The first thing is that it's not getting too cold. Kinda wierd being really south but... yea. I mean the water freezes here during the night and the morning - but it's a lot warmer that I thought it would be. I thought I would be a snowman here. But I guess that is more south in Tierra del Fuego. Actually... Only in Rio Gallegos is it not snowing... Like a big bubble. Bummer.................. haha.
Wow… you just got my letters? That took a while... but at least they got there!
Well, this week. Busy busy. We are looking for more families to teach and we're getting there. The Vera Family was a blessing as that they were pure gold in teaching. It looks like we'll have to work a little bit harder (and smarter) in teaching our investigators right now. Really this week we tried to focus on priorities. We could teach a bunch of people and be crazy going from here to there to everywhere, or we could plan well and have better results. In the beginning of my mission, daily planning was a bit dull... just fill in a bunch of names and try to go by them all. I realize now that daily planning is not only putting a name, but also realizing what we are going to teach them and to what end we want them to get. As we put specific goals and plans for each activity we do, we become more efficient with the things we do. We won't be running around like chickens with our heads cut off, but be calm and peaceful as we do what is required. I read Abraham 4 and 5 today - President said last week that it was the first recorded weekly planning. As I read it, I realized that I could do our weekly planning a LOT better. Going back to school will be a piece of cake when I plan out the week and days to do what I need to. The things you learn on the mission, kinda neat. You really learn more as you put your focus on other people more than yourself. Sure I can learn a lot studying each morning to improve myself but studying and planning for someone else helps me to focus on what they need and how I can help them, which helps me to know what to study. Mosiah 2:17. There's a lot more blessings to service than just serving God. Cool stuff.
I have been learning a lot lately on relaxing and easing out a bit. Just trying to enjoy life a bit. Doesn't mean that I am working less - just trying to take a different point of view on things. Being so serious isn't as great - we are not fulfilling our Father's purpose for us - Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy. Sure we've got to be serious - but as several companions have pointed out to me... I need to ease out, smile and enjoy life a bit. It's not easy changing, but life sure does have more meaning to it. Being serious, downtrodden and discouraged doesn't come from God - It comes from Satan. I need to be serious, but happy, joyful, going about my work with a smile. As we learn to find the joys of life, we truly come to appreciate the good things in life - family, nature, friends, investigators, service, and members... Things like that. :D
I heard a couple of good talks the other day while I was on divisions with Elder Simper. One is by Jack R Christianson - Healing the Wounded Soul, another is Hank Smith - Be Who You Are. Those where really cool to listen to. They helped me a lot to recognize some stuff to change and become a better servant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I chuckled a bit when I read the journal entry - "We went on a new report system today – it is church wide. It’s great, they are so much easier to work with, the only rough part is sitting down and planning a whole week at a time." That's missionary work right now. We found some teaching records from 2002 and that era. They were really old and really different. The ones we use now are much more up to date and easier to use that provide more information. Missionary work now is just so sophisticated! Hahaha. ;)
Say hi to everybody: the Jalatys, Conaways, Paces, Boons, Los Gonzales , Utah Watsons y Papa Cliff, Aunt Darlene y Uncle Jon, Bentleys.... Just like what the other Elder Watson said - EVERYBODY! HI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So yea. That's life and the work. Stay tuned in for next week's version of "Seis de Abril - A marvelous work and a wonder!" Haha. :D
So today I am writing because yesterday we had INTERVIEWS! That means that President Gulbrandsen came down with his wife and an assistant to teach us and interview us. It was like a zone conference, but a lot shorter, kind of. It was really good and even though I talked to President Gulbrandsen for like only 5 minutes... I feel a lot better and more determined to do the work!
