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.