Monday, November 24, 2014

18 Months an Angel: Blazing on in Week 13!

Take a moment to grab something warm to drink and a comfy pillow, because we're digging in deep this week;)

 Picture of a horse I did for Hermana Arntsen before she left.

17th of Nov: In the morning we were once again off to San Fernando. Sitting in the train watching the trees and graffiti fly by I couldn't help but think of what a beautiful place Argentina is. And how short my time is here. It really encourages you to take advantage of every moment. We were heading to the Mission House for Hermana Arnsten to have her last entrevista with President. All of the missionaries that would be going home the following day were there as well, with their companions. Sitting amongst them I felt as though they were pulling me even faster towards the end. No thanks. In the beginning I wanted nothing more than to go home. Now I want nothing more than to stay here. Funny how that works, no? 
 How long have I been out?  My mom keeps track.

We were there for quite a while. The air conditioning was enjoyable, but I felt an itch to go out and work. To do Something. Eventually out we went:) After a delicious lunch with the familia Casriego,  Hermana Arnsten had her second farewell in the Capilla. Off we went to the Montiel's, to say goodbye. I kept thinking to myself how happy I was to be staying with these people I have grown to love and admire so much. I love Parque Patricios. I love this ward. They're always going to have a place in my heart, of that I'm certain. The night consisted of a lot of packing and a lack of sleep. Hermana Arnsten was leaving, and my new companion would be arriving in the morning. Hermana Pilliza. Latina. Was I ready to solely speak in Spanish? It didn't really matter, because here we were going! 
Farewell for Hermana Arnsten con la familia Montiel

18th of Nov: I was getting tired of traveling. This time it was the offices once more, to get Hermana Pilliza and leave Hermana Arnsten. It was going to be weird, but I was ready. Once there I met Hermana Pilliza, and the bishop took us back to our area via Taxi. At first I thought she was rather quiet and serious (apparently she thought the same of me, go figure;) However, as soon as we got to the apartment I knew we were going to get along. We emailed, visited the Pucheta's, and then I got my plantillas started por fin! Happy feet are in my future:) Guillermo accompanied us to visit with Zulma, where we ended up talking with Cristian and asking him to prayer about baptism and its importance. I realized quickly that Hermana Pilliza was very direct in her invitations, especially concerning baptism. What a blessing that has been this week. It has truly brought about miracles in our little corner of Argentina. Upon returning to the pension Hermana Pilliza invited me to sit down on her bed and watch the Joseph Smith movie with her. I was a little taken off guard, but did just that. We talked for quite a while, and I felt love and peace. I'm extremely grateful for my companion, for all the love she has for me, and for this work.

My new companion: Hermana Pilliza from Ecuador and Spain

19th of Nov: I had told Hermana Pilliza about the house were Milagros lives. As soon as she heard that lots of families lived inside she determined to go there. And so we did so. We literally talked to everyone. We didn't necessarily find, but we decided to come back later in the evening when people were home from work. While with Jhon down in the point we found Nico, son of Gladis. He was very receptive and accepted a baptismal date. His mother didn't want anything to do with us, and said matterafactly that Nico was Catholic, and that if if he said he would do something he wasn't going to comply. My eyes were drawn to Nico as she was saying such things. He looked deeply concentrated and was flipping through the pamplet we had given him. I don't care what his mother said. This is His salvation, and I have faith that he's going to make it, and that he's going to one day be in the temple, dressed all in white. That is my vision. He didn't say anything, just looked at the image of Christ before him. This spoke volumes to me, so much more than the things his mother was voicing. He was speaking to us, and to me it was very clear. Later we went back to Milagro's. And there we found another person ready and willing to listen. We set yet another date. More than I'd probably set in 12 weeks, in a single day. Because Hermana Pilliza has the vision. Something I have been working so hard to find. And with that vision she is truly blazing a path in our area, a path I will do anything to follow. I have much to learn, and she has much to teach me.

