Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Last e-mail home! 11/18/14

Mommy!
Well, last letter from Argentina!!! So, I’m finished! Wow! I can’t believe that it has been a year and half!!! This week was the best way to end the mission! Like I told you, President Ayre made this the week of miracles! He challenged everyone to break the records in their area. Well, as a zone we set some goals and we got ‘em!!! We set a new record in Parque Patricios, 30 of 50 lessons with a member present in a week!!!!!! We worked so hard, and the Lord truly blessed us!!! Then on Saturday, Elder Christofferson came! It was an incredible experience! I will tell you all about it later, but it was exactly what I needed!!!

And then on Sunday was our Despedida, the meeting that they do for the dying missionaries where they can share their testimonies with all the members and investigators and other missionaries. So, Hermana Duran and I sang Jesus the Very Thought of Thee. They said it was great! I was worried because I was losing my voice, but I know that the Lord blessed me in that moment to be able to sing! Then, I actually made everyone laugh twice while I was giving my testimony.

Then, on Monday I had my last interview with President, and boy was that spiritual! The mission is indescribable!! And then that same day the Relief Society threw me a going away party! That was really special! I will show you everything when I get home!!!

Now I am with Hermana Jensen, and we will be companions for a couple days more! I love this so much, and I just don’t want to leave! It is probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do. It’s just so true this work! You can’t participate and not know the Lord; that He exists and that He loves all of His children dearly because He gives you that love for them. This is the truth.  I know it.

Love!!!
Hermana Arntsen

Sunday, 16 November 2014

November 10, 2014 E-mail

Mommy!!
This week the weather was so beautiful!!!! But, now the clouds came again and it heated up. It is getting into summer after all! 

It has been a very jam-packed 18 months! I feel like they’ve flown, but at the same time it has been a long 18 months. It’s a strange combination of feelings.

So, this week was great, as always! I hit a new personal record for member present lessons taught in a week! And, this week President has challenged the entire mission to break the records of the area in lessons with a member present, investigators in sacrament meeting, and investigators with a baptismal date! VAMOS!!!!!!

As a mission this year we have the goal of 2000 baptisms, and we are well on our way to hitting it by the end of December!!!!!! 

This weekend an apostle is coming! I think it is Elder Christofferson!!

The Relief Society has announced that they are throwing me a farewell get together next Monday! I couldn’t ask for a better time to be a missionary!!!!! Or a better time to honorably finish a full time mission!!!!!!! Quite literally the BEST 18 MONTHS OF MY ENTIRE EXISTENCE!!!!!!!! Oh, and President Ayres did a flip on the trampoline! (www.bsasno.blogspot.com)
Do the work!!!!!

Love,

Hermana Arntsen

Hermana Arntsen and Hermana Zendejas

Zone Conference
Hermanas doing community service painting



Sunday, 9 November 2014

November 3, 2014 e-mail

Mommy!!!

I actually did know about Hermana Heyman (her illness in the mission field). In the Caballito ward I met one of their (the Heyman’s) missionaries and a fellow mission president of theirs, and they told me about it. The mission field is a place of incredible opposition so that there may be incredible miracles!

A few months ago we had a similar stake conference broadcast with a few stakes in Uruguay and Paraguay too. Elder Bednar spoke about repentance! How strong!

So, this week we had all the seasons in one week!!! It was incredibly hot and then really cold and then we had about three or four consecutive days of rain. All day! Even right now as I write. This morning it was so cold that you could see a little bit of snow in the rain (we are on the 11th floor)! It melted almost instantaneously, but it was a cool experience!

This weekend I had a wonderful experience with fasting! It quite literally brings us closer to Heavenly Father! It’s a little personal so I won’t share it, but know that my testimony has grown this week about the power of fasting and prayer. The two of them have to go together to get a solid result (Hel. 3:35) That’s why in Doctrine and Covenants it says that we need to establish a house of fasting and a house of prayer! That is how our homes can become more like the temple! I felt a piece of the Savior’s presence so subtlety powerful accompanying me yesterday that I almost felt I had a little part of the temple with me! I know that renewing our covenants every Sunday is an essential part of our purification as children of God, and that the simple act of taking the Sacrament brings us closer to Him!

I love you!!!

Hermana Arntsen

Sunday, 2 November 2014

October 27, 2014 E-mail

Mommy!
So, this week we finally got to teach the cousin of Hermana Nelly, a member in the ward. Her cousin, Alan, has been involved in the scouting program with the church for the last five years and has started going to church the past month. We finally got to sit down with him on Saturday and teach him a lesson. He really liked it and said that he had been missing a chat like that before! He seems really anxious to read and seems pretty golden. Only problem is that we can only see him on the weekends, but I think that he will progress well! 

Also, we found out that Anita and Domingo probably won't get their documents until the 20th of November. So, it looks like I won't be here for their baptism, but it has been a privilege teaching them! And, it’s not over yet!!!! The ward is really helping them feel welcome, and they have more and more friends every week!

The other picture is a man who was painting this building all morning. Keep in mind that you can't see the ground and I took that picture from an 11th floor window. I watched him start in the upper right corner of the building and work his way down the building and then come back up and move a little to the left and go down the column again and then come up and work his way left and down again and again and again all morning long..... And on top of that, I think he will have to go back and do a second coat because the first was a little thin. Wow! What a job! And, considering my incredible fear of heights, what courage!! I think that that is how life often is. We have such and incredible mountain of tasks in front of us that sometimes just looking at all we have to do, we give up right there without having started! But, if we have the courage to say “Yes! I can do it all!”, then we can work section by section, up and down, over a little more until we finish! We just have to pick a task and decide to do all that we can with that task, and then leave it and move on. That’s what this man would do. Wherever he was, he would paint all that he could reach and then lower himself, and then paint all he could reach, and then lower himself.... Pretty cool, huh?

