Week 10 in Argentina, God So Loved the World

Hola Todos!

Bueno. On tuesday evening we passed out every single last one of the El es la Dadiva cards. We were determined and working with diligence. We were contacting some references afterward and we clapped at a little yellow house in a neighborhood on the other side of the canal. A Sweet little old man appeared and he came right out and opened the gate and let us in. At first I questioned if he was all there in the head.. But as we talked more while sitting at his table we got to know Fernando Castro: a 64 year old man who can’t read to God because his diabetes has made his eyes bad, and who has the most tender soul and has quite the sum of faith in Jesus Christ! Folks, I love old people. I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way at all! I mean people who are withered with experience and full of wisdom and love for the important things in life. Fernando is definitely on of those. We went back and visited him and his wife Donatilaon Saturday. There was constant giggling and laughter from experiences past. I consider contacting this couple a tender mercy because we hadn’t had success all week! But God knows if we were diligent the spirit would lead us to find these two kindred souls. I love old people and I love tender mercies from God.

Friday and Sautrday were so dang hot! Even in the pension(our apartment) we were at a constant sweat. Regardless of the heat we went out  and worked because there are people who need to hear the gospel. Saturday night we ended the night by visiting Elba and Jose. Jose reminds me a lot of Dad. His body type and his personality. I have seen this family in white and I want them to get baptized so badly! I want what is best for them because they are always so kind to me and they have so much patience with my horrible spanish. Pray for them and their little family please! Jose wants me to make food like I did at my work, the Bar 10. What? Tengo miedo. I’m not sure if that’ll happen but we’ll see. We invited them to church and guess what… they came!!! We had 5 investigators at church… folks… THAT NEVER HAPPENS HERE!!!  Blessings!

Well, I hope everyone had a most fantastic and magical christmas. This year filled with memories and love and family! Noche Buena (Christmas eve) went really great. We went to Leo’s house ( a member in Roca) at about 5 to help peopare dinner and more importantly skype! I was so happy to get to skype with my family! They all look the exact same so thats a plus! haha. We talked and I never knew that an hour and twenty minutes could go by so quickly. I definitely was a bit homesick afterward but I got right back to working and helping prep for everything and that helped a lot. We had salad and meat for dinner. and then ice cream for dessert. All the while we had Christmas music blasting in the background.. And yes me and Elder Valenzuela may have belted our hearts out to “Last Christmas I gave  you my heart”. Haha he has become one of my best friends here. It was so much fun! We played chanco until bed time {we stayed at the other hermanas house} and then at midnight the sky became a painter’s canvas! Colorful explosions everywhere! Fireworks for about a half hour! I was by the window so I got to watch the celebration and enjoy the constant blows of color. I love fireworks.

Christmas morning was emotional. We got up and I opened up gifts from mom and the stockings! {Hermana Resquin completely loved the stocking! She says thank you!} I love the scarf and the pillowcase especially! All of it was great! I put it all away and put way the endless amout of tissues that came in the stocking that I didn’t think I would need. Then I pulled out the envelopes that had the testimonies of each of my family members. As I was opening the first testimony Hermana Kaveinga asked me what they were and I responsded “They are test… {my eyes flooded with tears and a lump caught my throat}.. They are they testimonies of each of my family members.” I pulled back out  the tissues and said “I guess I do need these”. Getting to read each testimony of each member of my family filled my soul to an overflowingly full! I am so grateful to have the family that I do. I am so grateful fo the knowledge of eternal families that this joyous gospel brings! After that emotional bomb.. I opened my last tree note. I have been opening on a day since the first day of December. Each one has a scripture and a note from a family member or a friend. On Christmas day the scripture was John 3:16 “For God so loved that world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” I looked at the note expecting it to be from my mom, but no. It said, “today’s love note comes from your Heavenly Father. Enjoy your patriarcial blessing.” My heart leapt! I had never thought of my patriarcial blessing in this manner! I invite everyone who has their patriarcial blessing to go and read it with the thought in mind that it is a love note from your Father in Heaven.

Overall, my Christmas was simple and lovely.

What I learned about God this week is that he blesses those who work with diligence. And that tender mercies come in all different shapes, forms and sizes.

I was listening to a song by Jenny Phillips the other day and I want to share some of the lyrics:

How could a beggar deserve to be given so much through his great love?

He has rescued me, and I never want to leave where he has brought me.

Where i am free and the brokenness in me is now mended as he is erasing, reclaiming, remaking me.

Rescuer, Restorer, LIberator, Savior.

It is so simple but so profound. I also found myself singing How Great Thou Art about 4 times each day:

And when I think that God his son not sparing sent Him to die i scarce can take it in.. that on the cross my burdens gladly bearing He bled and died to take away my sins.

When Christ shall come, shout of acclamation, and take me home.. what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow in humble adoration and there proclaim my God, how great thou art!

This week was full of blessings and little miracles! I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father would send His only begotten son for me that I can return to live with him. Happy late Christmas to everyone! And a happy New Year! Make goals and then for each goal right down a sacrifice that you are going to make to reach that goal. The sacrifice doesn’t have to be related to your goal. For example: My goal-I want to have 3 more people attend church this week. my sacrifice-I will read my scriptures for 30 minutes every single day. Try making goals and then make plans! I know that goals and plans are important in every day life!

I love every single one of you and I can feel your prayers strengthen me every single day.

I’ll see you soon, then!
Hermana Houston
Orange bracelet from Hermana Resquin

Orange bracelet from Hermana Resquin. Notice the mosquito bite.  I have 43 mosquito bites.  UGG

Hermana Resquin drinking 7up

Hermana Resquin drinking 7up

Christmas Day 2014

Christmas Day 2014 In Roca, Argentina

Christmas 2014 note from HF

Christmas 2014.  Note from HF

Christmas Advent Calendar 2014

Christmas Advent Calendar 2014

Christmas Eve on our way back to our pension (Apartment)

Christmas Eve on our way back to our pension (Apartment)

Christmas gift from Elders.  Malta Cup

Christmas gift from Elders. Malta Cup

Hot and sweaty selfie

Hot and sweaty selfie.  It’s 86 degrees.

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