Thursday, February 24, 2011

san nicolas 10 - feb 21

Hola familia.

Well, i didn't get any packages on Tuesday. But I did get a letter from Mindy and one from Luke. So that was exciting! Tell them thanks for me. I remember very well who Uncle Nebs is. I thought that was so sweet to hear that he wanted to be with Norma for Valentines day. I'm sure it will be great to go and see the family and remember Uncle Nebs and his life. It's just the next step in our progression to become like our Heavenly Father. What mission is Tanner going to? Because Hna. Villareal (who we live with) is from Columbia and she goes home in 7 weeks. And then another kid in our ward just got back from there.

So, I hit my 10 month mark today! Tandy will hit her year mark in 3 days! Sometimes I feel like I have been here forever and other times like i'm still new. Well, i'm not sick of summer yet. I have been pretty lucky I guess. Because it has not been that hot here. Like, ya, we sweat, but I have never been dripping or anything like the stories I heard of before. San Nicolas is just a cooler area. It's Santa Fe that is really really hot. (Rafaela is in Santa Fe).

Anyway…this week was pretty hard. The conference went great. They are always long. We just have a lesson, and then we practice, lesson and then practice, lesson practice, lesson practice….all day. But they help. And I always learn something new and feel the spirit. And then we had 2 good days…wed and thurs. we were running around from appt to appt. and then Friday and Saturday came and we walked, and walked. And it was really hard. We tried to contact references, and visit our investigators. We ended up dropping 4 of our investigators this week. We had trouble finding new investigators, but we did have some tender mercies too. We taught Sandra this week. She is the young widow with 3 kids. We taught her about the plan of salvation and eternal marriage. She liked it, she said we brought her some peace that day. She read everything we had left for her and she started reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning. I was in awe! She is really reading it and trying to understand it. She told us about Lehi´s vision about the rod of iron and stuff. It was cool!

Then on Sunday we had some blessings as well. On Thursday evening we went to teach 2 of our investigators, Ivana and Mauricio. We asked Ivana how she liked the church on Sunday. She didn´t like it. It was boring for her. She then pulls out her phone and shows us videos of her church that she has taken with her phone. Their priest (not sure what they call him) is like a miracle man. He heals people in the name of Jesus Christ, and she had videos to prove it. I´m still not sure if I believe it. But it was very loud and like calling out to God for help, and then some shaking and some music. The spirit just left the room. I just turned to my comp, “what should we teach?” she just shrugged her shoulders. They had already been taught lesson 1 (the Restoration). But we pulled it out and started teaching that. As soon as we began, I felt the spirit again. I felt power in my own words and we explained to them how God calls prophets in every dispensation.

We didn't get to finish the lesson. But we returned yesterday and we were able to finish it. I'm still not sure how much they understand. But we testified how the gospel can bless their family, because they started attending a church about 5 years ago and have seen a lot of blessings; a lot of changes in their lives. So we just testified how they can receive more. I don't know by what power this man does miracles. But I do know that in Mathew 24:24 there shall arise false prophets who shall shew great signs and wonders and shall deceive many. And I know the way that God has worked in the past, that He has always called prophets to guide His children on the earth. I know He has called Thomas S. Monson to be the Prophet right now. But I love this about the gospel, that we don´t have to understand the answers to everything, but we can look to the basics and the way God has worked in the past, and the spirit will help us know the truth.

Anyway. I better go. We are going to go check out this super giant catholic cathedral thing. I'll take some pics. Also…I have a cool story for Brother Graff…I met someone. I'll have to tell it next week cuz I gotta go. But I love you guys so much. Thanks for your prayers. There are definitely days where I think your prayers are the only thing that keeps me going.

Hna. amundsen

san nicolas 9 - feb 14

¡Hola a la familia que tengo!...

¡¡¡HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!!…it's a day of love. I think they celebrate here...i guess, i haven't really seen anything special but i imagine that they do. Hna. Espinoza was talking about velntines day last night...and she is from el salvador (so atleast they celebrate it there). Thanks for praying for the investigators, they need lots of prayers! I have high hopes for them!

