Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Deck The Halls!



December 15, 2014

Hola Hola Hola!!!

Okay, so last week was a good week. We worked a full!! It was the last week to find people that will be able to get baptized the month so that we can reach our mission goal of the year. Friday morning, we had a testimony meeting with our zone where we shared the baptisms and miracles we have seen in the mission. It was such an inspiring meeting! It’s amazing to see how much the hand of the Lord is in the work! It truly is His work! 

Yesterday, Carlos went to church and so did Jonny. I was teaching Jonny with Hermana Cipriano when we first got here, but due to some things of his past, he wasn’t able to get baptized until December. Today he has his special baptismal interview and 3:00, in the middle of P-Day, and I’m just hoping and praying for the absolute best. If he passes it he’ll be able to be baptized this Sunday. I’m praying for miracles!!!!! He really is so so great. All he wants is a new start and to change is life. Its crazy the love I develop for these investigators. Without a doubt it’s a small part of the love of God that I feel for them. I think that’s one of my favorite parts of the mission. It’s being able to meet someone, and already feel such a great love for them. It is in those moments, that I can feel the Lord work through me. Just one of the many reasons that we need to be worthy so that the Lord can work through us. It’s an incredible experience. 

Last Monday, La Familia Gutierrez invited us over to help decorate the tree and their apartment. Here in Argentina, December 8th is a holiday and it’s the day where si o si everyone decorates their houses and trees. You don’t do it before or after, ON December 8th. That being said, there still isn’t as much Christmas Spirit as I wish there would be. Oh well. The Family Home Evening we had with them last Monday was super fun! :)

Yesterday was the Primary Program! And guess what?? I was the pianist! It was so much fun jaja! They gave me a little homemade yellow headband so that I would match all the little primary girls in the program. I had a lot of fun going to the practices and then accompanying them. They are so cute. And now I know quite a few primary songs in Castellano!! :) 

Hey!! I totally forgot to tell y’all, but a couple weeks ago I ate an OTTER EMPANADA!! Que loco, no??? It was not as bad as I thought it would be. The taste was like a mix of meat and fish. It was super weird. Even though it wasn’t too bad, it’s not something that I would request more of. So yeah, I’m enjoying trying new stuff. There’s a family in our apartment building that always gives us new things to try. It’s pretty funny. :)

So basically that’s it for this week. Carlos and Jonny are going to be baptized this Sunday, so PLEASE keep them in your prayers so that this miracle can come to pass!! Sería de 10!! :) Well, I love you all and I hope you are enjoying your White Christmas! Oh how I wish I could have a White Christmas jaja! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

xoxo,
Hermana Van 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

El es la Dadiva----He is the Gift!



December 8, 2014

Hola mis queridos!!

Well, I’m just going to start of with one of my favorite things about this last week. (Many of you have already told me that I need to go and watch it, so I’m glad most of you have seen it) Yep, that’s right, its the new video the Church has launched called Él es la Dádiva! Or, for you English speakers, jaja, He is the Gift. :) Oh how I LOVE this video!!!! It is absolutely beautiful! I just cry when I see it. It’s a huge program the Church is doing. We have been given cards to pass out to the people to give out each day to the members and other people we find. It’s so we can share this Gift we have been given with others. The Church is really emphasizing finding through the members and through this program. So, for that, PLEASE help your missionaries out. The MEMBERS´ duty is to FIND, and the MISSIONARIES´ duty is to TEACH them and bring them to BAPTISM. We need to remember in this Christmas time the GIFT we have been given and we need to SHARE that GIFT with EVERYONE! #COMPARTELADADIVA! I know that as you share the gospel you will come to know a joy that you never before have experienced. You will be blessed more than you could ever imagine and you will become more and more excited to share what you know is the truth. Your desire to share will increase and your testimony will become more firmly built on the rock of our Redeemer. 

This last week was pretty good. We had an awesome miracle happen. Last Monday we had just left the apartment to go to the internet place where we write when we ran into an investigator we had taught last transfer. He was a reference from a member, but when we had taught him the restoration and invited him to church he told us he worked on Sundays and there was no way he’d be able to go. He walks dogs for a living because he had a couple accidents and now is right hand and right leg doesn’t work very well. So after that first lesson we stopped going, and we continued looking for others. So when we ran into him last Monday he asked us why we hadn’t visited him in a while. We apologized and said we would stop by. So Thursday morning during weekly planning we were thinking about people we could invited the stake conference we had last weekend. We decided to call Carlos and invite him. He once again told us that he couldn’t go Sunday, but that we should stop by Saturday. We told him that we couldn’t go Saturday because we had Conference. He got super excited and said he wanted to go. So he went to Stake Conference Saturday night and he absolutely loved it. At the end, before we could say anything he was like "Well, I gotta go, but I’ll see you guys tomorrow. It starts at 10:00am in the chapel right?" So we were stoked! When we got to church at 9:30 the next morning he was already there sitting down waiting for it to start! He’s so awesome! We put a baptismal date for the 21st  of December! I’m so stoked!! He just so happens to do his dog walking before 9 and after 12 Sunday so he can now go to church! I don’t know when that changed, but hey I’m stoked! Jaja! :)

This last week we had divisions. I was with Hermana Zendejas (she’s from Nebraska) and it was the funnest day ever. I seriously love her so so much. She’s going home this transfer, so I’m going to miss her a whole lot. In the morning after our studies I was like "Ya know, sometimes I just have the greatest urge to cut my hair, but I don’t want to because I hear horror stories about people cutting their hair here." And she was like "I can give ya a trim. Someone in the mission taught me a really easy way to do it." And I was like, "Okay, sounds good to me, let’s do it." So yeah, she cut my hair. It’s pretty much the same length. There’s a little more to the story, but that’s the gist of it. It was pretty much hilarious. So it looks like I should be good for the rest of the mission with my hair jaja. 

Speaking of the rest of my mission, this week I hit my half way mark in the mission. I’m kind of freaking out. The other day I was thinking about how in one month I’ll have 9 months, single digits, and I just about started crying because it was such a sad thought to me. I love the mission. I can’t believe my time in Argentina is already half over. It was literally gone by so quickly. What a privilege it is to be a servant of the Lord here in Argentina. I really do have to make every moment count!

Well, I think I’ve rambled enough for this email. I hope you are all enjoying the snow! I love the snow for Christmas, so it’s been a rough switch having it be in like the 90s with horrible humidity. Oh well, such is life in Argentina jaja. Love you and pray for you everyday!! Have fun at all the Christmas parties!! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen! And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

xoxo,
Hermana Van 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Just a Normal Week Here in Argentina!

