Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25, 2013-Remembering Grandpa Cox


Oh, family. My heart goes out to all of you. I had a dream about grandpa earlier this past week, and just finished a hand-written letter to him actually on the 20th. 
He will be so dearly missed by all of us. It pains me that I can´t be there to hug and cry with all of you. But honestly I am so grateful for the plan of salvation. The knowledge that he is now pain free and happy with our Heavenly Father. 
This week I was thinking about what a great legacy he is going to leave behind. That always genuine and so soft-spoken strong man. Even in the years of ¨fading¨, I could always feel of his love for each and every one of us, and was always so inspired by his patience, and his ability to ¨calm the crowds¨. 
He was a fighter, and I know that these last few years that he stuck around were really to help each and every one of us to treasure life´s moments. I know that he taught each of the members of our family something profound and Christlike, especially in these last few years of coming together to help him to feel comfortable and loved until the end.
I´m so grateful for the knowledge that our family is eternal, and that Grandpa is now joining the forces of guardian angels to watch over, guide, and encourage us. 
I love you all so much. Thank you for this picture. Give everyone my love and my hugs. Most especially Grandma. Tell her that there is a letter en-route from San Juan. 
All my love. xoxo Court

Monday November 25, 2013-Shaking the dust and finding the gold nuggets.‏

This week we´ve been focusing on diligence, and the effects and miracles wrought by diligence and hard work and of course patience.
We had an experience on Wednesday-Thursday that really made me understand the importance of that. 
I likened it to gold mining. Honestly it isn´t a ¨hobbie¨for the faint at heart. It takes hours of seemingly pointless ¨sifting¨, and seeing pile after pile of common ¨pebbles and dirt¨, it can be discouraging. 
On Wednesday, we had planned to go and contact some antiguos, as well as some of the potential investigators or ALBs. We went out after lunch, and for hours, in the very hot sun, we knocked, and walked, and knocked, and walked some more. but mostly just roasted under the San Juan sun. 
It was Hermana Flores´birthday, and also her first day of ¨real proselyting¨. and she was, rightfully so, very flustered with the sacredness of the siesta here. 
It´s something that you never really get used to...
But, she is a trooper, and learning to keep up with a loca trainer, and we kept working, kept going. 
Thursday was another work day, but a day of miracles. We found, amongst all of the random door knocking and searching, several ¨personas de oro¨. Literal Golden nuggets.
1. Viviana. We knocked on her door, and she came out smiling. She told us that the elders had passed by 10 years ago, told her about the Book of Mormon, she asked for a copy, and they never came back!! She had a lot of questions about Joseph Smith, saying she´d loved his story. We gave her a Book of Mormon, and she basically begged us to come back and talk to her family on Saturday.
We did, and had an AWESOME lesson. With her husband, Mauricio, and 3 kids, Felipe, Lourdes, y Sofía. 
THEN....... THEY CAME TO CHURCH THE NEXT DAY!!! WE went by in the morning, and Viviana, Lourdes, and Sofía were dressed in the cutest dresses and looked SO nice!
They all actively participated in the classes, sang, and Viviana even prayed (for the second time) in front of the whole Gospel Principles class, and it was AMAZING! 
She said she already has a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith.
2. Washington and Mercedes. 
They were a referral from a family in the ward. They recently lost their son unexpectedly, and were really struggling to cope.
We showed up, and Mercedes answered. She was nice, and opened up a little, but was very hesitant. She kept telling us that her husband was still very angry with God and didn´t want anything to do with any churches. He was down the hall, watching TV, but I wondered if he wasn´t listening.
This voice in my head went ¨Sing a song! I am a Child of God!¨
So I asked her if we could sing. She said yes. We sang ¨Soy un Hijo de Dios¨, and the spirit was super strong. She started crying, and opened up about her son, and how hard it has been. A few minutes later, Washington got up, came to the door, and from behind her, invited us to come in and ¨chat¨. She turned around, a look of pure surprise on her face. We of course went in, and had an awesome lesson about the plan of salvation. 
They invited us back, and also invited their son and his family to come. We have a lesson with them tonight!!
3. Raul.He was sitting on a corner and smiled, so we crossed. We explained to him who we are and what we do. He told us that he was looking for God more in his life, and that he really has pure intentions and a good heart. Then he began to cry. And told us that he has a problem with Alcohol. But that he wants to change. He´s lost a father and brother to alcohol. He said he doesn´t know who can help him. We testified of Christ´s love, and the importance of faith, and most of all repentance. WE´re going back to have a lesson with him, his mom, his brother, and his grandma that we´ve talked to before.
4. Paula. We were walking, and I looked across the street, and this door, in the middle of a dark wall, seemed to literally be glowing. We went and knocked it, and 3 little kids appeared at the gate. They went and got their mom, she came out, recognized us, and got this ¨seriously? not right now-.¨look on her face. She told us that she´d had a c-section 4 days ago, and was really tired. I just started to talk to her about her kids, and the little girl started dancing and playing with us through the fence. Suddenly she said ¨well, I guess you can come in for a few minutes.¨ We looked at each other stunned.
We went in, and she told us all about their family, the loss of all of her immediate family, and how she is struggling to raise these 4 little kids while her husband has to work far away. She was so exhausted, and just searching for something. We started the plan of salvation, and after 15 minutes, some neighbors showed up to help get kids in bed. But she asked us to write down our number and take hers, and come back! 

