Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I´m doing it the lazy (or, at best ¨hasty¨) way again. Here´s a copy of my email to President Stapley:

Dobree Dyen! (that´s Russian for ¨Good morning¨)

We had ourselves a merry little week...We made this plan to help more investigators to attend church: have the members drop off daily invitations. Basically, we prepared ¨invitation count-downs¨ and asked members who live near investigators to go by every day in the week and leave one of the invitations. For example, Hno. Garcia left an invitation on Fulano´s door that said something like ¨four days til church!¨ (with a little scripture attached). The next day, he left Fulano ANOTHER note that said ¨three days left!¨ And thus a note was left everyday to remind Fulano throughout the week to prepare for church. Many members very happily accepted the challenge and some did it for last week, while others are doing it this week. We´re hoping that this will help the investigators have church on their mind throughout the week. THEN the member goes by to accompany the investigator on Sunday. Yay! We´re still in the middle of the experiment, so we´ll let you know how it goes.
This week, our focus is getting those lessons with members! We´ve seen too many miracles from involving members to NOT do it. Many of our investigators have been so well integrated with the members of the ward. It´s a beautiful thing, and we´re looking forward to seeing more of it.

Happy times in Monte Grande. We know there´s much in store for the people here, and we´re hopeful and optimistic for this week.
¨Por tanto, muy queridos hermanos, hagamos con buen ánimo cuanta cosa esté a nuestro alcance; y entonces podremos permanecer tranquilos, con la más completa seguridad, para ver la salvación de Dios y que se revele su brazo¨ (DyC 123:17). Joseph Smith was quite the motivator, and I believe what he said! We are determined to do all within our reach, and I know that the Lord will reveal His arm. I LOVE this work!

Thank you so much, President, for your guidance and advice. Monte Grande (and we the missionaries of course) sends you much love and smiles gallore. :)

Hermana Lindquist

Yep yep yep. Thaz wha´ I dun tells hem.
MOM! Do you have a corn bread recipe? Preferably one from generations past...We´re teaching this man who is a chef. He actually has a specialty in American foods, but he wants to make sure he uses REAL recipes, and not imitations. Cinnamon roll and oatmeal cookies are also happily received. :)

The Church is so true. We´re teaching a young family who has searched so long for a place with pure religion and the truths of both the Old and New Testaments. They began searching ever more diligently for the fulness of the Gospel with the birth of their son a few months ago. More than anything, this baby´s father wants his son brought up ¨in truth and righteousness¨. However, as individuals and as a family, they´d passed through much deception and disappointment. When we began teaching them, they clung dearly to the doctrine of the eternal family. They know the Bible so well because of years of study led by the Spirit. So well, that when they learned of Joseph Smith and the Restoration, it rang true because of the Lord´s long established pattern of revealing divine truths through living Prophets. I, like these investigators, have become newly aware of Heavenly Father´s ever true love and guidance. He always, always, always blesses those who worship Him according to the light and knowledge they possess. And the more light and knowledge a person can attain to in this life, the greater he or she can be blessed. PLEASE share the Gospel with everyone. Please let your friends know that the words of the Lord´s servants are available to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people (Mosiah 3:13). And remember that they´re available through us who know! Why would the Lord go through so much trouble to publish the Bible and the Book of Mormon and call a modern Prophet if He didn´t want everyone to know. Why would He tell me about it if He didn´t want me to share it with others. As one sister in Relief Society pointed our the other day, we shouldn´t be like that saber-toothed-squirrel in the movie Ice Age when it comes to our testimony, hoarding it away and frantically trying to keep others from it. The advantage my testimony and yours has over nuts is that when we share it, we get more. Okay, maybe there are some other advantages too... :)

Rambling my way through another email just to get to the most important part: I love you all so much! Thank you ever so much for your love, support, and determination to be good people. I know so many good people! What a blessing! You all are just fancy splendid!

Smiles and sunshine,

Hermana Lindquist

p.s. remixed version of ¨You Were Always on My Mind¨. Way better than the original.

INGRID!! One more thing: Please tell Richard he´s the best. There´s a member here who reminds me so much of him: always joking and fun-loving, but also sensitive and caring and very loving especially in his family. And a superb dad-e-o! And you can QUOTE me! I realize more and more what a great example you and your family are. So pretty!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Finally, More Pictures

This is Mary's companion showing off the american desserts(cupcakes) that someone baked especially for them!

Happy Day!

