Sunday, January 21, 2018

Powerful Prayers and Wedding Crashers

This week we helped a couple more people come unto Christ and we had some fun along the way. So, you can say it was a good week.  Also, on Saturday, it was cloudy the entire day and that was a blessing.
As I think about it, a theme for our week could be the wonderful power of prayer in our work.  We were able to find some more people to teach, which is always a blessing, and the first thing we always do with new investigators is invite them to pray about our message.  Usually, they are embarrassed to pray in front of people or they don’t know how to pray but this week, we had some great experiences with our new investigators as they truly prayed. One woman had just had her appendix removed and she wasn’t in the best shape.  She said such a powerful prayer where she asked for strength to keep going, and then she asked, in the spirit of prayer, if Joseph Smith truly was a Prophet of God who was called to restore the Church of Jesus Christ here on the earth.  It was such a cool moment to see this woman say such a powerful prayer in front of her two children.  Two additional investigators prayed, asking about the truthfulness of the gospel, and their prayers were so powerful because it was obvious they were praying from their hearts.
Lately, we’ve been working with the Miranda Family, who is a family with seven children.  We met their two boys in the street and they have problems with drugs and alcohol but, the other day, they invited us to their house. To be honest, I was a little scared to go with them but as soon as we entered their home, we were treated like kings. During our lessons, there are always about ten people present and they all pay attention to us.  Recently as part of a lesson, the entire family set some goals for 2018 and one of their goals is to help the brothers get rid of their substance abuse.  If they do, they will progress along with the rest of the Mirandas.
This week during our lunch appointment with the Bishop, he called on me to bless the food and he always struggles with my name so he just said, “Elder Freak will you please bless the food?” LOL!  Elder Hobbs and I were dying of laughter!  Then, later in the week we were walking down the street with our sunglasses on, and a man stopped us in the street and asked us, “Are you two the Men in Black?” LOL! Once again, we were dying of laughter.
On Saturday night, one of the members in our ward got married and they had a reception in their backyard and since we helped them prepare for their marriage, they invited us to the reception.  We decided to pass by at the end of our night to say, “Hi” and score some food and piece of cake, just like regular wedding crashers.  LOL! But, we learned that Argentine weddings go on forever, literally until 5 or 6 the next morning.  So, we were able to stop by and say, “Hi” and grab a picture with the bride and groom but we left soon after because the food wasn’t served until midnight.  So, we took an L for the night because all we wanted was a bite to eat and maybe a quick song on the dance floor. But, it’s all good!

Have a great week! 

Elder Roderick

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Will You Be a Witness?


Participants of the Leadership Conference in Mendoza 
The first week of 2018 is in the books! I started this week in Mendoza participating in our monthly leadership conference where we talked about the goals of the mission and some changes we want to make.  On Monday night on our way to the conference, my bus arrived very late and we didn’t get into the mission offices until 1 in the morning so that was kind of sketchy!  Haha!

            We had another good week here in Sucre.  It seemed like everyone had a little bit of a Holiday Hangover because the streets were a little more vacant than usual.  Even so, we had a fun week. We had a blast during the holidays, but it was nice to settle down and have a full week of work.

            Right now, we are working a lot with Matias and Dalma to prepare them for their baptism which is next Saturday.  I truly think they might be the best investigators I’ve ever had.  They just love our lessons and can’t seem to get enough information from us.  They are both so smart so, it’s very easy to teach them because they understand literally everything we teach and we can go deep into every principle of the gospel. It’s truly a miracle that the Lord put them in our path because they are so prepared and they are progressing so quickly.  On Tuesday we got a text from them asking us if we have Argentine identification cards, which was a confusing question.  So, I called them and they explained that they have plans to get married next Friday and they want us to be the witnesses!  I just added another thing to check off my Bucket List. LOL!

            I went on an exchange with one of my good homies, Elder Cerque, from Guatemala. We’ve been in the same district or zone three times, so he’s like the companion I never had.  LOL! We had a good time together and he only has a few months left in his mission, so it was nice to learn from one of the veterans here in the field. Something crazy always happens during exchanges and this time, while we were teaching one of our investigators who is a 65- year old woman, we were just beginning our discussion with her and asking her how she was doing and out of nowhere she kind of blew up on us.  She had some bad things happen during the holidays and I think she was just waiting for us so she could unload.  We were so confused because this dear woman had always been so nice and receptive and then out of nowhere she just blew up.  It was a crazy experience!
We were so sad to hear about the Prophet. He was legend! Receiving news like that in the mission field is kind of weird and hard to believe because we’re so removed from the world.  I’m sure going to miss that man! I will never forget that his last words to us included his council to read the Book of Mormon and his testimony of the importance of it.  He left us with a principle that is so simple, yet it can help us every day!

Con Amor,

Elder Roderick

Thursday, January 4, 2018

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

¡Feliz Año Nuevo! 2017 truly was an unforgettable year. I spent a full year in Argentina, engaged in missionary work, just trying to help a few people come unto Christ. Yes, 2017 will not be forgotten.
In Argentina, New Year’s Eve is actually one of the biggest nights of the year. People literally go crazy all night long and into the next morning and at midnight there are the most amazing fireworks.  Legit, it felt like we were in a war zone when the fireworks went off. My companion and I spent the night with the Sisters and the ward mission leader’s family. We at empanadas and pizza until 11 and then at midnight we drank mate to welcome in the new year. We did all of this in our cozy pench while people were going crazy outside.
               During our proselyting this week, we took advantage of the new year by approaching people and explaining to them that our purpose is to help them make some minor changes in their lives so they can have a better relationship with God in 2018 and actually, our approach worked really well. By grabbing people’s attention, we were able to enter into a lot more homes and teach. We shared the story of Alma the Younger to show people the example of someone who changes and is born again. The new year also provided us with an opportunity to talk with all of the members and our investigators about their goals and resolutions for 2018.  We were able to help them make goals such as going to the temple and creating daily habits of prayer and scripture study. 2018 is going to be a year to remember!
A few weeks ago, while we were sharing the Christmas initiative with people, we met Christina. Christina told us that the only reason she opened the door for us was that when she saw us, we reminded her of her son who had died in an accident a few years ago. She also told us about her daughter-in-law who is very sick in the hospital and needs our help. Due to Christina’s circumstances, we were able to gain her confidence very quickly.  With her, we shared a lesson about the Plan of Salvation and it truly was one of the most spiritual lessons I’ve participated in. The best part about teaching Christina is that she always has family members in her house.  So, when we teach her, there are always about ten people present and it’s a blast! I’m excited to see the progress Christina can make this year.
On Sunday, Matias and Dalma were able to come to church and it was awesome.  They stayed for all three hours and they said they had an awesome experience. They made some new friends and when we showed them the baptismal font, Matias wanted to get dunked right then! They are progressing so well and we always have the greatest lessons with them.  We are just waiting for that “ring on the finger” and then they’ll be baptized right away!
I hope that everyone has their goals set for 2018 and that all of your wishes come true!  My “Black Year” has officially ended and I can say that I’ll sleep in my own bed in 2018. Haha!

Have a great week! 

Elder Roderick

And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all
nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God,
changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being
redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; And thus they become new creatures;
 and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.

Mosiah 27: 25-26