Hermana Leavitt's Adress

Argentina Pouch:
Argentina Buenos Aires West Mission
50 E. North Temple
PO Box 30150
Salt Lake city, UT 84130-0150

Hermana Elise Leavitt
Argentina Buenos Aires West Mission
Ballesteros 1076
1706 Haedo
Buenos Aires
(Check buenosaireswest.blogspot.com for specifics on packages; it's a little tricky!)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Monday, September 9, 2013

How Beautiful are the Streets of Buenos Aires!

Easily one of the most glorious weeks of my life, along with a wave of different emotions as this incredible, sacred chapter in my life comes to a close.  I suprised myself by not crying all week, and then I got into the email, started reading Mom's email, and oh boy, I think for the first time it's started sinking in. The tears are definitely flowing. :)

But don't worry about me dear fam.  Heavenly Father truly protects and cares for His missionaries up until the very last moment, and He hasn't abandoned me once.  At this moment, the two feelings that fill my heart to overflowing are gratitude and happiness, as I explained in my letter to President.

"Hi President!

It has been an incredibly fullfilling week.  I honestly cannot fully describe my gratitude to you and to my Heavenly Father for having sent me here to Moron 1, because it has been one of the most sacred, rewarding experiences I have ever had.  As I have told you many times in my letters, I came to Moron 1 with a very strong impression that there were many people waiting for us here, and we prayed every morning and night that we would be guided to them.  As we worked as a true team with the members, Heavenly Father answered our prayers and guided us to people who were waiting for the healing power of the the Atonement.  

One of the most obvious examples of one of those people is Alberto, our dear friend who got baptized this past Saturday.  After 30 years of prayers on the part of his daughter and family who are members, he had become a "forgotten investigator" who was just waiting to be found by us. By crazy circumstances that I know were not coincidence, we met and began teaching Alberto.  It wasn't an easy process, and he hard-headedly refused to take that step of baptism, regardless of knowing that it is what Heavenly Father required of him.  As I told you last week, the converting power of the Holy Ghost was able to take effect in Alberto's heart  when we focused in on his Savior and the Atonement.  It was evidence to me that Heavenly Father truly knows His children and knows exactly what they need.  Alberto is an incredibly devoted and worthy convert, and it was a very special experience watching him get baptized and confirmed.  My heart was so full of joy, that I felt like it was going to burst!  And I know that we can only access that kind of real, uncontainable joy when we are doing the work of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. 

If there are two words that could describe how I feel right now, it would be grateful and happy.  So incredibly grateful for the sacred opportunity to be a missionary, to be a tool in the hands of Heavenly Father to help Him reach out in love to His precious children.  I will forever remember the counsel that you gave me in an interview when you told me that in order to feel the influence of the Spirit more in lessons, I had to forget myself look at the person sitting in front of me as the Savior looks at them, to love them the way He would love them, and to have trust in Him that He would put into my mind and heart the things that he wanted that person to hear and feel. I have never forgotten that, and in the many lessons that followed have tried to apply that.  It changed my mission, changed the way I felt about these incredible people here, and I honestly believe that it played a role in helping some of those people get baptized.  

Hermana Neira is ready and excited for whatever may come her way.  I almost jumped for joy the other day when she looked at me and said, "Hermana, what you said is true.  Obedience brings success, but exact obedience brings miracles. We've seen miracles this transfer."  She has truly learned those first 3 basic principles well, and I'm so excited to see what great things she and her new companion do here in Moron.  

Thank you so much for everything President. 


Hermana Leavitt"

I took the easy way out in sending you that because I spent all my email time sending baptismal forms and have no time.  But I would rather be sending baptismal forms my last P day than anything else. :)

To wrap things up, I wanted to share something that I learned this week in my personal study.  I was reading in the Book of Mormon in Mosiah 18 when the people of Alma all get baptized and learn about the gospel as they hide away in secret forests by beautiful streams. In describing those places, the river where they were baptized, the forest where they learned of the gospel, it says, 

". . . how beautiful they are in the eyes of those who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer."

