Monday, October 16, 2017

Miracles

This week was absolutely crazy.
It was Hermana Simmons last week, so we were working extra hard! Jk, we always work hard πŸ˜‡
But we had the biggest miracle happen. We have an eternal investigator, her name is Joselyn. She is 18 and all of her family are members. She goes to church every now and then, just to be with family.
We didn't visit her frequently because she wasn't progressing. Then a couple weeks ago, we felt the impression to go visit her and we told her straight up that she needed to pray to see if she needed to be baptized. She sai she would, but she just kept putting it off, so we stopped visiting her again.
AGAIN, we felt an impression one day to visit her, as we were sitting at their table, she walked in and said, "Oh, wow, the hermanas are here. I received my answer, and I want to be baptized." I think our jaws hit the floor!
She wanted to be baptized as soon as possible because she knew and had known for a long time that the church was true. And so....
She was baptized this last Saturday. She looked stunning in all white, and was glowing after being baptized. The water was cold, but she said she felt warm inside! Pretty amazing, right?

But it was a lot of craziness leading up to this moment.

Friday, at 7 in the morning, we had to travel to Salta so that Hermana Simmons could have her last dinner and interview with Presidente Orquera. We got to Salta around 3 and Hermana Simmons went to the mission office and I went with Hermana Mannewitz!! It was so good to see her again. We went to the Doctors....more info later.
We spent the rest of the afternoon in the doctors, and we had plans to take a bus back to our area at 2 in the morning so that we could make it in time for the baptism. But the bus was full! So we had to stay the night and I had none of my stuff with me, so I just slept in my dress. It was awful. The next morning, we caught a bus at 9:30, we didn't get to Santiago until 6:15. Yup! Almost 9 hours. The baptism started at 6 so we were flying to the church. But we made it! And everything worked out!

Sunday, lots of emotions. Obviously, I am very sad that Hermana Simmons is leaving me, but I'm very excited for her too. Shes off to her next mission...marriage! jaja!

As for our other investigators...attending church is still a struggle, "something" always comes up.
Fernanda doesn't cease to amaze me, she is soaking everything up. She goes to church every Sunday! Just praying that she stops smoking.

I am currently in Salta again...I am here for a couple days to do some medical tests. Don't worry, I am fine, but prayers would be greatly appreciated. I still have constant headaches, dizziness and fatigue. They say I still have an ear infection too AND now I have been throwing up for a week. Hate going to the doctors as I feel I am wasting time here.

I am going in to my last transfer....and I can't believe it! I was able to talk to my old companion Hermana Bohorquez this past week, and we were just laughing so hard till we cried sharing mission stories. Then it hit me that the mission really is FULL of amazing moments!
SO MANY GOOD TIMES πŸ’“

Thank you for the love and prayers and...Forget not to be Happy today!

Con Amor,
Hermana Norman

Our miracle....Joselyn

Fernanda...shes amazing


Last asado with Hermana Simmons

And this is WHY I do this!



Monday, October 9, 2017

Did you know?

-That when Argentina's soccer team plays, everyone and their dog has to watch the game? They even bring out their TVs and set up chairs outside because it is so hot inside their homes

-That this is my companion, Hermana Simmons' last week in the mission πŸ™

-People have no shame here. A member told us we should probably stop eating or else we won't be able to fit in the door when we get home...jaja!

-We saw a guy fall on his motorcycle. He was okay

-Santiago is basically the Sahara desert. Windy, hot and sandy! I was trying to testify to a woman in the street, and there was so much dirt flying into my eyeballs, so I just finished with my eyes squinted so much that she asked, "Umm, are you praying or something?"

-Fernanda is so close to being baptized. She just needs to stop smoking. Pray for her.

-Solange is still in the hospital. We haven't been able to see her this whole week. She isn't responding well to the chemo 😦

-Sadness is when the majority of our investigators don't show up to church. This is still the hardness commitment for our investigators. It is a sacrifice because our chapel is 30-35 minutes away on bus, but I know that when people re truly converted and have a desire to show their love for God through their obedience, then they will show up 😊

-I completely lost it in a lesson with Benjamin and his family. A HUGE bug flew in and it was coming right for me. I couldn't contain my fear this time. I screamed and tried dodging it and running. Good thing we are super close to Ben and his family. They just laughed at me!

