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, 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.