Hola from General Villegas! After a long, 6 hour bus ride we made it! And I have to say, the bus ride was great! We had the best seats in the house- second story, very front, complimentary sandwich and jucebox...It was quite different from the regular missionary grind. And we will be making the same trip back to Rosario to figure out passport things, only this time we are heading out at I cannot think it will be equally enjoyable. We don't even feel like we are in Argentina here because the houses are insanely nice and the streets resemble the states. We live in a cute little red house in a calm neighborhood- very different from our last area in Parque Field.We are working in the area with four other elders, which means there are 6 missionaries in one ward, or ¨group of unity.´´ We are so few in number here that we do not classify as a branch or a ward. At church we had about 6 adults and 6 kids, only one man holding the priesthood in the group. We only have two hours of church and lack the order that is usually present in a ward. We are starting from scratch. Because of the lack of members, we do not have the blessing of eating very often at all with the members so we are on our own for the most part, food wise. If anyone has any easy/ yummy recipes I am open to all! We do not have a bishop or a mission leader, so we are working hard as missioaries to figure out ways we can improve the area! There is work to be done here to say the least, but I know there is so much potential as well. We are blessed to be a part of the growth that I know will erupt in General Villegas.
Well, we should have seen it coming, but Hermana Whitworth and I were called out to speak minutes before sacrament meeting. I was asked to speak on prayer and I scrambled to form a relevant thing to say in front of the congregation. I was rather nervous, and usually when I am nervous I will speak fast- but I didn't know that the same thing would happen in another language! T I know that amidst my fears and inadequacies, the Lord filled my mouth with words and my heart confirmed that what I was saying was true. I have a testimony of prayer, and I know that there is never a time when we cannot talk to our Father in Heaven, nor is there a time when He won't be listening.We are teaching a woman named Magali (28) and she is awesome. Also I know that the Lord is blessing me because I am insanely allergic to cats and she has 8 in her house, and I wasn't even phased! We have only had two lessons with her, but she came to church with us yesterday! She said that she knows she did not meet us by chance. Her life has had many rocky moments, including the death of both of her parents as well as a long period of depression, but now she radiates light and hope. She is so kind and knows that we are on this earth for a reason, a purpose behind each person. Also, she is studying English right now so we were able to teach a lesson in English! But the cool thing is that no matter the language, the gospel is the same. The spirit is the same. We have relied so much on the spirit this week. It seemed like all of the lessons we taught never ended up being about what we had planned, but I know that is because the spirit was leading us to what our investigators needed to hear, because time and time again we are reminded that we are teaching people, not lessons! Also can I just say I am glad it is only in these 18 months where I have to plan all 24 hours of my day haha.This week has definitely had many slow moments, I think that is only normal in new areas, but we have been surprised by the outporing of love from the few members and investigators. Many have been exctatic to have sister missionaries because it has been 3 years since they have had sisters here. They have taken us in as their own and have shared their conversions. The people here are very kind overall. They respect our devotion to come out here, far from our homes, and preach the word of God. Sometimes its nice to hear them say these things, reminding me that we are part of a great work, and we are sacrificing a lot, but on the grand scale of things, we will always be indebted to our Savior. We can offer our time and our hearts, but how could we ever pay back the ultimate price that He payed. For now, I am trying to pay Him back by being happy in the work, and submitting my will to the will of God. I am paying Him back by learning more about His gospel and His infinite sacrifice. I am paying him back by devoting this short time in my life to helping others gain eternal life. Thank you for your love and your examples. I hope you have a great week and I challenge you all to think of ways that you can pay your Savior back this week.
Sending my love from Argentina,Hermana Mathis