Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The last ONE of the year!

Hello family!! and FELIZ AÑO NUEVO!!! 

Wow Wow WOW!! What a week! Christmas was good here! I actually was impacted a lot more than I thought I would be. Christmas Eve we went to a members house to eat dinner but we had a rule that we needed to be in the apartment by 10:30. And we had to go in a taxi. Well... there were no taxis... we decided to run. There was no one in the streets so I felt better. The dinner was great! I love the members here. But as we were leaving the dad started pulling out alcohol... I was like... HUH?? It was super sad... but that was just the beginning. We got to the apartment and crashed... for like 20 minutes. Then at midnight the streets were filled with people drinking, setting off fireworks, and drinking some more... We live on main street so you can imagine how crazy it was. There was loud music and we couldn't fall asleep... this lasted until 7 in the morning... I finally fell asleep at 6:50... and the alarm rang at 7. It was really hard for me. I thought about my family, in our quite home, after reflecting the Savior's birth. I thought about the stillness of our home and the peacefulness I had felt all the years before. Then I looked outside my window to see all of the craziness. Nobody even thought about the Savior. It was a feeling of hopelessness. I started to cry. How could people become so wicked. As I watched, unable to sleep I began to read the scriptures. I read stories of prophets and prophets who had been so concerned about the same thing. For a moment I felt that feeling of peace. Salvation is something personal. We can preach and preach until we are blue in the face but God gave us our agency. I felt better. I am here to preach the gospel and my Heavenly Father called me to preach it here. And that is what I will do. 

AND Christmas got a whole lot better when I skyped the family!!!! Oh it was such a lift for me! They are the greatest!!! I was able to feel the spirit so strongly. I am so grateful for that. They asked me to share my testimony in Spanish before I had to sign off. It was the greatest experience for me. To say what I know to be true. They couldn't see but the family that we were with were all crying as I testified. I watched as my own family began to cry... I was already in tears... but it was the neatest thing to feel the spirit so strong even though we were so far apart. I will NEVER forget this Christmas. It was hard but so very special to me. I love my Savior and I know He lives. And I will keep teaching people that until I am blue in the face. 

SO the day after christmas we had a cool experience! There is a less active family that we absolutely love! Their daughter, Lourdes, is 17 and hasn't gone to church since August. We were at their house and she joined for the lesson. I felt the impression to talk about the importance of missionary work. She started to cry and told us about an experience she had the night before. She couldn't sleep because she had been worrying about what she needed to do after high school. She said she prayed for the first time in a long time and prayed with a lot of faith. She then turned to the scriptures and read a verse in D&C where it talks about missionary work! She felt the need to serve a mission! I don't have time to tell the whole story but I was the neatest thing for me and my companion to hear her story because we went through the same thing!! Then I remembered that the mission was looking for a mini missionary! It is a program they have here in South America! When a missionary is sick, goes home during the transfer, or there is a companionship of 3, they ask the youth to be a mini missionary! It lasts a few weeks but they get to experience everything about being a missionary! It's super cool! I told her they were looking for one but she would have to leave the next morning. She was like I'M IN!! It was such a cool experience!! Everyone was in tears and it was so cool to see her family support her because they know the church it true!! The next day we took them to the bus station and off she went!! Super neat. She comes back January 12th! :) Then the coolest part was Sunday!!! Her parents came to church!! No doubt this is exactly what they needed to become active again. I will send pictures next week!

AND..... drum roll please..... WE HAD 2 INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOOO!!!!!! It was such a miracle!!! Carolina and Natalia. Carolina is a hair dresser that works under our apartment and Natalia is the daughter of a recent convert! They both came on their own! We are preparing their baptisms for the 17th!! I will tell you more about them in the next few weeks! 

Well my time is up!! Speaking of time... IT'S FLYING BY! I hope you all have an incredible NEW YEARS! I want to share a quote that my mom shared with me! I think it's a great theme for 2015!

"Resolve to spend more time with those we love. Resolve to strive more earnestly to become the person God wants us to be. Resolve to find happiness, regardless of our circumstances."- President Uchtdorf

I love you all! Have the greatest week! And see ya this year!!! ;)

Hermana Hammond

Skyping with my family on Christmas!

