Monday, February 28, 2011
I hope you are all doing super well. We are doing well here in Villa Aguirre. This week was pretty crazy because we had four baptisms planned for Saturday so we had a lot of stuff to do. Our lovely old man investigator, Antonio, showed up to church on Sunday with his son and we were so happy. Braian, Elisabeth, and Ayelen were even more solid than ever and the members of our branch are already in love with them and going to visit them at their house every day. We just had to go visit them, get them an interview, and get them baptized. And they were so ready and so excited.
We went to see Antonio on Tuesday afternoon, but when we got to his house, everything was all locked up. It was pretty weird, but we decided to go back another day (since he doesn´t have a phone). So we didn´t make it to Antonio´s house until Thursday and when we got there, his son was outside cutting the grass. We said hello and talked to him for a little while and then asked him where Antonio was. He said," He´s in heaven." and when we looked disbelieving, he said," He passed away on Monday." We mostly didn´t believe him because his son is a little weird, but he invited us to sit down and told us that he found his dad on Monday morning and that by Tuesday night, they had already buried him. It was really hard to believe. We kept asking him if he was serious and finally, he took out the papers from his dad´s death and showed them to us. Hna. and I just sat there and cried while Hna. Acosta talked to Jorge for a while. We sang " I know that my Redeemer lives" and left. It was definitely a weird experience and really sad. He was only six days away from his baptism and he passed away. I guess we know that Heavenly Father knows what´s going on and everything happens for a reason, but it was still hard.
We did have some happy things also - Braian, Ayelen and Elisabeth got baptized on Saturday and almost the whole branch came to support them. Hna. Araya, me, and the elders did a musical number - Nearer, My God, To Thee. It was a really beautiful baptism. I just kept asking myself why Heavenly Father blessed us two misioneras with this beautiful, prepared family. I never came up with an answer, but I am very grateful to have been part of their conversion experience.
Another cool thing was that we went to visit Daniela, an investigator that we were thinking about not visiting anymore because she wasn´t progressing and because she lives with her boyfriend. When we got to her house, she said that she and her boyfriend weren´t living together anymore because they had broken up. It was like a sign to us from Heavenly Father that we needed to keep teaching her. So we invited her to church and set a meta for a baptismal date. The next day, we went to pick her up for church and she was waiting outside for us. What a miracle! I don´t know what it is about the people in this area and going to church when they say they will. It´s really weird and hasn´t happened to me in any other place. I´m not complaining though... it´s super nice.
Well, that was my week. I´m loving being a missionary and love being with Hna. Araya. She´s so great and I really love her more every day. I hope you are all doing well. Good luck with life in the real world. I´m going to enjoy my missionary world while it lasts. Love you!
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Hello querida familia,
Well, me and my hija have continued to be blessed a lot and are having a great time in Villa Aguirre together. We found some new investigators this week and got to teach a ton of lessons. It´s so much better having almost too much stuff that you can´t do everything than looking for stuff to do every day. But we finish every day really tired and my journal is definitely getting slowly pushed out of my life. I hope my kids never ask me if they can read it... but I guess I never did. Now i want to though. Anyway, we had the baptism of Cecilia this Sunday and it was so beautiful. We had it right after Sacrament Meeting so a bunch of the hermanos stayed to watch. We found Cecilia like three weeks ago with Hna. Wilding when we walked out into some fields where nobody lives and ended up finding a house. We knocked on the door and out comes Cecilia´s mom, Susana, saying that she is a member and has been wanting to come back to church for a long time. So Heavenly Father sent us to her random door in the middle of nowhere to help her. Heavenly Father definitely loves us. And her daughter is 8 so we invited her to get baptized. She was really excited and they have been reading their scriptures and praying to get ready. She looked so adorable in her little baptismal dress and was so happy when she came out of the water. Hna. Araya and I also played a musical number - "Cuando me bautice" and I accompanied her while she played the flute. And I have now accompanied two professional instrument players in musical numbers. I felt cool, even though my piano skills are seriously lacking and even the Argentines can tell.
Another miracle that we saw was that our 91-year-old investigator, Antonio, showed up to church with his son. We have been visiting him for a while and he couldn´t come to church so we visited him on Saturday with our branch president. We told him before we went in that Antonio is 90, but he kept waiting for the old man to show up because Antonio really does look pretty young for his age and he totally understands what we´re saying. But it was pretty much amazing that they came to church and I think he enjoyed it, although all three hours was a little long for him. But he´s really cute and we want to baptize him too. We leave him parts of the Book of Mormon to read and he reads for like 30 pages. Pretty impressive. He reads more than I do...and he´s 90! Well, 91.
Other than that, we´ve just been working hard and trying to fill our days with important things to do. The mission goal is to teach 10 lessons with a member each week and 10 others and find 15 new investigators. It´s a lot of stuff to do, but considering that we do have all day, every day to do it, it shouldn´t be too hard. We didn´t quite make it this week, but we are feeling good about next week. And we are going to baptize our miracle family this coming weekend. They continue to be absolutely amazing and were the first ones at church this week and stayed for the baptism. We´re so excited for them and I will be sure to send pictures next week. I hope everyone is doing well. I´m very happy with how the mission is going right now and pray that Heavenly Father keeps sending us miracles and that we can keep working hard. It is true that I am the happiest when I work the hardest.
