February 26, 2013

I Cannot Say The Smallest Part Which I Feel

Lucia, our sweet neighbor!
Hello people!
I hope everyone is well and happy and having a great February. But now let's talk about Puerto.

- We had 4 baptisms on Saturday. YUP! FOUR! Well 4.25 because Suni is pregnant... but anyway! Emanuel got baptized!!!! STORY TIME! So, Emanuel was not feeling so sure about his testimony about Joseph Smith. He's the kind of guy that wants to know EVERYTHING before he makes a decision. He isn't too focused on feelings, but more on logic. One day, he  flipped open the Lorenzo Snow book to chapter three, and read the story of how Pres. Snow got baptized more for logical reasons and less for spiritual experiences. We told him that this was God's answer and that He had to do the same, trusting that God would help him gain a testimony with time. He was willing to continue to go to church and keep all the commitments, but he had Suni next to him who always cried when she felt the Spirit and is just a super spiritual person in general. So we're guessing that he thought that he had to feel the same. But, we reasoned with him, logically of course (he also studied philosophy... and so did Hna Mansilla... so she was able to reason with him on HIS level), and after his Baptismal Interview, and a chat with us, he said he would do it. Wow. A true miracle. I know that through his act of faith, he will receive his answer and his testimony. 
Saturday rolled around and we went to fill the font, and guess what?? We only had cold water. The calef├│n(water heater) was being finicky. So we warmed up a huge pot of water and started filling the font. But that wasn't gonna work. Luckily, the Bishop came and fixed it and we were able to have warm water for the baptism. The service was really beautiful, and we had about 40 people there. Jony got baptized first, then Suni, then Emanuel, then Laura. It was such a happy happy Day!! 

I later read in Alma 26, where Ammon is praising and glorying in God.  "16 Therefore, let us aglory, yea, we will bglory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his cmercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." 

I really cannot express how I feel, other than happy, joyful, relieved, peaceful...a mixture of a lot of good feelings. . It has been a goal for me in the mission to baptize a family, and the Lord prepared Suni, Emanuel and Jony for me. Suni has known about the church since elementary school, and this was her third time investigating. And I got to be the one to teach her and watch her and her family enter into the waters of baptism. The Lord has allowed me to teach this family, and watch them prepare to enter the temple. And I don't care WHEN they go, I am coming down to Buenos Aires and I WILL BE THERE when they get sealed as a family for time and all eternity!!! 

- So we've been having some water problems again in our house. Our water heater shut off for some reason on Saturday, and we couldn't get it lit back up until today. So yup, we bathed with pots again. I'll be relieved when I go home and everything works and isn't broken... Argentina I love you, but I don't like that everything breaks easily. Also, the faucet in the shower is loose, so the water keeps on running ALL DAY. We found out where to turn the water off so when we're not using the water, we turn it off. Oh the mission. Someone should be by tonight to come fix it! 

- Well, I'm gonna be a grandma! Hna. Batista is going to train, and she'll be off to Bahia tomorrow to go pick up her hija! ("daughter") The first batch of the youngsters has arrived! I kinda have a sneaky feeling I'm going to be training when this never ending 9 week transfer finally ends... We'll see. 

- I can't believe that they opened 58 new missions!!! Wow! The work is moving forward!!! I'm so happy that the Lord has allowed me to be apart of it!

-Since I am at loss for words and don't know how to explain exactly how I feel, I will close with the words of Ammon in Alma 26:

 28 And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world—not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.
 29 And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have also entered into their temples and their asynagogues and taught them; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been bstoned, and taken and bound with cstrong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.
 30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our ajoywould be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.
 31 Now behold, we can look forth and see the afruits of our labors; and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are bmany; yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us.
 35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all apowerball wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a cmerciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.
 36 Now if this is aboasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a bbranch of the tree of Israel, and has been clost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, dwanderers in a strange land.
 37 Now my brethren, we see that God is amindful of every bpeople, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.
Shoutouts: Tyler, thank you for the email! And Lucas is SO ADORABLE in his tie! 
Happy Birthday this week to TAY BAY BAY!!! Hope you have a fantastic day! And think. This is the last time I'm gonna miss your bday. 
Happy Birthday to my cousin GREG too! Happy birthday cousin Andrew. Hope you have a great day! 
Tia Alice, I forgot to say thanks for getting those Christmas cards together! That was way nice! Big hugs to all of you on the farm!! 
Hey! I love you all very much! 
I am very, very happy right now in my mission. Like Ammon said, "My joy is full."

H. C. S
(Hermana Cydnee Squire)
Familia Villalba with Suni and family

Mother of a convert from Salta. She makes the BEST empanadas!

After you have a year in the mission, ironing goes like this!

February 18, 2013

We Pray and Then We Go......

Hey sweet things!!
All right, let's get down to the nitty gritty.

