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

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Quedate en el barco (no it's not quédate, at least not in Argentina)

Well this week was crazy! We did exchanges twice and then had 2 days of conference. And today we’re traveling to Salta to go to the mission council meeting with the zone leaders and sister training leaders.  In our travels we stopped by WALMART. It was the BEST supermarket I’ve seen but sadly it wasn’t that great. Everything here is very expensive!

General Conference never disappoints! My companion listened to the Saturday sessions with me in English, she understood most of it!

A less active, offended member came to the last session of general conference and he felt like Elder Ballard’s talk about staying on the boat was just for him.I mean it just makes so much sense. STAY ON THE BOAT! He brought his nonmember girlfriend and she really liked it. We’re going to teach her this week.

Our investigators Gloria and Celina (mother/daughter) and Victoria and Miguel (grandmother/grandson) came to the conference too! They liked it too although I’m not sure how much they understood. When we asked Miguel his favorite part he said “the air conditioner made the room nice and cold.” Haha
I especially loved the Woman’s conference. We watched the rebroadcast.

Sorry this letter is so short.  Gotta run!

Hermana Pearson

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Suffer the (grand)children to come unto me

We did exchanges with hermanas that work in Concepcion. They don’t have a phone and we don’t have a phone, so we made arrangements with their district leader. He told us we’d be able to travel there in a half hour. 3 hours later we finally made it. And the hermanas were no where to be found. We wandered around asking people if they’d seen the mormon missionaries and 30 minutes later we finally found them. By the time I made it back to Tafi with Hermana Rengifo it was already 2 in the afternoon. Rough! Haha but I loved working with Hermana Rengifo beause she’s Hermana Howards “hija!”

Sunday was the best ever…Hermano Suco came to visit me!! He’s the grandpa of the Familia Toledo. I was in heaven! But even better news from Bella Vista, Fernanda and Miguel got baptized!! Even though I’m sad I wasn’t there (because I love them so much! Especially Fernanda) I’m really happy for Bella Vista’s improvement. In 7 weeks the branch had 7 baptisms!!!!!!

We’re working with the Familia Carrizo. The mom is inactive since her childhood. We taught them about eternal marriage and chastity and asked what they thought about it. She started to say that before she had never wanted to get married but that a while ago she started to want to get married. She had mentioned it to her pareja and he didn’t have a problem with it! They committed to get married! Their daughters participated in the primary program on Sunday. It was super cute!

We teach 2 older people and this week we started teaching both of their grandsons that live with them. The lesson with Nicolas was so great because the Spirit helped us be really united and we were able to invite him to baptism and he said yes! When we asked why he said he had made a lot of mistakes and he wanted to be clean. Meeting the grandson was the answer to prayers because we didn’t know how to help the grandpa progress. It’ll definitely be by working with Nicolas.

Love you all lots!

Hermana Pearson

Zone Conference

Monday, September 22, 2014

Get up and get out

Sorry if this letter ends up short. I'm a little short on time.

Rosa is an investigator that wants to get baptized but wasn't living the law of chastity. Her daughters got baptized a couple three weeks ago. Well we had a lesson promising her that God would open up the path to live the commandments and that she would need to sieze it before she lost the chance. Later in the week we couldn't find her or her daughters at home. We finally got a hold of the daughter and she explained that they weren't home because they MOVED OUT!! Rosa saw a fight as an opportunity to up and leave. The girls are happy because they didn't like their mom's boyfriend anyway. The problem is they moved to another town. It's still in our area. Really it's not that far away. In car if would be 20 minutes away but in bus it's pushing for 3 hours. So we're gonna do all we can to keep contact and help her get baptized!

Georgina always answered our questions perfectly but then showed so much doubt. Finally we asked if she answered the questions how she really felt or if she just said what she thought we wanted to hear. She admitted it was only words for her. But knowing that will help us teach her better.

The son of the branch president (it's still a branch until we get an average asistance of 120 and right now we're at 80-90) got baptized. And it was so nice to witness a baptism without all the stress that comes when you´re a missionary. Without the stress and worry, it was easier for the Spirit to testify that this is God's plan.

To answer mom's questions.
My companion is 20 and she is from Santiago. The oldest of 4. I'm the senior companion because I have more time on the mission. Transfers were normal. We met in the capital of Tucuman and took it from there.
My apartment is by far the nicest I've had but it won't be like home until there is a washing machine and dryer! And carpet.
The center of Tafí is really nice and developed but it's all stores. The houses are like the rest of Argentina. We divide the area in the center. We work in the North and the other hermanas work in the South.

Hermana Pearson

Monday, September 15, 2014

Tafí I'm Old

We had a conference with Elder Zaballo from the seventy this week with a whole bunch of missionaries. Elder Zaballo took a little time to tell the Latinos that they need to learn English so Hermana Perez is talking in English when we're at home. She is alreadly really good at it! When she asks me questions about how to say a word, I realize I've already forgotten so much. In the conference I saw Hermana Harper again and she gave me all the details of good ol' Bella Vista.

The Family Toledo (from Bella Vista. The family I always talk about with Marta and Luis and Sofia and Eduardo) have their aunt and cousins here in Tafí. I had already met her a few times in Bella Vista so when we went to eat lunch with her family. I felt right at home. She pulled out pictures of Eduardo on his mission. As if I didn't miss the Toledos enough...

