Monday, June 27, 2016

Mercedes Week 7! The Miracles Kept Rolling In!!!

Hola Amigos!
First off, thank you all for the birthday wishes whether they were sent in an email or just remembered in your heart I thank you! 

Now for the first week of transfer two in Mercedes! Friends and family, miracles are real and the Lord knows everyone's perfect moment! When I was waiting for Hermana Salino to arrive on Tuesday I still had to finish up a few of the plans for the evening and I wasn't exactly sure where to go or who to visit and I was in Lujan so I didn't have the area book with me to help me. However, the thought came to my mind that we should visit Ezequiel and Belén (the less active member and his wife who came to the conference). I was going to put it off because Belén had never showed interest and had even said she wasn't all that interested, but we could pass by to visit Ezequiel if he was home. I thought "nah, she doesn't want anything and Ezequiel has said that he wants to come back and baptize his family, but then never does anything on his part to make it happen!" But then I thought "Well, maybe it's from the Lord. They did after all come to the conference. And it never hurts to try one more time to find the Lord's sheep." 

When we passed by that night there was something different in Belén. She looked grateful to see us and her countenance was happier. She told us that Ezequiel wasn't home, but let us in (for the first time since I've been here). After getting to know her a bit more and gain her confidence, we said a prayer and Hna Salino pulled out the pamphlet of the Restoration and Belén looked at us like maybe we were a bit crazy and told us that just that morning she had been looking through some boxes for something and had found a pamphlet of the restoration and sat down to read it with Ezequiel. After telling the First Vision, we felt the Spirit super strong and so we invited her to be baptized and guess what! She accepted!!! She's going to be baptized on the 16th of July and we're working with Ezequiel as well so that he can receive the Priesthood and baptize them! Oh yeah, the second time we went, the whole family was there and María Luz, the 12 year old daughter, also accepted to be baptized on the 16th! This family is basically the greatest! 

Now really quickly a couple of other miracles: we had 20 lessons this week! 20! The most we ever had in the last transfer was 15! On Friday the elders gave Santos a blessing to help strengthen him so that he can complete his goals and feel ready for baptism and then no Saturday to Sunday the 5 of us fasted and when we called Santos to start the fast on Saturday we asked who he wanted to say the prayer and he said "I'm going to say it". Then we challenged him to arrive at 9 o'clock on Sunday and he did! The Lord is really working miracles here in Mercedes C! I love this work! I love the Lord! I love my companion! I love everything right now! I love you all!!! 

The gospel's true, God loves you!
-Hermana Cheever

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mercedes week 6! Transfers!!!

Hola amigos!
Sorry I haven't been that great at writing a general email this transfer, but here's the highlights from this week!

  • This week we finished teaching Santos everything in the first 4 lessons and today he's going to have his baptismal interview! 
  • Elisabet and Milagros continue to be wonderful. A bit of an obstacle we're going to have to overcome with Elisabet is that she smokes and what doesn't help is that she lives in the same house as her sister and her mom who also smoke. She is willing to try to stop and accepted our offer to help her create a plan to quit so that's good! 
  • Miriam is also progressing well, well as well as she can without coming to church. She is policia so her schedule complicates coming to church on Sundays. However, the other day we went and she had been reading in the back of the pamphlet about our worship services and she was really interested and wants to be able to come! 
  • On Friday we were finally able to contact Cristian and Maria again, we haven't seen them in like 2 weeks, and they are also great. We don't really know much with them at this point, but I think that they'll be able to progress well it's just that their schedules are a little difficult to work with because Cristian gets home from his job at about 4 and Maria leaves for hers at 4. However, they are willing to work with us and Maria has a job that's more flexible and if she advises her work she can come a half hour/hour late and we can teach them together!

On Sunday for the conference we had a miracle! None of our investigators that we've been working more with were going to be able to come because it was Father's Day and the menos activos didn't really give us any hope either. So on Sunday we showed up without an investigator or menos activo and we felt a little bad because that's supposed to be one of the focuses right now, to bring people to church. However, we sat with a few of the members from the branch and a little bit before the meeting started Elder Sales asked us who the family sitting in front of them was. We looked and it was a less active,Ezequiel, and his non-member wife, Belen! The husband is the brother of another member of the ward and I suppose that he made sure they came! We hadn't even really thought about them because we've taught them a couple of times but lately every time we pass by they're not home or are super busy and can't attend us and when we call they don't answer. However, they came! And the brother of Ezequiel said that he (Ezequiel) wants to baptize his wife and daughter!

Another miracle we saw this week was on Friday none of the appointments we had fell through, and we had 4!

Oooh! Exciting news! Yesterday Lujan became a stake! And Mercedes became a ward!!! Woooooooh!

Now for the exciting news! TRANSFERS!!!! I will be staying in Mercedes C! Aaaaaaaaand my new companion is Hermana Salino from Brasil! I'm super excited to work with her! I've heard so much good about her and I think I might know who it is and if she's who I think she is, this transfer's going to be a blast! Also, the 4 Elders in Mercedes stay the same which is super great because our district has great unity!

The gospel's true and God loves you!
-Hermana Cheever

Monday, June 13, 2016

Mercedes Week 5!

Hola amigos!

