Sunday, May 28, 2017

Adiós Villa Mercedes

Hola Familia,                                                                                                             
Well, the big news of the week is that I’m being transferred from my beloved town of Villa Mercedes! I am returning to the southern part of the mission to a little city called General Alvear, which is in the Mendoza province. I'll be in a little branch called Pellegrini and I'll be going back to the San Rafael Zone and Stake. So, it should be fun to be back in a familiar place. General Alvear is about 45 minutes more south from where I was in Salto de Las Rosas which means the area might feel a little familiar.
This last week of the transfer was a really solid one and we were able to catch up with all of our investigators and have a couple of great lessons with them. One cool thing that happened this week was that one night we are on our way back to our pench and we saw a lady who called us from the street to help her. She told us that she had lost her keys and needed to open her door. Our options were very limited and it was getting late so, we had to figure out something quick. So, I did something that every boy dreams of….. I ended up kicking the door open for this lady and I didn't even break the door frame so that was an unusual and exciting experience!
To be honest, this week also got pretty cold. The mornings and the nights got really cold but the days were really nice, when it didn't rain. Ha ha! Even so, it felt nice to put on a big coat and I have fallen in love with a drink they have here in Argentina with is called “Malta.” It’s basically just Mormon coffee. LOL! So, after over a year of living through summer and spring it's been nice to finally start the winter season!
We had another great lesson with the Sanchez family during which Pedro was able to tell us more about his experience at the temple. We also taught them more about the Word of Wisdom because the dad still struggles with smoking but as we talked, the whole family committed to help their dad so they can enter the waters of baptism together! There really is something special about the Sanchez family. Especially during our lessons, I always feel like there is something different about them. During the time that I have known them, they have made so much progress. Every time we teach them I become and more and more impressed by my boy, Pedro, because he is such an amazing example to his family! I hope and pray that one day I’ll be able to see the entire family in baptismal clothes. Then of course, the ultimate dream would be to see them in the temple one day.
Another cool lesson we had was with our man, Luis. We had a great chat about how he can receive his answer and confirmation that what we have been teaching him is true. We also gave him suggestions about what he needs to do in order to be certain about his decision to be baptized, or not. I kind of felt like I was interrogating him a little bit, but it ended up being a good lesson because the Spirit was so present. He eventually accepted a baptismal date!
We also had another awesome lesson with my man, Benjamin, and his family. During our lesson, we talked about the Plan of Salvation. When we got to the part of the resurrection I felt the prompting to use my priesthood authority and I promised them that their grandpa would receive his legs again and he be able to walk with his wife. This was a cool moment because I just felt the prompting to say it and the Gift of Tongues helped me say it in the correct Spanish. Following the first prompting from the Spirit, and then acting on it, will always bring great results!
Actually, I'm going to miss this place, Villa Mercedes, and all it has done for me as a missionary. The people have treated me like a king and I was lucky see the fruits of my work! I'm also really excited for my next adventure in General Alvear and I look forward to meeting new people and building more relationships!

Have a great week!

Elder Roderick

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Visit to the Temple

Wow! What a joy it was to see my beautiful family yesterday and chat with them! Also, Happy Mother’s Day, yesterday, to all of the wonderful mothers out there!! I was blessed with the greatest of them all! I love you so much, Shelly!! My momma and Jesus Christ light my world like nobody else can!
This week we put in a good amount of work by trying to find new people to teach. You can never have too many investigators so we “Opened the Mouth” a bunch this week. When we’re searching for people to teach, one thing I love to do is interact with the kids on the street.  Kids are much easier to connect with and usually, they will lead us to a family. Most of the kids in Argentina love to play soccer so I’m working on my feet skills to gain their respect. Haha! Like I told my family yesterday, I’m looking for a league down here to join so I can make some money on the side of this mission thing. LOL
On Tuesday, our bishop joined us at the home of the Sanchez Family and we had an awesome lesson with them. We talk about the law of chastity and invited them to get married and they accepted without hesitation! Fortunately, the mom has a friend in the government so I’m praying that their marriage can happen quickly so they can get in the water soon! We also used our teaching opportunity to talk about temples and eternal families. We explained what they need to do as a family to be able to be sealed together! Then, they made me promise that I will be there when they get sealed as a family! So, July of 2018! I’m praying for that! DREAM BIG!!
Also, this week there was a huge car race in Villa Mercedes and the population of the city increased by at least 50 thousand people. Literally, we could hear the cars racing throughout the day. We were miles away and we could still hear them rattling. That made the city “buzz” a lot more and it made the week much more entertaining and of course, easier to talk with people!

