Wednesday, May 30, 2012

So yes, another week has gone by. It has been an experience and we have learned a lot. I believe that this transfer is to teach us about perservering and setting goals. President Gulbrandsen came to our District meeting last week and told us something very interesting. Our Zone is the heart of the mission and our district is the heart of this zone. That is a lot to think about. We took the counsel he gave us to have the faith to drop an investigator who is not progressing. Right now, we are down to two investigators and they both can´t get baptized until some legal things are taken care of. It´s a hard lesson in waiting on the Lord, but as we do our best and take this time to better ourselves, especially with the small and simple things, we will see the miracles in our lives.
 One such miracle happened this last friday and saturday. We were praying about where Heavenly Father wanted us to go and the image came to my mind of flowers. I felt as if we needed to bring flowers to someone, but we weren´t sure who. We both thought of Hermana Roig and decided that we would pass by. We arrived at her house and her husband answered the door. We gave him the flowers and said that we felt like we needed to stop by. He told us that she was in the hospital for her heart. The Lord works through us to help all of His children. I love the Roig Family and am very happy to know them in my time here. I am grateful to be an instrument in the Lord´s hands.
 Sunday was also interesting. Our ward boundaries were changed a little and we lost most of section ¨L¨. They are now part of Munro, so we will be missing some of our ward families. It´s interesting, because we have something with each of the families that are leaving this week. They are all wonderful and have a lot to offer. They are strong in the church and in the missionary work.
 Right now we are visiting all of the members that are in our area. We have been promised that we will find new people to teach with the less actives, the new converts, and the 5-5-5 families. We are working hard to show our faith in this promise as we get better about doing the small and simple things.  It´s been tough, but we hope to see the promises fulfilled. We haven´t done any real activity in the streets since the Centro de Visitantes en la Capilla. We talked with people in the streets yesterday because we didn´t have any investigators. It´s not the most effective method that we have found here in Vicente López. It may work in another area. We´ll have to try it.
 I am so happy that you enjoyed your weekend in Utah. Yes, I do realize that the Nissan isn´t good for long distance travel ^_^.  I do miss the old reunion site. Did you take any pictures? How was Larry and everyone. Speaking of which, does Larry have any family in Wyoming? Turns out that the cousin of Hermana Milmont´s mom is named Larry Bagley (sp?). I just think it´s interesting.
I have not been good about my language study in general. As a companionship, we are getting better at our schedule, so we shall see what happens. How is the reading going with the family? What hymns have you learned so far? I would encourage everyone to make goals. We are truly learning about their purposes and benefits this transfer. We just finished setting transfer goals and we have a long way to go. I know that we can do it, though, and now we have a vision of where we want to be so that we can get there faster.
 It´s been pretty warm still, probably in the 60´s. We still aren´t 100% sure what the weather will be like in the winter, because every says the climate has changed so much. I´m interested to see what happens.
 As you can tell, not a lot has happened this week, but our vision is still high and we are working hard. I´m so glad to hear from all of you. I´ll talk with you soon.
Hermana Alvey

