Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November 23, 2015 (last letter!!)

I don´t really have anything eloquent or profound to say.  Just that I am so grateful.  I am closer to the Lord than I have ever been.  I have experienced sweet sweet joy and long to always have it.  I love the people here so much.  I have so much more to give, and I am so excited to continue to serve and to be back with family and friends.  

I find myself without words... so I will just end now.  Love you all so much and see you soon.

Hermana Eleanor Briggs

This little thing is so cute! Her name is "sweetness"



Valeria

She is so shy and so sweet... just hugs me all day long. She is a contortionist in the circus!


Guillermina Aranda

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

November 16, 2015

I am so sorry for not having written these last past weeks!  It has been a strange few weeks to say the least.  Some funny things that have happened:

-There has been a measles outbreak here... and I went up and give a kiss to little girl that had measles (it´s normal here).  After that I found red spots all over me... and we thougth that I had measles.  But don´t worry!  Turns out that they were bites from the flea infestation that we have in our apartment!  Hahah we are fumigating soon.  Don´t worry... they really aren´t that bad.

We have been doing lots of divisions with hermanas from all over the mission. And this last week I got to go to Rosario and I was serving in the area that was right next to my last area.  And guess what?  I got to go to lunch with one of my best friends from my last area!  She called at night and invited us... and we didn´t have lunch and had permission to go.  It was one of the greatest things in the world... because when I left she and her daughter and her mom had just started going to church again.  And they are now going every sunday and are preparing to receive their endowments!  I learned that the family that was baptized in my last area is still going every sunday... and that Jesus received the priesthood and is passing the sacrament!  I learned that a couple we taught is going to be married and baptized this next week!  And that the single mother and her two daughters that we taught are all going to church in SKIRTS!  

I contemplated over all of these things... and I truly feel that I am the richest person in the world.  I am so happy and blessed... Heavenly Father is taking such good care of all of the people I love.  And I am seeing miracles in my area as well.  Guillermina is going to be baptized this Saturday!  Her mom started going to church again and is going to get married to her dad, Matias, in January (it is the soonest date that is available to get married here because every day is booked already).  I found myself crying three days staight... in the bus and as I gave massages to my companion (she has a hurt back) and as we studied.  It was actually funny... I laughed at myself while I did!  It is a feeling of peace and saddness and hope and excitement all at once.

These next weeks we won´t be able to work much because my companion has a hurt back caused from stress.  We went to the hospital today and she needs physical therapy for ten days and lots of rest.  I have been trying to look for things to do to keep me busy in the apartment... there are many things to do. Cards to write, things to clean, clothes to wash, scriptures and talks to read... but I will be honest it is hard for me to be inside so long.  I have such a strong desire to be out and serving... but I know that now I am called to serve inside and help my companion.  

My heart is just so full.  I can´t think of another way to describe this feeling.  In stake conference yesterday, the chorus sand "Army of Helaman."  And the words, "We will be the Lord´s missionaries to bring the world His truth," touched me so much... for the last time as a full-time missionary.  And I looked up at the stands where the leaders were sitting, and Presidente Zanni was looking at me and we smiled and cried together.  It was a sweet and hard moment.

I love you so much.  I am so grateful for Jesus Christ.  I know that He lives and that through Him I received the strength and grace and mercy I needed to be able to serve a mission and help others feel happiness that comes from living the gospel.  I know that our relationship with God is the most important thing in the world.  And that He has a perfect purifying plan for every one of us... and we can choose to follow or not.

I love my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost so much.  Love you all

Hermana Eleanor Briggs




Wednesday, November 11, 2015

November 9, 2015

Presidente has asked us to do divisions every week with some specific hermanas... and this last week I went to Ramallo Pueblo and I took a picture of this in the bus!  This week we will go to Rosario and also have other hermanas come here to do divisions... many many divisions!!



                                                            Our Bikes!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November 2, 2015 (1 month to go)

This week was a very good one.  I don´t have time to write a letter... but I am happy and well and my companion is awesome and things are moving forward in our area!   I am loving this time that I have to be with these amazing people.  

I sent pics :)

Thank you for all of your support and love and prayers.  I feel it

We have bikes!

