Wednesday, February 27, 2013

homemade empanadas

This Saturday we learned how to make homemade empanadas.  I had never made the [tapas[, or shells before.  It was a lot of fun!   

We probably see about 10 horses out in the fields every day, loose or tied.  It{s nice to see that people trust each other and can leave their horses where they please, while I try not to daydream about jumping on one and taking off to the river{s shores... sigh....

***Hillary's birthday is this coming Friday...well kind of!!  LOL!!  She is a Leap Year baby, so she doesn't really have an official birthday for another three years!!  Leave her a Happy Birthday comment here and it will be sent to her!!!!   :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Stepping Stones

Hello my dear loved ones!  I don´t have a lot of time today, but I couldn´t pass up another week without giving you a little update on this wonderful work here in Santa Elena. 

We missionaries were pretty stoked when we saw the list of interviews our mission president held with our members here on Saturday.  There are 8 members who will be receiving their endowments, and 3 families are being sealed!!!  Also, we have a fresh return missionary who is a CAPO and one YSA who received her mission call to Bahía Blanca!  We are waiting for two more youth to receive their callings.  I am a witness of the movement of so many families progressing further in the gospel, and it is pretty beautiful.  I think of where these families were at six months ago when I came here, and there is a significant evidence that they had been moving forward, taking little steps forward... which may not appear noticeable to the outside world.  Steps like receiving callings, staying for the full three hours of church, starting habit of weekly family home evening, children being baptized, serving more, sacrificing more, loving more, and feeling more.  My companion said, ¨Just think of how happy our Heavenly Father is.  He is celebrating right now with us!¨  I don´t know if he was dancing around like I was in the apartment, but I know he is happy.  : ) 

It´s a common thing for the younger missionaries to tease the ¨dying¨ missionaries with how much time they have left... and all I can say is that I am alive as ever and when they remind me of the time that´s ticking, I just use it to remind myself to take advantage of every day.  I have never had so much more understanding of the meaning and importance of enduring to the end, and never before hae I seen such little clever temptations from the adversary to do otherwise.  Believe it or not, the adversary is constantly around the corner from us missionaries, looking for little ways to make us trip up.... your prayers and thoughts and letters are SO helpful.  I can feel your support and love, of which I am very grateful. 

Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine´s Day!  Love you all 

xoxo hermana miller 

Monday, February 4, 2013

perserve until the end

¿Qué inspiración, no?

Did you know?  In spanish, ¨Endure to the end¨ is ¨peseverar hasta el fin¨, which I perfer.  

Let´s persevere until the end!  (The trick is, there really is no end... wooaaah, didn´t think of that before, did ya?)

Hello!  Here are some photos of the last two weeks.  

Last Monday the elders and two hermanos from the rama helped clear out our back yard.  The Elders also moved our fridge from the living room where it was hooked up for a few days... and today Hermano Caceres and another hermano are working on replacing wires that connect our electricity to the box outside... it´s been quite the adventure with our electricity.  I will save the details for later.  

This week we ended up stopping by the Artigas family (the hermano whom we taught how to conduct and teach a family home evening) and he happened to be making homemade bread!!  He was a baker back in the day.. so I luckily had my camera and filmed and took some photos of the process!  They are so great.  I love watching them work as a team.  

I am making bon o bons, and we have this huge pumpking/squash that a member gave us that I use as a grinder to crush the cookies into powder. Then we mix in butter and dulce to leche and roll the mix into balls.  Us hermana misioneras in the mission call them baptism bon bons, and we always make them for baptisms (the elders had 3 baptisms on Saturday).

Sunday, February 3, 2013

lasting impressions

Wow, this past week passed by way too fast.  I can´t believe we are almost in February.  I have a lot of mixed emotions about my time left in the mission... 

So we are finding more people that are SO ready to live the gospel!  My favorite experience this week was when we went to a neighborhood where recently we haven´t been finding people at home, but my companion Hermana Flack felt we should stop by just in case and contact the homes where I didn´t find people previously with my last comp.  Well, there just happened to be a little lady outside a house I hadn´t contacted sweeping the sidewalk, and she immediately let us come in (score!) And to our surprise her husband and daughter who were already in the side patio rushed inside to grab more chairs.... LDS CHURCH chairs!!  ?!?!  We didn´t say anything, but I was dying to know how the heck they had the same chairs that are found in all of our churches here.  Turns out the father works in construction and worked on one of our chapels in Cordoba, and his employer had extra chairs that were discarded due to rips in the leather, so all over Argentina there are dozens of church chairs in non member family homes!  Sweet!  The father told us that he learned a lot about our beliefs and is very grateful for the help and love the members gave him and his family.  Because of the good impression these members left on this family, we were easily invited into this home and saw a great need in their eyes to learn more about the Book of Mormon and how the gospel blesses families! 

Favorite experience No 2: On Tuesday a man stopped us in the street ¨Hey, are you from the Church of the... M...Mmmm ?¨ ¨Mormónes?¨ I said, and he said his friend in Paraná (the capital of EntreRios, about 3 hours from us) suggested he find the mormon missionaries because they could help him.  His friend and co-worker is a member (actually someone that Hermana Flack knows from her last area!) and introduced him to some principles of the gospel, and he was just coming from our church in search for us. ¨I have passed by two times and it always seems to be closed!¨  haha, I am very glad we found him in the street.  We have taught him twice already and he wants to be baptized!  Holy moly batman.  I know that his friend was inspired to show him how Heavenly Father´s plan is for all of us, and his friend gets bonus points for already having given him a Book of Mormon and some pamphlets.  

Now I see on the flip side of the connection between a member helping a friend and being lead to the missionaries.  As members when we are not full time missionaries, the Lord is waiting to give us opportunities to help our friends find the right path to eternal happiness, but it depends on us to start the conversation, be aware, and honestly not over think it.. The power of a simple invitation and leaving a good impression on our acquaintances and friends, as you can see by these examples, is very powerful.  I hope I can remember this after I am no longer wearing my name tag everyday (tear : ( ) and can simply invite more of my friends not of my faith to know more about what makes me so eternally happy.  

p.s.  I just read what I wrote and my wording is strange, forgive me, I don´t know how to fix it except to start typing in spanish!  HA! 

Que tenga una buena semana.  Les quiero mucho, y siempre acuérdense que son instrumentos en las manos del Señor, si lo permiten.  (I hope you have a good week!  I love you all a lot, and always remember that you are instruments in the Lord´s hands, if you permit it.)

xoxo hermana miller