We already did exchanges, after being together only a day and a half. I went to the other half of Tafí Viejo with Hermana Gimenez. She has an article about her in the church area news. She is from Paraguay but from a tribe called Nivaclé and she is learning spanish. She is the first sister missionary from her pueblo. She is super great! And we live with her so I'll have her teach me how to speak her language!

I don't have so much to write about this time around because I'm still getting to know the area and the investigators. But I love Tafí Viejo because it's really green and beautiful! But I miss the bakery church. It had a certain charm to it! But no, it's great to have a real church here! Everyone here is saying that I've come here to die. The name is fitting because Viejo=Old. I'm an elderly missionary now. So crazy how the time flies!

Hermana Pearson

Hermana Pearson and Hermana Perez with Elder Zaballo and his wife
Mom's note: Emily said Hermana Perez is from Chile as is Elder Zaballo and she knows him, so they were able to get an individual picture with him.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mystery Man: Mattias the Faithful

Well this whole week Carlos was a star and was just excited to get baptized. On Monday, he brought us his own white pants! 

Matias, that's another story. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, he just kept saying that he wasn't sure and he wasn't gonna get baptized the 6th. We did all the visits with his new best friend Eduardo but nothing seemed to help. Not even the fact that the nickname we gave him was Matias the Faithful because he goes to church more than the members.Then on Wednesday after the lesson, we had Oscar with us too and they talked outside for 2 minutes. When we got outside Oscar said "He's gonna get baptized the 6th." I asked Matias if it was true and he said yes. As if he had been cooperative the whole time. I told him not to joke around about it and he said he wasn't joking. Nevertheless I was a bit nervous that he wouldn't show up for his interview. But he did. On Saturday I was worried that he wouldn't show up for the baptism, but he did. (Both he and Carlos got there at 4 on the dot.) Well when we gave him the clothes to change he said, "I'm not gonna get baptized." uuhhhh. We prayed like crazy. Eduardo tried to talk to him but he just said he didn't want to do it. I could tell he was SUPER nervous and anxious and tried to help him calm down but he just said I made him more nervous. So he went outside with Oscar for 2 minutes and when they came back in he asked for the clothes. His condition was that he didn't want us to watch the baptism. So Carlos got baptized first and then we went inside and Matias got baptized. Well of course we spied. We climbed on the kitchen counter and watched through a small window. I can't even explain the feeling of spying on Matias's baptism. He is the most shy, timid, funny guy. hahaha oh Matias. We just tried to have faith that he'd get baptized because we knew he was ready. And God made it all work out. 

If ya'll remember, we were searching for the member that invited Matias,"Pablo" well after searching high and low, Oscar told us that Pablo doesn't exist! Matias just saw us one day and decided to go to church with us. Matias is SUCH a mystery. 

We taught Nestor Torres about prayer and how we should do family prayers. He said he'd really like to and we invited him to gather his family. He came back with only his granddaughter but then his inactive daughter and non member son-in-law came in and we all prayed together. It was soo sweet! After Adriana said it was their 29th aniversary. They want to be sealed in the temple for their 30th! 

Well I won't be able to send pictures because my camara cord is packed away in my suitcase...I had to leave Bella Vista. I thought I'd cry because I've really come to love Bella Vista just as much as El Carmen. But I barely even teared up. I think it's because I'm not going far. I'm staying in Tucuman in Tafí Viejo. And I think I'll be able to visit Bella Vista at least once because I'll be going on exchanges every week with the hermanas in the 3 closest zones which will include Bella Vista. So that should mean that I can visit my loved ones one last time!

I certainly left Bella Vista with a big bang. Monday we visited a buffalo farm (with Matias and Eduardo). Saturday we had 2 baptisms. On Sunday after his confirmation, we ate asado with Familia Toledo (Eduardo invited Matias) and then in the evening Matias did visits with us and Eduardo. Best thing ever! (Even though he didn't even talk.)  We just are missing Fernanda. She's still got to get baptized. She has a lot of trials she's facing but I know she'll get baptized in the near future. Eduardo was able to give her a priesthood blessing last night and it was so peaceful and powerful. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Next to the impossible: dry baptism

Jose Luis's baptism was just a tad bit more stressful. He didn't show up to the interview and we had to go find him in a taxi. He was home but his four-wheeler wasn't working so he couldn't make it to the church. (He has some paralysis. He can walk but it's really straining on him.) He also has an ulcer on his leg that can't get even a little bit wet. The last time it got wet he says he ended up in the hospital for 3 weeks. So we got permission to be able to cover the ulcer and we promised him that we'd be able to cover the wound with plastic and that  it wouldn't get wet.  An elder gave us some medical tape and we tried it out and it worked but we only tried it on a finger. Then on Saturday we decided to try it full scale on our leg and hop in the baptismal font...and it DIDN'T work. But we didn't have enough tape to keep trying. so we decided we we just plaster his leg with tape and we prayed that water wouldn't enter. We were so nervous the whole time but it worked just fine! Our 3 next baptisms were all there to witness it too!

