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!)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Hello Spokane, Washington!

Things have been really crazy around here: there's lots to tell and so little time, so I'll get started!  Wow, so first of all, the reassignment!  It was pretty unexpected that we would even get reassigned because the travel office had told us long ago that Argentine missionaries usually just wait in the MTC for visas.  But here we go!  Off to Washington!  I feel so blessed to be going with dear friends, Hna Andreason and Hna Cahoon. It has been hard to have our little district split up! But I just keep reminding myself of that happy day in the future when we'll all be reunited in Buenos Aires! That city has become sort of like this Zion in our minds when we'll all see each other again!I

I'm extremely excited to go to Spokane, Washington for six weeks and get down to real missionary work!  An Elder from Spokane told me that we'll be teaching mostly Mexicans, alot of whom work the fields in the desertish land of Spokane.  I can't wait to meet them and bring them the happiness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was a little concerned about being "behind" in my Spanish when I get to Argentina because I'll be spending six weeks in the U.S.  But returned missionary teachers have assured me that I'll be speaking ALOT of Spanish, and I won't really be behind at all.  EXCEPT for the fact that I'll have to learn Castillano, the uniquely beautiful accent of Argentina.  But I know that Heavenly Father will help me, and it will an incredibly exciting adventure!
Lots of fun things have happened this past week. Hna Andreason and I were selected to do kind of this demonstration door approach and "How to Begin Teaching" with the new missionaries that arrived at the MTC on Wednesday.  It was pretty intimidating teaching a stranger (who I learned are not actors and are seriously non-members who live in the area) in front of a big room full of other eyes and ears.  But it was an awesome experience, and a really good opportunity to see how far we've come since that first day when we sat in that same room as new missionaries. 

I have really learned so, SO much since coming here, and I wish I could share it all with you guys. I've learned how important it is to live in such a way that the Spirit can reside within you at all times.  And that's in EVERY way you live your life.  The way you study, the way you treat others, the extent to which you follow the rules.  And I've just seen how much Heavenly Father loves us and how very, very eager He is to be involved in every part of our lives and help and guide us every moment if we just allow Him to do that. 

Next email you get will be from Washington!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Last Week in the Beautifull MTC...Maybe

From the Missionary Mom--Wow, I've apparently become a popular blogger overnight!  The views for this blog went from a maximum of 15 to 325! If you've read the "other" SLC newspaper (who the heck reads the Trib?!) you know that a so-called "news reporter" hacked into many, many missionary blogs last week to write a fun little article on a local celebrity.  Just my luck, I had posted two recent emails only the day before! Of course, the parts we are familiar with were out of context, misquoted and misrepresentative of the bigger scope of things contained in all our missionaries' inspiring letters home to families and friends! Hopefully the onslaught of viewers have caught the real spirit and convictions that are contained in the other 99.99% of our missionary blogs. We included the P.S. notes for fun, and, as we all know, our own sister missionary LOVES everyone she meets with her huge heart! If you would like Elise's emails forwarded, let me know!

Life is awesome.  Spring is bursting all around, and our little district is just continuing to work our hearts out, learning Spanish and practicing teaching.  That's all we do these days. Practice, practice, practice.  Hopefully that'll make perfect right! Unfortunately, the more I teach, the more I find room for improvement, but it's exciting to constantly be improving.

The past week has been full of wonderful lessons, amazing devotionals.  Elder Ballard came to speak to us on Sunday, and (one of the elders) sang for us, "The Spirit of God."  It was one of the most beautiful moments.I had a few opportunities to talk to (that particular elder), and he's just like all the other incredible Elders here.  So impressive, so excited, and so ready.  

 A few of my favorite parts of this week: I realized how many friends I have made with all the older people here, especially the MTC presidency, and I get so much happiness from being their friend!  Because of my little piano calling, I was blessed to be around them alot, and they will be some dear friends forever!  I never knew how good of friends a 21 year old and a 62 year old could be.  But it makes sense, because we're all on the earth for the same reason. :)

As a last little update, I love my companion with all my heart.  Hermana A. is such a loving, incredible example and I'm so blessed to have her!  I love being a missionary, it is the funnest, most fulfilling thing ever I've ever done!  I love this Gospel, and I cannot WAIT to get to Buenos Aires to bring the joy of  our Savior Jesus Christ's message to those people! And lastly, I love YOU family!  And I am so grateful for you and all your love and support!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Beautiful Easter

First of all, spring here is amazing!! We get to study outside all the time, and they have THEE most gorgeous flowers blooming everywhere you look.  My favorite is the mornings when the little MTC "village" is nestled under the shadow of Y mountain and everyone is so happy and full of energy.  I love it here so much, that sometimes I'm afraid I won't be ready to leave in two weeks.  But then I have to remind myself that the people of Buenos Aires are ready and waiting for me, they're counting on me!

