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, July 1, 2013

Another Day in Paradise

It has been an AMAZING first complete week here in 9 de Julio, and I am really truly happy.  In my letters that I've written to President in these past weeks, I've talked about how I feel like I'm finally really "getting it" and fulfilling my purpose as a missionary.  I feel Heavenly Father's presence here in 9 de Julio, and I feel Him guiding us and supporting us in every moment. 

Well, I'm actually not in 9 de Julio right now.  We had to go to capital to take care of some Visa issues for both me and Hermana Sanchez, and it has been a wonderful little adventure. We slept for two hours last night and then got up at 12:30 to board a charter bus to take a 5 hour ride to the offices.  Hermana Castillo and her comp boarded the same charter bus half way through the trip, and then I got to go to capital with the MTC crew and do some catching up.  Finally, I saw my dear Hermana Carrillo at the offices and saw pictures of our darlings that got baptized last week in Padua and of the baptism of her dad that she got to go to!! So many beautiful things happening in all parts of the world.  So now Hermana Castillo and I and our "hijas" (when you're training a new missionary they call her your daughter) are here in Ramos waiting to board a bus that will take us back to campo. :)

And campo.  Wow, I think I am hopelessly in love with 9 de Julio.  I don't remember what I could tell you last time, but here's a nice little summary of this little paradise on earth. 
The Branch: It's tiny and adorable as can be.  We don't have a chapel, so we meet in a beautiful old house that they have made into a nice little church. About 15 to 20 people come to church every Sunday, so we've started to work like crazy on reactivating as we continue finding and teaching investigators. Yesterday was what we can expect from a typical Sunday.  We teach the youth Sunday class, I play the tiny little keyboard, then get up to give a talk.  It's so small and completely different than anything I've ever experienced, but the members that come are INCREDIBLE and adore the new hermanas so much they make me blush. :)  There haven't been hermanas in 9 de Julio in 20 years.  Our Branch president is wonderful and takes such good care of us, and I already feel like it's my sweet little family. 
The People of 9 de Julio: I think I described them a little bit last time, but basically the kindest, classiest folk I've ever known.  I've never read Mom's "Mitford" books, but I imagine that these people are alot like that.  Of course, not every person is an absolute angel, but we really have not received anything close to an unkind word (or a loud catcall or whistle which truly is incredible).  Because of that, we haven't had any problem finding more people to teach, and there is nothing happier than a missionary that is contstantly teaching.  Plus it's a huge blessing that Hermana Sanchez gets to practice alot. 
Nobody here locks their bikes or motorcycles.  They all just share this common feeling of trust and respect, and it is truly a beautiful thing.  

The Apartment :) Is in one word, BEAUTIFUL.  As the secretary Elders in the offices put it, without a doubt THEE nicest aparment in the mission. Pictures say more than words, so I'll send photos next week.  :)

Hermana Sanchez.  She is an absolute doll.  Basically came pretrained to the mish, plus her Chilean confidence makes her a very involved, very "I know what I want" powerhouse.  Definitely a contrast to my more laidback approach, but with wonderful communication, alot of openly demonstrating my love and appreciation, we've been able to slowly find a balance and see miracles in our short time together.  Hermana Sanchez is beautiful, very prim and proper, and says the word "precious" and the phrase "oh, but how DELICIOUS" in reference to everything.  Just like a princess out of the movies! 
Our Investigators!  Well, we are currently teaching an AMAZING couple named Matias and Mariela (but we call her Maru). They have three little boys and we had two lessons with them last week and then they made the effort to pay for a taxi to come to an FHE on Friday night and then on Sunday, we were praying and praying that they would make it, and right before Sacrament, in they came.  They are super young and wonderfully simple, kind people.  They appear a little rough from outward appearance with piercings and things, but they are really just GOOD wonderful people.  Matias works in construction all day to support his little family, and Maru stays at home with the kids.  The only issue is that they aren't married, but they have all the desires in the world because now they understand that it's necessary to be able to get baptized. We're hoping and praying to help plan a wedding AND a baptism this transfer!

Speaking of, my little heart is sad at the thought that I most likely will only be here in this blessed place for one transfer.  Then, as President informed me, it's off to training and opening a new area all over again! But all is well, I know that Heavenly Father has everything in control and He is going to use me for good everywhere I go. :)
This week truly has been beautiful as I have felt that perfect obedience and complete faith in the Lord has really brought forth miracles and made the mission a sacred experience.  One night we were in the dark looking for the address of a member, so I decided to go knock on a door to ask where we were.  A sweet woman answered the door and said that she had some friends in the city who were Mormons. Her name is Analia.  So we set up an appoinment to come back and teach her, and in the lesson we learned that she is really disillusioned by her experiences in Catholic and Evangelical churches and has been looking for a way to "build her faith in Christ."  We were able to look at her, smile, and say, "We can help you do that!" 
It's incredible how much you learn when you're the one that's supposed to be doing the teaching.  I learn SO MUCH from Hermana Sanchez every day, and it is such a blessing to be with her.  This week, she reminded me of the importance of listening, a skill that I had lost in a desperate attempt to keep all my Argentine investigators from talking for three hours straight.  This week, as I have relearned to listen and NOT think about how I'm going to cut them off or what I'm going to say, we've been able to teach to their needs, testify of the Savior, and feel the very REAL presence of the spirit in our lessons that everyone notes and feels. 
Basically, I'm happy and still ever-growing, and I love working alongside Heavenly Father and Jesus in this beautiful place!  I love you all so very much and hope you have a wonderful we

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