Argentina – Week 45

Querida Familia,
Siento que el tiempo está pasando más y más rápido todos los días, pero que más y más está pasando en cada día. Realmente siento que hay una urgencia por esta obra, y siento que tengo que dedicar el 1000000% de mi corazón, alma, mente, y fuerza a la obra, cada segundo. Estoy muy animado y tengo la vista puesta en la obra de salvación.
Bueno, en la semana pasaron tantas cosas que ni puedo recordar todo. El lunes, cuando recibí las noticias que me iba el miércoles a Mar del Plata, me puse triste que no había tenido un bautismo con me compañero, Elder Bates. Después me di cuenta que no tenía que ponerme triste, ¡solamente tenía que usar mi último día en Millamapu para BAUTIZAR! Salimos de nuestra casa en la mañana con la firme creencia y determinación y deseo de encontrar un milagro que podía bautizarse esa misma noche. Empezamos a contactar, predicando el evangelio de Jesucristo. Le invitamos a todos a bautizarse osadamente, hasta que nos encontramos con una mujer que era miembro de la iglesia. Nos dijo que se había bautizado hace 4 años con su hermana, pero que se habían mudado de la rama y recién volvieron, y que tenía un hermano de 12 años que no estaba bautizado. Fuimos corriendo a la casa donde nos señaló, y hablamos con la mamá de Diego. Nos dijo que quería que Diego se bautizara, y que él iba a llegar a las 4 de la escuela. Volvimos a las cuatro, ¡y Diego estaba animado y preparado para bautizarse! Se hizo la entrevista bautismal, nosotros llenamos la pila bautismal, arreglamos la ropa, llamamos todos los miembros, y todo estaba listo para el bautismo a las 8. Fuimos a buscarle a Diego y lamentablemente estaba desanimado porque su papá no le apoyaba y dijo que no se podía bautizar. Fuimos de vuelta a la iglesia, tipo 7:30, para encontrarnos con la familia Heiland; Erica, Celeste, y Dana. Vinieron para despedirme a mi porque me iba a ir, ¡pero Dana vio la pila llena y dijo que quería bautizarse! Otra vez, se hizo la entrevista, Erica dijo que no había problema, y todo estaba bien, pero al final Dana sintió presionada por su hermana y dijo que quería esperar. Al final, quizás no tuvimos un bautismo, ¡pero llegamos tan cerca! Aprendí muchas buenas lecciónes ese día, de que tenemos que tener urgencia por la obra de salvación, y que las metas claras que nos requieren un esfuerzo especial nos ayudan a trabajar mucho mas eficazmente y ver milagros y la mano de Dios en el trabajo que hacemos. También aprendí que Dios concede a los deseos de nuestro corazón. Nos faltó poco para haberle llevado a alguien a las aguas bautismales aquel día.
El miercoles, tuvimos la conferencia. Realmente sentí tan poderosamente que Dios está apresurando Su obra, y que hoy es el día en que nos prepararemos para él día que nos reunamos con nuestro Creador. Sé que Dios tiene su mano completamente metida en esta obra, y que milagros pasan. Voy a aplicar todo lo que aprendí junto con mi nuevo compañero Elder Chica en este mes y en toda la misión. Hablando de Elder Chica, él es un misionero excelente. Estoy tan animado para aprender de él, sabe muchísimo de la misión y tiene mucha experiencia. ¡También espero terminar mi tiempo con él hablando con un accento bien Colombiano, jaja! He sentido tanto la presencia del Espíritu Santo en esta semana, y hemos encontrado muchísimas personas y familias! Tenemos un bautismo este fin de semana, Isidro, quien es el amigo del bautismo de la semana pasada, Liliana. Hay muchísima potencial por crecimiento acá este barrio. ¡Estoy muy muy animado! ¡BAUTISMO!

Dearest Family,

I feel that time is passing faster and faster every day, but more and more is going on every day. I really feel there is urgency to this work, and I feel that I have to dedicate 1000000% of my heart, soul, mind, and strength to the work, every second. I am very super excited and have my sight fixed on the work of salvation.

