Monday, August 11, 2014

Last Word From the Field

Dear Friends and Family,

I wish that I had some amazing email that I could send home today.  Basically, I know that if it wasn’t for the power of Christ’s atonement I would have never been able to make it through these last 18 months. I am feeling a little empty because my heart has just been poured all the way out; the people in Salt Lake and Argentina have all of it.  The only regret that I have is that I feel like I have gotten more out of this experience than I could have ever given.  I am the sum total of my companions, investigators, and my Mission President.  I love those people.  I love this gospel.  I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the truth.  And I know that this is where it all begins :)

See you all soon  
xoxo,
Hermana Walker
North America here I come!



The cute lady who does our laundry is going to the celestial kingdom for sure! I was surprised to see that she actually sewed the holes in my socks.

The 21 missionaries from the Eldorado Valley Ward
on the wall outside the Bishop's office :-)




Monday, August 4, 2014

Living in Denial

Hello,

Nicholas's companion sounds super cute! I love that he is just talking about how humble he is. And Marcus sounds so pitiful.  He is already upset he doesn't speak Spanish in one day! Our family needs to learn patience! Hahahaha. 

This week President changed a bunch of rules and now we can drink Coke.  We are just doing everything 100 percent Preach my Gospel and mission white hand book, nothing extra. The weird thing with the diet here is it actually just tastes like regular Coke, but it will hold me over for the next couple of weeks. 

Speaking of the next couple of weeks, I lived in denial all week that my time is almost over, and then I sit down in the cyber to email you and I can't deny it any more. I'm kind of having an anxiety attack sitting here as I write. Dating, school, job, life are just too much for me. Really too much!! And my favorite family were able to reschedule their wedding but it's not until the 30th of August, so I'll be gone :(

Yes, I want to go to Ashley Swarts's wedding! And I'm glad to hear Aunt JoEllen is okay! Scary for the whole family!!

And I know that was like the lamest email time ever, but I am so stressed out that I can't really put my thoughts into words. I'll just have to worry about the future in the future. We will plan next week for how everything is going to work out for Friday! Can't wait to see my mom in 11 days ;) And everyone else in 19!

xoxo,

Hermana Chloe
Hermana Reid and I

Zone activity

I got to go on divisions with this cute girl this week--Hermana Foutz from Henderson!
I gave my companion highlights! It looked really good. I need to take an after shot :)  PS. I'm sooooo excited you were able to get me a hair appointment on Saturday!! My plane better not be late.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Wedding Planner

Hi,

That is the chosen title of my email today because that is what I feel like these days: a wedding planner. Our three progressing families are couples that are waiting to get married, but unfortunately I haven’t been a very successful wedding planner lately. I am currently planning weddings number 4, 5, and 6 that of my mission.  We had one scheduled for Friday, the one I wrote about last week, that we had been planning for five weeks, and it was cancelled.  

This is what happened. I am a little upset with the officials, because between the time that they got their appointment to get married and last week they had changed the paperwork and did not let them know. So they showed up with what they had told them to bring before and not the new secret requirements.  It actually messed up two of our couples.  It was super rough for all of us.  They are headed today to go get a new appointment.  The problem is that they must get married in the registro civil, and to do that they have to get an appointment about a month in advance for when they can go and get married.  The country is a little unorganized so the requirements are not always the same. Sad. It is so awful that it is so hard to get married and keep the commandments in this country.  For those of you who live in Vegas: home of the 24 hour wedding chapels, you have no idea how much I wish that we had that here! But other than the two cancelled weddings, it was a good week.  

Basically we stay busy all the time taking care of these families and trying to find new ones.  It is a great problem to be so busy that it is hard to get everything done. I have a little over two weeks left! I can’t believe it.  I heard that President cancelled the end of the mission tour, so that is just another reason I’m so excited that mom is coming.  We can see Buenos Aires together :)

The best moment of the week was Saturday.  The Stake young men and young women had a theater event where each ward did a short play of a Book of Mormon story.  Since the MTC my favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon has been Jacob 5, and I have probably read it about one or two times a week since I have been on the mission.  And it gets me every time.  And as it would turn out our ward was assigned the Allegory of the Olive tree from Jacob 5 as our little theater production.  They did a modern dance version of the trees with the young women wearing green and brown dresses.  They danced and played the trees, and then they had one of the young men play the Lord of the Vinyard, and because we have very few young men, our little 12-year-old investigator, Liam, played the Servant of the Lord of the Vineyard.  

I sobbed the whole production of about 15minutes as I watched our little investigator play the part of the Savior.  I might just miss watching this family enter the waters of baptism, but some things are more important.  A long time ago in my mission I prayed to my Father that he wouldn’t send me anything or ask me to do anything that would influence me to develop pride.  And as I have watched the blessings unfold from that desire I am amazed, that I have been allowed to feel successful but in a quiet way.  I felt lately that my Father is proud and accepts my service.  This moment was one that has literally changed me, and the whole family was spiritually uplifted.

I can’t believe that Marc leaves tomorrow! How is he doing? Camron sent me a picture of you guys at Grimaldi’s.  I love Grimaldi’s!  (Ever since Whitney and Ryan suggested we walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and go to Grimaldi’s, I have loved it, for the pizza and for the happy memory of that day!)  That is on my list of the things we will be eating my first week. Mom, what are you going to do when the boys are gone? We’ve been planning so long to get them ready to leave, and tomorrow they will both be gone. When I think about them, I just cry. I can’t even imagine how you feel. Mom, you and I have both been doing very scary things lately!

