Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Magic

It seems only yesterday that we were starting 2015. And yet, here we are at the end of it. It's crazy how fast the time goes. Which means we have to be ever aware of how we use the time we have. I thought this year in Argentina was going to go by a lot slower than it did... I was wrong. I feel good about 2015. I've been doing the best thing that I possibly could be doing. And now, as we head into 2016, I have to think about what I'm going to do different; what I'm going to do better. 2016 is going to be really different. But I know it can also be really good.

As for Christmas, it was a blast. Christmas in the mission is seriously the best. The festivities started last Friday with our branch Christmas party. We expected it to be a lot bigger than it was. Haha. We planned decorations and food and a Nativity with the primary, and we handed out a TON of invitations to basically everyone we met in the street. In the end, about 30 people showed up. But it was still a lot of fun. The Nativity with the primary is always the best part of ANY Christmas party. Everything tends to go wrong which makes it all the better. We had planned to sing the Christmas hymns with the primary kids and the Elders, but the kids were too nervous about the premiere of their acting career and the Elders were cooking chicken and my companion was playing the piano, so I ended up singing the whole Nativity solo. Bueno. Then, we have Joseph, played by Santi Godoy, the son of our branch president. He got a little stage fright and abandoned Mary after they arrived in Bethlehem... sketchy... The baby Jesus was born and thrown not-so-tenderly into a carseat and the new star that was supposed to appear in the sky, threw a fit, so her aunt had to lead the three giant wisemen to the manger scene. The whole thing was hilarious. And I think the members enjoyed it. I sure did. See attached photo.

Ward Christmas Party

Christmas Eve, we went caroling as a zone in the big plaza in the middle of downtown Corrientes. It was cool to bring the spirit to a place where most people are concerned only about their shopping. Most people walked past, pretending to not see or hear us, but just the fact that they slowed their pace a little bit showed that they felt something. It was really awesome.

Out and About for Christmas
Christmas day, we had an activity with two zones here in Corrientes. That party included 14 Elders.... and us. Hna. Ostler and I are the only two hermanas in ALL of Corrientes. Woot! So the party was interesting. We ate asado and sang Christmas carols around the piano. Haha. Classic. Then we left to go skype! WOOHOO!! The best. Sometimes, all you need is to hear Mom's laugh and Dad's voice. Families are the best. It was the best Christmas gift.

Overall, it was a great Christmas. And I was grateful that I got to spend it here in the mission. It's helped remind me of why we celebrate and how real it all is. I know Christ was born on the Earth and that it was His mission to save us all from our sins and sadnesses. I know He lives now. I know that this is His true church and that He is aware of each and everyone of us. I hope you all have a great week and a happy new year!

Lots of love,
Hermana Hein

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Once Upon a December

It's been another week in Corrientes. The search continues for the people that will accept the Gospel message. It's a struggle. But the work goes on.

We've been teaching a kid here named Ever. His mom is a less active member of the branch who told us that all she wants is for her son to grow up in a place that teaches him good standards and she knows that it's here, in the church. Great! But the goal is to reactivate his mom at the same time so that he has the support in his home and together, they can work towards the temple goal. Ever is 13. Which is what the branch wants. A new young men's president was recently called and he's amped to get to work. There's only one problem: the number of young men in the branch is exactly 0. So we're trying to find the best way to help Ever feel like he's needed and wanted in the branch even though there's no one else there his age. The mission brings about all kinds of struggles. But we know the Lord is helping us out.

The members here in Corrientes are great. We had the most efficient branch counsel of my whole mission yesterday and working with the members here is really fun. They're really excited to work with us and we're stoked to work with them. We've been helping the primary president plan the nativity for the Christmas party. It's going to be gold.

Speaking of Christmas, I've been thinking a lot about it recently. (wonder why?) And I've just come to decide that Christmas on the mission is the actual best. Too often, we get caught up with the commercial aspect of Christmas that we forget why we really celebrate it. Yes. I miss being with my family. But being in a different country where the Santa Claus aspect of Christmas has pretty much been erased and where December is one of the hottest months, has actually really helped me remember why. It's Christ. Obvious. Yeah. But really think about it. Why is Christ important? Why do we celebrate His birth? Because He came to perform the Atonement. And that's the greatest gift we could ever receive. I love Christmas and I love Christ. Remember Him this season.

Lots of love,
Hermana Hein

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas Time in the City

Hola from the southern hemisphere.

Belgrado Bridge
Things here are great. The week flew by as Hna. Ostler and I tried to get to know our area a little bit better. We spent our time trying to find members, old investigators, lo que sea. And most of the time, we just ended up getting lost. But we've been making a little progress. We met a couple of the other Hermana's investigators and we're going to see what we can do there. We did manage to meet most of the active members here. They are AWESOME. We had lunch with the branch president's family yesterday after church... they made us TACOS. It was the best lunch I've had on the mission. I couldn't believe it.

But speaking of missionary work, Presidente Godoy told us when we first met with him Friday night that the members really want to help us do missionary work. They just don't know how. So we're going to work a lot with the members and get some good work going here in Corrientes.

In terms of the work, the church has started a new initiative for Christmas: A Savior is Born. It's a quick 2 minute video that talks about why we celebrate Christmas. I love it. And we've been using it in our contacts and our teaching. It's been great. An awesome way to get people talking about Christ. Because really, He's the center of all of it. He's the reason. And a lot of people don't recognize that. So, we're doing this little initiative to help them remember.

Sweet Pirate statue
We're really enjoying the work here. It's different. But it's a lot of fun. Everyday's a new adventure. But the mission would be lame if it wasn't like that. I know the Lord is working with us. I know there's people here to teach. We just have to find them. Keep praying for us. You don't know what your prayers do.

Lots of love,
Hermana Hein

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Carrying the Banner

Hermana Ostler
Well, another transfer, gone. Hermana Beckstead and I were both transferred out of Sáenz Peña and our area was closed... temporarily. We were sad to have to say good bye to that little town. I was really sad. But now, a new chapter is beginning in a new place: Corrientes. Hna. Ostler and I are whitewashing in. And it's... LOCO. Our area is right in the middle of the city. It's a whole new world across the Rio Paraná. But we're going to kill it. The Lord wants us here for something.

Our last week in Sáenz Peña was a good one. We had a lot of fun on Thanksgiving, even though no one in this country even knows what Thanksgiving is. We ate with the familia Guazo. It was super fun. They made some chicken and potatoes and Hna. Beckstead and I brought an apple pie and peach cobbler to contribute to the festivities. We also made hand turkeys for everyone and we all shared what we were thankful for. It was really great. There's always a special spirit when you talk about the blessings you have and the things your're thankful for.

Our "Thanksgiving" with the Guazo Family
As it's now December, our Book of Mormon challenge is over. We finished yesterday reading Moroni's invitation to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. President gave us this challenge to help us as a mission increase our faith. And I would definitely say that my faith has been increased. Reading the Book of Mormon that fast definitely has its benefits. You come to understand more the timeline of the Book of Mormon and the who's and where's of all the events that take place. You also come to notice the themes that run throughout the whole history. There's something I love in the Book of Mormon which is the missionary stories... surprise, surprise... But seriously. It helps me have more faith and more strength to keep doing the work everyday. If they can do it, why not me? I may have just been thrown into a new place without any clue of how to do anything, but what I do know, is that what we carry is the truth. The Book of Mormon has the power to change people. It's changed me. And I know it can do the same for the people of Corrientes. We've just gotta find them.
Walking Home in the rain

I love you all. I hope the first week of December is fantastic.
Love from,
Hermana Hein

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Hello All,

Finally, the presidential race of Argentina is over. The last time the Argentines voted, the votes fell in a 3 way tie. Which required a re-vote... yesterday. Which meant we stayed in the pension ALL DAY... AGAIN. But this time, we were better prepared. We had a Work and the Glory marathon, we made apple pie, and Hna. Beckstead taught me how to play chess. I'd say it was a pretty successful day.

