Thursday, December 25, 2014

December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!! Today is Christmas Eve, wooohooo!  I really can feel the spirit of Christmas so strongly here.  I will be honest, I was a little freaked out about this Christmas.  Because you all know how much I love to watch "It`s a Wonderful Life" with all of you, and do bread visits, and see all of the family and friends.  And the music and food and everything!  So I was worried it would be a sad and lonely Christmas, seeing as we can`t leave the pension all day tomorrow.  But I really am just now realizing what Christmas is.  These things are fun and aren`t bad at all... but really the birth of Jesus Christ is EVERYTHING.  The fact that the King of us all, both body and spirit, came in the most humble of ways, in the form of a perfect little baby.  I am so grateful for this Christmas I have to think and ponder on Him.  I am so happy!

Last week we had our Christmas activity and went to Rosario with our Zone.  Presidente and Hermana Zanni and their family came, and we played games, made cookies, and sang in a geriactrico (I think that translates to Old Folks Home).  It was so good to see everyone but even better to see the little ladies and men crying as we sang.  They have had such hard lives, and to know that someone still loves them really made the whole room move with the spirit.

The same happened on Sunday, when we went to a hospital with the stake and sang Christmas songs. After, we were able to go into the rooms of the children and women in labor, and share the Christmas Story with them.  We read from Alma 7:10-12.  And young mothers without support cried with us as they had such great physical and emotional pain, and we told them of how much their Savior loves them.  Oh wow it is so hard to see sad things, but so good to share the hope that our Savior gives us.  It is so amazing to feel the spirit work through you and give you the words to say. I have never given birth, nor been in the lonely place that they are in, but I was given the words to say in the moment I needed them.  My testimony is growing so much.

It has been a good week but weird as my companion goes home on Monday.  Always rough in the last week of the mission.  Mica and Ivan are at a stopping point right now, but we are working through.  I am studying a lot about the Apòstle Paul.  I feel like the prophets truly are my best friends!  Always have advice and can help me with whatever it is that I need.  Mom, I got the letters you sent!  I read all of them in a bus as we road through Rosario.  And I love what all of you said, I laughed until I cried hahah but it was just because I was so happy.  People probably thought I was crazy!  I will tell you more tomorrow when we talk, because I want to talk personally with everyone!  Love you so much!

I have to go but Love you and pray for Capitan Bermudez that the members can soften their hearts!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December 15, 2014


Our leaders called us a few days ago and told us that our mission, the Argentina Rosario Mission, will be divided into two different missions.  It will become the Argentina Santa Fe mission, and Argentina Rosario mission.  And it will happen in July!  What this means:  my past areas will be in a totally separate mission. And I might not end up finishing my mission in the Argentina Rosario mission.  Wow.  

Makes you want to cryThis week was a good one.  We saw a lot of miracles.  First of all, Mica and Ivan have had a 100% change.  They have this light and hope in their faces that has never exhisted before!  It is so beautiful to see, there seriously is nothing like it.  We were walking on the street the other day, and we heard a little voice yell "Hermanas!"  And we turned around and it was their three year old.  They pulled along next to us all piled up on their motorcycle, and they were just beaming from ear to ear.  So happy and energized!  How different from the couple we met that depended solely on cigarettes to have relief, and spent all day watching movies and not knowing how amazingly great their lives could become.

Hard Thing We also had divisions this week with the Hermanas Capacitadoras (I think it translates to sister training leaders).  They came down from Parana, and we had a great time.  But it was kind of sad because it was the last time I would see Hermana Rasband for a year since she goes home after this transfer (along with my companion).  But I am grateful for the time I still have to keep on working!  

MIRACLE The next day I was sick and we couldn`t leave from the apartment accept to buy gatorade de manzana (apple Gatorade).  But it was such a blessing!  Because we planned and did all we had to do, and I was taking a nap in bed (with permission of course) and suddenly we heard a million hard things hitting the tin roof.  It was raining rocks!!  I guess that happens here sometimes.  But it just came out of no where, and if we had been outside it could have been bad.  And it was only in our area that it happened!!  So I am grateful to have been sick, it truly was a blessing. By the way I am no longer sick now, it was just from something I ate (probably some raw meat).

