Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"hello baby" (December 14, 2015)

with the hnas of san nicolas
the bus driver now greets us with "hello baby" 😬
so wow another week down! and what a crazy week it was!
on monday we went to san nicolas centro to help out the sisters. one of them is super sick and hasnt been able to work so we went and had divisions. we got back on tuesday night. wednesday i got sick....and then we worked thursdayfriday, and on saturday we had a baptism!!! :) then sundayi got sick again haha
but yeah thats basically what happened. silvia and miguel have slowed down their progression. miguel says hes gotten his answer but silvia still hasnt. its been a while now and she even admits maybe shes gotten the answer but hasnt seen it...well we explained a little bit more on prayer and answers..(i cant even count how many times weve gone over that with her :( ) but this time my comp hna lopez (shes a boss) shares her experience in how she got her prayer answered! she said silvia would have to start living the gospel in order to get her answer. sometimes we forget what an important part this is in getting prayers answered. sometimes we just expect the answer to come and we dont change anything while we wait...but hna lopez shared that we need to repent and start living with more obedience to recieve our answers (see 1 nefi 15:11) so we felt the spirit really strong and so did silvia. so we will see where that goes!
 monica! shes the one whos house was a disaster than she read the book of mormon and felt super good and put her house in order? well we were walking in the park and ran into her and her kids. we sat down on a bench to chat and her kids were saying "we want to be mormon, can we be baptized?" and so did monica haha we told them well if you want to be baptized you have to come to church! well they slept in this week...but theres always next week. the good thing is they have the desire! so that was exciting! monica and i get along pretty well, she kind of has a rough around the edges personality (tessea, you can atest to that) haha but shes slowly opening up and softening her heart. she knows alot and is excited for her baptismal date she just has to come to church! haha
 other than that we didnt have the chance to see anyone else :(
the baptism

oh so the baptism! a 8 year old boy named boris was baptised and confirmed this weekend! his family is less active but theyve been coming weekly for 4 weeks now! they are paying their tithing and everything! so weve been visiting them and this week boris was baptized! sorry i didnt write about him earlier haha!

so funny thought! a few weeks ago hna nelson and i helped an old man weed his front sidewalk. he has mental incapabilities...well this week hna lopez and i ran into him 2 (twice)! the second time we saw him we chatted for a bit and he told me they he had fallen in love with me....soo we wont be stopping and chatting with him again 😶hahaha
well this week was crazy. a few things have happened and i needed to make a few big decisions. it was taking a long time to get a straight answer to my prayers and i was getting kind of frustrated and distressed...well this week i did alot of studying on prayer. there are three types of answers we could get, 1. the calm affirmative positive feelings or thoughts 2. a stupor of thought, confusion negative. or 3. nothing.. if you feel nothing it means that God trusts that you can make the decision. 
after church with hna lopez, and a girl named pia...
the little boy behind is named teo...
well i was feeling #3 for like 3 days and i was still wanting a concrete aswer. so i started praying harder but also making the decision. after i made it i felt #2. which means i needed to change my course. whats comforting is that God will always guide us when we trust in him. if we are looking for his counsel and are sincere in following the answer, he will never lead us astray. so i want everyone to ask themselves one question. "when was the last time i recieved an answer to my prayers?" think about it and i promise you will feel happy remembering when God spoke to you. if you cant remember the last time, i suggest you ask Him a simple yes or no answer and stay on your knees till you get the answer. He always answers prayers. it is just up to us how we recieve the answer. :)
well i love you all so much!😚 and i cant wait for CHRISTMAS. its gonna be great. love you all!
hna sanders 
me in front of the capilla

