President has been initiating many cambios (changes) in the mission - one is that now we have P-day on MONDAY´s! (like every other mission in the whole wide world! haha) So, now you all have a great Sunday activity to write your wonderful sister/daughter
A lot of things have happened over the last few months with the missionaries - a lot of scary situations and dangerous circumstances. My area is pretty secure and I pray daily to be protected. Don´t worry, I just want you to be aware that we´re taking extra precautions when we work. I miss my old, ¨Nothing happens to servants of the Lord!¨ attitude where I´d walk fearlessly into the Villa at night (ghetto). I always am on my guard, especially at night. But I know that the Lord is protecting us and that this is just Satan trying to slow the work down in this mission. But he will not prevail - we will through the Lord´s help!
Ok, so it´s only been a few days since I sent my last email, but I´ve had some really great changing experiences for me, as a missionary.
We had a suprise visit from the Office Elders to check to see if our house was clean... unfortunately, it was a wreck! Now, I had a ton of great excuses (our drains in the sink and the bathroom don´t work, our calefactor doesn´t work, we just had a few muddy/rainy days where we tracked in mud, etc. etc.) But they are excuses nonetheless, and we got chastized, pero mal. Afterwards, I talked to Hna. Olsen and just started crying, ¨Why can´t anyone see me when I do something RIGHT? or why can´t I feel like a ¨good¨ missionary?¨ I have just felt like I can never be enough and no one ever says anything when we do something RIGHT. I was in the area where Presidente Detlefsen lived and we were not blessed with success - for weeks. And he was there every Sunday, and he saw how we didn´t have investigadores in the capilla. Or here we had a baptism a few weeks ago and when I talked to my leaders about it they said, ¨So how many more fechas do you have Hermanas?¨ And then I have cleaned and cleaned my first 4 transfers, and just so happens that the beginning of this 5th transfer we had not cleaned yet and the house is falling apart... it was just the pinnacle of a build-up from many of my frustrations and weaknesses.
But as I talked to Hermana Olsen, I also said, ¨But I know I don´t have to prove myself to anyone because the Lord knows how hard I work and how hard I try and if I´m a ¨good¨ missionary. It really doesn´t matter what anyone else thinks of me as a missionary.¨ I felt the Spirit fill me and comfort me as I said those words. I feel very humbled in that moment because I realized that what I was saying mattered more than ANYTHING - more than the numbers at night, more than the dirty house, more than the opinion of my fellow men, more than anything - what matters is what kind of missionary I am in the eyes of the Lord. Obvious to most, surely, but to me this was a very special moment. I hope to life my life like this - always worthy in the eyes of the Lord and not worrying about what others think. I would love to conquer this weakness out here in the mission field.
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We also had a consejo de Barrio and the Presidente de Estaca was there. He has been working closely with our mission president and he gave a presentation on how the Consejo de Barrio can work with investigadores, converso recientes, menos activos, etc. It was all about MISSIONARY WORK! It was SOOOO good! Hermana Olsen and I was sooo excited!
When I came home that night I just starting crying again (happily - I promise, I honestly don´t cry very often, its changed a lot on the mission) because it was basically an answer to many questions and many prayers. I´ve been trying to figure out why am I here in Bahia Blanca? Why this mission? What can I do to help change this mission for the better? How can I help the members and people in this area?
I realized that I don´t think I was called exclusively to baptize. That is a major part of missionary work and something I work towards every second of every day, BUT I feel like I was also called here to help teach the members how to be member missionaries. Everything that I have learned and am trying to apply - everything that I am teaching to the members and to my companeras - everything I am becoming has to do with this concept. That I, as a member of the true church of Jesus Christ, need to LIVE the gospel. Being an example is NOT ENOUGH! Being an example is important, but as the second coming of the Lord is fastly approaching and as we have convenanted with baptism and in the temple and as the seed of Isreal/Ephraim, being an example is NOT ENOUGH. It is only part of it. We, as members and leaders in the church, have the sacred responsibility to FIND people for the missionaries to teach. In Preach My Gospel, it says that in Consejo de Barrio and Presithood Executive Committee, the leaders should talk about people and families that need the gospel. The leaders go to visit them FIRST and ask if they want the missionaries to come over (that might be a Presidente Detlefsen idea), and then the missionaries go and teach (which is their calling). The members should be there every step of the way, sitting in with the charlas and being a good support before and after baptism. This obra is for the members, as well as the missionaries. We are wasting time knocking doors and contacting in the street - I personally would not invite two random chicos into my house to convince me that their religion is best. But, I would invite my neighbor in and as my neighbor introduces these two chicos as special witnesses of Christ who want to chat for a little bit with her, I think I would listen to what they had to say and really take it to heart. THAT is the vision of missionary work that I have and have had since the MTC. The same vision that the Presidente de Estaca has - and the Presidente de Mision has - and Elder Audukaitits, in the Area Seventy, - And President Monson, the Profeta hoy in dia. I KNOW that is how the Lord wants his members sharing the gospel, because that line of authority goes right down from HIM to his PROPHET and eventually down to us. I feel like I am here to help get the ball rolling - to try to teach this plan to the members, to try and take it to heart so that I can teach this manera the rest of my mission, and then DO IT after my mission. I know that the Lord has asked me, and all of us, to serve with all of our heart, might, mind and strength. I promised my mission President that I would do this. I promised my first day in Argentina. I think that this plan is part of serving with all of my heart, mind, and soul. I LOVE missionary work! And I know that if we do it the Lord´s way, that we will be blessed!
FAMILY, WILL YOU BE GOOD MEMBER MISSIONARIES? Will you do what I described above? Will you go with the missionaries over to your neighbors who are not members and just have a chat? Or will you have a Family Home Evening and invite non-members and the missionaries over? And if you feel like you don´t have any friends who are not LDS, MAKE SOME non-member friends!!! It really doesn´t require a lot - and these friends and neighbors will thank you in the eternities!
I have made a goal to do so as well when I get home. This gospel is for EVERY SINGLE person who does not have it! We are ALL God´s children - we all should bring our brothers and sisters back home into the fold.
I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!!!!!!!! I am sooo happy because I have this gospel! I want everyone to have this gospel! Everyone needs it!
I love all of you soooo much! PLEASE write me! Letters are so precious and special.
HUGS! Animo y adelante!