Monday, August 3, 2015

The Last One.

Hi everyone!

My heart is bursting and my eyes full of tears as I have reflected on this incredible adventure I have had. I can't put into words how incredibly happy I am. I had a very emotional week. We are seeing the hand of the Lord every day here. We worked so hard every day. I have truly grown to LOVE this work. I love teaching, tracking, contacting, walking around smiling, serving, praying, planning, studying, and most of all watching someone experience the conversion process.

The other sisters had a baptism this weekend. A 17 year old boy named Alejandro. His mom is not a member and was hesitant for a really long time to let him get baptized. When they got to the chapel she sat on the front row. The talks were very spiritual and the baptismal service made us all cry. Then as he was changing we watched meet the mormons... but just the story of the missionary mom. The spirit was so strong and I couldn't help but cry. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. The most important part of all of this was that Alejandros best friend is Lucas, Lucas is a member of the church. He invited his friend to come, was there in every missionary lesson, and was able to baptize his best friend. And he will be by his side every step of the way. THAT is what I have learned is missionary work. Friends helping friends make that special decision to start them on the path back to our Heavenly Father. Lucas passed by Alejandros house every Sunday morning, read the scriptures with him, and helped him feel loved. It was so neat to watch. I am so excited to keep helping those I love most gain a strong testimony of their Savior and help them come, or come back to this incredible gospel.

This week we had interviews with President Chaparro. Mine was short and sweet. He counseled me to always listen to what the Holy Ghost is prompting me to do, that I always should seek my Heavenly Father's help in every decision I make. To stay focused on my goals and carefully plan how I am going to reach them. He came to every apartment personally and had our interviews there. (we normally all go to the stake center.) He got to know us a little better with the pictures of our families on the walls, and how we like to organize our things :) It was fun to have a visitor :)

An update on our area...
We are seeing so much progress in the ward. We saved a lot of marriages.. and lots of eternal families. I feel good. The Caro family came to church on Sunday!!! They are definately converted. Because it is short notice they won't be married this week. But this month for sure! Then they will be baptized as a family :) I love them so much. They have been made fun of, robbed, and rejected for just talking to us. But they have stayed firm to what they know. They love the Savior and stick together as a team. Please continue to keep them in your prayers.

Mercedes is letting Satan get the better of her. She still needs a lot of help. But she will get there.

Well I thought I would end with my testimony. I have such a love for this gospel. I love my Savior. His is my friend, my teacher, and my guide. I love my mission. My own personal time to let my Heavenly Father mold me into the daughter He wants me to be. The lessons I have learned here are eternal. This country holds a special place in my heart. The people I have met are my brothers and sisters. I love them dearly. I don't want to leave but I know my Heavenly Father has a lot more in store for me. I will devote my life to Him. The gospel is true you guys! It's ALL TRUE! The Book of Mormon is TRUE!!! Christ LIVES! Our Heavenly Father knows us!! Each of us personally! I love this church. And if I could chose one thing that I have learned here is that we are here on this earth to be HAPPY! So be happy everyone! Thank you for all your support, love, and prayers. I have the greatest family and friends. I love you dearly.

Have a great week!!
Hermana Hammond

Monday, July 27, 2015

The one with the light at the end of the tunnel....

Hey everyone!!! 

Man was it a good week!! First of all I want to apologize for my letter last week. I felt bad after leaving the internet cafe because I felt like I was a little negative... We had a GREAT week last week and sometimes I just write about what happens on Sundays. So just know that I am happier than ever and that the problems really are never as big as they seem.  

Anyway :) This week was really great! In our district meeting on Tuesday our district leader could tell I was a little down. He took us outside and we looked at all the trees. Then he showed us the seeds that came from the trees. He asked us why they haven't grown yet... then he asked if it was the tree's fault if it's seeds don't grow. I loved how he explained it. He told us to not blame the tree. The tree's job is to be a tree! 

So I hope you can see how this applies to missionary work. I have been focusing on being the best ¨tree¨ i can be :) 

Then we read together in Ether about when the Lord helped the brother of Jared get his people to the promised land. He first needed air, then light. I felt like that is what I needed last week. A little air and a little light :) Our Heavenly Father loves us so much. We immediately saw miracles. But we are still dealing with trials. But like the story in Ether the storms they were in were what pushed them to the promised land. They needed the strong winds to get them there! It was a great chapter for me to read. I love the Book of Mormon!

Speaking of scriptures... My companion and I finished Isaiah this week! It was so much easier for me to understand in Spanish!! I loved it! Isaiah was a pretty smart dude. It was neat to read. 

So yesterday the Caro family came to church!!! They are going to get married next week!!!! If everything works out like it should they will be baptized as a family next Saturday! :) but if the wedding doesn't happen then the 2 boys will be baptized. They are so excited and are ready to make this decision in their lives. PLEASE pray for them! We are asking for a miracle... but God is a God of miracles. 

Also Mercedes is still on her road to baptism. She just has to get some things figured out :) and we found some other great families this week!

Our ward is doing a LOT better! This week was full of activities! They are going to be just fine :) 

So we are just doing better than great here in Palpala :) The sun is out and the temperatures are higher :) I will escape just before summer.... hahaha 

Thank you all for your love and prayers. It means a lot. 

Until next week,
Hermana Hammond 

Monday, July 20, 2015

The One in the oven...

Hello everyone!! 

So every Monday I have to push myself to write a big letter home.... haha, I just want to keep working and talk to you guys in a few weeks instead of write a letter..but I must endure to the end.