And church was a great day.  There were two less active members in  the ward that I have never seen come to church!  We have been working with them for a while so that was so great to see.  And Mica and Ivan came as well!  And she cried and said "Hermoso."  Means beautiful.  And it is so amazing to see this... she never thought she had any worth, and now she can see it.  Ivan as well... his eyes teared up as we spoke of guiding stars in our lives.  Today we are going to put a date on their marriage and baptism!  I am so grateful to be here at this time and for all of the help and strength that the Spirit sends to us.  Heavenly Father loves us and Christ lives.

Love, Hermana Eleanor Briggs

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December 8, 2014

Okay I officially realized something this week.  Our testimonies and faith only grow under not-so-great circumstances.  It is easy to be happy under easy circumstances, and another thing entirely to be happy when nothing goes right.

For example:  it was really hot this week.  But I can`t express the heat... in the night, you have to choose if you`re more hot, or more tired.  If you`re more hot, you get up and show IN YOUR PAJAMAS and get back in bed with the fan pointed on your wet body.  If you are more tired, you just sweat and try to go back to bed.  

Then... our water turned off!  We don`t have water in our apartment... so we can`t wash our clothes, our dishes, or ourselves!  It is gross to say the least.  We also can`t go to the bathroom...

Then it rained really hard, as it always does after this heat.  And everyone makes Torta Frita here when it rains... which is like a fried scone.  And every single house makes it, and every single house offers it to us!  And it is just a lot of fried bread to eat... it slows us down a bit.  

It always scares us when it rains on Sunday, because that is always the biggest excuse that people use to not come to church.  But we prayed hard.  And as we waited outside on Sunday, after 8 sundays in a row (almost two months) without having investigators in the chapel... some members told us to stop waiting.  "No one is coming in this rain," they said, pointing to the flooded streets.  I was so mad when I heard this!  We need to keep the faith!!  

Mica and Ivan answered our phone call as we waited for them outside.  "We can`t come, chicas.  We only have a bike and in this rain it`s impossible.  And we are in Rosario right now."  Well my heart just dropped.  "It`s weird, something always comes up," Mica said over the phone.

We went and sat down in sacrament.  Just before it began, we heard someone say, "Hermanas."  We turned around, and there was Natalia!  She is the mother of a family of less active members that we have been teaching for 2.5 months.  It has been 8 years since they`ve attended church!  I was so happy.  We ran out and hugged them, and they came and sat with us.  I was playing with the little girl who is 5, Bianca, when I heard the door open.  I turned around and my jaw literally dropped open.  MICA AND IVAN!  I was so happy I swear I could have died right then and there.  They were soaking wet, and had come by bus.  They came and sat down next to me, and were smiling so big it just was the sweetest thing to see.  I think we were all smiling a lot! 

But I see that we need to be diligent and grateful in all circumstances.  Like I said before, it is easy to be happy when all is well.  But we have been fighting a lot to see this take place... and it truly isn`t until the very last day of the week, in the third hour of church, or (this literally happened) at 9:15 at night when you find the people that have been waiting for you.  And the test is how long we can keep smiling and hoping and walking.  Keep the FAITH.  During all of the storms.

Love you all!  Feliz Navidad!

Love, Hermana Eleanor Briggs

Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014

This week was exactly like those weeks that you always hear about in the life of a missionary... but it is so different to actually live it.

It was rough.  All of our lessons were falling through.  We didn`t see progress in any of our investigators or less active families.  We felt that we were losing a lot of time, and we also began having that creeping feeling of "maybe it is all our fault."  

We went to stake conference on Saturday night, and it was all about helping our friends from the premortal life. About finding them and seeking them and helping them receive the happiness of the gospel.  It was great... I left knowing that I have found some of those people, and that many more I still have yet to find.

But in the Sunday session we were a little bummed out... only two families from our entire ward came to the conference, and no investigators.  We came home and maybe cried a little bit :)

I have two minutes left to write so I am going super fast.  We went to a less active family, and we visit them every week.  But they never seem to progress... they are sealed in the temple and have 5 kids but haven´t gone to church in 8 years.  The mom´s name is Natalia.  And as we taught, they told us that they are coming to church this Sunday and aren´t going to let anything stop them.  They are going to go back to the temple!  And Natalie told us, "Thank you for your persistance and insistance... becauase you coming every week gave us the strength we needed to start going back to church.  Thank you for always coming."  Ah I could have cried I was sooo happy to hear this... because we never know when something we are doing is actually making a huge difference.  They have two little girls,  (5) and (4) and two boys they are so awesome and ready to be baptized.  After 10 weeks of visits, they are going to come to church!!