Our area is really green and it's spring!!




Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October 26, 2015

I will be perfectly honest... this week was one of the hardest ones of my entire mission.  My companion is amazing... Hermana Cerna.  She is from Barcelona and is the only active member in her family.  Her dad isn´t a member... and she doesn´t really have support from her family. But when she bares her testimony... the spirit floods the room and touches everyone.  

My area is amazing!  We are teaching so many good people.  Honestly, we have been amazed.  Because we don´t feel that we deserve all of the blessings that we are receiving.  We have been going to lessons and leaving more and more spiritually elevated and we can´t quite figure out why we are being so blessed.  But the spirit is giving us the exact words to say to help these people.  One of my favorite experiences from this week is that we went to teach a 9-year-old recent convert that smoked marihuana with his friends, and his mom asked us to go and help him understand the word of wisdom.  This family has been less-active for a long time... but they are beginning to resolve things and start going to church again.  We prepared a lesson for him, but ended up talking with the mother for a long time and giving advice that we had no idea existed.  It was a unique experience! 

Another thing that happened is that we have been teaching many people who need to get married. One of them is named Geraldine.  And she is so sweet... is a mother of two and has so much light in her face!  She shared with us about how late at night she began to read "The Testimony of Joseph Smith" and was so touched by the experience that he had that she felt an angel had come to visit her... and she cried in her bed and the spirit testified to her that these things are true. When we finished the lesson, she prayed that she could have the bravery to admit to her father (that is antimormon) that she wants to be baptized.  It was such a sweet experience.

Heavenly Father loves me so much and has given me so many amazing things this last week... though I am just beginning to realize the reality of the "end of the mission."  It was a brutal moment... because I hadn´t thought much about it before.  And when it hit me, I was so comforted by my sweet companion.  And I knelt down many times and prayed for the comfort and strength that I needed... and God answered me in such direct ways.  What little faith I had!  Though it continues to  be hard, I am determined to give all that I have for as long as I have... and I know that there is more work after the mission as well.  And that God will continue sending people to help these many loved ones that I have here (as much as I would like to be here with them).

Love you so much!

Hermana Eleanor Briggs

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October 19, 2015

Mi querida familia,

Wow this week was full of so many things.  Weddings, goobyes, baptisms, birthdays... not necesarily in that order.

First of all... we were so happy and busy planning the baptism and things, that I didn´t even think about how I was going to be leaving!  Until I was sitting behind a family of 8 in the church on Friday night... with three of them all ! dressed in white and shaking because they were so excited and nervous.  When they came out of the water... I felt the spirit so strongly.  I can honestly say that the best feeling in the world, is when the spirit tells you that Heavenly Father is grateful for your service.  It is the most motivating and gratifying and loving of feelings... I invite everyone to seek after these words.

I am now in Ameghino, Pergamino!  My first time being called to serve in Buenos Aires.  It is really pretty here... my companion is Hermana Cerna.  She was born in Trujillo, Peru but has lived her entire life in Barcelona, Spain.  She is super sweet and I am so excited because she is so loving with the people and we are going to be working a lot with the local leaders and we have investigators that are so great.  Today is her birthday!  Having just met her yesterday... I was trying to think of something I could do to help her have a good day. So I tried to make her pancakes this morning... and I ended up burning one because I was trying to flip it with a fork (I couldn´t find the spatula) and she ran in and was coughing from the smoke and I said, "feliz cumpleaños!"  Hahah it was really funny.

My last sunday was amazing.  The Aguirre kids were confirmed... and the entire family came to support.  The dad is leaving the drugs behind and they want to get married now.  I am so grateful for them... they are so amazing.  There were lots and lots of tears from everyone.

Love you all so much!

This is Sara... Johanna's little girl

Jesus, Delfina, and Atenas were baptized this last Friday and I have never been happier!!

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 12, 2015

Saturday, October 10, 2015

October 5, 2015

Well I just stuck my memory card into the hard drive send pictures to you guys and long story short it is stuck in a little tiny hole and I can`t get it out... so we are trying to call someone and take it apart.  I am trying to not let it worry me... the fact that it has every picture of my whole mission on it (I have a thumb drive with most of the pictures, but not all of them).  Lets pray so that we can get it out okay!

