What a week! It went by way too fast. At the beginning of the week we were projecting to have 19 investigators at church. We have been truly blessed by the Lord with many people who have open hearts and minds to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By Saturday we were expecting 13 to 16. We were really excited! We had arranged with members to take our investigators to church and our investigators found out this week that some of their friends or conocidos.... (how do you say people you know? It starts with co....) are members of the church and were excited to come to church. We ended up with 6, our family and a couple that have come to church for a year working on a divorce issue so that they can get married. Does that mean we are discouraged? Not at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We know the potential our investigators have and now we can focus on them coming to Church without worrying about a holiday weekend. So next week we'll have a ton! :D There were 5 people who couldn't come due to sickness/health problems (only two people but their families were affected), 3-4 probably couldn't find a ride, another 4-5 had family visiting and couldn't make it. So if you add all that up and plus a few of their family members that weren't here this weekend - you've got more than 20 investigators that would have been to church. Right now I quote Ammon and do not glory in myself but in the Lord and the miracles and changes He is working within the people. Sure we are working our butts off to get everyone to church. But left to our own power, we are nothing. Our only success comes from the Lord and our efforts combined. (Part of the faith I was explaining a couple weeks ago.) And we are only seeing the beginning of the work here in Seis de Abril. We are really excited! :D
I got to see Priesthood session! :D :D :D My zone leaders are studs and got permission to go early in the morning during studies to watch the session by internet on a church computer. So our district was together watching Priesthood. Que tal! :D I missed the first half because I had to go look for my DNI (my Argentine ID to be a witness in Matias and Cintia's wedding) and other things to help them get a date in the register office for their marriage. In Argentina, it has to be done in the office or in another place with a representative from the Government... Branch Presidents and Bishops do not have the power to marry. So they took out a date and are getting married on the 13th of May! That means they are going to be baptized the 14th and confirmed the 15th! Too cool! We also have a ton of people who can get baptized in the following weeks - like 18.... Too cool, right? Now I better not get transferred... so yea. Priesthood was cool. And in this session of conference they talked way too much about marriage. I don't need that as a missionary. It only distracts me from the Lord's work. But all is good now and full steam ahead! This branch is going to explode! We already have 70 people coming to church on a weekly basis and with all these new converts we might be able to open a branch that closed a couple years ago. Can you say excited? :D I want a car to get around... It would be so much easier... Because half of our investigators are in and area like Piru while we are about as far away as Fillmore. There is only one bus that goes to San Benito (about as far as Piru) and doesn't travel on Sundays. A bit of a problem for those who don't have a car but it's all right, there are only a couple of investigators that we have to find a ride for right now. For us to get a car would mean a lot of paper work and licensing for us and future missionaries and I would have to go to Buenos Aires to get a license and everything, so yea. Not gonna work. Besides... I had nightmare last night that I went back to Buenos Aires. Rio Gallegos is just way too cool to EVER leave. LIKE EVER! I am definitely coming back to visit the members whom I have taught here. :D
Well, that's about all I can think of. It's starting to get cold. If I don't get transferred, I will probably have to buy a thicker or better jacket. The black one I have isn't going to cut it. We had a REALLY nice summer so this winter is going to be very HARSH! The meteorologists (what people have told us) are expecting a winter like '95 or over 6 feet of snow at times. Sounds fun! I just don't want to be cold. :/ Living at BYU is nothing compared to cold we are feeling now. Sometimes it gets below 32 during the day/night, but the wind is arctic cold... Like really. It comes from Antarctica or from the Cordilleras mountains where its snowing right now. So it's gonna get really cold soon. I just hope it snows... because the only good thing about cold is the snow. Without snow.... it's just not worth it. (Wait until it snows and we'll see what I say! Hahaha)
This Sunday is transfers but nothing will happen here. E' Berrios and I are going to continue together baptizing THOUSANDS! :D Love you all. Be good. Enjoy spring! I miss it! Haha. See ya later,
Well, this week was insane but well worth it. During the week Elder Berríos had an INGROWN toenail taken out. That was fun. A doctor came to a member's house and did it while E' Berríos was sitting on the couch. That was fun to watch... probably not fun to feel. But yea. That meant a day of rest the next day. Talk about sitting in the house all day. Torture for a missionary! That's for sure.
