Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 42

Palm Trees
4 year old model

w/ Gloria and her son Luis (he had his 1st birthday this past week!) 

Center of  Horqueta
district post-meeting lunch (/with one of our zone leaders who is finishing his mission this change #RIP, and The Cranney's who are one of only 2 senior couples in the mission)

W/ the Estigarribias

when your desk explodes (also, you´ll be proud to know this is my comp´s desk, not mine. I´ve actually gotten a decent amount more organized this past change.)
From last week's outing and one of the elder's cameras
Hermana Lundgren and Hermana Ross 
From the top of last week's hike

Dearest family,

It´s been a good week. Kinda "uneventful," but pretty productive overall. This week has been a typically-unfortunate mix of burning sun and pouring rain #dathumiditylyfe, and I have been legit soaked at the end of every day as a result of one of those two weather occurrences. I´m 105% never living in any type of super heated climate ever ever again after the mission. Alright, sorry for how straight up stream-of-consciousness this is getting. 

This week my comp and I set some pretty dang high contacting goals on account of we both really just wanted to have at least a week in our mission where we really did try to talk to pretty much everybody we saw. Technically that´s always the goal as a missionary, but turns out it´s actually V hard to do because sometimes we actually do have scheduled things to do... But anyway, we talked to so many people this week and ended up breaking all previously standing records for the area #winning
 #butit´snotaboutthenumbers. It was a good time though.

Things are 2 good with my comp. We are livin it up and having a great time. I actually had one of the best conversations with her in my whole mission this past week one day. We were out contacting after lunch, but legit NO ONE was out on account of that siesta life and also cause it was so hot. So we are walking around futilely and are just not having it. So we walk past the plaza area in the center of Horqueta and are like, "yeah, we´re just gonna sit here for a minute." So we sit on this wall thing in the shade and talk about interpersonal vs group social dynamics in relation to leadership. It got real deep and the spirit actually helped me internalize some psychological concepts that I´d only understood on a more surface level before. V interesting. I wish I knew how to make a career out of having conversations like that lolz.

In other news we have a new investigator who is actually a family member of the Estigarribias! She was living up by Brazil before, but just moved down to live with her family. So that´s looking V promising and is yet one of 1000 reasons more why I don´t want transfers. Gosh, that´s actually happening tomorrow, btdubs. I´m so nervous about it that I almost can´t really think about it. Well, nervous isn´t the right word, but just like slightly anxious? Are those synonyms? The point is just that if I get changed it´s gonna be a hard adjustment #thewillofGod

Other funny thing that´s gone down this week is that we had two different grilled-cheese parties (well, they were actually just lunches, but on the mission normal events get called "parties," cause we don´t have the real kind.) And anyway, both times I got put as the official cook because of how experienced I am with my grilled cheese skillz. And I kid you not, everyone was talking up my sandwiches so hard and I actually felt really proud. Turns out I don´t have absolutely no mothering skills after all ;) #wifeskillz #lyfeskillz

ALSO, I´ve been eating up the conference Liahona, so obvs I´d like to share one of my favorite parts of one of my favorite talks. I would really recommend reading the whole thing. ( But for now, here´s a semi-lengthy quote I really like:

"Although avoidance of sin is the preferred pattern in life, as far as the efficacy of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is concerned, it matters not what sins we have committed or how deep we have sunk into that proverbial pit. It matters not that we are ashamed or embarrassed because of the sins that, as the prophet Nephi said, “so easily beset” us. It matters not that once upon a time we traded our birthright for a mess of pottage.

What does matter is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, suffered “pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind” so “that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people.” What does matter is that He was willing to condescend, to come to this earth and descend “below all things” and suffer “more powerful contradictions than any man” ever could. What does matter is that Christ is pleading our case before the Father, “saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; … wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.” That is what really matters and what should give all of us renewed hope and a determination to try one more time, because He has not forgotten us.

I testify that the Savior will never turn away from us when we humbly seek Him in order to repent; will never consider us to be a lost cause; will never say, “Oh no, not you again”; will never reject us because of a failure to understand how hard it is to avoid sin. He understands it all perfectly, including the sense of sorrow, shame, and frustration that is the inevitable consequence of sin.

Repentance is real and it works. It is not a fictional experience or the product “of a frenzied mind.” It has the power to lift burdens and replace them with hope. It can lead to a mighty change of heart that results in our having “no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.” Repentance, of necessity, is not easy. Things of eternal significance rarely are. But the result is worth it. As President Boyd K. Packer testified in his last address to the Seventy of the Church: “The thought is this: the Atonement leaves no tracks, no traces. What it fixes is fixed. … The Atonement leaves no traces, no tracks. It just heals, and what it heals stays healed.”"

Honestly I´ve learned a freaking ton about repentance on the mission. Which is funny, because technically I´m living life on the highest plane I ever have. But even still, I am so far from perfect. Like I have weaknesses as a person and even more as a missionary, but repentance is so real. And it´s for everyone in every circumstance. And Heavenly Father just takes you where you are and works with you from there. You don´t have to repent in order to be worthy to repent. God always listens to our prayers and always wants to help us. And to me, that´s pretty much the definition of hope. God is in the details of our lives!

Ight, love you dearly!!! Have a gr8 pre-Christmas week and bake extra Christmas cookies in honor of me *single tear*

Hermana Ross

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