Being silly

20th of Nov: While trying to find Anita and Domingo we run into a woman who looked in need of help. I asked her if we could help. Now, we ask this multiple times a day. Never do we hear a yes. But this time it was clear that this woman needed help, and there was a yes. We helped her walk to her home in the Torres. she kept calling us her angels. It was simply doing what needed to be done.
21st of Nov: And welcome in the rain! Arm and arm, Hermana Pilliza and I headed off to lunch with the Salinardi's:) Hermana Salinardi accompanied us afterwards. We all tried to fit under my paragua, or umbrella. After trying to find a couple different people we headed to the church, where Jhon was going to meet up with us. I had the opportunity to play a girl's cello. Oh it felt heavenly to have that gorgeous instrument in my hands once more, even if it was only for a minute or so. We looked for people with Jhon down in the point, and didn't really find anyone ready to hear the gospel. We were cold and wet, so we stopped by his house to warm up for a little while before going back out. We were drinking herbal tea when Hermana Pilliza asked a question. I thought it was hilarious, and couldn't help but laugh. She started laughing as well. I think Jhon was a little confused as to what was so funny. I couldn't explain it, as I wasn't quite sure what was so funny. It felt so good to just laugh:) We started home at 8:30. However, Jhon lives quite far from our pension, and we therefore found ourselves at 9 with 20 blocks to go. Not one to be later than she needs to be, Hermana Pilliza took off running. We ran the 20 blocks home in 14 minutes or less. Talk about an adventure. I remember thinking, ¨She's crazy and I love it!¨ She's a lot of fun;)
22nd of Nov: Man, I don't know where to start with this jampacked day. I'm going to cover the big events. First, Soledad. She's a daughter of Hermana Lopez. After lunch we shared a scripture, and then asked the family who they knew who needed the gospel. She jokingly mentioned her daughter, who's not a member. We took her up on the offer, and talked with Soledad. She had talked with the missionaries before, but in the past they had only been interested in a quick baptism. When Soledad said she wanted to take the time to figure it out for herself and make the changes necessary to be a strong member of the church they were lose interest and stop visiting her. We're not going to do that, and have plans to see her today. Facundo, one of Hermana Lopez's sons, came to accompany us afterwards. We ended up in the Capilla. I helped Marcos, a relative of Zulma, with his English. We then had a Pepa competition to see who could eat three of the little cookies the fastest. Facundo and I tied... and when we did it again I won. Not sure how I should feel about that... but there you go! We then read in Joseph Smith History with Marcos about Joseph Smith's experience. I could feel the spirit in the prophet's words, and I hope he did as well. After saying goodbye to Marcos and Zulma AnnaMelina and Trinidad showed up to accompany us. We now had three members and were waiting for Alan to show up, our investigator! He showed up about 10 minutes later with Luciano, rolling our number of members present to 4, the largest amount I've ever had in one lesson! Hermana Pilliza and I took turns teaching about the gospel of Christ, lesson 3. We then got to the subject of baptism. One of the girls invited him to be baptized, and the other said we were planning a baptismal service for the 29th of November with a confirmation on the 30th. We then took turns sharing our personal experiences regarding our baptisms. The spirit was very strong and it was clear that each person had a strong testimony of the importance of baptism. However, when we asked Alan how he felt he said he still didn't understand why baptism was an important or necessary step. Hermana Pilliza invited Luciano to offer a prayer and then to have Alan offer one, asking about baptism and the proposed date. We all got on our knees as Luciano offered up a powerful and humble prayer. The spirit was strong, and I remember praying like I've never prayed before for Alan. Over and over again I pleaded with Father to help Alan, to soften his heart and help him to understand. I realized in that moment that I would do anything to help him get baptized. As I was on my knees I saw Alan in all white in the temple. He can be there. And I'm going to do everything in my power to get him there. Near the end of the lesson I felt strongly that I needed to share a very personal experience with him. My natural man didn't necessarily want to. It was personal and I'd never shared it with anyone before. But I knew quite clearly that it was time to share, and that Alan needed to know MY personal experience. So I shared it. As I started to share the tears started coming. I let them fall. I was going to tell this story, share this experience. I told him about my struggles to obtain the missionary vision. How I had felt like a bad missionary because I didn't understand why baptism was so important. It made me think of a comment Soledad had made earlier in the day. ¨You would think that you guys get some kind of reward for the number of baptisms you have in the mission.¨That was how I felt as well, and I WAS a missionary. I prayed nights to try to figure out why it was so important. And finally I realized, while in the temple, although I didn't see that as my answer in the beginning. Only while searching later did I realize that I had received the answer before. And it's because of the atonement of Christ. We CANNOT access this power without baptism. It's that simple. That black and white. And as I shared I felt the spirit like a wave crash around me. So much power, so much love from Father. It filled my hearts and everyone around me. After sharing I felt completely drained, like all of my energy had been poured into this moment. There was no way he could have missed that overpowering rush of the spirit. Now I know why baptism is important. I am still learning, this is true, but I'm well on my way to finding this vision. And I know with all of my soul that Alan can find this vision as well. He truly Can be ready the 29th of November. And Father will help us, will help him. Of this I have great faith.
23rd of Nov: A day of miracles. In all of my days in the mission thus far we had never had luck in bringing investigators to church. They had always fallen through, and we had walked to church alone. But not this day. We had four people at church. We were seeing miracles. Living miracles. This mission is all about miracles! I can't explain my thoughts or my feelings. I can only marvel at the power of God. I can only marvel at this work. I can only marvel at what God is helping me to become.
Sunday before Dinner at the Montiel's with Rosana y mi companera