Love you!

Hermana Arntsen
Anita and Domingo, Hermana Dickson & Hermana Arntsen

Man painting a wall

Sunday, 26 October 2014

October 13, 2014 & October 20, 2014

October 13, 2014

Mommy!
Yes I did love conference!! Today we had a Sister’s P-day in the mission home and we watched the General Women’s Broadcast! How inspiring!!!! Pres. Uchtdorf always knows how to remind us of our divine nature and potential!

I’m sure the blessings of missionary service extend into the eternities considering it is such a special calling that we were all pre-destined and prepared to fulfill it. Because really it is hard sometimes. It is quite literally the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but all of the difficulty and the struggle disappears in the lovely knowledge that I need to be here doing this now. These are eternal consequences. (Think about that all of you young priesthood holders with a missionary obligation. :D)

This week was incredible!!! We worked so hard, and we saw so many miracles. In the end the people took their decision with their gifted agency, but I feel so content as to my part that I know I was able to do what the Lord wanted from me this week. That is the most wonderful feeling in all the universe!

So, today at President's house, after watching the conference, we had a wonderful privilege. President Ayre is friends with the one....the only.....Linda K. Burton!!!! And we got to have a lovely phone call with her!! That was incredible!!! We had just heard her speak and then we got to speak with her!!! She is just “a love” as they say here! So sweet!! So that was cool!! So and the end of the transfer, there is the meeting to say good-bye to the missionaries and they give their testimonies...well Hermana Duran and Iwill be singing in the meeting “Jesus the Very Thought of Thee” and we will see how that goes!! :D

There is always so much more to learn, and so much more to do, and so much more to be!!! Remember the parable of the talents!!! We can never plateau! You have to be happy with the progress you’ve made yes!!! But never be satisfied!!!!!!! There are always more godly attributes to develop and talents to bless the world and others!!! Remember the Restored Gospel is the most IMPORTANT thing that anyone can learn and live in this life!!  So SHARE IT!!!!!!!!
Just imagine how important it is for Heavenly Father (Moses 7).
Love!!!!
Hermana Arntsen
P.S. DID YOU SEE MEET THE MORMONS??

October 20, 2014
Mommy! 
I am really excited to see you and be able to progress in the plan the Heavenly Father has for me, but I do not want to leave this place either!!!! TOO HARD!!!! AHH!!!!!

There is not much to say about this week! The Lord has been guiding us and leading us to more people who need the gospel and the inactive families who need to return! The bishop is starting to help us more and taking an interest in our investigators so it’s all GREAT!! The bishop of a ward is your best friend as a missionary!!! Sorry, I don’t have any rally crazy awesome stories to tell y’all this week. Every day is an amazing awesome story!!!!
Don’t forget to do your missionary work today! Be a light!!!!!

Love,
Hermana Arntsen

Sister's day at the mission home!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

September 29, 2014 & October 7, 2014 E-mails

September 29, 2014

Mommy!
We don't get the General Relief Society broadcast on time because of the time difference it's so late for us. So they rebroadcast it, but the missionaries won't see it. We’ll hold a special meeting of just sisters and get to watch it together. But for general conference, oh yeah, we’ll be there!!! With all our investigators!!!! So, this weekend Cristian, the brother of Zulma who got baptized, came to church. He had to leave right after sacrament meeting so we didn't get to talk to him much, but he has been reading the Book of Mormon! Hoping to see some great progress there!!

Also last night we went to the Despedida (the farewell for the dying missionaries), and that was fun! I got to see some old companions and some members from other areas. But the highlight of this past week was.....drum roll..............I GOT TO SEE CINTHIA!!!! We went shopping last p-day in a place called Once, which is right close to her house, and Cinthia came to spend some time with us! It was great to see her! I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since her baptism!! She’s doing great! Wants to go on a mission and study at BYU! haha! How wonderful!!!!

This Friday we are going to the temple!!!!!!! So excited for that!!!!! And then Conference! And then transfers!! That will start my last transfer!!!!! AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Partial scream of excitement and majorly scream of fear/sadness)

Love you!!!

Hermana Arntsen
P.S. Just because I’m almost done does not mean letters/emails are not welcome! They always are!!!!!!!
October 7, 2014

Mommy!
Oh, you bet I heard that talk! (Elder Bednar’s talk) When an apostle says it, you know it's true!! Rock on Elder Bednar!! It was very special to hear the talks in Spanish. I just think of all of these people here that I have come to love so dearly and the dedication they have to Christ and the church and how they always have to listen to translators and don’t get to hear the voice of the Prophet. It was such a special demonstration of love for them that they could finally hear in General Conference the original words of a general authority. I know they felt very special! (And what a great break for the translators. ;D)

It is incredible the missionary force right now!! But what is more incredible is the missionary force that is not wearing a name tag!!! They are the behind the scenes workers!!

