Sunday, 30 March 2014

March 24, 2014 E-mail

WOW!!! Your letters just keep getting better and better!!! I love it!!! Everything is going so great!! I can definitely see the blessings of Heavenly Father in your lives!!! The baptism of Nicole sounds wonderful!! It’s incredible the power of members!! I’m really starting to see your power as members!

Our Bishop is incredible here! He’s really felt the fire of missionary work! There is a school of soccer that uses our cancha (court?) to practice, and Bishop went and invited the head coach and his family to church. They showed up yesterday! They couldn’t stay because of another commitment but Bishop took them on a tour of the chapel and they said they would come next week!! He’s been talking to more of the parents too and inviting them! We are going to start teaching English classes for the parents during the practices and expose them a little more.

Also, last week was Stake Conference and a member from another ward gave us a referral of a friend who lives in our area. We called her, Carmen, and told her about the times of church because she wanted to come. She showed up, too!! Just in time for Gospel Principles and Sacrament Meeting (the order is reversed in this ward). She said that it was all so pretty (the people call everything pretty, I love it!) The theme of Sacrament meeting was seminary and afterwards Carmen asked what it was and said she wanted to bring her daughters! And she wants to come next week to the General Women’s Broadcast!! Also, Rosaura, 14, last week asked me for a Book of Mormon to give to her friend at school. Yesterday she told me that her friend and her whole family want to come to church!! Who’s got the power?? THE MEMBERS HAVE GOT THE POWER!!!! :)

Also, we have been visiting Eduardo, 18, who is essentially the adopted son of a Brother in the ward. He had been a little shy of commitments before so we dropped him, but last week we picked him back up and we gave him a baptismal date for the 6th of April. But then we thought that that was way too far away so we went and changed it to the 29th of March, and he said he wasn’t sure if he felt ready for that. Later that day the Brother called and told us that he had talked with Eduardo and he was confirming the baptism of Eduardo on the 29th of March!!! The best phone call I’ve ever received in the mission!!! But then yesterday there was an emergency in the family and a granddaughter is in the hospital so we might actually be scheduling it for the 6th but we’ll see what happens. Missionaries don’t baptize-- members do!!!! So, who can you invite?

Tim Puente is leaving already?! Wow time flies!! We are going to watch conference in our building because it’s bigger that the Stake Center! This chapel is gigantic!! I’ll take lots of pictures!

I hope you have the best week and remember the example of the Savior! He admonished us to do as He did, and He never gives a commandment that we cannot complete! Remember the last commandment He gave to His apostles: love one another! It is my testimony that is every person in the world embraced this simple commandment, we would have no problems! NO hunger, no poor, no wars, no disputations, nothing but peace and happiness!! IT´S TRUE!!!! Love comes back! So give it freely!!!

Love you!!!
Hermana Arntsen

Sunday, 23 March 2014

March 17, 2014 E-mail

My companion from Honduras has only had four months here so she hasn't adopted the accent yet, but we understand each other just fine. Here in capital there are people from all over with a whole bunch of different accents so you learn to listen better and understand a big variety. In reality the accents don’t vary very much so it’s not that difficult to understand others.

This week was really great! We were really privileged this weekend. We had stake conference, and it was in our building even though we are not the stake center, but our building is bigger than the stake center. Elder Barros came to visit us. It was such a great conference! He is a very funny man and a very good speaker- or rather very practiced in following the Spirit while speaking. He spoke a lot about conversion. He made an analogy that I just love. He had us turn off all the lights in the whole building so that it was completely dark. Then he spoke very specifically to a young women in the congregation and said "Sister, I have something very special—a gift—for you in my hand. It’s very good. Do you see it?" Then he had us turn on the lights and he had a pen in his hand. "It’s a good brand!" he said. The point was this: that we have to live in the light to see and obtain the gifts that Heavenly Father has for us. He also made the analogy of all the light in the building, if outside got darker and darker the light inside appears brighter and brighter and the darkness outside doesn’t affect us. He said that we are in a path that is brilliantly bright and that if we are firmly fixed or converted to this path, the darkness all around us will not affect us but make us shine brighter! He read the parable of the 10 virgins and replaced lamps with testimony and oil with conversion (I let you discover how that affects the story :D) Also, he talked about the importance of the children and raising them right and helping them walk in the light of Christ. Sunday there was a choir of primary kids and during his talk he had the children and their parents stand up and sing Teach Me to Walk in the Light—the kids the first verse, the adults the second, and both the third. It was so powerful! We were very blessed to be there. Also President Ayre (mission president) came and spoke in the sessions! It was awesome! He is so great!!

