Monday, February 24, 2014

Baptismal Dates

Well, to begin, I have a little song for you all that's been stuck in my head all day.....

"And it's a great day to be alive!  I know the sun's still shining when I close my eyes."

Yeah, it's not really a church song but I think the lyrics are appropriate!  How true is IT?  Each day is a great day to be alive.  Oh, I just love life.  I love it!!! HA!

Okay, well this week was pretty solid.  To start out I would like to say that I am totally legal here in Argentina.  I did my for now I'M GOOD!!  Also, I want to share with you a few things that happened this week.  We placed 3 baptismal dates!   Yep, it's true!  We place 3 dates this week.  We are super excited about that!  We also received a reference from our member.  Her friend is so prepared!  I can't even describe!  As we began talking and asking her questions she began to cry.  We were able to testify of the Savior, His atonement, and His love for her.  Usually in the first lesson we get to know them, share our purpose, and then a scripture that fits their needs.  But we were impressed during the lesson to share all about the Restoracion.  She loved it.  As I shared the first vision, she didn't take her eyes off mine.  Sometimes people feel a little uncomfortable with eye contact (me in particular).  That is one thing I've learned is so important, especially during the first vision.  And it was such a special moment.  Shortly after she accepted a baptismal date :)  And she wants to go to church.  Shows how powerful the spirit is and how crucial he is in a conversion.

We also set another date with a girl named "A".  She is so receptive and said "yes, but I also want my boyfriend to go to church with me."  We were so excited after the lesson.  Jumping for joy thinking, "They have to get married, but once they do....WE ARE GOING TO BAPTIZE THE CUTEST COUPLE EVER!"  Later, we found out that "A" has already been baptized.  Ha!  We taught her 3 times and she finally tells us.  I don't think she understood that you only have to be baptized once.  But, we are excited to teach her boyfriend, and good news, we found another inactive member. HA!

Now, all we have to do is confirm that the other two baptismal dates we have aren't members. HA!!  Seriously, highlight of the week.  So funny.

We had 3 less actives in church Sunday, and one of their kids.  As we were sitting in sacrament I looked over to the father and I see him reading his scriptures and putting smiley faces next to the verses that he likes.  It was the sweetest thing I have ever seen.  Smiley faces in his scriptures.

It got me thinking.  Why don't I put smiley faces in my scriptures?  Our scriptures are there to read and to write how we feel.  And if we feel happy, peace, joy, or whatever emotion, what is a better way to demonstrate our happiness other than a smiley face?  I think I will be throwing in a couple smiley faces in my scriptures :)  And maybe a couple hearts, and stars!  Ha...but I'm serious.

Sad thing that happened this week.  "M" doesn't believe in God.  She doesn't want to talk about God anymore, and she doesn't want to go to church. heart broke.  But, I will not give up on her.  I have faith.

I've been studying a lot in the scriptures.  I love them!  I love the D&C.  I have just 2 more sections left until I finish.  It's such a testimony builder.  I can testify that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he received this revelation for us, today.  We can learn so much from his revelation, and from all the prophets revelations.

Be nice to the missionaries.  Honk at them when you drive by.  It makes them happy :)  (Even though we can't wave at them here in Argentina because they are usually creepy still makes me happy!  hahaha!)

Best wishes this week  :)  LOVES!
Hoorah for ZION

Hermana McChesney

--Shout out to Steph for the birthday card.  I loved it so much!  The card was too adorable and how did you know I wanted a pony?
--Shout out to Scott and Julie Bird on the new baby!!  He is absolutely adorable!  Can't wait to meet him.  Give him lots of kisses for me!
--Shout out to dad for the letter as well.  I loved the scriptures you wrote.  Made me think a lot.  I will be writing you a letter describing my feelings towards it.
--Shout out to Bethanna, TJ, and Eric for the mission calls this week.  You are going to kill it in all of those areas!  So exciting!  Let the work go on!


It was raining outside so an investigator gave us some coats to wear.

