December 29, 2008

december 29

*2 new posts today! last week's and this week's e-mail. lots of pictures at the bottom of both posts. leave us your e-mail address if you want a high-res copy of any of the pictures. enjoy!

Yup it is almost the new year!! Can you believe it??

Christmas was absolutely amazing. We had zone meeting in the morning and we brought a white elephant gift. But the great thing is that my zone has the mission home in it. So Hermana and President Asay were so super nice and opened up their home, even with some of their family in town, to have a big Christmas lunch. So we also brought either a dessert or a side dish. And Hermana Asay made the Ham! But of course she goes up and beyond and makes everything else, including funeral potatoes - I forgot those even existed!! So we had our zone gift exchange. Ate. and then we sang Christmas Hymns. It was just good feelings all day. I am definitely one of the lucky ones.

Afterwards we went out and worked. We visited the older hermana and sang some songs to her and read the Christmas story to her. It was great.

We, once again had to be in early (because the streets aren´t safe on the holidays) and so we invited Brittany, President´s daughter to come over. Pretty much we had a girl's night. haha.

But this Christmas was great because there were no commercials. We knew why we were celebrating this day. As a missionary I thought more about Christ, why He had to come to the earth and what He did for us. The entire reason why He came to this earth was because He had to fulfill the plan of our eternal father.

Church was great yesterday. Gloria came with her little babies. After church Lily and her daughter, Rocio, walked with home with Gloria and her little ones. I watched them walk away together and I thought: THAT is why we work so much during the week, with the heat and the long hours. Because you get to see people helping one another as they are coming unto Christ. I love the gospel. period.

Well, it was super fun to talk to you all. I miss you all sooo much.

Well here´s to another week on the mission field . . .


Hermanita Urban


this is Celeste, Oscar and Luna. I love them. Christmas Eve. (about 2 hours before i called ya´ll!!):

our little Christmas eve celebration. we totally found chips and salsa!!! (we went out of our way to find some, they are close to impossible to find. this is the first chips and salsa in a LONG while, and you all know I eat that stuff for lunch and dinner alone):

my excited "I can´t believe I am going to eat chips and salsa" face:

Little Lily Asay. A granddaughter of President Asay. It blew our minds talking English with little kids. Hermana asay said that lily had to have been drawn to me because of my blonde hair. haha. I loved her!!!:

The mission home christmas tree pic:

cool random door. not in my area:

the mission home all croweded:

me with brittany, Hna Asay and Hna Tracy:

(some of these aren´t the pics i meant to send.)

oh the last one in hna tracy and a stray dog. not unusual. we went to eat at this side-of-the-road asado place:

the sidewalk asado:

december 22

*we didn't get around to posting last week's e-mail until now! new pictures at the bottom of this post. enjoy!

Hola todos!!!

How is everyone this Christmas week? I cannot believe that it is Christmas. That came out of nowhere. But I am not complaining because I am super excited to talk to ya´ll!

I have written up a list of things that I want to talk about. So get ready!!

Basically this week was amazing. And pretty much didn´t exist because it just flew by!!

We had our last Noche de Luz concerts this week. tear. I am so sad. But so happy that I was a part of such a great program. On Saturday night we sang in La Plata. A stake center that is a 2 hour car ride away. So me, being once again a very lucky one, rode with President in his air conditioned van. As we were driving along the highway, we noticed that a car accident happened on the other side of the road. President, being President and also a Doctor, decides to pull over and see if he can help anyone out. So we patiently wait in the car (actually we had a little music video moment). As President goes to see what he can do. But it was like a scene from ER. He was walking against traffic with his shirt billowing in the wind. I took a picture. But everything was fine. He offered to help but they either didn´t want it or they were just going to wait for the ambulance or something. ¿Que sé yo?

On Saturday morning we did divisions. President and Hermana Asay´s daughter, Brittany, came out with me. (she is visiting her parents for Christmas). It was very fun for me. And she just has this sweet spirit about her. (Since when did I say "sweet spirit?") She prayed in English in our appointments and I know that the people we were visiting felt the spirit even though it was in a different language. But it was fun to talk about the mission, why I am on a mission, etc. with someone that is making that decision right now. The mission is tough stuff. But completely worth it. You learn how to deal with and do hard things.

Well our little family, Diego and Gloria are doing well. They went to two ward activities (without us because we had noche de luz). But the ward is in love with them. They are from Cordoba, so the ward members have started to call them the Cordabitas, meaning the little Cordobains. Diego found some work. It is not the greatest but it is something. Unfortunately it goes until the early hours and he is sleeping by the time church starts. We are going try to help fix that.

Ok, well my time is out. sad moment. But hey I am going to talk to you all!!!! YIPPEEEEE!!!!

I am gonna call Christmas eve at 7 o´clock pm my time. You are the ones that have google so you can figure out what time that is for you. haha.


