Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 2 in Palermo!

Hey all! I just finished with my second week in Palermo, and if anything it was better than the first! I was able to get to know the members better, love my companion even more, and go all sorts of places!

The Obelisk of Buenos Aires!

New area of Palermo

September 15 Tuesday
We had our first District Meeting:) We talked a lot about the importance of finding people to teach and applying 3 principles: opening our mouths, congregating those around us, and asking for referrals. After the meeting I had my first lunch in a member's house here in Palermo! We've been receiving a lot of Tupperware meals, so it was really a treat to get to eat with Hermana Palma! We had empanadas with cheese and ham (The cheese and ham turned out to be a theme of the week...). After lunch we met up with All and taught Daiana the Restoration. I also gave her the two skirts that I never use so that she could come to church on Sunday with a skirt, something she'd been wanting for quite some time:) It's amazing to see her progression in the gospel, how quickly she can find the scriptures we share and to hear her pray. She's a wonderful girl and reminds me a LOT of my first convert, Zulma. We tried finding Exequiel, but we didn't have any luck... We did, however, visit with Carlitos and help him with his family history. My companion very lovingly helped him fill out some more of his genealogy. He's such an example of faithfulness to this gospel! He also gave us some of his Peruvian dessert... messy, but it was good:) 

16 Wednesday
I finally got to meet Lautaro, Oriana, and Zuleika, three of Hermana Johnson and Hermana Muro's most recent converts:) We first visited with their grandparents and shared a scripture before going over lesson one with the kids:) They were a little rowdy, but know a lot about the gospel! It was great to see them all raising their hands at the same time and all wanting to contribute:) We also had correlation with Elder Hunter and Hermano Pucheta, where I was asked if I would be willing to give a ten minute talk over the Book of Mormon... It's just one of my favorite subjects, and I had no trouble agreeing to such! 

17 Thursday
We went to visit the Gonzalez family and I shared Alma 2:28-31, explaining this struggle all of us have with the person we were before and the person that we want to become, that God knows we can become. I could really feel the spirit as we were sharing the scripture, and was able to look at the verses in a different light. It was truly a moment where each of us was being taught by the spirit, as I didn't know what I was going to share until I opened the scriptures and went for it! 
Afterwards Anderson, who has only been a member for a month, accompanied us! Man was it amazing! We visited with Daiana, and Anderson helped us explain the plan of Salvation! We tried to visit Exequiel as well, but after teaching him the word of wisdom on Monday I think he was hiding from us... We also taught Carlitos about fasting:) To end the night we visited with Kathy Campos. I tried to shared the video LIFT with her, but couldn't find it in Spanish... oh well! 
18 Friday
On Friday no one seemed to be home at first! My companion and I tried in vain to find Jose Luis, Daiana, and others. As we were in the front of the Sandon's door, about to knock who shows up but Daiana and Jose Luis! It was truly as though the Lord had seen our efforts and had led them to us! It was truly a great blessing. Later while we were visiting with Hermana Sandon we invited her to think of those she knew that didn't have the gospel and to invite them to come to church. She said she had a couple in mind, and we did some practices with her to help her feel comfortable inviting her friends when the real moment came:) We ended the day having dinner with Hermana Saverry:) You'll never guess what we had for the fourth or fifth time... yep, ham and cheese. 

19 Saturday
I finished writing my talk for Sunday! We then took the subte, or underground train to get to the Lopez family. We had lunch with them, and afterwards were able to teach Lautaro and the girls the plan of Salvation. We visited with Daiana afterwards and taught lesson 3, the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we came in she seemed sad about something, and I was able to share Helaman 5:46 and 47 with her as my companion gave her a hug. The lesson went really well and once more Daiana knew just where every scripture was:) She's awesome! During the day while Victor was accompanying us we managed to teach a TON of lessons and invite a ton of people to come to church the following day. The investigators literally seemed to flock to us! It was insane! I have never taught so many short lessons in one day! After teaching the entire world (kind of) we went to see Luz Gonzalez and wish her happy birthday. Somehow that turned into my companion and I singing for her in front of a huge group of her friends... All I can say is that in my "past life" I would NEVER have done such a thing! It's crazy what the mission does to you... 