I'm not the same as I was before. And I'm not ever going back.

Hermana Dickson.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Week 12 in Parque Patricios, Argentina

 (This letter is a day later than usual because of transfers.  Every 6 weeks P-day is on Tuesday instead of Monday.)
It has been a jam-packed week! So much to write down, and a lot of change. First of all, as of this morning I received my third companion on the mission, 2nd in Argentina. Last night Hermana Arnsten packed up all of her things, and today Bishop took us to the offices to drop off my companion and to find my new one. Her name is Hermana Pilliza:) She is from Equador and EspaƱa, has about 16 months in the mission, and only speaks Spanish. It'll be a great opportunity for me to practice my HSI;) I'm sure that'll bring a few smiles from my CCM District;) She seems really determined and ready to explode this area, and I can't wait to work hard and to see miracles here in Parque Patricios!
So much has happened this last week. I forgot to bring my old agenda with me, with the record of what on earth I did each day, as I never can remember or keep it straight, but I'll do my best to hit the highlights:) The week started with a severe elevation of vision from President. He had felt impressed that every companionship in the mission needed to do everything possible to teach 50 lessons with a member, find 5 elect, and have 5 people in church. For those of you who don't know, having 50 lessons in one week is a lofty goal indeed. My companion and I were used to hitting more like 25 a week, which is good. The standard of excellence in general for missionaries is 20 lessons a week. By giving it our all and working a ton, we were able to accomplish 50 lessons, something my companion had never accomplished in all of her months! We taught 12 lessons in a day during the week, breaking my record of lessons in a day as well. It felt so good to accomplish so much each day, and I know that President was inspired by the Lord to raise our vision. I remember during the week saying in my prayers, ¨Father, we're going to have 50 lessons this week. President said we can, and we are going to.¨It wasn't a question. It was a knowledge. I had no doubt that it was possible and that we were going to achieve it.

