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. ๐Ÿ˜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.

๐Ÿ’™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 this...video might be below
video


Monday, July 10, 2017

"More than conquerors through Him that loved us"

Maria Emilia is our new investigator that we found a couple weeks ago and she is progressing really well, and is preparing to be baptized in the next couple of weeks. She is 14 years old, her family has been inactive for 7 years, and so we are working with the whole family! Please keep Familia Puca en your prayers, especially Maria Emilia!

Also, we are teaching a single Mom with 2 little kids. Her name is Guadalupe, and she was a referral from a member. She knows that the church is true,  but is still waiting to FEEL that it is true. So we are trying to help her feel and RECOGNIZE the Spirit.

And then we have Gloria and Hector, a married couple, grandparents, and they are the sweetest things ever! We have taught them many times and they love listening and learning but when it comes to keeping their commitments, like reading, praying or going to church, they aren't doing so good. Friday we had a lesson and we had to be really straight forward with them. If they weren't willing to ACT, then we couldn't continue visiting them. It was a super spiritual lesson, it was a lesson where it really felt like it wasn't me speaking, but a loving Heavenly Father that are so much for these two people. At the end of the lesson, Gloria says, "I just don't feel I need to attend any church." Broke my heart a little, but we testified then invited them to pray about it. We asked Gloria to say the prayer and mid prayer, she started crying. After the prayer she said that her whole family was tingling. She agreed to pray to know if the church was true. We'll see what happens!

This past week was the 4th of July, and so my companion and I sang all the freedom songs that we could remember. I practiced the national Anthem, but Shakira style, because I still have my dream to sing in the Super Bowl....dreamin' jajaja

But yesterday, July 9th, was independence day for Argentina! God Bless American and Argentina!!

A newlywed couple recently moved into the ward. They are from Buenos Aires and the wife, Feia Scchraifer, is the recent convert that bore her testimony last Sunday that really touched me. We were able to visit them and get to know them better. Her conversion story is absolutely amazing! And even though I have been a member my whole life, I too, have my conversion story. I invite you all to think, write and share with someone your conversion story.

My companion is a gorgeous blonde with very fair skin, and one day, it was unusually warm. So she put on a short sleeve shirt. We walked into a member's home for lunch, and the 7 year old daughter touches my companion's arm with wide eyes and says, "its so white!" She couldn't believe it, had to touch it to make sure it was real. I laughed so hard...jaja

Remember my Korean investigator? I ran into him on Pday and he is doing great! He is ward clerk! Yeah, Francisco!

We have a new mission President, but we still haven't met him or heard from him. But we will have a conference with him on Friday.

Before Presidente Chaparro left, he gave us the challenge to read the entire BoM before the next General Conference. As I have started over, my love and appreciation for this book just keeps growing! Read the Book of Mormon, it truly changes lives!

Many times investigators ask us, "Why does God allow bad things to good, innocent people?" We knows that trials are a test of our faith but are also necessary for our personal growth and strength. Elder Whitney said, " No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted...all that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure, it patiently builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls and makes us more tender and charitable". Sometimes we want to grow and receive more strength. But growth never comes from taking the easy way!

Like it says in Philippians 4:13 "we can do all things through Christ, that strengthen us" and through Christ we can be "more than conquerors" of the trials and challenges that we face in this life. (Romans 8:35, 37)

Happy, happy...life is too good to waste a day being sad!

Hope everyone has an amazing week!

Con Amor,
Hermana Michaela Norman













Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I straightened my hair, so yeah! Something big happened!

July 3, 2017

Okay, lets start with LAST Monday. We were invited by the Elders to play soccer with Presidente Chaparro, and we thought, "yeah sounds fun." Plus I had a goal before the mission to learn to play soccer and basically become a pro, and so far after 13 months in Argentina, Im still at the same level that I was before the mission. About the level of a 6 year old. 
And so....Soccer was interesting. One time the ball actually came to me, caught me off guard because I was busy watching a tractor. I tried to kick the ball, and missed COMPLETELY! Like I said, level of a 6 year old. But don't worry, I will get better.

Also on June 27, I woke up and told my compa, its my 1/2 birthday, and she says, "ummm, no Hna, your half bday is in July." ALL my life I thought my half bday was in June. So yeah, that was disappointing! jajaja

LOTS of miracles this week!!!❤
1) Nelida!!! Her open wound that she has had for months miraculously healed after the Priesthood blessing. Even the doctors are completely amazed. But she is still in the hospital doing more tests, but please keep her in your prayers. 