So, incredible story for this week! We were leaving General Conference Sunday night at 7:30 pm (the sessions are live so they are at 1 pm and 5 pm). And, while waiting for the bus we started talking with a lady there at the stop. She didn't seem too interested in the fact that we were missionaries but, as the majority of people here, believes in God and all that jazz. She lived about two hours away and had to get home fast to help her kids get ready for school the next day. The Spirit told me to say a prayer with her so that the bus would get here. I said, “Silly Spirit, we are in the middle of the street and she doesn't want anything to do with us.” Then the Spirit would insist and we battled like this for a number of minutes, and I imagined hesitating too long and then wanting to pray when the bus comes around the corner and miss the opportunity. Then the Spirit reminded me of Ammon, whose story I had read that very morning. When the evil men scatter the flocks of the king and the servants are in despair, Ammon thinks “what a great opportunity to show my power, or rather, the power that is in me.” It totally applied to the situation, so I explained the Cristina, the lady, what I had in mind. She looked a little weirded out, but said ok. Quite literally the second that I said “amen” her son cried “Hey, here it comes!” The look on Cristina’s face was a joy that only the Sprit and faith brings. I know that in the moment she knew that God existed. Later on the bus my companion tried to give her a Book of Mormon and she wouldn't take it. But I am calm about it. I know that thanks to the Spirit and this mantle of this divine calling, she had her faith strengthened if for only a moment.

I believe in the power of prayer! I believe in the inspiration of the Spirit! I believe that every person who had been baptized by priesthood authority, received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and lives worthy of the gift had the right to divine inspiration to bring about the saving blessing of eternity!! That is the truth! Unsure? Seek your confirming revelation!

Love,

Hermana Arntsen
Megan with Hermana Nelly & son (ward members)

Sunday, 28 September 2014

September 8, 15, and 26, 2014

September 15, 2014
Mommy!
This weekend we had a multi-stake service project at a hospital in Caballtio!! I got to go back to my old area and see a whole bunch of people!!!!!! It was great!!! For the service project we were sanding down the exterior and repainting the banisters outside. Then on the inside we had to paint on this paint remover and the scrape off the paint, which I think is what we were doing in the picture. It was really fun. So, that was in the morning and then we got home, ate a little, showered, and we had to go help get ready for the Capilla Abierta (Open Chapel) which was from 5 until 8. It was a great success!!! A ton of investigators came, and we received a ton of referrals!!! It was so great to see the participation of the ward members! They MAKE EVERYTHING POSSIBLE IN MISSIONARY WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If I haven’t said that enough over the past 16 months I had to say it again ;D.

Anita and Domingo are progressing nicely. We actually found out that they don't have to wait to get that document to get married if they have their passports. So we should be expecting their marriage and baptism pretty soon. Also we found a great family because of the Capilla Abierta. Elder Garcia just grabbed them off the street! They are really great ,and we are excited to work with them! All in all this week was a great success! Like always in missionary work!!!!!!

So, here we are just about to enter into spring! Looks like we won’t even hit summer until after I’m out of here so that’s good, I’ll get spared the heat! Here it’s been raining a ton, too! I’m so glad for good rain boots and a good coat!! Yesterday we got drenched!! We quite literally were dripping wet. But that’s mission life!!! It’s the BEST!!!!!! Wouldn’t ever change it!!!!!!
Don’t forget to study Preach My Gospel!!!
Love you!!!!!
Hermana Arntsen

September 22, 2014
Mommy!!
This week was good. We found a really great family although we haven’t been able to talk as much with the kids yet but the dad, Miguel, is great! He read his assignment, and when he prayed with us he prayed to know “quickly” the truth about the Book of Mormon! He couldn’t come to church yesterday though, so I hope that he can hold out strong until next Sunday. He is really great. Then Domingo, from that nice senior couple, came yesterday even though Anita was sick and couldn’t come with him, he came alone. They are so great! I’m very grateful for the privilege it is to teach them! Hermana Dickson’s awesome! Growing every day!! She’ll be great!! No complaints just happiness in the work of the Lord!!!!

Oh! I almost forgot! I had a great epiphany this week!!! This shows why it’s so important to not just study the scriptures and doctrines but also to keep a study journal and to share your ideas. We were talking in companionship study about what we were going to teach a family, and I had an idea. So, normally we think that we have all these problems and challenges, so God gave us His Son and the Atonement to be able to handle them right? Well try thinking about it in reverse. As human beings naturally we need the Atonement to be able to return and live with God right? Right. So, Heavenly Father gives us trials and difficulties so that we use the Atonement for our salvation. Does that make sense? So, instead of the Atonement being the remedy for whatever problem, problems become the avenue to the Atonement. I hope that makes sense. All things point to Christ.  Pretty cool, huh? The Spirit knows great things!!! That’s why we have to diligently seek him and ask questions and study and discover!! Because HE WILL TELL US!!!!! (Moroni 10:5)
Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hermana Arntsen

September 26, 2014
(Excerpt from a quick note Megan wrote to us after hearing of the death of her great-grandmother this week.)

President called yesterday to let me know the Grandma Della passed away. Almost made it to 102! Wow! What an incredible life! I don’t know why Heavenly Father decided to give her such a wonderfully long and full life, but now I wonder if maybe I just needed the help to get on the mission and the inspiration. I know that she never made it to South America in all her travels, but I am doing it for her. Grandmother Della is an inspiration in her faith, charity, and spunky attitude! She had her share of life, and I’m sure she went happily.

I know what you are probably thinking: poor Megan; so much had to happen when she was away on her mission. But, please, don’t think that. It’s ok. (D&C 58:2-4 :D) Sure, it would have been nice to spend more time with Grandma Betty, Grandpa Alan, and Grandma Della before they passed on, and it would have been nice to be at Michael and Cassie’s wedding, but I will have all of the eternities to be with Grandma Betty, Grandpa Alan, and Grandma Della and even some earthly time to be with Michael and Cassie. All sacrifice is worth it in the service of the Lord. One thing I have learned is that sacrifice means to “make sacred.” All of these sacrifices are making this time that I have dedicated to the Lord even more SACRED. And I wouldn’t change that for all the time in the world!
I love you all so very much!!

