Monday, January 27, 2014

El Arbol de la Vida

Hi everyone,

I will start off this week with how everything went in Buenos Aires last week. This is kind of a long story, but it illustrates how much God is in the details of our lives so I’m going to just tell it. Basically smooth was not the word I would use to describe getting my ID.  It was crazy!!  First, we had to get a bunch of papers from Argentina Monday in preparation for the turno (appointment) we had with immigrations Tuesday.  We got all that done, and then Tuesday we showed up at immigrations in the morning to get my ID.  I got through the first part where they check your fingerprints and then send you to the second part where the people check your paperwork.  Everything seemed great, then the lady holds a paper up to the window and asks, “Is this your name?” And right there in my second FBI background check (the one the church ordered because my first one expired) was my name spelled “CHOLE”.  My heart just dropped.  The secretary of the mission’s heart dropped too.  Then, after that we spent all of Tuesday and Wednesday straightening that out.  First, we had to go to the U.S. consulate in Buenos Aires and have them write a letter that CHLOE MELINDA WALKER and CHOLE MELINDA WALKER are the same person.  Then we had to go to a place so Argentina could officially verify that all three documents are legit, but on Tuesday when we went to the place for verification there was a riot/huge protest outside so it was closed.  

So, I had to stay another day and then come back to Buenos Aires in a week because that is when they could get me another turno with immigrations.  Feww! This was all mucho.  But then we had miracles Wednesday.  When we got to the offices our remis wasn’t there. We had to wait a little bit.  Because the church has so many missionaries going to and from all of these office places they have a remis company contracted.  Our remis driver wasn’t lds but he was seriously the best guy ever.  He looked very official in a white shirt and tie--kinda like a missionary.  He took Hermana Hicken and I to the first place, and instead of just dropping us off he went inside and helped us.  He asked for my documents, filled out a bunch of papers, handed them to his friends, and 20 minutes later I had the document verifying my identity that they told me was going to take a week to get. MIRACLE! Then, he asked us where to next, but we told him back to the office because I didn’t have a turno to go to immigrations.  He just said that’s stupid, we’re going to immigrations--someone’s got to be able to help you if you were just there yesterday.  We showed up without a turno and talked to this guy who first said no, but then searched through the trash to find my paper from the day before, found my paper and agreed to fill out the stuff for my ID.  When he walked away I told my remis drive it was all because of his tie, he said that it was because I was linda and re-simp├ítica.  Then, we all agreed that it was a huge blessing from Heavenly Father.  

It is so amazing to see when He really does bless us in things not only spiritual but temporal as well. Now, I don’t have to take that 5 hour (each way) bus ride to Buenos Aires again this week and waste more of my mission time! Such a blessing for me!

So, when we got back to our area, we only had Thursday through Sunday to work for this week. Then, Thursday was cut out as well by a huge storm.  A bunch of cows died from the lightning so I think it was a good idea that we weren’t outside.  Then with faith that we were going to finish with all our lessons and key indicators for the week, we started working Friday.  I can not even express how grateful I am to be in 9 de Julio at this time.  We have gotten to see so many miracles, teach new families, and the family of four came to church on Sunday.  When we were finishing up yesterday we counted up everything and we had 16 lessons with a member in three days.  It is amazing how the Lord will bless you when you are working hard, with faith, and doing things the Lords way.  The Lord’s way is always the best way.

Something cool that I have noticed since I got to Argentina is that there are symbols everywhere of the tree of life.  I was blown away this week as I started the Book of Mormon over again and got to Lehi’s dream and Nephi’s interpretation.  The dream also has a special place in my heart after being in Argentina.  It is very common for women here to have jewelry with the tree of life (el arbol de la vida)  The tree is usually sliver and then the little round fruit are gold.  They have rings and necklaces.  I don´t know when but I am going to have to buy one before I come home.  But I really just can not believe how much our Heavenly Father loves us.  So much so that he has given us so many road maps back to him.  I would like to testify, my dear friends, that the Book of Mormon is true and the only way home is to keep the commandments and laws of God, to keep treading upon the path of righteousness with a firm grip on the rod, and to always keep our eye single to the glory of God.  Even if all we can do is attempt to do this, we will not be able to comprehend all of the blessings we will receive.

I love Argentina, I love the people, I love my companion, and I am surprised everyday when I realize that I am a representative of Jesus Christ, with the authority to invite people to repent and be baptized.  It is so humbling to know that I represent the very person that has made it possible for me to be here, he really is my brother, and truly understands.

Have a great week.  Share the gospel with everyone!

xoxo,

Hermana Chloe

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