Monday, June 27, 2011

Another semana in good old Mar Del Plata-June 27, 2011

Hola querida familia,
    I hope you are all doing well and enjoying your hot weather. We are freezing our buns off here in the South of South America. You always picture South America as somewhere that is always hot. Well, that is a big fat mentira. I mean, Lie. It gets cold here and we are the only ones that really feel it because everyone else just stays inside their house and won´t let us in. Haha... and the craving for facturas is worse than ever. But we are doing well and enjoying this time.
    This week was kinda interesting. It was a test of being happy for other peoples´ success. The other hermanas who share a house with us had a great week. They found a bunch of new golden investigators, all of whom came to church. It was so awesome - our Gospel Principles class was packed. There were actually more people there than some of the branches that I´ve seen here. It was a very happy day. We are really excited for them. We didn´t do quite as well, but we did have Gloria there. She is dating a guy in our ward and she´s been investigating for a while. She´s had a ton of baptismal dates and she works a lot so she´s really hard to get a hold of, but she came to church and she feels good when she´s there. I´m pretty sure that she´s going to get baptized, but it´s kinda tough to say when. We also found a few new investigators this week that are Catholics. They spent the whole lesson telling us about how they didn´t agree with anything the Catholic church does and then when we invited them to church at the end, they said," No, we´re faithful Catholics." What?! You can´t be that faithful if you just spent 45 minutes badmouthing your own church! But that´s just the way they think. The hard thing is that they also described how a church should really be and they described the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints perfectly. But there just wasn´t a way to make them understand that it´s right here under their nose (well, in Edison and Gaboto). One of these new investigators was a family with three kids, but they said that they dedicate all their time to their family so they don´t have time to go to church. If only we could help them understand what the gospel of Jesus Christ would do for their families...
    Also it was Hna. Clark´s birthday on Tuesday so I made her a cake. It was the same one I made for Hna. Collette´s birthday, but even the elders that were there when I made that cake liked this one. I decided elders aren´t very good for birthdays. Most of them just said," Thanks for the cake." while they were stuffing it in their mouths, without even throwing a "Oh, happy birthday." to Hna. Clark. I guess I¨m generalizing. The elders in our district aren´t very good for birthdays. :) We did find some new investigators, which is a pretty good birthday present... but they have to get married.
   This week, I also learned that repentance is beautiful. Lots of times we feel bad for the things we do wrong or the things that we just didn´t do, but it´s true that you can always repent. Sometimes, I think my life as a missionary is pretty hard. But then I think about Jesus Christ, my Savior, who suffered everything and he didn´t even complain. How can I complain, when I´m just suffering a little bit of cold and rain? I´m pretty sure I shouldn´t be allowed to complain. I should just think of Him and everything that he did so that I can be happy and feel free of guilt. I decided to change and ask Heavenly Father to forgive me for the way I was acting and feeling. It was a beautiful feeling. I really felt like Heavenly Father had forgiven me and now I´m like a new person, ready to do good things and to let my Savior help me even more so I can become the person I want to be. It kinda surprises me that i can still be learning such important lessons this late in the mission. I also thought about how life is probably going to be easy either so I have to dedicate myself now to Heavenly Father and to his work. It´s such an important thing and I can´t get lazy now when he needs me to do so many more things in this life. I am in this until the end. I love my Heavenly Father so much and am so grateful for all the wonderful things he has put in my life that i have to do everything I can to show him how much I love him. He told us that he wants us to show him that we love him by what we do - by keeping his commandments and by caring about his other children more than you care about yourself. I guess I still have some work to do, but I want to be showing Heavenly Father my love for him my whole life. I know I am his daughter and he really wants me to succeed. I really want to succeed so that I can live with Him again.
   Well, I just wanted to share that with you and I hope my experiences and realizations can help you make some of your own. Heavenly Father loves you guys too and wants to see you again. I love you all so much. Thank you for your support. :)
Hna. Seegmiller