I thought about the hundreds of scruffy little homes I have entered into to teach the gospel, the dirty streets I have walked, talking with people and inviting everyone to listen to my message, the chapels where I have joyfully watched investigators walk into church as well as come out of the changing room dressed in white.  And I reallized just why those simple, seemingly uninteresting places are so very sacred to me.  Because it was in this place and with these incredible people that I truly came to know that Jesus Christ is my Redeemer and theirs and that He loves us infinitely. 

I love this gospel, I love being a missionary, and I love working alongside the greatest friend and example in the world, Jesus Christ.  

I can't wait to see you all!  Try not to attract TOO much attention in the airport.  :)   Love you all sooooo very much!  

All the love in the world,  

Hermana Leavitt

Monday, September 2, 2013

I'll Find You My Friend

So to start things off, I have to introduce you to . . . . Alberto.  Alberto is 88 years old, and despite his years is still a very tall handsome Argentine. :)  He has worked in almost every occupation imaginable, starting in a bakery when he was 7 years old. He takes complete care of himself, has a perfect, clean little house and garden outside with lemon trees and Jasmine bushes that he cares for. He spends his time reading and cooking up amazing concoctions that he insists on feeding us. He's something straight out of a fairytale movie. Alberto is the most loving, kind hearted man I think I have ever met, and in the very first moment that we met him, loved us as his own daughters and opened up his heart to us. He has known the church for more than thirty years but still isn't a member.  He's read the Book of Mormon many times, as well as Jesus the Christ, institute manuals, and any other LDS literature he can get his hands on.  He has a better understanding of our doctrine than alot of us members!  So you may be wondering, "So why isn't he a member!" Here's his story.  

We met Alberto one day when we went to buy some juice and were sitting down to take a rest on a warm afternoon about two weeks ago.  He was with his daughter who is a very active member of the church from a different ward, and when she saw us she got all excited and stopped to talk with us.  Her daughter, Alberto's granddaughter is serving a mission in Rosario.  We met Alberto, wrote down his address and went to visit him a few days later.  From that moment on, we loved Alberto with all our hearts.  We had lesson after lesson, always with the same question, "So Alberto, why haven't you gotten baptized?" He showed us all his books, including his Book of Mormon from 1975 that his daughter gave him when she got baptized.  It had the most beautiful dedication inside, the daughter pleading with her father to read the book and pray to know if it's true. 

 We came to lessons with different members, all of whom loved Alberto just as much but all left just as befuddled as us.  From the very start, we were very bold with Alberto, teaching him the doctrine of baptism and the importance, and inviting him over and over again to stop playing around and make this decision once and for all to get baptized!  Finally, we discovered that Alberto was just being lazy and was waiting for his daughter to baptize him when he had passed away!  But we all know that someone who KNOWS the truth in this life and chooses not to act upon it is going to have a rough time repenting in the next life.  

About a week ago, we were thinking and praying alot about Alberto.  We studied and thought some more, and decided that we needed to stop beating him over the head with baptism, and focus instead on the only One who could really help Alberto have a change of heart, Jesus Christ.  We felt very strongly that we needed to have a lesson on the Atonement.  We went to Alberto's house on Friday without a member and had a lesson outside in the warm sun (spring is here!) In the very first moment of that lesson, there was a different spirit.  It had changed from pressure and frustration with Alberto to complete love for this man and concern for his salvation.  

We had one of the most beautiful lessons I think I've ever had, and at the end, invited Alberto to be baptized.  But this time it was different.  This time it was an invitation to show his love for his Savior and faithfully follow His example.  It was the essence of everything we do and work for as missionaries.  It was inviting others to come unto Christ.  

