Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February 24, 2014 - MMMMMMMMMMM-Miracles

It´s that time again, transfers... Hermana Lawrence is headed to Valle de Uco. Where I started. I will be staying in Dorrego and my new comp is the lovely Hermana Enos :) I have officially been comps with all but ONE of the hermanas that were in the MTC with me. She was also in Seattle with me, so I am super excited!! 

This week was one of those patience-trying weeks. It got off to a really slow start as we worked and worked. Trying to find new people, searching through the area book, talking with everyone. there was one day where we must have knocked on 20 or more ¨Super promising potentials¨and they wanted NOTHING to do with us. A lot of the people we´d found weren´t home. That´s a common problem here. The work and living schedules are insane, and so we find the greatest people, and then they just disappear! 
We´ve really been focusing on relations with the leaders in the ward this week. Really working WITH them. Not them and us. It´s been good. We had a great correlation and now have a full list of people to come out and work with us. Perseverance pays off! On a side note... Hermano Luxardo. an hermano whose family is just starting to come back after being menos activo for a while, but whose family has a special place in my heart now, they´re great. Told me that I am never going to get married. ¨Because you are already one of those girls who knows what you want, and being a sister missionary just makes that worse. más exigente¨ Ha his wife is a return missionary, too. and she had a thing or two to say about that. 

This week I was reading Jacob 5. Throughout the chapter, the Lord of the vineyard says he´s ¨grieved¨because, well, the vineyard, despite all of his hard work, just isn´t becoming what he had in mind. There are several times where he is about to just chop down the trees, starting all over. ¨What more could I have done for my vineyard??¨ The patient servant says ¨Wait, just a little longer. There´s still SOME good here. Let us labor diligently, and with great care, and see what happens.¨ (not those words exactly, but you get it)  
I have to admit, there have been a lot of times when I´ve felt that way... there´s always more to be done, but I´ve just felt ¨What AREN´T we doing right??¨ But there was always that thought: ¨don´t lose hope, just keep working diligently, there are good things coming.¨ So we kept on keeping on.
Saturday was a really good day.

*Started off going to visit a few more of our ALBs. As we were walking, we crossed paths with this super spunky old lady. As she saw us coming, she clutched her heart and pointed at me ¨¿De dónde sos? la LUNA??¨ or ¨Where are YOU from? The moon??¨ What? ha I chuckled, and walked over to her. ¨You look like you could be from the moon!¨She said to me. I introduced us and we talked for a few minutes. Estér is her name. She told us that she´d always passed the church but there was never anyone there. So we told her we could do a tour with her. She was thrilled. She´s like 85, but full of life and attitude. Love her.

*Daniel. Is the friend of a menos activa. He originally was interested in our English class. we passed by to give him a flyer, and he invited us to see his ¨creations¨. He is a dumpster diver, and makes THE most beautiful things out of garbage. Seriously impressive. He sat there and talked all about how The Lord is the one that gives us these talents, and rather than squander them by drinking in the plaza, we should put them to use. He´s a bit of an odd ball, but full of pure intent. He made my day.

*After lunch, we started a district fast. the work´s been a little slow in all parts as of late.

*Celeste y Gabriela. Sisters. We met Celeste and her novio Ariel in the street, and they were just superstars. we had been trying to track on them, but couldn´t find them. So we decided to knock doors in the general area and found Gabriela. They are awesome. Super faithful, super trusting, and just ready to listen.

*Raquel. FINALLY CAME TO CHURCH!! every week when we have lessons with her she always says ¨Now, i´m still not ready to come to church. I´m not going to promise you I´ll read...¨ We were beginning to worry, and went to have a make it or break it lesson on Saturday. But she answered and said ¨I can´t right now, I have to shower and then we´re leaving.¨ a little discouraged, we said ¨Well, what about church tomorrow?¨ ¨Yeah, maybe. what time again?¨ yes! ¨How about we pass by to get you at about 10:30.¨ ¨Bueno.¨ and she came! And as she left, she kissed us and said ¨I´ll see you Tuesday night at 6:30. And I promise I´m going to read before then.¨  THE CHURCH IS TRUE!

