Friday, August 29, 2014

August 25, 2014 - Photos

Débora, Xiomara, y Juani!! 

Tupongato sunsets!

I am thoroughly convinced that the drive from Tupongato to Tunuyán is
the prettiest thing this side of Utah :)

August 25, 2014 - "Living in the FAITH not fear Zone!"

Once again I´m to that point where I can´t believe a full week has
passed. Time just keeps escaping me and there´s just SO much that has
This past week has been a blur. We´ve literally been running, chasing,
and every night I´ve barely made it to my bed. Hermana Vargas and I
have been laughing at our tired, sore, ¨old lady¨bodies all week.
¨We´re not as young as we once were!¨ But Elder Martinez just keeps
assuring us that if you don´t return to the pench dead tired, then
you´re not doing it right.
So here´s to being beat!
This past week we had our Conferencia with Elder Viñas. It was awesome
of course. Lots of changes, lots of re-vamping the energy of the
mission, the focus, some new ideas, and a lot of revelation.
Several times during the meeting, as we talked about this great work,
our focus as missionaries, and the things that are expected of us… the
asistants, Presidente and Hermana Goates, and Elder Viñas all talked
about the importance of faith and action. Several times, mom´s advice
to me from last week came to my mind ¨Living in the FAITH ZONE.¨..."The most incredible events of this week were that Davis was ordained into the Melchizedek priesthood and Ryan into the priest quorum, Ben spoke in church and Emmi got the 5th grade teacher that she wanted. 
I do have to say that I really missed you today as we had school blessings and dad just gave the perfect blessing for each one of us.  After he blessed the kids, he gave me a beautiful blessing as well, and then invited Davis to give him a blessing.  It was so tender and so spiritual.  Davis and dad were teary and me, well, the water works are in full force these days with so many changes. I was just reminded again how truly blessed we are to have the family that we do.  I am just in awe at my adult, medium and elementary children.  
I am just filled with so many emotions.  All of which are trying to be controlled by the what next and why's of life.  FAITH REASSURES: And the work of righteousness shall be peace and the effort of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.Isiah 32:37
When doubt arises, when tragedies strike, the quiet voice of FAITH is heard in the stillness of the night, as certain and reassuring as the polar star in the heaven's above. G B Hinckley

