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.


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