Archives

Testimonio de Honorable Hermana Sarah Jennifer Tritsch

Testimonio de Honorable
Hermana Sarah Jennifer Tritsch

Yo nunca pensaba que yo iba a escribir mi Testimonio de Honorable, pero como me he sentado escribir eso, me doy cuenta de los grandes milagros que he visto y he tomado parte. No soy una que “bautizó cada semana” o menos “bautizó cada mes,” pero no niega los milagros que han pasado y sé que mis esfuerzos no son en vanos.
Agradezco a mi Señor por esta gran oportunidad que me ha dado para servir en lo mejor, La Gran Misión Argentina Resistencia.

Yo recuerdo mi primera entrevista con Presidente del Castillo. El me preguntó lo que quería yo de mi misión, y yo le dije que quería regresar honorable de verdad. No solamente alguien que termina sus 18 meses y ya esta, pero honorable de verdad. El me prometió que yo lo haría solamente si yo lo quería. Espero realmente haberlo logrado, pero tal vez, solamente el Señor realmente lo sabe si yo he logrado o no.

Yo creo firmemente que la misión es el herramienta que Padre celestial usa para cambiar chicos a hombres y chicas a mujeres – personas listas para ser parte del Reino de Dios. En mi mismo, puedo ver eso, también. Me siento muchísimo mas preparada para seguir con la vida, ser esposa, y eventualmente mamá – la “dos-mil-joven” tipo de madre que Dios necesita que seamos en un mundo que esta cayendo un poco mas peor en cada momento.

Recuerdo muchas veces en mi misión que sentí que estamos empujando un gran roca, y aún que empujamos y empujamos sentimos que no hay progreso, porque la obra es muy grande, hasta que miramos atrás y nos damos cuenta del estado de nuestros músculos y regocijamos en el progreso que hemos hecho, y solo nos falta muy poco hasta que revolce… y eso nos hace felices. Solo hay que seguir empujando, para que cubra toda esta tierra como la roca cortada sin manos.

Yo sé sin duda que Nuestro Padre Celestial tiene su santa mano en esta parte de su viña. El esta trabajando fervorosamente porque ya es tiempo de la cosecha, y tiempo, hay muy poco.

Tenía yo, una compañera que siempre decía, “El Señor no nos necesita en su obra, sino que nosotros necesitamos ser parte.” Solamente ahora estoy empezando a comprender lo que ella quería decir.

Nosotros no servimos en donde y como somos más capaces a servir sino en el lugar que es mejor para nuestro progreso, no necesariamente el progreso de la obra. La obra de Dios siempre va a progresar porque él puede hacer todo. Por eso, el llama a los hombres en sus debilidades y los califica para la obra. Entonces, obramos, sacrificamos, transpiramos y a veces sentimos que todo es en vano, pero se que Dios esta contento cuando dimos nuestro mejor esfuerzo.

Yo sé que nuestro Padre Celestial me ama y porque me ama me ha dejado venir en la misión. Sé que Jesucristo es el Hijo de Dios y el autor de esta gran obra y agradezco a Él por poner su confianza en una ser imperfecta como yo.

Yo sé que Jesucristo vive, y cada cosa que nos dicen los profetas nos ayuda allegarnos más a Él. Yo testifico que las palabras santas en el Libro de Mormón son verdaderas. Sé que nos muestran todo que tenemos que hacer.
Agradezco a manos inspiradas que compilaron, tradujeron, y trajeron ese libro maravilloso de luz. Sin ese libro, no podemos saber quien es Jesucristo realmente y lo que realmente tenemos que hacer para que su expiación sea parte de nuestras vidas.

Ellos dicen que lo que realmente hace una misionera buena o mala es lo que hacen después. Espero que cuando saque mi pollera larga y placa y me vista en mis jeanes preferidos que mi conducta muestre la tipa de misionera que soy y pueda vivir según los convenios que he hecho acá y en el templo del Señor.

Seguro vendrán tiempos difíciles, pero si hagamos nuestro parte, Él siempre estará a nuestro lado.

En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amén.

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #81: So what do you do when the big guns backfire?


I am counting down the weeks and I realized I am running out of weeks. Thanks so much for reading my blog... It means a ton that you read it.

I feel strange.... I am packing my bags, but it still does not seem real... like a dream, really.

This week we pulled the big guns out on Julia. There is a Missionary couple here that is in charge of making our district a stake, (Matrimonio Larsen, from Lehi, Utah) and they joined us for a lesson on faith... and how to take the big leap of faith into the baptismal font. The spirit was really strong for the lesson, and it was hard to deny it. Pero al pasar de todo... she still has a lingering doubt... My leaders wanted me to put a baptismal date to get baptized with José for Christmas, but when we got there... I could not do it. It did not feel right. we did a soft invitation (without date) and she still stands by that its too soon. Meanwhile, she keeps the word of wisdom (gave up tea) and goes to the ward activities.

I know that she is headed there... We only pray that she opens up her heart and takes the leap of faith to ask God. The thing is, I think she already knows what the answer is, and so she´s afraid to ask, so she does not have to be responsible.

So for right now, we are going to focus on José Gauna... Who is happily dancing his way to the baptismal font. It feels like when I taught another José, José Balmacera -- the Gaucho in Ituzaingó. Less Gaucho pants and more Nike knockoffs... but the same simplified teaching and many visual aids. Also the anxious desire to know and to feel, even if its hard to understand all the details.

Proof that Faith has nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with trusting in God.

Thats all for right now.... Stay tuned for the final entry from Argentina next week to see how it all turns out.

Chaucito, Che-citos.
Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #79: Working for divine intervention

Hey All!

So, Julia did not get to her baptismal date... she thinks its too soon. And I got fustrated because I know that she knows its true, its just that she does not know that she knows it. And I felt fustrated because we worked really hard with her... we have been working with her since Hermana Hall was my companion and when it came right down to it... it did not happen.

Meanwhile, the least expected person to enter the waters, José Gauna is exitedly preparing for his big dunk on Christmas day. And I am thinking, where in the world did this great blessing come from?

I figured out something when I was busy filling out teaching records and progress records and whatever other type of record that you can think of, and reviewing old ones of old investigators and I said to myself... look at all the work we do that did not amount in baptisms. all the people here that have been taught everything... how many miles walked and doors knocked... and one would feel sad...

But I realized that all of the hard work we do, that seems like it amounts to nothing is work to show God that we are worthy to have his divine help. Then I looked back at all the times I was priveleged to see baptisms, and it seems like every single one of them... in the end, fell into our laps, like it fell out of the windows of heaven.

The thing is that we don´t know who it is that God puts in our way to test our diligence and who are the truly prepared people that are headed for the baptismal font... But either way, every person we teach, even if they downright reject us, is a golden oportunity to show Heavenly Father how much we love him.

I know that now... I am just sad it took me so long to realize it.

-Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #78: Christmas Miracles wrought by faith


Our Grand focus this week was trying to find people to baptize. So what do we do? We try to put baptismal dates with everyone and we see what happens. Some accepted the challenge, and some did not, but President del Castillo says it is a way to weed out those who only want to be friends and those who have true interest in our message.

I guess it worked because we were able to put 7 baptismal dates this week and we were able to find key people, that we were not expecting to progress.

José Gauna is a very simple man, whose drug and alcohol use in his juventud, have reduced him into the thought process of a teenager. But he is really sincere, and when we teach him simply, he understands and wants to do what is right. He no longer drinks or smokes, but he has a firm belief that Christ has helped him overcome many problems in his life. He accepted a baptismal date for Christmas Day.

Olga Maldonado, accepted a baptismal commitment, but no fecha. We came to our appointment and told us that she was catholic and there was no way we were going to be able to change that. She was backed up with the wall of catholic Idols that she has inside of her home that we did not see before, because our first lesson was outside. We taught her the importance of the Book of Mormon, and invited her to Church, the spirit was very stong, and I know she felt something special. Then, miraculously sheshowed up to church this Sunday ALONE. She listened to the testimony and we introduced her to everyone, and I could tell it was very special for her.

