Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May 25, 2015


Elias was baptized on Saturday!  You should have seen it... it was such chaos before, and then such peace after.  Though even during the chaos we were happily crazy...
We talked to our mission leader and began to fill up the baptism font at 11:00 in the morning.  The baptism started at 6:30 pm.  Well... we arrived at the chapel at 5:00 just to check on it... seeing as it takes hours to fill.  We got there and opened up the doors... and there was NO WATER.  We turned on the sinks in the bathroom and the kitchen... and there was NO WATER.  There was no water in the whole building!  We checked the tank, we checked the water pressure (all things I have learned how to do in the past year), and we asked the neighbors if they had water.  Anyways, long story short, we started calling members from other wards who know a thing or two about plumming... and within half an hour we had a band of people there.  And we ended up filling font with buckets-one by one- from the tank.  And we filled garbage cans with water, and we watched as people with no money or time worked their ways over to answer our frantic calls for help.  IT WAS SO AMAZING TO SEE EVERYONE COME TOGETHER.  
And his mom ended up coming.  She is so sweet and suffers from HIV, so it is hard for her to get around to a lot of places.  And he cried as people bore their testimonies about their own baptisms... people who have given up everything to be able to join the church.
Everything else fell through as well (hahah as always) but it is okay!  We did improv singing and cake-cutting and just about everything else you can imagine.  But we were all so happy, I just can´t explain it.

On Sunday I received a letter from Grandma Dee.  One of the hermanas gave it to me because she had recently gone to the mission home... and it was written by her the day before my birthday.  In it she told me about how great her week had been (just as she does in every letter) and how blessed she was to have the family that she does.  I waited and opened it up in sacrament meeting.  It was so sweet to hear from her... and I know she is working hard in the spirit world right now!  It is so interesting because we talk all day every day about the plan of salvation... that when you told me she had passed away, it was just so perfectly clear in my mind where she is and what she is doing.  Oh I love her

Elias at his baptism!
This is Rocio and she is so awesome! She gave us a pilates class this morning that about killed me. But she is so sweet,,, the only active member in her family and has an amazing story.

Sara and Barbara, they are so awesome!

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015


I had a really great week this last week.  We did a lot of traveling all over the place... from Rosario to Santa Fe to ParanĂ .  But it was so much fun and I love it!

One of the best moments was on Tuesday.  Hermana Yi is my new companion... she was born in Korea but has lived in the states since she was 7-years-old.  She is the oldest of three girls and lived mainly in Chicago!  She speaks Korean, English, and Spanish.  And she has been here one transfer more than me... but it is just so much fun because we could hit the ground running together!  And we had a lesson in the chapel with Elias.  Elias (I think I wrote about him once) is going to be baptized on 23 of May.  He has changed his entire life!  Done a full 180.  He was addicted to drugs, but hasn`t touched them since he began reading the Book of Mormon three weeks ago.  And we had a lesson about ten commandments... and with us was Barbara (a recent convert who was baptized 4 months ago and is 20 years old and SO AWESOME) and a returned missionary named Fabricio.  And we began talking, and everyone shared their testimonies about the blessings that come from the commanments.  And when we got to "Honor your mother and your father"  he began to cry, and told us about how he learned this commandment when he was young and his mom was diagnosed with HIV.  It was so amazing as we all felt the spirit as he told us about his life and history and his love for his mom.  Oh my goodness I think it was the best lesson I have ever had!  And Barbara shared about how they never had enough food growing up, and rough things went on in their house, but she learned how to forgive her parents and learn to love and honor them.  

I am so grateful for you, mom and dad!  I love you all so much.

Love, Hermana Eleanor Briggs

Thursday, May 7, 2015

May 3, 2015

Okay... I am going to write about the person in this picture.  Her name is Sara! I wish I could explain to you all how amazing she is.  7 months ago, when I was here in Parana, we began to teach Sara.  At the time she was living with the father of one of her two children.  She is 26 and has two boys.. Maxi (9) and Andres (5).

Since then, she has made a lot of changes.  Sara was baptized about 6 months ago.  She lives alone with her two boys and works ALL DAY LONG to be able to barely provide food for her little family.  They live in a little tiny house that is really cold now (because it is winter) and she is always sharing the gospel and trying to help other people.  She stops and talks to people when she sees that they need help or look sad... because she wants to share with them about the hope and light that has come into her life since she was baptized and learned about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  They live in an area that is a little bit on the dangerous side, but she tries to provide an environment for her boys that has the spirit and they can feel safe and comfortable.  I am so grateful that I am able to know people like her!

Well... we went to church on Sunday.  And during sacrament, I was seated next to a new member named Rocio Rios... and she is amazing as well.  She is 25 (I think) and basically the only member in her family.  And we sat and listened to beautiful testimonies... and I found that I was super stressed about a lot of people in the ward.  Many of the new members that have serious problems in their lives and hard things to conquer, members and leaders that are losing work and being robbed and really sick, and investigators that are trying to make drastic (and I mean DRASTIC) changes in their lives and are feeling soo much pressure from Satan.  Oh my goodness and before I knew it I was crying.  And I ended up crying for a while... and everyone else was as well because it seems that everyone had a very hard week and was very humble and receptive to the spirit.  

And the little girl that was in front of me is named Carmela, and she is five years old.  She turned around and looked at me for a minute, and I smiled back and cried.  And she asked me to lean over to her... and I leaned over and she used her little finger and being wiping away each tear on my face and under my eyes.  And she studied each tear and just gently kept on wiping them away.  And then she said, "Why are you crying?"  
"I don`t know," I whispered, not knowing what to say.  And then she kept on looking at me with sooo much love on her little face.  "Can I draw you a picture?"  she asked.

I know that Jesus Christ has the heart of a child.  That He has true concern and empathy. And He wipes away each one of our tears.  And He heals us.  

I wish I could tell about all of the experiences I had this week.  The truth is... there were many many very spiritual and humbing experiences this week.  We cried with many families and people in their doorways as we heard many sad and hard things.  But I know that Christ has suffered for it all.  And I am so grateful I can trust and rely on Him.

This is Carme, the little girl who wiped my tears.

Taking on the world (or Parana)... we alway eat with a family on Sundays and then walk home together.

I got all of your birthday cards and I love them soooo soon much. I cried tears of happiness.