Love you all!  Got to go.  I will send more pics next week.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November 24, 2014

Hola a todos.
Motto for the week: God`s opportunity is man`s extremity.
It is almost always in the very end when we see the miracles! And I think I am nearing the very end, and so I am waiting to see a little miracle!  It was another week without our loved investigators in the chapel.  But I didn`t cry this week!  Instead, I thought about Nephi.  And how he had to create three different plans to receive the plates from King Laman.  Not because his first plans weren`t inspired, but because he had to learn something.  And then he ended up bring Zoram with him... he was doing missionary work!  And Zoram later became one of Nefi`s best friends.
We went over to Mika`s house to cut my companion`s hair... and just as Mica began, she said, "I`ve never actually done this before."  Hahah it was so funny, Hermana Gonzalez looked like she was about to die.  But she kept on smiling, she is awesome like that.
Also, a crazy man stopped us in the street and thanked us for all we do.  He then told us how in 2020 we will all be speaking the same language, all around the world, called "Esperango."  What the heck does that mean?
It is really hard, I will admit, to see a lot of sad things all the time.  Heavenly Father blesses us with the strength to love these people so much... that to hear of their sad stories really hurts.  But there is no other feeling like having the Spirit give you the words to say, to comfort those who are trusting so much in you.  Elder Holland said, "If we listen with love, we won`t need to wonder what to say.  It will be given to us-- by the Spirit and by our friends."  I absolutely love this... that when someone is confiding in us, all we need to do is listen.  We have two ears and one mouth, because we need to listen twice as much as we need to speak (I think Hermana Zanni said that).  And it is true!  Listen to them and to the Spirit, and words come that we have never spoken.
I am so grateful for the gospel in my life.  And when I see the hunger and abuse and suffering from serious sins, I know that all will be made right through the Atonement.  I don`t understand it all, but I know my Savior loves me and has a plan for me... and Heavenly Father watches over every one of His little children.  He is just so happy when we are happy and doing good things, and suffers from a sorrow only a God can know when we do bad things.  
Love you all.  Siga adelante!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November 18, 2014

We had a zone conference this last week with Presidente Zanni and Hermana Zanni.  Wow my mind is blown with how much I was able to learn from them!  The conference was 6 hours long but felt like 2.  One of the things that stood out is when Presidente Zanni said "Esta es la escuela de los Dioses."  Translates to This is the school of the Gods.  And it is so true... and not just the mission, but all of life!  We are being formed and shaped into a creature worthy of becoming Deity.  How amazing is that?  It hurts sometimes... but it is worth it.

This week was definitely a trial of my faith!  I left this conference with such a desire to work and to give everything.  We went out... and literally everything this week fell through.  We were both a little bit sick because it is so hot (speaking of which, our schedule changed due to the heat.  We now go to bed at 11:00, return to the apartment at 10:00, and wake up at 7:00!).  Our appointments fell through, no one came to sacrament as they said they would, and we had a few companionship struggles.  It was hard to stay optimistic... to keep this vision of success in our minds.  But I know that after the trial of our faith is when we receive the witness.  And if we endure it well, we will be exalted on high.  But I will admit... it just about killed me on Sunday when our investigators didn`t come to church.  I love them all so much... they have all had such hard lives.  I want them to find rest to their souls... and I know that only comes through the gospel of Jesus Christ!  

Sometimes it is hard to listen to so many sad stories from people´s lives.  Many deaths and trials and sicknesses. And you just love so much, and want them to accept these things and have peace and joy.  I found this scripture that I love.

Hebrews 10:39 "But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe unto the saving of the soul."

I love this so much, and I am so grateful for the miracles I have seen all around me.  So many!  Something funny that happened:  Mika found an answer to a prayer through the Book of Mormon in Alma 36:1.  She asked me, "Can you translate this scripture into English?  Because I want to tattoo it on my back."  Hahah it was really funny.  I will have to explain a few things.

Something else that is funny that happened:  I saw a Rodent of Unusual Size from "The Princess Bride!"  No joke they exhist here in Argentina, and it was just about the sickest thing I have ever seen.  It was so gross... and it was a pet tied up to a tree!!  I was in a dangerous area and couldn´t take a picture with my camera, but maybe next time.

