Monday, October 29, 2012

Hola! Hermana Johnson and I are working so hard, trying to find satisfaction with our efforts and joy in the work. We know we´re capable of a lot more, but haven´t been able to quite figure out how to accomplish it. We feel like we´re getting close though. Satan has been working on us especially hard this week. Hermana Johnson told me that she feels we´re on the verge of a breakthrough and he knows it. He doesn´t want us to figure it out because he knows he´ll be losing not just us, but so many more people that we´ll have the opportunity to teach and help experience true conversion. Hermana Reales sent me an email today saying that Rubén will be receiving his endowment soon. It makes me so happy! Now that I´m in Padua I´ve had the opportunity to see him a few times since we´re so close to Libertad. Hermana Reales will be coming to Buenos Aires to be there when he goes through the temple. She asked President Carter for permission for me. We´ll see what he says. We´ve hit a bit of a roadblock here as far as our investigators go. We´re having to drop a lot of them because they´re not progressing or we can´t ever get a hold of them. We have a lot of work to do in finding new people to teach and baptize. Preach My Gospel talks about how nothing happens in missionary work until you have someone to teach. It´s kind of obvious, but so true. We could spend all day knocking on doors and contacting in the street, but until we start teaching, we can´t fulfill our purpose as missionaries. We need to trust in God that He´ll guide us with the Spirit to those who are ready to receive the gospel. It´s possible that we´ll have to go through all those who aren´t ready yet to find them, but the important thing is to keep looking. I´ve really tried this week to listen to the Spirit and follow what He tells me I should do or say. I´m realizing how subtle and almost imperceptible His voice is. I´ve been straining myself to listen and the times when I´ve acted as a result have brought forth fruit. I know that as I work on listening for and recognizing the whisperings of the Spirit I´ll be able to recognize them more quickly and easily. When President Eyring came here for the temple dedication he spoke to the three Buenos Aires missions. He talked about what it´s like to assign missionaries to their missions and how faint the promptings are. He said he was sitting there with another one of the apostles and he did it a few times. He said he would see the photo of the future missionary and some basic information, then he´d look at a map of the world. One part would look just slightly brighter than the rest. He´d asked to see the countries in that part of the world and then one would look just slightly brighter than the rest. Then he´d ask for a list of the missions in that area and receive another very faint impression. He then looked at the other and said, "We´re talking about the lives of thousands of people here. Is this all I´m going to get?" It made me think, "if that´s all an apostle gets, what can I expect?" The voice of the Spirit really is a still, small voice. He will never yell or shout. He looks for those who are willing and ready to listen, gives them just enough information to move forward, and waits for them to seek guidance once again. I´m learning more and more every day how important it is to have the Spirit with us in what we do. It really doesn´t matter how much talent or knowledge we have. If we don´t have the Spirit, we will never have true success. The picture is of downtown Buenos Aires. It’s nothing but rain here right now. I’ve got to go. I love you and hope you have a wonderful week. Love, Erin

Monday, October 22, 2012

I learned a lot this week. As missionaries, we´re responsible for helping our investigators progress spiritually. I realized that I really don´t know what these people need. Only God knows that and the only way I´m going to really help these people is look for His guidance and trust the inspiration I receive. I need to focus all my efforts on them and what they need. I guess that´s what it means to lose yourself in the work. That´s also where the most joy comes from. We had to go to Capital Federal (downtown Buenos Aires) this morning to renew my visa now that I´ve been here almost a year. While we were there in the migration offices we met a girl from Virginia who is here studying. She´s studying the Bible to become a missionary. We talked a little about how rewarding it is to serve God and about why each of us decided to be missionaries. It was wonderful to see the faith she has and the desire she has to serve God and share the Gospel. Hermana Johnson asked her if she had ever had the chance to read the Book of Mormon. She said she hadn´t, and that all the truth God wants us to know can be found in the Bible, how there is no need to have any other book, that God made us with the capacity to understand and live what the Bible teaches. Hermana Johnson had brought her little quad and was reading out of it when we met this girl. She shared a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon as well as the Bible and even offered to give the girl her personal scriptures if she would read the Book of Mormon and put it to the test. The girl declined, reassuring us that the Bible contained everything she needed to know and told us she would be praying for us. We left and Hermana Johnson asked me if she had done enough in inviting and testifying. I reassured her that she had, but I just felt sad inside. I´m used to having my religion and beliefs rejected in Spanish, but it´s a lot harder to just let it roll off and move on when it happens in my own language. Somehow I felt it more. I love the Book of Mormon. I know it is true. I love the Bible, also. It is true. I am so grateful to have two books of scripture that testify of Christ, help me understand God´s plan for His children, and apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my life. I know God calls prophets to guide us and that the Priesthood authority of God has been restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know because I have asked God and He has answered my prayer. I hope that girl will continue to have faith in God and I pray that someday she´ll be able to feel the joy that comes from knowing and living the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was thinking about what you said about your Young Women’s goal for baptisms in 2013. As missionaries, we wouldn´t function without our goals of key indicators. For so long in my mission I have felt what many feel, that putting a number down makes it so impersonal and that we end up working for the numbers and not for the people. Sometime I still struggle with this. But it´s important to remember that there are names behind every number. Every month we set a goal of baptisms, and we write down a number. We think about all of our possibilities and pray about how many we can baptize. Sometimes the number we feel like we should set is more than the number of people we have on our list of possibilities, but we need to remember that when God guides our goal setting, He always has a name behind the number. He has all of His sheep counted. We just have to do our part in finding them and helping them progress in learning and applying the gospel and towards making covenants with God. Preach My Gospel says that our goals reflect the desires of our hearts and our dedication to serving God. I know you can see 3 girls baptized as a Young Women´s organization in 2013. You have the desires and the testimonies. I am so proud of the youth in the New Mark ward. They inspire me. You have no idea how often I think of them and their examples to me. I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful week. God bless. Love, Erin

Monday, October 15, 2012

We started a new transfer this last week and I get to be with Hermana Johnson for at least six more weeks. I´m glad because I still have so much I want to learn from her and we have so much we want to become and accomplish together. We´ve really been struggling with completing all of our responsibilities. We feel like each week we get better at one, but then leave all the rest to the side and can´t figure out how to combine everything we´ve learned and apply it. We want to feel like we have more control over what we do and not just let the mission happen to us. We want to find the balance between being well prepared and following the Spirit step by step as we´re teaching and contacting. We want to really be able to discern the needs of those we teach and help them apply the restored gospel to have a lasting conversion. We feel like we´re slightly missing the mark with a lot of things and don´t know how to get on the right track. Any ideas? It´s getting hotter here every day. I can´t imagine what it will be like in January if it´s already this hot. I´m trying to drink a lot of water, but it´s a pain to have to carry around our water bottles with the filter in them (since we can´t drink the water here). I figure health should probably take precedence over convenience or comfort. I´ve already gotten sunburned a couple times so I´m already using sunscreen every day. I´ve started developing some pretty awesome missionary "tan lines" on my feet. My feet and my neck seem to be the only things gaining any color. Haha. This week I want to just go for it. I´m realizing more and more that I won´t be happy or successful as a missionary if I only give what I think I can or what I feel like giving. I promised to give my all when I sent in my papers and I do the same every day when I put on my nametag. We never get used to the water one toe at a time and never learn to swim if we keep our heads above the water. Something Hermana Johnson is teaching me is how to turn our moments of discouragement or fear into springboards into success. This week it´s my goal to make every temptation to not work hard or be bold as a springboard. Every time I feel fear to talk to the people, I´ll contact someone, and if there isn´t anyone outside I´ll knock on a door. Every time I feel discouraged or like I can´t do what I´ve been called to do, I´ll think of a hymn or scripture I have memorized. Every time I feel afraid to invite someone to be baptized because I´m afraid of them saying no or I don´t know what to say, I´ll just do it. I will not "voluntarily bind my tongue" anymore. I want to be the type of person who acts, who faces her fears, and changes weaknesses into strengths through faith in Jesus Christ. My mission is the time to become what I want to be in the future and I will become that as I learn to consistently be it every day. I´m loving my reading in the Book of Mormon. I´ve been reading about the missions of Alma and the sons of Mosiah. I don´t think I´ve ever enjoyed reading Alma so much. I´m learning so much about being a missionary and teaching from them and their experiences. There´s definitely a reason why they had so much success as missionaries. I hope to be a little more like them and develop the type of faith they had. I love you all! Love, Erin

Monday, October 8, 2012

We had another interesting and kind of difficult week. I´m recognizing more and more what my responsibilities as a missionary are. We´re the only two people in our entire area authorized to teach the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the only two with the authority to invite people to come unto Christ through baptism. It´s a big responsibility! But I need to remember that we´re not left to do it all without help, in fact, if we try to do it without relying on the Lord, we´ll never be truly successful. I´ve thought a lot about what Hermana Johnson has taught me about forming habits in the mission. I thought a lot about it yesterday during Elder Holland´s talk. So many missionaries have the fear that after the mission they´ll come home go back to being the same person, doing the same things, and letting the same bad habits rule their lives. I completed 13 months in the mission yesterday and I realized how much the next few months are going to count and make a difference in the person I decide to be after my mission. I´ll still be me, but if I´ve done my best, I´ll be a better, more refined me. I want to be able to take what I know home with me and I know I will be a better member of the Church as a result of my missionary service. I will be more faithful and committed to magnifying my calling as a visiting teacher, participating in missionary work, serving and actively loving others. I will be a better wife and mother as a result of what I´ve learned about sharing responsibility and communicating in companionships, and teaching gospel principles and how to live them. I can´t imagine what my life would have been without a mission and I never want to. I know though, that in order to receive all of these blessings and remember to live all of these principles, I have to remain faithful and improve in my daily scripture study and personal prayer, and constantly apply the principles of the Gospel in my life as I repent daily and participate worthily of the Sacrament each week. I´m still learning what it means to give my "whole heart, might, mind, and strength," but I think it comes mainly from always "seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" as well as seeking and listening for the promptings of the Holy Ghost and then acting without delay, even when it may be inconvenient for us. That´s something that really struck me from conference. So often as missionaries, and I think everyone, we are so tied to our own schedules and to-do lists that we sometimes ignore the opportunities given to us to share the Gospel, serve, or lift the spirit of another. If we listen closely and seek to do God´s will before our own (or the will of anyone else), I´m sure that God will direct us for good and we will be successful in the long run. He´ll never do anything that doesn´t benefit us. He needs us to answer the prayers of others and wants us to feel the joy that comes with doing so. I love you all. I hope you´re all doing well. You´re in my prayers always. May God bless you in all you do. Love, Erin