Perhaps the biggest miracle of this week was yesterday. 
After church, in the middle of our lunch, the elders from our district called and said ¨hermanas, are you busy?¨ ¨Not really, what´s up?¨ ¨Would you like a new investigator... A golden one? Meet us in the plaza in 10 minutes!¨ 
So of course, we ran to meet up with them. And there we met Elsie. She had shown up to their meetings and wanted to learn more.....But just wait... that´s not even the best part.
Elsie is from Columbia, and she moved to our area just 20 days ago. She had a lot of family problems, and came here wanting a change in her life, a new start. After a few weeks, she couldn´t find work, and it seemed like her ¨inspired plan¨wasn´t working. So she went to buy a bus ticket to start back to Columbia. While she was waiting, she went to buy ice cream and got talking to the ice cream man. He told her of a friend of his, an older lady, who needed someone to care for her and her house. So she went to work for her, and now lives here. 
THEN. She told us she´s been reading the Bible a lot to get closer to God, because ¨He´s always had all the answers.¨ and she said she just has had this overwhelming desire to serve him. ¨He brought me here,¨she said. ¨and if he wants me to go somewhere else, I will. But the elders told me you can teach me, guide me.¨Her kids are all grown up and she´s here sola. She told us she wants to do what we do :)
So the other day, she was eating ice cream again... ha woman after my own heart... she went walking to the plaza. Where there are 4 different churches. But she stopped in front of ours, saw the ¨Visitors Welcome¨sign, and said ¨This Sunday I´m coming back.¨
She LOVED church, we walked with her to where she lived, and then she said she had to go to work. ¨When can you come back? TOMORROW?¨Yes, tomorrow. ¨What time??¨ So we set up an appointment for tonight. ¨Okay, what are you going to leave me?¨We smiled at each other. For real? We briefly explained el Libro de Mormón. She took it and said, ¨I´m going to read this, to understand it, and when you come back, you can teach me more!¨ QUE MILAGRO! 

Towards the end of Jacob 5, it talks about the results of the labor. It´s a really long chapter, and sometimes the days and the labor seem never ending. BUT if we hold on, there is a great promise...

 75 And it came to pass that when the aLord of the vineyard saw that his fruit was good, and that his vineyard was no more corrupt, he called up his servants, and said unto them: Behold, for this last time have we nourished my vineyard; and thou beholdest that I have done according to my will; and I have preserved the natural fruit, that it is good, even like as it was in the beginning. Andbblessed art thou; for because ye have been diligent in laboring with me in my vineyard, and have kept my commandments, and have brought unto me again the cnatural fruit, that my vineyard is no more corrupted, and the bad is cast away, behold ye shall havedjoy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard.

I know that the Lord knows His children. He knows where they are, and he is preparing the way and the WHEN for each of them. I´m grateful for his plan, and for the way that he uses time, work, love and patience to grow ¨the fruit¨as well as His laborers. This work is great. God lives, and Jesus is the living Christ.

I love you all, 
Hasta pronto.
xoxo Your Hermana C

*learning how to make
¨REAL¨empanadas con la Hermana Pagés

*my wall. there´s a little something from all of you included.

 * so ARGENTINE. hey granmom... like my accessories?? love you!
* our oven doesn´t shut. Handyman style...??

* not the prettiest... but GLUTEN FREE!!!  
This is my rainy day-everyday hair style!

                  *a FEW of my cute girls from San Juan.

Monday, February 17, 2014

February 17, 2014 - Jumping in with both feet...Puddles and all.

Hola Mis Queridos!! 
So this has been one of those ¨learn to roll with the punches¨weeks. Not that there´s ever a ¨normal¨week, but this was one of those ¨how flexible are you?¨Midway through the week,
the weather decided to change drastically from the heat of the heat, to torrential rain. And I don´t just mean here and there. Like 5 days straight of downpour and flooded calles. 

You know me, I would never complain about thunderstorms. But I have to say, it does make the work a little difficult down here. We spent several days walking and walking and walking. No one was in the streets, appointments kept falling through, and I honestly can´t remember a time of being so wet and cold and soaked to the bone in my life. 
It got to the point where people yelled out the window ¨Chicas! Go home! You´re going to get sick!¨ And when we managed to find potential or antiguos investigadores at home, they wouldn´t let us in because we were so wet! 
We showed up to one antiguo, Neli. She came out, shrieked. gave us an umbrella, and a towel. We talked for a few minutes and then she said. ¨As a mother, I¨m telling you to go home to your pensión. You are going to get sick!! God has seen your sacrifice. Go home.¨ We thanked her for the umbrella, and walked out into the storm again. 
We had to take the keys to let some of the youth into the church, and when we showed up, the bishop had already let them in. The look on his face at first was shock...and then, a knowing, ¨i´ve been there as a missionary¨smile crossed his face. And as he handed me a towel, he said ¨These are the days you remember the most, you know.¨

Isaiah 55: 10-12
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. 
For ye shall go out with joy , and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 

Rain has this great way of giving you a fresh perspective. I love the contrast...all the clouds, everything is gray...but it makes the ¨brilliant¨things just that much more prevalent. And the miracles just that much more meaningful.

