Monday, March 27, 2017

I am soooo happy

"...I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God."
Alma 26:11
Me and Hermana Ferriera

WOW! This week flew by. It's amazing because every day and every week, we basically have the exact same routine, but every day is unique and special because we talk with different people every single day. Every day we see different tender mercies of the Lord, and time seems to just fly by.

This past week my companera was super sick with a cold and yesterday my throat and head started hurting. But it was inevitable, I'm with my compa literally 24/7. But regardless of not feeling 100%, my comp and I worked really hard. We have someone preparing for baptism! His name is Alberto, he went to church again yesterday and he is slowly progressing in his testimony.  Please keep him in your prayers.

We had a lot of really great lessons, but a lesson that stood out this week was with a woman, who believes in God, but doesn't believe that practicing a religion is necessary. She had many questions for us, and we responded the best we could, but then she asked if we had felt God's presence in our lives. The Spirit was so powerful as we bore our simple and humble testimonies that YES, we have felt His presence and continue to feel His presence each and every day. At the end of the lesson, she said that she wouldn't be willing to change her way of thinking. Of course, this is always sad for us, but hopefully the Spirit was able to touch her heart and one day she will have that desire to change.

We had an alarm put in our apartment...yay for safety! On Thursday after weekly planning we had 8 appointments with investigators. I was so pumped, but how many people were home? ZERO! Spent 5 hours walking and looking for people to teach. No one wanted to allow us to share our message. But 20 minutes before we had to go back to our apartment, a miracle! Someone who wanted to hear our message!

Sadly because the broadcast is later here, we couldn't watch the General Women's Session, but I am so excited for this upcoming weekend. What a privilege it is to hear and receive guidance from our leaders and especially from our dear prophet. I hope that everyone can prepare spiritually to listen to our prophets. Personally, I am writing questions that I hope to be answered in the conference. Ahh, so excited!

Also my family will be traveling soon and I hope and pray that they all travel safely and that they enjoy their vacation. I am not sad...I can go on a cruise another year. A mission is a once in a lifetime chance. I am so happy to be here. So while you are basking in the sun and eating lots of food, think of me walking the streets of Argentina, dodging stray dogs and drug dealers....jajajaja.

Have a great week! Thank you for the love, prayers and support.

Con Amor,
Hermana Norman

Checking for lice...a daily chore that we get to endure in Argentina!

Personal bus to church...jaja

 our investigator's kids

Monday, March 20, 2017

“Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me... shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me. …
“… For it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain” 
Well, I'm in my new area, Limache, with my new companion Hermana Feirrera. Hna Feirrera is from Brasil, she is a new missionary, so I'm finishing training her! She is a really great missionary and companion. I'm super excited for this transfer here in Limache. Limache is in Salta, but it is an area that hasn't had baptisms in a very long time. When I arrived in this area, there was no investigators that were progressing. We had to start from zero. I began to feel a lot of pressure because not only was I finishing training a new hermana, but we didn't have anyone to teach! I started to stress/freak out a little, but then I realized that there was no need to stress out. This is His work and I am only an instrument and so what did I do? I prayed harder and longer than I've ever prayed before. I prayed that the Lord would guide us to the people who are ready to receive us. I prayed that we would have the gift of tongues (because my compa only speaks Portuguese and is starting to learn Spanish). But overall, I pleaded with my Heavenly Father that he would help me, help me serve, help us find people to teach, help me to learn what I am supposed to learn during this transfer. And because God is good, I felt His help during this week. I survived and we saw many small miracles. 
We went through all the records of past investigators and inactive members, made lists according to neighborhoods and then started searching. We talked with everyone in the streets just trying to find someone who would listen to us.
I am not going to lie. Every day we came home completely exhausted. There were days when literally, no one wanted to talk with us. It would have been easy to get discouraged, but we just kept working! And we found people! 4 of them went to church yesterday! Small miracles....
Now a little bit of crazy stuff...
There is an eternal investigator, Sandra, who is basically a member but can't be baptized because she lives with her boyfriend and he doesn't want to get married with her. But anyway, we had a lesson with her, taught the Word of Wisdom, we explained how it is important that we can be free of addictions, but then she says she has an addiction, or rather an obsession. She is obsessed with the singer, David Bowie. Not the normal fangirl stuff, legit obsessed with the man. When he died, she explained that she almost took her own life, and to this day she won't accept his death. HMMM, but the gospel is for everyone! 
Also, we eat like QUEENS in this area. The members cook food so good for us, but they give us SO MUCH! But Im grateful! Oh and then during a lunch, some members pulled a prank on me. As we were eating, the husband went into the kitchen and brought wine back to the table. He served himself and drank and I was caught off guard because he had just explained how he was Elders Quorum president. Then he asked me if I would like to try. I decline (politely of course). Then 5 minutes later, everyone starts busting out laughing and they explain that it was apple juice in the wine bottle. They said my face was priceless when he drank the "wine". But yup, the members here are awesome. 
This was my week! Hope everyone has a good week. Thank you for the love and prayers.
Con Amor,
Hermana Norman
video from my apartment in Limache

