June 13, 2016
Thanks for all the birthday wishes!! I don't feel any different in age than I did when I left! The time has gone by so quickly, it's crazy! When I first came out on my mission, I thought that when I turned 20, I would be pretty old! Hahaha!!! The day has arrived and I don't feel any older in life nor on the mission, even though I know that my time here is going to come to an end very quickly!
I am not sure if you guys remember me talking about a guy named Ezequiel that we were teaching in Villa Ramallo. He is an investigator that we found while trying to look for someone else. While we were looking a young man, Ezequiel answered the door. He was covered in tattoos of skulls and naked women. He had tons of piercings and hair down to his shoulders. We started talking to him and we set up a day to come by. That day came around and we were running late, so we got to his house late. He was there waiting for us with mate cosido and some bread (typical food when you have guests over here). The lesson went great and he came to church a bunch of times. He read up until the end of 2 nephi and was loving it!! The only problem was that he was living with his girlfriend who is from Buenos Aires. He had come to church a bunch of times and wanted to get married. It was great that he wanted to get married but he didn't have any documents, so they weren't able to go and get the papers required to get married, since you need to have specific identification. He decided to go down to Buenos Aires for a couple of weeks to try and get his documents in order and also to work. That was about 2 weeks before I left Villa Ramallo. He never came back before I left, so I had no idea what happened to him. I wasn't even able to say goodbye. BUT, the other day I got a call from the missionaries who are over there in Villa Ramallo telling me that Ezequiel was going to get baptized!! I was really excited!! He had also asked if I could do the baptism. Unfortunately, I will not be able to go. But that's alright! I am really excited that he is finally going to get baptized! It's too bad that I never got a picture with him or anything!! That was some pretty exciting news for me this week!! Even though I cannot be there, I am happy that he has accepted the gospel!
When I had first gotten here to Pergamino, Elder Larsen and I asked Heavenly Father if it were possible to baptize every month here in the area. We receieved a positive answer. I was excited and not too worried because we had about 3 or 4 people who were going to church who were not members. I though it was going to be pretty easy. Once we got working to try committ one of these people to get baptized in June things started to get a little bit complicated. We knew that Heavenly Father was going to prepare someone for us, but we were not sure who. We were not sure if it was someone that we already knew or if it was someone that we had to find. In order to get baptized here, the investigator must assist church 3 times before their baptism. We either had to find someone in the first two week or baptize someone that was already going to church. We had been working very hard. We were talking to everyone we saw, planning as best as we could, studying really hard, along with a bunch of other things. I am sure we made lots of errors but we were really trying. The first week had passed and nothing looked very promising. This last week we have been working very hard. We had appointments with all the posible people that could get baptized. We planned and studied and fasted for them BUT in every lesson they said no to baptism. There was some problem or they didn't feel ready and a bunch of other things. So we studied to solve their doubts... and that didn't work either. After realizing that none of our investigators that we had were going to get baptized in June, we started looking very hard for new ones. Saturday morning came along and we still didn't have anyone. If we wanted someone new to come to church we had to find them that week in order for them to get baptized. I really felt like I was giving it everything that I had. Well on Saturday morning we saw a miracle!! A couple of elders from another side of Pergamino called to inform us that they had an investigator over there that they were teaching who had just recently moved to our ward boundaries. This investigator had already gone to church a number of times, she already had a testimony of the church, and had all the lessons!! She was ready to be baptized!! So on Sunday morning we did everything that we could to get them to church! After a battle we were finally able to get them to come!! I think she will be the baptism in the month of June! It was really cool to see that when we did everything that we could, God gave us what He had promised us, but first we had to really give it everything that we had! I really hope she will get baptized this month! Keep her in your prayers!! Her name is Sandra!
Today for my birthday we went to the store an bought a loaf of bread, jam, peanut butter and some milk! We ate some very yummy peanut buttter and jam sandwiches!! It had been a very long time since I have had that! Haha - I think tomorrow we are going to order something to eat, since today lots of the restaurants are closed!! It has been a good birthday!!
One thing that I have really noticed and learned on my mission is that the missionaries cannot do this work alone. There are four steps to helping someone become a member of the church. Finding, Teaching, Baptizing and Making friendships hermanar). Missionaries are there to Teach and Baptize. The members are there to FIND and to make friendships! We cannot work without the members and the members cannot work without us!! I have been realizing how big of a change converts have to go through and without a friend, its very hard for them to do. They are changing their whole culture and their way of life! It's a big change! Also, nothing happens in missionary work until we find people to teach. I feel that maybe missionaries are doing to much finding, because they don't have people to teach. Its something that I really want to change after the mission. I did not do a very go job at all at home and I feel bad about it. I will do better!!
Something cool that I have learned from the scriptures lately is in the new testament. I have been studying it a lot lately and I really like it! I was reading the other day in Matthew 11. At the end of the chapter we read about "yoke."I had not idea what the heck it was talking about. So after I had looked up a few things up, I learned that a yoke is an intrument used by animals when carrying big loads. The idea is that it helps carry the wieght. With the aid of the yoke, the weight goes from being unbearable, to bearable. Jesus invites us to come to him and he will give us his yoke. Then it later explains that his yoke, or the way he helps lighten our load is though the commandments! If we want help, we will recieve it though the blessings that the commandments promise us!
Thanks for all the birthday wishes!!
Love you Guys!