April 30, 2014

Week Five

Hola hola everyone!

The countdown has begun! I leave for Buenos Aires this Monday (cinco de mayo)! Ah!!! I'm a little nervous since I'm the only one going to my mission that day, so hopefully someone from the mission will be waiting for me at the airport. Otherwise I have no idea how to get from Buenos Aires to Posadas...maybe a bus? Haha  (We leave the MTC at 8:30 am, and go to the airport. Our first flight is from SLC to Dallas and then Dallas to Buenos Aires.  We leave SLC at 2:20 and arrive in TX at 5:55. Then we leave TX at 7:30 and arrive in Buenos Aires at 7:50 am on May 6.)

Apparently all the fire alarms in our apartment decided to get low batteries at the exact same time. We were all getting ready for bed the other night when one alarm started to chirp. And then another. And then another. So at 10:30 at night some of the sisters threw their tags on over their pajamas and ran down to the front desk to pick up some batteries. When they got back, we tried to put them into the alarms. It took us a good five minutes trying to get the stinking alarms open, take out the old batteries, and then put the new ones in the right way. I'm fairly certain it probably should not have been that hard, but what can I say. Our brains are a little fried after studying and working and learning for basically sixteen hours straight haha. Anyways, we put the batteries in, but Hna Hammond accidentally knocked one of the alarms and it started going off at 11pm. Luckily by this time we had figured out what we were doing and were able to turn it off right away.

This week has been hard. We are all leaving for our different missions in a few days, so we have to say goodbye to each other, the other missionaries here, our teachers, our church leaders, etc... I'm going to miss everyone! The teachers here are all so fantastic, and I have absolutely loved learning from them and listening to their testimonies. Hearing about their experiences on their missions makes me so excited and anxious to just get to Paraguay/Argentina and start talking to everyone I know! It is amazing to me how much affect one good teacher, or even just one good example, can have on a person's life. It makes me wish I had been a better example, or more outgoing, or more willing to share my testimony of Jesus Christ while still in high school. But now I guess I have these next seventeen months (and the rest of my life) to redeem myself! The Lord is so wonderful, and I love how He gives us so many chances to do our best!

And yes, this past Tuesday night we got to hear from another General Authority :) Elder Christofferson came, and he talked about how we want to be trustworthy missionaries. We have to be willing to do what God asks of us, and to serve Him with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. I want to be a missionary that God trusts. I want to do everything He asks of me, and I want to do it well.

This week I loved reading from Hebrews chapter 11. Obviously I am not going to quote it all here, but the basic summary of the chapter is that history is full of people who accomplished amazing things because of their faith. I hope you all know that I am here serving a mission because of faith. I could definitely not be doing this alone- I know that God is strengthening and supporting me so much. I am going to work so that in seventeen months, when I arrive home, I can write in my journal another verse to Hebrews 11. It would say something along the lines of: "By faith Elise Simmons was able to leave Meridian, Idaho and serve the people of Posadas. Through her faith on the Lord she persevered through trials, and through her faith she taught many of their Savior, Jesus Christ." I am so grateful for the strength I can receive from God, and I know that without it I would be nothing. Elise Simmons on her own could NEVER. do something as amazing as serving a mission. But with faith in my God, I know that I can do all things. He has blessed me so much.

I love you all!
Hermana Simmons

P.S.  We just study everything in Preach My Gospel (PMG). If we have a specific question regarding our investigators, or if we need to improve teaching, or if we have doctrinal problems we'll look through PMG or ask our teacher for a suggested reading in it and then we'll read it. It's a great book. I really would recommend reading it before coming out here haha, so it's too bad i didn't just listen to Alden's and Jaron's advice.

Easter! :)

One of the sisters in the picture, Hna Briggs (tall, thin, brown hair), knows the man who manages the cafeteria (he's the husband of her former boss). So he offered to take this picture of our district and sent it out to our parents.

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