Oh...and I completed a year as a missionary this week. So weird. I can´t believe it´s been a year. It has been really hard and really good. I don´t think I will ever regret my decision to be a missionary. I love you guys and am so grateful to have your support and your prayers. Good luck with being normal people this week!
Monday, February 14, 2011
Hello dearest mother and family,
First of all, happy birthday to my dear sister Kayela! I hope you have a fabulous day and enjoy all your birthday festivities. I hope someone rented you a bouncehouse. I think a bunch of little kids here had their birthdays yesterday because we saw a ton of bouncehouses in peoples´ front yards.
So this week was basically really crazy, but really awesome!! My hija got here on Thursday at 2:30 in the morning and Hna. Acosta and I went to go pick her up. Her name is Hna. and she is from Antofogasta, Chile, but has been studying flute in Santiago for the past six years. She´s 21 and she´s super cool, not to mention a really good missionary. She also randomly has the same birthday as my trainer, Hna. Davis (her grandma in the mission). We are having a really good time together and we have been having success! I don´t know what happened, but we have seen so many miracles this week. Also, Hna. Acosta ended up getting a mini missionary from Mar Del Plata so it´s Spanish 24/7 in our house (except for the occasional "You wanna fight? from Hna. Acosta). It´s funny, but this email is actually harder to write in English than it was last week. It´s already affecting me. ;)
On Wednesday, Hna. Acosta and I were working in Villa Aguirre (my area) and we contacted this lady and her pregnant daughter who were walking down the street. We told them that we were missionaries and the daughter asked us if people could go to our church. We were like," Um, yes. PLEASE GO!!!" but a little less desperate and a little bit more professional. More like "Yes, everyone is invited. Can we pass by your house this week to tell you a little bit about?" And they said yes! So that was the first appointment that I went to with my hija. Her and her two kids, Braian (13) and Ayelen (11) were waiting for us to arrive. So we had a great lesson with them, where the 13 year old boy was answering a ton of questions. So at the end, we asked them to be baptized in two weeks and they said they would. Wow, a golden family! There is no father so that´s kinda sad, but they are so great and really need the gospel. So now they are reading and praying a lot. When we went by for the second lesson, the mom told us that she had prayed and felt that it was true. WOW!!! Then we went to pick them up for church and they were waiting outside, all dressed and ready to go. Braian went to Young Mens and they gave him a Duty to God book. When we went by later to ask them how they liked church and Braian showed us his book and told us about how right now he´s a deacon, but then he´s going to be a Teacher. He remembered what they´re called and everything! I don´t even remember what they´re called! So basically this family is amazing and I am more than grateful to my Heavenly Father for letting me meet them and baptize them. They are just so ready.
We also had Susana (a menos activo that hasn´t gone for 8 years) and her two little kids come to church this week. They are adorable and we´re helping her 8 year old get baptized this Saturday. So cute! I´ll send pictures. We also received a reference this week from the elders, saying that their investigators had moved to our branch. So we went by to see them (even though the mom has to get divorced and then get married to this guy she´s living with before she can get baptized) and we set a baptism date with their 9 year old daughter. They also came to church this week. The elders had been visiting them for two months, but they never came to church because they lived too far away. Then they moved here, two blocks away from the church. They didn´t bring their daughter though (our investigator with a baptismal date) because she was sleeping. Kinda funny. So we ended up having 6 investigators in church!!! The whole time I´ve been in Argentina, I think I´ve had two at most. So basically it was a miracle. I felt like it was a dream. And all the members were so happy to see so many people there.
Earlier in the week, I was walking with Hna. Acosta and we passed some little ten year olds. I said hi to them as we walked by and they started making fun of my accent. As we got farther away, they started yelling at us. And then one of them threw a rock and it hit me in the back! And it hurt. I was so mad. I yelled," Are you serious?" at them, but then realized that neither them nor Hna. Acosta could understand me and changed it to Spanish. ¿En SERIO? We just walked away, but I was still really mad for a few blocks. But at least now I can say that I was persecuted in the mission.
And something really random... Hna. Araya and I were passing a group of like 20 young men sitting on a corner drinking beer and when we walked by, they all started yelling, "Hermana LaPray!" Hna. Araya didn´t understand until I told her that Hna. LaPray was in this area like 10 months ago. There has got to be a good story there and I intend to find out what it is. Oh Hna. LaPray...
Anyway, so basically we are really happy with our miracles and how much Heavenly Father is helping us. I feel really blessed to be with Hna. Araya and more than teaching her what I know, I feel like I´m learning a lot about how to be a better missionary. It´s a good time to be in the mission and I´m enjoying it. I´m coming up on a year this week and it´s kinda freaking me out, but it´s been a good year. I´ve learned a lot and hopefully changed a lot. Today, Hna. Acosta came up behind me and hugged me and said," I love you, Kasidy." in English. It was probably the cutest thing I´ve ever heard. I LOVE Latinos speaking English. Anyway, happy Valentine´s Day! I hope you all know how much Heavenly Father loves you and how much I love you and miss you. Gracias por todo!