Thursday, December 10, 2015

"explaining casseroles to latinas" and "mi boliviana" (December 7, 2015)

eating our first meal together
made by yours truly
so my new companion is hna lopez from bolivia! she just had a week in the mtc so she is brand new brand new but already such a wonderful missionary! she is a convert of 4 years. she joined when she turned 16. she truly is so cool and nice!
well i didnt have much time to work in my area this week becuase i was in san nicolas for so long then i picked up the newbie and we arrived wednesday at 10 pm! haha so its been crazy but here are a few new people weve recently found!
getting my new companion!
the first one is named carmen! we first met her knocking doors. she answered and she doesnt have an arm! she told us she was in an accident 7 years ago and lost her arm, well we testified of the restoration and the resurreccion and how thanks to jesucristo we will have perofect bodies in the resurrection. she felt the spirit and now is reading and praying. we just met her but she is really great!
a cool thing that happened this week is that we were on our way back from rosario, waiting in the bus terminal with everyone and we were just sitting...i noticed a lady sitting near by and we made eye contact she signaled to me to come over..then she started trying to communicate with me but she was i started signing to her and we had a whole conversation in sign language!! i told her how we were missionaries and why we serve missions, i shared a little bit about the restoration and gave her a pamphlet! who knew that after 2 years of slacking off in sign language class that it would come in handy in argentina!! the lord was defintly helping me becuase i barely remember more than half the signs i used. she lives outside of the mission but i gave her number to the office elders to pass along to her! but wow wasnt that cool?
summer has started so it
means huge spiders.
it was a tesimony to me that the lord has wisdom in all things. he used the tiny knowledge i had of ASL and used it to help this lady learn about the gospel!
also a fun story! yesturday we were waiting for the bus to go to church. we were sitting on the curb when a moto with 3 chicos drove by..they turned around and stopped to talk to us (in my mind i was praying they would just turn away because sunday mornings are when all the drunk people are returning home from the clubs.) well they stopped and started talking to us. in these situations ive learned its just better to share the gospel and not ignore them...when theres no control in the situation of course. well i told them we were missionaries (my poor newbie was just sitting there feeling super awkward poor thing) well these chicos proceeded to say all kinds of things and i handed one of them a pamphlet of the gospel of jesus christ...this boy then apologized to us and said sorry for the disrespect, put the pamphlet in a safe place and then apologized for his freinds. he said he would read and thank you! hahaha so thats nice too! who knows maybe in the future he'll take the missionary lessons!
bolivian food!
(our lives revolve around food)
that just shows the importance of talking to everyone about the gospel. in super awkward situations like that it could either be a disaster or something that changes a life. who knows whatll happen but at least now he has a pamphlet and said sorry for being disrespetful.
this week ive been studing a ton about prayer. theres a talk by richard g. scott called the supernal gift of prayer. you should all read it but it talks about how we should pray and how to receive answers! basically we should prepare ourselves for the communication we are about to have with god. and then express our thoughts and feelings. we should pray to know the will of god and do it. there is a quote i read one time that said when you pray, dont be afraid to change. so lets do that this week. ask god how we can improve our lives, and do it!
love you all so much!
also the title is because i tried explaining what a casserole was to my new compy and it took like 8 times to explain it hahaha. i tried explaining tater tot casserole, the breakfast casserole mom makes and etc, haha
so far training is super fun! especailly when your comp is a boss like hna lopez!! haha well till next week! i love you all and i hope you have a great week!!
hna sanders

Thursday, December 3, 2015

"ol St. Nick" (December 1, 2015)

well ill be in the zone san nicolas for christmas! how appropriate!! haha
so here are a few things that have happened this week.

saying bye to hna nelson!
my beloved companion hna nelson finished the mission and is now currently on the plane ride back to the USA. we had one of the best transfers so its kind of sad but this next transfer ill be training! tomorrow ill be picking up the newbie! so youll get pictures next week! itll be super fun!
so happy late thanksgiving everyone! for our thanksgiving we made deviled eggs! and ate flan for our dessert! we also made lemon pie and the sisters from centro were here so they shared it with us! thanks mom for sending me the recipe! its hit! haha
well not much happened this weeks in terms of the work because we had to travel again!! 
but we did find a lot of new people to teach! monica and silvia and miguel are good, neither came to church this week so we need to start looking for news. but i love contacting its always fun knocking on doors and meeting new people. you never know whos gonna answer!

