Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Loco for Locro

Lots of good stuff happened this week.
May 25, was a holiday here, Independence Day or something like that...so everyone didn't have to work and we took advantage of this day and had a ward activity. But not just any activity, the members had to bring friends that aren't members. We had almost 30 people show up that weren't members. It was crazy! We set up appointments to teach all of them, and I really hope that some of them will progress! The activity was super simple but so fun.

We ate Locro, which is a traditional dish of Salta Argentina. It was...interesting! It was good, but the people here LOVE it! Then we had a dessert competition. Everyone had to bring a dessert and then judges determined which was the best basted on taste and presentation. And guess who were the judges?? My companion and I! Seriously I was in heaven! We had to try ALL of the desserts! I definitely wasn't complaining. But afterwards the ward members played soccer because seriously everyone here is a pro at soccer. This activity was such a success because people brought their friends. Missionary work is for everyone!

We are activating an inactive family and wow, I love this family so much. Their son, Mateo, will be baptized soon :)  This past week Mateo said he wants to serve a mission when he turns 18. Awww, so happy that I could play a small part in helping this incredible family come back to church.

We have other investigators, Matias, Axel and a few others that have a baptismal date, but they don't quite have that firm testimony of the Book of Mormon yet. So we are working on that.

We had splits again this past week. Craziest thing happened. As we were walking in the streets a dog started barking at us and approaching us. This is obviously very normal in Argentina. But then I looked and saw that the dog had foam coming from its mouth, and it was literally barking crazily. I looked at Hermana Hill and said, "this dog has rabies!" So we frantically started clapping at the closest door to us as the dog got closer and closer. A woman opened the door, let us in, and we were safe. The woman ended up not wanting to hear our message. But regardless, it was a tender mercy of the Lord.

This week, we had many powerful lessons. Honestly one of the best feelings is feeling the Spirit work through you. When the words are literally put in my mouth, like it says in D&C 100:6
"For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say."

Yesterday was our stake conference, an area seventy spoke, and he talked about living every day to the fullest. I really liked what he said because in the mission I want to live every day to the fullest and use my time wisely because 18 months is very short! But this can also be applied to life in general. Life is short. So live every day to the fullest. Laugh, Dance, Forgive and Love!!

Okay, love you all!!♥

Con Amor,
Hermana Norman­čĺŚ
My companion and I are so Argentine...
We bought our llama sweaters and fanny packs

And my infamous MATE cup! 
Mi compa bought a pan so we can now cook things!
Gotta love the bathroom selfies
These huge pots of Locro

Mateo's big day is scheduled for June 10th

Hna Mannewitz at the activity! Such a great turnout!

Some of the girls danced at the activity
desserts anyone?

Big enough bite? 
 moldy orange we found in our apartment...

We made a bread type thingy...it was actually edible
People eat armadillo here...no we didn't eat that one.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Jonas Brothers and Tender Mercies

It has been quite the week here in Limache. Hna Mannewitz and I are working so hard. I have the blisters on my feet to prove it! One of the most challenging parts about the mission is not being able to see the fruits of your labors. We work tirelessly everyday, people accepted baptismal dates, we were excited, but when Sunday comes around...the majority of our investigators are no where to be found. But the thing is that we can't get discouraged. This is the Lord's work, everything will happen in HIS time. In the mean time, we will do everything that we can to invite people to come unto Christ! And have the hope and patience that one day we will see the fruits!

This is probably one of the best things learned so far in the mission...
After all, I am only a tool in His hands!

We are seeing many miracles...Nelida is still going to church, but unfortunately the doctors still won't let her enter in agua. Mateo and Matias are also progressing but facing a lot of challenges. So please pray for them.

We have been looking for former investigators this week. Just trying to find people who are ready and willing to listen to our message. We knocked at a door, an older woman answered, and we gave our normal introduction, "Hola, we're missionaries"...and then I said that we were representatives of Christ and that we had a message from God especificamente for her. She laughed and then called us liars, but opened her door and said, "let's hear this message." Long story short, it was a short but powerful lesson, and by the end, this woman was in tears. This is what the Spirit does. It can soften even the hardest of hearts.

I had to go to the Doctor this past week, which is the worst in the mission. After lunch one day, as we were walking home...everything started spinning. I almost fell because I couldn't even walk straight. My companion had to help me too. I felt like the whole world was moving. This feeling lasted for almost an hour, and afterwards I felt nauseous...almost like motion sickness. But of course we kept working and in the night, I called Hna Chaparro and she told me to go to the doctors. As we were in the bus, I was feeling bad because I didn't want to go to the doctor and lose time to work. But then something incredible happened. A Jonas Brothers song started playing in the bus, "SOS" to be exact. Now some might say, "wow, what a coincidence!" But NO, there are no coincidences when you're on the Lord's errand. My companion and I felt pumped after hearing that song, receiving this tender mercy, and we started talking with everyone. We might as well take advantage of the situation we were in. Oh, I also found out I have a severe infection in my throat and ears causing vertigo, but taking medicine and I'm feeling great.

