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

¿Cambios?

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

Lluvia

Queridos Amigos,

Esta semana fue... haha I'll write in english...

This week was amazing! I learned so much and really felt the spirit teaching me this week. I love my new companion and we make a great team. I love her humility and her constant desire to be a better person.

I had the blessing to be in Banfield 2 again this week. I was grateful for the chance that I had to see Oscar again. He never ceases to amaze me.

This week my beautiful sisters, Rochelle and Sydney, start college and I can't believe it. Time has passed by so quickly and I'm sure that these next 11 weeks will pass by even faster.

I've missed out on lots of important events and occasions, but in the end it really hasn't been a sacrifice. Getting up at 6:30am or walking all day in the rain isn't a sacrifice. I'm really not sacrificing anything because all that I have is from God. My time, my energy, my everything, is from Him. The least I could do is set aside 18 months to serve Him and His children.

I invite you all to set aside time to serve Him as well. You don't have to come to Argentina, but a smile can work wonders. Look for opportunities to help those around you. I promise that you will see a difference in your lives.

Thank you for blessing my life.

Con amor,


Hermana Chaffin

Barro, pizza, y helado

Queridos Amigos,

This week was absolutely spectacular!

I had the lovely opportunity to be in Burzaco with my bestfriend in the mission, Hermana Hernandez. She's been there with me every step of the way and I was so glad to have the chance to work with her this week. We worked our hearts out and had a blast doing it.


We had some very spiritual lessons this week and I loved to see the lives of others changing. Many people here don't have a very good life. They have humble homes and work hard to just get by. Their houses flood when it rains and mud fills their homes and streets. Single mothers raise their families and give their last pot of rice to their sick neighbor. It is a privilege to be able to sit down on a wobbly chair with a dog nipping my ankle and bow my head and offer a prayer asking God to bless the lives of the humble people who allowed me to enter their home. It is in these moments when I most strongly feel my Father's love for His children. It is when they read the Book of Mormon for the first time and say, "Chicas, this is the truth!"

I love walking 20 blocks in nasty mud while I sing church hymns with my companion. I love feeling the rain on my face and smiling at all the people I pass.


I'm never going to have another chance to do all the crazy things I do day after day.

I've met the most amazing people, and they're not amazing for the sport they play or the car they drive. They are amazing for their hearts and spirits. They are amazing because they are children of God and He sent me here to visit them.

This life is such a beautiful gift and we have a gorgeous world to live in. I hope that you all take a moment this week to see the many blessings you have.

This week marks the start of a new transfer and a new companion! My new companion is Hermana Rivarola from Cordoba, Argentina. I continue as a traveling sister with all the adventures that implies.

Thank you all for your love and support,

Con amor,


Hermana Chaffin

Banfield 2

Queridos Amigos,

This week was absolutely amazing! I had the wonderful opportunity to return to my first area, Banfield 2. It was great to walk the same streets that I walked a year ago. Not much had changed. The same old potholes and the same man selling churros in the train station. But, there were some changes and they were the most incredible changes of my mission.

Monday we had an activity in the church with all the recent converts, and Oscar was there! I couldn't believe how he's changed. He was answering all the questions and laughing and having a good time. He shared his thoughts and feelings and helped those that were new. He looked so happy and I was filled with joy when I saw his happiness.


I don't know what I expected the mission to be, but it was't this. I thought that it would be hard work, but easy to love. I thought that it would be full of success and that missionaries are always happy. The mission is full of disappointments, failures, tears and exhaustion. But, every once in a while you experience moments of PURE JOY and it makes it all worthwhile. I wouldn't trade any minute of suffering or pain that I've had while on the mission. I wouldn't trade the moments of hunger or the homesickness. It's all shaped me into the woman that I am today. Those little moments of pure joy are amazing and they are pure. They usually aren't even moments of our own joy. Pure joy comes from seeing others accept the gospel of Jesus Christ and let it change their lives. That's what it's all about.

Oscar probably knows more than me. He gets it. He studies the scriptures everyday and is always helping his neighbors and the members in the church. He understands what he promised when he was baptized and he entends to keep that promise. I'm just a simple girl from Montana trying to do the Lord's work here in Argentina. I'm not always happy and sometimes it's hard to work everyday. But, I go out and I give my best because that's what God's children deserve. It's not about me, it's about Jesus Christ. It's about coming unto Him and allowing Him to change your weaknesses into strengths.


I've come to know my Savior much more in my mission and I will strive everyday to live up to His expectations of me.

I hope that you all have a wonderful week,

con amor,


Hermana Chaffin

Buen día

Queridos amigos,

I am so very sorry that I haven't been very good about this whole writing thing.

