November 30, 2010

HeY all!

Ok, so once upon a time there was this missionary in Brazil and his younger, kind, but ever impatient sister back home always gave him a really hard time for NEVER writing handwritten letters. That young, kind girl has developed patience, brotherly kindess and charity as a missionary herself and realizes now that there is NEVER time for anything but the work. So please accept my apology Daniel-san and for the rest of the family thank you ever so much for the wonderful letters!!!
Yes, Father, my p-days are always monday unless otherwise notified. If not monday, it would be tuesday if my companion and/or i are involved in a transfer.
Hopefully that doesn´t happen for a while because I LOVE this area! So many people that have been waiting for missionaries to come and get to work.
So I said before that my companion Hna Peña and I were opening this area. There hadn´t been missionaries here for most of the last 3 months because there was a shortage of missionaries all of a sudden because VISAS weren´t going through. Seriously, when you pray for missionaries, pray that everything with their paperwork and visas go through because the lack thereof has really been gumming up the works. But I guess if this area hadn´t been closed, these people that we are helping reach the waters of baptism may not have been prepared for the journey. But ´the field is white and ready to harvest´. I guess i should say él campo blanco está ya listo para la siega, y he aguí, quien mete su hoz con su fuerza y atesora para sí, de modo que no perece, sino que trae salvación a su alma!´ haha I´m trying sooo hard at the writing in Spanish thing but i basically really suck at it so let´s wait a few months before we really expect me to be communicating so fully in Spanish. Oral conversation is totally fine, reading the Spanish scriptures is getting waaay better but the writing?? Still working on it in language study, promise!
OK, soooo
I felt like Elder Calhoon in the best two years, putting a huge star, circles and exclamation points around the number :)
Can you believe it? I got to see a baptism my second week in the field! The blessed girl is Brenda Aguilar. She is 10 years old and lives with her aunt and uncle. She moved here with her dad in march from Peru. Basically she was heaven sent and so prepared. When we gave her a book of mormon, she and her cousin would play scripture reading games. Seriously, they would sit and randomly open a page and start reading. For fun! A 10- and 7-year old. I LOVE them. She was super excited and really understood what we taught her. She is a strong daughter of God that is now working her way through life with the gift of the Holy Ghost to help her in this scary world. Hna Peña and I went to the church before everyone got there to make sure the font was filled. It wasn´t. It was also a little, ok a lot, DIRTY! We were horrified and last night checked that this ward hasn´t seen a baptism for over 6 months......oops. So we had to fill it in a hurry and hope no one noticed the water was a little murky. ha   ha    ha. Oh yeah, and there was a little buggy guy in there too but hey, next time, we´ll know. That´s our next project for the ward. CLEAN THE FONT! We´re going to have a lot of people in and out of there so it´s going to get done.
So that baptism was Saturday, confirmation Sunday. Yesterday at church we had 3 investigators. Well, I guess only 2 because one turned out to not even live in our area. :( we didn´t know that before we spoke with her and committed her to a baptismal date. So now that other area will get a Golden investigator, ready to be baptized on the 18th. They BETTER invite us to go....
But another investigator is preparing himself for baptism that same day. Alejandro has had a rough life and a really difficult divorce. I know that the Lord loves him because I had barely met him and I loved him too.
Also headed to the font, Ezequiel, Heidi, Luz, Charol, Guillermo. Pray for them!
It is absolutely miraculous the way the the Lord can bless a missionary´s heart to be so full of love for EVERYONE that they meet.
We are working with a lot of less active families and trying to get couples to decide to get married or separate. There are a lot of really great ward members that have been giving us a bunch of references. It´s so great! The members are key to finding and preparing people to be taught the gospel. It makes our lives so much happier instead of getting rejected time and time again. I´m getting used to people walking away when we talk to them, hoping and praying that somewhere, someday they will listen to this glad message.
Hey I totally forgot last week but HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! Mmm, i hope you ate delicious pie and turkey. haha you´d NEVER find a family eating a turkey like that here. Not even at Christmas.
Ok, can I just tell you that I thought everyone was exaggerating when they talked about empanadas and the pasteries? haha NOT A LIE!! I could eat empanadas morning noon and night. Every province makes them a little differently and here in the city they make them with ground beef, green olives (weird but tasty) boiled egg and some spice I still haven´t been able to figure out which one. They eat a lot of pizza and empanadas here. I had a FABULOUS steak with a family last week but Hna Peña told me not to get used to it because they really don´t eat as much meat here as everyone outside argentina thinks. They DO use EVERY SINGLE LAST bit of the cow for food but hey, it´s not getting in my tummy so no worries.
Oh yeah, mom, about my tummy. I have to say that the food and exercise here is a MILLION times better than the MTC. I STRUGGLED in the mtc with food. It was always yucky in my stomach. Ask my companions. They can tell you more than you want to know. But here, eating a healthy breakfast, large meal in the middle of the day, walking TONS and a small snack when we get back to the pension at night.....I have lost weight!!! Haha!!! Exito! Today we are going ice skating with our district and we were given permission to wear pants so we can meet them there. My pants are super loose! haha so happy.

