The Seeds We Sow

DSC01416 DSC01432

 

HEY FAMILY!

Well, as most of you already know, I HATE my birthday.  But the big TWENTY ONE (oh my gosh im so old) turned out to be pretty sweet. The HIGHLIGHT was getting to listen to an APOSTLE.   David A. Bednar was in Buenos Aires, so we got to watch a live conference and it was INCREDIBLE.  He is most definitely a servant of the Lord and I learned so much, not from him, but from what the spirit was teaching me throughout it all.  Elder Bednar told us not to write large plates (with notes of exactly what is being said) but to write small plates (the spiritual impressions that we receive throughout.)  How many times are we guilty of writing large plates? haha but I was able to learn sooo much more!
Second highlight of the birthday was when a member made me TACOS (my favorite).  And not just any tacos… But since she recently returned from visiting her niece in California, she used taco seasoning from the states.  I felt like I was HOME.  I love the food here in all, but there comes a point where you need a little bit of home for a second.
The third highlight of the week was that yesterday was stake conference.  And since I am now in the same Stake that I started in, I got to see a TON of people from my first area in Alberdi.  And not only that, but to see SO MANY miracles that are in the works there.  For example, the first person I saw walking in was a man, whose family are all members of that church, that we taught and taught and invited to church and invited to church.  And he never went to church and never wanted to progress.  Yet yesterday he was there with his family and it was the most beautiful thing in the world.
Next example is another man we taught, who went to church every week and we worked so hard so that he could get baptized, but never could because his wife still wasnt divorced and they couldnt get married so as to be keeping all the commandments.  BUT they came up to me to tell me that they are getting MARRIED and he is getting BAPTIZED on Thursday.  SO AWESOME.  And these are just a few of the MANY miracles I saw.  Which just was such a tender mercy.  Before, when I looked back at my time in Alberdi, I felt like I didnt actually do much.  But yesterday made me see that during my time there, I was sowing seeds.  And God gave me the blessing of seeing some of the fruits begin to blossom.
I love the mission so much.  There were so many moments where I fought against the decision to serve, but I’m so grateful to have followed the spirit, to have this chance to be here in Argentina, to come to know and love such AMAZING people, and to come to truly know my Savior Jesus Christ.  I know He lives and that He loves each and every one of us.
With all my love,
Hermana Strong

Las Chicas del Señor

 

too strong

When i went to open my drawer and was toooo strong. “how strong are you? TOO STRONG”

t-shirts

The pictures above is OUR DISTRICT!  We got zone shirts, and they say “if your plan falls through, change the plan, don’t change the goal”

 

cockroaches

Holaaa Familia!

Well we had transfers and… ZERO CHANGES.  Me and Hermana Vega will continue in Beltran for 8 more weeks! (because this transfer will have two extra weeks!)
Okay so let me tell you about when my worst nightmare happened.  So we get home the other night after a long day of work, and we turn on the light, and our apartment was LITERALLY infested with COCKROACHES. They were flying and crawling all over the walls and I wanted to DIE.  I was standing on top of my chair screaming and spraying RAID everywhere and it was a sight to see.  BUT we took care of them all and found where they come in (through the bathroom drain, EWWW!) and we have not had problems since haha.
Also today we were buying fruit from our neighborly fruit stand, and the boys that work there were like “Ahh the chicas del Señor (the girls of the Lord) we gotta give a deal to the chicas del Señor” and I dont know, it made me laugh out loud a little bit, but I like that title!
Also the other day I realized that it has been 9 YEARS since Weston passed away. The time goes by so fast. But I just think it’s SOOO COOL.  That He is just on the other side of the veil, doing the same thing that I’m doing.  That he’s preaching the gospel and inviting others to come to Christ, as well. And not just him but all my grandparents and great grandparents, etc.  We’re all united in the cause!!  And what peace and joy that brings, right?  To know that God loves us SO MUCH that it isnt the end after this life.  And that ALL people will have the opportunity to accept the gospel.  I was missing Wessy this week but its comforting to know that he’s okay, that he’s happy and that we’re both doing the work of the Lord.
Love you all so much!  God lives and loves us!
Con todo mi amor,
Hermana Strong

Nametagless

Hola Familiaaaa!

