I have felt truly blessed - I was reading an email from Ben, and Dad, and Mom and I haven´t been able to stop crying. It´s been really hard not being with all of you during the wedding. I am SO glad everything went perfectly and that there was even beautiful Park City snow...on May 1st! :) haha Not a big surprise really. The week prior sounded SO fun with all of the festivities, parties, getting ready... what fun! Ben´s bacholer party sounded hilarious- Dad and Jack, NICE! :) Jackie´s sounded fun, I´m sure Mom had a great deal of fun with the toliet paper game and tattoos- haha! I´m SO grateful that families got along so well. I mean, it´s HARD not to get along with our family, but I´m grateful that the love was centered on Ben and Jackie. And then wow, the sealing sounded perfect. Just the fact that it´s Ben and Jackie allows it to be perfect. They are such incredible examples to me - and yeah, it does feel like Jackie´s been a part of the family this whole entire time! I feel so blessed to be able to share this knowledge that families can be together forever with everyone here. Ben, I did tell a LOT of people about how you were getting married and how you would be sealed for all eternity through the correct authority and power of God on the earth. I told many people and you know what? Hna. Kjar and I have been SO blessed because we made contact with three really good families! One in particular is my FAVORITE! The grandma has around 6 sons and most of them live with her and next door. we talked to the wife of her second son and she´s WONDERFUL! Natalia just had a pre-mature baby who´s adorable! Hna Kjar and I both felt the Spirit very strongly in their house - it felt the most like home. They also have a son named Rodrigo - he´s around 2 years old and he called me his princesa and gave me a huge kiss on the check!!! :) It was one of the happiest (family) moments I have had here! The other happiest feeling was after Hna. Kjar and I walked out of our first overview/lesson with Natalia and we both just felt like she was golden. I was on top of the WORLD! And Hna Kjar said, ¨Just wait till you have a baptism. It makes all the hardship worth it.¨ I can´t wait!!!
Ok, I have a HUGE testimony that after the trials and tribulations come wonderful blessings. It has been like that almost everyday of my mission so far. Sometimes we have had rough times or major rejections, but siempre after we have something wonderful happen. For example, Sunday morning Hna. Kjar and I both got up and were excited to get people to church! We went to 4 houses - 3 inactives and one of our investigators. NONE of them woke up or showed up to church. I was disappointed, but I sang hymns as we walked into the capilla. And then, miraculously, the Lord blessed us with a converso reciente and his brother who wants to be baptized!! The sad thing is he´s not in our ward boundaries but in another one, BUT it was great to see that he wants to be baptized!
The Barrio and the obispo (bishop) are struggling - there is a LOT of pride and jealousy, anger and gossip, and NO ONE takes responsibilty. It´s really sad. Hna Kjar and I have been visiting tons of menos activos and we planned a Baile de Recuerdos con Gorros (special hats) y empenadas (YUMMY Argentine food) and a video of old pictures and memories when the Ward was happy! We have been working hard and pray that it will help unite the ward. It´s Friday, so I´ll let you know how it goes on Sunday!
We also have been working HARD with about 6 people who we´ve taught once and we´ve made citas with. We pray for them, prepare to teach, and then they are not HOME! Aww, it´s SOO frustrating! But I have faith in the Lord and his Work and Glory - AND his will. Just the other morning our cita fell through with the Familia Buenisima (Natalia´s family with Rodrigo y otros) because Natalia got sick and went to the hospital. I was really sad, but we went contacting and one of the first contacts was a man named Daniel. He listened very intently to everything we said about the Restoration and then I just felt like brinigng up the Book of Mormon. Hna. Kjar beautifully explained the book and we gave him one. He said, ¨Wow, this is the first time someone has ever given me a book.¨ We felt GREAT after that - he looked interested! I hope and pray he´ll read!
OH! And I can´t foget Nellie! We asked for references from the ex-patriarch and he told us about his neighbor Nellie. She´s a darling older woman who´s Catholic. We went over and taught her lesson 1. After a while she told Hna Kjar, Ï´ve been having family problems and I think you were here to help.¨ I am grateful that we asked for referencias and then acted on them. I´m grateful for Nellie and HOPE she´ll read. She´s very Catholic, but maybe she felt something from the Spirit. Vamos a ver!
Sometimes I´ve thought about my family and friends as missionaries: Ben, Jackie, Austen, TJ, etc. I never really knew what a mission was like - but NOW I know what was going on! :) haha Like working with the missionaires in Montreal, I have a better picture of why they would do or say things or what it means to be a good missionary. I was reading in PME (PMG) where it says what sucess is as a missionary (cap. 1). It doesn´t say 20 baptisms, it doesn´t say 4 people at church on Sunday, it says Testify with power, serving your companions and other missionaries, helping others keep their commitments, etc. I WANT to bring people unto Christ! I want them to blessed like I am blessed - like Ben and Jackie are - like Dad and Mom and the family they have made for us through their faithfulness --- this is HAPPINESS! this is JOY! This is the Gospel that I want to share! I want to bless everyone´s lives here, in this struggling country and economy. In this world of horrible problems with marriage problems, illegitamate children, drugs, pornography, everything that´s rampant here. Hungry people who can´t even buy bread. Arrogrant, rich people who turn their noses as these starving people. I see or hear about these things everyday. AND THE GOSPEL FIXES IT ALL! All through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Plan set out by our Heavenly Father from the beginning. I have a strong testimony of this and I know it´s only going to get stronger and stronger. I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!!!!!
I love you all soooo much! Know that you´re in my prayers and thoughts - and now that I am trying to be the best missionary I can. It´s hard, but I know it will be worth it when I bring that first person unto Christ and have that first baptism. For their salvation is great in the sight of God.
HUGS!!!! Hermana Tingey