No, We’re Not Testigos

16 meses Cass16 meses
Hello Familia!

This week was super GOOD.  We found a bunch of new people to teach and taught a ton of lessons and I think I might finally be starting to see the fruits of my labor.  Just have to continue exercising my faith!!

We’ve been mistaken a lot lately for Testigos (aka Jehovah’s Witnesses) because this area hasn’t seen hermanas in so long.  We went to a recent convert to meet him, and the dad tells us,”oh sorry I’m busy. And I go to another church.”  Another church!?!?  But you just got baptized!!  And then he looks at us again and realizes “oh wait, I go to the same church!  I thought you were testigos!”  ahh que porqueria haha.

Amidst all of this testigo business, we found a new investigator, who is a gungho Jehovah’s Witness.  Yet she’s totally willing to listen to us (probably to teach us instead of us teaching her) so we were having a dilemma as to which member we could bring.  But literally right after making an appointment to teach her, we went to another recent convert, whose family is super active in the Jehovah’s Witness church, and they don’t  know she’s baptized so as to keep the peace with them.  She was super excited and willing to come with us to teach her and to testify to her of her conversion.  Such a miracle!!

This morning we received AWESOME news that our investigator, who we had a baptism date for the 11th of July, made an appointment today to get married on the TENTH, which was the last available day she could get married this MONTH!!  SUCH A MIRACLE.  Now her and her daughter are gonna get baptized in 2 weeks and I’m so excited to plan my first baptism!!!!

I feel like I’m starting to bounce back after the rut I was in last transfer and I’m realizing that when you truly exercise your FAITH, miracles happen.  Hermana Zanni sent us this talk this week and talked about the chain of affect that happens when we don’t have faith.  First, we fear.  Which leads us to doubt.  Which leads to discouragement, to disobedience, and then to unbelief.  Sometimes its hard to continue faithful.  And sometimes we don’t see the results of our faith right away. But if we keep pushing, and keep trying, and put Heavenly Father in primer lugar, everything will be okay.  HIS way will lead us  to Eternal Life.  HIS way will lead us to Eternal Happiness!!

Love you all so much!!

Hermana Strong

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Lost in Belgrano

Our current living conditions Hanging Laundry

Holaaaa Familia!

Como estan?!  Currently still living in another area than my actual area, so we have to take a bus everyday, which means we lose a lot of time and a lot of money. The plus side is I’m not sleeping on the floor in the kitchen anymore! Our apartment is literally teeny tiny but we figured out how to put some bunk beds together so now we all sleep nice and close in the same bedroom.  I love living with other hermanas, even if its a tight squeeze. Its nice having someone else to talk to mornings and nights haha.  Good times!

The ward we are in is super great.  Our mission leader is probably the best mission leader in the mission.  He calls us all the time and makes sure we’re doing okay and tells us who we should go visit and drives us to appointments.  He keeps such good tabs on us that we don’t even have to tell him where we’re going.  The other day we got off the bus one stop too late.  Then all of a sudden we hear someone honking their horn super loud.  We look, and its the mission leader.  We run over to him and he’s all concerned “you got off the bus too late, chicas!” haha i don’t even know how he knew where we were!  But I guess its good to have someone watching out for us!

There’s an hermano in our ward that lived in California and Utah for 12 years, so the other day he starts talking to me about all the different restaurants in Los Estados (In n Out, Texas Roadhouse, etc.) and it made me sooo food trunky.  Not that I don’t love eating milanesas and pasta everyday, but i definitely miss some a good old In N Out Burger.  We have a McDonalds in our area, but its SO expensive and teeny tiny!  Only one more year! (can you believe its already only one more year?)

We still have a lot of work to do and we get lost a lot but you always know when you’re following the spirit because a lot of times when we’re lost, we end up finding another street with another family that we need to visit.  Following the spirit is still something that I struggle to recognize, but I’m learning that its different for every person.  But when we read the scriptures daily, and pray always and do the things that we’re supposed to, we can learn the language of the spirit, and it will become easier and easier to understand it every time.

Also, enclosed is a photo of my current drying system. I have not once seen a dryer machine since I`ve been here.

Love you mucho mucho!!  The church is true!  Christ loves us!

Hermana Strong

Homeless Hermana

Me and Trainors Laura Zanni New areaWoooo this week was craaaazy!  I felt like we were everywhere.  We went to Rosario like twelve times (maybe not actually twelve, but it felt like it) and were in todos lados.  I’m also in this awkward point where I cant remember english, and I cant speak in spanish either, so I’m just language-less and cant talk.  But what are you gonna do!
So in one of our excursions to Rosario, it was super crowded so I sat next to this woman on the bus.  We talked the ENTIRE hour and a half bus ride, which is probably the longest I’ve ever talked to anyone in spanish minus my companion.  I taught her about the church and she told me about her life and then at the end of the bus ride, she gave me this cute little pouch wallet things (excuse my english, I cant remember what its called).  But it just made my whole day and made me realize that  1)  I can speak spanish and 2)  I can be a missionary without my companion by my side.

