Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29, 2011 from Argentina

This week has been good overall, but really, really hard. I´ve been humbled and I´m trying to be patient. I was really frustrated that I wasn´t getting the language quicker and could teach the doctrines as well or remember scriptures I´d studied. I was so upset because I knew I knew all of the stuff I was trying to say. I had studied it before, for a long time. The problem was that I was trusting in my own strength. I...I...I... I´ve needed to repent. I´m trying to learn more about faith and how to have it. How to be more humble and put my life in God´s hands. It´s difficult to do, since I like to be in control of things. I hope it gets easier. I can understand a lot of what people say, but it is kind of uncomfortable when I know they´re talking about me and think I don´t know what they´re saying.
President Carter has made some changes in the mission recently. From now on, every missionary will be in their area for 6-8 transfers! Crazy, huh? I´ll be in Libertad B for at least half of my mission, maybe more. The point is to have us work better with and gain the trust of the members. In the announcement President Carter said, "When you get to a new area, unpack completely and prepare yourself mentally and physically to be there forever." I guess I had better learn to love the people and learn the language pretty quick. I might not ever leave.
I´m excited for Christmas, but it just doesn´t feel like the holidays when the days just get hotter and hotter. I´m trying really hard to focus on the work and not think about home, but it´s difficult. I miss you all terribly and love you so much. I wish I had more time to write about everything. Thank you for your prayers for me and for our investigators. I feel them so much.
The address for the house we live in is O. Andrade 2614. I don´t really know how the addresses work here, but I know we live in Libertad, Merlo, in the state of Buenos Aires. I don´t really know why you can´t send mail to our house. Other people here get mail the regular way. Maybe it´s just more secure through the mission office.
The mailing address is:
Iglesia S.U.D
Hermana Erin Litster
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Oeste
C.C. 92
1702 Ciudadela
Buenos Aires, Argentina
You can still write DearElder´s and I´ll get them every time I´m at the mission office. In general, we go to the mission office once a transfer, but if anyone else in our district is there for any other reason, they pick up the mail for us and pass it out in district meeting.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

1st and 2nd weeks in Argentina

Hola! I´m doing well. My companion is Hermana Reales. She is from Córdoba, Argentina. She speaks English very well and I´m sure I´m going to learn so much from her. A lot of times I don´t really know what she is saying because she says it so fast, but she is trying to be patient with me. I understand a little bit more of the language every day and I´m getting a little more confident in speaking. Usually one of two things happen. Either I can understand almost everything and can´t say anything in reply, or I can´t understand barely anything, but can think of a ton to say. It makes it difficult when we´re supposed to teach to our investigators needs.
Down-town Buenos Aires isn´t actually in our mission, but we´re not out in the boonies too much. I think there´s only one or two areas in the mission that are actually out in the country. I´ve been put in an area called Libertad. There are a lot of blonde people, but not many natural ones or people as pale as me. People stare at me a lot and kids always ask me where I´m from or try to speak to me in English when we pass. Some of the people really pay attention when I talk because they know I´m really trying, and others look at me like I´m the biggest idiot in the world.
The people here are mostly nice, but in a different kind of way. They say yes, just so they don´t seem rude, but aren´t really interested and pretend to not be home when we come by later. It´s very rare for us to actually get into a home to teach, too. Most of the people aren´t very trusting, hence all the gates and bars on the windows. We do a lot of our teaching on the porch or in the street. It makes it really difficult and it´s not at all what I imagined missionary work to be like.
We have a couple of investigators that I really feel good about. Aleida has a baptismal date, but hasn´t been able to come to church because she´s pregnant and has morning sickness. She´s married, too, which is a miracle for missionaries here. It doesn´t cost anything to get married here, but a fortune to get divorced. Silvia, one of other investigators, has been taught all the lessons, but won´t commit to getting baptized because her ¨husband¨ has to divorce his first wife and they have to get married before she can get baptized. She´s been with him for like 20 years so it´s a pretty difficult thing to do. I don´t think they even know where the first wife is.
We met a family in the villa (ghetto), which I think are truly interested in the gospel and how it can change their lives. We have an appointment with them tonight. Germán is another one. He is really looking for an answer, but is having a hard time recognizing it. Hermana Reales feels that he won´t receive an answer until he goes to church. 9 am comes really early for the people here, who don´t eat dinner until 9 or 10 at night and have parties all the time until 2 or 3 in the morning.
I guess something really funny happened the other day, but I couldn´t understand what was going on. We were teaching the mother of one of our recent converts and his 42 year old brother, who still lives at home, sat in on the lesson. Hermana Reales said he was crazy, but I didn´t understand what she meant by that. Apparently he said that he believed the Bible was written for people who believe in a dead God and that he believed in a living one. He also believes that he is that living God and all the apostles. He read us a page in the Bible in which he had replaced all the names with his own (Tito). All I heard was Tito, Tito, Tito.... over and over again. It was weird. Needless to say, we didn´t get very far with him.
Hermana Reales set a really good example for me on the first night. On the way back to the pensión (missionary apartment), she contacted the remis driver and basically taught him the first lesson. I wished I could have helped out, but couldn´t follow the conversation enough to be able to say anything really relevant. She is definitely an example to me and I hope I can be as good a missionary as her. Everything is so planned out and organized. It´s so efficient. I really am so lucky to be in this mission and have the leaders I do. I´m sure they call it the best mission in the world for a reason. I can tell that the next little while is going to be very difficult for me, so thank you for keeping me in your prayers.
Something that one of the assistants, Elder Godfrey, has shown me is something I want to develop during my time here. He has so much good to say about everyone. Whenever he´s presenting something, he always thanks the person who spoke before him and talks briefly about why they´re so great and what he loves about them. He seems so grateful for everyone and everything we do. I hope I can develop that in some amount while I´m here. It´s so fanastic to see the change in people during their missions. The elders in my MTC district have already grown so much. I can only imagine what kind of men they´ll be by the time they go home. I hope everyone who has the opportunity to serve a mission does so. I´ve only been out 2 months, but I´ve already seen so much of what this dedicated time has to offer. It is definitely hard, but so incredibly worth every moment of difficulty. This really is the biggest and best adventure I´ve ever embarked on.
Every day is so hard, but I go to bed happy. Thank you for your prayers. I have really felt them this week. Thank you for letting me know what´s been going on in your lives. Let everyone know how much I love them and am praying for them. I love you!
Love, Erin

