Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year

December 30, 2013

¡Hola familia!

It was so great to talk to you guys on Christmas Eve. Looks like Fondue was fun.  Glad some other missionaries got to enjoy it; that will be something cool to write home to their families about.  Christmas here was interesting.  We didn´t really do much for it.  We had Almuerzo with a member, but it wasn´t anything super special because we eat lunch with her every Wednesday.  Aw, but the one thing that was different was at exactly midnight Christmas morning, I started to wake up.  It was a slow process and I was confused as to why I was waking up.  And then I remember they light fireworks here for Christmas.  It was really loud, and you could hear people celebrating for several hours after that.  My companion woke up sick so that wasn´t fun.  It´s kind of a funny story though.  I´ve been having blister problems, anyways I did not want to go running that morning so I said a pray the night before for help and instead of my feet magically becoming better my companion woke up sick was like, "Hermana, we are not going running today." She´s been telling everyone I prayed to get her sick now, but she´s feeling much better and we opened our stockings that morning instead. The stockings were perfect mom! Thank you so much!  They were like a little slice of America. 

Thursday we had our Christmas Activity.  We gave white elephant gifts which was fun.  I got one of those Asian cat things where the arm moves, although it doesn’t actually work. We played volleyball, water volleyball, and soccer, which was a different way to celebrate Christmas.  We also walked up to a monument to the Virgin Mary.  It was kind of cool.  On the other side of the hill was Argentina.  I didn´t bring my camera so I didn´t get any pictures of it so that was kind of sad, but maybe we will go again next Christmas.  

Tuesday and Wednesday were kind of hard days for proslyeting because no one really wanted to talk to us.  But Friday we had a really good day and taught four lessons.  We have a couple of investigators.  A couple of them have been meeting with missionaries for a long time so we are trying to get them to work towards Baptism.  Latisia is a young mom.  Her son is about 2 years old and she isn´t married, so it’s just her, which is actually really, really common around here. She says she is ready, which is really exciting, but she needs to come to church one more time before she can be baptized.  She didn´t come yesterday because her mom was visiting and left yesterday so she was sending her off, so now she can´t be baptized for 2 weeks.  Dulce is our other investigator.  Her sister  and brothers are members and she´s been meeting with the missionaries for awhile too.  She´s about 23 or so and she´s really smart gospel wise.  Her only problem is that she works every day including Sundays and so she can never go to church.  She is trying to look for another job, so we are praying really hard that she can.  

Other than that it was a pretty weird week because of the holidays and such.  I was reading in 1st Nephi the other day when he is on the boat and his brothers tie him up.  And he´s tied up for like 5 or 6 days, so his hands and feet must be swollen and sore and it´s during a storm so he probably feels sick too, but he says that not once did he complain, and so I just remember that every time I feel like it´s too hot or that my feet hurt or when I get bitten by bugs.  I know that this mission is going to make me a stronger person because that´s what trials do, they make you stronger.  

Hope you guys have a fun time celebrating the New Year! Te quiero! 

Hermana Lindsay

Thursday, December 12, 2013

One more week in the CCM

December 12, 2013

¡¡Hola familia!!

So this is crazy, but I leave the CCM on Tuesday! I´m not sure what time yet.  It´s probably going to be really early in the morning, like 4 a.m.. I´m so nervous, but I´m also really excited.  I love getting to go proselyting on Saturdays, but it´s sad talking to people and never knowing what happens after that.  This week´s experience was different.  I had been praying the whole week before for Heavenly Father to prepare people and put them in our path so we could talk to them.  We got nine references out of the 5 hours we were out and gave out 3 Book of Mormons. After every person we talked to Hermana Louder and I would look at each other and think, how did that just happen?  The third person we talked to was this young girl.  We rang the bell of the house before her´s and the gentleman there wasn´t interested at all, before we had even gotten to her door though she opened it.  We were confused so we went over and started talking to her.  She had never heard of us before and when we gave her a Book of Mormon, she kept saying things like "I believe you, and thank you so much, I´m going to read this." Another time we talked to this 16 year old girl and her younger siblings.  We gave them a Book of Mormon, but forgot to get their reference. We were so bummed, that we forgot, but while at the next door we were talking to this lady, who again was definitely not interested, right after we were done talking to her, the girl and her siblings came out of the house again to ask us if we wanted something cold to drink. All I can say is the Lord answers prayers, and really does prepare people to meet us.  Also, that was probably the best juice I´ve ever had in my life.  Maybe it was because of the Spirit or maybe it was just because it was so hot outside! I´m just sad that I will never know what happens to them, but we planted a seed.

The power went out again a couple of times this week.  It seems to happen when the weather gets stormy.  It´s fun though! Although, it always seems to happen right when we are about to use something electrical.  Tuesday we fasted from speaking English as a district.  We started before dinner and went until lunch the next day.  I felt like my brain was going to explode, but I was surprised with how much Spanish I actually know.  Honestly, I full heartedly believe in the gift of tongues.  In these short 6 weeks I have been here, I´ve been able to communicate on a level I was never able to do with my 4 and a half years of French.  Our roommates are so helpful and nice.  They reassure me all the time that my Spanish is really good.  I don´t exactly believe them, but I am proud of the achievements I´ve made here.  I definitely don´t feel ready to go into the field but, I know that if I continue to work my hardest and trust in the Lord he will help me.

