Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January 26, 2015

Hola familia!

Well I just don`t even know what to say... this has been an amazing week.  We definitely have been working really hard and being super obedient in all things... and in doing so we are able to see a lot of miracles here in Capitan Bermudez.

Well the other week we were walking in a part of town with all dirt roads where lots of little kids and families are outside playing and drinking mate (so that you can imagine it :).  We were on our way to a house, when we passed by two peoples standing outside against a car.  We walked by, but both felt that little tug that says you need to talk to them.  So we turned around and began talking to them.  Turns out he is a member! His name is Mario, and he was standing there with his daughter.  She isn`t a member... and after a few minutes of talking we set up another time to see them.

Fast forward a week later, and we were on divisions with the Hermanas Capacitadoras.  Hermana Hickman and I went to have our first lesson with Mario and his daughter... and it was amazing!  She accepted a baptismal date after we talked about the Plan of Salvation.  It is so fun and rewarding to get to know people and here about the problems and hard things in their lives, and then show them how they can apply atoning power of Christ to their trials and weakness.  And we as missionaries grow in testimony of this everyday... because you can`t testify of something that you don`t know.  

In church there were 42 people!!  Eso es un montón! It is ten more people that we usually have.  Mica and Ivan were there (and they are doing amazingly by the way...going to get married soon and then baptized).  Andrea, one of our investigators who is 14, was there as well.  She is going to EFY this week which is so awesome! We are all fasting and praying that her dad will give her permission to be baptized, because that is all she needs.  Also, the Familia Mauricio was there.  They were sealed in the temple last week as an Eternal Family.

I can`t even explain to you the beauty of this scene.  Beatriz and Jose Mauricio and there five children, all dressed in white.  They have faught so hard for so long to be able to finally make it to the temple.  They have withstood all types of temptation and afflictions in their family and in the world.  They are such an example to me.  Next week I will send a picture  of them!  But as I heard them bare testimony of their experience, I wouldn`t help but cry and know that one day I will see them in the Celetial Kingdom.  It was so amazing.  That is the goal!

Keep your vision pressed forward on what the real goal is... Eternal Life!  It doesn`t matter what we have to do and what we have to give up... all that appears unjust in this life will be made right through the Infinite Atoning Sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Hermana Eleanor Briggs

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

January 19, 2015

Hola Familia!!

No tengo mucho tiempo!

Pero bueno... this last week was a good one. We worked really hard all week to plan a "Choca de Fuerza" which is when missionaries from other areas come to your area and you go and visit everyone to help the less active members and investigators all come to church on Sunday.  So we planned and planned and planned and visited and planned and called and planned all week for this!  And as we did, we got to know a lot of less active members and also found some great new investigators.  One of them is named Gustavo.  We found him one day as gave up trying to find a house that doesn`t exhist.  We took a wrong turn and the moment I realized it, I felt that we were there for a reason.  We continued walking on this dirt road, with green palm trees along the side and a few horses and a lot of dogs!  And as we did, we passed by a man and his family.  They were all sitting down drinking mate.  I wasn`t going to say anything, but I immediately felt that we needed to talk to them.  I ignored the prompting for the second time... and BAM.  It was like I literally ran smack dab into a wall.  TURN AROUND AND TALK TO HIM it told me.  I said, literally almost out of breath, "Hermana, lets go talk to this guy," and I turned around so fast I probably freaked him out as we ran over to him.  

But he is so great!!  He has been praying to know why there are so many churches and how to know which is true.  He has had a hard life and has six little kids that are SO CUTE.  When we finished getting to know him and we shook his hand and looked into his eyes, they were like the eyes of a little child.  He just looked so eager to learn and grateful that we were there.

Mica and Ivan and doing great!! Last time we met with them, Ivan´s biggest concern was what baptismal clothes he was going to wear.  "I am not just going to put on someone else´s white clothes!" he told us.  Hahah it was so funny.  But they are planning on getting married and not telling anyone, and then being baptized.  They are so excited to go the temple next year!! Every time we go to their house they have quesitons about the temple.  I am so excited for them and I know they can make it!! They have changed my life so much.  To see someone leave so many things behind and come from such difficult and different circumstances... wow it is amazing to see and I am Eternally grateful.

I am so grateful for my Savior and that through Him all things are possible.  All things that appear unjust will be made right through His Atonement for all mankind. And there are a lot of things that appear unjust in the world.

Love you all so much!  Keep the gratitude and be obedient.  We have rules to protect us and bring us Eternal Joy.   Not this fleeting earthly stuff.