We didn't get to teach mauricio this week. I called him and talked to him. I guess he had to stay up at school this weekend, but he is totally excited to talk to us, and wants to! turns out she was a reference from a member too. We had this referece that hna. Morales and i tried to contact, but we didn't have her exact address, just in between these numbers on this street. And i looked at the reference the other day whose name is sandra and we realized it was the same! And we talked to the hna. who gave us the reference, she is totally stoked that we found sandra. Talk about inspiration! The Lord truly does guide us in this work if we listen to His promptings. So we have a cita with Sandra this weekend. I hope it goes well! And we slipped a note of encouragement under her door the other day too.

We also have this investigator named Vernoica. She is about 35ish...i can't remember if i have talked about her yet or not. Anyway, she is way rad. Everytime we teach “tenemos que sacar dudas”, there are always lots of questions, lots of doubts. And the other day we taught lesson 2, the plan of salvation. And again...question after question, doubt after doubt, and it was amazing....we were able to explain everything. And by the end of the lesson she was like, “it's perfect! The plan in perfect!” and i was in shock...i was like “wait, you think the plan is perfect?” and she was like, “well, ya, it seems pretty perfect to me.” But it was amazing. I know the Lord guided us, because there were things that i didn't know, that i realized during the lesson and i was able to explain them. I know Heavenly Father really helps us in our moments of need. I really hope she progresses!

Maria clara and Nicolas...they aren't reading or praying, so we had a talk about that yesterday. They've both been working a ton this week, but we were able to talk to them yesterday. They don't want to put a baptismal goal for right now, they are feeling pretty comfortable in their own church right now, so we talked a lot about how they really need to pray and read and come to church so that they can give it a chance. But they are excited to learn about eternal marriage...they are talking about getting married, they are young but have been dating for a couple years now. And's not that weird to get married young, and to have kids really young.

So i learned today in personal study that the name “Sarah” means “the princess.” It was the name God gave to Sarai (abraham´s wife). You could read it in Genesis 17:15..and read the foot note also, Jodi....have you read the 3rd hunger games book yet!? Because i was talking to an elder that loves those books, and i guess his sister has already read the 3rd one cuz it came out months ago. So if you haven't read it, you should get on that. Well, we have zone conference tomorrow. So we are pretty excited. Those are always fun! We just have to wake up at like 5am, and won't be able to make up the sleep. but ya. Well, good luck dad. Sorry you have to work sooo much! I hope things will slow down for you too. As for mom....are you feeling a little more adjusted? I hope so. And julie...i still think she is going on a mission. I read her patriarchal blessing again this week...i just can't help but think that she'll be serving too. Glad to hear that Gordie is still up and going. He's a good guy. I didn't think we had that many pictures of luke. Haha, that's funny. You'll have to go play tennis with him mom, he's pretty funny when he gets into it. How is kris. That boy must be busy, because i haven't heard from him in a long time.

I love you guys so much! Thanks for sending your love my way today, my love goes right to you guys too. Our e-mail from the mission said “happy single-awareness day!” what can you do? We are missionaries!

hna. amundsen

Sunday, February 13, 2011

san nicolas 8 - feb 7

Hey family!

So ya….this week was pretty cool. We had a lot of blessings this week!

We are teaching 2 of the coolest people right now!! So there is Clari and nicolas. Clari is 17 yrs old, and nicolas is her boyfriend, he is 20. we found them because clari is an old investigator....her older sister was actually baptized and in now inactive, but we are going to start helping her sister too (she was just out of town this week, so we haven't met her yet). Anyway, clari and we taught them the Restoration and about the plan of salvation this week, and they just have such great questions! Like, they really want to know. Nicolas was like...”so are there prophets today?” and “how do you guys know the church is true?” and “how did christ pay for our sins?” and anyway...and after we finished lesson 2, they were both like...”i really like this!” so they are both reading parts from the B.O.M. right now, but they are so fun to talk to and to teach! So we'll see how it goes.

Also, there is this kid named Mauricio, he is an old investigator as well...i have been really wanting to find him because we have his teaching record. He had almost all the lessons, went to church a few times and was fasting to know if it was true. But his teaching record doesn't say anything else after that, just that he continued going to his church (catholic). Well, this was a couple years ago, and he was 19 at the time. So, we've passed by his house a bunch of times, and no one is ever home. And we even called him a couple times, but no answer! Then on Saturday, we were in the street, and i looked at my planner to see what the next thing we had had planned, and then we headed out...and as soon as we started walking the thought came to me that we should go check for Mauricio again. So we turned around and went back to his house. I told my comp, “i know this isn't planned, but the thought just came to me, so we are acting on it.” Sure enough, we knock, and he is home! He was super rad! He is actually studying in another province and is only home for the weekends. He is now 21, and was just super nice to us. He was busy at the time but, but we have an appt with him this next Saturday.