Last week I got to return to San Vicente and it was the most amazing experience. I got to see old friends, investigators, members and converts. It reminded me of the importance of my efforts and I truly left a changed person. San Vicente will always have a place in my heart.

This week I was in Cañuelas with my old companion Hermana Chappell. It was so great to catch up with her and work our hearts out. We quickly fell back into our old rhythm and it was like we never separated.


Today we talked about the Book of Mormon in church and I was filled with so much love and gratitude for this book. I wouldn't be here without it. I invite you all to read it and see what it has to teach you.

I can't believe how fast the time is going. I only have 3 1/2 months left and I hope to use every moment to the max.

I know that my Savior lives and I know that through His perfect sacrifice we can all be made clean and return to God's prescence. Through the grace of Christ we can overcome our weaknesses and reach our full potential.

Life isn't easy but how boring would it be if it was?

I love you all and wish you the very best.

con amor,

Hermana Chaffin

"It is for us to make the effort. The result is always in God's hands" -Mahatma Gandhi


"I do the very best I know how; the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brigs me out all right, what is said against me won't amount to anything" -Abraham Lincoln

Amo Argentina

Queridos Amigos,

This week was abosolutely amazing! I learned so much and really saw a personal growth in myself, my companion, and the other sisters.

We went to Adrogue this week and I had the blessing of being with Hermana Hernandez (from Mexico) after 9 months of not seeing her. She is my best friend in the mission and I had a blast working hard with her.

This week I was reflecting a lot on what my mission has meant to me and how it has shaped my life. Sunday morning we passed by an investigators house to accompany her to church. She ended up being sick and couldn´t come. As we walked to the church, I had a moment to reflect on these past 14 months. I was filled with so much love for Argentina as I walked through the mud, looking at the leaves on the trees. It´s a love that I can´t express with words.

I love this country and it will always have a special place in my heart. It´s not perfect and it´s not paradise, but I love it. I love it because it has completely changed my life. My time here has brought me closer to my Savior and to my Father in Heaven.

I wouldn´t trade these past 14 months for anything. I can´t wait to see what these next 4 bring. I know that they´ll be great.

I love this work.

Con amor,


Hermana Chaffin

Libertad

Queridos Amigos,

This week was amazing!!!! I hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day. It was different celebrating it here in Argentina, but it was the same day as district meeting and the Elders went all out. Haha the non-Americans looked at us a little funny, but they all said that it was so awesome that we love our country so much. It was interesting because July 9th is Independence Day in Argentina and nobody celebrated....


This week brought a lot of reflection. I had the opportunity to be with Hermana Medford again and it was great to work with her. I can´t believe how much the both of us have changed.

The mission passes so fast and it´s always changing and I love it! I love the oportunity to change and constantly strive to be a better person. I´m no where near perfect, but I´m trying. I think that the fact that we can change is one of the happiest parts of the gospel. Jesus Christ and His Atonement make it possible for us to repent. Repentance means change. I´ve felt Him urging me on and lifting me when I was down. I know that He lives.

It´s amazing how the Lord can take such imperfect people and mold them and teach them and make them instruments in His hands.

I love this work and I love what I´m learning about my Savior and myself.

I love you all!

Con amor,

Hermana Chaffin

"find the extra in the ordinary"

"we need to always share the gospel, and when necessary open our mouths"

-share by example

Banfield 1

Queridos Amigos,

This week was amazing!!! I absolutely love Banfield 1 and it was so fun to work with the sisters.

My companion is a convert (she got baptized 2 years ago) and has the biggest testimony. I love her so much and I´m so grateful that I have the opportunity to be her companion. She´s a hard worker and we both use every moment to the max.

We have lots of conversations about the gospel and seeing her love for the gospel has reminded me of the many blessings in my life.

I am so grateful for the knowledge that I am a daughter of God.

This week I was focusing on my prayers and tried to improve the quality of my prayers. I am constantly amazed that the grand Creator of the universe loves me and wants to hear from me. He asks that I call Him by Father and He cares about me and my desires. I know that prayer is that way for everyone. Our Father has a plan for each one of us and wants to bless us. He will help us if we put our trust in Him.

I hope that you all take a moment to reflect on who you are and who you want to be. The sky´s the limit! You are all children of God with incredible potential.


I love you all and hope that you have an amazing week!

Con amor,


Hermana Chaffin

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hola

Queridos Amigos,

I don´t have much time (5 minutes to be exact)

I loved being in Monte Grande for another week.

It was flag day, so we had an activity with the ward there. I got to see Roxana again and it was a sweet reunion.


The mission is such an amazing experience. I´m learning so much and I love my Savior more and more each day. I know that this is His work and I know that He loves each one of you.