Since we got to Sáenz Peña, Hna. Beckstead and I have been teaching a woman on and off named Carina. She's been investigating the church for over a year and multiple sets of Hermanas have taught her before us. She's really special. She's told us of multiple experiences she's had that prove to me that the Lord really is and has been preparing specific people to receive the restored Gospel. It wasn't by coincidence that those first Hermanas found her. And it DEFINITELY wasn't by coincidence that they found her AGAIN after her and her family had moved to the OPPOSITE edge of the area. Like I said, she's special. But it's been pretty difficult to teach her. She lives far and out of the way. And we can only meet with her on certain days.

The first time Hna. Beckstead and I met her, we were impressed by her Gospel knowledge and the spirit she emits. She could have been baptized that very next day had she wanted to. But little things kept coming up. Little impediments that kept her from coming to church. She had to go visit her family in the country. She had to vote. She would have had to walk by herself.... Little things that to the eyes of a missionary, are easily overcome. But what may be no more than a pebble to me, could be a boulder to someone else.

Every time we went to Carina's, we exhausted our spirits trying to determine what was really impeding her and commit her to come to church one more time so she could get baptized... This went on for four and a half months. It's the most tired I've been on my mission. Teaching people with Word of Wisdom issues is one struggle. But teaching people who are tangibly close to membership in the Lord's church but still so far is a completely different type of battle. It's HARDER. But it all ended this week. Carina never needed us to give her a baptismal date. She needed to figure it out for herself. And she did. She told us Friday morning that she'd going to be baptized in December. She prayed and received her answer. And December is when she and the Lord have decided is the right time. It was like finally reaching the top of the mountain after an endless, steep climb. She's going to make it. And she's going to make an AWESOME member. It's been a privilege to be able to teach her.
Hermana Beckstead, Carina and Me

This week, in our Book of Mormon reading, we got to one of my favorite parts: the second half of Alma, featuring Captain Moroni. So good. One part I love a lot is the exchange of letters between Moroni and Pahoran, the chief judge. Moroni and Helaman have been backed into a corner by the Lamanite armies. They're outnumbered and outmatched and Moroni is angry that the government hasn't sent them any help. He sends a scathing letter to Pahoran accusing him of treachery and threatening vengeance. Little does Moroni know of the insurrections against the government that Pahoran himself has been facing. Any normal person would be ticked. But how does Pahoran respond? "I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart." What humility. Instead of jumping to the defensive and accusing Moroni for not coming to HIS aid, or not even questioning why Pahoran hadn't responded and jumping to the conclusion that he was a traitor, he just takes it. Pahoran gracefully explains to Moroni the situation and says, " I do joy in receiving your epistle." And for that humility, the Nephites were greatly blessed. Helaman and Moroni's armies received support and Moroni and Pahoran were able to drive the rebels out of Zarahemla and restore peace. Where there is humility, there is unity. Where there is humility, there is peace and love and immeasurable blessings. I think we can all be a little bit more like Pahoran. Patient and humble, even when an army of Nephite traitors is rebelling against you AND the chief captain of the Nephite army, a terrifying military genius with the power of God on his side has threatened you with destruction. If Pahoran can manage it, I think we can. Humility is the key to happiness, I would say.

I know the Book of Mormon is true. It tells the stories of REAL people. It testifies of Christ. I know He lives. I know He loves us. And now behold, I close mine epistle.

We're teaching people who have owls!! So Cool!
I am Hermana Hein. (gotta love that CHEESE!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Day After Tomorrow

Unfortunately, no. I did NOT meet Jake Gyllenhaal... But Chaco WAS hit with a crazy storm this week.
Tuesday, Hna. Beckstead and I had planned to do divisions with the Hermanas of Ensanche Sur. I was to head over to Ensanche with Hna. Aybar and Hna. Beckstead would stay here in Centro with Hna. Moreno. Two hours or so before we were about to make the switch, during our companionship and language study, it began to rain... HARD. That's one of those little things I love about Argentina: the rain storms. There's no storms like that in Utah. Anyway.

We called a cab and headed over to the Hermana's pension on calle 10. They live on the corner and the entire intersection was flooded, almost up to my knees. Even in my trusty knee-high Hunter rain boots, there was the danger of getting wet.

I've noticed that generally, when there's a huge rainstorm like that, it's during studies, when we're inside. Then, when we have to go outside to work, the deluge lets up a bit so we don't get so wet. Yes. There are some exceptions, (I don't even want to talk about that one storm in Formosa.) but I like to think that for the most part, it's a little blessing from the Lord so we don't have to be out walking in the pouring rain. So, when Hna. Aybar and I headed out to work, the rain had stopped and we were happily enjoying the cool, fresh air.

We had had a number of good lessons and we're nearing the end of the work day, only lacking 1 hour or so, when dismal, dark clouds started rolling in again. We had one more appointment which luckily, wasn't too far from the last house we had been visiting and the rain started up again. The one umbrella we did have was flipped inside out in the wind and so we decided it would probably be better to just run. We waited outside the house of the Hermana we'd gone to visit in the pouring rain until her husband could open the gate and let us in. Almost immediately after we got inside her house, quarter sized chunks of ice started pelting down from the sky. It was hailing like the end of the world! We could hardly hear anything because of the rocks of ice pelting down on the tin roof. It was crazy. The Lord really is watching out for us. Had we delayed just 1 minute, we would have been under that downpour of ice. It's crazy that it can be so hot outside and then, 5 minutes later, have ice falling out of the sky. I don't understand...
 Hna. Beckstead and I at choir practice for 
district conference
 This week, we also got to go back to Resistencia for Multizone conference. Not much to note there, other than getting to see my little hija, Hermana Dustin! She's all grown up. I'm so proud. Haha. It was a good conference. President and the assistants talked a lot about using the Book of Mormon to teach investigators, and teaching more to their personal needs rather than just teaching the written out lessons. It's what Hermana Beckstead and I have been working on anyway and we've found that it brings a lot of cool miracles.

Speaking of the Book of Mormon, we read this week the chapters about Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah and their different missions among the Nephites and the Lamanites. A personal favorite of mine is the story of Amulek, Alma's mission companion. Amulek is just a normal dude, living in the wicked city of Ammonihah where Alma had unsuccessfully tried to share the Gospel. Alma says that he was ready to turn his back on that city forever when an angel comes to him and tells him he needs to go back. Meanwhile, Amulek, "a man of no small reputation", as he says, had resisted the Lord's calls to serve several times. He was comfortable in his life and was happy to go on living it. That is, until an angel came to him and told him he had to go back to his house because a prophet would be coming by. Oh. Alright. So, without hesitation, Amulek goes back to his house and receives Alma there. And the rest is history. He becomes an awesome missionary, calls Zeezrom a child of hell for offering him money to deny Christ, they're thrown in prison, and the prison walls fall down through the power of God. Awesome story.

Something that President has been pushing a lot in the mission, is getting members to help with the work. And we need it. There's no way that Hna. Beckstead and I can do all of this on our own. We need help. We need people to do that member missionary work like Amulek did. Being a member missionary doesn't mean you have to get thrown into prison and beaten like Amulek was. It means praying for missionary opportunities. It means going on visits with the missionaries. It means doing your visiting/home teaching. It means being an example and living the Gospel. Maybe I'm just an impulsive, self righteous-missionary. But the fact of the matter is, we are all missionaries. And we need to have unity to be able to bring the lost sheep back to the good shepherd.
Also, the ladies of the choir! 
Classic Hna. Hein, taller than everyone... 

This work is so important. I love it so much. I know the Lord has His hand in the work and that we can only do it with His help.

I love you all,
Hermana Hein

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Being Wise, Yet Harmless

Greetings from the south!

It's been a quick week but a good one. Full of small miracles and the joy of spreading the Gospel! Man. It's crazy how much reading the Book of Mormon can have effect on people. As we've been reading this week, our attitudes, our outlooks, our very desires have changed for the better. That book is REAL. And we've been utilizing it a lot in our teachings with Andres.