Faith not fear is a continuous motto.  I truly love the faith zone.  I am everything to reach my potential and can accomplish so much good in this zone.  My goal for the week is to remain in the faith zone more than the doubt and find peace in that
Hermana Goates talked to us about the important power that comes from
faith in our calling, and faith in the Lord. She told us ¨We can
respond to EVERY situation in life with fear, or with faith.¨
Saturday arrived. After an extremely long and busy week. Traveling
back and forth everywhere. Going to bed late, waking up early for
colectivos. I woke up Saturday morning, and it was FREEZING, dark, and
POURING rain. As we got ready for the day, Hermana Vargas looked
outside ¨Will there be anyone in the streets today? I doubt it!¨ Well,
can´t say I didn´t sort of agree with her.
But we prayed, and told the Lord that rain and all, we were putting on
our boots and headed out to work! As expected… especially on a
Saturday morning… there was NO ONE in the streets. But, we went along
with our plans.. Walked to our area, and arrived at the first referral
we had. Paméla. We clapped a few times… nothing… sleeping. Clapped
again… and after a few minutes, finally someone came to the door. She
looked out at us sleepily, and seeing that we were already soaked, she
shouted ¨Pasen!!¨ Tender mercy número 1.
Hermana Goates in our conferencia, shared a story of an elder that
served in Guatemala, Elder Randall Ellsworth. While on his mission,
there was an earthquake, and in an accident, his legs were crushed
under something, leaving him paralyzed. He returned home to undergo
intensive therapy, and after months, was able to work with the help of
two canes… and, with a lot of determination, returned to Guatemala to
finish his mission. In an interview with his mission president, they
discussed what had happened, all that he´d been through, and his
president told him ¨Elder, Your faith has been rewarded. Leave your
canes on my desk, and walk.¨ He did so, and was able to finish his
Moroni 10:7 tells us ¨For (God) worketh by power, according to the
faith of the children of men.¨
Faith is a principle of action and power. Just as light doesn´t just
come to those who sit and wait in darkness, faith does not just come
to those who sit around merely wishing that theirs would ¨grow a
little. It´s not until we step out into the rain, or leave our
¨crutches¨and walk….only THEN can God´s true power take effect in our
Later in the chapter, in verses 23-24, we read: ¨If ye have faith, ye
can do all things which are expedient unto me.¨
And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth—that if the day cometh
that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall
be because of unbelief.¨
Several times throughout our long day in the rain, we got asked what
in the world we were doing. As we talked with people, taught and
visited them, and explained just WHAT we do… they would stop us and
say ¨Wait a minute… so you CHOOSE to come out and walk around all day
in this pouring rain?? Do you LIKE it?¨
I laugh because they clearly think we are crazy. But I´ve come to
realize something during my mission. YES. I do. Rainy days have come
to be some of my favorite days on the mission.
Yes, they´re cold, wet, the streets are completely empty, and the
clock somehow seems to tick more slowly at times… but they are a
challenge, and an opportunity to prove just how bad we want it. How
much we trust the Lord.
We got into more houses that day than in the whole rest of the week
combined. Taught several amazing lessons, and found several NEW, SOLID
Familia Flores. Mom, dad, 3 kids ages 10 plus. Friends of a solid
member family, and already have a good impression of the church.
Justo. Another incredibly prepared referral. Has been ¨Searching¨for
the Lord and the path that would guide him to the truth and greater
happiness. He was stoked when we told him that there is a living
profeta, and that we have the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of
Jesus Christ. He enthusiastically agreed to read, and in his prayer
thanked the Lord for sending two of His angels when he needed them
We found two more part-member families this week who have recently
gone through some things that have helped them realize their need to
come closer to the Lord.
In the bible dictionary, it says ¨Miracles do not produce faith but
strong faith is developed by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ,
in other words, faith comes by righteousness, although miracles often
confirm one´s faith.¨
I can testify of that. Throughout my mission, the ¨miracles¨ that
happen on a daily basis have been a favorite focus of mine. The Lord
is so good to all of his children, He wants to badly to bless us,
guide us, and help us along, and also reward us for following His way.
D&C 103:36 ¨All victory and glory is brought to pass unto you through
your diligence, faithfulness, and prayers of faith.¨
Our faith, our diligence, our action, and our desires to follow the
Lord and His plan for us are our greatest source of happiness and
power. I´ve seen time and time again the way the Lord blesses those
who are obedient, faithful, and who ¨con buena voluntad¨ keep His
commandments and try each day to follow the example of His perfect
Son, Jesus Christ. There are many things in the world that could cause
us to doubt, be fearful or hesitant… OR, we can choose to rely on the
knowledge that we have ¨the good news¨, and that there is so much more
to look forward to if we ¨shake the dust¨, leave behind our
¨crutches¨whatever they may be, and step out into the rain, the shine,
the light of the Lord and trust in Him. Living our lives in the FAITH

I love you all so much! I hope that you all have an amazing first week
of school.
Xoxox Your Hermana C

August 19, 2014 - Photos

ASADO and camping!! 
that´s a lOT of Carne! 

Hermanita Vargas, de LIMA, Perú
I literally could fit her in my pocket!! 

gorgeous day for a little stadium fútbol. we survived the ¨winter¨and SPRING IS HERE!!!  
she literally could fit in my pocket!!  
CAMPING anyone?!? 
Add caption

Facundo y Lucas!! back in Tunuyán!!
PART of the MTC group at transfers... this was our last time seeing E. Varney

ha. With hermana Landeo in Tunuyán she wanted a picture of my ¨planet sized¨ GLUTEN FREE maizena. The thing weighed like 1/4 kilo. SOOOO worth it!  
FAMILIA CONTADOR. my first ¨family¨ here in Tunuyán. 
Giulian ALWAYS with that face! 
in other HAPPY news.
Talked with familia SESMA. 
they will be sealed in the Chile temple on December 15. One year and ONE DAY after their baptism!!! 