Well, many things happened the week and I can´t even remember everything. On Monday, I received the news that I was leaving on Wednesday to Mar del Plata. I was sad that I had not had a baptism with my companion, Elder Bates. Then I realized that I had to quit being sad and BAPTIZE on my last day there! We left our house in the morning with the firm belief and determination and desire to find a miracle that could be baptized that night. We began to contact, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. We boldly invited everyone to be baptized until we found a woman who was a member of the church. She told us that she had been baptized four years ago with her sister, but they moved from the branch and just came back, and had a 12 year old brother who was not baptized. We ran to the house where she pointed us, and we talked with the mother of Diego. She said she wanted Diego to be baptized, and he was coming at 4 from school. We came back at four, and Diego was upbeat and ready to be baptized! Baptismal interview was done, we filled the baptismal font, arranged clothes, we called all the members, and everything was ready for baptism at 8 until we went to find Diego and sadly he was discouraged because his dad did not support him and said that he could not get baptized. We went back to the church around 7:30 to meet with the Heiland family; Erica Celeste and Dana. They came to say goodbye to me because I was going to go, but Dana saw the full baptismal font and said that she wanted to be baptized! Again, the interview was conducted, Erica said there was no problem and everything was fine, but in the end Dana felt pressured by her sister and said that she wanted to wait. In the end, maybe we didn´t have a baptism, but we got so close! I learned many good lessons that day, we have to have urgency in the work of salvation, and clear goals that require a special effort help us to work much more efficiently and see miracles and God’s hand in the work we do. I also learned that God grants the desires of our heart. We were just short of having someone enter the baptismal waters that day.

On Wednesday, we had a conference. I really felt so strongly that God is hastening His work, and today is the day that we will prepare for the day we meet with our Creator. I know God has his entire hand involved in this work, and that miracles happen. I will apply everything I learned with my new companion Elder Chica this month and throughout the mission. Speaking of Elder Chica, he is an excellent missionary. I am so excited to learn from him, he knows a lot about the mission and is very experienced. I also hope to finish my time with him talking with a good Colombian accent, haha​​! I have felt so many times the presence of the Holy Spirit in this week, and we have found many people and families! We have a baptism this weekend, Isidro, who is the friend of baptism last week, Liliana. There is so much potential here for growth this month. I´m so excited!

I love you all so much! I want you all to know that God lives and loves us, and we are all his children. Jesus Christ is His son, and he truly suffered the pains and sins of the entire history of the world, and because of his sacrifice, all mankind may be saved by obedience to laws and ordenances of His gospel. I know that God has called a prophet to guide us to Him, and that this church truly is the kingdom of God here on earth. I have seen it with my own eyes on my mission.

THANKS FOR THE PACKAGE FAMILY! I ate the Peanut butter M&Ms and Reeses pieces in a couple of seconds, and as soon as I have time i´ll be making the angel food cake. (:

Fotos:
Jorge Alvarango, from Necochea. We were teaching him and his wife and 2 daughters when I was in Necochea, but they needed a divorce and a marraige. They came to church and everything. When the bus stopped in Necochea on the way to Mar del Plata, he was there! He told me he´s still going to church, and that their papers are on the way so they will be getting married and getting baptized in a month or two more! He told me that Micaela is doing well as well, she´s preparing to serve a mission (first baptism in Argentina)
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My new companion Elder Chica and I (He´s from Colombia, AWESOME missionary! He finishes his mission in 2 months, so I´ll probably end up “killing” him)
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My new area, Monolito 1. The ward is HUGE, and the work is on fire here! We had 2 conformations on sunday, and there are about 100 members on sundays. First time in a long time that sunday services had the same feel as the services back home, now that I really understand everything and can speak normally and there´s a lot of very active members. Mar del Plata is a city much bigger that Bahía Blanca on the ocean, it´s famous for its beaches with seals (sea lions) and lots of cool attractions. It´s much much more humble than Millamapu, there´s a lot of interesting movement, but it´s awesome! Already love it!
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A bird in the tree outside our window in Millamapu, on my last sunrise in Bahía Blanca (for now)
La plaza Rivadavia (center plaza of downtown Bahía)
MY AWESOME NEW TIE! THANK YOU SO MUCH FAMILY! The package got here incredibly quickly, less than a month!
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