The other day we were walking to a less active’s house, and I felt the need to invite the man standing on the corner to church. So I started in and he interrupted me and said "I’m a member--¨" then lifting a can of beer "--inactive." We kept talking about his life and why he wasn’t going to church and he talked about the verg├╝enza (I don’t remember the word something like shame I think, no embarassment?) that he felt because the missionaries always seem to find him while he’s drinking even though he only does it about once a week. We read Alma 36:21, and he almost started to cry. He said, "How do you always know just what to say?" Then, he threw away his can of beer. He said he was going to go home and tell everyone about this, all his family and the Elders (he lives in provincial, somewhat far)! What a privilege it is to be here doing the work of the Lord! What a privilege it is to be on this earth at this time and have a knowledge of the TRUTH! What a responsibility we have to share the blessings with others! What a wonderful pure joy we receive for doing something so small yet great! HOW GREAT IS OUR CALLING!!!!!!!  "Yea, and again I say unto you, my (friends), that on the other hand, THERE CAN BE NOTHING SO EXQUISITE AND SWEET AS WAS MY JOY." -Alma 36:21

May you act upon what reading this makes you feel!
I love you!!!

Hermana Arntsen

Sunday, 16 March 2014

March 10, 2014 E-mail

Mom,

WWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Way to go on asking the missionaries about their investigators!!!  One is going to get baptized soon—that is so great.  And way to go for praying for them. They won't say it because they don't know but I'll say it for them: thank you!!! How do you feel?

I'M GREAT!!!!
Everyone tells me my Spanish is great. The accent is no problem because all my companions had it. Even Hermana Sanchez. I never got the package :(

This week was a little bit of a roller coaster ride. So, we had interviews with President, which is always a treat, and in the interview he told me that I would be training and that I needed to go to the offices the next day for a training of the trainers. While we were eating lunch in the office President came by and said that one of the new sisters wasn't going to come until the next transfer but he didn't know who wouldn't train. Then yesterday we got transfer calls but in the middle of the day from President, which is very unusual. Hermana Sanchez was assigned to be a Sister Training Leader in San Pedro clear at the other end of the mission. And he told me that the sister I am supposed to train is the one that isn't coming for another transfer. So, I'm not training. I was a little sad because I was so pumped to train. But, I am senior companion right now here with Hermana Duran from HONDURAS!!!!! But from Tegucigalpa, sorry Michael, not exactly San Pedro Sula. But, yeah she's great!!! Such a cute little thing!!! And, she told me all about the political crisis that happened when Michael was there and the world cup soccer games where they couldn't leave the house either.  I'm so excited for this transfer we are going to explode Caballito!!!!!

Thanks for reporting about the missionaries and their investigators!!! I love you so much!!!!

Hermana Arntsen


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

March 3, 2014 E-mail

Argentina is great as always! The dedication sounds wonderful! The youth will be remembering and recounting that day for generations to come!! I’m so excited to see the temple, too! It’ll be a blessing beyond imagination!!!!!!!