Hola!!

Well, Daniela got confirmed yesterday so that´s super great!! :) Saturday night it rained soooooo much and we didn't have coats or umbrellas because it came out of know where. So we sat there thinking who the heck would receive us right now with all the rain...um no one. So we ended up calling Daniela and we went to her house and taught her for the second time that day since we had already visited her in the morning jaja. We were desperate. 

I hope y´all had a FANTASTIC Thanksgiving! :) Or en Castellano... Día de Accion de Gracias. :) Basically spending Thanksgiving in another country is just no fun at all. We had a mix up with our lunch so we ended up going to a restaurant that a member owns because he gives us free lunch. It was quite a bummer. Eating "Thanksgiving Dinner" in a restaurant But hey what can ya do when you´re in a different country for an American holiday? Jaja.

I´ve been kinda sick this last week. So that´s been a smidge rough, but hey what can ya do? I had a bit of a fever for a few days, and my throat and head have been hurting a lot. Yesterday after church we had to stay for some meetings and I felt like I was going to faint because my head was turning so much. And then I felt like I was going to faint again during lunch so I ended up going back to the apartment around 6:30 since my head was hurting me all day. After resting a lot I´m quite better so that´s good. :) 

Well, there´s not much going on here, just the usual. The missionary life is just truckin´ along just fine. I wish I had more to tell y´all, but if I keep writing I would just be rambling soo...I should probably get going. I love you all so much and pray for you all the time! Thanks for all you do! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen! And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

xoxo,
Hermana Van

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving



November 24, 2014

Hola!!

Okay, so not a whole lot of time to right today. Sorry! We went to the temple. (I’ll get to that later in the email.)

Daniella's Baptism!
To start....Daniela got baptized yesterday!!!! It was absolutely incredible!! She was basically balling the whole time! I felt so grateful and so privileged to be apart of bringing her the restored gospel of the Jesus Christ. I don’t feel like I did much, but I had the incredible opportunity to be a witness to all the miracles the Lord was working. He is so good. On top of it, President came to the baptism! We called him Saturday to ask him for permission to donate blood (because I wanted to this Saturday but he told me no sadly.) and then we told him that Daniela had passed her interview and we invited him to the baptism. He said he would try to come but he had to see his schedule. Well, he’s basically the coolest President ever and came with his family and some family friends that were in town visiting. It rocked! He is so so so great! I love him! Oh! And Daniela’s less active husband, Walter, baptized her! :) It was beautiful!

President Ayre and family came to our baptism!
Yesterday, I had to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting--my first one in the mission. Basically I didn’t have time to prepare much before, and I hadn’t written anything down, just like 5 scriptures I could use. So I just got up there and spoke by the spirit. I only ended up using two of the scriptures because I ran out of time. When I got done, I thought well that was mas o menos, oh well jaja. But after the meeting quite a few people told me they loved my talk and really felt the spirit, so I felt good about that. 

So there’s a member in the ward that’s pretty cold to the Hermana missionaries, and likes the elders better. She isn’t one to show much love and she always criticizes us. So obvio, I’ve been determined to make her love me. Well yesterday, she gave me a huge hug and while she was hugging me she told another member that she really loved me because of the way I am and what I say just makes her and others happy. She said that I just have a really big heart. Um...SCORE! I was so happy to hear that she finally opened her heart to us hermanas! She’s a great person, just a little hard on the outside sometimes jaja. But I really do love her. 

Service Project
Saturday we did service in the house of the house of some recent converts from Haiti. We painted. It rocked. I loved it. Pictures to come. :) 

Today we got permission from president to go to the temple because the members from Rosario were going to be there and Hermana Contreras’s sister lives in Rosario. She has never had the opportunity to meet this sister, so it was pretty much a once in a lifetime opportunity to her. So that was really fun for her. And me, because I got to go to the temple and do a session! I was stoked! It pretty much took the whole day, but it was worth it. I love the temple!!! :)

Today, a teacher from the MTC here in Argentina (it’s by the temple) that I was talking to told me that I’m a total Argentine. Just 100% Argentine. Um...Heck yes!!!! That was such a great compliment. I was super stoked! Made my day jaja!! :)

Hannah's Argentine Family.  She couldn't do it without them!
Well, that’s all the time I have. Love you a whole lot!! Thanks so much for your support and prayers! I hope you all have a FANTASTIC THANKSGIVING! I’ll probs be eating the regular same old Argentine or Peruvian food this Thursday. Oh well, at least it’s good food jaja. :) Eat extra just for me! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen! And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

xoxo,
Hermana Van  

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another Transfer Come and Gone

November 18, 2014

Hola!!!

Well, transfers are today, but it looks like I will be staying here in good ol´ Almagro with Hermana Contreras. Yep 6 more weeks. It´s crazy to think that in this transfer we will be skyping for Christmas! I can´t believe how fast the time is passing!!! :) 

So Daniela is progressing nicely, but we had a smidge of a hiccup with the Word of Wisdom. And it's only with coffee... But anyways, she said that she's already changing so much in her life (she believes in Saints and what not and worships them so...) That she just told us she wouldn't give up coffee. Even though she doesn't drink if very much. I think she just feels like she's changing a lot of things and she wants to just hang on to something of her "past life". After explaining that it's a commandment I think she's more on board. At least that's what I hope. We have an appointment with her tonight so we'll have to verify that she's keeping her commitments. But I have so much faith that she'll get baptized this week.

So we had interviews with President last week. One thing he told me was that I´m a glass-half-full girl. I told him I really try to always look at the positive so it's good to know that at least someone can see that. We also told him the story of Daniela and he LOVED it. He had us film it so that he can show it to the whole mission. They said they were going to put it on the newly started blog so that all the missionaries could see it today, but with transfers and everything I think they forgot or didn't have time. Anyways, it should be up next week and then I'll send ya the link so that you can watch the story... In Spanish. Yep, you'll be able to see me and hear me:) How fun! Jaja!

