Monday, January 25, 2016

"The infestation of Mosquitos in Ramallo Pueblo" (January 25, 2016)

sooo well theres not too much to write about this week as i was sick again from tuesday to friday this time. but idk i just ate a few cookies with flour but it looks like i cant even eat a tiny bit of flour. danggg
so because of that we couldnt see many people and it was a bit distressing. we ran out of raid so we got infested my mosquitos and it hit over 105 degrees this week. imagine that without air conditioning hahaha and sick with fever haha but i got a cool impression this week that made me super happy as my stomach was hurting. we are told many times as missionaries that we have to pay the price. it isnt easy the mission.. and it isnt supposed to be. its a refining process and if my main trial is my stomach and getting sick all the time so be it. there are trials much harder and painful than that. also im "suffering with joy" and learning patience and long suffering. haha :)
well this week we had 2 super cool meetings. on wednesday there was a worldwide transmision for all of the missionaries! 3 apostoles spoke and the missionary department as well. they spoke about our purpose as missionaries. it is to teach repentance and baptize converts. they spoke about how to do the work effectively! it was great.
then on friday we had a zone conference and a seventy came. his name is elder ferreira and his wife. it started out with the talks. we all had to prepare a talk on faith and the seventy would choose 3 people to share their talk. now, faith is something that lately ive been feeling i lack and something i feel i dont understand very well so thankfully he didnt call my name but after the talks he stood up and said "there are 3 more of you who need to bear your tesitmonies on faith, we will wait for you to come up" so one after the other three missionaries spoke. my heart was pounding becuase i felt like i needed to speak but then the third had already stood up. elder ferreira stood up again and said "there is one more sister that has to bear her tesitmony (looks at me) sister from california, would you please?" 😲 literally my face...i stood up so nervous and shaking!!! (i hate talking in front of people) but i knew i had to give my testimony even though i dont undertsand alot. so i just prayed that the spirit would guide me. i spoke for like 2 minutes and dont remember much but i was shaking and feeling the fire of the spirit. super cool experience. i just remember at one point i said "i wonder what christ would say about my faith. if he would react to it saying "woman of little faith" or "thy faith hath made thee whole"´´ some food for thought.
after that and after the reunion he wanted to talk to me after. he simply asked me if i had wanted to give my testimony. i said not that i wanted to but that i needed to. and it was an experience more for me than for anyone else.
so that was pretty cool :) i was able to see alot of my mission friends that day including hna cruz, my brasilena who served in venado tuerto and we passed many pdays together and hna carter (not in the pictures) and a few others. but i didnt have the chance to take more fotos because i was sick. but hey on satrday we were able to work and i got sunburnt haha so embarrassing.
which reminds me! during a corelation meeting we were all there. us with the two sets of elders and the mission leader. i went to drink water from my water bottle and idk what happened but the water spilt all over my shirt 😐
also last night it was super hot until 630. then the wind started to kick up. we were outside teaching a lesson when a cloud of mosquitos attacked us!!! literally it was like a plague from the old testament i felt sooo gross just slapping and killing the dead bug all over it was awful. but what are ya gonna do. hahaha
so for what i learned this week. as i said before i was struggling thinking i didnt understand what faith was. so ive been studying it like crazy. simply this is what faith in christ means. to know that he is the savior and to trust that he loves you. when i read that in "preach my gospel" i felt so much better. if that is all faith is ive got it! i know that christ has saved me and that he loves me. i know that without a doubt because i have felt his love and the wonderful feelings of peace and joy after receiving a remission of my sins. faith in chirst is simple. if we know these two things we have access to his power and authority and we will be able to experience miracles in our lives. so my message this week is that faith is pure and simple. there is no need to over complicate things. christ is our savior and he loves each and everyone of us. 
now this week press forward with faith
be true to the faith
and defend the faith.
know what faith is to you and always pray to have it becuase it is a wonderful gift given to us by our Heavenly father but only through prayer and works.
i love you all so much! have a wonderful week!
xoxoxo hna sanders
mi brasilera
me new friend hna craft from colorado
hna spencer (from fresno) and hna torrejon (from chile)
 and me eating the best bananas of our lives haha


"la playa blanca!!" (January 18, 2016)

