Sunday, November 10, 2013

Argentines ¨celebrate¨ Halloween (Sent: November 5, 2013)

¿Todo bien? Porque todo esta bien conmigo.

To be honest I don´t really remember a whole lot about this week. I remember that for some reason I was kinda down, and I was a little ungrateful. But anteayer, (the day before yesterday) I repented and refocused, and ended the week really well. I truely can´t even remember why I was disheartened. But I guess you´re just gonna get a whole bunch of happy stories. :)

First of all, Argentines claim that they celebrate Halloween. But they don´t. The most festive I´ve seen anyone was on October 2nd, when a member family was throwing a small Halloween party. I saw three kids wearing eye-patches on Halloween, and one girl knocked on our door and just stood there in silence with no costume on. (We gave her 2 pesos to use at a Kiosco because we didn´t have any candy.) They truely don´t understand this American holiday. They need lessons from you Mom and Ryan. :) You´re masters.

So the last day of the my first transfer, we went on divisions. I don´t know why, but the zone leader, Élder Carvajal, really wanted to work with Élder Pirez. So I worked with Élder Sorenson from Sugarhouse Park, Utah. He´s an incredible missionary. He served in Florida for 6 months, and has been in Argentina for 5 days, but his Spanish blows me away. He seems to understand the people really well, which I´m admittedly a little jealous of. But he´s always careful to invite absolutely everyone to a lesson that we are having, whether it´s in the middle, end, or we´re setting up a date for a future lesson. That´s something that I´ve really learned. Even though almost everyone declined, he remembers to invite all people unto Christ literally at all times, even while he´s already inviting people to come unto Christ.

We had some miracles happen that day too. One investigator wasn´t home, so while walking to another appointment, a man shouted to us and asked us to come in. This never happens. We went in, and found out that they were a less active family, and we shared a quick message with them, and asked if they had anyone that they knew we could share the Gospel with. They couldn´t think of anyone, but as we were about to leave, they saw their niece off in the distance, and realized that she could hear our message when she was coming back on Saturday. So we thanked them for their time, and continued walking. A few minutes later, another lady called to us, and asked us to come talk to her friend. Remember when I said that this never happens? What is going on? The lady is a sweet old lady that´s active in the church and cries when we read practically every scripture. Her friend is ¨catolica hasta morir¨ but was glad to hear the message, and invited us back. I´m going to pray so hard for the Spirit. I know that´s the only thing that can pierce this ¨Catholic until death¨ mentality.

We finally got to our appointment with Horacio y Juana, who are those vejitos I talked about in the last letter. Ellos son recapos, and I´m so happy for them. They´re still excited about their baptism next Sunday, and continue to love Church. We had a really good clarifying lesson about why a modern prophet was so important, and what made the Church of Jesus Christ different from other Christian churches. They seem to understand and act sincerely. I love these two so much.

One more story from this day. There was one contact that we were going to make that I wasn´t sure was in our area. It was right on the border, but Elder Pirez told me to go visit it anyway, assuring me it was within the limits. We went rather hesitantly, but we found a young man named Marcello out in the streets excitedly waiting for us. I don´t know if he´s mentally handicapped, but I do know that he is genuinely excited about sharing the Gospel with his family. His mom´s name is Catolina, who has no religious experience. She accepted and participated in the whole first lesson about the Restoration. She accepted to read, ponder, and pray about the Book of Mormon, to attend Church this Sunday, and yep, the big one: baptism. She is incredible. We testified so much during that lesson, and the Spirit was so powerful. Their phone rang about 7 times, and I got like 10 missed calls and 15 text messages in the middle of it, but the Spirit was not going anywhere. When the scriptures talk about seeking the elect, it´s talking about people like Catolina. I´m so excited to visit her again, and pray that we can teach and testify that powerfully in every lesson.

So today was the first day of my second transfer. Now I´m with Élder Fernandez who I can already tell is a fantastic missionary. He´s from Nicaragua and has 11 months in Argentina. He´s incredibly patient with me, hard working, and best of all, I can understand him. I respect Elder Pirez so much, but I could never understand him completely.

I´m incredibly grateful for this week. I know that it wasn´t a perfect week by any means. But I learned that when I´m humble, and most of all grateful for everything, the Lord will provide miracles, and help me to focus on them. When I remember to thank Him for EVERY blessing (including trials) He helps me keep a positive attitude, and in the end, I only remember the good things about the work. I have a solid testimony that this is the most noble work on earth. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior for every person, and that His Atonement and Gospel are applicable to absolutely every child of God, personally as well as universally. I´m eternally grateful to be a representative of Him, and this I share en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amén.

P.S. Sorry this letter is so late. Transfers bump P-day to Tuesday, and made it so I had to write later in the day.

¡Hasta el lunes que viene!

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