Monday, February 24, 2014

Sunday Funday

This week we taught Axel a few times and one day his 10 year old neighbor came over. He had a lot of good questions and we invited him to church. Sunday morning we went by to go to church with Axel (we do this every Sunday. We spend sometimes up to an hour going to people’s house who told us they were going to come to church. It’s the worst hour of the week because it is when every investigator hides from us or lies to us. It’s the moment when it feels like all our work from the whole week feels like it has gone down the drain because they didn't even come to church even though we had so much hope that this week was going to be different and we were going to have a ton of investigators at church.) Well we were walking up to Axel’s house and the 10 year old neighbor was sitting right out in front and tells us that Axel is almost ready. WHAT A MIRACLE! After church they asked us if they could see the baptisimal font.
Okay so this whole H2O thing is kinda nice to have but for whatever reason we don't always have it. Needless to say, I think I have had my fair share of showers using a BUCKET. And cold ´´showers´´ at that.

Well Carnival is starting here in El Carmen and I think I have come to realize that I am literally living in THE MOST WICKED AND ABOMINABLE country in the whole world. We were walking through a crowd of completely lost souls last night. There were kicked over bottles and crushed wine boxes in the gutters. The people were all covered in who knows what kind of white powder and I just had this moment where I felt like I was in Lehi’s dream. I was surrounded by the thick dark mist and to get home I had to hold tight to the iron rod (or my purse so it wouldn’t get stolen) so that I could reach safely home. Well the point is it felt good to be the people pressing forward toward lasting happiness. We have our choices. Who will we be in Lehi’s dream? There is so much peace and safety in holding to the rod and keeping the commandments. AND the destination is SO worth it.
Well I love you all!!
Hermana Pearson

Monday, February 17, 2014

All You Need Is Love

My Book of Mormon was falling apart this week so I had a member try to take it to get fixed. Not having it all week made me realize how much I LOVE the scriptures. It’s like our own personal treasure trove of all the things God wants us to know.

My companion has an insanely good accent and everyone tells her so which leaves me all the more determined to sound like a Latina. I’m already learning a lot and sounding a lot better. Hermana Quispe says she can hear the difference. Don’t worry everyone. My companion is just as great as Hermana Gentry, and Sister Hansen and Hermana Howard. I already love her a ton.

Speaking of love, Valentines Day here is no big deal. But I spent the day thinking about the most powerful love there is. The love of God. Everyone should read 1 John 4. I think it might be the best chapter in all of the Bible. It made me remember an experience in Indiana when Justin, who doesn’t know if he thinks God exists, asked me why I love God. And so easily and clearly I said because he loves me. And the amazing thing about His love is that it is infinite and individual. And as a missionary I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to preach to everyone that GOD LOVES THEM. And YES, that includes you too! As a missionary I want to grow this love so that people can feel it. So that they can feel the power of God and how the knowledge that God loves them and is their father is the most potent antidepressant out there! By far sharing the love of God made it my best valentines day ever!

I was reminded this week how powerful a simple invitation is.Two times this week invitations of love to come back to church was all that was needed to help someone make a change in their life to return to church and come a little closer to God. There are so many less actives all around us. Find one. Invite them to come to church. Simple as pie.

We were teaching a younger boy named Axel. He is quite the character. At the end of the lesson, he didn’t want to say the prayer in front of us. Once he finally did, he said ‘’That felt good. I want to say something more’’ and then said another prayer. It was a humble reminder that we really are talking to someone when we pray. It feels good. So just do it!

Love you all and pray for you daily.

Hermana Pearson

Monday, February 10, 2014

And then there were 3

On Sunday right before we left to go track people down to bring them to church, we got a call from one of our investigators who told us she didn't want to go to church yet and she said ''I woke up this morning and just feel like going.''  Her cousin, who is also an investigator had told us she'd be going. This Sunday we had to be on time because it was a Stake Cnference and we had to all travel together on a bus. Well turns out she slept in and wouldn't have been ready except for the fact that her cousin called her and told her she wanted to go.

When we got to the church we saw an unexpected surprise, another investigator who we hadn't been able to see this week was there too.

We are teaching this family that we found on Christmas Eve because we went with some recent converts to go sing Christmas songs to investigators. Their little daughter saw us in Santa hats and got really excited so we went and sang to them. This week they told us that we were their Christmas miracle.

