Monday, September 27, 2010

Subject? Like I Need a Subject!

I have no time! But check it out: This week I heard the song ¨Polvo en el Viento¨ while walking in the streets. Yes, Kansas´ ¨Dust in the Wind¨ but in Spanish. Hna Hill and I appreciated that. I ate butter sandwiches the other day. I thought it was cheese. My veins were so sad when they ound out. We trapped the biggest spider of my laugh the other other day - comically big! I didn´t even fear it, it was so big (more like a cartoon).
I dreamed I was in space with some missionaries and there was a musical theatre and aliens that wanted to eat some meat, but I chose mozzarelly pizza (meat and pizza are so Argentine). When I get home, I expect to hear ¨Terra´s Theme¨ from Gone With the Wind. You can mix any random food, put it on top of a crust with a hard boiled egg and make it a ¨traditional¨ Argentine dish. The man who washes our clothes has demanded that we return after the mission and kiss him on the cheek like every other civil person would do. Our rules make us weird, but they protect us. :)
I absolutely love Argentina!

We taught José and Cynthia the message of the Restoration of the Gospel. José felt a fire within him, but had never experienced something like that before, so he was very confused. He actually went to wet his head with cold water. He said he knew that what we were teaching him, about the Book of Mormon especially, was true. He didn´t really understand everything we said (in part for our accents, I´m sure), but he knew that it had to be true. We all looked at him - his wife, mother-in-law, taddling daughters, Hna. Hill and I--surprised and humbled by how strongly he felt the Spirit. And this all within a meeting of about 10 minutes. We are very excited to go back and teach him more about the guidance the Holy Ghost can give him as he makes and keeps sacred committments with his Father in Heaven.
The Church is true. I have read the Book of Mormon, pondered in its message and the way we came to have it in our day, and I know it is true. Joseph Smith truly was a Prophet. There is no doubt in my mind. I look forward to the day when I can personally thank him for his faithful fulfillment of his mission. I hope to serve my mission with as much faith in Christ and His words. It is Christ word´s to which I owe all of my happiness. (Alma 44:5)

This Saturday and Sunday, we get to hear from living prophets! Enjoy!

I love you all oh so much!

Hermana Lindquist

p.s. family, many Argentine families think you are beautiful. VERY beautiful

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hiya Family!

A short list of some top sights this week: A dead man, a three-legged dog chasing a car, fried meat smeared with mayonaise (actually very common), and an African lion. And yet the best moment was when someone saw a picture of Joseph Smith´s first vision and asked sincerely, ¨Could this be true?¨ Yay for the diversity of the mission!
Pity time doesn´t permit for the many stories and lessons learned in a day, much less a week. Let´s just have a big dinner when I get back and we can talk about everything! For now, the African lion story. In short, we were walking down the road, turned the corner and out of nowhere, flashing lights and a circus tent! A real, ol´ fashioned Dumbo/Big Fish-stlye circus tent with carny trailers and inhumanely caged animals and all! It was one of the biggest, most exciting surprises. We basically screamed with glee (glea?) as we came closer and examined the gaudy signs proclaiming the arrival of the ¨Circo Magico Houdini¨. It was so perfectly movie-like! And then, yes, there was a giant African lion pacing back in forth in a tiny barred cage. I was newly grateful for the quality of life for the animals at the San Diego Zoo.

We had a week of ups and downs and all arounds. We´ve established some new goals for our area, and Hermana Hill and I are so excited to work together and bring help, healing, and happiness to our brothers and sisters in Monte Grande. I´ve decided to start over as if I´m brand new on the mission, but with the advantage of some months of experience (given, I still feel like I know very veeeery little). I reread my call letter and am beginning Preach My Gospel anew. It´s SO good. Read the introduction and think of about planning family home evenings like District Meetings. Good stuff.
I know obedience and humility make us worthy of the blessings of Heaven, and I know that faithful prayer and work are the way to call down that celestial help. I am convinced of the reality of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. I need to study both much more. I wonder if we´ll ever, in all eternity, understand the impact of His immortal sacrifice. I just hope I can live in sincere gratitude to Him forever. I love Jesus Christ and Our Heavenly Father. And I love His children! Sadness and disappointment are dreadful distractions to the supernal peace and joy that God has in store for all those who love Him and desire goodness and righteousness. Look for good. Nourish and cherish it. And ¨keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side; keep on the sunny side of life!¨
Spring is here in Monte Grande, and life is good and beautiful. Fine and dandy!

Thank you for your prayers and support. I love you all so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I´ll never be able to say it enough.

Smiles and rainbows!

