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 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!! :)  

Hermana Van 

Monday, September 15, 2014


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!! :)

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!! :)

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 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 who is more loved in the ward..the elders or the hermanas. I don’t’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!! :)

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!! :)