I was reading in Jesus the Christ about the work of the apostles, and the things that Christ told them before he sent them out on their missions.
He told them : If they found themselves rejected by a household or by a town as a whole, they were to shake the dust from their feet on leaving.... but to continue on. Just like the gold miners, sometimes there seems like there´s a lot of dust. Especially with the Argentina Zonda. But with patience, diligence, and a true desire to uncover the gold, you find it. And those moments of discovery are made just that much brighter in contrast to the previous ¨gloom¨. 

Love you all. Take care this week.
Esta semana que viene,
xoxo Your Hermana C

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18,2013-Just when you think you know what crazy is...‏

Let me just start by saying that this week brought a whole new meaning to the word exhaustion. I have never been so tired. BUT. along with that comes that feeling of accomplishment. and honestly one of those ¨Looking back it makes you laugh at the fact that you actually survived¨.
Monday- P day. And then we went to see Veronica and her girls. she was alone, but we taught her tithing, and she LOVED it. go figure. She told us she couldn´t wait to share it with her girls, and then we set up an appointment for the District Leader to come with us on Wednesday.
Tuesday- In the morning during comp study, the phone rang. It was the Zone leaders telling us that we had ¨special transfers¨. We looked at each other in shock. halfway through the transfer. ¨No! you´re kidding?¨ They told me that we got a new hermana from the Guatemala MTC that needs to be trained. ¨So, Hermana Cox, congratulations, you´re going to be her new mom trainer!!¨ AND, the other part of the crazy news, is that Hermana Lybbert is going to stay with you too until the end of the transfer! That NEVER happens, so congrats, be in Mendoza Thursday morning before 10!¨ A flood of emotions hit me all at once. Excitement, relief, and then that ¨How the heck am I supposed to train a Latina??¨ 
Feeling very small and incapable myself, We looked around our already extremely tiny and crowded with just two apartment....whelp, we´ve got some work to do!
But we had to go to district meeting. And then after that we did exchanges, which meant that Hna Lybbert was leaving to Pocito and I had to figure out how to fit another bed and shelves and stuff into the pench.
Wednesday- first thing after studies we had to call a truck man to drive us to Pocito to pick up the extra bed, and Hna Lybbert. I was with Hna Chorolqui. we crammed into the front of this pickup with Leon. Immediately I started talking with him, and he told us that he is really good friends with the presidente of the other stake. so he knows about the church.
¨Are you from Utah?¨He asked me. ¨Yeah.¨¨Oh there´s this tv show that I love! It´s filmed in Utah, it´s about this Mormon man that has 3 or 4 wives. It´s genius!¨
Most awkward 40 minute ride of my life explaining to this man that Polygamy is NOT part of what we believe, we don´t practice it, I don´t have 3 other moms, and the idea of having multiple wives really isn´t that admirable. CHE.
We changed back, and then got home, and prepared the pench like crazy people for the new Hermana.
THEN. That night we had our cita with Veronica and her girls, Elder Gomez, Elder Downs, and Hermano Coria from the ward. We showed up and the girls were outside with their boyfriends, but all were really happy to see us.
So we crammed into their little front room, the army of missionaries and members.
we had a lesson about the Sacrament, and how it allows us to renew our baptismal covenants.
Then, Elder Gomez did the interviews!! THEY ARE GOING TO BE BAPTIZED!!!! Lourdes and Ariana are SO ready, so eager, and just awesome I love them! They had even been talking to their boyfriends, Gustavo and Facundo about the things we teach! 
And, por suerte, Hno Coria is the president of young men's! So, while we were helping the girls with their English and waiting on interviews, he taught the boys the Restauración, and el Libro de Mormón, and invited them to come to church on Sunday. They accepted!! 