my mission president is the one on the ground! hahaha
well one cool thing that happened was on friday the whole zone went to the mission home to have a special pday! we played volleyball, basketball (speed), balloon popping game, and then we made lunch, (chorizos) and after we ate we played relay races and to finish it up we played tug of war!! it was so fun! president zanni was getting so into it and when we played he like, grabbed the grass and pulled his whole team to victory!! hes such a boss. hahaha well after all the fun and games we showered and watched ephraims rescue which is a movie about a guy who has the gift of healing! his whole life prepared him to help the martin handcart company when they were crossing the plains and got stuck in the snow! well it was super wonderful! and a nice relaxing day!
so heres a cool story ill share. hna nelson and i were visiting a less active and she was going through alot of hard things! we didnt really know what to share with her so we asked her what her favorite song was. we sang "el amor de dios" which talks about the love of god. its page 57 in the spanish hymnbook. well after that we shared 1 nefi 21:16 which talks about how we are engraven in the lords palms. turns out it was page 57 in the spanish scriptures! little things like that are just little miracles to me. its crazy how god is so mindful of everyone. and he truly knows and loves us. i know he misses each one of us and longs for us to return to live with him. well i wish i could share more but theres a baby screaming bloody mary in this ciber and i cant even hear my own thoughts! haha poor thing. anyways, i hope you all have a great week and look for little miracles that god always gives us! love you all!

hna sanders

san nicolas during siesta. they have cobblestone streets here!
its a beautiful city!
in san nicolas centro with the hnas bushman and cabrera

Monday, November 23, 2015

"the dark kinigth rises" (November 23, 2015)

as we were on the bus to come to the ciber, we saw a kid wearing a shirt that said "the dark kinigth rises" nice try argentina ❤
so this week was full of traveling, and more traveling! but it was good. all in all i was in the bus for more than 15 hours....and you can imagine being on a bus that long with crazy argentine busses was quite the adventure. but it was a great week in that even thouhg we didnt have all that time to work in our area, we reached almost all of our goals! on saturday it was pretty hot and we were sooo tired but we kept on going. it was such a great feeling knowing how physically hard my comp and i are working. we stumbled into the apartment that night deaaad tired but so happy and smiling becasue we knew god was happy we pushed ourselves. 

thanks for everyone who fasted for me this week. i definitely felt the strength and health i received thanks to your prayers and your faith! God just loves it when we exercise our faith and one thing ive learned from this experience in terms of my health is patience, and the power of faith in healing. so thanks again. i feel your prayers!!! and prayers work and have tangible power!

divisiones with Hna. Valencia
in terms of the people here in good ol' ramallo pueblo.
estela's son got sick so we werent able to visit her.
monica wasnt home this week but we passed by and ran into her ex husband who was watching the kids, turns out he is less active!! so we chatted with him for a while. he lives in a different pueblo so we cant go by and visit him. but its okay he gave us the willies anyways. haha

silvia and miguel!!!!! goodness this family is incredible. they are the flia that came to church but the members didnt welcome them....well! on wednesday we had divisiones! hna valencia (one of my old companions!!!) came with me!! it was such a blast! but we went to them and had an amazing lesson about listening to the spirit! and on saturday we passed by and asked if they felt this was the right church what should they do..they said without hesitation "get baptized" 😂 eep. well they CAME TO CHURCH AND STAYED FOR SACRAMENT! this time we made sure they were accompanied by members. so idk if i mentioned this about them before but when i first met them, they were super sad and quiet. still great but timid. miguel looked very dark. hes had one of the hardest lives ive heard of and silvia is very tall, skinny, she had tons of wrinkles from smoking and just very weathered...well since weve been teaching them, miguel looks almost white!!!! and silvia barely has wrinkles! i wish i took a before and after pic but the change in them is physical as well as spiritual! we were over and the daughter shayla whos nine asked if we could read the book of mormon together so we did after they commited to baptism!!!! there is still a lot of work to do but they are amazing. 