We had a super great lesson with Fernanda. We taught her the word of wisdom and she said she'd quit smoking. We read through the suggestions in the pamphlet to quit and one says to throw out the addictive substances you have. So we asked if she had a pack of cigarettes. She said yes but that she needs them to help her feel more calm. We promised her that reading in the Book of Mormon will give her much more peace and tranquility. We sat for a minute in silence and she got up, found her cigarettes and gave them to us. I've never been so happy to be close to tobacco. It was almost a whole pack and we enjoyed destroying them as we walked to our next appointment.

Fernanda didn't come to church so I won't be able to see her baptism next week. But we're gonna do all that's possible to help Carlos and Matias make it to the font this Saturday.

Jose Luis's Baptism

Testing the water

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Carlos says the darnedest things!

Nestor got baptized! His wife is so happy! He got to the church early and when we asked him if he was excited he said “that’s why I got here so early.” When he got confirmed the branch president blessed him to be a leader in the church. I can see it! His family just needs a little more preparation to be able to get sealed in the temple!

Jose Luis accepted to be baptized this next week! We decided to teach him the 3 hard laws- word of wisdom, chastity and tithing before church so we could be sure he would stick with the baptismal date and we could announce it on Sunday. He listened, understood and it was all so easy for him to accept that we also taught 10 commandments and fasting. I’ve never taught so many commandments in just one visit!
Natalia told us she wants to be a missionary! And Faca from El Carmen put in his mission papers, well that’s what Hermana Gentry tells me. I can’t wait to hear where he is going!

Carlos got back from Cordoba. He came to the appointment and said he can’t commit to living all the commandments and that he didn’t want to continue with las charlas. But it was easy to see that he just doesn’t have confidence in himself and that he believes it all. He likes it all. So we were able to commit him to keep learning. When the elders came to do the baptismal interview we set up an appointment to talk to Carlos. (He says that sometimes he doesn’t tell us really how he feels and it would be different with men missionaries.) That seemed to help him. He came to church on Sunday and in gospel principles and Eduardo (the ward mission leader) taught about obedience. At the end Carlos asked, “Does that mean I have to obey what the sister missionaries say, even if they say I should get baptized the 6th of September?” hahaha. Eduardo just said “even better!”

Recently Carlos has said some other pretty funny things:

“You guys will stop making me meet with you guys if I get baptized, right? In that case, I’ll get baptized tomorrow.”

Remember that general conference talk called “ Ask the Missionaries! They Can Help You”? Well, we gave Carlos the magazine to read President Monson’s talk so he could know if he was really a prophet. Carlos looked at the list of talks and said “Of course this is the one you gave me. So that if I have doubts I ask you guys. But I already know what you guys will say. You’ll say I should get baptized.”

On Saturday we’re walking down the street and we see Matias(investigator) with Eduardo (ward mission leader) hanging out. It was basically one of the best moments EVER. It made us sooo happy. After seeing two baptisms, Matias is warming up. We nonchalantly mentioned that we were planning his baptism for the 6th. He didn’t say no. So it’s pretty much a done deal!

Fernanda came to church. Turns out all her siblings and her mom are members and she just wants to start all over! She is pretty excited to get baptized the 6th too.

Well love you all!
Hermana Pearson
Nestor's baptism

Monday, August 18, 2014

No stress baptism: Just add water.

Natalia got baptized! It was the most perfect, easiest baptismo ever. It didn’t even cause me stress. Our misión leader planned it all and got the priesthood there to baptize and be witnesses. Natalia had all the lessons she needed way early in the week and she understands everything perfectly. She had her interview and passed with flying colors. She even brought her boyfriend and we taught him while we waited. She told our district leader that she wants to be a missionary like us. The only thing that almost went wrong is that the pool had a leak. But we had a feeling to check on the pool early in the morning and we realized the problem. We made a temporary fix and turned up the water pressure and later the mission leader made a better fix and when it was time for the baptism, we had plenty of water.

And another miracle came out of her getting baptized. The elders came from the city to give her the interview and while we were outside with the elders waiting for Natalia, a man came over and started talking. He said he saw us all the time and was interested in talking to us but he’s an old guy and didn’t think he should stop young girls in the street. Just that day he happened to be closet to the church to get his haircut and when he saw us with men missionaries he felt comfortable enough to talk to us. Three days later, there was a guy that we didn’t know who came to church. We asked all the members who it was and nobody knew. So we went and introduced ourselves and asked his name. He said Miguel Angel. It took me a minute to realize it was the guy who stopped us in the street. He actually came to church! We couldn’t believe it!

We taught Nestor this week and he said he had a conflict in his schedule for the 30th to be baptized and asked if he could get baptized earlier! We explained that he had to go to church at least once more but yesterday he had to work until noon and church ends at 12:30. He said he’d come straight after work. We were nervous that he wouldn’t show up. But he did! So we set the hour of his bautism during the last song and the branch president annouced it at the end.

We’re hoping Carlos gets baptized this week too! He’s been in Cordoba this week and we haven’t been able to talk to him but he said by the end of his trip he’d have an answer for us on whether or not he’ll get baptized.