Just last night we all slept with the hermanas. We had to do our laundry. ha!  Love these girls! One thing I want to share is that we were all sleeping on the floor on 4 mattresses.  As we went to bed and woke up this morning we all knelt in prayer and prayed together and then silently, too... I want a picture so bad of this. I will never forget. 5 of us in a row praying. It was just...aww. I don't know! I loved it! 

Monday, February 17, 2014


This week reading all of the emails from the family, I have felt so blessed to be a part of this family.  Austin, I am so impressed with your ability to follow the spirit.  Truly, that is such a great gift to have.  Then with Jackson and the boys.  I'm so lucky to hear that you are all safe.  I know that the Lord is watching over you all.  Nothing is coincidence.

This week I also can truly say that the Lord has blessed me.  No, I wasn't in any type of accident or anything, but he is blessing the area that I am in.

I received my new companion.  Her name is Hermana Sanchez and she is from Chile.  She is great!  She is 19 years old and has been a member for about 2 1/2 years..well, almost 3.  She has a strong testimony and is so ready to work and bring others this same joy and peace that she has received.

I love Sundays because church is one way to see the progress of the previous week.  We had focused a lot in working with the less actives.  We finally visited with one lady who we could never get in touch with.  We talked about the church and asked her what she needs to do now so that we can have a branch in Fernandez Oro.  She was then motivated and said she would be at church.  We taught a lot about the church with our inactives and guess what...THEY ALL CAME TO CHURCH!!! It's true.  You can read that again.  They really all came to church.

Well, okay all the people we visited came to church.  Yep yep yep yep!

The "P" family (2) came.  The father, mother, and they brought 2 sons who are not members.  And then "L" was with them with his daughter.  Then "P" who also is a less active came with her sister, and then as the sacrament was finished, I looked out to the foyer  and I saw "A" with his little son.  WHAT??  Is this real life?  He is the one that asked me to pray for him and wants to change his life.  I saw him out there.  He smiled.  Then he came and sat with us.  We had 2 benches of people from Fernandez Oro.  Can you believe that?  Yeah, me either.

"A" said he would stay for a little longer after the sacrament...but he ended up staying the WHOLE time.  Yep.  It's true!  He loved it.  Also, the "P" family stayed the whole time.  One of the sons left the final hour, but still, WOW!  The 3 younger kids also were there and stayed in the primary and loved it.  They all want to come back.

Awwww!  Can I get a hoooooorahhh??

So, there you have it.  The happiest news ever!  I can truly see a branch in Fernandez Oro so soon!!!  I know that the church can help others feel the love of our Father in Heaven.  That is why they always want to stay.  There is something different in the church.  I love it!

This doesn't mean that there isn't any stress involved in Sundays.  Trying to get rides for everyone and waiting for the collectivo 1 1/2 hours before church starts are some of the stresses, but always so worth it.  The hard work pays off when I see the smiling faces :)

Something that I learned today that I loved.  "God is exalted- We are not!  He is perfect - We are not!  He must never be treated casually.  He possesses almighty power.  His brightness and glory defy all description" -- Skinner.  I loved it!  It made me think how casual I am when i talk to my Father in Heaven.  Or, if I really understand the power that He has.  I invite you all to reflect on your knowledge of our Father in Heaven and develop this relationship with Him.  Even if we already have a good one, we can always strive to be better :)

Hermana McChesney

--Shout out to Bethanna and TJ who are going to open their calls this week.  Keep me updated.  I know the Lord will bless you for your decision to serve.  Remember he will guide you and comfort you no matter where you are called to be.
--Shout out to Mary McChesney for the package.  I finally got it!!  And I loved it!!  I loved the dark chocolate.. I almost cried when I saw it ;)  HA!
-- Shout out to Janie Squire and Kristy Harker for the letters.  I loved them so much!!

