This week we did exchanges, two baptismal interviews, went to Ushuaia (oo-shwhy-a) for interviews with President, had two baptisms in our building (not ours but the zone´s) and yea. That was fun. Wednesday we did exchanges with Austral - an area of just mud. Just like San Benito. I felt at home. :D That was fun. Thursday we had a baptismal interview in Chacra (the other area in our zone/district - there are only 6 proselyting missionaries, 8 with Elder and Sister Downs. Elder Downs is the branch president of Austral). Friday we left Río Grande at 6 in the morning to go down to Ushuaia (the most southern tip of missionaries in the world) for our interviews/zone conference with President Gulbrandsen. I was hoping to have a second interview, but he remembered that he interviewed me in Calafate so I didn't get another one. Bummer. Anyways, a pretty drive and good socializing with the other missionaries.
Other than that everything is going well. I am learning a ton and being humbled every step of the way. I am nothing, but with Christ I can do everything. Every time I think I have a hold on something, something happens to show me my dependence on the Gospel and my Savior. He is the only one who can save us. Through the Spirit, he leads and guides us. We have to shut our mouths sometimes and just listen so that we can do His will and not ours.
That's sweet that you got to spend time with Papa, and the Watson Clan. Send my love to all. I am glad you are doing well. I was sad last week because there wasn't an email but there were two this week... Haha. Anyways, I've gotta go. Love you!
Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte
This week went by way too fast. Time just keeps getting faster. Sometimes I wonder if I even sleep. But hey, life keeps going if you are ready or not.
I really don't have that much to tell this week. We had 8 investigators in church! :D That was awesome. Things are a little complicated to put a baptismal date with them right now, but we are working on it. It's weird how things can be so close yet so far. I think I need to rely on a bit more on revelation. Only help from Heaven can get us around some things.
We got our mail this week. I got a letter from Cybill, Joanna, and Michelle. Actually a couple from the last. ;) Michelle sent me a small painting of Jerusalem that I put up on the wall by my study desk. I always feel a bit better after getting mail. It's kinda like a battery charger.
We are working hard to find more men and families to teach. Without finding new investigators, we are going to run out of people to teach. We talked with President today over the phone about the zone, how it’s doing and what's going on. I love talking to president. He is so inspired and helps us so much! I wish I could be as inspiring.
He talked to us a bit about faith. It never ceases to amaze me how many opportunities we have to show our faith. If I would realize and act on every opportunity that I receive daily to act and show my faith, there would be a lot more spiritual growth on my part.
Something cool that happened. We did exchanges and I went over to Chacra to work with Elder Lemo. The last appointment of the day was with a young man. Our goal for the appointment was to put a baptismal date with him. We get there and settle in and Elder Lemo asks the mom and grandma to share with us a scripture (because we do it all the time haha). They sat there looking or thinking, maybe both when an 8 year old girl that was recently baptized says, "I like 2 Nephi 31:13." I looked over at her and said, "You were inspired, let's go there." How could an 8 year old girl choose the perfect scripture about baptism? The Holy Ghost brought the scripture to the mind of the special daughter of our Heavenly Father so that this young man could receive the teaching he needed. With a couple of testimonies of baptisms, Elder Lemo commits this young man to baptism, which he accepted. Before when he heard the word baptism, he turned off. That day, the Spirit touched him and this Saturday he enters into the waters of baptism. Maybe we should pay more attention to the small impressions (or maybe start involving children in our spiritual experiences).
Anyways, I don't have much more to say. Hope you are all well. May the Spirit be with you. Always.
Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte
La Mejor en el Mundo y Lo sabes!
Well, you guys got to see your fair share of cool things! Let me share with you the GLACIERS! They were amazing! On top of that, we saw a huge chunk of ice fall... about the size of a house! It was like the movies... all slow motion... even the water spraying up from the lake. It was insane. I hope we can come back one day as family so you can enjoy it!On the way up.... All the snow! The picture outside of us... it was VERY COLD and VERY WINDY out there... if you zoom in you can see hair being pushed up....
