Monday, July 28, 2014

Santiago, July 28, 2014

Dear Family,
I love reading your letters! Between all the letters I got today, I just feel so great to know that my family has such firm testimonies that it doesn't even leave room for doubt!
We had tranfers. I'm staying here. At this point, I don't want to go anywhere. I like the area. And the apartment. And I REALLY don't want to pack. I'm a little crazy from sending everyone to their new areas, but hey, who needs sleep?
Hastening the work is much easier when there's a really friendly less active with a really new Ford Ranger. That thing is a beast. He's taking us all over the place in it. I love it. Gisela is going to get baptized this week. She spent this last Sunday helping out in the primary, even though she doesn't have a calling... since she's still technically not a member. Her husband is the guy with the Ranger. It's great!
I went with Elder Slighting to the Palermo Ward this week. It's a stronger ward. We ate with the stake president (including free ice cream from his ice cream place!). When Elder Slighting went to share something from Preach my Gospel, every member of the family ran to get their own personal copy of Preach My Gospel, and then made sure they had the copy that belonged to them. The kids have 4, 8, and 9 years. It was great! I was impressed. What a way to respond to Elder Ballard's invitation to study daily! I recently reviewed that talk and noticed that it said that we should be sharing what we learn in our daily study with our families. I love Preach my Gospel. I was reading a lot about the importance of testifying this week, even if it's something small. The important part is really having a personal witness, and bearing it based in your own belief, and always looking for chances to bear it!
Later that day we found a recently returned RM. He said that the quorum president hadn't made home teaching lists, so he decided to look for his own companion and start looking for as many member families as he could to visit. Can you imagine if every member had that kind of initiative!? Our branch president recently shared with us his goal to visit a family every day, even if it just means taking 15 to 30 minutes out of his schedule. Visiting people is so important!
We're visiting a former investigator named Delicious. What a name, right? She said in the second visit that she'd asked, but hadn't gotten her answer. I love 1 Nephi 15! It's so direct! I think I already talked about that last week, but it worked again! She hadn't read nor gone to church. Now she's going to do it! As we talked to her, my companion out of nowhere started testifying about eternal families. It was nowhere in the lesson plan, but a spirit so special entered into the house. Sometimes, after talking to so many closed off evangelists, it's tempting to think, "Hey, it really is almost the same, just they don't have the authority," but NO! There are so many truths they don't have and so much happiness that they're missing! I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!
I really like the plan of salvation pictures my first companion gifted me. It's surprising how few missionaries use images to teach it. For me, it's really hard to comprehend the plan of salvation without the little earth, sun, moon stars, etc. Plus when you mix them all up and see who can assemble it fastest, it's a great family night activity! More truths that only we have!
I went to Borges this week with Elder Purser. We talked with a lady that used every possible excuse to not get baptized. Every time we challenged her to baptism, she asked a new question or something. But in the end... she accepted! Persistence is important.
Hector had such a beautiful baptismal service! Carlos, a 40-year-old recent convert baptized him. He was ordained to the priesthood last month. It's so cool to see the power of God manifested in the ordinances. In the week, I saw two baptisms, a couple of confirmations, a blessing of health, and we ordained a convert to the aaronic priesthood. I think that's one of the best parts of being on a mission - seeing all the saving ordinances.
Anyway, I hope you're all doing well! It sure sounds like it from your letters! Have a great week!

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