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The (next) Adventure Begins!

Dear Friends,

Erin is in Argentina! We are so excited for her and the wonderful experiences in her future. As I talked to her yesterday, I felt an assurance that Erin has been given the tools she will need to become a successful, effective instrument in the Lord's hands. She is filled with the Spirit, and that will give her the ability to perform whatever work the Lord has prepared for her to do and touch the hearts of everyone the Lord has prepared for her to teach.

Thank you for the love and support you continue to give to her. I know how much strength and encouragement she feels when she gets a letter from you. You may look up the mission office address on the Buenos Aires West Mission blog on the tab at the top of the page for their mailing address and other mission information.


Tina Litster

Friday, November 4, 2011

MTC Week 9

I really think this delay is a blessing in disguise. I am so grateful for the extra time I have here at the MTC. I've already been able to see a difference in just one extra day so far. It's kind of like a second chance to do everything I wish I'd done in the MTC and be everything I wish I had been.

Devotional was phenomenal on Tuesday. People always say that they feel a message was meant just for them and it always seemed so cliche until now. On Monday, we had a workshop with Hermano Rosales about receiving revelation. He promised us that if we came up with a question for God that we really needed to know, we would receive an answer within the day. We spent pretty much the entire workshop in silence - pondering, praying, and receiving revelation. I had a different question at the beginning than I ended up with, but that just goes to show that God knows better than us what we need. He inspired me with a question, which was actually a question I've had for a really long time and have really struggled finding the answer.

By the time the workshop was over it was easy to tell that many of the other missionaries had received their answers. I hadn't, though, and wasn't sure if I had not been listening well enough, studied hard enough, etc. I'm easily distracted and was worried that I had not payed enough attention to the Spirit giving me my answer. I spent all of my personal study time on Tuesday looking for answers. By the time we had devotional I still hadn't figured it out. I was just praying that i'd be able to find my answer in something the speaker said that night.

Elder Craig Zwick came and taught about prayer. It was like no one else was in the room and he had prepared his talk with only me in mind. He gave me the direct answer to my question: How do I improve my relationship with God through prayer? My personal prayers have never been very personal. I've always struggled with knowing what to say or how to do it. I've never doubted that God loved me or that He knows me. I know who I am as a daughter of God and so I didn't think that was my problem. I just didn't know how to do it. Elder Zwick told me how, step-by-step.