So Saturday we had a special meeting with Elder Christofferson!!!! :) There were two missions present, Buenos Aires North and Buenos Aires West. I have a couple friends in the West mission so it was sooooo fun getting to see them! It was nuts!! :) There were some other General Authorities there too. It was an awesome meeting. All the wives and the general Authorities that spoke spoke in Spanish and they rocked! The wives of Elder Chirstensen and Elder Christofferson have to have had served Spanish speaking missions or something. Elder Christofferson served in Argentina so his Castellano was just perfect, obvio. jaja! :) They all talked so much about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and then Elder Christofferson talked so much and repentance and how it relates to every principle of the gospel and how everything starts with repentance. It made me think a lot more about repentance and my investigators. It made me realize that there is a lot I need to do to improve in my teaching! (como siempre) But yeah, it was a really great experience! I loved getting to listen to an Apostle of God and to be with the whole mission. So fun:)

Well, that´s about all I got for this week. Crazy to think yet another transfer has come and gone and that I am now approaching my halfway mark in the mission. Time just flies. Thanks for all your prayers and support! I love you all so so much! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

xoxo,
Hermana Van

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Just Cruisin' Along in the Mission Life



November 10, 2014

Hola!!

Well, this last week has been a little nuts. I basically have a million stories I want to share, but I’m thinking I won’t have time to write them all, so we’ll see what comes of this email.

First, Norma was confirmed yesterday, so her baptism is complete. Thank heavens!! So much stress. She’s super great. I love her a lot. 

Next, my mirror broke today. I’m pretty bummed. I’m just hoping to not have 7 years of bad luck. Yikes. To be honest, I’m more worried about getting ready in the morning. My comp takes the entire time in the bathroom so I have just grown accustomed to getting ready with my mirror. Looks like I’ll be borrowing my comp’s mirror until I can buy a new one. It seems like there’s always something that needs to be bought or replaced. Grown up life is rough. 

So we have a super set baptism for the 24th of November, which is the Sunday after transfers. I’m really hoping that I don’t get transferred next week. Anyways, her name is Daniela and she is the wife of a less active. We’ve been working with her for a little while, but we were never super focused in her because she’s super catholic and always said that she’d get baptized when she felt it in her heart and believed it. So then on Saturday we had a super awesome lesson with her. We taught the Restoration, but we felt like we needed to get down to the intimate details, more than anything in the great apostasy. So we talked about how exactly the Catholic Church came to be. It seemed as if I light bulb went off in her head. The whole lesson was super spiritual. Then at the end we asked her to be baptized the 24th and she said that it was her anniversary and they will have been married for two years. This made her super emotional and she could feel that the date was set by God. So then she prayed to know if it was true. The prayer was beautiful. She was basically weeping through the whole thing and then she just stopped praying all together. My companion and I just sat there waiting in silence for her to finish, but she never did. Then when we all got up from our knees and sat back down she said she felt a flame inside her but that it didn’t burn her. The whole time I was just praying that the Holy Ghost would touch her, and he did. It was such a great experience. She full heartedly accepted the baptismal date. It was an experience I won’t forget. So beautiful. 

Then we found the cutest little old lady this week that wants to get baptized so badly! She’s the greatest! Unfortunately she wasn’t able to go to church because her grandson was in the hospital from an accident that happened. So that was really sad. But yeah, she’s a little old lady that is missing most of her teeth (I’m starting to think that’s the kind of people I’m meant to teach jaja) and she just wants us to visit her every day, which is great!! :) Jaja! There are some great miracles occurring here in Almagro. I have no idea what is going to happen this next week with transfers. Vamos a ver. 

So last week a lady threatened to call the cops on us, because we may have been teaching outside of a catholic church....but all we were doing was saying hi to one of our investigators that we hadn’t been able to find in forever and she just happened to be selling food in front of the church. So yeah, that was SUPER rough. The member was arguing with her so she told me that I was the only considerate one out of the three of us. Basically, it pays to follow the white handbook, even if you find one of your elegidos investigators that have been hard to contact. Oh the experiences of the mission. 

On Saturday the Elders in our ward had a baptism. Right before it started one of them asked me to give a talk on baptism. So that was fun. It was more like a spiritual talk rather than a talk jaja. It wasn’t bad because basically we teach about baptism all day every day. So it was just pretty natural. 

Well, that’s all the stories I’ll share for this week! I hope you all have a fantastic week! I love you all lots! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

xoxo,
Hermana Van 

Monday, November 3, 2014

BiPolar Weather



November 3, 2014

Hola!!!!

Buenas Noticias!!!! :) Norma got baptized!!!!!!!!!! :))) I’m so so stoked! It was the craziest, biggest miracle!! We only saw her like 2 times during the week and it was just a quick hi + a scripture or principle in the door of her apartment building and then chau. So yeah, I’m still in awe. Honestly, there were so many times during this week, when I was like, well that’s it, she’s not getting baptized. There were way too many times when I allowed the doubt and fear to creep into my mind. Every time that happened I had a little voice tell me, "It’s okay, just have faith and trust in Him. Remember the promise He gave you in the temple." And that honestly helped me so much. I think I told you this, I don’t remember, but when I was in the temple, I received the inspiration that there were past investigators that were ready now and didn’t get baptized yet because the were prepared to hear the gospel from me and my companion. So that is the promise that I continually reminded myself of this last week. And sure enough, it happened. Norma was a past investigator of about a year, and it turns out she wasn’t ready a year ago, she was ready now to get baptized. I would say the most incredible thing to me is seeing how the Lord works His miracles. I can honestly say I did nothing. It was all the Lord and I was able to be a witness to what He had/has in store for Norma. 

Baptism picture with Norma and companion.
So Halloween was the worst. Why? Because it was just an average ordinary day. In the entire day, I only saw ONE kid dressed up and then 2 others with masks nothing more. It was the worst! And nobody did anything! I was shocked. So yeah, that just wasn’t the same. I was thinking about what I did last year for Halloween and I seriously couldn’t believe that a year had already passed. It is so crazy to me. Time is just flying. It’s crazy to think that it’s already November. 

Also, the weather here is more bipolar than Utah’s weather!! It was so unbearably hot two weeks ago, and then this last week it rained all week and it was FREEZING!!! Yesterday I felt like I was in the middle of winter. It rained so much yesterday and the wind was like 70 kilometers per hour. Terrible. And obvio my umbrella is just so broken, but whatever I continue to use it because I don’t want to buy a new one, and today it’s raining cats and dogs. 


It's raining cats and dogs and my umbrella is toast!
So yeah, That’s basically an update of the week and what’s been going on here in good ol Buenos Aires. Even with the rain, I’m just loving it. What an opportunity it is to serve the Lord in such a wonderful place. Thanks so much for all your support! Love you! Until next week! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen! And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

xoxo,
Hermana Van 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Que Semana...Gracias por Sus Oraciones!



