January 20, 2012

Together forever.....at least for now :)

 Despedida (farewell)
 At the airport
 Incredibly blue sky
 The mountains, oh how I missed them!
  I got here and it was a balmy high of 9º celsius. I almost died. I left the 38º of Buenos Aires 
  Hna Shelley had baked a delish cake 
Back with Hna Shelley on my birthday!!

From January 16th, 2012 Sorry fot the delay.

Hey family!
Thanks for the great birthday wishes! I felt so loved!!!!!!!!
I love all those people so much. I think it was great that I got messages from the friends of yesteryear too! Oh man, so much happiness.
So much to tell!!! I’m here. LOVING it while FREEZING in Ushuaia. umm, good thing I’m here in the SUMMER because I´m pretty sure I would DIE to spend all winter here! I got here and it was a balmy high of 9º Celsius. I almost died. I left the 38º of BS AS and it´s a good thing I didn´t pack my coat in my checked bags because it was CHILLY!!!!!!!!!
I didn´t get picked up by Hna Shelley, but by our zone leaders so I waited almost impatiently (because I´m VERY patient now :) ) to see her but she was a rockstar and out working with a member while waiting for me. I got to quaint little Ushuaia, which is actually much bigger than I imagined it would be. I think it might be bigger than Rio Gallegos...maybe I just couldn´t SEE all of Gallegos ever all at one time. But Ushuaia is like landing in JUNEAU. Seriously, I had to do a double take as we were descending to make sure we hadn´t been flying the other direction the whole time. IT¨S JUST LIKE SOUTHEAST ALASKA! I can´t get over it! The mountains, oh how I missed them! The snow capped ones too! It´s green, we are right next to the ocean and it´s just amazing! Cold, but hey, roll with the punches, I say! I´m sending some pics from 2 p-days ago with my last trio and then from the flight and here! I want to share this experience with you as much as I can!
Well, I was really bummed actually that I was leaving my dear Congreso the DAY BEFORE my birthday but, it turned out being the BEST BIRTHDAY YET!

So when I got here, I went straight home because the schedule here is different. But in the airport before I left BS AS, I had run into Hna Quispe, who came north from RIO GALLEGOS to be in Congreso with Hna Dunn. Her last companion was none other than HNA WHITEHEAD!!! (who sends big hugs and thank you´s for the package that finally got to her!) Hna Quispe came as the best mail carrier to give me two large envelopes, one of which was marked to not be opened before the 12th. Well, I didn´t so that morning was amazing and I got to see pictures and saludos from the loved ones I have in Rio Gallegos! So many people that I had taught or found are baptized now!!! HOORAY! Isabel, Familia Lazo-Atia=Roxana, Chrisitian and Juliana!!! Love them all! It was great to see them in picture at least. It was a great way to start out the morning.
Then we had a great zone meeting. It´s a zone meeting and not district because the other 6 missionaries that are here ARE the zone. It´s been super great, two of them are repeats from my district in Rio Gallegos. They have stayed south this whole time!! Elders Herrera and Geraldo. GREAT Elders that we get to work with here! Hna Shelley had baked a delish cake that we took to share with the elders. They love us.
We went out and had lunch up on the mountain with Hna Alicia. It was great. Hna Shelley had told her it was my birthday we had ice cream for dessert. LOVE HER! haha
We walked all around the Barrios, which I´ll have to tell you about some other time but basically my legs are SORE and will get HUGE from so much uphill walking and climbing. Seriously, I think I have never been so sore in my life. We also did a zone service project helping a family of investigators to fill a foundation of a house they are building and my arms hurt! Anywho, after all the complaining of my body being a year older and weaker, I have never been happier. We are starting out with somewhat of a clean slate, finding, teaching and loving and serving these great people of Ushuaia!!!!!!!!!!
Yesterday we had Elder Foster of the Area Presidency here for the mission tour. It was incredible and I love him and his wife and the great things they shared with us. It was a great learning experience and spiritual meeting. The Zone of Rio Grande came down for it so we had 4 sisters in our little apartment. Hna Milmont and Hna Gutierrez were with us. They are GREAT! Hna Milmont was with Hna Peña and Hna Whitehead in Tigre for her first 4 or 5 weeks in the field and she´s been down here in the south since so I had never met her! Love them.
Elder and Sister Foster shared great things with us, especially about establishing the Kingdom. We are here in the End of the World and Elder Foster asked us to think about what would happen to our areas were we to get pulled out completely in like 3 months. Would the work progress? Would the branches here keep growing, having baptisms etc? Or are we trying to do it all ourselves? It was a huge reminder that this work of sharing the gospel doesn´t belong only to us with nametags. We need to help the members share and teach the gospel not the other way around.
Knowing that Mom and Dad will be speaking next week about Looking up, that´s what I want to share really fast.
Sister Foster told a story about her granddaughter that loves taking baths up until the moment she has to wash her hair. She doesn´t like when the water and shampoo get in her eyes and she would duck her head down to try and avoid it, not knowing she was making it worse. After a very animated lesson by her mother teaching her to tilt her head back and let the water run down her back, Ally followed her mother´s example and smiled at the ceiling while rinsing her hair and found that baths and life were better when she was looking up.
When I heard this, I realized I needed to grow in my faith. I need to develop enough faith in my leaders and in myself that I will know what to do and that things will be better when I look up and trust in the Lord. Most importantly, with a smile on my face.
 I know that this is the Lord´s work. His hands are here in Ushuaia. Hna Shelley has been the friend that Doctrine and Covenants section 121 says. Verse 9. She is just what I need here, just like Hna Dunn and Hna Erickson were just who I needed in Congreso, just like all my areas and companions. I love this work and plan to never stop being a missionary. I know that this is the true church and it is my duty and my love to share with all that I meet.
I love it here. It´s so cute and quaint and it´s a WORK OUT!
I love you all and thanks again for all your love and support. I got the Cub Scouts Christmas letter this week! Thanks Beckie!! You´re great!
Love you all,
Until next week
Hermana Gonzalez

I will add pictures later, I have to go to work :)

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