Sunday, December 13, 2015

Till We Meet Again

These past few weeks have been unbelievable. I cannot believe that the 19th month mark has hit. I'm so grateful for this opportunity I had to serve as a full time missionary in Bahia Blanca, Argentina. I have been truly blessed and have grown my relationship with my Savior. I just want to say thank you to all those who have supported me in my decisions and the love and prayers from you. These last 2 1/2 transfers have been a little different than the rest of my mission, but I'm so very grateful for the opportunities that I had to serve in other ways that I never thought I would. I've had so many trials and challenges but what I've learned and grown from exceeds far beyond anything I've experienced yet. I want to give a big thank you to my mission president and his wife for their service, and the experiences we had together these last few months, they feel like family to me and I've learned soo much from them. I cant imagine the day I have to say goodbye, but I'm so grateful to them and I absolutely LOVE them and the relationship I had with them. They have such strong spirits and testimonies and know exactly what their purpose here in life is and as mission presidents. They know the plan, they follow it, and they act and live it. Because of it, they are blessed by our Savior and loving Redeemer. They are such great examples to me and I want to follow their example for my future and my family. 

One of my biggest goals is to have a family for time and all eternity and for that we are here as missionaries to help others take that first step into baptism and then seal there families together for time and all eternity. One of the biggest things that has stuck to me that my mission presidente has taught, is to understand what it means to be "your own agent,"  I have been able to understood more the importance of "the plan." Stop, and evaluate yourself, make changes, and apply the atonement of Jesus Christ in your life, and fulfill your calling. God is waiting for us to make those changes and plans in our life. We have to create our plan and ask Him what do you think? Help me to tweek this plan for the better.... He waits for us to come to him. 

I have a huge testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and through it I have been able to really understand my purpose here in life. As a missionary I've come to realize that our goal is to baptize but to baptize converts.  Which means we need to be be converted ourselves to help and serve those around us. I want to testify of the importance of a mission for those that are young and are not on or going on missions..  I've never learned so much knowledge, inspiration, and guidance.  The mission has strengthened me during hard times, which there have been many and has helped me to make decisions by the spirit and has provided me inspiration now and for my future. As a daughter, mother, teacher, etc., it is so important to understand where we stand now and our progression in life so that we are continuing as we avoid temptation. I love this gospel and everything about it. I love the people here in Argentina. I love the happy and sad moments. I love my companions - every single one of them. I love my mission presidents, and leaders. I love the 19 months I had here in Bahia to serve. I love my family and friends. I love the beauty of life, God's plan, and my loving Savior who gave His life away so that we could live with Him for eternity.

I hope and I pray that I continue this journey as a missionary, servant, disciple, and daughter of God for the rest of my life. That being a missionary with or without a name tag, we will extend the limits of the heavens. As we embrace our self, be who we are , and do the Lord's will.  I know that without any doubt, that this is the true and everlasting gospel. We are the only church who has the power of god to to seal families and ourselves to God. We have the knowledge of the after life and what our purpose here in life is. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and saw God the Father and the Son, that the church was restored and that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on earth and contains the everlasting eternal fullness of the gospel. I know that Thomas S. Monson is our prophet now who is guided by the Savior to help lead and direct us. I know and testify of the importance of the family that there is life after death, the Lord died for us so that an atonement was made, for us to be clean again through repentance. I know Christ was resurrected and that He lives and loves us.
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 30, 2015


Hi Everyone, this is Nicole's mom.  If you haven't noticed by now, Nicole hasn't returned from her mission yet because her Mission President asked her to extend another month.  Her return date is now December 15th. Because she has been so busy, she hasn't had time to write a blog so I am including some parts of her email to us as well as another email explaining some of the projects she is working on.   

Email to parents after she decided to stay longer:
I just wanted to let you know that I love you. I have constantly fasted and prayed and I have accepted to extend the mission ½ transfer more and do what my mission president and the lord has asked me to do. I came to understand that the Lord has given me two choices and there is not a wrong answer. Only the “better” and the “Best” The Lord never gave me an answer only the word “Both” I found that He would have loved me for whatever path I took. But the spirit overwhelmed my heart as I began to feel the love of the Savior. It’s all about the SAVIOR and HIS plan. I want you to know that His plan is so intelligent and magnificent. We need to fulfill our responsibility and callings that come our way. I just want you to know that…… I know that the Savior lives! He wants the best for us and sometimes we have to make sacrifices so that He can make us become who He wants us to become. There is nothing greater than that of Eternal Life, especially with our families.

