Home Sweet Home

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But I have to admit, I couldn’t be happier to be home with my momma and daddy, because let’s be honest, if it weren’t for them– and for all of their love and support and teachings– I would not have survived. Shoutout to them for being the best people in the entire world. I’m excited for this new phase of life and to put EVERYTHING I’ve learned into practice. I’m baack to the real world, but I’m not scared. I have the Lord by my side ALWAYS.

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Crying for you, Argentina

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My final day in Argentina was very special. We had a “last supper” with Presidente Zanni and his family, where we ate the same meal I had my first night there: milanesas and potatoes. Classic Argentina.

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RETURNING WITH HONOR.

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Afterwards we had a testimony meeting with all of the missionaries leaving and the Zannis. It was incredible to see and hear how we’ve all been changed over these last several months, and how each of us, in our own distinct ways, came to know Christ and strengthen our relationships with Him. At the end we all knelt in prayer together, which seemed an appropriate gesture to the Lord of our gratitude to Him.

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As we waited to board the bus, we were able to hug each member of the Zanni family (even Presidente hugged me!!) and they sang us “Each Life That Touches Ours For Good”. What a way to open up the water gates, knowing that it was THEM that touched my life forever. I’m grateful for them, for being my family away from home and for endlessly showing me Christlike love.

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As we drove away, we could see them fading away in the distance, and it seemed surreal knowing that I may never see them again. And that I was officially leaving the place and the people that had changed me forever. I am eternally grateful for my mission. I’m grateful that the Lord insisted that I serve. Maybe what I was doing before were good things. But now I see that God had another plan for me. A greater and more noble plan. A journey and an experience that would forever change me and change those in my path. My mission was the most sacred and worthwhile time of my life, which has prepared me to face life with faith, hope and love. I know that this church is the true church of Christ, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that thanks to Jesus Christ, there is hope and happiness for ALL. Chau, Argentina, I’ll never forget you.

Chau, Argentina (in a week, but STILL!)

Family,

BREAKING NEWS is that starting next week, it will be a requirement for all of the hermanas in our mission to wear pants because of the dengue outbreak.  HOW AWKWARD.  Luckily I leave next week, SAVED BY THE BELL, so I got out of that one (whoam I even going to give away all of my skirts to now?!)  But today we had to go to Rosario so that ALL the hermanas could get fitted for new pants.  Which ended up turning into a giant lunch and hang out with the hermanas.  Which resulted in all of the American missionaries singing the National Anthem and “God Bless the USA”, which resulted in a lot of trunkiness (aka, homesickness), which is actually okay since I get home NEXT WEEK. AHHH I CANT BELIEVE IT.
But since this is the last letter I’ll be sending home, I just want to say how blessed I feel for these last 18 months.  I can’t believe how fast the time has gone by.  I feel full of bitter sweet emotions, sadness for having to leave behind a place and people I’ve grown to love so much, but excitement to see my family and start a new chapter in my life.
My testimony has grown so much.  If there’s two things that I’ve learned more than anything, it’s how to LOVE and the importance of being OBEDIENT to the Lord’s commandments.  As we love others, we find true and lasting joy.  As we are obedient, we are protected and we are blessed. I know this is true.  I have experienced it for myself, and it has carried me through my mission, as I hope it will carry me through my life.
What a blessing it is to share the gospel with others.  Yo sè que el Libro de Mormòn es verdadero y que nos trae paz, gozo y guia.  Yo sè que estamos en la iglesia verdadera y que tenemos la plenitud del evangelio.  Yo sè que Cristo vive, y que gracias a Èl, nosotros tambien podemos vivir con nuestras familias para siempre. Agradezco a mi Padre Celestial por la oportunidad al servirle en este tiempo y realmente llegar a conocerle mas.
It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been completely worth it.
I love you all so much!!!! SEE YOU SOON!!
Con todo mi amor,
Hermana Strong

La penúltima carta

 

 

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Me & Hermana Whitworth

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Sunrise from our rooftop

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We’ve been recently obsessed with making tacos, and we sent this picture to Hermana Zanni

and she put it in the email that they send to all the missionaries in the mission hahah we were so embarrassed!

 

HELLO FAMILY!!

First of all, SO HAPPY TO HEAR ABOUT A BRAND NEW NIECE! Congratulations Will and Bethany!!!

Second of all, this week means I’ve officially been out for 18 months.  AHHH CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!!!  But don’t worry, we still have one more week until it’s the LAST letter home from Argentina.  So we aren’t too trunky yet!
This week was really great because I got to do divisions with Hermana Whitworth (my old companion, ahhh!!!)  We worked here in Baigorria and had so many sweet miracles!! Hermana Whitworth is one of the meekest and kindest people ever, who has no fear to go up to a big group of people and start talking to them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  As we did so, we were able to find a lot of really awesome people who have most definitely been prepared to hear these things.
We’re teaching a lot of really cool people who are in the process of making really big life changes.  We have one in the process of quiting smoking, and others preparing to get married.  AHHH!!  Its really cool to see the efforts people make to change their lives to follow Christ.  It’s also amazing to see how the power of Christ works in their lives, making those changes possible.  I have such a big testimony that only through Christ can we be made whole, be changed and experience lasting joy.  I love having the opportunity to help others find Christ and learn how to put their faith in Him.
These last 18 months have been some of the hardest yet happiest as I’ve felt MYSELF be changed by Jesus Christ.  I know He lives and that He is the head of this church.  I know that He knows us and that He loves us, each and every one of us individually and unconditionally.
What a joy it is to have His name on my chest.
I love you all and I love this gospel!!
Love always,
Hermana Strong
ps  Stay tuned next week for the very last letter from Hermana Strong in Argentina!!