People often ask me how I can smile so much. I learned - and am continually learning that like Capitán Zarahemna of the Book of Mormon, I am so grateful for ¨the sacred word of God, to which we owe all our happiness¨ (Alma 44:5). If it weren´t for the promises of the Lord and the profound doctrine of the Plan of Salvation, I would be a withered frowning glob, instead of a ball of sunshine. And frankly, I very much prefer sunshine balls. Almost as good as popcorn balls! It´s a close call...
Lesson learned: Satan takes good intentions and turns them into destructive contentions. I met a man who was firmly anti-religion. He insisted that people need help, not organizations of religion. He tries everyday to do good things for people and live a Christ-like life. That is good. At the same time, he tries to do it all alone. That is NOT God´s plan. A billion good-hearted, well-meaning people can not save the world if they act strictly on an individual level. Sociality, united effort, and organization based on principles of Christ´s doctrine are essential to doing work that has any sort of long-lasting efficacy. I think in our days, we can´t settle for great accomplishments in technology, medicine, or science. Those are fantastic, but somehow as a people we need more accomplishment in organizing the human resources that we have. In Gospel-speak: we need to be united and apply the God-given gifts of the Spirit each person has and build Zion. Our work is that of salvation and eternal life. I love Heavenly Father´s children; I love my brothers and sisters so much! I know that God is a loving Parent and He´s given us a house in the world and a home in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I hope that all makes sense. It´s the first attempt I´ve made at putting it in words. And now I´ve got myself all worked up. Whew! I need an alfajor.

I LOVE being a missionary. I love learning the Lord´s will and striving to do it. I know that eternal rewards await us as we treasure and take advantage of every passing moment.

THank you all SO MUCH! I wish I could hug you all with the biggest hugs in the world!! All in god time. :)

Smiles and rainbows!

Hermana Lindquist

p.s. Random note from the mission offices: Don´t send packages via UPS or FedEx or anything other than the good ol´ US Postal Service


Remember when I was in Burzaco? Yeah, me too. It was great! Well, one of my last visits to the familia Infante there, I talked with a friend of the family who had come into town to visit and was in that moment leaving on his bike. I invited him to learn more, took down his address, and sent it to the missionaries of the area he belonged to. A simple ¨contact,¨ in missionary speak. This would have been back in December, por allí. Bueno, I just heard today from the Infantes that he got baptized the day before yesterday and received the gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday. Wow!

Hermana Hill and I approached the ¨rejas¨ (outter fence) of a home the other day, and we clapped our hands. A young couple appeared, and before we could even say who we were or what we were doing there, they were looking for the key to let us in. I was very surprised, and looked at my companion, and then looked at them and asked, ¨Where you expecting us?¨ I thought they must have mistaken us for some maintanence workers they´d been awaiting or something. We entered and shared briefly with them. They explained that they NEVER let people they don´t know enter, but they knew and felt that we were sent by the Lord. Plus, my companion, as she prayed in their home, made a particular petition in a blessing on the home and the couple said they prayed for that very thing every night. The Spirit was strong.
As it turns out, they are good friends with a member family that live in the same block. The man said that for the past 30ish years, the example of that family has been an invaluable example of goodness, love, and true Christianity. This young couple asked us for a Book of Mormon (again, before we even mentioned it), and has since found great peace and happiness in their home. So much so, that they asked the member family for another so that they could each read and mark and study more profoundly. I know that in homes where the Book of Mormon is read regularly, there is peace and harmony and great happiness.

I waited a few months before I knew my testimony had such a great influence on that man in Burzaco. The family in Monte Grande lived 30 years preaching to their neighbor by example. So many times, we don´t know how great an influence we have on others, but influence we do; whether we like it or not! So learn to love your influence and make it positive. :)

In a letter to the *200+ missionaries here in Buenos Aires South, our beloved President Stapley wrote the following: ¨I hope you will be focused on the Doctrine of Christ and that you are working on love and obedience. If you do this with passion and a smile and you are working hard to get better every day, you will see everything improve.¨ It´s so true.

*Fun fact! The Buenos Aires South mission is the largest in South America in terms of number of missionaries.
¨El evangelio no reta. El evangelio recuerda.¨ (-Hermana Moreno of Monte Grande)
¨Si esto no fuera verdadero, tengo muchas cosas más importantes que hacer. Si no estuviera la Iglesia de Jesucristo de Los Santos de Los Ultimos Días, lo estaría buscando.¨ (-Hno. Dias of Monte Grande)

Could you please send photos of Blake´s and Eric´s weddings, and more of da family! I love showing people who you all are, and they love seeing you!
Kristin Long: I´ve decided when we get a fainting goat, we will name one Ammon, and another King Lamoni.
Bev: Hermana Hill and HER sister belt out the song, ¨I Wanna Dance With Somebody!¨ while driving too!
Blake: Hermana Hill says having an appendix removed is no fun. She sends her condolances.
Mom: What city in Arizona are you in?
Ingrid: How big´s your belly?
Russ: How´s da espanish??
Eric: Please say hi to the beach for me. You and I have a snorkeling trip ahead of us. Summer 2011!
Randy: Brazilians are really cool!
Dad: See if you can replace the shoulder with a robot go-go-gadget arm instead of mere mortal flesh.
Brandon: I love you! You make the best decisions, and I trust them mucho. :)

I love you all very much! Thank you so much for everything.

Hermana Lindquist