This week was a buzz of activity! Monday and Tuesday were normal, but Wednesday we had to go to the offices, because I had to do more tramites to be legal. So we traveled the hour and a half to San Fernando only to find the workers were on strike, and I couldn’t do my tramites. Crazy, huh! So I’ll have to go back another day. But, because we had to travel back we arrived late to Zone Training and it was still a really good meeting. Then Thursday our zone was selected with another to participate in a special training with two other zones from the other Buenos Aires missions. Our leaders didn’t know anything about the meeting, just that we all had to look our best and arrive on time! We thought that it might be Elder Ballard because he had been in the city to speak to the Young Single Adults, but it turned out to be Elder Evans of the Seventy—the Seventy in charge of all missionary work in all the world! It was an incredible meeting! I was blessed to be able to participate and have a little conversation with Elder Evans! It was amazing! Then Saturday we only had two hours to work in the morning because we had to travel to Munro (which is far) to help with an Open Chapel there. It’s kind of like a mini Visitor’s Center. They open up the chapel and the missionaries give tours. It starts in the Chapel with a cardboard scale of the Christus and the audio that they have in the Visitor’s Center and then we lead them through a few signs that essentially teach the first few missionary lessons. Then they go to the baptismal font where the Elders are all dressed in white and talk about baptism. And then they go to give us referrals and eat some snacks. It was so great! We were very lucky to participate!! And now it looks like we can do one right here in Caballio!! It’ll be so great!!

So how did it go with praying for the missionaries and their investigators?

I love you all!!!!
Hermana Arntsen

Photos of the Open Chapel
 



Monday, 3 March 2014

February 24, 2014 E-mail

Mommy,

It is so true all He asks is that we cross the street and talk with our neighbors! We don´t have to leave families, possessions, or as Elder Holland said “footprints of blood across a frozen prairie floor.”  We’ve just gotta’ open our mouths. In the field they NEVER stop talking about that: abrir la boca. In fact, Elder Ballard was just here and he had a conference with the mission Presidents. He has asked us to start counting our daily contacts so that we measure every day that we at least have ten for each missionary or 20 per companionship so that we feel more of the fire of opening our mouths. My former companion told me “We don’t open our mouths to have contacts or to find new investigators—yes, that is what happens when we open our mouths—but, primarily we open our mouths to keep the Spirit.” It is definitely so true! When there is an hour or two that we don’t really talk to anyone, I start to feel tired and worn out—even if it’s 11am, but when we are constantly opening our mouths we keep the happiness and energy that the Spirit brings with us even if the people with whom we talk don’t want to know anything.

I’m so excited to hear all about the temple celebration! AND DEDICATION!!! WOHOO!! I just saw a picture of the completed Tegucigalpa, Honduras temple, and it looks similar to Gilbert.

So this week! This week we worked so hard! We really saw miracles! And the blessings of opening our mouths! One miracle that was very humbling: we had scheduled a member for almost all the afternoon to accompany us from 3-6, and we were calling to remind her because she forgets a lot and she didn’t answer her phone or the house phone or text messages. It was a devastating moment. Just a couple days before we had passed by her house to talk about the Work of Salvation and involving members more in the work, and she was bawling talking about her parents and how they always had people over at the house to listen to the missionaries and how she wanted her house to be the same. So, we were waiting for her anyway (we had arranged 3 at the church), and I was pretty anxious for her to get there so we said a prayer pleading with Heavenly Father to help her remember to come. We left the chapel at 3:10 to go to our appointment without her. We were in the middle of our appointment when the phone rang—it was her wondering where we were. She had thought it was 3:30 not 3. So, we finished our appointment and went to meet her. WHAT A MIRACLE!!! The power of prayer is REAL!!!!!

We are focusing a ton in the Work of Salvation. If you don’t remember what it is watch the broadcast from June!!!!! It’s BOMB!!! My District Leader describes it like this: there are three columns 1) the missionaries working alone, 2) the members helping the missionaries, and 3) the missionaries helping the members. We all want to be in the third column! That is the Work of Salvation! When the missionaries only help the members teach and baptize their friends. That is the goal of the Lord and that is what we are working so hard for right now! By the time my children serve, we will be in column three!! Oh what a great day it will be when the members are missionaries!!!!!

Loving the work!! Couldn’t ask for a better life or more blessings or a better family!!

I love you all! I love the Lord! I love this work! IT IS ALL TRUE!! FOLLOW THE PROPHET!! HE KNOWS THE WAY!!!

Love,
Hermana Arntsen