Alberto's eyes filled with tears and he smiled and said,  "I know I need to be baptized."  Alberto is going to be baptized this Saturday.  After the lesson, we were eating apple pie and he said,  "You two have managed to do what my daughter has been trying to do for 30 years." I believe that every person has their moment when Jesus Christ reaches out in infinite, patient love and calls out to them to follow Him.  And it was one of the most sacred experiences of my life being able to participate in that moment with Alberto.  In that moment, I felt a tiny portion of the love that Jesus feels for Alberto, and even that tiny portion was almost overwhelming.  

I love this work so very much and I love seeing the power of Jesus Christ's love and Atonement work miracles in so many lives here!  

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Light of Christ in Cloudy Moron

Well, it has been another wonderful week here in busy, crazy Moron, and I have so much to catch up on telling you!

So first off, the wonderful family, Roxana and Alejandro. We have been working and working with them to help them come to church, and it's still a struggle.  Roxana is scared to go to any church that isn't the Catholic church that she grew up with, and Alejandor goes back and forth in insisting that he's "atheist." It's evidence to me of just how real and powerful the Spirit is in helping us know that eternal truths are TRUE and real.  Because I believe Alejandro when he tells us that he has never really believed in God, but when we sat in that first lesson and taught this husband and father about the beautiful plan of salvation, the Spirit testified to his heart and reminded him of these things that his spirit already knew but had just forgotten.  So it was no surprise when he eagerly got down on his knees with us that first lesson to talk with his Heavenly Father.  It's just frustrating for us as missionaries when we can't have a lesson with them for a few days and then they forget about that Spirit that they felt and go back to their old ways. But this doesn't mean that we're giving up on this family.  It's just going to take a little more work and a lot of patience.  :)
Our fun little group of Brazilian college kids got consumed by final exams this past week (all the Brazilians come here to study medicine) so unfortunately we haven't been able to teach them.  BUT we're teaching another amazing Brazilian named Lindston.  One of our very first days we contacted him in the street and he was so nice so we wanted to go to his house to teach him as soon as possible.  But when we went to find his street on our little map, it was no where to be found.  We looked and looked and asked and asked for the street "Canada", but no one seemed to know.  For the past three weeks we've always joked about the dream of one day finding Lindston in a colectivo or on the street again.  And then a few days ago, we were on the very edge of our area walking on a street called "Garcia" but we both happened to glance at a house at the same moment, and saw that the old name of the street was "Canada." We looked at each other and both said at the same time, "LINDSTON!"  We hurried to find the number, clapped our hands outside the gate, and out came Lindston!  It was a little miracle for us.  We had a lesson out front, and then have gone back to have lessons with young single adults in the ward, and Lindston is learning to pray, is reading in the Book of Mormon, and progressing really well!  We have yet to teach the Word of Wisdom, and his very Brazilian-decorated house has flattened beer botttles hanging on the walls, but I'm confident that the spirit will testify to his heart that these things come from Heavenly Father.  It's kind of funny teaching him, because his accent is so thick that I can hardly understand him. But Brazilians have SUCH a good sense of humor, and you know how I love laughing at funny people, so we have a really good time in Lindston's tiny little house. 
It's been challenging and yet so fulfilling going from area to area in these past few transfers.  For little Hermana Leavitt who HATES change and would stay in one area for her whole mission if she could, it has been an incredible learning experience.  Evidence to me that Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need to grow and progress.  I have definitley learned that it is truly possible to "grow where you're planted" and make beautiful things out of difficult circumstances as long as you have the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It illuminates my life in the busy streets and our tiny little apartment of Moron, Buenos Aires, and I love watching it illuminate the lives of so many people that we teach every day.  