Julia Muñoz continues to progress, even though she is beginning to doubt as her baptismal date gets closer and closer. She went to the Christmas Devotional last night to hear of the prophet and some apostles, and she promised to pray and see if she needed to get baptized.

The short story is this: in the conversion of a person, there are two factors, the faith of the investigator and the faith of the missionary. I realized that what was lacking was my own faith, and when I sucked it up and just did it, even though I was scared, God was able to bring about big miracles.

Love,
Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #77: Persevere y triunfarás

Hola mi familia!!!

AHHH!!! My mother was kind enough to remind me today that I have exactly 31 days until I come home…. There is so much to do before I go… I cannot believe that I have gotten this far.

This week has been a hectic one... Hermana Medero certainly keeps me on my toes as she asks me for everything from if she can shower in the night time to how the internet works. Its so wierd how in-control a trainer can be. Hermana Papenfuss was easy to train and caught on very quick... I was blessed.

I am still blessed, don´t get me wrong. Hermana Medero´s enthusiasm for the work is contagious, she is just a lot more dependent on me than Hermana Papenfuss.

But we continue to work hard and struggle and sweat like any other missionary. I am trying to teach my newbie how to have fun while doing it. She is a really serious, focused person... not that´s a bad thing or anything.

We are making good progress with Julia, as she came to church for the second week in a row... thats a very good sign. Things are looking bright for her baptismal date.... all holds barred.

Miracle of Perseverance moment: forever ago, with Hermana Hall, we contacted a reference of a member named Azucena, then promptly lost contact. We went by several times, but eventually, we gave up. Recently, the son of the family that gave us the reference, Marcos, asked us to pass by again... which, even though I had my doubts, we went anyway. She had told us that she had been reading a copy of the Book of Mormon that the elderes gave her forever ago and was almost done with it, and even though she did not understand it all, she felt a peace inside and had been praying that we would pass by.

Its like a story you only find in the Liahona.

We will see what happens with these two women, as time progresses.

ChauCito. Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

#76: Just this once



Hey Friends and Family!!

Well, it seems like everything is winding down for me… within 6 weeks time I will be back on North American soil… I can hardly believe it. It feels like I just got here, but then again, it feels like an eternity ago.

To keep my feet firmly on my toes, I was suprised to recieve a phone call that I had to get myself to Resistencia to look for Nuevita #2, Hermana Vanessa Medero from Montevideo, Uruguay. She is a good missionary, very serious and focused... just what I need in these next few weeks.

Its a whole different ball of wax than with Hermana Papenfuss, the problem is that I knew Lavalle like the back of my hand, and Laguna Seca, parts of it, are still foreign for me.

But we are having some success anyway. We are teaching a woman named Julia, the mother of a member of our ward, named Sebastian, and even though Sebastian is socially awkward at best, and kind of ignored her when she came to church this week (shortly after attending then leaving the catholic mass), she thouroughly enjoyed it anyway, and everything was made better when a seventy decided to randomly go to church in our branch... she felt really special to be there.

The thing is that morning it had been raining, so many decided that they would not brave it to come to church, and they missed out. Its kind of sad in that way... how people, decide that “just this once” I will stay inside, and then they miss out big time.

Well, got to get to work, I miss you all, and I hope that none of you miss a big oppurtunity by thinking ”Just this one time” I won´t do it and then miss everything.

Love You all,
Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #71: The Labyrinth, or, It´s snowing registros de enseñanza!






Hey Friends and Fam!!!

Now officially reporting from Corrientes Capital, I am back to feeling like a newbie... lost as ever, but exited to be here... I think that is why they do transfers... to keep you on your toes... jaja. This area is full of viviendas with confusing neighborhoods with a thousand and one wierd pasages to explore... its like a maze.... turn the corner and there is even more unexplored territory. My precious Posadas was a grid system, easy to learn and master... but here in Laguna Seca everything is completely mixed up.

But I am gaining somewhat of a footing from a forced study of the map when we decided to work with a long list of menos activos scattered all over the place, and two binders full of old investigators. We are examining every single sheet, discarding the ones that do not have enough information to find them, and writing down the addresses of the ones that seem to have potential to eventually go and find them. We have already seen some fruit... but its too early to see if the fruit that we found is ripe yet.

Hermana Hall and I are getting exited about one girl named Yesica, she is 17 years old, but as luck has it, turns 18 a day before the baptismal date we put with her. (we did not know that when we put the date, the only one who knew was her and God) She was really shy at first, and would not do much of any reading or praying with us, but every time we go there, she makes little steps, that for her are big ones. She went to chuch this Sunday for the second time, and this past charla, she even hugged us.... :) And we were teaching her about the law of chastity that day, so its a good sign.

On another side note, there is a Walmart and a McDonalds in Corrientes.... I walked into the walmart like a deer in headlights today, and found Marshmallows and Doughnuts. I bought my first doughnut in 16 months, and we are making rice krispie treats tomorrow... SOOO exited. I never thought I would think that marshmallows were a great find.

I think you learn what one can live without when you go to a foreign mission, I think.

Love,
Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #70: Transferred into the middle of a Laguna Seca




Hey All!

Sorry for not writing yesterday, but because of Columbus Day (yes... they celebrate it down here.) Our p-day was switched to Tuesday and we worked the holiday.

Transferred again.... Laguna Seca, Corrientes Capital, Corrientes! I really love it here... its a good area with a good branch of people that are really exited about the gospel. There are many less actives, that we work with more and more as time goes on, but the core group of active members are really good and unified, well, as far as I can tell. I miss my old area because it became like home for me... I think I lived in that apartment longer than I did in any one room in college. But the change is good for me... keeps me fresh and exited.

My new compi, Hermana Brianna Hall is from American Fork, Utah and has a lot of love for this people and for her mission. She was with her trainer for three transfers, thats a long time in missionary speak so its been a little interesting being her replacement, but she is really exited to learn and we are learning together. She might just be my last compi in the campo misional so I am trying to make the best of it.

We are teaching many awesome people, who really have desire to learn about the gospel, and I can tell that this place is full of people ready to take the plunge. Our work is primarily done with less active families and we are finding people to baptize through them... their children, their husbands, their family, and so on. The less active members are actually a treasure trove for missionary work, because people who go to church are friends with people who are in the church already, and those who do not attend church so often, have more friends and family who are not members. Many of the baptismal dates that we have came from less active and part member families.

A few weeks before I got here, they did a Tormenta Blanca, which is when all of the missionaries of all over Corrientes Capital, come to our area and pair off with the members, with several addresses of less active homes, to find them, find if they still live there, invite them to church, and also invite them to hear the missionaries.

They found many good families to visit and to teach, and so we are predominately working from the fruits of it.

Well, I love my mission although it makes me sick to my stomach to think that its closing to an end for me... I got this transfer and the next, and chao, me voy... 

Well, at least I got to meet Hermana Herrin, my “sister” in the mission field, because she was trained by Hermana Shmutz too.

Love you all,
Hermana Tritsch

P.S. Today, for P-Day, we went to a zoo and we got to see some of the local critters... Lots of Pictures, but this computer is being slow, so here are three of my new HUMAN friends....

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #69: Me? Vieja?!?!?

Hey Everyone!!!

I can´t believe how fast that the transfer with Hermana Papenfuss has absolutely FLOWN by. It seems like yesterday that I went to find her in the mission home, but now my baby´s all grown up and (sniff sniff) savin´ Argentina!!!!! jaja (Mulan, get it?) well, it was an absolute BLAST doing it, but I can say that North American companions are ALOT different from South American companions... I am not sure which one is worse, but I feel my Spanish is getting worse, because I am speaking more in English.... Thats a nasty habit... and it does nothing for my skills. Hopefully I will get another south American compi before I go home, so I can go back to not knowing how to speak English.

We made invitations to invite seriously everyone to General Conference... we handed out something like 90 invitations to members, nonmembers, less actives, investigators, random people on the street and everything. We gave one to Familia Candia, a part member family that we tracted into and have many hopes that the mother, Nidia, will progress well and baptize without problems. They have three little children all under the age of three, kind of reminds me of my parents at that age. Well, they did not come Saturday, but just before the Sunday evening session, an Elder told us that there was a couple with little kids that were looking for us, so we immediately bolted out of our seats and found them at the front door... with their three little children in tow. We located some members of our ward in the crowd, our Ward Mission Leader and his NOT-girlfriend and we sat them together so they could get to know some of the people that pertain to us.

