Dearest Family and Friends,
This week 3 of we 4 Sister missionaries have had a BAD case of hiccups on multiple days. It has been a hoot to try to share the message of the Restoration in contacts, "Testifi-CA-mos que Dios es nuestro amoroso p-A-dre celesti-Al." Oh, goodness. I had to let Hermana Martinez take the lead in testifying because I couldn't get out a sentence normally. The same thing has happened to Hermana Carlson and Hermana Rane. Oh, goodness. :)
It was HOT this week. On thursday we had 116 degrees F with 100%. I woke up at 2 in the morning with beads of sweat dripping down my forhead. Yup. Sweaty beasts.
What a week. I had a wonderful interview with President Giuliani this past tuesday, and I felt like I was in the Temple. I came to an understanding this week that the interviews we have with our Priesthood leaders is like a type for Judgement day. We are preparing and getting used to talking to someone who represents the Savior, and giving an accounting of our worthiness and the work we've done, and pleading for the help we need. President Giuliani, through guidance of the holy spirit, knew exactly what I needed to hear and it seemed as though he had been listening in on my prayers for the last 3 months.
So many miracles this week. New investigators, success in companionship unity. I love my little Hondureña with all my heart. She is loud, she is funny, she is bold, she is solid in her testimony and her love of the Scriptures. And I will miss her SO MUCH! We received transfer calls today and I will be headed to Paraná tomorrow. It is quite far, about 3.5 hours by bus from Rosario. My new companion is Hermana Diorio from Buenos Aires, so I'll be truly living Argentine life with an Argentine companion. I cannot wait and at the same time my heart is heavy. My time in Cañada has been true joy and real grief, and here I feel I have come to know my Savior as I have pleaded to God in prayer and felt the succor that I needed. I have offered all that I had, and for that I am not shamed to leave, but it still brings tears to my eyes to leave that which I love. It's hard to be a nomad as a missionary, the time we are blessed to give our all, but have to change places so frequently. I give my thanks for all I have leanred here.
I hope all is going well in the Preach my Gospel Study at home. I have my next study to contribute if I may--Charity and Love.
Paragraph 1--How do we show our love to God? We are asked to Love HIm first. One way that I can think of demonstraing our love to God is through keeping the Sabbath day Holy. We give 1 day of the week to Him, and he in turn pours out blessings upon us for remembering him and keeping the covenant we made with him at baptism through partaking of the sacrament.
Paragraph 2--I love the line "Gods eternal love for all of his Children." This is Missionary work. We had a set of phrases we recited in the WATAC mission, part of which was "Love is the Motive." NOt only is it the Motive of Missionary work, but our motive to be obedient to our Parents, our motive to obey the commandments, our motive to provide for our famlies. It was the motive God Had fo us enough so that He gave His only Begotten son, Jesus Christ. Love is the Motive of Christ's atonement. Never forget that LOVE should be our Motive, and in the first place should always be our LOVE of God.
Paragraph 3--A few thoughts of mine concerning what we can learn from this Paragraph.
Firstly, Read Moroni 8:16. Perfect love casts out Fear. When we are filled with the love of God, we don't have to be afraid of Anything or Anyone, we know what our priority is (our love of GOD) and he in turn fills us with the love and confidence we need to facy ANY opposition. I've seen that work in my mission.
Next, I want to share something I wrote in my Journal this week.
"Some days I remember when I got my wisdom teeth out. That was some of the severest pain I've ever had, which I know to some people is pretty wimpy, but it was bad. I felt like a little girl, I went to get my mom at 2 in the morning and she gave me the medicine I needed. She turned on the light of my little red shade lamp and laid down next to me in my queen bed. And she rubbed my back, back and forth, quietly staying the early morning with me as I cried in my pain. I think of my mother and that vigil she kept with me so often. I think of Mom and how she so reminds me of the Savior, how all her life she has given, given, given from her heart. How she has loved me and my brothers with a love unfeigned and abounding, to the point that she cried when we left on the yellow school bus when classes were in, because she missed spending time with us. I think of Her, and I know that Christ lives because I see Him in Her! Alma 5 talks about Reflecting Christ's countenance because we will be like Him. That's my Mother. I want so much to be more like her!"
What do we learn from examples like Mom and Dad about Christlike Love? How can we be better at demonstrating that kind of love to others?
Lastly, I want to share that Christlike love CHANGES people. A few weeks ago I had the privilege to sing Christmas carols at a nursing home here in Cañada. Amongst the residents was an old woman who reminded me of Oscar the Grouch. She had nothing nice to say to anyone and complained about our singing during our miniature performance. At the end we mixed and mingled, and when I went to talk to her I expressed that It was a pleasure to have been here and spend time with her. She responded bitterly, "No fue un placer para mi!" in other words, It was NOT a pleasure for her! I asked her about her life and her children, and what she enjoyed and if she believed in Christ. She looked at me and responded with bitterness and hate emanating from her eyes. I gave her a smile as we left, and gave her a little kiss on the cheek as is the custom in Argentina to greet and say goodbye. When I pulled back I saw a change in her face, a light, a look of surprise. I don't know when the last time was that someone gave her a besito. But I realized in that moment that Christlike love, it changes people. It changes us. The Wrong shall fail, the right prevail with peace on earth, goodwill to men, and LOVE.
All for now, see you next week in PARANÁ!
Love with all my heart,