Thursday we got a lot done and Friday was zone conference with Elder Aidukaitis of the Seventy. A mission president, a seventy and 10 missionaries in the same room. Talk about privileged? Not only that, we are the ONLY zone to have him in our zone conference. It was amazing! We learned sooooooooooo much! From how to teach with power to the meaning of faith. He pretty much ripped on us a bit for being lazy and not working all out every minute to bring people to church, complete daily goals and to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. When we have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, we will be motivated to do ALL that it takes to complete with the Lord's desires for us. We need to develop that testimony now - He told us not to eat or sleep until we had obtained that testimony. That's how important it is. Saturday we worked hard for everybody and anybody to come to the district conference. Why?
Elder Aidukaitis spent half of his talk DIRECTED at the people visiting. We had 8 investigators there (1 family and 2 couples) and it was absolutely AMAZING. Elder Aidukaitis is not an ordinary man. He is filled with faith and inspired of God. He not only believes but does. That's how we should be. It's good that we believe, but the devil and all of his followers believe as well (James 2:19). What's the difference between them and us? We read in the verses before that our faith is shown by works and if "Faith hath not works, it is dead." The difference is our works. The devils believe and work for our destruction. We need to believe and WORK for our good. It is not good enough to only believe. True belief comes with actions. How do we work for good? Following the teachings and Gospel of Jesus Christ. Faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, Repentance, Baptism by immersion for the repentance of sins, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the end. We build our faith by reading the scriptures, praying, serving others, doing good unto all men, living the commandments (John 7:17). We repent by changing - now? There is no reason to wait. The Second Coming is rapidly approaching. Are you ready if it came today? What do you need to do to be ready? Take a minute to think about it. I invite you to do to do what came to mind - it is inspired of God. Do everything within your power NOW to be ready! Why do I keep talking about baptism? It is the key to the Celestial Kingdom and can only be done with the proper authority. Just like I can't go to the freeway to pull over a speeding car, a man cannot baptize without having receive the proper authority. Sure I am a good guy trying to do what is right. But it is not enough. This power and authority was lost after the resurrection of Christ and the death of His apostles. Lost means cannot be found. The authority of God did not exist for centuries. Why are there so many churches? Because they do not have the guidance of a prophet, chosen of God having received His authority. This dark time ended in the year 1820 when a young boy, Joseph Smith humbly asked God which church he should join. The divine answer that he received let him know that the Church of Christ did not exist. He, Joseph Smith, received this power and authority and was "called of God, as was Aaron" (Hebrews 5:4). How was Aaron ordained? By someone who held the authority. Joseph received his authority from John the Baptist, Peter, James and John now resurrected beings. Why is this important? The power to baptize had been restored! The power to seal the family for time and eternity was restored. Why is this important. The way was made open again to return to the Kingdom of God. How can you know if this is true? There is a Book, the Book of Mormon - translated in 3 months by a poor farm boy. "No bad man could have written this book and no good man would write it." - Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. There is a promise that is within its pages. You can read it, ponder its teachings and ask God in the name of Christ if it is true! You don't need to believe me. Believe God. I beg you, if you have not read this book. Read it. Consider its teachings. Then ask humbly in prayer if it is true. I promise you that you will receive an answer if you are willing to follow whatever God says; what God commands us to do is never unrighteous or wrong. Put your trust in Him. And if you have done this, do it again! You will gain a testimony or the existing will grow. It's a promise from God and I authorize it as a representative of His Holy Son, Jesus Christ.
Well, I gotta go. Love you all and hope all is well. The Vera Family is taking out a date to be married for the 6th of May and with be baptized the 7th of May! How exciting? The work is progressing here in Seis de Abril. It only requires effort and divine guidance. Be safe and good.