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

La gordura es hermosura-June, 21, 2011

Hola Familia,
    ¡Feliz día de la bandera! Today is "Flag Day" in Argentina, which means it is another holiday. Winter is just full of holidays where people just shut themselves inside all day and don´t work. Today just happened to be Pday so the holiday didn´t affect us as much as it usually does. I´m pretty sure the only way that they celebrated Flag Day was to not go to work. They have a ton of holidays in winter.
    Anyway, this week was pretty crazy. I told you guys last week that we were getting two more hermanas to come live with us and work in Puerto. They´re totally cool - Hna. Arancibia from Osorno, Chile and Hna. Diaz from Santiago, Chile. They make five Chilenas that have played a big role in my mission so I´m pretty sure I have to go to Chile someday. I heard this joke a while ago that I think demonstrates Chilenos pretty well. "What is the country that is closest to heaven?" "Argentina because it´s right next to Chile!" Yeah, they´re a little bit prideful about how awesome Chile is, but they are really good people. It´s been pretty fun having all of us together there. They always throw out their little English phrases that make me crack up. We found out that Hna. Arancibia thought that the song "Bad boy, bad boy, whatcha gonna do when he comes for you." was saying "cowboy, cowboy." That was pretty funny. I also taught them to say," Get a life." Haha... they taught me some Chilean phrases and I´m going to test them out in District Meeting and see how it goes. We also made chocolate chip cookies for Hna. Arancibia´s 9 month mark in the mission and she was pretty excited. I actually turned 16 months in the mission this past week. Pretty crazy.
    With the winter here, we basically have the streets to ourselves after 6:00 at night. It´s great. The other night, I was taking advantage of that and just started leaping down the street. I got in a few good leaps before I looked across the street and there was this lady standing in her doorway looking out into the night. I stopped leaping and kept walking normally and said," yeah, that lady was definitely watching me." How embarrassing. Also, we were waiting outside the gate to a recent convert´s house the other day and Hna. Clark was playing with their dog when her nametag (which has been kinda broken for a while and always falls off) totally fell inside the gate and the dog picked it up with its mouth and took it to its doghouse. We started screaming so that somebody would take it away from him and the kids inside came out and rescued it, but it was already too late. The tag had a big bite-mark/hole in it. Hna. Clark was pretty sad, but I couldn´t stop laughing. At least it´s a good story, right? I lost my nametag the other day too. It just fell off. After 16 months of not having a problem, it just fell right off and I didn´t notice. Now i have to get one of the badly manufactured Argentine ones. But it will be a cool souvenir.
   Also this week we found Germán and his mom, Nelsa. They were a reference from a guy in a different ward. He went with us to meet him. We set a baptismal date with him, like we´re supposed to, and he accepted. I´m pretty sure the member thought we were nuts, but he let us do what we thought was right. When we went back for the second lesson, he said that he wanted to go to church on Sunday, but he didn´t think it was necessary that we come to his house again. It was a very strange situation. I don´t think I´ve ever had an investigator that didn´t have a problem going to church, but didn´t want the missionaries to come over. We´re going to have to work on that, but he did come to church and totally loved it. Church is totally great though. It´s almost guaranteed that everyone who goes will like it. Plus, our ward is really awesome. Yay Puerto!
    The fun thing about getting two more hermanas in your ward is that you have to divide your ward and your investigators and it turned out that all of our good investigators are in their area. So Hna. Clark and I are back to looking. That´s what most of the mission is, but we´re having a good time doing it. We found this less active guy and his wife in the street yesterday and he said he wants to come back to church. Yay! Heavenly Father just put miracles in our path all the time. We hope we can help him. Barrio Puerto is getting bigger all the time. It still smells terrible, but I´m pretty sure that I´ve gotten used to it. I officially have 5 weeks left of my mission. It´s a pretty weird thought, but I´m doing well. I´m just trying to take advantage of this last bit I have left. I do know that this church is true and I can´t be afraid to tell everyone I meet. I love my Savior and I love this gospel. I also know that life doesn´t end with the mission, but this is just the start. And at least I´m starting it right. :) Love you all!
Hna. Seegmiller

