Monday, November 24, 2014

One year older and wiser too

We had Stake Conference this weekend. We were in the Saturday meeting and we felt like we needed to make an extra effort to get Daniel (the recent convert in the wheelchair) to the Sunday session. It would be quite the task since he can´t ride on the bus and that’s practically the only practical way to get around. We prayed for a miracle so that he could come, and turns out that the branch president was able to pay for a taxi to take him.
We had interviews with Presidente Chaparro. Mine was rather short because I´ll be having another interview with him next week.

God gave me a great birthday present…I went to Bella Vista! I was able to see some of my favorite people but it just wasn’t the same without Hermana Harper. It’s just the other missionaries there haven’t quite fallen in love with Bella Vista yet. But I loved being there!

For my birthday I pondered the lessons I’ve learned in the last year and I thought of 21 of the most important.  Since this whole last year I’ve been in Argentina, I guess it’s also a list of what I’ve learned in my time in the mission here. In no particular order:
1. God’s promises are always fulfilled. Maybe not how we expect but they are fulfilled.
2. God is in charge; He knows what he’s doing. He directs His work and His church.
3. To be a disciple of Jesus Christ, is the road to perfection. That’s why  it’s not easy.
4. God has a hand-tailored plan for each one of His children.
5. God works according to our desires.
6. Change is often a slow process.
7. Resisting temptation lies in the simple little decisions
8. Be careful what you pray for. God always answers prayers.
9. Discouragement is the Devil´s tool.
10. We can achieve great things.
11. Goals help us fulfill our potential and increase our faith.
12. Life isn’t going to be easy.
13. Our greatest challenge in life is adapt our will to that of God’s
14. The sacrament is our personal weekly interview with God.
15. The most noble task we have, is to be the answer to the prayer of one of God´s children.
16. Family is everything.
17. The covenants and promises that we make with God, started in the pre-mortal life. We’ve been Christ´s disciples since before.
18. Repentance brings peace and happiness and heals us spiritually. If we feel the companionship of the Holy Ghost, God has forgiven us.
19. Things work out better than we could have imagined if we put it all in God’s hands.
20. If God asks us to obey at a higher level, we have the opportunity to have faith at a new level.
21. God knows that we won´t be perfect. What He expects is that we are obedient and have a pure heart.
In reality, I´ve learned a whole lot more than can be written and for that I´ll be forever grateful to God for giving me the chance to have served Him on a full time mission. I know he loves us and that His plan is perfect. Let’s trust in Him.

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Pearson

Monday, November 17, 2014

When God does something, He does it good

We started teaching Wanda´s mom and sister. Wow! Some of the best lessons ever especially because Wanda is so powerful in sharing her testimony. She explained her joy as one that “doesn’t admit description”, using the words from Joseph’s account of the first visión.  In the first lesson Wanda’s mom was going to be losing her job and was pretty emotional. We read with her a scripture about prayer and how God will give us what we ask for. She couldn’t finish reading because she was crying so much. And Wanda said, “Don’t worry, I cried the first time too.” By the second lesson, her mom had already received a job offer and was smoking a whole lot less. We invited Andrea to be baptized and she was a little unsure. So Wanda piped up and said “If you’ve already recieved so many blessings from just meeting the missionaries imagine the blessings you´ll recieve after getting baptized!” We asked Wanda if she could acompany us for the visit and she said so quickly. “Yes. Everday.”

Victoria has another grandson who lives with her but is kinda embarrased to talk to us and never comes out to listen. This week, I could tell he could hear us so we started teaching him from the other room. Altough we didn’t even see his face, he comitted to keep the Word of wisdom! We we asked Miguel how they were with keeping the Word of Wisdom he said “all we drink is cold water.”

On exchanges we had a really slow day and used our backup plans. That almost never happens. It’s a family of former investigators. The mom’s brother is a Bishop in another city. They remember all the teachings well and said they had read and prayed about the Book of Mormon. I figured that meant they had never felt a confirmation and was moving on, but Hermana Descanio brought it back and asked, “So you prayed? What happened?” The mom said she never told the Elders because she didn’t want to feel pressured to get baptized but she had had a dream of all of her family in white! Her husband said, “Maybe we just weren’t ready before,” alluding to the fact that now is the time.