With Hermana Shotwell
so no more lice! after days of washing and scrubbing and losing hair becuase of the tiny comb i had to use, the little bugs are gone! it is an experience i hope to never have to repeat! haha 
well what a week! we had a lot of success at the beginning but then the week just flew by!! you know we had divisiones with hna cabrera until wednesday morning, then on friday we had more divisions with the capacitadores which are now HNA SHOTWELL (my mtc comp and a good friend) and hna christenson! we had to travel to their area in rosario called baigorria. its right by the victoria bridge! (for those who know rosario) well we had to take 3 coletivos and we had no idea where we were going but they explained to us how to get there. we pretty much guessed the whole way but we made it ok! we had great times (of course) and then on our way back we had to try to take it back in time for mission correlation meeting at 4. we left their apartment at 1130. we were trying to stop the coletivos but none would stop for us! finally at 12 one stpped. we got to the terminal and just missed the cole to san nicolas. we waited. got on the bus and as we were pulling into san nicolas the bus to ramallo pulled out. ahhhh so we had to postpone the meeting an hour. what are ya gonna do.
well other than that this week was crazzyyyy in ramallo pueblo there was a HUGE party called "la playa blanca" (the white beach) everyone goes to the beach dressed in white and theres great music awesome lights and illegal drugs of course! people from all over the world come apparently and yeah! our quiet little town turned into crazyville for the weekend. saturday in the night i woke us 2 times becuase we could hear the music from the party in our apart!! mahhhh well the party ended at 8 in the morning. we have to wait for the coletivo at 830...yikes so we left and instead of seeing no one, the streets were filled of people dressed in white, some passed out on the side of the streets, on the benches everyone was a zombie. but we got on the bus and made it in time to church but on the bus is was so crowded and some guy put his armpit right in front of my face as he reached to grip the rail. haha
Divisions with Hma's. Shotwell, Christenson & Lopez
well in terms of the investigadores. we taught silvia and miguel the word of wisdom which prohibits alcohol, tobacco, black or green tea, and drugs an coffee. we had them explain to us what it was to make sure they understood and well, they did. the next day we went back to their house. they were in the back, some of miguels sons were there. all the men were drunk out of their minds inculding miguel. silvia was the only sober one. they were also smoking and being very disrespectful....well we felt super uncomfortable and were trying to leave but they wouldnt really let the corner of my eye i saw a hand gun on the table so i decided not to offend them, but we left 3 minutes later (i was checking the watch) so that pretty much sucked. we have spent soooo much time with this family and have seen so many miracles that honestly, it was disheartening to see them completely ignoring this counsel. but in the end it is up to them if they want to come to god. if they want to obey and recieve the salvation that comes through obeying and if they dont they will not progress, they will only digress. so that is really sad. but things like this happen on the mission. just sucks a bit more when you really have grown to care for these people. :(
other than that everyone was out of their house or all they talked about was the playa blanca so it was a hard week for the work to move much forward. but its okay we got to see hna shotwell this week and i had awesome studies and finished alma! :)
Lunch today: Stuffed Zapallitos
(green pumpkins)
so this week i want to share 2 nephi 10:20, 23.24

20 And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful Gohas given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not hang dowour heads, for we are not cast off; nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to better landfor the Lord has made the sea our pathand we are upon an isle of the sea.
23 Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of 
everlasting death or the way of eternal life.
 24 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to thwill of the devil and the 
flesh; and remember, after ye arreconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.
in the first verse i love how hes like "dont hang your heads" they were led out of a good land to come into a better land! sometimes we have to leave our comfort zones so we can get to a better place and grow and just be better. after he talks about agency, or our ability to choose. and he invites us to reconcile with god , or talk to him and be on the same terms as him, and as we do we will be saved through his grace! so hopefully we can do a personal inventory and see how we can come closer to god this week so that we can be saved. he may ask us to do things out of our comfort zone but it will always be for our good! 

well thats it for this week! have a wonderful week and dont forget to "reconcile" with God. i love you all!!
hna sanders
Artsy photo on the train tracks

"Here is Ramallo Pueblo for 6 more weeks!" (January 12, 2016)

