January 28, 2013

Pu.......... Puerto!!!! Mar De Plata!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey goobers, 

How are you doing, you little igloo people!??

-Well, it was quite the interesting week. When I knew that these emails would be going out to all the world, and a bunch of people, I decided to be pretty open about the stuff that happens here in the mission, the good, the bad, the ugly and the funny. So with that said, I will tell you all something, trusting that you will not think of me differently, but accept it as one of the many crazy things that happens in the mission.

I got lice last week. BOOOO! Evil demon lice bugs! First I get fleas in Pringles, then lice here. It is kinda tradition that every hermana that passes through mission Bahia Blanca gets lice. SO I guess it was my turn. I think I got them in Villa Mitre, because I beso'd (kissed) a lot of little kids that don't live in the cleanest conditions. Funny part is that I sent the lice kit that my mom gave me 100 years ago in a box with other things that I don't use as often from Bahia to MDP (Mar de Plata) because I thought I wouldn't need it. HAHA! So yeah, Hna Mansilla was an angel and picked the little devils out of my hair and the little minion eggs too. I had to buy a shampoo thing and that special comb... I think we're all good now but man I was not a happy camper. At all.

-THEN! My shoes that have lasted 11 months got a hole in them and gave me one wicked callus/blister!!!  So I got those all resurfaced and now they've got a new sole!!! THEN! Our water heater thing had to be changed, so a member came, but didn't have one part so we had to warm up pots with water on the stove to shower for a day! Then! A nasty cat with a protruding, fleshy, bloody tumor on its neck jumped on my lap and I had to fight back the urge to vomit! THEN! Yesterday my curling iron broke! It was like 'WELLLCOOOMMME TO PUERTO HERMANA SQUIRE!!' HA; what a joke!!!!! And now I'm at a computer with stiff keys and my forearms hurt from typing so hard... haha.
- SO funny thing. Here, the cyber is called "Babylonia". And In Bahia, we went to one called "Zion"!!!! :-)

-It smells like fish here, all of the time. And when it rains, it smells like wet, dead dogs. Yes, I do know what a dead dog smells like, sadly.

-So about Puerto Mar de Plata. It is a tough area with LOTS of beautiful houses. This usually means 99.9% of the time that people think they have everything they need and don't need to change. They don't give us the time of day. But that isn't the sad thing. The sad thing is that they don't give our Savior the time of day. BUT. The ward is great. The members help us a lot and we have a great missionary team with 5 ward missionaries that do divisions with us. The members prepare investigators and bring them to church and introduce them to us. Basically, this ward is every missionary´s dream!! For example, we had 7 investigators in church yesterday!! And all I wanted to do was jump up and down, clap my hands and sing IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!!! BECAUSE THAT NEVER HAPPENS! Half of them were prepared and brought by members. I don't have time to explain all of them, but I will tell you about Suri, Emanuel, and Jonathan. THEY ARE A REAL LIVE FAMILY! MARRIED AND EVERYTHING!! It's a miracle. They are friends of members, have 2 asistencias (attendances) to church, and we have our first appt this week with them. Suri is super interested but her husband will need a little work getting his testimony. But wow! A family! A goal for me in the mission has been to baptize a family. One I can see progress to the temple. One I can see get sealed for time and all eternity. SO PRAY SUPER HARD FOR THEM! They are my miracle! Also, pray for Ramiro... he's 8 and brother of converts... but we're having a hard time getting to talk with his mom cuz she's passing through a hard time and doesn't think he's ready but he could get baptized this week. He's so cute... he's like a little man!

-Ok to wrap up, a quote by CS Lewis: 

“Make no mistake,' He says, 'if you let me, I will make you perfect. The moment you put yourself in My hands, that is what you are in for. Nothing less, or other, than that. You have free will, and if you choose, you can push Me away. But if you do not push Me away, understand that I am going to see this job through. Whatever suffering it may cost you in your earthly life, whatever inconceivable purification it may cost you after death, whatever it costs Me, I will never rest, nor let you rest, until you are literally perfect - until my Father can say without reservation that He is well pleased with you, as He said He was well pleased with me. This I can do and will do. But I will not do anything less.”