Elder Gomez came out, signed the records, and the girls said ¨so you´re going to plan our baptism now right?¨
Thursday- We woke up to go to the terminal at 5 am, and got on a bus to Mendoza. 
Arrived, got my ¨how to be a trainer training¨. Then we went to meet Hna Flores.
She is from El Salvador, and is absolutely fantastic! I knew within the first 5 minutes that I was going to love the girl! She´s super outgoing and fun, and is way determined to learn English. Ha it´s great, she already knows some, so we have lots of fun!
Friday- Weekly planning. Poor Hna Flores. It´s such a weird thing to do planning your first day. But she´s a trooper, and we all worked together to make the plans happen.
We tried visiting Veronica, but they weren´t there. A little nervous that we haven´t seen them since the interviews, but we have faith that everything´s going to work out okay. I hate that people´s phones here never have credit!!
Saturday- we spent all morning in the area of the elders doing a missionary activity with their ward. We did role plays with them where we were the investigators and they were the missionaries. Then after, we split up and went out to contact people in the street. The members had missionary tags, and we were just there to guide them. It went really well, and it was super fun to get the members involved! 
We got everything we need to start the English class, and so we´ll be handing out flyer's and doing that 2 times a week now! 
Went to see Lourdes and Ariana. Veronica was gone, but they were super excited about their baptism date for next Saturday 23. We told them we´d be by in the morning to walk with them to church.
Sunday- We showed up to Veronica´s to walk with them to church. The girls answered, their boyfriends were there. They said they weren´t coming, and so the girls were going to walk them to the bus stop. Veronica was still ¨waking up¨, so we waited outside.
The minutes seemed like forever. Veronica came out and looked surprised to see us. We went in, and she told us that her mom was there visiting, and so she couldn´t come to church. She had an appointment to see the bishop though, and they still needed one more assistencia. She was half asleep, but we convinced her to come to the last 2 hours.
The girls showed up, and one of the boyfriends was there. So we went to church with them. but their dog followed us and caused a huge scene. So we had to take him back. We showed up 40 minutes late to church. BUT, we got there. The members went to work welcoming them, and once they were in classes, everything went smoothly.
Veronica and her mom showed up, and we had to track down the bishop because he forgot about the interview. ugh. finally found him. They went in to the interview, and we sat and got to know Veronica´s mom. She told us how happy she was to see her grand kids at the church, and how grateful she was we´d found them when they needed God most. She´s a member of a different church, but all the same very supportive of what we do.
The interview went really long, and we were all late for sacrament, We went in and started bishopless. EEK. I forgot the celiac bread and on top of all of that, I had to give a talk. With all of my nerves from the morning going wild.
The meeting went great, and the girls and Gustavo loved all of the classes for the youth. 

Hermana Flores got probably the most insane welcome to an area that I have ever seen. Not one ¨typical work day¨, and a LOT of ¨this has never happened before!¨But in the midst of it all, and despite all of the roadblocks, things are working out. Not perfectly, or easily, but who ever said it would be either of those things? 
Every day of this work amazes me. The things we do, the things the people do, the way that the Lord has his hands in all of the little details. Sometimes it takes moments of complete and utter chaos to make you stop, breathe, and understand that he knows what he is doing. Sometimes he makes us wait.....a really long time....or until we feel like our head and heart literally CANNOT take any more. But he strengthens us, and gives us capacities, love, patience, faith, and understanding beyond our own, and in ways that are sometimes the LEAST expected.