Hi-jacked picture from Mission Consejo
He's still great. And we see the evidence of his conversion everytime we talk with him. He's come a long way. But, he still needs to get married. And thank you Argentina for making that very difficult for him as the government building where you get married (I don't even speak English anymore...) is on strike... Great. There's really not much we can do there but pray. And trust me, we'll be praying like maniacs. But until that time that they decide they want to work, we just have to keep helping Andres build up his faith. And you do that through the Book of Mormon. The Hermanas who were here before us told us that when they first met him, Andres read through 1 and 2 Nephi in a matter of days. He loves it. And he's resolved his own doubts by reading it. But, he's fallen behind a little bit. He's been in Mosiah 2 for a number of weeks now. Come on man! King Benjamin?? That's the best part! So, this week, we decided to use his own vice of curiosity against him, just as Ammon was wise, yet harmless in his contention with King Lamoni. We asked Andres what was keeping him from reading. He told us he was confused in regard to the timeline of the Book of Mormon. "Why isn't it the Book of Nephi?" he asked us. "He wrote it!"

Hermana Beckstead and I looked at each other. "He wrote part of it. But the rest was abridged by Mormon."

"I'm still confused."

We knew there was no way we'd be able to explain the entire complex timeline of the Book of Mormon to him in those last few minutes of our lesson. Luckily, back in my Resistencia days, I had stumbled across an old Liahona article that was actually, a detailed timeline of the Book of Mormon. I smiled.
"I have something to show you next time." I told him.

The next time was Saturday. He came, he sat down, we got Hermano and Hermana Avalos the older to come sit with us as well, and we whipped out the timeline. It's HUGE. It's like, six pages, front and back. It stretches out into this long banner that details the dates, events, and peoples of the Book of Mormon. We proceeded to give a rehearsed summary of the ENTIRE Book of Mormon, including details of the different peoples and their trials. As we spoke, Andres just got this look on his face of complete desperation. His confusion had deepened. Which was EXACTLY what we wanted. Perhaps that seems a little counterproductive. But trust me, giving him a teaser of what the Book of Mormon actually contains and how complex and complete it really is, will be the driving force he needs to actually read it.
"You just have to read it." We told him, smiling.

We then bore solemn testimony of Jesus Christ and how one will draw closer unto Him by reading and living the teachings found in the Book of Mormon. It's crazy how fast the spirit flies into a room when you speak of Jesus Christ. We may not speak perfect Spanish, but we don't need to when we have the Holy Ghost doing his job, which is to testify of the Saviour. While before, the lesson had been fun with our elementary school teacheresque presentation of the Book of Mormon timeline, it turned very quickly, very serious and reverent as we testified of the Lord. All of us had tears in our eyes.

I really do know He lives. I know the Atonement is real. And I know that He is the ONLY way by which we will obtain salvation. We cannot trust in the arm of flesh. We cannot trust in our own strengths and abilities to save us. It will never be enough. But with Christ, we can do ALL things.
"I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness... and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come." Mosiah 4:11 I love the Lord more than I can say. And I pray that one day, I will be able to look Him in the eye and tell Him, "I've done my best. Please help me do the rest." Trust in Him. He will NOT leave us comfortless.

I love you all,
Hermana Hein
HiJacked Picture from mission Consejo
Jenessa camera still not working


Monday, November 2, 2015

Only the Penitent Shall Pass

November. It's hard to believe that 2015 is almost over. It's hard to believe that I've been a missionary for the whole year. But alas. Time truly flies.

As all obviously know, Saturday was Halloween. Here in Argentina, they do absolutely zero. It's a real let down. But Hermana Beckstead and I went all out. And when I say that, I mean we dressed up as each other. And this year, I was NOT deathly ill. Thank goodness. But it was pretty funny. Hermana Beckstead wore my oversized grandma dress and floppy sombrero and I wore all red, white, and blue, in classic Beckstead fashion and her leather Indy hat. We even switched name tags... No one got it. Not even Andres. Finally, when we told him we were dressed up, he looked between the two of us and realized that I was wearing Hermana Beckstead's elephant necklace and it gave it all away. We still had fun even though no one made the connection. It doesn't help that there's maybe 2.5 people here who actually remember our names. Haha. That's what I get for being called Hein.
Before Mission: Jenessa as Dr. Who, friend Haley as Snow White
A number of weeks ago, we contacted a house in a richer neighborhood in our area where we don't go very often because it's really hard to get in doors. But upon clapping at one green gate, we were greeted by an old lady with twisty blonde hair. She told us that she was a Jehovah's Witness and that before, she had met with the missionaries a number of times, but they had stopped coming by. She was slightly deaf and wasn't understanding much of what we said to her. It didn't look like it was going to go anywhere. But, for whatever reason, the spirit told us to keep bugging until she let us in. So she did. Immediately after entering the house, another woman, the blonde woman's daughter came rushing up to us, greeting us with besos as per usual.
"We wanted to share a message." we said.
"Oh! Great! Sit down!" she said.

She told us that she had been baptized into the Evangelica church, but that she'd stopped going. We knew immediately that she was who we were there for. She listened intently to our message and even got a little teary eyed when we shared the first vision. It was a great first lesson. She invited us back and we went on our way, beaming. We taught Soledad one more time there at her mom's house. And then, she disappeared. We would frequently pass by the house to see if she was there, but every time we went by, we found it empty. Finally, we went one afternoon and were met by her mother again. She told us that she had moved to another neighborhood, miraculously, still in our area.

When we went to the other house, sure enough, we found Soledad. She was really excited that we had found her. We shared with her the Plan of Salvation and she LOVED it. And when we returned the next time, she told us that she had shared it with her husband. And she always reads what we leave her in the Book of Mormon It's been a cool experience. We're hoping to see more progress with her soon. It's obvious the Lord wanted us to find her.

In regards to the title, I know I tend to make reference to Indiana Jones a lot. But let's be real, it APPLIES. This month, President asked us all to read the Book of Mormon, cover to cover. All of it within this month. We're really excited. We started our reading yesterday and today, we finished day 2, ending with 1 Nephi 16. Our reading today included all the chapters where Nephi sees the destruction of the Nephites, the discovery and colonization of America, and the Restoration of the Gospel. Oh man. Those are some awesome chapters. As I've read the Book of Mormon several times here on the mission, I've come to see those themes that run through the whole 1000 year account of the descendents of Lehi. One of them being pride. As it states in Doctrine and Covenants, the Nephite people fell due to their pride. Over and over again throughout the Book of Mormon, the Nephites fall to their pride. Nephi saw it all. Can you imagine seeing your own descendents being destroyed just because they would not obey? I certainly cannot imagine the type of heartbreak Nephi felt as he witnessed that. And yet, despite it all, he kept obeying. He knew that his posterity wouldn't continue. That is penitence. That is humility. And we KNOW, thanks to the Book of Mormon, that only the penitent man will pass. Only those who come to the Lord with a broken heart and contrite spirit. We must keep striving to be as Nephi was, truly penitent and humble, accepting the will of the Lord even if we don't fully understand it. Hold fast to the iron rod, even when blinded by the mists of darkness. "and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction." 1 Nephi 15:24

I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that by applying the principles we learn from it, we will never be blinded. I know that we must be humble and submissive to the will of the Lord. And as we come to Him with a penitent heart, He will lend us the hand we need to get through.
I love you all. Hope you all have a great first week of November.

Hermana Hein


Monday, October 26, 2015

Are you challenging me to a walk off?

Yesterday, the citizens of Argentina had their presidential elections. At long last, the reign of Christina is over. I don't actually have any idea what that means but a lot of people seem pretty excited about it. What that meant for us as missionaries: ALL DAY IN THE PENSION. I guess things can get pretty crazy on election day. So, right after Sacrament Meeting at 10:10 on the dot, (all the other meetings were cancelled) we headed home to wait out elections inside. After we made a delicious homemade lasagna for lunch, took a nap, and did studies, we were left with little to do and the boredom set in. We nearly went mad inside all day.