I love this gospel and being a missionary, even if that means I will be doing wedding planning for the last two weeks of my mission. Haha. Oh, I hope to see these weddings! We shall see.

xoxo,
Hermana Walker 


PS. Nick sounds so good.  I love that he’s like if my emotional sister can do it, I can do it. Haha.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Funny Story

Hello all!

For the past couple of days, I have been noticing that all of my socks are getting holes in the balls of my feet, and I have been wondering why and just thinking that my socks are getting old.  Then, I took a look at the bottom of my shoe, and I saw my foot and started cracking up in the street. haha.

I am crying in cyber because of all of the pictures and letters from and about Marc and Nic today. I've actually been doing a lot of that lately. Every time I feel the spirit of missionary work, like in a lesson, or at church or something, I start to cry because I know that I will be feeling a lot less of that soon. My companion and I are trying to just work our hardest, and in reality we are just super enjoying everything.   

As for our family, they are getting married this Friday, and everything is still on schedule.  They have their interview tomorrow, and then instead of Saturday, they are getting baptized on Sunday after church and then confirmed the same day. We changed the day because on Saturday there is a stake activity and our chapel is the stake center. We couldn't find a time other than 2 in the afternoon, and having a baptism in Argentina durring the siesta is like asking for no one to show up, maybe even the people getting baptized. haha.  

This last week I got strep throat just like my companion, so that pretty much sums up our week.  But our family is so cute!! This week the dad told us that he asked his children if they wanted some tea in the morning with their breakfast (something they used to always do), and then the children were like all confused and offended because the Hermanitas said that tea was bad.  Then the dad said, "I know I was just testing you."  It was a super cute story! Ya, these children are super, super cute.  With the last week before the baptism, we are expecting a lot of problems, but it is to be expected before every single baptism. 

I am going to go, but l love you! And hopefully there will be pictures of a baptism for you next week! 

xoxo,

Hermana Chloe
Hole in my shoe. haha.
Elias is a recent convert whose parents are getting married on the 22nd of August so that his mom can get baptized!

Hna Reid and I in our Jerseys watching the semi-finals game (Dia day repose people, we couldn't watch the finals on Sunday.) However, I'm very sad for Argentina ;( 

These are two pictures that I have in my bag and show almost every new person we talk to.  It really helps us gain confidence with the people  to talk about our families. The first picture is one side and the second is the other side. (Do you like how I added myself to the graduation picture?)



Monday, July 7, 2014

Praying for the Time to Go Slower


Hello all!

So the whole mission was kinda hit this week by a wave of sickness and luckily I did not get it this time!! Unfortunately, my companion did. She was sick with strep throat so she got an antibiotic on Monday, but then it didn't get better so they upped her dosage on Thursday, and then she finally got better. Basically that means that we did little teaching last week trying to help her rest and feel better.  But we did manage to make it to our most important investigators. I will tell you a little more about our miracle family that I've mentioned before.

Barby started listening to the missionaries 13 years ago, but then she stopped because her husband didn't want to get legally married so that she could  get baptized.  About 7 years ago, she attended church with her at the time little children and again desired to be baptized, but the same obstacle of marriage prevented her from baptism and lead her to investigate other churches.  In this last year, Barby and her family have gone through a lot of trials, and she was about to move to Spain to work for a year to get away from all the problems before the missionaries knocked on her door two weeks before she left.  She listened to them for about a month before I was transferred into the area.  In our first lesson  after I got here, we taught Barby with her husband (Jesus) for the first time.  Then the next lesson we taught the whole family with the children Liam (12) and Julie (10).  And then that Sunday they came to church together as a family!  They have a date to be married on the 25th of July and to be baptized on the 26th.  They seriously are a miracle.  So prepared.  In the lesson we had with them on Friday, Jesus said the last prayer and prayed for their family fechas and at the end of the prayer he was crying.  It was a super sacred experience.  He started the lesson saying he thought it might be a good idea to wait for a month to get married so that they could have a little more money, but when we explained that they could be going to the temple in one year and that the sooner the better he just said, "Well then I guess we're really getting married on the 25th," and he just looked at his wife and smiled.  And the children are angels.  I love them, and I am humbled for the opportunity to teach them.  I know that Satan will not make it easy, but the power of Christ's atoning sacrafice will make it possible!

About my companion! Her name is Hermana Maren Reid.  She only has one transfer less than me on the mission, so it is kinda crazy that we are together.  She is 23 and from Mesa, Arizona.  Basically, we are super good friends, and the work just seems so much easier these days to be with someone like her.  I have loved every one of my companions, but it takes a lot of stress away to be with someone who is so much like me and who also wants to finish strong on the mission. And with so little time left on the mission, working hard is the only option.  We both love this area and the mission, and she is a saint for putting up with me in my last transfer and my anxiety about going home :)

The new mission president and his wife, President and Hermana Robertson, came to our zone meeting this week. I've been in denial that the Carters actually left, but meeting the Robertsons made it very real! Don't be jealous Mom and Dad, but I felt kinda like my parents left me behind!!! You know how I love the Carters! But actually President and Hermana Robertson are super nice.  I think that he is going to be a very good president. He seems to really know the gospel and how to apply it in our lives, and I think that he will be a very good spiritual teacher for the missionaries.