The Conference started and they absolutely love it... I have so much high hopes for this family... we had an appointment with them Friday a lesson that turned to obedience in the end, and it ran at the end right up against curfew, so we did a little object lesson about the importance of obedience "A veces no sabemos porque tenemos las reglas o mandamientos, pero Dios nos requiere obediencia iqual, y Dios nos bendice con seguridad y protección si lo hacemos." So we high tailed it out of there even thought they wanted us to stay to eat pizza.

I am glad we did, I think it was for our obedience that we could teach them, and that they came to the conference.

Speaking of conference, it was AMAZING!!! I loved it... Especially the talks of Elder Holland (like always), Elder Uchdorf (The tree-airplane analogy of getting back to the fundamentals when everything goes wrong) and the fourteen key points about prophets (and even though they said it twice, I could not write fast enough to get them all down) and the plea of the Prophet that we have more gratitude with one another.... Seriously this conference was one of the best. I am so happy I got to see it in English... They holed up all of the English speaking missionaries in the relief society room with a tiny screen so we could hear it in our native tounge... like Christmas for missionaries.

And now I am faced with a new year (now I am 23) and a new transfer (number 12 for me) and yours truly now becomes the Oldest Hermana in the Mission....

now where DID I leave my cane?

Love,
Hermana Sarah Tritsch

Tune in next week to see what happens.... Will she go or will she stay? dun Dun DUNNNN!

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #I think its 68: The nitty and gritty of it all.

Hola Familia y Amigos Queridos!

This past week went by so fast and every week I am as suprised as ever to see the number of my blog ever increase.... my mother was so kind remind me that I have 96 days before I touch American Soil... Thanks for that... Really.

But we work hard and try our hardest to achieve our goals...

One really cool thing: since the zone conference when they talked about working with part member families and less active families, we have found, by divine design several part member families that we did not even know existed. Nilia and Miguel Candia we found door to door contacting. When my companion recieved a really special prompting that we should talk to Nilia... and turns out that her marido, Miguel is a member less active!!! we are working really hard with the family... we have to help them get married, but It doesn´t seem like it will be a problem because they are in love with each other. They seem to soak up the doctrine like sponges and they love the promises that the gospel brings.

Then, not this sunday, but last, Angel y Elisabet Almendra came to church, Angel is a member and Elisabet isn´t but they decided to come to chuch so we went and visited them... Upon our arrival, we realized that we had already been to this house and talked to an old man... who was Elisabet´s Father. At the time we did not feel inspired to come back, but God just pushed us back into this house. Angel came to chuch this week, and is anxious to try to get back into activity, because he is ex-misionero.

We also went to Jose and Gladis Salazar... A couple less active that happens to be DEAF! Hermana Papenfuss and I got up the courage one day and went and visited them. We went there and Gladis was outside, and she saw us and put an angry look on her face and when she got closer, I showed her my tag, and her face completely changed and she became very happy to see us. She told us that when she saw us she thought we were Jehova´s witnesses because there is a deaf congregation of them, and they always come, but she immediately let us in and through a mix of botched sign language/paper conversation and lots of scriptures....

I realized that American Sign Language and Argentinian Sign Language are different, but not all that different. God is the same, Jesus is the same, and the sign for "I love you" too. I am not sure how effective it all was, but I felt the spirit really strong, and Gladis prayed and it was really beautiful. and then we all cried.

Later in the week, for week of Service, the ward cleaned up a local school, that was a school in which many of the adult members went to Elementary School. It was really cool to help them out in a place that was really close to their hearts. There was a great fondness, even though the school itself was in rough shape. Lots of dirt, and lots of repairs, but it was awesome to see all the work we had done.

Well time is up, and I miss you all, and just remember, by the next time I write I will be 23.

Love,
Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #66: Back to the MTC: Four Walls and a Chalkboard

Hola Chamigos.

Sorry this one is short, but my time has been cut short by a four-day training session that I have to attend as a trainer. This training session is for Zone Leaders, District Leaders, and trainers, and yours truly qualifies under the third one... So today until thursday I will be holed up inside the stake center with some serious intensive training. Its really fun to learn more about how I can do my work better and more efficiently.

Its very rare because I am an Hermana, and the size of our area is great, that we can experience such up-close and personal training from our mission president... I rarely ever see him otherwise. So, all in all, I am really exited. The sad thing is that my compi has to go work in another area leaving me all alone with 15 other elders... does not make much for company... jaja.

This past week, during the baptism of Jorge Alvarenga, a member brought with her a neighbor of hers, and her sister to the baptism, which, like good little missionaries, we quickly put a return appointment, and assured her that what was happening was really special, and that we could tell her why.

We went to her home, and found her, (Pamela) her sister (Maira) and her mother (Christina) waiting for us. We taught them the first lesson and it went very will. The mother had many questions and everyone was very open with us. So, following the Holy Ghost, we immediately put a baptismal date with them, and they accepted!

When I told the hermana later what happened, she was in shock, because it was exactly what she had been praying for. The hermana could not come with us because she was in the temple for the monthly temple trip to Asunción, but went to the temple praying that she would accept us, and that God had answered her prayer. It was so neat that we could be instruments in god´s hands to answer the prayers of this woman.

We are working all speed ahead with her, with all faith that the day will come.

We continue to work with Zulema, and tonight we have a Noche de Hogar to see if we can convince her family that she is not crazy, if we do, she might just be our next baptism....

Pray for us!!!
Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #65: Sometimes they just sneak up on you...

Greetings from the other side of the world!!!

My poor compi manages to survive without the suitcase that had the majority of the clothes, which was lost somewhere between Atlanta and Buenos Aires... its supposed to come today, after a great fight for it in the office "Elder, where is her suitcase?" "I don´t know, I was gonna call them today." "no, you will call them now." "I am kinda busy right now." "Elder, she has two changes of clothes, what would you do if you only had two changes of clothes?" "Okay I will call them now and call you back in 10 minutes." "Thank you elder, muy ambable."

But she still does not have them... I might need to call them again, jaja.

Back in our area, We also went to see a part member family as a direction of Elder Foster that we had originally written off, and we taught the grandfather (Pedro), who is a member, the granddaughter (Rosita), whom we had taught previously, but we stopped visiting because she stopped coming to church, and the grandmother (Rosa), an evangelista that has never been so friendly with us. We tried to get the First discussion out, but it was almost impossible, but the really cool thing happened when Rosita, the granddaughter started defending the church against her grandmother, she gave an awesome testimony (although I can´t imagine that she knew that was what it was called) which nearly silenced the grandmother.

It really suprised us, because we had almost given up hope on Rosita, but her testimony was strong, and expressed a desire to come to church, and to eventually be baptized. We are going to start working more with Rosita and her family to see if we can´t instil a little peace and help out Rosita with her desire to be baptized.

But the highlight of the week was something that noone expected ni planned for.


On Wednesday, we were also suprised to find out that the Father of Jorge Alvarenga, my convert, wanted to seriously move forward with his baptism after a big spiritual conviction he recieved after a Noche de Hogar and a night of prayer. "YO QUIERO BAUTIZARME YA!!!" and so we arranged with the bishop and we, with our Ward Mission Leader, put together a baptism in four days.

But it was really special, because, he had many years learning about the gospel, and a rough road at that. Had to quit drinking and doing all sorts of other feo things, but after 3 months sober, he had his answer and could not wait long enough to be baptized. We orginized it that his son, Jorge would do the baptizing, and with the suprise of everyone, it went off without a hitch.


Many people thought he would never get to this day, especially because he had a baptismal date before, and failed the baptismal interview, but I felt that this baptism, I could clearly see the atonement taking over in a man that many people thought would never turn around. It just goes to show you that the mercy of Christ is sufficient to pardon all sins, not because sin is little, but because His mercy is so great.

The spirit was so strong, I had never felt it so strong, I never got to see someone get baptized who had to change so much, but he did it. He changed. and now he is clean, and he is so happy. in his own words, "yo siento como estoy en el aire."