I have invited my family to read the Book of Mormon with me this year.  We plan to finish the day that I am released. And I invite anyone and everyone who reads this to join with us.  Let me know if you're in :).  

Email my mom at: janette.hammond@gmail.com if you would like the reading schedule.  

 

Monday, December 22, 2014

THE Merry Christmas EveryONE!!!!!!

Feliz Navidad!!!!!

Wow I love this time of year!!! Such a great time to remember our Savior and celebrate His birth!! 

We had a pretty cool week. Lately in our meetings we have been talking about finding God's elected. Those who are literally waiting for the gospel. And we talked a lot about when is a good time to drop investigators. It was rough because we had to drop the Chambi family. It broke my heart. But they wouldn't keep any commitments. We will still stop by if we have time but they aren't a priority. We felt bummed but were instantly reenergized! We found a man named Gustavo. He was walking down the street and I felt I needed to share the gospel with him. I took out the He is the gift cards that we are sharing (Which is incredible by the way. I love the video and I love the message.) Anyway, so I shared with him this card. Then we started to introduce ourselves! He told us that he was just in the Catholic church and walked in, then walked out, walked in, then walked out and was very confused. He said he felt a stirring in his heart that it wasn't true. So he decided to go for a walk and ponder what he should do. WELL that's where we come in!! I am so grateful that we were in tune with the spirit and I followed my prompting! He literally said he was searching for the truth!! Talk about God's chosen!! We gave him the pamphlet about the restoration. He was like thanks! I love to read!! Then he told us that his mom recently died. He loves the Savior so much and knows that through him it is possible to see his mom again. But he doesn't know how. Well you better believe I whipped out pamphlet 2- the plan of salvation! He was like, good thing I ran into you two!! Haha I was like, heck yes it's a good thing!! Hahah we were super happy!! He lives in the other sisters area but that doesn't matter. Salvation is salvation. He will get baptized for sure. I will keep you updated.

So we didn't have anyone in church... it rained like crazy again... but all is well! We found that we see so many miracles everyday!!! 

Also we are in need of your prayers. Daniel Montoya... the dad of the Montoya family had a heart attack... he is like 40. Super young. He is okay but is still in the hospital. He is in ICU and we aren't allowed to visit him until he is stable. Then we will be there the second he is okay with 2 priesthood holders and some oil. Please keep him in your prayers. It's interesting because he has never been interested in the gospel. He loves that his family goes to church but he said, I'm good with my health, my job, my family, my life, I don't need the gospel. Well.... I think this is Heavenly Father saying, yeah you do. I will keep you updated.

Anyway!! This week we had our CHRISTMAS CONFERENCE!!! It was super cool, uplifting, and fun!!! I got to see Elder Slighting too!! There is a neat spirit when we get together as missionaries. I love it! 

Okie dokie. I think that about sums it up. I have been working on some new years goals this week. I know that the second half of my mission will be even better than the first.  

I want to wish you all a VERY Merry Christmas. My heart is so full this season. I love you all with all my heart. My only wish to you would be to spend as much time as you can with those you love. Serve them and serve all of those around you. 

Merry Christmas!!!
Hermana Hammond

Sisters in Tucuman - Christmas Party

Me and my comp :)

Merry Christmas Alpine 12th Ward!

This is our dancing Santa

It was super hot for 2 days...then the rain came again


  


 
Our 2 and a half mile road we walk Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday...
Tafi Viejo


The Church is TRUE!!!

The Jehovas Witnesses...I respect them...but it confuses people when their church is across from ours.


I will share the gift by sharing the gospel.  #sharethegift

Monday, December 15, 2014

The one with the seed planter

Hello all!!

Wow what a cold week!!! Yup you read that right... IT'S COLD IN A-TOWN!!! Oh our prayers are answered!! Hahaha, it has been glorious!! 

Well I really don't have much to report on. This letter will be really short. No one came to church because it was raining so hard. Hence the title... I really feel like I'm just a seed planter. Helping people on their path to salvation. But if the Lord wants me to be a seed planter, a seed planter I will be. 

