Tuesday, September 29, 2015

9/28/15 Great Week in the service of God

Another great week in the work of the Lord!!!  I dont even know where to start!  We honestly have been so blessed this week, and I am truely finding that true happiness comes as we serve the Lord! 

After being a little down and discouraged last week I feel my prayers were answered with exactness and perfectly.  God planned my week out perfectly!  It was honestly a miracle and my week was great!  On Monday we got to have the trio with a angel sister that God put in my path right when I needed it.  She stayed until Thursday and it was such a blessing and a lift.  We all three talked and talked and had a great time!  I had so much fun having her with us!  We also had 2 sister missionaries from the mission office visit us and they were so awesome!  I felt an instant connection with them as well!    I see that God really just put person after person, situation after situation in my path to help me this week.  He has blessed me so much!  God is so giving and merciful! 
I spoke in sacrament meeting this week.  Last week Mom said I deserved to speak about Unity because I have such excellent examples of how the church runs from my home ward.  I told her that I would talk to the Bishop, but I didn't get around to it.  Then the Bishop called me Thursday night and asked me to speak.  Thanks Mom for putting that out there!  No,  I was quite direct and it went well!  We also had so many investigators and less actives in church and it was a great 3 hours.  It was actually the best since I have been here.  After Sacrament meeting, we went to Principles of the Gospel and realized that we didn't have a teacher... so I volunteered myself and my companion.  That discussion lesson went well and the spirit was so strong! 
I have had so many miracles that I studied miracles out of the Bible Dictionary.  It reads that "miracles are natural results of the Messiahs presence among man."  When we invite the spirit into our lives, it is natural for miracles to happen!  Try it out!  It goes on to say that miracles don't cease, but man's faith can cease.  God never stopped working among man, but man chose not to have miracles in their lives because the lack of their faith.  It is our choice if miracles will happen in our lives.
This week we passed by an investigator and she just started giving us everything.  She said she was giving us empanadas and it didn't matter what we said, we couldn't get out of it!  So we started making empanadas.  (see pictures)  Then she gave us hair pins and shirts and paid a taxi to take us to our apartment.  We had a great time!  She treats us like queens and isn't even a member and doesn't even agree with everything we teach.  However, she does recognize us as servants of the Lord.  She is very loving and giving!
Ok so this week we spent LOTS of time contacting and teaching first lessons!  We are trying to find those who are willing to listen and willing to take action!  We were able to find a family!  That is so rare!!! There was a mother and father and 2 children!  We had a lesson with all of them together!  I are so excited to continue teaching them and inviting them to come unto Christ!  They are a religious family, but are not completly closed to learning about other religions!  I pray that as we visit they will be able to feel the spirit and truly learn from Him, and recognize that we are not just some other religion.  Also their son is 11 and he LOVES my accent. He quietly listens and is very respectful...but he just stares at me while I talk (His mom told me is AMAZED and He loves listening to me talk! HAHA)  The daughter loves the U.S. and tells everyone that passes the door..."She´s from the U.S.!"  

We also found another man, Luis.  It was a long hard day of contacting.  We had been rejected, and rejected.  One woman told us...."You´re bugging me!"  We said, "Gracias, tanga a linda noche"  With the biggest smiles we could muster.  Ha. So when we found him, it was like a light in a dark cave.  I was almost expecting for him to come up with an excuse of why he couldnt meet with us, but I asked anyway if we could talk for a minute!  He said, "Claro que sí!  Pasan!"  We had a great discussion about the restortaion.  He was really into the whole discusion...asking questions and all....which is really rare...but when it happens you know that someone really wants to know!  The spirit was so strong, and we are excited to return to visit him tomorrow!

We also dropped another investigtor this week...which was sad and hard.  But she came out and said that she doesnt want to change.  There is still a little bit of a feeling like I could have done something more or different to help her understand.  We are not perfect teachers...very far from it.  But we are trying, and doing the best we can do.  That is all I have to give, and I need to remember that I´m not going to be perfect and people still have their agency.  That doesnt make it much easier, because it still hurts!