Monday, October 1, 2012

We had a tough week. It was pretty stressful, but we learned a lot. I discovered that what I´ve been lacking (not just in my mission, but in life) is consistency. I have a hard time pacing myself. I´ve decided this week to focus on that - working hard in every moment. Taking everything as it comes and looking for potential investigators at every moment. It´s normal to wish I would have figured this out earlier in my mission, but I´m still grateful for the time I have left to figure it out and apply it so I can have a more successful future. Gonzalo got baptized on Saturday! It was really nice, but we have a lot of work to do to get the support of the ward. His mom showed up late, just after the actual ordinance, and so she didn´t get to see it. It was sad, but she was happy just to be with him in his special moment. We´re hoping to be able to teach her, too. She´s really great and is so happy for the decision and the changes Gonzalos has made for his life. We got a new bishopric on Sunday. They´re all so excited to get to work and help our ward grow and progress. We´re excited to work together in missionary work and help get the ward excited about living and sharing the Gospel. Our bishop reminds me a lot of Dad and it made me happy to think about all that he does for our family and the ward back home. In our companionship study this morning we studied about the importance of prayer in conversion. We practiced teaching the importance of prayer, how to pray, and inviting the investigator to offer a kneeling prayer at the end. I realized something so important, something I already knew, but didn´t understand completely. We´re here, not just to present our message, but to help others come unto Christ. Prayer is so essential in that process. I tried to think about why prayer is important to me and discovered that I have a lot to improve on to have a strong relationship with God and testimony of prayer. In my personal study I really looked for God´s help and the guidance of the Spirit. I realized that if I couldn´t learn what our investigators need and how to help them, we´ll lose them. I want to be able to receive the guidance of the Spirit for those I teach, not just in the mission, but in my future callings and in my family. I´m grateful for this experience and the things I´m going to learn as a result of it. I wish I could tell you everything, but I´m out of time, as usual. I love you all! Love, Erin

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I wanted any of Erin's followers to see the post in the Buenos Aires Oeste Mission blog about Merlo, the zone Erin is in right now. I don't know if this is Erin's story that President Carter's wife told, but it sure sounds like her. Just click on the tab to the mission website at the top the the page and you'll find it, along with some pictures of Erin and her zone. With the way blogger is set up now, I may never figure out how to add pictures like I want to, but you can see them on the mission blog. Also, the story of the little old man passing the sacrament in Castelar (the following post on the mission blog) is about one of Erin's first converts. This story will make her so happy.

Monday, September 24, 2012

This week was interesting. It was hard, but full of progress. In our zone meeting on Tuesday we talked about the promise President Carter made at transfers, that each companionship would be able to baptize and have at least one confirmation in September. We thought about our possibilities. Gonzalo is one of the investigators the elders left us when we got here. We hadn´t ever been able to teach him (he was always gone, sleeping, etc when we had an appointment), but he´s the only one we´ve got with enough church attendance to be baptized and confirmed this month. We decided to trust in the promise and invite him. We did so Tuesday afterrnoon and he accepted to be baptized on Sunday (yesterday) and confirmed on the 30th. We did everything we could to make sure that he could have the lessons he lacked and be prepared for his interview. He really is so prepared. It was a testimony to me that it´s the Spirit that converts and not the missionaries. His conversion really has almost nothing to do with us. We just invited him. He came all ready on Sunday and then they told us that there was no water in the church building. Hermana Johnson and I went into the bathroom and prayed that things would work out and that he would still be able to be baptized and confirmed in September. Our ward mission leader talked to the bishop and worked it out that Gonzalo will be able to be baptized this coming Saturday and still be confirmed the 30th. I have learned that we can really trust in the promises made to us by our leaders (from the prophet down to our district leader). If we show our faith and work to receive those blessings, God will always keep up His end. Hermana Johnson and I both woke up on Friday sick to our stomachs. We felt on the verge of throwing up all morning, but left in the afternoon to go to Gonzalo´s interview and to work. The weekend was difficult for us. We got closer this week than we´ve ever been to completing our goal of lessons and had so many good plans for finding new investigators. All of our appointments fell through and we were rejected by almost everyone we talked to. Some of them didn´t even let us get past "Hola, ¿Cómo está?" I really learned some valuable things, though. Sometimes we need to be reminded that we´re only tools in this work and we can´t be successful without His help. I was truly humbled. Also, I feel I´ve reached a pivotal point in my mission. Before in my mission I saw contacts as a weekly quota to meet. Now I feel like I´m really beginning to understand and live my purpose as a missionary. If it wasn´t that way, I don´t think it would hurt so bad to be rejected. It didn´t before, but now I´m doing them not just to meet our goal, but to share the joy the gospel brings to my life and help them receive the blessings that come when we make covenants with God. I´m excited to see what this week and the future brings and what the Lord has to teach me. Sorry it´s so short this week. I´m over on time and we have a lot to do. I love you all! Erin

Monday, September 17, 2012

Una felicidad verdadera y duradera (A true and lasting happiness)

Things are so great and I´m sure they´re only going to get better as we learn to work more effectively and more earnestly. I think for the first time in my mission I´m really enjoying what we do. I´m happy all the time and motivated to be better. We still have a lot to improve on, but I am determined to make the most out of the rest of my mission. I love my companion and my area. This transfer is what I´ve needed to get out of the rut I was stuck in and really be the missionary I dreamed of being. I feel that I am giving myself over to this work more and more every day, which is not as hard as I thought it would be and it´s a lot more rewarding. As I lose myself more and more in this great work I am finding in myself the person I want to be - I guess you could say I´m realizing the potential I have as a daughter of God and learning to live up to it.

I don´t remember if I told you about it, but my favorite thing that I´ve learned and am still learning from Hermana Johnson is that we´re here making habits. Because of that, I´m learning and developing skills I´ve wanted to have for so long, but not known how to do it. For example, I´m learning how to "Make Friends and Influence People." Hahaha. As we contact people, we are trying to get to know and love them. We discover their needs by the Spirit and then testify and offer them the thing that will change their lives. I´m learning to talk to people. I´m getting to know complete strangers and learning to love them the way God does. That´s something I want to be able to do after my mission.

I´m also learning to manage my time and make priorities. I´m learning how to express myself and teach simply. I´m learning how to choose to be happy and excited even when things are hard. I´m eating things I never would before (and enjoying them, too. You would be so proud of me). I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to have put my life to the side for a year and a half to learn all of these things and serve my God and His children. My mission has become a learning catalyst and I know I´ll be so blessed in my future to have served here.

It really was a miracle that we were able to find 9 new investigators the week before last. We were really kind of taken aback. Neither of us has been able to do that in a long time and when the people let us inside the house we kind of turned into deer in the headlights. We´ve gotten out of the habit of teaching and were kind of lost. We´ll be spending the next while trying to fix what we did wrong and help them understand our purpose and feel the Spirit. We´re improving, though, and the five new investigators we found this last week understand a lot more. This week´s new investigators will be even better and higher in quality. I´m so excited. I´m out of time. I wish I could tell you about each one.

I love you all! Thank you for everything.

Love, Erin

Monday, September 10, 2012


It has been an incredible week. I don´t know if there would ever be enough time to describe all that has happened. I think every day we saw multiple miracles. On Tuesday we had our district meeting and we spent some time talking about the Atonement and missionary work and then learned about how to get into houses - because we don´t get new investigators without getting inside the house to teach. We talked about the importance of getting to know the people and talking about stuff that maybe doesn´t have much to do with the gospel, but if we listen well we´ll be able to find something about which we can bear testimony and then invite them to listen to our message. Obviously it says all that in PMG, but we didn´t understand how to apply it before. We practiced it and applied it during the rest of the week and we were able to find 9 new investigators. I haven´t been able to do that in the last 3 months of my mission. It was a miracle and we are so excited to keep doing it and improving.

Hermana Johnson´s birthday was on Friday and I completed one year. We got to spend the evening in a meeting with President Eyring, Elder Ballard, and Elder Christofferson (did you know he speaks Spanish?). It was so great. Elder Christofferson talked about the importance of planning our lessons with the end in mind -a.k.a. what commitments are we going to leave? Elder Ballard talked about his grandfather, Melvin J. Ballard, who dedicated the land of South America for missionary work in Buenos Aires in 1925 and how we are fulfilling the prophecy that he made so long ago that the church here would grow, not like a sunflower that grows quickly and soon dies, but like an acorn - slowly at first, but then flourishes into a great oak tree. It had to have been so special for him to be here to participate in the temple dedication.