Which reminds me, you've been asking about Visas.  To be honest, us as missionaries get very little info concerning Visas.  Yesterday we had our first meeting with the consulate, did fingerprints and stuff, but we don't know how quickly the Visas are coming.  I do know that one of my friends from swim team, Elder Murphy, is going to my exact mission and he got reassigned to Pocatello, Idaho last week.  But then the Visas could start coming all of a sudden without any warning.  It's crazy how it works, but I'll keep you posted.  If we get delayed at the MTC, I'll get to call you and tell you what's going on.

Anyways, I really want to tell you about my Easter experience at the MTC because it was incredible.  I had a bunch of meetings in the morning (I forgot to tell you that I got called to serve as the Coordinating Sister for my zone which just means I look after the Hermanas. I really love it and it's a good learning experience.)  Then the entire MTC gathered in the gym for a giant Easter Sacrament Meeting (they blessed and passed the Sacrament for 2200 missionaries. It was awesome) and Elder Packer came!  He gave the most outstanding talk about replacing fear with faith.  He talked about his weekly meetings with the quorum of the twelve and how he often witnesses concern among the brethren but never fear.  We don't need to fear because we have the Atonement of Jesus Christ that can bring us ever constant peace and happiness.  It was wonderful and just what I needed to hear. Us hermanas sang in the choir, and we sang the most beautiful song I have ever heard, "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer." I had never heard it before, but it's my new favorite and I would definitely recommend looking it up on the Church website or something.

Anyways, Sacrament was unbelievable and then we got to go on the most glorious Temple Walk with the warm sunshine and beautiful flowers.  We had testimony meetings, ice cream in the cafeteria, and THEN as Hermana Andreason and I were studying outside in the evening, I suddenly heard beautiful men's voices singing in the distance.  We investigated and found the sound coming through the open doors of the gym.  We went in and there was the BYU Men's Chorus rehearsing!  They gave the MTC a concert that night and it was amazing.  I saw alot of familiar faces from BYU.  It was just the icing on top of the great day.

I couldn't figure out why it had been such an awesome day, but then that night as I wrote in my journal I realized that the whole day had been completely and entirely focused on Jesus Christ and His glorious Resurrection.  And having just spent the past seven weeks learning about what the Atonement and the Resurrection actually MEANS for every person on this earth, what it means for their happiness and potential, the day was a lot more special than it's ever been for me in the past.  I am so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ and the joy and love He offers us, no matter how often we mess up or fall short. I love being a missionary!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Too Much Happiness!

Thank you so much for your emails and letters, they are so wonderful and brighten my day so much!  I have so much to respond to and SO much to tell you about, which means I'm going to be typing very fast so hold on for the ride!  Okay, so first of all THANK YOU mom for that wonderful package!  My whole district thinks I'm the most spoiled girl in the world because I have such wonderful friends and family who keep sending me things!  But seriously, those cinnamon rolls were so good and made me feel almost like I was back at home watching Conference with you guys.  And the Elders loved them. :) 

Okay, so this week has been the craziest week of my life, but it has been such a happy, splendid time with so many exciting things, so I'll dive right in.    CONFERENCE!! Oh my gosh, I don't know how to express how incredible that experience was. I loved every single last part of it, from the early morning rehearsals, to the meticulous grooming checks for the sisters, to the bus ride (in the "real world", it was so weird), to sitting RIGHT in front of that massive, deafening organ, to sitting in that comfortable darkness during talks looking out at the overwhelming expanse of Saints in the conference center, to of course actually SINGING in General Conference.  Words cannot describe the thrill that went through me in each song we sang, especially the last one, "Praise to the Man."  And THEN, singing the intermediate hymn, "Called to Serve" with all the saints of Zion! 

As I stood and looked out during that song, I imagined my family at home, Dan and Jeff in Michigan, all my wonderful aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents across the nation, my friends in their little apartments, missionaries across the world, and members of the church everywhere singing our hearts out.  Singing that we will move "onward, ever onward" as "children of a King!"  It was one of the most wonderful moments of my twenty one years, and I will never forget it.  Listening to Elder Holland's talk was a similar experience.  I don't think a General Conference talk has ever spoken so personally to my spirit or made my heart burn quite the way that talk did.  I can't wait to go back and read it again and learn more about how to build up others around me, refrain from being envious, and always turn to my merciful Savior for repentance and daily progression.  It was absolutely beautiful.  

I love you all so much and I love this gospel with all my heart.  I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father has blessed me to be one of His missionaries.  Every morning I wake up and can't quite believe how lucky I am.  I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He is truly the merciful, patient, eternally GOOD Savior of the world that Elder Holland testified of.  That he is the Savior of each of us individually, and I love Him.  Thank for being so wonderful.  And go back and read conference!