2) We were knocking doors and I tell my compa that we are going to say that we are looking for the Lopez family, just to start a convo and then contact them and invited them to listen to our message. So we knock at a house, they reject us. Then we keep walking and decide to knock at one more house. We ask for the Familia Lopez. And they say, "yup, that's us!" I was like "NO WAY!' Bueno. I know that Lopez is a super common last name here...but still! It's not a coincidence. Plus, this family is related to another family we are teaching. They are super awesome but didn't make it to church yesterday, so we will see.

3) The Elder that is the financial man of our mission hasn't paid our bills for lights, water, etc, since JANUARY. Miracle that they haven't turned off our power.

4) We had our farewell conference with Presidente Chaparo. Miracle, I actually didn't cry. It was a great conference and when Presidente and Hermana Chaparro closed with their testimonies, the Spirit was so strong. And then it hit me that they are actually leaving. Bittersweet. I'm going to miss them a lot.

5) We had splits and Hermana Mannewitz stayed in our area and as able to lead. #proudtrainermoment
I also realized how much I love Hna Mannewitz and my area. I was gone 24 hours but I was dying tp go back. But splits is always a good learning experience. I was with Hna Urena, she is from California and she is the best.

6) I know that God uses other people to answer our prayers. Yesterday in fast and testimony meeting, I had a small moment of feeling like the worst missionary...only 2 of our 10 investigators that we were expecting showed up to church. Then a member asked for a copy of a Book of Mormon to give to their nonmember friend, and I didn't have one. I completely forgot to put another one in my bag in the morning. So yeah, I was feeling like I was letting everyone down. Then a member gets up and she is a 1 year convert and she says that she was looking at my companion and I during the meeting and felt a strong impression to share her testimony. So she shared the sweetest testimony and then said, "Misioneras, thank you. You are giving up so much, and even on the good days and the bad days, the sun and the rain, you are serving the Lord. We love you and thank you for what you do for us." I know that this Hermana was guided by the Spirit to say these words. Words that touched my heart and answered my prayers. 
How amazing that we can be answers to other people's prayers. 

7) 3 Nephi 27:27
Studied that scripture a lot this week, an what it means to be "even as I am". To become like Him, we must also do the things He did. (3 Nephi 27:21) Often we are caught up in TO DO. Almost everyone has a TO DO liost. But I read a conference talk that stressed the importance of having a "TO BE" list. Who do we want to be?

8) Luz Maria, one of my converts will go to the temple for the first time this week ๐Ÿ™‚

9) Converts in 3 cerritos that I taught after their baptism recently were sealed as a family!!❤❤❤

YAY for AMERICA

My companion and I will celebrate the fourth by making hamburgers.. in the oven.. tomorrow!! 

Hope you all have a great week, and know that I love and pray for each one of you every day!!

GOD BLESS AMERICA AND ARGENTINA jajaja

Con Amor
Hermana Norman
Last conference with Presidente Chaparro

Going to miss them

Elder y Hermana Ward, new missionary couple


Got to go visit Nelida again...I love her! 
NELIDA!
Wouldn't you let us in?
Members! They are so good to us

Sunday, July 2, 2017

N'Sync

June 26, 2017

One of our eternal investigators set a date to get married and then she can get baptized! August 12th Clara will get married and then August 19 she will be baptized.

So even though I most likely will not be in Limache in August, and won't be at their wedding and baptism, I am so happy for them. ❤

We walked ALOT more this week...more than usual. Not a lot of people wanting to let us in, but still keeping a positive attitude.

Sometimes the smallest things can make big differences in my day. While we ate lunch with some members, their 2 year old son, Martin said the prayer to bless the food. He prayed for us, BY NAME!! I couldn't believe he remembered my name. But after hearing the sweet and simple prayer, I realized again how special it is to be a missionary. The members treat us so well. We are so blessed. It feels so good to walk into church or a member's home and have the kids yelling, "Hermana!!" or "Misionera!!" Being a missionary is amazing!

Everyone's getting sick with the flu, and this past week I sneezed so hard that I strained my neck. so that was cool.

My compa and I made brownies, and yeah, I was in heaven.


This was also Presidente Chaparro's last week as our mission president. I am so grateful for all that he has taught me this past year. He has been such a great leader and example.