-SO! We're gonna have a baptism this weekend!!! Story time. You all remember Laura?? She's a psychologist and is super smart. When we were teaching her she said "how do I prepare to be baptized?" But then she told us she wanted to get baptized at the end of MARCH. And we were like, "in your dreams." Not really, but we were determined to help her get to the 23rd. Well, she told us that this past week she was feeling a "darkness". She prayed and felt that she couldn't put off her baptism for that long so she's getting baptized this Saturday!!!!!! 

Then we have Suni and Family. Suni and Jony are super prepared. Suni is already converted, and I don't doubt she'll have a Stake calling in the next year. She was at the pool reading the conference edition of the Liahona that I gave her (thanks mom), and some guy came up to her and was like "can I buy one of those somewhere??" And she said, "oh it's from my church." Then she told us, "I should have passed him your number or something! I'm sorry I didn't think!" She's the best!!!!  Emanuel says he doesn't feel anything yet and wants to wait for the next baptism. But his means that he KNOWS that he's gonna do it anyway, because he KNOWS it's what he should do. He is just having a hard time recognizing his answers. He's an ENGINEER: So I imagine that his brain is like "012384749584934839" all of the time!!!  He said if he gets his answer this week, that he'll get baptized with his family. So please PRAY SUPER, SUPER HARD for him!!  I KNOW he can make it to the 23rd!!  So if all goes well, we could be having 4 baptisms!! How great is that??!!!!!! These people are so so special!

- So we went to Centro today to run some errands and I honestly felt like I was on vacation!!! It was so beautiful! Malls and shopping! Movie theaters! Restaurants! Clothes! Purses! Shoes! Jewelry! Beach! It was pretty dangerous!! I was like, "I'm so doing my trunky shopping here!!! I saw a movie poster for "Les Miserables..." is it true??????!!!! Is that a movie now????!!!!!!!  Hi, sorry I'm being trunky right now. Blame it on Centro and all the clothes and shoes I saw!!

-I read a talk by President Monson, before he was the Prophet, that's called "They Pray and They Go." And I thought, that is SO missionary work. We may have very few citas (appointments) planned for the day, but we pray before we leave, and we go out and work, having faith that God will put people in our paths that are prepared to receive the gospel. It's like the scripture in 2 COR. that says "For we walk by faith, and not by sight."

Shoutouts: JENNY! Thanks for the message! I'm glad you're doing well!!
DENISE! I'm so happy you're getting married! 
Congrats ASHTON!!! YOU'RE GONNA BE A DAD!?!!!! What the heck??!!!!! First you can't wait for me to be there when you get married, and now this???! :-) BRENDYN! Congrats on your baptism! You looked like a future missionary in your pictures!! 
Vanessa Welch and family, my prayers are with you. 

I love you all! Have a great week!
H. S
Me and mi compa├▒eras by the ocean!

                                                  At el Centro! With Hermana Mansilla
Another from Centro

Beautiful Puerto Mar De Plata

                Puerto........ This is how I get so tan. I lay out all day in my skirt. (NOT!!!! EVEN!!!!!)

February 11, 2013

Another week gone by......................

Hello my peoples!!

How's it going up there!???? Don't worry, I'm just cooking a little bit. I'm pretty sure that my skin can't get any darker. SO, there's not too much to report this week, but I will do my best!

- SO we had a Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) with our star investigators this week... Zuni, Emanuel and Jony, and Laura. Zuni is amazing. She already has a testimony and always has such great questions. They are learning so much!! Emanuel is more logical, so we're working hard with him, but he reads and prays like we ask him to. And Jony is SOOO smart for a 10 year old! Laura is a psychologist and also very smart. It's so funny with the investigators we have now, because we have to prepare very spiritual and intellectual lessons. They are on a WHOLE different level. And we have Mariana. She has cancer and is not doing so well. She is now in the hospital but wants to get baptized so badly. Please pray for her. 

- I let Hna Mansilla put honey in my hair today... it actually made it really soft and shiny! Try it! She also gave me a foot massage last night... I almost died laughing, but then it felt great!!!!! Um, hello, I lucked out on companions... 

- A quote for you from Elder Lawrence C. Cornbridge: "The Lord's way is not hard. Life is hard, not the Gospel. There is opposition in all things (2 Nephi 2:11) everywhere, for everyone. Life is hard for all of us, but life is also simple. WE have only two choices. WE can either follow the Lord and be endowed with His power and have peace, light, strength, knowledge, confidence, and joy OR we can go it some other way, annoy other way, whatever other way, and go it alone-- without His support, without His power, without guidance... in darkness, turmoil, doubt, grief, and despair, And I ask, which way is easier?" Life IS hard sometimes. But can you imagine how hard it would be without the gospel?? 

