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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December 2, 2013

This week was super fast.  I can´t believe how the time is flying.  I feel like every day, week, or transfer is shorter than the one before.  And now this week we have transfers again!  This transfer determines if I´ll be in Junín for Christmas or not.  Also, if I stay, that means 6 MONTHS (1/3 of the mission) in my little city.
So you all know, the mail system is not working here in Argentina, for all that I know.  We passed by the post office today and it was closed with the workers protesting outside.  Sooooo.... maybe hold off on all those Christmas letters I KNOW you´re all writing me.

This week the other sisters here in Junín had a baptism of one of the funniest little old men I know.  I ended up singing a solo and giving a talk for the baptism.  Oh, the joys of being in a little branch.
We have a super great investigator right now, Ana Maria.  She loves to pray and to read and go to  church.  It´s spectacular.  She´s even introducing us to her friends.  Super tierna.  Yesterday we were visiting her and her friend, and we asked her who she wanted to say the prayer.  She said she would do it.  Upon leaving, I said that we wanted to say another prayer.  I briefly looked at her and she said, "Siempre Ana Maria...." and then started to pray before we could actually invite anyone to give the prayer.  My companion and I had to stifle our laughter.
Things are well.  I hope everyone is staying warm while I´m dying of heatstroke.
Hermana Walton

P.S.  I found more street art from Acción Poetica.  My companion makes fun of me because I get really excited every time I find one.

They say:
1. "With closed eyes and awakened dreams."


November 25, 2013

A WEEK OF MIRACLES.  But seriously.  We had a great week.  We had three investigators come to church, which is the most we´ve seen since General Conference!  And one of those investigators was Rocio!  Woo hoo!  Next week she´s going to be confirmed with the Holy Ghost with her daughter, Karina.  It´s been quite the journey with the two of them, but I am so happy that they will be able to take that step and understand the importance of it.
This week is Thanksgiving, so I want to give a few thanks (Even though I´m not in my own country to celebrate it):
1.  I´m thankful for my family.  It doesn´t matter how cliche that appears, it´s true.  I love you and am so grateful for all the support  that I´ve received from you over these last 8 months.  I know that it hasn´t been an easy time for anyone, but your constant support and love is invaluable (that´s the right word, right?)
2.  I´m thankful for my mission... la mejor misión de todo el mundo (sé que eso es verdadero porque mi presidente de misión me dijo, y el no puede mentir .)  But seriously.  I love being a missionary, and like I mentioned earlier, I´ve seen so many miracles.
3.  I´m thankful for change.  Although change can be a challenge, it´s a blessing that God trusts us enough to put us in new circumstances to help us grow.  It doesn´t matter if it´s difficult.  Every change that we have is an opportunity to learn.
4.  I´m grateful for my branch, Junín.  This week we saw more involvement with the members in our efforts, and that´s incredible.  The members are absolutely indispensible in this work.  (A special thank you to Francisco, the greatest branch missionary ever, who also happened to give lemons and eggs from his garden/farm to two starving sister missionaries this week!)  Shout out  to all you who are working hard to help the missionaries in your area.
This has been a little bit random and frantic, but these last few weeks I´ve been thinking a lot about gratitude, and I believe that I´ve grown to be more grateful for everything I have.... even the challenges, I´m learning to be grateful for.  I hope everyone can have that same spirit of gratitude this week.  I love you all!

Hermana Walton

P.S.  Enjoy this picture of my Argentine companion, Hermana Medeyro, and I with a flag that a recent convert, Ruben, gave me.

November 18, 2013

So this week was crazy.  But despite every challenge we´ve had this week, I´ve seen miracles.

We went to Ramos Mejia this weekend to listen to Elder Holland.  It was absolutely incredible.  He reminded us why we are here and what we should be doing.  He said that the most important thign is who we are are that we work hard to live up to the potential that we have, that we will never reach, because it´s way greater than we could ever understand.  And if we do that, and become who the Lord wants us to be, we are going to see miracles.  We are going to love our missions, every minute of it, the good and the bad.  I´ve come to learn that that´s true, and am learning to love every experience, because everything we do is a chance to grow and become who God wants me to be, and even more so, help other people to feel His love in their lives and make the changes necessary to receive the blessings that are awaiting them.

Yesterday I got the chance to do divisions with one of the sisters in my branch, Sister Cortes.  We were short one sister missionary (temporarily we were in a trio, but we decided to divide and conquer, in order to visit more people), so Sister Cortes came out with us.  She never served a mission, but is super great and powerful.  We only had one lesson, but it was incredible to see what an impact the members can have when they help the missionaries. And she was such a good sport about riding a bicycle all over Junin with me.

This week was full of a thousand other stories, but that´s all I´ve got time to tell for now.  Maybe one day we´ll sit down together and I´ll read you all of the miracles I have written in my journal.

I love the mission.

Hermana Walton

November 11, 2013

Hermana Medeyro, Hermana Cleveland, and I in bicis!  (Yes, we always wear helmets, and yes, everyone comments on them.)