I love you all so much! Until next week! 
xoxo Your Hermana C

November 18, 2013 - Q and A's and photos

1. What religions have you run into while on your mission? A little bit of everything, there are religions here that I swear are just made up. Many of them are... but there are lots of ¨Catholics¨and Jehova´s Witnesses. 
2. Did you celebrate 11/12/13(Ben and Emmi) um... no ha honestly the dates are backwards here, so I didn´t even think of it.
3. I haven't seen any balance change on your account, did you use any money yet?no, we´re going to Centro today.
4.  What is the Centro? Central, like the city city
5.We were grossed out by the size of the cockroaches( why were they twitching and why were you holding them?  They got stunned by bug spray. I was holding them to get over my hyperventilating that I found them as I was sitting on the toilet. TMI?
6. Your hair was awesome after the windy night.  Have you colored or cut down there or just let it go?
Oh, it is AL NATURAL. Can´t you tell? Ha I haven´t done a thing with it. But i´m going to cut it today when I cut Hermana Flores´hair. but the color is the wildest thing. I have not idea.
7.What kind of cake did you make in the bowl for the Elder's party? It was vanilla  with dulce de leche in between the layers. Chocolate mousse on top with a crumbled mantecol. it´s like a chocolate peanut butter wafer thing. It was super great!
8. Is the Beach asado by a river in the mountains? haha yep, we have it all in Zonda.
9.Is there any thing to buy there that looks like, clothes etc?Food...not really. Clothes....not really. haha we´re going shopping today though, so i´ll keep you posted. 
10. How are your feet? Take care of you! My feet are great, the only thing I ever wear is moccasins  I´m determined to say that I wore them every day my whole mission. They are faithful. 
That´s all folks!
love yo
11.Describe your surroundings as you write! I am in the cyber. surrounded by teenage gamers. They are listening to some horribly done american rap and shooting zombies. But i am looking at my cute new El Salvadorian companion, I´m a mom (trainer) :) 
Singing and playing the cups. It´s a huge hit here.

Cute new TRIO.

My new El Salvadorian hija. She is amazing!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 11, 2013 - Peace, Be Still.

I know I always sound like a broken record, but it never ceases to amaze me how fast the weeks go. 
This week was actually rather long. Well, so it seemed. The work has been a little bit slow, and to  be honest, the moral of pretty much everyone is lacking. 
Like i mentioned last week, President Ávila has been really focusing on the amount of desanimo or discouragement that´s going on in the mission right now. The word he´s used for this new focus is ¨REDEDICACIÓN¨.
Veronica and her girls are hanging in there. It´s honestly a day-to-day thing with them. She is struggling to know what to do. BUT her girls told us that they are ready to be baptized, and that they have been praying and reading, and really just feel really good about it. So we´re working hard on figuring out the ¨when¨since we still have to get permission from their dad..... there´s always something. 
Carina is progressing, we went by again, and she told us that she´d spent a ton of money on a bible and stuff to really get her ready to go. We had to laugh a little at her enthusiasm, but hey, it´s great to say that THE BOOK OF MORMON IS FREE! 
Daniela, the less active of 25 years that we´ve been working with came to the talent night on Saturday. IN THE CHURCH. which was a huge step for her. She loved it, and of course the members welcomed her! They rock! 

This week we were really focusing on relationships with the members. The ward here is great, and honestly our relationship with them is super. But I was in an interview with President last week, and he told me, ¨The prepared people are around the members. Work with them, and you will find the chosen ones.¨ I thought a lot about that. It´s so true. Tracting yields minimal results. Good member referrals are solid gold. So we started something like FHE but we´re calling it ¨Noche de Ánimo¨to get them excited about sharing the gospel with their friends. There are so many people who have that desire, but they just don´t know how.
Noche de Talentos, the ward talent night. I taught Hermana Lybbert the ¨When I´m Gone¨ Cup song, and we sang and played the cups. The ward was so surprised, and they loved the ¨funness¨of it. We have to show them that we are real, loving, and that we´re here to help!

