Monday, April 21, 2014

Salta, La Union - April 14,2014

Hello My Dearest Family!
So... I got emergency transferred. I knew it was possible, but I was kinda hoping that it wouldn´t happen. I loved Mitre. Even so, the Union, where I am now is pretty fantastic! It's kinda funny, last week during weekly planning for the third week of the transfer, Elder Inman told me that I was going to be transferred, because some missionary always goes home week three. Well, what he said, even if it was in joking, was exactly correct!
I generally went around in a three some, going on splits when the members were available. Now I'm just back to normal.  As for the transfer, I will be transferred again in three weeks - it's pretty much guaranteed. 
Caitlin, you got me all excited and then popped my bubble! Oh well... I guess I still have 6 more months to hope to get an in-law. I was so sure that I'd have at least one by the time I got home, but you and Craig are trying my faith ;) 
Well, I'm in La Union. It's still in Salta capital, just in the north, really close to the National University of Salta. There are a bunch of college students that are around here. My new companion is Elder Hawkins from Santaquin, Utah. His companion had to go home a little early because his university was going to erase all his college credit if he wasn't in school today. Poor guy. The bishop here died three weeks ago in a tragic work accident, so we're currently under the direction of a member of the stake presidency. He is super excited! He's an RM, and it's easy to tell that he was a hard worker on his mission. We had ward council and in 15 minutes he did more than I've ever seen in a ward council, organizing companionships and setting goals to get into contact with all of our recent converts. It'll be a short time here, but I'm sure it'll be great!
In the meeting with president last week, I was surprised about how much he knew about the mission. He knows which missionaries are excited, which aren't, which ones work hard, and which ones just put on a good face in interviews and conferences, as well as those who understand their purpose and those who are just kinda here. He talked with us about the replacement of the materials secretary, and it's cool to see how the spirit worked. He gave us a name he was thinking about, then we started throwing in other ideas and pros and cons and such. In the end, he looked up on the computer and found that the first missionary he'd thought about was working in almost the same thing before coming here. It was interesting to see how the spirit worked, and how even with all our ideas and suggestions, it was still the first feeling he had that was the best decision.
I've been having all kinds of companions this week. Elder Inman went out to Jujuy for exchanges, so I spend most of last week with Elder Alvarez and Elder Dominguez. I was taking the lead in the area with Elder Alvarez, where we found out just how little we knew the area. Then I came here with Elder Hawkins that's only been here for three weeks. So I've kinda been walking around lost all week. Kinda fun!
There was a cold snap. I'm starting to take out all my long sleeve shirts and my coat for the first time in around a year.
I learned something new about the atonement this week. As I was reading in Jesus the Christ, I noticed that Peter, James, and John, who I always thought were asleep the whole time, were awake for long enough to record the events that we have of the Atonement. I've always kinda empathized with them for the whole being tired thing, but I loved noticing how despite all the pressures they had and the fact that they fell asleep in the end, they were able to stay awake for a good portion of that hour, even if not all of it. God gives us the strength necessary to do what he's commanded us to do.
I had a free baptism this week. I always thought that a free baptism doesn't exist, but if you show up Friday after the other missionaries have done all the work, I guess they do. The members took care of the service. It wasn't quite as elaborate as what they did in Mitre, but it was still impressive to see how they did it without our help. We didn't participate in any part of the service - we were just there to be supportive! It was truly member missionary work.
My last day in Mitre we visited an eight year old that was about to be baptized. It was a ward baptism, so we weren't too involved, but it was really cool to see how well the primary had prepared her. She was even able to help her less active parents understand some of the basic doctrines that show up in the baptismal interview questions, and help them recognize the need to improve. I wish you could have seen the look on her face when we gifted her some baptismal invitations. She was so excited and wanted to invite all of her friends! There was just a special spirit there. The Lord put the age at 8 for a reason. They truly can be ready and understand what they're doing.
Well, that's my week. Different, to say the least. I hope you're all enjoying repassing general conference! I am! Love you all!

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