JACOB GOT A CALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED! :D :D :D Like yea! :D Bryan is almost on the mission! Wow.... I am old. :(
So this week was another hectic week. It seems the weeks of baptisms are always hectic- but if it means we are bringing another soul unto Christ, it's a good thing! :D Nothing too big happened during the week - we taught, found some investigators and in short ... another missionary week. On Saturday we did splits for the baptismal interview and I went with Elder Simper to do service. Mind you.... Saturday morning was COLD! WITH A CAPITAL C !!!!!! Like.... I thought my hands were going to fall off as we were carrying things. What I wouldn't have given for my work gloves from the ranch! Everything was iced over and yea......... toooooooooooo cold! Today it rained a bit and now the sun came out so it's a nice day to do things! :D
Saturday we also had a baptism! Cristian was really excited and we were too. Although he can't see well enough to read the Book of Mormon, he has enough faith to know that it is true. We've read parts to him and he's asked God and he got his answer. Like what Elder Watson #1 said - if we have faith in God that he will answer our prayer, he will do so. The thing is that you have to believe.
Sunday was a good day. We had 86 people in church and it was amazing. The amazing part was that the 7 converts that I've had here were all at church. (One of my converts moved to the Buenos Aires Mission West... their home teacher is a 70's brother so I think they are good! :D) One was confirmed, 3 received callings and 1 received the priesthood. How big of a smile did I have on my face? You don't even know! We are probably going to have another baptism this week ---- all depends if he has to work. He basically knows it's all true, we just have to tie the loose ends. So yea. We are really working hard to find and teach and to baptize. This trick is working with the members. The faster members are involved, the more comfortable investigators are, the spirit is much more stronger, and everything is just better. The ideal situation would be that we help the members with the work, but right now we are just focusing on having them help us. But that's the next step!
Well, that's all I have to say for now. Things are going great and I guess I am getting the hang of being a missionary - the thing is that we should always be a little uncomfortable, always looking for ways of doing things better and looking to bring all unto Christ. That is, after all, my calling - I've left my nets and my boat and I am feeding the sheep. Hope all is well and BE GOOD!
Satan was working hard to stop this baptism - but in the end good triumphed over evil and now the best family ever are members of the Church of Jesus Christ! They were so excited to be baptized! I had the pleasure to baptize them all - what an experience! But first they had to get married! AH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MAWWIAGE! I was nervous for them! We got there about 20 minutes early and no one was there ------- Talk about nerves... so we went to the Ría and took some pictures of the sunrise and soon after the Vera Family shows up. We ALL (The Vera and Saravia families with the Missionaries and a counselor from the branch) go into the registro civil (civil register?) and start waiting inside the room for everything to start. I think I was as nervous as Matías was while we were waiting for the civil rep... But in the end she showed up, started the process, the cameras began flashing and the process was underway. Everybody signed the books and at the end they became Cintia and Matias Vera! OH YEA! I was sooooooooo happy! :D I guess it'll make up for missing the wedding of Katy Scarlett - I thought I was going to escape all my mission without hearing about a wedding... oh well. I got to attend one so hah!
The baptism went without a hitch and it was great. Rio Gallegos cut their water supply to clean out the tanks or something - at what time? Saturday in the morning... A baptism would be really hard without water... So finding this out Friday, we filled it up half way so that the tanks would be full Saturday to fill it with hot water. The water wasn't freezing cold... just a little bit. Saturday came and we filled up the font without any problems and the baptism was amazingly awesome - I was super super super super happy! :D The next day came the confirmations and various people performed the ordinances and it was great. Now - The Vera Family are members and are amazingly awesome. Today or next week we are going to go around Rio Gallegos and see all the "hot spots." This family is just too cool. If I ever leave this area I will miss them A TON! They're just too awesome! I promised to come back for their sealing next year - A promise I will go to all ends to keep. We not only baptized four people, but a family. A family that has a goal to be eternal. This family not only sets goals, but also works to complete these goals. They are truly trying to serve and follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They are awesomely awesome. Wait... did I say they were awesome? Yea. That awesome! :D
Well, that was the highlight of the week- Christian is getting ready for his baptism on Saturday. He stopped smoking on Saturday in the morning so we are happy! He went from smoking 60 cigarettes in a day to 1 in a period of 2 weeks. Who says miracles don't exist? I thus cite Moroni 7:37 - He aquí os digo que no; (And behold I say unto you that no;) porque es por la fe que se obran milagros; (because by faith are miracles performed). Miracles do happen! When we put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and give up our will to do HIS will, all things can and will happen - according to the plan of the Great Creator. We don't choose what happens, we only choose what we will do to show our faith and obedience to the commandments of God. So remember - put your trust in Him and all things will work for your good - Ether 12:6, 1 Nephi 3:7, 1 Nephi 17:3. We will never have a trial that we cannot overcome. I leave this with you knowing the God lives and loves us. He sent His Only Begotten Son in the flesh to save us and by obedience to the Savior Jesus Christ we will be worthy to enter into the Kingdom of God. May we choose to do so in humility, surrendering our will to the Father's and leave this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
I don't have too much time to write today. I will hit the highlights of our week.