We taught a family night about following the Spirit. We played a game where we had a blindfold and had to listen to the voice of the spirit while the other voices tried to confuse us. When it was my turn, someone put a cat in front of my hand and so I stopped trusting my companion’s voice. I learned a lot from that little object lesson that sometimes we’ll have to take a step in the dark but the Spirit will never lead us wrong.

We followed the Spirit and ended up at Daniel´s house. He wasn’t home and his family was celebrating a birthday. But they invited us in and lo and behold Georgina comes up. Backgroud: She was going to get baptized when I got to Tafi. But she changed her mind completely. And not so nicely said she didn’t believe any of it and didn’t want to learn from us. Well, she came up to me and told me that she had read the Book of Mormon that very day and she wanted to go to church. We talked to her about how God had guided us to the house the same day he had guided her to read. And she accepted to be baptized. She came to church all dressed up. And we had a bunch of surprise investigators that came with their inactive grandma that we visit. Wanda brought her little sister too. And Leo, a recent convert who hasn’t been to church since I got here also came.

On Saturday we ate with Familia Arias. The mom is from Bella Vista. They had a surpirse visitor…EDUARDO TOLEDO! I was so happy to see him! We forced him to tell his story about falling in love with Fernanda. I will be forever grateful to my companion who recorded the conversation on my camera. He gave a writen and signed promise that he will take his future wife to the temple within a year. Generations can have the góspel! I am so happy. I never realized God would fulfill His promise in such a grand way. That missionary work would give me more joy and happiness than I have ever felt. The other thing that adds to my inexpicable happiness is that Facundo is going to Peru on his misión!!!! I guess the dream I had about receiving my misión call to Peru and sharing the góspel with my Peruvian brothers turns out to be correct. A little bit at least. I had to be in Argentina to help Faca make it to Peru :) God is so good to me and I am so grateful for the way God plans things. I’m sure that sometimes he just smiles down on us knowing what grand plans he has in store for us.

Con cariño,
Hermana Pearson

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A super surprising surprise! SE VAN A CASAR

I got the BEST NEWS OF MY LIFE! When we were on the bus to Salta, the hermanas from Bella Vista called (we talk with them every week with the rest of the hermanas in Tucuman) and they told me that Eduardo Toledo (the Ward misión leader in Bella Vista who is my favorite member there) is going to marry Fernanda (who is a recent convert that got baptized right after I left.) I WAS SHOCKED! And so so so happpy!!! I thought they were lying but they swore it is the truth. I couldn’t be more happy!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. I could barely even sleep. I’m so excited! With Hermana Harper we always joked that we had to find and baptize Eduardo’s wife. And we actually did!!!She is the sweetest thing and I love her to death! I’m so happy because it’s so much more likely that she’ll be able to be a strong member in a situation like this. DING DONG THE BELLS ARE GONNA CHIME! Sorry for all the capitals, it’s just I’m sooooooo excited!! The only bad part is there are going to get married the 29th of November. They couldn’t wait 3 days and get married while I’m there visiting?!?! I’m gonna plead that they change it. The problem is they also are going to move to Chile for a job that Eduardo wants to take there, so that complicates the date.

We had a lesson with Wanda, and she wants to go on a misión! She’d be the best misisonary! She told us that she feels like she has to keep close to this grand treasure that God has given her and share it too!

In Salta and in the Zone Training, I had to give my “faithful” testimony. All the missionaries that leave this transfer always bear their testimony in the last meetings. I can’t believe it was my turn this time around. It still doesn’t feel real.

On Sunday I got a surprise visit from Oscar Navarro from Bella Vista! And since Hermana Resendiz was in Bella Vista a year ago, she knows him too. But back then he was an investigator. I met him when he was already a convert. He brought us a whole bag of facturas (an argentine pastry.) YUM!