And I don`t know if you can tell... but I really struggle to write in english.  and spanish.
Love you all!

Love, Hermana Eleanor Briggs

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2014

Just photos this week, no time to write!
Hermana Richey and I laughing at the beach

Mika and Ivan! They are so amazing...just need strength and desire and faith to keep going.

Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014

Happy P-Day!

Wow it has been quite a week.  

We are teaching a couple right now and seeing so many miracles, the mother is  20 years old and the father is 22.  They are not married and have a son who is 3 years old.  

When we first met them we walked into their little tiny home and he was sitting without a shirt and they were both smoking.  I had a moment of doubt, thinking "okay this might not go anywhere."

I couldn´t have been more wrong.  Something I am learning is that I know  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  Heavenly Father has prepared people, and you never know who it could be.  That is why we must speak and invite everyone, because you never know who may feel the spirit.  Who am I to judge them?  Who am I to say that the Atonement isn`t going to work for this person?

So anyways... we sat down and ended up having a great lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel!  Fast forward two lessons later: we have taught the Plan of Salvation.  And everytime we speak, the mother looks at us with really big eyes and is completely focused.  After our first lesson, she read to 1 Nefi 10!  She says that as she reads, she feels something strange.  And she has no desire to smoke anymore as she reads (this is amazing because she has smoked since she was 12 years old and currently smokes 2 packs a day... and weighs maybe 100 lbs).  

So we are sitting in their little green room that is typical for Argentina: the bedroom, living room, and dining room are all the same.  And it was 9:20, and we need to be back in the apartment by 9:30.  And as we spoke and read Ether 12:4, I asked her if she wanted "a better world" as this scripture says.  And they both said yes.  

I asked them what their goals were in life... and they said they didn`t know except for happiness for them and their family.  I asked if they wanted to live together forever, and she said, "Sì."  Nearly crying.

I bore my testimony of my family and how I know that we will live together forever. And how the key to this is baptism.  And then she asked the best question in the world.  "And how is your baptism?  I don`t understand baptism."

We explained that it is a promise with Heavenly Father, and that we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost after, and that we are washed clean of all of our sins.  I can`t  describe the looks on their faces... they were staring at us with such amazement and desire and love.  I then asked them if they would be baptized... and they said, "Tomorrow we will go to church and see how we feel."

Well... they came to church!  And they felt the spirit... and it was beautiful to see them at church in jeans and t-shirts with tattoos.  And the sheer happiness and enthusiasm to learn.  And this new hope that they have.  

I know Heavenly Father hears our prayers and knows what is best for us... and He also is looking out for those who have no knowledge of prayer or the gospel.  And that we are they who seek those that don`t know.  And that Jesus Christ is what makes all things possible.

Love you so much.  Que tenga una buena semana!

The familia Rendon...they are my Colombian family! All from Colombia and our neighbors are strong members.

Tarantulas in our pension! But we fumigated and now all of the bugs are completely gone!
Visited the Rosario monument

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 20, 2014

I am so sorry I don`t have a lot of time to write today... but I will say a quick thing that happened this week.  I was able to teach a woman named" K".  She lives in a more humble part of Capitan Bermudez with her husband and five children.  Three of her children have passed away... two of them while playing in the river which runs along the city.  She told us of how she only wants to find peace... because she feels guilty for the death of her children.  She told how her husband doesn`t want her to talk to us, but he too is suffering immensly.  The both of them feel that they are completely responsible for the death of their children...  I was able to share my testimony with her and tell her with complete and total sincerity that I love her as though she were my own mother.  And I could feel the spirit so strongly as I did so... and I began to cry.  I testified of God`s Grace, and His Atonement, and that He has already paid for all pain and suffering and sin.  And I told her of the gift of baptism and the Holy Ghost.    I truly feel that I am meant to be here and to know "K".  That we were together before this life, and knew we would see each other here.  I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to teach her, and for the strength and love that Heavenly Father blessed me with.  Love you so much and que tengan una semana llena de milagros!

"Y no temo lo que el hombre haga, porque el amor perfecto desecha todo temor."

"I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear." Moroni 8:16

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014

Well what a week this has been!