We had a good week.  We are in the process of helping a couple get married and baptize their family... but it is hard because she smokes a lot and he has had many problems with Cocaine.  I´m not going to lie... it is hard to see them go through so many challenges, and to see the effects of addiction and poor choices made by parents.  The mother of the woman that needs to get married (we will call the woman Wendy and her mom Martha) had her when she was 12-years-old, and her dad was 18.  Martha died when she was 34-years-old from HIV, leaving behind 5 children.  We are teaching three of these children... and I have never seen a light so strongly as I have in some of them.  They YEARN to learn more about the gospel and do things right... they set their own goals and try to accomplish them.  We are constantly going by their home... trying to help them trust in the Lord and strengthen their relationship with Him.  I feel like a cheerleader... telling them not to give up every time that they fall down.  And they fall down A LOT.  They are hard changes that they are trying to make... last night we went over after the General Conference.  We were so filled with the spirit, and we sat down with them and had the children leave the room so that we could talk with the parents. It moment, I began to feel scared and that I couldn`t possibly speak with the authority and power that I needed... and I thought, "I wish that I had one of the apostles here to do this work."  And immediately another thought, not made by my own being, said, "You are called here to do this work."  I felt the strength come to me.. to the both of us.. and we trusted in the Lord and were given the words to say to help counsel a couple in things that neither of us have experienced before.  There were tears and hugs and shouting at times... but we kept ourselves close to the spirit and I have rarely seen a movement in the atmosphere such as I saw last night... as the spirit shifted everything and made us all aware that God has a plan far greater that our own.  And that the Atonement is can unbind us from any sickness or sin.  And that Godly love is stronger than that of any other being.

I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost.  It is what moves between and within all of us, allowing us to do the will of the Lord and be greater than we ever could be alone.  It testified to me that the Elders Redlung, Stevenson, and Rasband are truly called of God to do His work here on the Earth.  And that God expects us to love Him always and serve Him even when we are going through hard things.  I know that He lives and directs this church.

Love you all so much.  

Love, Hermana Eleanor Briggs

Zone Conference!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September 28, 2015

I am out of time, but I wanted you to know that this last week was amazing.  We have been working hard and Heavenly Father is blessing us so much.  Roberto and Joana and there whole family went to church on Sunday... they took up an entire bench and we handed out coloring paper and pencils to draw and stay still... and it was so amazing to see Roberto and Joana look so attently and listen to the speakers and the spirit.  In Relief Society they announced their marriage and that we will be having a little party here in the church... and Joana thanked everyone and began to cry.  She told about how she grew up in the street and begged for money and washed cars and was raised in an orphanage because she was abused by her family.  She didn`t go into much detail, but said, "When I didn`t want to exist anymore, and didn`t know if God existed, I came here And I feel so good here and I am so grateful. And now I have the energy and patience that I need to raise the children in my home and sit down and do homeowork with them, and keep working in the little store we have (kiosko)."  Easy to say there was not a dry eye there and the whole room was so moved... and I love the work of salvation with all my heart.

Love you so much... Hermana Eleanor Briggs

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

September 21, 2015

Just pictures this week! :)


Melani turned 8 years old! We are teaching her and her family. 
Flying a kite hahah (it's called a comet in Spanish)
My companion made me Arroz Chaufa...so yummy 

Monday, September 14, 2015

September 8, 2015

Hola familia!  I don`t have my card reader to send pictures today... but next week I will send a bunch.

We had transfers and I stayed in La Florida!! I am so grateful... I know that this is where I need to be.  We have a lot of work to do and I love being here with these amazing and humble people.  My new companion is Hermana Valencia from Lima, Peru!!  She is so cute and sweet and tiny... and is an amazing cook and missionary!  We will be sister training leaders together still... which I am still loving as well.  