Friday, June 17, 2011

Feliz cumple, Mamá!-June 13, 2011

Hello familia!!
    First of all, a very feliz cumple to my wonderful mother. She deserves to have a good day and much more than just a shoutout in an email from a daughter in Argentina, but this is basically all I can do for now with my limited resources. But I love her so much and just want her to be very happy. I hope she knows how much she is loved and appreciated by everyone who knows her. :)
    Well, this week turned out to be pretty interesting. I didn´t tell you guys about the baptism that we had planned because it´s always really sad to write all about it and have it not work out. It´s much happier when, like today, you had no idea and then SURPRISE!!! Baptism! So we have been teaching Patricia and Ricardo ever since Patricia came to church like four weeks ago. She came because one of the hermanas who was speaking that day invited her to hear her speak. Her and her husband, Ricardo, listened to the missionaries six years ago and came to church a bunch of times and were about to get baptized, but then they didn´t. But this time when the hermana invited Patricia, she was ready and she totally showed up to church that day. I talked to her and asked her if we could go by. So Hna. Clark and I went by and visited them and set the baptismal date for June 4. They accepted it, but seemed pretty hesitant. Then we taught them all the lessons, left them a bunch of chapters to read and always left them the assignment to pray and left them a bunch of different church movies to watch too. They did everything we left for them to do and really started changing and felt accepted into the family of our ward. They came to the ward activity on May 25th and they were totally comfortable. One day, we went to them with the Flia. Galli (who are the ones that invited them to church) and talked to them about seriously preparing to be baptized on June 4th. Patricia said she would and Ricardo said he would pray and read every day. That Sunday at church, Ricardo felt really good and received some sort of answer. He still said he wouldn´t be ready by the fourth, but he said on June 11 that he and his wife would BOTH get baptized. They seemed really excited about it so we set it up and the ward did a great job planning the baptism. It turned out really beautiful and you could totally feel the spirit. Catalina, the 84 year old Italian friend of the same Familia Galli, also got baptized with them. She started coming to church when the hermano started talking to her about temples when she went to buy clothes at their store and she "felt something really special." She said she wanted to go to church with them. She started going and she hasn´t stopped going and even though her family is basically against the church, she decided to get baptized and was really excited about it. She even got a pedicure so that her feet wouldn´t look bad going into the water and bought white underwear because she didn´t have any. She´s so cute and loves the church so much. She kept talking about how she was sad that she hadn´t ever heard about the church before. She´s basically amazing.
     So it was a really cool lesson about the power of member missionary work. It all started with just talking about the temple and inviting a neighbor to come listen to her give a talk and ended with three peoples´ lives being changed. It was probably a good lesson for me to learn right now too because I want to know how to do member missionary work too so I can keep being a missionary after I take off my nametag. So be like the Familia Galli - get our there and tell your friends, neighbors, doctors, coworkers! It will change their lives!! And probably yours too. :)
     Also, we did get transfers this past weekend and me and Hna. Clark will be staying in Puerto together. Yay! But with a twist. Two other hermanas are going to come join us in Puerto, Hna. Diaz and Hna. Arancibia (two Chilenas). I´m excited for my Spanish to get good again. :) So now we have four hermanas sharing our ward and our apartment. Today we had to go out and buy a new wardrobe and another mirror. We also had to get an hermano to bring a bunkbed over from another house and then we had to put it together, which was quite the challenge. But with the strength of three hermanas in skirts and a prayer of help, we were able to get the bed put together! Now we just have to put the dresser that we bought together and find a new table to use. It´s going to be kinda squishy, but I´m pretty excited about it. Always a new adventure. :) And we have all transfer to go out and find all the people that Puerto has that are just waiting to be found. Well, hope you all have a lovely week and tell someone about the gospel. It´s basically the best thing ever. You can use that line if you want, but I´m sure you can think of something better. :)
Hna. Seegmiller
P.S. Here are some pictures of us with Patricia and Ricardo, me trying to be Argentine, my crazy district, the baptism and my zone leaders. :) Good times in the mission.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Nuevos investigadores, anyone?-June 6, 2011