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How is everything going? It sounds like things are moving along great.
So I do believe that the mosquitos have died for the winter (even though it is still autumn). I am very happy about that and yes, it has been raining a lot here. Right now, it´s pretty foggy outside and has been heavy overcast for about 4 days now. I do love this weather, though.
I am still behind on the Book of Mormon reading, but it has definitely been an experience. I have learned so much from going back to what I highlighted and then writing notes in the margins. It is such a spiritual feast and I have learned things that I have truly touched my heart and expanded my understanding of the scriptures. I would invite each of you to take the time to fulfill this challenge. It is the same challenge and a little more than the one that President Gordon B Hinckley extended to all of us back in 1997. It is wonderful and your testimony will grow so much.  I am very excited for the temple to open up in august. So I was mistaken. The open house is August 4-August 25 and the rededication is September 9; Happy anniversary mom and dad. ^_^
It sounds like a great idea to help each other with goals. One of my goals is to read one chapter of the Book of Mormon in spanish every day during my language study. What are some of your goals?
Thank you so much for sending a package. I appreciate it every time and can´t thank you enough. I believe that I have everything I need and a lot of what I want. The only thing I can think of is chocolate chips. They are very hard to find here. Thank you for everything you do.
It´s been one of those weeks that you can tell you were meant to learn something hard fast. We struggled a lot this week with having lessons with members present and people coming to church. I believe that I have finally caught the vision (as of yesterday) and I want to use it. I am hoping that it will help me overcome the last of my fears and I can finally become the missionary I know the Lord knows I can be. I guess I should specify. I believe that I have caught the vision of the mission. I am now working on the vision for this specific area: Vicente López.
Through all the President´s letters, he has been trying to help us obtain the vision the Lord has. To sum it all up in one word, I would use the word ¨Broken¨. I know that sounds bad, but let me explain. We are commanded by God to sacrifice a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I want to be a broken missionary. When you are broken and put all the pieces into the Lord´s hands and let go, He can make you into what He knows you can be. When you are broken, you trust and lean on the Maker. You ask: ¨Why am I here in Vicente López? What do you want me to do and to learn?¨ You trust His choices and His time. You always look for His will and trust that as you do your best, He will guide you and make up for your shortcomings. He will fill in the gaps, so to speak. As you are letting the Lord heal you, you are experiencing the atonement every moment of every day and can more effectively share that with those around you. You know what it´s like and can recognize what each of them needs to hear specifically to come unto Christ. You allow yourself to be closer to the Spirit and open to be guided by it.
There is a great danger in being in one area for so long. You get complacent and let the little important things fall through the cracks. It is a great danger of everyday life too. I am so excited that you want to start reading together in the scriptures as a family every day. I don´t think you realize how much family prayer and scripture study made a difference for me growing up. I would encourage you to make that one of your goals as a family. I have also learned that Preach My Gospel isn´t just for missionaries or for the mission. I exhort you with all my energy of soul to purchase one and apply the teachings inside. Do companionship inventory. Make goals. Have a schedule. Please know that it is with all the love of my heart that I ask these things of you. Every invitation I have given, going to the temple together, reading together, doing visiting and home teaching, etc. has been from the Lord. You can find all of these invitations in Preach My Gospel, Conference Talks, and Manuals. The changes that these things are making in this ward and in the lives of the people we teach are amazing. Preach My Gospel was written on the other side of the veil and has come forth at this time for us. The Book of Mormon has come forth at this time for us. The Lamanites and the Nephites did not have the Book of Mormon. It was compiled after their destructions. I encourage all to find these invitations from the Lord. I don´t want you to make the same mistakes I am making right now, by being complacent and letting the small things fall through the cracks. I have seen these blessings and want them for you too.
I love you all so much and will write soon.
Hermana Alvey

Monday, May 14, 2012

So yes, it is transfers and guess what!! I´m still in Vicente López with Hermana Milmont!! LOL I know that it´s a little unexpected, but I´m not surprised and interested to see what the Lord has in store. I have been here in Vicente López for almost 6 months (my entire mission) and by the end of this transfer I will have seven months. I do love this area and the people, though. There is a lot to do here and maybe we will even get bikes. That will help with the traveling. The buses aren´t always reliable and take a while, so bikes will make it easier to be on time and to have more appointments in the day.
So, I told you pretty much everything over Skype yesterday. It was great to see you all. I´m excited to find out where Anthony goes on his mission. It´s definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
We just dropped off Hermana Gonzalez who goes home tonight. It´s hard to send someone home. You have to say good bye and then it reminds you of when you leave. ^_^ I don´t really like it. We also went shopping a little bit and I did get some boots. It turned out to be pretty hot today. The weather has certainly been acting strange.
I´m really at a loss to talk about.  President Gulbrandsen encouraged us to give our mothers a special Mother´s Day present. Work this week for our mothers. Mom, I wanted to let you know that I thought of you all week as we worked with our investigators and you know what, we had the most lessons with member present than ever before. I do love you and I hope you know that. I know that this is the Lord´s work and He is letting us help Him in it. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and in our time now, President Thomas S. Monson is the prophet of God. I konw that the Book of Mormon is true and I learn more and more every day. This is a great and marvellous work and I am excited to be a part of it. You both have raised me well. Now is the time for me to best utilize what you have taught. I will make you all proud. I love our Heavenly Father and I am growing my relationship with Him every day. He loves you. He loves us all.
I love you all soooooo much. I will talk with you soon.
Hermana Alvey

