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 πŸ˜„
-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 allπŸ’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



Monday, June 5, 2017

Who let the dogs out?

Made empanadas
1 year in the mission! Wowza, how crazy!
Was emailing my sister Breanna and she says, "Wow, one year down, 8 months to go!" Not quite Breanna, but it's okay. Math never was your strong suit. jaja Jk! I love you sisπŸ˜‡ Speaking of my sister, it's her birthday!! So grateful for her and for her amazing example. Love you sis!

So you may be wondering why I put this blog entry title. It's because this whole semana I have literally been asking this question, "who let the dogs out!" EVERY DAY dogs tried to attack us. But they had no luck because now I have ninja like reactions when there is a dog around. We did lots of squats this week, not to exercise, but to pretend to pick up rocks to scare the dogs away! jajaja

Sooo this week was extra hard. I think Heavenly Father needed to humble my companion and I a little bit. Hna Mannewitz and I have had a lot of success these past couple of weeks, but this week, many harsh words were yelled at us and many doors slammed in our face. People mocked us and honestly it hurt but we kept working anyway. Even though we had many reasons to get discouraged, we chose to remain positive and look for the small tender mercies every day. Happiness is a choice. So we chose to be happy even though so many doors were slammed in our face.

We saw the blessings for "enduring to the end" this week. Mateo received his answer from God and said, "now I KNOW this church is true!" He went to church and bore his testimony in sacrament meeting!! I couldn't help but get teary eyed as I heard his simple yet firm testimony. I looked over at his Mom and she too, was crying. Maria said the closing prayer and cried as she gave thanks to our Father in Heaven.
This family is such a miracle!
Mateo will be baptized this Saturday!πŸ’—

Funny moments:
-In all of my mission, I think I stepped in dog poop twice. My compa....almost every day! jaja

- my shoes ripped while we were walking in the streets. I still use them. They are my favorites!

-One of our "golden" investigators turned out being a member. Almost invited her to be baptized....awkward.

-we tried to teach an inactive member's 14 year old son, that isn't a member. We walked over to talk with him. I asked if we could talk/chat, and he says NO. I try to convince him and he says, "Hold on." He walks 200 ft away, gets on a random horse and then rides away. Literally rode off on a horse, leaving us hanging! How rude....jaja

-Taught an old lady that is basically deaf. Yelled the ENTIRE lesson. After I said the prayer and said "amen", she continued praying because she didn't hear. So I yelled, "AMEN!"

I love the mission. Found out that I will be staying here with Hermana Mannewitz for another 6 weeks! YAY! Tender mercy!

Love you all!

πŸ’“/ Hermana Norman

cold and foggy days
I love Argentina!
The "meat" they give us....mostly FAT!

Bus selfie

When we were judges

Shoes!
Yummy
Dessert empanadas