President Eyring´s talk was my favorite. He talked about how we all say that we know God lives and knows us, but do we live that way? He talked about how God is intimately involved in our lives and will guide us through the Spirit if we let Him. He talked about his first experience with assigning missionaries. He said he was sitting there with Elder Scott with two computer screens, one with the picture of the future missionary and the other with a little information about them. He said he would look at them for a few seconds and then look at a map of the world. He said one part of the world would just look slightly brighter or stand out than the rest and then he´d ask for a list of the missions in that part of the world and how the same thing would happen there - just a faint, little feeling telling him which was right. He said he did it a few times and then turned to Elder Scott and said, "This is something really important. Is this all I´m going to get?" Elder Scott just said, "yes." It made me think about how closely we need to pay attention to the whisperings of the Spirit. If an apostle only gets a faint feeling for something so important, what can I expect? I also learned, though, that if I´m in tune with the Spirit and listening for it, I´ll be able to recognize it´s still, small voice and respond in the way God would want me to.

He also talked about the importance of being happy as a missionary. We will only do this work well if we are happy. He said the best way we can testify of Jesus Christ is through our smile. Hermana Johnson and I learned that on Tuesday and we have seen the difference in the responses we receive when we feel excited about what we´re doing. Sometimes it´s necessary to fake it til you make it, but if you do, you´ll make it, because happiness is contagious.

The cultural event was so great, too. The dances from Argentina are a lot different than what I´d imagined, but beautiful all the same. We ended it with all the missionaries in the North, South, and West missions as well as the Bs.As. MTC walking onto the field singing "Called to Serve." The re-dedication was wonderful, too. It was hard to stay awake though. We got home late (around 11:30) on Saturday and I think I´ve inherited your problem of sleeping inside the temple. (It was difficult in the MTC, too.) What I was awake for was incredible, though. I never thought the temple would be open during my mission and I am so blessed to have been here for all of this.

I´m out of time. I wish I could tell you more. I love you!


Monday, September 3, 2012


As I expected, I was transferred on Thursday. I was completely surprised, though, when I found out that I would be going to San Antonio De Padua, and that me and my new companion, Hermana Johnson, were to be whitewashed in (that means a transfer for both missionaries in a companionship, rather than one at a time as is usual). Mostly because I knew it was an area of the elders and it´s right next to Libertad, where I started my mission. It´s a really great area and we have a lot of support from the ward. They´re all so excited to have hermanas again after so much time with elders. We´re excited to be here and help the work move forward.

The difficult part is that the elders only left us with one investigator. She´s wonderful, but we have a lot of work to do in finding new people to teach so that we can actually work with the ward. Hermana Johnson and I are a good match, too. We´re a lot alike and we have the opportunity to really push each other to be better. We´ve spent the last few days visiting members and old investigators, talking to everyone we can, and trying to learn the area. It´s a lot of work and exhausting, but we´re really learning so much about ourselves and how we can do missionary work in the way the Lord would have us do it.

We´ve been able to evaluate ourselves so much the last few days and realize, with the help of the Spirit of course, what exactly it is that we need to do to be able to see success here and be better missionaries. I´m learning how to manage my time better and organize my priorities. I have a little bit of apprehension, but I feel better about this transfer than I have about any of the other ones. I think the apprehension I feel is just enough to get me to my knees and rely on the Lord for what I don´t know or can´t do yet. I´m excited to see my personal growth and how the changes I´m making in myself help the people we teach make changes in their own lives.

I realized something the other day. I´m not sure how or why it occurred to me, I don´t really remember, but I feel like it was a piece of personal revelation that will help me throughout my life. I think we were talking about how Christ "went about doing good" and how we are happier when we follow His example and serve others.

I thought in that moment about how everything God does is for our well-being and personal happiness. He spends every single moment doing things for us because He loves us. And He is the happiest of all people.

I realized that if we want to experience the same kind of happiness that God does, we need to love the way He loves and serve the way He serves. How many times does He do something to bless us and we don`t even realize or thank Him for it? I thought about how much I love it when people show their love for me and serve me. It makes me happy. But I don´t have to get service from others to be able to live happily. I need to be the one who serves. It was a lesson I needed learning and I´m sure I´ll spend the rest of my life trying to master it, but I´m so grateful for the little moments that God tells us what we need to know and what we need to change to become more like Him.

I love you all. I hope you have a wonderful week.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Roller Coasters and Miracles

I´ve been up and down and all over the place this week. So much has happened and every day I´m more and more amazed at how well God knows us and what we need. He is so intimately involved in our lives. It shouldn´t surprise me how much He has affected the events of my life to help me become better, but it does every day. I´m in awe at how perfectly His hand orchestrates everything for my well-being and happiness. He knew what He was doing when He sent me on a mission.

Agustín´s baptism was really special. His mom is so happy. It was like a light had been turned on in her, as if she´s been able to rekindle the hope she feels she has lost. Agustín shared his testimony after the actual ordinance and kept saying how it was the happiest day of his life and how he is so grateful he made the right decision and that he is so grateful to be able to start the journey to salvation with his family. His dad tried to appear as "unaffected" by it all as he could, but I´m sure he was able to feel something special. God is working on him and as his family keeps praying for miracles, they will end up in the temple one day to become a forever family.

Sorry for the short letter. There´s no way words can express what I´m feeling or what I´ve experienced this week. Maybe I´d be able to express it all better if I had more time. I´m sending photos from the temple with Evelyn, Alicia, and Ezequiel. They were able to come with us Saturday morning. We saw Hermana Campos, too. It was so good to see her again.

I love you all.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Scenes from the Carpa

(This is an entry from the mission president's wife on the mission blog, telling of the impact of the Hermanas at the temple open house, and some of what Erin is experiencing. The entry is not from a day that Erin was at the open house, but it gives us an idea of what she experiences when she is there)

In my Spanish Book of Mormon, Lehi lived in a “tienda”. Nevertheless, we call this place a carpa. Normally, the majority of the people that visit the temple are members of the church, or friends of members of the church. Today it seemed like there were hardly any members of the church visiting. We had “cultural” clubs and groups from other churches that came by for tours. They kept the hermanas really busy all day.

We have been asked not to keep the hermanas out of their area for an entire day. How that works is that they come in at lunchtime and stay until closing, usually around 10:00. Then they spend the night in the temple accommodations. The next day they work until lunchtime and then they go back out to their areas. So, they have the morning of the first day in their area and the afternoon of the second day in their area. Since they are normally busy all day everyday, it adds an extra dimension, trying to keep up with the families they are teaching in the meantime. I asked one of the hermanas how they were managing. She said that they are running like crazy.

The hermana below stood here and answered questions from this group for about an hour an a half. Afterwards, I was teasing her that she was holding her own special church service.

Later in the day, one of the hermanas came hurrying over to ask me if all eight of the people in a group could have their own Book of Mormons. Yes, yes, they can. I have to admit, that I thought perhaps it might be a peer pressure thing, because one decided that they wanted to read the Book of Mormon, they all decided to ask for one, whether they were interested or not. The group left, but about 5 minutes later, I saw one of them come rushing back into the carpa. I watched her, wondering if she had forgotten her purse, or something like that. Then she reached down and picked up her Book of Mormon that she had left on the nearby table. She absolutely wanted it!

Oft times, we see the hermanas back at the Temple when they are not scheduled to work, bringing the families that they are teaching.

Monday, August 20, 2012

From Buenos Aires August 20, 2012

We had some really great experiences in the temple this last week. We were able to talk with so many people and feel the Spirit so strongly every time. We aren´t there to proselyte, but the Spirit does its job and works in the hearts of the people. Hermana Rojas was able to help two people set a baptismal date. It was an amazing experience to take a step back and remember why we do missionary work. None of the people we talked to live in our area, but we were able to help them come unto Christ and learn more about His restored gospel. We don´t do what we do just to meet a goal or increase church attendence. We do what we do to help these people build their faith and strengthen the relationship they have with God through the covenants we make.

I really like teaching with Hermana Rojas. I really feel like we´re helping the people we teach experience a lasting conversion and really be prepared for baptism. Agustín is excited for his baptism on Sunday. His mom wasn´t feeling well yesterday, so he and his brother came to church all by themselves. We´ve been able to see and feel the change in their family since he´s been preparing to be baptized. His dad is a lot happier and talks with us a lot more than he used to. We´re praying that he can have a spiritual experience during his son´s baptism and have the desire to learn more about the gospel.

Evelyn is doing well. She told her mom she wants to get baptized and her mom said no. She wasn´t able to explain to her why she wants to or how she feels, but we invited her to pray and ask God to help her know what to say. We took her home after church and she was all ready to delete her inappropriate music after the lesson in Young Women´s. She´s going to be an example for so many people and influence them for good. She even helped Ezequiel know where to go for Sunday School. We´ve invited her to Agustín´s baptism and she´s going to the temple with our ward on Saturday.

Ezequiel really enjoyed church yesterday. They talked about the 2,000 stripling warriors and really enjoyed the story and example of faith they exemplified. They gave him a Duty to God manual, too, and he´s excited to start working on it and learning what he "has to do to be a good Mormon." Those were his own words. :) He´s helping his mom quit smoking, too. They´re the first family I´ve taught here that is poor enough to not have enough chairs to sit in. They´re poor as far as money goes, but rich in their faith and desires to follow Christ.

I haven´t been in very many poor areas (they usually put the elders in the poorer areas because they´re more dangerous), but it´s definitely a lot poorer here than what I´ve seen in the United States. We´ve always had it really good and I´m so grateful for the temporal blessings we´ve been given and the comfortable life we have.

Thanks for everything, your prayers, words, love, support....everything. I love you all.