Hermana Arntsen

Sunday, 14 September 2014

September 1 and September 8, 2014

September 1, 2014

Mommy!!!!
Yeah, I did'’t think I would train because I am close to the end and have already done it a few times, haha! So, I am in fact training an American (yanky *sh-ahn-ky* as they say down here). Hermana Mallory Dickson from Missouri! She’s really great! Speaks great Spanish and teaches like a pro already!! So, it’ll be a good couple of transfers.

Loving people is wonderful advice! Really I would add on top of that to learn how to be out going. ALL PROSPECTIVE MISSIONARIES: learn how to be out going now. Just learn how to talk to people and have a conversation—any conversation—and then once you’re more comfortable with that start relating the conversations to the Gospel. You can’t love anyone you don’t know so learn to get to know people.

We had a miracle this week but I won’t tell you until next week because the miracle will be better! haha!!

All of my friends on the mission are pretty much home already! I only have six companions still in the field (including my current companion) out of the fifteen that I’ve had! Anyway, the important thing is that I’m still LOVING WITH ALL MY HEART the mission!!!!!!! Every day my testimony grows stronger and stronger, and I know with more and more surety that this is the Lord´s work!!!! I know it. I know the God knows it. I cannot deny it. The prophet Joseph said something like this: After all that has been said, the most important duty is preaching the gospel. Period. End of story. Truth. Reality? Do we really feel that as the truth?
Love!!!!!!!!
Hermana Arntsen

September 8, 2014

MOMMY!!!!!
So...... MIRACLES!!!!!!! So last Sunday (31st) an investigator, Zulma, came up to me and said that she was going to get baptized soon. I was quite surprised! She had been coming to church for about a year and had received all the lessons a couple times, but couldn't get baptized because she’s only 12 and her grandma didn't want to sign the permission without the mom (who is in Bolivia). We weren't even teaching her!! So, we stopped by her house to help her with English homework and we explained everything. She said that her grandma had told her that now she would sign, so we gave her the paper and she signed!! Now, the first Saturday of every month the stake goes to the temple in a bus. Zulma wanted to be baptized and confirmed in time to go to the temple. I was explaining to her that baptism without confirmation-- I only got that far and then she finished the sentence “isn't worth anything,” she said. Well, confirmations are done on Sunday, and she wanted to go to the temple the Saturday before, so I told her that unless Bishop said she could have a confirmation at her baptism, we would have to do it normally and we could arrange for someone to take her to the temple later. She said “well, Tuesday I’m going to go talk to Bishop then.” And that’s just what she did. Tuesday we had a meeting so we were there anyway and while she was waiting to talk to Bishop, Elder Garcia did her interview, which she passed and then she went in to talk to Bishop. Then Bishop came out and called us six missionaries (four elders and two sisters) and the ward mission leader in as well. He had quite the serious face and I worried what he might say. He said “ok, Zulma we’re just going to answer a couple questions in front of the missionaries, don’t be scared, just be honest. Why do you want to be baptized?”
“Because I want to be a member of the Church,” she replied.
“And why do you want to be a member of the church?”
“Because I see a lot of people after they get baptized that they are really happy.”
“Good. And why do you want to go to the temple?”
“Because they say it’s wonderful inside.”
“Elders and Sisters, is there any way that we can arrange a baptismal service and confirmation Friday so that Zulma can go to the temple?”
Shock and awe! YES!! OF  COURSE!!!!! So, Friday evening Zulma Patricia Gomez Flores was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! What a miracle!!!

And then another one!! Yesterday the elders in the ward had a baptism of a youth who had started playing soccer with everyone about four months ago and the MEMBERS encouraged him to come to church. The elders started teaching him, and then he wanted to get baptized. So we get to this baptism and we are waiting for everyone to show up. And then in walks a brother....and I look at him, and I realize I know him from Congresso. So, I go and say hi! And it was great to see him, and then he says yeah, so Sebastian is going to get baptized! And I was like yeah, you know Sebastian cool! And then in comes this brother’s brother who was the mission leader in Congresso and then their parents and the Jessica, who they rented from and we taught but didn’t get baptized. AH!! OVERWHELMING JOY!! It was great to see them all! And they were all like yeah, so Sebastian is getting baptized! And I was still confused as to how they know him and why they were here. Turns out, Sebastian is Jessica’s son, and I had met him in Congresso when we went to eat Christmas diner at their house and I didn’t even remember!! I knew he looked familiar but I thought because I had just seen him around here but no! I had met him almost a year before!! WOW!!! Crazy!!!!

Other news: do you remember all of those Capillas Abiertas (Open Chapel) that I've participated in? Well guess what?! Finally they are doing one in the ward where I serve!!! This Saturday we will have a Capilla Abierta! I’ll send pictures!!
LOVING MISSIONARY LIFE!!!!! DON’T WANT IT TO END!!!!! ETTE!!!!!!! I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES!!!!!!!!!!!

Love!!!
Hermana Arntsen


Oh, so I forgot! After the baptism we were going to go home but the Spirit inspired me to check for the keys, and I didn’t have them because I had given them to the Elder to open the font who had given them to a sister who had left with our keys!!! AH!!!! So, we were there a really long time trying to call every phone number, and we sent the Ward Mission Leader to go to the sister's house and ring her door bell, but we couldn't find her. So, we called the Zone Leaders who are supposed to have an extra copy, but they recently changed our locks so even though they showed up a 10 pm in a taxi with all the spares we didn't find our key. So, they took us to the Chacabuco sister’s apartment, and we slept on the floor in borrowed gym shorts. How’s that for an adventure?! 

