Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thanksgiving in Argentina



Wow, I can´t believe it! I am SO excited to talk to everyone on CHRISTMAS! Can you believe it? Time went by SOOO fast – I want it to slow down a bit!

The Christmas Spirit is wonderful – and SO backwards when it´s HOT outside and I´m sweating looking at Christmas trees and decorations! J We´ve been eating all kinds of things, Pan Dulce and treats, I´m stoked for Christmas!

We have 1 hour to call on Christmas! I want to call Dad, Mom, Biffy, Abby and Jack AND Ben and Jackie. So maybe 45 minutes con la fam and 15 con Ben and Jackie? Or however we can do it! I´ll try to let you know, but for now, our cell phone number is… 2236023330 … I{m not sure about the country code ni nada! Also, what´s our number? I´m thinking about calling to set up our appointment to see if our system works a day or two beforehand.

Wow, what a week! Very slow and difficult, but always SO worth it!

I am sitting next to Hermana Freeman in a cyber with the cars going by and the busy city (what a blessing Hermana Freeman is in my mission life!) just thinking about all the wonderful blessings I have recieved. The other day we talked to a return missionary/boyfriend of a recient convert who talked to us about the mission. He looked at me and said, Isn´t it true that even for that ONE person we were supposed to meet and help bring to Christ, it´s all worth it? I looked at him and said, teary eyed, Yes. It´s ALL worth it!

I truly believe that. Oscar is worth EVERYTHING – all of the challenges and hard times, all of the crazy citas and contactos and investigadores and problems with the laws and ordinances of the Lord, in this horrible world that´s full of sin… Oscar is worth all of this. And hopefully others – like the familia Roberto.

They are… .well, in a pickle. Bigger than the pickle in the Sand Lot.

Claudia (the mom) and Kevin (the 9 year old) went to church (woohooo!) but Jennifer, Nadia, y Bryan didn´t go. ALSO, the Dad is working on a boat for a month and won´t be there for the baptism. We feel like it is very very important to them to have their father there. We want him to be there to feel of the Spirit and stop smoking and decide to get baptized too. Jennifer said that she wants her Dad to be there on this special day. I really think so, too. So, we´re probably pushing their baptism back to the first week of Enero, maybe the second. Oh, I just want them to get baptized and receive the Holy Ghost as a family and feel the difference it makes in their lives!

We had 3 people at church – Claudia, Kevin, and a new investigador Oscar. He was a random contact we did on the street. One of those, we passed by him and me, being me, said, wait, let´s go talk to him! So we went back and talked to him about Christ. He said he´d go to church. We went back to visit him on Saturday to remind him. He walked out of his house with his shirt off, and slowing putting it on, smiling at us, and he said, Yeah yeah, I´ll be there. 9:30, right? Hermana Freeman said, ohhhh dear, but surprisingly, I didn´t shake my head in disgust and say (like I normally do) CHAVON (aka Punk o ridiculous man why did you do that to us? Don´t you know we are servants of the Lord?) I just said, We´ll see if he comes…. AND HE DID!!!!!! Biggest surprise EVER!!!!!!! We didn´t get to speak to him very much because our Líder Misional was SO great and sat by him in Sacrament meeting and helped him out with church. He said he loved it and wants to bring his son next week! Luis (the LM) thinks he has problems with drugs, but Luis said, He told me he really really wants to change his life around for his son!

Christ loves us all! It´s SO true! He literally paid the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual price for ALL of our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual strife. I´m trying to read the prayer Christ offers in Gethsemane that´s found in John while I take the sacrament. It´s beautiful – remarkable the love He has for the Father and for ME, for US! Through Him, we have the potential to become AS God – as HE has done! He is ONE with Heavenly Father – in every aspect. And we must be ONE – like the word Atonement : AT – ONE – MENT with God.

We ALL can be forgiven through His grace, mercy, and love. Oscar can, la Familia Roberto can, every person I meet here in Mar del Plata can. I hope and pray everyday that these wonderful people accept the gospel message. I also pray every day for all of you! I miss you and love with all of my heart!


Hermana Tingey


Sometimes He calms the storm,
sometimes He calms the sailor,
and sometimes He lets us swim.

