Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Independence Day

Today is Arentina´s Independence Day, and we just saw a whole procession of gauchos (cowboys) on horses march by the ciber (internet cafĂ©) so we jumped out and took photos.  Unfortunately right now it´s a bit of an inconvenience for me to post photos right now... so I will have to send them next week. 
But I´ll tell you a bit what we did to celebrate the Fourth of July!
Hermana Green and I made an apple pie and surprised the other hermanas and the elders in our district at our district meeting.
We sang the national anthem as our opening hymn for the district meeting and two other elders from another district heard us and walked into our room laughing (they are from Argentina and Chile, one knows more English than the other) and asked if that was our national anthem.  Yes, we yelled ¨play ball!¨ at the end. They were still waiting for their district leader to come to the chapel so we let them stay and listen to my spiritual thought.  It was patriotic themed, don´t worry.  Ether 2:12 talks about the Americas being a promised land, a place where the Lord will protect all who come and live in righteousness.  I added that it included South America too : )
We wore red white and blue on the third at our meeting and the fourth.
The hermanas surprised us when we went to their apartment!  We knocked on the door and I could see that the lights were off except for a little dim glow, and it was really quiet.  When they opened the door all of a sudden we heard Whitney Houston belting the National Anthem and saw dollar bills taped to the walls, a hand drawn American flag, and a little chocolate cake with tinsel around it and a huge candle glowng on top. It was fun to sing to Whitney and feel patriotic in our own way!
Last night we attended a very special event.  President Giuliani dedicated a new chapel in our district!! It is absolutely beautiful and it was really special to hear older members tell us how much the Church has grown here in the last few decades.  There is a sweet hermana in our branch who lives next door to us, Hermana Mesquita.  She told us that when she was growing up here they held church in a little home they rented out, and that she was the first missionary to serve from Venado Tuerto!  Wow!  And her husband was a branch president, and she´s had two children serve missions, the youngest will definitely serve too, and right now the district has four missionaries in the field!!  Happy day.
We are part of the growth of the Church!!  And when I say we, I am not only referring to us missionaries and the members here.  It includes you too!!  Think of all the promises the Lord has blessed us with to be able to live in a land of religious freedom, in the last days when we know the gospel will reach all four corners of the Earth!  The Lord preserved us, this generation, to be sent here to Earth at this time because He knew we would be strong enough to stand the temptation of the world, to arise and shine forth as a standard to the nations!   
I love that we can be patriotic for our countries and for our beliefs.  Oh happy day : )

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hello!! Can you believe that it is already July?!  

Last Monday was Hermana Green´s birthday.  We spent the afternoon eating cake with a great family that is investigating the church, and luckily they are just as camera happy as we are, so we had some fun in the park together with our pictures.  In the evening we taught, I mean Hermana Green taught a family how to make and toss pizzas like a professional!  This girl is full of talent... she worked at the Little Italy restaurant in Sandy Utah making pizzas!  It was fun to watch the little boys make the pizzas together.  This family is starting to do family home evenings every week, and the father is starting to read the book of mormon : ) 

I am loving the people more and more here, and I can´t think of what it will be like when I will finally have to leave.  I hope I have a handful more of months here, because I love seeing the little yet so significant steps of progress in their lives.  We have a new branch president as of yesterday, and there is a buzz of excitement in the air.  Even before this change there have been more meetings and collaboration, more fellowshipping and participation in the missionary work.  I love it!!  It´s helped me make goals for how I want to be a better member after the mission.  The new branch president said ¨without service the Church cannot grow¨ and it is so true.  I feel how great a privilege it is to have the Lord consider me as one of his servants to share this beautiful message here in Argentina.  I have been so touched by these members´ dedication, love, and sacrifice for the gospel and their church.  I am excited to see how their lives will progress!  

I hope you are all progressing too : )  I hope you are all doing well and can take a moment to stop and look for evidence of the Lord´s hand in your lives. 

Love you all!  

xoxo hermana hillmill