Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February 23, 2015

Hi family!
Okay so all of our computer time was just cut half an hour... so I have to email MUY RAPIDO!  This is not to say that I want you to stop emailing me... by all means I NEED EMAILS hahah but it just is so you know that my responses will be shorter or super badly written.
I had an amazing week this last week.  It was stressful but great (the most rewarding kind).  We are still getting to know all of our area and our members... and they are great!  Seriously so amazing.  There is one family in particular that I would like to write about.  La Familia Olmos.
Hermano Olmos is probably the most humble man I have ever met in my entire life.  I wish I had a picture to send you.  But they have 6 children, and one of them passed away when she was 2 years old.  She was crawling on the ground and was stung by a scorpion-like thing that lives here, and she went into a coma, and died three days later.  At this time, they were not active in the church.  After the death of their little girl, they almost were divorced and lost everything in their family.  
But, after six years of not going to church, they returned.  They picked up their scriptures and started reading them, and they prayed as a family, and they returned to the temple.  And now, was the first counselor in the bishopric but was just called to be a High Counselor.  They are some of the greatest people I have ever met, so humble and sweet and always willing to help us with whatever we need.  INCLUDING coming to lessons with us.
Okay, I also had the opportunity to go to the baptism of Fede and Lucas Palladino.  Ayyy it was AMAZING.  I called the assistents to Presidente Zanni and got permission since it is only 45 minutes away by bus.  Going back to Capitan Bermudez was so cool... seeing everyone in church.  I swear that is a little piece of what the Celestial Kingdom will look like.  Just a huge reunion with people we love a lot a lot a lot a lot.  We couldn`t stop laughing.  
The cutest thing happened.  When Fede (he is eleven years old) came out of the water, he did this little giggle-laugh and gave his dad a huge hug.  It was so sweet!  They were just beaming and so happy... the entire family.  They are going back to the temple.
When the time came to leave, it wasn`t sad.  Because I know I´ll see them all again.
Love you all so much!  Pray for our area, that we can find people to teach and know how to help them.
Love, Hermana Eleanor Briggs

Monday, February 16, 2015

February 16, 2015


Okay so I am now in Alberdi, Rosario and training Hermana Strong!  She is from Southern California and she is AMAZING.  It kind of freaks me out how much we are alike... even down to the tiniest details. But she is so loving and humble, way more than me.  We have become fast friends.  Pray for her spanish... the first weeks are hard.

We live in an apartment with two other Hermanas, who just happen to be the sister training leaders and the mission nurse.  They names are Hermana Yi and Hermana Fairbanks.  We are all from the States and we all are doing a white wash!  This ward has never had a double white wash before... and it is so much fun and very exhausting hahah.

Our area is BEAUTIFUL.  Seriously, it looks like San Francisco in some parts.  We are definitely  in the city... but there are parts that are super humble as well.  It goes from very nice houses, to very humble.  We have a little bit of everthing.

The other day we found Rocia and her mom, Elba.  Rocia is 13 and was sitting outside on her doorstep in the city all alone at night, so we stopped and talked to her while on our way to a different part of town.  We began talking, and they live behind a Gomeria, which is a place to go when you need a tire changed.  I can`t remember what it is called in English hahah.  But we sat outside, it was a nice and cool night, and we were surrounded by a buanch of giant tracter tires.  And we felt that we should teach about prayer... so we taught them how to pray.  And suddenly, Rocia said, "Can I ask you something?"  I hadn`t been able to read if she was paying attention or not... so it was surprising to me.  "Si," I said.
She came and sat down by us and said, "I have a brother," and she suddenly started crying.  She continued, "and he does drugs and I want to help him.  Can you pray for him?"   We asked her to offer the closing prayer, and she told Heavenly Father, "Thank you for sending the mormons to save us here, and please bless that my brother can be free from his addiction."  It was so sweet and sincere as she cried during her prayer and had moments of silence to think about what she was going to say.

I am grateful that I can serve here and so excited to see the miracles that will happen here!  I miss the people in Capitan Bermudez A LOT A LOT A LOT and am excited to see them again as well. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

February 10, 2015

Okay we just had another transfer!

Y... me voy de acá! 

I am going to Alberdi, Rosario.  I will be in the same stake and zone, which I am so eternally grateful for.  I will also be training again.  I don`t know who yet... but I go to the mission home to find her tomorrow!

Blah everyone knows how much I don`t like saying goodbyes... but Heavenly Father helps me so much.  Can I just say how much I love Capitán Bermudez?  How wrong first impressions can be?  And how amazing less-active people are?

Okay... last week I was with Beatriz Mauricio, and she told us the story of her conversion.  When she was 7 or 8 years old, she went to an Evangelical Bible class every Saturday and loooooved reading the bible.  And one day she said to her techer in the middle of class, "I want to know what happenedhere on this side of the world.  Because there were people here too, right?"  She was only 7 or 8 when she asked that!!  Que inteligente.  And she said that every saturday, she saw two Elders (who back then didn`t have name tags) ride by on bikes, and they would always say hi to the kids.  Fast forward to when she was 16 and was baptized, and received a blessing that told her that she would be an example to her family.  Fast forward 15 years later... with five children and having been inactive for many years and then reactivating.  And they just went to the temple and are an Eternal Family.  It is so interesting, our choices we make and the way that the Lord gives us to come back to Him.