I know that the atonement is real, and now, I can see it even more than ever. I am glad that God let me stay here a little while longer to witness it.

Les Amo Mucho,
Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #64: Without Words

Hey All!

So its true that when you get comfortable that it is time for a change, and a big change happened, just not the change that anyone expected. Hermana Madariaga became senior companion with a girl that has been in Argentina less than two weeks in Formosa, and I boarded a bus to look for my nuevita in Resistencia...

Thats right I AM TRAINING!!! AHHHH!!!!!


When I thought that I would leave the area and have to start from scratch, Hermana Madariaga was not even CLOSE to being prepared to go, but off she goes to greater heights and new adventures. And I get my first North American companion since Hermana Schmutz, my own trainer. Hermana Kylara Papenfuss from Fountain Green, Utah now runs around with me in Posadas.

She is really a great person, a great sport, and luckily, studied alot of Spanish before her mission, so that really is not so much of a barrier for her. She has a lot to learn, but her willingness to serve, and her willingness to learn makes her one of the best and I am lucky to have her. Sometimes I feel like she is actually teaching me.


This past week we ran around like crazy getting everyone ready to go to Stake Conference, the seventy wanted to talk specifically with the new members and the investigators before the general session of stake conference, so we wanted to make sure that we had people there to hear it. Jorge Alvarenga and Julieta came with the combined efforts of the members, and Hermana Papenfuss and I made a beeline for Maria Mancuello, remember her? The Circus Matriarch? well, we were getting fed-up with her not come to church, so we were really focusing on her, we knew that if she went, that it would put everything in perspective, and that she would feel something really special.

We told her that we were going to pass by in the morning to look for her, and so about 7:00 in the morning we called her to wake her up, and she was all, "Don´t worry girls, I will go all by my self" but she has given us that before, so we just told her we were coming and that we were not going to take no for an answer and that we were going to be there in 45 minutes, "sogetreadyweloveyouchao(click)."

And made a beeline for her house. When we got her, she said she wasn´t going to go, because there was noone to watch her house. She said that she sent us a text message, but luckily, our cell phone does not recieve text messages. So we told her that now was to decide was was important for right now and what was important for eternity, and she went and prepared her granddaughter and herself and we left for the conference.

We are going to see her later today to see how it went for her.

In the conference, we also were suprised to see tons of less active members that we hadn´t seen come to church in forever in the conference, we are hoping that it will put a fire under them to come to church.


The next day we had Zone Conference (I love zone conference) and Elder Foster was there too. He told us that the church is completely changing the way that they do missionary work in Argentina, with the main focus in reactivation and the union of part member families. He told us that there was a ward in our stake that had 600 less active members, and that by reactivating them, we would strengthen the church, and find baptisms (like the kids or spouses of less active members.)

It would also require a greater participation of the ward in the Obra Misional. It changes everything, but we are really exited.

These changes are going to be good for us, I hope anyway.

Love Ya,
Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Photos from Sarah










These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #62: Tarzan yells... and other suprising utterances.

Hey everyone!!
I am so sorry that this blog entry is a day late, but there is a new mission rule, is that when holidays take place on P-day, we have to work that day and take the next day as a P-Day... such is the case this week. This week the whole of Argentina celebrates the death of beloved freedom fighter San Martin, and they celebrate this day is a national holiday. BUT missionaries work holidays... Jaja.

The transfer has gone by SUPER fast, I can hardly believe that we are in week 6 of the transfer. This past week was one for the record books, but eye opening. We worked hard running from one area to another, discovering a new neighborhood that holds alot of promise, and saw a part of our area that I had never seen before, that seemed like the center of nowhere, but in reality is in the geographical center of Posadas (not the commercial center, but geographical) Walking for this part of our area, by an avenida called Aguado, I felt so far away from everything, stuck in the middle of the jungle with tiny little shacks surrounded by toucans, monkeys and tarzan-like vines... (a little over-exageration about the monkeys. They tell me the monkeys exist, but I haven´t seen them... The toucans... that´s true, we really did see them.) Its so strange to see that especially when in the other side of our area is where all the businesses and factories are. What a stark difference!

There is alot of that here, big huge expensive homes right next door to little shacks without indoor plumbing or insulation. Its always been a little hard to get used to.
In other news, my companion had her first wedding preposal this week. My companion was doing a contact while I was buying some mandioca that we were going to cook for lunch, and he said, "I I come to church and I get baptized, will you marry me?" and my companion, in good missionary form, said the argentinian equivalent of "Heck, NO!" and I finished paying for the mandioca and we runned-walked to our apartment without looking back.

Missionary work-wise, We tried to pull a miracle, when we had a great idea that we could get Maria (one of the girls who severly wants to get baptized, but can´t because she does not have permission of her parents) to come with her parents to see a baptism that a neighboring ward was having, we tried all week to pull it off, but in the end it we could not pull it off. Pucha. Now we are down to four investigators that have baptismal dates... they are all falling like flies.

Remember 14 year old Julieta? Well, she has gone to church 5 Sundays, and WANTS to get baptized, but her home still is not Mormon-friendly, among shouting, criticisms and we think there might even be physical abuse, we do not want to baptize her and put her into that environment. She is still very young, so we will see. We want to see bigger changes in her and her family to see if she really is ready for such a big commitment, and that the home will be a better place where she can be strong and loyal without criticism or shame.

We have many people who go to church that we can´t baptize, and people that have baptismal dates that don´t go to church! We have no idea how to solve this problem. So we contine working and trying to find people that GO to church that we CAN baptize.

Ah, well. The life of a missionary, I guess.

Love you all,
Hermana Tritsch

PS: I hope by this time in my mission that some of you are still in tune with my blog... if so thanks so much. Thanks for visiting it, it means alot that there are people that read it. I love you all and I hope that I will be able to see you all in time for New Years!!

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #61: My ways are not your ways neither my thoughts your thoughts.

Hey Everyone!!!

This week has been rough for me health wise... We figured out that I don´t have a cold, but ALLERGIES and that is why my sudafed has not been doing anything.... NEVER IN MY LIFE have I had allergies, but there is some kind of dust or pollen or something that makes my nose angry, so the area doctor perscribed some sort of Argentinian version of Allegra that I have to take until I return to my homeland where the pollen does not make my sinuses nervous.

A headache-cito with some of our investigators... we HAD 8 that had a fecha bautismal, but now we have 5 because some of them lost it for not going to church. Damaris, we lost because she actually lives in another area, and we had to pass one of our golden girls to the elders that work in her area. We are working with Maria still, but the timeline is getting really short. We are hoping to be able to talk with her mother this week. Also, Jorge Alvarenga senior, who was to be baptized the 21st of August decided to change his baptismal date without telling us, (we found out from some of the members) and skipping out on the lessons... GRR.

Also THE lesson we were going to have with Mabel and Armin (about the law of chastity and eternal marriage) was the first one we ever had that fell through. The good thing is that it seems like they have come to the realization on their own that they need to get married first. I don´t know if someone told them or it was divine inspiration, but they are working on that a little more, and it seems like Mabel already knows. God gave them a little help when they realized that Armin had been completely erased from the Paraguayan system, which somehow (I am not exactly sure how) makes it easier for him to get an Argentine document. Its ALOT cheaper and he does not have to go anywhere, so marriage may not as far away as we thought it was.

We had also been talking to a woman named Noelia, and yesterday, she told us that her Marido left her, which is really sad and hard for her right now, but in the long run, may help her be in a better position to come to church and to get baptized. She could not come to church before because she had to go visit him in Jail, but now that is not something that will get in the way of her church attendance. Also, she won´t have to get married first. It just goes to show that there is a bright side to every situation.

I guess the Lord works in misterious ways.

-Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry 60: Showing damsels in distress how to rescue themselves

Hey All!!!

This week was a really great one... After what seemed like a month of rainy days and thunderstorms and coldness that noone, not even the argentinians were prepared for, we had nearly a full week of sunshiny days.

But alot of really cool things happened this week.

We are teaching two girls named Damaris and Maria, who have burning bright testimonies and parents that think they are crazy and in the past, refused to sign the permission slip to get baptized. and so now, they were learning about the gospel with us in secret, and living in fear of talking with their parents. They had a baptismal date for the 14th of August, so we were getting really anxious for them to talk to their parents.