A gypsi contacted us this week while we were walking.  She wanted us to start a church with her, and make lots of money!  Haha!  I get it!  Thats why there are so many churches and people want to make more!  :)

This week we also were able to attend the service project of the stake!  We cleaned and painted in a mental hospital.  It was so great to get outside of the normal routine and just work!  I had so many memories of service projects that I have done in the past and it was just so great!  Mosiah 2:17.  Really these people may not recognize the difference.  There were no Thank-you´s, no recognition.  But yet it still felt so great!   We were really only in the service of our God.  He cares about all of his children no matter what!  It is our responsibily to look after each one of his children, love and serve them!
Love you all so much and hope all is well!
See you soon,
Hermana Fox

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hey Hey Hey! Sept. 21, 2015

Ok first of all, transfers are this week!  But nothing too exciting because I will be staying in the same area with the same companion . Ha  Today is my 4 month mark in the mission.

Guille and Matias were married this week!  I honestly cried when we were on the phone with them after...Ha!  After a long ride, they finally tied the knot!  Right after they went on a trip to visit the temple!  The walked around outside and Guille said it was SO BEAUTIFUL!  We have been so happy for them and this grand step of their eternal progression!  We are planning her baptism on the 10th of October!  We are so excited for her! 

Members are such a big part of this work!  Without the support of members and welcoming of members our work cannot be fulfilled!  We had a lesson with N. and B. this week and they truly told us how they felt in church.  They said not a single person introduced themselves, and the gospel doctrine was very off topic!  I just sat and listened...I felt so bad, because this is not what our church is about!  We are about love and learning about Christ and if people cannot feel that when they come to church we are not fulfilling our purpose!  You as a member are a big part of the work!  Reach outside of yourself and find those members or investigators that are visiting church for the first time.  Help them feel what the gospel does for people, help them feel the love of Christ in you! 

I am so grateful for the Gift of the Holy Ghost!  I see the effects of what he does every day.  He can be a big part of each and everyone of your lives if you will but let him in.  He is the only way that one can truly become converted to Christ.  I am so grateful for his presence in my life! 
Half of the week was just bloody HOT and the last 2 days we have had rain, thunder and lightning for just about 36 hours straight.  Its great! I love that there is never a quiet moment with the grumbling sky.  Rain means its cooler.. BUT very humid.  My whole body is sticky all the time.  I drink about 1 bottle of water every hour to stay hydrated.
I wanted to share a few of my studies with you all this week.  D & C 9 was written for me!  I'm asking you to read this short section and ponder.  It is about the will of God.  D & C section 9:3 -  God knows what I need to learn and experience in the exact moment that I need it.  Maybe in this transfer my work has not been to convert the area, but to deepen my conversion and help my companion.  Really in this verse you can change "son" to your name and the word "translate" to anything you are dealing with.  In this case I wrote "Starlee" and "Baptize".  Those are things of my will, which really are of lesser importance to God right now.  He knows what I need to do to learn, grow and experience.  He will provide what I need. In verse 4, God clearly states Oliver Cowdry's purpose.  To the world , it may seem to be a lesser work.  However, God knows what he needed to do to learn and what the Lord needed him to learn.  In verse 14 , we learn that no matter how big or small our calling or work is and as long as we are faithful, we will be blessed equally.  Really this section is perfect for me right now.  I just need to forget what I want and not just conform to Gods will, but to make his will mine.  I want to truly want what he has planned for me.  Otherwise there is a constant fight between my will and his.  D & C section 10 is great!  Satan is at work.  God will ALWAYS be smarter, ALWAYS win and will ALWAYS support his disciples.  At this time the prophet had made a mistake.  But as long as he repented sincerely, God has a plan to help and support him.  God knows you and what you will choose, even the wrong choices you will make.  However, he has prepared a plan for you to ALWAYS succeed and return to Him.  Great Section!  Following and choosing Christ can be accomplished through the Gospel.  This is the purpose of the gospel.  (See verses 48-70)  Knowing isn't enough.  STUDY IT. LEARN IT. LIVE IT!
Thank you for your examples to me. Thank you for living what you know to be true and always standing for righteousness.

Thank you so much for everything!  Love you all!

See you soon,

Hermana Fox
 I needed to fan myself down in the heat...so I plucked a fan from the tree :)  Mom always taught me to use what I have!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Hola, from Argentina! 9/14/15


Ok, so we have had a great week!  Each day in the work of the Lord is great!  

