Monday, August 14, 2017

"...have ye spiritually been born of God?

...Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change of heart?"
Alma 5:14

"...and a mighty change was also wrought in their hearts, and they humbled themselves and put their trust in the true and living God. And behold, they were faithful until the end; therefore they were saved."
Alma 5:13

Sooo....EMILIO was baptized!!

Ahh, it was so amazing and his conversion story is absolutely incredible. Like I said before, he was a drug addict, for 12 years. After being in a rehab center for almost a month, he decided he wanted to change his life. The missionaries were basically waiting on his doorstep when he got out. When I got here, he was still addicted to smoking, but little by little, he overcame all his addictions. He became happier. He is now like a big teddy bear. So kind and loving. His prayers are so beautiful and he is actually talking with his father.
After his baptism, he shared his testimony and a little bit of his story. He said that he knows that only through Christ he could have overcome all of these challenges. He said how much he loves the Book of Mormon and now he is excited to be a member missionary and share his story to help others.
I am ao grateful and humbled to have been able to witness this incredible change in something as they let Christ heal them. SO AWESOME!!

I had to do my 1st splits with other hermanas this past week. So that was exciting. I was with Hermana Zuniga, she is from Layton. Super fun to be able to see how other people work and teach. Learned a lot from her!
My zone
We also had zone conference with Presidente Orquera. My companion and I ALMOST got into a rap battle, but we were late getting home so we couldn't. But next and a huge group of teenagers....RAP BATTLE!

There are train tracks in our area, but they don't have those train blocker stopper thing-a-ma-bobs that stop cars, but they just have the loud train whistle to let us know a train is coming. When we were like 100 yards away, we hear the whistle. We look at each other and we say, "Run! We're going to make it before the train comes!" So we run all dramatically and such thinking that we were living on the edge. But we run past and we look back and the train is going SO SLOW! Took another 6 minutes to actually get to us...jajaja But whatever! I felt like I was in an action movie for a second.

Also, warewolf? They may exist here in Argentina. People...well children, were telling us that they saw one. And now that I am thinking about it, they were probably just messing around with the 2 dumb American girls.

Solange and the Familia Sarate are still progressing really well. Please keep them in your prayers!

I gave a talk yesterday in church about the conversion. And it was a great reminder that our conversion is a PROCESS! We have to be continually living the Gospel to keep our conversion alive!

Also, tomorrow is my Mom's birthday. So...
Thank you for being YOU! You are amazing πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

Have a great week!

πŸ’•Hermana Norman
Santi...our Bishop's son leaves for his mission today

Monday, August 7, 2017

Prayers are answered

Wow! This week flew by!
We had such an amazing week! My companion and I have been praying really hard to find families, and this week we found 3 new families to teach!

The Sarate family is a single mom with four kids. We only taught her once and she showed up to church on Sunday! We found them as we were walking in the street one day. The kids were outside playing and it was funny because we said "Hola" and kept walking but then my companion and I stopped at the same time, both feeling the same impression, and we went back and taught them! A family with a  lot of potential.

We found the Gutierrea family using the "Ring of Fire" trick. All of our plans fell through and so we knew that there was a reason that we were in this neighborhood, so we knocked the doors of the houses in front and on both sides. Now that I think about it, it's not even a ring, but that's okay....jaja! We found this family knocking doors and they said that they were waiting! Like they needed a message of hope and love from God in that moment. It was so cool!!

And the Familia Rodriguez we found contacting on a bus. We contacted them, the gave us their address, and then when we got off the bus, this is when my companion totally tripped and fell down. But after she fell, I told her, "don't worry, no one saw." But then when we went back to see this family, we asked them, "remember us from the bus?" and they said, "yeah, you were the girl that fell out of the bus!" jajaja... oh it was so funny!  But they are a great family, just haven't gone to church yet πŸ™

Emilio is doing amazing!! He honestly is such a miracle. He has totally changed his life around and with the gospel he has a new hope and light. He is so excited for his baptism!

Solange is also doing really well. In one of our lessons, we asked her what her goals and dreams are. She said to finish her chemo therapy and just be a normal girl again. Seriously broke my heart, but then she said that she also wanted to be baptized and feel God's help. She is so strong.

Sadly, we had to break up with Ricardo this week. He just wasn't ready to keep all the commitments that we left him. But he'll be ready in the future!

