Monday, March 30, 2015

Autumn has finally arrived.

It's here. At last. This whole weekend, there was a chill in the air and dark clouds in the sky. It was... AMAZING. I even broke out the good ole denim shirt. *see foto attached* It was pretty much the best day of my life. And yesterday? I wore a coat and a scarf. WHAT?? As it turns out, I'll probably only get to wear my beloved winter clothes for like, one or two weeks in the whole mission. Shame. I rock winter garb. Oh well. I've just accepted the fact that I'm not going to look nice for the next year.
Breaking out the Chambray!

This week, we continued teaching Laura and Federico. They're great. And working so hard to be able to be baptized. Because, as it would happen, they smoke. And they have to quit before they can get baptized. When we told them they had to stop, there was no hesitation, no doubt as Laura answered, "Okay. We'll quit then." Laura is so great. She has so much strength and is fighting so hard to do what she knows is right. The amount of faith she has is astounding. And she's not even a member yet. She lifts up everyone around her and encourages them to be better too. They told us that they want to be our family away from home. They're the sweetest. I love them a lot.

It's crazy that it's already General Conference. Which means I'm going to hit six months next week. What even happened? I can't believe it. If I just look back at the past six months without thinking, it seems like I haven't accomplished anything. Sometimes, it's hard to see the influence we have. But numbers don't mean everything. We may not have baptized Oscar, but we sure as heck taught him the importance of the Book of Mormon. Hna. Alamo still hasn't come back to church, but we've showed her that we care about her by encouraging her to return. Araceli still is fighting against baptism, but we lifted her up in her time of heartache. We can't let ourselves get discouraged when we don't see the results we want. All we can do is try to be more like Christ in every moment. Anyway. I'm stoked for conference. Hopefully we can get Hector to at least ONE session. Oh Hector... so full of surprises... I feel like he would LOVE conference. I guess it all depends on whether or not it rains. Since Argentines' hate rain... which is why Hector didn't come to church again this week. *sigh* oh well.
Rice is good for something. We dropped our phone in the sink.

That's pretty much all I have for this week. It was pretty tranquilo. Which I guess is okay. It just makes my emails kind of boring. Oh well. Thanks to all who read this epistle of mine. It's an adventure, the mission. That's for sure. But I'm grateful to be here.

Sending lots of love up north,
Hermana Hein

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Slash and Burn

Sometimes, I look back on the week and think, "What even happened this week?" and I can't remember. But then, when I think about it, I realize just how much really has happened. This week was one of those weeks. It all started on Monday, when I dropped my ice cream. But that's really not that important. I could probably do with one less ice cream cone in my life. But under the Argentine sun, that ice cream is just too good...

Wednesday, we had another Multi-Zone Conference where we had the great honor of hearing from Elder Nuñez, an area seventy. It was so... COOL. This was his message: "Don't waste your time here just being a good missionary. Be MORE." Together, we read in Mark, the story of Jesus talking to the rich young man who says, "I've lived the commandments since I was little." And Christ says to him, "Sell everything you have and follow me." And the young man can't do it. At this point, Elder Nuñez stopped us. He said, "If you were having this conversation with the Lord right now, what would he ask you to give up?" Whoa... Mind=Blown. It was seriously so cool. And got me so pumped otra vez.

Going to Multi-Zone Conference
The rest of the week hasta Sunday passed like normal. We taught Laura again and helped her understand the importance of Baptism. She's well on the way to her own Baptism. Speaking of Baptism, we were SUPPOSED to have a baptism for little Angelina on Saturday but THAT didn't happen because no one in her family was here. The whole situation was kind of weird. We couldn't ever get ahold of her mom to ask what the situation was and it wasn't until FRIDAY EVENING that we found out we weren't having a baptism. It was kind of annoying but whatever. This time for sure.