Monday, August 19, 2013

Internet Disaster; Short and Sweet

Serving here in Moron is the greatest blessing in my life.  I feel Heavenly Father's love for us and for these people here.  I have seen incredible miracles as people accept the Atonement of Jesus Christ and let it change their lives.  It is real and true!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Change of Heart

Another amazing week in Moron, I'm not even sure where to start!  It has been an incredible experience to see our special little part of the Lord's vineyard in Moron grow and progress in just a few short days.  We really had to start from ground zero that first Wednesday evening, but as we have relied completely on Heavenly Father, He has worked miracles in just a week and a half and has really guided us to those people that are prepared.  

So first, the man under the car. :)  His name is Alejandro and his wife's name is Roxana.  They have three little kids: Ariel (11) Micol (8) and Santi (3) and are your typical young, hopeful family just trying to get by in life.  Teaching them has been an incredible experience.  That first lesson that I told you about, we knelt for the closing prayer and invited Alejandro to offer the prayer.  Keep in mind that this man just 35 minutes earlier had looked at us a little coldly and said, "I don't believe in God." And when we walked in the house, Roxana looked at us even more suspiciously and said, "I'm a life long Catholic." But it was literally one of the most miraculous and instantaneous changes of heart that I had ever seen. By the time we had knelt for that closing prayer, a warm, beautiful spirit filled the home and Alejandro humbly offered his first prayer.  I know that I always talk about "the first prayer," but they really are some of the most special, spiritually uplifting experiences that I have had.  

We've had a few other lessons with them since then, and they are so special to us. Roxana carefully reads every little reading assigment that we leave them and eagerly explains to us what she learned in the next lesson. Alejandro is going to have a few obstacles to overcome before his baptism like smoking and working on Sundays, but every time Hna. Neira and I talk or think about that first prayer that he said, we are truly awed at the power of the Spirit and the amazing progress that Alejandro has made in such a short time.  I don't know if this wonderful family will get baptized during my time here in Moron, but I do know that they will someday get baptized and sealed to be an eternal family.  And I'm just so grateful that Heavenly Father trusted us enough to guide us to this wonderful family and let us teach them. 

We're also teaching a bunch of Brazilians here in Moron, and they are the BEST!  Moron has a University here where a bunch of kids from all over come to study medicine. So it's really great because the ward has a ton of young single adults and a ton of energy.  One of the members, a young girl about our age, is named Dani and she is the definition of a cool, chill Brazilian and the most incredible member missionary I've ever met.  Our first Sunday in the ward, she came up to us and said, "Hermanas! You need to come to my apartment today to meet and teach my roommate and friends!"  It was like a dream come true.  

So we've been spending some of our evenings in Dani's cool little apartment teaching a small group of Brazilians and tasting all kinds of Brazilian food.  It's the best.  Brazilians are the funnest, most easy-going people, and I feel like I'm at the Glenwood just preaching the Gospel!  One of Dani's friends, Veronica, is especially interested and progressing really well.  She has a goal for baptism at the beginning of September, and we are loving teaching her!

I realized I never gave you the low down on Hermana Neira!  Well, I have about two seconds, but basically she is the best.  She's from Chile (another Chilean!) and is the biggest tom boy I've ever met.  She has a small little "Dan face" but the deepest, funniest voice and boyish mannerisms.  She's shy and quiet in groups, but has the fiestiest little personality and absolutely burns with a desire to share the gospel.  She's older, 25 years old, and is an incredible companion.  I love her already, and we have such a good time together! 

All in all, I'm happy and loving life here in Moron. It's been another challenge and a new period in the mission to learn a whole new bunch of lessons, butI feel the strength and light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in every step I take. I love sharing His gospel!  :)  I hope you have a wonderful week family.  Thank you for being the best!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Listening to that Still, Small Voice