Tuesday August 19, 2014 - ¨Me siento FELIZ, y vos??¨‏

Well, another week come and gone. And this one has been FULL of changes, re-focus, and a little bit of reflection. 
Every transfer I have come to eagerly look forward to the changes, and challenges that come. It helps me to put things in perspective. 
This week we´ve had, and will have, a lot of meetings, training's, you know, the usual... but this past week was full of some awesome additions... new people, new comp, new investigators, a LOT of Peruvian food (which isn´t so great for the losing weight plan... but I won´t complain). We´ve got a multi-zone conference on Thursday with Elder Viñas, a seventy that´s coming from Chile. and guess who got chosen to SING. in a little grupito of 4 of us... and I am singing a solo-duet part. Nerve. wracking. (family, I´m telling you this, A. because I am just as SHOCKED as all of you probably are. B. because you KNOW me, and how NOT-up-my-alley this is... was.. apparently the mission continues to just stretch the comfort zone!) 

This week we have already seen lots of miracles! 
Maxi. We have seen some MAJOR breakthroughs with him. He wants this so bad. He knows it´s what he needs, but he´s got a LOT of changes to make, and is scared. We talked a lot this week about changes, how that is really the whole purpose of our lives, and the gospel. We talked about the importance of prayer, faith, trust, even when we can´t see the end result, and the importance of acting on what we know. He LOVES the scriptures, and is reading a ton. He has opened up to us a ton, like night and day difference already, and when he feels the spirit he has to try to hide his smile. Juani the other day told us at church ¨He never smiled before. I think he must really be happy.¨
He PRAYED in front of us for the first time the other night. And it was AMAZING! He was SO sincere, direct in his doubts and questions, and really pleaded with his Heavenly Father.
We´re making progress here.
We have a new investigadora, Cristina. She´s the mom of a menos activa, and abuela of a CR. she´s way great, and after teaching the restauración, she told us that she didn´t need to pray to know... she already felt it in her heart and had been thinking a lot. She knows it´s true... we´re working with her on some other things, but she´s awesome! 
We found and are working with 3 new part-member families from the branch. They´re solid, and so loving! 
We received more awesome member referrals this week than in the last 3 months I´ve been here! 
When hermana Vargas got here, I told her that the work in this zone (because it´s such a small district), is really different. But that I am IN LOVE with Valle de Uco, the people here are amazing, and the families we have really need the gospel. 
I told her I was going to work her hard ;) She was on board, and has been working hard with me these last few days! She´s a ¨runner¨like me, and we´ve been beat, but super happy. ps. She´s got 14 months in the mission... that was a last minute change... long story... I´m not training... but we´ve got that fire! 
After her first Sunday, she loves the branch, feels right at home, and we are SUPER stoked for this transfer. THE MIRACLES ARE COMING!!! 

In this last week, thinking about what I´ve done here, what I want, and WHY i want so badly for these people to accept this message... and the ultimate reason is that I want them to be HAPPY. I´ve seen so many times the truth in what they say that only the restored gospel brings true and lasting happiness. Often times people think that there aren´t things happening in their lives worth being happy about... That the world is dark, unhappy, and hopeless, and therefore, we should be too. Some even say things like ¨Well, if I just had _____ THEN i´d be happy..¨ Or ¨IF__________THEN i´d be happy.¨ Putting a sometimes impossible to overcome limit on their happiness.

I was recently asked by another missionary: ¨Well, why should I pretend to be happy and content when no one wants to listen to me? They treat me like a wierdo. I walk ALL day and rarely see any results. What about any of that should make me happy?¨ 
Apart from feeling extremely sad for this missionary, It really made me think... Am I showing others how HAPPY I am to be here? In spite of hard days, trials, and setbacks, do I show others that I am happy and content in this gospel? That I am STOKED to be a missionary and rather than a constant burden, I see this time as a blessing to joyfully share with others what I have? Do I give them a reason to want it for themselves?? 

