Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Another Week Down

This week has been relatively uneventful. I had the opportunity to again go to the MTC and be taught by the missionaries. I am amazed at how amazing they are! They really can bring the spirit, even though they cannot speak the language well. (this also helps me realize how real the gift of tongues is! I have come so far!!)
My foot is slowly but surely healing. This is a VERY exciting prospect for me. As much fun as it has been to be my mom's buddy and babysitter, I am real excited to go back to doing the Lord's work. This upcoming week I get to start walking a little without my big ol' boot on. Hopefully that goes well, because even though i know the boot is helping me... we are not really friends.
I love you all! I know that this church is true and that God really does have a plan and a purpose for all of us! As hard as it is, i know that there is a reason that I am at home. I know that God never puts us in situations that are not for our benefit.
Con Amor,

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Enduring Well

This week has been relatively uneventful... When you have a gimped foot, there isn't a whole lot that I can do, but that's okay! My foot is getting stronger (slowly) and I can touch it without pain! Yay!
Because i am technically a Return Missionary, I had the opportunity this past week to speak with a member of the High Council. I was assigned to talk on the article on enduring to the end from the January Ensign. What really struck me as I was preparing and giving this talk was the importance of Enduring WELL. It's great to get through a trial, but our attitude about it is the biggest thing. A lot of times, it's not necessarily what we do in life, but what we learn from it.In Doctrine and Covenants 121 Joseph Smith is having a huge trial in Liberty Jail. When he asks the Lord where he is, The Lord says ' My son, peace be unto thy soul: thine adversity and thin afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt the on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes' (D&C 121:7-8). This is such an amazing promise. No matter what our trials are, if we endure well, we will triumph. I was also impressed with how it is a small moment. I will be the first to admit that in the middle of a trial, it seems huge and long lasting. (an example of this that i experienced was realizing I have been home for 3 weeks already, then my aunt said 'wow, really? that went fast!' and all I could think was 'uhhhhh not really....') BUT in the eternal scheme of things, our trials are really small moments of our lives, and the rewards that we can receive are SO WORTH IT! I know that the Lord truly is aware of us. Just like he called Joseph, 'my son' he knows each of us as his children. He is aware of our struggles and our needs, and he will help us triumph over all our foes.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Slowly Healing

This past week has been really slow! What a change from the mission. I do have to admit that it has been sort of nice to be able to relax at home, especially being able to spend time with my mom and my little sisters. I had an awesome opportunity to volunteer at the MTC being someone that the missionaries taught. It was a great reminder at how far my Spanish has come! It was also such an amazing feeling to be back around missionaries.
It's been funny adjusting to a few things now that I am not on  the mission. One thing is that it is so quiet at night! In Argentina no one sleeps, so there are always sounds and since we slept with the windows open, we could hear it all. It's been odd getting used to sleeping in a quiet house, in a room all by myself.
My foot is doing better. I got a cortisone shot this week ( i would not recommend getting one, they hurt!) and that seemed to help with the pain. This coming week I go to see the physical therapist, and hopefully I can quickly strengthen my ankle and return to the work that the Lord has for me.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Not quite Home for the Holidays

Tuesday morning my parents got a surprising call from Argentina. Around 7 in the morning (Utah time) I called them to let them know that I would be returning from Argentina to the states. I am sure that they were a little surprised, however it was a decision that I had thought and prayed about a lot. For those of you who don't know, two months ago (when I first got to Argentina) I fell walking down the stairs and hurt my ankle. I did all that I could in Argentina, but unfortunately part of being a missionary there includes walking close to 10 miles every day. This did not create a great healing environment. After two months of struggling, I finally decided that it was time to come home and get the medical help and rest that my foot so desperately needed.
When I initially called my parents, I had no travel plans, I only knew that I would be coming home soon. I told them that when I had plans, I would call them again and let them know. Two hours later, I received my plans that I would be flying out THAT NIGHT! I am sure that they were more than shocked to receive that news, I know I was. This was around 2 Argentina time. Everything turned into a whirlwind. I had to go to the mission home, finish up a few things in the office, and pack. By the time I got back to my pension, I had 30 minutes to pack everything. By the time I left for the Airport, I had only had my plans for 3 hours. Then, 25 hours later I was flying into the beautiful Salt Lake Valley.