I forgot to tell you, but before President Carter left, we had a great interview--kind of like my exit interview where we talked about the future and everything. At the end he gave me a blessing; it was very sacred. I will tell you all about it when we see each other in August. I am officially pathetic. President and Hermana Carter are planning a mission reunion in October during Conference. This is how pathetic I am: the thing that I am most looking forward to after the mission is . . . the mission reunion! Haha.  The Carters love to set people up, and he said that he has a few former elders in mind but he will consult with the hermana to get her thoughts on who they should introduce me to at the reunion. It's going to be a big reunion in the Tanner building on campus, and I really am excited. No judging! 

May we all try a little harder to find the touch of our Father in Heaven's hand in all things beautiful this week.  Do the things that you won't be able to do in one week like give eachother all hugs.  Marc and Nic you are both commanded to give each other a hug at least every day. I LOVE YOU!

xoxo,
Hermana Chloe 

PS. We have permission to watch the Argentina soccer game on Wednesday!!
Julie and I 
President and Hermana Robertson
My 4th of July outfit.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Castelar!!!

Hi,

So in case anyone was wondering if I got transferred...What are you thinking? This is the mission of Hermana Walker. Of course I got transferred!!  I am now back in my first area to die in the same place where I was born. (In mission lingo the place where you are born is your first area and your last area is where you die.) It is kind of surreal to be back in Castelar.  One of the investigators that I found here 9 months ago is engaged to get married so that she can get baptized before I go home! It will be a super bitter sweet moment. 

As for Castelar, it has been surprisingly great to be back.  I was a little scared when I saw that I was coming back, and when I walked into our apartment on the first day I couldn’t hold back the tears.  I was caught off guard by the flood of emotions from my first transfer here in Argentina. I have come full circle, and I’m so grateful to be here. While in this area the first time, I was destroyed in every single way—emotionally, spiritually, physically. I arrived in Argentina full of fear and anxiety about the country, language, and worries from home. It got to the point where I didn’t think I could do it.  At the end of my first 3 or 4 weeks in Argentina, I left Castelar struggling to survive and clinging to a tiny particle of faith, and I went to 9 de Julio where the Lord helped me become who he needed, not who I  had wanted.  The sting of those first weeks hurt when I came back.  But then like He always does, the Lord has just poured out the blessings.

The sisters were teaching a lady before I got here, and on my first day in this area we had a lesson with her and invited the Dad to listen as well.  On my second day, we had a lesson with the Mom the Dad, the son (12), and the daughter (10).  Then, they all came to church on Sunday! They have a fecha to be baptized on the 26th, and today at 6:30 in the morning we went to the registro civil to get them a turno to get married.  They will be getting married on 25th of July and then baptized as a family on the 26th.  As I stood in the crowded bus this morning after my companion and I went with Barby to the registero civil, I had to hide the tears. I could not believe how strongly I could feel the spirit in that bus.  I knew that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I have hardly ever felt like I stood in a holier place than that bus.  It was one of the most sacred experiences of my mission.  So in addition to the family we found back in Oct., that is two families we have getting married in July! Yay! Yesterday, we had dinner with the bishop and when his wife was talking about our three families of investigators she started to cry.  I love this ward, I love the mission, the work is going great, and I still have 7 more weeks!!!! I’m so lucky!!!!

In what ever happens this week, just love it! Sometimes it is the only thing we can do.  I love you all!

xoxo,
Hermana Walker 


P.S. My companion is Hermana Reid from Arizona. She’s great; I’ll tell you more about her next time.  I think she is my 9th companion in 9 months. Crazy! Especially crazy for a girl who used to fear and despise change. 


Hermana Reid

Monday, June 16, 2014

For My Brothers--What Every Elder Needs to Know to Get through His Mission with All These Sisters. . .


To Marcus and Nicholas,

Because of recent experience and observations, I feel motivated this afternoon to address a topic for my handsome little brothers, who will be leaving on their missions in one month's time.  This advice is so that they can know how to appropriately and respectfully handle being in the same mission as sister missionaries.  I will start out by saying that I feel for you bros, sister missionaries while in general are great, can be quite a problem. Sisters and Elders are now often the same age. Sisters have a unique work to do as missionaries and can often reach people that the elders can't; however, the increase in awesome sisters creates unique challenges for the elders. Here are some tips and thoughts that will guide you through many potentially difficult situations and help you stay focused.

-First, you need to have a the general understanding of who a sister missionary is exactly.  I have decided that there really are 4 different types of gender in this world--all so significant that they deserve their own category--these are: male, female, pregnant, and missionary.  Therefore, in your mission you will be missionaries and the sisters will be missionaries.  It will help to just think you are all the same gender.  Some missionaries wear skirts and some wear pants and a tie. Also, as for respectfully talking to and dealing with the missionaries in skirts, I would say that a good general rule is to treat them like someone else's grandmother--meaning super nice and respectfully--but nothing more.  If you wouldn't say it to a Tanner's or Braize's grandmother, then you shouldn't say it to a sister. If you wouldn't do something for Sister Imlay or Sister Stubbs, then you shouldn't do it for a sister.

-Second, you need to be careful with pictures. (This advice is not reflected by the first few months of pictures from my mission before I got smart.) It will really help you out to set some personal rules before you go into the MTC.  Here are my suggested picture guidelines. First, if a sister missionary wants a picture with you, NEVER take a picture without your companion, and she should also be with her companion in the picture.  However, because you should also not take a picture two and two like a double date, there should be one other elder or sister in the picture (for example, the companion of whoever is taking the picture) in the picture or have a member or other person in the picture.  Meaning, if you take a picture with a sister missionary in it there, will be at least 5 people in the photo!  Why is this important you ask? Because in my time as a sister training leader, I have seen some crazy stuff.  And some sisters are nuts and look through the pictures in their camera a lot.  Just imagine if she had a picture alone with you.  Don't let her get any ideas!

