OSCAR GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, I can not explain the joy of another child of God entering the redil of the Lord - and I was able to help him along his spiritual journey!!! What a privelge, what grand joy!!!! My heart is full of the love of God for this wonderful old man. Thank you all for prayers on his behalf and on mine. It´s a victory for Heavenly Father, for our Savior, for the ward, for Oscar... for all of us! We have a brother who has come back! Oh, how the Father rejoices!
The story with Oscar: Oscar is 72 years old. He doesn´t have immediate family because his wife died young and he never had children. He has a few cousins in Neoquen, another province in Argentina. When we first found him, I said, ¨Hola!¨ to him in the calle and he gave me a funny look. ¨Hello, we´re missionaries. Can we help you?¨ ¨Are you the girls I talked to last time?¨ ¨Well, I´m not sure, but if you´d like, we´d like to chat tomorrow in the church with you, is that alright?¨ ¨Sure sure!¨ Come to find out he had talked to two chicas before - we´re not sure if they were testigos or other misioneras (haha), but he came to the cita! Oscar understood the apostacia and has a great deal of intelligence. He was brought up Catholic but did not agree with the priests in hiscatholic school. He said they said one thing and did another. He wasn´t active in the catholic curch for YEARs! And then he met us... and EVERYTHING started going wrong. His health started going downhill , he got ROBBED during a lesson in the capilla, etc. etc. Poor guy! BUT he kept the faith!!!! He always says, ¨Ever since I met the chicas, all the problems started, but I´m so grateful for them and for their friendship!¨ He is like family to me! And he LOVED his baptism! He said it was beautiful and he loved how he felt - OH THE JOY!!!! I was freaking out all Sunday morning during church, ¨Will he back out? Do we have the font ready? Is there white ropa that fits him?¨ And in the end, he looked at me and said, ¨Hermana, I feel content.¨ and he did it! I wish you all could have been there to see it... to see HOW BIG my smile was and just how happy I am!!!!
Now, I have a bigger drive to bring people unto Christ through faith, repentance, baptism for the remissin of sins, the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end happily!!! I want to find the rest of Heavenly Father´s children, of MY family, who are lost and wandering and who need to the Atonement and the understandg of the Restauracion to feel of God´s love for them!
NELI WENT TO CHURCH AND THE BAPTISM!!!!! WOOHOOO!!!!!! I was SOOO excited! She is wonderful wonderful wonderful and needs the gospel sooo much! She´s been listening to us with open ears, but needsto open her heart a little more. Her neighbors used to be the Bishop and his family,so she has a good background with the mormons. She is golden, I am just praying and praying that she gives up her Catholic traditions and continues forward with the Church of Jesus Christ!
We contacted an older couple named Irma and Jose who lived in Buenos Aires and had helped a lot with the building of the temple. They knew a LOT about the Church and LOVED a picture of the Salt Lake Temple I had. I gave it to them - Irma´s face lit up! ¨Thank you thank you!¨ And she went inside to put it up in her house! We went by and they keep saying they are busy... but I KNOW that if it´s the Lord´s will, we will teach them and baptize them to bring them into the fold and to partake of the wonderful blessings inside the temple.
We just had a lesson today with a woman named Ana Maria who grew up Catholic, who recognized that the Monghas said one thing and did another, and who went through a major accident about 3 months ago. Her almost cunado is a member, the member who baptized Oscar and who is fired up with missionary work right now! He went with us and we had a great lesson -she is wonderful!
I feel very blessed right now! We have been receiving sooo many blessings that I am just in awe - Heavenly Father listens to our prayers! All of the months of struggling and trials and no sucess, and now the Lord is opening up the doors to people who are prepared to hear us! They just have to recognize the Spirit and choose to follow it - that´s what we plead for every night. That´s what our goal is - for the Spirit to guide us in lessons, in contacts, in our words, our actions, everything! Because as missionaries, we are only the tools in the Lord´s hands. He is preparing people for us and our job is to DO the work and to transmit his love and his Spirit to them. Then THEY have the choice! Agency is wonderful gift! I am learning so much every day.
My compie, Hermana Olsen, keeps me laughing and helps me more than she knows. She is a HOOT!!! All the men look our way because a tall, blond, beautiful Americana is walking by and she is OBLIVOUS! She hates that attention anyway... she´s rather not live in a city, she´s rather live, ¨in a place where you have to take a one-lane dirt road 2 hours in to get to and where you have to get water out from a well.¨ haha, what a crazy girl! We´re a really good team- it´s fun to have someone that loves to run and eat healthy and laugh and work hard hard hard!!!
Random things - I´m avoiding all dogs and have had no trouble lately (woohoo!), I tried Argentine ice cream and it´s like Italian Gelati but more creamy, and I like it BETTER!!!! (did I just say that... oh YES I did!!! :) haha), It´s finally starting to warm up in Mar Del Plata, transfers are coming in a week and a half (pooie), I found out I´ve gained almost 10 pounds haha, good thing summer´s coming and I´m starting a diet!, and I´m just working hard and always trying to find new investigadores to teach.
I LOVE this gospel! Every day I am strengthing my testimony that this is the only true Church of Christ on the earth. I am so grateful for the Spirit who teaches me so many lessons during my scripture study, during comp study, through the examples of others, through memories from my parents and my family, and through my daily experiences on the mission. BE MISSIONARIES!!!! BE BOLD!!!! I think that the more bolder we are in sharing the gospel, the more converted we are to the gospel. I am trying every day to be bolder and bolder. Pray that those that I invite into the waters of baptism, that they will accept! This is the Lord´s work, and we are bettering it here in Argentina day by day!
ANIMO y ADENTE!!!! whooohooooo!!!!!