January 8, 2012

Hey hey FAM BAM!!!

From January 2nd, 2012

So Dad!! Another year older and wiser, too! Happy Birthday to YOU!
That´s so great! I LOVE CPK! (California Pizza Kitchen) It´s super delish!
I love food, I feel like I talk about it a LOT and we had a wonderful big happy lunch with the Pinto's and Pardo´s yesterday (another family in our ward, young couple with an adorable little boy who is VERY active and ´little boyish´) It was crowded around the table with so many peeps but it was so fun and happy. We laughed a lot and we ate lots of amazingly delicious food and desserts that Hno Pinto made. They were seriously so good!
Except.......we weighed ourselves today. And we are never going to eat again. hahaha
I know it sounds really girly to say this but what we are doing is an important work of the Lord and we feel AWFUL and now we know why. Gluttony is NOT in line with the Word of Wisdom.
Anywho, we are working on that as part of our New Year goals.
It´s such a great thing to be making these goals, and especially doing them with the Lord and His great work as the foundation of this task. I have such a great testimony about the fact that the Lord guides our lives. We can make goals for our lives and He will help us as we seek His will for us. We can PLAN to be blessings to those around us. Like a friend shared with me today of a simple act like observing helped him to feel the Spirit´s guide and OPEN HIS MOUTH to share the gospel. It doesn´t have to be an in-depth, deep doctrine explaining conversation to be sharing the gospel. In fact, the approach never is! BUT the invitation followed by a testimony will be sure to touch the hearts of those that our Heavenly Father is preparing and setting in our paths.
That´s one of the most amazing things about being in the field and doing our upmost in daily planning. Weekly and daily planning are ssoooooooo important!! Nightly planning of where we will go has proved countless times to be how the Lord is able to PLACE people where we will be. On the street, in a bus, subway or train, whatever, just as long as we find them and.....da da dah dum! TALK TO THEM!
I just marvel at it every time. Since, as I have said times before, we work in a very small area (geographically) we pass a lot of referrals of people like: Nahuel, Camila, Ariel and Perla, Gustavo, Georgelina and many, many more that walk up to US and ask where we are from and what we share! Those are such amazing moments that we know that by just BEING somewhere, someone´s fervent prayer to the heavens and a loving Heavenly Father has been heard. Angels are round about us always to bear us up. Not just us as missionaries or as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but ALL the children of God.
OK, so this week was so great! We have been working REALLY hard to raise the percentage of lessons taught with MEMBERS present. We can go around being chums and teaching people left and right but until they have a friend and confidant of a member that lives here, they DON´T go to church OR have someone to be accountable to. It has been really great that this week our numbers didn´t dip down as far as we thought they might because of the holiday. It is sooo weird to be here during the holidays, I mean here in the heart of capital, because when no one comes into work, the place is a GHOST TOWN! Well, especially on New Year’s eve and New Year´s day. EVERYTHING was closed, even McDONALDS!!! Shocking. But it was like being in the south all over again. haha No one in the streets. Such a weird thing because we are usually shoulder to shoulder or dodging people in a hurry to get someplace. Having the whole sidewalk to ourselves was crazy. We decided to talk to everyone that WAS on the streets and we got to have some good contacts to pass on to the elders in our district.
PRINCE! Well, he is still NOT baptized. I wish that we could just save him from himself in this area but agency, agency. Not even Heavenly Father messes with that. He´s been really difficult to teach lately and we figured it out!!! When he first got here, a lot of people tried to help him out and made friends with him. I guess a day before one of our members invited him into Church, he had been befriended by some Jehovah´s Witnesses. They have kept in touch and now, right now when he finally had desires to be baptized, they took him away for the weekend! He was gone just long enough to miss his baptismal interview (again) and missed Church too. It was super sad. I hope that someday, he will find the strength and understanding to be baptized and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Well, pray for him. I will be.
Ricardo, I don´t know if I´ve told you much about him. He was a contact of the sisters in Ushuaia and he moved up here not too long after. He has been coming to Church and reading the Book of Mormon. He says he likes it and that the world would be a better place if everyone lived the way it teaches. It´s true! He is progressing steadily. He even came to church with a white shirt! He´s not so jazzed about the tie wearing though. haha silly billy. Such small things when the reason we go to church is to put the Atonement into effect in our lives. It doesn´t matter what you wear as long as it shows respect to the House of Prayer where we get to worship our God.
There is a man we have been visiting named Becquer who is here in BS AS because of medical issues. We started talking to him because he was outside one rainy night when we were literally RUNNING by. We stopped to talk to him and he liked the message we shared and we´ve gone back several more times. This week, we got to be present as a wonderful brother in our ward went to give him a priesthood blessing. Becquer has NOT been doing well so the blessing was a great source of comfort for his wife and him.
On the 28th, Dad´s bday, while you were chowing down on delicious stuff, we were doing divisions with a future sister missionary to Peru! She´s great and we love doing divisions because we just know that more needs to be done here and we can do it by splitting up! We visited a bunch of people including with a youth whose family just moved here a month ago from Bulgaria. Hna Dunn went to teach him SPANISH. He and his family are converts from 2 years ago in Bulgaria (I think they are ORIGINALLY from Ukraine). They are faithful church attendees, even though they don´t understand a thing. Hno Danilenko actually plays the piano beautifully and played yesterday for sacrament. Alex, is 20 and is learning Spanish to help his family figure out what to do here. He speaks German, Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian and English and is trying to add Spanish to the list. He´s soo smart and already get the basic gist. UNDERSTANDING it is a WHOLE different story. He´s so great though! Love him! Our goal: GET HIM ON A MISSION! haha of course.
Well, I know that this New Year will be a great one, filled with work, love, and success in many, many ways. My comps will be spending ALL of 2012 in the mission field as I did all of 2011. They are going to be so great. I love them so much.
As Hna Dunn goes off to wherever the Lord calls her, Hna Erickson and I will keep tearing it up here. She is so wonderful and as I ponder how to help and serve her, I keep remembering what President Gulbrandsen promised us before she and her group of new missionaries got here: the spirituality of the mission will increase because of THIS group. Because of Hna Erickson and her companions, Buenos Aires is getting a new league of missionaries. I pray that she and all who come after will be 100 times the missionary I have been. The world needs it. The Lord and His children NEED them.

I share this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love, love, love you all! There are some pics from the Christmas devotional we had in Pilar. 
The sisters! Hooray! Love them!
Love you all, until next week,
Hermana González

 Hna Olsen
 Hna Cariola

Hna Erickson, Hna Dunn, Hna González

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