so let me just be direct in this email this week. i freaking love the mission and im honestly so confused why or how i could be so happy! this week was full of miracles but meanwhile i get the biggest pimple of my life right in the center of my forehead, and stomach issues, and..wait for it...LICE. never in my life i thought i would be one to get lice but it happened and its noooot fun. haha but hey all these things are superficial. :) its embarrassing but hey, its the mission life. haha
welp im staying here for another 6 weeks and at first i wasnt too excited because this isnt the easiest ever haha. every area has its pros and cons :) but the day after transfers changed my whole perspective! literally, sunday on monday was full of miracles. i feel it was the way that god told me he has big things planned for this area this transfer haha
the week was pretty normal, we worked hard, a lady weeding her sidewalk saw us apporach and after we said hi she ran into her house and never came back out, and things like that haha!! but we also painted monicas rejas (?)(forgot the word in English) which was fun, and all that jazz. on sunday after church i discovered the whole lice issue but after that we went to teach silvia and miguel. we havent been visiting them very much becuase they stopped progressing but we passed by this night with the intent to teach word of wisdom. the house nearby was playing very loudly plan b, which is a spanish band so we felt prompted to teach the gospel of jesus christ. anywasy it turned out to be the best lesson ever! my compy shared perfect scriptures. we learned more about their doubts about the church and now we know what we need to teach them! they both prayed!!! which was a miracle. (miguel never had prayed with us before) and they both accepted a bapstismal date!
on monday we had to go to san nicolas to say bye to an hermana and pick up her compy, hna cabrera from ecuador! she has 9 months and is such a great misioary. shes training and has to wait till wednesday to pic up her newbie. on our way back to ramallo, a man came and sat next to us and asked us to come to his house to teach him and his family!! his name is miguel so please pray for him. we have an appt for saturday! 
after that in the afternoon we went to visit the twins again! we previously stopped teaching them, well we talked about our purpose of missionaries (to help people be baptized unto repentance) and she said she was ready for a baptsim!!! so now one of the twins named fiama has a date for the 6 of february!!! her sister wasnt there so we will see them again wednesday!!
on our way back from their house we visited a lady who recently was reactivated. at the beginning she said she never prays in front of people but at the end she, herself, offered to say the prayer!
entonces! ramallo pueblo esta progresando! haha theres hope here after all! we just have to hit the pavement and get to work! but i just want everyone to know the miracles do exist and they are happening everywhere here in pueblo! hahaha
painting monicas rejas
weve been studying a ton about the power of prayer in conversion. its a commandment to pray. today hna cabrera said that commandments are just an excuse to bless us! haha but its true. when we live the commandments we are promised blessings. so with this commandment to pray we need to do its every morning, every night, and if you read alama 34 :26, constantly... haha well we should try to kneel down and pray at least 2 times a day but every moment of every day we need to have a prayer in our heart. i just want to share a few scriptures i loved about this. well first off, one blessing of prayer is the ability to resist temptation. DyC 10:5. god wants to fight our battles with us. psalm 59:9. and he wants us to know that he has our back and has prepared a way for us to return to him. (hymn 145) well i just love the words to this hymn. i hope you all do too.
i invite all of you to exercise sincere and meaningful prayer this week. that means on your knees, and pouring out yourheart in thanks, or in sorrow whatever youre feeling, tell our heavenly father. everyday we can have spiritual experiences that help us grow. well have a great week!! love you all!
hna sanders

Lyrics prayer is the souls sincere desire

  1. 1. Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
    Uttered or unexpressed,
    The motion of a hidden fire
    That trembles in the breast.
  2. 2. Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
    The falling of a tear,
    The upward glancing of an eye
    When none but God is near.
  3. 3. Prayer is the simplest form of speech
    That infant lips can try;
    Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach
    The Majesty on high.
  4. 4. Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
    The Christian's native air,
    His watchword at the gates of death;
    He enters heav'n with prayer.
  5. 5. Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice,
    Returning from his ways,
    While angels in their songs rejoice
    And cry, "Behold, he prays!"
  6. 6. The Saints in prayer appear as one
    In word and deed and mind,
    While with the Father and the Son
    Their fellowship they find.
  7. 7. Nor prayer is made on earth alone:
    The Holy Spirit pleads,
    And Jesus at the Father's throne
    For sinners intercedes.
  8. 8. O thou by whom we come to God,
    The Life, the Truth, the Way!
    The path of prayer thyself hast trod;
    Lord, teach us how to pray.