“And my father dwelt in a tent”

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DSC01661HELLO FAMILY!!

Okay, so this week we went to the MONUMENT, had interviews with Presidente Zanni, had divisions with the hermanas from Beltran, and ate a LOT of tacos.
In divisions, I worked with a mini missionary from San Nicolas and she is super capa!!!  I felt so bad, because ALL of our appointments fell through.  And we ended up just contacting for 4 HOURS. Poor thing!  But I was so impressed with her because she didn’t complain at ALL and pushed through to the end!  We may not have found any new people to teach but we planted a LOT of seeds!  And that’s what is important!!
I also hope everyone enjoyed their Father’s Day!! Recently me and my companion were talking about Lehi:  

2 And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness.

3 And it came to pass that he was obedient unto the word of the Lord, wherefore he did as the Lord commanded him.

4 And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness.And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his  silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the  wilderness

Lehi left behind everything– his home, his land, his possessions– to follow the Lord and to protect his family.  He didn’t even think twice about it, but followed the spirit to bless his family and to bless generations to come.  I think of my dad and how HE does everything possible to serve and follow the Lord so that our family is blessed.  I’m thankful for fathers who love their family enough and love the Lord enough to sacrifice everything for them! I’m thankful for MY DAD (and my momma of course) who have taught me the gospel of Jesus Christ and have always lived it faithfully.  It’s thanks to them that I have the testimony I do now.
I know this church is true! I know that God loves each and every one of us!
Con amor,
Hermana Strong

When Presidente Broke the Door Down

 

 

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HELLO FAMILY!

Okay so let me tell you what happened yesterday.  We got home from church, and I went in to go use the bathroom.  As I went to leave the bathroom, the door wouldn’t open.  So I thought my companion was like playing a joke and locked it on me or something.  But no… the door handle was broken!!!  So she tried to open it, and it wouldn’t open from the outside either.  And so we’re pulling and pushing and nothing is happening… I WAS LOCKED IN THE BATHROOM.  Which is really embarrassing and we were embarrassed to have to call someone for help.  So first we decided to call Hermana Zanni.  She didn’t answer.  We call Presidente Zanni.  He doesn’t answer.  So we call our district leader.  And he just starts LAUGHING at us, and really couldn’t do anything because he’s like an hour away.  So by then its been like 45 minutes that I’m stuck in this stupid bathroom.  (Luckily I had some Liahonas to read to keep me busy).  So we send a message to Presidente saying “my companion is stuck in the bathroom, what do we do?” I wonder if he’s ever gotten a message like that?  So he like IMMEDIATELY calls us and tells us he’s on his way to come and help me out.  SO him and Hermana Zanni come, and Presidente uses his credit card and man strength to break the door open for me.  And an hour and a half later I was free… IT WAS SO EMBARRASSING.
We also had divisions this week. We went to San Nicolas and I worked with Hermana Cruz from MEXICO.  She made us pico de gayo and it was SO YUMMY.
I have super mixed feelings about coming home, but I know that the Lord is helping me to prepare for the next step and to finish strong at the same time.  I was able to have experiences this week where God used people I least expected to be His instruments, and tell me what I needed to hear and to see me for my potential.  It’s such a special experience to truly be His instrument and to see how He uses others to show us His love for me.  I love the Lord and I love this church! It’s not always easy being a missionary.  It’s not always easy being a follower of Christ.  But is it worth it?  WITHOUT A DOUBT.
I love you all so much!!  And I’m excited to see you all soon!
Con cariño,
Hermanita Strong💜

War Counsel and things I love about Argentina

 

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HELLO FAMILY!

Here are few things on my mind this week…

Argentine Culture:
1. If they don’t have enough change for you, instead of giving you coins they give you little pieces of candy. YUM.
2. There are stop signs but nobody uses them so I think they are just for decoration.
Small World:
Me and my companion discovered this week that we were friends for a day at BYU-I before the mission and we had both completely forgotten about each other. And now 2 years later we are companions in Argentina.. the world is so small!!
War Counsel:
Once a month the leaders in the mission have conference with Presidente Zanni, where they talk about how we can become better missionaries and help the mission in itself improve.  And this month I had the privilege of being invited for the first time and it was really spiritual and we talked a lot about working with members and about the current mission goal of every single companionship having a baptism in the month of June.  Please pray for us to reach our goal!!
Spiritual Thought:
Current scripture that I love is in Moroni 8, when Mormon is talking to his son Moroni, and he tells him that “perfect love casteth out all fear”.  When we love others, we aren’t afraid to share with them what we believe.  When we love others, we aren’t afraid to invite others to repent. When we love others, we are willing to do what it takes to help them come closer to the Lord.  I’ve had a lot of moments where I’ve let fear get in the way of helping someone else.  But as I learn more about charity and pure Christ like love, I find the strength to overcome those fears.
I love you all so much!!
–Hermana Strong