Monday, December 9, 2013

Libertador General San Martin (Ledesma), Salta - December 9th

Hello beloved family!
It's really hard to imagine the thought of snow right now. It's really hot here. And humid.
So this week we went to a few church meetings. I learned that Mormon Standard Latino Time is even worse here. On the plus side, I was able to enjoy some wonderful ice cream and practice a little on the piano as we were waiting for everyone to get there! It was really quite relaxing.
Fun story from the week. A lady passed us in the street and said, "Hey Elders!" We have a habit to talk to everyone that says hi, but she quickly hid in a nearby store. We creepily waited by the entrance "knocking the neighbors doors" until she came out a couple minutes later. She left really fast, so we kinda followed her to her house, where we found that she's a less active that moved from another ward with unbaptized family members that want to listen. Creepy persistence can pay off!
There was a bat in the apartment. I couldn't get a really good photo, but it was fun.
I now understand the phrase "Walking through your shoes" at a whole new literal level. I'm going to spend a good chunk of today looking for a place that sells soles in my size.
Another fun story! We left Thursday and clouds quickly rolled in. It rained a little. Then it rained a lot. Just as the clouds were starting to burst, we were knocking at the door of recent converts we'd never met before. No one answered for a bit when they came running from the other block and invited us in. And there was an adult male in the house! Tender mercies of the Lord. We were able to pass protected from the worst part of the storm and teach while we were at it!
I did a fun exchange with an Elder from Buenos Aires this week. He's really cool, and almost done with his mission. Plus he just happened to serve in Villa Muñecas for four months, so that made for a fun topic of conversation. He said that he really loves being a convert, because when the people say, "I can't change. I can't leave drugs behind. I can't get a testimony," he tells them that they can! Because he did it all. It was a really cool story how his friends just encouraged him to go to church until he went and changed.
I got to do two baptismal interviews this week, both really far away. First we went an hour north to Yuto. The lady was quite interesting. She was ready in almost every sense. She had a couple doubts about the restoration, but nothing uncommon. What killed the interview was that she didn't want to live the law of chastity... I'm so grateful for an understanding of the gospel. She was very concerned that if she obeyed that law, that no one would ever want to marry her and she'd never be happy in life. It's wonderful to realize that true happiness - both immediate and long-term - comes through obedience to the commandments, even though at times it may not seem like it.
The other interview took place in San Pedro, an hour in the other direction. The poor district leader there is in a district with three companionships of sisters. We're the closest elders around. That kid was much more prepared, but still didn't want to get baptized. I'm not entirely sure why... He put up a lot of excuses - his grandma was coming to visit, he wasn't sure if he was willing to commit or if he could deal with the temptation, etc. The good thing was that I was able to testify a lot about the Holy Ghost, and the power and strength we get from receiving that grand gift from God. I realized just how much help, protection, and guidance I've received in various different situations from that member of the Godhead, from relationships to school to resisting temptation. I'm just really grateful for the gospel in my life, and the testimony that I've been able to develop.
This week is going to be good. We'll hopefully have a baptism (assuming they can get married - we've had all kinds of issues with paperwork and doctors on strike and stuff like that). We're also going to hear from Elder Ferreira of the Seventy. It'll be a great experience!
I hope everyone is trying hard to complete Elder Ballard's challenge to bring an investigator or less active to church before Christmas! We're encouraging every member we find here to do that!
I hope you all have a great holiday season! I'm enjoying listening to the CDs you sent me back in Oregon, because the Kings Singers just don't go really well with MoTab.
Anyway, done rambling. Love you guys!


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