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