This week I studied a lot about service. I love a quote that I found that says,
     "Often the answer to our prayer does not come while on our knees, but while we're on our feet serving the Lord and serving those around us."
I've been looking for small ways that I can do more little acts of service.
One day, we ate in our apartment because members gave us food in a tupperware. It was ALOT of food and we could not finish it all. So I suggested to my companion that we give the food to a very poor couple that lives near our apartment. One morning, we saw this woman searching through the garbage outside for food to eat. My heart ached to see how they are living. But after giving them food, they accepted happily, and we walked away feeling good. We had already tried to invite them to learn more about the church, but they politely declined. But who knows...maybe these small acts of service can soften their hearts.

     "Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words"
This is so true. As we serve, and live the gospel, people will be naturally attracted to the church.

I hope that all of you this week can look for an opportunity to serve!

Life is so much better when we aren't busy thinking about ourselves, but when we are thinking of others. ❤

Also, happy happy birthday to my Grandma Norman this week. What an amazing woman she is. I miss her and her contagious laugh. Love you Grandma ❤❤❤

Con Amor,
Hermana Norman


My district

our district plaques

PIZZA!

YUMMM brownies! Dont mind the broken plate...jajaja
Presidente came and played soccer with us! What fun!


Oh Look! A tree that is the same shape as me...jajaja

BRAIDS



Monday, June 19, 2017

“Hope is trust in God’s promises,


...faith that if we act now, the desired blessings will be fulfilled in the future. …"
Elder Neal A Mawell

Bueno. Its definitely true. This is the Lord's work and everything will be done His way and in His time. A veces its super hard being patient and trusting in the timing of the Lord, but this week my patience was definitely tested. We spent Monday and Tuesday working and absolutely NO ONE received us. People continued to slam doors in our faces, lie to us but MORE than usual. Tuesday night when I got to apartment, I was so frustrated. I just wanted so badly to teach someone, and I started doubting myself and my abilities as a missionary. I thought maybe I just wasn't good enough to do this work.
Then a scripture came to mind that my Gpa Ho Ching shared with me in D&C 35: 12-14.
12 And there are none that doeth good except those who are ready to receive the fulness of my gospel, which I have sent forth unto this generation.
13 Wherefore, I call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thresh the nations by the power of my Spirit;
14 And their arm shall be my arm, and I will be their shield and their buckler; and I will gird up their loins, and they shall fight manfully for me; and their enemies shall be under their feet; and I will let fall the sword in their behalf, and by the fire of mine indignation will I preserve them.
I remember that I have been called and set apart to preach the Gospel and I should never doubt myself or the Lord's promises.
Then I read a talk by Elder Uchtdorf titled, "Grateful in any Circumstances". That was another answer to my prayer.
I learned that my attitude is so important. Even on the rough days, I can still be grateful. Grateful tht I am giving many people the opportunity of receiving the Gospel even if they choose to reject. I love the quote by Elder Uchtdorf that says, "How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God there is rain?" Don't wait to be grateful!! Choose to be grateful everyday! ♡♡

After this day we saw many miracles. Not necessarily because the people were more receptive, but because my attitude changed. Every day can be a successful day if we choose to make it one!

But some small miracles that we had this week:
-we found a secret super humble part of our area. The people's houses are very humble and it is sad to see the conditions that they are living in. They don't have stoves/ovens. They cook over an actual fire but we were able to teach many families in this part of our area.
-Mateo and his family have started having family night every week
-Father's Day, I only cried once! I miss and love my Dad a lot, but it was amazing to spend a Father's Day with families here in Argentina
-Following small spiritual "nudges" helped us find many people to teach
-my companion and I both had upset stomachs one day after lunch and the fact that we survived with only one bathroom is a miracle
-Monday night I told my compa that I had only seen a couple really beautiful sunsets in Argentina, Every night since then, there has been a gorgeous sunset. God is good.
-In Family Home Evening, after the lesson, the woman who gave the lesson says, "Beueno. Now to close. Hermana Norman will sing a song for us.. (My face----:O) Then they all say that after the opening hymn they wanted a solo. Yeah, I told my companera to sing with me, and so we sang a duet ๐Ÿ˜„
-I tripped in the street. Only 2 people saw, so that's good.
-We talk with A LOT of people every day and it's honestly very hard for me to remember names, but if I'm not sure, I always go with "Jose", "Juan", or "Maria". 46% of the time, I get it right!
-Like I said in my last blog post, my Spanish isn't as good as I think. But if I don;t know a word, I mumble the word in English but with a good Spanish accent and the people almost always understand me. I don't know if it's the gift of tongues, but hey, I'll take it!