A long time ago, I realized we had records of a recent convert that didn’t have any teaching record. We asked around about her and no one knew her (because she went by her middle name.) Well we found her family and they said she had moved. We set an appointment with her family but never could find them. Yesterday we stopped by and her twin let us in. She already knows a lot from other missionaries from where she lived before and she told us ¨I want to be Mormon¨ so we said perfect. You’ll need to get baptized. And she said ¨Yeah, I know.¨

Matias continues to confuse us. He finally told us who invited him to church. Pablo he said. We don’t know a single Pablo. But we found a Pablo on some progress reports and we’re gonna hunt him down. Matias came to the baptism and after he went with Eduardo, the ward misión leader to the Bella Vista soccer game. Eduardo is helping a bunch. We’re gonna crack him!

We’re teaching Eduardo’s brother, Marcos and his practically wife. Marcos has been a member since childhood and has a testimony of the doctorine but he’s lazy in keeping the commandments. We had a lesson about the atonement and we asked how Marcos felt in regards to the Atonement. He had been joking around before and said ¨You want the truth?¨ His whole demeanor changed and he said “grateful” It was the most powerful one-word I’ve ever heard.

I love you all so much and hope we can all remember that if we’re really grateful for Christ’s sacrifice. We’ll show our gratitude with our actions!

Hermana Pearson

Natalia's Baptism

Monday, August 11, 2014

It's elementary, Watson

I cannot imagine a more miracle packed week, this email won’t be doing it justice. So 3 months ago we were teaching Natalia. She’s 18 and used to study with Jehovah’s Witnesses. She had accepted to get baptized and then she dropped off the face of the earth. We stopped by her house siempre (always) and she was never home. Her mom said she had gotten a job and was literally working all day. She even stopped going to school to be able to work more. We tracked her down and visited her at work and she told us that she didn’t have time right now and when she did she’d let us know. So I was really sad about that, obviously. Well for the month of August we made a calendar with scripture passages to read every day and a list of our investigators to pray for, and invited all the branch members to participate. We decided to put her name on the list even though we weren’t even teaching her. Well last Monday we had a feeling to go visit her. And she was home! But, quickly it was obvious she wasn’t gonna let us in. BUT we were able to set an appointment because she says she’s working less. We went back the next day and we had the most wonderful lesson. We shared 1 John 5:3-4:
 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
She said she realized that she has to be obedient to God and he will help her win the victory. She’s going to get baptized on SATURDAY. Yep, this Saturday.

We thought Carlos would need more time to prepare and to live the commandments but he’s been praying and reading and he understands. He’ll be getting baptized too…If he’s not in Cordoba… he leaves on Wednesday but he already committed to coming back on Friday for his interview.

We have embarked on a Sherlock Holmes scale mystery. We’ve been teaching Matias and Franco for a couple weeks and they are SUPER shy and it’s hard to teach them because they don’t like to answer questions and they don’t seem to understand. But they come to church and read and always come to the appointments. We’ve been trying so HARD to figure out WHY they want to listen to las charlas when they admit they are super uncomfortable. Well we always figured that their brother-in-law invited them because we teach them in his house but when we were talking to Matias we asked if has been wanting a change lately in his life. He told us yes and that even though he doesn’t know what kind of change, when his friend invited him, he dragged Franco along so he wouldn’t have to be alone. We asked who the friend was but he didn’t want to tell us. We can’t figure them out! It seemed Franco was interested and Matias was just along for the ride but it’s the other way around. We are so confused. The Spirit is definitely doing His job with those two. It’s the only way possible that they keep coming to church and listening to us. They don’t understand. They just feel good.

We taught our investigators a ton of commandments this week. And boy was it easy. They all just basically said yep, sounds good to me.

We had a lesson with Carlos in the church and an appointment with an inactive with his girlfriend after. The second appointment got there and THEY waited for US. I have never taught so efficiently in my life. Haha, but really with all these super great investigators we are teaching a lot these days! And enjoying every minute of it!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Careful: Satan bites. And so do dogs.

Where do I even start? We just killed it this week. All of our numbers were sooo much bigger than I’ve had in a long time/ever had. It rained bautismal dates on us and we’re feeling so blessed that God has given us some mighty fine investigators. At the same time we see how hard Satan works to convince us all that God’s got it all wrong and that obedience isn’t worth it.

We found a new investigador this week, Jose Luis. He is 35 and half his body is paralyzed. He said he’d come to church with us but that rarely happens after teaching just one lesson. But he came! And he got up in front of everyone to bear his testimony. The branch fell in love with him because he is super sweet.

Nestor is our shining star. He is the husband of the young women’s president. We invited him last week to pray about baptism. When we followed up, he said he felt a lot of peace and he agreed to be baptized on the 30th. We taught him and his wife about temples and eternal marriage. WOW. That’s what this gospel is about. The spirit was so strong and his wife is so happy that she’s so much closer to an eternal family. In another lesson we watched The Restauration and after we asked if he believes that José Smith was a prophet. He said. “No quiero dudar. Me parace que si.” Ï don’t want to doubt. It seems to me that yes.” He really is so prepared. The truth is I’m mind blown that he didn’t get baptized ten years ago with his wife. She said he just never paid much attention to the missionaries. He came to church for the first time too. His wife and daugther came without him and he showed up later. Because of his example, his inactive daughter and his “atheist” son showed up too. We were so excited! And he loved it!