-Shoutouts! CORBIN! 'Bout time you wrote me you little goober. Thanks so much for the dearelder, I'm so HAPPY for Ashley!!!!! In your next letter to her, please tell her I say hi! 
J. Kelly! Thanks for the dearelder... I'm working on a letter for you now. Keep up the hard work in school! 
Taylor! Thanks for the dearelder too. I seriously was crying about Niki Menanj... in front of like 12 elders... but I didn't care. Thanks for making me laugh!!! 
SERNA KIDS! I got your letters! Thank you so much for always making me smile. Love you guys! 
Tyler, thanks for the email. got the pic of Lucas on the Valentine's card and I LOVED IT! So cute!!
Happy Birthday to Peter this week! 

And I hope you all have a wonderful Valentines day!!!! If you are alone, you can remember me in Argentina living like a nun and you can feel better about your loneliness. So pop in a movie and eat some brownies or something. I might get some gross Argentine men whistling at me in the streets (not sure what they find attractive... in my calf-length skirts and Mary Jane shoes) ...so you're better off than me!!!!! 
Have a great week everyone!

S. (for Squire, y'all)

              Graciela, she is a convert of my trainer, Hermana Israelsen

   Group pic is of our noche de hogar with our investigators. Far right is Bishop, but then we have Zuni, Emanuel, and Jony next to him... and Laura is the blonde one. I'm next to our ward mission leader, Hermano Valente

     At a park we walked by this morning on P day

         Estefy, a ward mission leader that got her mission call to Brazil.

February 4, 2013

ONE YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ladies and Gents, this missionary hit her one year mark this past weekend!!!!! ONEEEE YEEEEAAAARRR! Can you believe it? Woo! Well, it wasn't too eventful of a day, but Hna Mansilla and Hna Batista made it special. They dressed up as a 1 and a 2 for 12 months, and put clown noses on. It was super fun!!! 

Pointing to ONE YEAR mark on calendar that my mama made me!

SOOO here's a little list of things that I have learned/done in the 
last 12 months of my mission:

- I have drank a lot of water that I probably shouldn't have
- eaten a lot of food I didn't want to
- eaten MORE than I wanted to
- Have had great companions, and learned to love each one.
- Have had baptisms with each companion, so far
- Gained weight (BOOO!)
- Lost weight (yahoo! now let's stay that way!!!!!!)
- Met amazing people that I consider to be family
- Taught hundreds of lessons
- Talked to strangers in the street
- Entered strangers' homes like it was NBD(no big deal)
- Missed several weddings (booo!!)
- Been chased by a few dogs
- Had my skirt RIPPED by a dog
- Learned a little bit of Spanish
- Knocked on a lot of doors and clapped at a lot of gates
- Received very creative excuses as to why someone can't listen to us
- Got a few rejections... OK, a LOT of rejections
- Felt the Spirit stronger than I ever have before
- Heard words leaving my mouth in grammatically correct sentences with words I didn't even think I knew how to say
- Borne my testimony every day
- Strengthened my testimony about this gospel
- Walked endless miles
- Grown closer to mi Salvador y a mi Padre Celestial (***my Savior and Heavenly Father)

And many more. To repeat what cousin Greg wrote to me in my letter book, this has been the "MOST year" so far in my life. And I am happy, happy, happy!!!!! Even though I'm TIRED. But it's all good.

OK, SO WE HAVE THE BEST INVESTIGATORS! We had ELEVEN PEOPLE IN CHURCH YESTERDAY! Excuse me, are we in Lamanite land?? That does NOT happen, especially in Bahia. And they all came by themselves or with members. WOW! I wish I had time to explain all of them, but I'll give y'all the DL.(down low) 
Suni and Emanuel. This is the third time that Suni has investigated the church. When she read 3Nefi 11, she got emotional because the people didn't hear the voice of the Father until the third time. She felt that this third time is HER time. She has a testimony already and said  "I know I need to join this church". Her husband comes to church with her, but doesn't have a strong testimony. We're working on that. Both of them and Jony, Suni´s son (10) have baptismal dates for the 23. THEY ARE AMAZING!!!!  Our lessons are super spiritual and they are SO smart so they ask great questions. Then we have Laura. She has like 6 asistencias (church attendances) but wants to go slow. She said in our last lesson "How do I have to prepare to get baptized??" HELLO! WE CAN HELP YOU! She wants to get baptized at the end of March, but we are confident that she can make it to the 23 too. Then we have Mariana. She has cancer, and is very sick and in so much pain, but is determined to get baptized. She needs to quit smoking and make it to the 23 as well. PRAY FOR THESE PEOPLE PLEASE!

-So there was a HUGE storm on Friday. LIKE HUGE!!!!! We were close to the house so we hid inside while it passed. But the thunder sounded like CANNONS. AND then it hailed huge ice-rocks! One hit me in the head and it HURT! (see pic). But wow, it was CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shoutouts: Happy Birthday this week to Eric Dunn!! 
Aunt Lori, thank you for the email! Glad to hear an update from the G-Lo, especially about the Super Bowl half-time show. 
Thank you to Sister Wirig for the email, too! 
H. S.

Milk in a bag....yeah.......we do.

Our new missionary phone! It replaced the old brick that we had before!! yay!!

Just a little hole in my shoe!