November 15, 2011

hey hey all! IT´s gettin´ TOASTY down here

November 14th, 2011

Let me just tell you....I don´t think someone can REALLY get used to the heat. It´s all a matter of realizing that ANY climate is all the more REAL for missionaries. We don´t have warm, toasty houses to chill in when it´s 10 below, nor do we have air conditioning to follow us around on a daily proselyting basis....just wanted to let you all know that but NOT scare the future missionaries. This is just part of the experience. Hna Dunn said the other day that I could really scare people with my stories but to me it´s all the fun and greatness and excitement and wonder of being a servant of the Lord. We are representing Him who descended below all. So when we have to be super sweaty or bundle up with layers and layers of clothes or if the people reject us or dogs chase us or whatever that may happen, we still are so blessed and have NOTHING about which we can complain. We rise above it, we learn from it, we allow the Lord to be our support and our all for these trying times and He rejoices with us in the great times. I LOVE THIS WORK! (And if anyone scares away from serving a mission because of a little cold or a little hot, they are not ready to serve at all. SO, rise to the challenge!! Suzette's Mom)
Speaking of the Work AGAIN, have you FOUND the Tribute albums? They are just the BEST cds in the whole world. Hna Dunn and I listen to them about 3 times a day some days...we are obsessssssed.
The ´s´ key is sticky......lame. That was NOT actually on purpose :)

I just wanted to let you know about this week really quickly. Today we had to go and do some of the paperwork that we have to do to get national ID. It´s called a D.N.I. I already have one, HOORAY! And we went to start Hna Dunn´s stuff on it. That means we had to get up at 5 this morning to get ready for the day and take the hour and a half journey to the mission office. No big deal. It was pretty fun and entertaining because I got to spend half the day with....dum da da dum......HNA WHITEHEAD!!!! She is also training and our companions were sent in a van to do part of their paperwork and fingerprinting back in capital (my area, actually) and we were put as temporary comps (or we might have put ourselves that way...there´s no telling) So we got to catch up, she told me all about the great things that are going on in Tigre (yes...she is STILL there...I think she´s going on 8 months. Her ONLY area of the mission so far....haha I love her) and we just got to reminisce about our great 5 weeks that we spent together. Not a lot of people understand how we got to be SUCH great friends and have so many stories, and funny and great things that happened to us in LESS than a normal transfer.
Speaking of that transfer, Mom, do you have contact with Annika Huish??? PLEASE tell her that I am SO sorry for not writing yet but I am going to repent! I love her SOOO much. Tears came to our eyes as Hna Whitehead and I were remembering our few sweet weeks together and the time Hna Huish squashed a man on the bus when she lost her balance. Wow....good times.
But there were several baptisms in Tigre of people that we taught together! Karen, the girl that we even got to have a baptismal interview with, (the one that was nearly 3 hours in the COLD after which I nearly died from the fever...), same girl. Got BAPTIZED!! Yesterday! And Joset and Carol, the ROCKSTAR 12 year old and his 8 year old sister. Now they are starting to teach people, I don´t know but I was so happy to hear about these great miracles and about people I love!!!
(I’m sending this now and will load more pics.....)

Hna Dunn showing off her great model skills :)

The look outside the window.

Fresia Hna Dunn and I. Fresia had a bad day,  we will be taking more pictures with her and printing one for her WITHOUT crying eyes :) But now you can see her face and love her with me!!!

PINK HOUSE AT NIGHT! The Pink House is the Casa de Gobierno. Equivalent kinda to our White House :)

…So this week we realized that we actually have a LOT of great people to work with. We had been kind of down because it has been a very, VERY big challenge to baptize in this area but we took a big step back. I realized that we were getting ahead of ourselves and needed to go back to basics: serve, serve, serve. We pray and pray and pray, receive the revelation, and then get off our knees and WORK with ALL OUR MIGHT, MIND and STRENGTH, until we have accomplished everything we felt prompted to do. Technically, we are never through because the Lord gives us revelation bit by bit, raising us higher and higher and adding to our faith little by little until we are walking in the way He wants us to because He led us there.
That´s something that I want to tell Kameron. And all the future missionaries. I didn´t know exactly what to expect of the mission and of how life would be there. I don´t know, it is hard to wrap your head around and it´s hard for a returned missionary to REALLY explain, because it really is what each individual makes of it.
Thanks for sharing with Kameron my emails. I really do know that attitude is a key factor in how each and every day starts and ends. I haven´t ever felt like I shouldn´t be here, that I wanted to be somewhere else or anything of that nature. BUT I HAVE felt discouraged at times, felt guilty for not doing more and felt the need to repent and do MANY things better. BUT that doesn´t get me down. I shared with President in my last interview, I can´t remember if I shared this already last week, but even if I did, I will share it again. It is something that changed a lot how I feel about myself.
President Gulbrandsen helped me change the perspective on being TIRED and Guilty. He knows my face now. We´ve been serving together a while now and he can tell. I walked in his office and he asked how I was. I know that when he asks me that, he´s not looking for the standard, ´oh I’m fine, thanks´ kind of answer. He wants the LEGIT answer. He looked into my eyes and said (not ASKED):
Pres:  You are tired.
Me: I really am. And I feel guilty.
Pres: That´s ok.
Me: It doesn´t FEEL ok.
Pres: Well, would you rather be rested, with a lot to give and feel guilty? Or exhausted with nothing left in the tank and feel guilty?
Me: hmmm....exhausted and guilty. But I don´t want to be guilty or have regret here.
Pres: the Lord lets us feel that way because He always wants us to do our best. He is always pleased with our efforts but never satisfied.