So there is a saying in spanish that if someone is in a bad situation they are ¨in the oven¨... everyone is saying we are in the oven! That our ward is in the oven, their families are in the oven, that the investigators are in the oven... 
Every time someone says that I just say, WELL LET'S TURN THE OVEN OFF!!!!!
We really are going through some trials in our ward and in work but we can do something about it! 

We are focusing on the family. We are visiting the members more and planning TONS of activities! We are visiting our investigators every day and always are calling or sending messages. The most important thing is that we will never give up. And the other good thing is that Satan can't win!! Haha, I don't know why he even tries... 

Anyway I have to go now! I hope all is well!
Enjoy your summer!

Until next week!,
Hermana Hammond

enjoy my latest trash basket photo. he's #1.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The One with the prompting.

Hola a todos!! :)

So this week came and went in the blink of an eye. We had our leadership conference this week. Normally it is on Tuesday and we travel on Monday 
night after p day... well this time it was on Wednesday and we traveled Tuesday afternoon... so the week went by faster and for the rest of the week I was confused what day it was.... haha.

Our meeting was really uplifting! President Chaparro just completed a year in his mission!! Holy smokes that went so fast! I love the Chaparros so much!

Our investigators are getting hit hard with temptations... nobody came to church yesterday.. our ward is going through a really hard time. Satan is attacking the families here. It is heart breaking to watch. Please keep them in your prayers. We need a lot of strength.

Yesterday we met with our bishop and made some goals to help the members. Then when we walked out I felt like we needed to visit some members. We prayed and both felt like we should go and visit a certain family. We went to see what we could do to help them!

We got there just as they were getting home from Grandma's house. (Typical Sunday :) Their house was a mess, dishes everywhere, laundry to be folded, and dinner to be made. We told the mom to just have a seat and talk to us. We started in the kitchen and cleaned everything! Then talked to her as we folded laundry. I made dinner. As we talked she said she had been praying and asked Heavenly Father to send us a feeling to go to her house. She really needed a visit. I love this family with all my heart. I love even more that Heavenly Father trusted us to receive that special prompting to go and help His children in a time of need.

I love this work more than anything! Everyday is a new opportunity to learn and grow closer to my Heavenly Father. I know I say it a lot but I am just so happy! It's hard not to be. Yes we have hard times, trials, and days where nobody wants to listen to us... but that doesn't mean we should be sad. We control us. Satan isn't stronger than us. So I control what I can control. And I am happy. Always :) 

Gracias por todo!! Les extraño, les amo, y estan en mis oraciones siempre. Hasta la proxima!
Hermana  Hammond

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The One with a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

Hello everyone!

Wow we have had some very humbling experiences this week. There is too much to write.... luckily I have been diligent with my journal :) 
I wanted to share 3 stories of 3 people who have really touched my heart these last few weeks. 

1. Mercedes. She has had a really hard time with feeling worthy. She is absolutely incredible. Her and her boyfriend are not married and are living together. Our lovely bishop kind of called them out on it and she felt terrible. All she tells us is that she wants to make things right with her Heavenly Father. That baptism is her main focus and that she will do anything to get there. She absolutely LOVES church and soaks it all in. She has been so patient and incredibly humble in the whole process. She is such an example to me. I am praying I will still be here for her baptism.

2. Jose Luis. He is a recent convert who is battling with an alcohol addiction. To watch a grown man come so low in his life that he literally has to beg for forgiveness is so humbling to watch. As we teach him he just cries. It is heart breaking for me. Please pray for him that he can over come his addictions. He is so willing to put it all on the table and follow Christ but addictions are very hard to overcome. 

3. Claudia. She is an investigator that we are teaching. Her husband passed away a few weeks ago. Her kids are members but her husband didn't let them go to church. She was interested in the gospel but her husband didn't let her go. The week he died they were all in sacrament meeting. It was kind of funny... haha but they are still going through a hard time with his death. She cries a lot and we can see it hurts her so much. She is working on baptism. She hasn't come back to church. It has been a few weeks. I know it just is hard for her to feel like getting up in the morning. I know it just hurts her. 

I have learned a little more this week the love our Heavenly Father has for each of us. I cry as I think about the blessings He has given me. I have grown such a love for these people. I want to do everything for them. 

I love this work and everything about it!!

Thank you for all your prayers!
Have a great week!! Keep sharing the gospel! 

Hermana Hammond

Monday, June 29, 2015

The One with the New Beginnings.

Hey everyone! 

Thanks for your patience last week. It was really special for me to be able to spend that time emailing with my brother. He is going to be the greatest missionary. And I already know he has the greatest support team.

We are doing so good here!!! We have BIG PLANS for this transfer.... like BIG PLANS. We have put a goal of 8 baptisms this transfer! We set goals, made plans.... lots of plans.... and we have TONS of faith. But we need more prayers. Please pray for our goal. We have so many people ready to be baptized. We just need a final push! ;) 

I am doing good :) Y'all know I just love my life. Argentina has become my home and leaving just doesn't seem like it's in the near future. I absolutely love it here. I can't say it enough. 

Our investigators are still hangin' in there. We need to start making decisions about how to best help them. Keep praying for them. We need it. 

So we are ready to take on this new transfer! New beginnings are always refreshing.

Thank you for your prayers.

Hermana Hammond

Monday, June 22, 2015

The One where the mission field gets another Hammond...

Hey y'all!

So I have to apologize but this week my little brother is going to enter the MTC!!.... so my letter is short because I am going to spend the hour chatting with him. I am so proud of him and all he has done to prepare to serve the Lord.

But all is good here! I have lots to catch up on! But just know we are happy (a little cold), healthy, and excited!! 

Thanks for everything!
Hermana Hammond