This week was full of ups and downs as always, but more so with the downs. It´s hard to open your eyes to the fact that the entire mission is struggling. I´ve literally SEEN Satan´s forces at work on the hearts of everyone. Discouragement is so powerful, and if we don´t take the time to solve the problem, it just snowballs. 
This week we saw it powerfully in the lives of Veronica and her family. Hermana Lybbert and I are working hard, and not seeing much of the results. The Zone Leaders had a hard week. Our Bishop is struggling with lots of things, and isn´t really very excited or motivated to help with the missionary work. The non-member daughter of one of our struggling members tried to take her own life this week. There have been so many times this week when people have told us they´ve struggled to see ¨the light at the end of the tunnel¨. 
I´ve always had this tendency to want to fix everything. But this week I ´ve learned that can quickly lead to madness because, well, in this work there is so much to do with agency that you simply cannot control everything. That is when those divine principles of faith, humility, and patience are required. Not passively either. We first have to do all we can. Our part. But then comes that test...Recognizing our dependence on the Lord. Having the faith, hope, and trust enough to leave the rest to him. 
I was studying the miracles of Christ this week. One story that I´ve always loved is the story of Jairus. 
He comes to Christ with a great need. His daughter is ¨at the verge of death¨. He doesn´t know what to do, but tells the Lord that if he will just come, and bless her, she will live. What a great exhibition of his faith. 
The Lord agrees to go, and they set out. Along the way, Christ stops on several occasions to bless others. Meanwhile, a servant from the house of Jairus comes to tell him  ¨Thy daughter is dead. Why troublest thou the master any further?¨
Such news, accompanied by such a question, easily could have destroyed Jairus´hope. But Christ says to him ¨Be not afraid, but believe.¨ And he does. Jairus had put all of his trust in the Lord, and was waiting to see the results.
When they arrive at the house of Jairus, the scene is one of chaos, ¨tumult¨the scriptures say. Christ goes directly in, and with the simple but powerful phrase ¨Peace, Be Still.¨restores peace  and hope to the mourning family. He then goes in, and raises the young girl from the dead.
Sometimes the Lord waits. Jairus came with a plea that the Lord hasten to see his daughter. The Lord took HIS time, healing others along the way. 
Sometimes we think that our circumstances are dire, that we need help NOW, that the Lord should rush to our aid. He knows better, and sometimes he makes us hold on to that faith. Sometimes he waits until our faith, like Jairus´daughter, seems ¨dead¨. But he will always come. The Lord is never ¨late¨. 

Peace, Be Still. 

I love you all so much.
Cuidense mucho!
Esta semana que viene.
xoxo Your Hermana C

November 11, 2013 - Q and A's plus photos

1. I SENT YOU A CHRISTMAS PACKAGE TWO DAYS AGO.Emoji  I'M SURE YOU HAVEN'T RECEIVED IT YET!!  ha, ha! I am really hoping that you ACTUALLY receive it.  I will be sending a second one on Tuesday. They said it was better to send it in two small package envelopes rather that a bigger single box.  So look for them in the next few weeks.  The hope is to get them prior to CHRISTMAS>  you can decide to open them before Christmas....because there is some Christmas decorations in some of it.  HOWEVER< I also could not wrap any thing for it would then look when you do open it ALL will be seen.  JUST try NOT to read the cards until CHRISTMAS so that you will have a fun surprise for Christmas DAY!  WE love you and hope you feel so loved at the holidays, even when we cant send any thing MAJOR to you.  Please let me know what needs you have that we can get the money that you may need into your account.   I am so excited for Christmas things!! THANK YOU THANK YOU!! Yours will be getting there before Christmas too :) sneaky sneaky, you will be surprised!
2. What types of shopping are you thinking of doing down there ?  That´s a surprise too. We´re in centro, so we have plenty of options! 
3. Also how much money do you feel you need? couple hundred maybe, I´m going to take advantage of the centro. BUT things are cheaper down here, so I shouldn´t even need that much.
4. Is there any thing that you think I could try to send that you can't get down there and would be light weight and not really matter if it doesn't get to you( Do you see my dilemma? ) Maybe a toothbrush? I would love some more onguard toothpaste. I´m starting to worry that my teeth are rotting.
5. Do you have access to the Ensign Conference issue to read over the talks again?We probably won´t get it till like January. Things are a bit slower down here.
6. Do I need to apply to defer your application to Weber until I apply in Spring or just let it go?Um....Weber I think should be good. We just need to apply in the fall of next year (the semester before I get back) I think
7. What is your drinking water like?The water isn´t terrible here. it tastes a bit like pool water sometimes, due to all the chloro. 
8. What are other animals beside mangy dogs?Tortuga (tortoise), we have a lizard that always comes around, oh, and apparently cockroaches!
9.  What is your favorite scar that you will be coming back with?(Davis)I have nasty scars on my feet from all the walking, and my tan lines are way awesome!
10.  How much weight  have you lost or gained?(Davis) I gained about 14 kilos at one point.  But I´ve lost a lot now, I´m back to about what I was when I started.
11.  What number am I thinking of between 1-15(Ryan)STAY TUNED NEXT WEEK TO KNOW!13. duh
12. What number of pool ball am I holding in my left hand(Davis)number 9