Sunday was when things got really crazy. Firstly, we Laura and her Fiánce, Federico came to church! That was super exciting. Then, it was ward conference and the Bishopbric got reorganized. I should just say first off, that the old Bishop, Bishop Alfonso, has been bishop of Barrio Terminal for 19 YEARS. He dedicated everything to Barrio Terminal. And now, he's just Hermano Alfonso. Crazy. The new Bishop, is Obispo Lezcano... who we also happen to live with... awkward. But the Lezcano's are the coolest people and he's gonna rock it as Obispo.

After Sacrament Meeting, Laura and Federico had to leave so we just went to Sunday School with a new member. But halfway through the class, one Hermano pulled Hna. Dustin and I out of the class. Huh. That's weird. Do we have to have an interview with the new Obispo or something? We walk out into the hall and who's standing out there? Hector. HUH?? We were really confused... But really excited!! We even got him to stay for the third hour combined class... But that was really kind of a bust because it was just the members talking about how many people come to sacrament meeting and how much money the ward has... Ooops. Sorry Hector. Priesthood is usually super good. Oh well...

Our district before the transfers.
Then came transfers. Oh transfers... always so stressful. I'm not sure why. I guess I just don't like change. Sucks to be me huh? Because the mission is FULL of change. I'm pretty sure if you were to look up LDS Mission in the dictionary, it would just say, "Change" next to it. And there was A LOT of change this transfer. Hermana Dustin and I are the only survivors from our district. ALL FOUR of the elders got transfered. Which was a big shock. Both their areas are being whitewashed this transfer, and one of the new elders is training. Suerte. It'll be interesting. But with the new Bishop and four new elders in areas they don't know, Barrio Terminal got a clean slate this week. I'm sure we'll see miracles.

And that's what happened in Terminal this week. Maybe this really isn't that interesting. But it was a crazy week. From our point of view por lo menos... Anywho. That's it. Maybe this next week we'll find more crazy people. Who knows. You never know. But that's what makes it fun. Okay. I'm out for this week. Have a good one!

Hermana Hein

Monday, March 16, 2015

Our Hearts Beat as One

This week was pretty rough here in the mission. I don't know how many of you already heard about Hermana Scadlock passing away this week. It was a big shock, and really hard on a lot of missionaries here. I didn't know Hermana Scadlock really well. I'd only met her a couple of times, but from the two or three times I talked to her, I could feel her amazing spirit. She was and still is an amazing missionary.

In times like these, I am indescribably grateful to the Lord. Without Him, I am nothing. If there is one thing I have learned over and over again here in the mission, it's that the Atonement has the power to strengthen us in our times of trial, despair, weakness, pain, and sin. It is SO real. I will never understand HOW He did it. But I will always be grateful. I can't possibly imagine the degree of love that Jesus Christ has for every single one of us. It's a struggle everyday for me to find a fraction of that love for some of the people here. He suffered SO MUCH so that every single person on this Earth would have the chance to live again, without sin, temptation, and sorrow. And we will. Because of Him.

I have been so humbled this week by the events that have taken place. I was getting complacent here in my work and that's not okay. I realize now that I need to dedicate EVERYTHING to the Lord in order to pay Him back a PORTION of what he paid for me. I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to serve Him here in Argentina. The missionary program is so inspired. And I know that all of us are in His hands. I trust Him. No matter what.

Just yesterday, we taught a woman named Laura, who found out about the Gospel through friends. She saw that they had something she didn't and wanted to know what it was. So here we are. She's already recieved some of the discussions from some Elders in a different area. But she lives in our area. So, they sent her name to us and now, we have the wonderful opportunity of teaching her the Gospel and helping her achieve her goal to be baptized.

Thank you to everyone who reads these emails. I feel so supported in this desicion I made to serve the Lord. It's a wonderful opportunity and I will never regret it. Please keep the family of Hermana Scadlock in your prayers. She's a great example to me. I know the Lord lives. And I know that because of Him, death is not the end. Just another step in our journey to Eternal Life. This is His church and I know it's true.

