Monday, January 26, 2015

Every week is the best week ever on a mission

This week was so great. For so many different reasons. I find that the longer I´m here, the less it feels like a foreign place and the more it feels like home. Once a year in my mission, we get the chance to go to the temple, and it was our turn this week!! We went to the temple on Thursday and it was the most amazing thing ever. We got up at 530 in the morning because we had to take 2 different buses to the capital, Buenos Aires. The bus dropped us off literally on the side of the road under a bridge. It was so funny and then we had to hike up around and walk about a mile or so to the temple. It was soo beautiful and literally a little piece of heaven on earth. The best part was that I understood what was going on! But the reason that this trip was so special was so much more than being able to go, but because miraculously, and all thanks to the Lord, we ended up being in the same session as two recent converts in our ward who were going for the first time in our same session! Bro. and Sis. Ferreyra! Hna. Rodas and I were sitting in the room waiting and as soon as they walked in, it was probably the most wonderful thing I´ve seen in my life. We got to talk to them and be with them. The best part was, that the next day, they were returning with two of their children to get sealed as a family. When we stopped by on Friday to visit them after their sealing, when we passed through the gate the spirit was present so much stronger in their house. There are no words to describe this experience.
  Also this week, we had interviews with the president of the mission, President Thurgood! This week as well, we found this amazing woman named Romina that we´ve been teaching. We were walking on the sidewalk and she was at the gate to her house so we stopped and talked to her and set up a meeting to come and return to teach her. When we returned she let us come in and we were able to teach her about the Restoration. When we taught The spirit was so strong, and it is definitely the most powerful lesson I think has been taught so far. The spirit was so strong and the lesson was amazing. When we finished and we asked her if she would read and pray to know what we taught her was true, she told us that if she found out this was true, she would make any changes she needed to make in her life to follow the teachings of Christ. Then, when we asked her when we could return to teach her again she goes, "Tomorrow!! Wait, tomorrow´s my birthday. The day after?" So we´ve been teaching her about every other day this week and we are praying so hard for her! 

   A miracle that happened this week...the Lord blesses us with so many miracles, was that an investigator attended church!! Her name is Belén and when we passed by her house on Saturday, we didn´t even have to say a word before she was already telling her kids that they were coming to church in the morning! We passed by Sunday morning to bring them to church and there they were, all ready to go.
  A strange thing that I´ve been feeling lately is that really, I don´t feel responsible for any of the things that are happening and the changes people are making to come closer to Christ and live the teachings of the gospel. With Flia. Ferreyra, Romina, Belén, I just feel like we´re giving them what they need to know, and then they go from there. Really, it´s not me, or Hna. Rodas, it´s the spirit, it´s the Lord doing His work. All we´re here to do, as missionaries really, is to give people the tools they need to come closer to Christ, and have the opportunity to return to live with Him. We´re simply guides on their journey home, and then we get to pray and hope and watch and pray some more as we can see the teachings of the gospel change their lives and bring them closer to Christ. I feel so inadequate sometimes to be here, so undeserving to be participating in such a marvelous work as this, and I´m so grateful for all the Lord teaches me everyday. Pray, read your scriptures, go to church, and share the gospel. There is nothing that will bring us more joy in our lives then helping bring others to Christ.
Con amor,
Hermana Feldermann

Monday, January 19, 2015

Yay for Missions!

Hola!! So this week was great! Like every week, yeah? It rained pretty much all week which was actually the best thing ever because it wasn´t so hot! We don´t mind the rain either, we just put on our rain boots, grab our umbrellas and are good to go! I´m also pretty sure that people are a lot more willing to let you into their houses when it´s raining. The only downside is there´s no one in the streets to talk to. One thing about Argentina´s let me tell you, is that they talk sooo much. Haa it´s so funny sometimes because we´ll stop to talk to someone or be in a lesson or something and we´ll say about 10 words in 20 minutes because they just keep talking and talking...I guess it´s good in some aspects because people willingly tell you about their problems and concerns which helps us in our job!

Something that I´m so excited about for this week is that...we have a family that joined the church about a year and a half ago that´s going to the temple to be sealed for time and all eternity! We´ve been working with them a lot since we got to the area and about a month ago when they were talking to the bishop they set the date for this week. We have family home evening with them every Monday and every Thursday we have almuerzo at their house as well. They´re the sweetest family, and it´s proof to me that the gospel really can, and does change people´s lives. And now because of it, and how they continued faithful, they get to have their family together forever. Also, one of the biggest miracles of all, we get to go to the temple this Thursday!!! And we just happened (not by coincidence because I don´t believe in coincidences) to be in the exact same session they´re going to be in for the first time!!! Ahh I´m so excited, I can´t even tell you. They´re so wonderful. And then they´re returning on Friday to go and be sealed. We don´t get to go to the sealing but I feel so beyond blessed that we can be there with them on Thursday.