-Another thing,  If there is a group of sisters talking at a mission event.  Don't talk to them.  Go to a group of elders and talk with them.  A mission is a complete bromance.  Embrace the bromance! Avoid at all costs any romance!!!  You speak with the sisters only when you have to. If you enter a room with sisters, you shake their hands to be polite and greet them, then you go talk to elders.

-Fourth, as a leader, district or zone leader, you should accept the importance of Sister Training Leaders.  They have the responsibility help the sisters in every aspect that is outside of the general district or zone capacity.  Meaning that you can help the sisters all you want within a district or zone meeting, but outside of that meeting you have the priesthood responsibility for accountability and nothing else.  Every-other-thing you want to say, you should say to the STLs, and they will let the sisters know.  Even something little in the work should be communicated through the STLs.  For example, you can't just call and tell them things.  Let's say that a companionship is having a hard time finding new investigators, and you as their district leader call them and give them all sorts of advice for only their companionship to help them find new people.  Then what happens?  (1)They feel all special because you are helping them, and (2) they want to call you after and tell you about all of their successes and say that you are just the greatest.  Bla-bla-bla! It is just easier to call the STLs, and then have them call the sisters, if you just can't wait until the next district meeting to give the help to the whole district.

Other general stuff:
-Do everything in your power to do nothing that would make a sister think that she is special to you.
-Do not go easy on them, but also do not be overly hard. Good luck with that balance :-)
-A general mission rule, for working with sisters and others in your mission, is to learn to say sorry. If there is a misunderstanding, apologize first. Swallow your pride, and say sorry!

Other than that, I will do some more thinking of other things you need to know.  You guys will be awesome. Just be wise.  Don't do anything stupid.  Don't act your age.

xoxo,
Hermana Walker

P.S. Have mom by you knee length spandex shorts to wear under your basketball shorts for exercise or activities. The sisters don't want to see your underwear hanging out of your shorts :-) You're too classy for that.

Rainy and Cold and Tired and Probably Being Transferred Again, but at least Messi scored a goal for me!

Hello,

The whole country is soccer crazy! I'm not going to lie, this was a hard week.  It was rainy and freezing! We hardly taught lessons this week, and yesterday we couldn't go out and work after 7 for the game.  But everytime that Argentina scored we could hear the cheers! That was fun! Did Messi score the first or the second goal??

Well, in our area nothing is really happening.  We knock on a lot of doors.  We literally get rejected every single day.  We walk for hours and hours--all day, every day.  Good news is that from all the walking and stress, I have lost a little weight. Haha.  We have gone multiple days without teaching any lessons, and for the whole week last week we only found 1 new investigator.  In this mission anything less than 8 is an embarassment. This area is seriously kicking my trash! But I still feel okay, it's just really hard. It's a good thing I can do hard things, right Mom?

Last week our best investigator wrote us a text message confessing his love for Hermana Walker, which I had to show to the Assistants, and means I am probably going to be transferred this week. I had to tell them that he has a baptism date, which really means I'm most likely getting transferred. I am almost getting used to getting transferred so often, almost. I really hoped to finish my mission here. I also don't like leaving on a bad week, and I've really grown to love the sisters in the zone. It is out of my control. I will find out tonight if I'm being transferred and transfers are on Wednesday. Worrying about transfers is stressful for me, but surprisingly I still came out of this week feeling pretty happy. Just keep swimming, that's what I do--just swim, swim, swim. 

I can't believe Nick leaves in 30 days! Que loco! You just keep swimming, too, Mom!

How is Lexi? That is so weird that she is home; I am freaking out.  AHHHH.  Boys, will you make me a playlist of all of the good music I missed? It will help with my transition. Haha. I'm afraid we're all going to be so weird. This last transfer will be 8 weeks, and so I am in the first week of my last transfer.  And I am getting slightly depressed about my mouse colored hair and my grandma clothes. My emotions about all of this are so conflicting!!

I find it best to just focus on the day and the week. No worries about the future.  All is well. I'm keeping the faith and still loving the mission despite a difficult couple of weeks. God has a plan for me--I know this! We'll see about transfers. I love you all.

xoxo,
Hermana Chloe

Monday, June 2, 2014

Elle Woods Moment

Hi all,

Soo...I am really starting to feel very unmotivated to write emails these days.  Seriously, I have a little over two months left and there is nothing new to write, but I will tell ya how the week went.

Our area right now is really hard.  We opened up the area after being closed and getting the members moving again to help us has been a little slow.  We are going to keep going with that though and we know that everything will improve.  We found a really legit man name Ricardo...I might have talked about him last week.  Well this week he didn’t come to church so we went to his house to see what happened, and guess what happened? HE WAS CAR JACKED! Saturday night his car was stolen at gunpoint, and then he couldn’t make it to church.  I was like, seriously Satan—you had to had two men with guns steal his car to get him to not come to church, low blow.  But he is still on board to be baptized this month so that is good.