Wow, it has been such an incredible week!  I feel like I would write this entire email in big caps because that's how excited and happy I feel inside, but that would be a little annoying. :)  So yes, it's off to another adventure of training and opening a new area for the hermanas, and it has been incredible!  But first, an update on my last days in dear 9 de Julio.
We received the phone call on Monday afternoon that I would be leaving and training, and the first thing we did was cry a little together and then go buy ice cream at our favorite ice cream shop nearby. :)  I have been so incredibly blessed with the best companions in the world, all of whom will be amazing friends for life, and I've never been able to part from one of them without crying my little heart out.  Hermana Sanchez and I had some hard and some truly miraculous experiences together, and I love her sooo much!  We always joked that she was "my daughter born in the wilderness of my afflictions"  like Lehi's son Jacob.  9 de Julio was truly the refiners fire for us where we fought on the battle fronts with Satan and followed the Spirit to see miracles. 
So we spent our last two days together working with all our heart, and we had a really amazing experience.  At the beginning of the transfer, we did a random street contact where we invited four punk kids sitting in the park to church.  We had written down all their addresses, but never went. I'm ashamed to admit that we didn't take them very seriously and never really planned on passing by because we thought they were probably false addresses anyway. But every night in daily planning, I would open up my planner, see those four names, look at the name Emanuel, and say, "let's go visit Emanuel!" So we would ALWAYS put Emanuel as a plan B, but we never managed to get to his house.  It became kind of a joke, and sometimes we would forget to put Emanuel in the plans, but then a few days later, I would flip to the back of my planner, see that name among the four punk kids, and for some reason the name always just stood out to me.  So, as a special going away present for me, we put Emanuel as a plan A on Tuesday and made our way to his house.  We knocked on the door, a nice lady let us in (Emanuel's mom) and we had an incredible lesson.  In that lesson, Roxanna and her kids agreed to be baptized, and Hermana Sanchez just told me today that they are progressing wonderfully!  I may never see the fruits of that little seed, but I will never again brush off those tiny little promptings from the Holy Ghost that sometimes just appear to be silly little Hermana Leavitt whims.
That is one simple,  but seriously profound thing that I have learned on the mission.  The promptings from the Holy Ghost are truly "still" and "small," and if we're not listening REALLY carefully, we will very possibly just glide right by them. 
And these past few days starting out in Moron have just reinforced that lesson over and over again. From the very first moment that my name popped up on the screen with Hermana Neira, I KNEW that Heavenly Father had people prepared for us in the city of Moron.  And ever since that moment, I have prayed harder than I think I've ever prayed in my whole life that I would be attentive enough to the spirit so that He could guide me to them. Seriously, I think I say a little prayer every five minutes, sometimes more, because I want more than anything in the world to be the tool in Heavenly Father's hands that He needs to save His children here in Moron. 
So Moron (pronounced "Moh-Rohn," not like the "moron" that us americans say when we read it.)  It was THEE biggest change going from 9 de Julio where everyone jaunts along the gold-paved streets whistling a happy tune to the busy, dirty, dirty streets of down town cityish Moron.  It seriously is like a completely different mission, and I had forgotten how to be a missionary in the city!  Those first days, I really was praying in every moment to find those people that Heavenly Father has waiting for us, and we had door after door closed in our face and rejection after rejection.  At one moment on Saturday, we walked along in the grey afternoon, sooooo tired from being on our feet for about 6 hours straight without a single person giving us the time of day, and I have to admit that a little tear came to my eye and I looked up at the cloudy sky asking Heavenly Father why He wasn't answering my fervent prayers.  I wanted so badly for Hna. Neira to have a good experience, to find the people waiting for us, and I felt like we were hitting a brick wall!  But I've learned that sometimes Heavenly Father lets us exercise a little faith, and after we show our faith, the miracles ALWAYS come.  As tempted as I was to give up in that moment, we continued on, and Heavenly Father literally poured out the blessings upon us.  
Last night, I had another experience with the still small voice of the Holy Ghost.  We were walking along in the warm evening, and across the steet there was a man working on his car. I thought to myself (which I've learned is often how the Holy Ghost communicates with us) "It would be cool to talk to him. But no . .  he's working on his car and I don't want to interrupt him." So we kept walking.  We went to the house we were looking for and they weren't home, so we turned around and walked back on the came route. And there he was again. The man working on his car.  And yet again, I thought to myself, "Man I should really talk to him. But no . .  he's really busy."  Wow, Hermana Leavitt, how silly can you get!  Thankfully I clued in after about ten steps, called Hna. Neira back and went back to talk to him. As I introduced myself and talked cheerfully with him, he didn't even take his head out from under the car to look at us.  "I don't believe in God," was his response. And I thought to myself, "Wow, some prompting."  But I just kept talking and eventually he took came out from under the car looked at us, and said, "Come on in."  To make a long story short, we met his wife and three kids, had a lesson on the plan of salvation that I think was one of the best lessons I've ever had in my whole mission, and when we invited them to be baptized at the end, they smiled and said, "Yes!"  This same man who said he doesn't believe in God wrote down the baptismal date for his family and said,  "I am. SO. Excited for september 1. And I don't even know why, but I'm so excited." This family hardly even understands what baptsim is, but when the Spirit is doing the teaching, they know how they FEEL and that's all that matters.  We found our family, the family that I was praying and praying for every minute since we arrived in Moron. Heavenly Father answers our prayers, and He communicates through the still small voice of the Holy Ghost.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Learning and Growing