The very next day I was able to get in to see a great foot doctor. They put me in a walking boot (thank goodness I don't have to do the crutches thing again!!) that I will have for 6 weeks. The doctor said that what I need is to immobilize it, and then to strengthen it, which is something that I could not do while in Argentina. So I got a cortisone shot, and I will start Physical therapy in a week or so.
The goal right now is to go back out. That really is all that I want. Even if I do not feel like my foot is strong enough to go back to Argentina, I want to finish doing that Lord's work here in the States. We are hopeful that I can be out in the mission field in 12 weeks or less. Regardless of where I go, I know that this is the Lord's Work! I am so glad that I got to be a part of it, even if just for 6 months, and I am so excited to finish my service. I pray that while I am here I can learn and grow and be an instrument in his hands.
One of the last days in Argentina. P-Day soccer. (well I
watched and ate ice cream, still fun!)

Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013 Familia!

Pretty sunset.

This is the real us.  We are not super cute all the time :)  HNA Standly is the Amarican.  HNA Matamoros is the Latino.

Me and my comps at our Christmas shindig. I did my hair, put on make up and took of my glasses. Everyone was stunned. Some of my old comps didn't recognize me.

HNA Sanchez, Me, HNA Fernandez, don't know, HNA White. Sanchez y Fernandez were my comps in Caballito


All the elders at our luncheon
Wow this past week has been really different, but really good! First of all Christmas, obviously is different here. They really celebrate the 24th more than the 25th. On the 24th we had a lunch with the whole mission. It was really cool to be with that many missionaries again! Then we went to a bunch of member houses and ate tons of really good food! It was also the hottest Christmas Eve ever, for me. I think the members said it was around 40 degrees celsius. Which is about 105, and the humidity was brutal. I have never felt so disgusting in all my life.

Another different thing has been working in the office. We have had tons of phones transferred between areas, so I had to call every area and confirm that the number we had listed was with the area that we had listed. For most of them I was totally good, I would ask my question, say thanks, and Hang up. However, sometimes people would start asking me questions like I actually know things and can understand them. We all got a kick out of it. Then for the rest of the week I was helping work on the Mission History. One really cool part of it is the Spiritual Experiences from the departing missionaries. They all write a spiritual experience before they leave, and I get to type them all up. It has been really cool to read what the most impressionable spiritual experience was for each of the missionaries. What an amazing thing the mission is! ( this also has helped me make a resolution to have good handwriting... I should probably improve my spelling too...) (note from Mom:  yes, readers, MANY words get fixed before blog is posted!)

I think that I mentioned last week that we are living in the pension where the AP`s used to live and they are living with the office Elders for now.  Well one of the reasons that they chose to go there was because the pension for the Office elders is bigger, and better for 5 people. That was all fine and dandy until we got a call that two of the Tigre sisters were coming to live with us because their pension was a literal oven. SOOO now there are 5 of us in a one bedroom apartment. It´s cozy. However, what a huge blessing that the elders were able to find us another fan so that we don´t all have to sleep in the same room! (it is impossible to sleep without a fan it is so hot)

The Best Ice cream sandwich you will ever eat in your entire life
I feel like I have officially served a foreign mission, because I have now taken a shower using only a bucket. Yep. I am not lying. Saturday morning we woke up and the first Sister showered, and comes out saying that we only have hot water in the bathroom. And the water is hot. It burned me our first day here. So that would not work. However, oddly we still had cold water in the kitchen so the rest of us got a bucket, filled it with cold water, and used it to shower. It wasn't as bad as you would think, but  we didn't feel completely clean. By the last sister, we had NO water (don't worry she did get to shower.. sorta). Yeah seriously we had no water. Because of the heat everyone is using their AC non stop or a million fans and too much energy is being sucked so some places have not had light, and when the energy goes, usually so does the water. Dad, I have so much more respect for your water storage. It became quickly apparent how necessary water is. We had to go to a member's house to fill up our water bottles, because we would have died in this heat without any water to drink. I have never been so happy as I was when the water came back around 10 that night. We had heard it might be a couple days and we would have to buy water or carry it in jugs... I can't even fathom that.