*Early on in the week, we were walking down a street, and this little girl crossed, and came up and asked us for ¨Tarjetas de Jesús¨ Jesus cards. So I gave her one, and realizing that there wasn´t anyone else around, asked about her family. She told us she lived with her mom right around the corner ¨She´s pregnant,¨she told us ¨You should go visit her.¨ So we took down the address. 
We went that next day, and she welcomed us in. We got to know her. Super great, young mom. We explained a little bit about what we teach, and then we sang ¨Soy un hijo de Dios¨. When we finished she just looked lost for words. She sighed, and smiled and just said ¨That brought me more peace than I¨ve felt in a long time.¨
We started into how this is the root of our message, taught her alittle about the Plan de Salvación. She invited us to come back and teach her and her daughter. ¨This is what I¨m looking for for my family.¨

*Another day walking in the street. There was NO ONE. then we passed a man inside a store window. ¨Hola! Cómo anda?¨ I called as we passed. A few minutes later, we heard him behind us. ¨Ey!¨we turned around. we got to talking. and he told us that he felt like he needed to talk to us because we are ¨so happy and content even in the pouring rain!¨ We told him who we were, and he told us he´s looking to come closer to God. He´s had some trials, but really wants to know what God wants from him. We invited him to church, and took down his info. As we were saying goodbye, he said ¨Now I know why you´re so happy, because you are ANGELS, and it´s beceause you´re close to God. That´s what I¨m looking for!¨ 

*I got a letter from San Juan this week. Nicolas and Ivana got baptized! and are so Happy!!!! Viviana Sesma is teaching in Relief Society now, and their family is flourishing! 
Then, we went to a ¨last minute¨meeting in Mendoza, and we walked in and I found myself enveloped in a giant hug! 8 or 9 of the Young Women from my ward in San Juan were there for the youth fireside. I was so happy to see them, and they one by one told me all that was going on in San Juan. I left a big part of my heart there, and they will always be part of my life!

*Magalí has been meeting with the bishop this week, and she just started mission prep and is now preparing her papers to leave in December. The changes are miraculous!

*Mauricio. Is reading his scriptures and praying every day. We haven´t been able to see him because he started working doubles, is never home, and hasn´t been able to come to church either. But we went last night to see them, and justo, he and Ivana were there drinking maté. So we had a lesson about what we learned in Relief Society, ¨The small and simple things that strengthen the family.¨and we read the Proclamation..... THEN. They told us that they´re in the process of paperwork to finally get MARRIED. and then he can be baptized. find a new job to come to church as a family.Help Magalí prepare for her mission. and THEN  He wants to baptize their younger daughter Milena!!! 
It´s a process, and will happen over time. But the desire is there, the plans are there, and the Lord is working miracles in the lives of this family! 
I love them so much!!

This week I was reminded of how great it is to be a part of this work. It is hard. And there are days when I wonder the same as the people ¨What on earth are we doing out here in the pouring rain??¨ But then I look around, and realize how blessed I am to be here. 
I know that the Lord loves me. He knows where I am. He does see my sacrifice. but in the end, the sacrifice¨i give is nothing in comparison with what he´s given me. This is what missionaries do. Scorching heat or torrential floods. Wading in mud or dripping in sweat. 
It´s what makes us who we are. We´re strange in their eyes, we´re different, 
 but the message we have is just THAT important. 
And so we JUMP IN WITH BOTH FEETpuddles and all

xoxo Your Hermana C

Saturday, February 15, 2014

February 10, 2014 - Tight-Rope Walking & Balancing Act

So this week I had a realization...well, okay, lots of them really.
As far as ¨numbers¨for our area goes, it was one of the lowest I´ve seen on my mission. We are in charge of 4 other companionship's of hermanas and so we are constantly on exchanges. Which is not to be mistaken as an excuse, but a large contributing factor. I´m learning a lot about prioritizing, evaluating, and working harder to maximize time.
Last week, we had one of those ¨non of our investigators are progressing... We had a bit of a re-evaluation, and prayers, and decided that the best thing for everyone was to ¨drop¨ (i hate that word)... them and let them grow a little bit. So we were starting from scratch. Which meant a lot of ALB! We realized quickly how out of practice we were, and again, I was reminded how even though sometimes it´s hard, and sometimes humiliating, I LOVE talking to people! It´s exhausting but energizes me at the same time! 