Daniel and Miguel came to church in white shirts and ties! That’s a huge deal for them!!

I love you all!!
Hermana Pearson

Halloween with Familia Fernandez

Wanda's Baptism

Our District
Elder Parada, Hermana Chipana and I all die this transfer.

White shirts and ties are a BIG deal!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

It's all in the Name

After just 5  lessons with Wanda, she had her interview and was baptized!! Her name is so complicated we had to write it on the chalkboard so Presidente Moreno could see it while he was baptizing her. She was sooo prepared for the gospel. The truth is we really didn´t do much. I guess she’s what you’d call a GOLDEN investigator. We didn’t even have to find her. She came to us (through  a member-bring your friends to church and introduce them to the missionaries!)  And she started praying and reading from the very first day.

We have a investigator, Mercedes. She remembers everything soo well, but it’s hard to find her at home and sometimes it seems like she’s home but hiding. But we felt like we couldn’t give up. We went by on Sunday to take her to church. With a little persistence, her mom woke her up and she got ready real fast and she brought her little sister with her too!

It was Halloween and I pretty much forgot because it’s not really a thing here.

Sorry it’s so short today. We’ve got to go to Salta!

Con Mucho Amor,
Hermana Pearson

** Mom's note: Emily titled this blogpost with Wanda's name, but I didn't include it for internet safety reasons. If you're curious, email me! **

Monday, October 27, 2014

A not so surprising surprise

Monday night we got a phone call from the assistants. They said there had been a mistake and in reality we did have transfers (I soo called it.) So we did surprise transfers a day late. My new companion is Hermana Resendiz from Mexico. She lived in Utah for 5 years and graduated from East High.

We saw lots of miracles! Last week (when I was not in Tafi) Hermana Perez and another Hermana tried to have Gloria sign her daughter´s baptismal record but she said “mas adelante”(later). Well, we tried again but this time instead of asking her to sign her daughters form, we invited her to sign her own. She was reluctant but by sharing a few scriptures she softened up and signed. And signed her daughters too!

We’re teaching Wanda, the girlfriend of a member. She’s 19 and sooo GOLD! Her boyfriend brought her to General Conference and she loved it and started coming every Sunday. We’ve only taught her three times but she getting baptized on Saturday! She’s been having a lot of problems in her family and she says she loves reading the Book of Mormon because it gives her peace and helps her feel that God is close. When we invited her to be baptized November 1st, she hesitated because she has to move that day. We explained the symbolism of baptism and how it’s new beginning and she loved the idea of a 100% fresh start. She is a grand example to me. She shows me the reality that what we teach makes life EASIER, more enjoyable. I feel like being a member my whole life, sometimes I forget that the basics are what works miracles, if we live it. I know that the same peace that she feels by reading the Book of Mormon is what we can experience too.

Alberto came to church. He’s 40 but has some mental handicaps. It was so cute because he was telling everyone that he prayed and God told him that this is the only true church and that the Book of Mormon is true. He offered to read and pray in the classes. He’s already so involved!

I did exchanges with Hermana Keetch from the MTC. I can’t believe how much time has flown. It feels like we were in Provo just a little bit ago.

Never forget that I love you all so much!

Besos (kisses),
Hermana Pearson

Monday, October 20, 2014

The beginning of the best

I was pretty sure we’d have transfers because with it being my last transfer *gasp* Hermana Perez would have to stay at least 2 transfers and so the possibilities would be 7.5 months in Tafí or only 1 transfer in a different area. But I was wrong. We’re together again!

This week we had a meeting with all the hermanas in Tucuman. Hermana Perez and I planned it with the help of Hermana Chaparro. It was great to have just the sister missionaries in the meetings with President. We talked a lot about our worth and potential using President Utchdorf’s talk “Four Titles.” It talks about how we are 1. Children of God 2. Disciples of Christ 3. Healers of souls 4.Inheritants of eternal life. We ended up using it in a bunch of lessons afterwards because it’s really a message to lift hearts and encourage. We shared it with a family that’s coming back to church. We were walking past their house on our way to see someone else and right as we were at their door, the daughter stormed out angry and the other daughter followed crying. We acted like we had planned to see them and were able to share in the perfect moment so that things didn’t explode. God really guides our smallest actions so we can be there when someone needs it.