Well Hermana Gentry got transferred...It feels like we lost a little part of El Carmen. We'll miss her a lot but I have a great new companion-Hermana Thompson from Washington. She served in West Virginia for 6 months so she only has one transfer more than me here in Argentina but her Spanish is SUPERB! She came from another part of Jujuy and she already thinks El Carmen is heaven. She's right. It's the perfect little town!

Transfers were COMPLETELY LOCO! We stayed up until 1 helping Hermana Gentry pack and then we had to wake up at 5 so that we could take her to San Salvador. We were a little trio today for a while. Then we had to come back to El Carmen to do a few chores and then went back to San Salvador to pick up my new comp. We had to take advantage of being in the city because I NEED NEW SHOES. We found 2 pairs. Well with all this I'm so tired and have no idea when I'll make up on this lost sleep. Wish me luck!

We had a couple great opportunities this week to buy a couple things for 2 really humble familes. One is the familia Cari. We taught them about the Sabbath Day and what we can do to keep it holy. They said they wanted to wear dresses but didn't have any. So we took the 3 girls and went to the feria (it's just a field of people from Bolivia who got a whole bunch of free clothes from America from thrift stores and then they come to Argentina to sell it.)

The other was with an investigator that we have. She doesn't have enough money to buy chairs so we always teach on her doorstep. We figured we'd buy her some chairs so that we could have a more focused lesson.

We got accused of being devil worshippers this week. He told us we were like Saul destroying the Church and that he hopes we find our road to Damascus soon. Oh if only he knew.

Well that's all for today. Much love,.

Hermana Pearson

Monday, February 3, 2014

Adventures with Gauchos

Our whole district fasted this week that we would be able to meet our district goals. The same day we saw a lot of great miracles.

We have a mom and daughter investigating. They talk A LOT. When they’re together they talk MORE. We practiced to be able to push through a lesson so that we could teach powerfully and without wasting our time. We were in and out of their house in one hour. They just sat through the whole lesson quietly, listening to what we had to say. We had left the Introduction to the Book of Mormon for them to read. Mirta told us, I hate reading. I’ve always hated it and I always will. BUT something about this book really interests me and I’m going to read it. And she did! She read the introduction 4 times! She had a doubt about why it was only written for the people in America. We explained that a little better and she said, "bueno, my doubt disappeared." This whole time she’s been talking about what she wants and what she likes. But this week when we invited her to baptism she said that she will pray and figure out what God wants. They talked so much about the difference that they’ve seen in their lives since we first came a knocking. Now if only they’d come to church again...

We taught a whole family this week. We started with one of the daughters, then we had her invite her sister who came with her baby to listen. Then another sister came home. We recapped all that we taught and continued. Then the brother came home, and the mom and by the end we were teaching 7 people. Each time recapping and continuing!

The old branch president has a son-in-law who is not a member. We’ve been over to their house a few times to teach but the husband listens out of respect nothing more. He's a police officer and teaches some sort of body building class and is always really tired. Well this week he hurt his knee and can’t work. His father-in-law committed him to read the Book of Mormon in his spare time. He came to church this week! We’re going to visit them today and we’ll see if he really has been reading.

Today for our preparation day, we went on a little hike. Complete with our tour guide, Hermano Ramon. AKA the Chuck Norris of Argentina. BEST DAY EVER! We went with Faca and Oscar too. We drank from a brook. (Don’t worry Hermano Ramon knows his stuff and said it’s better than what you’d get out of a bottle) In the pictures me, Hermana Gentry and I are sporting out BOCA shirts. It’s a soccer team. Everyone here asks if we’re fans of boca or river. The truth is we know nothing about the teams but boca’s colors are better! We saw a bunch of free roaming horses and cows and just had a really great time. Hermano Ramon is our grandpa here. He is a Gaucho/Submarine Diver/Poet/Cook/Genius. He has a radio program here in El Carmen called Gaucho Inheritance (it sounds cooler in Spanish) and this last week he dedicated it to the missionaries. Every week at lunch with him, we learn a thousand things we never have even thought about.

Well I love you all and hope all is well,
Hermana Pearson

Better than bottled!
Best day ever!

Sister Gentry and me in our BOCA shirts

With our guide, Hermano Ramon