Daily Milagros
23-We had a great first lesson with a man named Leonardo. The spirit was so strong! Ti originally started with him not being interested and just wanting English Lessons, but it turned into a lesson (missionaries are real good at that). At the end, I said a simple, yet fervent prayer asking that Leo could be blessed in his life and be able to know the truth of what we taught. Then after I finished he asked us if he could try it too! So, he said a prayer, and it was so great! He also asked us to write down the steps so that he could practice on his own. It was so cool!
24-We went to this Peruvian family´s house and they totally just enveloped us into their huge family. We didn't feel awkward like we were totally crashing their Christmas, but rather a total feeling of love. It was really great especially because we have only been here for a week ( Well the other sisters have, I've  been here 3 days.) and we felt so loved.
25-Skyping my family! I am so glad that we have the technology to do that now!!
26- I talked on the phone. Up to this point I have avoided it like the plague...
27- Usually I can´t spell or type to save my life. (is that a surprise to any of you??) However, today I had about a 90% accuracy rate in both English AND Spanish as I typed up spiritual Experiences. I felt pretty good about myself.
28-Today we had no water.  We went to our lunch appointment and they were not there. Soo seeing as we had no real food in our apartment, we went and bought pizza. Turns out a member works there. We asked her if she had water and told her we did not, and then ordered our pizza. The way this place works is they deliver, so we left and went to wait at our apartment. At this point we had drunk the water in our bottles and were sorta dying. When the pizza guy delivered, we paid for our pizza and then he said, "Oh! I have something else for you," and then gave us a 2 liter bottle of juice, and said "no charge". We wanted to cry we were so happy to have liquid!
29-Today I finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish!    I was so happy. I love that book. I know with all my heart that it is true! I started it in the MTC, so this took me a little longer than the English version, but it is so amazing. It´s interesting, even when I couldn't understand what I was reading, I could feel the spirit and know that it was true.

Overall this has been great. I am so grateful for the blessing of the last six months. Even though it is really hard sometimes, I would not trade this experience for the world. Overall I know that I have grown so much! Its really interesting to look back at what I have done and where I have been and see where I am now. I am so excited for this next year and to see where I will be a year from now. I know that this gospel is so true. I am so grateful for it. I am grateful for the knowledge that I can be with my family forever. I am so grateful for the Savior and his atonement.

I love you all and Hope that you are all well and Happy!
Love, Hermana Sirrine

Christmas Tree made out of Garbage. NO kidding.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December 23, 2013 Almost Christmas!

Hola Familia!

This week was the best! I think part of it was because I have hardly been able to work and so this week I loved the fact that I was teaching. Also my companions are really great and lots of fun! I´m starting to get the language... well I don´t feel like I am running around with my head cut off at least :) So that is really nice. It´s really funny when I am talking to people and I think I make sense, but by looking at their face it is super obvious that they have no Idea what I am saying. Also, I have had companions from 3 different Latino countries, I am now on the fourth, and so my accent is weird. Well it´s North American, but then some words sound totally Columbian, others Argentine, and others we just don´t know.

This week we got dropped by one of our investigators.  It was sorta sad. I think that she knows there is a lot of good in our church, but has law of chastity issues and doesn't want to change. It´s a bummer. NO one here is married... however it was really weird, we had several lessons with her this week and every single one of them she brought up the law of chastity! EVERY TIME! It didn't matter what we were talking about, plan of salvation, prayer, word of wisdom, every time she brought it right back to the law of chastity. At least I am pretty good at talking about it now! Before my vocabulary was a little lacking, but you best believe I can successfully deliver a law of chastity lesson now.

However, on the upside of the investigators, we had two at church! They are a couple (not married, shocker) They are so great, and this past week they read part of the Book of Mormon together as a family (they have 3 kids)! And they were at church! I am so excited, because I know that Jaqueline is really meditating and searching for an answer! I hope that I can go back to Caballito and see them baptized!
I have started to not like air conditioning. It´s too cold. Hardly anyone has it except the church. Pretty much it´s just real hot always. Oh, and íts humid hot, sometimes we go in someones house and it´s just like an oven. Fan´s are my best friend.

Downside of this week, my foot is a burning fire of something. I would get to about five o´clock and be limping or hurting really bad. I have been taking Ibuprofin casi cada dia por casi dos mezes ahora, and I am sorta worried about effects on my stomach. However even with everything I am doing, I am not seeing an improvement in my foot. SOOOOO shocker, once again I am being moved. So yay new comps. So now I am in an area that has the mission offices. There are sisters that are opening an area here and so I will go to the offices after studies in the morning, work there till 5 or so when Sister Lyons (she and her husband are a senior couple) goes home. And then at that point I will go work with the sisters. At least I have something to do all day. Sitting at home was pretty brutal. So I will be an office sister, part time and out proselyting in the noches. Hopefully this will give my foot a chance to heal, while I am still working. If it doesnt´,,,, well we don't know.

