(Note: Cambios or transfers happen every 6 weeks in the mission field. So every 6 weeks the preparation day is moved from Monday to Tuesday which is why Mallory is writing today instead of Monday. They found out last night that they both would be staying in their current area for this transfer. After this 6 week period, Mallory's current companion goes home to Arizona.)
Bien Dia all my loved ones! Lots to say as usual and lots of spiritual experiences to share:)
29th of Sep: We had a short Pday, as we were going to go to the temple on Friday:D We had lunch with the Pucheta's and had our nails done as usual. Hermana Pucheta did them black with silver stars. ¨The Noche¨;) We started working at about 2, right after lunch, and first went to visit with Milagros. We're trying to get her to come to church and to invite her husband, a non-member to come as well. No luck yet, but she does seem to be more interested in talking about the gospel every time we visit. While were were there a drunk guy came by to buy cerveza from Milagro's inhouse store of sorts and bought us a liter of coke...
Which was kind, I suppose, but I don't drink coke, or soda for that matter.(This decision came about as Mallory ran Varsity Cross Country and swam on the Varsity Swim Team during her 4 years of high school and wanted to be as healthy as she could be. Water has become our family drink of choice.) Let me tell you, that personal decision has been tough to keep down here, where soda is as common as water, but I'm determined to stick to my personal standard and decision. After leaving her house we met up with Guillermo and visited Zulma, where I gave her another picture. I think she may be a little addicted to them;)
The highlight of the night was the Noche de Hogar, or Family Home Evening, with the Pucheta family:) We all shared a favorite scripture and talked about them, eating 10 pizzas collectively afterwards. I actually felt full afterwards, which is a very rare occurence here;) Not because I don't get fed, but because we're walking everywhere, all day!
30th Sep: During my Personal Study I had planned on focusing mostly on finishing up my reading of the April General Conference to prepare for the one that would be Saturday and Sunday, but I started first with DyC 8, as Brenda had suggested the night before. I felt the spirit and received great direction and insight as I was reading and was from there directed by the spirit to read DyC 6. During this I felt prompted to go to my Patriarchical Blessing. I learned such amazing things and pulled things out of my blessing that I had never truly seen before. I recommend this study for anyone who needs answers or direction in their life right now. We didn't have lunch with a member and did our own cooking for the first time. I made pasta; Go figure;) We then went out to work.
Out in our area.
As we were out on the streets I started feeling really down on myself, on the things I was lacking and all the things I wanted to be, and now. At this time I remember thinking that I needed to think about someone else, anyone else, and their needs to get my mind off my own. This prayer was answered through Anita. We visited her and found her crying with her grandchild in her arms. Her and Dominigo were being kicked out of their home. They didn't know where they were going and they don't really have any money. She has very little in regards to worldly possessions. She doesn't have a lot of health; Dominigo even less. However, as she talked to us I saw such Strength in this tiny woman. Such power and faith in the Lord. She had nothing and was talking of how this was bringing her closer to God. In this moment I truly felt the love that Father had for his precious daughter. I felt the concern he felt for her. Such love for her. Such understanding of who she was and what she needed. She was a symbol of power to me, and my own petty concerns and self problems evaporated under such an influence. For dinner we had ice cream and pizza with Guillermo, which is always fun:)
1st Oct: More trametes, aka getting legal. There was 5 or so hours of waiting involved, but while there I got to talk and catch up with my CCM Hermanas (the hermanas I came out with). It was so nice to know that they were experiencing the same things that I was: hunger, homesickness, a frustration at not speaking more and not understanding everything yet, of wanting to do so much more and not having the ability to do so. I have a tendancy at times of wanting myself to be 100 percent proficent in things very quickly. Seeing that the others were going through the same things as me helped me calm down and be a little kinder on myself. It was a wonderful experience, and I'm well on my way to being legal in Argentina!
We didn't get back to late, and after having lunch with the Pucheta's we went out. After we ate, Hermana Pucheta and I were looking at flowers. We saw one image where it was a flower creature. Hma. Pucheta really liked it and it made me want to create some kind of flower creature for her. I'll be sending a picture of it today (no worries mom;)
Flower creature that Mallory drew.
