Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving? November 22, 2010

Hello family,
How is life? I´m doing very well. La Falda is doing quite well and all the members are so excited to have had a baptism. It´s been like six months since someone got baptized here. Now we want to keep the fire going.
My new companion, Hna. Olsen, is super cool. She´s from Riverton, Utah and this week, she completed a year in the mission. She has blonde hair and blue eyes so we get a lot of nasty comments from guys on the street about "the rubias" and "o que ojos celestes." Gag me. But it´s super fun and super different being with an American again. I have a personality again! I really didn´t realize how much of my personality got lost in the translation from English to Spanish, but I just can´t totally be myself in Spanish. There are a lot of jokes that just don´t make sense. Also, Hna. Olsen loves movie quotes. It´s amazing how after four and a half months of not saying any movie quotes, they are all still in my head so we basically just talk to each other in movie quotes. She´s also six feet tall and super skinny so I feel like a dwarf walking around the streets with her. She´s excited to work here and we´re sure that we´re going to work lots together. I´m excited to be with her and I think it´ll be a good transfer. Also, we´re going to have an awesome Christmas, even if it´s hot outside and there are hardly any lights. Oh, and she´s lactose intolerant. I´m pretty sure I´m going to lose weight. All the members tease her so much about it (especially Abuelito - he always asks her if she wants a glass of milk when we go to his house. Que malo), but they´re going to take care of her well and they already love her.
We also made a lot more effort to have lessons with members this week, which is something that our mission is really emphasizing right now. We only achieved four, but that was four more than we got the week before. It´s all about progress, right? So we´re going to start working a lot harder on that and helping our investigators start progressing from the beginning so that we don´t end up with another Stella Maris situation (we´re thinking that we´re going to have to move on). But we have very high hopes about this transfer and I think we´ll be able to help a lot of people. OH, and the Abuelitos got called as Ward Missionaries! They are so excited. It was kinda funny to me that the only help we have with the missionary work in our ward is from a couple that are older than 75, but they are awesome and so excited to work with us. It´ll be good.
Something that I was thinking about right when Hna. Olsen got here is about how before the mission, I always heard people say," Oh, the mission is so hard, but it´s so worth it." I heard that and just assumed that the "so worth it" part came from when you have baptisms. Now having had one baptism, I was talking to Hna. Olsen about this and she told me that the worth it part doesn´t come from having baptisms. She said that the baptisms are a bright spot in the mission and are really good moments, but they aren´t what make it worth it. I thought about that a little more and I decided that she is right. My mission is so worth all of the hard times that I´ve gone through. All the things I´ve learned about the importance of the church and the awesomeness of my family and the friends I´ve made and the testimony that I´ve gained are what make it worth it, not to mention the giant calves I have now. :) But seriously, the mission is a huge blessing in my life and I´m really grateful that i get to be here. Have a lovely Thanksgiving. Hna. Olsen and i are probably going to eat some Jello or something to celebrate. Have a lovely week!
Hna. Seegmiller

