Monday, January 27, 2014

Water? What Would We Need That For?

We haven’t had water for the last 4 days. And our toilet is broken…again. Not a good combo!

This week Hermana Gentry got sick. Okay the truth is she’s been sick the whole time I’ve known her…parasite…but it got worse so we ended up pulling some strings and she got an appointment with the hospital director. Usually you have to wait for a long time to get an appointment and have to have paperwork to prove your citizenship and all that. But she went to the appointment, had some tests done and they gave her medicine. All for free…..she felt like she was robbing.

She and Hermana Rallison had to go to Salta to do visa paperwork so Hermana Quispe and I worked in all of El Carmen for a day. I missed the other half of the city that we worked in before the other hermanas came! This week we worked so hard to get our investigators to church. We thought for sure we’d get a good turnout. Yeah, not so much. It broke my heart a little. But after church on Sunday, we had a lesson with Leandro, the boyfriend of a member. We’ve never taught him before but he comes to church every once in a while. He’s really quiet and so we didn't really know how he was taking it all. But we really felt the Spirit. When he said the last prayer. He cried. One thing I’ve learned on the mission; tears are a really good thing! Later, when we were looking for the houses of referrals, we taught a girl named Erica. She gave the closing prayer. She cried. Later a man, Jose, stopped us on the street, told us his whole life story about all the hardships he is facing. We said a prayer together. Hermana Gentry cried, I cried, Jose cried.

Every Friday we eat with the same family. Two weeks ago, we got to lunch with a little surprise…2 new investigators! One was the daughter’s boyfriend and the other was the boyfriend of another daughter who died a few years ago. I guess it was really hard for him and he ran off to go work in the South. He came back and the mom invited him to lunch, specifically for Friday. They are really interested in it all. Later that night, the other hermanas had a baptism and they both came. We have taught them a few times since. They both have a lot of potential! How great would it be to always have members arranging appointments for us!

Hasta Luego,
Hermana Pearson

Monday, January 20, 2014

Ghost Busters

We stopped by an investigator's house and I saw some people in the house next door and I just thought we should talk to them instead. The first person we talked to said he was leaving and said we should talk with the owner who was an old guy that wasn't making any sense. So I asked to talk to his daughter. She finally came out but gave us every excuse(lie) in the book. ''I'm just about to leave. My family won't like to have you here.'' Ya know the same old, same old. Well we were persistent and finally she said we could share. She was a little cold and really didn't want to talk to us but I just knew we had to-but I had no idea what to say. So I just prayed like crazy and all the words came. We talked with a grown daughter and her mother and they started to tell us about the terrible things going on in their life because of the evil dad. And in not so many words they said he's practically possessed.  They said how they've listened to every religion and it hasn't helped. They were crying and we just listened and testified of Christ. We sang 'Come Unto Jesus' and we just let them know how God loves them. By the end they were just so happy we had come to bring God into their home and be their personal ghost busters. The best part-they came to church! And when we where there it turns out she has a really good friend who is Mormon. They felt really comfortable and uplifted.

A couple things I learned from this experience. First, why are we so resistant to the help we so desperately need? God tells us where to find help. The scriptures, prayer, church, prophets. The list is endless. So why when we are hurting do we shy away from the things that will help us. When I was in Indiana and Elder Holland came, he talked about the part in the Bible where Jesus is sleeping in the boat and his disciples wake Him up when the storm comes. Elder Holland talked about how when we have the storms of life we CANNOT jump off the boat. We need to have faith that Jesus Christ is there leading the boat and that the safest place to be is by His side. So just be humble. And realize that you can't do it on your own and that the only way to do it is with God.

Second- There are so many people around us. They're hurting and they need God. And they are YOUR friends. They want to be invited to church. They want to have a support. They want someone to talk to them about God. Can you imagine how much earlier Mirta and Amalia would have come to church if their friend had reached out to them and invited them? It's not just the people that aren't members, the members need help too. So be a representative of Christ and invite your friends to come unto Him.

When we were traveling to a district meeting, Hermana Gentry talked to a lady on the bus who was really great but even though Hna Gentry asked her 5 times, she wouldn't tell her the address to her house. BUT she gave us a referral of her son. So we visit her son and his family who are really great too and he kept asking who told us to visit him. But we get so many referrals that we couldn't remember who. Well when we asked him who else we could visit, he gave us the name and address of his mother. HAHAHA God can be pretty funny sometimes.