There´s a quote from Pres. Uchtdorf that I love, 

¨Happiness doesn´t come as a result of luck or accident. It most certainly doesn´t come from having all of our wishes come true. Happiness doesn´t come from external circumstance. It comes from inside-- regardless of what is happening around us.¨ 

Now I´m not always perfect at that... but I thought about times in my life when I´ve seen that true happiness comes from within. I thought of my time in the Philippines. For many reasons, that trip changed my life forever. But I learned so much from those Islanders. They are so poor, humble... literally have so little. But they are ¨alegre¨, happy, and so giving and always have a smile on their faces. I learned so much from their example.

Happiness is contagious! It literally is like a magnet.
It´s the purpose of our existence, to ¨live happily ever after¨with our Heavenly Father. 
¨Men are, THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE JOY.¨ (2 Nefi 2:25)
Pres. Uchtdorf says: 
¨Happiness is the final destination...but it is also the pathway.¨ 

We have a loving Heavenly Father who has provided us with tools to guide us along in that pathway... HIS GOSPEL. 
Mosiah 2: 41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

If we follow closely those guidelines, we are promised happiness in this life, and NEVER-ENDING happiness in the life to come.

When I was with Hermana Enos, she shared with me something that has really stuck with me. Her grandpa has made it a goal, a lifestyle really, that every time someone asks him ¨How are you?¨He says ¨I´m happy, thank you!¨
Now, I´m sure that even her determined-to-be-happy grandpa has ¨down days¨, ¨hard moments¨and trials of his own... but he keeps a bigger picture perspective, recognizing that even amongst the chaos, hardships and sadness that may surround us, there is always ,ALWAYS something to be happy about.

We, as members of this church, know that we have found, and have access to THE source of true and lasting happiness. THAT, is one of the greatest things that we have to offer the world.
A genuine smile (like the one Maxi can´t hold back), which is backed by the knowledge and assurance that we know God lives, he LOVES each and every one of us SO very much. And because of that great love, he has provided us with a plan. A plan that is designed not only to bring us happiness now, today, or tomorrow, but a ¨FULLNESS of JOY¨, a happiness that endures and reaches even into FOREVER.

and THAT, is a great reason to be happy! 
I love you all so much!! 
Here´s to another great week! 
xoxox Your Hermana C

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 2014 - Beliefs, Love and Faith

 On 8/25/14 Hi there cute girl, This is a bullet point week. SOOOO crazy starting
> school.1. Davis at USU full force tomorrow. Came home today after 5 days
> there, for a mission farewell. Loving every minute of it! 2. Stephanie A came home Friday, She is great! headed to USU tomorrow as well and
> excited to speak Spanish with you.3. Saw Cody and Jace  > together talking at church today, they asked about you! 4. Went to the Princess pageant last night with Meg and her cute little Zula Mae.  Almost 1  and about 25 pounds of pure baby chub. Meg is doing well. 5. MaCall J is engaged. So cute and to a guy from our old ward in Farmington that was in dads deacons quorum. Kyle 6.Ben and Emily just get home today from a week long trip to Cali with Gma and Gpa Wintle.. They had a blast and went to Knot's and the Beach.! 7. It has been raining like mad here the past few weeks and I am hoping that it will stay this green and lush for you to come home to! 8. UVU spring deadline is December 1 and Iwill keep looking for any emails on your UVU link. 9. Start keeping a list of Foods that you would  like when you get home so that you can email it to me soon! 10. can't wait to hear about your week.  Topic for your homecoming: The spirit of inclusion. This is the stake theme for the month and Brother Jensen said that they haven't decided exactly how they will adapt it to our ward yet, however, if you want to start thinking it will be along those lines. I will let you know when they  have the exact thoughts.  I like the There isn't any one you can't love once you know their story! Include those that are different or struggling those that may not fit the mold, don't judge and love them as Christ would love them. You know that I have a strong testimony of this. I love to look for that person that may be struggling or insecure or timid and try to sit by them, include them or merely listen to them with and open mind and heart, I know I always appreciate this when I am feeling lost, tender or alone. A  Heart Like HIS. I feel that the true essence of our religion is found in how we try to emulate the pure love for others that Christ has for each one of us. This is best accomplished by searching out and observing ways to  serve one another. If you really take the time to listen to someones life story, it will be filled with ways to serve them and better their life and in return I have found new friends, new ways to look at life and peace in the understanding that we have a merciful Heavenly Father and loving Savior.  All my love, Mom