Monday, May 7, 2012

So we received some amazing news this week. The temple open house will be the 25th of August 2012 until the rededication the 9 of September 2012. I am soooooo excited and hope that I get to go. President Gulbrandsen had a special reunion this last thursday and gave us the good news. I can´t wait. It´s in Buenos Aires West Mission so we shall see what happens. President Gulbrandsen gave us all a challenge; before the opening of the temple we will read the entire Book of Mormon in our own language from cover to cover. There is also another challenge. Using three different color colored pencils we highlight 1. Every reference of Jesus Christ (pronouns, names, etc) 2. Every reference to the Doctrine of Jesus Christ (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End) and 3. Every scripture that fortifies your testimony. We started Friday and I´m in page 40. I have learned so much in such a little time. As I write notes in the margins I receive personal revelation and insight that I had not had before. I receive even more as I go back and ponder on the things I higlighted. The meeting was very special. Not only did President talk about the temple, but also about obedience and sacrifice. Hermana Gulbrandsen spoke on Mother´s Day and that was such a touching talk. I left my notebook at home, but I took 5 pages of notes and wanted to take more. It was a wonderful experience. I will write it down and send it home, but I can tell you about Hermana Gulbrandsen´s talk. One of their sons died 9 years ago at the age of 21; 3 days before mother´s day and so this mother´s day was very special. Through her own personal experiences she learned that the greatest gift any of us can give our parents is our testimony.
Ok, so we set up everything for skype. I will be calling at 7:30pm our time which is 2:30pm your time. We will be at a North American´s house so hopefully all will go well. So turns out that this family that we are going to do skype with is from Hermana Milmont´s home ward. She grew up with the dad´s family. I can´t remember if I told you that or not. They are a great family. I am also excited to talk to you all and introduce Hermana Milmont to you all. She is amazing.
It actually warmed up again this week so it was hard to dress for the weather. In order to clarify, when I said that we were in tights and thermals, I meant that I was in tights and Hermana Milmont is in thermals. The weather is truly not being kind to us. In the mornings and the evenings you need a light jacket and during the day you need a sweater or no coat at all. Because it hasn´t been cold long enough, the mosquitos have not completely died. I do need to stop talking about them, though. I talk about them alot and you are probably sick of them. We were told that it doesn´t snow here up north, but a member of the ward told us that it snowed in Hawaii recently. I´m not taking the weather for granted; it will be bright and sunny in the morning and pouring rain by 5. I really do like it here, though. We have tile flooring in the entire apartment so it´s a little cold. We have a localized gas heater that is not functioning right now and our small electric heater can only do so much. I think that we are going to talk with the office elders about that. We have been using blankets for a little bit now and it´s sometimes hard to get up in the mornings because it´s so cozy. ^_^ We do, though, and work hard.
Transfers are this coming sunday and I don´t feel like I am leaving. I could be wrong, though. Hermana Milmont leaves in three transfers so one of us will most likely leave this next transfer. I only have one area, but because of the Centro de Visitantes en la Capilla, I have seen several different places: Tigre, Tortuguitas, Leon Suarez, Villa Adelina, Villa Baillester, Munro, San Fernando, and a couple more. Argentina really is beautiful.
We have started doing an exercise we call the Introduction with all of the members we come in contact with. It´s the Introduction of the Book of Mormon and it is how we help investigators know what the Book of Mormon is. I will have to show you some time, because I don´t think I can type it. We believe that we have received the vision. We are calling members and setting appointments 3 days in advance and utilizing the Introduction. We are really progressing and we have a long way to go. Change is a part of life and nothing can change ¨change.¨
One of the hardest things for me on the mission is that I cannot hold or pick up children or babies. I love them and when they are crying I want to hold them. That has been the hardest thing to change. I can still play with them and talk with them, but I will have to wait to hold them. There are several adorable children here too. I can only imagine what Alejandro looks like. I am learning a lot about myself from the children and I can´t help but see how the experiences earlier in life are helping me now and how what I am learning now will help me in my life to come. The examples are innumberable. I am using things from the young women´s manual, girl´s camp, family home evening, and so much more. I can see how everything I am learning on the mission is preparing me to be a good mother, wife, leader, and member of the church. You cannot take anything for granted when you are on the mission.
It´s getting late and we still have to go buy food. I love you all and will talk with you soon. (literally)
Hermana Alvey