This Sunday in one word would be MIRACULOUS.  I know that when we keep the commandments, defend what is right, and work hard.... the blessings come.  They really do.  Three months ago when Hermana Knapp and I arrived to this area together and didn`t know anyone or anything, we found this family... I wrote about them one time... the two boys are named Nico (14) and Jesus (12) and are living with their older sister because both of their parents died.  Well all of them and their little sisters have been begging us to baptize them... though the parents didn`t want anything to do with us.  But Saturday night, right before transfers, we passed by the house and talked with the mom.  And she said, "Yes you can baptize my children." 
"We aren`t going to do anything unless you come to church... because you at least need to know what it is that your children and brothers are doing," the words just came out.

Sunday morning we went by the house... and thye were all ready to go!  They were all brushing their hair and putting their tennis shoes on!  The sun was out and it was so beautiful as we walked to church together.  And when we got their, and Joana (the mom) walked in, she said, "Wow their is a lot of peace in here."  

We sat down in the sacrament room and the members were so sweet and said hi to them.  When the time came for the testimony meeting... a little boy that is 10 -years-old named Jeremìas went up.  He is deaf and severely handicapped... and he went up and tried his best to speak.  And the spirit flooded the room... touching every one of us.  We could see that he had so much to say... he knows so much... and the spirit testified of the little noises that he was able to make with his mouth.  When he finished, his little brother (8-years-old) went up and said, "Amen," to close his brothers testimony.  I looked at Joana and she was crying (along with everyone else in the room).  And Delfina, the little investigator that is 10-years-old, leaned over to me and said, "Can I go up there?"  I told her she could but I asked her what it was that she wanted to say... and gave her a few ideas of how to share her testimony.

She walked right up there, and through her tears, said, "I am grateful that my mom is here and for the missionaries that brought us here.  Because the truth is... I feel really good and I am so happy. Amen."

It was so amazing... needless to say one of the greatest moments ever.  We talked to Joana after the meeting and asked why her brother Nico didn`t come, and she said, "He was embarrassed because he doesn`t have shoes."  All this time we thought that he was avoiding us because he felt pressured... but it was because he has been embarrassed about not having shoes.

I am so grateful for prayer... I know that the prayers of the children are strongest.  And that God heard the prayers of the little kids in this family... and sent us to teach them the way back to Him.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

August 31, 2015

August 24,2015

It was a week of many travels and good times.  I loved being with some great hermanas when I went on divisions to a couple of different pueblos, but it was nice to get back to my area for the weekend and see the faces of so many people here that I love.  When I pulled up to our little tiny barred-in house in the taxi, I almost started crying because it felt so good to be "home."

One of the highlights of this week was seeing the little 10-year-old girls hug each other in church when our investigators arrived.  The little children are so perfect!  They just become fast friends and are quick to forgive and don`t judge anyone.  They sense a good person.  It was so cute to see Bianca, who has been abused and hurt by her family from the time she was little, be taken in loving arms from the primary teachers and her new friends.  She had such a wide smile on her face, and skipped to her class.  

These are things that I will never forget.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August 17, 2015

Hola familia!

We were so blessed this last week.  I had divisions with two amazing Hermanas... including one (Hermana Harris) who helped me to see the importance in listening after prayer.  

It has been raining almost every day all week... and here that means that everyone is canceled.  All activities or buses... and often times stores don´t open.  I always worry when it rains a lot... because it is much harder to bring people to church, and there are less members.  We had been praying and working hard... and Sunday morning I woke up and opened the shutters... and it was a grey and ominous sky and really cold.  I got ready for the day and when we left at 9:00 to start walking over... the sky was blue!  And the sun was out!  And I took my jacket off and it was so nice outside... the flooded streets had even dried up a little bit.  In church there were 98 people.  98!  We are in what is considered to be a large ward... and we usually have 70 people.  But 98!  And guess what... the entire Romero family came!  And the Blanco family!  There were 10 investigators in church... way more than I have ever had.  We have passed many weeks without having anyone... and prayed and fasted and worked a lot with the members... and this week we went from 0 investigators in church, to 10!  I am so grateful... and it was so sweet to see how the members helped them and hugged and kissed the kids... and how fascinated the family was because no one was shouting or hitting their children or making fun of their spouses... it was so strong the spirit.