Hermana Lindquist

Rockin' and a rollin'

The first time we met Fulana (yes, I changed the name), it was late a night and she was clamoring to gather some plastic bags and enter into her cement-walled home. We greeted her, she responded demonstrating a bit of frustration with the day she´d gone through. She then sighed, shook her head, and said, ¨Just a minute, chicas¨. She wrestled with a tangled mass of keys, found the one to her home, and opened the door for us. Well, she opened the door first to harness her seven frenzied dogs and store them in a room a bit further from the front.
Once we entered, she slammed the cigarettes on the table, shrugged her shoulders and began to tell us of her whirlwind life of problems: renters that don´t pay, family that have died and left nothing for her, health that limits her dreams and ambitions, and - most distressing of all - a heart full of ¨ravia,¨ hate, sorrow, anger, and everything she avioded in her youth.
I don´t remember what we said to her that first time. We taught her to pray. I remember that. We prayed together. She prayed. We pleaded with her to understand that she is a precious daughter of God. She doubted. Can´t says I blame her; she didn´t know any better.
The subsequent visits were filled with expressions and love and tenderness, and we emphasized much the love of our Heavenly Father and the sweet peace the Gospel brings. We read to her Christ´s words to the Nephite nation in the Americas shortly after His resurrection: ¨Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning¨ (3 Nephi 11).She felt impressed by the Spirit - although she didn´t fully realize it at the time - that Christ really drank from the ¨bitter cup¨. The venom of oppressed years that she felt she had been drinking became, in her eyes, a cup the Lord had shared. The truth is He did.
We visited other days with sisters from the local ward (congregation). It was amazing to hear these sisters´ testimonies of the changes they´ve seen in their lives as they came to understand the cleansing, supporting power of Christ´s Atonement.
In a few short visits, Fulana´s countenance began to change drastically. She began wiping down the table before we´d visit. Then, she started having crackers ready for us. One day, she didn´t complain at all about anything. Another day she was saying good things about many things. Her jokes became more positive. Her smile became more radiant. She began to rearrange her tiny room - a goal she´d had for months. She had at one time given up on her talents; now, she was making little paper maché flowers to sell in the street. They are beautiful.
Now, when we see her, she is cheerful. She is happy.
The difference? She began to pray every night. She prayed with faith. She also took real interest in the scriptures. The Book of Mormon contains so much hope. Yesterday, she came to church for the first time. She found there the family she had missed so terribly. I am so humbled and happy to see the changes she´s made. I loved her from the start, but now I´m so happy because she loves herself, and she knows not that God loves her too. What a tremendous difference that knowledge makes.

Smile at everyone. Love them with all ya got, and teach them principles of love and faith. That way they can love themselves and see the value they have. I know that the Lord always sees our value. Always! He wants so badly for us to see and understand it as well. I know that the principles of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, as taught by modern day prophets, teachers, and revelators in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, really make all the difference in a person´s life. By applying these things, with faith in Jesus Christ, we can progress toward eternal life - life as God knows it. Life with our families and friends, in perfect harmony and joy for the rest of all time and beyond. Sounds pretty sweet to me!

I love you all oh so much and look forward to a bright future tomorrow, the next day, a year from now, and ¨to infinity and beyond!¨ (I always knew Buzz Lightyear was inspired.) :)

Muchísimas gracias por todo. Les amo un MONTÓN!!

Hermana Linksquidsky

Just enough time to tell ya I´m alive

And there ya have it! I live! But yeah, I have about thirty seconds. Sorry! And this week was soooo good! We had a baptism, a birthday party for a woman who´s been alone for years, a tango-singing competitcion in the chapel, many an inspiring lesson, and a total renovation in Hermana Hill and my´s weekly planning methods. We´re are bound and determined to help the most people possible and in the best ways!

Happy Aniversario de la muerte de San Martín!! He´s a big deal. Ask half of South America about it.

I love you all mucho! Thank you for everything!

Hermana Lindquist

p.s. Brandon, my buddy Ida says to say hi to you. She´s from Trujillo, and you served there, so you´re practically already best friends. There ya have it!
Mom, I learned this week that you´re amazing. I´ll write later. If not, remind me to tell you about the lunch with the Pederson family. It´s code.... :)
Dad, could you please send me your chocolate cake recipe. I´ll try my hand at it....
p,p,s the song Total Eclipse of the Heart has been chasing me. Today, we literally ran away from it. The music video was playing in the restaraunt we were in. Talk about temptation to watch t.v.! But, like good ol´ Joseph of Egypt (who I´ve been studying and am completely in love with), we ran!