Monday, January 27, 2014

Argentina: Week 25

The reason I´m writing so late is because we now have to go one at a time on the computers and so it takes twice as long and I let my companion go first. This week has been good. They changed our schedule in the mission to study during the ciesta time here and I have found it to be especially difficult. Having personal study after lunch is sooooo hard. I focus more on staying awake than learning anything. Someday my body will completely adjust, though and I will continue learning like before. My favorite days now are pday and planning because I can study in the morning. I´m pretty excited to share what I learned today. I was studying Alma 32 and passed verse 34. I didn’t understand the significance of having a perfect knowledge but having dormant faith. For me that just didn’t make sense but then in the BOM student study manual there was a part that said ¨simply knowing that something can help or harm us does us no good unless we act on that knowledge.¨ Therefore, when we come to understand a gospel principle is a good principle, we have to act on that knowledge we received or it does us no good. As I continued and pondered on what I was learning I learned more concerning knowledge and faith. This is what I wrote in my journal: We plant a seed to see if it is good and through our feelings we can have a perfect knowledge that it is a good seed. From that point our faith is dormant until we act on the knowledge of the gospel or anything further than it is a good seed. The people who do not nourish the tree do not receive the fruit thereof and eventually lose the tree (which is why there are so many less actives and people who don’t progress to baptism). We must focus on doing what is necessary to have the fruit because we want it (the prize is worth the work). The fruit may not come right away but it will come.

I´m sorry that my mission life isn’t super exciting. The only thing really funny that happened this week that I can remember is that I knocked on 9 doors asking to use the bathroom because I had to go so bad and they all said no or didn’t have a women so I couldn’t enter. That was fun. Love you all!  I hope you are enjoying your cold weather! I am going to come back as such a wimp. We were saying how perfect the weather was the other day and it was 92. Then there was a significant change one day and it dropped to 70 something. I was freezing!!!! My companion slept with a sleeping bag, but I was too lazy to take mine out of my compression sack. Chau!

Hermana Allen

Argentina: Week 24

Our last time together in the chapel. Transfers are coming!

So changes! I´m not even sure where to begin. First, I was told that I was training a newbie and I was not really sure how to feel about it. I have been struggling so much lately with trying to push myself to work and be obedient but it just wasn’t happening. It is hard to stay obedient after having so many companions who don’t see value with the same importance. I was never really disobedient but I was far from being obedient with exactness. I kept seeing all the places where I had failing in training my other greenies and I just didn’t know how to be adequate to train again if she didn’t have the desires to work hard and be obedient. What I was praying for was a companion who came with the desire to convert the world and willing to work and sacrifice to do so. When we had the reunion the thought that I would get a gringa didn’t even cross my mind because while I can understand pretty much everything, there are moments when I just cannot understand for the life of me because of their accent or how fast they talk (there are some people who talk SUPER fast. They would put me to shame if we had a contest with me speaking my fastest in English). Anyway, to skip to who my companion is: a gringa that was waiting for her visa for 8 months in Idaho. Her name is Hermana Christiansen and she speak decent Spanish and understands more or less. She is exactly the companion I was praying for. She wants to be obedient with exactness and is super sweet.  I could not be more grateful to have Hermana Christiansen as my new companion. I was super nervous in the beginning only because I have always had someone that was better at Spanish than me and I could rely on them to understand what I didn’t. I was just scared of having that responsibility of being the one that needed to understand everything. I also thought that maybe I had lost Heavenly Father´s confidence to train because I had been told I was going to train a newbie. Ever since I got here I have always had companions that didn’t care if they were obedient with exactness. I have fought for 4 transfers to do my best to be obedient with exactness on my own. After fighting for so long I had slowly gone down-hill in my obedience with exactness and lost my desire to work because I wasn’t being super obedient. Having Hermana Christiansen as my companion was like waking up and being a new missionary again. She wants to be obedient with exactness too and she tries to be better every day. This area is going to have so much success. It is honestly dead right now because it has the feeling of laziness after so many years of disobedient Elders. I hadn’t realized how far I had fallen but I feel like I am starting over again. I love it so much. Heavenly Father knows our needs SO MUCH BETTER than we know our own. I feel so blessed and loved. Anyway, you all haven’t been writing me or getting on when I´m on. Por Favor, I may be reaching my year mark in a little bit, but that doesn’t mean I have suddenly lost the need of hearing from you all. Love you!!!

Hermana Allen

Argentina: Week 23

So it doesn’t seem like it has been less than a week since I called. I´m sorry that I didn’t get to talk to everyone, but I´m so thankful I got the chance to see some of you. I don’t particularly feel like explaining this week. It didn’t feel like Christmas, more like the 4th of July without my family. I made goals for the New Year and am in the process of making goals and I feel like I haven’t been giving all my heart, might, mind, and strength to the Lord. I have faced many many trials and as I was looking back I recognized that I let them discourage me rather than strengthen my faith. I am beginning this New Year like I´m beginning my mission again. I am recommitting myself to focus on the work, forget myself, and not think about the disappointments and the people that have broken my heart. I am going to recommit to having the purpose of sharing the gospel because I love these people. My mission is not anything like I thought it would be but I know that it is because the savior has different better plans. I love you all, please continue praying for me. I pray for you all and I hope that you are feeling my love across the distance.

Hermana Allen

Argentina: Week 22

I made a cheesecake! Their cream cheese is like a mixture of cream cheese and sour cream so let's hope it's yummy!

Christmas morning opening my present from Hermana Llerena.

So there is a lot that I could tell you about what I learned this past week, but nothing compares to what I learned about how I feel about the sacrament. I have learned a lot about the importance of the sacrament and the importance of attending every single week. Yesterday the Elders asked us 15 minutes before sacrament started to pass by to pick up their recent convert because they couldn’t and even though we still weren’t at the chapel I felt that I couldn’t say no. We went to pick him up and ended up arriving at the chapel 20 minutes late. They were passing the water and my heart felt broken. To the members it wasn’t that big of a deal but for me it was something that I NEEDED. I couldn’t go through the week preaching the gospel without starting new with Heavenly Father. Elder Fulanich found a way for us to take it after church, but I will never forget how I felt. Heavenly Father taught me a lot in those moments that I thought I would have to go through one week without the Sacrament. Now, I can’t imagine ever missing one Sunday even if I'm sick. I think sometimes as members who have grown up in the church we forget how great of an opportunity it is to partake of the sacrament. I am so grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord.

Now for something funny: I have mentioned that the ingredients in Argentina are super different than in the States, but there are more problems than just the ingredients when I want to cook something. Today I was trying to make the cheese cake and first of all the blender wouldn’t work so I had to do it by hand which wasn’t that big of a deal, but then the oven wouldn’t work. You have to light it by hand but it wouldn’t light. It was frustrating until I found out that if I held it a certain way it worked out. They don’t have graham crackers either so I had to use these things that they call vanilla cookies but they aren’t cookies as we know them. It was quite the adventure.

We were talking to the elders yesterday who were telling us that they haven’t had water for 5 days because the city is cutting the power and water by sections. My companion asked what they were washing themselves with, juice? It was re re chistoso. Anyway, love you all!

Hermana Allen