Monday, March 10, 2014

Libertador General San Martin (Ledesma), Salta - February 24, 2014

Hello Dearest Family!

Wow. Everyone sounds super busy. We had district conference this week. It was kinda the highlight of the week. I've never heard anyone talk so strongly to members. More of that later, but the question came to mind while President Levrino was talking to a bunch of people about excuses, how are our family prayers? Family home evening? Family scripture studies? Missionary work? I don't want to be the crazy annoying missionary that.... drops cane.... retar... there aren't words for this! Grr... to tell you off? I don't want to tell you guys off or anything like that, but just wanted to see how we are. He talked about how there are so many families that don't do the little things, the "latter-day saint traditions" for all kinds of excuses - my kids are never home for family night, my kids don't sit still for the prayer, they can't focus on the scriptures, they're too little and take forever to get ready for church, fasting hurts my head and makes me sick, etc. He talked about how the excuses are the reasons for which we have to fulfill the commandments. Self-justification is the opposite of repentance, which is also necessary for the sins of omission. Anyway, love to know how we are in that! Thanks for always doing those things growing up with me. It's so much easier to bear testimony of something I've done.
So another part of the conference was technology. Elder Ballard gave a talk in Buenos Aires and talked about how important is the hastening of the work, and that there have never been so many missionaires and that there never WILL BE as many missionaries. The hastening isn't starting, it's in full force, and we have to take advantage now. In between the leaders and the general session of District Conference, Pres. Levrino challenged us to use our technology and smart phones to invite someone to the conference. It was pretty cool. As I was sitting in the cyber cafe last week, I realized just how dangerous technology can be in subtle ways. There were little kids wasting their lives away on violent games, and thirty-something-year-olds facebook stalking 15-year-olds. It's crazy what it can do. So it was really great when President Levrino reminded us all of the true purpose of all this new technology - to do missionarywork more efficiently. He also transmitted the Elder Ballard Challange to invite one person to the church - member or not (same as his Christmas challenge) before the conference and every sixty days. It's pretty crazy, this era of missionarywork!
We passed by the house of a less active that had moved down south this week. His mom answered and very kindly told us in almost these exact words, thank you, but I'm Catholic, I'm not interested, and I really don't want your visit. So we started asking about how we could get in contact with her son and about her life, and she started to talk. And talk. And talk. And we just listened. It was kinda cool to see the way that she changed while she talked. As she shared spiritual experiences in her life, the Spirit started to have an influence on her, and by the end, she agreed to a second visit. Miracles are great!
We were talking to the dad of a recent convert. He's old and didn't understand much. The best part was when his daughter bore her testimony. There are few things more powerful than the testimony of a family member. It was amazing to see how quickly the spirit was invited.
We did exchanges with Yuto this week! We were trying to decide if we should pay more to leave earlier or not. We weren't running exactly late, but we were cutting it close. We decided to leave early. We got there just as the other bus was pulling out fifteen minutes early. The Elders from Yuto had gotten there a little earlier than planned as well. We made the bus! The buses in Yuto always leave late, and had we missed the bus, we'd have had to have waited another 2 hours for the next one, or paid about 3 times the price to go in a taxi. The Lord is in the details of his work.
There was a movie night in the church. It takes us a while to walk there and it's often hard because people don't show up sometimes. We decided to put forth a little faith and go. No one showed up. We were about to leave when a less active and his girlfriend came! We took advantage to teach her a bit. It was a super great lesson!
We ate an ice cream cake. It was delicious. Not much more to say about that, but it felt like a notable event of the week.
We contacted a guy from London! We were walking by and I heard him say something in English. I couldn't pass up an opportunity like that. It was really interesting, but it's SUPER hard to talk about the gospel in English.
So more about the conference. President Levrino is very direct. He focused his talk on justification and the basic commandments, especially the Sabbath day. The best part of his talk was when he was talking about the sacrament and said something to the effect of, "If we don't take the sacrament, we undervalue His sacrifice. It's as if we said to Christ, your sacrifice doesn't matter to me. You can go die again for all I care." The members sat there in a shocked silence. I did too, for that matter. The sabbath day is just so important. We can't just ignore the commandments of God. Besides, he went on to talk about all the MANY blessings for fulfilling the sabbath day - health, peace, and every necessary thing, like it says in D&C 59.
Anyway, I love you all and I'm so grateful for your testimonies and your support! Hope you have a great week! Don't forget, if everything is really hard and crazy, don´t forget the little things (prayer, scriptures, etc.)!

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