Sunday, 31 August 2014

August 26, 2014 E-mail

Mommy!!
SO.......big NEWS......I'M TRAINING AGAIN!!!!! So, this is trainee number four! (1.Hermana Segovia, 2. Hermana Hernandez, and 3. Hermana Fuzaro). And, training is two transfers so it looks like I’m going to “die” training in Parque Patricios. Of the five sisters that are coming only one is Latina so odds are I’m training an American. It’ll be great!!! Hermana Jensen says it’s the best way to “die.” This was the biggest curve ball of my life! I was definitely not expecting it. That is something that I am learning--the Lord’s plan is sometimes very different from what we have in mind (“my thoughts are not your thoughts...”), but His plan is always but ALWAYS better.

The way to pure happiness is made sure with two things only: 1) obedience, and 2) accepting the will of the Lord. If we are always doing these two things, we will be happy. And the trials and tribulations we face, we will be able to trample under our feet!! Why? Because Heavenly Father is obligated to bless us when we obey. This I know from my own experience independent of any other person. This is the Church of Jesus Christ, the Savior Himself, the very Lord who created the earth created this church and it is His. Remember: every one came to earth to find the Church!!!! HELP THEM DO IT!!!!

Love you!!!!
Hermana Arntsen
Several sister missionaries and Brother Lines at the mission office.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

August 18, 2014 E-mail

Mommy!

So this week was more or less good. It was good until about Friday night when I got sick. I woke up in the middle of the night with a fever and lower back pain. So all day Saturday I had a fever and back pain (but I was taking meds and they weren’t doing anything for the pain) then Sunday we couldn’t go to church because I was still sick but a MOUNTAIN OF INVESTIGATORS WENT to church!!!!!! Anita and Domingo stayed all three hours this time, and they made the next appointment themselves! Unfortunately, it looks like we won’t be able to make it because I am still sick. Hermana Pucheta had an antibiotic that she gave me. I’m getting better, but little by little. It’s just a little hard to sleep. The Pucheta Family is taking very good care of me. So, don’t worry. Besides they gave me a blessing and said that I would get better, so it will all be ok.

So, that was pretty much my week. Not too much to say. Oh, and I don’t know if I told you that our phone, but the GOOD NEWS is that THEY HAVE MORE PHONES NOW!!!!! Woohoo!!! So, Friday we are going to go get out new phone so that we can talk to everyone!!!

Anyway, I love you!!! I appreciate your prayers and how you take on my challenges always!!! Keep it up!!!

Love,

Hermana Arntsen

Sunday, 17 August 2014

August 11, 2014 E-mail

Mommy,
Crazy story: about a month ago there was an investigator, Ariel, who was going to be baptized. He had his interview and everything and is really great. But he disappeared before his baptism and his mom, who doesn’t like us, said he went to another city to help his uncle or something. Well we were walking down the street one day and POOF! He appeared! He was running to catch a bus. My companion shouted to him but he didn’t hear. So guess what we did! We ran after him and got on the bus, too! A bus that we had never taken and didn’t know where it went, just to talk to Ariel! Well, that was Saturday and he had to work on Sunday :( but we have an appointment today, so we’ll see how it goes!!

So, last Monday we celebrated to birthday of Elder Estrada with the bishop and his family at the church. The bishop’s wife cooked so well!!! And we played some soccer (I scored three goals!) and basketball. Then there was a cake, but it was a fondant cake so we couldn’t smash the elder’s head in it (which is tradition) so the sister made some frosting aside and we threw it in his face which turned into a war! haha!

Any way I have a couple challenges for everyone this week in Preach My Gospel!
1) Read in chapter five, the section that says the Book of Mormon Testifies of Christ. (It’s short so don’t worry) and read a couple scriptures form the Scripture Study box below (PMG is a workbook not a textbook!) Then share what you learned with a friend who doesn’t know what the Book of Mormon is (via FB or in person but however you feel you should!)

    2) In your next FHE use chapter three (the missionary lessons) to teach the lesson. They are really great at explaining principles simply, and there are boxes to help you study further (workbook :D)

Those are my challenges for this week! I promise that as you do them with faith and real intent you will feel more of the Spirit in your life and the unmeasurable joy that comes from sharing the Gospel! Why? Because THIS IS THE TRUTH!!!! THIS IS REAL!!! Every single living person came to this earth to FIND the GOSPEL! And we have it so, we’ve got to SHOW IT!!!

Love you!!!!

Hermana Arntsen
Megan made brownies for her district!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

August 4, 2014 E-mail

Mommy!

This week was good! We found some new people to teach and our leaders are really inspiring us to work even more and give even more to the Lord!! They are the best! Actually one of my Zone Leaders was my District Leader in Caballito and the other one was also in the Zone in Caballito, and quite a few other elders in the zone were in my other zones and one was my District Leader, too. It’s like a great big reunion! I really like this ward!! It is so great!

