|At a baptism!|
|It was in a river!|
|Hermana Vernon and I at her baptism! She isn't my companion, but she is in my district.|
|The dog who followed us home.|
|My birthday present that Hermana Mejia bought me!|
|Hermana Lopez bought me an alfajora that I ate before I had the chance to take a picture.|
|Hermana Thorp gave me my favorite flower!|
So I have a butt-load of things to talk about today. First of all I am being transferred! Our trio is splitting and I will continue training, just with another hermana. I am going to an area called Confluencia which is in Neuquen. I´m really not looking forward to the heat that will come because I already feel like I´m suffering and it isn't even summer yet. Ready to have pictures of a hot Christmas? weird! Anyway, my birthday was awesome. I wasn't expecting it to be but I had the chance to go to Hermana Vernon´s baptism in Huergo which was awesome. It was actually three baptisms and it was in a Rio! There were actually quite a bit of members there so that was fun to see them support each of the converts. They also made empanadas for the baptism and cake so I got to have both for "my birthday" :) I also got a call from the mission´s presidents wife who told me happy birthday and my companions bought me some treats (picture).
I am leaving today for my new area in 4 hours or so, so my life is going to be pretty crazy for a little bit. I wanted to say goodbye to everyone but Laura (my baptism) didn't come to church and I was so upset that I wasn't going to be able to say goodbye. Well I can testify that there are tender mercies of the Lord because as we were walking home last night they were passing in a car and stopped to say goodbye! I got to take pictures with them and hug her goodbye. She had been visiting her sister and it just so happened she left as we were walking by.
I would also like to share with you all one of the awkward moments of missionary work: we clapped this door to which an old lady came to the window. She was really old and you could see she was straining to see who it was. Once she recognized it was missionaries she slowly walked to the other side of her window to close her see-through curtains and then preceded to do the same with the other side of the window. It was like a slow motion comedy.
Something that also happening on my birthday was that we had this lesson with one of our investigators. I don't know if I talked about her before but I found her with Hermana Rayburn, so we have been teaching her and Nick for a while. They were the ones we thought we were going to drop but didn't after they read the plan of salvation folletito. They have been progressing and last week they came to church! They missed sacrament meeting, but still they came! When we had a lesson with Katy on Saturday she was talking about how she was wanting to help her neighbor because her neighbor was having such a hard time and what it sounded like happened is that she testified of how we have been helping her with the gospel. She made it clear that it wasn't us that was changing her but the gospel. It was an amazing moment!
Something awkward that happened this week: remember the area a long time ago that we felt very strongly that we should go to after we all prayed about it and pointed to the same area? I talked about when we actually went there and found a guy who had already read like half the Book of Mormon and said that we could pass by another time. Well I never said anything more about that because when we passed by again he hadn't been home. Anyway, we never gave up and finally got a hold of him two weeks ago. We met with him four times in one week because he had the time and he had tons of questions/doubts/problems. Anyway, I had suspected that he might like me for different reasons but I just decided that it was my own imagination and we continued. Well I called him the other day because we had set up a cita and he didn't show. When he asked who it was I told him and he started telling me how he wanted to talk to just me. At first I pretended I didn't understand (a plus of being a gringa! :D ) but he kept pushing it and make it awkward. Good thing I´m leaving! He can be baptized and I wont be a distraction. Happy day.
Another thing about transfers: Hermana Vernon is training! She just finished her 12 weeks, but she is absolutely amazing. She is struggling a lot with Spanish, which is why she is extremely nervous about it, but as I was thinking about that this morning I was thinking about how much my Spanish has improved exponentially at the beginning of every transfer. I know from experience that God doesn't call the qualified, but qualifies the called.
The last thing I want to share is what I learned for personal study on my birthday!
Hope is the foundation of faith, without hope we cannot have faith, meaning that hope is the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we lose hope we lose faith. Losing hope is when the going gets tough; when Satan can penetrate our defenses and make the world come crashing down. Hope is why we have the ATONEMENT. We can only change and have change through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, so we need to use the Atonement to have hope and experience change. When we lose hope we are thinking there can be no change and therefore saying the Atonement doesn't apply to this situation when, in reality, the Atonement is the answer. When we have hope we are trusting that He knows best and we will not always be suffering. Hope is believing that the sacrifices we make now will bless us in the future. Trusting in Heavenly Father is the basis of hope. We trust that HE KNOWS BEST and that all that we experience is for our benefit. Trust leads to hope, hope leads to faith, and faith is the foundation of the gospel.
I almost forgot to tell you about the dog! One of our investigator´s dogs followed us home and we have already lost one dog that way (well I did with Hermana Rayburn) and so we actually brought it home so we could drop off our stuff and take it back home. We called our investigator to tell her that her dog was with us and that we would bring it back to which she replied that he knows his way around and could make it back (it was like a 20 minute walk). We left it in one of the barrio´s here and they haven't seen it since. This time I don't feel bad because we did our part, but the other family´s dog is still gone and they don't know that it followed us home. They even put up flyers. I don't understand why everyone has a dog here. There are enough in the streets to keep you occupied, why would you want to specifically have one in your home?
I love you all so much! I will try to write those who wrote me, but I don't have much time left. Thank you guys so much for being so supportive! I LOVE YOU!!!!