Love, Erin

Monday, August 13, 2012

From Buenos Aires August 13, 2012

We had a good week as far as numbers go. We were able to find some really great people and teach some great lessons. We have more investigators that are truly progressing than I´ve had in a long time. We have a baptism planned for Agustín on the 26th. He´s nine years old, but I don´t know if I have ever met anyone so young with the understanding of the Gospel and desires to follow Christ that he has. His mom and older brother are members, but have been inactive for 2-3 years. I guess this is what they needed to get them going to church again. I love teaching them. We have a 16-year-old girl, Evelyn, that we´re teaching, too. She really wants to follow Christ and live in the way He would have her live. She´s come to church twice now and we´ve been inviting her to pray and ask God if she should be baptized. We´re hoping to set a date with her this week. We´re also teaching a lady named Alicia and her son Ezequiel. They have so much faith, which is good, since they have almost nothing else, literally. She has a problem with smoking and is working to quit so they can be baptized. Being with these people really helps me realize how blessed I am in every aspect of my life.

We moved apartments this week, too. Our old one was full of mold and the walls and ceiling were falling apart. Hermana Rojas said it looked like it came from a horror movie when she arrived here. The new one is a lot nicer, but smaller. I don´t think Hermana Rojas and I will be companions for more than one transfer. It was a really hard week for us and I think every one of my faults showed itself in all its shining glory. I didn´t know I had so manyJ. The mission really does refine us and I have a lot of thing to change and learn in the next few months. I think the mission really is an accelerated course in the school of life. If it was hard to accept the Lord´s will and leave for my mission, I don´t know how much more difficult it will be to give myself completely over to Him and let Him change me. I don´t know how to do it either, but He´ll help me. I´m trying to have more faith in Him and in myself to do what it takes to change and believe that I can.

The temple here is beautiful. It makes me more and more excited to see the temple in Kansas City and be able to worship there often. We haven´t been able to take any of our own investigators to visit it yet, but we`ve been able to receive quite a few referrals from the people who have and are willing to receive the missionaries in their homes. I`m excited to see the effects this open house will have in our mission, as more than half of the referrals received are coming to our mission.

Well, we´re out of time. I love you so much and I´m so grateful for your prayers and support. I´m really needing them.


Monday, August 6, 2012

From Buenos Aires August 6, 2012

It was strange to skip a week writing home. We were at the temple getting training to help with the Open House last Monday and don’t have another chance to write on a normal week, and this one was far from normal.

Our week was good. We worked hard, despite the fact that Hermana Rojas has been sick all week. I´ve been making her sleep all morning so that we can leave and work in the afternoon, and made her rest almost the entire day yesterday after church. She didn´t like the idea and wanted to be out working, but she wants to be healthy enough to work in the temple this week. We´ll only be working there 5 days, which I feel is a blessing. We´ll be able to focus on the work in our area, but still have the opportunity to help in the temple and have spriritual experiences there. It´s going to be so great to see how big an effect the temple open house will have on the number of people who accept the missionaries in their home and come to accept the Gospel. I´m so excited to be able to worship in the temple again. When I received my call and found out that the temple was closed, I never thought I´d have the opportunity to go to the temple during my mission. What a blessing!

Things are really improving here in our area, though we still have a lot of work to do before we perform at the level we´re capable of. We were able to find two really great new investigators this week and had two others come to church yesterday. One of them is the son of a sister in the ward that has been inactive for a few years. He wants to get baptized and it seems like that was the motivation that his mom needed to get their family back in church. Everyone was so happy to see them come yesterday. We have very few investigators, but they´re all so great. I´d really rather have quality more than quantity any day. We´re still looking, though. We´re determined to find all of the people that God is preparing to hear the Gospel.

I really feel like I´m learning so much about what I need to do be the missionary and tool in the Lord´s hands that He called me to be. Hermana Rojas is really helping me with that. She has a strong personality, and we butt heads every once in a while, but I feel like it´s helping me. They are humbling experiences for me. Mostly because she´s right and I need to learn that I don´t know everything there is to know about how missionary work is done. I´m learning patience and leaving bad habits behind and creating better ones.

I really love being on a mission. Of course there are those times when I wonder why God sent me out here or feel like I can´t do what´s expected of me as a missionary, but then I remember that He´s guiding each and every one of my steps and if I trust Him and seek Him, there´s no way I can fail. God never fails. Remember that. If we choose to be on His side and follow the Spirit, we will never fail.

I love you all and have you in my prayers always. Thank you for everything.


Monday, July 23, 2012

From Buenos Aires July 23, 2012

It was an interesting week. Probably the longest and most interesting week of my whole mission. We had a lot of things happen that kind of frustrated the work, but we´re moving forward with it all, trying to be optimistic and look for the little miracles that happen every day. I really enjoyed my time with the Hermanas in Ramos Mejía, but it was hard to not be working in my own area. We had P-day on Wednesday and the transfer meeting, but we got lost (not something new for me) and showed up late. We weren´t allowed to enter because of it. It was a big bummer, but there will be others. We had a really long zone meeting in the morning on Thursday and my companion was sick on Friday morning. It really was a miracle that we were able to meet our goal of 150 contacts with so little time actually working.

Andrés didn´t come to church yesterday and we don´t know why. Things that only happen once in a life-time are happening to him to make it so that he can´t get his 3 church attendances and be baptized. He is so ready. We´re convinced that Satan really doesn´t want this man to get baptized. We´re praying so hard to know what we can to do help him. Guido told us on Saturday that he wants some time to decide what he´s going to do, if he´s going to stick with the Jehovah´s Witnesses or be baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ. He wanted to take a month without us coming by, but we compromised for two weeks. We´re praying so hard for him, too. Not only that he´ll make the choice to be baptized, but more that he can learn how to pray, really talk with God, and be able to recognize what God wants him to do. We want him to be at peace with whatever it is that he chooses.

I´ve learned a lot this week and have done a lot of self-discovery. I was able to pin-point a few specific things that I need to change about how I act and how I see things, not just in the mission, but in who I am and how I approach the rest of my life. They´re things I think I already knew, but didn´t understand completely or apply fully in my life or behavior. Every day I feel more and more grateful for my mission and the plan God has specifically for my life. He´s teaching me so much. I just hope I can learn it all and use it to help me in the future.

God bless you all.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Worth the wait

We found out last night that Hermana Rojas and I will be staying together in this area for this transfer. I´m glad. We´ll be able to continue learning from each other and I´m sure we´ll be able to see a lot of success together. She´s only got 4 months in the mission, but already has 11 converts. She works so hard and has so much faith. She is so much of the missionary I´ve wanted to be all of my mission. She´s not afraid of anything or anyone. She is so bold and is able to call people to repentance with so much love. She has strong desires to be exactly obedient and really understands her purpose as a missionary. She´s really helping me forget myself and go to work. I´m grateful for her and the things she teaches me every day.

I spent yesterday in Ramos Mejía working with Hermana Olson and Hermana Johnson while Hermana Rojas spent the day with President Carter and all of the new missionaries. It was good to be with Hermana Olson again and learn how I can improve my work in my own area. I can see why divisions are so good for missionaries. It was a little funny to be with them because we got a lot of weird looks (3 blondes with glasses walking the streets of Buenos Aires) and it was interesting to do contacts in a trio. I think the people felt like we were going to attack them or something at first because there were so many of us, but it turned out well. It was hard not to be in my own area with my own investigators, but I feel like it was something I needed. I learned a lot and I was able view my work from a different perspective and what it is I need to change to be a more effective missionary.

Little by little we´re seeing improvements in this area- with our investigators, the members, finding new people to teach, and relying on the Lord to do this work His way. I´m realizing more and more every day how perfect God´s plan is for each and every one of us and how He gives us exactly what we need to be able to become the people we want to be and that He knows we can be. Thanks for all of your support and prayers. I feel them more and more every day. I love you all.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

I hope you enjoyed the 4th of July. I missed all of the traditions we have in the USA to celebrate our freedom. Today is the Argentine Independence Day and the only thing they seem to do here to commemorate it is to close everything down and not work. I love Argentina, but I am so proud and grateful to be a citizen of the United States of America.

This week was good, but full of all kinds of ups and downs. Guess what? I have a new companion... again....and it´s possible that she´ll only be my companion for 10 days. It´s possible that I could have a record number of companions in the mission. Hahaha. Hermana Rojas is my seventh companion. She´s from Peru and spent the last 3 months of her mission serving in the Lima Central mission waiting for her visa. We´ll see how everything develops. I guess God knows I need to progress a little more and that´s why He´s giving me so much change in so little time.

I can´t believe I´ve reached my ten month mark already. The time passes by way too quickly. I am determined to give everything I´ve got to these last 8 months of my mission. Each day I feel that I´m turning everything over to God and losing myself in the work. It´s a great feeling. I only wish I could have started doing it sooner, but I think I´ve had a few major turning points in my mission the last two weeks that have helped me understand my purpose as a missionary and what it is that I need to change to be a useful tool in the Lord´s hands.

Andrés came to church yesterday. This time he was able to stay until the very end of Sacrament meeting. It was really hard on him, but he´s really putting forth the effort to be able to be baptized on the 21st. He´s going to be a really strong, faithful member of the Church here in Argentina. We have some other really good investigators that are progressing slowly and I´ll give you some updates on them as they progress a little more.