September 8, 2014 - Courtney, As your mom, I have often felt as if I haven't shared my life beliefs with you entirely.  I know that for me I try to express who I am by actions and especially how I love and how I serve.  Today I felt like I wanted you to hear my beliefs through written words.  I hope you feel of my love for this life, my testimony of the gospel, family and love.  I am striving to become more like our Savior each and every day.  I learn as I fall and I grow with the pains of the falls. 
I believe, in God , Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.
I believe the family is of most importance 
I believe in the healing powers of faith and hope.
I believe a house of order is one that invites the spirit.
I believe the world is a very scary, dangerous and confusing place.
I believe that nature is beautiful and nurture is a privilege.
I believe in covenants, and keeping them.
I believe in complete fidelity in commitment, thoughts and actions.
I believe in honesty, virtue and charity.
I believe most people are good.
I believe in the power of Satan to try to destroy good people.
I believe bad things happen.
I believe in the power of prayer.
I believe in breathing deeply, every day.
I believe in moderation in all things.
I believe in being healthy - emotionally, physically, spiritually
I believe in education and research.
I believe in the Family Proclamation.
I believe in contributing in the family and in society.
I believe in the power of music.
I believe most people are overwhelmed. Be kind.
I believe Satan is attacking families.
I believe in the value of children.
I believe all people are Children of God.
I believe people can improve.
I believe in always searching for self-improvement.
I believe Satan can cause me to doubt and question in an instant
I believe in love of many kinds:marital, brotherly(sisterly), parental etc.
I believe in volleyball, water-skiing, good food and sunshine.
I believe in the healing power of sleep, but I don't always get enough.
I believe I am a good mom and can always strive to be better.
I believe greed runs much of the world.
I believe in Eternal Families.
I believe in respect.
I believe in looking around to serve and better the lives of others.
I believe in sitting long, eating well and talking much.
I believe in being the kind of friend that I wish to have.
I believe in being grateful.
I believe that you should " Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." -      Thomas S Monson
I believe a repenting man is a righteous man.
I believe and have a testimony of missionary work.
I believe the truth and promises of living faithfully.
I believe it is when you are overloaded with trials and adversity that you must hold tight, pray and have confidence  in a loving Heavenly Father and Hope in our Savior Jesus Christ.
I believe [HOPE] is a powerful medicine.
I believe each person can reach their true potential if given the opportunity and they take the opportunity.
I believe in laughter and inner beauty.
I believe in following a living Prophet.
I believe that it will all work out in the end and my responsibility and opportunity is to endure well and remain faithful to that end.

"FAITH is the first principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ-so important and complex that it is beyond our understanding, but at the same time so simple that each of us base our lives on it without knowing exactly how it works." - Through His Eyes, V Pierce
All my love, MOM

Your letter from last week made me SO grateful all over again for you and our amazing family! You all amaze me with how much you are growing, changing, doing, and overcoming. I can´t believe the change-of-pace since I left. Davis is an ELDER. and can after all start his mission papers soon! My heart about overflowed when I read that!!! I love him and pray always that that dream of his can become a reality! Ryan. is a PRIEST. driving, dating, loving itI´m sure. He´s such a good kid. I´m proud of him. High school... ah. and belly aches. I was that same age when all of my funnies started. He has been in my prayers a lot. keep me posted. Ben. Surprises me more and more each time he writes me. My siblings are so wise beyond their years, and that kid has a spiritual affinity that inspires me! He is NOT the same shy, chubby little boy that I left... He is more and more a MAN every day. Emmi. Is the sweetest little ray of sunshine. Everyone just raves about her sweetness, bubbliness, outgoing, helpful attitude. Which Granmom says reminds her more and more of me. She is growing up way too fast and is very much her own little person! i have to admit the only times I really ever get any sort of homesick is when I start to think about my world and how much I´ve missed in each of your lives. Nothing else really gets me... but missing them all growing up is hard. i only hope they´ll want me around as much as I want to be around them once I´m home! I love you all so much! Thank you for being the mom, friend, example, and support for each and every one of us. And more. You are one of my hero's, and I love you! C

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 11, 2014 - This Girl is on Fire!