I know that the Lord is shaping me into the person that He needs me to be. It hurts sometimes, and sometimes I don't like it, but I am in the perfecting process. I know if we are humble, and if we let Him, He will shape us into our best selves. 

Shoutouts!! Happy Late Birthdays to Ally Melendez, Sandii, and Happy Birthday this week to TROY and Brandon Standifird!! VENICE THANKS FOR THE EMAIL! I'm so stoked for you but way sad I can't be there. ALSO, thank you for keeping my up to date on my anatomy!! The answer is SA NODE!!! You are the best!!!

Attention all friends!!!!! Stop getting married without me!!!! How is it that I am the one who LOVES planning weddings and has to miss all of her friends weddings?????? Hummmm?? Taylor, Paige, I'm counting on you. Make it until July. Come on. YOU CAN DO IT! Tahn... when is the big day? 

-THIS IS THE TRUE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST! The fire of this gospel consumes me. I love being a representative of Jesus Christ. I love serving Him. This truly is the marathon of the Lord, and I will not rest until my work is done! My Savior WILL sustain me when I am weak, even as I'm trekking up these huge hills in Mar de Plata,  walking at top speed, with Hna. Mansilla! 

He always gives me just the amount of energy I need to make it though the day! He will give me the comfort I need when all I hear is "no", "no", "no" all day, and will give me the miracles I pray for if I am obedient to His commandments and work with all my might. I will not fail in this marathon of the Lord! I Love you all!!

Hermana Squire

Hermana Batsta & Mansilla

Churri Pan (chorizo con pan)

First Sunday at Church in Mar de Plata


With Hermana Mansilla in our home.....

January 21, 2013

You're Not Gonna Believe This One..............

Misioneros Street in Bahia.....gonna miss it.

So here's the DL, the 411, etc....

I got transferred. YES. I know that it was an inspired process for sure, but I think the cookies and brownies I made for the office Elders helped a little... 
maybe a lot :)
- So, we got transfer calls at 1 in the afternoon Saturday, and ALL the office Elders knew what was happening to me before I did. I guess I was the one most anxious to leave that they all wanted to know what happened. BUT, they couldn't tell me! Goobers! So I had to wait 2 hours and I found out I would be going to......

PUERTO MAR DEL PLATA! With... Hermana BATISTA and Hermana MANSILLA!! Yep, I'm in a trio. And YUP with my hija!! I was super surprised and thought it was a joke. But here we are! We are thinking it's because no new hermanas came and that Hna Batista has to train when the 14 new hermanas come next transfer... We'll see! I'm super stoked to be here. I secretly wanted to be companions with Hna Mansilla. She is a super hard worker. She's 24, from Buenos Aires, and we have the same amount of time in the mission. Her mom owns a salon, so she knows a bajillion beauty secrets. Today, they were putting mayonnaise in each others hair... it's supposed to make it way soft... but I'm not convinced, yet. We"ll see if y'all get a pic of me with mayo in my hair!!! She is AMAZING. She said something like this "I think that we were best friends with all of our companions in the Pre-existence. But we all knew that we would be living far away from each other, so we had to come to the mission so that we could find each other again". It's so true! She also told me that they had various people that were close to baptism but things came up and they weren't baptized. She said that maybe the Lord put me here because these people need something more that they couldn't offer them. Yup, I love her already. I know that God has great plans for us! It's not very common that ex-companions return to being companions again! He has great things in store for the three of us. 