Some of my favorite quotes of the week:
"I don't feel so nervous today in the church"-    "A"
"SoS Terror"--- "M" (This means I'm a terror because I convinced her to go to church..hahaha :)  

Monday, February 10, 2014

My Work and My Joy

To start out, I'd like to share with you some "funnies" that happened this week.
-I have learned that if you find a hair in your food you have to keep eating.  When you find the second, the answer is the same...Keep eating!  HA!  It's so sad.  It really is so sad!
-I also have learned that when you are living without a washer, think twice before traveling by bus with dirty clothes.  Ha!
-Also, Hermana Villalobos got peed on by a dog.  Yep!
-And speaking of dogs, I got bit by a dog...with no teeth.  hahahaha!!  It's real life people.  It's real life!

Well, everybody needs a little laugh to start their morning right?

Well this week was absolutely the best week of the whole entire mission.  Yep, I went that far.  It was so good.  I can't even describe!  Let me just share a couple highlights.

We have been visiting a lady named "M".  She is super hilarious!  We have been asking her to read and read and read the Book of Mormon and finally one day we stopped by.  She pulled up a seat, whipped out her Book of Mormon, and sat describing everything she had read.  But not only describing, but also saying what she learned.  My mouth was open the whole time in amazement.  I thought to myself, "Is this real life?"  We then committed her to go to church.  She said "I'll only go to church because this might be the last time to go with you both, and because you're singing."

She came to church!  We found her a ride and we all traveled together.  At first she said she could only stay for the first hour.  After we sang she started to cry.  We sang "Come Thou Fount" (yes, in English).  It was the 4 of us sister missionaries.  "M" was interested the whole meeting.  After sacrament was over, she said she could probably stay for another hour, and then after the second hour said the same.  She stayed for all 3 hours!  After she said, "Well chicas, I actually really liked church.  I felt comfortable and welcomed".  I just died when she said that because she NEVER wanted to go to church and now she wants to go.  I can see the future for her!  AH!  I invite you all to think about the feelings you have when you go to church.  That's what our new investigators feel.  It truly is a blessing!

Also, at church we had a less active.  The dad came with his son.  They came with "L" who is consistently coming to church now.  I was stunned to see him!  And he came in a shirt and tie.  AH!  When we visited with the family after he said that the only thing missing was the rest of his family.  We are now determined to baptize the 3 boys. :)

We had 3 investigators in church this week.  The highest turn out that I have ever had.  I just felt so much joy!  I know that the hard work is paying off.  I slow, but I know I am doing what I need to be doing.

One more story:  We were visiting the other "P" family and her comes walking in "A".  He had been drinking and looked so sad.  But he came in and sat in on the lesson.  As we sang a hymn and then prayed to end he looked at his son and said, "remember how we pray each night?"  The little son nodded his head, folded his arms, and listened to me pray.  As we were shaking their hands "A" grasped my hand.  He said, "I need a favor".  I responded and he said, "Will you please pray for me?"  With all the energy of his heart he said he was sorry and he wants to change.  He asked me to go and pray with him (obviously with my companion).  We talked with him for a while outside about how he wants to change and be an example for his son.  I have never seen somebody talk with such sincerity.  He then asked me to pray for him.  So I did.  Right there outside of the house.  I have never felt so guided by the spirit to say the things I said.  To be honest, I don't remember what I said.  But, I know that he did.  It was probably one of the best moments of my whole mission.  I have never felt so much love for a family.  They are all less active but they one day will come back, one day soon.  I am here to help them.  This is my work and this is my joy!  I cannot wait to see his progress.

Sadly, we got news about transfers this week.  Good news.  I'M STAYING IN FERNANDEZ ORO.  Sad news, my cute companion is leaving me ;(    I have learned so much from her and am so sad to see this dynamic duo split.  That's what they call us.  We have learned to work together and learn to love each other with all our heart.  I can now say that when we are working for the same goal and we have the same motives, it's hard not to love the one you're working with.