Hola Familia,
    I hope everything is just dandy with you guys. This week was actually pretty good for me. Our president said that we got 101 baptisms as a mission in the month of May. So we´re improving... a lot. Yay. He also said that in order to keep improving, we´re going to need to find a lot more new investigators. So that was the challenge for this week - new investigators. We ended up finding 11 - pretty good, but still not quite the 15 that we´re supposed to be getting. Some of the new ones were good, some were weirdies, and a bunch of them are just not ready to commit to anything. But it was still a really cool testimony that when we´re focusing and praying, Heavenly Father can help us do anything that we want to do. Lots of times He´s just waiting for us to ask and have faith. It turns out having faith is actually really hard. But He´s also willing to help us with that so we can´t really complain.
    Patricia and Ricardo have been progressing really well. Their baptism is scheduled for this Sunday at 5 PM, after a special Stake Conference that´s going to be a transmission from Salt Lake. I´m pretty excited about it... the Stake Conference and the baptism. Patricia has to quit smoking to get baptized and she´s doing really well. We got a call from her this week when we were in a lesson and we couldn´t answer so she left us a message. The message went like this," Hello Seegmiller. I called because you said to call you if I wanted to smoke and I really want to smoke right now. Pray for me. May Heavenly Father bless you. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." It was so cute. She´s trying really hard to do everything like she´s supposed to so she even changed "May God bless you" like she used to say to "May our Heavenly Father bless you." We called her back later and she said that she overcame it by buying two little candies. Catalina, a grandma of 84, is also getting baptized with them. She loves the church so much and asked us if everyone who goes to church has been baptized and we said yes. She said," Okay, then what do I have to do to get baptized?" She always wants more people to go to church because you just feel so good when you go. It´ll be good. We also found this guy from Chile, Marcelo, in the street a few weeks ago who´s a member of the church, but he´s been inactive for like 25 years. He told us that he wanted to come back to church and he´s now come to church 2 times. He´s pretty cool and always makes fun of our Spanish and other jokes. We´re pretty excited for him that he is putting his life in order again.
   We also had some fun experiences this week (as always) with random men. We were walking down the street the other day and some guy says," Hola elders.... Beautiful elders." in English. People just love to practice their English on us. We just smiled at him and then almost died laughing as we walked away. We didn´t even have time to tell him that we´re actually hermanas, not elders. We also did divisions this past week and Hna. Nava from Mexico came to join me in Puerto. I´ve been having a real problem lately where I almost fall over all the time. I think it´s my large shoes that do it. Luckily, I always have my companion at my side to catch me and I still have yet to faceplant. So I was walking with Hna. Nava and I tried to step onto a curb and somehow missed it and she had to grab my arm to keep me from dying. I thanked her and we kept walking on the sidewalk, where we passed a man that had watched the whole falling/saving encounter. I thought that it was kinda embarrassing that he had watched that, but oh well. He wasn´t going to let it slide though. When he walked past me, he looked at me and said," You almost fell. Haha." and walked away laughing. Wow, thanks buddy. I thought it was pretty funny though.
   Hna. Clark and I also almost got separated this week. I got off the bus at the stop we needed to and I looked behind me to see the doors of the bus closing right in front of Hna. Clark´s face so that she couldn´t get off. I screamed out loud when I saw her. She just looked at me with this horrified look on her face and pushed the button so that the bus driver would open the door again. Luckily, the bus driver did open the door and she could get off the bus. I´m sure the people around us thought we were totally nuts, what with me screaming and then laughing hysterically when she finally got back to my side. Good times. Hna. Clark also almost told this lady in a lesson that after having Jesus, Mary married Joseph Smith. "José Smith" just rolls off the tongue, but she stopped it before it came all the way out and Mary was still able to marry Joseph the Carpenter.
    Well, the mission is basically a miracle and the gospel really is too. It´s amazing how much it changes the lives of the people that let it. Hna. Clark and I are going to go out and find our 15 new investigators this week and try to help the 11 from last week progress. We´re going to have to work really hard, but that´s really better because then we know that we are going to be happy. Also, to those of you who have written me and I haven´t written back, sorry about that. I´m trying to do it, but it´s hard to motivate myself to write a letter that will get there only a few weeks before I will. The time really is getting shorter. Aaah! But now I´m just using my Pday time to be in Argentina, take pictures, buy souvenirs, and get fat on facturas. :) It´s a good time. I love you all. Thanks so much for the support!
Hna. Seegmiller