Purple Trees
so also we have made a new goal to "andar haciendo bienes" in english i think its, go about doing good! basically look for every oppurtunity to give service!on saturday morning we saw an old man weeding his front sidewalk. we just knelt down and started to help him! then his neighbor saw and jokingly said "why dont you do mine too" so we did! and it was so fun! tons of people were walking by and saying "que hacen estas chicas en bolleras??" haha like what are these girls doing in skirts! 

so for the spiritual thought!

im reading and studying doctrine and covenants in seccion 103 now! i suggest everyone reads that section and ponderize verses 9-10. we (the members of the church) are meant to be saviors of men! that means be an instrument in the lords hands to bring others to salvation! so i invite you to think and have a personal inventory. are we doing things everyday to help others come unto christ? when we are baptized that is part of the promise we make with god. even if we do a random act of service, in some way or other it is bringing someone closer to christ. well i know there is alot more i can do and im excited to start doing it! 

also this is a wonderful scripture. prayer works, and heals. love you all!!!

D&C 103:36 All victory and glory ibrought to pass unto you through your diligencefaithfulness, and prayers of faith.

hna sanders
eating last of the Peanut Butter from home
also we had a spa night on sunday because it was more elections and we couldnt leave so i shape hna nelsons eyebrows, helped her to do make up and we did facials. ally would be proud!!


"Jess & Tess" (November 16, 2015)

The District
so first, what a crazy and weird week! it was great and also pretty boring. i got sick again....but the days we were able to go out were great!!
so estella had to cancel all the appointments we had! we would reschedule then either i was sick or she couldnt. she also couldnt come to church but we will see whats going on there. the hard thing is when alot of time passes in between appointments with inv. when that happens it is very easy for them to turn away and stop progressing. the adversary works with them. so thats why it is important to have as much contact with the inv. as possible!
so thats the update with estela. but i want to tell you all about monica! she is a single mom of 4 young kids. evangelista. last week we visited her and her house was in complete disorder! it smelt and she was a complete mess. she told us she wasnt eating because she had no desire and she was going insane with everything that was going on in her life. so we invite her to read the book of mormon and we promise her that as she does she will receive strength from the lord. that she was a valiant lady and god would bless her as she follows the commandments! well a week passes and yesturday night we stopped by! her house smelt wonderful, everything was clean, she was calm..COMPLETELY CHANGED. it was so incredible! we ask her if she had read and she said she had everyday!!!! and that she knew that was why she felt peace! THAT IS A DIRECT BLESSING THAT SHE EXPERIENCED.  honestly that is an undeniable experience of the literal power of the book of mormon! well by the end of our visit she accepted a baptism date and invited us over for ASADO. so thats wonderful!!
we lost weight and traded pants
other than that it was a pretty decent week! so to explain the title!
we were walking one morning (it was already super hot) we were talking about our future lives when hna nelson and i are a famous duo of singing and me on the uke and her on the mandolin, our name with be jess & tess. we came up with a list of songs we will sing. among them are boogie wonderland, mary did you know, and dont worry be happy! :)
so fun/creepy story....we were traveling to district meeting. when we got off the bus, the bus driver asked us where we were from, being friendly we told them, the USA. then he said, are all the girls as cute as you??....well i awkwardly said no...then i corrected myself saying well actually idk. and i got off that bus quickly...well we return to the busses after district meeting. ITS THE SAME BUS DRIVER DANG IT! well i was paying for the trip and he was handing me the change and as he did he grabbed my hand and squeezed it!! liufci4utlskjehtisau it was one of the most awkward moments..and after that we had the hour drive back to our area. aaahhhhhhh. so moral of the story is as a sister misisonary in argentina you have to dress super frumpy and ignore all the guys. merpp
lunch (baked chicken, zuccini, potatoes
with oregano) look I'm learning!
okay and for the spiritual thought!
alma 37:35.
im pretty sure its a scripture mastery. but the first part of the scripture alma is telling his son helaman to learn to be wise while in his youth..the second part tells him how...follow the commandments. as a youth, following the commandments of God will benefit us more than any other thing. as we gain experience in life we will know why we have commandments. as we study and gain experience and are faithful in keeping the commandments we will be made into the modern army of helaman that god NEEDS us to be. so, study is important, gaining experience is important, and following the commandments are all so important in order to gain wisdom. after all, the kingdom of God is inherited by the wise and faithful. 