-We had interviews with President Orquera. Good man! He has actually helped me a lot. He has helped me better understand and access the Gace of God especially as a missionary. I really enjoyed talking with him.

-I received my last package from home!! AHHHH...cookies from Mom were definitely needed, and I even shared because yeah, I'm a changed woman!

-I got the stomache flu or something like that. Who knows...but it was funny because we started our fast Saturday after lunch, and in my prayer I asked for strength to keep working hard and for health. As I said "Amen", I ran to the bathroom, and yeah. Not fun! Heavenly Father is really testing my faith--But, I fasted anyway and went out to work anyway! No time to lose!

-I finished the Book of Mormon again this last week. My testimony is strengthened every time I read this amazing book. I invite everyone to follow our prophets counsel and to read the Book of Mormon daily!

-Hope everyone has an amazing week. Thank you for the love and support!!

Be kind to EVERYONE

πŸ’—Hermana Norman
Happiness is Mom's cookies

I love this place!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Sweet 16!

Yesterday was my "sweet 16"!
16 months in the mission! Best 16 months of my life!

I got to spend it in the best way possible, listening to General Conference!

It was an amazing, spiritually uplifting weekend. Many prayers and questions were answered as we gathered here in Santiago Argentina to listen to the words of our leaders.

One talk that I really loved was by President Uchtdorf in the Saturday Morning session. He talked about why we should turn to the Lord. He said that not only will our life be better but God will use us to make the lives of OTHERS better too!
God knows we are imperfect but he uses us anyway to bring about His eternal purposes.

This week, I felt very inadequate, especially in my calling to serve as an Hermana Leader. We did splits twice this week, and I just felt very overwhelmed and stressed, and that maybe there was some else more qualified to serve as a leader.  But after watching conference, I realized that God is fully aware of my imperfections, but if I am willing, and put in the effort, He will use me. After all, we are the pencil, he is the author. Grateful that God asks us to do hard things so that we can trust in Him and become better.

Everything is great here in Santiago!

Fernanda received a clear answer that the church is true and wants to be baptized. She struggles with a tobacco addiction. So we are working with her and using the promise of the Book of Mormon to help her overcome this addiction.

Familia Vasquezcura. They also have been reading and praying and are progressing! When we taught them the Restoration, it was very powerful when we shared Joseph Smith's first vision. Jenny, the Mom, said that she too had always had the question of what church is true! She said that as she sat in our church she received the confirmation that this truly is Christ's true church.

Ricardo, Benjamin and Solange are progressing in the Lord's time!

Wednesday night, it rained and it was cold! No one opened their doors to us We were on splits too and the Hermana said maybe we should just go home. We would only be home 15 minutes early. but I think this was a test of our faith and our obedience We kept knocking doors, and of course after receiving A LOT of rejection, a family let us in. It would have been easy to have just gone home, but when we show God that we really are willing to do whatever it takes he will lend us and guide us to those that will receive us, OR we  can feel confident in knowing that if we follow the counsel, "I'll go where you want me to go", even if it leads to rejection that God is testing us!

Random things that make me smile:
-while I was running in the morning, an old man told me I looked like I was going to die! He told me to run slower...thanks old man!

-our power went out DURING our prayer. We opened our eyes and we were in the dark!

-I killed 4 spiders this week. More than I have in my whole lifetime!

-I got a severe ear infection 😦

-our Bishop is a black belt

-they put sweet corn on their pizzas

-when we were sleeping we heard a random explosion and then an alarm system go off. Did I get out of bed? NOPE! We still don't know what happened!

-I have a new obsession with jello

-they found the guy that has been stealing from the Elders that live right next to us! They got most of their stuff back!

-I πŸ’—Argentina!!!