At the end of the week we were visited by Elder Christofferson of the 12 apostles of the church. He spoke to us in Castallano! He's a lot of fun, and inspired us to continue to work hard. All of the speakers, himself included, focused on the power of the atonement: for the missionaries, for the members, and for the investigators. They focused on the Power the atonement had. It was truly inspiring.
The end of the week was interesting, and consisted of a lot of travel. On Saturday we got up early, at 5, to make it to San Fernando before 9 for Elder Christofferson. We then went up to the Despedida on Sunday, where my companion sang and bore her testimony. Hermana Arnsten is heading back up to Arizona this week. She was a great missionary and I was happy to serve with her and learn from her. On Monday we went to San Isidero for my companion's last interview with president. All the missionaries that are ending their missions were there. It felt quite weird to be among all of them. We also had another despedida for my companion, thrown by the relief society, last night.

last night for my companion at the Montiels

If all of this had happened 6 weeks earlier it might have been hard for me to handle. But, through all of this I've realized how much I want to be here. How ready I am to work hard and to give it everything I've got. I'm in a period of the mission where I am growing and changing in so many ways. My Spanish, my sense of direction (sometimes sketchy;), my spirituality, how comfortable I am talking to the people out on the streets. It has all changed so much from when I first set foot in Argentina. Also, this last Sunday I hit my 4 month mark in the mission. I feel like I still have a ton of time, and yet also feel like I have so little remaining. It's a little confusing.
On Sunday I recieved a call from Hermana Ayre telling me that my dad had been called as Stake President back home. I was so excited for him and know that he will accomplish great things with the Lord's help! This means that he will release me from my missionary service in 14 months. The Lord truly works in mysterious and marvelous ways.

My dad in Missouri

I know that this church is true, and I know it even more, feel even stronger that it is, through this work. There is a power coursing through this work that is impossible to ignore or deny. It demands our attention, and our best efforts. I can't really describe the power I feel, but I know it is of God, and that it can only be found in this work. The harvest of souls for Jesus Christ. Everything we do points to Him. Everything we accomplish is through His grace and His help. I know that I am not here working in Argentina alone. I have never been alone. And this has never been ¨my¨work. This is the work of God. Whether or not I came it would have pressed forward, forever growing and strengthening, touching and changing lives. But, by coming out I have insured that it will forever change mine. This time is precious. I would not give it up for any one or thing.

This work is true.

Hermana Dickson

my new companion

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 11 in Argentina!

Ready to go on an adventure? I sincerely hope so, because here we go;)

3rd of Nov: GOD'S TIMING

-After P day had drawn to a close, as it always seems to do;), we grabbed some Ugi's (best pizza in Buenos Aires) and headed down to see Zulma, our recent convert. When we arrived and began talking to her, her brother Cristian came up to go into their house. We offered him a piece of pizza, which he couldn't resist, and took the opportunity to talk to him as he ate. We asked him if he had read in the Book of Mormon and prayed. He said he was praying, but that he wasn't reading in the Book of Mormon. We opened to 3rd Nephi, chapter 11, and began reading with him. We read in a circle taking turns, Zulma, my comp, myself, and Cristian. As we got to verse 10 and Christ announced himself to the western hemisphere I could feel the spirit flood the space around us, palpable and strong. I don't know if he could feel it, but to me it was unmistakable. I bore testimony to him afterwards of the the power of the Book of Mormon. My companion had been bearing testimony of the power of the Book, and as she did I felt inspired to ask him if he believed the Book had the power we said it did. He said he didn't know. I then asked him how he could find out. He said he needed to read, and to pray. I then bore simple testimony that without the Book of Mormon I wouldn't have a testimony of the church. That it was only through this book that I knew everything else was true. If he didn't have a testimony of the Book of Mormon he wasn't going to ever know if the church was true, no matter how many times he went to sacrament meeting or entered the church building. The power was in the book, and I tried to explain with all the energy and spirit that I possess that it is the KEY to EVERYTHING. Everything hinges off it. Everything would quickly fall and shatter without it.
After talking with Cristian and inviting him to read and to ask God if these things were true we went down to the bottom of our area to try to find Gladis. She was just leaving as we showed up, and we had the opportunity to see how she was doing and invite her to church. We have stopped by many times trying to find Gladis, always coming seemingly in vain, as she was never home. Yet, here she was. As with Cristian, we had arrived at just the right time to talk with her. And so this Monday has rightly been dubbed with the title God's Timing. Because we truly work within God's Time Table.