Church yesterday was amazing and SO awkward. My companion had to lead the hymns in the sacrament meeting and they chose a song that NO ONE knows. So the pianist starts playing and we awkwardly try to sing along, but then the pianist just stops and says, "I can't". So my companion awkwardly starts over and basically sings a solo, because no one knew the song. Too funny.

Noone will ever know the struggle until they are in the streets of Argentina, in dire need of a bathroom and there aren't any. Argentina isn't like the states, there aren't gas stations or places with public restrooms. So one night, I REALLY had to go and I got desperate that I just started knocking on random people's doors to ask if I could use theirs, but no one answered their door! It got to the point where I was literally looking for a dark corner. If that isn't the struggle, I don't know what is!  But becuase God is good, he put a kind woman in our path that let me use her bathroom. So even though public restrooms are GROSS, be grateful for them.

Also, this past week was my parent's anniversary. Grateful to have them as MY parents. Love you both πŸ’“

Thank you for the love and prayers! Have a great week. And like my friend Ellen says,

Con Amor,
Hermana Norman
my area...has fields of trash...jaja

Sweet Solange...little girl with cancer that we are teaching. She is the sweetest thing!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Start of Something New!

Hola! Yeah I'm alive, if anyone cares. Because I know the only people that actually read my blog are probably just my Mom and Dad...jajaja! Thanks padres ♡

But alright, lots of changes!
I am currently in a new area and new province. I am in 9 de Julio in Santiago del Estero, aka the place that gets up to 150*F . Luckily, we are in winter...but it was in the high 80s already so yeah, this should be an adventure.
Santiago is super dry, hot and far from everything. My area is basically just dirt roads, so we are always walking in sandy like dirt that blows in my eyes. Oh, and our apartment isn't even in our area, because our area is so super humble and there isn't anywhere  for us to live there. So we live 20 minutes away in bus...almost an hour walking.
Its different, it's new, and it's going to be a challenge 😊 But the people here are friendlier, they are more willing to let us in and listen to us. But they aren't so good with keeping commitments jaja.

But okay, my new companion is Hermana Simmons. She is from Layton, Utah and is one of the funniest people ever. Constantly laughing with her, or at her, because she is just as awkward as me!! jaja. But what is crazy is that a few days before finding out transfers, I had a dream that she was my companion. So when Presidente Orquera called me and told me my new assignment and new companion, I was surprised!

It was very hard leaving Limache and Hna Mannewitz. Many tears were shed. It never is easy to say good bye to investigators and members that you have grown to love so much. But I am super excited  to get to know my new area and the members better. There is a lot of work here to do in my area. 

I was assigned to be an Hermana Leader (Sister Training Leader), which is really humbling, but a lot of pressure. I just hope that I will e able to help the other hermanas in my zone! We had to travel to Salta on Thursday for a conference with all the leaders with Presidente Orquera. Our bus was delayed, then our bus broke down, so our 7 hour road trip turned into 10 hours. We arrived in Salta Friday, at 2:30 in the morning. Didn't get to bed till almost 4...and then had conference Friday morning, which was super good! Then after conference we were back on the bus heading back to Santiago. We got home at 1 in the morning. So I am so exhausted! Lots of traveling this past week, but it is a lot of fun.

Okay, here's some people to pray for:
Solange, a daughter of an inactive member. She has cancer and is the cutest and strongest girl ever.
Emilio, a bipolar drug addict that has been clean for 2 months...the gospel has helped him in so man ways. It truly does change lives!
Ricardo, the husband of an inactive member. He has been listening to the missionaries for 20 years, but he is SO CLOSE. Just needs to stop drinking!
So please pray for them ♥

We were in our area, (20 minutes away in bus from our apartment) and it was super late and there was no buses passing us and it is a little dangerous late at night. So we decided to just get a taxi. Plus at the bus stop there was a woman that looked like Bruno Mars, that was speaking a weird language and mumbling to herself, and staring at us. I'm 78% sure that she was cursing us out of there, and I had just enough money in my bag to pay for a taxi. So we get in a taxi, and we start to talk with the taxi driver, sharing the gospel and such, ad then I realize something...he is DRUNK!! But we couldn't get out, we had no more money ad we can't walk home late at night in our I just prayed so hard and we made it!!

Also, my companion tripped out of actually fell down. Oh, it was so funny!

I'm happy. I'm tired, but its the good kind of tired, the satisfying tired. I hope this blog entry makes sense. 

