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