October 27, 2014

Hola!

Um, I just don’t even know where to start. Last week was basically nuts. I should probably start out by saying thank you so much for your prayers this last week. Without a doubt they were answered! I felt them so strongly. We were able to see Norma and teach her in her apartment every single day. She had her baptismal interview on Friday and passed it and everything. It was really great. :) And then came Sunday.... We had planned her baptism and everything. But when we went to get her for church on Sunday, she wasn’t home. So we called her and she quickly said, "I can’t talk I’m in church" and hung up. Yep, she was in a catholic church the day of her baptism.... Why? Well, in the catholic church you just show up and the priests bless you, whereas in our church they just don’t give out blessing like that. We told her that you can receive blessings of health and explained the priesthood authority again, but she said she had never seen blessings given at church, even though she has received one before. (Her memory is really not that great since she fell down the stairs and hit her head.) So needless to say, she still doesn’t understand everything about the Restoration. Yeah, it was a rough Sunday for me during church yesterday. I think it’s probably the biggest taste I’ve gotten yet of someone using their agency. Needless to say, I’ve learned so much from this experience. 

One day this last week I was studying the Sacrament Prayers and I can’t believe how much I learned from just two prayers that I hear every single Sunday! So here’s what I was able to learn/realize- or at least it’s my point of view. In the prayer for the bread we make 3 promises, which are to take upon us His name, always remember Him, and keep His commandments. When we partake of the bread we are committing to keep those promises that we make. We are remembering His body. It is because He died for us and then resurrected, that we too will live again. That gift is free. Then we have the prayer for the water, where all we promise is to remember Him. But to remember Him is to remember the promises we recently promised to keep by partaking of the bread. We are sealing that promise and we do it in the memory of the blood He spilt for us. The blood for which he sealed His atoning sacrifice. It is only through that atoning blood that we can return and live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ one day. And that must be earned by keeping the covenants we have made. So yeah, that was the relation I was able to see between the two prayers más o menos. What I loved was having the Spirit teach me through simply reading two prayers that I hear all the time. There is ALWAYS something to be learned. 

So this week was pretty rough for me energy wise. I just wanted to die at the end of every day because I was so tired. The heat has started. It’s like already 30º Celsius which I have no idea what it would be in Fahrenheit. But basically it’s only October and the real heat shouldn’t come until like January and February. I hear those months are the ones that are just unbearable. It’s also only Spring, so I’m freaked out for Summer. Just not a big fan of the humidity. Also, because of the heat and the humidity I have the worst blisters. I have wanted to straight up cut my feet off every single day this last week. It’s been rough in that sense jaja. But whatevs. I’m buying summer shoes today thankfully. 

Well, thanks again for your prayers on my behalf. I felt them so much this last week. I love you all so much and hope everything is going spectacular with you all! :) Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen! And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

xoxo,
Hermana Van 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Halloween...just not the same



October 20, 2014

Buen Día!!!!!

Okay, so this week the letter is not going to be all the great because I don’t have much time like at all to write. I’ve been downloading music from the church website pretty much the whole time because the other day I bought a pen-drive from some guy in the street. It’s a cute little minion from Despicable Me! :) Hopefully it’s not a rip off. It was 180 pesos and it’s 16 GB which is super cheap here for so much storage. I guess we’ll see. Wow, I have no idea why I just explained so much about my pen-drive. Meh, oh well.

So to start, Happy Mother’s Day in Argentina all you mothers out there! Yep that’s right, yesterday was Mother’s Day here in Argentina!! Everybody asked us if we got to talk to our moms...jaja no, I wish!! Oh well, just two more months ‘til Christmas, so it’s cool. 

So there is an Elder in my ward from South Jordan so we decided it would be super fun if we did a Halloween party in the ward kind of like Trunk or Treat where everyone can dress up and get candy, but instead of cars do it in the classrooms in the church because hardly anyone has cars here. So yeah, we planned the whole thing with our ward mission leader, Elder Walton made fliers and everything and we started inviting investigators. Well, yesterday at church we had a meeting with the Bishop and he told us that people were complaining about the activity because they thought it had to do with Satan or something like that. Umm....OKAY. The bishop told us he was all for the idea, but we just wouldn’t have successful because the members didn’t feel comfortable with the whole dressing up thing and what not. So now we’re going to have a talent show sometime in November. I’m pretty bummed. Cultural differences are real. That’s all. Hopefully we’ll have success in November with the Talent Show...

So we have this little old investigator named Norma. She’s the cutest. I think I already wrote about her and how she only has half her teeth. Well, she went to church yesterday and stayed for almost all of it! It was great! Between our time teaching her and the time before when the missionaries were teaching her she has like 8 church attendances which is a ton! Usually we baptize with 3 attendances. The thing with her is that she doesn’t have all the lessons because we can’t see her very much since she’s so busy. Just keep her in your prayers so that we can teach her and she can get baptized this week! 

So I’ve been reading the New Testament for a little while to be able to know how Jesus taught and how I can apply it into my own teaching. I absolutely LOVE it!! It is so beautiful and I have learned so much! His perfection amazes me more and more each day (some how that’s possible). Also, 2 days ago I decided I want to read the Old Testament too. I don’t have much time in my personal study in the morning so I’m reading it at night after our planning session. I just decided I wanted to understand the stories, history, and doctrines in the Bible better. Let me tell you, it is fascinating! I love it! I just love reading the scriptures so much and I can always feel of the truthfulness of them as I read them, whether it be the Bible or the Book of Mormon! It’s the greatest!

Well, that’s all the time I have today! Sorry I couldn’t write more about my week! :/ Maybe next week’s letter will be better... Love you all! Thank you for your prayers and your support! They mean the world to me! Have a great week! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

xoxo,
Hermana Van  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Feliz P-Day!! :)



October 13, 2014

Buanas Tardes mis queridos!

Wow! What a P-Day! What a week!