We went this week to visit one of our ¨on-the-fence¨investigators, Raquel. She loves when we read and have lessons with her, but struggles, bad, to keep compromisos. We showed up, and she told us that her son, Damian, had seen her Libro de Mormón, and that he wanted to take it to read it. We gave her another copy to give him, but then he showed up! We invited him to come listen to us. We had planned to read the intro if Raquel hadn´t read...and she didn´t.... so we taught a brief Restauración, and then read the intro. HE IS SO PREPARED. He was so intrigued, and eager to read! We´re excited to see him progress!
Magalí, has been calling us all week to go out with us, and tomorrow she´s coming to lessons and go ALB. Her turn around has been INCREDIBLE. She and her mom and sister came to church again yesterday, and she is just GLOWING! 

We met this man the other day, Salvador se llama. He owns a car shop, and we always pass by on the way to Jorge. He´s always been nice, so we passed by, and without even realizing it, I stopped and just started talking to him. After a few minutes, I asked him if he´d talked to missionaries before. He got defensive and started rambling about how he didn´t trust in God. How it´s easier to trust in men because we know they will never let us down. ¨False¨I thought to myself. He wouldn´t even let us get a word in, and I could just tell there was way more to it than he was letting on. He finally took a breath, and we both just testified that God has a plan and that he loves us. ¨Vengan!¨ ¨Come here!¨he said to us, and we followed him just inside the door of the car shop. Behind the door was a picture of a little boy in a race car. ¨If there´s a God, and he loves us, why did he take my grandson when he only had 7 years on this earth?¨ He started to cry, and shout, really. We listened for a minute, and then I tried to talk about the plan of Salvation. He didn´t want to hear it. So, not shouting, but kind of, I blurted out ¨Can we just sing you a song?¨ He looked puzzled, then exhausted said ¨Sure, sing if you want.¨ We sang ¨Families can be together forever¨. His whole rostro changed. And when we finished, he was SPEECHLESS! I took advantage of that moment to testify to him that I KNOW that God loves him. That he WILL see his grandson again. I told him that we would love to come back and talk to him more. To which he said in a whisper ¨Sí, chicas, pasen cuando quieran.¨ You can come back whenever you want. and he kind of just ushered us out in a stupor. 

I am SO grateful for the Holy Ghost, for the Lord´s love for each of us, for the way he puts thoughts into our heads of things that will touch the hearts of stubborn and hurting people, and....as always for PRIMARY songs that change lives and open doors.

Back to my realization...This week I´ve had a pad of sticky notes constantly with me, next to my bed, in my pocket. My brain is on ALWAYS, and I find myself writing bits of info/revelation/scriptures/songs/advice/ and to-do lists everywhere I turn. 
This week has been fuller than ever. goals, appointments, exchanges, meetings, trainings, callings, responsibilities, cleaning, area book, time lines, needs, studying, journal writing, phone calls, service, lessons, talks.....Add to that eating and sleeping (which sometimes I wish weren´t so necessary). Okay, so I know. It´s the life of a missionary. But somewhere in the midst of all of it, I think I got a little ahead of myself, and maybe a little overwhelmed. 
A couple nights ago I had a moment... there´s this talk, i don´t remember who by, but he´s talking about revelation, and the importance of writing things down. He had a dream one night and was super excited about the revelation as he woke up and wrote it down. But then in the morning, he was devastated to realize that he couldn´t understand it! 
Sometimes my mid-dream doodles are just that... But the other night I had a dream, yes, the South America mission is helping me translate my dreams. But I was on a tight rope, super high up, and I just remember feeling this overwhelming panic that I COULD NOT get to the other side on my own. I was standing there, and there were tons of people just looking at me, waiting, not helping at all. I started across, and at first I was okay, but then the rope started to get smaller and smaller, harder to cross. I paused, and looked around like ¨If anyone has suggestions, I´d love them.¨ But no one said anything. I started to wobble, and I realized that I was going to fall if I didn´t get help! 
Then it switched and I was walking on the beach. It was something like that poem ¨Footprints in the sand¨. I just remember feeling this overwhelming sense of peace. Like that ¨What were you even so worried about?¨feeling. I remember looking around, and just realizing that even though I was ¨alone¨, I really wasn´t. 
I woke up, wrote down my dream, and then to the side I wrote. ¨Beacuse Christ´s life was a life of balance.¨ 
I thought a lot about that. and mostly about that word. Balance. It´s such an important concept in every aspect of our lives. My patriarchal blessing actually talks about it.

