Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Feliz Navidad! (almost!) (12/15/14)

Another week down! I cannot believe its already time to write another email. The days fly by. It is true that after 6 months, the time just doesnt slow down.

This week was another week of learning. Seriously, I am seeing just how much confidence my heavenly father has in me that i do not have in myself. Dolores continues to be so hard and I have been working so hard to be positive and strong for my companion. But, this week came the meltdown. We spent the week inviting EVERYONE to go on saturday night to watch the broadcast of Stake Conference. We got to the church, not a soul. The branch president, his counselors, relief society president, NOT A SOUL. I just started to cry and vented to my companion of how I just dont understand what we can do. She just told me we are going to be positive and we are going to change this town. The same words I have been telling her for the past few weeks, I needed to hear as well. I am just so lost as to what to do with these people. I have never seen such a disaster in my entire life. 

But, on a happier note, this week we had zone conference. It is so great to hear from President Thurgood. He is so inspired. We talked about how to make the most of christmas in the mission and how we can use this time to share the gospel of Christ with everyone. We seriously are talking with everyone about it. The whole zone was in a bus going to the conference and we sang christmas carols and gave everyone He is the gift cards. Yesterday we went Caroling house to house and its not the same christmas here, but this christmas is different. I am starting to see that the real meaning of Christmas doesn't mean gifts and buying things, its in serving others and trying to be more like Christ. I miss all the traditions of home but I am so happy to be able to give up one christmas to help my heavenly father. I don't know if I am making a huge difference here, but the mission is changing me and its the greatest blessing of my life. 

This week we found another new investigator and new references. Things are getting better in Dolores when it comes to teaching lessons, now just need to better the branch!

I got the package from the activity day girls!! thank you! But, from now on, no one send me anything but letters! I guess I got 5 packages, I don't know from who but I had to pay 300 pesos. So letters will be just fine for the next 11 months. 

I cannot wait to hear all of your voices in Christmas Day. The best gift that I have ever received will be to here all your voices. 

I love you all! Merry almost Christmas! Happy birthday Mom! And I hope Ralph brings good things this week :) 

Love you all to the moon!
Hermana Root 

1. My companion fell in the mud! I had to take the picture before I helped her!
2. Proof of the cute sunburn that I have been sporting! 
3. Welcome to Dolores!
4 and 5. My companion and I!
6. We found snickers!! First candy bar in 7 months!
7. Zone picture! La Plata Sur!
8. We went to the graduation of the youth in Dolores!
9. Hermana Molina and I while we were singing Christmas Carols house to house!
10.  The international Christmas choir!
11. Someone came to our zone activity and left us these stockings full of Goodies! We aren't sure who it was. Santa is real!

Monday, December 8, 2014

7 Months! (12/8/14)

Wow, another week down. I cannot believe it! I have 7 MONTHS!! Time is seriously just flying. I am learning and growing so much. I thank my heavenly father everyday for this opportunity I have to be here and try and help his children. 

& HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MOM AND DAD. Thanks for being married and being super cool.

Well, I have my daughter! Her name is Hermana Còncenes! She is from Lima, Peru and seriously the best companion ever. I do not feel like I am training. She came SO prepared. The first day in the field was me talking all the time but she caught on SO fast and now we are a strong companionship. Yes, I am the leader and the example in many things, but she is seriously an angel. I am so blessed to be with her. She came to the field SO ready to BAPTIZE. Then, she realized that we are in Dolores and she got a little down because of how difficult things are here. We spent the week working SO hard and with time, she started to perk up and just realize that we have success if we just loose ourself in the work. She had no idea how to ride a bike. I had to teach her how. She only fell like 30 times but now shes a pro! 

It is officially SUMMER. It is so hot. We are dying. With the stupid helmets, we sweat SO much. We carry towels in our baskets of our bikes because we are so sweaty when we get to houses. She is turning SO tan and I am SUNBURT. She told me she had never seen skin so red... white girl problems. 

