Thursday, October 9, 2014

Watching Conference and a New area in Argentina

October 6, 2014

Dear Family,
We watched conference live!  I am glad to hear that you guys were able to watch it too.  I watched Saturday morning in Spanish, then afternoon session and priesthood session in English.  Sunday morning in Spanish, and afternoon in English.  I am definitely going to go through these talks again in the Liahona (Spanish Ensign).  I loved what President Monson said about the Bismarck Ship, that was a great talk.  

Well, it is good to hear that you are all doing well.  This Sunday we are really really fingers very crossed hoping to have 2 baptisms.  There is a nine year old daughter of a less active lady who is coming back to church, thanks to an awesome example set by the girl’s grandma who they live with.  Daniela`s uncle will come down from Santiago to baptize her, and in a few months the mother will move with her 2 kids to of all places ONTARIO CANADA.  She told us about going to Tim Horton’s donuts while visiting Canada.  She is getting married to an active Canadian man who served a mission in Chile 20 years ago, who later got divorced.  We hope the family can really stay active with her new father, because her last father went to the airport and took a plane to who knows where, never came back.  We are going to put the mom in the preparation for the temple class. 

Also, we are teaching Daniel.  We had been teaching him for a while, and actually took our focus off him since he was going to church with his wife who got baptized about 6 months ago, but he didn’t seem interested in really progressing in the near future.  He had expressed that he wanted to be baptized, but always wants to learn more and more and didn’t want to accept a specific date.  However, we had invited him several weeks ago to be baptized on the 4th of October.  We have invited him several times and he has never accepted a date.  An active returned missionary who works with him took him home from work, and as they drove Daniel said that he wanted to be baptized on the 4th.  We found that out, and were shocked.  The next visit we found out that he had been reading a lot from the Book of Mormon and the pamphlets and he wants to do it now.  We put a fecha (made a date) for the 12th because there wasn’t time to organize an interview, or to finish teaching him.  We are going to pass by today to teach the commandments.  Please pray that he can be accepting of tithing.  He has a car, motorcycle, a home in a nice neighborhood and a nice home in the country with land, and has 2 kids going to college.  Please pray that Daniel and Daniela can be baptized on the 12th.  

I have to go!  I love you all 9999999999999999999999 times 9999999999999999999999!
Elder Withers


Dear Family,
I am entering into the last 12 weeks of my mission........and I am getting transferred!  These last two transfers I will spend training a new missionary and whitewashing in Santa Fe, in a city called Galvez.  Whitewashing means that both missionaries who were previously there are going somewhere else, and they are sending me and my new companion who won’t know anything to an area where I don’t know anything either.  I will go pick up my new companion from the mission office tomorrow, we will get on a bus headed for Galvez (once I figure out the bus that takes us there, I will have to learn that first) and then once we get there we are going to call a taxi to take us to our apartment because I don’t know where it is... and then we get started!  The only thing I am going to be given are the keys to the apartment and the address of the place, and I am hoping and praying that there is a nicely organized and beautiful area book waiting for us with updated phone numbers and the address of the chapel and so on.  And if there isn’t, well then let the excitement begin!  We are going to buy some maps and learn our way around together.

I know absolutely nothing about my new area....I don’t even know where it is on the map.  All I know is how to get on the bus that can take me there.  I don’t know if there is a ward or a branch or if it’s big or little, safe or dangerous, I have no idea.  It would be one thing to do a whitewash with another missionary who has been in the field for a few months, still hard but we would manage just fine.  But whitewashing and training is going to be a nice adventure.  I am going to put to work all that I have learned about using maps and learning my way around, because I don’t have any time in this area with another missionary to show me the ropes of the place.  And also practice lots of patience as I help my new companion adjust to Argentina.  (You would be pleased to know Dad that I know north and east and so on!)  We are going to take lots of deep breaths and do our very best, getting to know the people and the area, but also remain calm.  When we get lost (because it’s probably going to happen) we are going to be fine, look at the map again...and keep going.  

I really am excited for these next two transfers, the first few weeks are going to be nice and long, but the time seems to fly by quickly anyway.  The transfers always go by fast.  

This last week was terrific.  We have seen lots of miracles in the people we are teaching and lots of progress has been made.  And the treat for the week, was of course General Conference.  And for the first time in my whole mission.....I was able to watch it in English!  Thank goodness that there is another American sister in the zone so that we could be in the room together with the Elders watching it on the TV in English.  I watched 2 of the sessions in Spanish anyway just because I could and the screen was lots bigger, but I have to say......listening to conference in your native language is incredible.  There is something about it that lets the spirit testify to you very powerfully.  Not that I didn’t understand it in Spanish, because I did.....but listening to it in your native language is awesome and incredibly powerful.  Which explains why they have started making some of the talks be spoken in other languages....so that all can have the opportunity to hear it in their native language!  It was a cool.  I thought of you guys while you were watching conference, and it always makes the world seem so much smaller.  I know that we were listening to the exact same messages at the exact same time, and I loved that.  I loved all the messages....I really loved all of them.  But 2 of my favorites were from Elder Ballard and Elder Bednar.  All we have to do is stay in the boat, and the reason we share the gospel isn’t because we are trying to increase our numbers... it’s because it really has a healing effect, and people need the truth.  I am excited to re-read all of the talks in the coming months.  (I love the talks....I listen to the pen drive you sent me with all the talks every morning, about 2 talks per day...it’s awesome!)

The week really was a great one and another one is coming with lots of new things waiting.  Thanks for your letters, I love them all lots.  I wish I could respond to each one more personally with more time and a more thought out response, but time doesn’t permit it........so the best I can do is say thanks a million gabajillion!  I look forward to writing you each week.  Today we are going to spend in Rosario, eating lunch at a cool downtown city restaurant, and then going to the flag monument with Hermana Gonzalez before I go (she was so adamant in going today, that I gave in....ha I started packing 2 days ago to be able to make it all work!)  Today we play, I am all packed and ready to go.....and tomorrow I begin a new adventure!  

Have a great week!  I love you more than number tootsie rolls you would have to line up to make a tunnel connecting Argentina and Chile and Boise!

Hermana Withers



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