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! **