I am not in Tortuguitas anymore. I am in Capítal, the city, in Lugano. My new companion is Elder Ure from Morgan (I think) Utah. This past week in Tortuguitas has been really full and fun. We got to watch fireworks on Friday Night and on Sunday Lucas passed the Sacrament for the first time. Yea! :D
Well, there’s not much going on. It’s really hot and at night it is really hard to sleep. One of our fans broke the other day so we are using one for two people. We use the fans to blow air on us as we sleep.) We are working with some less active families to bring them back to church.
I am not sure what else to say. I am in a new area so that’s exciting… I'll be sure to keep you all updated next week. Stay safe during New Years!
This week was really good but went by really fast. We had the two confirmations from our two baptisms of Lucas and Wanda from the previous weeks. We also had a Christmas conference that was awesome. It was a lift that I really needed. As well I received some mail and a couple packages from Michelle. I got letters from Jessica Jelaty, Paul Gonzales, and Michelle. Looks like I have a bit of writing to do. Could you send a short note to Spencer Brown wishing him Merry Christmas and Good Luck in the MTC! I wasn’t able to send a letter…
Well, I gotta go. We are working hard to apply what our inspired leaders have taught us and how the Lord would have us do His work. Thanks for all the help that I receive from you. Every bit is appreciated. Have a great Christmas and as a gift for Christ I would ask that we could all recommit ourselves to live the commandments and do the things He would do if He were in our place. May God Bless you all.
There are only 12 more days until Christmas? Crazy!
Well, this week hasn’t been the most exciting but here it goes.
On Tuesday we did divisions with our district leader and I went to Saavio. I was with Elder Caon from Santa Fe, a province here in Argentina... Like 30 minutes from the borders of the mission. So we spent the day going by their investigators and teaching. We taught Alma 47 to their investigator couple that got married on Friday and baptized on Saturday. That was a really good lesson to never give in to the temptations of Satan even when it doesn’t appear harmful or that we will have power and control over the situation.
Wednesday - We had a teaching appointment with Susana, Byron and family, but as being feriado (or holiday) Susana took the kids to her mother’s house and Byron was home alone. I let them borrow my transformer and some adapters so that they can plug in their TV and we can watch the restoration together. But as Byron was only there, we let him borrow the things and continued with our plans. And we did splits again, but with members. I went with Hermano Gomez, Elder Cranford with another member. We went to a teaching appointment and taught the restoration to a couple and committed them to read, meditate and pray about the Book of Mormon and go to church. We called them on Saturday night but they are really busy now and can’t set up an appointment or tell us for sure when we can pass by. Hm...... Interesante....
Thursday - Planning! It’s always fun to plan out the week, who we are going to teach and how we can help to be baptized. However, every week seems to be faster and every day shorter... What’s going on? I am confused. We are so busy and have a ton of people to go by so I think that might be one reason. We had Lucas’s baptismal interview and everything went fine.
Friday - We met with Susana and Byron and their family to watch the restoration to only find out the transformer to convert the energy didn’t work for their TV. It says max 1600 watts and the TV 155 but that didn’t stop their TV from smoking. Like literally. There were billows of smoke issuing from the TV. We took apart the TV and found a mini breaker had popped so their TV still might be saved. If not... Well. I feel really bad then. Susana had to leave for work and we shared a couple things with Byron and his oldest daughter Micaela.
Saturday - We did service this morning for a family and then ate lunch with them. Afterwards we spent running around trying to get everything together for our two baptisms on Sunday, Lucas y Lautaro. We also taught a couple, Silvio y Alejandra, for the second time. The first was right before I got here to Tortuguitas. Lots of canceling and missing appointments but por fin! we got to teach them. It was a good lesson.
Sunday - Hectic day. We had the baptism for Lucas Perez which was awesome, but Lautaro didn’t show up to Church. We left during the second hour to go to his house and bring him for his baptism but he wasn’t there because his Grandma took him to another church in another city (who is a member by the way-inactive but still, a member). It appears that we will have a bit more work to get Lautaro in the water. He’s ready to be baptized but I guess his family isn’t... Well, that was the week. A ton of walking and some good results. This week was really a trial of faith as we had to do a ton of stuff and watched a lot of things fall through or didn’t happen. But I will stay strong and have faith all will be well. Like it says in Santiago 1:6 that we have to be steady and firm in our faith and not be tossed and turned as if we were in a stormy sea. That foundation we can build on is Jesus Christ - our Savior and Redeemer. Only by his grace can we be saved. And we can only attain his grace through the principles and ordinances of the Restored Gospel and the authority of the Holy Priesthood that has been given to men once more to establish the Kingdom of God and bring all of God’s children back to His presence once more. It will not be easy. It wasn’t easy for Christ who paid for every single living being’s sins, pains, and sicknesses and neither will it be easy for us. We have to give all that we got to attain eternal life. Like the saying goes, I never said it would be easy. I only said it would be worth it.
Well, I gotta go. The siesta is starting. Love you all. Be good. See ya!
Monday – We went to Saavio to jugar con la pelota, to play soccer. One of the other elders kicked my ball and se pinchó.... It got punctured... Oh well. Less for me to carry back to Tortuguitas I guess...
Tuesday – District meeting and Service. The meeting was really good. As well as service. We helped a family paint their fence. This family is so awesome!! If I say "Agua!" to dogs when I get back; to get them to go away, it’s because of them. Hahahaha
Wednesday – We were walking behind a family so I decided to contact them… But they talked with us first… The husband said, "You speak English?" We talked for a little bit and found out they lived in Connecticut for 7 years. They have 3 daughters ages of 11, 8, and 2. I asked the wife if she would like to be with her family forever and she said yes. We wrote down their names and directions to the church and invited them for Sunday. Originally we were supposed to be doing service but it didn’t work out. Instead we found this family… there is a reason for everything!