So today for P-Day we went to the mission house (where President lives- la casa de la mision...it sounds better in Spanish jaja) and we watched the women’s conference (LOVED IT!) It was only the hermanas. And then we just hung out and ate tacos (definitely NOT an Argentine food jaja).  It was just so much fun. I can’t even tell you how much fun I had. It was so good to see all the hermanas; I seriously love them so much. It was nice to catch up with everyone and just talk and relax. I have come to make some incredible friends here in the mission...from all over the world. One of my favorite parts is getting to see mi mamá in the mission (my trainer) because she is seriously one of my absolute greatest friends and she just always gives me such great advice. I really just love all the hermanas jaja. Oh yeah! And President also called Sister Linda K Burton and we got to talk to her! It was so fun! She is amazing! She told us to tell our families that she loves them! :)

What a week it has been. I have learned so so much! My companion, Hermana Contreras (I forgot to tell y’all that she’s 26) is an incredible missionary. Straight up. She has the gift of finding people. We had so many lessons last week and we had 6 people with baptismal dates (until the majority lost them because they didn’t go to church dang it). But really I can say that I am learning so much from her and she is really helping the area. I feel like she is helping me become that missionary that I want to be since I’m learning a ton. I think I’m also learning valuable lessons for my life too. 

I have really learned so much about myself on the mission. One thing I think I’m discovering is that God has blessed me with the ability to connect with people whether they are missionaries, members, or investigators. We were in a lesson with an investigator (she’s married to a less active) and I think she got really defensive when my companion asked her a couple questions, and I was able to listen to the spirit and connect with her on a different level. By the end, she was crying and 100% willing to pray to find out if the Book of Mormon was true. (I wish I had time to write the whole story because it’s really cool.) Now I’m not saying any of that to say like hey look at me, I’m so great, because that is definitely not the case AT ALL. But I’m starting to discover talents the Lord has given me, and I’m starting to learn how to use them through the gift of the Holy Ghost. Every day, I’m in awe of what I learn and ask myself how I could have learned this stuff if I weren’t here on the mission. I feel very fortunate to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord here in Argentina. 

Well, that’s all I have for today! Not much time to write since we had the activity with the Hermanas today! I love you all and pray for you! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen! And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged! :)

xoxo,
Hermana Van 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Another Transfer Has Come And Gone!



October 7, 2014

Hey y’all! Long time no talk!! jaja! :)

So basically even though it’s only been four days so much has happened. Like literally the craziest stuff. The full stories are going to have to wait until I get home, but I’ll explain what I can.

Alright, to start off, I have a new companion, obvio, since my other companion finished her mission, and I’m still in Almagro. My comp is from Perú, and she has a year in the mission. Yesterday, my old comp Hna Cipriano had her final interview with President and then after her interview I had a mini interview with President. He told me that he can see that I have already progressed so much. He told me that I’m ready to be senior companion and that I’m ready to train also, but right now, the Lord has something else planned for me. He said that the Lord wants me to be companions with my new comp, because she needs me. He said I have many talents that are going to help her and that this is exactly what the Lord wants. So that’s what I’m doing. I know that I am going to learn and grow a lot from her so I’m excited to learn a lot this transfer. I’m always excited to learn a lot jaja. :)

Well P-day on Friday was a smidge of a disaster but it was pretty much the best p-day ever because of everything that happened. It’s waaaay too long of a story but basically by the end of the day with half of the zone we were in the villa (the ghetto) in the Buenos Aires WEST mission. So we weren’t in our mission, instead we were in the mission where the president got kidnapped and we were in the villa where the Hermanas should NEVER be. The zone leaders were freaking out and super antsy the whole time. It was pretty funny. We had to wait for a train there in order to get home so that’s why we were there. Nothing happened so it’s all good.

So conference straight up ROCKED. Oh how I LOVE conference! It is seriously the best! Between the temple and General Conference I was able to receive a lot of revelation. The coolest part was that when we had investigators in the sessions, the talks were just what our investigators needed to hear! One of them, Ruben, was crying and told us that he was going to go to church every single Sunday. The problem with him is that he’s not married. :( So yeah, we’re trying to work on that with him. He’s already made so much progress! All the gringos (Americans) in the stake watched Conference in English which was so so great because we got to hear their voices and their emotion and everything. I absolutely LOVED that they had some give their talks in their native language! It was beautiful to have the witness that the church really is a worldwide church. This is the Church of JESUS CHRIST. :) 

So yeah, that’s all I got for the past 4 days. Well, all the time I have to explain all that has happened in the past 4 days jaja. I hope all is well at home. I love hearing from you guys. Thanks for you prayers and support. I love you all! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!

xoxo,
Hermana Van 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Temple Fun




Hola! Como andan??

Okay, so where to start this week? I’ll start with the beginning of this week....or maybe last week. Okay last week. Quick recap of last week. We had divisions with the Hermana Entrenadores (STL) and it rocked. I was with Hermana Zendejas and I was able to learn a lot. We even found a new investigator so that was good. Then Saturday we had a Capilla Abierta (Open Chapel). It’s a tour of the church and we as the hermanas have to give all the lessons in basically 5-10 minutes. Then they continue the tour with the elders throughout the rest of the church. It’s the funnest. I love Capilla Abiertas! :) So then last Sunday was the despedida or Farewell of Hermana Cipriano. Every transfer at the end we have this thing called La despedida where all the missionaries that are going home bear their testimonies and we watch a little slide show of a few of their converts and then the Joseph Smith Restoration video. It’s a really awesome experience! In order to go you have to have had investigators in church that day and you have to bring with you an investigator or someone you baptized that transfer. It’s a super big thing and tons of members go. So basically its a super great opportunity for new members and investigators to feel the spirit. So yeah, my comp was in the despedida this transfer. It was really good. It was also kinda sad. 

So I don’t know what else to say about this week. I mean, it’s been pretty rough to be honest because we’ve been working super hard and I’ve been exhausted the whole week. It’s crazy how much difference p-day makes jaja. Needless to say, I needed p-day very badly, and General Conference and the temple.

Speaking of the temple! Let’s talk more about the temple!! Oh how I absolutely LOVE the temple! There is no where better that’s for sure! So today our session was at 8 am and we had to be there at 7. Well, Hna Cipriano and I went with a different zone to the temple and we caught a bus at 6:30 that took an hour and a half to get to the temple. So our whole zone was already in the temple and in the session when we arrived at 8. However, luckily we were able to get our clothes quickly and change in like 5 minutes so they still let us in to one of the 8:00 sessions! We were suuuuper lucky! Also, because we were late, we didn’t go to the same session as the rest of our zone, but it was better because we got to see the new video presentation! It rocked!! I loved it soo much! :) Then in the celestial room I just had the greatest experience. It is the coolest thing seeing the room filled with missionaries seeing everyone just pondering and receiving inspiration for their investigators and areas. I just sat there pondering asking Heavenly Father questions and then answers would immediately come to me. Like complete sentences and phrases were forming in my head from the perspective of Heavenly Father. And they definitely weren’t my own thoughts. It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had in the temple. I testify that it truly is the house of the Lord and we can receive so much revelation there. 