Guille and Matias are finally getting married this week!  I´m pretty sure it is going to happen because this time they have a "honeymoon" planned!  To visit the temple actually! HA  They are so great and we are really excited for them to take this step.  Guille is so strong  in her testimony and is really excited for baptism too!  As long as they follow through with the wedding she will be baptized the last week in September!  It is so fun to watch her progress and start to live what she believes!  She is so happy!  This is truly what the gospel is really about!  It is literally the guide to happiness, in this life and in the worlds to come!

So as of now we don't have lots of investigators...so we spend a lot of time contacting and teaching first lessons.  Trying to get a feel for people and whether or not they will accept us.  So one day we were contacting during the dreaded "siesta",  (basically the city shuts down from 1-4 pm and everyone goes home and sleeps).  because our appointments. fell through.  So we "clapped" a house and waited...after a while a man poked his head out and we could tell he had been sleeping.  We could tell he was shirtless...which is completely normal because of the heat.   We told him we were missionaries and we wanted to give him a card and share a message of Jesus Christ with him.  He looked at us and said "I cant come out because I´m in the nude, can you pass by another day?"   HA!  Who answers the door naked...and actually tells the person that?  Make up some other excuse DUDE!  

Another day we were contacting (after appointments fell through, HA HA) and we passed a man roasting a pig.  Literally the whole pig..opened up!  (See photo)  Yikes!  I asked him if I could take a picture because I had never seen such a thing.  Of course he said, YES!  We continued to talk and he was so surprised that I had never seen this before.  Apparently it is really common and a tradition to eat the whole pig and cook it like this! 
I felt the spirit so strong testifying through this week.  We were in a lesson with an investigator that had just told us that no church is "correct" and that they are all just different ways of worshiping God.  (That is a very common thought.)  We thought we were getting somewhere with her! Ugh!  So in our invitation I invited her to sincerely pray and read ONLY the Book of Mormon  (She reads a lot of other.. crap!) for 2 weeks.  I promised her that if she did this she would recognize a difference in her life and receive an answer.  I was so BOLD and straight with her.  My voice and Spanish were so STRONG and I teared up and almost  started crying.  The Spirit was so strong!  As we were leaving,  She said,  "That was REALLY strong what you just said!"  I know she felt the Spirit testify of the truth. 
We have a less active sister that we visit every week.  The only reason she is inactive is because she can't walk to church.  We had wanted to have the Sacrament taken to her, but had never been able to coordinate it with the Priesthood.  This week we did!  I called her in church and asked if we could pass by in 1 1/2 hours.  She said, "Si si Hermana! Gracias!"  When we got to her house, she had everything ready.  When she saw us her eyes just lit up!  She was so happy!  We sat down and the Elders started blessing the bread.  You could just hear her weeping.  It was the same with the water.  When we finished, she just cried and kept saying , "Thank you!"  It was so spiritual.  You could just feel the Holy Ghost like you can feel hot water.  It was a beautiful experience!  When we left, we were walking to the Elder's truck.  A man started yelling the worst words in Spanish and English at us.  He was yelling about Americans.  Wow!  There is literally opposition in ALL things.  Satan and his work against us is testifying of the truths of God.  He tries hard sending darkness and opposition to every light filled experience!  Satan's work and opposition are real.  It is as real as our light work as disciples of Jesus Christ.  The big difference is Christ will win and Satan knows that!  Light will always win!

Thank you all for everything!  You're in my prayers and I hope all is well with you at home!