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How is everything going? Things here are going pretty good. This last week, we went to a place called El Talar and did what´s called: Centro de Visitantes en la Capilla. You might remember it as Capilla Abierta. It was a lot of fun. El Talar is about an hour and a half away from Vicente López by train and bus. The whole ward helped out and they even had an extra tour of the chapel with all the different auxillaries. They had so much fun. There was one young man that the bishop brought in from the street named Ignacio. He is a young man that doesn´t have much religious background and is having a rough time right now. It was so hard to see him with his hopeless, lost expression. I knew that I needed to sit down and talk with him. We talked about the Gospel and how it can bless and change lives. It is such a wonderful experience when the Lord works through you. It truly is a priviledge to be on a mission. The Lord has given us this opportunity to help Him in the work. Everything went pretty good and we were able to get home on time (which we weren´t sure about).
We still haven´t had a baptism and two of our people with baptism dates we needed to drop because they have not been progressing for a while. President Gulbrandsen talked with us about letting go of our investigators when they aren´t progressing. We need to have the faith to do so, and we will be open to find the people who are already prepared to receive the Gospel. It´s tough, but I am growing a lot myself. I don´t know what I´m going to do when I need to leave Vicente López. I´ve been here my entire mission. I know I´ll be ok, though. There is always an adventure waiting out there for me, and people waiting to hear the Gospel.
So as you know, it´s getting cold here.  I have started using my heavy jacket and nylons. Thank you so much, again, for sending me them. The humidity really makes a difference. It feels like late fall in Logan, Utah here, but I know that it´s only because of the humidity. It´s just fall right now. We´ll see what the weather does soon. It rains a lot though, but because it´s so cold, there are no mosquitos. I am so very happy about that.
I don´t have long or heavy skirts, so I may need to look around for them. I have lost about 25 lbs now (healthy pounds) and some of my clothes are loose on me now. Hermana Milont is going to help me alter them. It´s not too dramatic, although, there is one skirt that is pretty close to falling off. I will need to get new shoes this next transfer. You know how much walking we do. I am also looking around for some simple gloves. I only have my snow gloves here and those are a little bulky for every day use. There isn´t a place here, really, like the stores at home. they are all ¨mom and pop¨ shops so you need to find a shop with the specific things you want.
I am also excited for Mother´s Day. It looks like we will be doing Skype at 7pm on sunday my time. Sunday seems to be the best day for everyone and I like it because it´s actually Mother´s Day. We don´t know who we will be with so we will have to let you know when the details are more secure.
I am so excited for Nick Hardy. He is going to like it here. It really is a beautiful place. He is in the West Mission right now. He will actually most likely meet my old bishop: Fernando Gomez Paz. Another person in our ward works at the MTC as a teacher. His name is Hugo Alvarez. If he sees them, please let him know to say hi. They are wonderful helpful people. It´s so awesome to hear about everyone. People leaving for missions, people coming home, others getting married, and others still having children. It is an odd feeling.
The ward is really moving forward with the missionary work and I hope that they keep moving forward. We have wonderful leaders and they are all excited about everything. Us as a companionship are getting better with teaching and helping people move towards baptism. We still have a lot to learn, but we have come a long way. She is a good cook by the way, she just doesn´t want people to know. We had Peruvian food at a member´s house this week and it was amazing. The people here are all really good cooks. I love this ward and the people in it. They try so hard and are so kind. I´m going to miss them. I don´ feel like I´m leaving though. Oh well, I´m not worried. There is too much to do each day. ^_^ I have been talking about recipes with people and realized that I don´t have nearly enough of my recipes from home. Did you ever find the recipe book on the computer or my memory stick. Which reminds me. We have portable DVD players and we can put a USB card in it and listen to the music that´s on the card. Just a thought. Well, we have to get to work. I never seem to be able to say everything I want to and we do internet for almost an hour. Oh, well. Just know that I love you so much and look forward to seeing you in two weeks.