So we had a super lesson that we had been planning for a long while about faith, hope and courage, but it always seemed that something was missing, then the morning of our charla, we had a great idea to use the story of Esther to help us illustrate our point. How she had to do something that could cost her life to save her people and also stand up for what she believes in. So we taught it in this way... I really love the story of Esther because it shows that a woman can do great things to save herself and her people. Even though she did not have the priesthood, she did not have to be the damsel in distress. And we taught about the faith and courage that she had, and it went really well.

Then at the end of the charla we took various parts of the story to give them ideas about what they can do to make it easier to talk to their mothers... The spirit was really strong and it felt really inspired. They hesitatingly accepted the commitment to talk to their parents before the 7th of August.

Then in the week, we were walking to another investigator´s house and found Maria in the street (The mother of Maria was the more dificult of the two) and she looked really happy and told us that she had talked to her parents and felt so much relief. We found out that her parents had not given her permission to get baptized right now, but told her that they would not try to stop her when she turns 18 in November. Now we just have to wait and see what happens with Damaris.

I know its not exactly what we had hoped, but we are counting it as a milagro-cito and a great victory for Maria. We are very happy for this news.

Then, Some elders in another barrio, Barrio Jardín had a scare when they went to fill their baptismal font, and found that the city had cut the water going to their part of the city. So everyone rushed over to our chapel and had their baptism in our chapel, and we ran around like chickens with their heads cut off looking for investigators to come and see the baptism. This is really important in developing a testimony because when somone can witness a baptism, they can feel the Holy Ghost very strongly and develop an internal desire to do the same. 80% of the people who witness a baptism while investigating the gospel get baptized themselves.

So we ran to a part of our area where we have many investigators and within an hour, with the help of God himself (surely) we got three investigators and a family that is less active that has a daughter of the age to baptize and got them all to the baptism. 7 people altogether. The collectivo was delayed and we got there like 5 minutes before they started the ordinance, so by a breath they all got to see a baptism (WHEW!!!!)

Then yesterday in church, Mabel, our golden, and one of those who went to the baptism, got up and bore her testimony. It was one of the most beautiful things I had ever heard. And thankfully, with the help of the members, 5 other investigators, including three that attended church for the first time got to hear it and feel the spirit.

Needless to say that this is a happy week.
Happy. Happy. Happy.

Love,
Hermana Sarah Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #59: Wake UP and do something more than dream of your mansions above...

Hey Everyone!!!

What a rainy week... and with the rain, cold, and wet, and muddy... and the red dirt makes a mud that has a soapy slick sticky consistency... But working hard we have been able to see many awesome things. We have shifted our focus a little on a neighbor of Mabel, named Nora and her two daughters Julieta and Marianela. Nora is a member but so less active its hard to tell, so we decided to work with her to baptize her two daughters and bring a little of the gospel that was lost over the years... We quickly put a baptismal date for the girls the 28th of August as a goal to help them prepare, and seem really exited about the idea... They are busy reading and marking up the copies of the Book of Mormon that we gave them... I had a feeling that they hadn´t had a copy in the house in many years and I was right.

So yesterday morning before church, we decided that we were going to go and find them and bring them to church with us... we got to their little shack, and found it all locked up... So we knocked on the door... nothing. again.... nothing again. four times we knocked, and I was about ready to give up, but Hermana Madariaga felt that we should knock again, so we did and we heard... ¿quien es? and we told who we were and a groggy eyed Nora came to the door... We talked with her and got her to let us in and wake up the girls.... Which we did... In the most happy-go-lucky girls camp way possible... We got them all up and out of bed and with a little push and pull, got Nora and Julieta to church... Marianela still did not want to come, and we can´t force her, so Nora and Julieta came without her...

But you should have seen the look on the bishop´s face when we walked in with Nora. I think that she was the last person he thought he would see in the church. But everyone gave them both a big warm welcome. We hope that we will be able to see big changes in this family... There are copies of the Book of Mormon, and the beginnings of church attendance... Its a miracle in the beginning stages, I just know it.

In other not so happy news.... I recieved my trunky papers.... foo. Trunky Papers are a letter that the mission sends you when you have like 5 months left on the mission that asks you to verify your contact information and where you live so they can buy your airplane ticket home... They call it that because when it comes, many missionaries start focusing on packing their bags (or trunks in the olden days) and become useless missionaries. Its like a big slap in the face that my mission is coming to a drastic close. on the 30th of December, I start my journey home... Just in time for New Years.... I just hope that I don´t get trunky and ruin all the hard work I have done for missing home too much. I am not gonna lie, Christmas will be quite difficult for me.

But I guess I will see all of you in five months, I have no doubt that Mom already has a countdown.

Love,
Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #58: Captian Clash

Hey All!

Time is devestatingly short, so I am going to type fast... Enjoy this group of random pics from the few past weeks... I lost my card reader, but I just bought a new one so I am sending you a ton. This is my curly-haired companion, Hermana Madariaga... Really she has become one of my best friends in my mission. She´s fiercely dedicated, so its not very hard to work at a fast pace and help many people.

This past week has been dreadfully cold... the coldest it has been in years, and everyone says so, and I have had a rough battle with a cold, that its been rather difficult to shake. Last Tuesday was the worst, but I am better now. I have been trying to take it easy, but its hard to do that when you have the words of presidente whispering in your ear, "Ponga su salud en su mochila y pongase a trabajar." So we bundle up and put on two skirts and four pairs of socks and three sweaters (including my Aggie Sweatshirt, because it is warm, and hide its non-missionary nature under other, more appropriate ones) and get to work.

I think God is blessing our sacrifices, because despite the cold and rain that we have had for almost a week, We are finally meeting many of our goals (still no baptisms. but Baptisms are not everything). But I am so exited to see the ward rally around one of our families. We have had a really cold winter, and noone has been prepared for it, and Familia Cabaña (Mabel and Armin) live in very dire circumstances... a wood house with many openings, and no insulation, and little good clothing to help them aguantar el frio... but the ward is fiercely attatched to this family, and the Relief Society is putting together clothes and blankets for them, and the Elders Quorum is organizing to go over and fix up the shack, so the breezes don´t come in and attack the children... All of this without the family knowing, by the way. Even though it may be awhile until the family can be baptized, a service the size the ward has been planning is not easily forgotten.

The people in this ward are not rich in money, by any means, but they are rich in heart and have a great capacity to work miracles in Posadas. I am truly blessed to work in posadas with these people, I love them, and I will miss them, not only the investigators, and the people that I have had the privelege to see baptized but everyone. And when I think that I only have about 3 transfers after this one left, It reminds me that everything is so dreadfully temporary... Well the work isn´t, and God isn´t, but my time to labor here is.

I love you and miss you all, and can´t wait to see you all upon my return, I can´t promise that I will be home for Christmas, but definitely by new years. (although, for me, it feels like Christmas right now... except I don´t hear the music.)

Love Ya,

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #57: he Change always comes, even if it is long overdue.

Hey All!!!

I found myself missing home a ton this week... I don´t know why... maybe the fact that I only have five measly months left has something to do with it.

This past week, we achieved almost all of our goals... the really important ones at least... Five investigators in the chapel, six investigators con a future baptismal date, and seven lessons with members. No baptisms yet, but its a process.

Mabel went and enjoyed the service project and we went to the church to visit her and to take advantage of the time and we taught her the first part of the plan of salvation... we found out later that she stayed to help almost the whole day, and really loved visiting and chatting with the other hermanas in our ward and stake. She said that she very much enjoyed it, and to show it, brought herself, her husband Armin, and her three children to church... que lastima we can´t put a baptismal date... the whole marriage and document thing makes things super difficult... Its a really big problem here. About 2/3 of the people here are not married to the person they live with, but its something we as missionaries very much dread.