Victoria and Miguel got baptized!! They are the sweetest little people. It took Victoria ten minutes to take off all her bracelets and rings. They are a little slower at understanding but they give us a grand example of just following Jesus because it’s the right thing to do.

Funny story. I was in Simoca this week and as we were walking, there was a house where they sell large picture frames. They had examples of the frames outside. I saw the Beatles, the 3 Stooges, Violeta (Disney Channel Latino) and I had to do a double take as I saw the next one: Thomas S. Monson with his counselors. I was taken off guard and Hermana Griffiths just said “yeah, they’re members." In Simoca we had an encounter with a little old drunk guy. He explained why he drinks so much and as he talked his bread flew out of his mouth unto my hand. I was worried the next thing to fly out would be his dentures!

I’m looking forward to this last transfer because like Ryan told me:“My first tip is to not think of it as the beginning of the end. Think of it as the beginning of, potentially, your best transfer. All the previous transfers have been leading up to this one, You're a better, more experienced missionary than when you started. You're a better teacher, better Spanish speaker, and better at recognizing the promptings of the Spirit than you've ever been before. If you can remain focused, you have the potential to reach more people and do more good than any other single transfer. You also have the potential to reach individuals that you couldn't when you first started.”
So here goes the beginning of the BEST!

Hermana Pearson

I´ll try to send the pictures next week. The computers are a bit "special" today

Hermana Perez y Hermana Pearson

Sisters Conference

Hermanas de zona Tucuman

Monday, October 13, 2014

Bella Semana

I don’t even know where to start! In Salta I had a mini reunion with Hermana Quispe and Hermana Rallison. Hermana Quispe traveled to Salta for the meetings and we stayed in Hermana Rallison’s apartment. I love them sooo much!

On Wednesday we had exchanges again. With BELLA VISTA! I GOT TO GO BACK! It was probably the best day of my life! The best reaction I got was from Jose Luis who stared at me with the most puzzled look while we shook hands and said “you’re back.” He visited Noemi with us. On his four wheeler. We passed by Familia Toledo because it was Lauty’s birthday and the hermanas had a gift for him. Only the grandparents and dad were home, but still. When we went to Familia Torres, Adriana started to cry. And when we visited Fernanda she was so shocked she couldn’t talk. Oscar and Emilce did visits with us. I was literally in heaven all day long because there are only 2 people sufficiently obsessed with Bella Vista. Hermana Harper and Hermana Pearson. And we were together again LOVING every little bit of the little town. I saw a bunch of other people. We ate with the branch president and saw members in the street. We taught Apolinario Ysfran. He’s a grandpa that I mentioned once who when we asked if he read the Bible he said no but that he read another book called the Libro de Mormon. Yeah well he´s gonna get baptized! Bella Vista is on FIRE! I am soo grateful for the chance I had to go back, especially to be with the same companion. That’s not too common. I felt like I was in a dream the whole time.

Returning to my lovely Tafi Viejo was great too. Victoria and Miguel are excited for their baptism next week. And on Saturday we had a ½ baptism. Luz is 8 and her mom was inactive for the last half of her life. She got baptized at 16 and was only active for a little while. We’ve been teaching the whole family and since the mom is technically a member, it’s a branch baptism, not a mission one. But it was just as sweet because we had to teach the whole family from scratch. The two little girls participated in the primary program and the mom brings the girls to church now. It was a really sweet baptism.

Today for Pday we went up the hills in to visit the “Cristo Bendicente.” We asked someone to take a picture and they said they were Mormons. Later we asked someone else the same favor and she is Mormon too. Haha. It was nice and relaxing and beautiful!

I love you all so much!! Besos!

Hermana Pearson

Reunion with Hermana Quispe and Hermana Rallinson

On splits in Bella Vista

“Cristo Bendicente”

on P-day
Luz's Baptism