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

¡Feliz 25 de Mayo!-May 30, 2011

Hola familia,
Well, another week went by here in Argentina. On Wednesday, it was the 25 de Mayo, which is Independence Day here in Argentina. Luckily, we had a ward activity, so we had something to do that day. No one really wanted to talk to us. We went to the church and had empanadas for lunch. Then we all played games. An hermana had arranged all the games and everyone would win points for winning the game and then they could buy treats and stuff from the prize table. We got put in charge of the Memory Game, where you had to make matches with the pictures on the cards. It was a favorite of the older ladies in the ward. They each came by five or six times, trying to win more points because it was the least embarrassing game. I think they were also trying to test their real memories, but it didn´t go that well. Haha.. :) They would try forever and then a little girl would come up and win in like two tries. Pobrecitas. There was also this other game where you had to run up to a bowl of flour and look for the little candy that was hidden in the flour. But you had to look for it and take it out with your mouth, so your face got covered in flour in the process. It was pretty entertaining to watch, but not too many people wanted to play it. Our investigadores, Ricardo and Patricia, came to the activity and they totally loved it. Ricardo got put in charge of the Pin the Tail on the Pig activity. He was having a great time and everyone treated him like he was already part of the ward. One of my favorite parts of the activity was when Ricardo and Hno. Galli, who both like to throw out little phrases of English that they know sometimes, sang "Row Your Boat" in broken English. It was probably one of the funniest things I´ve ever seen. I´m pretty sad that I didn´t get it on video.
We also haven´t run out of creepy men in our area. This week, we were walking down the street and this old man with a cane yelled," Lookin´good!" in English at us. Just some random guy. Good times. And then we met this other guy who speaks English pretty well and he was wearing an I love Obama hat, with a picture of Obama on it. Pretty entertaining. I think I want to get one of those hats, even though I know more about Cristina (the presidenta here) than I do about Obama. Oh, and we found this lady whose name is Blanca Nieve. She told us that we weren´t going to believe that that was her real name, but she said it´s true. Her mother actually named her Snow White.
Well, life is pretty good. Just looking for some new investigators and enjoying the ridiculousness of living in Argentina. I hope you are all doing great. Thanks for the support and prayers. They are always needed. :) Love you!
Hna. Seegmiller

Monday, May 23, 2011

Se me acabó la creatividad...-May 23,2011

Hello family,
Well, this was a fun week full of walking and clogged showers and investigators that don´t want to get baptized and WALKING and coldness and a lot of eating and WALKING. That pretty much sums it up. But overall, it was a pretty good week. :) We did find out that you can fix a clogged shower drain by using a plunger. Our doorman taught us how to do this and we were excited to learn something new.
We also went out with a member in our ward who´s thinking about going on a mission this week. We did some contacts and we found some lady who had just moved from La Pampa. She was really excited when I told her I had lived in Toay for four months. Then she was saying the normal stuff about how it´s only one God that we´re all worshipping so it doesn´t really matter what iglesia we go to. And Hna. Clark said that she was right and told her," Yeah, God is THE God." It was such a funny thing to say and didn´t really make much sense that I couldn´t hold it in and started to laugh. Then Hna. Clark started laughing because I laughed at her and la Pampa lady just looked confused. That same day, we passed some Testigos in the street and were shocked when we saw one of them, a super old grandma lady using a stick to hit a puppy over and over again and yelling at it to leave her alone. It might be the funniest thing i have ever seen. That same day, we went to see a nice man we had met on the street and walked into his house in the ghetto to see him and three old grandpas being super drunk. We invited them to church anyway and one of them said he was going to go. He didn´t show though.
I was also talking with Hna. Clark one morning about how so many members of the church have been on their missions and have seen the people that no longer go and have thought, " I will never become like them." And we were talking to one of these less active members this week and he said that he thought that when he was on his mission and then life hit him. It scares me because I have always thought like that - "that will never happen to me" so maybe I´m more susceptible. I said I´ve always thought that i was pretty strong and Hna. Clark said that if I think I´m strong and I´m just depending on my own strength to overcome my temptations then I probably will fall. I thought it made a lot of sense. If we just try to be strong be ourselves and use will power to overcome everything that Satan throws at us, we might not make it until the end. But if we allow Heavenly Father to help us overcome the temptations and stay strong throughout our lives and pray nonstop for his help, recognizing that we aren´t strong enough, then we will probably arrive in one piece. I wrote it down in my journal too so maybe Future Kasidy will find it in just the right moment and it can help her... me. Well, that´s my thought for the week. Stay strong and rely on God for pretty much everything. We´ll ber here all week looking for some chosen people and hardcore relying on God to help us find them. :) Have a lovely week!
Hna. Seegmiller