Something funny that happened this week. Hna. Rodas has made a goal for her last 6 weeks of her mission that she was going to pray in English every time she prayed. She asked if I would pray in English as an example for her and....I couldn´t do it! I haven´t prayed in English for 3 months now, and I had to keep translating Spanish to English in my head! It was the funniest thing, but also the best thing, because maybe I am actually learning this language!

On Saturday at the chapel, we have classes of English and we just started having classes of piano as well. The

elders teach the class of English and I teach the class of piano with the help from Hna. Rodas, because everything is different in Spanish. It´s so fun, to be able to do it and it´s such a great tool to use with our investigators to invite them to church. One thing I learned this week is to find joy in the little things and to pay attention to see the hand of the Lord in my life more. Miracles happen every day, if we pay attention for them. Maybe they´re only small miracles, like making it to the bus stop just in time to catch the collectivo, or maybe they´re a little bigger, like the temple with Flia. Ferreyra, or having someone accept an baptismal invitation. However if we can learn to find joy in the little miracles that happen in our every day regular lives, we will be so much happier and grateful for how the Lord blesses us. Every single person has something to be grateful for, and a million things if they look closely. Right now, I´m so grateful for this period of time I have to be serving the Lord here in Argentina, even if it is only for a short period of time. I´m so grateful for my every day little blessings and for the way the Lord touches my life each and everyday.
Con amor,
Hernama Feldermann

Monday, January 12, 2015

Only a little time

  I don´t have a ton of time to write this week because we just got a call saying that we need to return to pension to greet a hermana that´s coming to stay with us for the night. This week has been crazy in so many ways! We kept contacting a lot of people this week that were atheists...and not really passive atheists either if you know what I mean. It´s funny, because a lot of times when people try to argue with us about religion and God and things like that, my testimony just gets stronger and stronger because we can offer something that no one else can. The opportunity to search, and find out the truth for yourself. If a person honestly wants to know, they can know whether the church is true and whether God really exists or not. What an amazing promise.

    This week we found this wonderful woman named Aurora. She´s from Spain and has this little 5 year old daughter named Mía. We taught her the first lesson and her daughter was watching as well. When we were about to start to talk about Joseph Smith and the First Vision we flipped to the page in the pamphlet and before we even said a word Mía goes, "Look! It´s God! And there´s another man with him! It´s Jesus!" Wow! So crazy right? Then she points at the page again and goes, "And look! There´s a man that saw them!". Wow, what did we have left to teach after that? It was amazing, and we were just amazed by what happened. 
     This week was the week of my first transfer! All weekend we had other hermanas staying in our pension. On Friday night we got 6 more hermanas that were just ending their missions. They had the chance to tour the capital and go to the temple before going home and they stayed with us. Then last night we had 4 more hermanas come in from the coast and stay with us for transfers. We have the privilege of being able to attend the transfer meeting today because we house all the hermanas that come in our pension. It was so neat. We got to hear the testimonies of the missionaries that left to go back home today, and see about half of the rest of the mission!

    Something I learned a lot about this week was pride. There are so many inactive members around here that have left the church because someone said something that offended them, or did something that they took to be offensive. Pride, if we allow it, will be our biggest downfall. When we allow ourselves to be offended by someone, we are allowing ourselves to be drawn farther away from Christ. The scriptures teach us to forgive 70 times 7 and that "I the Lord will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men." Forgiveness is an amazing gift that we can give to others and to ourselves. Nothing is more freeing than being forgiven, whether we've  wronged other people or things we´ve done wrong ourselves. To be like Christ is to be forgiving, always. When someone offends them, forgive them for the offense and move on. We are not perfect, and everyone, everyone will offend someone or be offended at some point in their lives. I like to question, what is more important? Our knowledge of the Savior and His Atonement and how we´ve been forgiven for what we´ve done wrong, or that our own pride was hurt, when we have nothing to be prideful about in the first place because everything that we have, has been given to us by God? The only thing we have that is truly ours and God has no influence over is our agency. The choice is always ours. What a blessing the Atonement is, that we can be forgiven so we can also forgive others.

