Monday, November 20, 2017

The final countdown!

I think I'm still in denial. I don't feel like or I just don't want to accept the fact that this is my last week in Argentina as a full time missionary.
Just thinking about it makes my heart hurt so I'm basically just doing everything I can to think that this is just going to be another week in the mission!

This past week was amazing. It wasn't easy. but I learned a lot. I believe that Heavenly Father gives trials to missionaries in their last transfers. Moments that make us think like our dear prophet said, "Shall I falter or shall I finish?" Moments that help us reflect on EVERYTHING that we have learned throughout our entire mission. For me, during these last couple of weeks, I have had many "Ah ha" moments. But before these "ah ha" moments, Satan was really trying to get me down.

I have been really sick these past 2 months. I couldn't keep food down. I had severe ear infection. I had neck problems that was causing dizziness and nausea and a few other fun stuff. It was REALLY hard! It got to the point where my mission president told me that maybe I should just go home. But it just didn't feel right. I KNEW I could finish my mission. Getting up and going out to work was a struggle. I had to pray so hard for strength to just keep going. It was amazing because many times I felt strength that I can't even explain. I know it was the prayers of all my loved ones and God's angels lifting up one of is weak missionaries. Last week, after our mission conference, and talking with the seventy, Elder Bragg, I had an "ah ha" moment. I didn't know why I was so sick, but I realized that even though I didn't understand, I still trusted fully and completely that this was part of MY mission. It was a time to depend more on my Savior, and show that even when things are hard, I CAN keep going. I can do HARD things. 2 days after my "ah ha" moment, I started feeling better. Today, I am ALMOST back to 100%. Thank you for all your prayers πŸ’•

It got up to 120* this past week, leaving our lunch, there was NO ONE in the streets. Everything, even the stores, close and don't open until 6 pm. The members are so amazing and are always so worried about us. They called us to tell us that the heat was dangerous, and we needed to be careful. And it's true, it was very hot, people that lived far away from the city without electricity died because of the heat, or fires have started...or people are out cooking eggs on their windshield. Crazy stuff. But nothing stops the missionaries! The Lord blesses us when we are obedient and we follow the mission schedule.

We found another golden investigator. Carla! She is 23 and is a friend of a member. In our 1st lesson, she cried and said she had never felt the presence of the Spirit so strong. She accepted to follow the Savior and be baptized on December 2nd. She is praying, reading the Book of Mormon and went to church yesterday! Pray for Carla!

Familia Rodriguez, Benjamin and Ricardo will also be baptized in December. Of course, I wanted to be present in their baptisms, but it is all in the time of the Lord. I am just grateful that I could play a small part in their conversion process.

Fernanda is still super happy and excited to be a visiting teacher.

Joselyn found out she's having a boy! Her baby bump is so cute!!

Solange just finished another round of chemo. It broke my heart to see her so weak and pale. All she wanted to do was sing hymns. She is so strong.

Fun stuff in Argentina:
-everyone offers us mate and bread

-tried Brazilian food. Beans, rice, meat, and banana!

-splits with Hermana Goodrich

-in the middle of a spiritual lesson with Familia Rodriguez, the 3 year old daughter takes a handful of flour and just throws it on her Mom. Everyone died laughing.

-my companion likes fruitcake

Hope everyone has an amazing week and an amazing Thanksgiving.

We are so blessed.

I'm thankful for the gospel, my family and friends, air conditioning, empanadas and mango. These are just a few of the many things.

Alma  34:38 That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.πŸ’—

Love you all

Be kind to everyone!

Con Amor,
Hermana Norman
My district being fed by amazing members

On the bus with the Rodriguez girls
Mi companera






Monday, November 13, 2017

Cockroaches...