The father of Jorge, my convert, also named Jorge came to church yesterday. He has a history with the missionaries longer than the time of a missionary, but always had problems with drinking, but after a lunch appointment in their house, we felt that we needed to talk with him, and we talked to him about the blessings that come from obeying the commandments and put a baptismal date for the 21st of August. He confessed that he hadn´t drunken anything in 3 months, and hesitantly accepted the fecha... He felt it was a little soon, but we put it as a goal, and if he is not ready, we could change it. But he came to church yesterday with a different mirada, a look of peace and a little happiness, so we hope that he will feel ready to enter the waters of baptism. When he gets baptized, they can work together for a temple meta, so we are really exited for it.

We continue to work with the ward, and as we gain the trust of the members we get more and more assignments to look for menos activos. We are teaching a TON of menos activos, and with the Sociedad de Soccoro, which recently renewed and rennovated the visiting teaching list, we saw many less actives in church too. One of the families we are working with, Familia Acuña, is a really interesting case, the mother, Nora, got baptized forever ago, and none of her children got baptized, we started working with her and saw that she had alot of shame in her eyes, so we started by looking her in the eyes and told her that regardless of what she did, she was of worth, and then we told her that we were going to work with her and her kids so they can get baptized, and she can enjoy the blessings of the gospel again. We sang "I am a child of God" and taught part of the first lesson, and at the end, she smiled, the first real smile I have seen from her, and we have been working with her since Hermana Loria.

Sometimes, I think that people need people to look them right in the eyes, and instead of telling them that they need to repent all the time, tell them that they are worth saving, and they develop the need to repent on their own.

Anyway, Food for thought.

Love,
Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #56: Thou shalt not have any other gods before me.

Sooo... I saw grown men cry this week.... After the Germans slaughtered the Argentinians 4-0, grown men wandered the streets drunk and crying as if the outcome somehow affected their way of life. Thankfully no riots, but I have heard of that happening too. The next day, everyone forgot about the World Cup and la Obra Misional got back to buisness as usual. Hermana Madariaga (argentinian herself) and I actually prayed and thanked Heavenly Father for the loss, because it was cutting into prime proselyting time... that, and the final would have been on a Sunday Morning and we would have been missing all of the investigators and half the members, who would have been at home watching the game... I pity the German Missionaries, but then again, I don´t think the Mundial Fever is the same there as it is here.

We have a new rule here in the mission, that we need to try and put baptismal dates with people in the first lesson, the first meeting... Anyone who is or was a missionary knows thats kind of a really gutsy thing, and Hermana Madariaga and I were really kind of freaked out at the prospect, so we asked help of presidente in interviews and he showed us a really tranquilo way to do it, and so, with a little courage, we put it to work and found that within our cache of investigators, two more fechas bautismales.

One girl, Julieta, is a daughter of a woman who is menos activo, and another Noelia, is a friend of Familia Mancuello (the family of circus people), Julieta came to church and seems very sincere... but we want to reactivate her mother or baptize her sister too, so she does not have to be alone... I don´t want what happened to Débora in Ituzaingó to happen to Julieta. Noelia accepted the fecha bautismal, but still has not come to church yet, so we are not so sure what we should do... we don´t want to leave her yet because she is keeping all of her other commitments.

Another woman that we are teaching, Mabel... is totally awesome. She came to church for the second time yesterday, which was fast and testimony meeting... I explained to her what was happening so she wouldn´t freak out that people randomly stood up in the audience, that she was not expected to do the same, and she expressed a desire to bear her testimony at some point. "Not today." she said, "Maybe next month." And then in Relief Society she volunteered herself to help in a service project serving meals to a bunch of young single adults that are going to sleep in the Capilla during a big conference. ALL BY HERSELF SHE DECIDED THAT! She is quickly becoming part of the ward!!! But no investigator is completely golden... She has to get married, and her marido (the man who acts like her husband but is not married to her) is from Paraguay and doesn´t have Paraguayan or Argentinian documents... makes marriage super dificil... She might be an investigator for a long haul.

Well, Time is almost up...

Love you all,
Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #55: What happens when the city stops

Hey All!

Hope everyting is fine on the home front. I am so glad for these weekly letters or maybe I would be fresh out of journal entries... I enter the pench so tired in the nighttime, me da fiaca to write in my journal... We work really hard and Hermana Madariaga helps me be more obedient. She is helping me a TON with my language, we call her the "Gendarme Linguistica" but its exactly what I needed. My other companions never corrected me, so I have picked up alot of nasty habits like, "wear the bus" instead of "take the bus" among other little gut-busters. Well, my companion at least gets a crack out of it... jaja.

This week we were all ahead full with menos activos, and found much success with this. Many people came to church yesterday that had not been at church in a long time, and I like to think that maybe one of our visitas gave them the animo to come to church. The chapel has two sets of banks with the isle in the center, and normally everyone sits on the same side, but yesterday there was so many people that there were also people who had to find space on the other side... Its a little thing but its enough to make a missionary extraordinarily happy.

Now I am going to tell you what it is like during the World Cup in Argentina.... Especially when they are winning. In the United States, there really is not anything like it. There are big, crazy fans in many sports in the United States, but here in Argentina, its really the only sport. Yesterday, Argentina played against Britain (I believe) and the whole city was dead, but we could hear the game playing from all the houses.

When they scored a goal (and from the sound of it, Argentina scored several) The whole of Posadas shouts and cries and makes tons of noise. You could lay down in the middle of a normally very busy street and take a nap if you wanted and nothing would happen to you. And missionary work? You can almost forget it. The only ones that wander the calles are people with black tags. All of our citas told us to come back after the game, and noone wanted to listen to us for fear of losing a goal.

I am quite happy that the United States is no longer in the running for the World Cup. OR it might be dangerous for me to be in the streets. Jaja.

Love Ya,
Sarah

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #54: Its like teaching in the primary, Hermana... Haven´t you ever taught in the primary?

Hey everyone!!
This week went by superfast… Yesterday, I forgot that tomorrow was p-day… but alas, here I am for another entry.

These past few weeks we have had a very high number of new investigators, and we rana round town trying to follow up on them… some of them had little interest, others were not home (on purpose or on accident, we will never know) but others really had some interest… I am a firm believer that when people have interest, they show it quickly… for example one of the new investigators from this past week, Mabel.

Mabel and her family live right next to her sister Yolanda and we started teaching them and their 8 year old daughters, Augustina and Sabrina (They have other little kids that listen, but these are the ony ones that are of baptizing age.) (Mabel´s marido also listens from the doorway…) They both showed a ton of interest, and very quickly put into practice the commitment of family prayer. Mabel is a little shy to pray out loud, so she asks her children to do it. But this last time only Mabel and Augustina listened to the charla. They only have about 20 minutes before we loose the attention of the kids so we teach them one or two principles at a shot. This last time, we taught her and her small children Prophets with the book of pictures Dad sent me (thanks… I really have no idea how this lesson would have went without them) and it went really well. We volunteered a member to come by her house to find her and accompany her to church, and Mabel and Augustina CAME TO CHURCH!!!

It was fantastic! They really enjoyed the meetings and are exited to come back the following week. When we finish with lesson one, I think we are going to be able to put a baptismal date with them. Their desire is sincere, and that is what matters.
Momento Milagroso con Miembros: Remember my circus family, well, Yanina y Yamila, the “little people,” and also Angel, a friend of the Mancuellos got cordially invited by Fabiana, a girl in our Ward, to go watch the Argentina game at the institute, and also attend the class. Milagro de milagros, they went, and very quicky won the hearts of all that are involved… Now… how can we get them to church? Well, Fabi and our ward mission leader, Lucas are working on that, still. I would not doubt that they are going to do it. The invitation of a member to go to church is a million times more powerful than that of a missionary.

We have also been working with Familia Garcia, a married couple that has been members forever, but are now inactive because of the death of their son a few years ago. Her son died in a car crash when he was preparing to go on a mission, so she felt bitter that God took someone away from her that was preparing to serve God.
Well, yesterday was the birthday of the hermana, and we really celebrated it up, with a little cake that we made and candles… it made her so happy that she told us that this next Sunday that she will come to church with a nonmember friend… Its a striking difference from the first time that I know her… all sad and bitter toward the church and God but now really exited to return…

Stuff like cakes, pavadas, really, sometimes can make all of the difference. She is also allowing us to put together a JAS noche de hogar in her house… We were thinking if we fill her house with jóvenes again, it will probably help her reactivate. A little unorthodox, but nothing in a mission is orthodox.

