Monday, June 30, 2014
Greetings Family!I got bored of hello.
There's an investigator who lives in the other half of the branch - the side that belongs to the sisters - that's so very prepared. He read through the whole Gospel Principles book and is trucking through the Book of Mormon. He had a date for the 12th, and didn't want to change it. Between classes on Sunday we got talking to him and some of the members. It's amazing what peer pressure can do! Now he's very happy to get baptized this next week!We watched Finding Faith in Christ with a part-member family. It was Sunday and the neighbors decided they wanted to put their annoying music very loud. I was somewhat worried, but the spirit was so great! I didn't even notice the music. Even the daughter that never wanted to listen to the missionaries came and watched with her... concubine is the word they use here. Testimonies of Christ bring the spirit, and if it comes in the form of a well-produced video, it's no different. Plus it lays the groundwork for some good committment in the invitations!
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
The world cup is kinda nuts here. There's almost always a TV near by where you can find the games. The missionaries don't watch the games, but the majority carry around their little scorecards and ask people what the scores were. When Argentina plays, it's a different story. The whole world shuts down except for a few taxis, and there's a bunch of fireworks every time they make a goal (all two or three of them). Even so, the work goes on.
I met the old branch president here. It's interesting how people leave the church for little things. He said that he'd never imagined how someone so firm in their testimony could leave until it happened to him. He's the oldest member in Santiago, and left because they didn't give a recommend to his son when he didn't pass the interview, and because after helping the branch so much, other leadership came that hasn't been quite as involved. It's sad. there are so many people that let stupid little social things get in between them and their relationship con God.
I ate a monster factura (pastry?) this week! I'm now kicking myself that I didn't take a picture. It had creme, chocolate, jam, and dulce le
Ledis got baptized! She's Oscar's mom, Oscar that got baptized a couple weeks ago. She has epilepsy, and the members have fallen in love with her. Sister Barreto, the relief society president shared her testimony on how they got to know each other. She was always worried about her 12-year-old daugher, that was always hanging around boys. Then her daughter told her she couldn't complain if she never met the boy. So she met Oscar. He came to church. Then she met his mom. She came to church. She shared her testimony about how missionary opportunities can come from the most unexpected places, and how we should work together with the missionaries so that we can recognize those opportunites. It was a really special spirit there. And to make things even better, our font finally worked! With hot water!
Anyway, to finish off, we had transfers. I'm now with Elder Ceron, from Vera Cruz, Mexico. It'll be a great transfer! I haven't slept much. The fun part about being a zone leader is that you get to be there in the terminal all night making sure that everyone gets on the right bus at the right time. I feel very blessed that no one missed their bus!
Anyway, that was the week! I hope you all have a great one!
Monday, June 9, 2014
Hello Beloved Family!
|The grimy font|
From there, we turned on the water. After about 2 minutes, the pressure started to go down until it cut off. NOOO!!!! We had to go to the other chapel again. We let all the members know and frantically started filling the font, despite the water of that chapel sporadically turning on and off. Then we got a call saying that one of the young women had gone missing and that all the members were out looking for her .That didn't help things (they found her in the end). The members were able to pass by Estefania to be able to bring here to the baptism, but she wasn't there when they went. She had gone to a friend-of-her-2-year-old-daughter's birthday party. That bummed us out a little, but even so, I learned a ton from the experience - don't let the obstacles keep you from trying. From the marriage to the schedule to the bed to the font to the missing member, there were so many chances to just give up and leave it for later. I feel good knowing that we did just about everything so that she could get baptized, and in one of these weeks, she'll get there!I finally got to know Fernando! He's a recent convert of about a month that's been on vacation in Cordoba. And he's super rich. And smart. The first thing he said when we got there was, "Well Elders, what do I have to do now to keep progressing in the gospel?" During the lesson he bore his testimony of tithing, and pulled out a pizza he'd made for us. It was pretty awesome. From there we went to a meeting to talk about recent converts with our former second counselor who we won't be seeing much anymore (he was called as bishop in another ward). During the conversation, we excitedly told him that we had a male convert with a testimony of tithing. He replied like this, "That's really great that he has a testimony of tithing, but has he paid it since his baptism?" That was a very good piont. It reminded me of when President was talking about Matthew 7 and the wise and foolish man, and that if we don't do the things, it won't do us any good to have a strong testimony of it.
I met Hermana Paiva this week from Brazil. It's kinda nuts. They didn't teach her much Spanish in the MTC. Portuguese and Spanish aren't all that similar. It's really funny to hear her talk. It reminds me a lot about Craig. Kinda makes me want to learn Portuguese when I get home.The other day I was on exchanges with Elder Ramirez from Mexico. We went for a follow up visit with a lady I'd found last week on exchanges. There was no male. I'm still kinda new to the area, but I'm getting to know it better. After finding the house of the lady, we found out that there wasn't a male in the house. We set another appointment and left kinda sad. Later in the day, we had a member acompanying us and the appointment fell through. I was about ready to go to the next plan, when Elder Ramirez told me, "Elder Willey, we have to go back to that lady!" I never would have thought of that. In my mental map, it was really far away. Turns out it was only a couple blocks. When we followed up on her reading, she said she'd read what the other missionary had left her. It was Moroni 8. In the first visit she'd said that she was very Catholic and didnt' want to be baptized again. I never did see the part of the Book of Mormon that my comp that day had left her. She took it really well though! It's incredible the power that the Book of Mormon has!
On that note, we talked to a lady that said that she only got baptized because her mom got baptized. It surprises me how many people here get baptized without ever having asked God in prayer if the church or the Book of Mormon is true. Again, going to PMG, I love the part in chapter 5 where it urges everyone to ask every once in a while, even if they've already received a testimony. I know that every time I've asked, God's answered me.The bus ride to Frias (almost Catamarca) is really long. And the bus really stinks. Luckily, since I couldn't sleep, I had lots of time to read! I chugged through around 15 chapters of the Bible. There's a ton of great stuff in there! Especially in Spanish were the words are more common without losing the sense of antiquity - unlike English where there's quite a few words that I never realized that I don't understand. It's interesting that the rest of the world doesn't get that the Church of Jesus Christ is the same now as it was before...
Sunday, June 1, 2014