Saturday, February 17, 2018

Feelin' Pretty Good

¡Hola! Familia,                                                                                              

It was one of those weeks where on Sunday night, when we got back to our pench, we were dog-tired but satisfied with ourselves because we did some great work.
On Wednesday, we were knocking doors in the morning and we knocked on the door of a woman named Teresa.  Teresa has a 14-year-old kid and she has been suffering from depression for years. During our first chat on her patio she told us that she needs our help. So, we went back the next morning and she told us about some of the problems she’s been going through.  She had tried to attend other churches but she felt like none of them had “fulfilled her need.” So, we explained what we do as missionaries and we told her that the best way for her to “start over” is to be baptized and leave her old life and problems behind.  Then, we taught her to pray and ended our visit.  We went back to her house on Saturday morning and she looked like a completely different person; more awake and up to beat. We taught her about the Restoration and it went perfectly. She had read the pamphlet we left with her and she told us that she believes everything she’s read and heard from us because since we knocked on her door, she felt “something different” in her life.  Then, on Sunday she came to church and she fit right in with the Relief Society and in our Gospel Principles class.  We were fortunate to see this miracle with Teresa this week and we’re praying that everything continues to go well with her and she can continue to progress.

On Saturday, the Hermanas whom we share the ward with, had a baptism of man who lost his leg in an accident a few years ago.  Due to his disability, the baptism was little different.  One of the brethren in the Elders Quorum baptized him but I had the awesome opportunity to be the “helper” in the baptismal font.  It was an interesting experience and everything went really well, as we were able to get the man in and out of the font without any problems.  Not too many people have had an experience like that and I’m grateful that I was able to be a part of it.

During lunch on Friday, we got a call from one of our ward members who told us that his neighbor had family in town and these family members are members of the church and they want to introduce their family (the member’s neighbor) to the missionaries.  The funny thing is that these family members had just met for first time that day. They are cousins and the member, from Buenos Aries, had met his aunt before, but not his cousins.  So, this member meets his 33-year-old cousin for the first time and the first thing he wants to do is introduce him to the missionaries!? What a stud! So, after lunch, we hurried to the house and met this family and the member from Buenos Aries. It was one on the coolest appointments I’ve ever had. A golden family was just waiting for us! 

The member from Buenos Aries told us that he is going to take care of the family so they can get married quickly. (Of course, they’re not married!) He said, “Elders, you guys can just teach and leave the rest to me.” The family wasn’t able to attend church on Sunday so we went back to their house that night and when we arrived the wife said that when we knocked on her door, she felt a strong feeling of comfort because, even though they didn’t attend church, we had come to look for them. She said, “Other churches don’t do things like that.  You two are really something special.”  It was a pretty cool moment. I’m not going to lie.  We’re feelin' pretty good about our experience with this golden family.

And, to top off the week, Matias received the Priesthood on Sunday. So, in all, we’re doing pretty good down here in the ARG!   Have a great week!           Elder Roderick

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Getting Our Hands Dirty

Again, this week, we were able to get our hands dirty and provide some service. One member is building a pool in his backyard and he has done everything by hand including digging the hole and cementing & tiling the walls and floor. Legit! He has done it all. So, we helped him finish up the walls of the pool.  To be honest, I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into and we ended up helping him for six straight hours. But, it was all worth it because I was able to learn some new skills in construction and now I’ll be able to build myself a pool one day.  Haha!
            My first week with Elder Marin was a blast.  He’s been speaking Spanish and English his entire life. So, of course, he’s completely proficient in Spanish and no one believes he’s from the States, which is so funny.  We’ve been homies in the mish for a few months so it’s been fun to work together in a companionship.
P-Day in Paradise 
We are working a lot with Juan and Sandra and they are progressing so well.  In fact, they are making the changes necessary to enter into the waters of baptism. The only thing that’s preventing them from being baptized is the fact that they each need to finalize divorces from their previous marriages.  Once they do this, they can get married to each other and then baptized.  In Argentina, it takes about a year to complete the necessary paperwork to get divorced.  Or, if you want to get divorced in a few short days, it costs $800, which is a huge amount of money. I fear that if they have to wait for a year, their progress will stall. It’s frustrating to watch this process because Juan and Sandra are so ready to be baptized. I know, however, that eventually, everything will work out for them. 

          Matias and Dalma are also doing really well.  Now, Dalma brings her brother to church with her, which is so great because he was a Jehova’s Witness, like Dalma was, and he is just trying to learn more about the LDS faith.  He is actually so freaking smart and he always kills us with his deep questions. So, it’s been exciting to get to know him.  Matias should be receiving the Priesthood this week and we are very excited for this big step. As well, they brought us back some presents from Chile, where they went on their honeymoon!
This week I also went to Mendoza for a missionary leadership capacitation by President Panzacchi.  It was fun to be in Mendoza for a little bit and spend some time with some of my mission friends.  We always talk about the mission and how we can improve it, which is a theme we can always apply to our own lives as well.  So, keep grinding and look for little ways to improve each day.

Have a great week!
Argentina Mendoza Leadership Council 

Elder Roderick

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Elder Marin, Service & the Golden Couple


Another six weeks has come and gone so we had transfers again.  My boy, Elder Hobbs, left me and my new companion is Elder Marin.  He was born in California but his parents are Mexican so he’s known Spanish since he was a baby.  I’m sad to see Elder Hobbs go, but changes are always good.
The weeks after a baptism are always full of finding because we’re just trying to see who will be the next person to take a plunge in the water. LoL! We also did a good amount of service this week, which is always fun because it mixes things up. One day, we had planned to have a lesson with one of our investigators but when we arrived at her house she told us she wasn’t able to meet with us because she was busy cutting the grass and it was already getting dark (we hear every excuse in the books). So, without hesitating, we grabbed tools and went to work.  The member who was with us went to work too and in no time, we were able to teach her, as we had planned. This investigator is a single mom of two boys and she always has her hands full so it was nice to lend her a hand for a little while. She was so grateful for what we had done and we were able to gain her confidence. So, that was a rewarding experience.
Last week, we started teaching another golden couple, Juan and Sandra. Sandra has been Evangelical all of her life but when she was a child, she lived across the street from an LDS chapel. She always thought it was pretty and had a desire to enter it so she could get to know the religion. Juan went to an LDS service once, but never went back because he moved and his new house was far from the chapel.  They came to church this Sunday and fell in love with the people and the atmosphere. Now, we just need to get them married! This shouldn’t be too big of an obstacle, however, because I’m an expert with that!

Have a great week!

Elder Roderick