I´ll catch you all up on my latest adventures next week.

Lots of love,

Hermana Chaffin

I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of Heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it- but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.


-Oliver Wendell Holmes

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Ataque de los Perros

Queridos Amigos,

Wow, what an amazing week!

Hermana Ochoa and I went to Ezeiza to work with Hermana Lohman (California) and Hermana Hernanadez (Guatemala). They split their area in half and Hermana Ochoa and I took turns between each area. So one day I was with Hermana Lohman and the next with Hermana Hernanadez. I had a blast working with each sister and seeing the different ways that they teach and work. We found lots of new investigators and we worked hard the whole week. It´s so great to get to know all of the sisters in the mission.


We had lots of adventures this week and some crazy things happened, hence the title of this email. One day I was with Hermana Hernandez walking down a dirt road of Argentina. We had just finished talking to a man and I stopped to write down his address in my notebook so that we could visit him later in the week. As we stopped to do this, a swarm of dogs came running to greet us. One in particular was very interested in me. It was actually a very pretty dog and not very big. I turned to talk to Hna Hernandez to comment on how cute the dog was when I felt something warm and wet on my leg.... In disbelief, I turned and looked down to find the no longer cute dog marking me as his territory. I couldn´t believe it!!!! Mid-calf to heel was soaked..... Luckily I didn´t wear tights that day and I was wearing my crocs. Hahaha Hna Hernandez was laughing so hard she could talk.

My experiences in the mission never cease to amaze me.

The next day was just as exciting. That day I was with Hna Lohman. We were teaching an investigator about the Law of Chastity. Her name is Mili. She has a 2 year old daughter and a 3 month old puppy. As we were teaching, everything that could go wrong, went wrong. The toddler began to open my backpack and umbrella while at the same time the puppy used me as a chew toy. The little stinker has some teeth! While all of this a happening simultaneously, I´m trying to teach Mili with a straight face ( and not flinching for the pain in my ankles) the importance of living a chaste life.... haha it was great. Luckily, the spirit was present for the lesson and she understood all that we taught.

So, I´m not a dog whisperer and I think I´ll stick to teaching the gospel.

This week we are headed to.....Monte Grande! Haha one week and they´re sending me back. I´m excited to go back to my area and work with the sisters there.

I love you all and hope you have an amazing week.

Con amor,


Hermana Chaffin

ETM

Queridos amigos,

First off, let me apologize for not sending emails. I promise that I will be better this go around.

This week was crazy and jam-packed, so I´ll try to make sure I don´t forget anything.

Lunes- P-Day. We had a district activty that was amazing! We had a scavenger hunt in the church and then we went to a buffet restaurant and had a blast! I think I ate too much icecream but it was worth it. While we were there, I had the surprise of seeing a member from Banfield! Norma Sanz was like an adopted grandmother. It was so sweet to see her.

Tuesday- District Meeting. We learned a lot and had a fun time taking photos and saying goodbye because it was the last one of the transfer.

Wednesday- We traveled to Adrogue for a special meeting with L. Whitney Clayton. It was incredible! His spanish is astounding and his wife speaks really well too. It was great to get together as a mission. I loved getting to reunite with old companions and friends in the mission.

Afterwards, we went back to our area when I got a phone call from one of Presidente Calquín´s assistents. Elder Tenhoeve said, "Hermana Chaffin, tomorrow you need to come to President´s house at 9:30 to have a meeting with him and the assistents. Have a nice day."

At first, I didn´t know what to think. My first thought was, "what did I do?" and then, "oh no!" This leads to the heading of this email. Many of you are wondering what ETM stands for. For those of you who thought Extra-Terrestrial Missionary you are unfortunately wrong. In our mission, we used to have viajeros (travelers). Elders that change areas every week helping different companionships. Presidente Calquín changed what they did along with their name. He changed it to Especialistas en Trabajo Misional, or ETMs for short. So, when I got the call Wednesday I knew that I was going to have a meeting with the ETMs. And I was right!

So, I no longer have an area. Every week I will be going to a new area to help out different sisters. My new companion is Hermana Ochoa from Argentina! I now have a blow up mattress and I will be living out of my suitcase!

Hahaha it´s a good thing I like camping. I´m excited for this new adventure and I hope that I can help the other sisters with the things they need. This week I´ll be going to Ezeiza, which should be a blast!


Thursday-Meeting with the ETMs. There are 4 Elders and 4 Hermanas. It was amazing! It was fun to have some one-on-one with Presidente and to prepare for this transfer.

