La Primera Navidad… en Argentina

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Hola Familia!!!

Feliz Navidad!!! (We’ve definitely been singing that song ALL WEEK and now I actually understand what he says! haha)
The other day, it rained BUCKETS the ENTIRE night. The power went out, and it felt like there was a strobe light going because of the constant lightening flashes. It was CRAZY. It rained so much that there was literally a LAKE right outside our house, there was so much water. We went and visited a family that literally lives like right across the street, and just to get home required us walking around the entire block. I’ll try to send some of this rain towards California haha.
I can’t believe Christmas just happened. It felt more like the Fourth of July than Christmas. On Christmas eve, we got to stay out until 11 (oh my gosh i was dyyyying, i am not used to staying out so late!) and ate asado (a common Argentine Christmas meal) and at midnight, THE WHOLE PUEBLO lit off fireworks, so we watched from our window, and even saw Santa’s sleigh in the sky!!!
The HIGHLIGHT of the week was when Luciano got BAPTIZED!!!!! Luciano is 20 years old, and the elders found him and have been teaching him for more than like 6 months. But when we came, he really started to take things more seriously, and has been progressing SO MUCH.
It was SUCH a beatufiul and spiritual baptism. The next day in sacrament meeting, after receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, he shared his testimony, and it was one of the most beatufiul testimonies I’ve ever heard. He talked about how true happiness only comes from God, and that he could feel the blessings of keeping the commandments and being in the path of the Lord. Future missionary? YES.
I just love being able to help others experience the blessings of the gospel!!! Being able to see the change of heart in Luciano over these past couple of months have just taught me so much about how true this gospel is, and how real the Atonement is. 18 months seems like a really long time sometimes, but other times, like right now, it doesnt’ feel like enough time! The church is true! Obedience brings blessings! The gospel is a gospel of happiness! Never ever ever take for granted what a blessing it is to have these teachings in your life.
Love you all soo much!
Happy New Year (I CANT BELIEVE ITS GOING TO BE A YEAR SINCE I LEFT!)
Con amor,
Hermana Strong

Merry Christmas You Wonderful Old Building & Loan!

I’m a Broken Down Car

 

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Hola Familiaaaa!

Okay, so I’ve decided that I’m like a car. And at the beginning of my mission, I was new and fresh and ran great. But then I broke down a few times (sicknesses, things like that), but it was okay because I could still run anyway. But then I started breaking down more, because i never actually repaired the initial problems. And now I’m just old and breaking down over and over haha but for real, I feel like I have a new ailment everyday. But it’s okay, because I know that God will keep giving me the fuel to keep going haha.
This week was full of so many wonderful miracles!  I feel like last transfer in Murphy was full of planting seeds, and this transfer we are beginning to HARVEST and see the FRUITS of our labors!
Also, we have this sweet perk of being bffs with all of the people that work in the local ice cream store (they’re all members of the church already and we LOVE them). So whenever we “casually” stop by to say hi, they ALWAYS give us free ice cream. I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a curse because I’m definitely starting to see the affects of it haha.
Today I was reading in Ether (I’M SO CLOSE TO FINISHING THE BOOK OF MORMON, in spanish!!!) about the Brother of Jared, who SEES Christ, in flesh and bone, because he has SO MUCH FAITH. But its not the kind of faith where hes just sitting around waiting for things to happen. He gets to work, searching for solutions to his problems, recognizing the constant hand of God, asking for help, and believing that all things are possible. That’s what FAITH is. It’s more than just believing… It’s putting that belief into ACTION.  I loooove love love the Book of Mormon. Never ever take it for granted, it has the power to change lives.
I love you all so much. I’m so grateful to have such a wonderful family and wonderful people in my life. God loves us and hears our prayers ALWAYS.
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Strong
p.s. Mormon 7:7 is my current favorite verse!

Street Bands and Dead Cows

 

 

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Hola Familia!!!
Como andan? This week was super great because we found a ton of new people to work with that are AWESOME! Thats the fun thing about a new transfer is that God puts the chosen ones in your path. LOVE IT.
So we’re teaching this girl, and she lives with her boyfriend, who is a butcher, and they live where he does the butchering (is that even how you say that?) Anyways, they always invite us over to eat, but usually when we arrive, there’s still like dead cows hanging there. And there’s usually still blood on the floor as we eat. Like it’s cool and all, to have the other part of what youre eating for lunch literally hanging out next to you hahaha.
There’s also this cool thing in Murphy called “Murga” (translated means “Street Band”) and its like a group of people that play the drums and saxophone and a whole bunch of other sweet instruments in the park and people like brake dance to it. ITS SO SWEET. A bunch of members are part of it, and this week in Murphy it was like a giant Murga festival, so a bunch of street bands from all over came to play too. Murphy was just a big giant party, too bad we were in the apartment by 8:30 haha.
This week in my reading of the Book of Mormon I got to 3rd Nephi, when Christ is in the Americas.And my favorite part is in 3rd Nephi 17, when Jesus is getting ready to leave, but then He decides to stay a little longer with the people. And He invites those who are whole to bring the sick and afflicted to Him. And so they all come to Him. And He heals the sick. And all those that helped the sick come to Him arrive at His feet, as well. When we are helping others come unto Christ, we can arrive to Him as well, and taste of the same blessings and the same power. I hope we can all help EVERYONE come a little closer to Christ in this Christmas season, through the little things and the example and light that we are to others.
Love you all. Christ Lives.
Love,
Hermana Strong

THE MISSIONARY SMOKES?!

 

Hellooooo Familia!

Well it was the last week of transfers and an eventful one for sure. The beginning of the week was a little bit rough for me, as my mind was with the family and not completely in Argentina. BUT everytime I went out worked (especially when I wasnt fully feeling it), Heavenly Father blessed us with a miracle and helped me continue forward.
All in all there were still some funny experiences. The other day we went with a member to visit a family, and one of the little kids asked me if I had farted. I didnt understand her and said “siiii!” It wasn’t until after the lesson that the member told me of my mistake and now this family probably thinks I’m really gross haha ooooops!
Also we were doing practices with some members, and they were practicing teaching us the Word of Wisdom. Trying to make it more real, I said “I smoke a lot, how can I quit?”.. and then their 6 year old daughter´s eyes get all big and she says “THE MISSIONARY SMOKES?!”. So now that’s probably a rumor going around Murphy that the missionary smokes. Dang it!
Sunday was the best day ever. First of all, we traveled to Venado for District Conference (like Stake Conference, but we’re still not quite a stake.) A ton of people came and we were SO EXCITED that they were able to hear from Presidente Zanni, because he is aweeesomeee. I also received a package full of new clothes… They’re actually clean and soft: what a novelty!! AND… Mateo remembered to get baptized!!! (in case you forgot, he’s the little boy that told his mom he forgot to get baptized hahahah). It just felt like Christmas because of all of the fun events we got to have. An awesome finish to an awesome transfer!!
Oh and if you didn’t notice, I’m STILL IN MURPHY!! This is the first transfer in 11 months where I havent had a new companion or a new area or something new. It was also the first full Monday I’ve ever worked so that was really weird and I didnt know how to handle it haha.
Aaaand, if you haven’t seen the new Mormon Message, “A Savior is Born”, you HAVE to watch it. I am so excited for this month of December, to help everyone remember the true meaning of Christmas. We’re inviting EVERYONE to choose an attribute of Christ to improve in this month, so that as we remember the birth of our Savior, we can all become a little more like HIM in the process. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father, for sending HIS Son to rescue us. I hope that we can all remember HIM and all that He’s done for us in this month of December, and in every day afterward.
I know that our Savior lives and loves us!!
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Strong