On Sunday we were talking about a talk by Elder Christoffersen.  I´ve heard it before, but it´s a really good one and I think you all should look it up.  I don´t remember the name of the talk, but he tells a story about a current bush. There is a Mormon message about it too.  A man had just bought a farm and this current bush was like six feet tall and not producing any fruit.  So the man took some pruning sheers and cut the bush down until it was just a small stump. This bush looked like it had a tear and the man seemed to hear the bush say, "How could you do this to me? I used to be so tall, now all of the other plants will look down and laugh at me." and the man replies, "Look little current bush, I am the gardener here.  I cut you down so you could grow to be what you are, which is a current bush that produces good fruit." Anyways the story on goes to tell about the man not getting a promotion in the military that he was qualified for, because he was Mormon.  And he was mad and upset and accusing the Lord, saying "How could you do this me?" When he heard his own voice say, "I am the gardener here.  I cut you down so you could grow to be what you are."  Sometimes we need to be chastened before we can achieve our highest points.  We won´t understand why until much later, but the Lord knows.  I have had to put so much trust in the Lord since I´ve been here in the CCM, but I know that He is only cutting me down so that I can grow to be the best missionary I can me. Mosiah 24:14-16 (I believe) talks about bearing your burdens with patience and the Lord will make them light. 

I love you all so much.  I can´t believe it´s Christmas time, because it feels like July here!  But I´m so excited to get to talk to you in a few weeks!
Have a wonderful week.

 ¡Te amo!
Hermana Lindsay

Link to currant bush talk: 

Link to video:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Four Weeks Down Two to Go

December 5, 2013


Two more weeks until I´m in Paraguay!! I´m so excited, except extremely nervous.  My Spanish is far from ready, but I know the Lord will help me and I know I will be able to learn it.  Since I only get an hour to write, I just write to you guys and then print off the e-mails and read them later, so I´ll answer some of your questions from last week.  I´m am feeling one hundred percent better.  It took awhile my nose to stop running, but I feel good and healthy and all is well! (That´s for you mom :)) Anyways, right now  there is about 36 North Americans in the CCM and we are receiving a group of about 51 Latinos  today,  I´m not sure how many hermanas and how  many elders.  So ya, it´s a pretty small CCM.  The last group of North American Hermanas were all going to the Paraguay Asuncion North mission and there was about 6 of them.  My mission is about a third of the size as theirs so that would be why I haven´t seen a ton of hermanas going there, but there should be some Latinas in this group heading to my mission, so hopefully I won´t be alone when we leave. 

We do have a modern laundry. Each companionship gets assigned a day and a time, and that´s basically how that works.  The bathrooms are really nice.  Actually Hermana Louder and I have the biggest bathroom because there are eight beds in our room.  So we have two of everything and it is not as squishy as some of the other ones.  It´s actually funny that you asked about my blow dryer and straightener, because I hadn’t used either of them until this week.  My hair has just been really curly since I´ve gotten here so most days I don´t even touch it.  I straightened my hair this week, but the humidity makes it go kind of wavy throughout the day.  ´The plugs here are different in Argentina, but they have like a strip with all the different plugs on it.  My blow dryer however doesn´t fit.  The prongs are too big, so I’m hoping it´s going to work for me in Paraguay, so far I haven´t really needed to use it.  We get an hour of activity time each day.  Usually Hermana Louder and I try to play with the Elders, they are nice, they always want us to play like volleyball or handball even though we aren´t very good. Hermana is a runner and well, I´m just me :)

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We didn´t really do much, it was just a normal day.  The Elders had a turkey bowl though, so I guess  maybe that´s something.  The weather has been heating up and so it doesn´t really feel like Christmas here.  I love it though, and I actually have kind of a tan line from my watch! Crazy right.  Speaking of my watch, (Sorry I feel like I´m all over the place), I´ll probably have to end up buying a new  one at some point.  The strap is kind of small and it´s already pretty worn from taking it on and off every day.  Está bien! 

This last Saturday we were in the same area for proslyeting.  We saw a lot more people, but we didn´t have much success, although we did talk to some really nice people and that made it all worth it.  Many of them have had the missionaries come around before (I´m sure they reuse the  areas a lot) but they were so nice.  And we were able to share our testimonies about the Book of Mormon with several people.  If anything, they are starting to see that it´s important if so many different young people who can´t even speak Spanish very well are coming around so often.  One lady was so nice and gave us water, it was so hot!  I hope we were able to make a difference.  I love going proslyting! It´s sad that I´m never going to know what happens to the people I talk with, that´s why I´m really excited to get to my mission.  I don´t want to just go to one area and never go back again. 

One thing that stuck out to me in my classes this week was about making goals.  I´ve always had a hard time with making goals.  I would have good intentions, and I would even write them down, but other than that, nothing really happened.  So in class one of my teachers said. "A goal is just a wish until you have a plan" I love that!  And that works for anything.  I´m starting to see the importance of goal keeping more and more.  And I hope I can make a good habit of it. 

I´m so happy to be here, and doing the Lord´s work.  Maybe my Spanish isn´t quite ready to teach people, but my spirit is!  I love this Gospel and I love the Savior for all that he has done for me.  If you build up one person´s sins and sorrows over one life time, that pain alone would be unbearable and it would probably kill the normal person. Now just imagine a world full of people now and since the world began! I can´t even imagine that love! One of the things Elder Holland said, and don´t quote me because this isn´t exact but, "The road to salvation is not a cheap of experience. It has to be hard, because it was hard for Him.  Every road must go through Gethsemane.  Wherever we go He goes, and the tears we shed are some of the same tears he shed"  I love that.  It not only makes it feel like my Savior is closer to me, but that I am closer to my Savior.  My pain will never be as great or severe as what He went through, but throughout my hard times, I can feel some of the same things that He felt.  The atonement is real! And that´s the message I´m excited to get out and share.

I love you all so much!
Until next week,
Hermana Lindsay