Friday-Weekly planning....it was a little weird planning for an area when I already knew that I would be leaving

Saturday- We got the call about transfers. Hermana Santos will be going to Villa Madero and two new sisters are going to be in Monte Grande. We spent the rest of the day contacting and then packing and cleaning the apartment to have everything ready for the new sisters.

Sunday- Church was great, and I had the best surprise ever! Graciela from San Vicente came to visit me!!! She came with her whole family! I cried like a baby and was sooo happy to see her. She stayed for all of the meetings and told me that she´s still preparing to be baptized.

Later, my taxi came and I went to Banfield (where I stay when I´m not traveling) to be with my new companion!

Well, I hope that my english made sense! Thank you for taking the time to read this email!

I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!

Con amor,


Hermana Chaffin

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Un Año

Queridos Amigos,

How time flies! This week will mark one year in Argentina. One year full of trials, challenges, lessons, heartaches, laughter, love, and much more.


My life has completely changed in this past year. There are no words to describe it, but I´ll try to explain it with a poem that my companion Hermana Medford shared with me a while back.

A mission is a strange experience
It´s a trial and a test
A mission throws at you the worst
Yet, teaches you the best
I´ve never been so happy,
I´ve never been so depressed.
I´ve never felt so forsaken,
I´ve never felt so blessed.
I´ve never been so confused,
Things have never been so clear.
I´ve never felt my Heavenly Father so distant,
He´s never been so near.
I´ve never been so discouraged,
I´ve never been so full of hope.
I feel I could go on forever,
I think I´ve come to the end of my rope.
I´ve never had it quite so easy
I´ve never had it quite so tough
Things have never been so smooth,
Things have never been so rough
I´ve never traveled through more valleys,
I´ve never ascended more peaks
I´ve never met so many nice people
I´ve never met so many freaks!
I´ve never had so many ups
I´ve never had so many downs
I´ve never worn so many smiles,
I´ve never had so many frowns.
I´ve never been so lonely,
I´ve never had so many friends
Boy, I hope this is over soon,
Gosh, I hope this never ends.

Every single word is true. It´s full of contradictory phrases, but it´s all true.

I´m incredibly grateful for this opportunity and privilege to serve the Lord. This week has been one of the hardest ones of my mission, but it´s brought me closer to my Father in Heaven.

I know that I´m here in Argentina for a reason. I know that my message is true and that it has the power to bless the lives of all those who will take the time to hear it.

I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I´m grateful for the ability that we all have to repent and receive forgiveness.

I encourage each one of you to ponder where you are in the path of life. Are you continuing onward? Did you stop to take a breather? Do your feet hurt? Is the sun hot? Sometimes the path of life is boring. Sometimes we get pebbles in our shoes. Keep the end in mind. Don´t see the path as something hard and necessary to follow. It is something to be enjoyed. Learn to dance in the rain! Whistle a little tune as you continue your hike.

I promise that the Lord is mindful of each one of you. He knows you and He loves you. As His representative I testify that He lives. He is our Redeemer and through Him all things are possible.

I love you all more than words can express. Have a wonderful week.

Con amor,

Hermana Chaffin

"Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow." -Plato


"You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it within himself." -Galileo

Hola

Queridos amigos,

Another wonderful week in the Lord´s work! I´m loving Monte Grande and my time with Hermana Santos. I can´t believe how fast time is going by.

This Saturday we will be receiving the call letting us know about changes next transfer. We´ll see what happens.

Saturday we were in Ezeiza for 12 hours for an open house in the church there. We worked until we were dead. It was wonderful to work so hard with a bunch of missionaries. I had a blast and learned a lot.


Yesterday Sonia surprised me and showed up after church in Monte Grande! It was so great to see her again. I love her so much and I´ve really missed her.

That´s one of the best things about the mission, meeting amazing people. But the hardest thing is leaving them behind.

The weather has started to cool down a little and my companion from Brazil isn´t taking it too well.... Haha we´ll see how she handles winter.


I´ve got to go, thank you for taking the time to read this.

I love you all,

Hermana Chaffin


"Do your work well- God´s recompense to yo uis the power to do greater things" -Lucy Gertsch Thomson

Oh Esta Todo Bien

Queridos Amigos,

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! I can´t believe that it has already come and gone. The time is passing so quickly.


This week was amazing! I learned so much!

Last Monday my companion received some bad news about her dad. He needs a risky surgery and her mom wasn´t very hopeful in the email. My companion began to sob in the internet cafe. I was trying to console her the best that I could and just held her while she cried.

This week was really rough for her. She tried to be positive and focus on the work, but it was really hard for her.