Email to us this last week:
I'm doing great actually! for the last two weeks I had been working on all the stuff for presidente and for hermana Cifuentes.  I am putting together budgets, exercises, nutrition and overall healthy programs for the missionaries to follow.  I am traveling to all of the mission locations and presenting the information.  Yesterday we had our first conference. It was great. The missionaries were all over it. I will be able to send pictures at the end or next time. It was so interesting because I was in two hours of the conferences teaching them and part of it was in gym clothes. I was teaching them how to do exercises right and wrong and it was like teaching dance classes again.. being in kinesiology from college. We leave at 5 this afternoon to travel to our next conference and we will be gone until Sunday. Then we leave again Tuesday. We have one more conferences this week two next and three the following. I'll be giving the conference and leaving for home the next day.  

I had the chance to go to the ward in THE FALDA my area I served in for almost half of my mission!!! All the little girls came running up to me.. and two of my conversos are in the picture.. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

More Pictures....

The two dogs that followed me around the WHOLE day,,, every time I went into a building they were waiting outside for me...... yep true story. 


Trenque Lauquen

Santa Rosa

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Around Bahia Blanca in 14 Days.......

This week, I've been reminded of the words, "Believe, obey and endure", they have been a guidance and hope for me these last few days.  These past few weeks have been overwhelming and extraordinary!!!  Many changes have occurred and I will NOT be serving in Villa Floresta anymore, nor do I have an area.  But, I will be traveling around the entire mission working on a few project which means my mission president asked me to extend my mission to the 14 of December.  Right now I have already been to areas called, Tres Arroyos, Necochea, Mar del Plata, Mar del Plata Sur and Norte, Tandil, Olavarria and back to Bahia Blanca until Friday night and then I continue my travelings.  It's been SUPER CRAZY!!  But a fantastic adventure!  Luckly I have been so blessed that my president has let my companion Hermana Palma travel with me to have a companion :).  The other day, she said to me..."do you remember the movie, Around the Work in 80 days?", well now it's around Bahia Blanca in 14 days" haha.  Honestly, there hasn't been anytime with so much to do in the little time that there is that my mind feels like alphabet soup.  But it's been such a great experience and being a servant in the Lord's hands, "we are constantly in the process of making decision and we must decide what we will hear and what we will eat, on a higher lever, we must decide what we will watch, what we will read, how we will fulfill our church callings, and how we will receive the pleasing word of God from our leaders.  The Lord expects us to use our common sense but even that is guided by His light which He expects us to use well and wisely as we make our judgement.  We either magnify or diminish the light.  Each righteous decision and judgement is guided by the full power of Christ's light, while every unjust and unwise judgement is tantamount to subjecting that light to a dimmer watch. The degree to which the light of Christ illuminates our lives increases or decreases in direct proportion to our efforts to become as Moroni said, "True followers of Jesus Christ" and "be purified even as He is pure".  The Savior affirms this principle, "That which is of God is light, and he that receiveth light and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day."  (D&C 50:24)  Enabled by the Light of Christ, we can bring in the true and correct verdict in all of our judgments.  There will be no shades of gray."

I am so grateful for my loving Savior and everything He does for me.  He has always been there for me without any doubt.  I know that He lives and He loves us individually and calls and knows us by name.  I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as a missionary for HIS church, HIS work and it's marvelous and beautiful.  It's perfect!  I hope and pray that I will be a worthy servant, mother and daughter NOW and forever.  I'm grateful for the opportunities the Lord has given me to make me stronger even when they may be hard.  I know the challenges help me become close to His as I stay faithful and true.  I love Him and I love His plan.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Homework:  Read the talk by President Thomas S. Monson, "Believe, Obey and Endure"

Mar del Plata

Sunday Dinner

Que Quen

Check out my new shoes

Sunset at Necochea

New Friend in Tandil

Monday, October 26, 2015

As Sisters in Zion

Feliz dia de la Madre from ARGENTINA! It's the only country that celebrates mother's day October 18th so I just wanted to send a shout out to all those mothers, daughters and grandmothers, especially my mom.  Happy Mother's Day!!! I love you!!  Thanks for being such a great example, idol, and mother, you mean so much to me and I send lots of hugs and kisses.  Because yesterday was such a special day, I wanted to share a story from Elder Bradley D. Foster:

