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)