Tuesday we had district meeting, and we were able to talk to the zone leaders and they were able to comfort her and help her feel better. They did little acts of kindness throughout the week that brought smiles to her face and I could see her burden begin to be lighter. In the end, many in our zone got involved sending scriptures or words of encouragement.

It was truly incredible to see everyone working together to brighten someone´s day. I love Hermana Santos so much. She´s funny, spunky, and super sweet. I was able to come to love her even more as I served her this week and tried to lighten her burden.

The little acts of kindness that you all do really make a difference. A simple smile, a text, or a Facebook message can make all the difference in someone´s day. Please make that difference. Don´t ask them what you can do to help, just do something. Tell a joke, bring them cookies, or tell them you love them. We are here to lighten the burdens of those around us. I promise that as you seek to help others that you will find that your burden is made light as well.


Thank you all for your love and support!

Con amor,

Hermana Chaffin

"A goal is nothing more than a dream with a due date"
-Joseph Fielding McConkie

"Your faith will perform miracles, especially when you get your hands and feet involved"

-Spencer W. Kimball

Sunday, April 16, 2017

¿Como se dice "miércoles" en ingles?

Queridos amigos,

What a crazy week!

Tuesday we had zone conference with 4 other zones and afterwards we played soccer. My team won! We ended up having a blast and I got to see Hermana Johnson. It was a great reunion!


Wednesday we had exchanges planned. I ended up going to Ezeiza around 5pm, when my companion, Hermana Santos, called me saying that all of Argentina was going on strike the next day and that we wouldn´t be able to end exchanges until Friday. So, we taught a lesson and then took the train back to Monte Grande so that I could be back in my area.


Thursday everyone did go on strike. Not a single bus or train was running. All the stores were closed and nobody was outside. It was crazy. But, when Friday rolled around, everything was back to normal. I´m not so sure that the strike was super effective but.....

This week a woman walked into the church wanting to baptize her baby. A member told her that we don´t baptized babies and then told her that the missionaries could explain why. So, the member gave us the info from the woman and we went to visit her. Her name is Yaquelin and is amazing! She has 6 children and is super sweet. We taught her about the Restoration and baptism. We read Moroni 8 together and after reading she said, "wow, so I was wrong. My baby doesn´t need baptism, but I do." It was incredible! She accepted to be baptized and we will visit her later this week. The work is great here!

I´m so grateful for the opportunity that I have to get to know a few of God´s children. Each one is unique and important. That includes you. Yes you! You reading this. You are important! Don´t forget that.

I love you all! Have a fantastic week and a wonderful Easter! Remember why we celebrate this holiday. Please take 4 minutes of your day to watch the following video:



Escuchen las Voces

Queridos amigos,

Another amazing week has come and gone. I can´t believe how fast the time is passing. It seems like just yesterday I left my family in the Great Falls airport. Now, I´m more than halfway through and I´ve learned so much.

I´m incredibly grateful for the opportunity that I have to me a missionary. It is an honor to be the Lord´s representative here in Argentina.

I´ve met some amazing people and I´ve come to know and love many of God´s special chidren.


This week I had my first exchange. I learned a lot from Hermana Hinrichs and I enjoyed being with her for 24 hours.

I´m coming to see that we all have individual talents that we must share. Someone needs YOUR talents, YOUR testimony, and YOUR love. Don´t be afraid to share what talents you have.

Saturday and Sunday we had the opportunity to listen to General Conference. Last conference, I had the blessing of listening to it in english. Unfortunately, I´m the only American sister in our zone and I can´t be without a companion, so I listened in spanish. The messages were amazing and I learned a lot. But, it´s just not the same listening in spanish. I could hear snippets of the apostle´s voices when the translator would pause, and I missed hearing the sweet voices of those men. My whole life I´ve heard those voices and learned from them, and for a moment I wished that I could just hear their voices without someone talking over them in spanish. The next speaker was D. Todd Christofferson (who by the way, served a mission in Argentina). As I waited for the translator to begin speaking, to my surprise I heard the familiar voice of Elder Christofferson. He had recorded his talk in spanish in advance! Even though it was in spanish, I got to hear it from his mouth! I was so grateful in that moment for the tender mercies of God.

The words of those men and women are truly inspired by our Heavenly Father, and we would benefit a lot from them. I hope to continue studying their words throughout the following months and I encourage each of you to learn from them as well. If you didn´t watch, go to lds.org and watch them! Let their words change you. Don´t just listen and then continue on with life as normal. Be the person God knows that you can be! He wants you to be that person, but it all depends on you!

I know with all my heart that this is the true church of Jesus Christ restored on the earth through His prophet Joseph Smith. I know that we are God´s children and that He loves us. Read the Book of Mormon! It answers your questions of the soul. It will guide you to where you need to go. Trust in the Lord and love Him.