Hermanita Urban

Noche de luz. this should be a sweet cd cover pic. (Kendra and Janelle I have a couple of these elders picked out for you):

me and Hermana Tracy:

behind these trees is what is called the Holy Grail. Wal-mart. Haven´t seen one of those in a LONG TIME!!!

This is a special little nativity that Lily made and taught us how to make. she is soooo special:

President saving the world:

Somebody got a Christmas package and was super excited to get Christmas cookies. and as Hermana Tracy said the cookies have a special filling of "Urban love":

Hermana Asay made TO-DIE-FOR brownies for our last noche de luz. I cannot explain how tasty they were:

My new friend Hermana Insgoldby. And a shout out to her mom, Monica!

December 15, 2008

Noche de Luz - part dos

This week in pictures!

La Familia Ramoa de El Dorado. despues Noche de Luz:

a little solo action. practice:

a little ice cream action:

a little "not really artsy but trying to be" missionary and christmas action:

me and my comp. a little christmas card action. you can tell we are missionaries by our now-off-white shirts and ped socks:

driving to noche de luz. BLESSINGS=CARS.

my zone this morning:

another kindof wanna-be-artsy:

Hello all!

It is hot, but is it great. This week we worked a lot and sang a lot. I am loving the spiritual experiences I am having as a missionary. It doesn´t really feel like Christmas for me but we are trying to use the Christmas spirit to talk about Christ. I recently read about the birth of Christ in "Jesus the Christ." It completely changed my outlook on the season. I think I will read that book to my kids for bed time, it is so good.

We had 3 Noche de Luz performances this past week. The comments have been crazy - of how this is the best one yet (they do it every year). People in our ward said that it NOW feels like the Christmas season because of Noche de luz. This is our last week of it. Sad day. But I am just going to love our last performances. I just have a strong testimony of feeling the spirit through song . . .and dance. I have had amazing experiences with both. Our director, Elder Taylor, is outstanding. I am amazed with his talent. It is insane. He wins so many style points, I´ve decided. I wish you all could see it.

Today I ate lunch at a place called "Urbano." I got fish and have decided I just can´t try to order food that I think I would like if I were in the States. Because it is always different. If you go to a nicer resturant - it is all about presentation. So the plate looks good. But it just doesn´t taste that amazing.

Sorry that this email is shorter. I am gonna work on sending a bunch of photos.

Hey, I got the package from Grandma Urban!! and one from Caitlin and Mary (i sent out letters today) THANK YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!

Love, Hermanita (little sister) Urban

December 8, 2008

noche de luz

Hola ¿Cómo Están todos?

Well this week was pretty cool. It was a very fast week.

We had our first “Noche de Luz” performances. Song really is powerful. We sing Christmas songs but mostly we testify of the divinity of Christ. We went to two stakes, one of them included El Dorado, my first area!!! It was FULL with people, like whoa. But it was so great for me to see the first people that welcomed me here and made me feel comfortable in Argentina. But this time I could understand them. Haha. To my dismay they weren´t just speaking in some unbreakable code. I have pics but this computer doesn´t have a connector picture thing. (and this chair is really uncomfortable). But it was really fun and the Spirit was really strong.

We are helping and teaching two families right now. I am completely in love with them. They are young and want so much for their families. One of them, Diego and Gloria, came to church yesterday (on their own). And they really liked it. They have a month old and a four year old girl who never stops playing with us. She already loves the primary kids.

Also yesterday in church the majority of testimonies born were about how, we, these missionaries, are angels. One of the members said that when he first met them he that they were just a bunch of Yankees. Haha. But then he realized that the message they carry is so much more and has blessed him beyond reason. Diego and Gloria looked over at Hermana Tracy and smiled. I was sitting by Lily, she too looked over at me and laughed. One amazing member, Gabe, has been helping us teach Diego and Gloria and he always says how they don´t realize it yet, but how God has sent these two angels to them. (Que dulce).

Lily later had a funny thought; how the church is so close to her house, but God sent us (who live SOOOOO far away) so that she would walk over to that church. God works in very interesting ways, doesn´t He? She received her first calling yesterday: 2nd counselor in the Primary. I was sooooo happy. She is amazing. If she is the only person that I witness come into the fold, that makes this mission worthwhile.

Anyway, Bethany I got your DearElder, thanks for writing me!!!! ( I will try to write a letter about what you suggested – it might be really boring though). Kendra and Grandma I can always count on you! You are both amazing!! I am glad you are feeling better grandma. Dad I also got your dearelder yippee!

Saren - POR FIN! I got your letter. I sent one out today. Chaela also – I got your glorious dearelder, and sent one out!

I wish I could personalize these emails more. And so Kendra, even though you haven’t gotten much of any response I have so much to say to you on that happy Chirstmas day!!!! What would be better Christmas eve or day?