These are the pictures of me and my hija. This Pday we went to see the Calvario, a huge statue of Christ that the people here put up forever ago. People go there to pray and leave presents so we left our nametags as an offering (no, not really). Enjoy!
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Well, this week turned out to be pretty crazy. It was Hna. Wilding´s last week in the mission. She really wanted to work and she was ready to... until she got really sick and we couldn´t leave the house for three days. We were also supposed to be planning a talent show that was on Saturday for the branch. We couldn´t leave the house so it was really hard to plan the talent show and we ended up just having three acts - an older lady recited a poem, we sang a song (we changed the lyrics to a Little Mermaid song to talk about how we never wanted to leave Tandil. The best part was when we said that our parents wouldn´t mind because they already have a lot of kids... they all laughed), and then our ward mission leader did some magic tricks. We started an hour later than we were supposed to because our ward mission leader wanted to wait for a less active guy to get there, but it was fun and we had a good time.
Now Hna. Wilding and Hna. Clark left (she got transferred to La Falda to be with Hna. Olsen!) and me and Hna. Acosta were left alone in the house. Its kinda lonely now, but we´re having fun. She keeps me entertained with all her English phrases - You wanna fight? Shut up! Your turn (when it´s time to say the prayer) Little lady monkey (which is what she has started calling me, Fatty (which is what she had started calling Hna. Wilding). I tried to teach her "You look lovely today" so she could know something a little nicer, but she doesn´t want to say it. OH... and it turns out that Hna. Acosta won´t be training after all. They said that she was going to get a girl from the States and she was 8 weeks in the MTC and her boyfriend proposed so she went home. Now she´s not coming to the mission and Acosta is getting a mini missionary from somewhere in our mission. They haven´t found one yet though so she´s going to be hanging out with me and my hija (the only one still coming because the Colombiana decided not to come either) for a while. The only thing we know about my hija is that she´s from Chile. So it should be fun. :)
Also, we had some changes in the presidencia of the rama this week and now we have a full presidency! Pretty exciting. One of the counselors is a guy who just got back from his mission like a month ago. Pretty crazy. I hope Jordy´s getting ready for that. Actually, I think he would have to come home to Latino America for that to happen. But now we´re just in a waiting period (Acosta and I ) to find out what our fate is. We think my hija will show up on Wednesday night, but until then, me and Acosta are just covering two areas...and hers is pretty much half of Tandil.
Well, I hope everyone is having a lovely time. I am enjoying the mission still, a little scared for my hija, but excited for how much we are going to work this transfer and all the good we can do. Thanks for your prayers! Heavenly Father knows how much I need them. Love you all!
Love from Hermana Seegmiller
Thursday, February 3, 2011
I thought you would enjoy this lovely quote graffiti-d (Does anyone know how to spell that?) on a wall in Tandil. The gangsters here are so profound. Well, this week was good, but kinda interesting. My compañera is going home in a week and she is trying to get everything ready to go. Who knew it would be really stressful to pack up all your stuff from the last year and a half, giving most of it away, and leave to go back to your own country with a total change of life style, form of dress, and language? That´s weird. But the preparation is proving to be pretty stressful. But Hna. Wilding is doing really good still. She´s super organized and still wants to work. It does make me think about going home a little more, but I am just trying to focus on what I am going to do when my hija gets here and I´m in charge of everything. This is basically my last chance to ask any questions.
We had 8 baptismal dates, but on Sunday, we decided to let 7 of them go. Micaela and her daughter, Karen, are super good. They are reading and praying to know if it´s true, but they do not want to go to church. We wanted to show Micaela the church this week (she only lives a block away!) and she wouldn´t even come to look at it. She has some really big doubt, but we can´t figure out what it is. Then we have a lot of really irresponsible kids that are never there when they say they will be and some people that aren´t married. That means it´s time to find some new investigators. So is the life of a missionary. But we love it and are enjoying it. And it´s not even that hot here in. What luck.
One thing I really love about the branch here in Tandil is that I can really enjoy church. The lessons are always so good. A recently returned missionary gave a talk in sacrament meeting and said that it´s easy to be active in the church, but not as easy to be active in the gospel. You just have to come to church once every three months ("so we´re all good for a while...hahaha"), but to be active in the gospel requires a lot more effort.. and brings a lot more blessings. He said that sometimes we think we can live this life alone, but it´s a lie. There is a reason that Christ set up his church like this. We need our visiting teachers, our family members, the teachers of the classes we go to, our leaders in our wards, and more importantly, we need Christ to help us get where we need to go. I´m still working on letting him help me. I know he can do this work waaay better than I can, but it´s still hard sometimes to let him tell me how to do it. It´s all a learning process. But I do feel good about the fact that I know I am where he wants me and am doing what he wants me to do. And that is a really good feeling. Well, thanks for all the support. I love you all soo much.