This week has been incredible! Although I was super sad to be leaving Bolívar and all the wonderful people I got to know there, including the members, investigators, my companion, etc., it´s been amazing to come back to Viedma! Although it´s only been 4 weeks since I left, there are so many awesome changes that have happened. A few highlights:
- Church was absolutely STUFFED on sunday with 70 of attendence, much more people than I have ever seen at church here. Theres a new missionary couple here, Spaniards who´ve lived in Australia for the past 40 years, super awesome converts to the church. This is their 7th mission, and in every mission they´ve made AT LEAST one stake. The futurue of Viedma is looking great! Among those who were at church were the Guaquimir family, Eva y Graciela, Macarena y Belen, the Villanueva family (Elder Tucker and I got to participate in the naming of Gicela´s new baby), Mirian, Alejandra, and many other wonderful faces. It was awesome to be there! The spirit was so strong, 3 confirmations, a baby blessing, and many wonderful testimonies.
- Awesome family home evenings with many part member families we´ve been teaching. It´s so good to see everyone again and see that everyone´s doing so well!
- Elder Tucker´s doing awesome, he´s grown so much as a missionary since I´ve known him, and I´m very grateful that he´s going to be my last companion. We´re best friends, and it was like coming back to see my brother again. I love teaching with him, too, we already know each other really well and have our teaching patterns down and the way we do the work.
- The gospel is AMAZING! As I was pulling in to Viedma in the bus, I finished the book of mormon again, this was the first time I read it from cover to cover in Spanish and actually understood (I had read it in the beginning of my mission but hadn´t understood much, haha). Although I´ve studied it a ton in these two years, it was so wonderful to read from cover to cover in a month´s time in Spanish and see the big picture again. I KNOW that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I would give my life in defense of the truth of that book, and I WILL give all my life in it´s defense and making sure as many people as possible know that it holds the words of LIFE. I especially felt the power of Moronis last invitation:
“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.”
That same invitation is mine for all of you. Come unto Christ, be perfected in Him. I know that this is God´s work. I have no doubts. I have seen His hand manifest on a daily basis, and feel His spirit as I read the scriptures, as I pray, as I partake of the Sacrament, and as I preach and testify of His gospel. I think next week I´ll have time to write as well, but if not, I leave you all with this: Being a missionary has been the best experience in my life. I could never express my gratitud to my Savior for allowing me to see the miracle of conversion, to be a first-hand witness of the work of salvation. I absolutely love it, and I will miss it dearly, but I know that it doesn´t stop here. Perhaps this train is coming into the station and I´ll have to get off, but there´s another train waiting for me. I´m so very grateful for the way I´ve changed in these two years, and for the way I´ve grown, and for what I now know. I know that God lives. I know that He loves all of His children. His plan is a plan of justice, and a plan of mercy. It is a perfect plan. His Son, Jesus the Christ, lives. He truly gave His life for us, and He took it up again. I know that His gospel has been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith, and that the Book of Mormon truly is the word of God. It is convincing evidence of the restoration of the Gospel. I love my Savior.
I love you all so much! Keep working hard, somebody needs you.
a few noches de hogar with Romina and family, Kedak family, and a funny sight in a hotel on our way to Romina´s. On Saturday Argentina played against Chile for the Copa America, and LOST! Everyone was so sad, they really don´t like chilenos here… haha