Monday, November 15, 2010

A birthday and a baptism-November 15, 2010

Greetings family,
It is true.... I recently turned 22 years old. I don´t know where my life has gone. I feel so old. And also, I´m going to complete 9 months in the mission this week. I don´t know where my mission has gone either. But both the life and the mission are going well so I am happy. My birthday was actually a really fun day. In the morning, Hna. Abarzúa gave me the cutest present that she had bought me when we were on divisions (so sneaky) that was a birthday mate with a pink straw. I told her I´m going to drink out of it on my birthday every year and tell my kids about my mission companion that gave it to me. It was really thoughtful and it´s really cute. Then it just happened to be Wednesday (when we always eat lunch at President´s house) so we went there and the Hermana had made a ton of food and a cake for my birthday. They sang me happy birthday and I enjoyed a few pieces of the torta. Super delicious. It was funny because I don´t think there are very many missionaries who said they celebrated their birthdays with their mission president. I´m pretty lucky, I guess. And in the nighttime, Hna. Martín in our branch had invited us to come over for cake at her house. When we got there, she had invited all the hermanas from our branch and cooked a ton of food. Only two hermanas showed up (I felt bad for her), but I was super happy and felt very loved. There wasn´t too much love on that day from North America, but the lovely people here in Argentina made me feel very special and I would say "la pasé re-bien."
The rest of the week went with trying to prepare Dora for her baptism. She was feeling good about it and was excited to be baptized before Hna. Abarzúa left. Dora is our investigator that is like 60 and her husband of 38 years died like a month and a half ago (we actually met him right before he died so that was weird) and her oldest son died like a year ago and her other two kids only talk to her when they ask her about their dad´s money or car. She has a pretty rough life and she has been struggling with the situation. We always visit her and talk to her about the Plan of Salvation, but it´s hard for her to pay attention because she´s so distracted. But we know that all of these really hard things in her life have helped her be prepared to receive the gospel in this time and that she is going to receive so many blessings as a result of her baptism. She looked so pretty in her little baptismal dress (she´s really short and skinny) and was so happy right before. The baptism was right after church so right when the closing prayer was said, she looked at us and said," And now I´m going to take a bath?" and laughed. She´s a cool lady and I was so happy to be able to help her make this decision in her life. She´s really going to receive so many blessings from that moment. And yes, she is the first person that I have helped get baptized in the mission. But I can honestly say that if I came just for Dora, my mission is a success. Even if I came to baptize no one, my mission is a success because I am helping those people who need me right now and Heavenly Father is helping me because I need Him. The mission is helping me realize just how much I need Him.
And.... there were transfers and Hna. Abarzúa left to go to 3 Arroyos. And Hna. Olsen from Utah came to join me in La Falda. She´s really cool and funny and I think we´ll have a good time together. It´s really weird to be talking English again. It´s actually really hard for the words to come out sometimes so we end up talking "casteyankee" or Espanglish. Don´t worry.. we still speak Spanish in the street and to all the Argentines. Well, the mission is going good and I´m excited for the new ideas to come to this area. I´m good, happy, and healthy. I hope everything is good at home! Love you so much!
Hna. Seegmiller

Thursday, November 11, 2010

OH, the mission...

