Saturday, November 25, 2017

La Última Carta

Queridos Amigos,

The mission has been full of many firsts. First companion, first week, first area, first lesson, first baptism, first day of homesickness. But it's also had a lot of lasts. Last companion, last week, last area, last chance to share the joy of the gospel before it all ends.

I started my mission in Banfield 2, and I'll also be ending there. My firsts and lasts are coming together.

Many people ask me why I decided to serve a mission. My response has always been one word, "Joy". I felt so much joy from the gospel in my life that I couldn't go without sharing it. I felt that it would be selfish to not share the joy that I felt. This joy is hard to explain, but so wonderful to have. It's a feeling I don't ever want to lose. Like Lamoni, "I will give up all that I possess... that I may receive this great joy" (Alma 22:15). And if "men are, that they might have joy" (2 Nephi 2:25) how could I not go out and share it with all that would listen to me?

Luckily I didn't have to give up all that I possess to declare "good tidings of great joy" (Luke 2:10). My sacrifices weren't that great. My family and my studies are still waiting for me and jobs are easy to find.  The message that day after day I share with my fellow brothers and sisters is a message of joy, and this joy comes from Christ.

This week I had my last interview with President Calquín and he shared the following scripture: "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not... righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad..." (2 Nephi 2:11). Those words went straight to my heart as I thought about these past 18 months. I have felt moments of pure joy, but I only felt them because I felt moments of sorrow. As missionaries, "we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some" (Alma 26:30). Every rejection, every rainy day, every moment of exhaustion was worth it because my joy is full because I could be the means of saving some. I've seen that joy in others as they receive their answer about the Book of Mormon or as they leave the baptismal font glowing for joy.

My joy is full.

My joy is full through my Savior, Jesus Christ. He is my rock and my salvation. He has conquered death and sin and I know that thanks to Him, one day I can too. I know with all my heart that He lives. I know it just as I know that the sun will rise tomorrow. He died and rose again that we might all live again. I know that this is His church and that He guides it. He is the author of man's salvation.

These past 18 months representing Him has brought me so close to Him. I've had Him in my thoughts and everyday I've strived to be a little more like Him. I invite you all to accept His invitation of, "Come, follow me". He offers peace and joy unto all that are willing to come unto Him. Of these things I testify in the sacred name of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, amen.

con amor,

Hermana Chaffin

"The joy of living comes from immersion in something that we know to be bigger, better, more endureing and worthier than we are"

-John Mason Brown

Monday, November 13, 2017

Libro de la Vida

Queridos amigos,

Another amazing week in the Lord's vineyard! We were in Burzaco with Hermana Hernandez and Hermana Rotela. We learned a lot from them and had a bunch of fun experiences with them. From combing their hair for lice and eating a bunch of icecream, the week was complete. We found a few new investigators, one of which is named Sven and is from Switzerland! What a crazy world!

I started my mission planning to write a story, but ended up writing a different one. There's no rough draft and there's no sequel. There've been adventures and moments of fear. Sometimes it seemed like the characters just couldn't catch a break. Some chapters were short and others seemed like they would never end.

As I've written the story day by day, I've come to realize that I started out with the wrong story in mind. I thought that I was the hero coming to save the day. But I'm not the hero. I'm the awkward sidekick trying not to mess everything up. The hero of this story is Jesus Christ. He is the protagonist of this story. He is the author of salvation. I just try to be a good pencil in His hands so that He can accomplish His plans here.

Every page has been worth it. Every tear shed, every rainy day, every heartfelt prayer has been worth it. Every moment of suffering and of joy has been worth it because it has brought me a little closer to Him. I've come to know Him better because I've tried to BE like Him.

Every book has a purpose, some lesson to teach. I've learned many lessons from this wonderful story that I'm a part of. I'm getting to the last few pages and I'm coming to better understand what my Heavenly Father wants me to learn.

Thank you all for being a part of this story. You've all played a role in shaping me into the person that I am.

