Yo yo yo,
hey there family!!! I can´t even begin to tell you how much we have to talk about when I get home because there is no way that all the great stuff can be relayed in such rudimentary means as EMAIL. No great argentine hand gestures or phrases or facial expressions to get the great story telling effect. <bummer. I will tell you, first of all, that I am SO grateful to have such a wonderful family that makes me cry of happiness that you are MINE. MY mom, MY dad, MY dear brothers and MY LITTLE POOHHEAD! Seriously, 6 of the greatest blessings I have from my loving Heavenly Father. Wow.
Got a message from MATT super weird that that´s his name...ex elder Griffeth! Hooray! AND from Steff AND from Naty AND Brady!!! Happy day! I love these people! That has to be a record of how many friends have written me in a week because I ALSO got ANOTHER dear elder letter from the adorable Emma Cano! Gosh she makes me laugh. Good thing Hna Shelley has like the SAME sense of humor as I do so she also thinks things are funny. ALL the time.
So Monday last week was pretty great. Had a noche de hogar and got some new investigators though it would have been MUCH more successful had there not been a LOUD atheist who didn´t let the other people really feel the spirit because of his contention. And he wouldn´t leave though he kept saying he didn´t want to participate. Whatevs. Part of the new training program (there´s a booklet and everything so I don´t have to PRETEND to be good at everything, the Quorum of the Twelve and the First presidency has made sure that it doesn´t just get left to ME but that the Lord has both hands on the wheel....but MY foot is on the gas.... :) ) So part of the program is that by week 2 the new missionary is taking charge of starting lessons and extending baptismal invitations. Basically Hna Shelley is the bomb.com!!! She takes every chance, every challenge to make sure she isn´t getting left behind. She kept saying that she felt like a tag along the first couple days because she couldn´t understand the natives but she really isn´t! I know that I have to let her try, she will NOT mess up so badly that it can´t be fixed, I have no worries about her. SO basically, all I have to do is shut MY mouth and look at her and smile encouragingly and she takes charge! More like, she opens her mouth and acts on the faith of having a promise fulfilled that´s in DyC 84:85. She is SOOO Courageous! And it´s like not even a thing anymore. She is such an example of everything and I´m so grateful to be with her. She prays fervently every chance we get to pray for the gift of tongues and charity and it WORKS. She works really hard to understand but the speaking part is not even a problem. I help with the wierdo masculine/feminine Spanish has going on and pronunciation and that´s it! She´s a rock star!!!
Then Tuesday and Thursday were leadership training. It´s for all zone and district leaders and trainers and the new missionaries. It´s basically one of my favorite things that we have as missionaries. Zone conf and district meetings = great but I LOVE two days of getting fed straight from President in the things that he is learning as he´s learning it. Not that I don´t have confidence in my missionary leaders but the trickledown effect is so unfair to compare from hearing it straight from President´s mouth. It´s crazy!!
We learned a lot and I have been repenting so that I can have more faith and confidence that I can do the Lord´s work if and only if I trust in Him and not my own strength. And tomorrow is zone conference! Wow, I can´t believe this is week 3....this is going way too fast.
Last week we got a lot of former investigators to remember what they felt at one time and extended a lot of baptismal dates. We were even preparing a baptism for this Sunday! I was really excited but more for Hna Shelley with her first baptism. Then.....it all came crashing down. Dandy, the investigator, had to work the day of his baptismal interview and didn´t show up THEN didn´t even answer the phone when we went to pick him up for church. We were basically crushed. THEN I went to ask the bishop a question about a meeting after church and got asked to give a talk....not BAD. I LOVE speaking in church. But this was officially the shortest notice EVER. Like 10 minutes. But hey, I happen to carry a handy dandy general conference talk in my scriptures. I love it. It´s my favorite that´s why i always have it with me. It´s by Pres Uchtdorf from may 2010 the young women general session, called ‘Happily ever After’. SOO great. I didn´t talk about fairy tales so much as the tribulation and struggle before our happily ever after which means the Temple and Eternal life with our loved one. There´s a song that I LOVE on my ipod that´s by Jenny Phillips also called ‘Happily Ever After’. There´s a line that says, ´when trials are hard you´re just between once upon a time and your triumph in the end´. So, so, so great. People who weren´t in church last week saw me and asked where the elders had gone. haha it´s fun. The members are really excited for us to be here. Hna Chavez just about cries every time she sees us. She´s a convert from Paraguay, she´s pretty much the cutest grandma ever and her missionaries were also sisters. Aww.
So the baptismal dates we have set are still under construction. We have to make plans every day for how we are going to help these people reach this goal. Mostly, we need to have a huge group wedding and get a discount on cake :) haha pray that the normally sluggish argentine system for marriage goes abnormally fast, yeah?
Oh, some not so happy stuff went down this weekend that doesn´t really matter because hey, it´s over now. Things like the baptism falling through, weird contacts on the street, people stiffing us on citas, not being home/sick until 7 pm; we found out that only 3 converts of the last 2 years are ACTIVE. Bummer to the max. Then Hna Shelley and I were walking to our back up plans (thank goodness for plan b) and we were kinda walking in silence (a strange thing, NEVER happens for us....only when we´re sleeping) and suddenly we both started giggling. A giant poster we walked by said ¨Argentine Tour: The RICKY MARTIN experience¨. Of course everything else had gone wrong but at least Ricky Martin´s popularity is still alive and thriving. All was put right in the world. hahaha
It made my day.
So this week is going to be yet more of the work hard, serve more and FIND PEOPLE!
I love the mission. I feel like I am such a different person. I no longer am cowardly to hide behind an excuse like ´I’m shy´ or ´I can´t do it´. This isn´t MY mission. This is the Lord´s mission. Even though it´s hard doesn´t mean it´s impossible. I love the Lord, My Savior and Redeemer. Through Him, all my hopes are real and my love and life are full. I know this Church is the only true church. The Book of Mormon is true and so important in my life.
Love you all. I wrote a ton. oops. I waiting for the pictures to load and one is struggling. They are pics we took today at the Congreso Nacional and some pics from Tigre with locro (mmm....Hna Whitehead´s fav...just kidding. It makes her yak) and fun stuff I haven´t been able to send in a long time. Hopefully the pics with hna Campos and elder Griffeth also go through.
love love love love love love love you all.
Until next week,
(haha sam, i´m funny right) ;)
So excited I think she will explode :)
Until next week!!! Mom González.