I said goodbye to the people in Paranà that I absolutely love (I sent pictures) and came here to Capitan Bermudez.  We are on the outskirts of Rosario.  It is a lot more poor than any of my other areas... dirt roads, no supermarkets (just little shops), and super humble conditions of the homes.  I won`t even go into details with the bugs in the apartment and how our toilet doesn`t work hahah.

But it so such a blessing to be here in Rosario at this time... because for this reason Presidente and Hermana Zanni were able to help me so much this last week!  I am so extremely grateful to them.  Both Presidente and Hermana Zanni spent (this is no exaggeration) six hours with me just in my doctor`s appointments this last week!  Taking me to the nicest hospitals and making sure that I was comfortable the entire time. I felt like I had my parents there with me every step of the way!   So very different from when Hermana Ulloa was sick and it was her and I in another city in a scary creepy hospital and I was trying to translate the doctor`s spanish and use all I learned in EMT.

I share this experience with you all s
o that you know that I am sincerely well and grateful for all that God has blessed me with.  I am sharing my blessings with you so that we can share a glimpse of the love and mercy that God has for us.  I am so grateful that all is well and that I will be able to continue moving on like normal!  All I have are a few pills to take and watch what I eat and I am good.  And I witnessed the power of the Priesthood as Presidente Zanni gave me a blessing that I will never forget.  I can feel God`s love for me so strongly through the people and blessings that he sends my way.  Hermana and Presiente Zanni are true examples of Jesus Christ.  They make one feel loved and special, but have hearts for the entire world.  Plus they have 250 missionaries and a young family of 7 children.

I can`t even explain how strange it was to speak to you while riding in the back of Presidente Zanni`s car.  But I also can`t explain how amazingly happy I was!  We smiled and laughed the whole way home to the apartment... not just me, Presidente y Hermana Zanni as well!  We just laughed and joked and laughed some more.

But I want to share a little bit of the things that I learned this week.  The truth is I learned more this week than in most of my mission put together.  But something important is La ley de Cristo (or Christ`s law).  In Mosiah 18:8-9 it speaks of our coventants of baptism.  And how we must bear one another`s burdens and cry with those that cry.  Presidente Zanni showed me another reference in

Galatians 6:2.  
"Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."

In Doctrine Covenants 88:21 is says

 "And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit anotherkingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom."

We must sanctify ourselves by means of lifting others.  This is the only way that we can have the desire to remain in the Glory of God when we stand before Him in that great day.

In the bible dictionary in spanish, it says that compassion means to literally "suffer with those that suffer."  That is what Christ did and that is what we must do.  I used to think that I needed to be strong and not cry.  For example, I would be in a lesson with someone and they would tell me of how their mother abandoned them, and I would feel the need to be stoic or something and try to console them. But the truth is, I don`t have the authority to tell them to be still.  Only Christ does.  And as I cry with those that cry, I show a bit of Christ`s love for them.

Love you all so much.  Thank you for your prayers and patience with me throughout the years.  Que tenga una semana maravillosa!
Love, Hermana  Briggs

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October 7, 2014

What a week...

Okay so I am going on my third transfer, third area, and fifth companion!  Heavenly Father knows I don´t like to leave people... and I am learning how to grow with it.  I´ll be honest... I know this would happen on my mission!

I will leave Paraná tomorrow morning, and that will be hard.  I love Hermana Rasband and Hermana Moberly so much.  I can´t even describe the funny and hard and scary and hilarious moments that we have had together... I have video but can´t send it until I get to a more secure computer (I don´t trust this one). Also, I love serving in the city.  So many things to see and so many crazy people!  It will be hard to leave la ciudad. 

Last night I said goodbye to Sergio and his family in Gálvez.  I will send pictures next week.  It was really hard but good.  I will never forget them and I know I will see them again soon... it is just hard.  They have gone through so many changes: joining the church, not having missionaries, and then saying goodbye to the only missionaries they ever knew.  They are the only active ones at church... and the year after conversion is the hardest of all.  I know they will be okay, but that this next year or so will be really difficult for them.  I wish I could be there to help them through.

My next area is called Capitan Bermudez and it is in the South.  My new companion is Hermana Gonzalez, and she is from Mexico.  I have heard she is amazing!  I am really excited and I will learn castellano quickly...

Last week Hermana Zanni, the wife of Presidente Zanni (my mission president) came and did divisions with us here in Paraná.  It was amazing... the spirit is so strong with her.  When she would testify, the whole room would warm up.  In every lesson our investigators ended up getting teary or crying... and ourselves included!   She knows what she knows and wants to share her joy with others.  I have pictures, but you won´t get them til later (sorry).

