Wow. This week passed by really fast. Too fast, but we have some good things going so I am happy!
First of all, we have a couple that went to Bolivia to get married and they came back this week. The first thing they did, when we went by to visit, was show us their rings and told us now they can get baptized – without us saying anything. How awesome is that? The missionaries beforehand did a good job teaching and preparing them. They had their baptismal interview yesterday because we also had Stake Conference and it was just way easier to do it then. And now we have two baptisms this Saturday! :D :D :D :D
Stake Conference was really good. They talked a lot about families and young men serving missions! :D They are really asking for EVERYONE who can, to serve a mission. I whole heartedly stand by them. Everyone who can should, but… I didn’t get to listen to the whole session because we were trying to fix the water pump or find a way to get water into the building for the bathrooms and the baptismal font for a baptism. Nothin’ doin and they had to postpone the baptism. :/
A miracle that happened this week is that we received a call from our district leader passing a reference to us (usually we pass references at night because it is easier.) We happened to be close to the family so we went and contacted them. It happened to be that the missionaries talked to this lady earlier that day and she was really surprised that we came so fast. She told us that she was happy to see us (that alone is a miracle… We don’t get that too often). So we sat down, invited her brother and his wife to listen but they didn’t want to so we went ahead and started the lesson on the Restoration. Everything was going good and she is really interested but… Her brother left… This means there wasn’t a man in the house so we had to leave too. We wrapped up the lesson and left a Book of Mormon with her before we left. We are now trying to schedule an appointment with her because her 22 year old son that lives with her didn’t come home one day and we are hoping that all is well with that. We also don’t have a guy in the house to enter so that’s a big drawback too. BUT - She is AMAZING. She’s a widow and is like 65 and is interested! Anyone over the age of 50 usually just flat out rejects us. Like I said. MIRACLES! :D
Something that really touched me this week is Moroni 7:47-48. It talks about charity and how we can get it. We know that without charity (or the pure love of Christ) we are nothing (Moroni 7 and 1 Corinthians 13), but how do we obtain it? Through practice and asking the Father with ALL the energy of heart. That was something touched on in Stake Conference, that people who have trouble in their marriages often say they are not in love anymore. (The Stake President even said “fall in love” in English) Falling in love isn’t enough… It’s obtaining the pure love of Christ that will overcome all problems. Within a marriage, a friendship… anything. Charity really is the key to all relationships. I invite you to study Charity in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Ensigns and Liahonas… You’ll find out a ton and really find the needed help, especially for your personal life.
Bueno. That’s pretty much it. Love you all. Be good, stay safe and don’t get into too much trouble!
This week flew by. We worked a lot with a guy named Davy (que tal, no?) who has a baptismal date for the 13 of February. He is the nephew of a recent convert and is really accepting. We talked with him almost every day this week. He didn’t come to church this Sunday for some reason so we gotta find him and see if he is all right. He’s basically the bright point right now for us. We have been finding other people but it is just way hard to find them on a regular basis.
Very soon we will have two baptisms! It’s a family that has been listening for almost a year. The only problem is that they weren’t married. So they have been in Bolivia this month (I’ve only met them once or twice) getting all that paperwork done and getting the rings on officially… They should be coming home this week… Their nephews, who are also recent converts, have been talking with them by phone and they are officially married! Now they are coming back with every intention to get baptized ASAP! That’s way cool to see. :D
Other things that have happened… Hm. Some dude "hail hitlered" us so that was way weird. We had SMORES! The lady that lives downstairs wasn’t home last week so she gave us permission to use the back porch and downstairs. So we used the grill to cook up some marshmallows and had smores (graham crackers don’t exist here so we did the best we could). Elder Farias, Elder Howard’s companion, has never had smores before and he finishes his mission in a couple weeks so it made it even better. :D
Well, that’s about it for now. Everything is going good and the work is great. Working through trials of faith really help you to gain a testimony. If everything came easy, it wouldn’t be worth that much, would it? We really had to push through some things this week but we are really seeing the fruits of our labor. Hope all is well at home. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to write me up. I’ll still have the same address for a while. =) Haha. Love you all. See ya
Wow. So this week has been LLENÍSIMO of work and meetings. But it has been one of the best! :D Our zone leaders (who we live with) told us that we did the best this week. We are really trying to work through and with the members but its hard. We are receiving a lot of help and offers to help so that is great. We are trying to find new investigators that will progress and we have some good things going on right now.
We had Zone Conference on Tuesday, can I just say amazing? We worked on a lot of stuff, including inspired questions and obtaining charity (or the pure love of Christ). Overall, it was all just amazingly awesomeness. I also got a couple of letters so that was good I guess. ;) (I got more on Friday because of a 3 day Leadership conference.... of which I didn’t go but it’s one of the many advantages of living with the Zone Leaders.)