My companion and I have been reading Doctrine and Covenants. I came across one of my favorite scriptures. D&C 19:24 (look it up). But that is my mission motto. I am here to do the will of the Lord. And I feel like that is exactly what I am doing. 

Yesterday we went over to a members house and watched the Christmas devotional!! I mentioned in my last letter that I don't feel like it's Christmas... but last night was different! Hermana Salas made us hot chocolate and toast (which is my and my dad's favorite snack) and we watched the devotional. It was cold, I was with my ¨family¨ and I was happy. That is what Christmas is about. I love the holidays!! I love being with those who make me happy. That is one thing I've learned from being here. Happiness is everywhere! You just have to know where to find it. My happiness is in the people. I LOVE the members. I LOVE my investigators. I LOVE Argentina!!!

Happy Holidays!!
Hermana Hammond



We LOVE the rain!!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

The one with my hijita :)

Hola mis queridos!! 

Wow what a great week!!! 

Monday- spent all day at the bus station.... slept a total of 50 mins... 

Tuesday- District meeting!! Our new district leader is from Ecuador! He is so great! We have great goals set and are all super excited! I worked with the other sisters and left for Salta around 5 :) I saw Elder Slighting at the station! I am so surprised how often we see each other. It's great! He's doing good! 
We got to Salta around midnight and went and slept at the sisters apartment there. Let's just say, I slept like a baby.

Wednesday- I met my companion!! Sister Sanhueza!! She is from Chile and I absolutely adore her!!! And it gets better, WE SHARE THE SAME BIRTHDAY!!!! February 20th!! And we will be together!!! So pumped!!! She is such a hard worker! We had a training, ate lunch, and were off to the the bus station. We all got there and definitely stood out... hahaha there were 44 of us. But I put down our suitcases, asked the elders to watch them and we went contacting!! Had 3 lessons right there!! My companion rocks. She did so good! I did the first contact and let her do the 2nd. She is already a pro. We got home just in time to put her things away, plan for Thursday, and get to bed on time.... again, slept like a baby.

Thursday - Sunday
We had weekly planning... then went and taught!! We had so many miracles this week it was incredible!!! People who had NO interest to now wanting to come to church! We had 17 people committed to come to church. We planned to go look for 9 of them.... well Sunday came and.... nothing. I was super frustrated. We had an amazing week but nobody was at church. I tried to stay excited and happy for my companion. But on the inside I was crushed. SOO I turned to the scriptures. I learned that it is so easy for me to lose track of what this work is all about. Yes we are here to baptize but I need to REMEMBER that if I am obedient, diligent, and working hard, I should feel satisfied. This isn't the work of Hermana Hammond. This is the work of THE LORD. 

Anyway. We are hopeful and happy. Here's to a new week! It's been absolutely hot here.... We are dying.... like the bottom of my shoes are melting it's so hot... haha. Our fan broke but I bought a new one this week... don't worry dad, I will get reimbursed. haha.  And hopefully when president comes, he will buy us air conditioning! Merry Christmas to us!!! Haha when we come home from working we get our towels wet and put them in the freezer, quickly plan, and then wrap ourselves in our frozen towels. Hahaha, also this morning... they cut our hot water... my shower consisted of filling up a bucket of ice water, counting down 3, 2, 1, and dumping it on me... yeah... I have a lot more to be grateful for. :)

Well fam bam, I am super happy here. I can't believe it's already December.... does any one else feel like it's still March? Haha anyway. I love you all. Have a great week. 

ANDDDDDD A BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHOUT OUT TO MY BROTHER AUSTIN!!!!! 18 years!!! I love you so much kiddo! You are my favorite brother and best friend :)

Happy Holidays!!!- the city put up Christmas lights all up and down the streets.... it looks like Christmas but definitely doesn't feel like it... haha. 

Hermana Hammond

All of the new sisters and their trainers!

Hermana Briggs is training Hermana Sanhueza's companion from the MTC!!! Super cool! Companions training companions.

We put our wet towels in the freezer... best. idea. ever.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The One where I'm Pregnant?!

Hey everyone!!!!! 