Love you so much!  Keep on keeping on.  "The task ahead is never as great as the power behind." -Brad Wilcox

Love, Hermana Eleanor Briggs

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 29, 2014

Hola familia!

Unfortunately I don´t have much time to write today.  It is a holiday here and everything is closed, so we are sharing one computer in the church.  But I will tell you that I had a great week!  I am learning so much with the Hermanas Capacitadoras.  We are really busy and working super hard... every night we come home and plan and change and eat and just talk and laugh and maybe cry a bit because we are really stressed but so happy.  I love it so much.  

We had two baptisms this week!  One was on Saturday here in Paraná... Elin.  She is fourteen years old and so sweet.  I have seen her make so many changes in her life so that she can be baptized, it is a beautiful thing to see!  I am so excited for her to marry in the temple and receive all of the blessings that Heavenly Father has promised to us.  

On Sunday we had the baptism in Gálvez... Maicol.  He is 27 years-old and a solid member.  After his baptism I asked him how he felt, and he said, "Con valor."  That means that he feels that he has worth.  It was so amazing.  

It was also really nice to go back to Gálvez and see the people there that I love.  But a little sad too... because right now I am not really serving in that area. But there were so many little miracles this week at church here in Paraná... Gabriel came to church on time, German was wearing a white shirt, Elin was wearing a skirt, and so many other little things!  

Transfers are in one week and then we will see where I will be going!  Maybe back to Gálvez... maybe somewhere totally different!  I wish I could write more... so many crazy miracles and problems happened this last week but I just can´t include it all.  Love you and thank you for your support!

Hermana Eleanor Briggs

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014

Hola familia,

What a week.  Sad and hard to be honest... but I am learning so much.  I also had a lot of really good and funny things that happened as well... but I´ll just start at the beginning.

On Wednesday night as we stood outside waiting for a colectivo to take us back to Gálvez I got a call from Presidente Zanni.  He told me that my companion needed to be in the mission home early the next morning with all of her things, because she was going home.  She´s been sick for a long time, and that is why she was leaving.

I´ll be honest it was super sad and for the next three hours as we traveled back we just sat close to each other and didn´t say much.  We got home, packed all of her things, and she left for Honduras the next day.  

I am in Paraná, a large city here in Argentina.  It is so awesome and beautiful... always so many things to see!  I am in a trio with the Hermanas Capacitadoras (sister training leaders).  Hermana Rasband and Hermana Moberly!  Of course they are amazing, because they are over all of the Hermanas in the Northern half of the mission!  I am learning so much about how to teach and work hard and organize my time efficiently.  They are amazing examples to me, and we laugh a lot.  They are both at the very end of their missions and will be leaving soon.  What is with all of these goobyes!??  No me gusta.  

I will probably be finishing the transfer here in Paraná with the hermanas capacitadoras-- which means I have two more weeks here at least.  While I am away from Gálvez, two Elders are going there every other day to teach my investigators that will be baptized September 28th (THIS SUNDAY).  These Elders are so awesome... waking up early and traveling to Gálvez (a 2 hour journey).  It is weird I won´t be able to see my investigators be baptized, even though it is still my area.

But I saw miracles this week.  Here in Paraná we are having a baptism this satuday of a brother and sister, and I have been able to see them make little changes in their lives (Elin is 14 and German is 19 or something like that).  First they prayed for answers to know if Joseph Smith is a true prophet.  They both received answers through the Spirit, and know that it is true.  They have stopped drinking alcohol and aren´t staying out as late!  They know that a covenant is a promise with God, and they are not going to break it for anything.  It is so amazing to see these changes taking place, and how drastically their futures will be changed by these small acts of faith.

On Monday before I left my Zone, we had a Zone Conference.  The Spirit was one of these strongest I have ever felt in my entire life.  Here are some quotes that I picked up from my Zone Leader. 

"If you don´t see the miracles in hte mission, it´s because you´re not paying attention."

"The limits for man are the oportunities for Dios."

"If you want to see things you´ve never seen, you have to do things you´ve never done."

I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for me, and that if I am obedient and seek His will, I will follow that plan.  Love you so much!!

