Well, after three weeks in Argentina, Duce de Leche now runs through my veins! :) Surprisingly though, everyone but me seems to be COVERED in mosquito bites! I suppose it's this Barrett blood of mine. (Tommy rarely gets bitten by mosquitos) The mosquitos are coming from the constant rain that we had this week. Soooo much rain!! So much stomping through muddy streets of standing water!! Okay... remember how I said summer was coming? Yeah, I guess I was wrong. It was freezing with the rain and wind this whole week!! Despite my awesome raincoat, I felt as if I was never dry! This added to a my very difficult week. I seriously struggled a lot. It was an hourly effort to be patient, to work my hardest. There were days when I didn't want to get up in the morning. I still did however, and this quote helped me see my hard days a little differently. I think it's a good quote for anyone waking up to a gray day!
" It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of achievements, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
Sure, I am in no arena, and I am not bleeding from hard work but this showed me that every day I don't need to be perfect, I just need to work my hardest. People will reject me and I will feel insignificant at times but the hard work is what brings the blessings.
After a week of rain, darkness with almost no sight of light, a small amount of belief, lack of motivation to even try because what does it matter?? My companion can speak/teach better than me.... but then came the weekend.
Everyone in life looks forward to the weekend! We walked out of the apartment on Saturday morning to a beautiful sunny day! To me this was a sign of hope!
We showed up to a service project and were informed that we were building a house.. from the bottom up, even making our own cement. They had already been working on it for a while and we helped by mixing some cement for the foundation. Interesting trivia...Most people living in Ostende build their own houses and they live in them while they are being built. Can you imagine?? If it rains one day.. well... they spend the next day clearing it out. My week was like this.
A mission starts out small and it's such hard work. It is uncomfortable and takes a while to even feel slightly comfortable and in my case, to even understand the language! But the thing is... these families in these unfinished houses believe in the final product, the big picture. So... they also take it one day at a time. They have faith that good things will come.. They believe.
So today, after a discouraging week, I was happy. I woke up on time, started my day willing to work, willing to believe! The gospel brings so much happiness. My mission was not meant to be easy, but I know it will be worth it! I know that there will be bumps in the road but as I was told in the MTC at least 1,000 times; YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS ...DON'T GIVE UP!
Saturday we taught our new investigator Eva for the second time. She has such a strong testimony! She showed us a bird's nest outside of her window that she prayed for and that God gave her! haha She is the cutest, most loud woman who expresses her thoughts for hours! She just celebrated her 69th birthday. She accompanied us willingly to a baptism of the other Hermana's in this area and she sang with us the song "I am a Child of God." It was so precious! The girl getting baptized was a 17 year-old named Joanna. Her mom got up and bore her testimony that when Joanna attended church and then committed to getting baptized, it helped her to get over her smoking addiction. That is exactly what Eva needed to hear! We are hoping to set a date for her soon along with two other new investigators we received this week while working in the rain. (See?? Blessings from the rain!) These people are so prepared. We also had three inactive families come to church this Sunday as well. Yay!! Small miracles! We were given so many opportunities to work this week and were continually blessed.
To top it off, we watched "Tangled" as a zone and made French Toast today!! Mondays are so great to have a little fun with the district and be able to speak a little English with some of the other American missionaries!!
I am constantly learning! What a great experience! There is no where I would rather be than on this mission! It's a blessing to be here to help these people put their feet on the path of happiness. Life is good!!
Thank you for all of your constant support! I love all of the letters and pictures! So happy to hear you are all doing well! Have an amazing week with lots of happiness and remember to BELIEVE!
Happy first day of rain!
Not so happy fourth day of rain!
Teaching healthy eating!
|Dogs are everywhere!|