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Zone Conference-May 16, 2011

Hello family,
This week was totally hectic and crazy, pretty much just like every week when you think you will have a baptism. You feel a lot better when the crazy, hectic week actually ends with a baptism, but that isn´t the story this week. We thought Rocío was totally ready to get baptized, but then she had to turn in a ton of papers for school and do a ton of stuff and said that she would feel better if she could wait and get baptized another time. We don´t really know what to do with her. We look at her and we just see how much better her life would be with the gospel and how much it would change all her situation. We can´t force it on anyone though, so we´re just waiting for her to realize and looking for other people who are going to be a little faster in realizing.
We did have Zone Conference this week though and it was totally awesome. It gave us that boost of energy that we needed to not collapse at the end of the week. They didn´t even make us do any practicing, which we were probably a little bit too happy about. But President talked a lot about the Atonement. He said that as missionaries, we probably don´t understand the Atonement like we need to. We need to try to understand it better and apply it to ourselves. We definitely aren´t perfect and will not become perfect while we are in this mission. But the work we are doing is so great and important that we really need to rely on that power to help us. Then we had a workshop about having "the vision." They said that we need to see the vision of our area and what it could really become. So we thought about what that means for Puerto and Mar Del Plata. In our area (South America South) there hasn´t been a new stake in over 5 years. That´s such a long time, but now we are getting ready to split the stakes here and there would be three stakes in Mar Del Plata. That means that we all have to be working really hard so that we can actually achieve this goal. And we also talked to President and he said that he´s going to put another companionship of hermanas in Puerto! So cool! So basically we have to get our ward clued in on the vision so that we can all work together to achieve this huge goal. A new stake! And there is always the vision of a temple in our mission, Bahía Blanca. We are always talking about how someday we will have a temple in our mission and we will hear it announced in Conference and we will jump up and shout for joy (Prez said that we will do it when we´re in the Conference Center without even thinking and then we´ll look around and notice that everyone thinks we´re crazy, but we´ll see someone else on the other side of the Conference Center who served like ten years before I did and he´ll also be shouting and jumping. I think I would probably just bawl uncontrollably for like an hour instead of jumping.) I can definitely see that happening and I know that one day, we really will hear that announcement and it will mean so much to all the people here and so much to me. We have a ways to go before we get there, but we´re on our way.
So now Hna. Clark and I are really excited about getting the ward excited about missionary work and putting a new plan in effect to get people working and inviting their friends. We´re aware that it´s going to be really hard and probably not give any results for a while, but we´re willing to stick with it and really get the ball rolling here.
Also, Hna. Clark sings really well and she can do the alto part on the songs so I like to take advantage of that and make her sing with me in the houses of investigators. It´s really awesome because it would probably be an okay performance in the States, but here it´s "hermosa" and the best thing they´ve ever heard. It makes us feel good. The other day, we found this new investigator named Mariana and we sang a song for her and her son, Salvador, who´s like 4. He liked it a lot and even asked for another one so we sang a verse of " I Know that My Redeemer Lives." He totally loved it. He loved it so much that he couldn´t contain himself while we were saying the prayer and started singing" Señor, vive..." He couldn´t remember the words or the tune, but it was really cute hearing him try to sing.
Well, I think that´s pretty much it for this week. That and also, the secretary sent me my travel plans to go home. It totally freaked me out. I have a seat number assigned on a plane so it´s pretty much sealed that I am actually going to go home. I still don´t think it´s hit me yet. I´m going to Miami! Woo! That´s where all Argentines have relatives. Maybe I´ll be able to find some of them and baptize them real quick before my layover. We´ll see... But I´ll be getting home on Wednesday, July 27th at 2:40 pm if everything works out well. Pretty freaky. I´m excited, but it´ll be totally weird to not be a missionary anymore. I have been doing it for a while now. It definitely has its hard times. It is hard. But at the end of the day, I´m always still happy to be here and grateful that Heavenly Father let me come. It´s taught me how true this church really is and how much it can help us in our lives if we just let it. And how the Atonement really can change us if we let it. That´s the challenge we have - letting Him help us. Well, have a lovely week and good luck with that challenge. Love you!
Hna. Seegmiller