this week, like with all weeks, was full of its ups and downs. More ups than downs.
We had zone conference Thursday. Pres Levrino has a reputation for really harsh, direct conferences, calling us all out for performance and things we can improve. I was surprised by the tone of the conference and not once did it feel like he was reprimanding. It was very humble, yet powerful. The theme: urgency.
We're striving to integrate ourselves much more with the members, changing the culture of "missionary work" from members helping missionaries to missionaries helping members. Well, we can't make any of the members do anything, but he gave some great council on how to excite all, in the name of "hastening the work." He said the missionaries need to have fire in their eyes. It doesn't matter what we say or how demanding we are with the members, we need to be fully committed to the work and more than that, really AMPED to save souls.
Other than that, he spent a lot of time talking about the quality of teaching (teaching for understanding) and talking to everyone. The whole conference was inspired by a visit from Elder Ballard last week. My own personal conclusion: Elder Ballard's dying words for the missionaries will be: "hablar con todos (talk to everyone)." Easy to do for a couple of days (I'm almost out of pages in my planner for more addresses of people we've contacted, the majority being in this last week alone), much harder to maintain. I'll do it though.
I'll fill ya'll in on the ever present investigators Lila, Aldana, and Rocio.
Lila came to church at 9 am (a miracle for any Argentine non member). She was half asleep until Sac Meeting, but I think she had a great experience. We had lunch with her and the Flores family (old bishop, super nice). It was kinda (really) awkward though, with Hna Flores trying to make small talk that turned into a sly disagreement about sexual freedom (keep in mind this is the 69 year old widow who has a weekend boyfriend). We'll see with her. The truth is we're just praying hard for a change of heart like she's showed before.
Aldana came to church for the 3rd time. We taught the law of chastity I think 4 times this week and each time she made a little progress. At first she said "no, that's wierd," then "maybe, Ill talk to my boyfriend," then "waiting for his answer" to finally "he said he'll support me, but I still don't know. I'll tel you tomorrow." Tomorrow is today so we'll see tonight. The thing with her that has been rare in my experience is that I can see an evident conversion process. Many people get baptized here for who knows what reason and the missionaries dont question it because we're really pressured to baptize anyone that meets the interview. Not that its a bad thing, just that its cool to see someone evidently change their life in the weeks that they meet with us.
Finally Rocio. We had an impromtu fast with her Wed night (we fasted awkwardly during the big ZC lunch) to Thurs night to help her quit smoking. I was actually really surprised that she did it, but all was well. Unfortunatley, she's been with her mom since Friday and didn'0t come back for church even tho she said she would. Also, her sister said she saw her smoking. Not really sure what'll happen but we'll see.
As for me, 2 weeks left in Limache. It's been good, but tough. Getting excited to see another province, although it sounds like weather and foodwise, they're all downgrades.
I have another package waiting now - I'm assuming its your second one with sunscreen etc.
Just wanna let you know I'm always thinking of you and praying for you. I love picturing Lincoln playing or watching football.
I havent read anything yet because we're both writing now. We have Marcelo, a member who's leaving for Brazil in 6 weeks. He says hi (speaks english). Let me know if there's any business to take care of.
Do your duty to love all those around you. Pray for and look for chances to serve. Be an example in word and in deed. Never forget your divine potential and calling as a child of God.
Shout out to those who wrote to me this week. Thank you!
PS - Can you find emails for Kris Koerper and Dix Densley (those dope missionaries in our ward some years back)?
PPS - I'll found out where I'm going at district asado today!!!