I hope that Jesus Christ is the protagonist in the story of each one of you. And if not, it's not to late to start a new chapter.

con amor,

Hermana Chaffin

10 Minutes

Queridos Amigos,

Another glorious week in the work of the Lord.

I only have 10 minutes so I'll make this short and sweet.

We were in Banfield 4 with Hermana Barlow and Hermana Santos. It was the first time as ETM that I got to be with Hermana Santos after being her companion. We had a blast and worked a lot. I learned so much from them and my sweet companion.

One of the hardest parts about the mission is your companion. You live with them 24/7 and learn all about their family, their bad habits, if they snore, and how they work. You learn the little quirks and you also realize that you do weird things too! I've learned so much from each companion and I'm so grateful to be ending my mission with Hermana Rivarola as my companion.

I've learned a lot about love and charity, humility, and patience from her. She knows how to call others unto repentance with so much authority and love that it astounds me. Her style is always top notch and she is always performing little acts of kindness to others.

My companions have shaped me into the person that I am today. I know that I've done the same for my companions as well. For better or worse, we learn from them. This influence extends outside of the mission as well. You all have the abiltity to change lives- if you choose to.

I hope that you can all take a moment this week to strive to bless the life of someone. Start by sharing a smile and then see where life takes you. This life would be very dull if we lived selfishly. Thank you for your love and support.

con amor,

Hermana Chaffin

Monday, October 16, 2017

Para siempre Dios este con Vos

Queridos Amigos,

What an amazing week!

Monday we arrived at Cañuelas and unpacked our suitcases like normal.

Tuesday we had district meeting and I got to see Hermana Chappell! It was her last district meeting in the mission, so she shared her testimony at the end.

Wednesday was crazy! Cañuelas is in the middle of nowhere, and the next day we had a leadership meeting in Banfield, so we packed an overnight bag to go and sleep in Banfield. Hermana Chappell had tour the next day, so she traveled with us and we were in trio for a day. The best surprise is that Hermana Medford also had tour and stayed the night with us in Banfield. They are such great sisters and were amazing companions. I can't believe that today they'll be getting on a plane headed home. Time passes by so quickly!

Thursday we had the leadership meeting and then traveled back to Cañuelas.

Friday the sisters had weekly planning and then we went to work! We found 3 new investigators that are amazing! They all have different problems, but believe in Christ. It's amazing to see faith in others.

Saturday was amazing!!! We worked so hard and had a blast sharing the joy of the gospel with every person we met.

Sunday was amazing! Graciela from San Vicente showed up to surprise Hermana Chappell for her last Sunday in Argentina. They both hugged and cried. It was a really sweet experience. But, the sweetest part was to see Graciela's son Nahuel passing the sacrament. He has a little less than a year as a member and has changed so much. He's such a smart young man and very thoughtful. Hermana Chappell was the missionary who taught that family and invited them to be baptized.

My very first lesson in San Vicente was with them. They've changed my life and taught me so much. That's what I love about the mission. We come to serve others and love them, but in the end we receive service and love from others. Every action comes full circle. God's plan is perfect and Christ's grace is sufficient for all that humble themselves and come unto Him.

I hope that you all have an amazing week!

con amor,

Hermana Chaffin

Sunday, October 15, 2017


Queridos Amigos,

Another week has come and gone in the glorious work of the Lord.

In our mission, the transfers are always every 6 weeks, but this transfer was 5 weeks because Pte. Calquin has a special seminar when we would be having changes, so we had transfers early. So, I was very nervous this whole week waiting to know what was going to happen to me for my last trasfer. I wanted to know if I was going to have an area and a new companion. Usually missionaries are ETMs for only 3 months and I've had 4 and a half, so I wanted to know what the future had in store. Saturday was the day of "the call", but the call never came. All the other sisters learned about their new areas and companions but we didn't hear anything!!!