Cuídense mucho.
Hermana Hein

Monday, March 9, 2015

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Well... This week was... interesting. I'm not joking when I say that this week was probably one of the most eventful weeks of the mission thus far... Unfortunately, not eventful in the 'we had 4 baptisms!' way. Let me just explain.

Monday was pretty normal. After P-Day ended at 6:30, we had a lesson with this man named Leoncio. At first, he was really cynical. He kept asking us what it was we had to offer and why it was important. Hermana Dustin was getting really frustrated because this crusty old man was telling her she needed to learn Spanish better and talk more. Finally, she shut him up by bearing her testimony of the Book of Mormon. "This book changed my life." She said. "Why?" he asked. "My life isn't easy. But when I have hard times, I KNOW I can turn to the Book of Mormon and find something to help me." Silence echoed in the room for a few moments until the man responded quietly, "Really?" And from there, Leoncio was much more open to hearing what we had to say. All you have to do is speak the things the spirit puts into your heart and he'll do the rest. I was really proud of Hermana Dustin.

Tuesday, things took a turn for the annoying. As we went to leave our apartment in the morning to go work, we found the door wouldn't open. No matter what we tried, we could NOT get the key to turn. We were locked inside our apartment! I jumped out the window and tried from outside. Nothing. The members we live with are remodeling their house and luckily, their contractor had just pulled up in our time of need. I asked him to help us open the door. But even the big burly contractor couldn't turn the key. "I'm going to have to break the door down." He mumbled under his breath before THROWING HIMSELF AGAINST THE DOOR, TRYING (in vain) TO BREAK IT DOWN. Sorry friend, but this isn't a movie. I don't think your shoulder is going to break the thick, wooden door down... So he got a sledgehammer and smashed it down. But then we had a different problem. Now we couldn't close the door. Great. So we had to stay home all morning. Ugh.
remnants of our door after homeboy smashed it down
Finally, the members we live with came home and assurred us that they would make sure nobody stole our stuff while we went to District Meeting. But during District Meeting, it started raining. And our pensión still floods a little. Not to mention the fact that now, we don't have a functioning door. Well good. But the Familia Lezcano, the members we live with, are literally the best people and made sure that our pensión was all good. But still, the rain continued all evening. Until several streets turned right into rivers. That was fun. We had a rough time finding anyone to teach at that point because Argentines are all scared of the rain. But on our way home that night, we were stopped by a young man named Nicholas who told us he wanted to change his life. He was clearly drunk out of his mind and told me he wanted to marry a gringa. Huh. Good luck with that one friend. And he also tried to kiss me. Sorry pal. Not happening. But we wrote down his address and planned to see him again.

Saturday we met a crazy man who had invented his own religion based on planes and trucks. It was OUTTA CONTROL. Firstly, when I asked him what his name was, he told me he had seven. Oh. Okay. He then started to explain his beliefs. We tried to be kind and understanding but as he continued talking about how God was actually an airplane, I just couldn't handle it. He had this whole philosophy about it and all these papers with pictures cut out from magazines and mathematical equations and something about a package of cookies and you know, I STILL have no idea what he was talking about. Finally, we were able to share our BRIEF testimonies, give him a pamphlet with the church's address, and bounce right out of there. It was straight crazy. Bless his heart.

Morning studies
I wish this email would do justice to the crazy week we had, because re-reading this, it really doesn't seem that weird. But it was. Hector this week basically told us that he doesn't want faith but knowledge. He wants to know everything. It was like a stake in the heart. I'm not sure what to do. I don't want to drop him. He's such a cool guy and has so much potential. But right now, I'm not sure he's going to progress. The mission hurts sometimes. It sucks when you find someone and you want the best for them because you love them, but they don't understand. But you just have to keep going. You have to keep praying and keep working and keep loving. Because if you stop loving the people you're serving, you aren't serving them at all.