I started reading the Book of Mormon over again. I´m trying to do it from the perspective of an investigator and pretend like I´ve never read it and have no idea what´s going to happen next. I´m loving it. I don´t think I´ve ever been so excited to read from the scriptures every day or ever felt the Spirit so strongly as I´ve read. Every day I feel more and more how special a book it is and feel grateful more and more every day to be able to have it in my life. Yesterday, Marcela, a recent convert, taught in Relief Society. The lesson was about missionary work, but it turned into a discussion of the Book of Mormon and the power it has in conversion. It was so great to be able to listen to the sisters in our ward remember their conversion and share the experiences they´ve had with the Book of Mormon. I love the Book of Mormon and know it is true. It really does testify of Jesus Christ and contains the fulness of His Gospel. I´m so grateful for the opportunity that I have as a missionary to share it with the people here in Buenos Aires.

I love you all. I am so grateful for all your support and prayers. God bless.


Monday, July 2, 2012

July 1, 2012

I think this week was even harder than the last one, but I also think I´ve learned more in the last 3 days than I have in the last 6 months about how to do this work, trust in the Lord, and listen to the Spirit. We had our zone conference on Thursday and I learned a lot, but I think I learned even more in the hours following.

We were waiting for the train to take us back to Castelar in a big group of missionaries. We were having a good time, getting to know each other better and everything, but I kept hearing in my mind the rule that we should avoid congregating in large groups of missionaries. Obviously it was the Spirit, but I ignored it. There were a ton of people waiting for the train, and obviously they were watching us and trying to listen to what we were saying. I can´t help but feel like there was somebody there, among the hundreds, that needed to be contacted and receive an invitation from one of us. The Spirit told me repeatedly to do it, and I never did.

I´ve always heard these stories about missionaries that received a prompting from the Spirit to talk to someone in specific and were able to help that person in a huge way with the message of the Gospel. I´ve thought a lot this week that I wanted to have an experience like that. I probably have and didn´t take advantage of the opportunity. I can recall countless experiences from the past weeks that I thought, "we need to do contacts" and then saw a few people coming towards us. Almost every time I rationalized why they wouldn´t listen to us or why we didn`t have to talk to them. I thought, "If the Spirit tells me to contact someone specific, I´ll do it." What I didn´t realize until last night is that the Spirit has been telling me over and over again.

I was reflecting about our week last night after our planning session about what we need to do differently and how we can have the Spirit with us more abundantly. Something President Hinckley said came to my mind. In response to the question, how can I know if the Spirit is prompting me to do something?, He said that if it persuades us to do good, it is of the Spirit. Contacting someone to invite them to hear the Gospel definitely isn`t an idea that comes from the devil....needless to say, I learned my lesson. Now I just have to apply it all. That´s the hard part.

Our investigators are doing pretty well. Andrés didn´t come to church yesterday because he was sick, but Guido came. I´m not sure what to do about him because I´m not sure if he even listens when I´m teaching. Because it´s a little more difficult for him to understand me because of my accent, it´s like he doesn´t even try. I don´t know how to help him progress if he doesn´t listen to me when I teach.

Hermana Campos is great. I´m sad we only have two weeks left together. She´s my sixth companion so far. That means I´ve had twice as many companions as I´ve had areas. But I´ve grown a lot. I do like change, because it pushes me farther than I would go on my own, but I´m not a huge fan of the changes every 6 weeks. Oh well, God knows better than me what I need.

I love you all!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cambios (Changes)

Practically everything has changed in the mission as far as key indicators go and the expectations we´re expected to live up to. Hermana Campos is really great, though, and she´s been able to help keep me going. She keeps up with everything and is so willing to learn and do what we need to do. I think it´s even more incredible because the called her the Saturday before transfers and on Wednesday she was sitting in the transfer meeting ready to go. She dropped everything to serve the Lord for these six weeks. We don´t get any extra study time or anything like that so it´s a little more difficult to train her, but she´s taking everything really well and working to adapt.

Hermana Campos is from Moreno (a stake in the mission). When they need minis they call young single adults from the stakes in the mission to serve. She hasn´t decided if she wants to serve a mission yet or not. I´m hoping this experience will help her decide and get a little bit of perspective of what a mission is really like.

It was a tough week for the both of us. We´ve both felt really discouraged and homesick this week. Hermana Campos got sick after church again and so we weren´t able to do a lot of work yesterday. We left for a couple of hours and visited the appointments we had made for the evening. None of them were home except the last one. The hour we spent with la familia Mosqueda has given us the motivation and excitement that we were lacking the whole rest of the week. I´m pretty sure it was a lesson every missionary dreams of. They were so full of questions and soaking up every word we said. They checked for understanding every few minutes to make sure they understood the concepts of apostasy, dispensations, and the Restoration. We talked about the Priesthood and how it is so necessary in everything we do in the Church. They even asked us about tithing and what we do with it. They didn´t say they would pay it yet, but they aren´t against it. Alicia, the mom, even asked what she would have to do if she wanted to be baptized. We are so excited to continue teaching them and be a part of their conversion experience.

Guido came to church yesterday all by himself. The ward mission leader didn´t show up to teach the Gospel Principles class so I got to teach the lesson. Guido had asked us during Sacrament Meeting why we take the Sacrament every week. I taught the third lesson - The Gospel of Jesus Christ - and we focused on the importance of the ordinances we perform in the Church (baptism, confirmation, the sacrament). It went well, I think. We invited Guido to be baptized. He didn´t accept right then, but he knows know how important it is and that we´re going to keep inviting him to find out for himself if the things we teach are true. I hadn´t read the lesson beforehand and so I just taught what I felt Guido needed. I checked after church to see what the lesson would have been and it was about the Sacrament. I don´t think there is such a thing as coincidences in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. :)

I´ve got to go. I´m out of time. I love you all!


Monday, June 11, 2012

From Buenos Aires June 11, 2012

It turns out I´m not training a new missionary, but a mini missionary (only one sister missionary received her visa to come to Argentina). My new companion, Hermana Campos, will only be in the mission until the end of this transfer. She is really great. It´s a little different than training a new missionary because the new missionaries have had time in the MTC to practice teaching and become familiar with Preach My Gospel. Hermana Campos has never read PMG or received any kind of training, but she doesn´t let that discourage her. She is studying in PMG and teaching with me. She is putting forth the effort to contact and teach on her own. It´s incredible. She´s an example to me in many things and I´m sure I´m going to learn a lot from her in the next 5 weeks. My Spanish kind of diminished a little with Hermana Olson (we spoke in English way too much) and I´m sure I´ll be able to learn a lot from Hermana Campos as far as Spanish goes. She barely speaks a word of English and so I have to try a lot harder to make sure she understands what I´m trying to say. In our language study this morning I taught her about the alphabet. It was a lot of fun to try and help her pronounce the names and sounds of each letter.

We had an investigator come to church yesterday. His name is Guido and he´s 77. He´s been Jehova´s Witness for about two years and was pentacostal (I don´t know how it´s spelled in English) before that. He likes to read a lot, but doesn´t retain much. Teaching him is a lot like it was with Ramón. We´ve spent the last few times trying to help him pray. He´s not used to actually talking to God and didn´t understand that you don´t have to plan out what you´re going to pray, but just say what´s in your heart and comes to your mind. There´s that scripture that says, "it shall be given you what you pray." I´ve been able to experience that in my personal prayers. It´s pretty amazing.

I found out on Wednesday that my first convert, Rubén, has received the Melchizedek priesthood and that he is the second counselor in the young men´s presidency in Libertad. His first assignment is to organize boy scouts in the ward. I was so excited to hear that. Yuli will be giving a talk in sacramente meeting at the end of the month, too. I´m so proud of her and her progress in the Gospel.

I´m out of time. I love you all so much!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

More changes

We found out last night that Hermana Olson is being transferred today and that I'll be training. I really don´t feel ready and I don´t want Hermana Olson to go, but I´m at peace because I know it´s what God wants me to be doing. It´s what I need to make my mission the sacred experience it should be. I´m sure I´ll be praying a lot longer and harder than I ever have and working so hard. I want this new missionary to have the best few months in the field that she can have, mainly because I know they're the hardest.

I am so grateful for the time I had with Hermana Olson. I learned so much from her in these last 6 weeks and I really feel like I have made a really special friend. She helped me realize who I want to be as a missionary and what I need to do to be it. She is such a great listener, and such a loyal friend. I know myself better because of her and I want to be a better missionary and disciple of Christ as a result of my time with her. She is wonderful.

I´m out of time, but I wanted to tell you how much I love you all and appreciate all of your prayers. They are part of what sustains me throughout each and every day.


Friday, May 25, 2012

May 25, 2012

It´s been a good, but rough week. Hermana Olson and I are learning a lot together. We struggled last week really bad and work far below our potential as misionaries. I realized something really important about myself this week and we have improved so much. We still weren´t able to reach our goals, but there is a huge, notable difference in our efforts from the week before and this last week.

I realized that I before in my mission I more or less did things to get them done, please my companion (or at least to not create any more problems), or because I felt a lot of pressure to do them. Now that I´m the senior companion, I need to be the leader and example of how the work should be done (as far as diligence and obedience). I noticed that I need to do it now because I want to, and not just because I feel like I have to or just to be obedient.

Hermana Olson and I have spent a lot of time this last week studying and talking about what it is that we need to change and how we can improve. We have a lot of goals and we´re beginning to see a change in how we work and in our desires. I´ve reflected a lot about why I came on a mission, and it was more or less to be obedient. Now I feel, more than ever before, the need to want to do the work. I feel the desire growing and I´m so excited to see what my mission will be as I focus more on being what I want to become rather than waiting to become it. It´s about time, right? I´m only almost half-way through my mission.