We also found this other lady this week. Her name is sandra. She is a single mom with 3 young kids all under the age of ten. Her husband died a couple years ago, so she is a widow. She lives in a super nice house, but is super busy working and being a mom. We contacted her on sat. I had prayed about a street to knock with Hna. Morales right before she left, and we never got the chance to go. Well, the other day i remembered about that, and so me and my comp went to go kock doors on this street, “Maipu.” She told us she knows she is supposed to be learning something from this trial. She said if we had knocked on her door a couple years ago, she would have thanked us and closed the door, but now she is listening to everyone, trying to figure out what she is supposed to learn. Well, we actually taught her about the Restoration, which was kind of weird...because normally we teach the plan of salvation in that type of situation, but i felt like she needed the hear the restoration. But we left her a B.O.M. with Alma 40 to read. She wanted 2 weeks to be able to really read about it, ponder and ask God. Which is far away, but she is super busy too. We agreed to come back in 2 weeks. So i hope it goes well.

Oh! And i can't forget Lucia. She is 14 years old and lives in another city. But her cousin is in our ward and she was visiting this week. Well, we started teaching her. And she is getting baptized! The first lesson we asked her...”so if you get a answer to your prayer, what do you need to do?” and she was like, “i need to get baptized!” well, the next lesson, she told us she felt really good about the church. We asked her how she felt about baptism and her response “i'm ready.” So we are stoked! She went back to Peragamino (where she lives) this week, so the other sisters there are going to teach her...but...she wants to get baptized here in San Nicolas, and she talked to the bishop, and he said he was fine with that!

I am really seeing the blessings. I still struggle talking to people on the street. I do it, but i could be better. I'm trying!! But ya. My comp is doing well. She was having some more trouble with her feet....well, her ankles just kept swelling up, so she got a priesthood blessing, and she has been a lot better since. So we are doing well. We are hoping that these people progress! But i know this is the work of the Lord, and that this is literally His church. i'm out of time. I love you guys a ton! And i'll talk to you guys next week. I didn't get any packages or letters this week, but we have zone conference on the maybe you guys!

Hna. amundsen

san nicolas 7 - jan 31

Hey family!

Mom, you are officially the relief society president. Wow. Don't freak out, i'm learning a lot about how the Lord qualifies whom He calls. You just gotta remember to read your scriptures every day, and say your daily prayers and the Lord will guide you. By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. It's the consistency that helps, just keep it up, you'll be fine, you are definitely qualified mom, you have always been such a good example to me. I realize now more than ever how much you serve, and you never say anything about it. Like one time our neighbor brought back some of our tupperware, and I was so confused why he had our tupperware in the first place. He told me you had made some soup and brought it over for him. And I would have never known about it. You've always been a great friend to me too mom, I tell people here that my mom is one of my best friends. And it's true, we just have to share you a little more now with your new calling:) I love you, you'll do great. And dad, don't worry, your service does not go unnoticed either. Everytime I eat canned peaches here (which is a lot…they love that for desert here) I think of you. And everytime I testify about the importance of family prayer, I think of you, and tell others how you do it. So you guys are examples to people you don't even know, that live in another country.

But anyway. This week was great. We walked a little less, but not much. I asked my comp if missionary work is the way she thought it would be. She was like, “NO!” she says it's a lot harder than she imagined. It really is. She said she did not think it would be so physically demanding. It's hard sometimes to keep up the good spirit when you've been walking for hours and no one is home or no one can attend to you...and then to do the same thing the next day and the next day and the next day. Like you said dad, it's one of those things you have to take a day at a time, because if I think about doing this for another 9 months it's hard. But I can do it one day at a time.