I studied that word, and a lot of the aspects of Christ´s life to figure out how I can better apply it in my own. I realized that... I think that I always thought that to be an excellent missionary meant that you´re always happy, energized, content, successful, positive, and on-top-of-things. Ha well we can´t be perfect. 
Disillusions, slow days, depressed moments, stress, and even days where you don´t know where to start, will surely come as part of the process.
But in the 4th Missionary. It talks about how the 4th missionary ¨is at peace with what he is doing and who he is despite of his weaknesses and failures.¨ It´s not about being perfect. It´s about trust, about knowing where to turn, and who is really directing this great work. 

D&C 123:17 
¨Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.¨

I´ve been told on more than one occasion that I am a constant ball of energy, and that I don´t like to be ¨still¨for any large amount of time....and it´s true, there´s not enough time for that...
But I am learning what it means to ¨Be still in Christ¨. To trust in His timing, His love, His wisdom.
Sometimes it seems like the tight-rope you´re walking gets thinner and thinner, and seemingly impossible sometimes. And in those moments where we feel ourselves being pulled to one side or the other, and it seems like we might just go over the edge....Christ is there to catch us, support us, to get us back on track, regain our balance. And as with all stumbles, starting again might be a little shaky...and yes, there are still a lot of things ¨hanging¨in that balance...But if we trust in Him, and His expertise, we can make it to the other side. 

After all, He has perfect ¨BALANCE¨. 

Love you all so much! 
esta semana que viene! 
xoxox Your Hermana C




                 *HERMANA TANNER

             *exchanges en Uspallata! 

* we just took a little road trip to a place that looked familiar.


*this one´s for granmom...first m&ms I´ve seen!! 
I ate them all in one sittng, just for you :)

February 3, 2014 -Open Your Heart to Understand

First of all. I am honestly EXHAUSTED. but in the best possible way.
This week was spent running (literally) to and fro. Exchanges.
Consejo. Leadership trainings. Random Errands. and of course trying to
stay on top of normal proselyting activities. Honestly, the work in
our area suffered a little. HOWEVER, i can happily say that the
miracles have not ceased.
It was one of those weeks where you grow so much it hurts. I felt like
a balloon. Every experience or person comes along, blowing and blowing,
until you think you´re about to pop. But then the Lord and his tender
mercies step in. ¨What were you so worried about?¨
I´ve learned a lot this week about the importance of relying on the Lord.

This week we had a lot of incredible experiences!
One of my favorites with a Conversa and now Menos Activa, Magalí,. Her
mom is a member, and her step dad is one of our most promising
investigators, Mauricio. She was baptized in August of last year, but
because of some things that happened in her life, fell away shortly
thereafter. Since ¨her missionaries¨left, she lost her real
connections. sad. and refused to accept visits, phone calls, answer
texts or messages on face book. From members and missionaries alike. No
one could reach her. We felt really strongly that we wanted to go and
visit her, and invite her to a missionary activity that the ward was
doing this past weekend. We went with our ward mission leader, but
when we showed up, her mom told us the same old ¨She doesn´t want
anything to do with it.¨ So we decided to just sit and talk with her
mom for a second about the activity. A few minutes late, Magalí comes
out,a little hesitant. . She sits down and we start to talk. We got to
know her, and really just listened. She told us that she had a
special connection with those other missionaries, and she felt like
she needed to find her testimony again. She is INCREDIBLE!! Her
conversion story is insane, and I was just overwhelmed with this
feeling that she is so important to the Lord, and that he has BIG
plans for her life. Her life has been really hard, but as I listened,
although there are differences, I saw a lot of myself in her. Things
that had happened. I just told her how much the Lord loves her. How he
did a really perfect job of preparing her, and how all of those
blessings are still there waiting. It´s never too late to come back.
we left her with the spirit, and with a promise from the whole family
to come to church on Sunday.
Later that day, she walked to the bishop´s house. She´d felt the
spirit and wanted to start making the necessary changes. She then went
on the Youth Camp out the next day. Had an incredible experience. And
along with 13 other youth in the ward, is now continuing on in her
plans to serve a mission next year.
They came, as a family, to church yesterday, and several members
couldn´t hide the shock on their faces to see her there again.