Wow, it´s already mid-November.  What happens with the time?
This week was sort of a crazy one.  It´s interesting how the more time I have in the mission, the the faster it seems to go by.  It feels like there is a new pressure to the work every day and we are running from place to place trying to do everything we need to do.  Wooo, the mission life.  (It also doesn´t help too much that we have an hour less time to work everyday because of our time for training every day.  But it´s worth it to help out mi hija!)
I´m sad to say that Rocio and Karina still were not able to come to church this Sunday for their confirmation and I´m afraid now that they´ve lost their opportunity.  I don´t know what´s going to happen with them, which breaks my heart because I really do love them a lot.  Their situation is a little bit complicated right now, but we´re still trying to visit them this week to see what happens.
Even though that was a bit difficult, we have something really great coming our way this week!  Like, SUPER GREAT. Our zone leaders told us today that the ENTIRE mission is going to travel to Ramos Mejia on Saturday, because ELDER HOLLAND is going to come and speak to us!  Wooooo!  We´re all super jazzed about that and I´m sure that will help us feel more motivated and deepen our understanding of how we can be better missionaries.
I think that´s about it for what I have to say this week, but I hope everyone is well.  I send my love.
Hermana Walton

November 4, 2013

Okay, so this week I´m a little bit really super sad, because Rocio and Karina still haven´t been confirmed after their baptism and I´m not sure if they are going to be.  They haven´t been answering our calls or coming to the door when we pass by to visit them and didn´t come to church yesterday.  I´m really sad to see that happen, but we´re trying hard to keep our heads held high and recognize that there are other people for us to help and there are people waiting to hear the glad message that we have to share, so hopefully this week will go better.
This week we had a special training meeting just for the sisters in the mission, which was super great. We spent all day Thursday in Ramos Mejia (yes, we made a total of four 5-hour bus rides in one week. ugh.) for the meeting, and it was all of the sisters and basically it was like one big party.  Okay, and also we learned lots of important things, but it was so fun to see all of my favorite sisters again (okay, other than the two that are ACTUALLY my sisters.... sorry, Rihanna and Macalla).  by the end of the day we left with a new feeling that, although we´re young in the mission and don´t have a lot of experience, we can do this. If we´re diligent and obedient, and patient, too, we´re going to be able to see miracles.  So that´s exactly what we plan on doing here.
Other than that, this week came and went super fast.  I hope everyone else is enjoying their week, and a special shout-out to my dear Hermana Cindy Lusk, who entered the MTC last week, as well as Elder Parker Stockford, who heads out this week!  (Suerte!)  And also, a great bienvenidos (welcome home) to Elder Andrew Luke, who came home this week!  Way to finish strong.  The work certainly continues on!
I send my love,
Hermana Lauren Jane Walton
P.S.  The pictures:
First, my lovely companions and I from Junin (with Hermana De Leon before she left)
Second, several of the sisters with whom I began the mission!... and then some.  Great people.

Octobere 29, 2013

We had transfers yesterday!  I´m still here in Junin!  I still love Junin, but I feel like I know my area super well now and am coming close to having knocked all of the doors.  But we´ll keep on working.  I have a new companion here, Hermana Medeyra, from Argentina.  YES, my first Argentinian companion!  She´s actually waiting for her visa for Venezuela, but the visa for there is super hard, so it might be a very long time that she´s here.  This is her second transfer in the mission, so I´ll be finishing up the 12-week training program with her.  It´s so strange because it doesn´t feel like all that long ago that I was receiving the 12-week program for myself. I feel like it will be a good refresher.
I can hardly believe that I´m now directing my area and training.  It feels like a lot of new responsibility, and I would be lying if I said I wasn´t at least a little bit nervous, but I know I can´t do it alone... I have to trust that the Lord is going to provide a way for me to do everything that is necessary.
Other than that, we had a baptism last weekend!  My last weekend with Hermana De Leon and Rocio and Karina finally got baptized!  It was a beautiful service, and two other investigators (Daniel and Candela) of the Elders got baptized.  It was very lovely.  But Rocio and Karina missed church on Sunday, so their confirmation will be this week.

Anyways, I´ve got to wrap this up, but I hope everyone is well!  I send my love.  Until next week,
Hermana Walton

October 21, 2013

Hello, family and friends!
First of all, I know you´re all dying to know about the baptism that we had this weekend.  Welllllll, we didn´t have one.  I´m sorry to say that it fell through, because Rocio´s 2 month old baby, Ian, is sick.  He was hospitalized Friday night and they still haven´t found out what the problem is.  We´re praying really hard that he´s going to get better this week, and that Rocio and Karina can have their baptism this weekend. 
This week should be transfers, but due to some scheduling things, it´s going to be next Monday, so Hermana De Leon and I have a week more together here in Junin!  It´s not very likely that we´ll pass another transfer together, but we´ll see what happens next week.
This Sunday was Mother´s Day here in Argentina.  Did you know that it´s different for different parts of the world?  Fun fact.  So Hermana De Leon and I made cards for all of the wonderful women with whom we visit and in our little branch, and gave them alfajores.... GRANDOTES.  They´re the second best type of alfajores, but we couldn´t find my personal favorite- Jorgelin- so we went with those.  But a shout out to my lovely mother... hope you unconciously enjoyed your Mother´s day!  Love you!
Other than that, this week the heat really started to hit.  We´ve been sweating like crazy on our bicycles.... so Hermana De Leon and I went shopping today for new clothes to better adapt to the heat. 
Anyways, I hope you´re all well!  Have a great week!

Hermana Walton