- So, I left Bahia yesterday at 5 and got to Mar del Plata at 12:30 at night. I traveled with a few Elders and we chatted for a bit and then it got dark and I thought, "super, I'll rest for a bit." We stopped in Tres Arroyos and a man got on and sat right next to me and SNORED THE WHOLE WAY!!!! Flip. But I got here safe and sound with my GIANT suitcases and Hna Carson, Mansilla and Batista were waiting for me. Hna Carson had to wait for her comp to come, so she stayed with us. We went to bed at like at 2:30 that night, so I'm runnin'  on about 4 hours of sleep!!  WOO! SO, we had to travel to Centro this morning to pick up Hna Carson's comp and leave them to travel to their area but WOW centro is SO BEAUTIFUL! I felt like I was on vacation! Beach, Hotels, Shopping... I was like "you're a MISSIONARY! Not a TOURIST! FOCUS!"  Haha, but one day I'll come back. Puerto is... well a Port. It smells like fish. All of the time. We can see the ocean!! It's so pretty, and our area is like 2 and 1/2 times the size of Villa Mitre. AND IT'S MOSTLY PAVED! No more dirty shoes! No more dirt in the face and mouth! WOOO! AND! It's not as hot! I think the Lord heard my prayers.. or He knew that I would probably DIE in Villa Mitre. I'm super happy!

 - The hardest part was leaving... as we all know. I gave a talk in church about missionary work and I sorta bajar´d the caña... pero bueno. (**lowered the cane, oh well...) Poor Rosita cried! It was so sad! She said, "oh no, don't tell me. I grew to love you so much!" She's the little lady in the pic. Erika cried as she was hugging me and all of my girls were so sad. I didn't expect so many tears! We ate with the Familia Saghin and they told me how special I was to them and how much they thought of me as their own family. It was a very sad day, with lots of tears. I will miss them all very dearly. The best part of the day was when all of my converts came to church in SKIRTS!!!  That was the icing on the cake and made me want to cry. I love these girls, and I will forever be grateful that God put them in my path. They were BEYOND ready to receive the gospel.

-Shoutouts: MIKAYLA MCCHESNEY!!!! I forgot to say in the last email CONGRATULATIONS on getting called to serve in the best country!!! You will love the Argentine people!!!!  You will also be speaking the best form of Spanish there is... Castellano.... so work on your "sha"s!! 
MOM AND DAD!!! New mission prep teachers! I AM SOOOO PROUD!!! WOOOO!!! 
JAKEEE!!!!!! WOOOO! Congrats on your mission call! I'm beyond stoked for you!!! 

 OK everyone, really quick, last Sunday we had a lesson, and Cindi Luna (love that girl) challenged us to look for the Lord's hand in our life. I challenge you to do that. Look for the blessings that the Lord gives to you every day. Big and small. For example, that very day, we were walking home in the heat, and some nice lady stopped and said, "I'll take you to your house, it's hot, hop in!"  So we did and she took us to the corner where we live. I'm not sure if that was against the rules or not... but hey, not the point. The point is that the Lord is VERY aware of EACH of His children. Look for His hand in your life and write down what you find. I promise if you start looking, every day,  you will find out that He is very involved in our lives.

I love you all very much. 

Have an amazing week.
Hermana Squire

#1 My District in Bahia!!!
#2 The "Dream Team"; Elders Cruz & Gravelle; Hermana Gomez
#3 My sweet little Rosita! Love her!
#4 My girls in Bahia; Liz who is a future missionary, in pink; Bella, the little one, a future baptism;  next 3 our converts:Tatiana next to me;.Barbara and Erika
What a great day.
#5 Hermanas Mansilla, Batista and myself (don't know about the mayonnaise....in the hair....:-)
#6 "Misioneros" Street in Bahia..the best.....gonna miss it....not gonna lie.

My district in Bahia

The "Dream Team": Elders Cruz, Gravelle,& Hermana Gomez

Our Rosita

My girls: Liz, Bella(little one), Tatiana, Barbara & Erika
Hermanas Mansilla, Batista, & Squire

January 14, 2013

I'm in an OVEN. A hot, HUMID Oven.

Hello all you mighty fine lookin' people,

I am going to take a little space to complain about the heat. Then I won't mention it again. Ok? ok. I am in an OVEN!!! This last week was the hottest that it's ever been!!!! 100 degrees with sensacion termica of 104!!!! I thought I was going to 1) pass out, 2) throw up 3) die or 4) all three at once. I'm not joking!! The sun is SUPER strong and it's so humid!! I feel like I'm breathing in vapor. And NO ONE IS AWAKE OR IN THE STREETS FROM 2-5! So we just die in the streets! We have to take shelter sometimes in a home of a member, or menos activo because my blood pressure drops and I feel pretty weak.  It's pretty dangerous sometimes. I know missionaries have gotten heat stroke. It's gotten up to 88 degrees IN our room at night and we sleep with 2 fans, one on me, and one on Hna Gomez. So yeah. It's been pretty bad. The end.