There´s a lot more to the story, but honestly the change was
incredible!!! The Lord´s timing is so great, and he knows what his
children need!

I thought a lot this week about the importance of Understanding. I
read in 2 Nephi 16:10 that says: ¨Make the hearts of the people fat,
and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes-lest they see with
their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and
be converted and healed.¨
To truly understand the things of the Lord requires a humbling change.
a true ¨turning over¨of the heart.
Hermana Lawrence this week said this to me: ¨You have this amazing
ability to listen, to love the people, and to put yourself in their
shoes.¨ I thought a lot about that.
We meet so many diverse people, each with their story and their
individual needs. Honestly there´s so much they´ve gone through that I
can´t relate to, that I wouldn´t want to imagine.
I´ve realized that to depend on MY own experiences and level of
understanding doesn´t cut it.
The Lord is the one who understands their exact needs. Not me. I´m
just here to be an instrument in his hands.
I´ve learned the importance of sincerity. Of sharing experiences with
them to help them understand how this gospel can work in their life.
Sometimes as missionaries we think that we have to be ´robots¨ to get
everything done. It´s so easy to do as that scripture says: See with
¨ojos humanos¨ as the world sees them. Or hear them and not really
listen or comprehend what they´re saying. Open your HEART, and the
Lord has this incredible way of making his love work through you.
¨Without Charity, ye are NOTHING.¨
All of us have the basic, and very reasonable needs to feel loved,
cherished, appreciated and understood. Until we feel understood,
nothing will come from any advice, council, or suggestions we receive,
no matter how ¨wise¨it may be.

There is still A LOT that I don´t know. Every day i´m made more and
more aware of things I need to improve, study, my weaknesses. I have
this horrible tendency to set really high, and sometimes unrealistic
expectations for myself. And I´ve learned quickly that trying to do
everything ¨perfectly¨most of the time ends up with burn out and
exhaustion. But through it all there´s this peaceful reassurance that
I don´t have to be ¨Perfect¨.

I have a theory, okay so it really isn´t mine...The Lord calls young
men and women in the church to do his work. He doesn´t need people who
are set in their ways, he needs people who will do things HIS way. The
I may not always be good with words, or have all of the intellectual
answers. But this much I do know. Christ lives. This is His work. He
knows they way because He IS the way. He loves us unfailingly, with a
powerful and perfect love. His Atonement is the most real and working
power I know.
The blind may not see, the deaf may not hear, but those who open their
hearts, and give them to Him, will be given peace and an understanding
of even the greatest of his mysteries.

I love you all so much!
Xoxox Your Hermana C

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February 2014 - Back and forth with D

So tonight I thought I'd just kind of give you an update about some of the things I'm doing and the plans I have, because those are the kinds of things I think I would want to hear from my brothers and sisters if I was on my mission. This week has been crazy with college stuff. On Tuesday (Mom's birthday) we found out that my admission paperwork had not gotten accepted to Utah State and I was not admitted and did not get a scholarship. I was planning on going there because according to the index I would have gotten a presidential which is tuition books & fees for 4 years. Me and mom have again spent hours on the phone and online, talking to people, redoing the application, and writing appeals to try to get it to all work out. The admission president said I should find out in the next couple weeks so keeping our fingers crossed. Novelty dance was last night. We all went stag cuz that's what everybody does for Novelty. My costume was camo tights with American flag boxers over them, a Team USA jersey and a headband. Funnest dance of the year I'm sure mom will send you the picture of me and Matt. I went to 2 farewells today, one of which was a kid who is a couple weeks younger than me but graduated early and is leaving on Wednesday. It was crazy to start thinking that all these kids I've grown up with and are my age are going to be leaving in a couple months.
Tonight was also the mission prep fireside for all the priests and laurels in the stake. Bro. Schank shared a scripture this morning and in the fireside that hit me really strong and mom as well when she heard it. It's 1 Peter 3:15, "Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you". When we got home mom said that there was 2 people just this weeks that asked about me and how I keep up the hope I have and this scripture reminded her of that. I told her that it's because I believe that I have a purpose. I know that God has a special plan for me and that there is a reason I have gone through the things I have. Wherever they land me is where I'm supposed to go and what I'm supposed to do and whatever mission He has for me to perform on this earth that is what I will do. Once I understood that and accepted that it was his plan and not mine, things got much easier. 

