Monday, August 1, 2016

Belieza en la Calle

HOLA FAMILIA Y AMIGOS. ¿Como estaaan? 
I cant believe its already been another week! Times are crazy. As usual, we hit many highs and lows, but it is such a great feeling when I can reflect at the end of every day and say, by some miracle, I made it through another day!! 

OK-Fun fact: Haylie is wearing the dress that her Grandma made for her mom for her wedding day in 1990.  Lauren wore it for cousin Camille's wedding ceremony before changing into her Bridesmaid dress and Haylie requested it to be sent to her in the MTC so that she could wear it in Argentina. Not quite intended to be worn in the winter with a jacket and black boots and tights however.  An interesting fashion statement but a sweet link between 3 generations of women.
One funny among many this week: We were walking in the dark of the night, whatever light coming from lanterns strung up by wires. During this time there is still a decent amount of people in the streets, but we have to be cautious. As we passed a group of men one said "hay tanta belleza en la calle esta noche." which is to say, there is a lot of beauty in the Street tonight. I assumed he was saying something about how we need to be safe walking around the streets at this time because that is what everyone says, so I promptly said "Yes, we know!" He laughed and a few minutes later Hermana  Whitworth told me what he actually said. HA! Whoops, I don't want to      come off as prideful or anything.

Many kind souls gave us food this week, including members who fed us almuerzo and vendors on the street. I think sometimes the street vendors feel bad for us walking out in the cold so they are very kind to lift our spirits up with some food, and of course we can lift their spirits up with a little message about Jesús Christ. 

Great news-Victoria, the niece of Miriam, agreed to be baptized! She came to church again yesterday with her aunt Miriam and they are just soaking it all in. I am so proud of them. They both have a few things that they need to change, but through the help of Christ,  I know that they can do it. It reminds me of a quote, "Dont give up what you want most in life for something you think you want now." There are such great things in store for us if we just keep an eternal perspective and make decisions now that will lead us to our eternal reward as we find enduring happiness along the way. 

We got to go to a birthday party this week for one of our investigators, named Soledad. Her mother, Olga, is a sweetheart, she is like our grandmother. She always welcomes us with open arms and comments on how the spirit is present in all of the times we teach her. She has received the lessons for years, and she has a testimony. There is something holding her back when it comes to church. For some reason or another she manages to find an excuse, or fills us with false hope. She, along with every other Argentinian, says "si dios quiere," if that is what God wants. We just want to shake her and say yes! It is what God wants. But we are praying that her time to come to church is soon. 

We ran into three kids in the Street this week who proselyted to us, inviting us to their church. Of course we were respectful and took their fliers, giving them ours in return. One of them even sang for us! They followed us around for around 15 minutes, intrigued by the girls from the United States, marveling at our ability to speak English, and laughing at how we pronounced some things in Spanish. Fair enough. They wanted to Facebook friend us but instead we got their number and are going to invite them to our Karaoke activity coming up! 

So, apparently not everyone was mean to us on Dia de Amigos! This week we stopped by someone we contacted on that day named Natalie, and she told us of our first encounter with her through her point of view. She was outside cleaning and was hearing all of the music and the rejoicing that was going on because of the holiday. She then reflected on how she felt like she did not have many friends, and how she felt lonely on this day that celebrated friends! Well,  literally three minutes later, she said, we walked by and asked her if she needed help. We took the time to get to know her, and sincerely listened to her. We shared a short message and wrote down her address and carried on our way. This sparked a religious interest in her, someone who never really had the interest. She said that she read 7 pages of the bible after that day! Wow! 

Serving a mission is unlike anything I have every done before. I am contantly oustide of my comfort zone. There are many times when I am afraid: afraid to speak up, afraid to make a mistake, afraid to embarass myself, afraid to cross a certain street, the list could go on. But amidst our fears we can be comforted. In Exodus 4:10-12 we learn that Moses was afraid upon being commanded to rescue the children of Israel, saying, "But I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue." The Lord then reassures Moses,  "Who hath made mans mouth? Hath not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say." I still feel very inadequate in the language, and through reading this, I was comforted. The Lord will reassure us, telling us we can do it! We can do hard things! He is our maker, and He can make us stronger. Elder Mervyn B Arnold states that as we go to the rescue, God gives us power, encouragement, and blessings. I know that this is true. I have felt power beyond my own. I am encouraged when I put forth the effort. I am constantly blessed through God's mercy. 

I love you all so much! Keep on keeping on!

Hermana Mathis

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