Hello hello.
Well, this week didn´t have much going on, but we did have Zone Conference on Friday. It was kind of a surprise for us because our leaders forgot to tell us and we found out when we went to lunch with Presidente and he said," See you Friday!" Then he found out that our leaders hadn´t told us and I think they got in trouble. Oops. But Zone Conference was really good and my Presidente is really cool. It´s funny because he´s super cool and funny and laidback as a person, but his view of the mission is that you should suffer and sacrifice in order to get any blessings. I think I probably need him as a President and that´s why I came to this mission. He´s teaching me how not to be lazy. Don´t worry... I´m not a lazy missionary, but he´s teaching me to sacrifice more and take all the laziness out of my life. As a regular member of the church before the mission, I was pretty lazy in regards to how much effort I put forth in my calling (just enough to not feel bad) and reading my scriptures every night (I did it, but just to be able to tell myself that I did it). But now I¨m learning that Heavenly Father deserves more from us. Prez is right...we really should sacrifice more if we want the blessings.
He talked about Elder Cristofferson´s talk, Reflections on a Consecrated Life, from this past conference. He said we should use more of what the General Authorities say because it can really help us answer the questions we have in the mission and in normal life. It´s true though. I´ve been reading the talks from the April Conference and every time I open to read, it´s exactly what I needed to hear. Presidente also told us about when he was on his mission and he was called to be Branch President in a tiny town where everyone had stopped going to church because of a terrible scandal with a missionary. He said that he read Ether 12:27 and finally realized that he couldn´t do things on his own, that he really needed Christ. So the next day in my study, I studied that scripture and all the cross references that it had. I read a ton about weaknesses and why we have them and how we need to let them be strengthened by Christ. I think it helped me realize that weaknesses are a reminder from our Heavenly Father that we need Him. It´s not that he wants us to feel bad. He wants us to get better, to overcome these weaknesses, but we don´t need to do it alone. We have Jesus Christ to strengthen us. We can do anything and overcome all our weaknesses if we let Christ strengthen us. Maybe easier said than done, but it´s definitely something that I´m trying to do. I am very aware of my weaknesses, but sometimes I focus on how many I have or how much more I need to do instead of letting my weaknesses remind me that I need to go to Christ and let him help me.
Oh, and at Zone Conference, I met an Elder Wartena from Orem, Utah. I asked him if he knew the Judd Family and he said that Jake was his seminary teacher. I said," No way! He´s my primo!" (It´s kinda hard to switch back and forth from Spanish and English so it usually comes out as a mezcla...oops, a mix.) He thinks pretty highly of him and it was another evidence of how small the world really is. Also, my district leader, Elder Horton is from Bountiful, Utah and is neighbors with Scott Nielson, one of my favorite people that I met at BYU. He couldn´t believe it when I said I knew him and his little brother and he made me describe them thorougly (tall, really low voice, went on a mission to Texas, super funny) before he would believe me. Then he got weirded out and walked away. Oh elderes...
Well, family, this week is the last week of the transfers so in the next email, we´ll find out who my new companion is. I´m pretty sure I´m going to get a new companion... it´ll be interesting if I don´t. Oh, and yesterday Hna. LaPray and Hna. Tingey had to come to a conference in Bahía so they came to stay at my house!! It´s been six months since I´ve seen them and it was so good to talk to them again and hear how much better all of our Spanish has gotten. They´re so great and it really helps so much to have good examples in the mission and know that there are other people who are trying too. I´m glad that I´m on a mission and I know that I´m learning a ton from this experience. I hope I can help someone besides myself along the way too.... :) Thanks for everything!
¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡LES AAAAMMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! (That´s how Hna. Abarzúa signs her´s very Latina)
Hna. Seegmiller

"Sentirse bien es una elección" -H2Oh

Hola querida familia,
How is everything at home? I hope everything is going well. Hna. Abarzúa and I are doing well, hanging out in La Falda. This past week was the CENSO in Argentina. They only do a census here once every ten years and it just happened to pass again right when I was here. I was excited... another cultural experience. When they do the census, everything closes and everyone has to stay in their house. Then a bunch of censistas get assigned to one block of Argentina and they have to go to every house and ask a bunch of questions (if you worked one hour in the past week, what your roof is made out of, what country you were born in). So we had to stay in our house until the censista went by and then we had to go out and work, but we couldn´t knock on any doors and we couldn´t visit anyone unless the census had already gone by. We were thinking that the census would come to our house at like 3 in the afternoon so we were planning on cleaning our house a little better and studying a little more. But just our luck, he came by at 9:30 AM. The cool thing was that we participated in the census! So it was kind of a waste of a day, but "Kasidy" who was born in the United States will forever be in the Argentine Census of 2010. I was excited.
This week, we were talking to the Abuelitos about our investigators. Jorge, (everyone at church calls him the bald guy), didn´t get baptized because he said that he doesn´t know if Joseph Smith is a prophet. He said his prayer hasn´t been answered. When we told this to the Abuelito, he said," He doesn´t lack an answer. He lacks hair!!" I laughed so hard because this came from an 80 year old man and it was hilarious. The abuelitos also told me that in Chile they call doctors "matasanos" (one who kills healthy people). I don´t think they have very much confidence in their doctors.
Honestly, this week was rough and we now think that our investigators aren´t going to progress. We´re going to search really hard in this next week to find some solid people who are ready to change. Despite the hard things that are going on, we´re happy and we´re having a good time. I found this lovely quote this week "Es doble la alegría y la mitad de la tristeza si la compartimos." Sorry, but you´ll have to use if you want to know what it says. Thanks for your support. I got a bunch of inspiring letters last week and it made me very grateful that I´m on a mission and get to represent the Lord in this important work. I´m learning a ton and enjoying life. Love you all sooo much!
Hna. Seegmiller