This week was so good...let me tell you why:
1) We had a mission conference in Salta. Elder Christensen and Elder Bragg from the seventy came. The spirit was strong, lots of advice and counsel.
It was so good to see old friends, Hna Ferreira and my hija Hna Mannewitz.
Also, all the missionaries from my MTC group. Elder Stevens, Wetzker and Utai...we are all still good friends even after almost 18 months.

2) Elder Bragg told me that I need to stay actively involved in the church after my mission...will do!

3) We traveled in a van...20 missionaries, 7 hours, at one point the van broke down, so we all got out and took pictures on the side of the highway.

4) We got home from Salta at 4 in the morning. They told us it was too dangerous to go to our areas, so we had to sleep in the nearest apartment. 10 girls, 4 mattresses, 4 blankets and cockroaches everywhere.
Long story short, 2 girls on each twin mattress and my companion and I on the floor. I obviously didn't sleep very well. Knowing that there was cockroaches everywhere. Plus, I got so cold in the night and I was so desperate that I wrapped myself in my damp towel. jaja. Ah, the struggle is so real on the mission.
But it was an adventure!!

5) I got to see my Korean convert, Francisco in Salta! His family owns a small clothing store and he gave me some free pants πŸ˜ƒ He is still super active!

6) We started teaching Familia Rodriguez again, and they are amazing. We are teaching the Mom and her three daughters. She told us that she wants them all to get baptized together!! They went to church and everything yesterday. We went to pick them up so we could go together and we were waiting for the bus, but it never came, so we had to call a taxi and it is a lot more expensive so I was worried we wouldn't have enough money. But as we drove, I talked with the taxi driver, told him about who we are, what we do, and invited him to church. He said that one day he will go and then said he wouldn't charge us! Tender mercies! But please pray for this family!

7) There was something white in one of our investigators hair, and so I thought I would be a kind human and brush it out of her hair...well yeah, the white stuff was bird poop and I smeared it all over my hand...oh....I love the mission!

8) It was Elder Pergerson's birthday, and his mom sent him fudge. He shared some with me. I miss American chocolate

9) I have probably said/listened to the First Vision hundreds of times, but it never gets old. I LOVE teaching the Restoration, especially the part about Jose Smith. The spirit is always so strong. 
I really have gained a testimony and an appreciation and love for the prophet Jose Smith He is so awesome.
I invite you all to read Joseph Smith History, especially the First Vision!

10) We are burning up here in Santiago, literally.
I live sweating.
Our water heater broke a month ago and have we fixed it? Nope, because the water here isn't even cold, and NO ONE wants to take a hot shower.

But I'm hoping that everyone will want to get baptized just to cool off a little bit...jaja jk. Well not really.

Have a great week. Start making plans to come see me at the end of this month 😊

Be kind to everyone!

πŸ’˜Hermana Norman
Salta Argentina Mission conference 2017
My zone with Presidente
Leadership council 
MESSI....Futbol star


Mi hija Hna Mannewitz

Hna Mannewitz, me and Hna Ferreira
Stuck on side of highway after van broke down


Elder Pergerson's bday
We survived the night in one tiny apartment

La Banda!


Monday, November 6, 2017

All in HIS time...

I truly believe that Heavenly Father prepares people to receive the gospel. This is definitely the case with Fernanda.

Fernanda was a referral from a member. She is a single mom with 3 kids. She lived a "worldly life" she told us. She drank, smoked, and lived with her boyfriend. When we found Fernanda, she soaked in every single word we said. She was looking, looking for REAL happiness. She knew there was something missing in her life and she wanted to fill that void.
Since our first visit with her, she began to change...she stopping drinking, her boyfriend moved out, and after 3 months, she stopped smoking. She had a new light. This past Saturday, she was baptized. It was a beautiful baptismal service. Fernanda was nervous and anxious but so so happy.
After her batism, she shared the most sincere testimony. She said, "I wish I had met the missionaries many years ago, but I trust completely in my Heavenly Father, and I know that now is my time."
Fernanda was such a miracle. We just taught her the commandments and she was so willing to obey. It wasn't easy for her to make all the drastic changes in her life, but her love for God and her desire to be more like Christ motivated her every step of the way.

