Return to Alberdi

 

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SO this week I got to return to my old area, Alberdi, to do divisions with our capacitadoras.  It was so great!  I got to see Hermana Campbell and hear about all my old investigators and see some of the members and I loved it.  Within the short walk from the bus to their apartment we saw like 3 members, one of whom had gotten new teeth within the 3 weeks since I’ve been there.  Haha so many changes!!

Divisions were much needed.  I was feeling super discouraged and lonely, which seems to happen on the mission, but ahh, this hermana that I worked with helped me sooo much and made me see things in a whole other perspective!  She told me about this time where she got to spend an entire week with just her and her dad. And how it was like, the best week ever because she just really got to bond with her dad and really got to know him And THEN she reminded me that thats how the mission is.  Eighteen months of just us with our Heavenly Father.  This is the time where we basically are walking hand in hand with Him.  This is the time where we will really come to know and love Him on a whole other level.  So whenever I start feeling alone or discouraged, I just have to remember that Jesus Christ is right there beside me, helping me the whole way.

The other hermanas in our area had a baptism on Saturday, woohoo!  After the baptism (so at about 8:30 pm Saturday night) the branch president asked if I could give a FIFTEEN MINUTE TALK the next day.  I wanted to DIE.  I can’t even give a fifteen minute talk in english!!!  So pretty much we ran home and I tried to prepare something as fast as I could.  I pretty much gave one of the lessons we teach as my talk, and was up there for at least 12 minutes (mainly probably because I can’t talk as fast in spanish as I can in english lol) but everyone told me I spoke very well (spanish wise) and people were quoting what I said later in the day, so apparently it was understandable haha.  All the while in sacrament meeting I ended up having to lead the music, play the piano for the closing song, and explain to investigators what was going on.  But its better to have too much to do than nothing at all!
Love you all so much!  La iglesia es verdadera y trae la felicidad eterna.  Es mediante este evangelio que podemos realmente sentir el espiritu y volver a nuestra Padre Celestial algun dia.  Estoy tan animada por esta dia!!
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Strong
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Pres Uchtdorf Comes to Argentina

Hermana Cerna-Cass
Hola Familia!

I feel like I was just writing home like yesterday, this week flew by!  The highlight of the week was YESTERDAY when we got to watch the Dedication of the Córdoba Temple (from Rosario, we didn’t actually get to go to Cordoba, shucks).  President Uchtdorf and Elder Christofferson came and it was so cool.  Elder Christofferson had served his mission in the Argentina Norte mission (doesn’t that age him haha) and now he gets to be part of the dedication of the temple there.  I cant wait for the Rosario temple to be announced someday (hopefully not too far in the future!) President Uchtdorf had to give his talk in English and have it translated to spanish, which was a blessing for me because then I got to actually enjoy it without giving myself a headache trying to understand haha.
So we had to travel to another church building to watch it, but the last session was only being broadcast in Rosario (which is like an hour away).  SO a member from a different branch offers to drive us there.  Obviously we accept, and end up going with him, his wife, his son, and four of us hermana missionaries in the tiniest car I’ve ever seen.  If that didn’t look funny enough, this hermano is driving with his knees drinking mate the whole way there. SO ARGENTINA.  But we made it there in one piece and it was soooo good!
So having a Latina companion is REALLY hard.  Hermana Cerna was born in Peru but grew up in Spain.  So she cooks really good Peruvian food and dresses very cute and European.  I’ve kind of been losing my mind not being able to communicate in the way that I want to BUT my spanish has already improved a TON so that’s a blessing.  There’s still quite a few moments where I pretend I know what she said and have no idea, so hopefully I’ll have less of those this week haha.
 We’re in a branch and we are SO CLOSE to being a branch.  With attendance yesterday, we are only ten people away!  The issue is there’s tons of drama in this branch.  This person has a problem with that person so now they won’t go to church, blah blah blah.  We, as humans, are not perfect.  But the church of Jesus Christ IS perfect.  We go to church to worship God, and that should be reason enough to go.  So we have A LOT of work to do with less active members!
Haha I still cant get over the Argentine culture sometimes, for instance we went to get ice cream and all of the workers were sitting around, drinking mate, watching a Mexican soap opera.
We also went to visit this menos activa, who is like 80 something years old and wrinkled like a prune.  She was sitting there hanging out, drinking mate with her sister, who is probably 90 something and probably even more wrinkled.  One of the sisters walks all the way from the other side of town to hang out with the other sister.  Neither of them have teeth but they were just a hoot and a half.  Whitney and Megan: SISTER GOALS haha.
I’m learning a lot about how to live with someone from a different culture and how to communicate in a different language.  It’s getting to the point where I’m forgetting english!  But I still struggle to understand what’s happening so I’m also learning a lot about PATIENCE. But I know that it will all be so worth it in the end! The gospel of Jesus Christ is true!  It’s seriously the source to the truest happiness we can ever experience!  It’s not something that we have for five minutes and then fades.  Its something that lasts for eternity!  
And I am SO BLESSED with the knowledge that I have and the hope and faith that help me in everything I do!
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Strong

Bye Bye Alberdi

 

PicsLuciana

Hola Familia!!

Well I said goodbye to Alberdi this week and hello to Cañada de Gomez.  It’s a little Pueblito and a lot more tranquilo than Alberdi (so you won’t have to worry about any more muggings happening).  My new companion’s name is Hermana Cerna, from SPAIN.  Therefore, she speaks little english and so my Spanish is now improving a lot.  Our apartment is ridiculously nice compared to my last one, and apparently its one of the newest in the mission.  SCORE.
Leaving Alberdi was SUPER SAD.  I grew to love the people there a ton, and felt like we were on the verge of SO MUCH SUCCESS.  We had four investigators in church and I’m totally confident that each of them will get baptized . I just wish I could be there  to see it!! But, the Lord has other plans so I’m just trusting that there’s more for me to do here.  The saddest was saying bye to Luciana.  We reactivated her and I have just always felt like she was the reason I was sent to Alberdi.  When we met her she was living with her boyfriend, drank and never went to church.  NOW, she ended her relationship with the boyfriend, goes to church every week, reads her scriptures everyday, and always just “happens” to invite her friends over when we come by. I JUST LOVE HER.  She made us dinner my last night and her little 7 year old painted me a picture of me and her and I cried so much saying bye to them.  I guess that’s what happens when you’re a missionary though!
So we had to get flu shots this week.  And you all know how I feel about shots.  I tried sooo hard to get out of it but since I live with the nurse there was no avoiding it. LUCKILY Hermana Zanni was there to be my mom and hold my hand and calm me down and there were no fainting incidents.  PHEW.
Well, I love you all and can’t wait to talk to you for mothers day!!  Hold to the iron rod always!  I’ve been reading a lot in 1 Nephi and I’m just gaining such a testimony that if we always do the little things, and hang on to tight to the Iron Rod, we will make it to the tree, and we will be able to taste that ETERNAL JOY.  I don’t know about you, but I cant wait.
The Book of Mormon is true.  Christ LIVES.
Love,
Hermana Strong
ps this is me at the Monument last week!