On Tuesday, I went on my first divisions as an Hermana Training Leader. It was really fun. Hermana Benson (from Springville, Utah) is amazing.  We served in the same ward in Las Heras, so it was a pretty fun division.  On Friday we had a leadership meeting with all the zone leaders and hermana training leaders. Funny story. I was kind of nervous about the meeting. I definitely had an Elle Woods moment.  I got up that morning and could not pick an outfit.  I went through all of my pink shirts and sweaters and finally settled on a black skirt, black tights, and a white button down shirt, and a grey blazer—a very serious outfit. Haha. That was the only outfit that I felt comfortable wearing to go to the “big leadership meeting,” so obviously I started remembering Elle on her first day of Harvard Law School when she put on her ugly, serious, studious clothes. I don’t usually worry about what I wear on the mission, but wearing “serious” clothes did make me feel more comfortable about going to the meeting.  Haha. However, I will need an intervention in two months...

Nothing else really happened.  I am reading Jesus the Christ.  It is good.  We are working hard.  I love the mission!

Hermana Chloe
The whole country is soccer crazy! These are my boys and my boyfriend, Messi, in the middle. He's going to score lots of goals for me. Haha.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Ramos Mejia Otra Vez

Hello all!

I was transferred again, back to Ramos Mejia (where I served for a couple of weeks with Hermana Castellanos and Hermanita Carter). My companion and I are literally starting from zero here in Ramos Mejia.  The area has been closed for three weeks (since I left for Caseros) and wasn't worked in for about a month so everything is dead.  But it is kinda fun to start from zero.  It is a lot better to meet the expectation of getting better every week,  and we are able to work in the Lord's Way to start things up again. We had a very hard week finding new people to teach.  

After living a pretty sheltered life, it is hard to have people on the street look at you with a face of disgust simply because I am wearing a name tag.  They use it as an excuse to be rude.  But after a very long week in the last moments of Sunday night, my companion and I found an amazing man named Ricardo.  He is a single dad of a 7-year-old boy.  He is a Police officer that used to work in the undercover drug deparment in Buenos Aires.  Legit.  He has a tatoo of the Marines sign on his right arm. When we just had knocked his door and were getting to know him, I told him that my cousin was a Marine, and he then let us in to teach him.  So thanks for being awesome Weston!!

My companion is Hermana Cuevas from Honduras. She has been on the mission for almost a year.  She is awesome and has a great personality, and I am really excited to serve with her.  Hopefully she will be my last companion and this my last area. The ward is really great here, and they have the desire to work really hard with the missionary effort so we are going to help to try and teach them and get them involved.  Yesterday during Sacrament Meeting, we sang the Argentine National Anthem standing, and at the end everyone burst into applause!  It was a national holiday yesterday.  But it was really funny.  There were people crying and everything.  As for this week, I am just praying that it doesn't rain like last week on Tuesday.  These Argentine storms are killing me.  

xoxo,
Hermana Chloe
Transfer meeting--Hermana Adams (old companion in red coat) on one side and Hermana Cuevas (new companion) on the other side. I feel like a giant compared to Hermana Cuevas.

Monday, May 19, 2014

What is Going to Happen to Me?!?

Hello!

So I am rounding up this transfer, and it looks like I am finished here in Caseros 1 and will be transferred again, and it is a little sad because it is a really great ward.  This transfer I have learned more than any other I think, but I also say that ever transfer. Haha.  I have really learned what it means to give absolutely everything to the Lord.  And as I have watched His hand take me all over the mission, I have been floored by how obvious it is that there are no coincidences—for companions, investigators, members, and other sisters. The Lord has put me right were I needed to be at all the moments that He needed me just to serve.  I honestly feel like nothing more of what I do has to do with me.  I have turned everything over to Him, and I have never been happier.

LOVE YOU ALL!

xoxo,
Hermana Walker

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Hi,
We just talked yesterday! It was so good to see and talk to you all, but now I don't have much new to say.  Life is good. I love being a missionary!
xoxo,
Hermana Chloe

Here are a few pictures from my week.

Cute little dog sticking his head through the wall.
Happy, happy week! Hermanita Carter (President and Hermana Carter's daughter) came to spend the weekend with us again! Love her :)
Hermana Adams, Hermanita Carter, y yo
Add caption
Picture from the Hermanas Meeting.
Skype :)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Transferred Again--Caseros

Hello all,

So I have officially had another transfer and am in my fourth area and fifth companion in three weeks. There are seriously sister missionaries who only have three areas their whole missions, and I have passed that in three weeks.  Crazy.  I have realized why this is happening, because as I have prayed to develop the Christlike attributes, Heavenly Father is giving me a crash course. haha.  However, I know that I am being divinly helped through this time.  But I give you a word of caution--beware of praying for more charity and patience because you just might not like how you get to learn it. I love the gospel and being a missionary.  

My companion continued to have health problems and had to return home to Honduras. It was very sad and stressful.  I was lucky to have Hermana Briana Carter (the Carters' daughter) as my companion over the weekend. After working Briana, staying at her house, and working out together we have become pretty good friends, and she was able to help me with the stress of all that has happened the past few weeks. One of the AP's also gave me a blessing. I am now in Caseros and my companion is Hermana Adams from California.  I have only been here for 15 hours, but so far I like it. My companion is really cute and funny, and she has made me laugh today, which is just exactly what I need. I plan on just working hard and having fun for the last 2 1/2 weeks of the transfer, and then we shall see what happens. 

Short letter, but I will be talking to you guys on Sunday!

xoxo,

Hermana Chloe

Monday, April 28, 2014

Craziest Week of My Mission!

Hello all!

This week was insanity! Here is the rundown.

