Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Week 10: Faith, Determination, and Passion

Hello to everyone!

I'm really loving it here in Argentina, I'm just about finished with my first transfer! Crazy! We'll find out Saturday who's getting transferred and stuff, but odds are I won't change because I'm in training, So Elder Tolentino and I should be together for at least one more transfer! 

Elder Tolentino and I have been working really hard, it's been a little different this past week, we had our Capilla abierta on Saturday and Elder Tolentino I'm dressed in all white, because we talked about Baptism, and in the church we baptize in white. And I hope you can see me, in the middle, smiling as usual! 
The Capilla abierta- I am in the middle, in white with the "smile!"
But anyways, it was a very different activity. We had all of the missionaries in our zone come and we did like a white out? I don't know how to translate it into English, but  we had the missionaries go out all over our ward, and search for different less active members. Then later in the day we had kind of a tour of the church building, where we talked about different things and beliefs that we have in the church. It started out a good day. We put a ton of work into making the maps and stuff for the other missionaries to go out and work in our area, and it was a little discouraging the results, because we didn't get as many references and not as many of the less actives came as we wanted to. But it was great. We had some fun and I learned a lot.

Also, there are a few Elders and Hermanas going home next week, crazy! I've been thinking a lot about how fast the time goes. Honestly it flies by. And I've been talking to a few of the missionaries who have been out for a while now and asked them if they have any advice/ any things that they regret that they wish they had done that I should do. And several of them said that I should work all of the time. I've been told several times that if you are working the time flies by, and if the time feels like it is going slow, then you must not be working hard enough and need to rethink how you are working. So I've been trying to think about that more often, trying to work all of the time. Not that I want the time to go fast, because I love it here! But because I want to work as hard as I can, and I learn so much more when I'm working. 

Yesterday, we had an amazing Zone Meeting. One of our Zone leaders, Elder Tolentino and I live right next to the Zone leaders (if you don't remember). They are both really amazing missionaries. Since I am in training, Elder Tolentino is my papi, and I am his hijo, and then I kind of think of the Zone Leaders like my tios (uncles). They've taught me so much as well as Elder Tolentino, about working hard and how I can progress everyday, and how I shouldn't be afraid of anything on the mission. But anyways, one of them was talking, and he said there are 3 things that we should have in the mission. Faith, Determination, and Passion. And he talked to us about passion, how we need to not only share the Gospel and share our testimonies, but we need to, as well, share how much it means to us, not just say words, but as you say them. If what you are saying is really true, people can really tell that it means something and the spirit will be even stronger. 

We had one of my favorite lessons this week, with a family. The daughters are both baptized, but both are inactive now. So we've been working a little bit with them, and also their mother. But we we're talking the other day, and we invited the daughters to go back to church. They both starting saying "I don't want to go to your church, I actually don't want to go to any church" And we tried to explain a few things, but the girls kept saying that and then their mom started getting a little frustrated with us and started questioning "why are you even here? They've already heard all the other Elders before, and they just said they don't want to go. I don't want to go to your church" And the mother was rambling a little bit, I didn't understand quite all of it, but She said she didn't want to go to our church about 5 times. So we were sitting there and I was thinking, what can we do? I was a little panicked at this point, because I know how much they will be blessed if they do return to the church. Elder Tolentino decided to promise them if they go to the church this Sunday they will receive an answer that this is the true church, and then the mother started saying we don't want to go. Then a question popped into my head. And I asked the mother "You've said about 5 times that you don't want to go to our church, you said that about 15 minutes ago, so what I'm wondering is... What do you want??" and then Elder Tolentino had to clarify a little bit of my broken Spanish, and he said "My companion wants to know, what do you want in your life?" And she sat there for a second, and was very quiet. And then I started to talk about how we, as missionaries, leave our families for 2 years. And it's just like us leaving our Heavenly Father. And the goal for all of us is to return and live with him once again. And we explained a little bit about the Plan of Salvation. And the Spirit was so strong and it was amazing. And then at the end of the lesson, we said a prayer, and we are getting up to leave and the Mother asks "So when can you come back?" YES! We were so happy after that lesson, the Spirit really does work wonders.

My birthday happened this week, yes I am now 19. And yes, I didn't do anything to special. We spent all day Monday at a Capilla Abierta for another area, in Ponte Vedra. They gave me a sweet mug that says Argentina and Buenos Aires on it though. And when we returned to the pension that night, I decided to reward myself and eat 19 birthday crackers! And Elder Tolentino gave me a mini muffin. So yeah, that was my birthday.

This week has been really great, we got to go to the temple too! It was amazing, I've learned so much. Until Monday!

-Elder Slack

Smoothies are the best!!
Cleaning the pension
Birthday fun!

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