The Vera family is getting ready to be baptized! They are so excited and want to do everything it takes to follow the Savior. They are really an example for me. It's amazing to see. They are really busy this week with their marriage and baptismal preparations but they are in for a weekend of pure joy! We are super excited for them and this baptism will be one of the highlights of my mission - that's for sure!
As well, we have Cristian who is losing his eyesight but is a man filled with faith. He accepts what we teach and then strives to complete with the teachings of Jesus Christ. He has a baptismal date for the 21st. He's working on a couple of things so that he can be baptized, but without a doubt he's going to make it. He brought his Book of Mormon to church even though he can't read it. Goes to show the power that the Book of Mormon has - of comfort, of guidance, revelation. We should be as attached to our copies of the Book of Mormon as he is.
Elder Berríos and I are looking to baptize every week this month (except the week that just passed). We are working hard to bring all unto Christ. Each week is a ton of work - but it's what I look forward to. There are no reasons to sit back and relax - too many opportunities pass by in front of you. We'll have time to rest after this life- this life is so that we can work for our salvation. May we do so with love, hope, joy and happiness as we follow our Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Nephi 31:13, 19, 20) Have a great week and lots of pictures next week are coming! See ya!
The other elders are always asking me how my family is and all I every say is that "they are still boring as ever"... We were really boring before the mission... weren't we? Anyways... I wonder if the other Elders will learn to stop asking me - hahaha. I am just a boring person with a boring life. What else is new?
The big news is I STAYED! I am just too excited about that! The small news is that I don’t know if I will need to buy a new coat or not. I am slowly learning how to “abrigarme” or to dress for the cold and I don’t seem to be getting as cold – but then again, this week hasn’t been as cold. I don’t want to get another coat if the one I have will work. I don’t know.
Elder Berríos has a web cam and so we are going to SKYPE! Yea baby! I just hope it'll work for David - if not... Well, I won't get to talk to him until after the mission. Bummer! I am usually nervous that I will give you the wrong number - but now through Skype I will be much less worried! :D
Wow! An interview. I got to hold a baptismal interview once! Usually district leaders and zone leaders handle them, but as our zone leaders are the district leaders, they needed someone else to interview their candidates - it ended up being me. A very spiritual experience! That was cool. :D
I ended up bearing my testimony as well yesterday. Usually I try to let the people bear the testimonies because I get to bear mine every day, but I felt I had to get up. What did I talk about? Thankfulness for my mother and father and the support the members give us. So I devoted some time for my mommy - :D It was really good meeting. :D
We met a guy who is going blind but came to church this Sunday. He is really awesome and has received an answer that the Book of Mormon is true! :D The hard part is getting him, his mom, and nephew to church. They live out in San Benito (we were spend most of our time) and don't have a car to get to the chapel. They do have a friend that takes them where they need to go though. We are going to see if we can get some members to help them or if not, we'll baptize his friend too!
This week passed by really fast. I am sure this one will too. We've got a lot of work to do, so that is good news. I am trying to send letters but the line is always a million miles long and I don't have that kind of time. So they'll get out... eventually!
Well, I love you and we'll be talking more this Sunday. Be good!