I was just (about an hour ago) informed that Elder Wirthlin died. I loved every single one of his talks. I never have favorite apostles but his talks always stood out to me, and touched my heart. I am really sad. Two of my favorite people have left this year: President Hinckley (I am still crying) and now Elder Wirthlin. One thing I know is that the world is a better place because of them, as well as I am a better person. I really do have a testimony and a confirmation of the spirit that the prophets are worthy, humble men that are called of God.

Well, anyway gotta go back to work.
Keep the Faith,

Hermana Urban

Ps For p-day I just watched that Emma Smith movie. AGH!! I LOVE CHURCH HISTORY. Can I just be a church history master?! It is so inspiring.

December 1, 2008

Fajitas for Thanksgiving Argentina style! and a quick note from Dad

Note from Dad...

Oh so busy a life of a missionary from our church! My daughter is no exception! She and her companion work from sun up to sun down and beyond. They work so hard to find people to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ too. This mission is completely about teaching people and helping them find faith on their own accord with the help from the missionaries on how to do this. There is no physical home or church building involved, nothing else but working with and teaching people. They do find people on foot and by asking and inviting as they meet people. The best way to find people is through faithful members who introduce their non member friends to the hear special missionary lessons. They teach gospel truths. They teach the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint church beginnings and about the church restoration. They teach doctrine that all makes a lot of sense and sometime in your life you to should hear these lessons if you haven't. I think you will find that these young men and women who teach have a testimony of the gospel and they want to spread the good word of Jesus Christ and his great message. Here are a couple of examples of people who made the commitment. From Elissa:

Things are good here in the south.

Thanksgiving was great. It didn't even feel like Thanksgiving. We found a fajita mix so we made some delicious fajitas - with homemade tortillas and all! And then we had interviews with President. I love interviews!! President Asay is an inspired man that really has been called to be my president. I am so grateful for him.

We also had the baptisms of Yolie and Siliva. It was so nice. They were so happy and peaceful. I am very happy for them, now they just have to live the gospel. It is a huge change people make to accept Christ in their lives. And it is difficult. But it is so worth it.

We met this cute young family and the mom goes to dance classes with her daughter and little sister. We decided to stop by with our recent convert Lily. It was sooooooo cool! I loved it! It was in this lightly lit room with tile floors and no mirrors. The dance instructor was a little on the bigger side and was smoking her cigarettes while demonstrating. But they danced folklore - which is a dance from Argentina, of course. We only watched for a little ratito. But I loved every second of it. It has been pretty humid so of course they were all sweaty and gross. but that just makes it even better for dance classes like that. Well anyway the ladies name is Celeste, she and her daughter and sister came to church with us. She stayed for all of it! But it is always a little stressful: we talked a lot about the millennium and family history. You never know what people that are visiting the church for the first time are thinking. But that is why we have the gift of making our own decisions. So we will see what happens! Yea!

con amor,
hermanita Urban

November 24, 2008

Elissa's tips for future packages:

  • Send packages US POSTAL EXPRESS
  • Address the packages to: Buenos Aires South Mission
  • On the Return address put MY name (that way the mission can pick them up but they know it is mine b/c my name is on the top)
  • Do not send it FedEx or DHL.
  • Pictures of the Virgin Mary might help get it through customs.
  • Bethany's tip- send Christmas packages now/ASAP!



my cool roof.

we had "girls night" last night. which consisted of a roof top moment accompanied with some yummy food and my ipod.

this huge cemetery in our area.

It really doesn´t even feel like Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving doesn´t exist here so nobody has been talking about it. But I know that I am grateful for Thanksgiving. Who doesn´t LOVE the holidays?!

This week was great. We had an amazing zone conference. Life changing pretty much.

We have been practicing for Noche De Luz. Our first performances are next week. I am trying to not let my nerves get the best of me. (maybe send some prayers in that direction).

We have been working really hard and are seeing some great progress in this area. We have 2 baptisms this Sunday and more to come. It is so great to see the work take off. I have a huge testimony of working with members. They are the key . . . well really WE are the key. I am a member too. In the future I am going to out with those missionaries and make them work! haha. We teach about 8-10 lessons every week WITH a member. In some areas of the world they only teach that amount of lessons. If the wards here can do it, any ward can do it. honestly. Especially our ward.

Yolie and Siliva are the two women that will be baptized this week. They are both very simple women that don´t have the greatest amount of education. But the gospel has completely changed their lives. They have the desires to do things now. They have purpose. After our first visit with Yolie she took the Book of Mormon, held it, pretty much hugged it and felt "something." Her friend, Delfina, was recently baptized earlier this year, and Yolie was just waiting to have what Delfina now has.

