Monday, March 31, 2014

Salta, Mitre 1 - March 31, 2014

Hello My Beloved Family!
I'm sending pictures finally! It was an incredible week! My new assignment is junior comp of the assistants, or assistant to the assistant. I'm the second guinea pig that's had this assignment recently. Basically I'm like any other missionary, but working in the area of the assistants. Plus I get to go to all the meetings they go to and verify with the zone leaders.

Our really awesome house in a rich neighborhood
15 minutes from the area.

My area, Mitre 1, is huge. We're right up against the edge of a mountain. All the assistants lose weight because you get winded walking to the houses of the investigators. We have to take a taxi every day to get there, and in the end, we spent about 20 bucks daily to go there and back. I'm living here in Tres Cerritos, the really rich neighborhood where president lives and where the offices are. 
Our backyard! They're really rare here.
My companions are Elder Inman and Elder Alvarez. Elder Inman is from California, and has 5 weeks left on the mission here. That plus his 7 months as a temporary missionary in California gives him almost two and a half years of experience. He's awesome! Elder Alvarez is from Mexico, more down south. He's got 11 weeks left, and already knows a lot of the area due to the fact he spent 8 months in the offices as the guy in charge of all the apartments. I'm in a threesome. We still haven't started in on exchanges so that we can get to know the area, but when that time comes I'll probably stay here with a member while the other two travel. While I live in the heart of Salta, I'm working near the fringes, so it's not too hard. The people are great! The office is really fun. Since I don't actually work here, I still have lots of time to work in the area, but I still get to know what's going on in the mission. Especially since I get to sit in on the meetings! Pres. Levrino goes home in eleven weeks, same time as Elder Alvarez. 
Okay, so I've been completely exhausted this week between the exercises and the geography of the area, but it's worth it! I feel healthier!
I got to go in President's truck to pick up newbies! I'm so glad I don't have to drive in Argentina. It was really weird sitting in with the new missionaries that didn't know how to talk and stuff. It made me realize just how much experience I've gained and made me grateful that I still have time on the mission to do stuff.
We're teaching a really intelligent family from Colombia. The mom, Vivian, asked during the second lesson (Plan of Salvation) about if Christ had a wife, why he had to suffer for the sins, what were the specifics of the law of chastity (keep in mind we hadn't taught it) and a bunch of other stuff. The next day we asked her 10 year old son what baptism was, he said "A covenant with God to clean sins. But my sister doesn't need to get baptized. She's too young and still doesn't know." Just to let you know, there are people who are VERY prepared out there!
It's so cool teaching with the assistants. It's weird in a trio, but they teach so well to the understanding of the people, making sure they really get it and are committed to do things before moving on. I've come to realize that they're not perfect, nor nearly as close as I thought that assistants were, but they seem to be able to apply faster the things that President's trying to teach in the mission. 
We had a baptism this week! I don't feel too bad taking a freebee, since I left two baptisms in Ledesma. She's a 14 year old girl named Lorena. She didn't have a lot of opposition from the family, but they didn't sign the permission easily. The thing that made the difference was her assurance. She told her parents that she'd prayed, and gotten an answer from God. She isn't a gospel scholar, but she had such a surety of feeling that nothing could disuade her. I've been thinking a lot about the importance of feelings this week. It's interesting how the gospel works in that way. I payed a lot of attention to my feelings during the baptism. It wasn't anything overwhelming, but the Holy Ghost brings peace. Not a worldly peace - I could still remember all my problems and such - but I felt a conviction that I could overcome it. I think that's the peace that God gives us.
My companions! Elder Inman from California and
Elder Alvarez from Mexico.
Elder Inman is such an awesome example of diligence! Sometimes all the appointments fall through. I learned that it happens to the assistants, too. We were looking all over, talking to everyone, but no one was home and it was late. Finally we found a lady that had no interest in talking to us. We were all really tired, but the moment we got to the house Elder Inman pulled out an energy reserve from nowhere. He was just so happy and excited that she let us in and we talked to all the family! It's like Elder Ballard said, we need missionaries that are up in flames that infect all the other missionaries and the members. I'm so lucky to have companions like that!
Salta is just gorgeous! I love being here.
General Conference is next week!!! I'm so excited! We're inviting everyone! Get prepared with questions and problems and bring a friend!! It'll be awesome! I love having modern day prophets! I'm so glad to hear that you'll miss the baseball game instead of missing Priesthood! I gave a talk about that on Sunday, since all the newbies get a chance to do that. I talked about an article in the New Era from March when it said "Don't Miss the Call" and how it talked about that even though we can always just watch it later, it's always good to try to be there when it's happening. I talked about when I went to judge debate, and how that even though I watched it later and felt the spirit, I still missed that historic moment of surprise watching the conference live when the age was dropped. When we put God in first priority, he'll bless us even more.
Have a great week!

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