Ok, so here´s the plan, I am printing out the emails you sent and I will reply to those next week so I can read them carefully and hear about your lives! I am so happy to see that everyone wrote!!! Even Kam! Thanks!!!! It means sooo much!
So favors, as a christmas/birthday package, Mother or whomever, can you send more noni leaf spray, leaf serum and those shoes? Maybe possibly? And i don´t know, whatever else goes in the envelope works for me. I can get nylons here. (I wear them everyday! They have SAVED my feet. I have these massive callouses on the achilles tendon part of my foot that would be open, gaping wounds were it not for the nylons. So I wear them despite the heat. The knee highs are perfect because then the whole bottom half of my body isn´t crazy hot.)
Oh! And if reese´s fit in there??? I would LOVE that and so would my companion.
Gots to go but I sent picture from the CCM, from here, from there and everywhere. I can´t remember what all of them were but there´s my CCM district,  um....more pics later. They take FOREVER!
I love this gospel. I am so grateful for an amazing family with parents that have taught me since birth that we can be an eternal family. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I love Him and I pray daily that His perfect, Eternal Love can work through me to bring my brothers and sisters to Him, to return together to our Heavenly Father in the Celestial Kingdom. This work is worth giving up my life for, even if it just 18 months. I can hardly believe at time that I am suited to do this. That I am authorized and set apart to help the children of God understand their worth and the Light of Christ that is in them to help them have move peace, comfort and tranquility in this tumoltuous world. I love the companionship of the Spirit when we are obedient. I know that this Church is true. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore the gospel in its fulness. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet that is leading us today. I love you family! Til next week!

Hermana González

Suzette's Mom here. I tried to upload pictures but there was an error message, I will try again later:(

November 22, 2010

One week in Buenos Aires!!

