|Elder Allen and Elder Burke|
|Dinner- I killed a Duck and de-feathered it!!|
September 15, 2014 (week 3 in Argentina)
So for all of you to understand what the condition of the church is like here right now and to understand my joy for this week, I have to do a little story telling. So be prepared for a story.
So, there were over 200 members here in Resistencia, and there was almost a chapel built here for them, but for some reason it wasn’t built. (Remember- the chapel is in a small building right now). And, there was some fighting beforehand with the members, which led to a fall out of the members, which is sad. The first missionaries in our area, Fontana, didn’t really gain the total confidence of the members, but brought the number of 30 members to 40. Elder Allen and his companion brought that number up to 70. Elder Allen has been telling me that it has been hard for the members to change and do their home teaching. But, Elder Allen and I now are visiting these members and inactive members and we have been focused on letting them feel that they are loved and that they have a purpose in helping us with the branch (congregation). We have felt the spirit when we have taught these members, and they in turn have felt their duty once again to help others. It’s truly amazing! They are doing their home teaching and helping and visiting the less active members. They are befriending the people we are asking them to befriend! Success! We have learned the importance of members. They are there forever when we can’t be there. Not to mention, they feed us like crazy! Sweet!
So, this week Elder Allen told me how hard Resistencia is. And it is. People don’t want to talk to you and it is hard to keep people committed to baptism because they can’t overcome obstacles and other problems. He showed me the numbers of how many people he was able to teach in a week. The highest was 8.... We taught 21 people this week and it was all the spirit! We would be walking and talking and pass a house and for some reason I felt like clapping it, or Elder Allen felt it, or both! We even met people that hated our guts and didn’t want to talk to us and we both felt like talking to that person. The Holy Ghost helps us to find those who need it. Elder Allen has been here (in Fontana), for 4 months and hasn’t had a baptism yet, but we have 5 that we believe will be baptized because they felt the spirit! We have been teaching Mercedes and she has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying and says she hasn’t felt an answer- whether this is the true church. We showed her Galatians where it says what the Spirit feels like. I bore testimony that the Holy Ghost is real, that it testifies and confirms truth and helps us find our way through this life. I said that I felt it and that I believe she is feeling it now as well. She said that now that she knows what it feels like, she recognizes that she’s been feeling it this whole time! Capo!
Another awesome story, I killed a duck and de-feathered it! It made me appreciate the creation of the world and life. Under the direction of the Father, Christ made the earth and every living thing there in. I appreciate the need to respect life and to not just take everything for granted. A lot of people here beat the dogs on the street. They whip their horses without mercy, there is trash everywhere and no one cares. Truly, I am saddened by how they don’t appreciate just how beautiful this world is. Whenever I enter a member’s home or someone who understands this principle, they are living happier lives.
The lessons I have learned are that members are just as important as investigators. If you have a missionary visit you or are a missionary, understand this: missionaries should share something spiritual and come closer with the ward, more than just using them to befriend new investigators. Love them as much as you should love everyone else. If you are just being asked for references by the elders, tell them that they should be sharing something spiritual with you before they are on their way. If you are a missionary, help the members to feel the spirit and help them remember just how important they are to our Heavenly Father, like every person on the earth is.
I have learned to love first and ask questions later. Don’t hate someone you don’t know and just always show love in everything you do. Love works miracles.
As always, I love all of you and enjoy reading about your lives. Make sure you’re praying, reading the scriptures, and going to church and eating your vegetables!
|First Area- Fontana|
|I'm a little tall for the buses|
|Yum! Rice and Strawberries|
|Elder Allen, Elder Correa, Elder Burke, Sebastian and Alsitus|