Monday, January 11, 2016

"Flying Cockroaches?" (January 4, 2016)

thats right....flying cockroaches exist here in argentina. right when you thought cockroaches couldnt get any scarier....THEY FLY. and they make an awful crunchy noise when you kill it! haha

After Fast Sunday
so HAPPY NEW YEAR. this year is going to be such a blast!! so on new years eve we were allowed to stay out until 6 but on new years day we stayed in the whole day. so we planned, fixed the area book and when there was nothing left to do we exercised for an hour or so and talked about life and our future life goals :)
hna lopez is great :)

haha so here are a few crazy things that have happened.
on monday(last week) we went to a new inv. she is from the dominican republic and talks wayyy fast.well we went to her and she ended up taking us to buy ice cream! but at the end she never let us say one word about the gospel she just likes us because we arent argentine...hahaha

about jimena, we havet been able to find her, shes always working and never home but we will keep on trying!

and monica. she is reading the book of mormon again! and loves learning about the plan of salvation. this week we planned on eating my last can on refired beans that mom sent me in my last package. i brought them over to her house but her boyfriend was over....(ojo) and so we couldnt eat them but i left them at her house....we had plans on saturday to paint her house and do service but we went and she wasnt home
Monica, her baby, and their hamster
and since then we havent gotten a hold of her. (she was just using me for my beans) haha but we will see what happened. hopefully they didnt eat them without me. but if they did there are always more in the states right? so what are ya gonna do... 

carmen (the lady with the tree branches) is a promising new. we taught her and talked about trusting in god. we emphasized the importance of looking for the truth and she agreed she would pray and ask god if the chruch was true! so we will verify this week.

funny thought, on wednesday we were very stressed so we bought ice cream and played on the teeter totter for like 2 minutes. it felt great! sometimes you just got to relax! 

wow another year down im so grateful for this year. its been absolutley crazy, many hard times and many miracles. but im so grateful to be back here in the field. it was by far the best decision i made last year. the new year is one of my favorite holidays becuase you can look back on how you have progressed the last year and motivate yourself to do much good in the year to come. at midnight when the clock turned twelve its a magical moment! maybe im crazy and make it a bigger deal then it is but i love the new year with new starts.
so with that in mind i read moses 5:58 yesturday. and i was impressed that well, the first calling we have is to be parents like adam and eve. but the second calling is to teach and preach the gospel. it is a sacred calling the we missionaries have. one of first callings given to man in the beginning of the history of earth! so we need to treat this calling with reverence and humilty. and also continue to teach the gospel of christ to our friends and future family. declare the gospel with love, understanding, and diligence! 
set goals to share the gospel and uphold this calling that each member of the true church has!
Sitting on a tree chair
have a great week everyone! i love you all. stay strong and happy!! 
hna sanders

"living amongst the bugs of argentina" (December 28, 2015)

another day another destiny!! (name that song)

so we have entered summer! and you know that because we live spraying "off" on our bodies and spraying raid every 10 minutes. haha im meeting many new bugs here. im thankful for pest control and bug spray.
Christmas Morning
well this week was crazy! on wednesday we had divisions with the sisters. with hna valencia and hna ribeiro (de brasil) we had bought a stuffed chicken to share with them for the christmas :) and we shared a kilo of ice cream!

then on thursday afternoon they left and hna lopez and i made our way to san nicolas to spend xmas with the hnas there! that night (the 24th) we had 2 dinners!!! and we got back and then at midnight everyone and their mom started setting off fireworks. we ran onto the balcony and watch the whole city sky light up. it was so beautiful! then we went to bed...santa came and we opened up a few gifts that we exchanged haha and we went to eat lunch with a family and then to the skype!!! talked to the parents then ate asado!! so you could say i had a christmas one should always have. with lots of food!! it was so nice being welcomed by families who didnt even know us into their home on this special holiday! :)
in terms of the work here in ramallo! we are finding alot of new people to teach! jimena was busy witht the holiday and all.
Banished to the other room
on wednesday during divisions, hna ribeiro and i we were walking when we saw and elderly lady (but very fit) dragging a HUGE tree branch. we ran to help her and then continued helping her with the tree branches that had fallen down because of a storm. we went into her house and helped her open her new fridge and clean her new house she just moved into. :) we shared a message about the christmas and then left. it was super fun and we loved serving! but thats not the end! later that night we went to visit a member. turns out is was HER MOM that we helped! so thats a sign right? haha it was cool
well heres a funny story!
this week one of my goals is to have awesome workouts in the morning! im struggling on my six weeks to sexy haha but i put my tennis shoes next to my bed all ready for the morning. we wake up and i starting working out. im doing super well and sweating good! well right as im finishing, our neighbors that live under us yell from the window and say "could you please stop we re trying to sleep!!!! che!" hahahaha definitly didnt think that one tomorrow i will go into the other room. 🙈
spiritual thought
so this last week i started to read the book of mormon in english for the first time on my mission! (i read it in the mtc but that doesnt count) and ive been noticing so many new things! well as i was reading i loved this scripture. "wherefore all mankind were in a lost and fallen state, and ever would be save they should rely on this redeemer" (1 nefi 10:6) it reminded me of the talk by holland "where justice love and mercy meet". at one point he says is the destiny of mankind to fall endlessly with no hope of relief and no hope of being saved? NO! 
the world we live in is fallen. it means that it is going further and further away from god due to sin and pride. going back to the scripture, we are all lost and fallen unless we trust in the savior. HE is our hope of relief and salvation. HE is the means of which we can return to the presecnce of our Heavenly Father. so it is true, if we dont accept him or trust him we will be lost for ever and fell without ever getting back up. but He is there for us and will always be ready to catch us and lift us up when we make the decision to accept him. :)
hope you all have a wonderful week and that all your new years resolutions are centered on christ and coming closer to him. :)
love you all!
hna sanders

