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:

September 1, 2008

lady in the water

Well my loves this week rocked my face off!

Now that I look at the week it seems like it was forever ago but in the midst of it it went by pretty fast.

Well, first off my little comp has been having really bad back pain. So much that she stayed home one morning and I went and worked with a mini, Andrea. Andrea is great and is such a hard worker. So Andrea and I went out to work and teach and find, all that good stuff. Well, anyway just as soon as we were going to go back home for lunch Andrea tells me that someone fell in the "sanha." The sanha are ditches on the sides of the dirt roads from peoples showers, kitchens and things of that sort. Dogs will drink from it and develop diseases. Yeah it is all pretty gross at times. Well, to have someone fall in it would be a tragic experience. So I was a little bit taken back that someone actually did. So we run up to this lady, Alicia, and helped her get back on her feet. Well anyway, I could tell that she was frazzled and she started to tell us about herself. Basically she needs some stability in her life. So we let her know that our message brings peace and understanding in this life and Salvation for the next (who wouldn´t want that?)- So we taught her about the Restoration. That same day she went by herself to the relief society activity. Can you believe it?? So we are really excited.

Well, basically I also lived a bit of a dream. Because of my comps back pain we had to go see the mission doctor. His office is in Capital. So we went to Buenos Aires for a day. We we early to our appointment so we got a Mcflurry at Mcdonalds. (a fake one because they are NOT the same!) and it is so funny Mcdonalds here is somewhat cool. It is where people go with their girlfriends to chat, or take their laptops and do business meetings, etc. It makes me laugh. But the one we went to had a balcony so we sat and ate our fake ice cream. I took a pic of my view.
Well, then we went to the Doctor. Of course he told her to take ibprophen.

Afterward we went to Jumbo. Let me tell you about Jumbo. It is a almost like a Target. SO I just relished, because, even though I have nothing against my cute little supermarcardos and fruit stands, it felt really good to have options and find things that I actually enjoy. They have an ethic food section (haha) and in the united States area they had Craisins. So I bought them! Yummy! Well, it was then time for lunch. We went to CALIFORNIA BURRITO!!! Ok so all the Argentines hang out at McDonalds. But the Americans go to California Burrito. It is the smallest little restaurant, but it is exactly like Qboda. After 6 months of not having my favorite food. I just about died! We met some girls there from the states that are here on study abroad and they eat here every week. It was soooooo weird to talk to people in English!!! whoa!!! and one of the owners of California Burrito lived in Grand Junction for 4 years. and she is awesome. Basically all of the missionaries from the north mission go eat there on pday. But we don't have that blessing a-thinkyou.

Now I see why one of my friends that served in my mission (the south) called the north mission the "pretty boy" mission. (sorry Scott).

Some of the things that I have seen outside of the city are completely different then within. Basically, if the city was the only part of Buenos Aires that I would see - I would think it was pretty cool and exciting. (in a tourist sense). But there are some realities that people don´t see. Well, that was a thought of mine.

Anyway. the food was DIVINE!!!!! And I wouldn´t mind it if we had to go again really soon. But I guess I have to check myself into a year of no mexican food or delicious chips and salsa again. oh the horror.

On our way back to San Vicente we stopped by the mission home and ate some delicious fruit with Hermana Asay. I love her.

But then we went back to work.
I really can´t believe that day even happened.

Anyway, things are good and hard at the same time. There is a lot of work to be done so we must go forth. I miss all of you so much. I just read some DearElders - I want to reply to everyone individually but time for that does not exist.

hermanita urban