Woke up after one terribly windy and long sleepless night. The shutters and howling kept us restless. but when I emerged from my sleeping bag in the morning, Hermana Lybbert (usually very grumpy in the am) started laughing and singing Lion King to my MANE. 

 Prettiest asado on the beach

cute comp

Sweet Cake skills coming in handy :)

Zonda party for Elder Steve´s birthday.

oh..... did I mention i found 8 twitching cucarachas in the bathroom. YUM! 

November 4, 2013 Q and A's

1. Is it better to send one big photo and letter to you each week or several small ones?  Either way. But I am starving on letters from home. Where is everyone??
2. Do you have day light savings???(Emily)Nope, no daylight savings, here
3.  What did you do for Halloween?(Emily)We walked and tracted. They actually didn´t end up celebrating Halloween here. sad huh?
4. How many Book of Mormon's have you handed out thus far(Ryan..approximately)uh.... probably close to 100...
5. Do  you ever play the piano in church?No. But we practice sometimes, we sing acapello 
6. Did you get Ben's email long letter last week?(Ben)Yes, i wrote him back, did he not get it?
7.  What supplies are you in need of and how much do you need in your account?  Start looking around for what you want for Christmas for I'm sad to say it doesn't look like a package would get there, but we will try!waiting on a package :)

    Tuesday, November 5, 2013

    November 4, 2013 - It´s not so bad to be a sower.

    Hola Todos! 
    Things are really starting to heat up here in good old San Juan. Por FIN!
    Veronica, Lourdes, and Ariana FINALLY came to church yesterday!!!!! And things could not have gone more perfectly. The members were great, they prayed in front of the class, the participated like crazy, and all of the members were blown away at the strength of their testimonies and their faith in the Savior Jesus Christ. 
    It was one of those, ¨Even if you only bring one (3) souls unto me, how great shall be your joy.¨moments. We´ve been working so hard with them, and so has Satan. This past week, their family quite literally fell apart. Some things that had been happening with her husband came to light this week, and their little family kind of shattered. We passed by on Friday and Veronica told us. She looked so sad and just hopeless. She was struggling to tell her girls. Saturday we passed  by again, and they were all there. We were supposed to go to another baptism, but in the light of all that happened, they didn´t feel up to it. 
    Veronica told us that the first thing Ariana said when she told them about their dad was ¨Mom, we need to call the Hermanas.¨ I asked her why she´d said that. She told us it was because since they started listening to us, even though they´ve been struggling, there is a difference in their house and in their hearts. ¨The Lord has shown us so much love through you, his servants, we need to stick together now. Stand strong, as a family. And you have the message that we need.¨
    I am blown away at the depth of understanding that these two teenage girls and their mother have of the necessity of trials, but of the importance of faith, and the unwavering love of our Savior Jesus Christ. I love them so much, and although it is heart breaking to see them go through this trial, I am so grateful for the Lord´s timing, and for allowing me to be an instrument in his hands to bring them EXACTLY what they need to push through and be victorious! 