We taught the law of chastity to a family that needs to be married.  Our relief society president went, Mariana. She is so amazing... her husband isn´t a member, and she raised herself because her mother abandoned her and her sister.  Mariana was inactive for many years, but came back after marrying her husband. They have two of the cutest kids in the world... and I love this family so much.  She works every day, takes her kids to school, offers to visit families with us, and then goes to the church by herself to organize clothing that is going to be donated to families in Buenos Aires.  Of course, no one knows all of this... we as missionaries are more attentive to seeing service that others are doing, and observed all that she does in one day.  

We got to the lesson, and began teaching reviewingthe Plan of Salvation and Adam and Eve and what is the law of chastity.  And after we explained, the boy said, "So you are saying that I am living in adultery?"
"Yes," I said. "How can you repent from this sin?"
"Ask forgiveness and stop sinning."
We had the biggest smiles on our faces, and he said that they are going to be married soon so that he can repent and be baptized!

It was a great moment, and wouldn´t have been possible without Mariana.  Members do everything... we just bring the scriptures.

Hermana Eleanor Briggs

This is Mariana and her family...her husband Julian and her kids Francesca and Aaron. They are so amazing!


Sol. She is so sweet...she has down syndrome and always knows when someone needs a hug.


Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10, 2015

I don`t have time to write home about the week... but it was a beautiful one.  That consisted of helping people through anxiety, bringing people to church in the pooring rain, and seeing the members help us so much in everything we are doing.  You are going to love it here when you come!  You will love the people... and the carne asada (I never have been much of a steak lover... I like el pollo mas).

I am so grateful for grace and sarah, because they will be there to help me get back to life!  But for now I am trying to be a consecrated missionary and give my heart, might, mind, and strenght.  Love you so much, dad!!

Hermana Eleanor Briggs

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July 29, 2015

This week was fantastic... or espectacular as they say here.

I have been praying to be able to find people who are pure in hard and seeking to know the truth, and Heavenly Father just directly answered my prayers.

We were in a lesson with the family that I think I wrote about last week, called the Romero family.  And the sister of the father came and sat down across from me as we began to chat before doing the opening prayer.  I remembered that the first day we met them, I had invited her to be baptized, and she had said no, while the others had responded yes. I asked her what her name was, and she told me it was Elsa.

So Elsa stared at me with really big brown eyes... she is from the North of Argentina, and has beautiful long black hair and dark skin.  It is obvious that she has lived a long and rough life by the way she moves and speaks.  

We began the lesson of The Gospel of Jesus Christ, and she said, "Can I share something?"  She had been very quiet up until this point... and we smiled and encouraged her to share with us whatever her doubt was.

"I had an experience the other day.  I was cleaning the bedroom, and I found this book (pointing to the Book of Mormon).  I felt the deepest desire to pick it up and read it.  I touched it, and felt so strongly that I needed to open it... though I didn`t because I realized that I wouldn`t be able to understand anything."

We were so shocked we just sat there quietly... and began to explain about the Holy Ghost and how it touches us and tells us that something is good.

We continued with the lesson and began to speak about repentance... and everyone sat quietly.  And just listened.  And nodded their heads as we asked if they wanted to leave these things behind.  And Elsa stared at us so sincerely, and began to have tears in her eyes.  Never before had a I witnessed so strongly the power of the tongue of angels.  The change it can bring about in a person.

At the end of the lesson, Elsa tugged on my elbow and whispered, "Can I ask you something?"  Then she leaned over the table and softly asked me, "If you feel sad or don`t know what to do, can you kneel down and pray to receive help from God?"  Her eyes filled with tears, and mine too, as I testified to her that we can do that.

I am so grateful for answered prayers and that Heavenly Father helps us even though we are so imperfect.

Hermana Eleanor Briggs



Mi compañera y la Carolina Zanni
this is Sol and Franchesca!!  They are so dang cute... Sol has downs syndrome and her parents are faithful investigators... waiting to get married and then baptized
This is what a lot of my area looks like

all of the hermanas in the mission!  We had an activity together in the mission home... it was so awesome.  There are only 38 of us... muy pocas.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

July 20, 2015

I had an amazing week this week.