-OK!!!  So last Monday, we had a great noche de hogar (family home evening) with the familia Saghin! THEY ARE THE BEST PEOPLE EVER!! I LOVE THEM. Mom, they loved your gifts by the way. I JUST WANNA TAKE THEM HOME!!!!! Dad, they love that you restore cars. 
That same day, we found Corina. She was a street contact and the first time we went to her house she said, "wanna come in?" And we're like... "ummm... SURE!" Haha, it's so surprising when that happens. When people invite me in I always stand there like... "wait,..... what? Really?"  It's like a Christmas miracle every time! So she's in her 30s, not married, but is very attentive in the lessons. She has got a lot of potential, and I'm excited to see her progress. Pray that she gets her answer. 

- This week we did divisions and Hermana Ermacora came to Villa Mitre! woo!! This girl is a hoot and a half and I seriously almost peed my pants every day. We worked really hard (except for 20 minutes one day, when we thought we were about to fall over in the street because of the heat, so we sat under a tree) and laughed really hard. I hope I get to serve again with her one day. If not, we're going home together in July so we'll be able to see each other again. Um is it just me or does July seem really, really soon? What the heck?

-So this is the last week of the transfer. If you wanna pray for me, pray for 1) that my body will survive this heat and 2) that I will get transferred. I already have 4 transfers here and this next one is 9 weeks long (they are normally 6) to accommodate the flood of new missionaries. I WILL DIE IF I HAVE TO BE HERE THAT LONG. DIE I TELL YOU! I love these people and the members but I NEED A CHANGE! I have memorized this tiny place! I walk down the street and point at houses... testigo, evangelico, viejito that said "no", x investigator, menos activos that don't want anything to do with the church.. etc. I NEED A CHANGE! PRAY HARD!  PLEASE!

Ok, So I read a talk by Pres. Ezra Taft Benson... It's "The book of Mormon, the Keystone to Our Religion." It is amazing. Go read it. He talked about how the Lord views this sacred work, and I had never really thought about it too deeply, but he makes the point that the only thing that preceded the coming forth of the Book of Mormon was the first vision. It came forth before the restoration of the priesthood, and before the church was organized. The saints were chastised because they were taking too lightly this "new covenant" (DyC 84: 54-57...i think). Here's a quote: "Do eternal consequences rest upon our response to this book? Yes, either to our blessing or our condemnation. Every Latter-day Saint should make the study of this book a lifetime pursuit. Otherwise he is placing his soul in jeopardy and neglecting that which could give spiritual and intellectual unity to his whole life. There is a difference between a convert who is built on the rock of Christ through the Book of Mormon and stays hold of that iron rod, and one who is not". WAHPUH!! My family and friends! Are you studying the Book of Mormon as fervently as you should? If you are not, is President Benson's warning enough to put a fire under your bum? I hope SO!

-Shoutouts: LUCAS BOY!!!! Happy 1st Birthday! Su primer añito! Also, Happy birthday to ADRIENNE this week! Woo one  year younger!! Then Happy Birthday to Lauren Platt! I hope you all have great days. I LOVE YOU ALL! Thank you for the prayers and support.

Hermana Squire

January 7, 2013

HELLOOOOOOO 2013!!!!!!!!!!

HELLLOOO everyone!!!
I'm glad that you all made it to the New Year and that the world didn't end. People kept asking us, so... "what's gonna happen on Dec 21??" And we're like... "honestly... nothing."
- So New Years was pretty pathetic. We didn't get invited anywhere,  so after we worked, we just came home. We ended up awake at midnight and we went outside all bundled up because it was FREEZING and waited for fireworks. It was kinda lame to be honest...We couldn't even open the bubbly that we got! So we were just like FORGET IT! And we went to bed. 

