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