Matias and Franco that came to church but we weren’t teaching them finally had a lesson with us. They beyond confuse us because they seem so disinterested but they keep commitments. Matias didn’t accept baptism (yet) and Franco said it was too soon but that it was something he wanted to do. During the next lesson we talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon and praying to know if it’s true. We asked what he should do (refering to reading and praying) and he said “bautizarme” um, yep. He gave himself his own bautismal date for the 23rd!

Carlos has to go to Cordoba this next week. And we knew it, but we felt like we should invite him to baptism the Saturday he’ll be gone. Even though he didn’t accept that day, I think it helped him accept a date for the week after because he was a bit reluctant. He doesn’t want to get baptized in the cold but the member that was with us (Nestor’s wife) told about how she got baptized in the dead of winter and just before her baptism, the clouds went away and the sun shined. When she got out of the water, the clouds came back. He said he’d get baptized the 16th. In the next lesson we taught the word of wisdom. We thought it’d be a bit hard for him but he accepted it super easily. The doctors say he should drink a half glass of wine every day for his health but he isn’t and says it’s no big deal to keep the word of wisdom. So then we taught the law of chastity. He’s not such a fan of that one. He talked to the former branch president that helped him reason through but he’ll need a little more time to change and repent. We talked with him a lot about Satan and how he is intelligent and knows how to deceive us. I think more than anything what Satan tries to do is block our ability to see things with an eternal perspective.

Also a dog bit me this week. It was actually pretty funny because it was completely quiet and I didn’t even notice the dog. It bit me, I screamed a little, it bit me again, and then went away. Don’t worry mom. It’s healing just fine and Hermana Chaparro had me go buy a rabies shot so we’re all good.

We are really seeing so many miracles and I am loving Bella Vista so much! I feel like the Lord is really blessing us right now and I just want to live worthily of these blessings so that these people can really get baptized! We want to get them all baptized this transfer before I leave!

Hermana Pearson

Monday, July 28, 2014

It passes all my understanding

I'm staying in Bella Vista this next transfer! I can't believe how fast the time is flying! I started with 18 months. Now I have only 18 weeks left. ROUGH.

We had a bunch of little miracles this week but I only have time to talk about a few.

We passed by an investigator we taught only once and she told us she was busy and she couldn't talk. We started walking to look for a referral we had and we get a phone call. The investigator called US and said, "my sisters just barely came home and they want to talk to you guys. Can you come back?" My jaw just about hit the floor. We walked right on back and taught the two sisters. Then they invited us to stay and eat lunch with them.

So I mentioned how a member brought his nephews to church but they had said they didn't have time to meet with us during the week and that they'd come the next Sunday. We about died when they actually did come without their uncle. They came AGAIN this week and POR FIN we set up an appointment with them to start teaching. It boggles my mind still because they don't seem too interested. But something keeps bringing them back so we're gonna make it happen!

We're seeing progress with Carlos. He is the friend of a member and he's really liking this message. We had a scare because last week he didn't come to church and the member told us that Carlos said his sister didn't want him to listen anymore and that he should tell us not to keep stopping by the house. But when we talked to Carlos he said his sister didn't say anything just that she was visiting and Carlos wanted to avoid conflict. He's super excited about reading and learning. He's going to visit family in Córdoba next week but when he gets back he's so getting baptized!

We are seeing a lot more dedication in the members. The Relief Society reorganized the visiting teaching and it's working really well! Presidente thought of an idea to set up a Mormon stand in the farmers market and contact the passing people. They called it an activity but the members that came just watched us talk to people. haha. I felt like I was in the science fair again. It was a fun experience

My companion had to go to Salta again to do paperwork but this time Hermana Baquedano came to Bella Vista with me!
Our Farmers' Market stand
Our Bakery Church
The Primary Activity

The 4 hermanas in our district. We're in their elevator...they live on the 9th floor..

Monday, July 21, 2014

Dios te ama and don't you forget it!

Well something REALLY weird is happening in our area. We are finally getting nonmembers to church, and they aren’t even our investigators! There are two younger guys that have family who are members. They came to church last week with their cousins and we taught them in Sunday School. We tried to set an appointment but they said they were super busy and never home but that they would come to church next week. Well surprisingly, they came again! But not even with their cousins! I’m still super confused! And more so because in the lesson they seemed so disinterested. We tried to set an appointment again but they said the same thing, they only have time for church. The people that come to church don't want us to visit them and the people we visit don't want to come to church. There are 2 other people with similar stories that are coming to church too. But besides them, we are seeing success in the members that are coming to church too! We met our goal of 40 after 2 weeks when we wanted to reach in a month. We committed the members to pass by the house of a less active before going to church.

We had the cutest lesson with Sofia and Maria Jose. We talked about how God loves us and how he is our father. We started shouting God loves me! They were too shy to do it at first but then they started competing who could say it loudest. Then we started saying it together and they kept asking to do it again. It's amazing and so simple and we all need to remember a little better. DIOS ME AMA!

The primary had an activity in the church and it was actually well attended. Probably because there were cakes and a piñata.

My companion had to go to Salta to do some paperwork, so I stayed in the city working again. It is such a different world than Bella Vista. There are garages and doorbells and elevators and such. WHOA! But I love working in an other area and to be able to see how other missionaries work. And remember what we can do better at.

We keep working with the investigators we’ve got and we’re hunting down those chosens!