My good friend Don Pearson shared an experience that highlights this influence. One night his four-year-old son asked him to read a bedtime story. Eric had picked out his favorite book: The Ballooning Adventures of Paddy Pork, a story about a family who lived on the isles of the sea and traveled from island to island by hot-air balloon. It was a picture book that had no words, so Brother Pearson made up words to the story. “Paddy is in a hot-air balloon. He is landing on an island now. He is dropping a line over the side of the balloon.” Eric stopped him. “Dad, that is not a line. It’s a rope.” Brother Pearson looked at Eric and back at the picture book, and then he continued: “Paddy is getting out of the balloon and climbing down the tree. Oh no! His coat is caught on a limb!” Again Eric stopped him. “Dad, that’s not a coat. It’s a jacket.” By now Brother Pearson was somewhat perplexed. He said, “Eric, there are no words in this book, just pictures. Why do you insist that it’s a jacket?” Eric answered, “Because Mother told me.” His father closed the book and said, “Eric, who do you think is the last word, the ultimate authority in this house?” This time Eric thought carefully before he answered, “You are, Dad.” Brother Pearson beamed at his son. What an exceptional answer! “How did you know that?” Eric quickly responded, “Mother told me.” As President James E. Faust said: “There is no greater good in all the world than motherhood. The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation” (“Fathers, Mothers, Marriage,” Liahona and Ensign, Aug. 2004, 3).
Alma 56:48 
48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

My mom has been such a great influence for me, in so many ways.  One of the biggest is that she has always taught me to walk in the light of Christ and she shows it by her love.  She has helped me shape my life and has helped make me who I am today.  Love you mom :)

Okay, I also just want to say my companion is awesome!  We work so well together and we have great communication.  She's such a great example and works hard!  I've learned so much from her and thanks to her these last few transfers have been marvelous.  It's been super funny because EVERYTIME we answer the phone, we got, "Who is speaking? Hermana Palma or Hermana Chesler?" It has now happened with our district leaders, zone leaders and members!  We have now become "ONE VOICE" or she now has a Gringa accent or I've got a Chiliana accent, or a mixture of both! haha 

This week we had a DANGEROUS DOG ATTACK.  But we survived and nobody got hurt.  As we finished a lesson with a family, we started walking home and we had 3 dogs following us.  In order to get home where there is light, we had to walk close to the jail wall.  As we began to walk (in front of the jail), out of the corner of my eye, I see a "Pit Bull" running across the road that had broken away from its chain.  My heart drops because we've got 3 dogs next to us and here come the Pit Bull to attack! "We're Dead!" Well to make the story short, the dogs fight right at our feet because they think we are there to protect them.  They fight in 3 different spots, but with us right next to them. They first fight on the sidewalk, second in the middle of the street and have stopped ALL traffic, and last on the grass.  The last time, I couldn't hold the scream in, so I let it OUT, as my companion and I are holding onto each other for dear life. I'm not sure how we got out of the situation but all I remember was the cops came out because we had stopped traffic and everyone stopped to watch. The Pit Bull ran away from my "fierce, but frightful scream", I think.  I thought I had confidence in dogs but there went all my self assurance. ha  Anyways, we are safe!

Besides that, we did have an AWESOME EXPERIENCE with Brisa this week.  WE taught her the restoration to help her strengthen her testimony a little more on prophets.  At the end of the lesson, as she is super young and has been attending church for almost 2 years, I asked, 2 simple questions.."Why do you like going to church?" and "Do you still want to be baptized and why?"  She sat back and said, Yes! and she began to have tears in her eyes and said, "Because it's the only place I can feel different.  I feel good there and I like to learn the things they teach."  She began to continue to share her feelings and it was a moment that the three of us could feel the spirit had taught our hearts.  It was a soft tender moment.  One that I will never forget.  This experience made me think of how grateful I am for this wonderful gospel that I know is true and to trust in the Lord and His divine plan of happiness.  It is based upon eternal, unchanging principles that help and guide us to that correct path we need to be walking on.  I know with all my heart that as we obey His commandments, God will show us His light, His hand, and His heart.  As we live those principles of faith, obedience and the proper use of agency, we will be lead to personal revelation and inspiration.

Homework:  Set a goal to lend a hand to someone in need -  SERVICE :)

So our pday changed today!!!! We had a super pday and we went to the beach!!! I'm a little toasty red but, Oh well. We caught a fish!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

You must become the rock, the river cannot wash away

Como Estas?  So my companion and I got to do some heavy duty sandpapering for a service project this week.  If was for a house that someone new is moving into the ward.  We worked hard and ate facturas at the same time ;)  Genial! after, we were covered from head to toe from the wood ashes and it looked like my companion  had gone grey headed ;)  haha  Service projects are the Best!  

