It was a short, quick week down here in the ARG. I spent another few days in Mendoza Capital waiting for my companion to arrive and on Wednesday afternoon I received "my kid." His name is Elder Ramos and he's from Peru. He lives a little south of the area where my cousin, Cole, is serving so it's been fun to make that connection. Elder Ramos is 19 years-old and he's fresh out of the MTC. He's a very funny kid and, due to my consummate training, I'm pretty sure he'll be the assistant to the President one day.
I spent two days in Mendoza just "Opening the Mouth" because I was waiting for Elder Ramos to arrive. Working in the big city was a lot different than what I'm used to. So, in order to get people's attention, we had to be really creative. I felt like it was more difficult to get people to talk to us in the city and although it was challenging, it was still really fun. We had some funny rejections and made a couple of new friends so I guess I can say it was a great start to the week.
During the capitulation for the new missionaries it felt so good to be in the trainers spot. I had some time to think back about how I felt when I was in the chair of the new missionary and it seems like it was only a few months ago. I'm not gonna lie, it felt good to not be in the place of the new missionaries, who looked nervous and uncertain as they were introduced to their trainers.
|Father's Day Treats|
As I've introduced Elder Ramos to the mission, my main focus has been to help him feel confident and unafraid of talking to people and knocking on doors. I just want him to be able to talk comfortably with strangers. In essence, when you want to teach someone how to swim you just need to throw them in the deep end and help them until their head is above water. It's the same with missionary work. An effective way to teach someone to do something new is to just force them to do it until they feel comfortable. So, as I showed Elder Ramos the routine of the mission, we had a fun and productive week.
Over the weekend, we had a promising and memorable experience with a couple who live next door to a member. The member invited them to an activity and that is how they became familiar with the church. When we knocked on their door they were quick to tell us that due to their 22 year-old daughter's death, they had lost their faith. They told us that they had prayed so hard for their daughter to live and she didn't. During this time they were expecting an answer to their prayers and they felt like they didn't receive one so they abandoned their faith. Despite this initial conversation, we had a really good lesson with them. We taught them about what constitutes true faith and shared our understanding of eternal families. During the lesson, I remembered the time when my Roderick family fasted and prayed for our Grandpa Bill, even though we knew his chances for survival were very slim. I remembered being in a room with my family and crying as I held onto my momma because I knew Grandpa was going to die. The main thing I recalled was my momma comforting me as she told me we would be able to see our Grandpa Bill again. I remembered the comfort and peace that came over me at that moment and I felt prompted to share my experience with this family. My personal experience and feelings provided an ideal opportunity for me to testify of the great plan of happiness that our Heavenly Father has for every single one of us. It's my prayer that we can help this family find their faith again and take the steps necessary to become an eternal family. During this lesson the Spirit was very present and it provided the type of "spiritual high" that missionaries strive for.
|Enjoying wings in the Mendoza Mission Office|
Overall, it was a great week in Alvear! We've got some momentum with a couple of our investigators and I'm looking forward to helping them progress.
I'm happy to give a big "Happy Birthday" shout out to my boy, Roddy! 22! Man, you are old! And, of course, "Happy Father's Day" to my awesome Dad and all of the wonderful men who have shaped me into the young missionary that I am today. Friends, coaches, church leaders and family members have truly made a powerful impact on my life!
I love all of you so much!