It has been a beautiful springy week here in 9 de Julio and another week of learning and growing so much.  

It was a challenging and incredible transfer where I learned to really rely on Heavenly Father and His ability to turn my weaknesses into strengths.  I will never be able to forget the counsel from "Elder" Williamson to Dan that Dan then in turn shared in her talk before leaving for the mission.  "Repent every day."  Such a simple little piece of counsel, but something that has really helped me to humble myself and become a better missionary and person than I ever could be without Jesus Christ.  Those moments in the morning and night when I talk with Heavenly Father about what I could have done better in the day and how I'm going to improve, asking for His help and guidance have strengthened me as I then go out and ACT.  

This week we have been blessed to find some really incredible people here in 9 de Julio.  One of them is Cintia.  She's from Paraguay and lives with her husband and two kids, Jacki who is 12 and Ezequiel who is 9.  The husband is never home because he works out in the campo days at a time, so we don't know him. But Cintia has such a good, open heart to learning more about the gospel. One of the challenges is that she and her husband aren't married and her husband never got divorced from his first marriage.  But it has been incredible to see how the Spirit works on people's hearts when they hear messages of pure truth.  In our first lesson, we taught Cintia about the 5 steps we take to follow Christ and invited her to be baptized.  She accepted and expressed how she feels like this is going to bless her life.  So in the next lesson, we didn't hesitate in teaching her the law of chastity.  I've seen that I've grown to become a much bolder missionary, and it was so refreshing and powerful to teach this commandment boldly and lovingly and invite her to keep it.  I realized that when we do things out of love, it doesn't matter how bold we are because the person will feel our love, without a doubt.  That was the case with Cintia.  Instead of getting scared off, she wanted to do things even better, and is working towards keeping this commandment.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

In the Right Moment at the Right Time

To sum up the week, freeeeeeezing cold, but so beautiful and full of incredible experiences.  I pile on as many layers of leggings and tights as possible and never take off my coat or gloves.  And a few days ago, I learned that cold air can give you a "sunburn!" Painful experience, but the members take care of their "rubia" (blondie) and gave me creams for my face and taught me how to wrap my face in a scarf so that it doesn't happen again. 

Besides the cold, we are super happy and seeing alot of miracles here! The other day, we went to visit a referral from a member. We had to walk about an hour to get to the little neighborhood that is semi out in the campo, and when we finally made it to her doorstep, she proved to be the first and only not-so-friendly person in 9 de Julio and shut the door in our face.  As we walked away from the door rejected and a little bit miffed that we had walked an hour just to have the door shut in our face, I looked around at the beautiful little neighborhood and said, "Hermana Sanchez, there's someonehere in this neighborhood that we need to find.  Heavenly Father brought us here for a reason, and we're going to stay here and work until we figure out why!" So we started knocking doors. We met some really nice people, but everyone was "busy" or "heading out the door," and it seemed like we had hit the neighborhood in the worst moment.  