It really is like this. People want more to this life. They want purpose and happiness. They just don´t know where to look for it or ask for it. People are waiting for the happiness that so many of us already have. That is why I am on a mission. To give people the happiness that I have. Because no matter your situation in life, coming unto Christ and changing your life for Him, makes your situation a happy one.

Well, Happy Thanksgiving! I will probably be walking in some dead heat. So take a really good nap for me, after eating some delicious turkey and pumpkin pie.

I am grateful to be here. I am grateful for my family that supports me!! I am grateful for the hard experiences. I am grateful for fans at night. I am grateful for the my friends. I am grateful for my extended family (misses and kisses). I am grateful for ped socks. I am grateful for the car ride I had today with Hermana Asay (the first nice care ride since being here). I am grateful for letters, pictures, and packages. I am grateful for my Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ. His sacrifice for me.

Hope you all have a great holiday. I miss you all lots.

Hermanita Urban

November 17, 2008

this little ditty

*i took the liberty of editing these pics a bit, for fun. :) enjoy. love, bethany

me [elissa] and hna zollinger on a bus:

this lady we sing to and read to:

Lily and rocio´s 2 dogs out of the 3. I love them.

A ver . . . ¿que pasó este semana? . . .

Things are going really well. We worked a ton this past week and by last night we were just dead. And the thing with the mission is that there is no rest time. it does not exist. You just have to keep going.

Lily was confirmed yesterday. She was so happy. We taught her daughter, Rocio, who reminds me soooooo much of Janelle so of course I just love her to pieces. She will get baptized soon too. We just have to set the date and then work like crazy.

Right now we are working with about 5 people who already have baptismal dates and so we are running around like crazy helping them come unto Christ. Baptism is the front door, but there is so many layers to the gospel that we have to continue in the gospel so we can keep learning and discovering.

I have been thinking a lot about knowledge. Kendra sent me this AMAZING quote of how people spend their lives studing a certain topic, such as: the arts, sciences, history, politics. But the works and mysteries of God completely surpass all of those. A depth study of scripture and the things of the Lord, one would really know that He does exsist. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I do not know. So much passes my understanding. But that is where faith comes into play.

I am so grateful for faith. It can actually be a power.

anyway . . .

It is getting hot.

What is everyone up to?

It is crazy how Christmas is coming up. It feels like I should be going to Elitches, the pool, road trips . . . Because summer is coming.

Well sorry this email isn´t all that great.

I love you all so much. Don´t forget that I am here and that I miss all of you soooooooooo much. Knowing that I have people that love and support me is huge on the mission.

Tell my friends (except the good ones that write) that they are lame buckets and need to write me. (but i still love them)

con amor,
Hermanita Urban

November 12, 2008

We Got Access to this cute picture when Hermana Urban was on a preparation Day...a missionary day off

Can you pick her out? This is during a day of: Argentino Futbol. Also known as soccer. Argentina has the world record for most international titles won by any national team. You can tell it has made an impact on these missionaries. The people must talk about it like we talk about our Football which you know as like our Denver Broncos or CU Buffs etc. I am very excited that this Saturday I am going to the Air Force vs BYU game in Colorado Springs!
Click on the picture to enlarge!

November 10, 2008


This week was absolutely amazing. We had one day of unbearable heat. We just walk around all day tired and dying. Our Pench is like an oven and the only thing we have is this fan. My comp said that this is how it is during Christmas – completely hot – so it is really early in the year and it will only get worse. I will die!

Yesterday was just an absolutely amazing day. The spirit was so strong all the day long. I woke up smiling for the baptism of Lily. We went to church and then the milagros just poured in. We had 7 investigators come to church. Record for this area! It was the primary program and those little kids just brought a sweet love to everyone. Then we had gospel principle class, taught by hermana Miño, it was about the law of chastity. I know, a little nerve racking for 7 investigators. But I cannot even tell you the amazing spirit in that class. One of our investigators started to cry and everyone was listening, talking with so much love and respect. The Spirit really is our teacher, if we allow it. And there is a huge security that this law really does come from God; that the sanctity of the body should be kept with high respect. I just thought of everyone I loved & how I wish they would apply this principle in their lives. Because Happiness is found within obedience.

After the classes we had the baptism. It was so great and I am so happy for Lily, she is an amazing women. Her two daughters and her aunt were planning on coming but they were really late. But they came por fin and I know it made the day even more special for her. Hermana Zollinger sang Come thou Fount but in Spanish.

Afterward we worked and visited some of members and recent converts because Hermana Zollinger is leaving. Now my companion is Hermana Tracy from Missouri. I am really excited. And even more excited about this area. Together we are gonna work really hard and help people find real happiness.

Hey REALLY COOL random note: my amazing, spiritual bishop, who is an incredible leader was companions with Donny Osmond on his mission. How cool is THAT!!!!

I also hit my 9 months this week. Weird.