Love you all and hope all is well!
Hermana Pearson

Monday, July 14, 2014

We´ll bring the world (cup) his truth

We didn’t celebrate much the 4th of July but Argentina’s Independence Day is the 9th and we celebrated that instead with a zone conference to meet President Chaparro. His family is super sweet!

On Wednesday Argentina played in the semi finals of the World Cup. We were out on the streets trying to find someone to teach, but no one wanted to open their doors. So we said a prayer in the street to be able to know where to go and to be able to find someone who would listen. Right after a couple meandered into the center plaza-literally right in front of us-and started to set up a tent to start selling sandwiches. So we started helping them and talking about who we are and what we do. When they finished setting up, we sat down and had a lesson with them. As we were finishing up, Argentina won! And the craziness began. It was super interesting to see but quickly we saw a rather large problem. We were in the center plaza and when Argentina wins all the people do a parade thing and just do circles around the plaza in their cars and motorcycles. They honk their horns and wave their flags and just circle around for about an hour…or at least it seems that long. We walked up and down the sidewalk trying to find a way out, but there was no escape! We finally managed to find a break in the traffic and we passed without incident.

We thought it would be super hard to find people to teach on Sunday. We practically skipped lunch to be able to work before the game and we found a super sweet couple that listened to our message and said we were such special visitors that they offered us to stay and eat. And it was some of the better food I’ve had here!

Our branch is super struggling but we talked with our mission leader and he worked on some ideas for a ward mission plan and we had a super successful ward council. (mainly because people actually attended.) We set a goal for attendance and talked about plans to accomplish it. Sunday was a huge miracle because we brought the less active mom of an investigator to church and when we got there, there were two nonmembers-nephews of a member. And then later two of Oscar’s friends came too. We can’t seem to get many people to church. It’s ALL about the members!

One of the super active members had been acting kinda weird and basically fell of the radar. Long story short we passed by to talk to him and he told us he decided to “quit” church. He’s not offended or anything like that, he has friends, he has a calling.  It’s just he really hates going. Missionaries reactivated him almost 5 years ago and he’s been active the whole time-and has hated it the whole time. It was really hard. We mustered up all the heaven sent words we could and committed him to tell God out loud, while on his knees that he was going to leave the church. When we saw him last night, he said he hadn’t done it. (It’s cause he’s scared. He knows if he does it, he won’t be able to leave.) We recommitted him and he says he’ll do it before Sunday. We have a lot of hope and faith that he’ll show up to church on Sunday.

We’ve been really wanting to do more service. Especially for the members, and this week we had the chance to cut firewood for Familia Toledo. With a machete…We had to borrow the machete from Oscar and later in the week we found another service opportunity cutting firewood. We’re already machete masters. When we went to the “monte” to cut the wood, there is a field of sugar cane and while we were working we had a lot of sugar cane desert. It’s called chupacaña, or sucking cane because you can’t swallow, you just have to suck. It’s super RICA!

Con todo mi amor,
Hermana Pearson

Machete master

Monday, July 7, 2014

To bathe or not to bathe; that is the question

I barely have any time to write because we’ve spent the day moving! Well to be more accurate, we’ve spent the day waiting for the people who were going to help us move. Por fin we finished. And it should all be worth it considering I will have a real shower tonight! And a toilet with a toilet seat! It even flushes all by itself! Wahoo!!

So funny story of the week…I was trying to boil water (to bathe with) and to do that we have to light the stove with a match. I struck the match and as it caught on fire, the tip broke off and flew in my eye! I thought I was going to go blind! But I closed my eye in time so it only burned my eye lid and quite a few lashes…

We taught Noemi this week and gave her a promise that if she'd read a chapter in the Book of Mormon every time that she wanted to smoke, she’d be able to quit smoking in one week. We stopped by the next day and instead of smoking a whole pack she only smoked 3!! She makes good progress but it’s soo slow. And we still can’t get her to church again after the 2 times she went. And she doesn’t want to get married because she’ll lose her government welfare money. But hey she is the MOST humble person I’ve ever met so we are still working with her.

A few weeks ago, her excuse for not coming to church was that her daughter didn’t have dry shoes. Well a couple weeks ago it rained and considering that all my shoes are broken, I didn’t have dry shoes either and my feet were really cold. But obviously I kept working and when we got to her house we sat in the sun while we taught so my feet could dry. This week she told me I had been an example without knowing. It reminded me of the quote about how we should ALWAYS preach the gospel and when necessary, use words.

That’s all I have time for.

Hermana Pearson

Monday, June 30, 2014

You´d think we were trying to get people to go to the Dentist

So it’s really hard to get people to church. We have powerful lessons and we commit the investigators. Sometimes they even commit themselves BEFORE we say anything. Sunday rolls around and we go to every one of their houses and…nothing.