Monday- I talked to the president and learned that I was being transferred. He told me that he was sending the office elders out with the truck to come get us and that I needed to pack my stuff. So I packed my bags, and an hour later I was on my way to the offices.  After getting to the offices we had to wait around about two hours for interviews.  After that we switched companions, and I headed off to my new area in San Justo.  

Tuesday- We woke up in the morning and my new companion, Hermana Patrone, told me that we had exchanges with the Hermana Training Leaders.  So I packed up a backpack, and we went to district meeting.  After that we had the switch, and I went off to Ramos Mejia to work with the Hermana Líder Entrenadora.  Tuesday was actually the most normal day, and we worked hard.

Wednesday-  It was supposed to be the last day of the exchange.  We woke up worked out, got ready, did personal study, and started companionship study.  All morning my temporary companion (the hermana leader) for the exchanges said that she didn’t feel well.  Half way through companionship study she got up and said that she needed a second.  She walked into our room for a couple of minutes, and all I heard was her say, “Hermana.” I walked in there, and she was on the floor.  She was unconscious and had a fast heart rate.  Then her pulse dropped, and she stopped breathing.  I jumped into a super calm mode and started ordering people around.  I told one of the two other sisters in the apartment to call president and the other an ambulance. I checked her pulse again and listened for breathing sounds, and then I yelled at her and ORDERED her to breathe!  She started breathing and the emergency people on the phone told me to sit behind her and sit her up with her head against my chest. I held her like that and waited for help. I think we were all praying the whole time. Finally, President showed up with the Hermana Carter and one of the assistants, and then the paramedics, and it was quite the morning.  The health guys did an EKG in our apartment to check that she was okay, and then they left.  Then, after about an hour and a half later she finally regained consciousness and talked to President.  Then, President left for a minute with the Hermana and Assistant came back and told us to pack our stuff for a night because we were going to the mission home.  First we went to lunch and  ice cream, and it was great.  But I was still a little shaken up.

After lunch, we went back to the mission home.  On the way home President said, “Hermana Walker, do you trust the Hermanas in San Justo to pack up your stuff?” I shook my head yes.  He then said, “Welcome to Ramos Mejia, Hermana!”  It was one of those statements full of meaning because my new companion is sick and only has two weeks in the area herself.  It is also a really hard area of the mission and the area of the Hermana Training Leaders.  It also meant that I had three companions and three areas in three days. When we got back to the house my official new companion, the Hermana Castellanos,  went upstairs to sleep, and I ended up talking to president for about an hour before the Hermana Carter asked me if I would go with her daughter to work out.  So there I was at 4 in the afternoon working out in a beautiful park in the Buenos Aires North mission with Briana (who is awesome by the way, and we were friends after like 5 minutes).  That night we ate at a burger place that tasted really close to one in the States.  Heaven.

Thursday-  We woke up, got ready, and headed out.  At about 8 we got back to our apartment.  My companion, still exhausted, went to sleep and I unpacked my stuff.  At about 11, we ate lunch and then just lay in bed talking.   Then my companion said that her heart was beating really fast.  And two minutes later she is out again.  And this time we are alone in the pench.  I called president and was frightened because my companion was once again having a hard time breathing. I sat behind her and held her with her head against my chest again. And an hour later President and the Hermana Carter and the assistant show up again.  At this point I am really shaken up but holding it together. 

After about an hour or two we headed to the offices of the church in Buenos Aires for my companion to talk to some doctors.  They check her out thoroughly and cleared her to go. It was the Carters’ anniversary so we all went out to dinner. We then spent the second night in the mission home.

Friday- To stay under watch of president, we remained in the offices all day.  It was fine. We just read and slept and stuff.  However, my companion didn’t have any shoes because her last pair just broke, so the Hermana Carter sent us to buy shoes.  We went and bought the shoes (You know I enjoy a little shoe therapy.) When we were heading back to the offices in a remis (taxi), you’ll never believe what happens next.  We got in a car accident!  When we were at a stoplight a lady didn’t see us or the red light and hit us hard from behind.  She didn’t even brake, and the car didn’t have headrests so I was shaken up pretty bad.  My companion was luckily slouched in her seat.  So finally after the driver talked to the police and everything we got back to the office.  At this point my companion is still not feeling well, almost died the two days previous, and we just got in a car accident and my back hurts.  Holding it together was not going to happen again.  We walked into the office, and I started breaking down crying and president said, “Don’t worry Hermana, we are going to take care of you.”  So for the third night in a row, we headed back to the mission home.

Saturday- We rested all day. We talked.  I love Sister Castellanos--she is a beautiful, kind person and amazing.  I'm excited to work with her. That night we had the baptism of Juan Carlos.  It went well. We slept in our apartment this night.

Sunday- The confirmation was great! Then my companion wasn’t doing so great, and the assistants picked us up and we headed back to the mission home.  My companion and I both had great talks with President.  We made some pancakes with the Hermana for President and the assistants.  Slept great. And...

Monday-  Today a remis came and picked us up from president’s house and drove us back to Ramos Mejia straight to the cyber where I am now emailing you.  

That is all that has happened this week.  Nada mas.

xoxo,

Hermana Chloe

PS. I cleared it with Sister Castellanos to share this story on the blog.
Dinner with the Carters and the assistants and the Hermana Castellanos.

The Hermana Castellanos y yo

The baptism of Juan Carlos



Monday, April 14, 2014

I Don't Know What I'm Going to Do about the Cold!!

Hello all!