Remember God loves you!
Don't forget to be happy today. Be kind to one another.

Con Amor,
Hermana Norman
Maria Emilia was baptized in my old area this past week! So proud and happy for her
Martin...a member's son
Andres and them! Andres was our ward mission leader
Faithful member...Hermana Catalina
Melina, inactive member who finally came to church
Our investigator Clara and family. She will be married this week and baptized in my old area
Our investigator, Sandra
Bishop and his family
Suzy and Angel Caceres....I love them so much!
Ward members...Romina and Maxi
My new compa, Hermana Simmons
my new digs 
Home sweet home
Heading to leaders conference
Salta Argentina Mission Leaders July 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

Transfer day and a new challenge

Right before she got on the bus (Hna Mannewitz sent this)  
When Mom opens her emails Monday morning and sees one from the Familia Medina with the following enclosed:
"Hello. Its me, your daughter, hna norman. My new area is santiago... i will be traveling all day tomorrow. Oh and i am an hermana leader. Yikes. Pray for me. Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!! Talk to you next monday!

Monday, July 17, 2017

It's Gonna Take a Miracle...

Well transfers are a week from today, and since I am finishing training Hna Mannewitz, it is very likely that I will leave my area. Do not want to leave Limache: the members, my investigators and Hermana Mannewitz!

Pero Bueno, this week we finally met Presidente and Hermana Orquera. They are amazing! Presidente is super excited and a great vision of what he wants to accomplish in Salta. After our conference, I think everyone was pumped and excited to work. He told us that every morning we should wake up and say "we are going to invite everyone to repent and be baptized. Who are we going to baptize this week?" Hermana Orquera is the Mom that I needed in the mission. Super sweet and caring. Super excited for this new change in our mission!

This week during weekly planning, the hermana leaders showed up to verify our planning session. Most awkward thing ever. They just sat behind us and WATCHED us. They even took notes. But then they said that we plan really well, so that's cool.

We taught a guy that is in his 20s, and at the end of the lesson, I was getting ready to invite him to be baptized. I asked him, "Manuel, do you want to follow Jesus Christ in your life?" After having to think about this question so simple, he responds, "Umm, Im not sure." Then I respond with just a little too much sass, "You're not sure?!! If you are not going to follow Christ, then WHO are YOU GOING TO FOLLOW?!!" I think my compa's jaw dropped! But hey, our leaders said we need to be direct. And he ended up accepting baptismal date, so all is well. πŸ˜ƒ

My comp and I were able to watch 17 Miracles because we always have 15-20 minutes in the night right before bed or in the morning eating breakfast. But WOW! How grateful I am for the pioneers. They sacrificed so much, and it reminded me that I really have no room to complain about ANYTHING. I am so blessed.

We saw a HUGE miracle this week. Maria Emilia is preparing to be baptized, but on Tuesday we talked with her Mom and her Mom was completely against her getting baptized. She said, "Absolutely not!" We didn't know what to do because obviously she needs the permission and support of her family. So my compa and I decided to do a special fast. My Mom told me that my stake, Provo Utah Wasatch Tongan Stake, was doing a special fast for me and all missionaries from our stake serving all over the world. We fasted right along with them.  The day we finished our fast, we went to see Maria Emilia and she was so excited because she said that her Mom had a change of heart. Maria Emilia couldn't even explain what caused this sudden change of attitude in her Mom. But Hermana Mannewitz and I know that the Lord was able to soften her heart. It was the only explanation! And so the Mom signed the permission slip and Maria Emilia will be baptized soon! Hermana Mannewitz and I almost cried, we literally skipped away...HOLDING HANDS! Pure happiness! The mission is oh so good and fasting really brings miracles.

Thank you to the members of my stake back home for fasting for me and other missionaries. We could feel the power and support of the fast. I know that through prayer and fasting that we were able to experience this miracle! I love you all. Alofa tele...Ofa 'atu!

I received a package from home this past week, and my mother knows exactly what I needed. Letters and FOOD! She vacuum packed SWIG cookies! Genius! After 3 weeks, they are still good! We are slowly eating them and savoring every bite! Gracias Mom and fam! ♥

Hope everyone has a swell week. Be kind to one another.

πŸ’™Hermana Norman
Kids love misioneras
Sandra Flores
Familia Flia Cueto
Bumper cars! Fun...but brought my vertigo back!
My face when Neverland was closed! jaja
After watching 17 Miracles I felt the need to do might be below