Monday, March 13, 2017

Great joy comes from bringing souls unto Jesus Christ!

 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!   D&C 18:15-16
Two souls. Two souls were saved on March 11, 2017 in Salta Argentina! The gratitude and happiness I feel is without words. I can only imagine how Heavenly Father feels.
Mailen and Rocio (Lolo) finally were baptized! It was a crazy week trying to plan two baptisms, but everything turned out great. Mailen's mom, who is a Jehovah's witness, was able to attend the baptism, and Lolo's dad, who also isn't a member was able to witness the baptism. Talking to both of them Sunday after they were confirmed, they both said that they felt different. Lolo said that she felt like God and Jesus were giving her a huge hug. Mailen said she felt hope, and that her past mistakes wouldn't define her.
The Spirit was very strong and I feel so grateful that I was able to witness such a special moment for these two girls. I've grown to love Mailen and Rocio and their families! These people will always have a special place in my heart.
So this morning was an exciting one. I received a phone call at 9 am from my mission president. He told me, you are being transferred. I was a bit shocked. I immediately thought of all the people I love in this area that I wouldn't be able to say good bye to. The ward members, new converts and those we are currently teaching. In an emergency transfer you have hours to pack and get to your new area. I was going to another area in Salta...Limache. So Tres Cerritos is in my past. I left a huge part of my heart there. My heart actually hurts....literally HURTS! I love those people so much. I am finishing the training of a newer hermana. Her name is Hermana Fereirra. She comes from Brazil. She doesn't speak much Spanish and so it makes me quite nervous that I have to teach her. I feel so humbled to be put in such a situation, but all I can do is my best. I hope I live up to what Heavenly Father expects from me. was an exciting week of missionary work. We talked with Atheists, Jehovah's witnesses and of course a lot of Catholics. The majority of the people here are Catholic. It is great that Christianity is prominent here. The virgin Mary is everywhere, literally EVERYWHERE, but...we still manage to find new people to teach. Evidence that the Lord is preparing the hearts of the people here in Salta. 
Fun Facts: 
-when I say we knock doors, we don't knock, we clap...don't know if I ever mentioned that. Also, brown sugar doesn't exist here. So there aren't any good cookies. 
-When you greet someone, even strangers, it is always with a kiss on the cheek. Similar to my Polynesian culture. But as missionaries, we shake hands with the men. It is always so awkward when they try to kiss our cheek and we have to awkwardly stick our hand out and explain that we can't as missionaries. 
-Argentina is obsessed with bread. There is always bread at every meal. I'm not complaining...
-All the cars here are stick shift; plus our area is basically all hills. These people are pros at driving stick shift.
But anyway, Argentina is very different. The culture, the language, but I have grown to love all of it! It is amazing how in the mission we have to learn to adapt to changes. This is something that I know will always help me. I have been studying a lot about charity this week and I really like what I read in a conference talk. She said, "Charity someimes means refraining from judging or criticizing." As humans, it  is natural to judge and criticize, but I have learned that as I strive to withhold judgement and see people as God sees them, it has allowed me to love them as God loves them. Like it says in my favorite movie, High School Musical, "We are all in this together!" It is our responsibility to help all of our brothers and sisters in this life. We all have the same goal, we all need the Savior's grace. Let's just all help each other out and not tear each other down. Always look for the good.
Have a great week! 
Con Amor,
Hermana Norman
We had to clean the church before the baptisms

