Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 30, 2015


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

Sunday, June 21, 2015

June 16, 2015

Okay well this has been one of the weirdest weeks of my mission!  I`ll just start out by saying that my head itched really badly for a long time... and last Friday I discovered that I had LICE! I felt like I was about to crawl out of my own skin.  It itched so badly!  But I oddly kept my calm.
We had to stay in the apartment and wash EVERYTHING and buy special shampoo and a brush.  Wow my companion is so amazing... she spent a very long time helping me this week.

Well... then Hermana Yi was sick and we had to stay in the apartment again.  I felt so bad!  I spent a lot of time cleaning.

Then I got the call that I was going back to Rosario!!  I was almost certain I would be in Santa Fe... and I was okay with that.  But no... now I am back in the same zone I was in before!  But a different area... La Florìda.  My new companion is Hermana Knapp, and she is AMAZING.  She is from Oregon and I have one more transfer than her.  We are both new in the area and doing a white wash... we are the first hermanas to be here!  It is exciting.  I am so grateful for the opportunity that Heavenly Father has given me to be able to be here and to serve these people and also the other hermanas (as I will continue being capacitadora).

But it was so hard to leave Paranà.  There are some very special people there that I love so so much and I am very excited to see them again. My Heavenly Parents love me so much, because they sent me here and allowed me to meet all of these amazing people!  Really words cannot describe how I feel.  But I think you all understand it... that we all have SOMEONE that has touched our lives in that way.

Love you so much!  I just got here in my area late last night so I don`t really know anything.  But we will get working!  Have a meeting with the bishop and his family tonight... asi que ya empezamos a trabajar!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

June 8, 2015

This week went by SO FAST!  A week feels like a day now... and a month feels like a week.  Though there are those occasional day when 12 hours feels like a year hahah.

We went to Santa Fe and also Rosario this week for some meetings.  Lots of travel and little time to work in our area... but it is so amazing how much the Lord is blessing us!  First of all, we get to learn from so many amazing people.  For example-- I know an Hermana who, when she was little, saw her mother and sister burn and pass away as their home caught fire.  She herself was in the home, and has scars from burns that are left on her hands and arm and neck.  She was then raised by her grandparents, and baptized, and decided to serve a mission... and she doesn`t share these things with people. But it is so amazing to be able to get to know people-- their fears and hopes and trials-- and truly love them so much!  I am so humbled to be surrounded by real super heros.

Another example is in a 13-year-old girl named Florencia.  She is going to be baptized on June 20th!  I`ll be honest... I am going to work really hard this week, because I know that I am leaving this area on Monday and I won`t be able to see her be baptized.  Nor will I see the other amazing people that we have recently been working with.  But Florencia, like so many other 13-year-olds in the world, has a boyfriend and has been smoking for a while.  But the moment we began teaching her, she said, "Can you teace me to pray?  I need to know how to pray."  She is so prepared!  We taught her about the law of chastity and word of wisdom and other commandments, and she is progressing so much!  She has come to church two times and is super excited about being in the young womens.  She knows some people in the ward, which is awesome.

It is such a blessing to be able to see these amazing changes in people and that the Lord really does prepare His children that He loves SO MUCH to be able to receive the joy of the message of the restored gospel.  

I know that this church is true.  And I know that Christ lives.

en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Hermana Eleanor Briggs

These green trees are all by the mission home. It is so pretty here!

Ana Zanni when I dressed her up like a shepherd with my scarf and put a mustche on her. 

Some of the Zanni kids and I in the stake conference that we just had. Maybe the last time I will see them! But it's okay... we will see each other one day.

When we filled up the baptismal font with buckets!

This is Priscilla! Oh I lover her so much...we are the same person! She is 18 and going on a mission next year!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June 1, 2015

Que semana maravillosa.

It has been the most humbling week of my entire mission-- just because the people here are so faithful and loving and GIVING.  

A brief list of things that happened this week:

-A member pulled me out in the hallway at church and gave me a little purple box.  She told me that inside were the pair of earrings that she wore when she was re-married (her first marriage having left her with 5 children to raise alone and no money to do so and two sick parents to take care of as well).  She told me that they marked the day that changed her life and she became mother of five more children (her current already having 5 children of his own that he raised alone after his wife passed away).  And that she wanted to give me the earrings... because she prayed and felt that she needed to do so.  We hugged and I was so speechless I feel that I did not adequately show my love and appreciation for her... but inside I felt I might burst.
-A family of 6 invited us over to eat, and then told us that they would take us home in their car. When we pulled up to our house, they got out a bunch of grocery bags and gave them to us.  THIS FAMILY DOESN´T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO PAY FOR THEMSELVES TO EAT.  But she said that the spirit told her she needed to do it.  And she did so with a humongous smile and gave us a big hug.  How did she know we had gone to the grocery store to by food that morning for the four hermanas that were coming to stay with us for a few days... and left with nothing but cereal and milk because we didn´t have any money?
-We are teaching a family... the Molina family.  Their son passed away on April 6th.  And all of the children and the mom are so interested... we cried together as we talked about the plan of salvation.  They came to church on Sunday and will be baptized in a few weeks!
-I went to another little town called "Victoria" to look for my family with the last name "Cardon."  I talked to all of them there... and found one woman named Liliana.  She cried with us as she told us that her mother recently passed away from cancer... and she too has cancer and is not doing well.  She is about 40-years-old and lives with her son.  We hugged and shared about the plan of salvation... and I told her that we are relatives in some way.  I´ll never forget the way that she shook as she cried hopeless tears, followed by tears of hope of being able to hug her mom again.

There were a lot of other things that happened this week.  It seemed that every day more and more amazing little things happened.  And I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers and is mindful of all of His children.  

Love you all so so much.

Hermana Eleanor Briggs