- We had a Zone Conference this week, and as usual, it was amazing. Presidente talked about how we can become leaders... all through:
1. desires 2. imitating (like Christ imitated the Father) 3. Obedience 4. Service. Know what that spells out DIOS (God). It is all about trying to follow Christ and become like Him. We also did a bunch of practices with 2 members and Presidente and Hermana. It was a great day! We also talked about setting goals. When we don't set goals, it means that we are SCARED and VAGUE. We are submitting more to the natural man and less to the Holy Spirit (Mosiah 3:19). I challenge you all to set goals this year that are going to make you stretch a little and work to be a better person.

- Tomorrow we have DIVISIONS! Hermana Ermacora is coming here from Dorrego and we are gonna have a blast! I'm stoked!

- We went to teach Barbara this week, and she had a note on the fridge "orar para la comida" (pray for the food). She said she had made it a New Years goal to pray as a family to bless the food. I was super impressed! HOW did I get blessed with such great converts? I have no idea. The girls I baptized here are 14, 13, and 11, but are so willing to be obedient. I used to be hesitant about baptizing kids, but when you have a primary and young women's program that rally around new converts, they feel welcomed and part of the family. I feel so blessed. 

- Quickly... I was reading the Liahona about the Book of Mormon... it's Oct 2010 I think... But it's GREAT! There's an article by Elder Bednar: "Lehi's dream, Holding Fast to the Rod" That I LOVED! He focuses on three groups of people. The 2nd group made it to the tree of life by "clinging to the rod". But they were embarrassed and eventually fell away.We all know that the rod is the Word of God... or the scriptures. Elder Bednar says that perhaps they only studied the scriptures occasionaly, or had bursts of study rather than consistently studying. Then he explained the third group: "In verse 30 we read about a third group of people who pressed forward “continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree.” The key phrase in this verse iscontinually holding fast to the rod of iron.
The third group also pressed forward with faith and conviction; however, there is no indication that they wandered off, fell into forbidden paths, or were lost. Perhaps this third group of people consistently read and studiedand searched the scriptures. Perhaps it was diligence and devotion to a seemingly “small and simple [thing]” (Alma 37:6) that saved the third group from perishing. Perhaps it was “the knowledge of the Lord” and “the knowledge of the truth” (Alma 23:5, 6) obtained through faithful study of the scriptures that yielded the spiritual gift of humility—such that this group of people “fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree” (1 Nephi 8:30; emphasis added). Perhaps it was the spiritual nourishment and strength provided by continually “feasting upon the word of Christ” (2 Nephi 31:20) that enabled this group to heed not the scorning and mocking of the people in the great and spacious building (see 1 Nephi 8:33). This is the group you and I should strive to join."
My dear family and friends, are you "clinging" to the iron rod or are you "continually holding fast". I hope it's the latter. Please do not forget the small and simple things like reading your scriptures. They are the simple things that people think are so simple that they don't have to do them. But I'm begging you to PLEASE DO THEM! Study the scriptures every day. Write down your impressions. Don't be like the people of Moses who only had to look at the brass serpent, but because it was so easy they didn't and perished. Don't let a simple thing like reading your scriptures keep you from exhalation. 

Shoutouts: HAPPY BIRTHDAY Elder Kelly today! WOO! 
And a big Happy Birthday and besito de Argentina this week toooo.... Adriana Ibarra, Clint, Miss Anna Dunn, Brendyn Hiatt, Uncle Scott, annnnd RACHELLE GRIFFITHS! Hope you all have great bdays! 
Adrienne, thanks for the email! Yes, I got your pkg this week! Thank you so much! 
Aunt Jeni! Thanks for the email and the update on my amazing cousins! Cant wait to see how much they've grown!  

Hermana Sqweeray (that's what Hna Ermacora calls me for fun)  :-)

#1 Hna Gomez and I went to lunch using dad's Christmas money! Thanks Dad! 
Yummm!!!!  Strawberries and cream!!! It's been 11 months since I've eaten strawberries... 

#2  keeping up with Argentine fashion while shopping today. mmmhmm

#3   Hey, I finally gave myself a little pedicure.... don't worry, I'm not sunburned!! :-)