have a wonderful week fam and friends!! love you all so much! 
hna sanders

Train Trax

Monday, November 9, 2015

"Falling Avocados" (November 9, 2015)

The Heavenly Avocado
so let me explain the title really quick:) on saturday morning we were walking tranquilas in the morning. it was already pretty hot and it was only 10 am. so were walking on the avenida when out of nowhere we hear a "thud" we look around and see a HUGE avocado that had just fallen. we look around and make sure no one is looking. we cross the street and pick it up, and end up walking around the whole morning with the huge avacado that fell from the sky! come to find out that avacados actually grow on trees and ramallo is filled with avacado trees! yayyyy!!! you think being from california id know that by now haha.
so this week! wow idk if ive walked so much in my mission before! we had like 3 days this week when no one was home, lunch got cancelled so we had to scramble to make food out of nothing haha and then just walk and walk for hours and hours! in the heat, with the dirt roads, the dust flying everywhere and sweating so much but you know what, its so worth it!! its so worth it because it is a little sacrifice, who needs air conditioning, cars, even  bikes, when the apostles, the pioneers, and Christ endured much worse for great causes. our cause is Christ and im down to suffer whatever i have to for him and his cause!! :) :)
so the people! estela is amazing and accepted a baptismal date! she told us she has chosen our church becuase she feels the happiest learning and reading! she never has read the bible and doesnt know the story of Christ so we get to teach her Christs ministry and all! isnt that great! i love teaching about Christs life and mortal ministry! not only do i love teaching it but i learn something new everytime myself! we also found a bunch of people here who havent known the story of Christ. they dont know what it means to need salvacion, to sacrifice, so its been a wonderful experience to be able to teach these things! 

Sheep w/ a tire necklace
other than estela we met with another family weve been teaching. they are silvia and miguel and their 9 year old daughter shayla. they arent married and are pretty humble. but super funny and great! we had a wonderful lesson about going to church. and this sunday they came to church! here we have sacrament meeting at the end. so they came at 9...none of the members came up to greet them. or say the third hour they felt so awkward they left! it was heartbreaking to see this! please dont ever do that! when people are coming to church we need to be so welcoming and love them! i was super sad about that, so we will go back and see what we can do for them.
The Argentine Sky
so that was pretty much the week! thank goodness that we have a new week to do better and learn more!
so my pictures, the argentine sky, a sheep with a tire necklaces #argentina, and the heavenly avacado! haha
im just gonna leave a nice quote for the thought this week.
"real personal sacrifice never was placing an animal on the altar. instead, it is a willingness to put the animal IN US upon the altar and letting it be consumed."-elder bruce c. hafen
remember that sacrifice is never easy. its not supposed to be but when we do it right we change and become better. with all the changes happening in the world we will be asked to sacrifice many things but the biggest and most important sacrifice we can make is ourselves. give ourselves to the lord. follow his commandments, listen and trust in the prophet and his apostles, and do what is asked of us to do. let go of pride and be humble! hope you all have a great week! love you all!!!
hna sanders

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

"The Fellowship" (November 2, 2015)

wow what a week!
so first ill write about the twins...we have to stop teaching them because they are super awkward with us and not progressing anymore. we thought that after they came to church they would be fine but its just gotten progressively awkward so thats that.
estela!! we went to teach her again and her husband was there! so we taught them as a couple it was mainly just getting to know them but in the end we taught about prayer, he said wow if anyone had taught me that earlier we probably would have done that already! haha so that was pretty cool! other thn that we have just visiting more people, eating birthday cake, and explaining to the members over and over again that i cant eat certain foods for me health! hahaha
this week our mission president gave us an extra half hour everyday to read the book of mormon and study it! how great is that?
so fun fact, in argentina they dont really celebrate halloween right..? well this year we saw some trick or treaters, the tradition is spreading here little by little!
with hna nelson we are quoting lord of the rings at least 3 times a day if not more its wonderful so time for me to explain the title!
i was reading a quote that one of my friends sent me to hear. its by henry b eyring. at one point he says "i am fellowship of the unashamed" so hna nelson read that part aloud and right after she said that i replied "well i am part of the fellowship of the ring" :) so thats thats. haha
so for my spiritual thought, with all this reading of the book of mormon i just thought it would be a great idea if everyone could make it a goal to read the book of mormon for a half hour everyday. if thats all you do youll be so blessed! the book is powerful, being that it is the most correct book on earth and the book that will bring one more closer to christ than any other book. when we read it everyday we will have the ability to resist temptaion, feel God's love and be more grateful and thus more happy in every circumstance! its true! and i hope we all can do this everyday! even if is just reading a few verses and pondering them for a half hour that counts! haha just do it and you will see specific blessing that come from it. well love you all! have an amazing week!!! 
hna sanders