Two of those people we found are Anita and Domingo. They are from Peru. They are an older couple going through some rough times. Another investigator who works next door told us about them. We went and visited them for the first time on Thursday, and we got all the family around because their cousins were there for a birthday celebration. Turns out that one of their cousin’s daughters used to live here and actually got baptized here, but went inactive and now lives in a different city about two hours away. So, we got to help here remember the importance of the church, too! Then we visited them again on Saturday and they hadn’t read and said that they couldn’t come to church because they had to go watch their grandkids so their son could go work. With all the help of the Spirit we explained about the Sabbath day and shared 2 Nephi 31:10. Upon reading it, Domingo looked us in the eyes and said “Now I understand the importance of this day. I promise to go tomorrow. And when I promise something I deliver. I will wait for you to come get us until 9:15, and if you don’t show up by then I will start walking myself.” The incredible part is that he doesn’t walk very well. He is diabetic and because of an accident they had to amputate part of his foot, so he walks with crutches or is in a wheel chair! Wel,l we did show up before 9:15 with the counselor in the Bishopric, who has a car, to give them a lift. When Sacrament meeting was over they said “This happens every Sunday?”  Yes. “We are going to come next Sunday then.”

Apart from the Spirit, I have the strong impression that the loving hearts of the members are what helped them feel so comfortable! The brother who drove them was chatting with them and showed them where to sit and introduced them to other people. Bishop came over and personally introduced himself and chatted a little and a mountain of other members came and said “Hi, welcome to the ward.” THE MEMBERS ARE ESSENTAIL IN THE CONVERSION OF INVESTIGATORS!!!! Can”t say it enough! And I don’t think I will ever stop saying it!! YOU GOT THE POWER!!! (You have to imagine the song there ;D)

Today we are going to celebrate Elder Estrada”s birthday with the bishop and his wife. We are going to play basketball and soccer and Hermana Bishop is going to cook a feast!!! I’m way excited! Because she is Peruvian, and they cook the BEST FOOD EVER!!!!!

Love you!!
Hermana Arntsen

Megan and Hermana Pardo plus 2 more sisters!

Megan with Brother and Sister Lines, mission secretaries.

The Villa--so glad they only let the Elders go here!!

Megan and Hermana Fuzaro

Sunday, 27 July 2014

July 21, 2014 E-mail

Mommy!!
Again I forgot the camera thing a majig!! Sorry!! We left the house quickly to get to the other chapel because we played volleyball and soccer as a zone! Then we ate Chilean hot dogs!!

So this week was good. The sister who was here before was sick for a week and they couldn’t work, so we have a lot of finding to do. But thanks to a few referrals from the members we are finding more people to teach and we just found out that our area is bigger than we thought! Woohoo!! More area means more people, and more people means more baptisms!!!!!! More baptisms means a bigger celestial kingdom!!!!!! So no complaints! Jean Carlos was going to get baptized this Saturday, but he couldn’t come to church yesterday. His mother, a less active member, has two hernias and two ruptured discs in her back so when the pain is too much, which it almost always is, she has to stay home and they can’t leave her alone. We will see what happens this week. There are some members here that are so great! They always help us and they do such a great job!

Attention!! Attention all reading this letter and/or blog!!! If you have not gone on a visit with the missionaries DO IT!!!! It is one of the most spiritual experiences that you can have!!!!! Just find your local Elders and/or Sister and say ¨Hey, when can I accompany you?¨ And, if they are good missionaries, they will be so excited and say ¨Whenever you want! When are you free? We have an appointment this day and this time. Could you come?¨ And maybe you will be there for thirty minutes to an hour and you will feel the Spirit so strongly and you will give your testimony and you will help someone in their eternal progress! And then you will leave feeling so good inside and Heavenly Father will bless you in every other aspect of your life! And you will want to feel that special spirit again because it’s a different feeling in missionary work and you will become addicted to that spirit that you can’t get anywhere else and then you will have to do your own missionary work to keep it with you because you can’t always be with the missionaries and then pretty soon you will be inviting the missionaries to your house because some friends are coming over to hear them and that feeling will triple in intensity and you will experience “more joy than you have ever experienced!” (The First Presidency, letter to the reader, Preach My Gospel)!!!!!!!!!!

That is the truth! That is my testimony. There is more joy in watching someone that you have grown to love accept your most precious treasure than in any other pursuit in the Gospel! Do it! And Do. Not. Wait. There is no time to lose!
Love you all!!!!! (Especially you MOMMY!!!!)

Hermana Arntsen

Sunday, 20 July 2014

July 15, 2014 E-mail

Mommy,
Yeah so we lost the World Cup.... but that´s ok. I prayed that whatever the outcome it would help soften people’s hearts to the Gospel, so I guess they just needed a little humbling. Haha! But, yes we did have to stay in the house from 4:00 pm until we went to bed. Basically, we just went to church, lunch and then home.

Right now it is very rainy and cold! It is not so cold when it rains because the clouds trap in the heat. But when it’s not cloudy, it is cold!!! Well, not so cold in numbers--it doesn’t go below 0 (32F), but with the humidity it feels colder and with the wind too.

So, we had transfers. Well, first I have to update you with Hermana Fuzaro. Her foot was not getting better. Actually, on the contrary she felt that it was getting worse. So we talked to President. He talked to the mission doctor and explained the situation how the other doc said that after a week of complete rest she could walk a little and it would be fine and that it wasn’t getting better. Doctor Smith (from the mission) said of course it’s not getting better--she needs SIX weeks of complete rest and then physical therapy. So.  this morning at 9am Hermana Fuzaro got on a plane and went on over to Brazil (home). JUST FOR SIX WEEKS THOUGH! Then she will come back and continue working as normal!!! Or, at least that is the plan. On top of that, this transfer there are more sisters heading home than we are going to receive, and President had to close two areas. Well, Villa Adelina was one of those. So, now I am back in Capital! A ward called Parque Patricios. It is in the neighboring zone to Caballito where I was for so long! It has only been a few hours, but I like being back in the city! I didn’t realize how much I missed it until now! My new companion just finished her training. She is Hermana Pardo from Concepcion, Chile. (You know, ever since I arrived here I have only had one North American companions, Hermana Dunn. The rest are Latin Americans! :D) Yep, so here I am! I would send you a whole bunch of pictures but my little thing to put the card in the computer is packed away I don’t know where. Next week!

