Monday, January 24, 2011

I forgot to write an email!-January 24, 2011

I was writing an email to Mom and Dad and they turned out really long and I forgot to write a big one. First time in 11 months though so that´s not too bad. Well, I just wanted to write about the Conferencia de Hermanas that was so much fun. We did some practices and learned a lot from Presidente. It´s a lot easier to practice with just hermanas. Something that was really cool this week was that a bunch of members of our branch went to the temple in Uruguay. Most of them had been saving up for it for like six months and they had to ride in the bus for like 17 hours to get there. On Sunday, they came back at 7 in the morning and most of them were there for church at 9. The most impressive to me was a convert of like 5 months named Mary. Hna. LaPray actually found her with her trainer. Her husband died a long time ago and when she just went to the temple with all the hermanos, she was able to do the work for her husband and parents and a bunch of other relatives. It was so cool to hear about it. And it made me think that even though Hna. LaPray wasn´t able to see Mary get baptized, this wonderful woman that she found has now helped even more people find the gospel. It´s just another evidence that we never really see all the importance of our missions and all the good things we´re able to do. It´s super easy to see in my own life, but harder to see how it´s affected or helped other people. And it is so impressive to see the hermanos here go to the temple because they really do come back changed. They value their trips to the temple so much and it just reminds me how grateful we should be that we have one so close. And that we should take advantage of it and go as often as we can. One hermano said that a guy who went on the temple trip just got enough money to buy the ticket and was just planning on not eating the whole time. He didn´t tell anybody until they were already on the trip, but everyone found out and gave him some of their food. I sometimes forget that whole sacrifice thing and get lazy. But we need to be sacrificing just as much as these faithful Argentines if we want this church to grow. Anyway, that is what the Argentines taught me this week. Also that children are a lot less hard-hearted. We had like eight new investigadores this week that were all the children of our investigators and they are all a lot more likely to progress. We´re working on it... Love you all!
Hna. Seegmiller

"Atáte a la vida!"-January 10, 2011

Hello familia,
So "atáte a la vida" was on a sign I saw for seatbelts. It basically means like "buckle yourself to life" or something like that. I was entertained. So it was actually a pretty good week. We found four new investigators. The problem is that people here like to move in with each other instead of getting married so they can´t get baptized. And if they got married and never got divorced, it really takes forever because divorces here take like two years. It´s pretty ridiculous. We do have this one investigator, Alfredo, who is living with a member of the church and waiting for his divorce to go through so they can get married and he can get baptized. He was at church on Sunday and he is basically the cutest man I´ve ever met. He´s so excited for his baptism and loves going to church and reading the scriptures and kept talking about how he needs to get better. He´s been going to church for like 2 years and his divorce is finally going to go through in February and then he´ll be able to get baptized. I´m excited for him because he´s so excited. The other two members of our Gospel Principles class this week were Celia, the grandma of some members who is 84 and just got baptized like 2 months ago who is so cute and calls us her angels, and Mary, a younger grandma who just got baptized like 4 months ago and is getting ready to go to the temple this month. They are all so cute and love the gospel so much. It makes me remember why I love the gospel so much and helps remind me how much people really are changed (even if they´re over 80) by baptism. It is a miracle. Mary actually really reminds me of Grandma Moser...the way she looks and talks and her personality. She gave her first talk this Sunday and she was so nervous, but it actually went really well. I was watching her give her talk and Hna. Wilding told me that Grandma is probably on the other side doing the same thing. :)
A less active man in our ward passed away this week and on Thursday, I went to my first funeral on the mission. It was Hna. Wilding´s first funeral ever. It was really sad because he has six kids and he´s only like 45. He had a heart attack and didn´t recover though. There were a bunch of hermanos that spoke at his funeral and it was so powerful because you could really tell that every single one of them had no doubt that they were going to see him again. They all have such a powerful testimony of the Plan of Salvation and they know that they´ll see Hno. Falcón again. Hna. Falcón knows that too, but it´s still really hard for her and her family. She decided to go back to church though and she has now come two Sundays in a row, is giving us lunch on Saturday, and we´re having a Family Home Evening with them on Wednesday night. She´s pretty impressive because she knows what she needs to do and even though she´s going through a really hard time, she is doing it. Another impressive family here is our ward mission leader and his family - Familia Ferrando. His kidneys are failing and he has to go in to get dialysis every 2 or 3 days and he has heart problems and a hernia in his back. He´s been on dialysis for like six years, waiting for a transplant, but the Argentine health system is not coming through for him. His wife has been fighting cancer for like 20 years and they are both only like 40 years old. And even though they have all these problems, they always come to church, visit families, and do everything they can to help other people. Hno. Ferrando told us that he thinks it´s good that they have these problems because then other people see them and can´t believe that they are still going to church and then they realize that they don´t really have an excuse not to go. His perspective is just so impressive to me and he is really excited for the resurrection when he will have a perfect body.
Basically the people in Tandil are amazing and I am already learning a lot from them. And from Hna. Wilding. She´s also really impressive. I hope I can rise to the level of everyone around me and be as cool as they all are. Thanks for all the support. We are going to be working hard this week and finding people to baptize! Don´t forget us in your prayers. Love you all!
Hna. Seegmiller