We had a lesson with Tatiana, who is a single mother raising two little girls. She lives right along the train tracks and works all day to help provide for their little home made of metal sheets.  And it was so sad as she told us that she chose not to believe in things that she can`t see, because she has been so hurt by people in the past. The sun was going down and setting behind the identical white government homes where we were working (you can imagine long lines of identical white houses with blue railing.. it makes me feel kind of like I am in a movie).  But it made a sort of pink haze as the sun set, and we set out down the dirt road and I couldn`t get Tatiana`s face out of my mind.  And I was wondering if she was so far from the spirit that she couldn`t feel it, or if she really did feel it and chose not to listen. As I thought, a little voice pulled me out of my thoughts.  "Are you from the church?"  it said.  And we looked over our shoulders, and found a little four-year-old girl standing outside alone by her chicken-wire fence.  "Si," I said.  And we began to slowly walk towards her, and I asked her if her mom was home.  The little girl looked frightened and ran inside... and out came the mother with her three daughters.  Her name is Lorena.
We began to talk to Lorena shared about the Plan of Salvation.  She asked us if we wanted to go into their home and talk!!  What!  We had to set up an appointment for another day, because it was just getting dark in this dangerous area and we had another appointment.

Fast forward two days later. What began as a lesson outside with Lorena as we sat around a giant pot of soup that was boiling over a huge fire, soon became a giant lesson inside of their little home with 9 people around us.  Her sister-in-law and brother and other sister and dad and grandpa and all of their children... and all of them were listening so intently!  There was silence.  And the brother, Manuel, said, "In every prayer I have ever done, I have always asked what church is true and where do we go when we die. And I feel like now I am learning the answers."  It was such a miracle!  This transfer has been one of the hardest, but the miracles have been some of the greatest.  I am so grateful for the stretching and growth that God is giving to us.  And for the spirit that is constantly guiding us. Sometimes I feel it leave as I grow impatient or upset... and I quickly try to change.  It is not easy and I am so so so far from where I need to be... but there is growth!!

Love you all so much.  This the Romero Family... and they are progressing well.  From the saddness of losing someone, came pure happiness of finding many.

Hermana Eleanor Briggs

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July 6, 2015 (sorry out of order)

I actually don`t know what to say today... it was such a week.  One of those weeks where seemily everything goes wrong!  Though I know that not EVERYTHING fell apart... because we still had a a lot of great moments as well.

I just tried to write about everything we did... but it didn`t come out right.  So I deleted it and am going to try again.  But basically we had to stay inside a day because of my achillis Tendon (I have no idea how to spell that in English).  But we went out to lunch at Patriarch`s house.  And as we talked to his wife and him... the spirit touched us so strongly and told us that we needed to leave and go to visit a sick member in the hospital.  But this member was in a hospital outside of our zone... so we called Presidente Zanni and asked for permission.  His answer was "Que harìa Jesucristo?"  He said "What would Jesus Christ do?"  
"Go," I answered.
"Then why are you calling me?" he laughed.  

So we arrived and had a very special and sad experience there... it was a good thing we went.  

But then later in the week we were sick... and then we had LICE ROUND 2.  We got lice from some of the hermanas that we recently did divisions with... but it is okay because I am now a professional lice-picker!!  My poor companion... she had it worst this time.

On Sunday we began teaching a woman named Tatiana.  She is 33 and has two beautiful little girls... and they are so skinny because sometimes they don`t have enough to eat.  She is a single mom and working and living in a home right next to the train tracks.  She told us, "I was born Jewish.  But my mom began taking us to the Evangelical church even though we are Jewish.  And then I went to a Catholic church.  And now I just don`t know.  But I decided that when Jesus Christ tells me which church is His... that will be my religion."
"Perfect!" we told her, giving her the Book of Mormon.  