And, on the way here we passed by a la villa 31 which is this really big villa right by the highway. We were in a car and there was no risk of being robbed and so I took some pictures so that you can all see what a villa looks like. I have only been in one once and the President restricted the Hermanas from going in anymore because of the danger. But the villas are where the Elders always have a ton of success because the people are really humble. Oh, if you don’t know a villa is a piece of land where the gov´t is already paying electricity and water and the people just squat basically. But they make huge mini cities out of them. They live in tiny little rooms that they build themselves, and they are all right there on top of one another and next to each other so that there aren’t even streets with room for cars or anything. They don’t even call them streets, just hallways. You will see next week.

So, that is the big news! Back in the city! And it might actually be my last area, but I’m not sure. We will see!!

I love you!!! Have the best week!

Hermana Arntsen

Sunday, 13 July 2014

July 7, 2014 E-mail

So, this week was actually surprisingly great!!!!!! OnTuesday we had a mission devotional and an “Argentine Cultural Activity,” or in other words we got to watch the AGENTINA WORLD CUP GAME!!!!!!! Vs. Switzerland. We won, of course! We got together as a mission in the school of the kids of President Ayre because they are on vacation and got to watch the game. They grilled over 700 hamburgers!! Monday in the evening President sent us to his house to help his wife cut up all the onions and tomatoes because we couldn´t work anyway. Then Wednesday through Friday we went to the office after lunch! They put us to work!

I shredded papers (thanks for helping me gain experience before the mission, haha!), and made the packets for the new missionaries that come in, and most importantly worked on the mission history. The mission has to keep a record of the things that happen month to month and at the end of the year they send it in to HQ. Well they still hadn’t finished last year’s history, so I finished it up and then updated this year’s. It made me feel like a journalist! But I did in Spanish—yikes! Fortunately, there is an Elder in the office from Mexico, so he proofread it for me! Elder and Sister Lines, the senior office couple, were SO appreciative of the help. They are from Safford, Gila Valley, AZ!! Elder Lines has a cattle ranch! And Sister Lines is a choir pianist at the university! So, we get along real well. Elder Lines actually reminds me a lot of Dad. Then the fourth was also Elder Lines’ birthday, so Sister Lines brought in brownies and Hermana Fuzaro made brigadero which is a kind of Brazilian caramel. Really yummy!! She made it into balls and rolled it in coconut! You would have loved it! I’ll have to make it for you or you could try it. Hna Fuzaro says she loves it best with cashews inside.

Then Saturday there was an Open Chapel in Villa Ballester which is right next door so we went to help with that and it was great! A few people accepted baptismal dates!!! Then last night was the Despedida of the missionaries that are finishing this transfer. They did it yesterday because next Sunday (when it would normally be) there is a game and it’ll be dangerous. We brought Hermana Fatima Garcia, the counselor in the RS, and her husband Favio, non-member and Jewish. He really liked it and said that he would come to mine in November!! That seed is growing!!!

This week President said we can also watch the game on Wednesday!! With a member, and if we take the two hours out of our p-day today but we still can’t really work so it doesn’t affect us much. This week we can get out and work but only a little bit, and we might have to go to another doctor and get a second opinion because Hna Fuzaro says it’s been hurting her more than ever and doesn’t feel like it’s getting better. :( Pray for her!!

I love you so much!!!!!!!!

Keep up your missionary efforts! Don’t you forget your responsibility! We knew these people before coming to earth, and we promised them that we would find them and help them receive the Gospel! This is no trivial work!! This IS ETERNAL LIFE!!!!!!
Love!!
Hermana Arntsen

Sunday, 6 July 2014

June 30, 2014 E-mail

Mommy!
So this week was interesting. We didn’t get to work too much because Hermana Fuzaro has a problem with her foot. We couldn’t figure out what was wrong, it was just hurting a ton. Funny story actually so we had called Hermana Ayre (mission president’s wife) because she is the nurse now that Hna Dunn went home, and she gave us the number of a 'podologo' which we thought was a podiatrist. So we made an appointment for next week when they had available. Then on Sunday, a member told us that a 'podologo' is for the nails of the feet like infections, ingrown toenails, things like that. So we talked to the counselor in the bishopric who is a doctor and he confirmed what the sister had told us. He said we needed to see a trauma doctor. The president of the RS offered to take us to the hospital that day so that it didn’t get worse. So we talked to Sister Ayre, and she said go for it! So we spent all afternoon yesterday in the hospital. But the wonderful thing about Argentina is that all public healthcare is free! (And education too even college) So they took an x-ray and it turns out she has a stress fracture in her ankle. So we have to rent a boot and she can’t work for a week, and then for two weeks after she has to take it easy but work a little. So this week it looks like President is going to send us to the office a couple days to do some work there. So it will be another fun week and a little boring because we won’t get to work so much but it’s better to give up this little time so that Hermana Fuzaro can have the other 15 months without problems in her mission! She has a great attitude and I’m really lucky to be her companion!!!