Date Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 9:51 AM
We are in the most incredibly incredible Wal mart in the world right now. It has EVERYTHING we need for p-day and so we will save so much time next week now that we know it exists and can fulfill our every need :) you didn´t know that my p-day is NOT Tuesday. It was just like that last week for transfers but it will be Monday from now until further notice :)
Oh my gosh, Argentina is CRAZY I can´t believe I’m really here. The people are so funny. Usually they are so stuck in the ´no thanks I´ve found God already, I´m catholic, God and I are good´ that it is amazing that we are even teaching lessons.
Basically our ward is awesome. As soon as we got here they had so many friends- and family they wanted us to meet and teach. 3 of them have already been going to church while there weren´t missionaries here so guess what?? BAPTISMS THIS SATURDAY!
We are teaching Brenda, 10; Brian, 8 and Alejandro, 41. The children are GOLDEN and so easy to teach because they are pure and full of love and just want to be happy!
This ward has been waiting a long time for missionaries to be put back in the area. There was a shortage of elders I think, so when they opened the area again, the ward begged for sisters. And here we are. Getting to know such a foreign place has been both stressful and fun. Most of the street names are actually more like memorizing the American presidents....Roosevelt, Washington, etc.
I seriously love it here.
Although Buenos Aires smells funny. Like soggy. And walking around outside, I sometimes get distracted from contacting people because I´m PRAYING for a breeze because I feel like the clothes I have on I took out of the dry cycle too early. Blech. I´d rather play in snow.
I DEFINITELY need luck to understand people sometimes!! I can´t believe it! Plus, my weak-sauce Mexican Spanish is always being corrected for the right word in Castellano. Like a hot dog is a PANCHO. and elevador is ascensor. Hahaha it´s fun.
Any who got to finish up because we are meeting the district leader for something in another part of town. I´ll let you know if it´s cool next week. Something about a park that is a mini-Bethlehem? I dunno :)
Say hello to the mountains for me....i miss them! I NEVER know which direction we´re going when we´re here.... :( I’ll get it.
Ok love you and write on Sunday night ok? Because I love you and want to hear from you ALL! You love me, too.....right? Then remember Alma 60:6. I didn´t want to have to bring it up again because it´s harsh. But sometimes you got to use tough love when you are 5,000 miles away from your eternal family who forgets you exist.;) Love you.
Hermana González.

Subject: Leadership conference
This is me on the 3rd day at the mission home in San Fernando! LOVEYOU!!!

November 20, 2010

Letter From Mission President

On Tue, Nov 16, 2010 at 6:57 PM, Richard Gulbrandsen wrote:

 Dear Brother and Sister Gonzalez;

Sister Gonzalez arrived safe and sound in Buenos Aires. She is now in the field working with her new companion. Sister Gulbrandsen and I are so grateful for her. Thank you for preparing such a wonderful young woman for the Lord's service. By the way, I understand we have a Mexico connection. I served my mission in El Districto Federal the Guadalajara mission was created while I was there in 1975.

Warmest regards,

Richard M. Gulbrandsen
Argentina Buenos Aires Norte

Letter #2 November 7th, 2010

Mom and Dad,
Thank you for being absolutely incredible parents and being righteous and loving and patient. I can proudly say that I am like Nephi in at least one way, having been born of GOODLY PARENTS :D
My schedule here is so full and i'm writing all I can fit in the time alloted!
My average day looks something like this:
6am- wake up, go to Sisters-Only workout class
6:30- shower/dress
7:00- study in class
7:45- EAT
8:15- class until lunch
12:30pm- EAT
1:15- class until dinner
5:30- EAT
6:15- class until preparing for bed
9:00- in residence for companionship study & planning
9:30- do stuff like, iron shirts/skirts, brush teeth, shower etc.
10:15- quiet time
10:30- lights out