I am praying for everyone. It is hard that things just keep going on and I have not the biggest idea of what REALLY is going on with anyone; but just know that I love your letters. And more importantly know that I love you and think of you and hope that the Lord will pour out His blessings on my family and my friends.

Our trials help us have opportunities of obedience. They help us reach a new level of faith. As members of the Christ´s church we have the opportunities to pass some moments through Gethsemane so we can become more like Him. It is incredibly hard. But it is possible.

Grandma I love you.

Love you,
Hermana Urban

November 3, 2008

the city and halloween

Well, I writing early today because my district is going to this flower garden place today and we
have a lot of traveling to do as well as noche de Luz practice. Speaking of noche de luz I have a solo and I might net my pants/skirt. I still get utterly nervous. My solo is in Oh Holy Night. I have a hard time not wanting to sing it NSYNC style – but I will compile with the good ol´non-pop.

This week we put on a sweet ward activity. It was a good ol´ ice cream social. It was a little stressful. We had to run around (because we walk everywhere!) and it was really hot so we weren´t the most pretty things. But we were able to get it all together and let everyone know about it. It was a great success. People came and brought friends (the purpose of the activity) and ate ice-cream and played games. It was great!

Also my Halloween has nothing in comparison with Kendra's (I saw pics) but We stopped by a kiosco that had Halloween candy. So there! Haha but it was funny bc me and my comp walk in and we want to take pics with this Halloween sign and then all these people started to come in because there were two north Americans all excited over this kisoco halloweened-up. I did dress up though. As my comp. I wore her tag, clothes and my hair like hers. She dressed up as me. It was sweet.

Lily is doing great and will be baptized this coming Sunday. We are soooooooo excited. She is seriously this amazing light. I love her! Transfers are also next week. I think that Hna Zollinger might maybe may leave. She has been in this area for 6 months. A lot of people are attached to her, making it hard on whoever comes in and on me. But I have no doubt in what President Asay decides. He is an inspired leader; So if she stays or goes, or if I stay or go all will be fine. As long as I am working with and for the Lord it will work out.

Well I gotta go sorry this was short. I love you all sooo much. I should be getting Grandmas package this week.

Hermana Urbs

October 27, 2008

Halloween week... she will miss it... Not in Argentina!

Well, things are good! Hna Zollinger and I had a goal to teach 21 lessons with member which is crazy – almost record breaking. Even crazier because we walk everywhere and we need to have willing members. But we did it! Yeah. It was neat. I don't have ALL that much to say at this moment and time. I am actually really tired and hoping for a nap today. My first in a LONG time . . .Yesterday was stake conference and Bishop Keith McMullin from the bishopric came. It was very good. And it was cool to see the chapel full! I was very impressed with how many people came and looked prepared to be edified. (is that how you spell that?) SO hey Halloween is this week!! It just so happens to be my favorite holiday. I just love it. It doesn´t exist here. But there is a little Kisco that has a poster that says Halloween on it and they are invited little kids to come, or something. They also invited us. The lady was really excited showing us the little decorations she has. Haha. Well sorry that this is a short email with none of my random deep thoughts -haha.

Photos: Lunch with Delfina and Havana and their neighbor Irma, in Delfina´s home. She lives upstairs but this is the entrance.

Love you with all my heart.

Hermana urban

October 20, 2008

my this

today's e-mail, posted by Bethany

Welp another sweet week in Banfield. Things are good and the sun is out- I will probably start getting some great sister missionary tan lines pretty soon. Yesterday was Mother's Day in Argentina. Making me think about my mommy. I love you! President and Hermana Asay came to our ward yesterday and President gave a little talk – so good!!! I was so happy because we had an investigator in church, Lily, who is such a great mom and woman and I know she really enjoyed his talk. Lily is sooo cute. She is in her 40´s but looks like her 20´s – she has kept really good care of herself. She came to church in 4-inch heels with her makeup all done. It was great. I just think she is great.

After church we had lunch with Hermana Mino and her family. Hermana Mino is a little lady who is actually the mammita for the mission home. Meaning she helps with cleaning, and cooking. Her and Hermana Asay have become really good friends, and Hermana Asay has taught her a few American tricks. So yesterday for lunch we had mashed potatoes, roast beef, and gravy! The beef isn´t much of a surprise, but with the gravy! It was just a happy little moment. But Hermana Mino and her family are amazing. They are what a family should be. She raised her kids in the gospel and they are firm in the faith. We just feel so happy there. It is not our home or our family or our language or anything – but the feelings are there.

