Happy belated Thanksgiving and HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!!!! 11/29/10
Everyone here asked us if we eat turkey for Thanksgiving in the States. ¨Well, Yes we do.¨ And then they would laugh or smile, ¨How American!¨ haha
For Thanksgiving, Hermana Freeman and I made squash (the most Thanksgiving-like food we could think of) and brownies. We also bought a homemade alfajor that was divine - I am grateful for Argentine Panaderías! :)
We have 8 bautismal dates!!!!!! WOOOOHHOOOOO!!!! 7 are for the 19th of Diciembre and 1 is for the first of March... but it´s a goal! HOWEVER, NO ONE came to church again! It´s been ridiculous - now that we actually have fechas and muchos investigadores, no one is coming to church! But when we found out what happened, Ayelen got sick pero mal and couldn´t take Franco, the familia Roberto left for another Provincia for the weekend, etc. It was really hard for me this week - I had read Doctrina y Convenios 18 when it talks about the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. I felt the love of God for these people and there was a hole in my heart - after EVERYTHING we do for them, pray for them, teach them with the Spirit, read the BOM with them, they still do not understand that what they choose to do today has significant eternal consequences. I do not lose faith, however, I have learned a great, great, great deal of patience on my mission. I need to just have faith and be still - because I know that the Lord guides and directs this work. We will have success - I have faith that we will.
So, I thought I´d give you a little run down of missionary life, tell you a little about our nuevos investigadores, and an update on Oscar:
Missionary life - Hermana Freeman and I are walking a TON! Pobrecita - she is a trooper! We´ve been running around - our area is HUGE and we´ve had citas in almost every part of the area. We get up, shower, study, share and practice something to teach. I sometimes get emotional about what I am learning because I enjoy every single minute of time I have with my scriptures and hate when studying is over! Afterward, we run and get some work down before lunch. Lunch is the big meal of the day - so we often have it with members who love to talk and talk and talk (I love Argies!)- and give us heeping amounts of Italian and Argentine food. After sharing a spiritual thought trying to get them animo-ed up to help us in the Obra Misional, we go to work! We have citas or we contact people in the streets. We´re trying to get more and more referencias. At night, we come home exhausted, and plan for the next day. Then our district leader calls (Elder Fuenzalida from Chile) and we tell him a funny story that happened that day, then give him the datos. We often are running around trying to get to bed on time in between writing in our journals and brushing our teeth. Sometimes we make food too - something small to eat for dinner. That´s a day!
But my favorite parts of the day are the lessons we have where we can feel the Spirit of the Lord working in people´s lives. Sometimes, I feel the Spirit so strongly, witnessing of the truth, but they neglect the Spirit they feel. But sometimes you can see them accepting the light and truth - and their face and eyes change. It´s magnificent.
Here are some new investigadores:
Mariana - Her Dad and Sister are members from the other Stake. She wants to know if this church is for her. We had a powerful lesson and felt like she is ready. We talked about recognizing the Spirit - she said she´d read and pray. She has an earnest desire to know. Mariana worked the rest of the week and hasn´t answered her phone. Pray for her!
Victoria y Ivan - a young couple (like 20 and 21) - victoria took interest and the other hermanas taught her. We explained SO much about the Book of Mormon, and then Hermana Freeman said, ¨But you have to see for yourself and ask God if it´s true.¨ Ivan´s face changed - it hit him, we could see it and feel it. Victoria seemed more interested in the end, but I hope they both will read and pray!
Hugo- an older man (50ish) who is very, very spiritual. He has read a lot, been to quite a few churches, and knows the Bible very, very well. It was an INCREDIBLE experience teaching him because I know I was not teaching alone - the Spirit was guiding me in every aspect. I don´t think I´ve spoken better Spanish my whole mission as I did during this occasion. He has a lot of doubts - Evangelicals believe that Christ left the Holy Ghost to lead and guide us and that we don´t need a prophet-, but is ready to read the Book of Mormon.
Miguel Angel - an incredibly interesting man who has tried all different kinds of religions - Hindu, Buddhist, Evangelical, Catolico, etc. He said he believes in Christ and didn´t like when someone started shaking in the Evangelical church. He says he´s made his ¨own church¨ inside of him and his ¨own views¨ because he hasn´t found one church that´s right for him. He loved the Joseph Smith story - ¨I´m kinda like Joseph, looking for the right church.¨ He said he works in Buenos Aires during the week, but comes home on Sundays, so he´ll go to church this coming week. When I asked him to be baptized or at least go to the baptism reunion that we have on the 19th, he said, ¨Ok! What do I wear?¨ When I smiled and said, ¨White, but we have it there for you,¨ he said, ¨I have white clothes - I love white, it´s the color of God.¨ He´s great, a crazy but wonderful child of our Heavenly Father - we´re really hopeful with him!
Oscar is doing GREAT!!! We had a lesson about diezmo (tithing) and he said, ¨I was just thinking about that this last week... how do I pay it again? I´ll go ahead and talk to the Bishop on Sunday if that´s ok...¨ He also told us that he read the Principios del Evangelio (Gospel Principles) TWICE already and I asked him to start the Book of Mormon. ¨But I´m already halfway through, Hermana!¨ WOW. I love Oscar - he has changed my life just by his example and sweet Spirit.
Hermana Freeman is GREAT! She is so organized, so chill - probably the easiest roommate I´ve had yet, and she is just as obsessed with chocolate as I am! :) I am learning more from her than she is from me - and I´ve felt more help from the Lord with Spanish, with teaching, with comprometering (how do you say that in English?), and just with everything. I´ve still been pretty stressed, but we take it one step at a time and I´ve learned to just let a lot of things go that don´t matter, and just not let the stress get to me as badly. I have great leaders who help and support and our Lider Misional is stepping up a TON! I feel very, very blessed.
I LOVE being a missionary! I LOVE the principles, truths, doctrines, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ. I just read D & C 20 when the Lord, through his prophet Joseph Smith, organized the church on the earth - and it gives the first 3 lessons in a few verses. It´s so simple and so important - come unto Christ and be perfected in HIM! I am trying my best to help others do so.
I love you ALL and think of you often!!!!!!
HUGS HUGS HUGS!
¡Ánimo y adelante!