Monday, January 6, 2014

Libertador General San Martin (Ledesma), Salta - January 6, 2014

Hello Dearest Family!
That´s really nuts about Brother Merritt. I wish I could have been there to hear Sister Merritt´s testimony. Home teaching in Utah´s weird. Here it´s basically trying to rekindle testimonies and help people to understand that they have to act upon what they know. I feel like my experience was more training the Aaronic priesthood holder on how to do visits while the older, more experienced people teach him all kinds of great doctrine. As for New Years, it really is kinda pointless, but it´s fun to have time to think about how the last year went and what things you want to do differently in the following year. It´s always a good time for goal setting, or "planning life with purpose," like President Monson said.
Elders Burr and Willey
Anyway, so Elder Burr is a musically inclined medical student at the U, but lived half his life in Washington. He also has 10 months on the mission. It´s really different being with someone that already has time on the mission. In a good way. I feel like there´s someone there to compensate for my mistakes and take the lead when I don´t know what to do. It´s really nice.
New Year´s was lame. People here lit off fireworks, but not as much as Christmas. I was able to sleep pretty well. Just another excuse to get drunk.
So I really wish I could just help people to understand that they need to forget the other people and just go to church! It really drives me nuts when we ask people why they stopped going and they say "It´s that, I know this member of the church that did such a thing, and I can´t go to a church with people like that." When I ask them if they´ve seen Elder Uchtdorf´s talk, they always say no. If you have any doubts as to whether or not prophets and apostles know what´s going on in the world, throw them out. I swear, the members unknowingly quote him almost word for word sometimes. That´s when it´s fun to quote the rest of the talk and help them to understand that our personal relation with God through the sacrament has nothing to do with the fact that we are all hypocrites. Doctrine rocks.
Cool miriacle! We have lunch every day, but every once in a while a member forgets or has an emergency and stuff like that. So Wednesday, our lunch fell through. We went to go buy something to cook up when a member we met a week ago from Cordoba that´s here visiting his aunt yelled at us from his house. We went over to chat and he invited us in... for asado! Which is really delicious always. Elder Burr and I looked at each other and decided that God loves us.
Speaking of asado, we had a great branch New Years activity with an asado. They´re always so delicious...
I´ve been continuing with dog problems this week. Two decided that my leg would be a good place to do their business this past week. One of the joys of missionary work!
There was a testimony that the words of Bill Clinton and his book are true. I thought I heard wrong, but I verified it with the other elders when we got home. It was worth a good laugh.
I got to teach young men´s! It was quite a cool experience. It was spur of the moment, and I had nothing prepared, but the new manuals are really cool! I just wish I´d have had time to look for the talks and other resources it refers you to. It was especially cool because we had an investigator in the class. The lesson was like a training from Preach my Gospel, but in Young Mens! How cool is that!? Modern curriculum rocks.
So another cool situation from the week. We were teaching Elio, who´s gone to church a couple times now and is a sometimes athiest, and his mom had a question about whether or not baptism had to be done in a river. We started talking about the symbolism of baptism and how the running water wasn´t important, rather the covenant, when Elder Burr started talking about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. I was thrown off for a bit, but in a short while I realized how strong the spirit was, and the words of President Benson(?) came to my mind - The only doubt the investigator has to resolve is if the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph Smith was a prophet. Everything else falls into place if we know that. It´s nice having Elder Burr here in the area to give a new perspective, and try new things, and it´s fun seeing how our talents and mesh and complement one another. I´m so grateful for the restoration of the gospel, and that with that restored knowledge, we can grow closer to our Father in Heaven, and understand better the atonement of His Son.
I love all you guys a ton! Have a great week!

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