I love you all so much! Keep fighting the good fight, victory will be yours one day if you continue with faith.

Con amor,

Hermana Chaffin


"A candle that lights another loses no light itself." -Anonymous

Sonrisas

Queridos Amigos,

What a week!

In the mission we have 2 sets of sisters that don´t have an area. They just travel and visit other areas for one week at a time aiding in the work.

My second to last week in San Vicente we had them, and then this past week we had them here in Monte Grande, and this week we will have the second set. So, I have been with one of these other sisters during the week and not with my actual companion. So, I don´t know Hermana Santos super well, but the few moments that I´ve had with her have been amazing.


She is super sweet and sincere. She likes to work hard and have fun. Her spanish is amazing and she has a love for the gospel.

This week was amazing. We ended up handing out A TON of Books of Mormon. We gave away all but 8 books and we started out with 3 boxes!


I´ve truly come to love the Book of Mormon. Our mission is still doing the challenge of reading it in 3 months (in spanish of course) and I´m learning more than I ever did. There is always something new to learn.

I also had a leadership meeting with all the leaders in the mission along with Presidente y Hermana Calquin. I got to see some old friends in the mission and I learned so much. I´m grateful for the chance that I have to help others.

This weekend we have the wonderful opportunity to listen to General Conference! I´m so excited to hear from the prophet and the apostles. I invite you all to take the time to watch or listen to it. If you´re not sure how, please visit lds.org Saturday and Sunday (at 10 am and 2 pm). I promise that you will receive the answers to prayers and invite the spirit into your hearts.

Thank you all for your sweet emails and letters.

con amor,


Hermana Chaffin

Monte Grande

Queridos amigos,

First off, I´m so sorry that I´ve been falling short in the email department. Things have been so crazy busy that I haven´t had time. Thank  you for your patience and love.


A lot has happened since I last wrote, and seeing as I only have about 5 minutes left, I´ll do a few points:

-I had my first embarassing spanish error where I asked for diapers instead of tissues....
-We had a week with two sisters that don´t have an area but visit the hermanas to help them out for a week.
-We found a few new investigators that have a lot of potential.
-Hermana Johnson and I ate peanut butter!!!!!
-We made no bake cookies with the peanut butter!
-I got transferred to Monte Grande yesterday and I´m now with Hermana Santos who is from Brazil
-I am now a sister training leader, which means I´ll be having a lot of exchanges with other hermanas in the mission

I´m so incredibly grateful for the time that I had in San Vicente. It will always have a piece of my heart. I met the most amazing people and I grew so much in so many ways.

I´m also grateful for my time with Hermana Johnson. She is the most amazing person ever. I will miss her so so so much. She was a true companion and friend.

I´m excited for this new change and I hope that I can achieve a lot in my new area.

I love you all!

con amor,


Hermana Chaffin

¡Bautismo!

Queridos amigos,

This week was absolutely amazing! It was busy and crazy and I loved every moment of it.

Monday we had a lesson with Victoria and she said that she felt ready to be baptized this week! So, we left that lesson trying hard not to shout for happiness.

Tuesday we had district meeting and then we were in charge of a ward activity. We basically had a free yard sale. We had a bunch of donations of clothing, and we organized it and then gave it away to those that need it. We had a great turn out and we really enjoyed ourselves.

Wednesday Victoria had her baptismal interview, and it went amazing! She was so happy and seemed so at peace with her decision. We also celebrated my halfway mark by buying icecream and wearing pants!

Thursday we had a bunch of amazing lessons with investigators and we just had a fantastic day.

Friday was the day of the baptism!!! It was absolutely amazing! All of Victoria`s family came to support her and it was simply beautiful. The spirit was so incredibly strong. I love her so much and it will be so hard to leave her and her family. They are a huge part of my life that I will never forget.

Saturday we had a normal day teaching and testifying.

Sunday Victoria was confirmed, and her family also came to support her in that. It was so wonderful to see that whole family sitting on the bench in front of me and my companion. One day I hope to see that as a regular thing with all of them baptized. They`re all getting there, some just slower than others.


I`m so grateful for this blessing that I have to serve a mission and get to know some of God`s wonderful children. I could never learn what I´ve learned here in any other place. I`m truly humbled to be a small part in the Lord`s work here.

Thank you all for supporting me in this decision. I love you all so much! Keep smiling!

Con amor,

Hermana Chaffin

"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph" -Thomas Paine

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Hola Hola

Queridos Amigos,

How did the week go by so fast? So much has happened.

The best part of the week was Wednesday when we did a surprise service project for our investigator Victoria.