Okay so Elder M. Russell Ballard has said that the missionaries need to contact 10 people every single day.  And Presidente Zanni read that, and wanted to know if it meant 10 people per companionship, or 10 people per person.  SO he went straight to the source, and had a friend of his who works in Salt Lake ask Elder Ballard for clarification.  And the answer came back that each missionary must talk to at least 10 new people every day, meaning 20 pero companionship.  THAT IS SO MANY.  And Presidente told us we had to send him a message every single night telling him how many people each of us talked to that day. IT SEEMED SO IMPOSSIBLE TO ME.  But I had to have a Nephi moment and say “I will GO and I will DO what the Lord has commanded.”  Obviously God wasnt going to tell us we had to do something and not make it possible.  And He most definitely opened up the path for us.  We’ve talked to sooo many awesome people this week, and I love it.  I feel like I learn something new from each person we talk to.  Everyone has such a distinct story and their own perspective on life, and it’s amazing to see the LOVE that God has for each of them.
But the greatest miracle of contacting was seeing the changes in my companion.  When I started with her 5 weeks ago, she barely said 2 words… She was sooo shy!!  But this week, as we talked to more and more people, she was approaching like 15 PEOPLE everyday, and doesn’t even want to go home at night so she can keep talking to more people.  It’s so cool to see how the Lord can strengthen our weaknesses!
Also the other day we left and we started talking to this couple outside of their house, and I went to introduce myself, and as I went to motion to my name tag, I realized that it WASNT THERE.  Mini heart attack!!  We like ran home afterward to go  get it, but I just realized how much my nametag shapes who I am in this moment.  Like I constantly have Christ’s name on my chest, right next to my heart.  And all day every day I get to point to HIS name and show others that I am HIS representative.  It’s such a privilege!!!  I’ll miss pointing to my name, and finding His there, too.
I know that He lives and that with Him all things are possible!
Con amor,
Hermana Strong

Flying Cucarachas and BAPTISMS

 

 

 

BAPTISM

DSC01376[1]
DSC01389[1]

HOLAAA FAMILIA!!!
This week was a LOT better than last week!  So after the whole cancellation of the baptism happening, we got Presidente Zanni in here to help us out. He came and interviewed Carlos, who had the doubt about baptism in the first place, and I don’t know what he did or what he said, but he came back and said “I’m gonna get baptized this weekend.” AHHHH.  So we kept suuuuper good tabs on them, and on Sunday… THEY GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!  And it was a beautiful baptism!  They are sooo special and truly do have testimonies of the gospel.  I’m so excited to see the blessings their family is going to receive because of this gospel!! (We were also laughing super hard because they’re both so tiny and their baptismal clothes were sooo giant!!)
The President of Argentina happened to be in the same city as the baptism, at the same time as the baptism.  Everyone thought it was a big deal, but like, we had a BAPTISM so that was a little bit more important than the President, am I right?  Just souls being saved and what not.  Sooo much better and sooo much more important.
We also had DIVISIONS this week with our sister training leaders!!  They are sooo great and I learned so much!  I worked with an hermana from PENNSYLVANIA and we found so many new awesome people for the week.  “Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled.”
Also they other day I got out of the shower and there was a FLYING COCKROACH.  Did you know that cockroaches FLY?!  I am discovering the most disgusting bugs and I feel like they just all happen to live in our apartment.  How nice.
Also, highlight of my studies this week was reading about Christ’s suffering in the garden of Gethsemane.  I don’t think I’ll ever FULLY comprehend all that Christ did for me.  But something that I love in the account of Luke, is that an angel came and strengthened Him. Christ was willing to do the will of the Lord, even though it was the HARDEST thing anyone has or ever will have to do, but God didn’t leave Him to do it alone.  He sent ANGELS to strengthen Him!  And it’s the same with us!  When we have to do the will of the Lord, even though sometimes it’s TERRIBLY hard, He sends angels to bear us up and STRENGTHEN us. I know I’ve felt those angels with me many times during the mission, and I’m so incredibly grateful for the strength that I receive knowing that Christ knows me, understands me, and loves me.
Love you all so much!
Hermana Strong

Expect the Unexpected

Selfie

Holaaaa Familia!!

I cant even believe that I have a new little nephew!!  And I was completely uninformed and cruising through this entire week like nothing new had even happened haha oh the consequences of being completely disconnected from the world!
I’ve been like suuuuper frustrated lately because I feel like NOBODY understands me (wow that just sounded really dramatic teenager there haha).  But in the sense that nobody understands my accent haha.  I practice and practice my pronunciation but still everyone just gives me these blank stares.  Luckily I have a Latina companion that can translate for me when I need haha.
So on Saturday, we were to have 2 baptisms!  They had just got married the week before, and after like 2 years of listening to the missionaries, Saturday would be the day.  We got to the church early, set up chairs, an hermana that had taught them for a long time traveled like 3 hours to come see it, the font was even filled.  And THEN we get a text message one hour before it’s to start… that they they didn’t feel prepared… and that the baptisms would NOT be happening.  My stomach just like dropped to the floor. I couldn’t even believe it.  So we went straight to their house, and they weren’t there.  And we still haven’t seen them since.  But, as others have been telling me, EVERYTHING happens for a reason.  God knows His children perfectly, and He knows what’s best for them.  And sometimes they use their agency in ways that we don’t want… I think that’s the hardest part, is accepting the decisions of others, even though you KNOW how much it will bless them and you KNOW how much they need the gospel!!  But God has His own plan and His own timing.
I know this church is true and I know that it changes lives!!  I am so grateful for this chance to help others experience the changes and the blessings that the gospel brings! Sometimes its hard to find those people who are prepared and ready to receive these things…. But I know that this gospel is for EVERYONE.  It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, Christ is there for EVERYONE.
Love you all so much!!!
Hermana Strong
ps I forgot to take pictures, so here’s a selfie!