We walked a ton this week teaching and trying to teach all of our investigators and find new investigators. It wouldn’t be as hard if everyone had varying schedules. It seems everyone is open at night and no one is at home during the day. Bummer… It’ll all work out though. We started teaching a family member of a recent convert and he has a baptismal date for the 13th of February, just after transfers. So I will be praying that there won’t be a transfer for us! :D
We got soaked going to church yesterday. I don't have an umbrella and it didn't look like it was going to rain. Our meetings start at two so we went to visit people at 11. Right before we went to take the bus, it started to rain. The bus drops us off like 10 blocks from the chapel. And it was pouring. It was fun! Hahaha. The rain coat I have only works for a certain amount of time. Like an hour. After that it doesn't matter if you have had a coat on or not. I still have to ask if we can wear hats out to work. If we can, I want to get a hat like the missionaries in the twenties! :D
Well, that’s all I can really think about. We are just really tired today. We’ve done a lot this week and today will really be our day for rest and writing letters. I’ve been kind of bad about that recently. Soccer, sometimes, is just a lot more fun. I thank all who have/are writing me. It really helps me a lot and helps me apply things to the missionary work (believe it or not!). I hope everyone is good and safe. I am having the time of my life in Argentina. I wouldn’t give it up for anything… Being on the Lord’s errand just brings DEMASIADO happiness! :D (Or as Argentines say "Too Much") Haha. I am loving it here.
This week has been so long but so fast. So much to do and people to see. Ah!
Soccer was fun on Monday and we had a good time. I got to see a couple good friends and got to meet a couple of good people. I met an Elder who is friends with a son of the Family Wajchman (in Villa Adelina) that is finishing up his mission in Mendoza (a province in Argentina). So that was pretty neat. Wow. I really miss a lot of people from my other areas. Many members ask if we will come back to visit after the mission and almost all say yes but almost none do. I really do want to come back to visit the people and friends I have made here. And I have only been here for a year. Imagine how many more friends and desires I will have this coming year. Soooooooooo excited.
Something that we have been learning is that as missionaries we need to become part of the lives of the people, members, investigators and non-members. As I have been meditating on how I can do that, my mind has led me to the Elders that have come to our house for 19 years. Some of the names that I remember are Elder A from Australia, Elder Apadaca, Elder Lang, and Elder McClesky. And then I have thought why I can remember their names. Elder A was just so loving and just unforgettable. Elder Apadaca was so passionate about the gospel and so kind. Elder Lang always was trying do things with us and was just way awesome. Elder McClesky just had a huge impact on me that made me want to get better and be the best I can be. This has led me to think of how I can make an impact on the people here in Argentina in a manner comparable as our Elders have made on me. While being me, I can help the people here get involved with the work and following the Lord Jesus Christ. I have realized that there is a difference between being a member of the church and BEING a member of the church. The mission has helped me to realize, as well as other things, that the purpose of our life is to make decisions. The biggest decision is to follow Jesus Christ or not. This decision will affect all the rest of the decisions in our lives. What music we listen to, who we talk to (how and what we talk about to them), the relation and feelings we have to other people. There’s just so much riding on this one decision. And not only will it affect us now, but affect us forever. We need to make the decision right now of who we want to follow: Jesus Christ or Satan. Not making a decision is making a decision to not follow Christ. Like it says in the Bible whoever is not with me is against me, we need to choose to follow Christ. This means that we must study the scriptures daily, pray daily, go to church so that we can come to know what the Lord expects of us. I know that as we choose to follow Christ, we will receive many blessings and I know that we can receive the fullness of the blessings God has in store for us by way of this church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the only church that has the authority to perform the saving ordinances and to act in the name of God. The way you can find out is by reading the Book of Mormon and asking God in the name of Christ if it is true. I testify to you that it is and you will receive your answer through the Holy Ghost. I encourage you to listen to the missionaries and their message (even if you are a member) because you will feel that their message is true and will have the desires to follow Christ.
Well, I gotta go. Love you all. Be good. Stay Safe. See ya!
So I am in Villa Lugano within the city of Buenos Aires. It’s like Glendale within Los Angeles… It’s on the western outskirts of the city. There is a highway called General Paz that circles the city of Buenos Aires or as people call it Capítal (ca-pee-tahl). On the other side of the highway where I am, is mission oeste (the West Mission). I am with Elder Ure who has two transfers more than I do. We are living with the Zone Leaders because our apartment has a bad gas leak (started about a month ago) so we have to travel a little bit until we can find an apartment in our area. It’s awesome living with the other Elders and hearing their advice and experiences. It’s awesome!
So this week has been really tiring. We found a couple of new investigators in a tower system as we were looking for less active members. That place is really confusing… We wandered around for a bit. At first they really didn’t want anything but after trying to explain our message in a different way, they let us come in. Before we started, we asked questions to get to know them and find what role religion has played in their lives. This helped Miguel, the uncle, relax and start to trust us. After a bit we shared the first lesson and Miguel accepted the commitment to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. It was amazing to watch the change in his attitude from first contact to after the lesson. I was amazed and I learned to be a bit more persistent.
New Years passed without any conflict. We went to sleep at 10:30 like we should have and one of the other Elders came into our room at midnight and yelled Happy New Year and we didn’t even roll over. We have been dead every night trying to find our way around and find new people. I was kind of surprised. We ate my cake last night with a recent convert and his family due to our oven not working… :( So they sang happy birthday to me and we ate cake. They really, really liked it. That’s right. Strawberry cake is the best. Not German Chocolate. ;(
Well, we are gonna go play soccer! Elder Green from my district in the MTC is in my district now so I am way excited! :D I love you all and hope all is well. I am glad to hear Michelle is alright and hope everything goes well with recovery.