There is this lady that lives by us who has been involved with drugs for 17 years: which is a lot considering she is 31. It is so sad. She has a lot of potential. We will stop and chat, give her some hope and light. The problem is, the drugs have just completely taken over her. She does not have a lot of room to think for herself. Unfortunately, we as missionaries, can´t do much to help her. I know the gospel. But it made me think – It doesn't not matter your status in society, the country you live in, the language you speak. The things of the world destroy the soul. I think of people I know, in nice suburbs of Denver, who are living the exact same life as this lady. But on the other hand, It is the same with love. Just a couple streets over from here we felt so much love and comfort in the home of Hermana Mino. I am grateful that I can distinguish between the things of Satan and the things of God.

We have been seeing some great reactivation into the church lately. We read the talk "the concern for the one" by Joseph B. Wirthlin from April conference with the Ullua family. I have never seen such attention from them. I think that if everyone in the world would read . . . no not just read, but Apply these things, the world would be a much better place.

I really like working in this here broax of Argentina.

Hey Natalie Smith: I knew you could do it and I am sooooo happy for you!!!!

Well, that is about all for today.

I love you all. Sorry there is a lack of pics – no camera plug in thing. But hey I didn't get any emails . (big cry!)

Hermanita Urban

October 16, 2008

A Special Couple Came To Town! The House of the Lord...the most special place on Earth!

Buenos Aires Temple...They just announced the 2nd Temple to be built in Argentina!

Note from Dad...and then Elissa's letter. This is Jim here...seeing pictures like this is a real treat. Looking at these pictures is no different than if you were going to the Temple in the States. This sacred building yes is just a building...but is dedicated to the Lord as his house. Special ordinances are performed here for the living and those who died who didn't get the opportunity to hear or accept God's saving ordinances. If you have not heard of this before you must ask me more about it. It follows history of God's chosen people throughout history who were commanded to build Temples. Remember Solomon's Temple? Sure you do. There were actually others who were also commanded to build Temples even hundred even thousands of years ago. Today is no different. I love our church because it is following this charge and we are a Temple building people. Heavenly Father smiles when we build another Temple... here is Elissa's letter...

¡Hola todos!

This week has been crazy. Today we took our p-day because we went to the temple today! The transport was long. But it was very nice. And I made the Hermanas in my zone wear their "Judy dresses". Because we all have them and I still haven´t found the courage to go full sister missionary look yet so I found friends to do it with me! haha.

Um Last Night was amazing.We had a special little visit from someone known as Elder Russell M Nelson and his wife Wendy (General Authority from the church). It was really cool. I sat front center. I shook his hand and hugged Wendy. Love her. The whole mission gathered together and we all sat and talked doctrine with an apostle. He ended by giving us a blessing, and apostolic blessing, as if he was touching each of our heads. It was so amazing.

Being a missionary is a huge blessing. It was the best decision of my life thus far. I learn so much from things that I see and experience everyday.

There is an amazing family that are new to the church Delfina (mom), Ivan (son, 21) and Hevvana (daughter 15). They are an amazing family - if I could I would be with them 24/7. Their lives have completely changed from the gospel and they are so willing to share it with everyone. Ivan through a party the other day just so we could come by and talk with people. so we are going to start teaching them. it was actually a funny and awkward experience this so called party. But I loved it.

Our mission is huge! There are about 209 of us. We are having a lot of success. We are the most improving and most baptizing mission of all Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. They are sending lots of missionaries here because it is doing so well. I know that it is because of obedience.
Without this factor there is no way that this work could progress.

Well, anyway, out of this precious time, I must go. Elder Nelson mentioned that my loved ones will blessed while I am away. So just so you know.

Hermana Urban

October 7, 2008

Pictures Speak A Thousand Words...Elissa had a Birthday September 27th and is now 22!

Elissa was intrigued with the fact that San Vicente had a circus come to town!

She looks like they treated her well on her Birthday!

This is Elissa's Dad...Pictures are so loved by friends and family back home because just seeing some of the wonderful things that are going on make it so exciting. You know these same wonderful things are going on right here in our home town (Denver). Don't be shy...because I get asked on a regular basis how Elissa is doing. It is so fun to find different ways to answer that question. Lets get together for lunch and talk about our children and how they are doing. Something as significant as having a daughter on a mission in Argentina can lead to wonderful conversation :) Enjoy this letter-

Well, my family of mine things are good here in the Argentine world. The area that I am in right now is like the broax of New York but in Argentina. The streets are a little confusing but I will get it. We have an investigator that works at a fruit stand and he always gives us fruit - delicious!!! The Book of Mormon is changing his life! I love the church!! Did you not just LOVE conference?? Wow that was sooo good! Mario, our fruit man, came to the last session! We watched it with him. But both morning sessions we watched in English - my native tongue! Saturday night we worked and we had a great experience running into a lady who has 2 grandchildren on a mission. She is catholic. She told us that her son (who is a bishop) and his family has been praying for the missionaries (us) to find her. So this lady, Fina, has been waiting for us. cool! So we just chat with her about her family. Her husband had an accident and now cannot walk or talk. She says it is like raising a child again. Her spirits were down and told us that God sent us to her so we could lift her spirits. We have plans to go back and sings songs to her husband and help her out. We left completely stunned. We so badly wanted to watch the general conference session but there is a reason why we did not. I love being a part of Christ´s Church.