The sisters that are here, like I mentioned, are opening an area, and were living with the Lyons because they can´t move into their apartment until the first of the year. However, there is not space for ANTOTHER sister in their apartment, so we moved into the AP´s apartment. Don´t you fret, they moved out and in with the office elders. You would think ´Oh, the AP´s are responsible, they probably have a nice clean apartment¨´ nope you thought wrong. It was terrible. And it has collected a ton of stuff from elders who are now home. SO they said, "sorry sisters... you can clean  and throw out what you want". You best believe we cleaned. It was so bad. However now it seems way bigger. I guess it´s the least we can do because this whole thing is a mess.

Totally awesome moment from this week:  We were talking to a recent convert through the window, and there was this man who was totally listening and you could tell he wanted to talk to us. So we said "hi" and he came up and asked us if we were from the Mormon church. We said "why yes, we are" and he then started asking lots of questions. They started out totally normal, and then it became very apparent he had read anti and wanted to get us to say something so he could prove us wrong. Sister Sanchez has never encountered that, and sister Fernandez is new and doesn't talk a whole lot, so yep, I was the one answering. It was so cool to feel the power of the spirit as I just testified of what I know is true, because I knew he really wasn't going to listen a whole lot. He just wanted to contend. It was funny because he quickly realized that nothing he would say was going to change my conviction of what I knew to be true. He also couldn´t say much after I told him that if he doesn´t read the Book of Mormon he can´t tell me it´s wrong, and so he left. It´s funny how hard people(and Santánas) work to prove us wrong. They could be really good missionaries if they would convert!

Daily Miracles:
Dic 17- We found a new investigator!" Her name is Jessi and she is so sweet!
Dic 18- My comps are so great! They are dedicated and really hard workers! I love them so much!
Dic 19 We had a thing at the church and they asked me to play piano. (Pretty much if you wear a skirt and a black name tag you can play piano) so I got to sit and play Christmas songs for 30 minutes of so . It was so great!! It really helped it to feel like Christmas.
Dic 20- I was SO happy today. I mean things still fell through, my ankle is still on fire, and it was HOT, but today was SO good. I was so content. I really think learning to be content is the key to life.
Dic 21- We were able to have an unplanned lesson with familia Salas and the member that we brought bore a really strong testimony. Then they  committed to  come to church tomorrow!
Dic 22- Jorge y Jaqueline Salas came to church today! It was so great to see them there! It took 4 weeks of working with them but they finally came. YAY!

I love you all and I hope that this week is the greatest for all! I hope that you remember WHY we have Christmas, and think about what gift you can give Christ this year, seeing as he has given us everything.
I just want you all to know that I know with all of my heart that this is the true church. I know that Christ lives and that through him we can become clean and pure. I know That he restored his church through Joseph Smith. I know that through the power of Christ, Joseph was able to translate the Book of Mormon. I testify that it is a true book. I know that it can help anyone. I know that the book of Mormon is the key to happiness, and through it´s pages we can come to know Christ. I have no doubt that it is through living the commandments that we are able to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again.

I am so grateful for this opportunity to see this gospel change lives. Thank you all for your love and support! You mean the world to me.

Con Todo mi Corózon,
Hermana Sirrine
3 Nephi 13:5

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December 17, 2013 Hola! What a weird week!

Beautiful sunset!

Amazing view from our balcony


Wow, what a weird week! I left the house twice, let´s just say the small pension got smaller. Good thing it had cute yellow walls. So pretty much the set up was I was always in the house and since I went where there was a trio, they rotated who stayed home with me. The Sisters are amazing! I was with Hermana Sanchez (not my old comp, and she is from Guatemala), Hermana Standly (from Provo, Utah, and she speaks like a native because she was smart and paid attention in Spanish class), and Hermana Fernandez (she is from ARG and she is waiting for her visa to Mexico. She leaves mid January I think). They were so great. I will totally admit there were some really long days, but overall it went pretty quick.
Me and my two comps: Hmna Sanchez on left, Hmna Fernandez middle