This week was crazy busy, full of emotions... and it all just
continues as we go into transfers. but more to come on that.
today I´ve got some stuff to take care of ... and so time is short,
and this email will be too. On top of all of the ¨loose ends¨this weekas Hermana Hales prepared to go home... We saw several miracles!
Maxi Finally has a fecha for su BAUTISMO. the 30 of august!! we´re allreally excited, and he´s reading and praying. sólo nos falta the
asistencia.The elderes also had a baptism... well 2... twin 17 year old girls,Paola y Azucena. It was a MIRACLE and the ánimo in the rama isawesome! They´re golden!

In my entrevista with Presidente Goates last month... we talked about¨endings¨, ¨beginnings¨and opportunities. We talked about my mission,all I´ve done, The ¨close call¨here towards the end... but then I asked him what he could tell me that he needed more from me to really finish strong, make my mark, and be what he... and the LORD... needs me to be. He said ¨Keep doing what you´re doing.¨ then said ¨Now of course we´ll have to see what the Lord wants... but I would LOVE to see you train again!!¨ We talked about what a blessing and opportunity that would be ... a stretch for sure, but an awesome way to finish.
And in the end he just sat back and said ¨Yeah, okay, with that in
mind, prepare yourself because I have a feeling that you´re in for a BIG change-of-pace here to finish out!¨
And boy, was he right. After 12 weeks of washing and ¨killing¨ Hermana Hales.. who had a lot of time and experience and a lot of ¨going home energy¨. I am now starting the ¨ùltimo¨ transfer 13... and I am going to be TRAINING a fresh, nuevita, LATINA (finally!), greenie! Hermana Vargas :)
I´m way excited and I know that, as always, the Lord is keeping me on my toes. I´m keeping the fire burning, but as I change gears, it´s going to be a different kind of fire and energy!

I was studying this morning, and as I was thinking about all of this,I decided to look up FUEGO (or fire) in the spanish ¨guide to the scriptures¨.. it says: ¨Symbol of purification of sanctification¨. I thought of how often we use the terms ¨trial by fire¨or ¨walking through flames¨... then I thought of the process of getting diamonds. The ordinary, dull piece of coal, put through a process of intense fire, pressure, and heat. But not too much that it becomes utterly destroyed, but just enough to push it, change it´s properties..Just how the Lord works with each of us... never giving us trials too big or temptations too strong to overcome... But He knows just how much heat and pressure it takes to purify and refine us.

Fire is also defined as symbolizing the presence of God.
-Moses and the burning bush
-we sing ¨The spirit of God like a fire is burning¨.
-We often explain to others that a feeling of warmth, or ¨burning in the bossom¨ is how they can know of truth and feel of God´s love.
- The story of Lehi and Nefi. When the Lamanitas tried to take them
and put them into prison, they were surrpounded by a pilar of FIRE and protected. Then, When the Lamanites later tried to flee from their presence, they were surrounded by a cloud of darkness that covered them. They asked desperately what they needed to do so that the darkness would leave them. Aminadab told them they must repent and call upon the Lord. in Helaman 5:43 we read: ¨And it came to pass that when they cast their eyes about, and saw that the cloud of darkness was dispersed from overshadowing them, behold, they saw that they were encircled about, yea every soul, by a pillar of fire.¨
The light of the Lord and the power and fire of His love and spirit is stronger than any darkness.
Fire is energy, and when properly stoked, provides us with heat,
light, and the motivation to keep going.
I´ve thought back several times on the promise I made to Heavenly
Father that no matter what, I would work to do my bst to keep my fire burning, and help others to do the same. I´ve realized the importance of helping others to feel of that fire, fuel it, and keep it burning bright. Whether it´s an investigator who´s feeling it for the first time, companions with their varying stages of ¨fire burning¨, or members or menos activos who are maybe just fighting to keep the smoldering coals alive, all of us need the fire in our lives.
The light of the gospel,the flame of hope, the power or influence of the Spirit of the Lord.
To help us overcome the ¨clouds¨or ¨mists¨of darkness, to help us see our way, to purify, refine, and change us from who and what we are now, to become the ¨diamonds¨that the Lord knows we are capable of becoming. He doesn´t ever tell us it´s an easy, comfortable, or
overnight experience. But he promises us the help, guidance, and the assurance that if we are faithful, there awaits us the promise of a brighter future.