Healthy Dinner, Cabbage and Carrots
Dinner with Hermana Nelson
Cooking with Hermana Nelson
In the apartment with Hermana Nelson

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

"Lord of the Rings All Day Everyday" (October 26, 2015)

In the park with Hermana Nelson
so how was your week? did you meet someone new? smile to a stranger? read your scriptures?
this week was sooooo freakin good. there is so much work to do here in ramallo and wow we are working like horses!
so lets start with the investigators. we found so many news this week. but ill just talk about a few!
las mellisas..the twins fiama and macarena. ive only taught them once. they are two sisters twins. with 17 years! when we got to their house we saw one making out with her boyfriend in the front porch...we were like...this is gonna be awkward...and then they saw us and it was...very awkward. well we went in and taught them and her other sister and her uncle. they live with their aunt and uncle becuase their parents left them when they were younger :( wel we just got to know them and we sang. (hna nelson sings reall well so we sing in almost every appointment) after we left their house we were like...well that was awkward and we felt like we should drop them...but then on sunday THEY CAME TO CHURCH so we will continue to pass by. 
estela. estela is a mom with 3 kids. she is married (miracle) and has a car(other miracle) she was a reference. so we went to her house and she was just leaving and told us to come back the next day! so we come by and she doesnt let us in because she doesnt trust that was like, wow great start. haha well we were getting to know her and we began to talk about prophets. we told her there is a living prophet like how there were prophets in the olden times and that he receives revelation for the church in our day! when we told her that she became super intriged and said that was pretty cool. we then asked if she had ever gotten an answer to her prayers..she said no that she didnt know how. so we explained to her that we recieve answers through the power of the spirit. and that if we feel good, happy, peace, a knowledge of the things, that that is good and comes from god which is a positive answer. she was super excited about that and said she would put it in practice! well we quickly ended the visit and she said next time she would invite us in! haha woohoo! 
well those are the cool stories that happened this week. there is so much to do here in ramallo. there arent that many members. just about 40 that come to church regularly. compared to other places thats a ton! haha but there are alot of less actives. the thing is that on our side, we have to travel to get to church. alot of people to have money to get to church. its just 14 pesos round trip but times that by like 5 and every week would be alot. the people here are very humble. its defineitly different than venado but still wonderful!
so some things that happned this week. hna nelson and i both have a love for lord of the rings and we have been quoting it all week. its great! also the dogs here in ramallo are very nosy and always follow us and like to bark at us. i thiknk ive had to yell at dogs more in this last week than all my mission. also haha we were contacting and we went up to a cute house that had a cute garden. we were looking at it then a big black dog came out from wasnt barking but looked very tense. then we saw a bloody cow head or something scary in the garden. we got scared and then the dog flipped out so we ran away! haha argentina is great! :)
In front of a church in Ramallo
so spiritual thought for the week. just something short. something ive been practicing lately is having edifying thoughts! ive been trying to memorize scriptures every week. in my prayers i sincerely think of things i am grateful for. everyday there are miracles and if we just think for a second we can remember them and see them. also, changing every negative thought to a positive one. its been really helping me be happy and serve more! its hard but its a habit we just have to develop. i hope we can all try to be more grateful and happy this week! 
heres a talk i read that really helped me!
if you have time, read it!
love you all!!
hna sanders

With my new companion, Hermana Nelson
in my new area, Ramallo.
In our room
So Domestic!
Cookies & Pie
Tree-lined Pathway in Ramallo
The River in Ramallo
Ramallo Sunset