Monday, January 17, 2011

Conferencia De Hermanas-January 17, 2011

Hello familia,
I hope everyone is doing well. I hope it´s not too cold there. Surprisingly, Tandil has really nice weather so far so we haven´t totally died in the heat yet. I have been getting a tan though. I totally have super white toes and the tops of my feet are really dark. It´s the classic missionary tan. What can you do? I am actually in Bahía again today because we are having an Hermanas Conference! We´ve been waiting for it basically since I got here (by the way, I have 11 months in the mission today.... AAAAHHHH!) and it finally happened. So all the hermanas in the mission came to Bahía to have a special conference and help us learn stuff and practice. It´s really fun to see all of our friends and meet the new hermanas. It was good to see Hna. Tingey and LaPray again. I also saw Hna. Durham, who I haven´t seen in 9 months, and she is so much like Kylie... it´s freaky. I have to introduce them one day. So we have been having fun with that, even though we have to work today instead of have Pday. I would say it´s worth it.
This past week was actually really awesome. Hna. Wilding goes home in 3 weeks, but she still shows no signs that her death is near. She´s such a solid missionary and I am really learning a lot from her. I think I worked harder in this past week than I have in the rest of my mission and it felt so good. We found a lot of new investigators (most of them unmarried). We ended up having 8 lessons with members, 5 other lessons, 8 less actives visited, and 9 new investigators. That is definitely the most productive week of my mission, hence the reason why this is the only week, I have ever shared my numbers with you. Let´s just say they´re usually lower than that. We just kept finding people and teaching lessons because we are trying really hard to baptize someone in January. I still think it´s possible and we can do it. Saturday was kinda a rough day though because two of our investigators with a baptismal date decided not to listen to us anymore, we found out another really good investigator has to get divorced before being able to get married (which takes like two years here), and another investigator told us not to visit her anymore. So that was kinda rough. And then it rained on Sunday morning and rain= Argentines don´t come to church. But we still have excitement and we´re going to keep working hard and find a family to baptize. We´re excited. And next week it probably won´t rain on Sunday morning.
It´s actually too bad that nobody came to church on Sunday because we had really good lessons. My favorite was in Relief Society when we learned about sacrifice. Learning about sacrifice is always good because it always helps you realize that you aren´t doing enough and you need to sacrifice more. And we sometimes need a reminder. They shared the story about the young, rich boy who always did what he was supposed to do, but when Jesus told him to give away all his riches in order to go to heaven, he cried and couldn´t do it. It kinda reminded me of me before the mission. Like I always went to church and I tried to read my scriptures and pray, but if Heavenly Father really would have asked me to do something I didn´t want to do, I really don´t know if I would have done it. I´m learning a lot now about how we need to trust Heavenly Father´s will and do the things that he asks us to do. We need to sacrifice for him. Then Hna. Wilding and I were talking about how your sacrifice should be hard for you. Then if it gets so that your sacrifice isn´t hard for you anymore, it´s not really a sacrifice and we need to up the anty and sacrifice something more. And you should always be sacrificing for the Lord or you aren´t going to be able to progress. It was an interesting lesson for me. Just something to think about... what´s something you can do to sacrifice more for the Lord than what you´re doing now?
Well, I am doing well and honestly loving the mission. I feel like it took me a while to get here, but now i finally understand why people always talk about their missions the way they do. We´re going to keep working hard so that people can accept the gospel and start changing their lives. And we just get to sit back and watch the miracle that Heavenly Father works in them. It´s pretty amazing. Well, have a lovely week! I love you all. Write me letters...:)
Hna. Seegmiller