We have some really great investigators right now, but they´re not progressing because they haven´t come to church. We don´t know why they´re having trouble with it because they´ve said the would come, even the night before, and then they just don´t show up. I´m thinking they´ve got some "icebergs" that we need to uncover and stop hacking at the little piece at the tip. Maybe we´ve been treating the sypmtoms rather than the sickness. We´ll be doing a lot praying and studying to find out how we can help them keep their commitments.

We have transfers next week and so I won´t be writing until Wednesday. I´m just praying that Hermana Olson will get a little more time together and have the chance to keep growing. Things are going better in our ward. The bishop asked us to speak in Sacrament meeting at the end of June. (I´ll guess we´ll see if we´re both still here). The topic is ¿Porqúe la misión? (Why the mission?) There are so many angles I could take on that. I´m looking forward to preparing the talk, whether I get to give it or not.

I love you all and I´m so grateful for the support and prayers you give to me.


Monday, May 21, 2012

The picture of me and Hermana Olson is from our latest zone conference. It was really good, but cold. There aren´t very many places here with central cooling or heating. In the summer we´re always hot and in the winter we´re always cold. We leave our coats on almost the entire day.

This week was really hard. The only goal we were able to complete was for contacts. We weren´t able to work on Monday or Tuesday. We worked really well on Wednesday, but lost a lot of our motivation after our weekly planning session on Thursday. We worked on making up what we lost Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but weren´t able to reach our goals. We ended the week knowing we had worked below our potential and with a sense of urgency in the need to change and improve.

I´m learning a lot about the Atonement and how much we need it. I knew it before, but I don´t think I really understood our need to use it, not just in the big things, but in the little things that we need to change. I´m learning how much the little "sins" we commit can halt our progress and how big the difference is between applying the Gospel in our lives rather than just living it or going through the motions.

I read this week in Preach My Gospel about how our understanding of the Atonement directly affects our desire to share the Gospel. When I reflected on it I realized that it´s true. The Gospel consists of faith, repentance, baptism, the reception of the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. If I´m not living it completely in my life, how can I (or even want to) teach it to others and expect them to apply it in their own lives. I want to be a better missionary, disciple of Christ, and daughter of God. I want to become more like Him and do what He would do. That process isn´t meant to be comfortable or easy, and I can´t let a little discomfort stop me from giving my all to Him.

I realized while Hermana Olson was talking to her family last night (she wasn´t able to last week) that I forgot to do share my testimony with you all. I didn´t want to leave you without it, so here it is. I know this is the true church. I know now, more than ever before, how true it is and how much of a blessing it is in my life. I have an increased urgency to live what I know and to keep my covenants because I know that is only through our faithfulness and the ordinances of the Priesthood that we can return to the presence of God. No amount of good intentions or belief in Christ will save us if we don´t embrace the Gospel fully, receive the blessings of Priesthood ordinances, and endure to the end. I pray that each of us can learn the nature of our relationship with God and strengthen it through faith and obedience. Nothing else will make us happier or be more worth our time and energy.

I love you all. You´re in my prayers every day.

Love, Erin

Monday, May 14, 2012

A short note from Buenos Aires

I´m doing well, mostly just trying to deal with all the stress of learning a new area, trying to build trust in the ward, and being senior companion. I have been blessed with a companion that helps me so much. I love her a lot. I attached a picture of her to this email. Hermana Carter will be posting some pictures soon on the mission blog ( of our special training for the hermanas that we had today. It was really good, but not quite what I expected. What I did get out of it though, was the feeling of the necessity to live up to the potential I have as a missionary and what I should be doing that I´m not. I have a sense of urgency to be obedient and diligent that I didn´t have so much before. Our mission president really is an inspired man and called of God.

It’s unusually short today. We had almost no time to do anything today.



Monday, May 7, 2012

Eight Month Mark!

I´ve reached my eight month mark. It feels so weird to think that I´m almost half-way through my mission. It´s interesting to think about how far I´ve come and how far I still have to go in becoming the missionary I want to be. The last two weeks have been a bit stressful, but so good. I´m learning so much about what the true purpose of missionary work is and what I´m capable of doing and what I can achieve with God´s help.

I´m learning how easy it is to get caught up in the numbers, especially as senior companion, and not focus so much on the "why" of what we do every day. The key indicators help us to achieve our goals and fulfill our purpose, but aren´t in themselves the goal or the purpose. Our purpose is to invite others (everyone in this mission) to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel. Nobody can truly come unto Christ without receiving His Gospel which includes: faith, repentance, baptism by someone having the correct authority, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. We can end the week having met each of the key indicators. We can be extremely busy every minute of every day. But, if we don´t understand our purpose clearly, we won´t ever see the fruits of our labors.

I´ve thought about how I would like to imagine myself at the end of my mission and what kind of missionary I want to be. I´ve also been thinking a lot about what I have to do now in order to become it. I want to be a power-house missionary full of love and void of fear. I´m not quite there yet, but I still have ten months to work on it. 

Hermana Olson and I get along really great. We work well together and I´m learning a lot from her. (We´ll take some photos this week and I´ll email them on Monday.) She has such a great desire to share the Gospel and always has a smile on her face. I don´t know if there´s a way to un-motivate her. She reminds me every day through her actions why this work is so important. I love her a lot. We have some really great investigators, too. I wish I had time to tell you all about them. I´ll work on saving some more time for next week.

I love you all!


Monday, April 30, 2012

New in Ituzaingo IV


It has been a week so full of ups and downs that I don´t really know what to think. I´m in my new area now, Ituzaingo IV, with Hermana Olson. She has one transfer more than me in the mission, but I´m the senior companion. I was so surprised when I saw that and realized that I had no idea what the senior companion is supposed to do. I also don´t want Hermana Olson to feel like she´s not the missionary she should be because I´m the senior companion and not her. I love her a lot, though, and we get along really well. You know what´s crazy? It´s possible that our dads met on the mission because they both served in Sweden at about the same time. Hermana Olson even knows what Gaggies are! She´s a hard worker and really sweet.

We started out the "week" behind and worked really hard to meet our goals. We weren´t able to get all of the lessons with members that we wanted, but we´ll change that this week. I´ve been really stressed the last few days with trying to do meet our goals and do at least what´s expected of us. Thursday was really rough and we got almost nothing done, but Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were better.

We spent the entire morning trying to fix everything so that we could have a baptism on Saturday (it didn´t go through) and it was a huge mess. We have weekly planning on Thursdays, too, that last at least 3-4 hours, and we weren´t able to get started until noon. We left for our appointment and it went really well, but it complicated things a bit. We were teaching the friend of a member who lives with her grandmother. The grandma gave us hot chocolate because we were teaching outside and it´s already really cold. The people here are so hospitable and kind, even when they´re really poor. I drank it even though I always feel sick afterwards. The thing is, though, that I didn´t just feel sick, I was sick. Anyway, it all turned out okay, but we only got 2 lessons taught. I was praying so hard all night to be able to be well enough to work the next days. We were able to work without any more problems, but I was so stressed that we were so behind. We did 110 contacts between Friday and Sunday. We were able to meet almost all of the other goals that we had, too, which is a miracle. I´m hoping I´ll get a little time to breathe today and be prepared to start the week well.

I wish I had something more inspirational to share with you. I´m feeling kind of wired and can´t remember much of what I learned this week, though I learned a lot. I´m sure I´ll be learning a whole lot more in the next few weeks, too. I´ll be a little out of my comfort zone, but that´s the place I like myself the most, because it´s the place I grow the most. We have a lot of work to do here, mainly with building trust and working with the members. I´m excited to see it all develop.

I´ve been reading in Ether 12 the last few days and it´s amazing how it´s all connected. I learned this morning about how our faith can bring about miracles and how we show our faith determines the type of miracles we´ll see. If we are diligent and humble, trust in God, and follow the Spirit in every moment, that´s when we as missionaries will see hearts changed and people converted. I want to develop the kind of faith in Jesus Christ that the prophets mentioned in this chapter had and see the kind of miracles they saw. I know it depends a lot on me, my attitude, and my actions. I´m looking forward to my personal progress and who I´ll be able to become from the experiences ahead.

I love you so much and you´re all in my prayers every single day....multiple times per day. I´ve never prayed so much in my entire life. It´s been good for me. God bless! Until next week!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Transferred again!

So guess what? I´m getting transfered today. Hermana Schneider and I were so surprised. Neither of us are very happy about it. I cried last night. I have come to love Caseros I and Hermana Schneider. I was praying so hard that we would stay together here, but I guess that´s not in God´s plan for us right now. I have no idea what to expect from this next transfer, especially since the mission will be short about 40 missionaries. All the missions in Argentina are short on missionaries and we have more than the other 11. There have been so many problems with the new missionaries getting their visas that we have no idea when they´ll get here.

Leonel won´t be getting baptized this weekend. We don´t know when it will happen, either. It´s been almost two weeks since we´ve been able to teach him and he missed the last two Sundays, too. I don´t really know what to do. We´re praying for him, though. That´s something we can always do.

Marisa (Aileen and Yuli’s mom) says she knows what we share is true, that what the Book of Mormon says is true, that it is scripture, that Joseph Smith was a prophet--all of it. I think the thing is, though, that she hasn´t prayed to know for herself--to know for sure. Maybe she has, but hasn´t received a clear answer because she doesn´t have the intention to get baptized. I don´t know. Whatever it is, we´re praying for her and for us to know what to do. We´ve kind of fallen into a bit of a slump this week. I think we lost more than 10 investigators and don´t have anyone progressing, but we´re still working hard and always looking for new people to teach.