    This week has been another one of reevaluation. I feel like that kind of happens a lot in the mission. But there are so many aspects of this work that we have to cover. In the mission, there have been a lot of changes the last couple of weeks, a ¨re FOCUS¨with numbers, key indicators, and just an overall re-vamp in attitude. Satan´s forces are hard at work on the hearts of the good missionaries around the world, and our mission has taken a big blow the last little while. 
    In my reading in Jesus the Christ, I´m in the part about parables. Which I absolutely LOVE. There´s one in particular that hit me this week. ¨A sower went forth to sow.¨It talks about how a sower sows his seed, the seeds fall in many different places, some in fertile soil, where they can grow and flourish, some among rocks, where the earth is to shallow for them to take root, some among noxious weeds that grow up and choke their growth. 
    ¨The secret process of the growth is a mystery to all save God alone. A man having planted seed must needs leave it alone. He may tend the field, removing weeks, protecting the plants as best he may, but the growth itself is dependent upon conditions and forces beyond his power to ultimately control.
    The sower in this story is the authorized preacher of the word of God; he implants the seed of the gospel in the hearts of men, knowing not what the issue shall be. Passing on to similar or other ministry elsewhere, attending to his appointed duties in other fields, he, with faith and hope, leaves with God the result of his planting. In the harvest of souls converted through his labor, he is enriched and made to rejoice.
    The lesson is one for teachers, for workers in the Lord´s fields, for the chosen sowers and reapers. 
    Let the seed be sown,even though the sower be straightway called to other fields or other duties; in the gladsome harvest he shall find his recompense.¨

    We are all called to different duties in the phases of this great work, some are sowers, some are reapers, in Jeremiah it talks about hunters and fishers. Some have a chance to do a little of each, while others go their whole lives (or missions) without directly ¨seeing¨ the results of their hard labors. Sure, at times it´s difficult, sure at times we´d like to see more of our ¨success¨. But the job of the sower is an important one. It paves the way and sets the scene for those who will work in the harvest.
    Even those who start the process, who give that little seed it´s start, have the promise that if they do their duty, with faith and hope, and submission to the will and timing of God, they will receive the ¨Gladsome Harvest¨. 
    Until next week, I love you all so much!
    xoxo Your Hermana C

      October 27, 2103 - So...Let It Be‏.

      There comes a time in each of our lives when we´re either a. moving forward, progressing, growing. or b. standing still, comfortable, content, complacent. But while the rest of the world continues to move on, this is more accurately known as ¨Digressing¨. 
      Yesterday I sat in church. Just Hermana Lybbert and I, NONE of  our ¨promise to be there¨ investigators came. 
      This week has been one of those hmmm, this isn´t working. After the amazing miracle of having Raul at church last week, we passed by with the zone leaders, who wondered why on earth we hadn´t baptized him yet. Long story short, he told us he is ¨still waiting for a dream of his baptism in THIS church.¨ 
      ¨Notwithstanding the mighty works, and miralces, and proclamations of the truth, in great power and authority (D&C 138:26) Nothing. 
      I just think of the story of Korihor. When Alma says to him ¨Thou hast had signs enough! Wilt thou tempt God?¨
      I´ve been thinking a lot about the fact that not everyone will choose to accept the message we bring. That´s the hardest thing about this work. Because you wish they would. You know what´s at stake. But unfortunately we can´t make them accept it. We´re here to save those who want to be saved (D&C 138:31). I´ve learned that while it´s extremely disappointing at times, you can´t get discouraged. ¨Discouragement destroys desire¨ someone wise once told me. And it makes it easy to lose sight of the purpose. But while there are others who willingly reject this message, there are others who come along and happily pick up what others have cast aside. That´s not to say I don´t hate to see these people who I´ve worked with, laughed with, cried with, and prayed with and for choose to deny the greatest gift anyone will ever offer them.
      We´re not lacking in people who are being prepared by the Lord to accept the gospel. This week we´ve been focusing a lot on finding new people to teach. Which can be frustrating, but honestly it can be so rewarding.
      Ana. A woman that I opened my mouth with at the grocery store about a month ago. She is the director of a hospital here, and wants me to work for her as a nurse, haha. But she is great, and looking for something new. We passed by this week and had an awesome first lesson with her. 
      Cintia and Carlos. Another woman we met at the grocery store. We were behind her in line, and started making faces back and forth with her 1 1/2 year old in the cart, pretty soon the 4 year old joined in, too. I started to ask her about her kids, and we got talking (one of the blessings of having to wait in line FOREVER). Ultimately we got her info, and she told us to pass by. 
      Went by the shop, and she wasn´t there, but her husband, Carlos, was. He invited us in, told us that his wife had told him about us. He is every bit as lovely and open minded as she is. We´re super excited!
      Carina. A lady whose husband was about to shut the door because he´s Catholic. But we started talking about her dying brother, and God´s plan, and had an amazing lesson with them!
      And finally, remember that guy who asked me on a date a couple weeks back? Alfredo is his name. We were walking along that main road again, and had to pass by his work. At first we didn´t see him, but we said hi to his coworkers and kept walking. Then again we heard him running behind us. ¨Chicas!¨ Hesitatnly we turned around, He asked us when we were going to go visit him. When we exchanged a glance he said to me: ¨Look, I actually read that folleto that you gave me. It´s really interesting stuff, about Christ´s true church. I want to learn more. When can you come teach me?¨We had some trouble finding a good time, so he finally just said ¨Next Thursday, 6 o clock, I´ll wait for you here, if you can´t come, you have my number, call me and we´ll figure out a different time.¨ Ha. so we´re going to pass by with an hermano from the ward. We´ll see! 
      It´s amazing the things that happen when you pray to find people who are prepared. sometimes they literally jump out at you. 
      In Jesus the Christ it talks about ¨The Lord´s Prayer¨or the way in which we should pray. It finishes by saying; The Lord´s prayer is closed with a solemn ´Amen´, set as a seal to the document of the suppplication, attesting its genuineness as the true expression of the suppliant´s soul; gathering within the compass of a word the meaning of all that has been uttered or thought. So let it be is the literal significance of Amen.¨
      This is His work. The only way to do it is by seeking His will. The Lord knows the hearts of his children. It´s weeks like these that I pray A LOT. For patience with stubborn -hearted people, for love and compassion, for discernment to teach to their needs, for strength to keep walking, for courage to open my mouth, for power and authority to help them understand. 
      And while I know there are days where I don´t understand the intricate workings of his grand plan, or why sometimes ´success´ is so hard to measure, I trust in his timing. After all, he knows so much better than we do. 
      And so I´ll say....without singing the Beatles....LET IT BE.