Well, that’s all I got time for today. I have to go! We’re doing something as a zone and they all want to go. We have transfers next week so I’ll be writing Tuesday! Love you all and thank you so much for your prayers and support! Remember when you love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously engaged!! :) 

xoxo,
Hermana Van 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Feliz Primavera!



September 22, 2014

Feliz Primavera!!!!

Yep, that’s right, here in good old Argentina, as of yesterday it is SPRING! :) It’s the craziest thing, here they actually celebrate The Day of Spring (El Día de Primavera). It’s hilarious. Like they have parties with their families and do special stuff. We even received FLOWERS at Church! And as we were greeting people in church they all told me "Feliz Día de Primavera!" I was like, who the heck celebrates the day of a new season? Jaja! In  Utah we don’t even acknowledge the official start of a season. But hey that might be because our seasons are so whacked. Jaja, but after having experienced it, it was fun and I can see why they do it jaja! However, I don’t know if they only do it for Spring...I know they definitely didn’t do it for winter jaja. So yeah, I hope you all enjoyed your Day of Fall yesterday! ;)

The Flowers Hannah got at church for El Dia de Primavera
This week was a good one. Yesterday we had 3 investigators at church. Rubén came all by himself after us trying to get him to come 2 weeks before, I was so incredibly surprised when I walked in and saw him. The thing with him is that he isn’t married...so we can’t put a baptismal date with him until he gets married or starts on the paper work to get married. So we’ll see what happens. He’s really great though. Daniela is married to a member, but she’s super catholic and believes heavily in the Saints and doesn’t feel the need to be baptized right now since she had a bad experience with being baptized in the Universal church a while ago. They just wanted her money or something. So we’ll keep working with her. I love her a lot! She’s super great! Then we had Norma. She was a miracle this week. She’s a former investigator and we just stopped by to see if we could see her, and she invited us in to teach her and her "amigo" (but they don’t live together luckily). Anyways, she is super awesome. She’s a lawyer, a little old lady, and right now she only has half of her teeth because her dentist is doing some operation. I don’t really know. But she’s un amor. I love her so much. We’re planning on her being baptized General Conference weekend! :)

Last week we had a zone conference! Our zone conference got changed last minute and we ended up being with my old zone! It was so much fun seeing everyone again and being with them. Oh boy, I just love seeing all the missionaries. Not to mention it was so great Seeing Presidente Ayre y Hermana Ayre. Oh how I love them! They are seriously so great! They have so much love for us it’s pretty much tangible! I learned a lot about using the Book of Mormon in our teaching and with our investigators. We also watched a talk by President Uchtdorf. It was the same one he gave to us in the MTC so it was fun seeing it again and re-learning. :) It was a super awesome Zone Conference all around.

This week, my companion and I have talked a lot about how to be a consecrated missionary and the blessings that will come from it. We have really been trying to be 100% consecrated missionaries. I know that Heavenly Father knows my potential and that I will truly be able to reach that potential if I give Him everything and become 100% consecrated. That’s what I want for my mission-to be a consecrated missionary. It’s something that will help me for the rest of my life. Because that’s one thing about the mission. The lessons we learn are most definitely not just limited to the mission. The lessons we learn are to be applied in our lives for the rest of our lives. And that’s what I want for my mission and my life. I want my mission to change me and better me for the rest of my life. So yeah, that’s the basic goal I’m working on here in Argentina. But how I accomplish that is by doing the Lord’s work. There is nothing harder and more rewarding than doing His work. I really do love being a missionary! No hay nada que sea mejor! De esto yo tesifico!! :)

Well, that’s all for this week! You won’t be hearing from me until Friday, Oct. 3! Why?? Because we are going to the TEMPLE!!! I could cry I’m so excited!! :) So yeah, my zone has decided to have our entire p-day that Friday in order to do an activity as a zone after the temple, instead of splitting up our p-day between Monday (half a day) and Friday (half a day). Así que....Hasta viernes!! Les amo! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)  

xoxo,
Hermana Van 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Servicio!



September 15, 2014

Hola, Cómo les va?? :)

This week was pretty good! More than anything I was able to learn a lot this week. To be honest, we pretty much did just the same old same old, but it was a good growing week if ya know what I mean. Hmmm...I’ll explain a little more. At the beginning of the week, starting Sunday, between all our leaders and the members, we had just about everyone in our small world as missionaries telling us what we were doing wrong and exactly what we needed to do. I can’t even explain how frustrating this was! I mean, I’m already a perfectionist so I basically was already well aware of what was happening and what I needed to do to improve the situation and improve myself. My companion and I talked a lot and we soon realized that we had many voices "shouting" at us and it was impossible to satisfy them all. We recognized that there was only one voice that we needed to listen to, but that voice was the hardest one to hear: The quiet voice of the spirit. As we continued to analyze the situation, it dawned on me that this trial we had been given was an answer to a prayer. My companion and I had wanted from the very beginning of this transfer to develop the ability to always listen to the spirit and be completely led by the spirit in everything we do. Well, Heavenly Father was now (and still is) giving us the opportunity to develop this attribute. He was giving us the opportunity to find the still small voice of the spirit, and ignore all the other loud voices that were shouting at us. When we recognized that this is what we were to learn from this trial, our mentality changed and we viewed the situation much differently. We could see the trial as a blessing. But even so, we had no idea HOW we were going to be able to recognize the spirit. We studied so much about the spirit this week and how we can recognize his promptings. Well Wednesday, we fasted for a couple different reasons, but mainly to be able to recognize the voice of the spirit in our lives so we could be more guided by it and completely do the will of God. This fast was an incredible experience. It  was the absolute easiest fast I’ve ever done. We fasted during Weekly Planning, and after the fast we were like wow, we actually received a ton of guidance during this fast. It was incredible. As we have focused our energy in listening to the spirit and changing our view of the situation, we have been able to be more sensitive to the spirit. Of course it’s not over, but the situation has improved and we have learned a lot, and continue learning a lot about how the spirit works with us. This has seriously been such a great learning experience for me. It really applies to everyone. We have so many voices shouting at us constantly-the many voices of the world. And like I said, they’re shouting. They are not quiet which makes it that much harder to hear the soft voice of the Holy Ghost. But his voice is the most important. I know that as we pray to be more receptive to this voice, God will give us the opportunities to practice. It is this voice that we must listen for and hear and heed. This voice will never lead us astray. It takes practice hearing this voice. I’ve been very blessed to have the opportunity to practice so much here in the mission. It’s something that I will need the rest of my life. 