It was extremely cold the rest of the day, and I could barely open my hands and flex my fingers. I was all too happy to visit the familia Rios and drink tranquera in a warm place with wonderful people.
2nd Oct: We had our Reunion de Zona today. During it we watched a piece of a talk by Holland, which was extremely powerful and talked of the atonement. My mood during the day wasn't the best, but when Brenda came out to accompany us around 6 she greatly raised my spirits. We didn't get back to the pension quite on time because we were waiting for a collectivo. I could have reacted in a negative way, but I instead decided to be happy, talking and laughing with Brenda and enjoying the extra time to talk with her and enjoy her company.
Buenos Aires Temple
Hermana Arntsen and I
3rd Oct: Temple day! While inside I had such a powerful experience with the atonement and my understanding of it. I was praying when I felt this tangible power around me. It looked like white cream streaked through with silver, and I felt very strongly that the atonement of Christ, or the sacrifice of Christ for each and every one of us, was so much more than just having the ability to repent. It was the ability for us to change. For us to improve. It truly was the way of life, the power behind life. Think About That for a second. Ponder that. And I hope you'll feel the love and power that I felt. As we left the temple I felt such a sense of peace and happiness. However, as the day got later and we were out on the streets I felt a little sick to my stomach and a little bit of fear. I didn't know why, and I think our proseylting suffered a little because of it. We literally couldn't seem to find anyone in the four hours or so we had, and both of our spirits were low. I just kept reminding myself of General Conference that would be held the next day. This held me through, barely.
The angel Moroni
4th Oct: During my personal study I finished reading General Conference! What A blessing to be able to read through all of the one in April right before the current one! It really prepared me to receive answers. During General Conference I received an outpouring of answers and direction, and never has it gone by so fast! I was able to listen to it in English, although for the two talks that were in Spanish we went into the other room to hear the speaker talk in his native language. Such a cool experience! In between the two sessions I went on divisions with Hermana Henriquez. After the first session of conference I felt on top of the world, and I could feel it showing as we invited a boy to be baptized and he accepted with a date. We also talked with another woman in the door of her home and gave her a book of Mormon.
The spirit was so strong, and I felt so happy and at peace. After the second session, which was equally powerful, we headed back to our area. It started raining, and as we walked out of the chapel to go catch the collectivo a streak of lightning lit up the sky. It was a potent reminder that God is so close, and that he can light up our lives, showing a path through the darkness that surrounds. This knowledge however, is just like the streak of lightning. God will show us the way, and then the bolt of light will vanish, leaving us to our faith in following the path of light that we saw through the darkness. God felt very close.
5th Oct: We visited Hermana Montiel before heading to conference. As usual it's always so wonderful to visit with her. The sessions of Conference were just as powerful, and I received just as much direction as I had the day before. Between the two sessions our stake had 9 baptisms! Think about that for just a moment. 9 people taking the first step into the path to eternal life. 9 lives forever changed. 9 souls brought to Christ
In the hour we had to proselyte a miracle occured. We only had an hour and didn't really have a plan for what we do with it. I asked Hermana Arnsten if we could drop off Hermana Pucheta's tupperware before going out to find people. She agreed, and we visited with the family for about 15 minutes before meeting up with Guillermo. I then felt prompted that we should visit Maria. We walked down to her house, and just as we stepped in front of the door it opened. Maria was standing there. We talked to her and she invited us in. We bore testimony and gave her a book of mormon. What timing on the Lord's part! All of the little things we had done, the amount of time spent waiting for the collectivo, the amount of time spent in the apartment before leaving, the amount of time spent at the Pucheta's, and the amount of time it took to find Guillermo and walk there, to get there just as the door was opening! What a testimony builder of God's Timing. It is truly Perfect. What little things have we been experiencing in our lives that will lead to truly great things in the future? It was truly miraculous.
A street in our area
Yesterday we heard about Cambios. I am pleased to annouce that I'll be staying in my area and with my same companion.
I love all of you and pray for your welfare. I hope this weekly account of my week inspires you to want to do just a little bit more in your life to grow your relationship with the Savior. I hope it helps to build up your faith.
All my love,