This Sunday we stopped by for Gabriela. There were a few drunks outside. When we asked for Gabriela they said “I think she lives next door.” I did a double take and was 95% sure it was her house so I persisted a little more. But they were drunk and kept saying “she doesn’t live here.” But then I saw her child so I said, “she lives here, that is her baby.” And the drunk was all like “oh, yeah I think she does live here…”

We had had such a great lesson with Noemi and I had so much hope that she would come. We made a breakthrough. She smokes and she isn’t married so she always uses that as an excuse for not getting baptized. But I asked her “if you were already married, would you get baptized today?” She said no. As we talked more about it, she found a doubt she didn’t know she had. She doesn’t understand why God would command us to make a promise that is impossible to fufill perfectly. So we talked about that. She even said we must have been using the Spirit to teach because it was exactly what she needed to learn. That was Saturday and she said she would be at church tomorrow. Last week she didn’t come either and left a member knocking and waiting and the taxi was honking too. When the same member offered to bring her to church I was certain she’d make it. But she didn’t come.

It's not like church is a bad place. I promise, it's a good one and when we get there, we feel a whole lot better. But trying to get people here is like pulling teeth.

But who did come? A man we’ve never taught before. We contacted him when we were with our faithful 3rd companion, Hermano Oscar, who is his aquintance. He offered to take him to church and well  he showed up! Now we just have to teach him!

That’s all I have time for!
Con Cariño,
Hermana Pearson

Monday, June 23, 2014

The stork left something on the doorstep

Okay so this week has been so crazy and so good. I loved working with Hermana Baquedano Monday and Tuesday in the capital. It’s been so long since I’ve been in a city, and we all know how much of a city girl I am. It seems like whenever I’m in another missionary's area, we find such great people and I never get to see or hear about them again. But Hermana Baquedano and I really learned a lot from each other and we made
fast friends.

Tuesday night we traveled to Salta and didn't get there til about one in the morning. And we had some training sessions in the offices. It’s literally President Levrino’s last training. Ah I’m gonna miss him! Mid-day we got our new companions (or our hijos as the missionaries say) (hence the stork reference)…..and it is…..Hermana Harper. From Mesa, Arizona. (Childhood friend of my roommate, Kathryn Crandall.) She is super sweet and already knows a ton of Spanish. Really, she amazes me. We had to travel again, all night long and got to bed at 1…again. So I’ve been super tired this whole week. Hermana Harper is a little overwhelmed but she’s doing so well in comparison to my first days in Argentina. Luckily I had a great companion, and hopefully Hermana Harper can say the same! I felt so bad when I had to teach her how to be able to "shower" and "flush" the toilet. But she just smiled and said that it seems fun. Hahaha

We saw a lot of miracles this weekend. Which I was praying so hard for so that Hermana Harper wouldn’t be miserable. I felt SO guided by the Spirit and we were able to find some chosens. One of the sisters that
used to be in Bella Vista sent a letter to an investigador, but she had moved so we had to hunt her down. When we talked to her she remembered everything the missionaries had taught and accepted to come to church and get baptized. A ton of people accepted bautismal dates but none of them came to church so the dates all fell through. Church attendance is by far our biggest setback. I was reading in John this week about how when we take the sacrament we really receive LIFE. I just love that so much. Being on the misión, the sacrament has become to mean so much more to me and I just want everyone to be able to go to church. It’s really a worship so meaningful if we choose for it to be. It reminds me of God’s great love and mercy and inspires me to work at being more and more Christ-like.

I am super happy to be training because it is keeping me super focused. I know I have to be on my A game and I have to be as close to perfect as possible to set the good example and since I’m completely imperfect I have to pray A LOT. And prayers keep me good and focused!

I love you all!
Hermana Pearson

Monday, June 16, 2014

This means WAR

This week we had stake conference with Elder Robins of the presidency of the seventy. He served his misión here in Tucuman and Jujuy. He gave a great talk about how really every member has a miracle and as
we share the gospel we have to expect miracles. He also talked about how we sometimes are scared to open our mouth but what we really need to do is open our eyes and ears FIRST and then our mouth. If we pray that God will help us see what people need it is a lot easier to open your mouth.. He said most members don’t do missionary work, not because they don't want to but because they don’t know how. So he said just ask a missionary they’ll help you out!

He also asked if we ever wondered why the Book of Mormon is so full of war stories-because war and missionary work is basically the same thing! It’s so true! But it made me think about how the War in Heaven
probably involved a whole lot of missionary work. That is why God tells us we’re all so prepared to be missionaries.  We already were missionaries before we even got here.

Well we went out expecting milagros and God amazed us yet again. This Sunday Argentina played in the World Cup (we won) and we didn’t know who to visit since everyone was busy watching the game. Then we thought of an old referral that said she wants to hear but we can never find her. Well she ended up telling us to visit her neighbor. When we got there the woman said ´´thanks for visiting, come on in.¨ She
turned out to be an inactive member who has been praying all week long to be able to restore her spirituality. She didn’t have much time but we shared a bit with her and she cried because she saw it as her personal miracle. It really was a sweet experience.