I had a little meltdown in the week. We went to a meeting with our Branch President. We shared our Progression forms and who we are teaching. We truly have no investigators and we are trying so hard to work with the branch. They chewed us out and told us we need to focus in investigators and I lost it. I said and what are you doing to help us find them? We are working so hard. We need to work together and it is not only the responsibility of us to find people who are prepared. They blew me off as always but afterwards I just felt awful. I dont understand why i am training here in Dolores. It is SUCH a hard area. I just want her to have the best experience in her training and here its so hard.

But, we have decided that we are going to be the next season of CSI. We started searching all the less actives in the directory. We found out why Dolores has this curse. Many less actives told us that about 10 years ago, the leaders of the branch were awful. They were robbing money, unworthy, dishonest, etc. This branch used to be 400 people. Now we are lucky if 30-40 show up. The whole town remembers this and that is why we cant find investigators and that is why no one wants to come back. Its so difficult. Yes bad things happened but OH WELL. The church isnt perfect, but the gospel is. This is why members need strong testimonies. So now, we are trying to recieve the revelation that we need to help this crazy town. drama, drama, drama.

BUT, we found an past investigator in the area book named Nilsa. We went taught a lesson and HAVE A BAPTISM DATE. I am not sure how it happened but we did it! haha and we found 3 investigators this week. Things are going up. Hard work will help us. 

Funny story to end, my companion learned to ride the bike in Wednesday. We were riding home at like 9 in wednesday night and it was dark. 2 dogs started to chase her. She got so scared and went straight into the ditch FILLED with water. She yelled ^MAMA! HERMANA ROOT, AYÚDAME! a went and helped her and we were DYING laughing the whole way home. No matter how hard things are, there is always something to laugh about!

I love you all! 
Till next week!
Hermana Root

ME VOY A SER UNA MAMA! (12/1/14)

Well family, what a week I have had! There is never a normal week in Dolores! But, I have news! I got a call from president on friday and I AM TRAINING! I am so nervous! There is a huge group of missionaries coming tomorrow and my chance of being with a latina is VERY small. Looks like I will be training an american! But tomorrow I will find out!! 

This week we had our huge Tormenta Blanca. We went to the houses of every less active in our ward directory and found SO many people that want us to pass by and visit them. We literally have NOT ONE investigator and we are trying so hard to find them so this activity was such a blessing. We found familys that arent all members and we have plans to teach them. All the missionaries from the zone came and we went and visited them all. It took HOURS of preparation but I am so glad with how it turned out!

Our mission is doing an activity SO awesome! Its called èl es la dàvida. or He is the gift. We are giving out 10 cards a day to people that have a link to a video about christ and we are sharing the real reason of christmas. Its so weird to be talking about christmas when its SOO hot outside but the christmas spirit is still here. And DON'T WORRY MOM, I have my stocking and mini Christmas tree up and a wreath on the front door!

Thanksgiving was weird. I was nervous that I would feel SO homesick but I was fine. It didnt feel like thanksgiving. But, Hermana Molina and Landauro went and bought facturas (which are like donuts but WAY better ) and made rice and eggs and we had our ¨thanksgiving feast¨ I wrote the 100 things I am thankful for and I have never been more thankful for ANYTHING than I am now in the mission. I am sure changing my view of the things most important. I hope your thanksgiving was amazing!!

We had all of our transfers and Hermana Vasconcellos left for the coast and it was hard to leave. She told me how I was an answer to her prayers and that I will always have a home in brazil. Its weird how all of my companions just have become just another sister too me. There were many tears shed but I am excited for this new transfer. I am so nervous to train but I know that its a calling from God and I am going to help this new hermana learn how be serve the lord! I am sure I will learn much more than her! AND my trainer is training again so we will be training together! 

I hope all is going well! I am ready to start this new transfer and work so hard. Enjoy the holidays and the cold! 

Love you allll! 

Hermana Root

Semana de Milagros! (11/24/14)

Hola hola! Wow monday already! Its feels like I just wrote. My hands always get so tired writing this letter haha. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRAMS!!! Your the best grandma in the whole wide world!

This week was one verrrrry interesting. I learned SO many things. After having the terrible sunday with the members I was so stressed. My District leader could tell that I was way stressed and so in our District Meeting we talked about stress managment. I told him elder, stress runs in my family. I work better under stress. Leave me alone haha. Then he made us do YOGA to unwind... what a day. But, its all okay. I am now a lot less stressed and so happy because MIRACLES happened during the week. 

