they don´t want anything to do with us, we STILL talk to them, we try to help them in any way we can. Get to know them, show them that we care what they are saying. And many times, in this manner, in not giving up on any person, we have found that they begin to want to talk with us. Even if we only answer a small question of theirs, we and they walk away from the conversation a little better off. This has also taught me the importance of member missionaries. If people have never talked to anyone about what we do or who we are, they naturally have fear of us. We always have more success when the people can at least say- "oh! yes, my friend Marí Sosa is a member of that church! She invited me once to go..." and therefore we can begin from something, and they don’t think we´re super freaky! Yeah... a few kids asked us if we were spies this week... we´re going to start wearing more colors, less black...
Share the gospel! Dare to be a Mormon! (People also have a random tendency of thinking that I´m from Russia... what?)
Love you all!