So my years of piano are really paying off right now. Yep, that’s right, I’m the piano player for Sacrament Meeting. In Congreso we had a few people that could play the piano, so they never needed me. I started to think that every ward would be like that and maybe I wouldn’t play the piano in my mission at all. Ja! Oh how wrong I was! I am the one that has the privilege of accompanying the congregation every Sunday. But in all honesty I really love it! I can’t even tell you how much I have missed playing the piano! It is seriously so fun for me that I now get to play. It’s kind of intimidating because I never have time to practice so I just get up there and start playing and hope for the best jaja. Nah, but it’s all good. I love it! :)

Loving painting for the service project!
So it finally happened! (Even though I only have 6 months in the mish jaja) Saturday we had a huge service project (I don’t know if it was world wide...). Two or three stakes got together and did service for a hospital. There were like 4 zones of missionaries there so it was a nice little reunion. What I refer to when I say "It finally happened" is that I got to do the typical missionary service project and I got to paint!! It was so much fun! I had a blast! All the missionaries were pretty much outside painting the building, but there were tons of members doing more service inside. The missionaries were only there from 9-12, but the service project lasted until like 3 or 5 so it was a pretty huge project. It was so much fun!! I can’t even tell you!! I had a blast! It’s always fun being with all the missionary. And on top of that, it was fun to just paint and relax from all the stress. By the end I was covered in paint. It took me like an hour in the shower to get all the paint off jaja!! :)

Covering up the graffiti!
Well, that’s about it for ya. We have a couple investigators that are super awesome  named Mariana y Jenifer, but they didn’t go to church for the second week in a row even when it was super set, like they were going to go for sure. So I don’t know what happened, it looks like we’re going to have to stop visiting them. :( So just pray that we’ll be able to find people. It has been super hard to find people lately. Ugh. But that’s okay, we’re definitely going to find!!! Thanks for all you do! I love you all lots! Until next week!! :) Remember, when you love the way the Savior does, miracles happen! And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

xoxo,
Hermana Van 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Me Encanta la Historia Familiar



September 8, 2014

Hola Todos!! :)

Wow what a week! To be honest, I don’t have a ton of time so I’m just going to write a few things that happened and the few things that I have been able to learn this past week. 

So as you all know, I am only 20 blocks away from my old area. Well, starting next Sunday (not this Sunday) Congreso, my old ward, will be sharing a chapel with Almagro, my current ward. To be honest, when I first heard this, I had no idea how to feel. I was a little bugged if I’m going to be honest in the beginning because I’m like, wow I’m serving half my mission is basically the exact same area, like I’m basically still in Congreso. But then I started thinking more about it. I was like; well I love the members and the missionaries that are in Congreso, so at least I’ll be able to see them. Then I realized, hey, I’ll be able to see Carmen and the whole family!! (When I had to say bye to them, I was suuuuper sad.) So that was a huge plus. THEN, I realized, Oh my gosh, Malena is going to be baptized in September so I’m going to be able to be at the baptism!! I soon realized that me being in Almagro and Congreso sharing a chapel with us is a HUGE tender mercy of the Lord. Right now I really feel so blessed by the Lord. It is a huge testament to me that He really is so aware of me. AH! I can’t wait till the next Sunday!! :)

So, Wednesday we had the chance to do an hour of Family History and let me just tell you, I’m addicted! It is seriously so fun! (...I’m such a nerdy missionary jaja...but hey at least I can recognize it jaja...) It’s seriously like a puzzle/investigation. I thought that since basically all my ancestors were pioneers and since I have so many family members that have done the work that there is nothing more to do but oh was I mistaken!! There’s TONS of work to do!! It’s incredible! Since I started my mission I’ve had the desire to do Family History work when I get back, but I didn’t know how or what I would be doing. Now that I’ve gotten a little taste, I’m stoked to dive more into it when I get back. We’re super lucky here in Almagro that we have the resources to do Family History work in our chapel, so President gave us permission to do an hour every week. I’m just stoked! My invitation to all of you is to start investigating your family history! Even if you think it’s all already done, because I assure you its not. There’s always something to do. 

I was reading Ether 6 this last week and learned so much. Every time the talk about the vessels being tight like unto a dish we can apply it to ourselves. The Lord instructed them in everything they should do so that they could successfully reach the promise land. We, too, have been perfectly instructed and know everything that we must do in order to successfully reach our promised land. We must be tight like unto a dish in our lives in the gospel principles so that when we are in the depths of the sea- or in the depths of our trials- the water (or adversary) can’t enter. We also need to trust that the storms we endure are in the Lord’s wisdom.  It is these storms and winds that are leading us to our promised land. If we prepare ourselves the way we have been instructed, we will be strong enough to endure the hardships. The hardships only last so long (in their case 344 days), but if we put our faith in Christ and endure them well, we will reach a place far beyond our greatest imagination- THE Promised Land. I encourage you all to read this chapter. It’s awesome!! :)

Well, I have lots more to say, but I have absolutely no time to write more!! Sorry!! :/ I love you all! Have an awesome week! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

xoxo,
Hermana Van 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Una Mezcla de Cosas!



September 1, 2014

Buen Día Amigos!!

Well, where do I start?? Okay first off, my companion got super sick this last week so she had to rest a ton and we were only able to leave in the night basically for a few hours. Thank heavens she’s on the up swing right now so we’ll be able to work like normal this week. Oh second off, Almagro is HUGE!! I’m not kidding. Congreso was super tiny and we didn’t even work in half of it because it was all businesses in some areas. Almagro is much bigger. I have no idea how I’m going to learn this area. And si o si I only have one transfer to learn it porque chau compañera despues este traslado. I’m kind nervous jaja. But oh well. I’ve already learned quite a bit in one week, and we weren’t even able to work the entire time, so I think that’s a pretty good sign. 

La Casa Rosada--It's like our White House
So we had 3 confirmations on Sunday. 2 brothers and 1 sister, ages 16, 14, 10. They’re from Haiti. And I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve been away from the fam for almost 6 months, but these kids may just be the absolute craziest kids I have ever encountered. And that’s saying something knowing my fam jaja. But really, I’ve never been so drained from just taking them to and from church. Like my patience was GONE by the end. And I was trying so hard to be super patient the entire time. It was quite the experience jaja! To be honest, just thinking about yesterday makes me tired jajaj!

