Saturday, August 12, 2017

YOU KNOW WHAT DAY IT IS? HUMP DAY!

Familia,                                                                                                                      
Since I hit my one year mark as missionary, this week was a big one. Just one year ago I made the crazy decision to leave my family, friends and home to come and serve the people of Argentina.  It has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my short life.  The things I’ve learned and experienced have been unforgettable. Time has flown by and it doesn’t feel like I’ve been gone for a year so, “Here’s to one more!”
            I started the week by strengthening my talent for cutting hair. On Monday, I went to town on my companion’s hair and then I ended up cutting my own as well.  It actually turned out pretty good. There’s nothing better than finding a way to save some extra money!
            This week I had the great opportunity to get better acquainted with President Panzacchi.  We had an interview together and as we were talking about how I’m doing on my mission, I could feel the love he has for me.  To be honest, I felt a little bit like an investigator because I could feel how much he cares and how much he wants me to succeed as a missionary and as a person. I’m really excited develop a strong relationship with President and learn all of the things he has in store for us.
            On Tuesday, we had an awesome lesson with Herman, who is twenty-one-years old. He has turned into one of the best investigators we have. I love teaching him because we are close in age and we have great chats about life and especially about how everything relates to God and religion.  Like the majority of Argentina, he is Catholic but he likes to listen to us. We had an awesome lesson with him where we were able to open his eyes a little bit about the Apostasy and the Restoration.  As we were teaching, it felt like we made a lot of things “click” in his head.
            On Wednesday, we had our Zone Conference and we talked about the power and authority of our sacred calling as missionaries. It’s kind of cool to think that, as missionaries and representatives of Jesus Christ, we are literally separated from the world. It made me realize how fortunate I am to have this sacred calling to serve as a missionary and serve God’s children.
            We also talked about the faith required to be successful. Last PDay, Dad sent me a talk that addressed our understanding that “faith is power.” Then, in my interview with President, he brought up the same phrase again and THEN, in Zone Conference we talked about “faith is power” again.  In the span of three days, I heard that phrase ten times. I felt like someone was trying to pound it into my head.  I came to the conclusion that our faith is something we need to strengthen every day.  We can’t just say we have faith and move on.  Every day is another opportunity to strengthen our faith and when we do that, we received help from God and that is power!
            This week we did some service and dug a huge hole.  It was about two yards deep and three yards in diameter. When we finished, we were legit dead.  We were dead the next day too but the best part about it was that the members who we served paid us back with a nice big asado and ya’ boy grilled the whole thing!  I’m almost Argentine now!
            We also taught Gustavo and his family this week. They are the family we found last week who doesn’t know how to read. Due to this, our lessons have been a little different but it just means we have to be better teachers.  More than anything, we have to rely on the Spirit so we can soften their hearts a little bit so our message really enters into their hearts and they can feel the truth of our words.  Our goal is to actually help them learn how to read and we’re going to try to do that by helping them read the Book of Mormon. So, we’ll see what the Lord has in store for this great family.
            One of the best parts of the week was the night I completed one year.  We went to get some ice cream and we’ve made friends with the workers at the ice cream shop because we go there a lot.  Without saying anything to him about my big day, my homie, Jesus, hooked me up with a kilo of ice cream… for free! We were also invited to lunch at a member’s home and it just happened to be her birthday.  To celebrate, they put an entire pig on the grill for us to eat, so we ate pretty darn good this week!  A full missionary is a happy missionary!