I love you all so much! Keep the fire burning this week!!
xoxox Your Hermana C

August 11, 2014 - PHOTOS

*argentine garbage truck

*hermana goates used some pictures from the church manuals in her presentation, and I looked up and said ¨Hey! That{s my dad and davis!!¨You´re famous guys! 

*even across the world mom I still got had that same freak eye infection. i bonded with you in my no make up days.

*Hermana Leguiza made me GLUTEN FREE EMPANADAS! It was like Christmas!! 

*Mauricio! (from Dorrego, remember him??) He got baptized 3 weeks ago back when I went to Mendoza for consejo! 



we decided last minute to do a musical number for the baptism... ¨más cerca Dios de ti¨( nearer my God to thee) and after practicing once, it sounded AMAZING. so we performed at the baptism and then in church yesterday. We decided to release an album next summer when we´re all back from the mission.

*CIAO ¨compi¨

*zone hermanitas


*uno with the hermanitas on pday

*farewell lunch with familia Ríos y Leguiza

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday August 11, 2014 - Words from home

Hermana Courtney,
I wanted to pass along a few thoughts about BECOMING.  I love the mere thought of the word and it's definition and eternal application.  I know that the last few months of your mission have not exactly been what you had planned and for that I am sorry and know that it can be frustrating at times.  I want you to take a step to the side for a moment and just observe the good, acknowledge the challenging and LOOk to the future and strive to BECOME what you can for the last few weeks of your mission.  

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important
as what you become by achieving your goals.
- Henry David Thoreau

I know that you will be able to look at the whole of your mission and see great personal growth, especially in making it through the adversity as well as great success within the goals of your mission. One lesson leaned every day with the pursuit of our goals is it necessary to have them and even more needed to be able to adjust and make new goals as our plans for just how life should be are constantly shifted time and time again.

The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal.
The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.
- Benjamin Mays  

One of the amazing beauties of this thing called life to me, is the opportunity to try to become what our potential is as seen by a loving and merciful Heavenly Father.  I love this because it allows room for do overs and mistakes to be made, wrong choices can be made right and learning to happen every day! It is only when we give in to the adversary to stall our progression, that we stop becoming.

You will become as small as your controlling desire;
as great as your dominant aspiration.
- James Allen

We cannot expect to put out religion on a shelf and expect to have spiritual blessings. Uchtdorf

Another of my favorite concepts of the gospel is that of becoming like a little child in order to reach our potential and receive the blessing of the kingdom.  In times of severe adversity and just swimming in the feelings of doubt and fear, I love to look at it through the idea of this thought and it immediately simplifies any struggle to the point of a manageable state. No more analyzing or challenging oneself to exhaustion.  Simply have the faith and love of a child and it will bring you one step closer to reaching the most important goal of life and that is to BECOME more Christlike.  
Become as a Little Child
If we have a heart to learn and a willingness to follow the example of children, their divine attributes can hold a key to unlocking our own spiritual growth.
What is it we should learn from children? What qualities do they possess and what examples do they demonstrate that 
These precious children of God come to us with believing hearts. They are full of faith and receptive to feelings of the Spirit. They exemplify humility, obedience, and love. They are often the first to love and the first to forgive.King Benjamin’s words to become as a child—submissive, meek, humble, patient, and full of love? (see Mosiah 3:19).