So we are teaching this one family from Paraguay. Selva is the mom, she is a member and so great! She knows the truth and that is the truth for her! And her son, Nicolas, is also a member and he just recently returning to activity and his girlfriend, Mabel, who isn’t a member. She is really sweet and a little shy, but she came to church on Sunday!! Nicolas always makes us tortilla Praguaya when we go over! It is so yummy! It is basically like a thick pancake that you fry in oil and then the Paraguayos eat it with bread so it’s a lot of calories, haha! But Soooo yummy!!! Also, we are teaching Zaira, the mother of two members, Franco and Noelia who is on a mission in Chile right now. Zaira is really great! She is so motherly to us, and Noelia is doing her part from her mission in every letter leaving her mother scriptures to read. Our area isn’t actually in the country, so to speak. It’s just like Chandler, the suburbs—just a lot of houses and places to shop. It’s actually neighboring the ward to where President lives, so that’s cool. :D
Love you tons!!!!!
Hermana Arntsen

Sunday, 29 June 2014

June 23, 2014 E-mail

Mommy!!
So, this week was incredible!!! We had Zone Conference, and then two days later Sister’s Conference. Zone Conference was great! We learned all about the nature of this work and the importance of faith and really believing that Heavenly Father can and WILL do anything and everything to save His children, and all we have to do is work and work and work and believe and believe and believe some more! More often than not the work we actually do has nothing to do with the miracles that Heavenly Father makes happen, but He makes them happen because He sees that we believe that they can happen and we are working so that they do. If that makes any sense!

We have been practicing English this week with Hermana Fuzaro, because she wants to go to BYU after the mission. So I’ve been all over the place with languages and words and grammar, and I just have it all mixed up now—haha! Then we had the Sister’s Meeting, and it was without doubt the most spiritual and inspired meeting that I have ever been in in my entire life!! And I really mean that! I can’t think of another meeting that affected me so much! All the leaders follow divine inspiration, and we were drowning in the Spirit! Our time is short and our purpose is clear! Help as many of God’s children as possible start their eternal journal to exaltation by being baptized!! Where Michael and Cassie are right now is where we want everyone to be! That is the vision that Heavenly Father has for all of His children! And that after they continue faithful and will stand in your place, Mom, on Thursday and watch their generations follow in their footsteps! 

In short GREAT WEEK!!!! Great week for the Arntsen family in all the world!!! Great week for family of God in all the world!!!!!!

Love,
Hermana “cardboard-head” Arntsen :D

(We took a cardboard cutout of Megan to the wedding. One of Caitlin's friends thought Megan was actually there!)

Sunday, 22 June 2014

June 16, 2014 E-mail

Mommy,
Guess what!! Last Monday we had to go to the offices to get some supplies, and I looked in the mail for the wedding announcement, but it wasn’t there. Then a couple days later we had to go for an interview and up comes Hermana Lines from the offices and says hey!! You have mail!!! There was a postcard from the beach--how pretty, a DearElder from Liz Carroll, another postcard from a friend from BYU and.....drum roll please......MICHAEL’S WEDDING ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!!!!!!!! WOOHOO!!! It´s so CUTE!! I’m so excited about the wedding!!

This week was a little tiring because my beloved companion got the flu and basically we stayed inside all week. :( But the good news is that she is all better now and we are going to get to work this week!!!!!!!!!!! So this week also started the Mundial or World Cup! Last night Argentina played. There is no one in the street. Literally. No one. And when they score a goal everyone is shouting and they throw bombs out their windows. Well, they are essentially like fireworks but without the pretty lights, just the noise. So, it sounds like WWII outside the house. It was a little freaky last night when we did go out, but Hermana Fuzaro says you just have to get used to it. If we feel that we are in danger, we go back to the house ,of course, and inform our leaders but other than that we can work. The hard part is finding anyone to talk to during the game because EVERYONE is watching it, and they get mad if you interrupt. Especially if Argentina is playing! They are wonderfully patriotic here. I like it.

So, that was my slightly uneventful week. But, a happy one in the end. Always happy in the service of the Lord! The bright side is always better and the good cause always wins!

Have the BESTEST week ever!!
 
Love,
Hermana Arntsen

Sunday, 15 June 2014

June 9, 2014 E-mail

Mommy!

Yep bikes again! I actually like this bike better than the last one, and it´s not nearly as high grade! You have to pedal backwards to brake!! I really like biking!

The suburbs (Provincia they call it) are really nice and tranquil. We actually have a little house that we live in. They call it a house, but it´s closer to a studio apartment. It is a house in that it has its own little plot next to some other ones and isn´t in another building. It rained twice this week but what tender mercy only in the morning, and it stopped when we went out to work! Heavenly Father knows what He´s doing! Yeah my comp is AMAZING! Her English is almost flawless, and we are working on her Castellano and she´s teaching me a little of Portuguese! Yes, I’m finishing her training. She has two weeks left of training, because she arrived in between transfers. But I forget that she only has three months in the field because she´s so great!

How is the ward doing with missionary work? Do the investigators come to church?

I’m learning a lot about the people from Paraguay. There are a ton of people from Bolivia and Peru in the city, but here we are a mountain away from Paraguay. Another culture to know! And they speak two languages: Spanish and Guarani. Pretty cool, huh! Oh, and I forgot to tell you before in Caballito there was a couple in the ward that were mission presidents in Paraguay, and they met President  Heyman and his wife a few times.  How cool is that?!

FRIENDS AROUND THE WORLD!!!! Let´s make some more and share the Gospel!!!!

Love,
Herman Arntsen