Love, Hermana Eleanor Briggs 

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014

Hola familia!
I have seen so many miracles this week-- especially with the language.  For the first time today I decided to read El Libro de Mormon for my personal study.  I have been afraid to try it, for fear that I would be too focused on understanding and not be able to receive revelation for investigators, less actives, my companion, myself, etc.  But I understood it!  And more than that... I received answers on how to help some of our investigators!  I am so grateful.  Heavenly Father has been helping me so much.  Sometimes I need more patience or guidance or hope, and I go in my room and climb up on my top bunk and kneel down and pray.  Immediately I feel that my Savior is there.  I am so grateful, and I want everyone to know that they can receive the same sentimientos.
This week was a bit rare.  We had to go to Rosario and stay in the mission home while I did trámites for my visa.  Then my companion was sick, so we were locked in apartment for a while.  And now I am in Santa Fe (got here last night) for p-day especial and a zone meeting.  I will go back to Gálvez tomorrow in the morning.  It has been raining all weekd-- it is beautiful and crazy!  The streets are flooded, our house is flooded, the church is flooded.
We are teaching a 61-year-old man named Beto, and he is just so sincere.  He has never been married and lives all alone with just his dogs.  He has had quite the past, but quit smoking and drinking a year ago. Heavenly Father has prepared his heart to receive the message!  He is so willing and ready to learn, it is a great example to me.  I am so grateful to prepare him for his baptism on September 28th!  I extended my first invitation to baptism with the answer of "yes!!"  Such pure joy-- it´s almost like you don´t even know what to say after because you are just so happy for them.  They will inherit Eternal Life!
We also had a family home evening and I can´t even describe to you the feelings I had while there.  I guess "cozy" and "warm" are the words to describe.  Really, the spirit was just so strong.  I felt like I was at a family reunion or something... I love the people so much and care about them so much.  We all laughed and cooked and joked and lifted each other up.  I taught a lesson on keeping the ten commandmentsd: because I want nothing more than for them to repent and receive the peace and joy of being clean and dwelling in the presence of God.
So I was left with a lot of time to think this week as I studied in the pension while my companion was sick.  And something I thought is this:  I don´t know the life of Brother Philip Paul Bliss, who wrote "More Holiness Give Me," but he was so inspired.  That perfectly sums up the mission.  Not just this mission, but the mission of life.
  1. More holiness give me,
    More strivings within,
    More patience in suff'ring,
    More sorrow for sin,
    More faith in my Savior,
    More sense of his care,
    More joy in his service,
    More purpose in prayer.
  2. More gratitude give me,
    More trust in the Lord,
    More pride in his glory,
    More hope in his word,
    More tears for his sorrows,
    More pain at his grief,
    More meekness in trial,
    More praise for relief.
  3. More purity give me,
    More strength to o'ercome,
    More freedom from earth-stains,
    More longing for home.
    More fit for the kingdom,
    More used would I be,
    More blessed and holy--
    More, Savior, like thee.
This is my prayer for all of us.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 8. 2014


Okay, what a week.  I was out of my area more than I was in it!  That is always hard... because we lose so much to to be able to work here.  But I know the Lord won´t let them fall just because we have things that are out of our control.

We were in Santo Tome and Santa Fe (two cities that are about 2 hours away from Gálvez) for a few days and stayed with other sisters as my companion had to go to the hospital there for medical reasons.  I have the best district leader, who sat with me in the hospital for 10 hours while my companion had studies.  But don´t worry about me... I am good!  Just showing the support that missionaries have for other missionaries.

Other than that, we went to a Conferencia with half of the mission, and Presidente Zeballos spoke to us.  He is our area seventy... and he is amazing.  Hermana and Presidente Zanni spoke to us as well.  Oh how I love them.  He taught us how we can cut the head off of all of our Goliaths.

And it truy is amazing, because the spirit helps me to understand all that I need to.  At the end of the day it is exhausting, but I am grateful for the exhaustion.  I am sorry this is a really boring and short letter... but we couldn´t work much because of other circumstances.  Just know that I am doing well and I love the work!  Pray for Gálvez to be patient with us, because we can´t give as much as we want to right now.

Every week we get emails from our mission president called "estandartes" which means "standards."  This week this link was attached to it.  I beg you all to watch it. Pay attention to the time of 2.25 and 4.00. 