Children are providing examples of some of the childlike qualities we need to develop or rediscover in ourselves in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven. They are bright spirits who are untarnished by the world—teachable and full of faith. It is no wonder the Savior has a special love and appreciation for little children.
Among the transcendent events of the Savior’s visit to the Americas, His tender ministry to the children stands apart. In a poignant way He reached out to each child.
“And he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.
“And when he had done this he wept. …

Have some of life’s experiences taken from you the believing heart and childlike faith you once had? If so, look around at the children in your life. And then look again. They may be children in your family, across the street, or in the Primary in your ward. If we have a heart to learn and a willingness to follow the example of children, their divine attributes can hold a key to unlocking our own spiritual growth.
Become more Christlike - 
Jesus Christ set the perfect example for us, and He has commanded us to become as He is. He exemplified characteristics such as faith, hope, charity, patience, humility, purity, diligence, and obedience. As we learn of Him and seek to develop His attributes, we will become the women He and our Heavenly Father would like us to be - YW site,

My prayer for you my dearest daughter is to look at what you are BECOMING in the last few weeks of your mission, look at what you have already BECOME.  Your beautiful spirit radiates through your teaching, your writings, your willingness to serve and your love for others.  Have that same love for yourself and look to what this mission is adding to your eternal life and how it is magnifying your ability to BECOME what Heavenly Father wants you to become.  Stand firm, stay strong and become as a little child for these last few moments that you have in Argentina and I think you will be ever surprised at the growth the you will experience in circumstances that you did not expect. Also remember, you are my world and I love you so very much.  As your Earthly parent, I can confidently kneel in prayer to your Heavenly Father and express gratitude for all that He has given you and ask that you feel His strength and love for you to help you reach the potential that HE sees in you.  You are incredible and very cherished.
All my love for today and always, Mom

First of all, I want to apologize for last week... I had a moment of
weakness. I was REALLY tired and just completely worn down after day
in and day out for months of dealing with a lot of things. But... I
should be better.. and it just helps you to see that even your
missionary daughter still isn´t perfect.

As I read through both of your emails that I printed out last week, it
was JUST what I needed!
It was really rough. Because All that i´d been striving for my whole
mission, to develop more Christlike attributes, strengthen the ward,
others and their faith and just love the people.. all things that were
so very important to me, but NOT for my companion. So I found myself
alone and carrying a LOT of weight...even feeling like because of my
lack of PROgress, I was digressing...
But I realized this past week that it didn´t matter. If it wasn´t
going to be a companionship effort, which i was really sad about, I at
least wasn´t going to add to or be part of the problem..
I realized that I was trying to hard to do everything on my own... and
as a result, negating the power of Christ in my life. That´s why I
became so bitter and a little stuck.
Justo... I read the talk ¨In the strength of the Lord¨by David A.
Bednar. It was exactly what I needed. To allow myself to see that I
NEED Christ´s help, His grace, His ¨enabling power¨not only
sometimes... but CONTINUOUSLY if my progress and quest to become like
Him is going to continue. That change needs to be REAL, lasting, and a
constant effort on my part.

The Lord knows I don´t like to feel stuck in a rut... and so He has
now given me a HUGE opportunity and privilege to pay it forward, work
till I drop, and go out with a bang this transfer.
I have learned a LOT about my own strengths, limits, and when to allow
him to step in and take the wheel as He helps me to ¨finish strong¨and
change my mentality to be more like His. I´ve decided this is not
something I´ll ever perfect here, but rather, this has all prepared me
for the rest of ¨real life¨as well.
I love you both so much, and I´m so grateful that you´re so inspired
and always know just what I need. Even before I do.

You´re amazing! Thank you for being MINE!!
xoxoxx C

Love you, Pumpkin!  Thanks for the note.

Just remember -- Those souls we help to save may not always be those we think we are sent to serve.  Companions are people, too, and may be in dire need of our love, understanding, help and service.  

You are an amazing and a shining example of hard work and devotion.  Stay close to the Lord, and He will help you see ALL of those who are in need of your love and compassion along the way!

Have a wonderful and poignant week!

Your Papi