I know that when I shared this with my companion, she didn´t like the thought that the Lord is never satisfied. I thought (not only of SAMMY scratching his nose :) ) but that it´s true. Of anyone, who better than our Father in Heaven to know what our true potential is and not rest until He helps us reach it? He sees us; He notes our acts and applauds us in our good acts, suffers in our wrong doings and rejoices when we turn to Him for help. After everything WE think that WE have done well enough, HE sees and always knows better. Hna Dunn shared with me in companionship study about being UNCOMFORTABLE a few weeks ago. I directly quoted to her her own words that day, ´when we are uncomfortable is when the Lord is trying to humble us and invite us to do something more´. I wrote it down word for word as it came out of her mouth and she was surprised when I read it back to her the other day.
That also testifies about how we learn. We have to learn and relearn and remember CONSTANTLY the words and ideas we ALREADY LEARNED because the human mind is a weak thing. I have to write everything down and then REMEMBER to review those thoughts and impressions because if not, I am not changing. If I´m not, I´m the same as yesterday and that´s a step backwards.
That´s also why JOURNALS are so important.
Kameron, on your mission NEVER GO A DAY WITHOUT WRITING at the very least ONE line about how you FELT that day! DON’T GO TO SLEEP UNTIL YOU HAVE REFLECTED WITH THE LORD ABOUT YOUR SERVICE TO HIM. Pray with a notebook by your side and write down what you think of afterward. The thoughts and impressions will continue to flow to serve your companions, your investigators, members, bishops and everyone as you learn to ASK, RECORD your thoughts and ACT on the revelation. TRUST the revelation. YOU have as much right to the revelation for your areas and members and investigators as your trainer does the VERY MINUTE you arrive to the field. USE EVERY MINUTE in the MTC to strengthen your words and to share your testimony purely and simply. No use for grand words and pretty phrases. The Spirit will testify as you speak with the authority and power by which you have been called and that have been bestowed upon you with this sacred call.
I pray for you and all of my family and loved ones. All you who ask about me, pray for me and the missionaries, who write me and send your love are SERVING. You are showing your love to the Lord by loving His servants. THANK YOU.
This weekend was Stake conference in Congreso and that was a HUGE theme. There are 25 wonderful youth that are going to the temple in Uruguay in January to make sacred covenants with the Lord in preparation to serve Him as missionaries!! 25!!!!! By March, this one amazing Stake will have nearly 40 missionaries serving everywhere from England to Colombia. 40 MISSIONARIES! How wonderful is that??!?!?! Don´t worry, it´s about half and half SISTERS and ELDERS.
SISTER CAN SERVE TOO! We are part of a wonderful and blessed generation. I LOVE being a missionary and hope that MANY, MANY, MANY other young women can have hopes and dreams to experience the same. I love my life, my family, my friends and my Lord. THAT is why I am here. I could never show so fully my love without being here and sharing it with everyone.
Love you all, have a wonderful week!!
Hermana Gonzalez

PS Package items for the blog :)
*Otter pops?? :)
*Baby Books of Mormon (as many as you can, I don´t know how much they are...but people here LOVE them and they ARE expensive to get here)
*Neosporin (the ointment stuff for cuts and stuff)
*CARMEX my lips are DYING....
*Maple extract!

And family, thank you soooooooo much for including my comps in your Christmas preparations. you have NO idea how much I love you and them and the grateful tears that sprung to my eyes as I read that line about the packages. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! And I’m keeping it a surprise for my comps so that they are surprised at Christmas!!! Thank you!!!!!!!!!

Hna dunn in front of the park right by our house. I say park because that´s what it´s called and that´s where the children play but grass? none and what there is....well, i wouldn´t sit there. Remember how I said there are a lot of DOGS in argentina....ew....I have never walked in grass here and had a good experience....

 Pics from our window/balcony (almost alll apartments here are built with a balcony, you can probably see that from the pic) one side and the other.

 My cool hair pic turned out to not be such a good pic to show my hair. i was just trying out a sweet hairdo.

                                                Hna Dunn and I.

                                              Pics from our window/balcony.

Purple shirt pics are from our p day last week. sending these to smile at you a little and for you to be proud of my hair growing abilities!!! it´s a struggle but I´m DETERMINED to have long hair for forever more....we´ll see..... :)

 For halloween we made the ´dirt in a cup´ treats. They were GOING to be for our district meeting buuuuuut, it got cancelled. So we ate and enjoyed them thoroughly ourselves. Oreos, pudding, gummy worms...oh the greatness of crazy americans treats

The Congreso Nacional with all the sisters whose comps were doing tramites. We had fun together getting to know my area! This was TODAY!

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