Even though it was a really hard week for us, I am so grateful for every moment that I have to be a missonary.  I love it... even on the hard days.  When we are lost, we get to see Argentina and how amazing it is.  And when it is hot or cold, we get to experience a little bit of what everyone else around the world has.  I don`t really know what is is like to pass through hunger... because that never happens here!  But I love the people and getting to know them and learn from them.  And I am grateful that it is something  I can do my whole life... not just here.  And serve the Lord.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July 13, 2015

Last night my companion was really sick, and we got back from doing divisions with the Hermanas from Beltran.  We went out to work, and then came back feeling more tired than usual.  Planning took a while, and when it was just about time to go to bed, we put our pens down and stopped calling people and I went to change into my jammies. I was really happy because we had 4 set appointments that I was sure were not going to fall through the next day. At 10:30, right as we were triumphantly about to get into bed, my companion called me from the other room.  A hint of urgency in her voice.  And I went out and looked at what she held in her hand-- an afro pick.  "Is it moving?" she asked me.  And I looked and saw the slightest movement of a little brownish-black body with a bunch of legs.  LICE.  ROUND 3.  I felt frustration set in, but as I looked at the worried face of Hermana Knapp, I fought to change my character. "I think I am going to throw up," she said.

Long story short, we ended up doing the lice treatment and going to bed at 12:30 with grocery bags on our heads.  But before sliding into my covers, I went out into the kitchen and prayed.  And I pleaded to be able to accomplish all the things that we needed to do the next day, knowing that we would have to walk with all of our things again to the little lady who we pay to wash our clothes.  Surely she would think we are crazy for washing our giant wool blankets so many times!  And I told Him how frustrated I was because I just wanted to be able to work, and how we hadn`t been able to recently.  And then I felt it hit me... it has nothing to do with what I want.  This is not my work, it`s His.  This is not my work, it`s His.  I felt it echo inside of me, and I knew it was not from my own tired mind.  And as I knelt on our really dirty floor with a million papers around me and a plastic bag on my head, I felt a calm set in. That we make plans and set goals and do all we can to achieve them, but He shows us His will along the way.  And as we learn to accept it and be humble and know that HE is the creator of all things, even the little bugs on my head (as said by my companion), then we will find true happiness in the journey.  I may want to go to the four lessons the next day, and look for new people... but that wasn`t His plan.



I am grateful for all of the lice that gave me this new perspective!  And I pray that I never get them again.  But, always according to His will.

"God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.
He plants His footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take.
The clouds ye so much dread,
Are big with mercy, and shall break in blessings on your head."

He does work in a mysterious ways... even through lice.

Division with Hermana Bushman

oh how I love these people!


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 30, 2015

Hola!

Okay wow I just can`t believe how much the Lord keeps on blessing us.

Remember the family that we found last week?  Well the parents just recently separated (por una pavada) but I am pretty sure that he will be back soon.  So mean time we are working on helping the two boys who live in the house... Nico and Jesus (the second Jesus I have met here in Argentina!).

Nico and Jesus are brothers but have different dads.  Jesus is 12 years old and an orphan, because both of his parents died and he has been moving around from place to place basically on his own.  I don`t know his whole story yet... but you should see the smile on his face when he is inside of the church building.  And Nico still has his dad.. but has no relation with him.  He is 14 years old, and the two of them are living in their older sister`s house.

But when they come home from school, the first thing that they do is read the Book of Mormon.  We left 2 Nephi 31 to read, and Jesus read it four times!  Nico loves praying and they are both helping all of the other little kids in the house to learn how to pray and read and apply the scriptures.  It is the most beautiful thing ever!

They came to church on Sunday without any adult, because no one else woke up to come.  Nico is going to start going to seminary, and Jesus is going to play soccer ever Thursday with the Young Mens.

It is so amazing to see this change!  Can you imagine how dark there work was?  Having no one and being so young?  The few people that they do have in their lives have very few morals or standards... and it is truly a miracle that the two are not into drugs or already have children (which happens so often).  They were truly prepared and set in our paths by the Lord... and I am learning so much from them and their faith and trust in the Lord.

Also... we got to travel to Arroyo Seco, which is a sleepy little town about an hour out of Rosario.  And it was so cute... it literally looked like I was in the 1950´s!  I got to do divisions with some amazing hermanas.

There is so much work to be done here... and it feels like so little time.  It is goingy by so fast!  Divisions with the hermanas, vising less actives, finding new people to teach, and keeping up with those we do have, and also trying to wash our clothes while we are at it... wow I just don`t even know what to do with myself sometimes because I can`t figure out where all of the time is going!  