But we kept knocking and knocking, until we walked past a house with big sliding glass doors.  There was a woman inside sitting at her dining room table, and I smiled and waved to her from the street.  She immediatly jumped up, ran out of the room, and the next thing we knew, she was hurrying out her front door towards us. As she walked up to us, she smiled, said "hello," and then just stood there.  I was waiting to see if she had something to say, maybe had talked with missionaries before or thought we were someone else, but no. She just stood there and smiled, as if she was just waiting to listen to our message and go the baptismal font that very moment!  So we introduced ourselves, told her that we share a message about Jesus Christ and how we can live with our families forever, and she immediatly let us in.  

As we started talking with her, she told us about her life. 40 years old, lives with her husband and little 5 year old girl, trying to stop smoking, looking for a job to support her husband, and recently coming out of a deep depression that she went through after the death of her sister.  We hear about alot of crazy things as missionaries, so this was nothing dramatic. But what caught my attention was when she said, "I've gone to a lot of churches and tried alot of things, but none of those things have helped me heal completely."  Mariela is definitly one of those who Heavenly Father has been preparing for a long time.  We taught the Restoration, and when we showed her the picture of Jesus conferring the priesthood upon his disciples and explained the authority of the priesthood, her eyes lit up and she said, "THAT'S what I'm looking for! The church with the authority from God!"  Words to make a missionary's heart sing!

Monday, July 15, 2013

The First Prayer

We've really been "thrusting in our sickle with all our might" this week, and by Sunday night, we walked into the pensh absolutely exhausted from head to toe, but it's weird how GOOD that always feels to me.  But a weekly P day was definitely an inspired decision by the brethren. :)

We had a few lessons with Matias and Maru this week, and all kinds of road blocks have come up with Argentine paper work that is going to move us back a little bit with the wedding and baptism.  But those lessons have been full of some of INCREDIBLE experiences that makes all the work and stressing worth it, and it doesn't matter when they get baptized, it's just such a blessing to see them progress and their faith grow.  The other day we had a lesson on the Word of Wisdom, and it's going to be another long journey in helping Maru stop smoking.  But the most beautiful thing happend after teaching the lesson.  We invited Matias to say the closing prayer (something he has really been scared of and really struggls with), but this time he looked scared for only a moment, but then squared his shoulders, looked us in the eye and said, "SI." 

We all got down on our knees, and after a long pause to gather his thoughts, Matias started to pray.  He followed the primary steps just as we had taught him and has a very simple, "country boy" vocabulary, but as he prayed, the most beautiful spirit filled the room.  He thanked Heavenly Father for his wife and children, and then asked Him to bless his wife with this goal to stop smoking. He asked Him to help them both on this new path that they have started, and it was apparent that this man, this husband and father, was praying with all the sincerity of his heart, He was really talking with his loving Heavenly Father and putting all of his trust and confidence in Him.  The mission is full of incredible miracles, sometimes big and sometimes small, but that experience of kneeling on the cold, hard ground listening to Matias' simple prayer is something I will never forget. I love them so much. 

Hermana Sanchez and I are so happy together, and it always seems so unfair to me that I have to part with the companions that I come to love so much.  Being companions with Hermana Sanchez has taught me that patience, HUMILITY, and real sincere love can make any two people the best of friends, even those who are completely, absolutely opposite in every way. :)  We talk and laugh as we walk what seems like thousands of miles every day, set goals to work better with the members, practice to improve our teaching, and just become BETTER together in every aspect.  It has been such a fulfilling experience "training" her even though she really is the one teaching me.