Anyway, this week provided some interesting miracles. As you all know, we've been teaching Andres for some time now, trying to get home to get married but he keeps telling us he needs a job first... Well, this week, we came to the conclusion that he needs to get married before anything else. We shared Mosiah 2:41 that says that we will receive temporal and spiritual blessings for acting on our faith. We also had a lot of help from President Conradi AKA District President here in Sáenz Peña who bore a sweet testimony on eternal marriage and faith that really touched Andres. He went THE NEXT DAY to verify days they could go get married. It's crazy how much his faith has grown since we started teaching him. Various other obstacles are emerging, but we know that he'll pull through. He hasn't been reading his scriptures everyday and he told us that he feels a difference. "When I was reading the Book of Mormon everyday, I felt this peace. I don't feel that anymore now that I'm not reading as much." Well... There you go. Get on that reading. We promised him that if he puts emphasis on daily scripture study and prayer, he will receive the revelation necessary to help him overcome his obstacles.

It was overall, a pretty good week. We had those good, spiritual lessons with Andres, and we taught Feliciana a number of times also. She's just too sweet. And her prayers are getting really good. The only reason she didn't come to church this week was because of the torrential rain storm that hit Saturday night... classic. It's the curse of Argentina. But Sunday was also election day and voting is obligatory here so... we're not sure what all the Argentines who usually sleep in on rainy mornings did... It was like clash of the Argentine vices here yesterday. Actually, the best part of the whole week was Saturday night, when we stumbled into a Relief Society activity at the church. They were showing off all the artsy things the sisters in the District had made when a sister from the other branch started yelling into the microphone for all the ladies to line up for the dance competition. Yes. All the relief society ladies of Sáenz Peña had a DANCE OFF. What was the first song they danced to? MORTAL KOMBAT... I'm not kidding. It made my entire life.

This week, while studying to teach Feliciana, I focused on the relationship we have with God. God is our loving Heavenly Father. But what does that mean exactly? It means that each and every one of us have a divine destiny given us by the creator of ALL things. It means that He loves us; really, truly loves each of us. He knows us personally. He knows the trials we face and knows how to help us. He loves us so much that He was willing to give up His ONLY begotten son so that all of us could return to live with Him. We could not possibly comprehend the type of love He has for us. But if we can understand two things, that He loves us and that He knows all things, we can have the confidence that everything He asks of us is for our benefit. We don't need to doubt, we don't need to fear, we just need to know that He loves us. I know He lives and that His love is real. I've felt it. I know Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know this is His church and that only through Him will we find our way back to our loving Heavenly Father again.

Sending lots of love from the south,
Hermana Hein


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Carry On

Hello All:

Another transfer, gone. And here we both still are in Sáenz Peña. Yup. Hna. Beckstead and I both stayed. We knew we would. We're here for Andrés. I'm pretty excited about it. Even though we haven't seen a ton of direct results in this area, I love it. I love the people we've met here. And as I know I've said before, I love the members here. They're incredible.

Anyway, this week, Hna. Beckstead and I worked a lot on focusing more on the work. It was a good week. We met some cool people and had some good experiences. We met this old lady named Feliciana who doesn't know how to read. We've actually run into a lot of people who can't read here. It's hard for me. I don't know how to teach people without that. But we had a pretty cool experience teaching her how to pray this week. We explained prayer like a sandwich: You have to have the two pieces of bread or it's not a sandwich. It's just a bunch of random cold cuts. The top bread, is how we start: "Heavenly Father," In the middle, you can put what you want: ham and cheese? No. I'm thinking roast beef. Maybe tomorrow I'll do milanesa: just say what you feel. And you end with that last piece of bread: "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." I even drew the whole thing out for her in the pamphlet we were using. But she still wasn't getting it. Finally, Hna. Beckstead said, "Okay. If Heavenly Father were standing here RIGHT NOW, what would you say to him?" She began listing off the things she was grateful for and the questions she had. "PERFECT!" We told her. "Now add the two pieces of bread." She slapped her hand over her eyes and began to pray. It was the sweetest, most simple little prayer but it was so awesome to hear her do it. Sometimes, you just struggle getting people to pray. But she did it. And it was great!

Hijacked this photo from the Resistencia Mission facebook
page via Janet Tracey. Thanks!!!!

Sometimes, the trick to this whole mission thing is just to carry on. Sometimes, things don't always go as you had planned or you don't see the direct results of the work you're doing. But you just have to be firm as the mountains around us, (or those of you living in Utah... There's no mountains here.) and stalwart and brave. The work must continue. We cannot falter. The work here in Sáenz Peña continues. Sorry if that was overly cheesy.

Sending love from the south,
Hermana Hein

Monday, October 12, 2015

One year later...

Hello hello. Greetings from Argentina.

Here we are... another week has again passed. And believe it or not, it's been a year since the beginning. It's a little difficult to believe... But one year ago, I was in the MTC, trying to learn Spanish and being a real annoyance to our poor teachers. Sometimes it seems like I haven't learned anything. Like I haven't grown at all. But that's not even true. It's taken a year... but I think I've finally gotten the hang of using the past subjunctive tense in Spanish! :D:D:D In reality, the most valued thing I've learned in this past year is that the Lord really does live. And He loves us so much more than we could ever understand. And I'm grateful for that knowledge. I know He's there for me. I couldn't do it without Him.

Tuesday, we had interviews with President Franco which was great. We've been struggling a bit in our area; we get a little frustrated sometimes from the lack of results we see. But President assured us that we just have to be patient sometimes. And that our work isn't going unnoticed or without results. We later in the week, had a cool experience that confirmed his statement that we were in fact helping people, even if we don't notice.

We had received a referral from a member in a small town about 40 minutes outside of Sáenz Peña called Quitilipi. She asked us to go visit her aunt, Dominguez. When she came out of the house, she told us immediately that she wasn't interested. "The missionaries have come to my house before, but I'm Catholic and that's not going to change." "Did the missionaries share with you the Book of Mormon?" Hna. Beckstead inquired. "No. But if it's not the Bible, I'm not interested." she responded. I was praying the whole time that I would know what to say and have the courage to say it. I whipped a Book of Mormon out of my bag before she could get out her retort. "This book testifies of Christ." I said. "I know He lives and that because of Him, we will all be resurrected one day." The spirit whooshed in at the mention of the Saviour and tears came to her eyes as she said quietly, "I hope that's true." "I KNOW it's true." Hna. Beckstead said firmly. "Death is NOT the end." And she shared Mormon 9:13 which talks about the redemption and resurrection of Christ.
Dominguez still had tears in her eyes as we testified of the Book of Mormon and its power to heal. When before, she had never accepted the Book of Mormon, we were able to give her one thanks to the spirit softening her heart. It seriously was one of the fastest and most dramatic changes of heart I've EVER seen. 100% by the spirit. We set another time to come back to see her and left, marvelling at the spirit we had felt. It was a really cool experience.

We couldn't do anything without the spirit. It was yet another testimony to me of the truthfulness of the Gospel, and that the Lord is in charge of this work.

I love this work and I love the Lord. Keep the faith.

Con amor,
Hermana Hein  

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Grace & Love

Conference... Whew... talk about a spiritual feast. I just love conference. And on the mission, it's even better. All of us gringo missionaries just sat in one room and feasted... spiritually and literally... Hermana Beckstead and I made french toast for everyone. It was pretty sweet. It's amazing to me the way the spirit communicates to the speakers what needs to be said; what needs to be heard. And how every one of us can receive some type of inspiration from the words spoken. Also, let's just mention those three new apostles... I totally called Renlund. They're going to be great.

I particularly enjoyed Elder Christofferson's talk about the institution of the church and why it's necessary that we have a church. It answered perfectly a doubt that Andres had expressed earlier in the week. It was a shame he missed it... Andres did make it to the Saturday evening session and told us afterward that he LOVED it. We knew he would.

Earlier in the week, we were amping up the conference, going off about how excited we were, Andres asked us why we were so excited; why we were "fan girling"
over old church leaders. Well... now he understands. That's the word of GOD right there man... THAT'S why we were so excited. Ugh. So good. Can't wait for next conference.