Love you all so much.  Use the time you have in the best way possible!  We are teaching a family of less actives, and the 15-year-old daughter has cancer and is not doing well at all.  And I see how the family has lost all hope and love for the Lord... and it is the saddest thing to see how they refuse to use what little time they have in such a poor way.  The parents have been separated for many years, and all of the children have forgetten how to pray and don`t know what the Book of Mormon is.  We are doing our best to listen to the spirit to know how to help. Like you said, mom, "Don`t get caught up in the thick of the thin things!" Presidente Monson.

Hermana Eleanor Briggs
Patriarch Florencio Taborda. He is so amazing... I truly love him so much. His love for the Lord is so strong and he is 91 years old! And plays the accordion. 
This is what most of downtown Rosario looks like... a lot of parts remind me of NYC.

Seeing Hermana Christensen agin! I didn't think I would see her until after the mission! She is the hermana that I trained for a transfer in Capitan Bermudez. It was so awesome to see how far she has come when I did divisions with her.


Divisions with Hermana Lopez! She is from Chile and is so amazing... so loving this woman!


We found a fish  head in our apartment... oh Elders.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June 22, 2015

If I had to sum up this week in one word, it would be MIRACULOUS.  Sincerely it has been one of the greatest weeks ever.  It was a hard week... we had very little time to work because we had to fix up the apartment that we moved into and also got to travel and help out some other hermanas in the mission.  It was a great experience!  But left little time to meet the people in our new area. Oh and I also had to wash everything again just to make sure that the lice are 100% gone!  Don`t worry, mom, they are gone.  

But one day, we were quite stressed out and ended up very far away from the house where we needed to be for lunch.  We called a taxi and arrived half an hour late.  And standing outside was the sweetest little grandpa I have ever seen in my entire life.  He had one of those scottish hats on that covers your ears, and a blue scarf wrapped tight around his neck and thrown over his shoulders, and was bent over and waiting for us.  
Sometimes it is really hard for people here when you are late to lunch, because right after is when they sleep the siesta... and if we make them late then sometimes they miss it!  Especially the elderly.  But he was so sweet, and he took us into his house where his sweet wife had set up the table.  And as we talked, I came to find out that he is the stake patriarch.  He has given over 1300 blessings to people over the past 30 years.  And he is 91 years old!

And he began to talk about his love for God.  And about how grateful and honored he was to have us in his home.  And he said, "I now live Sunday after Sunday.  And it is hard for me sometimes, because I recognize that I am no longer of this world.  All I really want is to have the sweet children at church come up and hug me, as they always do."  And I realized that I was bawling as he spoke!  The spirit was so strong.  You could see that he truly knows Jesus Christ. And loves Christ above all other things.  He face looks as though he were a baby... so innocent and pure and so much love and trust.  I imagine it is something like the Savior`s.



Another miracle.  We went to visit a family of less actives that we have not met before.  And when we got there, three teenagers out front began to make fun of us.  They told us to go away and laughed at us and told us not to even try to knock on the door.  But we did anyways, responding politely to everything they said.

No one left, even though they were obviously home.  But from behind, three little girls came out of an apartment building.  And began to talk to us.  I could see the mother watering her plants on the balcony.. and we asked if we could share a message of Jesus Christ with them.  All of the girls jumped up and down "Si, si si si!" they all yelled.
We went inside and they gave us two chairs.  We were surrounded with 9 little faces staring back at us... the parents and 7 children.  Many of the children are actually adopted into the family, because their mother just passed away and they don`t have any relation to their dad.  And we began to share with them about Plan of Salvation.
The spìrit hit us all so strongly... the mother shared with us how she had grown up beaten and living in the streets.  She enrolled herself in a type of orphanage when she was 8, and there learned about God.  When she was 15 she was pregnant with her oldest child, and now they all live together in a home where she and her husband are working to provide for all of them.  They sell "torta asada" and the children are all learning to work as well.  It is a very humble and prepared family.

They all accepted baptism and we are going to see them tonight and see how they are coming along with their reading in the Book of Mormon!

I saw so many miracles this week and I am so happy.  I love you all so much!  Be happy and keep the commandments.

Hermana Eleanor Briggs