I’m over the hump! #teamJesusstillwinning

Have a great week!    Elder Roderick 



Getting the Job Done

Familia,                                                                                                                    
One of the best things about being is South America is that there is literally fresh fruit everywhere. Right now, grapefruits are in season and each time I eat one, I feel like I’m in Palm Desert. Also, mandarins are just like big clementines and I eat five every single day because they are so fresh and sweet.
            We had a nice long week of work.  I think we taught more lessons during this week than I have during any other week on my mission.  We were really busy!  During the week, on two separate occasions, as we were finishing our lesson and inviting the investigator to read the Book of Mormon, the investigator told us that they couldn’t read it because they don’t know how to. This really struck me because one investigator, in particular, also told us that she misses out on so many opportunities because she can’t read. No one ever taught her how to read because she has had to work ever since she was a little girl. Therefore, she never had the opportunity to learn.  This experience was very humbling for me and it made me very grateful for my two loving parents who made sure I went to school. I really hope we can help these people grow closer to Christ and I pray that we can carry the Spirit into their homes.  And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weaknesses.  I give unto men weakness that they may be humble… for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then I will make weak things become strong.” Ether 12:27
            This week we were able to teach Javier again, and the main thing we are doing with him is helping him act on the things we are teaching. He tells us that he believes in all of the things we teach and in our lessons the Spirit is so strong but there isn’t much action after.  So, we committed his family to read and pray together while Javier is in the house.  If they do this, then it will get the other non-members of their family involved as well.  Then, eventually they can be an eternal family! Javier’s family treats us so well and nothing would make me happier than to see them all together in church.
            We also taught Javier and Brenda and our lesson with them was one of the best we had during the week. Javier is the son of a member in our neighbor ward in Alvear and we found him while we were teaching his less-active sister.  Javier is the only person in his family who isn’t a member of the Church so we’ve been working extra hard with him so his entire family can be together in church.  Javier already knows a lot of things about the church so we are trying to help him expand his knowledge and then hopefully, gain a testimony.
            Another promising thing that happened this week occurred when we invited one of the less-actives who we’ve been working with to join us in our missionary work.  We want her to have a spiritual experience with missionary work so it can strengthen her testimony.  So, we left her with the challenge to do some missionary work. On Sunday, she walked into church with her boyfriend by her side.  I was so pumped to see that!  It was such a great feeling to see their two smiling faces in church together!
            Well, the L I took this week was I accidentally broke the basket we use to wash our clothes.  So, right now I’m using a plastic garbage bag to wash my clothes.  I just toss in the clothes, some water and soap then, I squish them all around.  #roughlife  As a missionary, you’ve just got to find a way to get the job done.  I wouldn’t recommend this technique to anyone, but it makes life a little bit more interesting.
            The “spiritual high” of the week was attending our Stake Priesthood meeting.  We heard all kinds of talks about temple work, missionary work, parenting and helping kids prepare for missions. It felt so comforting to be in a room full of Priesthood holders.  The power of the sacred authority we hold was felt the entire night.  It was also nice to see some of my friends from Salto. 

Back to the grind this week!


Elder Roderick

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Events in Mendoza

Familia,                                                                                                                       
This week in Argentina we celebrated “Friends Day” and I learned that it's actually a huge holiday down here in the ARG. On Thursday, the people were going crazy and there were tons of parties everywhere. It was kind of weird to see but it was so nice to see the town buzzing a little bit. So, “Feliz dia del Amigo” to all of my amigos out there, especially my homies out here in the mission field. LOL!
We spent over half of the week in Mendoza so we didn't have much time in our area, which was a bummer. Legit! We only had Monday night after Pday and Saturday and Sunday in our area but we were able get some good work done. On Wednesday, we had a meeting with President Panzacchi and his wife.  The meeting was for my companion and all of the other missionaries who are being trained right now. It was a good chance to learn more from our new president and get to know him a little bit better. It was also nice to get a review of some of the things that missionaries learn during their training.  As well, it was nice to be with some Elders for a while because my companion and I are accompanied by too many Hermanas in Alvear. LOL!
We had the meeting on Wednesday and then on Thursday we had a free day in Mendoza because it didn’t make sense for us to travel five hours back to our area because we had legal work to do on Friday. So, on Thursday I was planning to get into the actual city of Mendoza, but my plans fell through. LOL! We ended up going with the President’s Assistants to their area on exchanges and it was actually a lot of fun. Their area is right outside of Mendoza which means there are tons of people and it was really different from the areas I have worked in. So, it was interesting to get to know more parts of the mission. By just trying to talk to everyone we saw, we worked our tails off.  In my short time with them, I learned some new teaching techniques and I realized that there's no such thing as a “perfect missionary.” So, it was nice to learn from their example. 
On Friday, my companion had to do some legal work to become a citizen of Argentina and then on the way back to Alvear there was a problem with the bus so we ended up being on the bus for eight hours instead of the normal five. It wasn't too fun but we were able to get back.
We had another good lesson with our friend, Juan, this week. His daughter is preparing to go on a mission so Juan is really concerned about all that a mission entails. Even so, her plans have given us a good chance to help him become familiar with the Church and help him feel comfortable sending his daughter out into the mission field. This makes our lessons with him so spiritual because he is very concerned for his daughter and it gives him some motivation to learn more about the Church and investigated a little more. Now I'm just praying he can take a leap of faith and follow the great example of his kids.
On Sunday, a nice old couple, who are about 80-years old, let us in to their home and we had a great little conversation with them.  Then, as we were about to leave, they poured out their hearts to us and told us about all of the loved ones they have lost lately. Legit! They told us they are just waiting for their day to reunite with their loved ones. To be honest, it was kind of sad to listen to them because they seem so confused about what will happen in the next life so it was really nice to be able to teach them about the plan that God has for each and every one of us. I'm praying that they can understand the things we teach and really take them to heart so they can have an eternal family.
We had a nice quick week here in Alvear and we have some really good things going on in the area. I'm looking forward to seeing the progress our investigators can make!
I'm bummed I missed Colter Bay but that butter by the dam will always be there for me. LOL! I hope you guys had a good time and didn't miss me too much!

Have a great week!

Elder Roderick