You asked about contacts. We´ve done a contact when we´ve said the name of the Church and invited the person to do something. Most of the time we ask the people if we can help them with something, or make a comment about how cute their baby is or whatever, and then introduce ourselves as missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ. We did over 50 contacts yesterday and only found one person that invited us to come back and share more. Sometimes it happens that way, though. This one person now has the chance to learn about and accept the Restored Gospel. We can´t know who is prepared for the Gospel and who isn´t just by looking at them. For that reason, we have to invite everyone and give everyone the chance.

I feel like Hermana Schneider and I are real friends now. It makes me so sad to have to leave and not have the chance to continue and develop our friendship. She only has six weeks left of her mission and I was excited to be a part of her last adventure. I have learned so much from her. She has been an example to me in so many things and I have been able to see things from a different perspective. I was waiting to have a companion with whom I just clicked and with whom could develop a great friendship, but I have really learned that the relationships that have the most worth and that I love the most are the ones that require more effort, more patience, more prayer....more. I am so grateful for the time I´ve had with Hermana Schneider and I hope she can feel how much I love her.

I got some letters recently and I´m sure I´ll get some more letters when we´re in the offices today for transfers. I look forward to reading them all and feeling your love, like always. I love you so much. Words cannot express how much. God bless!


Monday, April 16, 2012

From Buenos Aires April 16, 2012

We had a good week, but not quite as successful as the last one. Leonel will be getting baptized on the 28th now if all goes over well. He relapsed on Wednesday so we have to push back his baptism a week. He´s really working hard to quit smoking, though, and has such a desire to live the Gospel. His progress is incredible in such a short time. Marisa, the mom of Ailen and Yuli, came with us to a Relief Society activity on Saturday. She enjoyed herself a lot and we were hoping to see her in church yesterday, but she didn´t come. Ailen and Yuli came by themselves, though, and are trying to understand and live the Church standards and obey the commandments. Marisa still tells us that she won´t be getting baptized, even though she knows that what we say is true...because there´s truth in every church. I don´t think she understands about the Apostasy or the Restoration. We´re going to try and focus on inviting her to pray about Joseph Smith. Her husband, Victor, still doesn´t have any desire to listen to us, but we always invite him to join us when he´s there.

The weather here is still pretty comfortable, but autumn is beginning to settle in. It´s weird to think of autumn in April, but I´m sure it will be even weirder to experience winter in July. No matter what the weather is like, though, we´re out in the streets working, inviting everyone to come unto Christ.

Things are good between Hermana Schneider and me, but we´re not as close as I´d like us to be. We communicate in very different ways and sometimes it´s so difficult for me to understand her. When times are tough I sometimes wish for a companion with which things just click and we´re best friends, but then I realize that it´s possible that that won´t happen if I don´t work for it. The best friendships are the ones in which there is mutual understanding (or effort to understand) and active loving. I´m trying and praying so hard to know how to listen and understand her better. I want us to be better friends than we are, to have more unity in our companionship. I think if we are more united we´ll have an increased measure of the Spirit and be able to see more success. As difficult as it feels at times, I´m so grateful for this opportunity and for these difficulties. I know they´re helping prepare me for my future and that I´ll be a better wife, teacher, mother, friend, daughter.....I´ll just be better.

I´m so excited for the temple! It´s such a great experience for everyone. I look forward to seeing it when I get back.

You asked for a little tidbit of what my daily life is like. Well, we spend a lot of time, sometimes the entire day, in the street. We walk all day, but if we have an appointment farther away and don´t have time to walk, we take the bus. We contact the people in the bus, too. Sometimes we do an announcement in front of everyone and sometimes we just walk down the aisle and talk to everyone. On Friday we took the bus to Martín Coronado to teach Leonel. Hermana Schneider asked the driver if we could talk to the people and then I was going to do the announcement, but the bus isn´t always all that stable. I got to the front, but the bus went over a bump and I fell into the lap a little girl. I got up as quickly as I could, apologized, and did the announcement with a very red face. I don´t think I´ll ever forget that experience....I don´t think the people in the bus will either, especially the little girl. :)

Anyway, I´m out of time. I hope all is well and that everyone is happy and healthy. You´re in my prayers always. I love you.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Miracles

It was a really good week. Ailen y Yuli were baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. It was a miracle. Ailen told us last Sunday that she wasn´t going to get baptized. We feel like she said it because she didn´t want to disappoint her parents, but we planned to have her do the interview anyway. She came out of the interview and announced that she was going to be baptized. We were really happy. Marisa, the mom, came to the baptism and the confirmation to support her daughters. We have been praying so much that she would come and be able to feel the Spirit in the chapel. We sang "Families Can Be Together Forever" at the end of the baptism and Hermana Shneider said that Marisa had tears in her eyes by the end of the song. We could see and feel a change in the family as we left the baptism and took the train back to our area (we have to attend different capillas right now because ours in being remodeled). I hope Marisa realizes what it is that she´s experiencing and I hope she can see the change in her daughters, too.

We had a good Easter, too. The people here don´t color eggs, but there were a ton of people selling chocolate ones. It´s sad that a lot of people don´t know why we use eggs at Easter, but maybe it´s because it´s autumn here and not spring. We were able to teach the family of Ailen and Yuli about the symbol of new life and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was a nice end to our week to have the holiday. Leonel told us after the meetings that he had thought and prayed and that he feels like he should be baptized on the 21st. We were so happy we were speechless. All we could say was, "!Qué bueno!" (That´s great!). We have plans to congratulate him more and testify to him about how wonderful it is that he has found the truth and answers he´s been looking for. He even spoke to us about how good an experience a mission would be. We are so grateful for the opportunity we have to teach him.

We worked really hard this week and found some really good people. We did 209 contacts! We´re learning how to "forget ourselves and go to work," and do it in the Lord´s way. April is turning out to be a great month. Hermana Shneider and I only speak Spanish to each other and her Spanish has improved a lot. It´s still hard for her and I can tell it hurts sometimes when the people say that my Spanish is better than hers. She speaks incredibly well for someone who didn´t know a single word before she entered the MTC.

Well, I´m out of time. I wish I could write more. I love you all and hope you had a wonderful Easter.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Storms in Buenos Aires

I just wanted to give you an update, in case you have heard about the destructive storms in Buenos Aires that occured on Thursday, and were wondering if Erin was affected.

According to the Buenos Aires Oeste Mission blog, they had to move some missionaries because of power outages, but Erin's zone (Caseros) was not one of them, and apparently there were no missionaries that were hurt, only inconvenienced. The following is a paragraph from the blog.

"The missionaries are very focused on their work and they are used to losing power from time to time. For them, this storm seemed like a minor inconvenience. When we began pulling them out of their areas yesterday, it seemed to be the first time that they realized that this storm was much more than they imagined."

If you want more information, you can click on the mission blog tab at the top of the page.

Monday, April 2, 2012

From Argentina April 2, 2012

We saw a lot of miracles here this week. We have really great investigators and members here and I´m learning a lot from my experiences with them, mainly that "man is nothing." Sometimes as missionaries we can get caught up in the thought that we are having success because of what we do, which in part is true, but like someone once said (I don´t remember who), "The things that need to be done to a human soul, must be and can only be done by God." It is the Spirit that converts, not us, the scriptures, or our teachings. What we do is prepare with the Spirit and teach with the Spirit so that those we teach can recognize it and allow it to change them. I realized how intimately involved God is in each of our lives. He has been working on the hearts of these people (and mine) for years and years.

I thought about one of our investigators, Leonel, who is so prepared for the Gospel. We met him at church last week (he came to listen to his friend´s mom give a talk) and set an appointment to teach him the following Wednesday. It was incredible to listen to him express his desire to find the truth and come to know God better. He talked about watching this family almost his whole life, as well as an old friend of his brother, and seeing the happiness and light that exuded from them. He noticed that he doesn´t have it, but wants to. He told us later that he walked home after that lesson feeling enveloped in a peace he couldn´t describe. We taught him about the Word of Wisdom and he has the goal to quite smoking completely by Sunday (1 week!). His faith is incredible. He came to all 4 sessions of General Conference in a suit and tie. I am loving being a part of this experience with him and am so amazed at the power the Spirit has to change hearts.

General Conference was wonderful. I wanted it to just go on and on forever. I loved Elder Scott´s talk. General Conference really isn´t the same in Spanish, though. There´s something about hearing their words in their own voices that make more of an impression (Elder Scott translates his own talks, though. That was a blessing). It was a little difficult to focus because they translated each talk with voice-over, but I could still hear the English a little bit. I had to work really hard to understand what they were saying in Spanish and fight the urge to zone in on the English. I hope it will be a little easier by October and that I can get more out of it. I thought about how we were watching the Conference live, and that we were doing the same thing at the same time. It was a nice thought. I can definitely feel your love from here, every day.

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week.


Monday, March 26, 2012

From Argentina March 26, 2012

This week was a bit tough, but ended great. I feel like we´re going to see some success here more and more every day. Hermana Schneider and I are getting a little more used to each other and I´m learning a lot from her. Something I love about her is that she knows how to actively love and serve people, to show them she cares. We had 3 or 4 experiences this week that made me feel like the world was falling apart for some of these people. These people were practically bearing their souls to us and all I could do was just sit there. Hermana Schneider was able to comfort them and help them feel the love God has for them. I want to be able to do what she does and develop this talent. She´s an example to me in a lot of things.

The work has picked up a lot. We have some really great investigators right now, two of them with baptismal dates. Aylen y Yuli (the "y" here is pronounced "sh") are sisters. Yuli is 14 and is really excited for her baptism. She reads in the Book of Mormon every day and enjoys coming to church. She even went to seminary this morning. Her sister Aylen is 12 and isn´t quite as sure about everything, but has the desire to know for herself. She reminds me a lot of Taryn. They´re always so excited when we come to teach them. We´re hoping to work more with their parents and have them come to General Conference as a family.