See you soon,
Hermana Fox

The PIG...Ha! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Life in Argentina 9/7/2015


Here are some thoughts from Hermana Fox this week...
There are some people that I meet here that I just feel comfortable around and I feel like I am with family.  One of these families is family Caballero.  We are working with them.  They are so loving and accepting. I don't have to worry about my Spanish with them and I can joke and laugh with them.  Their cute little girls like to braid my hair and tell me secrets, that I usually don't understand.  But, I am very good at pretending I do!
I also love Bety and her daughter Nazaret.  Bety is just like you, Mom in that she loves plants!  Her house is literally like a garden of every plant you could imagine.  They are so giving and give us lemon tea and bread when we visit.  Nazaret is in school to become an attorney.  We visit and talk like we've known each other for years.  She is so cute and always has her google translate out and ready to help us communicate.
The other day I asked to use the bathroom in a family's home.  I was shown to a normal bathroom for here.  The big difference is the instead of a door there is just a lace table cloth.  Good thing I'm not shy!  The rest of the family just continued their lives and I sat there going to the bathroom and watched them through the lace cloth.  Haha!
We had a lesson with a man that we contacted a week ago.  When he answered the door he was only wearing boxers.  We talked to him for 5 minutes before he went inside to get some pants on.  We had left a plan of salvation pamphlet with him and today we taught him about the Word of Wisdom, because there is a big need.  This was the highlight of my day!  He has the cutest cackle that he lets out randomly.  He throws his head back to laugh and cackle. When we left we asked him if he would like to pray.  He said, "with our eyes closed right?"  he then covered his eyes with his hands, paused and threw his head back with his cute cackle.  He prayed thanking God for sending "las hermanas" and he talked to God like a good friend.  So cute!

Ok this week has been hard.  Ok in reality, what week isnt hard?  Each and everyday is a learning experience. As humans we are all here and our goal is to become perfect, like unto our Father in Heaven.  But we all know that here in this life we cant actually accomplish this perfection.  It is a constant battle to not do what the natural man in us wants, and do what we know we need to do as children of God.  Sometimes we lose this view, this eternal perspective, and feel hopeless or like we cant go any further.  This is part of our earthly experience and we are learning how to overcome this.  The only way that we can start to overcome this is through Jesus Christ.  He is literally the only way.  When times are hard and you dont feel like going any further, remember Him.  Turn to Him.  CHOOSE Him.  He is always there, His arms are always extended, and He is always forgive.  I love Him and I am so grateful for Him.  In moments that are difficult and when I feel like things cant get better, He is my light.  He has the ability to dissolve all hopeless, fear, and doubt.  He is he only way that we will be able to become perfect one day.  So when you feel like you are doing everything wrong and you are the furthest thing from perfect, (this is a common feeling of Hermana Fox...Ha) remember Him.  Choose Him.
I know that He will help you and lift you.  I know this to be true because I experience this each and every day.  I would not be able to do this without his constant companionship.  His is my all and I am so grateful for Him and this opportunity I have to share about Him!  

Having Him in our lives doesn't mean that our problems and trials will suddenly disappear.  Our purpose here on earth is still the same.  We are here to learn and grow and to EXPERIENCE these things.  We still have difficulties in our lives and flaws within ourselves, but with the help of Christ we can do it.  We can make it through this life and return to our Father in Heaven to live in peace, joy, and happiness forever. This is eternity we are talking about!  It is our choice how we want to live this eternity.  
This is part of my goal this week.  I want to try and keep this grand perspective each and every moment.  To remember Him and all the things we can accomplish together.  I cant do this alone.  I have tried...and My strength is not sufficient.  He is the only way!

So yes, things are hard...but that only means that they are worth while and providing my an opportunity to learn a grow!  That doesnt mean that I am not enjoying myself or that I wish I wasn´t here...because that is not true.  I truely am enjoying this time and Im ever so grateful that I chose to serve a mission.  
Love you all!

See you soon,
Hermana Fox

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

8/31/15 Mission Challenges!

This week has been quite sad in our area.  Emilio, who accepted a date for baptism is now avoiding us and we haven't been able to have a lesson with him.  Guille and Matias have a date for their wedding...but by the way they talk about it...I dont it will happen. They dont want to tell anyone until the night before... Ugh!  I feel like nothing has really progressed.  But I guess we have to experience the difficult to know that good, right? This is part of Gods plan.  How can we truly enjoy the good if things are just good all the time?  It was a discouraging week.  We are working hard!

We did have a great zone conference!  The spirit was so strong as we discussed the atonement and the blessings we receive from it.   I am so grateful for the atonement and the ability I have to apply it in my life everyday!
Thanks for everything! 
Love you all and see you soon,
Hermana Fox

This was the biggest, sweetest avocado ever!

Down town Centro