Today was transfers, and we all had a really strong feeling that Hermana Standly and I were leaving. Last night we got the calls, and no surprise, Hermana Standly se va. Y Yo no fui! En serio! (Google translate says:  "Hermana Standly leaves and I did not!  Seriously!) So My area is with these awesome girls here in Cabillito. I am so excited. So now I have two native companions. Man am I gunna learn. We were all super surprised to hear that! It´s crazy, pretty much my entire mission has been change after change. These girls are my 10th and 11th companions, and this is my 6th area. I have been out for less than 6 months. I cannot even fathom what it is like for some of these missionaries who have 6 or 7 months in one area! Weird!
I´m also really excited to meet the investigators we have. I have helped plan for them, and studied for them, and heard all about them... and now I get to meet them! I´m excited!

Me and Hermana Standly put together a list of things about Argentina. I will try and not repeat what I have already sent, but thought this might be enjoyable.
-A lot of people don´t flush their toilet paper. Actually most of them don´t. It´s not like the plumbing is really bad... . but in some areas it is so it´s a habit.
-Latinos leave food out forever. Doesn't matter what kind of food it is.
-Most houses don´t have AC so windows are always open. We are lucky, our pension has a small AC unit in the bedroom so we can run it at night. It is bliss
-Everyone has a dog. Everyone´s dog has a dog.
-The bread is SINFULLY good. Seriously
-You have not eaten good ice cream unless you have had it here
-Doors lock from both sides
-Milk comes in bags. So does mayo
-There are bars on every window and doors are real sturdy. Lots of them have bars too.

Some insights that I had this week: (I would tell you about the work.. but my studies were about my extent....)
We are not meant to fit a mold. God does not want or need cookie cutter missionaries, or cookie cutter members for that matter. The gospel is to make good better and better best, not to make everyone the same. This is something that probably sounds stupid, but was a really big thing for me to realize. I think we sometimes as missionaries try to be the same and lose our personalities, when in reality God needs all of us to be unique, because the people we are helping are unique.

The power of Prayer. Well actually, the power of a RIGHT prayer. Over and over in the scriptures we read that if we ask, it will be given. BUT it also says that if we ask, and it is right, we will be given. I think this is the key. If you notice, in many instances when Book of Mormon heroes are liberated, they pray for the Strength to change their circumstances, not to have their circumstances changed. Nephi is a great example of this. When he is bound, he prays for the strength to burst the bands. He still had to make an effort to break them, but with the added strength of the Lord he was able to do so. SOOOO here´s the epiphany. So many times when I have been going through hard times, I have prayed for the circumstances to be different or changed. However, all my life I haven´t been going about it the right way. What we need to pray for more is the strength and guidance to change our circumstances. For example, I should not pray to know the language. But I need to pray for the diligence to listen and learn and have the perseverance to learn this language. Interesting. Along with that thought, the enabling power of the atonement is SO COOL! and amazing, and pretty much I would be nothing with out it. I know with all of my heart that he is with me always and sustaining me physically and spiritually. I hope you all can know and feel that too.

Daily Miracles:

9 Dic- The Tri that I joined has 2 natives, and the other sister talks like a native but is from the states. I am amazed at how much I can understand. I am learning. YAY!
10 Dic- Laughing till it hurts
11 Dic- Today I had the best study time. I was on a spiritual High. I love the scriptures so much!
12 Dic- Today I was sitting on the balcony watching the sunset. It was beautiful! Absolutely lovely. I was filled with such a peace and calming reassurance that god loves me and is with me, I just need to ´look up´and see him.
13 Dic- Hermana Standly told me that she loved having a day to talk and joke and laugh and also do it in English. I am so glad that my presence has been able to help her.
14 DIc- I got to leave the house to go to lunch at the bishop's house!
15 Dic- Today I got to take the sacrament. The lesson in Sunday school had been on repentance, so I was already thinking about Christ and his Atonement, so the sacrament was extra special today. It is truly amazing the literal lifting of a burden that you can feel as you repent, and then take the sacrament.
16 Dic-  The time to have a deep spiritual conversation with Hermana Standly and really refocus and think about what I want in the mission.

Well I love you all like crazy! I hope that you are enjoying the cold (for those of you that have it) and that you think about your Savior and how much he loves you right now!
Les quierro con todo mi corozón!
Hermana Sirrine