Well...this week was a ¨swimming¨ week, but in the end, through all of YOUR faith and fasting and prayers... and help from on high, we had FIVE people at church!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOHOOOO!!!! La Familia Roberto came!! Not everyone, but la mamá Claudia with Jennifer (16), Nadia (12), y Kevin (9)!! And we had a surprise, an Hermano brought one of his friends Iliana to church! She sobbed during Testimony meeting and had to leave, but came back happy. I think she felt the Spirit very strongly.

Our Zone Leaders had a bautismo yesterday and we were all invited to go. The Spirit was SO strong! I remembered how I felt at Oscar´s bautismo. It was a great reminder of why we deal with all the opposition and strife that we do - because this gospel changes lives! Because NO ONE can enter into the kingdom of God without this saving ordinances preformed by the correct authority on the earth. I have such a stronger testimony of the Restoration of the Priesthood and Covenants - what gran gozo, what great joy that we have the fulness of the gospel!

Some of my favorite investigadores told me that they don´t want to get baptized and don´t want to continue learning from us. Beti who remembered and re-taught her husband the Plan of Salvation without our help and Ayelen, who is the most loving and kind MardelPlatense I´ve ever met! They both said they didn´t want it now - even though I know NOW is best for them! I hurt sooo badly, my heart and my soul. I am a very passionate/emotional person. I put my whole self into this work FOR my investigadores - it literally hurt me. However, I felt peace from the Lord. I always second guess myself, ¨Was it MY fault they didn´t progress? Was it because we didn´t have enough lessons with a member? Was it because I didn´t convey my testimony well enough? Why am I here if I can´t baptize?¨ It´s hard and Satan works harder and harder on getting me down... the worst is that usually I let him.
BUT, there are ALWAYS blessings. Sometimes, the Lord calms the ¨sailors,¨ no? I read a GREAT scripture in Romans that my Zone Leader gave me, I read the Pslam of Nefi justo during this difficult time, and of course, the 5 in the capilla which was a MIRACLE!

We had a couple new investigadores this week. One named Elida, is an old woman who is alone alone alone. Pobrecita, she´s widowed, her only son and only nieto live in Buenos Aires, she´s sick, and just alone. A member from another ward works in her building and gave us her as a reference (how I LOVE references from members!!!!!). We shared with her the love of God and she cried.

Another is named Deborah. She´s 15 and pregnant. She lives in the villa, or the ghetto, in our area. We´d never set foot in there because our leaders didn´t want us to and because the members always scare us with stories. However, I LOVE the villa´s in Bahía Blanca and we went to look for an antiguo investigadora - she wasn´t there, but we asked if we could teach them. One was named Deborah and she let us in. We taught the first lesson, she accepted the bautismal compromiso, and wanted to go to church! But when we went back during the week, she wasn´t interested anymore. The government is kicking everyone out of the villa, so she has to return home to northern Argentina. I told her she needs to look for the chicos with white shirts and ties, but she just seemed sad and frustrated with us. She´s a good girl though - has made some bad decisions, but who hasn´t? She´s in the most need for love and forgiveness of the Savior.

I´d LOVE to take pictures of things, but now I´m scared to take my (new) camera out and about. Argentina is NOT a safe place and the summer is worse in Mar del Plata because there are more tourist and more ¨Chorros¨ or robbers here. I´ll try to remember to take more though!

Prayer list:
Familia Roberto: Oscar y Claudia, Jennifer, Bryan, Nadia, Kevin, y Mmy - that they will get baptized on the 19th of December!!!! I am praying for a white Christmas!
Miguel y Eduardo that they will come to church!
Elida, Mariana, Hugo, Victoria, Virgina, Martina - That they will read the BOM and pray to know it´s true AND let us come teach them again!

This Church is the true church of our Savior Jess Christ! I know that with my whole soul - it´s an incredible privilege to be part of this work! I only hope and pray I can help bring MORE souls unto my Redeemer who has blessed ME so much - I can only hope to help bring blessings to someone else´s life!

Ánimo y adelante!!!!

Hermana Tingey

Saben que - Hermana Freeman is re-teaching me English vocabulary!!! Who knew I´d forget so many words? :)