She had grass almost up to our knees and we cut it all while she was at work. We had an absolute blast!

Displaying DSCN1898.JPG

It felt so good to work hard and to just enjoy working. I love teaching and I love meeting knew people, but it just felt so good to do something for someone that I love.
I had intercambios for a day with Hna Abate Daga from Argentina. I learned a lot from her.

Hermana Johnson is the best companion ever. I absolutely love her! She works so hard and just loves sharing the gospel. I seriously hope that I have one more transfer with her.

I received a letter from Oscar!!! He´s doing great, and he has baptized two of the converts of the missionaries in Banfield. It was such a sweet surprise to hear from him.

I´m so grateful to be a part of this work.

This week will mark the halfway point of my mission. I can´t believe how fast it is going by. I`ve learned so much about myself, the gospel, and our Heavenly Father`s plan for us.

I`m out of time, but I hope you all know that I love you, God loves you, and I´m grateful to have each one of you in my life.

Have a wonderful week,


Hermana Chaffin

Sunday, February 5, 2017

We're dead! We're alive but we're dead!

Queridos amigos,

First off, don´t be too alarmed by the quote from the Incredibles in the email heading (that means you mom).

This week has been insane.

Monday- I wrote you lovely folks and then did grocery shopping for the week. We deep cleaned the apartment and that night we had a family home evening activity with our investigator Graciela and her family. It was great. We made stir-fry for them and they loved it! Juan, Graciela´s boyfriend had never tried broccoli before! He´s 52! But, they all liked it, broccoli included.

Tuesday- We had district meeting and we got a little bit of rain. My comp´s permanent retainer fell out, but we had so many lessons scheduled that we did divisions with members so that I could teach and she could go to the dentist.

Wednesday- We had a worldwide conference for missionaries where we learned about new changes to schedules and studies in the mission ( I´ll write more later about those when Pte. Calquin approves them)

Thursday- My companion woke up with a headache (not out of the ordinary because she gets migraines occasionally). We had a lesson with Victoria (she accepted to be baptized 17 de Febrero) and then one with Olimpia (she accepted to be baptized 11 de Febrero). Then, we had lunch with Graciela. Graciela didn´t have water, so we went with her to her mom´s house to eat. My companion started to get chills and was shivering up a storm. She did not look good, poor thing.

Graciela is a nurse, so she took her blood pressure and checked her oxygen level. It was all very low. So, she gave her some mineral water with some sugar and then sent us home. Hermana Chappell went to bed and slept. I washed laundry and cleaned the apartment while she slept.

Friday- I continued to clean and do things to keep myself busy. My companion was still sleeping until 2pm. We called the mission president´s wife and she gave us the rest of the week off and told us to rest.

Saturday- Hermana Chappell felt a little bit better, so we did weekly planning and then rested some more. We decided to go visit Graciela and after we left her house, I started to get a headache. We then headed to visit Sonia. When we left her house, I felt nasty. My head hurt and I was dizzy. My skin hurt to touch and all of my muscles were sore. It was a blessing that we made it back to the apartment without any problems. That night I had a fever of 101.8 F and I was taking Ibuprofen and Tylenol like it was going out of style. My fever never went away and it was a rough night.

Sunday- I slept until 8am and then we slowly made the walk to the church. I felt a little better, but not that great. I made it through all of the church meetings and then we had lunch with Graciela. After lunch we walked back to the apartment where I went to bed to die. I was close to overdosing on Ibuprofen and my fever wasn´t going down. So, what does one do in times of desperation? Turn to God. Or, His servants the Elders. We got a sister to drive us to the chapel ( I couldn´t walk to the chapel and the Elders can´t enter our apartment) and the Elders met us there.

They gave me a priesthood blessing of health. During the blessing, I felt my fever break and all of the pain left my body. I couldn´t believe how fast it took effect. I´m truly grateful for the priesthood and the miracles that it works in our lives. When I entered the chapel my temperature was 100.6 and when I left it was 98.3.

I know that God has restored His church through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that Joseph Smith received the priesthood authority of God, to act in God´s name and that through this power miracles are wrought. Today, worthy men in the church hold this power and have the great responsibility to use it to bless the lives of others. God is a God of miracles. He always has been and always will be. I´m grateful for the daily miracles that I´m seeing here.

I hope that you all look for the miracles in your lives. They are everywhere, just stop and look.

I love you all and hope you know how much you mean to me.

Con amor,

Hermana Chaffin

"The sheep is worthy of divine rescue simply because it is loved by the Shepherd" -Dieter F. Uchtdorf


"The highest ideal of man is the will of God" -Anonymous

Sunday, January 29, 2017

La Vida Loca

Queridos amigos,

There are random occasions in life that cause us to reflect on who we are, where we are, who we want to be, and where we want to be in the future. This week I had one of those moments.