Con Amor,
Hermana Norman









Monday, September 25, 2017

"Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations"

It has been an amazing week!
Last Monday, we traveled to Salta and I was able to visit my previous area, Limache. It was so good to see Hermana Mannewitz. I've missed her SO MUCH! I was also able to visit Mateo and his family and it was amazing to see that they are still active and Maria is now the 2nd counselor in the Relief Society!

On Tuesday, we had our leaders conference with Presidente Orquera. We talked a lot about the virtue, a topic that we have never talked about in a mission conference. But it really touched me and reminded me that our thoughts, words, and actions should always be pure and centered on Christ. We are representatives of Christ ALWAYS, whether we are alone or not, when we are in Church or not, ALWAYS!

Wednesday, was the hottest day of my LIFE! I have never felt heat like this. Like my skin was going to melt off and it was a little windy, but the wind was even hotter. I thought my eyes were going to burn. To top it off, they cut off our electricity this day...so no AC for us! Long story short, we survived, and I did not sleep at all that night.

Thursday, we still lived without electricity but luckily the temp cooled down. It was the 17 month mark for Hna Simmons, so we celebrated and ended the day with ice cream! As we ate ice cram with only a small candle as our only source of light, we had a really deep conversation. We talked about what we have learned and what we can still give. We know we aren't perfect missionaries, but we try to give our all so that when our day comes to take off our nametag, we can say, "Father, I did my best!"

Friday, we had our zone conference here in Santiago. We and the zone leaders were in charge. Love having the opportunity to teach because I end up learning so much.

Saturday, we finally got our electricity turned back on! Saturday is the most important day to visit our investigators and remind them to go to church! We also watched the General Women's Conference. Amazing talks!

Sunday, one of the families we have been teaching went to church. Ricardo was also there and Fernanda too! 

People that we have preparing for baptism:
Ricardo
Benjamin
Solange
Fernanda
Familia VasquezCura (a family that we found a couple weeks ago. The mom is very sick, but waants her family to find peace in a church)

PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM πŸ’“

This week I have learned a lot about what COURAGE is.
I love the story of Abinadi, he was willing to give his life rather than deny the truth.

Do we have that same conviction and courage to live the gospel?
Do we have courage to stand up and stand out from everyone else?

I love the scripture in Romans 1:16:
"I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

I am not ashamed...I know that the church is true. I know Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and I will never deny these truths!

I hope that everyone watches the General Conference this weekend. It is such a blessing to have a living prophet to lead and guide us. Also invite someone else to watch too! The conference is an amazing time to reflect, receive personal revelation and make some necessary changes!

Have an amazing week and choose to be GLAD!

πŸ’—Hermana Norman
Got to see Mateo and Maria!
And Hermana Mannewitz!
Hermana Simmons and ME! 
Our zone

Blessed to work with some amazing Hermanas who teach me so much!


Monday, September 18, 2017

This week has been crazy!

We had the opportunity to have Elder Bragg come visit us! Because our mission is so big, we had to do two, and so everyone in Santiago had to travel to TUCUMAN, another providence! But we stayed in a hotel and everything, and it was super fun!
The conference was amazing! Elder Bragg brought a special spirit and really helped get us understand more fully how sacred our calling is! 
I really like how he expained that there is a difference between being in the mission and being a missionary! 
Presidente and Hermana Orquera also spoke and in Hna Orquera's talk she talked a little bit about me and what I have been going through with my medical problems. It was another confirmation that I will be okay and that I can keep going!

And today we traveled all day to Salta for Mission leadership conference. Two big trips in a week is a lot. I am excited to see Hna Mannewitz and other members and investigators in Tres Cerritos and Limache.  

Sorry this is short and sweet, but thank you all for your love and support! I am so blessed!

Hermana Norman
Waiting for bus to Tucuman...
There is beauty in everything


Elder Santana...he gained 70 lbs and has a pregnant belly...jajaja
yum!
Our hotel room
Multi zone conference with Elder Bragg visiting
Mission tour with Elder Bragg luncheon
Eating at Del Carmen Luna's...still have the same love for ice cream
Youth activity
Presidente Orquera's son...