"The Lord is good to all; and his tender mercies are over all his work." Psalms 145:9

But funny story when I was having my dizzy spells, I told my companion that maybe it was Epilepsy, but what I meant to say was Vertigo. Yeah, we got a good laugh from that. But don't worry. I don't have epilepsy. Yes, I am a trained and licensed EMT...a year ago today to be exact! You are all in good hands! jajaja!

Also this past week was our ward conference, so we had the privilege to hear from our Stake Presidency, they talked a lot about the scripture in Luke 22:32,
("But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.") and the importance that we as members of the church are personally converted FIRST in order to help others become converted. So question for you all...
Are we personally converted?

This week is also my little brother's 17th birthday. Well, I don't know if I can say little anymore, but Happy Birthday, Pine! I can honestly say that my brother is one of my best friends. I am so proud of the young man that he has become. Thank you bro for always having my back and for laughing at all my jokes. I love you so much!!

Also, thank you, thank you for all your love and prayers. It means so much!

Until next week...
Hermana Norman

lol at the fact that last Sunday a brother in the ward asked my compa and I to sing a musical number in sacrament meeting for the ward conference, and Hna Mannewitz and I were so pumped. I honestly thought, "Wow, now's my time to shine. This is my chance!" jajaja  So yeah, we were practicing every day and then he called and said he found someone else...yup! One phone call that crushed my dreams! And that person that he found to replace us was HIMSELF and his family! jajaja How rude!

Hi, Mom! I love you :)
pday volleyball and food
Thankful for Hna Mannewitz and the fact that she takes pics...my momma is happy!
Hermana Mannewitz and I

introducing her to mate...she will eventually love my dirt water

Nelida with us in the back of the van on our way to church

zone conference

We have lots of fun together

when someone gives us "candy" and it is disgusting. we discreetly hide it in our coat pockets 

outside our apartment 

Our kitchen

our bedroom

no bucket showers here

Grido Hilado....you know me and my ice cream! So much better than American ice cream

Orroz con leche...my favorite and now hers too. We've made it twice already.
My district

Monday, May 15, 2017

“When we keep the commandments, our lives will be happier,...

...more fulfilling, and less complicated. Our challenges and problems will be easier to bear, and we will receive [God’s] promised blessings.”
President Thomas S Monson
This one is going to be short and sweet.
I wanted to share my thoughts on obedience.  I read a talk by Pres Boyd K packer and he said ´´the gospel is the Freedom to become what you can and ought to be. But for your freedom to be complete, you must be willing to give away all your sins.´´ Then he finished by saying,´´we are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see.¨
I love this! And I know that it is so true! In the mission I have really learned the importance of being obedient with exactness! Yesterday, it was soooo amazing to be able to talk with my family. It was hard to know the time that my mission president asked for us to be on was up and I hadn't had the time to really talk to my Dad or my Grandparents. It was hard to press the hang up button. However, after hanging up I felt an overwhelming feeling of peace and comfort.  I know that not only is the Lord protecting me but he is also talking care of everyone I love.

We had 5 investigators in church yesterday, which is A Lot for us!! Usually we struggle to have 1 or 2.  But I am seeing many miracles with Hna Mannewitz especially as we are striving to be obedient.

Feliz Cupleanos to my Gpa Ho Ching! I hope that you continue to have the health and strength that you have enjoyed. Heavenly Father has blessed me with one of the best Gpas in the world. Thank you for always being encouraging and for teaching me what a dedicated and faithful priesthood holder should be. 

I love you all, thank you for the love and support!!!

Con Amor,
Hermana Norman

Hermana Mannewitz! I just love her and her smile....it is getting cold here!
Hermana Navarete
Happiness is my companion brought Cadbury eggs....
Hermana Rojas and I at our usual PDay spot with new comers...Teleferico. Its the only thing open on Mondays here.

That view though
Add caption 

So mi madre asked me if I needed anymore clothes. I responded with NO, I can make due with what I have. However, I do have my favorite shoes that have worn out pretty bad and so I had to resort to my other three pair that I brought with me. I don't wear this particular pair because when a little boy stares at them and then gives you a look, you know he knows they are ugly too. jajaja! Oh, well! They are comfortable and cover my feet!

Monday, May 8, 2017

"Now, we will compare the word unto a seed.

 Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me." 
Alma 32:28
My new companion and "hija" is......... Hermana Mannewitz!! She is from Nebraska, studied at BYU Provo, is blonde (her hair), and is absolutely amazing! She arrived in Argentina Tuesday and Wednesday in a reunion with Presidente, he announced that I would be her trainer. I was so excited because I wanted nothing more than to train someone from the states! Seeing her start her mission has reminded me of when I started my mission. Everything was so HARD! Adjusting to a new culture, learning a new language, feeling so lost and out of place, and just thinking "this is not what I expected!" It is really amazing that I get to be Hna Mannewitz's 1st companion in the mission field. I'm doing my best to help her adjust smoothly to mission life in Argentina, and she is doing awesome. Our 1st day together, we knocked some doors, had many people reject us and say awful things about the United States, but we just shook it off and kept working. :) We also had to "break up" with two of our investigators that weren't progressing which is never easy.
Nelida and Matias are progressing. This week Nelida will receive the "ok" from her doctors whether or not she can enter the water for baptism. FINGERS CROSSED!