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tandil - Un lugar en el mundo-January 3, 2011

Hello hello family,
So I am now in Tandil and it has been a pretty crazy week. We actually didn´t get very much time in our area, but Hna. Wilding told me that it is really small. I guess I should be used to that by now because all of my areas have been tiny. It´s kinda fun though. Well, first off, I got to Tandil last week at 2:00 in the afternoon after riding in the hot, nasty bus all day. It was a good time. When getting off the bus, I thought to myself, " Well, at least I won´t have to ride it for another four months." Here´s a tip: never say anything like that because someone is listening and will prove you wrong. We got a call on Wednesday or something saying that me and Hna. Acosta (one of the hermanas from the companionship we live with) need to go to Bahía on Monday for a leadership conference that the mission is having. Then we also found out that we are going to have the Hermanas Conference the Tuesday after that so we are going to have to ride that stinkin bus for another 8 hours back to Bahía. I must be being punished for something. But I am really excited to go to Bahía and back to la Falda to see Hna. Olsen and the Abuelitos. Oh, and going to the leadership conference means that I am training next transfer. I´m getting a new missionary as my comp and I´m supposed to teach her stuff. I´m excited, but also scared. It should be a good experience. I guess I´ll get more details about it later, but I at least I have five weeks to prepare. :)
Also, the crazy experience of the week (along with me having a really bad cold the whole week and Hna. Wilding getting really sick to her stomach every once in a while... she just got her gallbladder taken out a few months ago) was trying to get Jorge baptized. He´s an old man who has been ready for a while but had a ton of problems with his wife and something always happened so that he couldn´t go to church. But when we went to his house, we felt like we should set his baptismal date for that Friday, the 31st. He accepted and we started running around, trying to arrange everything for it. The members were excited and he was ready and we got everything prepared. After a few setbacks like his wife´s daughter accidentally sending Jorge a message telling him that his wife had died (she takes care of two grandmas and the other one had died, but she sent the text message to Jorge instead of the other family... also, who sends a text to tell them their grandma died?!) and having to take her to the hospital and having all the paperwork take five hours, Jorge wasn´t able to come to his baptism. We went forward with faith the whole time, trusting in the Spirit and believing that it would happen. We aren´t exactly sure why it didn´t happen, but we do know that we did everything we could to make it happen and I think Heavenly Father is pretty impressed with our effort and happy with us for what we did. And we are still very sure that he will be getting baptized. It´s probably one of those stories that you never want to have on your mission (getting ditched with the font filled), but I actually feel pretty good about it because I know we were trusting Heavenly Father and doing what He wanted us to do. And that´s a really good feeling.
Tandil and being comps with Hna. Wilding and living with the other two hermanas, Hna. Cassidy Clark and Hna. Acosta, is pretty much really fun. I´m enjoying it a lot and I´m sure when we start working for real this coming week, Hna. Wilding and I will be able to get a lot done. The gospel is true and Heavenly Father loves us and knows what we need. Sometimes we just need to trust Him. I love you all and thank you so much for your support. Enjoy the pictures!
Hna. Seegmiller