Earlier this week, we planned to go up to one part of our area we'd never visited before: Barrio Arce. It's up in the very corner of the area and feels a little sketchy sometimes so we generally avoid it. But, in the morning, it's okay. So, we headed up, hoping to find someone to teach... as always. But, after a good hour and a half of nothing, we became a little discouraged. We were about to turn back. But, looking down the wind-blown dirt road we were on, we noticed a little passage we hadn't seen before. "Well, might as well go see who's down there..." I mumbled... And then we found Monica.

Monica told us that she'd investigated multiple religions but that none of them ever felt right. She told us that she'd noticed the frequent appearance of false prophets preaching the doctrines of man and was tired of the lack of God and Christ in their teachings. She wanted the truth. She wanted Christ. So, we explained to her the Restoration. As we recounted the First Vision of Joseph Smith, she paused, staring at the photo we showed silently. "Wow..." She said, beaming. We testified of the reality of living prophets and apostles and that the priesthood of Christ had in fact been restored to the earth. But the only way we were going to know, was by asking Him who knows all. She loved it. We gave her a Book of Mormon and Moroni 10 to read. (Classic) And of course, invited her to conference to listen to the prophet's voice and see for herself. Nobody could have watched that conference and NOT felt the spirit. But, unfortunately, she couldn't make it to the conference because her baby was sick. But we have plans to go back and see her soon. I know she's going to feel it.

One of the themes of conference that really touched me was that of the grace of the Atonement. At times we feel that we're not good enough. There's just no way we can be perfect. So we give up. But the Atonement isn't just for perfect people. It is for everyone. Christ doesn't expect us to be perfect. He expects us to try. And if we try our best and ask for His help, He's going to help us go the rest of the way. He's going to be at our side, holding up the cross we've been trying to lift ourselves. He's already done it once. And He's willing to do it again. Trust in the Lord. Trust in His love for each one of you. He lives. And the Atonement has the power to lift us out of our darkest places. We don't have to be perfect. We just have to try.

Lots of love,
Hermana Hein

PS - Mum here... because Jenessa is still having troubles with her photo card, I thought I would drop in a picture of her getting dropped off at the MTC, a year ago on October 8th. I don't sound trunky....


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

After all, there's only one more week 'til Conference

Buen día a todo el mundo. Hoy es un día muy especial. Quizás se están preguntando por qué. Porque es p-day. La mejor.

Also. Conference is just around the riverbend. And I cannot WAIT. Oh man. Conference. It's like a vacation on the mission. You just get to sit in a room with other missionaries and soak up the words of the living prophets and apostles. Words inspired of God. Tell me that's not the best thing. Anyway. Hna. Beckstead and I are working hard to get as many people to the conference as physically possible. We printed off some invitations and are not hesitating to give them to every person we meet. And now I'm extending that invitation to all of you. WATCH CONFERENCE. You may not be able to join us en la capilla por la 3 y 16, but you can turn on your TV or your computer and receive the words of the prophet directly. Some of you can even go right to the conference center. Take advantage of this awesome opportunity to listen to the prophet's voice.

Okay. I'm done with my exhortation. Now, I wanted to talk a little bit about Rodolfo. Yup. That's right. Hogwarts: Argentina's very own Divination professor. Previously, in the Rodolfo Saga, he had told us that he had gone to church before. When we introduced ourselves as missionaries, he ran inside and came back out with a Book of Mormon that some other missionaries had left 7 years ago. "The only reason I never got baptized was because they told me I had to give up my divination practice." he explained. "I just can't give it up. It's my DESTINY." Alright, pal. Good luck.

This week, we were in the area and we thought we'd go see how he was doing. We weren't entirely sure why we felt like we should go visit him, but alas, that's how the spirit works. He let us right in and we sat down on two rickety wooden chairs outside his house. "I've decided" he began, "that I'm tired of this. I really don't get that much business. And I'm just bored. It's not doing anything for me." Wait. Last week you said it was your destiny and now, you're saying you're bored?? What happened? Hna. Beckstead and I exchanged a glance and shrugged. "So... will you get baptized?" we asked him. "I think that with time, when I fully give up my divination, yes." Sweet. We walked away from the lesson a little bit shocked. It's interesting how the Lord prepares people to receive the Gospel. Who knows what will happen with Rodolfo. But after one week, he decided his witchcraft wasn't worth doing anymore.

During my studies this week, I learned a lot about what I can do to better serve. The base of it all? Love. Classic. A little cliche. I know. But it's true. We can't do anything to help anyone else, if we don't love them first. Something I try to do with every person we talk to, is imagine them through Christ's eyes. Through Heaven's eyes you could say. If we can see people through the eyes of our loving Saviour, it's so much easier to sincerely serve them. Christ loves everyone, no matter their social situation or the trials they're facing. And we can and should do the same.

Love you all,
Hermana Hein


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Noble Art of Divination

Hi All:

A bit of a wooly subject, divination... nevertheless... we had a run in with Argentine Professor Trelawney this week that proved to be... interesting. Walking down Calle 7 one morning, looking for a name from the list of members here in Sáenz Peña, we noticed a sign that said something like, "Rodolfo, parapsicología" "What's that?" I ask. Hna. Beckstead shrugs her shoulders and claps. An old man wearing a stained wife beater comes out to the gate to greet us. "Are you Rodolfo?" we ask. "Yes." "What's parapsicología?"  "I'll show you." We just stand out on the front patio and he shows us a certificate that authorizes his practice of this parapsicología, which he tells us is basically... divination.

"For example," he says. "I can tell just by looking at you that... you haven't been here for very long..." "I've been here for almost a year." I reply. "Viste? That's not very long..." *long awkward silence* "I can also sense that you two... are not from around here." he divined. "How could I possibly know that just by looking at you? I don't know... I'm just... knowing..." We tried our best not to laugh. Apparently, you can't tell that we're not Argentine by just looking at us... or hearing our accents... you have to have... the gift.

This week, we also got to head once more to Resistencia for Consejo. President talked about the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4. Which just so happens to be one of my FAVORITE Bible stories. The way the Savior teaches is just so simple yet so profound. One learns important teaching principles from the example of the Master. President talked a lot about the living waters, which are the teachings of Christ. And how important it is for us to share them with others. Those who drink of the living waters of Christ shall never thirst again. What an incredible promise. And it's true. It's something I've witnessed a lot here in the mission. There are people here with literally NOTHING. Entire families are living here in a square of bricks smaller than my bedroom, with a dirt floor and two grimy mattresses. And yet, in these families, I've met people with some of the most faith. They find the strength to keep going even when there's NOTHING LEFT because of their faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. It makes you realize just how real it is and how much we really need those living waters.

Jenessa with Antonia

Pancho, our dog??
I am so blessed. I have everything I could ever want and need and more. Seeing the people here, living in poverty is a real eye opener. It's very humbling. We need to do what we can with the means we've been given to help those who have less than us. It says in the Book of Mormon, in Ether, that we must have charity to inherit the kingdom of God. But charity isn't just giving to the poor. It's loving as Christ loves. And Christ loves everyone perfectly. Which is a hard thing to accomplish for us as imperfect beings. But, one way to get better at loving, is by serving. We automatically grow to love those we serve. Charity never Faileth. (or as they say here, in Relief Society every week, "la caridad nunca deja de ser." in a very monotone voice. It's hilarious.)

