Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Salta, Mitre 1 - March 25th, 2014

Hello Dearest Family!
So... Surprise! I'm here in Salta. Zone leaders always call the night of transfers around 10:00 and the buses leave around 6 in the morning. They told me I was going to Mitre 1 or 2, and was going to be with a Elder Purser. I knew that Mitre 1 was the assistants, and the name of my comp was not an assistant, rather someone that had around a year left, so I figured I was just going to be working in Salta. I was very confused when I got here. I was asking around for the Elder Purser they'd told me and no one knew him. Turns out he's in Santiago way down south. I got here and President pulled me in for an interview. Turns our I'm going to be the assistant to the assistants or something to that effect. Since they're always traveling and stuff like that they want someone who can stay in the area. Plus there's an odd number of missionaries, and President said if there's got to be a trio companionship, might as well do some leadership training. So I'm here living in the giant offices apartment... house. It's a house. With a really big backyard and in the middle of a super rich neighborhood. I live around 20 minutes from the area going in a taxi. I got a taste of the area yesterday. The assistants were busy and a bunch of missionaries about to go home wanted to visit some converts, so they sent me with them to visit people. We received a lot of food. The area is a hill. Or lots of hills. Imagine the mountain behind our house. Now imagine houses there, but with the same hiking trails. Yep. That's kinda like what it is. But anyway, on to my last week in Ledesma.
Tuesday we had an awesome zone conference. President Levrino trained us on what Elder Ballard had said in the conference for mission presidents. We truly have prophets on earth today. The points he addressed were the things that every missionary worries about - how do I spend less time in lessons, how do I help members with whatever, how is it possible to talk to everyone in the time we have, etc. There were a bunch. For every question a missionary could ask, President pulled an answer out of Elder Ballard's talk. I think my favorite part was when he was talking about the importance of talking to everyone. He committed us to do at least ten contacts per day. After asking "Will you do it? Are you sure?" He told us, "Okay. Go do it." Everyone kinda just sat there for a second until we realized that we were going to take a recess from zone conference and go and talk to people. Elder Burr and I talked to the first person we saw. He was really awesome! Recently joined a Christian church and wanted to have an appointment as soon as possible! It was really cool. To me it was like a divine message saying that this really is what we need to be doing to hasten the work. Something I love that President said is that the hastening isn't so much a change in action or thought, rather a change in feeling. We have to really feel the urgency of the work if we hope to do what the Lord wants.
Lucas Fregenal from Tucuman wrote me the other day! He's waking up early every Sunday to go on his own. He's already got the priesthood and everything seems to be great from the letter he sent me! It's always fun to hear from converts.
Quick miracle! On the way back from Zone conference, the border patrol stopped us and started checking passports. Normally, we'd all be legal, but since papers are often lost by the Argentine government and visa processes can take forever, there's quite a few missionaries here on expired tourist visas. When the border patrol got to the first sister he asked "What are you guys?" She explained that we're missionaries. He asked, "All of these people are in the same group?" Yep! So he passed by without checking any of our documents. The Lord loves us, and he'll do what it takes to keep his work moving.
We found a con artist this week! Kinda interesting. We talked to him in the street and he said he'd been baptized in Salta and recently moved there. We went and had a lesson with his family. He talked a lot about his ward in Salta, about the missionaries that baptized him, and all that kind of stuff. Looking back on it, the lesson had kind of a weird feeling to it. The next day we asked the wife of the branch president to come with us. She just laughed and told us not to go. Apparently he posed as a member around 5 years ago to rob church welfare. He was pretty convincing, but working with members and the spirit, you can't go wrong!
Two senior missionaries visited us this week! They installed a water purifier and fixed all our broken pipes! It was pretty great.
Haha! Okay, this contact was too good not to share. Of course, we find the elect when we talk to everyone, but we also talk to people who aren't so prepared, which can also be really fun. We found a guy who said that he wasn't interested because he drinks, smokes, commits adultery, and all kinds of stuff like that. Elder Burr asked him, "Brother, do you feel good doing stuff like that?" He said yes. So Elder Burr asked "And what about the life after?" The guy replied that no one knew about the life after. Elder Burr told him that yes we knew. The guy reaffirmed that we couldn't know unless we'd experienced it. Then he said, "Tell ya what, just go and die, and if you come back tomorrow I'll believe you." I couldn't help but laugh. I dunno, the phrase "go die" in Spanish is just kinda funny. Maybe you had to be there. Anyway...
Remember Alejandro, the guy that felt the spirit 20 years ago? Well we had a lesson! When we got to prophets, he said, "Wait, we have a prophet today? What's his name? I'm gonna go Google him as soon as you leave!" He was just so excited! Which is always really cool for someone who lives in a richer part of town. It's always fun to find people who are just ready.
The last visit in Ledesma was cool. We had an appointment with a family, but we figured it might be good to have a member. We passed by, and the member that we were planning on didn't want to come, but her boyfriend Emanuel said he would! When we got to the house, the husband wasn't home. Had it not been for Emanuel, we wouldn't have been able to go in and teach. We had no intention of bringing a male member, because there should have been a male in the house and the nearest male member was kinda far away. I just love the little miracles like that!
Anyway, that was my week. It was pretty cool. I'm sure I'll have lots to say this next week as well!
Love you guys!

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