Yesterday in fast and testimony meeting  many of the members' testimonies really touched me. Many people talked about trials and the many challenges we face daily. It reminded me that God is always going to ask us to do hard things because he knows and trusts that we can do it. And we have peace knowing that he will never give us something that we can't handle.

Yesterday, my compa├▒era tried mate cocido for the first time. Her reaction...."this is dirt!" But she will learn to love it like I have learned to love it!

Before breaking up with one of our investigators, he asked, "why are you guys so persistent? Why are you always inviting me to read the book (Book of Mormon), pray and go to church?" Perfect moment to bear our testimonies! I told him of course we are going to be persistent, because this isn't a joke to us. The church can really change lives. Christ could really change his life in the end! He didn't want to change and we had to respect that. Everyone has their agency. And I know that even though he wasn't ready right now, that maybe in the future he will be ready. Planting seeds in the hearts of the people is always fun too.

This Sunday is Mother's Day! I can't believe how fast the time went by. Super excited to talk with the family! But since it is Mother's Day, I want to thank all the Moms that have helped me...my Grandmas, my aunts, my church leaders, THANK YOU!
And to my Mom. Words can't express how grateful I am for you! You have always been my biggest cheerleader, my shoulder to cry on, and quite honestly, my best friend! Thank you for your love, support and especially your unshakable testimony. You are an amazing Mom...I LOVE YOU!

Hermana Norman
Meeting my "hija" Hermana Mannewitz

With Presidente and Hermana Chaporro
Nelida with us
Hermana Mannewitz and I with Nelida

How our Elders put up the volleyball net...jajaja! Who needs a ladder?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Change is coming; however, some things don't change!!

What???!!! It's already May!
Thought I'd share an experience that I had this week. As we were knocking doors, looking for a referral, we came to a house that clearly had people inside. We could hear music and a TV, so we decided to knock at this house. But of course, it's Argentina and there is a gate in front of almost every house. So we clapped...no one answered. Clapped some more, but no one came to the door. I looked around and saw a doorbell near the corner of the gate. I thought, "oh, perfect! These people will definitely hear the doorbell." I walked to the doorbell, it looked a little different, more like a switch, but I decided to try it anyway. I pushed the switch and everything went silent in the house, including the lights! I cut the power to their house. Yeah, it wasn't a doorbell...jajajaja. But I got their attention! The husband came out, looking a little upset, and demanded to know what in the world we were doing. I explained who we were and what had happened, and he got a good laugh out of it. We invited him and his family to listen to our message. He declined, but he ending up giving us a referral to his neighbor, who ended up becoming one of our investigators. Everything happens for a reason, and yeah, I still have a lot of my "bright" moments, even in the mission. jajaja

Update on Nelida: she is doing great spiritually, but not so great physically. She lives in constant pain and she recently told us that the wound from a recent hip surgery reopened, and that it will take weeks or possibly months to completely heal. Until then, she can't fully submerge in water...which also means postponing her baptism. We continue to pray for her and I ask for your prayers as well, for Nelida.

We did an activity as a District this past Friday called "Tormenta Blanca". All of the missionaries in our district, 4 companionships, went to one single area and we split up this area and just started knocking doors. The purpose was to find new people for the missionaries in this specific area. It was a cool experience, we really had to follow the Spirit and we ended up finding a woman who has been looking for a church to attend. She loved the message we shared and accepted a baptismal date and everything. We also had another Capilla abierta, or open house type thing for the church and that was really cool too.

Tomorrow we have transfers. Usually we have transfers today, but it is a holiday here and so no one is working and everything is closed. But my companion, Hna Ferreira is going to Jujuy and she is going to serve in my first area, Ciudad de Nieva. I will be companionless tomorrow because my new companion arrives in Argentina Wednesday. I AM TRAINING! Woohoo! nervous and excited but I'm super grateful. Next week I will have pics of me and my future "hija". :)

Thankful for modern technology. Even though I am in another country, I was happy to find a video from my Mom of my grandparents opening their mission call. I am so proud to be their granddaughter and I love them very much. They have always been perfect examples of loving the Lord and doing all that he asks of them. I try to be the kind of missionary that they would be proud of. Congratulations to my Gpa and Gma Ho Ching on their calling to be President and Matron of the Apia Samoa Temple. I cried through the whole video. Tears of joy and happiness, but then a little sad knowing they will not be in Utah when I return home. Cant imagine not seeing them for 4 1/2 years!! So I will have to go to Samoa to visit...

Hope everyone has a great week. Thank you for all the love and prayers!

Con Amor,
Hermana Norman

Caterpillar we found
My district....laughing at the lighting

Going to church with Nelida...
all the members in an old kidnapper van jajaja