Love, Hermana Eleanor Briggs

So that is how we met Gustavo.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January 12, 2015

Mi querida familia,

Well it has surely been another week here in Capitan Bermudez, Rosario, Argentina!  You know, you can totally look at the "Street View" on Google Maps and see exactly where I am and what it looks like hahah.  We had to do it the other day to find a chapel.
We had the baptism of Kevin this last week!  He is so sweet.  He is now the only member of the church in his family.  He is 10 years old and a SPIRITUAL GIANT.  I mean it... he is so sweet and caring.  It hurts me to see that other kids around his house are mean to him.  But he just has a Book of Mormon and prays so fervently and asks Heavenly Father everything.  He will do great things and be an anchor for his family... until the time comes when they are all baptized!  Poco a poco.
But as always... something happens before a baptism to try to stop the progress of the soul.  For example... we had to take apart the Baptismal Font (faunt?) and jump in the front and then something happened with the clothes and then something happened with the food and then something happened with the witnesses........ oh my gosh I thought my heart would pop through my chest just from the stress!  Finally a member grabbed me by the shoulders and told me "Ya esta.. hay que disfrutar todo."  Basically, "It´s done... and we need to enjoy every moment."  And it is so true!  I am working on my goal for the year... to develop Aequanimitas.  Coolness of mind when under a lot of pressure.  Being able to think clearly and make decisions and be an anchor for others.  LETS JUST SAY I STILL HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO.
What´s important is that his family had a good time. He had 15 family members that came... aunts and uncles and cousins and the whole gang.  And we were able to talk to all of them and we are going to begin teaching the parents tomorrow.
Mica and Ivan came to the baptism as well!  They are doing so well.  I called them on Sunday to ask them why they weren`t at church... and he told us about how he watched the video of the life of Presidente Monson.  He told me how much he loves the prophet... and he quoted a scripture!  That is so awesome, because usually Mica is the one who speaks of the spiritual things.  Poco a poco!  They are going to hopefully get married within a few weeks... marriage is complicated here.  Keep praying!  Mica said how her whole family makes fun of her for listening to us and reading her Book of Mormon.  But she just yelled at them, "Cállate o te voy a cortar la cabeza!"  Jajaj you can translate that.
Love you all! Keep on keeping on.  No one ever said that Salvation would be easy.
Love, Hermana Eleanor Briggs

Monday, January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015

Okay... this last week.

I never wrote about saying goodbye to Hermana Gonzalez and Hermana Rasband.  Well... it was rough hahah.  We all cried a lot in the terminal.  As Hermana Gonzalez and I sat in the colectivo (bus) on the way to drop her off, we both cried. She told me how she wished she could have seen more progress in our area.  I told her how I was scared to train.  But Heavenly Father qualifies us for our callings!
It has been crazy but weird but good!  I feel a little bit like I am in a dream... Like Heavenly Father is giving me so much strength and support to get up and go running and study hard and walk all day and focus during my afternoon studies and then work some more and then plan for the next day and then go to bed.  It is like I am never tired and I am always focused!!  This is a new thing for me... I think that Heavenly Father knew I would need a lot of help with this whole training thing.
Because training is fun and exciting but hard because you want to be the best example and do everything perfectly with exact obedience.  I am still seeking revelation on how to help someone "acostumbrarse."  I don`t know how to translate that word, but basically get used to something.  I just remember when I got to Argentina and felt like a fish out of water, and my training was the only one holding a hose to give me any agua.  Hermana Christensen is so awesome!  Already speaks pretty well, has a lot of confidence, and wants to work hard.  I am so grateful to have her as my companion.
Mica and Ivan said they are going to take out an appointment to get married sometime this week!  I am so happy.  I was so content in church on Sunday as I sat next to Mica and heard that Hermana Mauricio (a recent convert) and her family were going to the temple to be sealed, and also a little boy we have been teaching named Kevin is getting baptized this Saturday!  I am so amazingly grateful, and a little sad that Hermana Gonzalez wasn`t here to see this the fruits of a lot of her work (she was here for 5 months).  We are just now beginning to see the miracles, and I know it will still be hard in the months ahead, but I know if I give everything that all will be well.
Last week we went bowling with Hermana Macias (from Ecuador) and Hermana Castro (from Mexico) and Hermana Eustaquio (from Peru) and Hermana Egbert (from Utah) and Hermana Martin (from Argentina).  So amazing how you can have such bonds with people who have totally different backgrounds.  Love them all so much!