We had exchanges and it just happens that my sister training leader is Hermana Rodas!! My first companion. It was so good to see her! I learned so much in our exchanges. My companion and I dropped EVERY single one of the investigators that we had because no one TRULY has a desire to follow Christ. I learned this week that all Christ did was say come, follow me. And those that wanted to came, those who didnt went their way. I was just tired of wasting time with people who just wanted to talk and never do anything. So my companion and I started from rock bottom. We knelt and prayed and asked heavenly father where we needed to go to find investigators. We both wrote down 5 streets and one matched, Reconquista, so we spent 3 hours knocking every door in the street. By the end of the day, we had 8 appointments! That was on saturday so we havent seen them yet but we are hoping to BAPTIZE SOME PEOPLE! 

My companions are all very stressed with how the members are here in Dolores. So, we had a meeting with the Bishopric and I let them know how we were feeling. No one would do it so, I did it. The all had their excuses but, the understood where we were coming from. Then they gave me the opportunity to give a talk on sunday. So, I gave a talk that was pretty straight forward about the responsibility of members. When we finished, we began to ask who could come to help us with our Tormenta Blanca activity and people began to do SOMETHING! There was a difference!! 

My companion and I fasted on saturday that we could find new investigators and that we could work more with the members. When we left for church on sunday, we went to the house of two little girls that walk with us, our investigators that we dropped, left their house and said Hermanas, we want to go to church with you! We had invited them SO many times and they had never come, but they went with us! It was SUCH a miracle!!

We worked so hard this week that I have a hilarious story. I happened to get a terrible cold and was suppppper congested and not sleeping well. On thursday, I woke up and kneeled down to say my prayers, 45 minutes later I woke up. My companion said she felt bad waking me up so she let me sleep! She said I was snoring and everything. The mission wears ya out!!

Today was the birthday of our District Leader and his ward through a party so we came to Chascomus for the day! It was a wonderful p-day! Its the last week of the transfer so we will see if I am with Hermana Vasconcellos again or if I leave or what! Who knows!

I am sad that I wont be home for thanksgiving but make sure to eat a lot for me! Just pretend like the missionaries are me! My companions and I will do something to celebrate the Mayflower, pilgrims, n such. I am thankful to be here in the mission. Its the greatest blessing I have ever recieved and I thank my heavenly father everyday that hes given me this privilege to be here. I am so blessed. 

Love you all!!
Chau chau!
Hermana Root

Monday, November 10, 2014

Six Months Down! (11/10/14)

Wow, what a week. Just like everyone in the family, I had my ups and downs throughout the week but I can say one thing. The atonement of Jesus Christ is real. I felt this peace inside of me during the whole week that I knew that I was going to be okay and that everyone in my family was going to be okay as well. I could literally feel Uncle Al with me. I knows hes watching and hes still with all of us. 

The way I decided to deal with this trial of Uncle Al was work as hard as I can. The truth is, the girls I am living with have a different way of working. They are much more relaxed and are obedient, but not exactly. I felt prompted that I was sent to Dolores to change things. I gained the courage to talk to my companion. I told her we were going to change some things and that it was time to be exactly obedient and more organized because its not our time that we are wasting. She was so wonderful and this week we worked so hard. I was able to literally forget myself, my problems, everything and just emerse myself in the work. There is still SO many things that I need to change about myself and this area but its a start. The truth is, Dolores is a very very hard area. The members believe that the missionaries run the church. The gossip about us and are the farthest thing from supportive. Its so hard. I have been praying and praying as to what to do and nothing has come yet, so I am just going to keep working hard. I know I am here in Dolores for a reason but this sure is the hardest time in my mission so far. 

I had a beautiful opportunity to share my testimony with a woman while we were traveling home from Zone meeting this week. She is an english teacher and she started to speak english with me. It was SO hard to speak english. It doesnt flow. I changed to speaking spanish because it was easier! But, she told me how her sister died of cancer this week. With tears in my eyes, I told her how my uncle died this week of cancer too but I know where he is and that I would love to teach her about where her sister is. She accepted and lives here in Dolores. She isnt in my area so I dont get to teach her but it is amazing how Heavenly Father puts people in our paths. 