-In the morning, during my training, our focus was centered on one key part of a missionary's life. The VISION. Seeing and truly understanding to your very core WHY Baptism is so essential. Why it is what we strive to accomplish. How it truly saves souls. And to be honest, as we were talking, I realized that I didn't have the vision. I wanted it, badly, but I didn't see the true power behind baptism. In my mind I tend to focus on retention of recent converts and getting them to the temple. I think at times I fear to baptize, because I fear that after they have received so much light they could fall away. Get lost within the winding streets of Buenos Aires, being held at a higher standard and a higher light. I fear losing saved souls.
During language study I read all I could about baptism, trying to see it as the Savior sees it. And then I thought of Christ's example. A perfect man. Yet, one who was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. To do His Father's will. And then I saw baptism in a somewhat different light. More as a gateway, as a true rebirth. As the only way to truly grasp the power of the Atonement, and have the right to it's incomprehensible strength and light. I prayed desperately to find this vision. To have the spiritual vision. And although it is still a process, I Will find this vision. And that is when miracles will occur.

Our Zone

top right: E. Molina (district leader), Elder Anderson, Elder Enhibretsen (sp?)( former zone leader), Elder Molina, Elder Perry, Elder Laudie (from MTC district), Elder Seda (zone leader), Elder Garcia, Elder Long (also from MTC district), Elder Sanders.
Front row: Hermanas Hemi, Dickson, Arntsen, and Zendajas

5th of Nov: NO LIMITS
-During our monthly Zone meeting we saw a video about Brock, a football player. The video clip was all about placing no limits on our potential. To prove a point Brock's coach asked him to get to the 50 yard line with a teammate on his back. However, he was also blindfolded. With the voice of his coach guiding him and pushing him forward, he started to head for the 50 yard line on his hands and feet. As he moved forward the pain came sweeping in, and he started to falter. As he began to drop to the ground his coach dropped to his knees and began shouting encouragement, helping him every single second along the way. Brock continued to ask if he had reached the 50 yard line. The coach told him to forget about the 50 yard line, and to give Everything he had. To hold nothing back. Brock's teammates, who at first had jeered and laughed, stating that there was no way he could get to the 50 yard line, grew quieter the farther Brock went. As he passed the 50 yard line they one by one stood up, in awe of what Brock was accomplishing. And yet Brock had no clue. All he knew is that it was dark, he was alone, and hurting. He didn't know how far he was. He didn't know if he had even made it to the fifty yard line. Finally, devoid of all strength, he dropped to the ground. He was in the infield. He had crossed the Entire field, shattering the goal of a 50 yard line. And yet he Still did not know! He still could not see. Weakly he asked his coach if he had made it to the 50 yard line. -I have to have made it! I have to have made it to the 50 yard line!- His coach took the blindfold from his eyes, and suddenly Brock Knew.
What could we do if we were unhindered by our self-imposed limits? Think About It.

At Pucheta's

6th of Nov: SOUL STRONG
- During lunch Hermana Arnsten and I were talking, and somehow Soul Strong was mentioned. -How strong are you?- -Soul strong!- We thought it was pretty funny, but when looked at, it becomes something a little bit more profound. We met with the Familia Rios and read a little bit about Moses with them. We talked about his fear at the calling that he was receiving. How he felt weak and unable, and didn't understand how the Lord could call someone such as him, so full of weakness and fear. The Lord simply states that He will be with Moses and will give him the strength he needs. 10 chapters later, in 14 of Exodus, we read of Moses parting the Red Sea. Yet, even this miracle isn't spontaneous. Rather, the water goes back the entire night, leaving a path of dry ground for the people of Israel. Was Moses fearful that the waters would not part, or that it would not be fast enough to evade a bloodthirsty Pharoh. Safe to assume. And yet, he was Soul Strong. We also talked with the family about Moses patience, and how he beared afflictions quietly and strongly. How he was such an example to us.
We later found Marcos, who we hadn't talked to in a couple weeks, and asked him how his Book of Mormon reading was going. He said he had tried to read, but hadn't understood. We invited him to try praying and asking the Lord for understanding, and to take the time to ponder. As we did we saw wonder in his eyes and a little bit of curiosity. Enough to actually ask and pray? Time will tell, but I have a lot of faith in this cousin of Zulma.