I'm learning a lot about trusting in the Lord. I'm trying to follow the promptings I receive the best I can. The other day we taught a lady named Laura. She is 34 yrs old, she has a 4 yr. old daughter and lives with her “husband” but they aren't married…like most of argentina. She is catholic, but doesn't practice. She stopped believing in God a long time ago when her younger brother was born with physical deformities. But when her daughter, Pilar, was born 4 years ago, she was born 3 months early and they weren't sure if Pilar would make it. So Laura turned to the Lord because she didn't know what else to do. Her prayers were answered, and she now believes in God. But during the lesson I really felt guided by the spirit. We began teaching about prophets, from the Bible. And the thought came to me to ask her if she believes that God called prophets. But I was like, that's weird, I don't usually ask that question, and it seems like a silly question. But I asked it anyway… to my surprise she said she didn't believe in prophets…and then she told us how she has never really read the bible and doesn't know if it is true either. But I know that question was inspired by the Lord. So we were able to teach more about that and really focus on her needs instead of just teaching another lesson. But I have been feeling really blessed recently in our lessons, to know what to say.

My comp has started having some problems…like her ankles have been swollen the last couple days, and her hip is starting to hurt. I think it's just the physical demands of the mission. But we get along really well, she reminds me a little of April Mclellan, just the way she talks and her way of doing things sometimes. We both like to read, and she really likes music, and I would love to learn more about music. So a lot of times we sing church hymns as we walk and we try and harmonize. We work in the richer area, we work in “centro.” Everyday we get contacts for the other areas…because everyone goes to centro to go shopping and to eat and work. The 4 girls in the pench has been fun. I really like having a four girl pench. We all get along and it's good practice for my comp and her Spanish. And we do have fun together.

Well, I think that's it. I love you guys a ton a ton a ton! i'm trying to be good, I promise. I look forward to your letters next week. UN BESO GRANE!!! chao
hna. amundsen

transfer pics!

san nicolas 6 - jan 24

Hey hey hey!

How is everyone! Well. I’m alive! So far so good. Oh my goodness i was so nervous this week! So i went to the misión home on Wednesday to pick up my new companion, my “hija”…there were 6 hermanas in total that were training. 4 of the girls that are training are finishing up their missions this transfer, and the other one, Hna. Kusilek, has over a year in the misión. So when i got there i was like….what am i doing here?! I haven’t even been senior comp yet, i don't know what i am doing! I was really nervous. And Hna. Hansen was there! So i was super excited to see her. She was totally nervous too, so that made me feel a little better.

So my new comp is Hna. Amanda Leatham (sounds like “laythem”). She is from Manti, Utah. She is awesome! She loves music and reading, and she has a lot of desire to work, and to be obedient and really wants to be here. I love it! She knows a little bit more spanish than i knew, because she was in the intermédiate, but is finding that it’s hard to understand the accents here. But she is doing great.

We have been working hard this week! We’ve been doing lots of contacting and not a lot of teaching, but it’s alright because we gotta get a pool of investigators started. I have been absolutely exhausted from walking all day, but i know the blessings are coming, that it will be tough right now, but we’ll get going. We taught a few people this week, and had a couple interesting experiences. It’s been really good for me to have to step it up, i feel like I am learning a lot and relying on the Lord a lot too. And just trying to follow the spirit. I thought that i wouldn’t be scared to talk to people as a missionary, but i still get nervous to stop people on the street. But once i stop them, i’m fine, i just have to get passed that first step of stopping them.

But i really do love this church so much. I know that Lord is there for us whenever we need Him. This week i taught Gospel Principals class (in spanish…ya!) It was my first time teaching, and we talked about our Heavenly Father, His attributes and how we know God exists and how we can come to know Him better. But it is such a blessing to know i have the góspel in my life, and to know that i can turn to my Father whenever i need Him.

Dad. You gotta take it easy. You work too hard sometimes. You have to remember to balance it out. I read the conference talk by Uchtdorf this morning, about the important things. You should read it, from this last conference from sat. Morning. Mom, good to hear that you are doing well, thanks for sending off the packages! i’m excited to get them. And i’m glad to hear my plaque is finally up. Tell kris i hope he does well in clalculus. That’s gotta be tough. I love you guys so much! I continue to pray for you all that time. And i look forward to your letters every week. I’m doing well. It’s warm here…like 34’37 celcius…not sure what that is in farenheit. Anyway. I gotta go. Just know that my prayers are with you and that i am doing the Lord’s work.


Hna. amundsen

san nicolas 5 - jan 18

Hey fam!