It was an experience that taught me how very aware God is of me. He loves me so much and wants to hear from me so much that He would send one of His servants to tell me how. There was so much more that he said, but I think I'll be reading John 17 every day for a long time now. The Savior is the perfect example in everything, especially prayer. I want to be able to talk to my Father the way He talked to Him. It was a beautiful experience, one I will never forget.

I hope you all are aware of how much God loves you as His children. He knows you perfectly and is directing your life. I love you all and wish you the best. May God bless you as He has blessed me.

Hasta luego!

Hermana Erin Litster

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Hello, friends.

Erin called today to say that her whole district is being delayed by a week to 10 days. So, we'll find out soon a new date for her to go to Argentina. This must be a day with mixed emotions for her--she will have more time to prepare, which she will appreciate, but she had prepared her heart and mind to leave Thursday.

But, as Elder Waddell said in General Conference, "Just as with missionaries past and present, the Lord knows you and has a mission experience prepared for you. He knows each of your companions and what you will learn from them. He knows each area in which you will labor, the members you will meet, the people you will teach, and the lives you will impact for eternity."

Erin's delay will undoubtedly give her a unique opportunity that she will need to become the missionary and the servant of the Lord that she needs to be. And for my part, I am excited to have a few more chances to write, and have her get my letters almost instantly through Dear Elder. I know I've said it before, but I have learned to appreciate that service!

Again, thank you for your love and prayers in her behalf.

Sincerely, Tina Litster

MTC Week 8

Well, this is the last email I'll be sending from the MTC. We had In-Field Orientation all day yesterday and so our Preparation Day got moved back a day.

This week has been so great! It went by so quickly, too! I just can't believe that the next P-Day I'll have will be in Argentina. This week we had to meet with the Argentina visa agents on Tuesday and with the Consul on Wednesday. The Consul was nice enough to send a representative to Provo so the Church didn't have to send every one of us to LA to sign the paperwork and present ourselves. It was good, but it took a long time. We haven't had a whole lot of class time this week, but I've still learned a lot. After our meeting with the consul we got to be hosts for the new incoming missionaries. I got to be Janiece Collins' host! It was great to see her and show her around on her first day. I also got to see Katie Curtis (Grandma Dahl's neighbor). She's going to Berlin and Hermana Pullan and I are friends with her Zone Leaders. I hope she has a good time here.

I've been singing in the choir here for devotionals every week and it's been such a great opportunity. We've sung "Consider the Lilies," "This is the Christ," "Where Can I Turn for Peace?," and a few others. This last Tuesday we got to sing an incredible arrangement of "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer" and some members of my zone and I are singing "Come Thou Fount" in Sacrament meeting tomorrow. It's been so wonderful to be able to sing so much and build my testimony at the same time.

I learned a lot in this last devotional about my dedication to being a missionary. We talked afterwards in District Meeting about being fully invested in the work and making each of our decisions a part of who we are. I learned that I want to serve my mission with such dignity and power that everyone around me will know what my mission means to me. I have a long way to go before I think I'll get to that point, but I've got time and I know I can do it if I stay focused on my purpose.

Everything we do here goes back to our purpose as missionaries: To invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. We teach the doctrine of the lessons according to the needs of those we teach and begin our lesson planning with the end in mind. What do we want this investigator to do as a result of what they have learned? We evaluate each discussion by asking if the investigator's faith has been strengthened. It truly is an inspired process and I'm so blessed to be able to participate in it.

In In-Field Orientation yesterday we had a workshop about working with the members. The members are the missionaries greatest allies. As missionaries, we need to earn the members' trust and have them help in the teaching. Members are also our greatest tool for finding people to teach, too. Never be afraid to invite a person to meet with the full-time missionaries. Everyone I've ever talked to has said that, even if the person says no, he or she has never gotten offended by the invitation.

Thank you all for your examples of missionary work to me. They make me want to be a better missionary and give everything I have to the Lord. I'm on His time, and you all help me to remember that. Thank you. I love you all!

Buenos Aires Temple Rededication Announced

Buenos Aires Temple Rededication Announced
The first presidency announced the re-dedication of the Buenos Aires Temple in three sessions on the 9 of September. Oh happy day! There will be a public open house from the 4 of August to the 25th of August with the exception of Sundays. Saturday, the 8th of August there will be a cultural event as part of the celebration.

December 2011 & January 2012

December 2011 & January 2012

Hermana Litster is in Argentina!

Hermana Litster is in Argentina!

MTC Photos September- November

MTC Photos September- November