So this is a super long and crazy email.....full of lots of emotions, no?  But I just want you all to know that I know this is the work of the Lord.  I am only an instrument in the hands of the Lord.  I have felt His guidance and support each and every day.  Amo la mission.  Amo mi Salvador.  Se que este es el obra del Senor, se que sin el somos nada.  Se que sin ninguna duda que si trabajamos con toda nuestra fuerza podemos encontrar las personas que son preparadas para recibir el Evangelio de Jesucristo.  Amo este Evangelio.  Amo el Libro de Mormon.  Se que podemos encontrar paz y fortaleza en este libro.

Keep writing me and I'll keep writing you...if promises ;)  Love you all!

Hermana McChesney

-Shout out to Lauren Eastman.  HAPPY 20TH MI AMIGA!!!!AH!  Eat cake, and a card is coming your way!
- Shout out to Cabrina Blackhurst on the farewell!  I know that you will be the best missionary!
-Shout out to all those celebrating Valentines day.  Eat lots of chocolate covered strawberries.  I don't know if they celebrate this holiday here....

                                 We had a little sleep over in our new apartment.  So much fun!

  I've learned that it's better to love and kiss than to hate and kick.  This dog chases me every day!

                                      Learned how to make empanadas.  So Yummy!

                          I have blisters covering my hands from putting together our furniture.

Monday, February 3, 2014

First Baptism!!

My family!  Hello!!

I just want to say that reading your emails today just gave me the chills.  I loved them so much!  Thank you for your wonderful examples.  I truly am so blessed.  I don't think I can say that enough.

This week.  Wow!  Where do I even begin?
Oh, I know.

February 1, 2014.  A day I will never, ever forget.  It was absolutely beautiful!  Rocio looked so beautiful and it was a feeling I will always remember!  I'll give you a quick overview of everything.

So, let's just say.  Nobody trained me what to do for baptisms.  I guess they just thought, "Oh, she's been out for 8 months, she's got to know what to do." Nope.  They were all wrong.  Ha!  My companion and I were stressing thinking, "We are not trained for this". ha!!  People asking me if I am cleaning the font, if I have the keys, and then the worst was, "Hermana McChesney, my wife can't give the talk, will you do it?"  Well.  That just added to the stress.  So, after all the stress, we were finally prepared for the baptism.

"R"came with ALL of her family.  None of them are members.  It was so great to have them there and experience the baptism.  They all loved it, and they want to talk with the missionaries.  Yeah, let's all just cry a little.  But, the baptism was great!  Everyone followed through with their assignments and I just smiled the whole time thinking in relief, "We did it!"

Her boyfriend baptized her.  I cannot wait until they get married!  They are just the cutest!  It's the best love story.  It's as if I'm watching my own chick flick and I'm the "behind the scenes makeup artist" or something like that.  ha!  I feel so privileged to be part of this change in her life.  I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ changes peoples lives.  It has changed mine, too.  It's such a beautiful thing to see!

Hey, guess what??  I'M NOT HOMELESS ANYMORE!
I have a pension. :)  Yep.  I've been trained and I could probably live on the streets and feel comfortable.  No, but really, we finally got light in our pension so we are living there!  YAY!  But...we still don't have gas so we are showering with agua fria.  No importa.  TENEMOS APARTAMENTO!  It was the best night ever!

Oh, one more thing.  We went on exchanges this week.  I stayed in Fernandez Oro with Hermana Lyman.  We had such a great time.  We found a man who is from Mendoza and said he has been looking for the missionaries for so long and he has wanted to talk with them.  YAY!  We have a lesson with him today!  Such a blessing.  The Lord is preparing people in the world.  We need to be an example so that one day they will want to listen!  It all starts with example!

Well, that's all folks.  So good to hear about your lives.  Keep preaching the gospel through example.  Thanks for the fasts and the prayers.

Hermana McChesney

--Shout out to Megan McColm for the letter.  I loved it!  Such a surprise.  What a sweetheart!
--Finally got the Christmas card mom.  It looked great!  Still waiting on all the packages.....
--Happy Birthday Arlynn Robinson this week!  YAY!
--Congrats to Austin.  Both of us had baptisms!  How exciting!! :)  So glad we got to share this date together :)