Also, my companion and I are on a ROLL, we found 2 families this week and we've been teaching lots of new people the God has put in our path.  We had an experience with a guy named, Anibal, who recently lost his job and his wife died about a couple year ago and didn't quite understand why.  We had the chance to talk about the plan of salvation, God's grace, and the blessings of the temple.  As we continued to teach and give our testimonies, the three of us began to have tears in our eyes, as the spirit deeply touched everyone of our hearts.  

Saturday night we had another experience with Juan and Luiz.  We caught them "skinning an ostridge".....that was gross!!!  We taught them the 10 commandments and once again just about the whole neighborhood kids were listening, including their dogs ;)  All the kids from the soccer field stopped their game and came over one by one.  In the end I think we had a total of 9 people.  With our creative minds...haha....we tried to make a game out of the 10 commandments and I did the hand signals of each one and they all had to guess what commandment it was.  I was soo surprised at how much they knew!!!  I absolutely loved that moment.  Moments like these remind me of how much I love this gospel and for the opportunity to be a missionary/servant of the Lord.  As well, I could feel God's presence and His love.  Especially His love for everyone of these kids and how important they are to Him in His plan here on earth.  It's marvelous!

So this week, I had a "spark" of personal revelation.  I was reading a talk by Elder Richard J Maynes, "The Strength to Endure".  It was EXACTLY what I need.  Honestly, this last week has been a struggle for me "physically".  In truthful words, I'm going to put it as, "I'm physically exhausted!"  The other day I thought what would it like to have the strength and animo I had when I first started this mission 17 months ago.  Now I feel like and old Grandma!!  Every time I crawl out of bed I cry because of the pain that burns through my feet, and the first 8 steps are un-explainable.  I could name a thousand things I never thought or imagined I would ever go through.  I mention these weaknesses because I know I'm not the only one who feels, "Physically exhausted" at times.  It's a part of life!  At time, we are faced with a challenge/opposition/or adversity.  Every one faces it...and even ME!!  At times, it can be hard because the pain each individual goes through is different, no one understands...except our dear, loving Savior.  He reminds me that these challenges we go through are "but a small moment"

D&C 121:7-8
My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.

In the talk, I loved the word ENDURANCE.  He said, endurance is an important principle found within the doctrine of Jesus Christ.  It is important because the quality of our eternal future is proportional to our ability to endure in righteousness.  Endurance is spoken as dedication, perseverance, and self discipline.  They apply to both endurance as "good physical condition" and "spiritually conditioned".  The apostle Paul stated, "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us."  The race that is set before us on this earth is an endurance race filled with obstacles.  The obstacles in this race are the challenges we wake up to each morning. We are here on earth to run the race, to exercise our moral agency and to choose between right and wrong in order to honorably and successfully finish the race and return to our Heavenly Father.  We will need to pay the price of dedication, perseverance, and self-discipline.  We need to get into spiritual shape.  We need to develop spiritual stamina and we need strong testimonies that will lead to true conversion.  As a result, we will find with in ourselves the inner peace and strength needed to endure whatever challenges we may face!

I'm sure some of us at one time or another have felt so overwhelmed with opposition or the battles of choosing between good and evil.  We begin to be flaunted with personal adversities and then discouragement that can threaten or defeat us.  How can we overcome this?  

D&C 84:88
88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.

Thanks to our loving Savior, He seems to know just where and when we need comfort and encouragement.  He with His perfect love, helps us endure to the end.  I'm not perfect and I make mistakes, I have weaknesses and challenges daily.....but.....I"m extremely happy because I have the gospel.  God and His angels are at my side as I continue to be obedient and strive to walk in His footsteps.  I'm filled with strength physically, emotionally and spiritually.  As I return home every night from a long, sunny day in the sandy, rocky streets.....I smile and look at the pile of sand I pour out of my shoes and I say, "I gave my very best", and I gently heart, "well done, thou good and faithful servant."

Homework:  Memorize a favorite scripture and share it with someone!
ps - Thank you for your love and prayers!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Come, Join With Us

My LAST transfer call!!!!  I can't believe it's already come.  I'm staying here in my area, "villafionesta" with my sweet Chiliana Hermana Palma ;)  I'm super pumped to be with her my very last transfer.  I've felt a huge and progressive growth with her and I'm excited to see it continue.  We had so much success together and we were bouncing off the walls when we heard we were together again!  I'm so excited to continue working hard with her and enjoy every minute of it.