Annnnyways... so I have been saying goodbye to a lot of people.  I got the call from one of the asistants yesterday morning on calle Tacuman, and I started crying because I was so shocked.  The tears followed me from home to home, as I reviewed how much my life has changed because of the people here that I have met.  I will be honest... Capitan Bermudez is a sacred place for me.  Where I experienced much growth and understanding, moments with such immense happiness that there are no words, and bummer moments where things were REALLY  hard.  

But saying goodbye to Mica was the hardest one so far.  She is only smoking 4 or 5 cigarettes a day! In comparison to the 30-35 when I met her... I am so proud.  But as we talked and I shared Mosiah 2:41, I told her that if we all keep the commandments (her, and I, and Hermana Christensen) then we will all be able to live together in a state of never-ending happiness.  Un estado de felicidad sin fin!  And we talked about how amazing it will be, and I told her I was going to do everything in my power to love and serve my God and return to Him.  At the end of the visit, it felt so normal.  Like I was just going to go right back to them and see their marriage and baptism.  But, when we walked outside, I suddenly realized the sincerity of the moment.  And she said, "We will see each other around."  And then I had to tell her that we won`t... that even though my area is in this zone, we probably won`t see each other for a really long time.  It was kind of like explaining death to a little child... she couldn`t understand why we weren`t going to be able to see each other.  Then I started crying... really hard.  And we gave a big hug and I said, "La quiero mucho, " and we quickly left down the dirt road.  I think I was crying because I am worried about them because they aren`t progressing as much anymore... they haven`t gone to church in 2 weeks and it seems like she and Ivan ares getting tired of all of the opposition from her family (they have a LOT of oposition).

She watched us walk away, and I just bawled.  A few minutes later, we got a text message that said

no estés triste... nos vamos a seguir viendo siempre.  nuestra amistad es eterna... mika.  Te quiero mucho.

To translate it would be 

Don`t be sad... we are always going to keep seeing each other.  Our friendship is Eternal... mika.  Love you so much.

Well then I just started crying harder!  But it was because I was so happy and mixed emotions... but I know that the Lord has a plan for me. That He knows me and understands me perfectly.  That the miracles and progress I have seen here were blessings from Him.  And to Him I am eternally grateful and will serve forever. Because I know that as I do, I only meet more people to love.  

Well this was really sappy but it is just true and I love you all so much.  Pray for Alberdi and Capitan Bermudez. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

February 2, 2015

Hola Familia,

Wowowowowowow I had a really amazing week this last week.  I always have a story I want to share, and then I get to The Ciber to write you, and I am blank.  But I will do my best.

First of all... I have been studying a lot of the teaching of Paul.  He is so amazing!  A scripture that was shared with us in zone conference was this,
Timothy 1:12-16" And thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, fort hat he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before blasphemerand persecutorand injurious:but obtained mercybecause did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundanwith faithand love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful sayingand worthy of alacceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinnersof whom am chief. Howbeit for this cause obtainemercythat in me first JesusChrist might shew forth all longsufferingfor pattern to themwhich should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting."

so I was thinking about why Paul was such a successful missionary.  And some of the thoughts I had... his sincerity, his directness, and because he does everything because of his love for the people and his love for the Lord.

Anyways, this week we had 48 people in church!  In our ward, we usually have 33.  So this is amazing!  I sat there in Sacrament next to Yazmine, an investigator that is 11 years old, and Natalia. Natalia came with her family, after a very long time of not having come.  It was such a beatiful thing to hear the testimonies of the members... which have grown so much stronger over these last couple of weeks.  I was able to teach relief society and Gospel Principles as well... and we were able to feel the spirit so strongly as we spoke about the atributes of Christ and being able to choose our own lives.

A miracle that happened this week:

I had dinner with the Lator family.  Okay... I don`t quite know how to explain this whole situation.  They don`t have much money, but invited us over on Thursday night.  Their grandson, Kevin, was the boy who was just recently baptized.  
And as we sat at their table, which had a cute little table cloth and everyone was running around the little room to make sure we were comfortable and well-fed ( we ate canelonis, which are an italian sort of enchilada and are so amazingly delicious), I just took in the moment.  They repeatedly told us how grateful they were to us, and how they continually are praying for us and thinking about us.  And they made us little gifts.  Easy to say, we were all very happy and comforable around that table.  And I had a flashback to two months ago... when Hermana Gonzalez and I went over to their hourse for about the 5th time.  And, as usual, there were many people drinking and smoking out front.  And Hermano Lator received us, but told us not to say a thing about the church.  Because he was angry about a lot of things and said he would never again set foot in the church.  

Here we are now... they are fully active members.  And their grandson was baptized. And they read their scriptures everyday and pray everyday and are sharing the gospel with others.  And we at their table... without anyone drinking or smoking.  And the spirit was so strong.

I am so grateful for this beautiful gospel and that people can repent and change!  But it makes me sad to see people who lose so much time before doing so.  They missed many years without the blessings of the gospel.  And you know what made the difference?  A member invited them over to their house for a Family Home Evening. And they were again exposed to the spirit, and felt the love and friendship of someone, and came back to church.  Que maravilloso!

I know this is the work of the Lord here on the Earth.  And it isn`t just for missionaries, it is for every member of the church.  Those are the covenants we make at baptism.

Love,  Hermana Briggs