20 Sunday
Whoo! Gave my talk:) It went really well, although I was a little nervous. After church we had lunch with Maida. She's from Brazil, and lunch was delicious! I can proudly announce that it wasn't ham or cheese:) We had rice, which I was missing from my San Fernando days, as well as milanesa al caballo (milanesa with a boiled egg on top) and salad with Cesar dressing. YUM! After lunch we met up with Victor and were able to ask Daiana how she liked church before visiting with Kathy Campos. Our visit was a surprise, and when we left she sent us a message saying that we had visited her right when she was passing through a difficult moment. We had only been able to visit her because the appointment that we had had scheduled had fallen through. It's crazy how the spirit works, putting us right where we needed to be in the moment this sister needed it. We always work with the spirit. If not, many times we wouldn't know who we needed to visit. After visiting with Kathy we tried to find Exequiel... As we walk up to his door it opens and out he comes, at exactly the right moment! We both knew it wasn't coincidence, and we knew he knew it too. I don't know what to make of him, but the Lord keeps crossing our paths. We'll just have to see! After checking up on him and scheduling an appointment for Wednesday we went off to church where a piano recital was being held. We got there just in time for the refreshments... sad! However, I did get to play a little bit of piano after a good 6 months of not really touching one! That's what happens when the piano in San Fernando just happens to be LOCKED. After saying goodbye to Elder and Hermana Hunter we went to visit with the first counselor in the bishopric and his family. I felt really at home with them and we talked about family history and the mission:)

All in all a WONDERFUL week, even if I had to fight off a cold.  We are blessed that the members and good people of Buenos Aires take such good care of us!

Love you guys!!
Hermana Dickson

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Week one in Palermo: A week of Miracles!

Where to start! I'm in one of the best areas and zones in the entire mission with a fantastic companion! With only one week together we have already seen so many miracles and done some great things in Palermo:)

My new companion Hermana Muro and I
Doing Service :)

Sep 8 Tuesday
After writing and having a relaxing Pday I got to meet the Monson family (no, they're not related to Thomas S. Monson). We were able to bring the spirit through song, singing a hymn with them with reminded me of MTC times with Hermana Johnson. All, a member, then accompanied us to visit Anthony and Exekiel. From there off we went to visit Kathy Campos. We were able to share a scripture and I was able to get to know her better:) She told me my accent was more Brazilian than Yankee, which made me feel special;)
The pizza in Argentina....Yum!

Sep 9 Wednesday
After a hot Tuesday my companion and I left the pension thinking the weather would be the same... wrong! We were greeted by a downpour and heavy winds! After grabbing the vianda (take home lunch provided by members) and changing into more suitable clothing off we went to meet up with Victor, a recent convert who would be accompanying us. We were able to teach Jose Luis, a convert of about a year. As I was talking with him, Anthony, an investigator of ours, showed up. My companion took advantage of the situation and went over with Victor to talk with him as I continued with Jose Luis. I was able to bear my testimony of the importance of reading the scriptures. We then went next door and shared a song with the Sandon family:) afterwards I got to meet one of Hermana Johnson's converts, Anderson! We were able to teach him the word of wisdom with Carlos Ramos accompanying us, one of Ausi's friends who I'd met months earlier in Caballito... what a small world! We also helped Anderson with his English homework, something I haven't done in a while! 
I also met Dayana and invited her to be baptized, a former investigator. ... She said yes! 

Sep 10 Thursday
Zone Meeting! Turns out Elder Wilcox is one of my zone leaders and Elder Kelly is also in my zone! Nice to see Elders from my first district:) After the meeting and making some pasta we visited with Hermana Gonzalez. I was able to share just the scripture she needed, bringing the spirit. We closed with a hymn that was also perfectly picked by my companion. It felt so good to be able to bring this wonderful sister the peace and assurance that her father in heaven had prepared for her. While with Carlos Lopez who accompanied us we contacted Lesli:) We didn't have a lot of time, but we left her with a pamphlet and planned to see her the next day:) Then I got to meet recent convert Carlitos! He's almost 70 years old and is partially paralyzed. And yet his testimony is incredible! My companion had told me before that I might have a hard time understanding him. However, with the help of the spirit I was able to understand just about everything he said! What an example! He reminded me a bit of Fermina in a way. We also passed by for Exekiel once more, and were able to find not only him but his sister as well! He's preparing to be baptized the 27th of the month. Whoo!
 With my companion

Hermana Sommers and I

Sep 11 Friday
On Friday we went back to San Fernando! That's right, they missed me so much that they begged to take me back;) Nah, chiste (a joke)! My companion had to do her papers and documents to be legal, so most of the day was spent waiting in lines. Hermana Bekaouche was also doing her documents so I was able to talk and catch up with her which was nice:) We didn't end up getting to our area until 5! However, we were able to teach Anderson, find Lesli and invite her to be baptized on the 27th, and teach Exekiel a little bit before saying goodbye with a closing prayer that he offered:) 