Things are good, the sun is coming out. It is going to be crazy hot soon. I really love being a missionary. My life is changing as I am helping change others. I love you all soooooo much and miss you sooo much!!! Thanks for writing (those who do . . . ) Because YOU ROCK!!! and if you don't - then you should... ha ha

Hermana Urban

September 29, 2008

The Joy of being a Missionary and transferred to Banfield 4 Area!

Hola Familia Oh como Les amo!!!Well my birthday was great actually. First off I started my week with a zone activity (last Monday) we had waffles and watched the Lion King! YES!!! And I have to hand it to the Elders – they went fullout on the waffles and made a huge waffle birthday plate for me! Also during our activity the Elders brought me two great amazing birthday joyed packages from the offices!!! It was AMAZING!! Thanks sooo much. Seriously packages are just little loves filled treasures. I felt very loved and full of sugered waffles. Haha. Well, then we worked during the week and had some great success. I love San Vicente. I know things will jsut get better and better in San Vicente. The members need a lot of help but we have an amazing brach President now and his wife is so great. I have so much respect for this women. Shs is such a strong women.

Well, our branch and another ward had a service activity this Saturday = my brithday. No one from the Branch came but Hermana Olsen and I had a great time. We pulled out weeds and made a veggie garden for this little neighborhood. It was a great morning. And the sun is coming out more and so we even got some sun. (Hermana Olsen took pics so I will have to send ya´ll some later). After that we had lunch with a family. Argentines are insane about birthdays so they knew that it was mine. They kept making jokes that they were going to break eggs over my head to celebrate. Oh the Domingez family. They actually bought me a cake and everything. I have pictures but this computer is not working. Sorry about the unreliablity. Saturday was actually the last Saturday in the transfer, with that comes phone calls from our leaders telling us if we stay, leave or what not. Hermana Olsen and I were sure that we were going to stay together. But then we got our little phone call telling us that I was leaving!! AGH! So I am no longer in San Vicente nor with Hermana Olsen. !Que Raro! I am now in Banfield 4 area. It is more city life. And it is a lot closer to the mission home and the church building where will be having ¨Noche de Luz¨practices. Oh Noche de Luz is this christmas program that the mission puts on. I had to audition and everything! But I am singing again! Yay! We will be singing all chirstmas songs and then performing them and i am sooooo excited to be a part of it. YES!!!!! Also my new companion is amazing and i am in love with her. Hermana Zollinger – she is actually from Colorado. How cool is that???? Two little coloradains rocking the argentine world! I am soooo sad to leave San Vicente. There were just a lot of good feelings there. It is hard to leave an area and to not know what kind of difference that you have made. But from when I came to san vicente to now I can already see huge changes. There is great potential. But it wasn´t me, It was the Lord. When we are working- He works right along side with us.

Oh today during transfer meeting I got a package from Grandma and Grandpa Clonts!! Oh my goodness it is some really really really great brownie mix from this delicious bakery mix place in Utah . . . via DearElder. (love DearElder). I am sooooooo excited to make it and love every bite. Dont worry i will share!!! I could never eat all of it. But yes I love those cookies/brownie/bar mixes. Delicious. I will have to walk it all off . . .Well I love you all so much. I love being a missionary. This really is the work of the Lord.

Hermana Urban

Hey what is going on with the states?? I am lost.

September 22, 2008

Prayer... when were you taught? There are some good lessons the missionaries can teach you that you should know...

Hola mis corazones;

Well this week was great, and as the days went on I realizad that we were running into a lot of service within the Branch. So some of our plans changed to help out some people in times of need, but at the end of the week we realized just how much the Lord blessed us. We were able to teach a lot of people and we have high hopes for everyone!!!

This one little moment keeps popping into my head: So you know our "Jack Sparrow" guy? Well, anyway we have been teaching his two daughters english. They are so gorgeous and smart and fun. I love them. Well, we never really talk about religion with them but then it came up (bound to when you are a missionary) with his youngest who is 13 but looks like she is 15. Ramon (Jack) told us that his daughters don't know anything about God or anything because he wants them to decide for themselves what is true. We responded with "perfect!!! We can introduce her to God and then she can decide." We went to the very basics with her. I asked her if she has had experience with prayer ever and she hasn´t. It blew me away for a moment. Prayer!?! So we told her that there actually exsists a God, a loving Heavenly Father that lives in the heavens and loves us personally. That we are daughters of Him- which makes us sacred and very special. Then we went on to explain that through prayer we can talk to Him. Tell him every little worry we have, every rejoice we have and what we need. I just remember Vanina looking at me . . . wrapping her mind around this concept.