I have very little time this week so here's a little bit about the exciting things!
Saturday we had an activity in the chapel were we watched Meet the Mormons. At the end it finally came through, but it was a little interesting getting it to happen. First off we were going to watch it with the projector - the projector didn't work, but we had the back up plan in mind already of using the TV and DVD player. The DVD player didn't recognize the disc. FInally, Presidente Lettieri ended up looking it up on youtube and we watched it in the security room. So I suppose it might be a good thing that almost no one came. But someone that did come was one of our menos activos, Roberto! We had planned to go visit him in the late afternoon before the activity, but as we were on our way to visit the other people in our plans, we saw him standing outside his house and decided to invite him to the activity then, and if we had time, return before the activity to visit them. Then, as we were figuring out the situation with the movie, Roberto walked in! Ans he came to church the next day! And Santos came to church on Sunday and he came in time for Principios! He usually comes during sacrament meeting and has never arrived on time for the sacrament, so we challenged him to arrive at 10 this week and when we walked out into the hallway to call him in the time between Relief Society and Sunday School, he was standing in the doorway talking to some of the members and the elders and he brought his son, Domingo!

The gospel's true and God loves you!
-Hermana Cheever

Monday, June 6, 2016

Mercedes Week 2! and 3! and 4!

Hola Amigos!

Week 2:
Well, the hermanas of Mercedes C had a very interesting week this week. Monday and Tuesday were pretty normal. There were a couple of lessons, a couple rejections, a couple of doors knocked, a couple of really poorly planned appointments in complete opposite sides of the map, a bit of travelling for the Zone meeting in Lujan, and yeah just normal missionary things.

Wednesday was where the interesting things started. After our lunch we started a special fast for Cristian and Mariana and Santos, some of our investigators, and the fast was great. The day, let's just say the Lord tested our faith and diligence that day. To start off, we lost the phone/maybe someone robbed us of it somehow when we were in an appointment. When we entered one house for a teaching appointment we had it, but at the next house when Cristian (other Cristian) didn't answer the door we went to call him and we didn't have a cell phone. So that was fun for the next couple of days after that, well, really a week, because the zone leaders brought a phone from the offices when they went that Friday and had to come to Mercedes for a baptismal interview of one of the investigators of our district leader on Saturday, but they forgot it. So we weren't going to have a phone until Tuesday, but as we were leaving the chapel on Sunday, Elder Sales called the zone leaders to see if he could leave their phone with us because the 4 elders of Mercedes all live in the same apartment and could share. Yeah, that was an interesting week. To top off that day I fell off my bike as well. But it didn't hurt and I was laughing after so don't worry.

Week 3:
I got a flat tire on Tuesday. However, we also got our new phone that day! Wednesday was the Patriot’s Day I think would be the translation to English (Día de la Patria) and there was an activity in the church. On Saturday and Sunday Elder Sales and Elder Loez had a baptism!

Week 4:
Well first off, we dropped Cristian and Mariana this week. Or maybe they dropped us. It was a mutual dropping. However, it wasn't a forever type thing. More of a we're going to give them some time. It was a little bit sad at first because I was leaving them something to read in the Book of Mormon and I was going to leave something in the Bible as well and I asked if they would read and Cristian said "Hermanas, no voy a leer El Libro de Mormón. Puede dejar algo pero no lo voy a leer. Vamos a leer La Biblia y vamos a continuar orando. Gracias por ayudarnos conocer Dios y Jesucristo más y por ayudar nos tomar este paso de matrimonio porque vamos a recibir estas bendiciones en la familia." [GOOGLE TRANSLATE: Sisters, I will not read the Book of Mormon. You can leave something but I will not read. Let's read the Bible and we will continue to pray. Thank you for helping to know God and Jesus Christ more and help us take this step of marriage because we will receive these blessings in the family ] So yeah, we're going to pass by when they get back from Salta and congratulate them and we'll see what happens from there.

On a happier note, Santos accepted a baptismal date!!!! It's a little complicated because it's for the 18th and we have the district conference so we'll have to move it, but he accepted! And he finally realizes that it's just a little bit of fear that has been holding him back. And he came to church again on Sunday! He now has 4 asistencias! And he brought his 7 year old with him.

This week I had trámites [red tape or formal] paperwork for my residency here in Argentina so I can be legal and we had to go to capital so we weren't working in our area for almost two days, but God loves us and he blessed us. On Thursday when we got back we planned to go contact some references we had for the hour and a half we had before we had to return to the pension and finish planeamiento semanal [weekly planning] and plan for Friday. We had about six or seven people and we looked at all of them and decided to start with the first and work our way down. When we knocked on the door a woman answered and after we presented ourselves she said "Pasen chicas porque hace frio." [Come in, girls, because it's cold.] It turns out this woman, Elizabeth Gutierrez, is an antigua investigadora [former investigator] and she is golden! I think the only reason she got dropped is because of a transfer and she got forgotten. She has two kids that are 8 and 9 that are also great and attentive. I think it's a possibility that we might be able to bring this whole family into the church. The first problem is that Elizabeth is juntada ... But así es en Argentina and it's something that can be solved.

Something I learned or rather had reaffirmed this week is that the Priesthood really is the power of God here on the earth. Hermana Sierra and I have a bit of a bad head cold or something similar and yesterday we asked the elders for a blessing and yeah, the Priesthood is real! Even just during the blessing my head started clearing up a bit and then the rest of the day and today I feel a whole lot better. I still have a bit of a stuffy nose and a cough, but I can think clearly and I haven't gotten a fever again.

I love you all and hope you are doing well! The gospel's true and God loves you!

-Hermana Cheever