Sister Aleta Bray

Aleta 25

Aleta 25
On my Birthday!

Worn Out!

Worn Out!
after pushing the car....okay it may have been slightly exaggerated....(explanation of car in July 18th letter)

Aleta Christmas Eve - Beunos Aires

Aleta Christmas Eve - Beunos Aires
Look at what I Got! Aleta Christmas Eve - Beunos Aires

Monday, April 25, 2011

It feels like home to me....‏

Querida familia y amigos,
Hey it´s me again. I have decided that I quite enjoy this time of year. I must admit it is a little strange to see leaves changing colors and falling during Easter, but the temperature is about the same, I think. It really has cooled off in the morning and at night. Every once in a while it is still rather warm in the day, so we just have to carry our jackets with us, that´s slightly annoying,but much better than freezing :) Oh and I thought that the cold would be really bad, because it is humid here, but guess what it is that nice chill you to the bone and there is nothing you really can do about it type, just like home. :) The other day, for a moment, I actually thought that it was September, that was weird, but that´s what it looks and feels like right now.
Okay as for something more interesting than the weather....yesterday was Easter, yeah. Church was really nice and a missionary gave a home coming talk. He is the son of our branch president and is now the young men´s president. Looks like he´s not going to get much rest after that mission huh. Their family is great and we had lunch at their home. Well here in Argentina they have Easter eggs. They are not like our Easter eggs. They don´t do Easter baskets or dying eggs or anything like that. They do have make these giant chocolate eggs. Well, some people make them and some buy them. Anyway they are these eggs made of chocolate in a variety of sizes and they are filled with candy. All sorts of different candies. I guess it is like a giant ¨kinder suprise¨ or maybe it´s the same idea as an Easter basket, only now you can eat the basket too. Anyway, they are really pretty, because the people decorate the outside in all sorts of different designs. So Hermana Torre gave us each one and I could help but think of Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire, where he opens up the golden egg. It was slightly smaller than that, but not much.
Oh and funny story about that, Friday night we were walking through the train station and we saw someone selling these eggs. So I bought one, I wanted to try it and so what all this was about. He showed me one that cost 2 pesos, about 50 cents, and it was really pretty with little details and so I thought well okay I can afford one for 6 pesos. I bought one for me and one for my comp. Well we got home and was totally plain, just brown chocolate and a little stick like thing on the outside, mine was Hello kitty sticker and Hna. Peña´s was one of a soccer team. Okay, okay, but let´s open it up and see what´s inside......1 piece of candy. 1 jolly rancher type of candy. My companion had 5 mini m&ms, not the regular size, but the mini ones. We had a good laugh about it and came to the conclusion that we should have know better , sometimes those people selling things on the streets are a bit shifty. At least the chocolate was yummy.
Okay okay, as for things more spiritual....
This was a great week. We really tried to complete our goals this week. We really put forth an extra effort to contact every reference we received. We have seen that it is fact possible and I am determined to be better at this in the future. We are having success here with visiting former investigators and less active members. Almost all of our new investigators that we have visited this transfer have come from these two sources. One is the nephew of a member who has recently started coming back to church again. He is amazing. He is 8 and I think more intelligent than I am. We asked him if he had any questions after our lesson and he asked,¨who created God.¨ He really understands the doctrine and loves reading the Book of Mormon. We asked him about what he read and he could tell us the whole story of Lehi. I really am amazed at how sharp children are and how eager they are to learn and to do what is right.
We also have two investigators with baptismal dates. One knows that it is true, but he told us this week that he still has a lot of fears. We are working with him on this and we left Moroni 7 for him to ready and study, specifically the begining of the chapter. I really think that this will help him a lot. The other is really great too. He is very humble and eager to learn and do the things that God wants of him. Something I love about him is that when he says he will do something he does it. He is reading the Book of Mormon and learning a lot, he also loves to read the Gospel Principle manual that the branch gave him.
The members here have gotten more excited about the work and are willing to help us more. I really think that it is a result of the progress we have been seeing here. Our branch is small about 40 to 50 every week in church. So the fact that we are blessed with a lot of investigators attending church has really gotten some of them excited to help us. It´s great. I love it here in Tigre. I am so grateful for this opportunity here and to be one of the Lord´s missionaries.

Okay that´s about all I got for this week. I will write concerning mother´s day call next week, with the number to call and I´ll know then if I´ll have access to skype or not. So we will worry about that next week.
okay love you all tons,

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,
Hi. It´s me again, that girl down here in Argentina. I´m doin´just fine and dandy. Mom, thanks for the email from Alex. It is really true, there are dogs everywhere and the desserts are amazing. Hey before I forget, Happy belated Birthday to Tamsin, I thought of you the other day, but couldn´t email, so here it is today! Dad I liked the poem. Mom, I am not really sure what to tell you about the phone call yet. I´m not sure if I´ll be transferred. I hope not, but the more time I have here the more likely it is that I´ll go; and at the end of this transfer ( in 2 weeks) I´ll have 71/2 months in Tigre so we´ll have to wait and see before I give you a number to call. Okay so today we went to Pacheco, and played football (soccer) with the Elders and it was a blast. There is one Elder Sargettis, from California, and he is hilarious, he is really tall so when he goes to kicks the ball and misses, watch out ´cause his legs go every which way. It was really fun!
Okay as for the work...
This week just seemed to fly by. We were very blessed to see Brian confirmed this week. I feel very blessed to be here in this area and be a part of the lives of so many wonderful people.
We had a great lesson with our investigator Pablo, yesterday. One reason it was great was the member who came with us. Hno. Acosta is the president of the Elders Quorum here in Tigre and the ward is really starting to see blessings for his help. We have three investigators with baptismal dates right now and all of them are men. I sincerely believe that the Lord is blessing us and answering our prayers not only because we are working here, but also because the members are starting to get more involved. In the lesson with Pablo, the testimony of this brother helped him so much. He talked more than we did and we finally found out the real reason he has doubts, he had been talking a lot about what his friends would say, but we knew that it was something deeper than that. So finally we were able to learn that he has fears about being able to comply with some of the commandments. It was only through much love and questions that he finally confided in us his real doubts. We put a new fecha and are working with him to be ready for this day.
We also have two investigators who are the children of lesson active members. I am really starting to gain a testimony of working with less active and part member families. My companion is wonderful and she really helps me to be a better missionary.
I am looking forward to this next week and all that the lord has in store for us here.

