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 cumpleaƱos!"  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!