Con amor,
Hermana Feldermann

Monday, January 5, 2015

...and a Happy New Year

Happy New Year! It´s 2015, can you believe it? I can´t really, because nothing really feels different here! Time is such a funny thing on the mission. It´s been bothering me a little lately that Sundays don´t really feel like Sundays but then I´ve been realizing that it´s because everyday is like a Sunday! It´s so great, always having the spirit with us so much as we search and teach people. I hope the New Year passed well for you as well. We had to be in our pension again by 6 pm the night of the 31st, but we were able to have the chance to watch Frozen! In English! With Spanish subtitles and I kept learning funny new words. It was so great. Everyone was celebrating that night so when we finally fell asleep it must have turned midnight because there was this huge explosion of fireworks! We always sleep with our windows open because it´s so hot here, and I have to put on bug spray before I go to bed to keep from getting eaten by the mosquitos! It´s so funny because I always have like 40 mosquito bites...(that´s not an exaggeration by the way) and Hna. Rodas has maybe...3. We always joke about it because it´s really kind of funny. 
    Argentine people are wonderful, and so terrible frustrating at the same time. I love them though. The thing is, that they are the hardest people in the world to find. I feel like we´re playing Where´s Waldo when trying to hunt down our investigators sometime! We can literally pass by the same house every day for a week straight, all at different times, and they are no where to be found. I extended my first baptismal invitation this week....and it was accepted!! We had found this girl named Josefina, and when we went back to find here again we found her sister Vanda, and this week we ended up teaching both of them. We taught them the Restoration and then they accepted the invitation to be baptized! Now all we have to do is try to find them so we can teach them again and see if they kept their committments. Seriously though, the finding part is the hardest part of everything...that and the Spanish. Excuse me, I mean "Castellano". Whenever I say Spanish to the people here they always correct me and say castellano. It always kind of makes me laugh a little. 
    So a funny story from this week. First, our pension has two levels because they call it "pension hotel" because it´s where the other hermanas stay when they travel a long way from the coast for transfers or conferences or things like that. There are two rooms on the top level and then on the bottom is where we study and the kitchen and things like that. Earlier in the week it was so hot here even in the night and Hna. Rodas could not fall asleep to save our lives. So we were laying in our beds across the room from each other kind of commenting about how hot it was occasionally. I was laying on my side and all of a sudden I saw something move on the little desk by my bed. I told Hna. Rodas that I just saw something move and I jumped out of bed to turn on the light and....there was a cockroach crawling all over my stuff!! haa soo gross. So I ran downstairs to grab some Raid and then I hear a bunch of banging upstairs. When I come back with the Raid Hna. Rodas is standing over the cockroach with a shoe over her head and says to me in English, "I kill it." It was the funniest thing ever. Now that I just wrote that I´m realizing that it might not be as funny for you as it was when it actually happened but I´m just laughing writing it! 
     One thing that we´ve been working with the members and less active members this week for the new year is about setting goals. I never realized how important goals are until I´ve been here now. One of my biggest fears in life has always been not reaching my full potential and I´ve figured out the key to that...GOALS. Not only setting goals, but also fulfilling them as well. One of my favorite quotes from Predicad Mi Evangelio dice.."I am convinced that if we don´t set goals in our lives nor learn and master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we will reach a ripe old age and look back at our lives, only to realize that we have reached only but a small portion of our full potential. If we learn to master the principles of establishing and reaching our goals, it will make a great difference in the results of what we acheive in this life." That quote is by M. Russell Ballard. Sorry it´s not exact, but I don´t have my english Preach my Gospel with me right now so I tried to translate it the best I could! I love this quote so much because the things we learn in this life and how much we grow are so, so important. In our district meeting one week one of our elders said something like, a good man isn´t perfect, a good man is better today than he was yesterday. Little by little we have the chance to grow every day, with every choice we make. I´ve been pondering a lot on the Atonement of Jesus Christ this last week as well. How amazing it is that we can be cleansed from our sins and be freed from the guilt and shame and burdens that accompany us when we do wrong. Not only does the Atonement bring forgiveness of sins, but it also has an enabling power as well. There´s a certain kind of confidence, a certain spirit that accompanies one who is clean and can stand with confidence before God. Turning to Christ, submitting our will to doing His doesn´t make us weak or less human, but in every sense it makes us stronger and more like Him. The hard things that we pass through in this life, every single one can all be overcome, have already been overcome by Christ. We were born at the time we were and in the place we were because Heavenly Father knew exactly where we were headed was where we needed to be to learn the lessons we needed to. I hope that made sense. I always keep thinking back on what you used to say mom, "Bloom where you´re planted". Nothing is more true. We can make the best of everything that happens to us and evey situation we are in because even when our situations change, Christ never does. He is our rock, unmoving and always, always reliable. 
   This new year gives us a chance once again to begin anew, through the Atonement of Christ. I pray that you use every opportunity to learn and grow ;) (I would put a smily face but I´m not sure where the keys are on this keyboard and only know how to do a winky face) I love you all!
Con amor,
Hermana Feldermann