Monday, February 27, 2012

From Argentina February 27, 2012

The work is going pretty well. We haven´t been able to teach Rubén (the philosopher) in a while, but we´re going to really put forth the effort to teach him this week. He blessed the Sacrament for the first time last Sunday. It was exciting to see. Our new bishop has asked us to work more with the older members now, specifically the ex-missionaries ( that´s what they call returned missionaries here). It´s going pretty well so far, and it will be good to develop that kind of relationship with the other members especially since the youth start the new school year in about a week or so and won´t have much time to work with us. We have two "abuelitos" with baptismal dates. Ramón and José Antonio are both 83 years old. It´s interesting to see the differences in teaching them. They are completely different and are on very different levels of understanding and comprehension, but if all goes well, they´ll both be baptized on March 10th.

I´ve been reading Jesus the Christ in my "spare" time (usually in the morning during breakfast and at lunch when we don´t have it with members) in an effort to come to know Christ more and understand Him better. I´m learning a lot, and surprisingly it´s not too difficult to understand. I think my Spanish is helping me with that, and the Spirit of course. Everyone says that my Spanish has improved dramatically. Little by little I´ve been able to express myself better and understand more of what people are saying. It´s getting easier and I´m feeling a lot more comfortable with it. We were in a dinner appointment on Friday and the hermana commented on how she could feel the Spirit better now that I´ve learned to express myself. She and her husband speak English (he´s from New Mexico) and I shared a scripture in a dinner with them my first week in the field. I did it in English then, but it felt really good to hear her say that she could feel the difference now that I´m more confident in Spanish, myself, and in God. It´s still nice, though, every once in a while to speak in English with the other "Yankee" missionaries.

I´m out of time, but I hope you know how much I love you and appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

From Buenos Aires February 21

This week was good, but a bit tough. We´re struggling with finding investigators that can progress. Ramón, the old man that I told you about last week, isn´t doing so well. He hasn´t been very well health-wise and doesn´t understand or remember much of what we teach. That´s okay, but he doesn´t seem to have much of a desire to learn or understand. He still doesn´t know how to pray and we´ve been trying to teach him like a kid. Really what´s most important is that he feels and recognizes the Spirit. We´re going to talk about that with him today. It´s sad, though. He seems to have lost much of the faith he had when we first met him. He tells us every once in a while that he just wants to die and get it over with. We´re trying to help him understand how much of a blessing this life is and how the Gospel can help him find the peace he desperately needs. We´re really praying to find ways that we can help him.

We found another old man this last week, though that is great. He´s also 83 years old, but has a lot more health and drive to learn about the gospel. His name is José Antonio. He came to church yesterday and couldn´t stop talking about how much he loved it and how we wants to come next week, too. We have a really good ward and he felt really welcome. We have a lot of hopes for him.

We spend about half of our time teaching in the street, especially since it´s really tough to get inside the houses here. Every house has a big fence around it and it´s very rare that the people even open the gate to talk to us, at least at first.

I´m working on writing some regular letters to everyone, but it will take a little while to get them to you. We don´t have a post office where we live and have to take a bus to get to one. Hopefully I can get them sent off soon.

This week was a bit rough for me. I´m trying really hard to not get overwhelmed and take everything in stride. I´m trying to rely more on God and listen for the Spirit in every moment. This morning I really felt like God was aware of my difficulties and wants to help me with them. I read in Alma 34 and some of Amulek´s words really touched me. I wish I could expound more, but Hermana Azcurra says we need to go. I love you all!

Love, Erin

Monday, February 13, 2012

A new companion

This week was good. Hermana Azcurra is an amazing missionary. I´m really trying to learn all I can from her. She teaches in such a caring, simple way that helps those we teach understand the importance of all of these things and want to learn more. I hope I´m as good a missionary as she is by the time I have 16 months in the mission. Something that I really like about how she does the work is in how she contacts people in the streets or knocking doors. Before, if the people didn´t show any interest or said no, I would just move on, but she knows how to help them have the slightest bit of interest and feel comfortable with us. We are able to teach a lot more people and share more of the gospel because of the way she teaches and the way she cares.

I spent a lot of time this week wishing for the "simpler" times. Last night, though, I realized that the "simpler" times weren´t all that simple in the moment. I was reading through my past journal entries from before my mission and in the MTC and discovered that each difficult experience I had and overcame prepared me for the next tough thing. I thought about how scared I was to do a door contact in the MTC (and it wasn´t even real). I thought about how it´s still so hard to understand and communicate sometimes, but then I remembered how I couldn´t understand anything my first few days in the MTC or when I arrived in Argentina. I can´t believe how far I´ve come.