Love you can't wait to hear from you tomorrow

Brother, you amaze me! 
Your positive attitude and ¨big picture perspective¨of the Lord´s plan for you have always been such an incredible example to me. I love you, and I too, KNOW without a doubt that the Lord has great things in store for you. I´m sorry to hear about the college application hiccups. I will be praying hard for you this week. and I hope that all goes well.
I absolutely LOVE getting your updates on life. I think I get more and more proud of you each week. You seriously are just enjoying life, and taking it in strides! I´m proud of you for working hard, I´m excited to hear about your internship. Is it so fascinating? Also, I love your dance experiences, and that you and your Friends never fail to enjoy and ¨aprovechar¨ make the most of the experiences you´re having in high school. You have a great group of amigos. hold on to them! 

I love you, and I´m proud of you. Biggest Big Sister Fan here halfway across the world. but my thoughts and prayers are always with you. I love you lots! 

xoxo Your Hermana C

> Sorry, I thought this sent last week, but I guess it never did!
> Every time you write me about mission prep and all of that stuff this
> little voice goes ¨No way! That´s not real!¨But then I´m honestly just
> thrilled that you are starting in on this great work! It´s honestly
> amazing. And I only wish that I had had as many tools and
> ¨trainings¨as you all are having. Take advantage of every moment. They
> are there because the leaders of this church know how important it is
> to be prepared, and that your group of ¨future missionaries¨is so
> strong and is going to go out and do great things.
> That is one of my favorite quotes from that book. I use it all the
> time on the mission. Sometimes it´s so easy in this life to think that
> we gain success by our own efforts or that we are strong enough to
> tackle things on our own. That´s not the case. and really it shouldn´t
> be anyway. Dependence on the Lord is such an expression of Spiritual
> maturity and understanding of our part in this work, and really all of
> life.
> I´m so proud of you. You´re my example. Keep going strong with all
> that you´re doing. And keep writing letters. I love hearing from you!
> xoxoxox Your Hermana C

Monday, February 3, 2014

February 3, 2014 - FELIZ CUMPLE MAÑANA!!!

Know that I´m thinking of you on your day, and counting myself lucky
to have such an amazing and young-looking as ever MOM.

Yesterday in Relief Society we had a lesson on living according to our
privileges. As women of God and Daughters of Him. I don´t think I
really had a very great appreciation for RS before the mission.But
honestly I´ve learned to love it so much. They talked a lot about the
responsibility that we have as mothers, and the great importance to
never take that lightly or for granted. I always think of you, and how
blessed I am to have such an incredible role model of a mother. And
how I owe so much of the qualities I have (and am constantly working
to develop) to who you are and for all of the love and goodness that
I´ve always admired so much in you!

I love you so much, and I´m grateful for the way you magnify every
calling and responsibility you have so selflessly and lovingly. But
more than all of that for the incredible way that you exhibit love,
patience, understanding, and near-perfection to all of us that call
you MOM.

I love you!
2.Argentine specialty. they´re like cake cookies filled with dulce de
leche, and covered in chocolate. SOOOOOOOO good!
5.NO! I can´t believe they´re so big! I haven´t even met them yet! Tell
everyone to stop growing so fast!
6. i love that girl and her constant jack-o-lantern grin. give her a
big hug for me!
7. I am so proud of Davis. he honestly is just taking life in strides!
I feel like they are my examples. seriously I´m so filled with Big
sister pride!!!
Ryan has long hair??? pictures, please! Why are my brothers so big???
Ben, congrats on your calling! Every time I see the cute deacons here I
think of you and just want to hug em!
Emmi, always the social butterfly. I love that girl and her contagious
love for life!
Mom, I love you and your great and detailed updates.
ps. I haven't seen any packages yet. or a single hand written letters
for that matter. I think they all disappeared in space.