*Sorry no pictures this week!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1, 2014

Hola familia!
This is one of those weeks where you just don´t know where to begin.
Last week before Hermana Boren left, we were at the home of Sergio and his children (the ones who were just baptised). As we sat outside his house on little wooden chairs as the sun went down, he said that I was like a baby that was just about to take my first steps (referring to the fact that Hermana Boren was about to leave me).  That I was going to sway and teater and maybe fall down... but it was their job to help me keep going.  He is so sweet, and it is so true!  It has been a huge stretch this past week... I have felt the growing pains and I can see that I am already a bit taller.
Heavenly Father has helped me to navigate the streets, given me the words to speak, and the boldness to begin and end the lessons.  Truly the Lord is qualifying me for my grand calling.  Gálvez needs a lot of work and obedience and love (but don´t worry, I am still having fun).
My new companion is Hermana Ulloa.  She is from Honduras and has been in the mission for 9 months.  Because she lived in the states for 10 years, she speaks both English and Spanish!  So we set out to work... and we have things to improve in our companionship, but I am grateful to have her.  I am learning muchísimo about myself, the work, and how to work with others.  My prayers are more sincere, and I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers them.  I am relying more heavily on Christ, my Savior.  And searching for the Spirit in all things.  The scriptures mean so much to me, as do conference talks. 
So I tried to plan our time wisely, visit all those that we could, and also build a good relationship with my companion.  On Sunday (after a very peaceful sacrament meeting), Sergio told me that a member of our branch (Evelia- age 74) was really sad and heartbroken because we didn´t visit her this last week.  He asked if we had done all we could have done to meet the needs of our members and investigators.
I stopped for a minute and I think my heart sunk a little deeper into my chest.  I didn´t know.  I suddenly felt really small for my calling.  How can I meet with all of the less actives, investigators, and recent converts?  And still have time to build a relationship with my companion, study, travel for meetings, etc?  I don´t know how to do it.
We walked to an appointment with someone that ended up falling through, and passed by the house of an investigator that just dropped us and doesn´t want to hear anymore (after having had a date of baptism and everything).  I felt that I had failed this last week.  That I could have done better.  But something I know is this:
"God does notice us and He watches over us.  But it is usually through another that he meets our needs." -Elder Spencer W. Kimball
Last night my district leader, Elder Jensen, told me that he too has felt that way.  That we must listen to the spirit to know who we should visit and when; to be able to find those that the Lord has already prepared.  Thank you Elder Jensen!
And this morning during companionship study, Presidente Zanni (my mission president) called.  He told me that I can do this!  And I know I can, I must rely 100% on the Lord.  I am grateful that the Lord humbles us, so that we can remember who´s we are, why we are here, and how to do all things in His name.  After all, those are the covenants I made at baptism.
Love you all!!

My new companion.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 26, 2014 - Waiting for my new companion

Hola from Santa Fe!
Today I am the city of Santa Fe, which I think is beautiful.  I imagine it looks a lot like Europe... maybe a tiny bit dirtier :)
I am waiting to receive my new companion tomorrow... and I am so excited!  It was difficult to say "hasta luego" to my "media naranja" (which literally translates to ´half an orange´ and means my other half).  I am so grateful for the mountains that Hermana Boren and I were able to climb together, and grateful to climb even more! "Don´t live with regrets.  Live with learning for the future." -Hermana Boren.  She told me this on a particularly self-doubtful day.  I hope it can help one of you.
Okay... we have a less active member of the ward names Electra.  She is pushing 80 years old I think, and she is so sweet.  She wants to learn English, and was a professor of humanities and social studies for years.  She is maybe 4´4" because I believe that I am a foot taller than her... and she is just the sweetest thing!  Always wearing pink or purple scarves and baggy sweaters and maybe some sort of a crazy coso in her white hair.  Whenever we work with the elderly, I am reminded of President Monson and his love and service for them.  They have so much to teach me.. they have seen so many things!  I hope that I too can teach them something. 
Electra´s house is like a story book. Or maybe a haunted house.  There are stacks and piles of books with layers upon layers of dust.  Spider webs are everywhere and she has two really creepy refridgerators with who-knows-what hidden inside.  But I love going over there because she has an energy and spirit that is so lively! She is so ready to learn.
Happy birthday Amelia Mae!!
I am giving you a big hug from Argentina.  Be ready for me when I come home... because I am now a lot more huggy than I was before.  The Latin culture is rubbing off on me :)