So... I'M TRAINING!!!! I am so excited! A new missionary to help love this work as much as I do!!! Ahhhh it will be such a cool experience for me. In the mission we treat it like a mini plan of salvation. The MTC is like the pre earth life.... we learn as much as we can and feel ready to come into the real world... but we pass through the veil (international dateline) and forget EVERYTHING! We are ¨born¨in a new place, learn to speak our first words, are completely attached to our moms, and try to get by :) Haha there is so much that I can say about that but I thought I should probably explain why the title says I'm pregnant... hahah my cute little daughter will be born in Tucuman! I am going to Salta tomorrow and will say the night with the sisters there. Then Wednesday morning we will have a training, lunch, and meet our companions!!! Whoo!!! Haha I am so excited to help her start her mission off right and work so hard!!! I feel like what I imagine a new mom would feel like. Super nervous, excited, worried. All at once. I already love her so much! I cleaned her side of the desk, room, and closet like 10 times. I made her a planner. I bought her food. Hahaha and I am nervous!! I want her to progress and learn so much on her mission and hope I am capable of what she needs... hahaha and I obviously can't stop talking about her...  Haha.

We have the greatest families here ready to be baptized. We put a goal as a companionship for 6 baptisms this month. Please pray that we can achieve that goal. We didn't have anyone at church Sunday... The familia Chambi couldn't come last minute. It was heartbreaking. But I feel like our goal is inspired and I feel like it will happen.

So we got a new sister in the apartment! Hermana Garibay!! She is from Peru. She was the companion of Hermana Creason in Cabildo before I came!! So we are step sisters... Hermana Creason was her step mom and is my mom... hahaha gotta love the mission. It is so fun living with sisters!

WOW time went quickly this week. I LOVE YOU ALL!!! THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!!!
Hermana Hammond

I was hermana Chipana... put on her name tag and she took a picture.... Happy Halloween.

Happy Thanksgiving




Mama sent me stuffing...my favorite!

Familia Padilla

Hit the big 8 month mark, hahaha... and Hermana Chipana drew me this paper... and made me take a picture with my red sunglasses to match... haha I miss her.

Notice the cat is an 8.... clever.

I died... I want to keep him...

The members here call me Hermana Shakira... hahahaha because of my hair! I tried to teach them that my name is Beyonce but they wouldn't have it... :) at least it's better than Hermana Ham and Cheese.... thank you Santiago.

This isn't the Thanksgiving Point Outlets... but hey... haha, the Santa is pretty creepy... and looks pregnant instead of fat...


Monday, November 24, 2014

The One where Im feeling grateful.

Hey y'all! 

I hope you had a great week! Because I sure did! Thanksgiving comes this week. The Argentines don't celebrate it but I still do :) I have been so full of gratitude as I reflect on all the things I have to be grateful for. My list is pretty long but I'd thought I'd share a few things.

1. I am grateful for my country. Being here in Argentina has made me have such a better respect for where I'm from. I took a lot of things for granted in the states and my view on things has been changed forever. We are so blessed.

2. I am grateful for rainy days. This week we had a break from the heat and had a rainy cold day. I am grateful for my rain boots, raincoat and umbrella. My companion and I were out working and started jumping in puddles and taking pictures. It was a great day.

3. I am grateful for washers and dryers. I will never complain about doing laundry again.... doing laundry here takes about an hour... scrubbing your clothes by hand, putting them in a spinner to somewhat dry them... but the spinner sometimes freaks out and spins around the apartment like a tasmanian devil while we all take cover, then you put your wet clothes on a jump rope that we hung across the apartment and cry as you sacrifice the only fan we have to dry your clothes... hahaha okay that was a bit dramatic but that's how I felt today! Hahaha

4. I'm grateful for my life. Another thing I took for granted. That is why I love the mission so much. My eyes have been opened and I have grown such a love for my Heavenly Father for all He has blessed me with. Life is so FUN! I love being here!

5. I am grateful for a healthy body, for a healthy family, for a home to live in, food always on the table, for my incredible friends, for my cousins, my aunts and uncles, my grandparents, for all of the support I have here on my mission.