Thursday – Service again, this time helping another family move. Where did they move? Right in front of the family we had found the day before. Que tal. How about that? :D We had an appointment at 6 so we had to dash, but found the house.
Friday – A lot of running around trying to find people and invite them all to church and teach them. We taught the last of the teachings to Lautaro and set up his baptismal interview for Saturday. We stopped by the family we found to set up going to church and planned to walk with them. Oh yea!
Saturday – Crazy day. In the morning we went to Lautaro to make sure everything was still good. And then we went to go eat lunch. Then we went back with the District Leader for the interview… Only to find that Lautaro’s dad wasn’t there and there wasn’t a man of 18 years or older so we couldn’t go in. We ran around for a bit and ended up taking Lautaro over to a member family that lives by him and had the interview there. We came back, finished up the register and left for our other appointments.
Sunday – Church! We walked with the family and got to church a little early. The members did their part and started talking with them and welcoming them. Then we had two more investigators show up right after that. We also had Wanda there but she arrived right before the Sacrament so there wasn’t time to confirm her. But the good part was that she was there. Also a former investigator came with his friend (who happens to be a member) and the bishopric blessed their baby. Lautaro didn’t show up and we haven’t had time to go by and see what happened so we have to do that really soon. So no baptism. The rest of the day we went around trying to find people to teach and in the night we went over to Susana and Byron (the parents of the family that came to church) and taught the restoration in English to the girls because they understand more English than Spanish. Now that was hard… I kept slipping back into Spanish… But it was a lot of fun. I think we are going to teach everything in English to them, but we’ll see. The parents understand a lot of English as well, so Elder Cranford and I are really excited! :D
Why in the world would we want to come back at the same time? (We asked them to write each other to confirm which transfer they will be coming home and what semester they will go back to school… we don’t want them coming home at different times!) We’ve always done EVERYTHING at the same time........ Ugh. Na, just kidding. I am super excited to spend a good chunk of time with my bro speaking in Spanish all the way home. It’s gonna be great. We can now speak code at the dinner table and you’ll have no idea what’s going on. And David will teach me Guarani and then you’ll be even more lost!!!! Yea. He’s already started too! :D
Well, that’s about all I have to say this week. Time is flying by way too fast. The one year mark is rapidly approaching and I feel like I’m just barely getting the hang of things. That’s all right. There’s always something to work on and always something to get better at.
Oh! I just made a bookmark thing for the Plan of Salvation. Re-Copado – Awesome! I plan to do one for a lot of things; the Law of Chastity, the Word of Wisdom, Tithing, the Ten Commandments. Visual aids help. Well, that’s really it. I hope all is well at home and that everyone is great.
I have a couple questions that I would like you to ponder. By what conditions are we saved? How can we fulfill these conditions? God is just and perfect. He has given us the commandment to be perfect. He’s also been merciful and let his own Son, Jesus Christ, come to the Earth to suffer for our sins, pains, sicknesses, and die on the Cross. The Atonement grants us the mercy to satisfy the demands of Justice. How can we apply the Atonement to us? The answer is through the Priesthood and the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Priesthood was lost after the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ were killed and martyred. Without the guidance of the priesthood, men became confused and began to form their own churches, using the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many churches teach good things! But what they lack is all of the teachings of Christ and more importantly the authority of God to perform the ordinances required for Salvation, namely baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost (John 3:5 I think). It’s like if the Ice Cream man tried to pull you over and give you a ticket. He can try to do it, but he doesn’t have the authority to do that. Now if a policeman did the same thing, it’s valid, right? It’s the same with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are many good people out in the world doing good things, but they lack the authority to do so. That’s why God and Jesus Christ came down from Heaven to answer the humble prayer of the 14 year old boy of Joseph Smith. They restored the authority to Joseph Smith and through him restored the same Church that Christ set up when he was on the Earth during his ministry: a prophet, 12 apostles, Seventy, and so forth. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the Earth today. Within it you find the authority of God as well as all the teachings of Jesus Christ. Within it you can receive a remission of your sins, and receive the gift and companionship of the Holy Ghost. Nothing has been lost and nothing has been added. Why is all this important? Because God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He did not set up 50 ways to gain salvation, only one. I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and that he received the divine priesthood power and authority. With that power he translated the Book of Mormon and reestablished the Church of Jesus Christ again on the Earth. You can know what I have just written is true by reading in the Book of Mormon, think, really think about what it teaches (and that nothing contradicts the bible, only clarifies it and helps us to understand, it’s a companion!) and pray to God in the name of Jesus Christ and ask him specifically if it is true, you will receive an answer from the Holy Ghost through your thoughts and feelings. You will feel that it is true. You won’t be able to deny it. If you didn’t receive an answer the first time, don’t worry. Keep on trying. It’s a trial of faith. And a promise. And God will fulfill all of his promises. I promise you in the name of Jesus Christ that if you read the Book of Mormon, ponder its teachings, and pray to God and ask Him if it is true, you WILL receive an answer. The answer might now come right away, but surely it will come. Knowing the Book of Mormon is true means that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God with His power and authority. Knowing Joseph Smith was a prophet means that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church of God.
If you really have interest to know that what I have said is true, there are two young men or women that live by you who can teach you more. They have the same power and authority I have received to preach the Gospel. You will feel and know they are really true servants of God, with the divine commission to share the restored Gospel with the world. If you can’t find them, ask a member of the Church. They will help you find answers to all of your questions and doubts.
Well, gotta go. Love you all. Stay safe, be good and Choose the Right. See ya!