7th of Nov: BURDENS
-Hermana Arnsten and I took a vacation of sorts from our area, at least the part worked often, to visit a part of our area that is almost devoid of old investigators, members, and less actives. We had a total of 3 names for the streets the area made up, but we planned with the faith that we would find someone on the streets who wanted to hear the message we have to share. With the help`of Jhon we invited almost everyone we saw, and met two people who seemed to have interest in learning more.
Later that day we went to the Capilla to find Anita. The Relief Society, or woman's organization for the church, were having a get together, and Anita had wanted to attend. We stayed for the first bit, leaving to try to find Zulma and Cristian before coming back. We ended up getting to walk Anita home. She had two heavy bags of clothes, and I offered to take one. It was almost as big as me, and pretty heavy. When Guillermo saw me pick it up he asked if I wanted help. I said I was strong and could handle it, thanking him for the offer. He said he trusted me, but to call him if it turned out to be too heavy or awkward to hold. I laughed, asking, ¨With what hands?¨He seemed to get a kick out of that:) As we took the trek to Anita and Domingo's place I had time to think about the heavy bag I was holding. It was heavy, and uncomfortable, but I didn't mind. Because I would have carried it as far as Anita needed it to go, to keep her from having to do so. The pain didn't matter, because it was less pain, less burden for her. And it made me think of my function here as a missionary. How far I am from having a perfect grasp on the speaking and understanding, on teaching and finding, but how I will and AM giving all of my strength to this cause. To take the burdens from others, and help them give it to Christ. To help them find the atonement. I would have carried it as long as needed.
8th of Nov: TEACHING A FULL 10 lessons in one day!
-Talk about going about doing the Lord's work! With several member's help, including Brenda and Jhon, we were able to teach 10 souls about Christ and this restored gospel. And the success was found in the invitation. Whether or not they accepted was between them and God. But we invited, and it felt so Good. Don't be afraid to be rejected. Just invite, and the Lord will work Miracles, whether it be in their life or Yours.

9th of Nov: PRESERVAR HASTA EL FIN (Endure to the End)
- After a wonderful lunch with the Montiels and Guillermo we were off! We stopped by Jhon's first and taught him about preservar hasta el fin, or Enduring to the End. Ironically enough, after the lesson, which went very well with some great comments from Guillermo, I was able to put the lesson to the test. Hermana Arnsten and I were on our way to contact some referrals when we ran into a man sitting in front of a garage. We started talking to him. He mostly talked with my companion, and at one point said he saw a lot of faith in my companion, and not in me. It was a bit of a blow, and I felt a little frustrated. Who was he to tell me how much faith I did or didn't have? It took some patience, but I didn't let it get to me in the moment, trying to do my best to listen and contribute. We ended up talking with him for close to 30 minutes, which was physically straining on my feet, as standing in one place for that amount of time truly gives them a beating. Making it back home was rough, and as we got back to the Pension I felt frustrated. I was physically in pain, spiritually bruised, and tired. Yet, I knew I was going to make it. That I was going to go out the next day and share my testimony and walk. In my own little way, I was going to endure for one more day.

I hope this has touched you in some way. That you've felt something stirring within you. Maybe a memory or a prompting of something you should do. Follow the prompting. Share what you know.
Don't be afraid to have no limits, and to trust in the vision of one who is so much higher than us. 

Don't be afraid of your own mighty potential.

Much love,
Hermana Mallory Lynn Dickson

(Ever wondered what a missionary apartment in Argentina looks like?  See below:)

The kitchen

The bedroom

The bathroom

Our study area

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 10 in Argentina of my 18 months as an Angel

This time I'm going to write this email a little bit differently.  I'm going to do a review, of how I've changed, and how I've become far more, in just these last couple months and then I will cover the  highlights from the week.  