You asked what the "5 Ingredients" were. Here they are:
The Argentina Buenos Aires West Mission is the best mission in the world because:
1. We are Preach My Gospel missionaries
2. We are baptizing worthy converts
3. We are missionaries with all the Christlike attributes, which are: faith, hope, charity and love, virtue, knowledge, patience, humility, diligence, and obedience
4. We are meticulously obedient missionaries and filled with the Spirit
5. We understand our objective to invite everyone to come unto Christ

I want to be able to say that I have every single ingredient by the end of my mission. It´s a lot to work for, but I feel like I´ll be the missionary God wants me to be if I put forth the effort. As a mission we have the goal of 3 X 150 ( an average of 150 contacts per companionship, 150 baptismal dates, and 150 baptisms per month). We haven´t reached it yet, but we´re getting close. We´re really working hard to work with the members more, be more bold, and teach with the Spirit. I´m really excited for General Conference because I know I´ll learn what I need to do to be a better, bolder, more successful missionary.

Caseros is a lot more city than suburb. It´s busy, but I like it. I haven´t found the post office yet, but I´m sure there is one. We take the bus here a lot more than we did in Libertad, but it´s still a ton of walking. My feet always hurt by the end of the day, but that´s normal when you walk an average of 300 blocks every day. My foot doesn´t hurt anymore from the injury in the MTC, which is a huge blessing.

I´m so excited for the Kansas City temple. I look forward to seeing the inside and participating in the ordinances there when I get back. I miss the temple so much and pray that I´ll have the opportunity to attend during my mission. We´ve been hearing that the Buenos Aires temple should re-open in September, but no one really knows. They´re having a lot of difficulty finishing it because of the laws about imports here. I have a greater appreciation for the temple than I´ve ever had and for the faith of the members here that have to travel 18 hours in bus to Uruguay to attend the temple. The members here save their money for months sometimes in order to travel to the temple. 3 hours to Winter Quarters feels like almost nothing now, though it´s still a sacrifice, and a sacrifice well worth the price.

I could probably type for forever and a day, but I´m out of time. I love you all and I´m so grateful for your prayers and support. God bless!


Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19 from Argentina

I recently read a quote by Alexander Papaderos that says, “I am not the source of light, but I can reflect that light into dark places.” It reminded me of what my purpose is and how I fulfill it, how success in the mission should be measured. The missionary purpose is to invite others (in this mission, everyone) to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel. Our success is not measured in the number of baptisms, though that is how these people will receive the restored Gospel, but is measured by our invitation to come unto Christ. We can have success every day as missionaries if we help cultivate faith in the Savior and invite others to come unto Him. I´m trying to keep this in mind every day. After every lesson I ask myself, "Were we able to build their faith and help them come closer to Christ?" If we teach with the Spirit we will be successful teachers because the Spirit is the real teacher. In this mission we have 5 ingredients that make up the "best mission in the world." One of them says, "We are meticulously obedient and filled with the Spirit." I know that we can be filled more with the Spirit as we strive to be meticulously obedient to every commandment and every rule.

That´s something I love about my new companion, Hermana Schneider. She has a desire to be exactly obedient. I have a feeling that we´ll be able to have a lot of success here because of the desire we share to "obey every word of command with exactness." Hermana Schneider is from American Fork, UT. She´s a good missionary and only has 3 months left. Spanish is still really difficult for her and I´m determined to help her with it. The first thing she told me is that we´re not allowed to speak in English, for her sake, but I´m sure it will bless me, too. Our area is Caseros I. I really like it here. The ward is really great, but a little old. We have a lot of pioneers here. The chapel in Caseros was the very first chapel to be built in all of South America and we ate lunch yesterday with the first bishop. It was so cool to listen to all of the stories they shared with us.

We have very few investigators as of right now. We´re working on doing a lot of street contacting and knocking on doors. We did 168 contacts this last week and found a handful of hopefuls. I don´t mind tracting, I find it fun now, but it´s really exhausting to be in the street all day and only sit down for lunch. I guess the plus side is that I´m sleeping a lot better now as a result of it all. It´s a different dynamic here than in Libertad. I miss my old area and the people there, but I´m excited for this new adventure. It´s helping me grow a lot as a missionary. The circumstances are just enough out of my comfort zone to push me and help me improve. I love that.

I´m excited to see where this next year takes me and what it has to teach me. I´m so excited for General Conference. I´m excited for the people we´ll invite, for the opportunity they´ll have to listen to a prophet of God and His apostles. It´s going to be great and I´m sure when it ends I´ll be a better person and instrument in the Lord´s work. I pray that each of you will prepare your hearts and minds to receive revelation and learn what it is that God wants you to know personally through His chosen servants. Thank you for everything. I love you all and pray for you always. God bless.



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cambios (Changes)

Ramón´s baptism was a great experience, but what was better was the testimony he shared with us later. His life has completely changed and he is happy again. He said that as he climbed the stairs to leave the baptismal font he felt completely different, like he had started a new life. He has the motivation the lacked before. He doesn´t feel alone anymore and has come to know and accept Jesus Christ as his Savior. We watched "Finding Faith in Christ" with him on Monday. It was the first time he had seen anything about Jesus and was so attentive during the entire movie. When we reviewed the lesson on the Restoration yesterday and asked him how he feels to know that he has a Heavenly Father who loves him, he told us about the loe he feels that he couldn´t imagine before. I wish you could see the look he gets on his face whenever we talk about the opportunity he will have now to live with God and Jesus Christ again. It´s been a beautiful experience to teach him and watch his life change in such a short time.

I´m getting transferred today. They called last night to let us know and I just cried and cried. I don´t want to leave Libertad. I have come to love the people here so much and I will miss the ward terribly. I´m trying to keep in mind that I´m leaving because God needs me somewhere else. I hope I will have the same growth, if not more, in my new areas and with my new companions. I feel like I´m slowly becoming the missionary that God needs me to be. Change is good. It forces us out of our comfort zone and stretches our ability.

I´ve learned a lot from my experience with Hermana Azcurra. I´ve definitely learned to rely on God more for the things I can´t develop all by myself. God really is the only One who can change people´s hearts and give us the gifts of the Spirit that we need to do His will in His way. I can´t tell you how hard I´ve prayed for patience, humility, and charity, to see each difficult experience through her eyes. I thought before that I was a pretty good person, but being good isn´t enough. We need to strive every day to develop Christlike attributes and become more like Him. We need to put on the divine nature. (I learned this from the talk ,"More then Conquerers through Him that Loved Us" from April 2011 Gen. Conf.) I´m learning more and more every day the reasons why I´m here in Argentina. Mainly it´s because God knows better than I do what I need. He´s really the One in charge of my life and I´m learning little by little to let Him have control. Things might turn out okay when we do them our way, but they turn out the best when we do them in His. Each of us wants success and real, fulfilling success comes when we do the Lord´s work in His way.

I love being a missionary. Every day has its difficulties, but they´re well worth what I get out of them at the end of the day. I hope we can all learn to trust God more and do His will, even when we don´t quite understand why or want to. When we do, we can achieve the divine potential He sees in us. I love my Father and I am so grateful for the gift of His Son. I know that it is through Him that we can do all things. I love you all and am so grateful for your support and prayers. I feel them more than you know. May God bless you all.

Until next week,

Hermana Erin Litster

Monday, March 5, 2012

From Buenos Aires March 5, 2012

We had a really good week. Things are improving and we´re working hard. Satan is working pretty hard, too, though. Sometimes it feels like we have to put forth constant effort, to the point of exhaustion, and sometimes more. I guess that´s the point of missionary work, to do more than you want to or think you can. José Antonio won´t be getting baptized this week, but we´re working for the 17th with him. His baptismal date fell through because he didn´t come to church yesterday. Ramón couldn´t come to church the last two weeks. He almost didn´t come yesterday, too, but in the end we persuaded him to come. He´s been more depressed and lonely than sick and just didn´t have the motivation to go, but in the end he felt a lot better. We showed him the baptismal font after Sacrament meeting and he´s a lot more excited for his baptism on Saturday. When we left him he had the biggest smile on his face, and he has the sweetest old-man smile I´ve ever seen. We´ve been able to see such a change in him. He´s a lot more focused now and it feels like he´s really listening and trying to learn and remember. Prayer is the most difficult for him and still can´t do it by himself, but he´s trying and can see the difference in how he feels when he puts forth the effort.

I think Wednesday was the best day so far of my entire mission. For the first time in almost 6 months I really felt like a missionary. We had training with los asistentes viajantes (the traveling asistants) almost every day last week and I learned so much. We learned a lot of doctrine as well as how to be better missionaries. I left the meeting Wednesday morning changed. I had been praying to know how to want to be here and to make the will of God my own. I don´t want to go through my entire mission with the point of view that I came to be obedient to the will of God and never love the work. It was a miracle for me. It made me think about a quote that talks about the things that need changing in a human soul can and must be only done by God. I noticed the change that happened in my without my doing anything other than pray. That day I had a fire for the work that was incredible. I was excited to contact people on the bus and tract in the neighborhoods. I had a smile on my face the entire day. Obviously this change won´t stay without effort on my part, and it´s definitely not easy, but I know it´s possible and I¨ve had a glimpse of what my mission can really be for me. I want to get this fire back and keep it burning for the next year. (Can you believe that I´m already hitting my 6 month mark and only have a year left? I can´t.)

I feel your prayers for me.

Love, Erin

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