Thursday, October 19, 2017

On the Lord's Team


This week we found out that San Juan is full of witches and witchcraft.  Literally, five different people told us stories about witches. To be honest, it freaked me out a little bit. One man approached us on the street and he was in a panic.  He told us that his ex-wife had put a witch on him.  So, he asked us for a blessing to help him feel better. Fortunately, we didn’t have any personal experiences with witches, but pray for us anyway.
We actually had a really good week of work.  We walked and taught a ton so that made it good week. We are working with the Murua Family and we’ve seen some really cool things happen with them.  They are a very Christ-like family and they’re always looking for ways to help others. Their recent project is a foundation to provide food for kids who don’t get fed enough at their own home. They had everything ready to start feeding kids, except for a place to make and serve the food.  They’d been looking for weeks and hadn’t had much luck.  Then, one day after a lesson, they received a call about a property that was ready for them to buy and the next day they had the keys. Then, this week we passed by their house to give a blessing to their grandpa and they told us they were struggling with the government and having difficulty getting a donation to buy more food. So, we show up and out of nowhere, the husband enters the house with 11,000 pesos in his hand! Literally, it was a miracle! Now they think that every time we pass by, something wonderful is going to happen. Our experiences with this family have actually been really cool because we haven’t really done anything different than we usually do. But lately, they have been really blessed.
 This week we also taught Karen a couple of times. She’s made such great progress but it’s tough for her to continue to progress because her boyfriend is addicted to drugs and alcohol, which of course, affects her too. While working with her, I’ve realized how much a person’s decisions and actions can affect others. It’s hard to watch Karen try to make correct choices and make progress as an investigator only to be brought back down again by her boyfriend. 
Also this week, we were lucky enough to find three more great families to teach and they all happen to live on the same block. The best part about serving in Villa Krause is that there are so many families and people who let us into their homes.
This week I thought about how fortunate I am to be serving a mission. I am so grateful that God trusts me to teach some of His children.  Serving a mission is not easy and we get rejected a lot more than we get accepted but it truly is such a blessing to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands. I don’t know what I did to be so lucky to have the opportunity to serve a mission and to have so much support from home to push me along. I feel so grateful to be a part of the Lord’s team. Every day is a humbling experience and an opportunity to realize how blessed I truly am.

Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast 
of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; 
yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, 
for which we will praise his name forever.
Alma 26:12

Elder Roderick

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Wicked Zonda

After this week, I can say that I’m an official witness of the famous Zonda here in San Juan.  On Wednesday morning, we left our pench at our usual time of 11 a.m. to go to an appointment and when we went outside, it was crazy. The wind was blowing insanely fast and it blew some trees over but the thing that was most unusual was that the wind was legit, hot! San Juan is a big desert so, the wind carried a lot of dust with it as well. I didn’t really think that Zonda was that big of deal but now I understand why it is so renowned. On Wednesday, we weren’t allowed to leave the pench because of the Zonda. So, this gave us a good chance to catch up on some sleep.  Haha!

           I started off the week on exchanges in one of neighboring wards, in Libano and I was with Elder Gomez from Ecuador. (Another country to check of my list. Haha!) The best part of the Libano area is that there is a member who owns a gym that is close to the pench, so he lets the missionaries enter for free.  So, I hit up an actual gym for the first time in fourteen months and it felt soooo good, to be honest. But, on Wednesday morning, I felt it!  I don’t think I’ve ever been more sore.  Haha! It was a good thing we were closed in the pench all day so I could rest a little bit.

             To be honest, we didn’t have the most successful week but we taught a ton of lessons and worked a lot with the members to get them more interested in missionary work. In every planned appointment this week, we had a member present.  So, that was awesome. Overall, the people here in San Juan are pretty receptive. They will listen to us and they like our message but getting them to come to church on Sunday is always a challenge.  So, we have been trying to help our investigators gain friendships and confidence in the members so they will come to church with them on Sunday.
            The most promising investigators we have right now are the Agüero Family, the young couple who just got married.  They are a young family with four kids under the age of five. So, it’s always entertaining to go to their house.  It’s amazing to see the blessings this family has received as they have accepted the Restored Gospel.  One of the things I have realized lately is that the best way to solve problems is to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We must put our confidence and faith in Christ and believe that if we obey His commandments, He will do His part and help us.  That’s what we’ve seen with this family and it has been such a testimony builder for me.  They have started to do the little things 
such as pray and read their scriptures and now they are receiving many blessings!
Have a great week!

Elder Roderick #themishisdope

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Making Progress

It was another great week down here in the ARG, preaching the good word and trying to help a couple more people.
Due to transfers on Monday, P-Day on Tuesday and General Conference over the weekend, we had a short week.  We basically only had three days to work so we had to take advantage of them. 
A couple of days ago our bishop gave us a ward directory that included all of the members.  So, we were able to identify those who are less active and we spent a large amount of the week looking for these families as well as those families who are part-member.  Let’s just say that our efforts to track them down didn’t work out too well.  We basically just ran around the town trying to find out where all of these people live.  We never got truly lost but we were all over the map.  Since we have double the area to cover, you could say we walked a little bit!  Ha ha!  Our attendance in Sacrament Meeting has been a little low lately so, we are trying to boost our attendance by looking for some less-active families to give the ward a little boost.
Probably one of the best things that happened this week occurred when we received a text from the Agüero Family, a family of investigators who we’ve been working with (and we actually thought about dropping them a few weeks because they didn’t seem to be making any progress).  But, they came to church a few weeks ago and then on Thursday, they sent us a text that said they got married so they could be baptized!! We received the text and looked at each other like we couldn’t believe it.  It was such a great feeling to see this family take a huge leap of faith and agree to make a covenant with God!  We are beyond pumped for them!!
The other good thing that happened this week was a less-active member found us on the street and asked us to visit her and her family.  So, we went by her home and her entire family was there.  We found out that nearly half of the family isn’t a member so, we were excited about this new connection.  During our visit, the Hermana told us about some of the difficult things their family has been through and she asked us to help them put their lives back in place so they can come back to church.  This experience was pretty humbling because we had just met this Hermana and she put complete trust in us to help her put her life back where it should be.
General Conference was such a blessing as well.  It’s like a holiday for the missionaries because we get to relax and just receive some inspiration from the leaders of the Church.  In Argentina, on Sunday, the majority of the members go to the Stake Center to watch Conference.  Then, during the break everyone has a little picnic.  So, we took advantage of that and had a picnic with all of the members and our President Panzacchi.  It was awesome and I think I’m going to start the same tradition in Utah when I get back.
I really enjoyed this Conference and I especially loved the talks about humility, Russel M. Nelson’s talk about the Book of Mormon and Stephen W. Owen’s talk about repentance.  One thing he said that is cemented in my mind now is, “without repentance we can’t progress in life.” For me, the mission has been a process of repentance as I try to leave everything and do my best to follow the Lord and His example by helping His children.  Repentance, more than anything, is leaving behind bad thoughts, actions and words in order to follow Christ.  Being on a mission has been the best place for me to do these things because it’s legit what we do each day. We wake up early, go to bed early, study for hours, and spend every other minute of the day on the street, trying to help others come unto Christ.
Have a great week!

Elder Roderick