My destroyed feet hahaha
Family 1 for Christmas
Full Moon
Making Banana Bread

"It's a Christmas Miracle!!!!" (December 21, 2015)

so let me start out with MERRY CHRISTMAS. isnt it the best time of year?? even though down here its like 100 degrees with 13800957% humidity its so fun seeing little xmas trees and being able to talk about christmas. today when we went shopping you could tell xmas was this week because all the alcohol was on sale and everyone was buying shopping carts full of wine (no joke) and there we were with our oreos and alfajores 😂hahaha

Jessica & Lydia
so this week has been yet another week of travels! we went down to rosario for visa stuff for my comp so that was fun! and we had our christmas activity as a zone! we all got together, made cookies, played games, and then went to a retirement home and talked and sang to the abuelitos! i made friends with a girl named lydia who had lived in the states for a long time :) haha and then we all sang carols. it was great! 🎄

so about this christmas miracle!
its been a rough time trying to find news (new investigators) in the area and with all the travels we have to do its been hard to follow up on them. its been frustrating to say the least. well one night it was was almost time to head back home (we have to be in at 830) and we had had a hard day, no one had been home and well...yeah justpretty long. **side story- every friday we go to an ice cream store and usually the workers give you tiny cheap scoops of ice cream but this one worker always gives us HUGE scoops. weve made friends with her....getting back to the miracle. **so we were walking back to the apartment when i felt we should walk down a certain street on the way. right when we turned the corner we heard "CHICAS!!" it was the ice cream lady!!! we stopped to talk to her. her name is JIMENA. we chatted for a bit and she invited us to her house to teach her. we got her number and the next day we went to her house. basically she is golden. :) (trying not to count the chickens before they hatch) but she doesnt smoke, or drink, she is separated and has a kid named mia. shes 1 yr old! shes is totally willing to accept commitments and pay tithing! and these are all things she had questions about in our first meeting. so tonight we will teach her again and we are very excited we are teaching the ice cream lady 😍 hahaha
Bus Station in San Nicolas
this sunday the primary kids sang and right before the teacher asked me if i could lead the music for them haha so that was fun i felt like the primary music choristers from home that always smiled like a crazy lady and mouthed the words super big so the kids to see hahaha

so funny story 🙈
on sunday we were walking to the bus stop when i car honked at us, out of random habit i waved!! it was a car full of drunk boys all about 18-21 years old, coming back from the club. ahhhh so i was like kssfirshsre what did i just we kept on walking and they drove past us again and shouted "hey chicas! come with us" and opened up the car door...we just shook our heads and kept walkig....ughhhhh que verguenza! i was so embarrassed. haha. when cars honk at us it usually is never idk my head was foggy that morning haha oops.
okay well spiritual!
this christmas i hope everyone takes a sec to remember their savior. when i think of christmas i think of the food, christmas trees and my family but i always remember that before we could open of the presents, my parents always made us read the christmas story in the new testament and the book of mormon. when i was super young i could barely wait to run downstairs but these last few years ive really grown to appreciate this tradition my parents did with us. i guess i invite everyone to think of a tradtion they do that focuses on christ and not on presents and do it with real intent :) . and if you dont have one, think of something you can do to remember our Lord in this time. 
also i read moses 6:31-34 this morning and want you all to read it too! accept the lords invitation and WALK WITH HIM from today, on. :)
hope everyone enjoys their christmas! i know i will!!!! :) eat tons of cheesy potatoes and fudge for yours truly!! ill be eating lemon pie and oreos and flan!!!😁😘🙌🎄 (excuse all the emojis hehehe)
hna sanders

Argentine sunset while raining
Jessica, Hermana Lopez, and Pizza