6. I am grateful for temples. I have also grown a greater love and respect for temples while being here. It is absolutely incredible the power that exists inside those beautiful buildings. To be SEALED for not only this life but the one that will follow. I tear up every time I teach about the importance of families and temples. I will be forever grateful for Heavenly Fathers great plan of happiness and salvation that allows us to have a peace of mind that we will be with our loved ones for eternity. And that's why I'm here... to tell everyone about it! :)

7. I can't say enough how grateful I am for my incredible family. When times get hard here I just think about them and feel a burst of motivation. Their prayers seem to lift me through any difficult time. I LOVE MY FAMILY. My parents are beyond wonderful. They have ALWAYS supported me in EVERYTHING. My siblings are my best friends. They help me so much. I don't feel like the oldest with them... they are such examples to me.

8. I am very grateful for the scriptures! Every day I learn something new. I love reading them and searching for the perfect scripture to share with an investigator. The scriptures are such a blessing. We should take more time to read them and show our gratitude for them.

9. I am grateful for this gospel. Holy moly that will never change. I am so grateful that I was born in the covenant and grew up knowing of my divine potential. And I am so grateful for the chance to share it. Which brings me to...

10. I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR MY MISSION!!! My heart just keeps getting bigger as I meet new people, as my testimony grows, and as I see conversion happen. I have grown such a love for my mission. This has become such a sacred time for me. I wouldn't take it back for anything and I encourage anyone who is preparing to go to love every moment! Let Heavenly Father shape you to who He wants you to be. 

Okay here's an update on the week :)

Well I forgot to say last Monday we went to McDONALDS!!!! Yup. There is a McDonalds in the city. It was great. I had a chicken sandwich, fries, and a coke.... I don't even know me anymore. Haha

This week was great! We had Stake Conference and interviews this weekend. Stake Conference was so cool for me. I felt like it was a big testimony meeting. I love hearing testimonies. It strengthens me. And it's the coolest thing to see the church so strong in another country. I love it. Interviews were great!! President Chaparro is the best! We talked a lot about how I am doing in my mission so far. I told him about my feelings about not having much success. We talked a long time about how much I have really done here. A couple days ago my companion told me that the first day I got here we went and visited a lot of less actives. Then that Sunday every one of them came to church. I didn't realized they were less active until she told me that it had been years since they had come to church. We talked to them about it and every family told me that when I came to visit them they felt something in their heart say, it's time to go back to church. Well you can say that I had a lot of tears flowing this week. I had no idea. Now many of those families have kids preparing for missions. I was blown away and very humbled. I was grateful that Heavenly Father let me see that I really am making a difference. I learned that HE knows what's up. I am just a humble servant. It was very cool. This week we had so many people accompany us on lessons! For the first time here we had more member present lessons than others. The branch is changing. I'm changing. It's incredible to be here.

Okie dokie I think I better wrap it up. Holy smokes I almost forgot! Hermana Chaparro brought me a package on Saturday!!!!! Shout out to my amazing mom and grandma for filling it with my favorite things!! Definitely made my week! :)

Our investigators are doing great! We are expecting a lot at church this week! Please continue praying for the same people. The familia Chambi is incredible. We visited them yesterday. They have such a desire. We thought it was going to be hard to convert the mom but yesterday we took them a big picture of Christ. She started crying. She has been wanting a picture of the savior for a long time to bring more light to her home. That lesson was the bomb. She was so receptive, asked inspired questions, and the WHOLE family is committed to come to church :) boo yeah.

Alright I have to get going. Thank you all for all you do. I hope you have a great week and a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! 

Hermana Hammond


I don't even know anymore…I had a coke.

I am one happy American.

In watermelon heaven

Jumping in puddles.

Rainy day in Tucuman

Missionary VIP

Oh…my companion dyed my hair...

Our district

This darling girl is preparing to go on a mission.  She is from one of the families that was inactive that I mentioned in my letter.
She accompanied us for a few hours.  I gave her a skirt.

We don't get to see ourselves in a full length mirror everyday…
so we took a selfie.

Thanks for the Christmas Tree

I tried to Pinterest the apartment

You can say I died and went to heaven…I held that baby the whole lesson.


We had a ward activity today.  I love my people.


Monday, November 17, 2014

The One with the Nutella :)

Hello loved ones!

