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


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 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


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