Ahh, the mission is so amazing.

I had my last zone conference this past week. I had to bear my testimony...I cried. Yup, I'm still emotional. But thankfully all the other hermanas are emotional too, so they cried with me πŸ˜ƒ

But it is so crazy how much my testimony has grown.
Before the mission I gave my famous cry fest, "I'm grateful" testimonies. But now my testimony has become a part of me!

Things I liked this week:
-Priesthood blessings are powerful
-We did splits with Hermanas that live an hour and a half away from us
-I tried sopa paraguaya. Food from Paraguay
-my compa and I are basically marriage counselors. LOL at the fact that I know nothing about relationships. But hey, Christ at the center, and all things are good.
-We saw a woman get stuck in between the automatic sliding doors, so sad, but so funny. She was okay, don't worry
-It was in the 100s this past week. We live sweating...so fun
-Its pretty funny when people wear clothes with English phrases, not know what it says. Like Grandma with a shirt that says "I'm a party animal" or a guy with a cheetah print snapback that says "BOY" in big letters.  jajaja  It is so awesome....




****REST OF HER BLOG DID NOT COME THROUGH*****

Fernanda...so blessed to know her



Hermanas in my zone...last zone conference. 
mi companera
Fernanda, her boyfriend and daughter
Baptism 11/5/17

Monday, October 30, 2017

I AM SO HAPPY!!!

πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

SOLANGE WAS BAPTIZED!!!
It was such a special day. So many miracles were witnessed to help this special girl get baptized.

In our lesson this past Tuesday, we asked Solange how she was feeling. She said that she felt really good and that she wanted to be baptized this week before she had to be admitted in the hospital again. So we got everything ready so that she could be baptized Friday afternoon. She was so excited and so nervous, she had a huge smile the whole night. Seeing her in all white standing in the baptismal font; my heart was so full. She looked like a small angel and after being baptized and receiving the Holy Ghost, she glowed! She told us, "I'm not scared anymore. I know Heavenly Father is always watching over my family and I. She is amazing! So strong and so full of faith and hope. Today she starts another round of chemo therapy. 10 days in the hospital.

PLEASE KEEP THIS SWEET GIRL IN YOUR PRAYERS.

Hermana Daldegan and I are working hard to find new people and to help everyone obtain a testimony of the church. Fernanda will be baptized this Saturday. Please pray that she can be strong enough to resist the temptation to smoke.

This past Tuesday we had a meeting/council with Presidente Orquera for all the leaders of the mission. This was my last one! So at the end, all those who are ending their mission had to bear their testimony. It was a very unreal feeling, I feel like I'm still in denial, not wanting to believe that this is my last transfer. But as I bore my testimony, I realized how different my testimony is compared to where it was when I first started the mission. Yes, I believed all the same things, but now I feel like there is a confirmation and I have so much more confidence in what I know to be TRUE! My testimony has truly become a part of who I am, something I treasure!

I'm literally trying to talk to as many Argentines as I can and to just always share my testimony.

When the creepy old men whistle at us, we smile, and give them an invitation to church and share a quick testimony.

When someone's dog tries to attack us, we talk to the owner.

When we go get ice cream (often), we talk with the ice cream guy.

There are just so many opportunities to serve and share the gospel. It's sad because sometimes we get too caught up in the busyness of our lives and we miss small opportunities to help someone in need. I invite everyone to take a moment and to take a step back from the craziness of our lives, and find someone or do something kind for someone else.

We found Luciana this past week, and she told us that after our first visit, her life changed completely. It was as if she had a new light and hope in life. The gospel and light of Christ truly changes lives!

