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.


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