Reading your letters gave me a lot of comfort this week. You will never believe what happened with transfers…we normally find out tues morning how transfers are going to go. Those that will be training the brand new missionaries get a call from the assistants Monday night. Well, last night (Monday), Elder Chavez calls (one of the assistants)…and asks to speak to me. I was in shock...i knew what was coming. He tells me, “Hna. Amundsen, that Lord has called you to be a trainer”…..….he told me that I would be training a new missionary from the United States. That we will be working in Barrio Centro and that 2 other hnas. will be coming to work in Barrio Las Flores. So the 2 wards that we have now will have their own set of missionaries. My comp is going to Rosario, so she is excited about that.

It was funny though, because Elder Chavez was my first zone leader, and when he told me I was like, “no way.” And then Elder Hardy (the other assistant) calls me like 5 min later, (he didn’t know that elder chavez had already called me) and right when he is about to tell me I will be training I interrupt and say, “elder chavez already told me I’m training” and he was like “what!! No!! oh, he totally stole my thunder! That was going to be a spiritual one too! Oh! I was so excited to tell you!” I just laughed. But he told me he was super stoked when he found out I was training.

So ya, mom, I’m kinda in your shoes right now and I know how you feel. Like, super unqualified. I already told Heavenly Father that I am going to be needing His help a lot this transfer and that he can’t leave me. So ya, I’m excited, and nervous all at the same time. I feel like I have to prove myself now though….where much is given much is required… But I am excited to work, and I think I will be doing a lot of growing and learning this transfer. Ya mom…this is the transfer I was talking about in my last letter that is going to be crazy. This is the transfer that we get like 6 new hnas. I don't know who else is training. I just know I have to go the mission home tomorrow morning. But we are going to have a full pench now! With 4 of us living together! The other 2 are Latinas…one is Hna. Espinoza from El Salvador that was with us the first week of this transfer.

Ya, dad, with the Spanish. I can basically say everything I want to in Spanish…I might have to use hand motions and describe things I don't know the words for, but I still struggle to understanding the people. I can carry on a normal conversation just fine, but when people tell stories sometimes I get really confused, and if they talk really fast or mumble or talk about a subject that I don't know the vocab to, that is what is hard.

But I'm glad everyone is feeling better at home now. I feel good too. I'm really tired right now though. The other night I couldn't sleep…Saturday night…I woke up in the middle of the night (2:45am) to find that I had a new bed buddy…a giant cockroach. Well, I killed him, and then went into the kitchen to grab something, and as soon as I turned on the light the cockroaches started to scatter. There were about 8 giant ones that I saw. On the counter, on the stove, on the floor, crawling on our food shelf, and over our drying dishes…our clean dishes. I couldn't sleep after that. Just knowing that there were that many coackroaches in the pench kinda creeped me out. And I learned that they fly too. Because as I sat at my desk one flew over my head. I might talk to president about having the place fumigated. I ended up going to bed at about 5am, when I felt a little better. My comp was just fine, she just slept.

Then last night we ate dinner with a family (which never happens), and afterwards my stomach did not feel good…but it could be because we ate hot dogs for lunch with a member…and you guys know that hot dogs and I don’t mix too well. But it was all she gave us for lunch, and I didn’t have the heart to tell her that hot dogs usually make me sick. So I went to bed late last night too.

But anyway. This week, we had a couple days in the pench with me being sick. We went to visit Grasiela a few times. One day she wasn’t home, went to see the doctor. Another day she had guests over, and another day she got a headache and had to go inside and lay down….so we did not teach her this week. And she hasn’t been able to come to church because she was out of town. But the new sisters will be passing by her. Basically all of our investigators are in Las Flores…so this week of a new transfer will be a lot of contacting and trying to find new people.

Getting used to your comp is pretty easy. After the first week you kinda get the hang of how the other comp works. Hna. Morales is pretty cool. We got along really well, and she has a great relationship with the members. And I really learned a lot this transfer. Every transfer has been so different, but I feel like I have learned a lot from each. it will be interesting to see how this one goes.

Please pray for me…I’ll be praying for you guys too! And yes mom, I am jealous of café rio. Oh! And tell bro. Graff, I asked about his friend German Ruben….He isn't living in San Nicolas, he moved to Rosario.

Ok. Love you guys a ton, really really love you guys! I know this church is true with all my heart! And that this is the work of the Lord. Julie, Jodi…good luck with finals! And mom, good luck with your new calling. The Lord will help us, and build us...and it just so happens that the best building comes when we have to do a little bit of stretching.

hna. amundsen