Alright, so I've been out for more than 3 months now. More than 100 days. And what have I learned? How have I changed? If you've been one of my faithful readers, who has taken the time to read through all these huge emails, you've seen it unfolding. But for those of you who haven't, let me open your eyes. So much of who I was before is so different. Down to the very things I desire, think, want, and am willing to work for. My understanding of who I am, and what I'm doing down here on earth, not just in Argentina, has expanded dramatically. I find myself speaking and understanding Castallano.  Developing lifelong friendships with people that don't speak a lick of English. I find myself praying for everyone but myself, developing a deeper love for my family, a deeper appreciation for the blessed life I have already lived and the one that lies around the corner. These 18 months will fly by. 3 already have, and I'll never get them back. But I gave everything to them, and I will continue to give it all for the next 15. This work is True. It is of God, and I am on his errand.
This is not something that could Not change a person. And I wouldn't give it up for anything.
Deepest love,
Hermana Dickson

 Highlights of the week:

The weather down here was getting hotter, although it dropped significantly with all the rain and wind we've had the past couple days. I'm back in long sleeves and jackets. Today it is pouring rain!
 27th of October: After emailing, shopping, and cleaning--all things associated with your average P-day, my companion and I headed over to the capilla (chapel) in Chacabuco to play Signs with the zone, which instantly made me think of the first time I had learned with Hermana Emily Cisco at BYU. Amazing, fun times:) 
After P-day ended at 6 we met up with Brenda Pucheta to visit Zulma, our recent convert, later visiting with Flavia, a menos activo, or less active. The most spiritual moment of the day, for me, was visiting the Family Home Evening of the Familia Pucheta. Hermana Pucheta was talking about temples, and how our homes need to be modeled after temples, a place to learn of Christ, and of how to make and keep covenants with the Lord. She explained that she and her husband had fought to have a family, and not only a family for this earth, but for the eternities. She said she and her husband had taught each of the kids the right things to do, and now they had to choose for themselves. They were part of the Pueblo Pucheta, and if they wanted something else, they knew where the door was. I could feel the strength of the family as she was sharing, and I wanted to have that kind of strength in my future family. The entire family are strong examples to me, and truly a home away from home. I love them to death.
28th of October: Little miracles were viewed throughout the day. As Hermana Arntsen and I were on our way to an appointment with Anita and Domingo, Zulma accompanying us for the first time as our member present, we were truly led to three people who wanted to hear the message we had to share. We were walking by when we hear, ¨Hey Elders!¨ Clearly this was the name of the young men who go on missions in the church, but we stopped all the same, because if they knew who the Elders were they knew about the church. We were introduced to a man named Luca and his cousin Augustine. Another man standing nearby, named Adrian, also seemed interested. As Zulma and my companion were talking with Luca and Augustine I asked Adrian, standing a little ways off, if he wanted to learn as well. He said sure, and I gave him a pamphlet on the Restoration, talking a little bit about prophets before setting up a return appointment. A perfect example of congregacion! Meanwhile my companion had set baptismal dates with Luca and Augustine. We continued walking to our next appointment in high spirits indeed! Being with Anita and Domingo was wonderful as usual. The coolest thing was seeing Zulma, who has only been a member for a month or two, sharing her testimony with investigators and bringing others nearer to Christ! It was amazing, and I truly began to see the circle of this work as God sees it. As a never-ending progress, with every soul at stake and every person a great power in the force of good and righteousness. In the army of God. 
29th of October: The heavens were pouring on us all day. We struggled a little bit, as we couldn't seem to find anyone to accompany us. We did what we could however, trekking out in the rain, trying to find people to teach, trying to bring souls to Christ. Later in the evening we did have Carlos Roblego go out with us, and were able to talk with one of his vecinos, or neighbors, and invite her to learn more about the church and to come to church. Always inviting people to come unto the church, that's us! Due to the rain I had to wear one of my pairs of shoes that's rougher on my feet, and I was struggling by the end of the day. I just keep praying that they'll hold up, and I know I'm having heavenly assistance, as these flat, broken down feet don't have a lot of strength left, yet continue to hold up day after day. But that's what ice is for, right?:)