Well, I got some news. We are teaching a COMPLETE FAMILY! :D A father, mother, daughter, son! AND... The son (who is younger) just turned 8 yesterday! They were a referral from another branch here in Rio Gallegos and live in a neighborhood about 3-5 miles from our area where we work. The only way to go is to take a Vista bus type vehicle from a terminal... We would have gone last week but we didn’t have the money... The budget from the North isn't enough for the South. (Everything is more expensive here). So anyways we taught them Thursday and they loved it. The father's brother served a mission and he is basically a dry Mormon. Doesn't drink, smoke... Nothing. The only thing is that the parents have to get married. The wife and daughter went to the district’s Mutual (there aren't enough kids to do it on a branch level) and had a blast. They learned how to make smoothies while the guys made cookies. Our Branch President went personally out to the neighborhood (San Benito) with his wife to invite them to the mutual. How awesome is that?! President Pontelli is working so hard to bring the branch together. The two weeks he has been president we have seen a huge change in the branch. We are super excited! Anyways, the family came to church and left with smiles! :D E' Watson = HAPPY!
We also have another couple we are teaching (the husband works for the police) that have to get married to but their schedule is much more complicated as he works his shift and extra to train the younger cops. That gives us from 2:30 - 3:30 one or two days during the week to teach them. But their friends that live up north in a branch home type deal came down to visit them and we were able to have a great lesson and this couple came to Church as well! Basically it was a good day yesterday! :D
So, my shoes have died. My Eccos are talking in front (the sole is coming away from the shoe) and my Rockports are opening up in back.... I can stick a couple fingers in. I would just have the sole replaced (way easy to do in Buenos Aires!) but the leather is coming apart.... So new shoes it is; and something to help keep my feet warm. I think I said this last week. IT IS COLD! And it's only fall and the members are saying it's going to be a bad winter because summer was so great. Oooooooooooooooo........ At least my package is nice and warm in Australia. (Are we playing where in the world is Carmen San Diego?) Murphy's law works everywhere unfortunately and you can't escape it by going to South America... not even the SOUTH of South America. It's like a piece of gum on your shoe that you can't scrape off. Haha. Anyways, so I will be buying shoes today (hopefully... it's been raining lately and wet socks aren't fun!)
So this weekend we have District Conference with Elder Aidukaitis of the Seventy... We also have Zone Conference on Friday. Which might mean he will come with President Gulbrandsen. Which is way awesome because there will be 10 elders with a mission president and a seventy. Que tal. Can you say super excited? The privileges of the South! :D
Like Elder Watson #1 said, we are focusing more of strengthening the branch and working with the members - which is different because we are going by the members all the time instead of just for meals and stuff. It's a different way of working, but it will lead to great results! :D
Well, that's about all I can think of. It's snowing everywhere but Rio Gallegos I've heard. Que macana.... Or Murphy's Law! Hope all is well and everybody is doing great. Love you all and never give up! :D
This week has been pretty boring... EXCEPT for the action packed weekend!
This week was filled with trying to find people. For some reason nobody was at home when we passed by.... Oh well. I guess it happens. But we have been working with 2-3 people to be baptized this weekend.
We have one man, Miguel Angel who is a son of convert members. Over the past two weeks we have seen great changes in him. He is looking a lot happier and has been reading the Book of Mormon. He has been making some good changes and he’s feeling better about being baptized this weekend. He is an awesome guy and I can’t wait to send a photo of his baptism! :D
We are working with a couple whose children were baptized but they weren’t. The father has been reading and even came to a session of General Conference in spite of having problems at work. He is really awesome and really desires to be baptized. We are really excited when we teach him. His wife is really nice and we are working so that she can be baptized this weekend too.
So. That one church meeting that happens every 6 months that those one people talk in.... Oh yeah.... GENERAL CONFERENCE! How amazing was it? I loved it! I felt like every talk was directed at me. After each session I could do nothing but smile. It was absolutely amazing. My favorite talk was Elder D. Todd Christofferson and The Chastisement of God. That really touched me and now I have some definite changing to do... But I am looking forward to it! :D And! I was with Elder Simper again to watch it! The last time, in Villa Adelina... We were stuck in a closet watching an itsy bitsy television. Now we had desks and comfortable seats with a normal television. We were excited.
Well. We are chugging along. We received a lot of guidance and counsel from the prophet and the apostles and the other leaders of the church. Now it is time to put it in practice! I challenge each one of us (yes, even me.... LOL) to pray and ask God how we can apply what we learned so that we become better people and servants of Him. Mosiah 2: 22-24 ---> What can we do to show our love for God? John 14:15, 22, 24. We will always be in debt to God and He will help us reach our Divine Potential if we listen to Him, obey his commandments and harken unto his servants the prophets. Love you all! Be Good!