On Thursday, the 16th of April, I celebrated my illustrious 9 month mark in the mission. This signifies that I am now halfway done with my mission, and everything is down hill and racing from here! In the very beginning of the mission President Ayre shared with my district regarding a certain mountain, the mountain of the mission. He drew it on the board, telling us that the first 9 months were all uphill, steep and rugged, without the ability to see the top or over to the other side. He then drew the second half, a sharp downward decline to the other side. He told us that as soon as we hit the halfway mark we were a blink from home, and would be fighting to keep up with the pace of the time. Let me tell you, at the beginning of the mission we all laughed/inwardly cried, thinking that such a day would Never come, as every day seemed to stretch into a month! And yet, having reached that top of the hill, I can safely say that President was completely right. The first 9 months were quite the climb. I couldn't see the top of the mountain, and the other side seemed impossibly far away. And now, hanging out on the top and looking down at the 9 months I have left, I can say beforehand that it's going to FLY by. I have been so blessed to have been sent to the best mission in the world, Buenos Aires Norte, Argentina. My other friends on missions may contest such, but it's an undisputed fact. ;)
Hermana Hawkins and I, now in the same zone! (She's a sister training leader.)
This is us after 9 months in the mission.
Hermana Hawkins and I at the MTC together, in the beginning!
As for the week, Hermana Yancey and I have been working extremely hard to find escogidos, or people that truly are prepared and waiting to find the gospel. We made tons of plans, walked until my feet gave up, and talked with tons of people. And yet, we didn't end up finding anyone this week. I have to say, as yesterday rolled around and we didn't have anyone at church I was feeling pretty frustrated. On Saturday night I'd been pleased with the work we'd put in, and was sort of banking on the fact that the Lord would help us get someone to church.
We didn't have anyone at church as an investigator.
But, as we went through the rest of the day and I gave it more thought I couldn't help but see all the little miracles my companion and I had witnessed throughout the week. All the people we had touched in little ways. All of the effort we had put in. We hadn't been able to bring an investigator to church, but we had brought a young girl and her cousin to church. The young girl, Carmela, isn't baptized yet, although she has turned 8. The cousin was attending regularly, but always went at 9:30, missing the sacrament every week. We had gone to the house at 8:30 in the morning with the intent of bringing Juliana, Carmela's mom who isn't a member. She wasn't there, but we did bring the two girls to church. We brought two more souls to the sacrament. As I contemplated on the little act I couldn't help but Feel that we had done what we could do. That the Lord was pleased with our work, and that we Would find.
My view of San Fernando
from our porch/laundry room
This is my 'washer and dryer'! It's outside on the balcony.
We saw many little miracles as we helped less active members feel the spirit. We didn't do anything out of the ordinary, or anything that hasn't been done before, but we brought the spirit. We shared from the scriptures, we prayed with them, we built them up spiritually and then asked for referrals. And we received quite a few referrals this week. I have realized that I need to do less "scheduling for the next appointment", and more acting in the moment. Sharing the scripture NOW, not setting another day to do it. Saying the prayer now, or inviting them to do so. Because these people need to feel the spirit Now. That is what is going to make the change in these people. In this work. I can't stress that enough. If we are not bringing the spirit to Every person we speak to we are Not succeeding. As missionaries. And also as members.
In the train station of Tigre, waiting for our zone activity to start.
As we worked this week we brought the spirit, not only to those around us, but to each other. How I love the work.
Letters to all my dear converts.
Turns out my current companion is an amazing artist and was studying art at BYU-I before the mission!
9 months to go!
With my current companion, Herman Yancey.
(Thank you to all who prayed for and continue to pray for Mallory! She had been quite sick for 3 weeks but is finally well.)