Monday, January 2, 2017

Week 63: The Triangle

Hey hey hey! We're back! It's been another amazing week here in Argentina, enjoying the HOT and HUMID summer weather. I hope all of you enjoyed your new years celebrations and are enjoying the weather wherever you may be. 

It's been a really great week to be honest, this week we were in an area that's called El Triangulo, which, if you can use your mental translators (this be word?) means The Triangle. Yup we were in The Triangle this week!! Whoo!!

It was pretty awesome, we were with 2 really great elders, Elder Pontelli from Southern Argentina and Elder Wilson from Syracuse Utah! El Triangulo is a place that's called a villa (vee-sha) here, like some of my other areas, but this one's one of the more dangerous ones, but thankfully we are always protected by God. It's always so humbling to see some of the circumstances where some of these people live, it's hard to believe sometimes, but I know that I'm here to help them, that God can bless them and their families forever. It makes me so happy to be able to serve such incredible people. I just loved working in El Triangulo this week, we were able to teach a ton of lessons, and I just loved being able to testify and teach about how Jesus Christ can change their lives.

I've been learning a ton about how we can teach repentance to the people. I've learned so much that all of life is dependant on our agency, or the choices that we make. We all have the ability to make decisions, and the decisions that we make are what will determine the consequences. I've been thinking a lot lately about something that my mom taught me and my brothers and sister when we were little. I think I was about 10 years old we were having family home evening one night. My mom was teaching us about agency and then she took out a popsicle stick, we all looked at it and we could see that it had some little words written on it. My mom placed it carefully on the table and then she explained that we were going to all play a game! On one end of the popsicle stick was written neatly Decision and on the other end of the same face was written Consequence. She told us to try and lift up the side that said Decision without moving or lifting up the side that said Consequence. At first it seemed pretty simple, I mean, who can't lift up a popsicle stick? But as we all tried one by one we began to realize that our mom was cheating! This was a game that you couldn't win! I was so determined to be able to do it I tried smashing down on one side and lifting up the other side but it always moved! Well in that time my mom explained to us that that's the way that life works, we all have our agency, we can all take whatever decision that we want, but we always have to remember that on the end of every decision is tied a consequence, that as we act and use our agency to do and to change, that we needed to always remember the consequence that will come with our actions. God will never force us to make a decision, we are completely free to do whatever it is that we want, but the consequences have already been determined and it's most likely that they are not going to change.

Well, how does all of that apply to repentance? Well, what the people need to do is act. We all act and make decisions everyday, but now, which ones are the right ones? Which decisions will lead us to the best consequences? Well, I've been reading the Book of Mormon a lot lately so I'd thought I'd share with you guys one of my favorite scriptures:

And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you. (Mosiah 2:22) 

That was the very first scripture that I used when I taught my very first lesson here in Argentina. Like it says, that when we choose to follow God, he promises that we will prosper, it doesn't matter where we are at or who we are, if we keep his commandments and we are obedient, everything is going to be alright. 

We are all sinners, it's super hard to be 100% obedient to all of God's commandments, only one person on this earth has done it, and he was the best person to ever live on this earth. Jesus Christ, he came and not only did he live perfectly, but he then suffered for our sins and died for us. Because he did that.. he made and exception to the rule, there is one way that we can lift up the decision and then leave the consequence behind us. When we do something wrong, when we mess up, if we go to God and ask for his forgiveness, he can forgive us. Simply, all we need to do is go and ask for his forgiveness and truly change the things that we are doing. When we repent, Christ erases the consequences of our actions. 

Anyways, so what do we do? Well we focus all of our teachings that the person can act, that the person can change, that the person can repent. Because I know that what is says in Mosiah is true, I know that if we keep the commandments we will prosper I have seen it and lived it and I love it. So I invite all of you to think about your lives, think about the decisions that you are making. Remember the consequences that you will receive, and think what does God want you to do. If you don't know, read the Book of Mormon and pray, there is where you will find the answer. Read it, just do it!

I love you all! Sorry for the long letter this week! New years was great! We didn't do a whole lot like on Christmas, I just cooked a bunch of pancakes and we watched the fireworks and we enjoyed talking a little bit. It's a new year! 2017! WOW! Time is flying, this year I'm going home! WHAT?! So crazy! Love you all! Until next week! Chau!

-Elder Slack

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