In one of our lessons, a man came and interrupted holding an empty bag. The man started whispering with our investigator and all I heard was "but its heavy". And I was thinking, "oh my, what is happening?" Then he goes out to the back of the house and about 10 minutes later, he comes back into the house, with the something large and heavy inside the bag. He hurries past us and leaves but left an awful smell. I casually ask, "jaja, what was that?" And she says, "Our dead dog." My companion said my face was priceless, when she told us. jajaja But that's not all. Then the little daughter walks in and the mom starts picking out lice! I casually pulled my hair back and finished the lesson. But hey, they are interested in being baptized!

Also, the Familia Miraglio had an accident this past week. But first, this is the family that treats us like their daughters. They are always taking care of us. I love them SO MUCH! But anyway, Roberto (the dad) and their son, Lucas, were on a motorcycle when they crashed into a dog. They were going 90 km/hr, I don't know how fast that is in mph, but they went flying. Luckily they were bothering helmets, and they only suffered minor cuts and bruises. Roberto says that he knows that the Lord protected them because he said that they obviously destroyed their clothes from skidding on the road. But he said because he went to the temple, his covenants protected him. Pretty amazing. Im so glad that they are okay.

Yesterday was our stake conference. Good stuff. Two girls opened their mission calls during the conference in front of everyone! Brought back many good memories. Xerox is a member in our ward and she will be serving in Chile, Concepcion!

But this past week has been really good. We did splits with some Hermanas in our zone, and it is always fun working with other missionaries.

Tomorrow is Halloween!! Everyone enjoy it. They don't celebrate it here. Eat lots of candy for me.

Remember 2 Nephi 2:25:
"We are, that we might have joy"πŸ’—
Be kind to Everyone!

Con Amor,
Hermana Norman
Hermana Daldegan and ME!! She is a rock and helps me to be strong!
Best mission in the world!
YUMMY
This angel was baptized 10/27/17
Love this special girl


 

Solange with the unicorn and CTR bracelet from my family 
Video for my family: Solange says Gracias!

Chile here she comes! 
Best choice anyone can make is to serve a mission!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Pero, bueno!

Hola!
First, I have a new companion! Her name is Hermana Daldegan. She is from Floresta, Brazil. She's gorgeous like all my other Brazillian companions. She is super fun and likes to work hard. She has 9 months in the mission. So it's nice  because she isn't "trunky" at all! I'm super happy to spend my last transfer with her.

Thos week was a little crazy. We spent Monday and Tuesday in Salta going to lots of doctor appointments. They weren't able to find the problem, but I will be getting some test results back tomorrow! On Wednesday we came back to Santiago, and it took 8 hours. I was super anxious to get out and work and I worried because we had lost a day of work while in Salta. But the Lord knows are intentions and really helped us this week. We found lots of new people. People that were literally waiting for this message!

We also saw Solange again, and wow! I love this little girl. She is so strong. She will be baptized soon before she has to do another round of chemotherapy.

Fernanda is getting closer and closer. She is slowly stopping smoking. She still needs lots of prayers!

All of our other investigators are still struggling with church attendance. This past Sunday was elections and so EVERYTHING was closed. There wasn't any buses or taxis, so it was hard for a lot of people to go.  Pero, bueno. Patience.

We had a lot of spiritual moments this week...

-we taught an atheist, and it was honestly a very powerful lesson. She felt like her life had no purpose and it was incredible to testify that we do have a purpose and that there is a God who loves us more than we can imagine.

-we found a single mom with 4 kids that is without work and that was looking for divine help. She told us that the night before she had prayed for the first time asking God for a sign to show that he is aware of her and her family. When we showed up outside her house, she almost started crying, and said that God sent two of His messengers to answer her prayer. This moment was special because it was another confirmation that the Spirit truly is guiding our footsteps and God does direct His work.
Such a blessing to play a part πŸ’“

Thank you for all the love and prayers, and remember to be kind to EVERYONE!

πŸ’–/ Hermana Norman

Meet my new companion, Hermana Daldegan