This week we were confronted with something that I have not yet encountered on my mission: Cold! Because I had to wait for my visa, I was in the States for spring, summer, and part of fall, and then came to Argentina for spring, summer, and fall.  But now that fall is in full swing and we are approaching winter, I am getting more and more scared. I am cold.  On Saturday when we had 0 new investigators and really had to go out searching, it was so cold and super, super windy with a little bit of rain.  Every time someone rejected us I was just thinking “Do you not have a soul? Look at us out here in the cold, windy rain. You’re really not going to let us inside for a minute?”  I kinda feel like a real missionary--real missionaries go searching in the rain! Haha. But really, I’m nervous about my first winter. 

We had a hard week, but like always we made it through.  Mom, you asked about miracles, and so I thought of a spiritual experience yesterday that was amazing.  It is something that happens all the time, but it always surprises me and is always a miracle. It is true that when it comes to missionary work that if you “open your mouth, it shall be filled.”  So yesterday at the end of the day, we had a lesson planned in the house of members.  These members are legit the mom is a member for many years, and her son is a 23 year old return missionary and our ward mission leader.  The dad, however, is not a member, but super awesome as well!  Last week our WML invited his dad to come watch conference, and he came! Yay! Yesterday, we stopped by to talk about Conference and living prophets with them.  It was great our WML and his girlfriend shared what they learned, and the mom, and then the dad said, “I don´t know they all talked about good stuff, but I didn’t really learn much because it all seemed to be directed to the youth.”

After that moment it was a little hard to feel the spirit, but my companion is a champ and thanked them and shared our message about prophets.  After she finished she looked at me obviously saying that it was my turn to talk.  I had nothing to say but knew that what that father needed was to feel the spirit.  I started thanking all of them for their comments and what I had learned from what they shared. I thanked our WML for his comments about worthiness and the priesthood, his girlfriend for what she shared about the power of receiving answers to questions, and the mom for talking about the love and charity.  And related all of those back to how we just really need to align our lives to be more Christlike.  Then, I turned to the father. (And what I am about to describe was all the spirit not me.) I said, “And thank you Hermano for sharing your thoughts about how they were talking about the youth.  You are right, they did talk to the youth, and that is probably the biggest example that we have that there are true living prophets and apostles living today.”  There was silence--that was a bold statement and the spirit just entered the room like a semi truck, I have no idea what I am going to say next but continue, “Because I don`t know about you, but I think that if these were normal 80-year-old men and women they would not know what to say to the youth of this generation, if they did not receive revelation-- Directly. From. God.”  I continued on that for a little and finished with my testimony of our prophet and his apostles and everyone, but especially me were shocked. It was amazing. “Open your mouth, and it will be filled.” When we walked out of the lesson Hermana Figueroa said, “Wow, I have never thought of that point before Hermana that was perfect.”  Still stunned, I said, “Neither have I.” I said a prayer of gratitude to my Father in Heaven for the divine revelation that I had received in that moment.

Other than that we just see miracles everyday and are busy doing to work of the Lord.  With only four months left I am getting tempted to lie and say that I only have 9 months in the mission, because if I tell another missionary that I have 14, they call me a grandma :)

Have a great spring break! I love you all!

xoxo, 
Hermana Chloe

Monday, April 7, 2014

Love you, Marc and Nic!!

Hello!

I am in Ramos today so internet is fast, and I could watch the videos!! Thank you, Camron, for sending the video! I definitely started crying in the cyber!!! Don't worry I got the whole thing on tape! Love you, Marc and Nic!! I am so happy for you, Chile and Peru. Guess I'll see you in two years!!  How are you feeling, Mom? Just thinking about them leaving makes me cry as I am writing this.

My email is going to be short this week because I am probably going to spend the whole time watching the videos over and over of my brothers' mission calls today.  I know that everybody is super excited that we are all South American and Spanish (and I am too), but I also had another thought when I read that: "Looks like I´m not the only one that needed to learn humility." Haha. But really I am so excited for you Marc and Nic! Jealous that you guys still have your 24 months.  I am excited to speak some Spanish with you in a month so you can hear what you are in for. Just in case you wanted to know, Nic, in Argentine Spanish your mission is called Wancuysho. Haha.  

I know that all of my emails have been a little distant lately, but I feel like that is a direct result of just dropping everything and moving closer to the Lord.  There have been a lot of trials that have come with this last transfer, and I have had an amazing increase in strength with my realtionship with my Father in Heaven.  He has helped me feel His love and your prayers to keep going.  Just know that I am forgetting everything in a quest to find better. 

I loved Conference.  I think that President Monson and the Presiding Bishop were my favorites.  If my life is only four minutes, then my time in the mission is like 13 seconds, and I better make the most of every second. I loved that whole analogy.  I also loved President Monson because his talk was the answer to one of the questions that I brought to Conference.  I wanted to know if there is something more that Heavenly Father expects me to learn or start learning on my mission.  I got a very clear answer that it is charity.  So I will be studying up on that one for the next four months.

Love you all! Loved Conference! Neither my companion nor I are being transferred. We shall see what is in store this transfer for Hermana Figueroa and I.

xoxo,

Hermana Chloe


The hermanas at training.

The hermanas in my District.


The hermanas in Las Heras.

Hermana Figueroa y yo.

My crazy district leaders on the left.

My zone! We had a soccer tournament! My team won the world cup!

Silly companions.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Menos Palabras, Más Poder. Less Words, More Power.

Or maybe more like ningunas palabras, más poder (no words, more power.) Desperate times, call for desperate measures. Who would have thought that the answer to my prayers would be to lose my voice for 5 days?

