The Pinebrooke Hike sounded GORGEOUS! Hermana Olsen and I talk about the beautiful mountains all the time! And it KILLS me not to be able to see them! But being close to the Mar is great. We can´t see it (only on occassional P-Days), but we can smell the fish in the air and sometimes smell the salty water! Winter is just ending right now and Spring should be right around the corner - the rainy wet season! I can´t wait for Summer! I haven´t had one in a LONG time, but that´s the mish!
We had problems with our house last week, so we had to go stay with the other Hermanas in our Zone and travel back and forth everyday for the last 5 days, BUT they fixed the leaking gas and water and we cleaned the house thoroughly, so hopefully it will be livable and hopefully I´ll come back with at least half of the brain cells I had before the mission! :)
BUT after the trials come the blessings - TWO BAPTISMAL FECHAS (dates)!!!!!!!!!!!! Daniel and Oscar, two of our ¨nice old men,¨ as Dad puts it! :) haha
Oscar - We reviewed lesson 1- He understands the Apostacia wonderfully - and then taught lesson 3 about baptism. I explained the importancia de la autoridad of the Priesthood holder who baptizes, the understanding of the convenant one makes during baptism, and immersion in the agua using Matthew 3, Christ´s perfect example. He understood and I said,¨Will you be baptized through the correct authority of God to follow the perfect example of Jesus Christ?¨ And Oscar said YES!!! He just has to figure out some trips to Buenos Aires, so we´re trying to get him to postpone them. I don´t want anything getting in the way of this important convenio con Dios. I am just praying and praying for him!
Daniel - It was quite the lengthy lesson to finally allow him to feel the Spirit and accept the invitation to be baptized, but we managed it! The problem is that he wants a big sign from the Lord and he is obsessed with how insignificant our reglas are as missionaries (like we can´t beso the men, we can´t listen to music del mundo, like we have horarios to be inside, etc.) He doesn´t like how our leaders ¨control us.¨ I looked him in the eyes and lovingly corrected him and said, ¨Everything I do, I do for my Lord and Savior. My leaders recieve the necessary revelation from Him for me and for the mission, and I humbly try to always do what they say. I can not always do it perfectly, but I try everyday.¨ He understood, but still couldn´t believe that we have no many mandamientos and reglas. He said to me, ¨I won´t do anything for other men, but I´m interested in the salvacion del Senor (Salvation of the Lord).¨ I told him it was baptism by the authority of God on the earth, and then He looked at me and he said con conviccion, ¨Bueno, then I´ll do it.¨ I am praying for fervently for Daniel because his faith and conversion is slowly growing - he needs to keep his committments! Please pray for Daniel to read the Book of Mormon and pray daily. He still struggles with this!
This experience with Daniel was really important for me. I´ve been struggling with perfection and how, bueno, I am NOT perfect. Everyday I struggle to be a good, obediente, missionary - to be a better teacher, to speak Spanish more fluently, to be the the instrument in the Lord´s hands that I want to be- and there´s just no way I can perfectly do the obra misional! And when he asked me why I follow the rules, why why why, I realized how much more I need to believe and use the grace of the Lord in my life. I try and do my best. That´s when the Lord can lift me up and finish it. His mercy and grace are not just for my investigadores ni for the members of the ward ni my companion, all of whom I pray for every day. But it´s for me too. I can always do better, but that´s the blessing of repentance and the Atonement of Jesus Christ!
We STILL haven´t gotten a hold of Graciela and Ruben, but we´re hoping to see them tonight!!! I have been praying sooo hard for them too!
OH! And Elder Aiudukatis from the area presidency is coming to speak to us tomorrow! I am SOOO excited, but I´ve heard that he drops the bomb pretty hard and that it will be an opportunity to be humbled. Greatly. Very greatly. But boy, am I stoked for some spiritual uplift!!! :) woohoo!!!!!
I love all of you SOOO much!!!!
I LOVE this work! I LOVE this gospel! I LOVE my companion! I LOVE my investigadores! I LOVE this barrio! I LOVE the many challenges I have to learn. I LOVE IT ALL!!!!!! It´s not always easy; and it´s soooo worth it!!! :)
Animo y Adelante... always! :)