Love you all,
Hermana Hein


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Road Goes Ever On

Well... It was one of those weeks. You know? The ones where nothing happens? Yup. The most exiting thing that happened was the unexpected journey we took out into the middle of nowhere in search of a man named Alvarez. We had taught him once before in front of a pile of bricks house on calle 1; a long, dirt road that leads out to the end of the world. At the end of the lesson, we asked what his address was and he told us, "Sometimes here, sometimes there." Oh. Okay. We'll just come back here. We planned to return Wednesday morning, but when we arrived at the house, the woman told us Alvarez lived further down the street. But further down the street? Nothing. We did find one house tucked away in a tangle of thorn bushes next the train tracks... But we didn't find Alvarez.
Doing Yard Work with Antonia

The youth in the branch here get together every Tuesday and Thursday at the church to play volleyball. A LOT of youth come; the majority, non-members. As missionaries, it's our job, our calling to introduce as many people to the gospel as physically possible. And this was an advantageous opportunity. So, Hna. Beckstead and I, along with the two elders in the branch, plotted to do just that. We wanted to show a quick video during the activity, a 5 minute Mormon Message or something. But we just haven't been able to organize ourselves sufficiently to actually do it... until this Thursday. After running around for an hour and a half, trying to figure out which cords connect to the projector and how the sound system in the chapel works, we managed to get the video up on the big screen. Success! The chapel filled up with volleyball youth and we played the video. After it ended, there was an uncomfortable silence... "Now what?" we silently communicated with the elders across the room. They shrugged. Finally, Darian, an outspoken new convert and the gangleader of the volleyball crowd shouted, "A FUERA!" (outside)  and the herd of youth filed out. It was a bit of a hassle at first, but I think it went pretty well in the end. A bunch of non-member youth had casual contact with church material.

With Andres, we've been bringing a recent convert of the Elders, Gerardo, to lessons. Needless to say, we managed to make things even MORE awkward. Here we are, two random North American girls teaching two middle-aged, Argentine men about the Law of Chastity. *facepalm* But it's been good to have Gerardo there. Now Andres has a friend.

I read a talk this week from President Eyring called "Where is the Pavilion?" It talks about how we are the ones that distance ourselves from God and not the other way around. God will never leave us. He will always be there. Even if we don't want Him there. But a lot of times, we don't recognize His presence. Especially in times of trial, we need to look for Him; reach out, maybe even a little blindly and say, "I'm here. What do you want me to do?" He will answer. And when we humbly accept His will over our own, we remember. And we see. He is never far from us. But we may be a little far from Him. I know He loves us. I know He's there. We just have to open our eyes a little.

Sending lots of love and besitos from the south,
Hermana Hein


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Leap of Faith

Well, I'm still here in Sàenz Peña with Hermana Beckstead. We're really excited. We wanted to stay here. This place is magical. But one can't help but get a little anxious around transfer time. You just never know what your fate will be. But the Lord knows. And we just have to trust Him. I have a firm testimony of transfers. I know they're inspired. Anyway. This last week was a good one. Full of miracles. This week, we truly witnessed the hand of the Lord directing the work.

A number of weeks ago, we contacted and taught an old lady who, we weren't entirely sure was totally there. After giving her a Book of Mormon, she attempted to give us 100 pesos in return. But we obviously refused to take the money. While planning one night this last week, she came to mind. "Hey. Let's go visit Elena." I said. Hna. Beckstead was a little apprehensive. "Uh... Okay." So, the next evening, we went by, still not entirely sure why. As we attempted to teach Elena about the Restoration, she kept standing up. "We need to go talk to my daughter-in-law." She said. "Uh... Alright. Can we finish here?" We asked. Finally, after finishing our broken lesson, Elena stood up again. "Alright. Let's go visit my daughter-in-law." Hna. Beckstead and I looked at each other, bewildered. But, one gets used to such weird and awkward situations as a missionary, and we followed the strange old lady out of the house and down the street to her daughter-in-law's house.

The Gonzalez family was a little confused as to why we were there with their grandma when we first showed up. But the 18 year old daughter, Meli, began asking us questions about the Book of Mormon, having heard of it before. Soon after, her mom came into the house with a brand new baby girl, Luz. It was almost disconcerting how well received we were; how many questions they had. They were asking all the RIGHT questions. "How do we know if our baptism's valid?" Well, you have to have the proper authority. "Who has the proper authority?" Well, let's just tell you a little bit about Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Priesthood. "How do we know what's true?" We picked up the Book of Mormon. By reading and praying about this book. "Okay." They said. They all accepted our invitation to be baptized on October 3. And we're really praying that they make it there, taking up our challenge to read the Book of Mormon. From a tiny whisper from the Spirit to go visit some random old lady, we found a family prepared to receive the blessings of the Gospel.

That's only one example of the way the Lord is directing us here in His work. The list continues. The spirit is consistently prompting us to act. But we have to choose to do it. When we exercise our faith and act on those tiny promptings we receive, our faith grows. But it's always a leap of faith. Indy never would have found the Holy Grail had he not first taken that giant leap of faith. We have to do the same. Not just as missionaries. But as human beings. As children of God.

I know this is the Lord's work. I know He is leading us to the people that we are here to teach. I know He lives. I have received that witness personally by reading the Book of Mormon. I know it's true and I know it's another witness of Him. I'm grateful to be here on the mission and for the people I have come to know and love. It's an amazing opportunity. Thanks for all the love and support I receive from you all at home. You don't know how much your prayers do.

Sending prayers from the south,
Hermana Hein

Note from editor: No pictures this week, so I took the liberty of putting in this clip of Indiana Jones and his "leap of faith."

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


So... I guess that's the name of a really famous Taylor Swift song that I don't know... When asked how old I was on my birthday, everyone started singing it to my confusion. Sorry. But anyway. Thursday, I completed 22 years of life. Weird. We celebrated by going to Resistencia, yet again, for multizone conference with President. That's always a great spiritual experience. And It was good to get to hang out with some old friends, like Hermana Nakken. Love her. It was a pretty good day.

Zone Conference
 The rest of the week was normal. We worked. As one always does in the mission. We've been teaching a less active lady named Antonia and it's been a really cool experience. Let me just elaborate...
One hot morning, we were walking down a dirt road at the very outskirts of our area, keeping our eyes peeled for the doors we should knock. We walked past one unassuming, crumbling brick house with a mess of cacti in front and saw a little old lady with flaming red hair raking dead leaves in the dirt. We had already walked past, but I just remember thinking, "We should go talk to her..." Without even a word to my companion, I turned around to head back to the house. To my great surprise, Hermana Beckstead had done the same. We discovered that this old lady was actually a member. And that she had been inactive for a long time. But for whatever reason, the Lord had sent us back to talk to her. After that lesson, she told us that she wouldn't be able to come to church that Sunday but the next Sunday she would come. Unfortunately, Hna. Beckstead and I forgot. Until, two Sundays later, there's Antonia, sitting in the chapel with her bright red hair and a smile like she'd never left. Most of the members didn't even know who she was. That's how long she'd been gone. But despite her many years of inactivity, Antonia is now ready to come back to church.

We helped her in her garden on Wednesday and I actually got to wear jeans for once. MIRACLES HAPPEN! No but really, she's super sweet and prepared to receive the blessings for living the Gospel. It's interesting how the Lord's hand is always with us, guiding both Hermana Beckstead and I back to this old, pile-of-bricks house to find one little sheep that had been lost for years.

This place is awesome. I still, after nearly 6 weeks here, can't figure out exactly what it is. But I think a lot of it has to do with the members. The branch here is struggling. Despite the huge church building and the 1,300 baptized members here in the city, there's only a good, 30 people that come consistently. But that small group of faithful saints is AWESOME. Talking last night to the one and only counselor to our branch president, Hermano Guazo, I realized what it is: understanding of the baptismal covenant. He understands our duty to God to serve with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. And he's pretty much given all of that to this branch. But he's still going. Because he knows that there's no one else here to do it. And it's our responsibility as members of the Lord's true church to accept His will and do what He asks. I'm really grateful for that example of faithful discipleship.

It's been a good transfer. I've learned a lot and it's hard to believe that it's almost over already. Summer is on the way. My old tanlines are already coming back. Can't wait to show off my shackle line from my ridiculous Danskos. Haha. #missionlife.

Keep the faith. Follow the example of the members of the branch here in Sáenz Peña and hold fast to the covenants you've made. And the Lord will bless us more than we can imagine. These things I know to be true. He lives.

Lots of Love,
Hermana Hein

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Buen Día a todos!

At the Zoo
It's been a good work week here in Sáenz Peña and like any good week in the mission, we had lots of fun.
Lemme just tell you all about Andres. We've been teaching Andres basically since we got here to Sáenz Peña. He was an investigator of the previous Hermanas. He. Is. AWESOME. He's super smart and wants to learn. He wants to understand. And he has so much faith. He came to church last week and this week, he stayed through the second hour. Hermana Beckstead and I taught about repentance and he really liked it. He's feeling the spirit really strong. Now he just needs to realize what it is he's feeling. Haha. But teaching him has been a lot of fun. It's been a challenge, but that's what makes the work interesting. He has some obstacles to overcome, but we've seen his faith grow and we know that he'll overcome all of it.