Sep 12 Saturday
In the morning we had a multi stake service activity:) We were helping paint a school, which reminded me a lot of a year before when we had painted a hospital:) I was able to see Hermana Hawkins and Hermana Downs from my MTC group, also my "hija", Hermana Yancey!!!  We also visited with Dayana, talked to her mom, and got permission to teach her. She'll be getting baptized the 27th as well! To finish up the day my comp and I had dinner with Caren and Ausi, talk about a blast!
Reunion with former companion: Hermana. Yancey

Great to see MTC companions:
Hermana Downs and Hermana Hawkins
Leaving the Service Activity
McDonald's in Argentina 

Ausi :)


Sep 13 Sunday
Exekiel and Dayana came to church! Lesli was sick and didn't make it, but when we talked to her later she said she wanted to be baptized still, so she'll be getting baptized the 4th. Whoo! Talk about an amazing week! I was feeling a little under the weather, so my comp asked if I wanted a blessing. I said sure, to which SIX Elders came over to give me the blessing! Talk about crazy!

Really an awesome week!
Love you guys tons!
Hermana Dickson

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Goodbye San Fernando, Hello Palermo!

6 Months in San Fernando!  1/3 of my mission!
Only 4 months left!
 Hey guys! It's been another jampacked week, and here I am in Palermo!

So great to see Ausi again!

Also introducing la Hermana Muro, my new companion!

 I'm with the Hermana Muro from Peru, who just finished her training with none other than my beloved MTC companion Hermana Johnson! Hermana Muro came to Argentina with my third daughter, Hermana Bekaouche, and the irony that I'm going to now be serving with her has not escaped me! Palermo is going to be quite the change from San Fernando. SF is what you'd call country. It's more laid back and the people aren't quite as busy. I'm now in Palermo, a busy cityscape. Goodbye clapping to "ring the doorbell" or having dogs following us around.

Goodbye to the Wonderful Hermana Green!  She will love her time in San Fernando!

In San Isidro, part of the expanded San Fernando area now

My new area is actually quite a bit similar to Caballito:) I'm not used to the hustle and bustle of the city any more, and kind of feel like I'm just visiting, but I know that I'll soon jump right in to this new pace:) I'm really looking forward to working with this ward and with my new companion:) She has a lot of energy and love for the work, and after being trained by the best I have no doubt that this will be an unforgettable transfer! 

This last week in San Fernando consisted of exploring our now much larger area:) We went to San Isidro (see photos) and Beccar, as well as Victoria. We saw a lot of little miracles as we found less actives who we'd never met before, and also found new investigators! While looking for a member in San Isidro, a small puppy on the other side of the fence kept barking at us, it's tail waving back and forth. We didn't think anything of it, until the puppy crawled through the fence and started following us! Talk abour crazy! 

Visit to Olivos
old castle there

Hermana Green and I were also able to serve the members, making them mandarina budin (credit goes to Sister Chavez), have a wonderful Family Home evening with the Jumpa family, and visit the Velazquez family.

 Mandarina budin attempt 1:

 Attempt 2:

On Sunday I had the opportunity to bear my testimony. As I got up and had started to share I looked at the back of the room and saw Ruth, an investigator that we had invited the day before! I was absolutely shocked to see her and almost ran out of words while bearing my testimony! After the meeting ended I ran over to her and greeted her, asking her how she had liked it. She seemed to feel comfortable and stayed for all three hours of church. It was truly a tender mercy of the Lord.

 Part of the new area for San Fernando

San Isidro

Window in San Isidro

 San Isidro

It was truly a blessing and a privledge to serve in San Fernando. I have learned so many things and made so many life long friends that I'm never going to forget. The Lord has truly been watching over me and I know that He is guiding my mission.

(Mallory loved all the people of San Fernando.  I apologize if I put the wrong name with the wrong picture.  Please let me know if there are mistakes?--Mallory's mom) 




 Fanny Nieta

Treats with Fanny Nieta

 Familia Herrera

 Mariana Murillo

Familia Ascencio

 Hermana Chiroque



 Hermana Norton

 Hermana Mercedes

 Familia Chavez

They shared the mandarina budin recipe with us!

 La Hermana Paz

I can't wait to see what these last 4 months of my mission hold in store!
I'm praying for each of you, take care this week!
Hermana Dickson