Dear Family and Sweet Friends,
It has been an awesome week. Firstly, my Redhead count got up to 24 this week. When I came to Argetina I started counting every Pelirojo that I saw, and I'm up to 24. Red hair isn't all that common in Argentina, and so of course I had to start counting. Everytime I see one I think of my sweet roomate Sarah McKneely. Love you, Sar.
I must offer my absolute congratulations and heartfelt love to Kelsey Jenson as well for her wedding!!! And congrats to the groom, Jason Pope! Oh, I love you Kelsey and I wish you the happiest of ever afters. I'm sending you a letter soon! Anyone have her address???
It was a beautiful week in Cañada. The sun was a little more forgiving and for the first time in 2 months I wasn't a wet, sweaty hippopotamus when we arrived at appointments. I finally know what all the Pendragon books mean when Bobby talks about sweat falling and stinging his eyes, that's how much water happens when it's Argentina hot. But this week was rather cooler, a tender mercy! We have been contacting and tracting like crazy, at least an hour of tracting every day (I feel like I'm in Washington again and I love it!) and we're seeing some fruits. New investigators and follow up appointments. We're hoping to help this little town to fill the chapel with true converts to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
To all of you who accompany missionaries to lesson, I hope you know that you mean the world to those missionaries. We're working to help the branch feel confidence and adequate to come with us to lessons, for some reason they just feel so afraid. We've started visiting the members in their home, put up a bulletin board in the church with pictures of lessons that we've had and activities we've put on, and are doing everything possible to gain their trust and help build their confidence. I was very intimidated when I started my mission--I had never accompanied a non member to church before in my life, and hardly knew what to say or how much to explain to my investigators--but the only remedy was practice. Now it feels like riding a bike when investigators come to church. It is always a lot of fun and we are filled with true happiness, but I know how to ride without training wheels. As soon as we start practicing with what we know, God blesses, consecrates our efforts. It's his work, not ours. But as we strive to build his kingdom, really, he's building us. (P.s., that was from the Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration movie. Not a Sister Boren original)
We are continually working with Jimena and her Family. Her novio Juan wanted to hear the lessons too, and so now we're teaching the whole family. They just need to get married and then they can be baptized! There is SO MUCH LOVE in this family, it is inspiring. Every time we teach a lesson I feel I am the one more edified than they. Jimena came to church yesterday and stayed for all three hours! She laughed during sunday school and cried during the testimonies of the primary children during Fast and Testimony meeting. She was full of questions after church and I'm sure she'll have more during our lesson this wednesday.
Other wonderful news: A 92 year old less active man came to church, his name is Hermano Coloccini.
Hermanas Rane and Carlson have a baptism this Saturday of 9 year old Uriel, son of parents who are members who don't come to church. He rides his bike every Sunday by himself, and rode himself on over for his Baptismal interview as well. He is such a rock and such an example to me, and bore his testimony yesterday too. I love the goodness of Children. Hermana Martinez and I are hoping to bring Jimena and her family to the Baptism, too. There is always a special and strong spirit at baptisms.
Keep the faith! Keep loving, serving, and pressing on, even when life gets hard. That's when we need to press forward the most. Missions aren't easy, but neither is life! We knew it wouldn't be easy, but we wanted this test--we wanted to prove to our God that we can do it! He loves me, and by golly I know he loves you!
Onward, ever onward!
Love, forever and always,