I was trudging through the mud with my companion (with our bright purple bikes and shiny orange helmets) when we turned the corner and passed a house blasting the song "Livin´ la vida loca". I smiled because a year ago I would have never imagined that I´d be where I am today.

Argentina is beautiful, the people are great, and the work here is amazing.

I´m extremely grateful for all that I´ve learned here in these short 7 (almost 8) months here in Argentina and my short 20 years here in this beautiful world that our Heavenly Father created for us.

This morning I looked in the mirror and asked myself if I am who I want to be. My immediate answer was "No, but I´m getting there".

This life isn´t perfect, but our Father´s plan for us is. It is for us to learn and to grow. We must experience sorrow to truly experience joy.

I challenge each of you to ponder your lives, however "loco" they may be. Are you where you want to be? Are you getting there? What needs to change?

La vida es loca, but I wouldn´t want it any other way.

Thank you all for being a part of my vida loca. I´m grateful that I have a part of yours as well.

Thank you all for the sweet birthday wishes and thank you for your support. I truly appreciate each one of you. You wouldn´t be receiving this email if you weren´t important to me.

I love you all and I know that our Father in Heaven loves you too.

Con amor,

Hermana Chaffin

"Everything you are learning now is preparing you for something else" -Marjorie Pay Hinckely


"Are we prepared to leave our comfort zones to reach a better place?" -Elder Godoy

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Milagros

Dearest family and loved ones,

This week has been amazing! The only thing that could have made it better was if there had been a baptism.

Tuesday we traveled to Alejandro Korn for district meeting. It then proceeded to rain like nobody´s business. It flooded everywhere! The water was almost up to the doors of the church!


We were so grateful for the rain! We knew it was going to rain and we intentionally left our umbrellas in the apartment so that we could fully enjoy the rain. After taking the bus back to San Vicente and happily trudging through mud and a lot of puddles we arrived at our lunch appointment (with members) completely soaked! Haha it was great! Our clothing actually dried quickly and then we went and taught a lot of lessons.


One of our lessons was with Sonia and her family. We taught about the Plan of Salvation. The Spirit was soooo strong! It was incredible. Everyone was crying in the end. There aren´t words to describe how wonderful it was (I also don´t have time to find the words because I have 6 minutes left...)

Sonia ended up coming to church yesterday! After 3 years of listening to the missionaries she came to church! We are positive that she will be baptized this transfer!


Saturday we had a service project with her that was amazing. We have daily contact with our investigators now and they are all progressing so much! I can´t believe that I´m so tired and yet so happy. Missions are the best!

Sorry, out of time!

Love,


Hermana Chaffin

Friday, January 6, 2017

Feliz Año Nuevo

Queridos Amigos,

Okay, I would like to appologize in advance. This email is going to be short.

Today has been all sorts of crazy and it´s only 1:30pm.....

We had personal study and then companionship study and then we headed to the cybernet café to email all of you wonderful folks. Guess what.... it was closed! Have no fear, Hermana Chaffin is not so easily discouraged. Yes, there is only one option in this small town for computers, but I rubbed a few brain cells together and called the Branch President to use the computers in the chapel. He answered right away and said come on over. Sweet! Problem solved right? False.

We arrive at his house and he´s not home.... But, some friendly construction men are and we talk about missionary work with them while we wait for presidente to return. After 20 minutes he arrives. At last we receive the key and head to the church. Unfortunately, there must be oposición in ALL things in this life.

We get to the chapel and unlock the 6 locks to the computer and discover that two of the outlets aren´t working.... So, after jiggling cords, stretching extention cords to their max and several very heartfelt prayers we connected the computer to another outlet-only to discover that the internet wasn´t connected. At this point I was laughing hysterically at our situation and my companion was giving me concerned looks....

So, if you received this email today please now that I suffered a lot to send this to you. I hope that it made you smile and I hope that you forgive me for not being as frequent in my emails. Things happen (see example above)

This week was amazing. We had many lessons with many investigators. I love this área with all of my heart. It is amazing. Hermana Chappell is the greatest and we are having a blast sharing the góspel with others.

I hope you all had a wonderful 2016 and that 2017 is even better. I probably won´t see most of you until 2018, but through cords stretched across church hallways and keyboards across the world we can keep in contact. I hope you all see this year as an opportunity to strive a little harder to reach your true potential. Set goals and make plans to achieve them. You can do anything you set your mind to. The wise Dr. Seuss said, "You have brains in your head,you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose"

Lots of love,


Hermana Chaffin