A little insight on the mission. Something that I absolutely love about the mission...but at the same time it makes me suuuuper frustrated jajaj...is that right when you think you’ve developed a Christ-like attribute that you’ve been striving to develop Heavenly Father shows you that you are just so mistaken. He shows you that you can always always improve and always develop the attribute better. Because the idea is to one day reach your full potential and become Godly. We can always be more humble, more faithful, more diligent, more patient, more loving, more hopeful, etc. It’s so so hard, but it’s so so great at the same time. 

So I don’t know if I already told you, but in Almagro there is one companionship of Hermanas (us) and then one companionship of elders. So it’s a nice, new experience to have elders in the ward, but it’s kinda weird. Like it kinda feels like there’s this weird battle in the ward between the elders and the hermanas...like who is more loved in the ward..the elders or the hermanas. I don’t know...it’s interesting. Just a little side note. Oh and we’re also the only Hermanas in the entire zone!! It’s just a huge change in comparison to my old zone were we had 3 companionships of hermanas jaja! But my zone is super great. I have awesome zone leaders and an awesome district leader! The elders are all really awesome in the zone and really funny. Today, we’re going to play soccer with the whole zone. Everytime the elders find out that I play soccer they get super excited, its pretty funny. It seems like all the zones here are super in to playing soccer just about every p day. But hey, that’s the elders for you, they don’t care too much about shopping like the hermanas jaja.  


Hannah having an "airhead" moment looking through a cannon thinking it's a telescope!
I’m really so excited for this area. It’s the weirdest thing, but I just feel so strongly that there are a ton of people super ready here to get baptized. There are so many people here to find and baptize, I just know it. I also feel like I will be learning a lot from my companion. Like more than I originally thought. I feel very strongly that I will be learning things from her that will help me for the rest of my mission, like a ton. The dynamic we have between us is a very interesting one. We both have a super huge desire to work super hard this transfer. As of right now, she’s really not trunky. I’m hoping that doesn’t change. Especially because I want to work hard and I don’t want her going home to make me trunky jaja. But we are definitely going to have a great transfer together, I just know it!! :)

Well, to be honest I think that’s about it for this week. Not a whole lot to report. My mind is really unfocused right now, so it’s been hard to write this letter jaja. I hope everyone enjoys Labor Day and has a nice day of rest! :) Thanks for everything you do for me and for your support!! I love you all and pray for you all!! :) Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

xoxo,
Hermana Van

P.S. Shout out to the cuz Brandon who just got home from the mish!! :) Espero que todo este bien! Gracias por ser un gran gran ejemplo para mi! Es loco que ya estás en casa! Estoy escribiendo ésto en castellano porque tenés que recordar tu español ahora que ya sabés ruso jaja! :) Nos vemos en un año! Cuidáte y seguí con la vision de la misión!! :) 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I'll Go WHere You Want Me To Go!




August 26, 2014

Hola mis queridos!!! 

So it looks like my time in Congreso is over. :( I’m pretty sad about it. :( But at the same time I feel ready for something new- for the next stage of the mission where ya gotta transfer and learn a whole new area. I am now in Almagro. And guess what? It’s like 20 blocks from Congreso....so yeah, I don’t really know how to feel about it. Like our limit in Congreso is where Almagro starts, but luckily, that’s the Elders´ area. So yeah it’s interesting. My companion is Hermana Cipriano from México. This is her last transfer in the mission so I’m what you call "killing" her in the mission. I’m actually pretty stoked. It should be interesting and fun. Since she has so much time I’m going to be able to learn soooo much from her. It’s going to be great!! Also, since she’s going home after this transfer it means I have to learn this area in one transfer, there’s no other option jaja. So that'll be good for me. Super good learning experiences always! 

So Malena didn’t get baptized this week :( But we did receive permission to baptize her in September! And that’s all that matters, that she’ll be baptized. So last night I had to say goodbye to Carmen and the family and oh my gosh I can’t even tell you how hard it was! Like, I just wanted to cry so much. I mean, this family has a piece of my heart for sure. I did cry a little bit while I was there. Carmen and Fiorela gave me some gifts which was super nice of them. Like I can’t even believe they gave me gifts. I wasn’t expecting it at all!! To be honest, as I’m writing about them and my time in Congreso I just want to cry. La verdad. Jaja! Also, as I was leaving I was giving hugs and everything and Fiorela told me that she loved me. I just wanted to drop dead in that moment. Just a couple months earlier she treated us so badly and didn’t want anything to do with us and now she has made just about a 180 turn in her life (she still lacks baptism, but hey, its a work in progress). But really, I can’t even believe the change I have been allowed to witness in this family. Its almost like if I didn’t have a testimony of the gospel before, I 100% do now.(Even though I totes had a testimony jajaja) There’s no way this gospel can’t be true when it changes people so incredibly and drastically. Oh how I love being a missionary. There really isn’t anything better. Everyday I think I realize a little more just how short this time is I have to serve the Lord. 

So um last week I was sick again. I don’t know if it was the flu or just a super super bad cold, but it was rough. I have NO idea what has been happening to my body lately. Maybe it’s from the stress, but I don’t think so because I’ve never gotten sick from stress before. Oh well, I’m slowly on the upswing. Jaja! Last week was Hermana Quintana´s birthday! It was fun. We went to two different members’ houses to celebrate her birthday.

Fun Fact: Justin Bieber isn’t allowed in Argentina. At all. Completely banned. He once took an Argentina flag and like stomped on it or something like that. Don’t disrespect the Argentines.

Another Fun Fact: Michael Buble is coming to his wife’s country!! Aka Argentina! His posters are all over the place! I want to go sooooo bad jajajaj! Oh well. Maybe one of ya’ll are gonna take a little trip to Argentina to see Michael Buble and then make a quick pit stop in Almagro. ;) 

Bueno, la verdad, no sé que más que puedo decir ahora. Van a tienen que esperar hasta el proximo lunes cuando pueda contarles más de mi área. So yeah, that’s about it for the week. So I couldn’t give ya more. Just remember that I know this gospel is true, and that I love you all very very much!! Like more than ya know! Thanks for your continued support! You are all great examples to me and great sources of strength. Remember, when you love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

xoxo, 
Hermana Van