Thanks for Reading this…

Hermana Sarah Tritsch

Drop me a line if you want to at: Sarah.tritsch@myldsmail.net

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #53: Working Hard sometimes feels like Hardly Working

Hey Everyone!!

This week, we got highly involved with the members when the relief society presidency and primary presidency completely changed, including my convert, Ana Maria, as relief society first counselor... The ward has a new desire to work hard to find the inactives and help with the obra misional. As a result, we got 2 new weekly lunch appointments and 3 new assigned less active families. Put that with a litany of recent converts as well as our duties to find and teach our investigators, you can see that we have had our work cut out for us.

Funny story: We are still working with Natalia and her family, trying to teach her husband and child, and stumbled upon her brother and law, Fabian who had a baptismal date at one point, but could not give up smoking. He lives with Natalia, so we had a little plan to make sure he got to church Sunday. We already promised Natalia that we were going to look for her and her family and we got there and sent her children to jump on Fabian´s bed to wake him up for church... With a little push and shove and the shouting of children, Fabian groggingly got to church this sunday... one more step to guarding the word of wisdom, and on to baptism... (we hope.)

Well, Sorry this one is short, but I am out of time... Love ya.
Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #52: What, Your Dad Didn´t Tell You?!?

Hey everyone!!!

Lots of Love and news:

This week, my mini went home and Hermana Lila Madariaga came from Goya to work with me here. She is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, although her English is a million times better than my Spanish. She has only been on a mission for a little over two months, and I am her second companion (Madrastra, asi dicen). She is really smart and friendly and we seem to work well together. She helps me refine my language, develop a better accent, and encourages me to be more obedient. The funny thing is, that she knew who I was long before I knew her.

Before my mission, (with the help of my dad) she stumbled upon this blog and read it and found out many details about me and my experiences. Its a little disconcerting when you begin to tell a mission story and she already knows it.... jaja. But its great... lots of laughs.

But we work hard and study hard together... we had record numbers this week with 19 new investigators and 6 references contacted. Arguably the best numbers I have ever had in my mission. I know that God put us together for a reason...

We made leaps and bounds with Natalia, the woman who had been attending church but did not know how to read well.... This week we were trying to put a baptismal date with her for the 26th of June but when we gave her the commitment she asked us if the baptism that she had when she was a girl still worked... Many people tell us that they have already been baptized because they do not understand that the baptisms of other faiths really don´t work for God... only the faiths that have the authority to do it, so we were not immediately alarmed.

So we began to ask her questions about her baptism to clarify... what age were you baptized? how was it done? do you remember anyone putting their hands on your head later? and the and the answers were all correct... that she had been baptized in Candelaria (another branch) when she was 12 years old. she remembers elders with tags and filmstrips, and a bunch of men putting their hands on her head... and lo and behold, our progressing investigator, really is not an investigator at all, but really and INACTIVE MEMBER!!! NO WONDER SHE WAS SO RECEPTIVE! jaja.

So now we are working to reactivate her and are teaching her husband and oldest son (the only one that is old enough to baptize) How´s that for a drastic change of events. I am happy that she is a member, but at the same time, I am a little dissapointed because she was our only progressing investigator.

We also started teaching two girls Maria and Damaris, two 17 year old girls that the missionaries taught in this past year, but could not get baptized because their parents refused to give them permission (thats an understatement...) They turn 18 at the end of the year, and thus will not need parental permission to baptize, and their friend Luci, a member asked us in their behalf to teach them again... I first knew them algunas meses atras, and I remeber feeling like they were already members because they had a spirit about them. We know that they will get baptized, either now or when they turn 18, but we are trying to make it so when they do get baptize that it will not destroy their families. I see them and hear their stories and I feel like I have heard it before... Its resoundingly similar to that of Dad´s.

They came to church in secret yesterday... I hope it does not blow up later.

I love you all very much and thanks for all of your letters.

Hermana Sarah Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #51: Highs and Lows

Greetings from the trenches of Suburban Posadas!!!

This week, we worked super hard trying to get everything back to normal after a week of no work for the sickness of Hermana Loria... I am soo tired,,,, and my mini too. We go to bed early almost every day.... plan... brush teeth... pray... sleep.... repeat the next night. I am learning a ton from her and how to teach better because she does not know anything... a nuevita would know the charlas... but minis come in, and if they happen to have or have read or even know about preach my gospel its a good thing...

I love Hermana Stein, don´t get me wrong... she is awesome... a hard worker and has a willingness to learn, but I am trying to develop more patience... that christlike attribute always needs developing, so it seems.

But the work continues... I am a firm believer that the gospel is so strong that it can overcome the petty mistakes that I make... well, I hope so anyway.

We are working hard with Familia Mancuello... A family that was born and raised in the circus. The mother, Maria, is really awesome... she is not afraid to ask her questions, which is a really big sign of interest... Her daughters Yamila y Yanina are also listening, and two friends of theirs, Noelia and Angel are also escuchando las charlas. Every time we go over there, its all jokes and giggles... Yamila and Yamila are "little people" and work in a functioning circus that is about to open, so we get to hear all about it.

Noelia has a great desire to know why she is here in the world, and is eagerly reading the Book of Mormon to find out why.

Saturday we took them to see a baptism and they really enjoyed it!!! Some of the members were suprised to see them(you can imagine) but every one treated them well and were really exited to see them... Especially Hermano Tau, who gave us their names as a reference. Its really fun to teach them, and I am so exited to see them progress. Its a new experience, and if they are to get baptized, there is alot of work to do.... (Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity above all) but I know that if this is something that they really want to do, that they will become strong converts in the church... I am sure of it.

We are also teaching a woman named Natalia, she is really awesome... has a strong desire to change, and has been coming to church for the past few weeks... Its hard for her to read, so we are taking everything slow and steady, so she can remember and understand everything. Sin embargo, she loves coming to church, even though her head still hangs really low when she is there... I know that she will come to baptize in time, and I hope I can be here to see it.

I love Ya,
Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #50: Good things come in "mini" packages

Querida Familia y Amigos,

Blog number 50.... I can hardly believe it.... its quite an achievement really.... when I get to 52, Its going to be a year for me.... kind of scare me a little.

This past week was one for the record books... Went by really fast and really slow at the same time... my mini is una capa... She has a strong testimony of the blessings that come from the gospel that really touch our investigators... she gets really nervous to speak, but when she gets to it, its like someone gave her 17 months in mission. She is learning fast and we get along great... I wouldn´t ind it at all if she stayed with me a little longer... but she won´t... she has to return to her home and finish studying... she is in quinto grado... which equates to a senior in high school, so she has got to finish.

But it is a whole ´nother game when your companion is a mini... when other full time missionaries, nuevos aun, come, at least they know the lessons and a basic idea of what we teach, but Hermana Stein did not come with any of that... Just with a testimony and a desire to serve... She has taught me that is really all you need to be a missionary. Mientras, estoy enseñando ella todos... She just barely got baptized... has less time as a member than I have as a missionary, and I have to teach her like we teach our investigators. But I am learning a ton about how to simplify my teaching so noone gets lost, especially my companion...

We taught the Plan of Salvation for the first time together with Celina and it was awesome... my mini´s testimony was the key of everything... and I know that when she serves a mission of her own that she will be a very powerful servant of the Lord.

This week wasn´t the best week I ever had, because it was mainly looking for the investigators that Hermana Loria and I had to leave behind because she was sick... we found many and found some new families too. She works hard and loves being here, which really makes all of the difference.

I am grateful that Heavenly Father gave me the oppurtunity to learn from her.

P. S. Pictures below of me and Sister Stein, Sister Lauria, some of the Elders in our area and a few surprises.

-Hermana Tritsch












These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #49: This week flew by like it was nothing… The days are long but the weeks are very, very short. .

Hey Friends and Family!!!

