Monday, August 28, 2017

Never underestimate the power of ONE prayer

This week I truly learned the power of PRAYER.

At the beginning of the week, my prayers started becoming very routine, like I and wasn't actually thinking about what I was saying. In the lessons that we taught, I felt like I was fighting to find the right words to say. I became very frustrated with myself. I felt like I wasn't fulfilling my purpose as a missionary. I didn't understand why I felt so different, and then of course I read in the scriptures and conference talks about the power of prayer. It really hit me when we were in a lesson and I asked the investigator to pray to know if the Book of Mormon was true. I told her that she had to with REAL intent. But then I realized, am I even praying with real intent? 
It is so TRUE that you can't ask your investigators to do something that we, as members, aren't even willing to do.
I felt like I got too comfortable. I have been in the mission 15 months, the language has come, and I felt like I knew what I was doing. This was my problem! We can't get too comfortable in the Gospel.
So that night, I prayed. I REALLY prayed, and it felt so good.
The next day, it was completely different. In the lessons, I wasn't struggling to find the right words to say, rather, they were given and my investigators started praying too! Hearing them share their experiences of praying and feeling the spirit is so amazing. I am so grateful for the gift of prayer! I invite everyone to pray and with REAL intent. 
It truly makes a difference!

We have been working a lot with inactive families that have kids who haven't been baptized! We are working with the Familia Salvanerra, trying to reactivate the whole family, so the Dad or brother can baptize Benjamin! They all went to church yesterday, so we are happy and excited for them.

Solange is still progressing, but with her chemotherapy, she is super weak and sick and so she wasn't able to go to church. Keep her in your prayers! 

We found 13 new investigators this past week and so we hope that some of them will progress!

Random stuff:
* I have more than 20 mosquito bites on my legs. #summerinSantiago
* We saw a dog get hit by a car. Don't lived, but destroyed the car.
* Those who know me well know I don't like mayo, but yes, I eat it all the time now. Mostly in potato salads. Still don't like it, but at least I have been blessed with the talent to swallow it while faking a smile
* Hermana Simmons told me she doesn't like PDA and then said, " I just need a husband who's comfortable with not being loved." jajaja!
* There was a HUGE cockroach outside our apartment door, and we thought that we had to kill it because it was probably going to crawl into our apartment and into one of our beds or something like that. But of course, I can't kill a cockroach...butterflies scare me. My companion also is scared so we asked a kind man to kill it for us. He comes and karate kicks the cockroach on the wall so hard that he almost falls over. The cockroach dies and falls on the ground, but the guy continues to karate kick the wall two more times. Completely unnecessary and so strange. Then he just starts touching his biceps and says, "I do karate." We say, "That's nice", and just walk away awkwardly. So WEIRD.
* Siesta aka naptime is sacred here in Santiago. It is so hard to teach people from 1-6 pm.
* Argentina is FUN!

Thanks for all the love and prayers. I want to thank my family (especially my cousins and brothers) for fasting and praying for me this past week. I could feel the prayers helping me along this week. I went to the drs for xrays. Not so sure about the drs here. I have sent the xrays to my Mom and she will try and get an opinion from drs in America. I am doing okay though. If I lose myself in the work, I feel less pain. So I choose to just work hard and have faith that Heavenly Father will take care of me.

Also, Happy Birthday to my gorgeous cousin in China!! Feliz Cumpleanos Sister Loo! Love youπŸ’“

πŸ’—/Hermana Norman

Hermana Simmons and myself....beautiful fields of...trash! jajaja

Monday, August 21, 2017

I need prayers and faith that those prayers will be answered

I did not write a blog post this week. It has been a really hard week. I have been still having headaches, dizziness that cause nausea. I am supposed to be getting a neck scan or something tomorrow. I have been getting shots for the last three days and they want me to wear a neck brace. The Drs have asked me to be on bed rest for 4 days and I just don't have time for that. There is so much to do that I can't stop right now.
Hermana Simmons and I are also sick with bad colds too. So when it rains it pours.
But even with all of this, I am happy, happy and alive.

A bit of good news is Clara, in my last area got married and baptized. I am so happy for her.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Con Amor,
Hermana Norman

Pretty purple blooms everywhere

ward party
Hermana Simmons has 16 months on the mission today, so I made her breakfast
Hermana Reidhead's birthday is today too!

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!