Rocio and them

Rocio (Lolo)

Mailen and her them too!

Lolo's little sister...

Typical breakfast for me...eggs, peas and grapes. Its actually pretty yummy!

Francisco brought us some Korean treats

Monday, March 6, 2017

Progress audio

."And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also...

..for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."  D&C 84:88

Lots of miracles this week!

While I was exercising Tuesday morning, I pulled or strained a muscle in my neck. An hour later, I couldn't move my neck at all! I was in so much pain. I was sure that my neck was going to stay bent to the side for the rest of my life...yes! I'm still dramatic!
But we went out and worked regardless of the pain, and the next day my neck was completely fine. Some might say that I just healed quickly, but I know that the Lord was blessing me and watching out for me.
I know this to be true, because on Saturday, my companion and I helped the relief society with a service project in the church. Now our chapel isn't in our we have to take two buses to get to church. The area where the chapel is is a little more humble than my area, or in other words, it is more dangerous. When we got off the bus, we started walking towards the chapel about 2 blocks away. All of a sudden, we hear a lot of yelling and many people running. I turn and see about 15 guys running towards us. My heart stops, I grab my companion, and something tells me, "stand still!" We stand there in the middle of street and honestly it felt like we were invisible. There was a group of 5-6 guys chasing these other guys. They broke out fighting, throwing rocks, but then they all passed. As soon as they were out of sight, my compa and I ran to the church as fast as we could. I KNOW that there are angels protecting us. But I'm also grateful for the whisperings of the Spirit, if you know me, you know that when I'm scared and when I'm in a moment where I need to act fast, I usually freak out. But in this moment, as I was literally embracing my companion amongst so much chaos, I felt sure. I felt protected. I share this story, not to freak out my mother, but to reassure you all that your prayers are working. I feel so safe and watched over.

Bueno, enough crazy stuff. Lets get to the good stuff.

Nicolas, Rocio (Lolo) and Mailen are doing so good. They are reading el Libro de Mormon, praying and they went to church yesterday.
Mailen wanted to be baptized this past Saturday, but her Mom couldn't attend that day, so we postponed her baptism for the next Saturday.
Rocio is a miracle because we are working with her whole family. her Mom has been inactive for more than 12 years. Her Dad isn't a member, but they are a beautiful family. It makes me so happy to see them all in church.
Nicolas. we recently found out that he has an addiction to smoking, but I can tell he has a real desire to change. We taught him the Word of Wisdom and helped him set goals to overcome his addiction. Most importantly, we told him to find strength in Christ. Put all his faith and trust in Him and He will do His part.4 days later and Nicolas is smoking 12 cigarettes every day. Before he was smoking 15-17 cada dia. This week we are striving for ZERO!

We had interviews with President Chaparro. This man is called of God and I'm so grateful for the counsel I was able to receive. He reminded me to never get discouraged. Even though after being rejected so times, it is easy to feel a little down. But I've learned from the many doors slammed in my face, that those people just weren't ready.

Have a great week! The Lord loves you ... I love you! Life is good.

Con Amor,
Hermana Norman
The view of my area
With rain comes froggies
 Noche de hogar with Mailen (investigator), Luz (recent convert) and Enzo and Cynthia (converts for a year). We made desserts!

Rain rain go away!
Actually the roads start to have rivers running down them. Its pretty fun!
Searching for the wilderness! jajaja
The crazy animals in Argentina....what is this?