This was my week. The mission is the best. I love my companion, I love Argentina and I love this Gospel!

Have a great week!

Con Amor,
Hermana Norman

PS Nelida is still in the hospital, please pray for her.

beautiful sunset

Some of the member kids in a "tree house"


Party Breakers
video
This is when we have to make it fun...when people tell us they will be right out, but its been 5 minutes and music is blasting. Guess we have to crash the party!!
video

My compa and I are so awkward it hurts! We went jogging like this...



Monday, June 12, 2017

MATEO

Another miracle...Mateo was baptized and confirmed this past weekend. What a sweet feeling it was to see him in all white standing in the baptismal font. But what was so special was seeing the faces of his parents as they watched their son being baptized and confirmed. Mateo's parents (Maria and Martin) have been inactive for almost 10 years, and now are coming back to church. Now we are setting goals f=with them so that they can go to the temple and be sealed as a family. What an amazing weekend for the Gavilan family. ♡
I am so grateful to my Father in Heaven for allowing me to play a part in helping this special family. I have truly grown to love this family and have helped them come or "come back" to Christ.

Satan really likes to discourage missionaries. Especially when there is a baptism near. This week was full of "let downs". Many people told us that they didn't want to continue meeting with us, or we had to break up with them because they weren't progressing. It's hard. Sometimes I just don't understand why people wouldn't want the happiness that comes from the Gospel. But I have so much hope and faith that everything happens in the Lord's time.

I had a lot of embarrassing moments this week...thought I'd share a few:

*we were teaching a lesson to two teenagers. This was the 1st lesson and it seemed like they were more interested in the fact that we were from the states. But with the help of the Spirit, they actually started LISTENING. I started to finish the lesson with my testimony, and I was on a roll. The Spirit was strong, they were super interested, my Spanish was good and then in the middle of my testimony I say "caja" or in English "box". Seriously, I was like, " I know this church is true, I know that Heavenly Father box! Everyone immediately started laughing. Ugh, humbling moment. My Spanish isn't as good as I think. Still mess up.

*People are always lying to us. But after being a missionary for a year, I am ow really good at knowing and recognizing when people are lying. One day we went to visit our investigator, Monica. The daughter, that has like 30 years, answers the door and when we ask for Monica. She says, "oh wow. She just got in the shower." Yeah I could CLEARLY see Monica sitting at the kitchen table through the window curtains. Why do people lie?! Or seriously the famous line, "Oh but Im home alone with the baby" and someone walks by behind them...hmmm interesting!

*As we were walking to church, we see a crashed car (refer to my video). But after taking a video and taking pics, we realize there is a policeman behind us, he gets out and starts questioning us. He asks us why we were taking pictures of this crashed car. MY response: Ummm, yeah. We're not from here, were actually missionaries, so maybe we can help? He tells us No, and to keep walking and preaching the gospel. Will do officer!

*We went to visit another one of our investigators and the husband answers and says, "oh okay, wait a second. I'll go get my wife." He shuts the door and we wait patiently. About 5 minutes past by. He opens the door, we startle him and he says, "oh, I forgot you guys were there" and I say "Yup, still here!'
Probably one of our top most used phrases as a missionary:
 "Yeah, still here!"
 "Hola, we're back!"
 "We are not Jehovah Witnesses"

*Oh and one more...tried talking to a deaf man on the bus...but I didn't know he was deaf. So I was thinking "wow how rude. Why is this man ignoring me?" Then he hands me a note and it says, "Im deaf". Yeah, I did my best sign language and then gave him an invitation to church.

And so this week I learned that it is always good to laugh at yourself. Making mistakes is part of being human.

Also, this Sunday is Fathers Day. So Happy Fathers Day! To all my uncles, cousins, grandpas and most importantly MY DAD!

Thank you♡
I love you all๐Ÿ’ž
Con Amor,
Hermana Norman


video
video of my poor shoes
My favorite shoes...still wear them!
Random llama in Centro

Such a special day 
Familia Gavilan...Such a special family
Now on to the temple!! 
MATEO!! He is such a special boy!
Love this girl! Hna Mannewitz is simply amazing! 


NELIDA was admitted to the hospital 45 minutes away. Presidente allowed us to go visit her and the elders gave her a priesthood blessing. If this doesn't melt your heart....I don't know what will! 
I love this lady! I just want her to be out of pain. 


Video of car crash
video