So now that I have gotten used to the schedule, which only involves sitting, studying, eating and sleeping, it goes by tons faster!! Like there is not enough time. And I only get hungry 5 minutes before any given meal and if I don't hit the hay at 10:35 (after prayer) I am uselessly exhausted and can't even form sentences to speak to my companions.
So my companions and I used to get up at 6am workouts but are way too tired by 4 pm, that we were basically useless, therefore, went back to sleeping until 6:15 and working out hard during our gym time which is almost every day but not always. Depends on our other meetings.
Hermana Ochoa has something wrong with her arm, her bones aren't broken. The MTC doctor checked her but he decided to send her to get  x-rays at the BYU urgent care, which means, as her companions, Hermana Schumacher and I are going too!! That means we get to leave the grounds which a lot of  people  don't get to do for 3-12 weeks when they are here and we have been here less than two weeks! It hasn't happened yet but I'll let you know how it feels to be out and about Provo as a missionary :D
So Elder Ballard came to our Tuesday night devotional, it was AMAZING. He was so good! the Spirit is always so strong here and to feel the palpable difference of an apostle of God walking in the room was flooring. I had chills up my arms and my heart was full. And he hadn't even said a word yet!!
We always sing 2-3 songs 15 min prior to the beginning of the meetings and we were singing when he finally came in, we stood as we were singing "Called to serve" which my district were singing in Spanish. We stood, felt the Spirit hit us like a wave of water. I turned to look at both of my companions and saw the same look of awe on their faces. Elder Ballard gave a phenomenally inspiring talk on becoming master communicators. Loved it!
This work is amazing. Difficult but rewarding. I can't believe everything I do is is Spanish now! I read and study in Spanish, eat while speaking Spanish (not always with my mouth full ;D), speak Spanish in class, while walking from building to building. I think I've even started to dream in Spanish! Even though I never remember my dreams....! I HAVE woken to my companions sleep walking in Spanish! haha that was a funny night.
It would be impossible to share with you all I've learned, my testimony has grown so much, I could go for 7 pages about how the Gospel is the ultimate most precious gift from our Loving Heavenly Father...!
I already have my flight plans!! Apparently I only need my passport to travel INTO Argentina but we'll need to get my Visa within a month. I will leave the MTC on Monday November 15th. My flight from SLC leaves for Atlanta GA at 12 pm. I will make sure to see if I get  to call you guys when I am at the airport. I will be the travel leader actually. Three of us will be traveling to Buenos Aires directly from Atlanta. All night, to get there at 8 am the next morning, so the 16th of November I will be in Buenos Aires!!
Oh! I love my district!! I can't imagine having different elders to learn from and with, study with and just get to know, we are always laughing and happy but when it comes to the serious business of learning how to be better teachers of the Gospel and communicators of the Spirit, there is not one missionary of the 13 who are not eager to get better and to do their best for the Lord.
Elder Magaña, Elder Romero, Elder Campos, Elder Nielsen, Elder Driaza, Elder Fernández, Elder Ochoa, Elder Murillo, Elder Angell, Elder Romero, Elder Cam:os, and last but least, Elder Summers.
List of things that would be awesome if you could get to send to me:
......... if you could sent these things that would be lovely.
Oh, and one more thing:
Tell the kids to write, if yu have trouble convincing them to spend 10 minutes of their  computer time on DearElder, read Alma 60:6. the end!

Longest letter ever but it is because I Love You!! The Church is true. I am always happy here and can't imagine bing anywhere else but on the Lord's errand!
Tell the kids to write!!
Important: I have no ones email address so I expect a note from you to be able to have them.

Love, love, love,
Hermana González.

November 14, 2010

Suzette's First Letter

Oct 27, 2010
I'm alive and well!! You will never guess my awesome story about my first day here at the MTC. After leaving the loving arms of my dear family, I walked a short distance around the corner of that building with Elders Grow and Jensen (the dear Elders that helped me with my luggage). I turned the corner and sister missionaries with big stickers next to their name tags that said "HOST" were sitting waiting for me. As I approached, I heard a squealed "SUZIE!!!...I mean...Sister González". And out of the gaggle bounded, yes BOUNDED a beautiful, tall blonde toward me and took me into a kind hug, comparable to yours, Sister Stay!!! She's still here, I am glad for me because I love her and get to see her but sad for her because her beloved Polish district left without her and she'll get a brand-spanking new district who are learning the alphabet...sad for her. She will be here for two more weeks.
Hermana Ochoa y hermana Schumacher and I are a threesome. TWO companions! Yay! And we are the only hermanas in our zone. We got 14 Elders watching out for us :D
I am SOOO tired and it's lights out. This is just a letter to tell you I am alive and well, loving this so far and Nikki is here :D big smiles.

Love you all so much!
Love and hugs,
Hermana González.