That's the best part of the work: seeing people overcome the trials they face with the faith they've obtained. The Gospel is true. It has power to change lives. Just as it has changed mine. So much of it comes from the Book of Mormon. I cant't stress enough how important the Book of Mormon is. It has power. It's real. It's true. That's where conversion comes from. Anyway. Sorry this week was so short. Monday comes and my mind goes blank. I guess I need to start writing my emails before Monday so they're more interesting.
Group at the zoo.

I know Christ lives. He performed the Atonement to give us the chance to start over. It DOES have enabling power. It makes us stronger. Christ paid the price so that we wouldn't have to. All because He love us.
Sending lots of love,

Hermana Hein

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Manna in the Wilderness

Well... It was a looongg week here in Argentina. Lots of rain. Lots of sniffly noses. But... here we are at P-day at last.

This past week, I had to return to Resistencia to do my visa papers again. So all of Tuesday was spent in the big city with Hna. Tello. Who also had to go. It was good to hang out with her again and we had a fun, if a little annoying side quest. On the way back up to Saenz Pena, our bus broke down on the highway. Which took another hour out of journey. They had to send another bus out to come pick us up. But we had to sit there and wait for it. Oh well. Part of the adventure I suppose. Speaking of adventure, on the mission, you have tons of opportunities to meet interesting new people. Let me just tell you about our run in with "Crusty Old Man" as Hermana Beckstead and I like to call him.

Me and Hermana Beckstead
About two weeks ago, we were out in the street, knocking on doors, talking to everyone we could. Peering down the street, we saw an old man staring at us from his lawn chair, mate cup dangling loosely from his fingers. "Let's talk to that guy." I said. So we did. Or at least... we tried to. Upon introducing ourselves to the man, he began to yell at us, telling us that we weren't going to change anything and that no matter how much he'd prayed, nothing ever changed and his whole body still hurt. No matter how hard we tried to testify to the man of the power of the Atonement, he wouldn't listen, letting his crusty exoskeleton resist our attempts at testimony and scriptures. Finally, we decided to give up the fight. We weren't going to get anywhere. We exhorted him to humble himself and come unto Christ and we left.

Hna. Beckstead had written about this encounter in her weekly email and had received a reply from her dad, who told her to go back and give the man a soda or something. Well... walking past the man's house the other day, we decided to take up his challenge. We headed to the nearest kiosco (which was across the street) and bought a roll of vanilla cookies ironically named after the legendary bread Moses and the children of Israel received in the wilderness: Manna. We grit our teeth and headed over to the man's house, handing him the cookies through the window before he could say anything. "WAIT!" he yelled out after us. "What is this?" He asked suspiciously.

"Nothing. We just thought to buy you some cookies." Hna. Beckstead replied nervously.
The man's face softened and he gave us an almost smile. "Wow." he said. "There are still good people in the world." He pointed upwards, to the heavens and declared, "This is a gift from above!"
Hna. Beckstead and I were shocked. His entire demeanor had changed. One small act of kindness showed this crusty old man that God really was looking out for him. And while, this form of manna may not have been his only form of nourishment, it certainly worked for his spiritual nourishment. Receiving that gift from above rekindled his hope in people. It was pretty cool.

Shoes named after me
Of the other events that took place this week, none really have much significance. We've been teaching a law student named Andres and he finally came to church on Sunday. He's been having some trouble with faith, trusting that the Lord will help him work out his trials. But, he's coming along. We taught him about Adam and Eve and agency and the reason bad things happen, which was a concern of his. He seemed to understand better.

Missionary work gives one the chance to learn so much about the Gospel. It's a real blessing. As I've studied for investigators, I've learned new principles and received new spiritual light myself. And I'm so grateful for that time I have to study the scriptures everyday. I have grown to know the Savior through the Book of Mormon and through prayer. And it's been amazing to see others come to that same knowledge through the acts of their own faith. The church is true. Christ lives.

Hermana Hein

Monday, August 10, 2015

Don't Walk, RUN!

Well... mission life continues. Here we are after another eventful week in Sáenz Peña. This week provided us the opportunity to head to Resistencia for Consejo. Consejo is always the actual best. And this time, was even better. We were privileged to have the presence of Hna. Scadlock's family there. It was incredible. I can't even express the amount of faith that family has. They were each given a moment to share their testimonies and it was one of the most spiritually powerful moments I've experienced on my mission. Wow. I'm just in awe of that family.
At Consejo

Here is a wonderful, faithful family, who have experienced something so so difficult, and yet their faith in the Lord; a faith that easily could have been shaken by the tragedy they experienced, remains unshaken, if not even stronger. They're such an incredible example to me, and to so many others. They each bore powerful testimonies of the Plan of Salvation and the reality of the Atonement. Hna. Scadlock's little siser Taylor, shared a simple testimony that left everyone in the room in tears. The Spirit was like a thick fog hanging in the room.

I too, know that the Plan of Salvation is real. And that this life isn't everything. We WILL live again, thanks to Jesus Christ. I know He lives. I know He gave His life so we wouldn't have to be alone in these difficult moments. He loves us. And although, sometimes, we may not understand exactly why certain things happen, if we put our faith in Him and in His perfect Plan of Happiness, we can come to an understanding that all things will be made right when He comes again. I love the Lord. I know He's there. I can't deny it.
Hermana Nakken and all who have been her companions.
Minus the Elders in the photo bombing in the back.
That's why I'm still here. Honestly, if I didn't believe that Christ lived, I wouldn't still be in Argentina. But every single day gives me a new opportunity to see His hand. I've witness so many small miracles here. It's the best.

One thing about Sáenz Peña... we're just a struggling little branch. Even though there's tons of baptized members here. But the 20-30 faithful members we DO have, are AWESOME. Let's just take a look at President Avalos for a moment. He's the branch president. Every week, he makes an hour and a half long journey here to Sáenz Peña to be at church. Not just an hour and a half in a car. Oh no. He doesn't have a car. He doesn't even have a moto. He drives a HORSE CART to church every week. For an HOUR AND A HALF. If that's not the most boss thing you've ever heard I don't know what is. Yeah our branch president is sweet.
Hermana Beckstead and me.
Also. We have a number of youth in the ward that host a volleyball activity at the church several times a week that has given a ton of non-member youth the chance to get to know the church a little bit. Hna. Beckstead and I are working hard to gain the confidence of the members and help them build up the kingdom here in Sáenz Peña. There's so much work to be done here and so much potential. I'd never quite understood the importance of working with members, but here, I've come to realize just how key the members are to this work.

I love the mission. I've learned a ton and still have 8 more months to learn even more. Never forget the love the Christ has for all of us. He lives. He is the Savior of the world. Keep the faith.

Con cariño,
Hermana Hein

Monday, August 3, 2015

White wash week 1: Success‏

That's right. We killed it this week. Hermana Beckstead and I got right to work and haven't stopped since.

Whitewashing is interesting... You have almost zero knowledge of what's going on in the area and exactly zero knowledge of where things are. So you just kind of go outside and start talking to people. In a way, it's nice because it gives you an excuse to talk to people: "Excuse me, we're looking for such and such address. Can you help us?" Boom. In the door. Too easy. And we've actually met a lot of cool people. Apparently, Sáenz Peña hasn't had a baptism in 7 months. But we're going to change that.