My companion, Hermana Loria, as some of you may know, some don´t, has been battling a severe case of Fibromyalgia (very severe muscle pain all over the body), and in this past week, it really got the best of her... spent a week in the Pension and expensive taxi rides back and forth from the hospital (because the motion of the public buses made it worse) and little to no real missionary work... This would be the bulk of my blog this week, but yesterday in the night time, the Zone Leaders informed us that Hermana Loria would go to Resistencia to recieve the health treatment she needed (and possibly her house after) and a mini missionary would come with me...

This rather recent turn of events came as a half-suprise for me... I felt that she was going to go, but we were not expecting it so soon... we have interviews with Presidente later this week, and the both of us were not expecting anything to happen until after the interviews... so today has been quite a rush... to say the least. I did not sleep much last night (Hermana Loria tampoco), for helping my companion get ready for her trip, and now I am quite tired and have to find some way to train my new companion.

Hermana Adriana Stein seems to be really cool... she comes from Garupa, Misiones... not far from Posadas. Like the difference between Las Vegas and Henderson... I have only known her for a few hours but I can tell that we are going to get along alright... She recently converted to the church like 9 months ago, so really she has alot of courage to go on a mini mission... I don´t think I could do it if I were her... she has a desire to go on a full time mission too, but later, because she is only 18 years old... what courage, huh?

She has alot of desire to learn and I hope that she will be a good teacher too... if its only for algunas semanas. I am kind of nervous at the prospect of being her companion, because it means a ton of responsibility, but I hope I can rise to the challenge. I know that Heavenly Father is watching out for me, so I know that everything will be okay... no matter what happens.

Anyway, wish me luck!! even if its only for a few weeks.

Love, Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #48: Only in the Ensign... yeah right.

This week flew by like it was nothing… The days are long but the weeks are very, very short. It’s hard to believe that I am even writing again.

This past week was ZONE CONFERENCE!!! I really love zone conference… its one of the only times in our mission that we stop teaching and have an opportunity to learn. It’s really awesome to hear from our mission president and the assistants because our mission is so big, that its one of the only times that we get to see them.
This time the focus (although it is always on baptisms) was primarily on how to help people get to the chapel and to make sure that they enjoy themselves and feel the spirit when they get there… They taught us many tricks of the trade, helpful hints and a ton of clues to put power behind our commitments to attend church. The goal is 300 investigators in the chapel every week (for the whole mission) and that means 4 investigators attending church for each area.

We really felt that this zone conference was meant for us, because with the baptism of Jorge Alvarenga, we do not have any progressing investigators that have attended the chapel, so that has been our focus as well, and as a result, many people had promised us that they would attend church this Sunday.
Lamentably, no one who had promised us came, but I guess it’s a process and not an immediate thing… We are going to continue working at it, and hopefully we will have more success this Sunday.
We did have a really awesome contacting experience… We were contacting an apartment building and we were talking with a woman named Gladys and the contact was awesome, and we taught the first discussion and then we were about to give her a Book of Mormon, but I only had one, and we felt, that despite it all, we should not give her a Book of Mormon just yet, and we gave her a pamphlet about it instead.

Then, after we continued tracting, and we went to a house, and a woman, named Celina, answered and let us in very quickly (shouting at her aged mother who was watching the partido, that the chicas were from the “church” and wanted to talk about God.) So she lets us in and we begin to teach her and its like the golden contact that you only read in the Ensign… She is totally committed and attentive in the whole lesson and when we teach her about Joseph Smith, she totally relates to his confusion about religion, you would think that she was Joseph Smith´s best friend, and when we relate the first vision, she gasps in amazement. I have never EVER had anyone gasp in amazement (vocally at least) during the first vision. She totally accepts our baptismal challenge, and we are so exited to teach her again.

Now that I am thinking about it, I remember that I felt very much guided by the Spirit, like we were a car and that someone else was driving… the spirit was so strong, and the lesson went so well, we could not deny that it was one of our best lessons ever. And then we realized that the Book of Mormon we had was not meant for Gladys, but for Celina, and the spirit was guiding us long before we even started the lesson.

Its pretty awesome how the spirit works in mysterious ways, but it always turns out better in the end.
-Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #47: 1 Down, no more to go...

Hey Everyone!!!

Sorry if this one is a little short, but I am a little short on time this week. I love you all and thank you for all the little cards and pictures that came from the primary.... Really touching, and it was awesome to see your bright faces in the photo you sent me... I have it glued in my journal to help me remember all of my little friends.

The rain continues... it stopped for awhile, long enough to get some laundry hung and dried, but it decided to start up again... When there´s rain... there is no missionary work.... well there IS but noone lets us in, and some people are so afraid of the rain that they do not even dare open the door to reject us. But we continue anyway.

This week went by faster than lightning... I can hardly believe that P-day is here again. I feel like time is quickly slipping through my fingers, and all I can do is let it... on the 10th of May I will hit my 11 month mark (EEK), and I hardly feel worthy to meet it, but this week, we were able to see more fruit of la obra misional.

This past Saturday, however, Jorge Alvarenga, the son of Graciela and daughter of Diana, both members got baptized this week. He is super awesome... I am so exited to see him progress... The lessons got off to a rocky start, but once they started, he was one of the most golden investigators that I have met in my mission... we found out by the second lesson that he was already keeping the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity even before we had a chance to teach him about it. Kinda cool, huh?

And it was one of the most awesome baptisms that I have ever experienced. The spirit was so strong, and he was surrounded by all of his best friends, which are all members. I know that he is going to do great things for his family and for the church... I would not be suprised when I am old and grey, hearing his name called to be a seventy or something in general conference.

I know that God has great plans for him and his family... And now Hermana Graciela has Sacerdocio in her house, which is one of the greatest things that God has given her in a very long time. Now we have to work with her husband who has a story and a history with the missionaries longer than all the blogs in the world, but we are working to make this family a happy functioning eternal family, one way or another.

We are kind of worried right now, because no investigators attended sacrament meeting, and we do not have anyone who has a baptismal date scheduled, and President del Castillo does not like that... We are supposed to have 6 people attend sacrament meeting and 6 who have baptismal dates each week, and now we have none...

They really can´t argue with us, we have had 4 baptisms in 2 months, making us the higest baptizing area in the mission, We have a few new people that we have recently found, but noone concrete as of yet. So we are fasting and praying that we can find more people who are willing to attend church and are prepared to jump in the water.

Well, I love you all, and I am counting down the days when I can see all of you again.

All my Love,
Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Blog Entry #46: I saw the sign, I opened up my eyes and saw the sign

Hey Everyone!!!
Despite all the worry and trouble, I still serve in Posadas, LaValle area with Hermana Loria. But this past week went haywire with all the other changes in the Zone… our apartment was a landing platform for hermanas coming and going (because it’s closest to the bus terminal), which makes us have to entertain them all. When everything was all over, we did not want to do anything but sleep.
But no rest for the weary I am afraid… We still bear the Lord´s name on our chest and have to continue working anyway… But Hermana Loria has many sicknesses and one of them got the best of her, and we had to get her to the hospital… Something with her stomach… We still are not sure what exactly she has, so the doctor wants to do more tests.
They gave her some sort of antacid, I am not exactly sure and put her on a very boring diet, which I have to follow because I am her companion, but things are better now… for the time being.
And to top it all off, it has not stopped raining since last Tuesday. The sun came out today, but just barely.
But Saturday was awesome… we were doing contacts in the far part of our area, and had done like 20 and were on our way to a cita, when we contacted our way into a deaf woman. She had a little girl with her and she looked about 20ish years old. We mimicked and gestured and wrote our way into a contact because the sign here is way different than in the United States. She spelled out her name for me and it was unlike anything I have ever seen… in the end, I could not figure out what her name is, but we gave her a pamphlet and gestured our way through explaining where the chapel was.
It was way thrilling to be able to talk with my hands again even though it was not exactly what I was used to…
I have seen several deaf people in our area, and even a member that attends our meetings. (Without interpreter… way sad, but there really is not anything I can do about that.) I really want to learn more of the sign here…. Maybe president will let me buy a dictionary or something… even basic signs and the alphabet would help, and it probably helps my cause a ton that I already can understand a little. I really hope so… I hate that my hands are tied (so to speak… jaja.)
But I am kind of on a giddy high from the whole ordeal.
Love,
Hermana Tritsch

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati