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!)

Monday, November 26, 2012

One More Blessed Transfer in San Justo!

It's a cloudy day here in Buenos Aires, considerably cooler than the last time I wrote, and life is good!  It has seriously been an amazing week since day one.  When I wrote, I was getting ready to head out to central Buenos Aires to do that little singing thing, and it was so fun!  We went to the hospital to suprise the wife of another mission president who is sick, and she was SO happy.  She just cried and cried as we sang our songs and a bunch of Argentine nurses and patients watched our little program.  Then we went to the mission home and had the most delicious, healthiest meal I have had in a longgg time, and President Carter showed us his "Cuaderno de Recuerdos" or "Memory Book" from his mission. It was incredible, and so good to spend time with President who is always so busy. (I'm used to living 5 minutes from the mission home in Washington and being best friends with President!).  The BEST moment came when we were saying goodbye and President shook my hand and whispered to Hna. Castillo and me, "No cambian," meaning that we wouldn't be getting the dreaded news on Tuesday night that one of us needed to report to the offices on Wednesday for transfers!  We are together for another transfer!! Our excitement was kind of uncontainable as we jumped up and down and hugged eachother, and President's red jolly face had the look of a very pleased father. 

I can't describe how very blessed I feel at this moment, first of all to be a missionary for Jesus Christ in Buenos Aires, to have the most incredible investigators and companion in the world, to be in San Justo where the members are so loving and supportive, and to see little miracles every day.  P.S. Hermana Castillo is beyond excited to talk with you guys on Skype, she's been practicing her English.  :) 

Jesus is doing amazing after his baptism, and he's already being an incredible missionary.  As we left a lesson with him and Rosi on Tuesday night, he went to see us out and said, "Okay guys, where are we going? Who are we going to go visit?" We were so pleased with his enthusiasm and the next day, Jesus came out teaching with us.  And boy did we teach him well. ;) JK JK he is amazing all on his own, and he taught about principles of the Gospel with so much clarity and maturity and testimony that I wanted to cry.  He is going to institute with other kids in the stake and is going to start going to Mission Prep on top of that! On Sunday, his first Sunday as a member, he gave the opening prayer (praying in public for people who haven't been doing it their whole lives is incredibly scary) and then Bishop asked him to bear his testimony.  He was so nervous, but testified straight from the heart that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and that he's happier than he's ever been.  As Hna. Castillo and I like to say, it was "chiquitito pero poderoso," little but powerful, just like him. :)  I seriously can't believe how lucky we are to get to teach people like Jesus.  

We're super happy about Rosi, his little sis, as well. For a while, she seemed to lose a little bit of her interest, I think because she couldn't get baptized and Jesus got all the attention from members and such.  But we've refocused in on her, and she is doing so well.  She is reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church, and seems so happy. Now the only thing is to talk with her mom and help HER see the blessings of the Gospel.  The good news is that even though she couldn't come to Jesus' baptism, mom was super supportive of it and I think she sees how happy he is, so I have faith that it's only a matter of time before she lets Rosi get baptized.  

Berta, our dear sweet investigator who is missing a leg is doing so well and is going to be baptized this Sunday.  This past Sunday her daughter (who is a member) was going to be out of town so she couldn't help her get to church.  Very few people have cars and colectivo is out of the question for Berta so we made careful plans all week to help her come to church yesterday.  But everything fell through the floor when we waited 45 minutes for colectivo to go help her get ready for church and the hermano who went to go pick her up couldn't wait anymore and had to go give a talk in a different ward.  We were so sad and so desperate, so we ran to the church, found one of the only hermanos who has a car, and he saved the day for us.  We drove with him and a girl in the ward to go get Berta, helped her finish getting ready, and made it back in time for a little bit of Gospel Principles and Sacrament Meeting.  Phew, being a missionary is hard work! :)  But it was all worth it.  Berta doesn't have a very good memory, so she never remembers what day her baptism is, but she is just like a little kid who asks his parents every day, "How many days til Christmas?" asking us every time that we visit, "When's the day? When's my baptism?"

I love teaching investigators who are all so different but have one thing in common. They are all so wonderful and all so very LOVED by their Heavenly Father. I feel the love that He has for them and love to see the smiles and tears that come to their faces when they come to feel it too.   

Thank you so much for your prayers and love. I love you all so much, and I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ because it has changed my life and is changing lives here in San Justo, Buenos Aires!  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hi my dearest family!

How is everything in beautiful Highland, Utah? From Mom's email, it sounds like you are all happy and well, which makes ME feel happy and well!  Just a heads up, I don't have very much time today because we don't really have a P-Day today, but I will do my best!  There's one disadvantage to being a piano player in that I am at President's beckon call for any sort of musical project.  Today we are going to capital with a little musical group to do a musical program for the wife of one of the mission president's in a different mission.  She is in the hospital recovering from a stroke, so we're going to go brighten her day with music. The downside is that we came early to the offices this morning to write our emails, will leave, and won't return until 6:00, with absolutely no P-Day, but the upside is that we get to spend time with President and Hna Carter AND have lunch at the mission home which is like a sacred privelege here.  PLUS, I've made friends with Hermana Carter, and when I was talking with her about a little Christmas package that I wanted to send to my family, she volunteered to give it to an RM that will be visiting to bring it back to Utah!  I still don't have all the little gifts I wanted to send you guys, so it's kind of random, but it's something!  So I'll include our address and your numbers so that the RM can call you or get in contact.  

Everything is wonderful here in San Justo.  Of course, the greatest event of the week was JESUS' BAPTISM!! Oh my goodness family, it was the most beautiful thing on earth, moments that I will remember and replay in my mind for years to come.  It was this past Saturday, and the ward came to the chapel to support Jesus.  They are all OBSESSED with him, one because he is a male and the ward needs strong priesthood holders like crazy, and two because he is just amazing and the most loveable, adorable kid ever!  I included the pic from his baptism, and I like the other one of him and Hno. Efrain after the baptism because it KIND OF captures the spirit of happiness that was there.  After his baptism, the Bishop asked him to bear his testimony, and even though Jesus is like a DJ and singer, he is TERRIFIED of having the attention on him with things like this.  But my heart almost burst with happiness as he slowly got up and shyly walked up to the pulpit.  As he began to talk, the fear slowly melted away from his face and he was just about glowing at the point where he said, "I don't have words to describe how I feel right now.  It's like an incredible happiness that I've never experienced before. I'm just so happy."  I can't count the number of times I heard the words "felicidad" and "increible" come from his mouth.  Wow, what a privelege it's been to teach Jesus.  I want to be a part of his life forever and see what wonderful things he does as a powerful priesthood holder, starting with THE MISSION!! You know what I think is going to happen? Cam is going to get called to serve in Peru, Jesus is going to get called to serve in the same mission, and they are going to serve together.  That would be a dream come true.  No matter where he goes, Jesus is beyond excited, which is crazy when I think that he knew nothing about "priesthood" or "missions" or "Thomas S. Monson" two months ago.  The gospel of Jesus Christ has literally changed his life (temporal and eternal) and it shows in his face and in his actions.  How incredible are the blessings of serving a mission and witnessing experiences like this.  They are sacred and beautiful.  

Hermana Castillo and I are still hoping with all our hearts that we stay together in San Justo, but we won't find out until tomorrow night, and we honestly don't know.  President told both of us in our interviews that he trusts us and needs us in the mission, so who knows.  Whatever happens, we'll trust that it is the will of Heavenly Father and He has great things in store for us!  

This week and the week before, an Evangelical preacher came to San Justo to work miracles and preach and prophesy and do all sorts of stuff.  They set him up at the near by university with an insane sound system that reached all the way to our apartment with GREAT POWER, so every night for the last two weeks we tried to drift off to sleep with the shreiking and yelling of, "TAKE out the Devil! TAKE out the Devil!" and crazy things.  Needless to say, we were happy when it ended on Saturday and we were finally able to get a good night's sleep last night.  I love the funny random things that happen on the mission. We also lost our water last week when the temperatures were about 98, so I went three days without a shower and it was the grossest experience of my life.  BUT we took joy in suffering a little bit for the work. :)  

Gotta run now, but I love you all SOOOOO much and I love being a missionary!  Have a wonderful week and a Happy Thanksgiving!


Hermana Leavitt

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's been a fantastic week here in San Justo. We just came away from the mission office (it's in Ramos Mejia which is right next to our area in San Justo, so we're super lucky to be so close) and had interviews with President.  It was an amazing experience.  Crazy how different President is from my other two Presidents, and I have to admit that the change was one of the greatest challenges for me at the beginning. But I have learned to trust in this man completely and have learned that I was called to serve in Buenos Aires with this President to whip me into action and teach me COMPLETE obedience for a reason.  And he's not so scary and strict as I once thought.  We had a great little chat and chuckle together, and I think with mine and Hermana Castillo's pleas combined, we've ALMOST convinced him to keep us together another transfer! JK he really has no control over that, it all goes down with what Heavenly Father wants.  But we're praying really hard, always with a humble little "if it's your will" tagged on.  :)

This week has been absolute bliss working with Jesus to get him ready for his baptism that is going to be this Saturday!!! Oh my goodness, I wish I could describe the feelings that come into my heart when we are teaching him.  It's like a swelling and wanting to burst feeling.  Especially when he says things like, "So how long until I can leave for the mission?" Ummmmm.. . . WHAT?!  We're so happy.  

And I'm so sorry but I've got to run if I want to be obedient fam!  I love you so much!


Hermana  Leavitt

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mountains to Climb (In the flattest place on earth!)

Hi My Beautiful Family!

It is a hot, sticky Monday here in San Justo, I smell like sunscreen and mosquito repellent, and I feel so happy to be a missionary right now in Buenos Aires. Thank you so much for your emails, they are the cherry on top!  

This week has been full of both challenges and miracles, and it's amazing how Heavenly Father uses both to bless us.  On Wendesday we had an amazing conference with a General Authority, Elder Zeballos and his wife, and I came away just bursting with desire to be a better missionary. Plus we got to see a bunch of the other missionaries, something that is always a highlight for me.  There is always a crazy energy present when a bunch of missionaries get together, and I love that "righteousness" isn't "nerdy" here on the mission. The righteous missionaries are the coolest kids on the block. :)

Thursday we had our usual weekly planning, and I got on the phone to call a family to schedule an appointment with them.  We had a lesson with them a while ago, the Spirit testified so strongly, and they said they would read the Book of Mormon and pray as a family, but that they wanted some time.  They are a couple in their 70's and a special-needs daughter.  We were super excited for them, so the response that I got on the phone on Thursday was a complete shock.  The mom answered the phone, and it was like it was a totally different person.  She told me that the Book of Mormon wasn't convincing and that they didn't want to have anything to do with us.  That same day we had a lesson with Rosi and Jesus and met their mom for the first time, only to hear her tell us that Jesus could be baptized but Rosi couldn't until she is 18 years old.  We got home that night, tired grumpy and kind of numb to everything. Elder Dressler our District Leader called us as usual, and all he had to say was, "How's it goin Hermanas?" to cause an eruption of tears. The poor thing just sat on the other end of the line in silence as we cried our little hearts out.  And Hermana Castillo and I aren't the whiny Hermana type, but it was definitely one of the hardest days we've had together, and we finally just had to let it all out.  

So after that lengthy, depressing description, let me explain why it was cool.  After we got off the phone with poor Elder Dressler who sweetly told us to go cry all our tears out, eat some Oreos, and go to bed, we felt much better and had one of the best talks I've ever had in my life. We talked about what we were going to change as missionaries, how we were going to improve, and how we were going to dedicate 100% of our heart, might, and mind to Heavenly Father and His work.The challenges of that day had truly humbled us, and in that moment the Spirit came to teach our humble hearts. The next day I woke up with an energy and an excitement for the work that I had kind of lost in the previous days.  We were beyond obedient in every little thing that morning, went to work, and the miracles haven't ceased.  

Yesterday in church, Jesus and Rosi both came.  Plus Berta and Ruben. Berta is the mom of a member and she doesn't have a leg, so she is in a wheel chair.  Ruben is a friend of the same member and is basically a 13 year old in a 48 year old body.  He hates any kind of commitment, even something as small as an assignment to read one verse in the Book of Mormon, and we have been working and working with him to help him "commit" to anything because investigators have to DO something on their part in order for their faith to grow. We finally helped him commit to coming to church, and when I saw him, Gladys (the member), and Berta rolling up to the church in her wheelchair on Sunday morning, my heart nearly burst with joy. We are working with some incredible people, and the goal right now is just to have the Spirit so that we can help them FEEL that our message is true and then help them ACT and try it out for themselves.  

Jesus is so incredible, and every lesson with him is a joy. When we asked him how he feels about our message and the Book of Mormon, all he said is "Genial" which is basically Castillano for "awesome." 

In other news, it's super hot here right now. Hermana Castillo and I are a little worried because this is just spring weather and people keep telling us that this is nothing.  Both of us are already dying.  :) I drink water like crazy, and getting on a Colectivo to sit by a window and feel the breeze is the most heavenly thing in the world. I'm learning to cook like a Peruvian because Hermana Castillo is the best cook in the world, and this week we didn't have almuerzos with the members for some reason. Basically, life is good, and everytime I read one of Al's emails, I count my blessings and remember how lucky I am to have a fan to turn on in the night.  That girl is amazing!

Well fam, I've gotta run.  Thank you again for you emails and support.  You really are the best family in the world.  I love bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Argentina, because I know how much it has blessed us.  It is real and true and brings real happiness!

All my love, 

Hermana Leavitt