I think I said last week that I needed to buy boots... This is why --> After one day of work... (he sent pictures of his shoes) I bought some boots for 415 pesos... There wasn't enough money on my card so I bought them with cash that I pulled out from Calafate. Just so you know what's going on with the expenditure of the money I pulled out.
Alright... so I realize it's been 3 weeks since I've written an acceptable letter... so here's what happened; two weeks ago we went to Calafate (People say it's like Park City, Utah, huge tourist attraction) and then we scooted on up to the glacier about another hour north. We went with a member who had a convi (a van with lots of seats!) with the zone. We had lots of fun talking on the way up... It took us about three hours to get to Calafate. Once there, we got the elders there and started the drive up. The snowy landscape was incredible! The mountains were amazing and in places the mountains were orange from the reflected sunlight... it was so beautiful! The glacier was up in the mountains so we hit a windy road up (at least it's paved now... it wasn't a little while back). When we turned a corner and saw the glacier it was jaw dropping! You need a VERY BIG glass of root beer to put the piece of ice in it. Basically yea. So we got up to parking and President was there waiting for us with his wife and his son Brad. While we walked down to the observation balconies, President pulled us aside one by one to a balcony so that we could have our interviews. What a special experience! I am sure that will probably never happen again. While waiting we talked with Brad about his mission and what he did. (Let's just say he was very successful in the Philippines.) We were inspired and uplifted and received some very good ides. Now that part is to put them to practice. After everyone was done, we said good-bye and headed back down. We got some sandwiches at a local grocery store and headed back down to Río Gallegos. We got home around 10:30 or 11 and we were very tired. It was an amazing experience.
That week went well. We struggled a bit to find our investigators but everything turned out to be all right. The shocking moment came right after church. We were standing in the halls trying to set up some appointments and we got a call from the office elders advising me that my plane to Ushuaia would be leaving tomorrow and I would be going to Río Grande. Can you say shocked? We were just finishing week 2 of the transfer and I thought I was home free for at least until September. I guess not. Anyways, that was sad news. So we finished the day as normal as we could. That night I packed everything up and was filled with mixed feelings. Going to a new place and then leaving a place I had come to fall in love with. There are some amazing people there. Anyways, my plane left at 1 on Monday so a couple we are teaching and the Vera Family came to say good-bye. That was tough, but what are you going to do about it?
I got on the plane for an hour and then we were in Ushuaia.... NEVER thought I was going to ever go there! Well, I was only there for a couple hours, but hey! I was there. I took a van up to Río Grande at 5 and enjoyed the ride up.... the only bad part was that I was sitting above a heater. SOOOOOOO HOT. That wasn't fun with my jacket, suit coat, sweater, and shirt... Ugh. I was able to take it off but in doing so, my nametag (in Guaraní) fell off (yes David, I wear it sometimes...) and the magnet strip on the back of it fell into a crack that leads to the frame. So I still have the important part, I just can’t wear it now. I tried super hard to get it back, but we would have had to take apart the whole floor for it. Anyways, after the ride I got to the apartment around 9 and we left to go teach a family a couple blocks away. We finished teaching, came back, planned and I hit the sack. Traveling is tiring! I am still tired.
All right, now we've gotten to this week. I am in Río Grande in Tierra del Fuego (for real this time). This area is amazing. Apart from being COLD.... it is ready to burst. We had two people come up to us and contact us... one a member from Corrientes another a former investigator that wants to start listening again with his girlfriend. This place is ready for a lot of work. I am in Centro (basically down town) so that is sweet. We have a ton of people to teach and baptize... we just have to help them progress a bit. :D I am SUPER SUPER SUPER DUPER EXCITED! Río Grande is really an amazing place and there's going to be some awesome stuff happening. The branch president is amazing; as well with almost every member I have met. There's going to be some great stuff. I'm excited! :D
Well, it was snowing earlier but now it's stopped. I am happy and things are going great.
Now to all the stuff you are doing. That's pretty sweet you were able to talk to a lot of people. So the Genesis is the Kat's replacement? Pretty gnarly. Hiking and Canoeing! I miss that. There's going to be a lot of stuff to do... After hibernating for the time that I can. I think I can take power naps with Dad now... haha.
Send my love to Kyoko and all the family. That's some tough stuff. We just need to trust in the Lord and His Plan for us.
Well, that's all I've got now. I love you and hope all is well. Thank you for all the stuff that you for me. I really appreciate everything. Talk to you next week!
So I am not dead... just in Tierra del Fuego... For reals this time. I am in place called Río Grande with Elder Finlay (He's from California... ROCK ON! :D) I flew down to Ushuaia and took a four hour van north up to Río Grande. It was a sweet drive. Lots of mountain ranges and snow. Something that wasn't in Río Gallegos that much. This will be fun. Oh... I am going to have to buy boots because the shoes that I bought won't work too well here.... Seeing that they are broken with my eccos and rockports. But I can take these to a shoemaker and he can fix them. But boots are kinda necessary I guess.
Leaving Gallegos was hard. Right in the middle of a transfer with lots of good stuff going on. I got a call after church yesterday telling me I was going and basically had my last day to do things. I am going to miss the Vera Family a lot as well as our investigators.... But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Well, I will send more next week with lots of pictures of the glaciers- They were fantastic! A block of ice the size of the house fell off and it was amazing. I just couldn't get a picture of it because my batteries died after like 5 minutes of use. (I charged them for like 3 days.... I need new ones too.) Hope you are all well!
Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte
La Mejor en el Mundo y Lo sabes!
Well, this week is going to be a small letter. We are going to Calafate tomorrow (an area within our zone – 2 ? hours away from the city...) to have our interviews with President and to go see the glacier Perito Moreno. :D Usually the Elders from Calafate to come see us... but now we are going to go see them. Sweet!
So Elder Simper and I are going to stay together for another transfer! That'll be fun. :D We are going to have an amazing month - lots of teaching and baptizing. By the way... Our mission broke the record for most baptisms in a month in the history of Buenos Aires Norte - 146. That's more than double of last July. We are really focusing on planning in chapter 8 of Preach My Gospel and getting people to go to Church - members and nonmembers. Our job is not to only baptize but to lift where we stand. I am learning some great stuff that will help me for the rest of my life.
This week we taught a lot about becoming who God wants us to be rather than what who we think we want to be, inspired by the talk from General Conference. Ser o Hacer - To be or to do. We can do the things without being. We can become the thing by doing. We become holy and pure by keeping the commandments and making sacred promises (covenants) and staying faithful to said promise. When we are baptized by someone who possesses the holy authority of God (The Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood), we are cleansed of our sins and we make the promise to keep the commandments and to always remember Christ. Since we are not perfect, we must renew that covenant (or make it again) by partaking of the Sacrament every week. If we do not partake of the Sacrament, the Holy Spirit will distance himself away from us until we purify ourselves. It's simple, the Spirit cannot dwell in unclean temples. We cleanse our temple (1 Corinthians 3:16-17) by repenting (which includes humbling ourselves (Mosiah 3:19)), being baptized if you haven't been and if you have, partaking of the sacrament, bearing your testimony and participating in the missionary work. The important thing is that we become like Christ - and the way we become, is to do. So let us make sure our to do switch is on now and not later. And if you have a doubt, what do you need to do to obtain an answer? The response is to ask God in the name of Christ if it is true - and if it is, the Holy Ghost will answer that prayer because it testifies of all truth.
It may sound like we've got some hard stuff to do. We do. But our Heavenly Father does not expect more than what we can give - every effort is pleasing unto him. We can make the ride and ending better by having a great attitude. BE HAPPY! The glass is half full, not half empty and it's always a good day. Look for the blessings - there are SO many. Usually they are just hidden. And what fun is it if it is obvious? Looking for them makes them all the more worth it.
Anyways, I am happy to be here and to do the Lord's work. I have SO much time to make a difference and that's what I am doing. I love you all and thanks for all that you do. "If Your Happy and You Know It" is a great song. As well as "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes!"
Love you all! Thanks for all that you do for me. :D