Also I am attaching some photos of my excursions here in Tigre!
Lots of love,
PS. Okay I made some chocolate chip cookies last week and something wasn´t right. There is no temperature gage for the oven, it´s gas,so maybe it was too hot. So the cookies were really crispy, well and they were really thin, they were not like yours, they were yummy but could have been better could you help me figure out what went wrong. Thanks a million!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Do you believe in miracles...

Dear family,
Okay so today was really fun. We went and hit some golf balls again. It is one of the only things that is open on Mondays and is fun. There are so many things to do here in Tigre, but unfortunatley almost everything is closed on Monday. Lame. So we went again, but this time with pants!
Thanks a lot for the emails mom, dad, betsy and aunt janie.The weather here can´t seem to make up it´s mind either. It is cool in the mornings, rather warm in the day (still using short sleeved shirt most of the time) and then a little chilly at night. Sheesh. I´m not complaining, it´s just difficult to dress in the mornings´cause we never know what it´s going to be like. We don´t see the weather report or anything so it is all based on what it looks like at 11 am when we leave.
Okay I am inclosing photos of our baptisms from this week and last week.
This week was really great. We saw so many miracles. We had the opportunity to see Sharom get baptized on Friday. It was great to see so many blessings after so much work. We had a lesson with her on Friday morning to review the baptismal interview questions, because she had her interview Friday in the afternoon. So during our lesson we wanted to see how she was feeling about her baptism, she had been saying that she didn´t feel ready and wanted to wait another week. That is the same thing that she said the week before, so we had been praying a lot for her and that we would know what to say and how to help. In our companion study that morning we practiced for her. Well, it went really well and I felt that we defiantly received revelation for her and how to resolve her doubts. So when we went to her house and almost the exact same thing happened we knew what to say. It really did have an impact on her. She had been saying a lot that she wants to learn more, that she doesn´t know everything. That it will be fine if she waits another week. Hermana Peña asked, ¨ Sharom what happens if you die today?¨ Well that really got her thinking. We explained that she was ready, she has great faith and that the Lord will help her feel tranquility and peace if she asks. So we knelt down and prayed with her. When she was done, my companion said okay open up the Book of Mormon and search for an answer. It was right there, my companion and I could hardly believe it. She opened up to Alma 10:20. It says something along the lines of the lord sends his angels to declare repentance and the time is at hand. I don´t remember the exact wording, but that´s the jist. It truly was an answer to her prayer. It was an answer to our prayers and she was baptised that night. It was a great testimony builder to me and my companion.
All three siblings were confirmed on Sunday, Sharom, Jonathon and Susan. We went by their house last night to teach a lesson and found that they had really been experiencing a lot of trials lately. It is amazing how the Lord helps prepare people for the trials they will have. Sharom had this powerful experience with the Book of Mormon and her sister had one similar on her own. We helped them understand that this Book is where they can find answers. The answers to ¨why does this happen...or that¨ It was a amazing to see how the Lord answers prayers and strengthens his children if they just humble themselves and ask him.
I have learned a lot this week and am looking forward to this next week as well. I feel very humbled to be able to see these kind of miracles in the lives of others and help in God´s work here in Argentina.

Monday, April 4, 2011

What a great weekend....

Dear family,
This was a great weekend. I love general conference. I am always a little sad when it comes to an end, I really could just listen and learn from the prophets of the Lord all day long.
So also we had three baptisms on Saturday! Susan and her brother Jonathon and also the son of another investigator Brian. It was really hectic, a lot of last minute changes, but was beautiful and sweet at the same time. There really is such a sweet spirit that accompanies a baptism when God´s children show him that they are willing and ready to follow him.
Oh and today was p-day. obviously. We got together with some of the Elders in our zone and went to the driving range. It was a lot of fun. They didn´t tell us we were going there until after, we just thought we were going to eat. So there we were in our skirts and there they were in jeans and t-shirts. It was a rather funny sight.
So because I went and had fun today I don´t have to much time to write sorry, I´ll try and send some pictures next week so stay tuned for that!

This week had some great ups and a few downs. I feel so blessed that we were able to help 3 of the Lord´s children come into the waters of baptism. I am so lucky to be the Lord´s instrument here in Tigre.
I am learning so much from Hermana Peña. She is a great example for me and I feel extremely lucky to be her companion. I really can feel her love for me and her concern for our investigators. So then I can really confide in her, because I know she has our best interest at heart. It is really amazing that we can get so much more done when everything we do is built on a foundation of love and appreciation.
We are both constantly trying to hear and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit and are beginning to see more success here in Tigre.

love you all very much,
Oh ps. I love the pictures of Calista!
ps. Sorry mom, if you waited around the computer today, the one day I email late. go figure.
ps. this is the last one I promise....Jaime! Thanks for your letter I loved it. :)

She has Arrived

She has Arrived
President & Sister Gulbrandsen & Aleta

Hermana Vargas, Gillum and me

burrrr, cold spell

burrrr, cold spell