I’m doing pretty well today. This last week almost nothing happened because we literally didn't leave the apartment, because I was sick.  After the terrible cold I had last week, I was almost completely better, but I guess I also contracted a virus that made me lose my voice. By Tuesday night, it was completely gone. Impossible to say anything!  So until yesterday night I was instructed by the doctor to not say one word.  NOT one.  I couldn’t talk for like 5 days.  We ended up staying in the pench all week. Awful. I wasn’t able to persuade my companion to do all the talking so we could go out and work; she was more than very reluctant/afraid/determined. But it was probably the biggest blessing in our companionship, because we were able to finally come to an understanding of each other and of our goals together as I listened and listened and listened, unable to talk back. This week, I have greatly improved my listening ability and my skills as a mime :)

The Lord will have a humble people.  Either you can choose to be humble or the Lord will humble you. This was a humbling week for both of us.

So we just hung around the apartment and listened to every Conference session on my iPod (hours and hours every day!).  I am super pumped for Conference this weekend!  We get to go if we complete our key indicators that don’t apply to church attendance by Friday night.  If not, we have to work Saturday to finish.  But I have the faith that we will for sure be able to go to both sessions on Sunday.  We have to travel by train to a chapel about 40 min away.  It will be hard to have people come to church this weekend, but I am so excited.

Marc and Nic are so cute.  This week I had a dream that Nic is going to Australia and Marc to Peru.  So those are officially my guesses. I can’t believe they aren’t getting their calls this week. I don’t think they make calls this week because of Conference, so they could be delayed another two weeks! If they are delayed that long, I wont know where they are going until like the 21st :( I am very sad, but weeks are going faster for me than for you guys.

I seriously have only a little more than four months left of my mission.  Four months.  I am going crazy.  I can’t believe it has been so fast.  

I love you all so much!!

xoxoxo,
Hermana Chloe

PS.  Thanks to the Montgomerys for my cute Valentine's Day package!
PSS. Remember everyone that I'm not allowed any more packages because of the new shipping restrictions in Argentina.
PSSS. I'm still holding out hope that I will receive the last package that Grandma Sue sent me.
PSSSS. Maybe I will find a better computer next week so that I can send pictures :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

In Sickness and Health . . .

Hello,

But seriously, it is like we are a married couple out here on the mission with our companions.  This week my companion had to deal with a lot of the in sick times because I was out with a crazy cold for about two days.  One whole day I only could get out of bed two times.  But I felt so sick I couldn´t sleep.  It was rough.  But I got a blessing, and took some Advil cold and sinus (gracias a Los Estados Unidos) and I am feeling better today.  Despite the fact that my voice is shot.  I can barely talk.  If I thought it was weird to hear myself speak Spanish everyday, now I am listening to myself speak Spanish when my voice is gone.  It is pretty funny.  All the elders keep imitating my voice they think it is so funny.

This last week we saw quite a few miracles in what we were able to accomplish with the help of the Lord in our area with the little time we had to work.  We found great families.  It is so amazing to meet people who are prepared to hear the gospel.  All of our investigators are really new, but we have the faith that they are going to progress.

Everything sounds so exciting out there these days.  I am going to die these next two weeks waiting to hear where Marc and Nic are going.  I was talking to my companion this week about how hard it would be to be a future elder because they have to fill out papers as well and pray to receive answers, but they really don´t have a choice.  It would be hard to really only be able to pray for a confirmation what the Lord has already said they need to do.  Then at the same time it would be easy because it is not like it is a question.  

We need to keep that in mind always.  Sometimes we try to receive an answer to something that we already know.  We are silly sometimes.

This week I got a letter from Ashley Pernyak, but it was from dearelder and had two parts and I only got the part with the spiritual thought.  So if you see Ashley you should tell her to send me an email.  I was also thinking about Paigey Wagner the other day.  Could you get me her email?

Love you all!
xoxo
Hermana Chloe

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tests of Faith

Hola!

Heavenly Father has really been testing our faith this week. This has been a hard week as I struggle to learn a new area and how to work with a new companion. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we almost had no lessons.  We walked and walked and walked and clapped doors all day.  Wednesday was hard.  Thursday was hard with blazing sun all day long, and then Friday it rained for the 6 and a half straight hours that we were working after lunch.  We only taught one lesson of about 25 minutes in that whole time in the rain.  And then we ended up the week horribly with all of our key indicators. It got me thinking about our tests of faith.  I have been so committed to doing everything with exact diligence and obedience these past few months that I think that instead of testing my faith so that I could develop patience, now he is testing my faith to see how strong my testimony is.  In the face of these moments, we need to stay strong in our testimonies.  When it becomes harder to do the right thing, that is when our agency is so important.  We need to always remember that just like Satan cannot make the decision for us, neither can our Heavenly Father.  

My area is good, we are finding a lot of new investigators.  I am sure that this will be one of the transfers where I grow the most. I am grateful for the trials that help me to be better. I am also in love with Ammon.  We have been reading in Alma this week.  And the Book of Mormon is so true. I am starting to feel like I will really be able to end the book of Mormon in Spanish this time, since we are already half way done and so far I am going along great. And I understand about everything I read these days. Conference, church manuals, the scriptures.  I guess six months completely immersed in the language really is the ticket.

Love you! 

xoxo,
Hermana Chloe

PS. It took me the whole hour to upload two pictures :( These computers are really bad. I will send pictures of Las Heras and my new companion next week.


Hermana Nielsen and I at the last transfer meeting