Monday, March 25, 2013

San Salvador de Jujuy - March 25th

Hello Family!
Fun fact for the day: Elder Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks Spanish. Who knew? His accent was super gringo, but it was so cool to hear him speaking my mission language! Also, Elder Bowen and Elder Clayton of the seventy also speak Spanish! Sister Stephens of the Primary presidency however, does not.
As you might be able to guess, we had a stake conference via satelite here in Argentina yesterday. It was so, so cool! Especially because all the Elders spoke Spanish. It made me all the more excited for General Conference! Spanish is constantly getting easier. I still have a little ways to go before I´d consider myself fluent, but I'm doing okay. It is so much easier to learn here in Argentina than it is in Oregon. 
Anyway, in terms of investigators, there were two really notable instances this week. One was with an investigator named Manuel. He really wants to change his life and get baptized, but it´s really hard for him to pray. This last week, he prayed! He had to get help from my comp to do it, but he finally overcame "This weird force that seems to be preventing me from saying a prayer." I´m really hoping this week we can help him to say a prayer by himself.
We also had the baptism of Camila, the daughter of Regina, our last baptism! It was so amazing. Nearly half the active members showed up (with refreshments)! It was really packed. We also had an unexpected confirmation. The bishop decided there were a lot of people there and there was no reason to wait until after stake conference. She´s super active! In our last lesson she started asking deeper questions about the intro, title page, and the testimonies of the three witnesses. She´s actually reading it all from the beginning! She also went to the conference and talked about how much she loved Elder Nelson´s talk.
Something cool that stood out to me was how much doctrine really does meet the needs of the people. We have an investigator whose sister recently passed away. We were able to teach the doctrine of baptism for the dead and it just seemed to make all the difference for her.
We also had a cool experience with a primary kid. We planned to sing "when I am Baptized" for the baptism as a special musical number, but right before the baptism, we forgot the words. We were frantically trying to remember, and there just happened to be one primary girl there that knew all the lyrics and helped us out. It was one of those mini miracles that doesn´t make a huge difference in the long run, but is a nice reminder that the Lord cares about all the little things.
We had a Zone Conference this week. Those are always great opportunities to learn and do better.
I think my favorite quote from the conference was from Elder Nelson. He said, "Salvation is an individual matter. Exaltation is a family matter." Really, we can´t be saved without a family. I´m so greatful for the wonderful example of my family and their help to me. Elder Clayton also talked about the gospel basics, and how if we do them, there´s no problem we can´t solve. The basics were tithing, a generous fast offering, doing your visiting and home teaching, weekly family night, daily family prayer and scripture study, and magnifying your calling. When we fulfill all those commandments, everything will be okay.
Also, in case anyone´s wondering about the impact of the pope: from what I´ve seen, not much. Catholics are kinda lazy. The day he was chosen it was a little crazy. No one wanted to talk to us because they were watching the pope (some active members included), but since then it´s cooled down. I don´t want to sound critical or overgeneralizing, but Catholics are still fairly lazy and need the fulness of the gospel.
Anyway, love you all!

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