This week provided us with a number of interesting encounters with the elderly. First, there were the two old people who's first reaction to seeing the two North American girls at their gate was pure terror. The man, through a mouthful of bread and milk, cried out, "I don't have my documents!" and the second old lady, physically trembling with fear, mumbled something indistinct under her breath about not wanting us there. Oh... Okay. Haha. Then, there was the 99 year old grandma of a new investigator who decided to take a midday stroll down the street, yelling at the band of misfit dogs running around her. "FUEEERRRRAAA!!!" We decided that she probably shouldn't be out on her own and went to her aid. Let's not forget about old lady number 4, whom we'd spotted attempting to cross the street late last night. She was hobbling around with naught but her cane, trying to get to church. "We'll call you a taxi." we suggested. As we led her over to the curb to wait for the taxi, she stares up at me from under her eyebrows and says, "What nice teeth you have..." *Witch Cackle* "Uh... thanks..." From the moment we'd called the cab, to the moment it came, every car or moto that passed got screeched at by the old lady. "TAKE ME TO THE CHURCH!!" Finally, the taxi came and we were on our way once more... It was an interesting week.

We are still loving the area and the work we've had here. We know there's a lot to be done and we're happy to lend our services. We just want to work until we fall over from exhaustion. So that's what we're going to do. This week will bring some new adventures as we have to go to Resistencia for Consejo and probably should do divisions. We'll see. No one's really sure what's going to happen. But we're excited.

Lots of Love,
Hermana Hein

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Fire Inside

Welll well well... Here it is: The update. Transfers.

Having only spent 1 transfer in Barrio III of Resistencia, I had assumed I would be staying another... I assumed wrong. Both Hermana Tello and I got transferred out of Barrio III to new areas with new companions. Basically, the entire mission got slashed. I don't think there was one zone in the whole mission that stayed the same. Crazy stuff yo. But alas. The Lord works in mysterious ways, as they say, and for now, we're just going to have to be okay with not knowing all the whys.

Farewell Lucas.
I was a little sad to be leaving Barrio III. I had really grown to love it. Not to mention Lucas. That's hard. You help someone grow to understand the Gospel and come to know the Lord and then you're just gone. You help them in such a profound way but then, the Lord sends you elsewhere. And you have to say good bye. (Which always sucks. Lemme just tell you.) But you do what the Lord asks. Because He knows best. We do not. (As much as we sometimes believe we do.) He sent me to Saenz Peña with Hermana Beckstead. Whitewash.

Neither one of us knows the area. Hna. Beckstead came from Reconquista, Santa Fe. Funnily enough, she was comps with my MTC Sista Hna. Nakken. Awesome. Anyway. We got to the area last night around six, opened up the area book, picked a couple of names, and headed out. As we walked the streets of Saenz Peña, we both felt this build of excitement; a burning in my chest you could say. We're on the brink of something big. We're both just so excited to get lost in the area and find the people the Lord has prepared for us to teach. We're ready.

I just wish sometimes that I had the words to describe what the mission means to me. It's so crazy. Everyday brings something new. A new miracle, a new adventure... In my case, a new area, a new companion, and a new pension. I know I've said before that the mission is basically the definition of change. And it is. You've gotta learn to adapt. That's the key. Learning how to adapt to the many changes the mission brings. It teaches one patience and humility. Funny how the Lord works that way... Casting us into difficult situations to help us learn. Man I love it.

Hna. Beckstead and I met up at the terminal in Resistencia yesterday and since then, I've just been so excited. Maybe it was because we just clicked. (Lemme tell you what, it's been a struggle finding anyone who shares my feelings about Harry Potter here on the mission. But the search is at last over... I found her.) Or the fact that she was just so ready to work hard. Or it even could have been the adventurous ocarina music that greeted us at the terminal in Saenz Peña. Whatever it was, a fire lit inside me and has been burning ever since. Again I say, we're ready.

Surely this coming week will bring a ful laso de aventura. Stay tuned. Things are gonna get interesting.

Lots of love,
Hermana Hein

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dia' del Amigo

Another week, come and gone like the wind this morning. Even though the wind is still here... It's a nippy one this morning... Anyway. ¡FELIZ DÍA DEL AMIGO! That's July 20 here in Argentina. Friend Day.
Divisions with Hermanas Cluff and Lopez

It was a pretty good week. Pretty uneventful. We did divisions again. This time, with Hnas. Cluff and Lopez of San Martín. That was super fun. As divisions always are. Hna. Cluff came here with me and Hna. Tello took the 2 hour journey up to San Martín to be with Hna. Lopez. Divisions are usually only supposed to be 1 day. But ours ended up being much longer. Hna. Cluff and I were supposed to head up to San Martín to meet up with the Hnas. Saturday morning. Our bus supuestamente left at 5:50 in the morning. So... we had to get up way earlier to get to the terminal on time. Well... upon arriving at the terminal, we found that the bus just kind of leaves when it wants and it wasn't going to be at 5:50. We couldn't even find anyone to sell us a ticket to San Martín until 7. And the earliest one wouldn't be leaving until 9:30... But it was WAY cheaper than the "I leave when I feel like it" bus. So we took it. But that meant a cold morning spent sitting in the terminal. Boo. Luckily, I had conference edition Liahona to hold me over until we could get on the bus. Gotta love conference. But that's the mission for you. Everyday's an adventure. There's always some new test of patience or humility. But that's how you learn.

This transfer, I've tried to focus my studies more. I'm trying to study more specifically for other people. Everyday, I have a question, and I look for the answer in my studies. It's been great. And I've learned so much. I've felt so much more in-tune with the Spirit. It's crazy how much of a difference your studies make on your day. But alas. There it is. Scripture study makes a huge difference.
Studying the Gospel with Lucas
Well... that's pretty much it for the week. We had interviews with President which is always great. But other than that... Pretty much the same old story. Not that that's a bad thing. It just means we're working like any normal pair of missionaries.

Thanks for all the support and love that's been sent this way. I appreciate everyone who reads these emails. Sorry they've been so lame the last couple of weeks... But I promise I'm healthy and happy here doing the Lord's work. It's so important. Everyone needs to know!

With lots of love from the South,
Hermana Hein

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Over the Hill

Welp. It's been 9 months. Can't. Handle it. Time in the mission is so weird... I think back on my first couple of week in the mission and it seems like it was yesterday. But then, when I think back on everything that's happened in that time... it's been a lifetime... So weird. It's like a time vortex.

This week was pretty good, the highlight of the week being Consejo. A big meeting for all the leaders of the mission. It was great. I always loving hearing from President Franco. He takes his calling so seriously and really works hard to make sure we're all okay. And every time I have the privilege to hear from him, I'm so uplifted by his wisdom. Together, we read the story of David and Goliath and talked about how we don't need to be afraid because the Lord will fight our battles for us. We may some times feel small and inadequate to the task at hand, but if we put our faith in the Lord, it doesn't even matter if we're facing a 9 foot giant with naught but a sling and 5 stones. We can do anything. I was also able to see Hna. Nakken at Consejo so that was pretty great. ALSO... that day was the day of my cumple mes. 9 months. Which obviously calls for a whole bunch of ice cream. No complaints there.
Half-way there...
 Other than that, not much happened this week. We met a bunch of new people, so we're hoping to see some progress there. It's been crazy. We've lost a lot of time in the past couple of weeks for various reasons, but we're hoping to get some good work done this week. We have to do divisions again this week and interviews with President so this week is going to fly. And next week is week 6 ya! WHAT??? I JUST BARELY REALIZED. I CAN'T. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE TRANSFER??? Well... It's almost over. That's awkward...

Well... sorry this week was so boring and all over the place. It was a good week. Even though it seemed really short and uneventful. But anyway. The work goes on. There is no rest for the servants of the Lord, as I said to Lucas the other day.

Scarves made by Hermana Franco
As always, I just want to bear testimony of the truthfulness of this Gospel. Everyday, I have the privilege of witnessing the changes it makes in people's hearts. Even mine. True conversion doesn't happen until we learn to love the Lord and show our love by obeying the commandments. I have learned to love the Lord because I've learned who He really is. I'm so grateful to Him for His sacrifice for me and for all the people I care about. He lives. I know it.
At Consejo

Love you all!
Hermana Hein

PS. Pics. A ful laso de helado por 9 meses! Also, Hna. Franco knitted scarves for ALL OF THE HERMANAS IN THE MISSION. So Hna. Tello and I decided to take some model shots. And of course. Lookin fly for consejo.