This week just flew right passed me! It's so hard to watch time go by so fast. I feel like I wake up in the morning.... tired... and then the next thing I know we are back in bed! With all we do in the day I can't believe how fast it goes. We are working like crazy!
 
Updates on investigators- 

The familia Chambi is doing so great! Oh my goodness we had the greatest lesson with them yesterday. I don't know if I've told you but they have 3 boys from 15-7 years old. Pablo, their youngest has disabilities. I can't even express through this email how incredible it was to teach them about the plan of salvation. Yesterday I was explaining where we were before this life, and that we are here on earth to learn and grow so we can become like our Heavenly Father. Hermano Chambi was blown away! He had never heard that before! He was crying so hard... we all couldn't help but cry. The thing is that we had never met Pablo until last night. After we explained the whole lesson to him he said, I want you to meet Pablo, can I go get him?... We both said YES!!! Pablo can't walk so he carried him out to where we were sitting. He is an angel!! The most precious perfect little thing. His dad said he loves music, so I whipped out my hymn book and we started singing to him. We sang I am a child of God. The spirit was so strong!! The coolest thing was that every time we sang, ¨to live with him someday¨ Pablo started smiling and clapping his hands! OH I was crying so hard! After the song we explained to Pablo and his dad that he was going to have a perfect body and live with God for eternity! Oh my goodness you guys I wish I could explain how incredible that was! I couldn't help but look Hermano Chambi in the eyes and say, You have to save your family! You have to get to church. You HAVE to accept this gospel. He looked right back at me and said, I will. OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! I was a crying mess! My favorite lesson on my mission for sure!! 

The familia Montoya is doing good too! We are working on helping Marcela with her divorce papers and really teaching the whole family and helping them reach baptism together. 

So at district meeting our district leader brought.... NUTELLA!!! Haha, he found it at the grocery store and brought it for us to share! It was so good. A little taste of America :). In the meeting we talked a lot about diligence. Hermana Resendiz (a sister I live with) gave a lesson. She talked about the women at the mall who sell straighteners. Haha, she talked about their diligence! It was really good actually! She explained that most of the time we just pass by and don't want to hear what they have to say. But the ladies basically grab us by the hair and start straightening it. Once we sit down and actually see what those suckers can do... we think, hmm it actually works! Hahah, she applied it to missionary work! Most people hear about mormons and have their expectations. But if we can actually sit down with people and have them TRY IT they become hooked! But one thing is different... the gospel is FREE!! Hahaha, I loved it! I am definitely going to be more diligent :)

So this week we had a ward relief society expo! All of the women in the stake came to show their crafts they had made this year! It was super fun! We were the only missionaries there. We got permission because we took investigators. All of the women in other wards were asking to take their pictures with me! hahaha, I felt famous! It was so fun to be with the ladies of the ward! We definitely bonded and had a great time :)

So I love living with other sisters! We have all grown so close! Last night we had a dance party to the Prince of Egypt soundtrack. Hahah, it was a blast and we couldn't go to sleep because we were laughing so hard! Hahaha I love making memories and enjoying these priceless moments. 

So culture fact- people here go grocery shopping every day... some, every meal. It's absolutely crazy! They go to the store, buy what they need to make lunch and nothing else... I would DIE! I am good with a once a week... once every two weeks... haha anyway... so there's that.

The work is moving forward! I am trying so hard to work harder. The weather isn't too bad. I can sleep at night with just our fan... so we're good for now :) haha, the good thing here is that they're is shade.. So I'm doing great!! Loving life and loving preaching the gospel. 

Oh and to update you all- I am all better! Super healthy. They doctor was sure I had a virus or something but when he got the blood tests he said he was shocked he didn't find anything!... yeah it's called a Priesthood blessing, 100 of prayers at home, and a whole lot of faith. Thank you all for your prayers! Here's to being healthy the rest of my mission! haha :)

I love you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Hammond

Hermana Salas - RS President -  aka my mom in Tucuman
Me and my comp
The ladies of the ward.  I LOVE THEM!!!

Loving the Argentina breeze. 

Piano lessons


A movie theater in Tucuman

Waiting for the bus.