I have yet to develop a broad scope of patience, so at 4pm I couldn't take it anymore and called our leaders to know what's up. The answer brought me so much happiness that I literally jumped and shouted for joy! I will end my mission as an ETM! Hermana Rivarola is still my companion!

I am so grateful for this opportunity. I've learned so much from each sister here in the mission and I've grown so much. I absolutely love my companion and she's teaching me so much. She is the most loving and patient person that I know.

This week we were in Alejandro Korn with Hermana Velasquez and Hermana Evangelista. They are so sweet and such hard workers! I had many spiritual experiences and my love for this work grew even more. We worked our hearts out, and ended up finding 15 new investigators!!! It was absolutely incredible! The spirit was so strong in each lesson.

I've been reflecting on what I've learned in my mission and what I would like to learn in this last 7 weeks that I have left. I've learned a lot. How to make rice in different ways, how to run 20 blocks in 8 minutes and arrive at the apartment on time, I've learned how to speak spanish, I've learned how to set goals and achieve them. But, as great as these things are, I've also learned how to see people through God's eyes. I've learned the importance of patience and love when helping someone who feels like there's no hope left. I've learned to suffer with joy and to come closer to God in my sufferings. I've learned that God's plan is PERFECT and that there is always a second chance. The Atonement of Christ makes everything possible. I've learned that this truly is the Lord's work and the only way to do it is His way.

I love the mission and I don't want it to end, but like all good things, it must come to an end. Life is short, so make the most of every moment. Dance in the rain. Share a smile with a stranger. Stop to smell the flowers. This life is meant to be enjoyed.

con amor,

Hermana Chaffin

Live the story you want to tell

Otro día glorioso

Queridos Amigos,

This week was absolutely amazing! We were in Adrogue this week with Hermana Ochoa and her new companion, Hermana Callister. It was a great experience because Hermana Callister just started her mission. She's only been here for 3 weeks! It was great to hear her talk about the crazy things that we do here. For me, they've all become the norm, but I remember when they seemed strange to me too.

She talked about giving kisses to people on the cheek and clapping our hands outside instead of knocking on the door.

She asked to see pictures of me when I started the mission and she said, "Wow, you changed a lot! Why do we change?! I don't want to change!"

Little does she know, but that change is the most beautiful thing. I love seeing my companions change and I especially love seeing the changes in people that come to know the gospel. That change is repentance in action. I wouldn't trade anything for the change that I've seen in myself. I think and act differently now. I still like the same books and the same music. I'm still me, but I'm not at the same time.

That's one of the reasons that the mission is the best thing ever. We change. We change to become more like Christ. We learn to forget ourselves and serve others. I hope that you can all see changes in your lives thanks to Jesus Christ and his sacrifice.

I love you all so much!

con amor,

Hermana Chaffin

Oscar the Baptist

Queridos Amigos,

This week was absolutely amazing! I wish I had enough time to write about every funny moment and every miracle of the week.

We had zone conference this week and one of the assistants did something special this time. He'd gone and interviewed some recent converts and learned about their story and filmed it.

He started out by first showing a picture of them at their baptism and asked the missionaries who knew the people to share the story of each person. Then, he showed a video of the new members explaining why they got baptized. He ended each interview with a question. He asked, "if you had the missionaries that taught you right here in front of you, what would you say?"

Almost always the people shared their gratitud and many teared up. One of the last videos that he shared was of Oscar. He asked me to share how I found Oscar and the story of his baptism. After I finished talking, he showed Oscar's interview and I started balling. It was so incredible to see how much that man has changed. He's a completely new person and he's changed my life.

Oscar goes to the same church building as the assistant, and apparently the ward has given Oscar the nickname of "Oscar the Baptist" because he's baptized 6 people! Haha the whole ward knows that Oscar loves the gospel and wants to be an example of Christ.

My whole mission is worth it just for the chance that I had to meet Oscar and play a small part in his conversion.

I invite all of you who are members to remember your own baptism and ponder how it has changed your life.

I love you all so much!

con amor,

Hermana Chaffin