It´s so true that whom the Lord calls, He qualifies, but that doesn´t eliminate our personal responsibility. We need to do our best to do our duty to God. Every day I realize how God´s hand is in all of this. If I trust in Him, it will all work out okay. It won´t be perfect, but if the Spirit is there, I´m allowed to make mistakes. I hope none of the youth feel like they´re not ready or good enough to serve a mission when the time comes. If they have a testimony of the truth and a desire to serve God, He´ll take care of the rest. They won´t regret a single minute if they trust in Him and do what they can. Every day I am more impressed with the youth of the Church, here in Argentina and back at home. They have bright testimonies and strong desires to follow the Savior. You are all already great instruments in the hands of the Lord. I know He is even more proud of you than I am. I love you all.

I still have so far to go before I´ll be the missionary God sees in me, but I´m slowly tugging along, taking one step at a time. I have to remember that I can only be my best. I can´t be Hermana Azcurra´s best or the best I wish I was. My best today only needs to be better than it was yesterday, and tomorrow better than today. If we focus too much on what we wish we were, we won´t ever become so.

The work is going well. Hermana Azcurra and I are really focusing on finding good new investigators. I have a lot of high hopes for the people we met and taught this last week. I wish I had time to tell you all everything, with every little detail. So much happens every single day and I pray that God will bless me with a good memory. I don´t want to forget anything, well any of the good things. I´m going to do my best to be more specific in my following letters home. That way you can be a little more a part of my mission experience. I love hearing about what´s happening in your lives. I´ll try and be better about writing back individually to each of you. Thank you for your love, encouragement, and prayers. I really feel them and they help lift me up and move me along every day. I love you!


Monday, February 6, 2012


This week was good. I have my new companion and we are working hard. Hermana Azcurra is from Mar de Plata (really close to Buenos Aires). She´s 30 years old, but doesn´t look it at all. (I attached a photo of us that we just took). Libertad B will be her last area as she finishes her mission in April. She was Hermana Reales´second companion, too. I´m already incredibly impressed with her and how she teaches. She asks really great questions and checks for understanding. I´m going to learn so much from her. I hope I can take advantage of every minute and every experience. We´ve found a few new investigators that seem really great and that can progress. One of them, Ramón, is a little old man that we found the first night Hermana Azcurra got here. He has the sweetest smile and a sincere desire to learn and understand what we have to teach him. He´s 83 years old! He got up early yesterday so he could come to church with us and told Hermana Azcurra during sacrament meeting that he just doesn´t know how we arrived at his door at just the right time. Hermana Azcurra told him that God sent us and that God knows exactly what Ramón needs. He´s wonderful.

I´m going to be playing the piano in sacrament meeting every week now, since Hermana Reales is gone, I think. It will be good for me, since I wasn´t sure if I´d really have the chance to keep up with it all, but there isn´t any time to practice. I sight read everything. It doesn´t always work out so well, but it´s better than trying to sing everything a capella. My sight reading will improve, too, which I´m sure I´ll be grateful for in the long run. Hermana Azcurra likes to sing in almost every lesson. I love it, but it´s sometimes difficult because her voice is lower than mine and sometimes she´s a little off pitch. Sometimes I can´t hit all of the notes in every song because they´re too low, but It´s okay. It doesn´t have to be perfect to bring the Spirit.

Every week I´m more and more amazed with the youth of our ward. Hermana Azcurra says it´s really rare to have so many in one ward here in Argentina. To me it seems like a small group, but that´s just because New Mark has so many youth. Yesterday we were short 1 lesson with a member to meet our goal of 15 for the week. We called one of the youth in our ward, Hernán, and he said he could come with us at the last minute. He´s only 16, but is incredible. He´s been studying Preach My Gospel and taught amazingly well in our lesson with Ramón yesterday. He helped him understand the concept of agency. He´s going to be an incredible missionary. All of our youth are. Their helping us is helping them prepare for their own missions. If there´s any way possible, I would encourage all the youth to go on visits with the missionaries. Here they even help us in tracting. They really are the future leaders of the Church and I´m confident that the Church will be in good hands because they put their confidence in God.

Well, I´m out of time again. Hermana Azcurra sends "saludos" to you all, meaning she says, "Hello."

un abrazo,


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