Well speaking of the World Cup, we had to walk the streets at one in the morning after the game to search for a taxi that could take us to the city because my companion got transferred. They let us know at 11
at night and had to be in the bus station in the city at 4. We packed her bags and realized that we wouldn't be able to take a bus or a taxi because with the game and Fathers' Day, no one was working (HAPPY
FATHER’S DAY Papi!) so we had to search the streets for an open taxi station. There weren’t any but finally a member helped us get there through a friend of his. We got to the city around 3 and  I had to
wait around until 5 until my temporary companion came. I slept a grand total of 1 hour. But the good news is I should be able to sleep a little on the bus ride to Salta because I have to pick up a new
greenie on Wednesday. Until then I’m working downtown with Hermana Baquedano (Hermana Thompson’s old comp) because she’ll be training too and we’ll travel to Salta together. Our district leader is going to train
too so our district with be half newbies. So even though I won’t get a new apartment with a hot shower, I have 3 days of being able to use the shower in the city. I’ve never been so thankful for hot water in
my life than I was this morning. (Even though it was too hot and almost burned me. It doesnt even matter ;)

Much Love,
Hermana Pearson

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Shotgun Fail

So these last few weeks I've had nothing to say and all the time in the world to say it, this week I have SO much to say and have 10 minutes. I was even going to send a ton of pictures!
Yesterday we had a zone conference with Presidente Levrino and his wife. The very last one for them. It got rescheduled so many times that finally they had to do it on a we didn't have a preparation day today because of it. But it was so worth it because Presidente Levrino is so inspired and really any meeting associated with the Church is meant for us to be able to change something to put our life in harmony with God's will.

So we have an investigator Emilio and he's come to church for a while and he wants to get baptized because he's sick and might need an operation and wants to be healed, but he doesn't really understand things still. This week we decided we'd have a shotgun baptism and visit him everyday to prepare him. After everything going wrong, we got him to an interview in the city with the stake president and the elders had the font filled and prepped with nice warm water (instead of having freezing water in our pool in Bella Vista.) Emilio passed his interview but he changed his mind last minute and said he couldn't get baptized because his daughter made a promise with the virgin so that his biopsy results came back with good news and that he couldn't get baptized yet because she was upset that his baptism would destroy her promise with the virgin.....

But we saw good progress with Natalia. She is 18 and her mom is inactive. She studied with Jehovah's Witnesses for 4 years before the elders started teaching her a couple years back. They didn't baptize her, but they inactived her from her other church...We found her because her mom was a referral. She accepted to be baptized if she knew the Book of Mormon was true. On divisions with the ward members, I went to visit her but she hadn't read and prayed, so we read together in 3 Nephi 11. When I asked her how she felt after reading she said she felt a lot of peace and like God was hugging her. We helped her realize that is an answer that it is true! In the prayer at the end she thanked God for helping her know it's true. She has a baptismal date for the 28th.

This week I hit my one year mark. I was gonna change my toothbrush like Amanda but I was too tired to run upstairs and back down to the bathroom so that never happened. We did get to help Familia Toledo (one of the two solid families in the branch) make Arabian empanadas and cook them in their mud oven. That was the extent of my celebrations for my mission birthday.

I have so much more to say and NO time. Maybe next week I'll have time to write more!

Hermana Pearson

PS at the conference I finally got mail! Of the 10 or so letters that came 7 were for me! Wahoo.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Spiritual Walking Faith Bomb

A couple three weeks back (Indiana term) we had a branch activity that was a HUGE success. Why was it so successful you might ask? Because it was well planned? No. In fact the branch had planned for an outdoor activity but it was cold so the night before we changed ALL the plans and didn't even have the resources to tell barely anyone...Was it because a lot of people showed up? No. We got there 30 minutes late and were the first ones there. Later one by one 5 adults and 5 kids showed up. The member who knew how to make the tortillas that we were gonna make showed up last after like an hour and a half of waiting. The reason it was successful was a less active (who we invited) came. The next day she came to church and the next Sunday too. Yesterday in church she bore her testimony about wanting to raise her child in the gospel and how she had come back and was there to stay. After church she told us that she is always at home so she can do visits with us whenever we want. So yeah, talk about a successful activity, because it was the one thing that helped someone come back to church, it was soo worth it!

Well not gonna lie, this week was super rough. We couldn't teach even one of our investigators, so we contacted so many people. LITERALLY hundreds. But very few people wanted to talk to us. But instead of being disappointed or depressed or discouraged or stressed there was just a lot of peace and patience in my heart. I can't really explain it but it was like a tranquility shield. When people said rude or annoying things, it just bounced right off me. When our numbers were low or plans got changed or members fell through, I just felt so much patience. The Spirit was guiding me every step of the way and keeping my hopes up. Like ya know the Michelin man with the white marshmallow suit? I felt like I was walking around with a tranquility suit. Wow I sound so weird right now but that is the only way I can explain it! For those who know Spencer Taggart, it was like I was a Spiritual Walking Tranquility Bomb!

Fun the streets here are dirt but when it rains there aren't drains to drain the water so there are just lakes in the roads. On top of that, I don't know how it ends up like this, but sometimes there are huge (whats that word for the gutter type thing that surrounds a castle? I don't even know English anymore.)  Well long story short my companion stepped wrong and her whole shoe sank. When she took her next step her whole leg sank up to her knee. We passed by the investigator that we had an appointment with to tell her we needed to reschedule because we had to go home to clean off and wouldn't be able to make it back to the area. She was so sweet and had us come in and she washed Hermana Vargas's shoes. It's a good thing too because later we realized there was wet concrete in the mud. It was pretty funny (for me at least!)

And last but not least the picture my mom wants so bad! A horse carriage/cart. This one belongs to a blind, one-legged recent convert that got baptized the week before I got here!

Also an example of the streets we walk.

My companion's muddy leg.

The Sugar Factory in Bella Vista