One of my goals for this year is to be more charitable. Have more Christlike love for those I'm serving. The Spirit won't dwell with anyone that doesn't have charity, and I can't teach without the Spirit.

I have a testimony of this work and of this Gospel. I know this is the Lord's church on Earth and He is directing it. This is His work. The mission is inspired of God. I wouldn't still be here if it wasn't. I'm so grateful to my Heavenly Father for this experience and this opportunity to serve and grow here in Argentina. I love this work. Even when it's hard. Thanks for all the support and love. I'm always sending mine up north too!

Lots of Love,
Hermana Hein

Pics: Morning studies. (sometimes we're a little outta control) Also, the

Monday, March 2, 2015

Wait and Listen

Hello from Formosa, friends and family.

This week was awesome. Why? We had multizone conference this week and it was OFF THE HOOK. Seriously. So good. We talked a lot about using the spirit in our efforts as missionaries and the ways we can best help people. Together, we all read 2 Nephi 31 and discussed the whole thing. It was... AMAZING. Seriously one of my favorite chapters in the whole Book of Mormon. It's so clear. That is all of it. That's the gospel in two pages. It's so good. During the whole conference, I realized how much I need to improve. Which is a lot. But I'm so PUMPED. The whole time, I just wanted to get out and WORK.

Hermana Flores and I at Multizone Conference

We also got to watch Meet the Mormons during the conference so that was awesome. Only... it was in Spanish. And my Spanish still isn't the best. Haha. But it was still great. It's awesome to hear so many different stories and perspectives on the Gospel, from all different parts of the world. Because really, the Gospel is the same everywhere. Be it Puerto Rico or Nepal, it doesn't change.

We did get to teach Hector again on Saturday. He didn't come to church last week so we were hoping to amp him up for this week. We asked him if he'd read anything in the Book of Mormon. "Yeah... I read a little bit." "Okay... what did you read?" "I can't remember exactly where it is, but it says 'Mormon' at the top... it's a book or something." He flipped through the pages until he found 'Words of Mormon'. "Ah. This." "Oh. So you read Words of Mormon?" I asked him. Okay... that's kind of a random book to start with but whatever... "No. I read everything UNTIL this." "Wait. What??" He had read EVERYTHING UNTIL WORDS OF MORMON. 1 AND 2 NEPHI, JACOB, JAROM, OMNI... ALL OF IT!! We couldn't believe it. Hector is so cool. He's going to be Young Men's President one day. We invited him again to church. But he still didn't make it. Not sure why... But we're going to find out and get him to church. He has a destiny to realize.

Sweet Angelina

We found another woman who seemed really excited to learn more but she didn't make it to church either. Church is the struggle. The other problem is that no one here has a fixed work schedule. "Yeah. I work. But only when my boss calls me. And I never know when that's going to be." Uuugggggghhhhh... The worst. But we're going to find Valeria and teach her because she was awesome.

One person who DID make it to church this week was Hermano Duarte's son, Jose. Remember the Familia Duarte? We've been teaching them since I got here. And after 7 years of not going to church, Hermano Duarte started going again. And now, he's getting the rest of his family to go too. I love the Duarte's. They're the sweetest people. We just need to work harder.

Well friends, that's pretty much it for this week. This morning, Hermana Dustin and I took a little side quest right out of our area when we took the wrong bus. Cool. We didn't know where we were but we found our way back. That was an adventure. The bus we were on just stopped. It didn't loop back around like I had hoped. So we were just dropped off on a dirt road with no name... awkward... couldn't call a taxi or anything. Suerte. Haha. It was crazy.

Me doing Ben 10

Anyway. despite that... everything is good. We're working and enjoying and learning. I love the mission. I can't imagine my life if I had never come here. If I had never met the people I have or done the things I've done. My life wouldn't be complete. I'm so grateful to the Lord and for this Gospel. I am so blessed and my life has so much more meaning when I'm living the way God wants me to. Thanks for all the support and love I get every week. Keep the faith!

Con Amor,
Hermana Hein