I´ll start with our investigators:
Victoria - gonna baptize her Saturday. Golden investigator. Reading the LdM (Libre de Mormon) on her own (randomly chose Jacob 5 as her first chapter ever hahahah). Super prepared.
Emmanuel - 15 year old kid who is super friendly and willing to act, at least it seems. He was on a fast track for the 9th of Nov until we saw him smoking something a little stronger than your average cigarette on Sat. He´s been hiding from us ever since and didn´t come to church yesterday. Pray for him. We´re gonna find him and help him, but we need all the help we can get!
Maxi - Boss. Hog. Got out of jail 3 weeks ago and is practically jumping into the waters of baptism. Problem is he works basically 10000 hours a week and we didn´t find him this week until Saturday, just randomly walking on the street. Nov. 16 is his date. Super willing and shows a lot of faith. Maybe not the most educated in the world and I wonder at times if he understands what we´re teaching him.
These are our big three. Now brief story time. We received a reference and went and clapped this family's door at 9pm (1/2 hour before we call it a night - side note, our schedule is 30 minutes later than the standard missionary 6:30-10:30 because the culture here is one of laziness. Everyone lives like a teenager - stay up all night, sleep in, take a 2 hour nap in the afternoon. Best part, we missionaries still have to get up early and don´t get to nap). Anyway, someone opened the door and motioned to us to wait, so we did. 5 minutes pass and I give another super strong clap. Out walks a 40 or so year old man with his 1 year old son walking in one of those circular baby things (walker) behind him. Seems normal until he pulls out a 10 inch David Bowie hunting knife and starts to unsheath it. "Se va" he says (Directly translated - you leave. What he really meant - get lost before I stab you). Honestly, I was pretty scared, and then pretty embarrassed afterwards. My initial reaction was just to walk away, and I started to back away. My comp, however, asked him if we could share a message about Jesus Christ. "se VA." As I walked away, I regretted not standing stronger. I´m a servant and representative of Jesus Christ. Faith and fear cannot coexist. I wish I would have told him "no va a hacer nada. Sabemos que usted es un hijo de Dios, y estamos aqui a ayudarle a vivir con su Papá otra vez." Well, I didn´t. Lesson learned. Authority comes with the calling, but power comes with faith. Watch. It´s coming.
S/o to Rory for the email. Keep doing your thing. Love hearing from you.
Everyone else that I haven't been able to write back, I'm thinking about you and your letters are MUCH appreciated.
Also s/o to Jesse Dimick for everything. You rock.
My message for this week comes from 1 Nephi 16, (Book of Mormon) and comes from an intense study I have commenced to help me reconcile and pack away thoughts and yearning for you all, my home land. I encourage ALL to read this chapter. Basically, the conclusion I reached (surface level) is that we all must enter our own personal "wildernesses" in order to really grow and progress. This takes many forms, mine being the mission. Don´t get me wrong, I love this work. But I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't be more comfortable in the good old USA . Nephi and his family embark into the literal wilderness. It sucks. In the wilderness, we have 2 choices. Good attitude or bad attitude. Attitude is altitude. Because you know what? It´s almost certainly gonna get worse before it gets better. Adversity is inevitable. For Nephi, it was a broken bow. and thus now way to feed his family. Right now for me, its the knowledge that my brother and best friend is suffering. Literally, ACL surgery is the most pain I've ever experienced. But the benefit of a good attitude, coupled with the lesson of Nephi's eventual victory, is that with the help of our Father in Heaven, our wilderness will be bearable, and the result of having endured: indescribable joy. That's what I'm working for right now. Literally, it's to bring this knowledge and assurance to the people of Limache, Salta, Argentina. Long term, I'm working towards that day in 2 years when I see ya'll again, and 3 years when I see 52 again. "There must needs be opposition in all things." If we don't know pain and discomfort, how can we recognize bliss?
Now for some logistics:
P-day (preparation day - every Monday) is a literal renewal of motivation and energy. To be able to hear about how things are in my other life is incredibly satisfying.
I'm gonna buy sunscreen, but its way expensive. Might need some more money later.
Could you email me some family pictures?
Also, could you try hard to find some different pictures/paintings of Isaac and Abraham at the alter and email them to me?
Please specify to everyone that I print my emails and read them throughout the day before I write!! Don´t hold back. Email is the fastest and easiest way to communicate!!!
I'll send you a list of stuff I'd like in a package next week.
Wall next to my bed with dope quote and my boys. Family pics are bookmarks in my scrips :)
Keep the Faith
Julia here: Here's the quote from the pic. Jeffrey R. Holland is one of our church leaders (one of our 12 Apostles, to be more precise). He gives the MOST amazing talks. Look him up on youtube or your favorite search engine. It will be worth your time!) :
“The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead; we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future.”
― Jeffrey R. Holland, Created for Greater Things