I  got transferred, so I’m currently in Belgrano (still with Hermana Cerna), which is like right next to the mission home and hasn’t seen hermanas in… actually I’m not sure if its ever seen hermanas, haha so everyone is very excited!  We’ve only met the mission leader and the bishop but they are SUPER mission focused and want to do everything possible to help us.  By far the best ward I’ve been in.  The downfall of my new  area is that we are currently homeless and sleeping on the streets… Just kidding!  But really, we’re living with another set of hermanas in the teeniest little apartment, so it’s going to be an interesting few days until they find us an apartment to live in!

Yesterday we got up at 4 in the morning to get to Rosario for transfers.  4 IN THE MORNING.  We get there just in the time they tell us to, and we literally sat in the terminal for 9 HOURS waiting for the hermanas that we’re going to be living with.  In the meantime, I got to see Hermana Campbell, Hermana Briggs, and toooonnns of my other missionary friends!  Most of them will still be in the Rosario mission with me, which is exciting!  The mission splits in 2 weeks!!  So I’m officially going to remain a Rosarian with the Zannis!  I’m very happy about that!

Anyways, love you all and thanks for all the good vibes you sent me this week!  It’s in the hardest moments when you really feel the power of the Atonement and the love of Christ.  I’m learning that everything that happens is for a reason, and if we’re doing what we’re supposed to, and doing all we can to serve God and to serve others, WE CANNOT FAIL.  Charity never faileth!

The church is true!

Love always,

Hermana Strong

DIOS NOS CONOCE

 

la familia

 

Hermana Gudiel Hola Familia!

It’s the last week of the transfer and I have already found out that I’ll be getting transferred to another area!  They’re taking out all of the hermanas in my area and putting in elders, and we’re going to be doing a white wash (my second white wash in 3 areas) in another area.  I think I’ll still be with my companion so apparently we havent learned what we needed to from each other yet haha but I’m excited to see what happens!
We also had a family history activity this week!  We had invited all the members to make a dessert from the ancestors to bring to the activity.  I wasn’t planning on making anything since that’s not really one of my strengths, but last minute my companion INSISTS that I make something.  SO I decide to try and make cookies.  I had no recipe (I can barely make cookies WITH  a recipe) but I went for it anyway.  The ingredients in Argentina are definitely not the same as home, so I just started throwing things in a bowl and and then put it all in the oven.  They looked like cookies, they smelled like cookies, but they tasted like burnt rocks.  Mmm que rico!!
This week was kind of hard for me.  I just have been feeling discouraged and down in the dumps.  We lost a bunch of our investigators and I was just feeling overwhelmed and SUPER home sick.  But then I opened my scriptures, and I had marked a scripture like the week before (I don’t even remember having read it before) but it said “continue in patience… let not your mind turn back.”  WOAH.  Heavenly Father KNOWS us and KNOWS what we’re feeling and KNOWS that we struggle.  He also knows how to help us, and he knows whats best for us.  He will ALWAYS answer our prayers, and maybe not in the way that we want or expect, but in the way that HE knows is best for us.  I’m not perfectly feelin the enthusiasm that I wish I was, but I know that we have to struggle a little bit sometimes.  But struggling is how we can really come to know Christ.  “Someday you will look back at the difficult times and realize that He was always there beside you.” –President Monson
Love you all and thank you for your prayers and love and support always!!
Dios nos conoce! Dios nos ama!
Hermana Strong

Don’t Mess with Hermana Strong

 

Self Defense Class

Hola Family!

So this week was eventful.  We traveled to Rosario to learn Self Defense from Hermana Fairbanks (who I lived with for my first two transfers, is the mission nurse, and also has a black belt in karate JAJA).  It was an “hermana only” event and so I got to see a bunch of my old friends (I have old friends in the mission now lol) and learn some sweet moves so that the Argentine ladrones don’t mess with me anymore!  Basically I know what to do if you come up behind me, grab me by the wrists, or try to punch me.  But if worse comes to worst I can always just pull out some moves from the “bear and the buffalo” days.
Me and my companion had planned to do some practices and all, but we both got SICK and didn’t even leave the apartment for like 4 days.  It was a long and boring week.  BUT I had a lot of time to read, which was kind of cool.  Oddly enough, I decided to read some of Jesus the Christ.  Ugh, I always thought that book was too long and hard and boring.  But I was pleasantly surprised to come to the fact that its like my new favorite book!  Something that really stuck out to me is that fact that Christ wasn’t born knowing his divine duty.  He had to gradually learn and grow and gradually he came to know of what he was chosen to do: SAVE US.  And He did it.  He didn’t give up or say it would be too hard.  He continued forward.  Which is what I need to do when I get discouraged (like everyday) so that I can reach my full potential as a missionary and as a daughter of God!
Anyways, I officially have 5 months in the mission.  Can you believe it? I feel like you just barely dropped me off at the curb!  Also, transfers are in two weeks and then I’ll know for sure whether I’ll be in the Rosario Mission or Santa Fe.  Wouldn’t it be cool to say I served in two missions?  Haha we will see!
Love you all so much!  The church is true and even though life is hard, the gospel makes it possible!
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Strong