This week we were also able to experience a great reward. Pedro and Victor, who just got baptized in the last few months, were able to go to the temple this weekend with the ward!! They both performed baptisms and on Sunday, during church, they showed me tons of pictures and told me about the awesome experience they had. Pedro even got up to the pulpit and shared what he felt as he got baptized for his grandpa who died a few years ago! I was so pumped to hear about their experiences in the temple and especially, to hear them share the feelings they felt there! The ward is lucky to have the nearest temple only a few hours away and they go every couple of months so I’m praying Pedro and Victor can build a habit of going often to the house of the Lord!!
As I talked to the fam yesterday, I told them I feel like I am starting the equivalent of “2 a-days” in my mish and the next 7 months will be a big grind but I’m looking forward to what is in store!

I love you guys so much! Finish the school year strong!!

Elder Roderick

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Testimony Meeting


We had a grinder of week!  Fortunately, it didn’t rain and that was a real blessing.  I also competed 9 months in the mish, so I’m feeling pretty good! I found an awesome Mexican takeout place, which is pretty rare in Argentina, and I ended up ordering delivery from them three times this week.  So, that added to the blessings of the week.
The highlight of my week was the awesome Fast & Testimony Meeting we had on Sunday. There was almost a race to the pulpit because there were so many anxious people who were waiting to share their testimony.  A few weeks back I shared with you the experience we had blessing the grave of a less active woman’s son and how we were working with her a bit. Well, on Saturday night at about 9:45 we knocked on her door to casually invite her to church.  While standing on her front doorstep, she promised us she was going to attend. THEN… Sunday morning rolled around and she was one of the first people in the chapel AND without hesitating, she jumped up to the stand and shared her testimony.  She talked about the awesome experience we had when we blessed her son’s grave.  What a treat it was to hear her share her testimony with the congregation and to watch the ward family welcome her back to church with open arms.
Also during Sacrament Meeting, we were sitting behind the Sanchez family and I slipped a note to them that said if they wanted to share some of the things they’ve learned, they were more than welcome to do it. To be honest, I was joking with them but the mom took it seriously and after a little bit of encouragement she went up to the pulpit and shared some thoughts about the blessings she has seen in the lives of her family ever since they have been going to church together, praying as a family, and reading the scriptures.  Some of the things that have happened with this family are nothing short of a miracle.
This week we were also able to work with Benjamin and his family a little bit more.  In our lesson, we were able to include another grandchild, who isn’t baptized, and like Benjamin, he is a stud. I swear, each time we go to their house we meet new people and there are new people to teach, which is such a blessing.  We’re trying really hard to reactivate the family but it’s been a bit difficult to get the grandpa excited because he doesn’t have legs and it’s hard for him to get anywhere.  So, we are looking hard to find help for the grandpa.  But, miracles do exist!
We were also able to meet with Luis this week. He just got married during the last week in April, to a member in our ward, so we’re really pushing to get him in the water soon. He has been going to church and listening to the missionaries for a good amount of time and his knowledge of the Church is really strong.  It’s gotten to the point with him that we really don’t have much more to teach him.  So, we are praying that he can take this leap of faith because he is more than ready.  I think he is a little nervous to make this change in his life, but with his wife by his side, I think he’ll be able to make this decision.
During the week we were also able to give a couple of blessings and it made me appreciate the power of the priesthood and realize how fortunate I am to have this wonderful power to bless people.

S/O to Scotty on his dope call!! Have a great week,

Elder Roderick