We were visiting a less active and in the middle of the lesson, her 6 year son comes home. He sees us and runs to me and hugs me and gives me mil besos on the cheek. Hermana Gentry was expecting a similar reaction so when he walked past her she asked 'What about me?' He just said 'you're ugly and I don't understand your English.' Ahh classic little kid. hahaha

The sweet, humble familia Cari that I've talked about before, their daughter Estela got baptized! It was quite the miracle because usually the members here are so lax they just never quite get around to baptizing the kids so then when they are 9 or 10 the missionaries realize that they never got baptized but at that point it's considered a convert baptism. But cute little Estela wanted to get baptized so bad that she kept asking us about it every time we went over and bugged her dad about it and so finally the branch did something about it! I thought of Annika the whole time and how close her baptism is!

Well I love you all so much!!!

Hermana Pearson

Estela's baptixm

Monday, January 13, 2014

Disciples of Jesus Christ- A Demanding and Relentless Task

This last week an old missionary came by to visit in just the right moment when we were having a small activity in the branch. At the end, he bore his testimony and said if there is anyone who is missionary age that they should prepare to serve because it will change your life. And in that moment I just knew that I’m where God wants me to be and He’s changing me into who He wants me to be. I read this quote from President Kimball I really liked. “The cultivation of Christlike qualities is a demanding and relentless task—it is not for the seasonal worker or for those who will not stretch themselves, again and again.”

We had a zone training and interviews with President and I just realized how much I lack. There is so much I have to improve and I’m working on that daily but meanwhile I just have to trust God that He will make up the difference for what I can’t do on my own. That’s the miracle of the Atonement. It transforms us.

We’ve had a few lessons with the sister of an inactive/recent convert. She said at first that she’s Catholic and yayaya the stuff they all say but she invited us back. And when we came back we sang a hymn to start the lesson. And then she asked us to sing another because it made her little mischievous 2 year old calm down. That first day we weren’t sure why she wanted us to come back but after that we understood. She could feel the peace of the Spirit with her when we were in her house.

So a new grocery store opened up here in El Carmen. And it is GREAT. Okay the truth is it’s relatively clean and it doesn’t smell bad and it has air conditioning. So clearly it’s our favorite. Well one day I mentioned something about it when we were with Facundo and he asked, "Why is it your favorite? The wide selection? No. The low prices. No. Why?" Because it has air conditioning. I was being dead serious but he was laughing so hard like it was a joke. He tweeted as a joke and it got more than 200 retweets and 200 favorites. So yeah these Argentines think I’m pretty funny.

We’ve been challenging a lot of people to put reading the Book of Mormon this year as a goal. So I’ll extend it to all you who are reading this too. I’ve truly seen the power of the Book of Mormon transform the relationship people have with God. It’s true the promise that there is no better way to get closer to God then to read the Book of Mormon. Just do it!

Hope all is well!

Hermana Pearson

Monday, January 6, 2014

Since When Does 2+2=6?

We’ve been teaching an investigator for a couple months now. She’s gone to church, read the WHOLE Book of Mormon and has a strong testimony. She says she believes the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church. She’s wanted to get baptized since the first time we visited her. We’ve taught her all the lessons and have felt the Spirit guide us in what we’ve taught. She knows everything and has a testimony of it all but isn’t willing to keep all the commandments of God because it would mean giving up the most important person in her life. Her girlfriend. This last week we had a lesson with her and she ended up telling us that even though she believes it is all true that she never wants to get baptized. ‘’Not today, not tomorrow, not yesterday, not in 10 years.’’  She dropped us hard and also said she thinks all we’ve come to do is make her cry in every lesson. It was heart breaking for her to tell us that she’s choosing her temporary happiness instead of eternal happiness.  Hermana Gentry told her she can’t choose the truth. 2 + 2 will ALWAYS be 4. And there’s nothing we can do to change it. This investigator understands everything but said she just wants to live in ignorance. She basically said that she’s just going to go on pretending that 2+2=6 It was really hard and we left her house crying but afterwards we felt peace because we knew we did everything and that she understands it all clearly. And now after doing all we possibly could have, it’s all in God’s hands.

One thing I have learned from her though is the power of the Book of Mormon. She read it all and because of that she has a testimony of our whole message. Now she just needs to act on the faith that she has because ''Faith without works is dead.'' I have a lot of hope in her that she can one day be baptized to be in the path that leads to salvation.

New Years was just a repeat of Christmas. And today is 3 King’s day…which is also a repeat of Christmas. And in a couple weeks we’ll be celbrating Carnival. There’s a never ending supply of reasons to party here in the good ol’ ‘Tina.

Thats all I have time for.

Much Love,
Hermana Pearson