Monday, March 16, 2015

8 Months Today!

First of all, my Pday for this next week will be on Tuesday, so don't get too worried when I don't write on Monday! This is my second transfer in Caballito, so I could very well leave or stay. I could remain with my companion or someone new could come in. But let's get down to the week shall we?

Sometimes on Preparation Day we do something fun!  Bowling!

This week went by pretty fast but felt pretty rough. It felt like I was walking on sharp rocks at times, knowing that I had to press on, but knowing equally as well that every step would be painful. During the week my companion reached the 1 year mark of her mission, I reached 8 months, we had divisiones with the sister training leaders, we had our stake conference, Carla accompanied us for the first time and bore powerful testimony, we found Michaela once more and taught her before having her drop us, I was able to send a voice recording to Anita and Domingo back in Parque Patricios for their marriage and baptism tomorrow!, we had lunch with the Madariaga family and taught their new-found friend Pepe, taught lots of little lessons with one of the recent converts of the ward Fabel, and I reached 3rd Nephi in my Spanish Book of Mormon read! A busy week all in all. 
The construction ended and we are able to meet in the building near us.
Our chapel here in Caballito

There I am.

But, more than what we did is what I learned throughout the week. I learned the importance of communication. With my companion, and with my Father. The week consisted of a lot of prayer. It consisted of Ether 12:27. It consisted of weakness, of knowing that without God I don't have a chance out here. A poem my companion shared with me really caught my attention. I'm sure some of you have already read it, but read it again with me:

The Old Violin

The Touch of the Masters Hand

'Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good people", he cried,
"Who starts the bidding for me?"
"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?"
"Two dollars, who makes it three?"
"Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,"
But, No,
From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?"
As he held it aloft with its' bow.
"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?"
"Two thousand, Who makes it three?"
"Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone", said he.
The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
"We just don't understand."
"What changed its' worth?"
Swift came the reply.
"The Touch of the Masters Hand."
"And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters' Hand.

I feel like out here in the mission I am really coming to understand the touch of the Master's hand. Sometimes it may feel as though he is causing us pain, giving us scars. But, as Jesse Perkins from my ward in Cape shared with me a while ago, "some wounds are caused because God refuses to let go." I can promise that that is true. I won't lie and say that the mission is easy. It's Not. And that's truly the beauty of it. Getting down in the dust and admitting that we are weak. That we can't do it alone. That we need the power of Christ. It's simple and sometimes it's hard to admit. It's hard for those we teach at times. For the members that surround us. But, more than that, it's hard for us as missionaries. A comment from one of my good friends recently caught my attention. He said, " The Lord is not building the church through us, He is building us through the church." Take a moment to think this through. He doesn't need us to make the work go forward. We have been promised that it will roll forth boldly and independently of anyone and any thing. But

where will We be? 

The touch of the master's hand is in my life. At times it hurts, and I feel the scars, but they are wounds caused by God's refusal to let us go. By his everlasting and perfect love. 

Hermana Dickson

Hermana Weitl celebrated her one year mark this past week!

She gave me permission to share her email update this week.

Did you know that there are 31,556,926 seconds in a year? That's what google tells me. (Just so you know I haven't actually counted) I've spent that many seconds, and then some as a full time representative of Christ. Looking back over the past year I've lived in 4 different areas, had 10 different companions, countless prayers, have read the greatest books known to man, and have sat with some of the strongest saints I know in the most precious chapels here in Argentina. People have taken seconds to look at us, let us in, reject us, shew us, hug us, and love us. The good has outweighed the bad in seconds. There's been seconds of hurt, hope, sorrow, and love for the people here, including my Redeemer, who can bless any open heart in SECONDS. 

In a year there are 525949 minutes! I used this minutes to study, study, study in the morning and walk, walk, and waaaaaalk through the day. I've taken minutes to talk and laugh with the zone of missionaries I'm with, to learn from the members around me, and to find all the ways I can help someone come unto Christ just MINUTES after meeting them! It may take a couple awkard seconds to get started, but it only takes a minute of singing a hymn, saying a prayer, reading a scripture, or stepping in the doors of a chapel to feel the Spirit of the Lord surround you. I've been given some of the greatest minutes here to receive the inspiration I need to press forward, and humbly try to help others do the same. 

It takes us HOURS to travel, to eat, sleep, contact, find addresses, teach, do service, have meetings, go to the temple... etc. There have been 8765.81 hours, and then some that I have tried to dedicate to this cause. In the beginning it was so hard not to fall asleep in meetings, on bus rides, in lessons, in CHURCH! (because it felt like HOURS!!) In an average hour, I have come to know someone more than just as the world knows them, but rather on the level that the Savior knows them. In an average hour I'm able to know if they love the Savior, why, and how I can help them to make that love stronger. In an average hour, I've shed tears of worry, frustration, pure joy, and because I'm laughing too hard. All the hours I've had here have molded me different, and I only have more to go. (I'm so excited!) 

365 days have been spent! Some days are long! They can feel like weeks, but then at the end of the day, it feels like a week has flown by. And in my experience, they have! 52 weeks of happiness. :) 

1 whole year. Wow. 

It's been great this week, we did divisions with the Sister Training Leaders, and were able to have Stake conference. The last time I was at a stake conference, I was in this stake! I was able to see so many dear members that I love and miss terribly. Every day I realize how deep my love is for the people here, and more than that, Jesus Christ. I'm only here now because He was, and IS! 

I love you all, 
Hermana Jessi Weitl

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