30th of October: We didn't have lunch with a member, so we discovered a wonderful joint in which the hamburgers are cheap, delicious, and large:) I wasn't complaining. As we ate, Hermana Arnsten and I were talking, and somehow it got to Contagiously Sucicidal Skunks. Don't ask, but we were dying of laughter. We later went out to proselyte with Jhon as our member, and therefore talked to everyone we saw, inviting them to come to church and to learn more. He has such a gift for fearlessly inviting everyone he sees. To him No One should be exempt from this glorious work. He has led us to his neighbors, his step-father, and homeless people living under blankets in the gutters of the streets. He sees this work as the Savior sees it: one by one, and all in all. He is such an example, and I hope to develop the spiritual vision he has. 
Someone in America was really likes Argentina apparently
(as seen on facebook)
31st of October: Safely the strangest Halloween I've ever had, as they technically don't celebrate Halloween down here. In the morning Hermana Arnsten and I went running for the first time for our exercises. It felt so GOOD to be out, to have cool, fresh air on my face as I moved through the park. So many memories of Cross Country passed through my mind, and I felt so free, so at home. Later, after studies and planning for the week my comp and I made some delicious lunch, consisting of rice, hamburger meat, green onion, and potato pieces. I recommend.
 The yummy lunch
Later in the day we stopped by the church to see the Familia Rios. Turns out we timed that well, as the Rios were In the capilla for the ward activity for Halloween. We walked with them back, and I offered to push the stroller for Hermana Rios so she wouldn't have to worry about it and watching her three small children. She let me take the wheel, and off we went. It turned out to be a beast of a stroller, with one wheel completely broken and dangling from a cord. So I sort of carried it to their house, riding on the right two wheels and holding up the left half with my strength. At one point the sidewalk was so cracked that I just picked the whole thing up and carried it across, which I think surprised Hermana Rios, who didn't know how strong I am;) It wasn't too heavy. I just wanted to get the thing into the house. Once there we got a snack before sharing a brief message with them. We were talking about gifts. To illustrate Hermano Rios took out some toothpicks and bent them to make a star. He then put a drop of water in the middle of the star, and we watched as the water pushed the wood out, filling out the star. He said that the water was like baptism, and that after this step we were in prime position for the Lord to help us develop our many talents and abilities.
1st of November: Blown away! Ha ha, not quite, but close. The wind was vicious, but we worked regardless. For some of the day we had Flavia to accompany us, which was an amazing experience, as it allowed her to share her testimony and for us to get to know her a little bit better, as she's quite quiet. Zulma also got to go to the temple for the first time! Later in the evening we met up with Luciano, a member, to go to Nelly's to teach her relative Alan about the Plan of Salvation. On the walk over Luciano commented on how my Spanish was really good, and how he had thought that I had been in the mission for far longer than solely 3 months. He also said I had more of a European accent than an American one. Cool:) We ended up teaching Hector as well, the catholic husband of Nelly. He reminds me a bit of Grandpa Bob, and I could feel his interest spike as we talked about the great Plan of Happiness, handcrafted by the Creator and Architect Himself. I don't know when he will make the choice to be baptized, but it's coming. Alan also seemed to be feeling the spirit, although he was cast a little in the shadows of the conversation, as Hector had a lot of questions and comments. I hope Alan can begin reading the Book of Mormon and praying, so that he can know, for Himself, that this is true. That it's going to change his life. That he'll never be the same. I know it, and I can't give him my knowledge of that. But he can find it. And God wants him to find it.
2nd of November: Fast sunday! We had lunch with the Montiel's as usual, and Guillermo joined us:) As usual I felt very at home with them, at their house. Lots of rain once more, and it was Juan Pucheta's birthday! 
Birthday cake


Hermana Dickson