This week I had my 6 month mark in the mission. Its so weird to think about how far I have come. My old district leader is now my zone leader and when he heard me talk he told me that he didnt believe it was me because of my progress. I got asked 2 times this week if I am from Spain because my accent! I dont have a lisp like spain so idk whats going on haha. I am realizing just how much heavenly father is blessing me. 

I got the opportunity to teach a family this week about the Restoracion. It was one of the most powerful lessons I have ever had. The whole family said at the end that they could feel that it was true and that the peace they feel is something they have never known. The gospel truly changes everything and I am so thankful for that!

My companion is teaching me how to cook and I can offically cook brazilian food! Its SO good! There are also blackberry trees all over and it happened to be our lunch one day this week. 

RUSSEL M NELSON is coming to speak to our mission on thursday!! I AM so excited!!!

Seeing the picture of all the cousins together was a hard one to see. I miss all of you and am so sad I couldnt be there for the funeral. But, I was there in spirit. Now its time that we all can move forward and remember to always be as happy as Uncle Al. Because, that is exactly what he would want. 

I love each and every one of you. Be strong. And always rely on the atonement! 

Con muchismo amor, 
Hermanita Root

1. There are dead frogs everywhere!
2. 6 months sign from my companions
3. My district
4. My companion Hermana Vasconcellos

5. Blackberries

Home in One Year! (11/3/14)

Hola familia, 

As I am writing this, my heart is extremely full. I am extremely grateful for this knowledge I have and this gospel in my life. It is very hard to pass through times like these so far from home. Knowing that Uncle Al is gone is a feeling I cant understand. I feel so happy for him because I KNOW where he is. I know that he is going to have an opportunity to hear this gospel from missionaries just like me, and I know I will see him again. I know we can be a family forever and nothing will seperate us. I know now hes going to be with me in these final 12 months here in Argentina. It is us that are the ones that will suffer. I will miss him tremendously. He truly taught me how to enjoy life and love everyone. The things I have learned from him I will never forget. Now, we all need to be strong for him. Because I know he doesnt want us to be sad. He wants to enjoy this life just like he did. 

It was a hard week again. This was on my mind all week long. I couldnt sleep and started to have my lovely anxiety problems again. But, on sunday, I had the wonderful opportunity to fast and I fasted that our family would have the strength to support whatever Gods plan is for us. I know that he has a plan and he needed uncle al more than we need him. Mom told me how she knows Grandma Hoyt will be right there when he passes and I know hes with Grandma Hoyt right now. 

I learned more about how real the atonement is this week. When things get hard, remember that someone has already experienced this exact same thing. I know my savior knows exactly how I feel. He will be with me always and he will always comfort me. I feel so sad right now, but at the same time a peace that I know is coming from him.

I also saw miracles in the week. My companion got better and we could finally leave and work. It was so good for me to be able to work again. We worked so hard and it helped me deal with all of this a little better. I truly love my companion. She is teaching my portugese and we teach so well together. Its a lot of pressure because I am the senior companion and she ahs very little time in the mission so I have to lead in just about everything but I am recieving so much strength from my heavenly father. 

On halloween, my companions and I celebrated the American way and bought candy and dressed up and trick or treated at our own house. We bought a pumpkin and carved pumpkins and made german pancakes. I was Messi, the famous soccer player from Argentina. 

This day marks a very special day, in exactly one year from today, my flight  will be landing in the states and I will be finishing the mission. It seems so long but also so short. 

I am in La Plata, a beautiful city in our mission for zone conference. I woke up at 4 AM to leave dolores to get here and will be here till tomorrow night. 

I am thankful that I am here in Argentina. That I have this opportunity to serve a mission. I am thankful for these trials because I know that god knows that I can support them. This mission and the experiences in it are the hardest things I have ever been through, but I know its helping be become who I need to be. 

I love you all!
Chau Chau!
Hermana Root