      I love you all so much.
      Until next week,
      xoxo Your Hermana C

      oh, ps. Hermana Lybbert and I are.... STAYING TOGETHER IN SAN JUAN!! We are stoked! Finally I feel like I belong somewhere! 

      Voting day plus Sunday. meaning we walked for 4 hours, basically our entire area, and talked to 2 people. Some days we live in a ghost town. 
      apparently there are only two split palm trees in the world. we have one of them in San Juan. ¨That´s pretty neat!¨
      ¨Look at all the people...¨

      October 27, 2013 - Q and A's and Photos

      1. Do you have to pay for your computer time?  yes we do.
      2. How come a bit later today? it varies, but usually between 10-11
      3. Hows the weather?HOT. HOT HOT HOT. we´ve got it! hello VERANO de San Juan
      4. What type of food are you making and eating that your companion is saying you are a good cook?ha I have no idea. Whatever is cheap, in season. I literally am so creative.
      5. Do they have pumpkins for Halloween?No, they haven´t adopted that yet. I told Hna. Lybbert today how much I miss pumpkin patches and corn mazes.
      6. Emmi is wondering when Christmas is celebrated in Argentina.  Not even Halloween over and Christmas on the brain!ha we sang Christmas songs for companionship study today. it´s fine. It´s on the 25 of December still. at least one normal holiday! did you know I get to Skype you that day?
      7. Do you know the Skype schedule yet and where will you be able to do that?I don´t yet, they don´t tell us. Gotta stay focused!
      8.  Singing Christmas songs in English or Spanish?We never sing in English. Castellano!
      9. can you buy Toms down there and are they expensive?we´re going North today to look for shoes, but they don´t have actual TOMS here, and everything is expensive. ha. oh just to warn you... I´m going to need to use money in the near future for some necessities. Gracias!

      Apparently there are only two split palm trees in the world.
      We have one of them in San Juan.
      ¨That´s pretty neat!¨

      Some days we live in a ghost town. 
      ¨Look at all the people...¨

      Voting day plus Sunday. Meaning we walked for 4 hours, basically our entire area, and talked to 2 people.