The truth is we can´t actually stand in front of God, talk face to face with him. I cannot prove any of this is real. But when one feels the promptings of the Holy Ghost, the small feelings that really this is TRUE, one cannot deny it. I think that Vanina felt that for the first time. That she is more then just a another living breathing being on the earth, but a soul that is worth so much in the eyes of God.But it got me thinking. Wow she is just introduced to prayer now – at age 13. I tried to remember my first experience ever with prayer. I cannot put an age on it. But I remember kneeling by my bed at night with Dad kneeling next to me. And he was helping me say my prayer. And one of the things that Dad told me to pray for was: a worthy man that could take me to the temple one day. Haha!!! I think I remember that because I remember thinking "why am I praying for that while I am so young?!" So yup – that was my first (remembered) experience with prayer.

Prayer has always been something that I can go to in a time of need. Every moment in my life, when I had to make a decision I would go to Prayer. God is there. He does want to hear about our thoughts and our needs. I am so grateful for prayer and a Heavenly Father that listens. I am also so grateful that my parents taught me what prayer is, that we can and should apply it into our lives. Well love you all and you are all in my prayers!!!

Hermanita Urban

September 17, 2008

A Life Changing Conference!

Alright… So I apologize for the short email last week.

This week was fabulous! On Wednesday we have zone conference with Elder Bowen of the 70. Unfortunately I woke up all through the night with some sort of sickness. Usually I don’t care if I am sick or what not I will still do what I have to do. But this morning it was just impossible. I couldn’t and didn’t go. Hermana Olsen went with some other hermanas and I stayed in our pension. It was weird. I mostly just slept. Well they came back after hours of boredom and loneliness, and told me that it, of course, was amazing!!!!! Oh well, I missed it and that was that. And we planned for the next day. (I was then feeling much better). Well, in the morning I was still feeling sad that I missed this amazing conference and knowing that they were going to have it again that day, but in a different (very far area) got me thinking . . . maybe I could still go! I remembered how there is a bus that goes directly to La Plata (where the conference was) from San Vicente. I called president Asay to see if I could try to go and He said that if I make it there at 9:30 then I could go. It was 7:20 – called the bus place – they were leaving at 7:30 going to arrive at 9:10 PERFECT!!! Except for the fact that we were still in our pjs – no make up – no nada. So I changed really fast and we ran!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I brought my makeup)We made it there with time to stop by the bathroom. Ha-ha. The Lord really looks out for us.

Basically the conference was life changing! First off, I really feel as though I got sick for a reason - because I had to go to this one – which had things tailored to my needs. Secondly, I am sooooooo grateful that I can understand Spanish so much better now. We talked about a lot of doctrine and so I am so happy that trying to understand wasn’t taking away from the learning. The Spirit was immensely strong and I have come to realize once again how important the Holy Ghost is. Through the spirit we are truly brought to another level of learning. Things completely click. We talked about – who we are as a generation. How truly many are called but few are chosen. We can be chosen through our obedience. Elder and Hermana Bowen´s Spanish was beautiful. The conference made me want to step it all up to a new level – my Spanish, my teaching, my knowledge of the gospel. I just left walking on this cloud of spirituality happiness.

The church is true.

And one can know it, through sincerity and openness to the Holy Ghost.

Well I have got to get going I love you all soooooooo much. You are all in my prayers.

Hermana Urban

September 8, 2008

From a Dad's perspective...

This is Elissa'a Dad. This is one of those moments where it is my turn to post a quick note just before Elissa says a few things in the posting just below. I can't tell you the feeling I have everyday when I think about my daughter on a mission for the Lord. Can you imagine how you might feel knowing that your child is serving in this capacity? I prefer to not use the word proud. I choose to use the word blessed. I had someone tell me recently that they felt like the word blessed was over used. I tend to agree. I would reserve the word blessed for very sacred and amazing things. Just like your daughter or son serving a mission for the Lord. I more than anything want to emulate what she is doing. In other words if you have been a regular reader of this blog or not... maybe a friend of Elissa's, maybe a friend of mine, maybe a friend of our family. I am totally serious about how you might feel about investigating a most amazing faith. A message about Christ. Are you a person who seems to be intersted in spiritual things? If you are we are holding 5 short and well organized meetings to discuss a message of Christ I really think you would be interested in. To learn more about when these will be held contact me at: Have a wonderful day and enjoy Elissa's message this week!

trains and doors

We worked really hard this week and saw a lot of success. We are really focusing on the basics - which I love, meaning reading and praying. It is our way of building faith and through it we are able to build our foundation on Christ. I love being a missionary. One really can find so much about themselves in the midst of "losing their lives." Make sure you are reading and praying.

me on a train:

Lomas, where the offices are. i took this pic today:

this is a cool creepy door in san vicente: