Monday, August 17, 2015
June 22, 2015- May we rejoice in the great cause of our Redeemer and our God
I don´t like being negative in my letters home, but I have to get something off my chest: I hate Argentine winters. What´s the point of it being cold if there´s no snow? My nose is running a marathon. Hahaha, alright, it´s all smiles, sunshine, and lollipops from this point of the letter, on.
Tita was baptized and confirmed this weekend, and there was great support by her family and the ward. She came out very happy. If I were her, I´d want to go home and get warm, but she stayed after to make homemade alfajores with the Relief Society, wet hair and all. She amazes me with the sincerity and simplicity of her testimony, and her willingness to participate in all the Church activities. I pray that Tita is here to stay.
You know whose sense of humor I admire more than anyone´s? Maxi´s. Not only does he have the world´s greatest one liner jokes, but he really knows how to look past, and even enjoy his disability. After Church the other day, he came up to us laughing his head off, saying, ¨Elder, do you know how I got this mark on my head? I just ran into a wall!¨ I felt so bad, but his laugh was contagious. When life gets dark, and we can´t see the obstacles, we can either scream in pain, wonder why we can´t have the same privilages as everyone else, or we can just laugh it off. Maxi is incredible. We haven´t been able to teach him for a while because his Mom decided to stop supporting his decision to be baptized, but he still comes to Church, and even to Tita´s baptism! Before we filled the font, he wanted to just stand inside and imagine there being water in it. Thinking about his sincere desire to be baptized makes me choke up a little. I wanna fight for this kid. Continue to pray that his Mom´s heart will be softened.
Last week I had the opportunity to give a surprise talk in Sacrament Meeting. I fumbled through my scriptures as I remembered that the Bishop warned me a few weeks ago that something like this might happen, and that if it did, he´d like me to speak about not becoming offended. I shared a few thoughts about how if someone offends us in Church, we shouldn´t take it out on our Father in Heaven. A great Book of Mormon example of looking past offensive remarks in order to focuse on a more important cause is that of Pahoran. Captain Moroni in the chapter before accused him of treason, neglect, and a ton of other stuff he didn´t do. But here´s Pahoran´s response (Alma 61:9):
¨And now, in your epistle you have censured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart. I, Pahoran, do not seek for power, save only to retain my judgment-seat that I may preserve the rights and the liberty of my people. My soul standeth fast in that liberty in the which God hath made us free.¨
I love that. I hope I can always keep a perspective like Pahoran. We´re fighting for a great cause, and we don´t have time to cause smaller contentions amongst ourselves because our pride was hurt. I love you all so much. If I´ve ever offended you because of a careless word or action, and ask your forgiveness so that we can focus on our main cause: ¨Let us resist evil... that we may retain our freedom, that we may rejoice in the great privilege of our church, and in the cause of our Redeemer and our God.¨ (Alma 61:14)
Love you guys. Hasta la próxima semana. ¡Hurra por Israel!
0076- Tita´s baptism
0082- Elder Cunningham and I with two studs. I have my arm around Maxi, and Maxi has Lucas (his member best friend. in a headlock. Did you know that blind people can wrestle really well? Maxi never ceases to amaze me.
0090- The Derqui Elders with the newly set apart Ward Mission Leader
0091- Elder Gutierrez with Marco, the Bishop´s son. We couldn´t help but have a quick Nerf war after lunch on Sunday.