Last week, we got the chance to help out on "Mormon Helping Hands" and give service to those that are in need.  All of the members in Bahia Blanca were there to participate and I got to sneak in a couple GREAT BIG HUGS" to some members from my old areas ;)

We also put on an activity for the obra misional and we invited all the jovenes (young kids) to play "out-door games" and watch a Mormon message.  We invited all the menos activos and recent converts and it turned out "SUPER GREAT"!  We all had a great time and the spirit was strong.   Right now we are trying to get the kids active and working as missionaries as well so that they too can prepare to be missionaries in the future.  Lately, it's been a little hard to find the people we have been teaching because of vacation or work, but we continue to diligently search and pray with faith.

I love the scripture that says, 2 Nephi 2:11 "Porque es preciso que haya una oposicion en todas las cosas." (Without opposition, we would never progress).  We have been able to keep in contact with the family Romano, whom the daughter, Adiana, has her 15 years this coming week.  This is a HUGE thing here.  It is like Prom for us in the states.  "Dresses, make-up, photos, dinner, party, presentation, etc."  It's a HUGE celebration they put on every time the women turn "15".  We asked to help with the decorations so that will be a lot of fun!  We've also tried everything we could to help Sabastion, but there is only so much that we can do.  People have their agency to choose to take that path to living a righteous and healthy life or not.  We continue to pray and hope that in the near future, he will have that desire to have a changed heart with faith in God and himself personally.

We've been teaching Juan and his brother Luiz and they are sooo awesome!  We showed up to a cita and we came to teach them Lesson 2 (plan of salvation) with a game we put together for them.  As the house is just a little too small for all to fit, we took chairs and sat outside in front in a circle and as we began to play the game, 10 minutes later, four of their neighborhood friends came to join us!!  It was so much fun!  We all had such a great time.  My favorite part about it was watching them all laugh and enjoy the time we had with the spirit. 

Ecclesiates 3:4
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

So who got the chance to watch General Conference??!!  I hope you all did, I also brought 15 questions with me and every single one of them was answered!  I received so much spiritual/personal revelation, so many things to change, apply and develop NOW and in my life in the future.  If you asked me what talk was my favorite, I couldn't tell you because I had 5 favorites and every sing one had something unique about them.  Brisa was also there for all of the sessions and we asked her what was her favorite?  She said, "Todos" (All).  We then asked if she could only pick one...she said, No, I liked Todos! haha She's so awesome .  She was also hoping there was another session after it all ended ;) 

All the Gringos, watching General Conference

So today, I just want to share my favorite frases that caught my attention yesterday/Saturday from General conference...

*  (Uchtdoft) "Exaltation our goal, our journey"
*  (Ballard)  "The plan of the map"
*  (Neil F. Marriott)  "Let it go"
*  (Larry R. Lawrence) "A course of improvement....we need to ask some difficult questions..."
*  (Quentin L. Cook)  "Self control is like a muscle, the more you use it = strengthens"
*  (Robert D. Hales)  "If you want advice from me, be prepared to take it"
*  (Bradley D. Foster)  " It's never too late to lead, guide and walk beside your children"
*  (Dallin H. Oaks)  "We have only to ask"
*  (Rasband)  "The call comes from our loving Lord"
*  (Stevenson)  "Don't focus on what I can't do...but what I can do"
*  (Renlund)  "Eyes to see, Ears to hear, and a heart to feel"
*  (Nelsen)  "Are you finished crying?...Get dressed")
*  (Schwiter)  "True disciples represent the Lord and inspired the people, NOT impress them."
*  (Stephens)  "I want me to put my seat belt on because you love me"
*  (Hayne)  "He wants me to be clean so I'm not left outside His home"

These are just a few of the things we heard this past weekend from our loving prophet and apostles and leaders of the church.  I'm so grateful for them and the revelation they receive from the Lord.  I have a huge testimony that they are servants/disciples/friends/and sons and daughters called of God to fulfill His work here on the earth.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have now to use these words, guidance, direction from God's apostles/prophets in my life.  To better my own progress, purpose as a mother, daughter and servant of the Lord.  I love this gospel.  I love my Savior, redeemer, my brother, for his beautiful, unimaginable love for us.  Without any doubt, I know that he live, that he is the son of the most high, our gracious Heavenly Father.

Homework:  If you didn't get the chance to listen or watch General Conference, I invite you to do so in this website.

Armadillo, an Argentinian Food??!!