This week flew by and before I knew it, we were already back at church. We started the week by celebrating one of the best holidays, the Fourth of July. In our District Meeting on Tuesday (July 4th) we sang, “My Country Tis of Thee” and “America the Beautiful” while eating some M&Ms. So, we were pretty patriotic. We didn’t have any fireworks, or a poolside barbecue, but we were able to celebrate a little bit down here in the Arg.
The highlight of the week was a quick trip to San Rafael to meet the new boss of the Argentina Mendoza Mission, President Panzaechi! In order to get to know him, we had a little meeting with President & Sister Panzaechi and their daughter. We chated about the mission for a little bit and it was nice to feel the energy he has for this beautiful work that we do. More than anything, I could just feel the excitement he has to be here in the mission. His Uruguayan accent is a little funny but he is a total stud and I'm excited to see the changes that he will make in the mission.
On the way to San Rafael, my poor companion got a little sick and ended up spending the entire bus ride in the bathroom. So, in hopes that he could feel better and get back on his feet, we spent the remainder of the day in our pench. There isn’t anything worse than being sick in the mission, so I was feeling in for my little dude. It gave me a good chance to read a lot of scriptures and wash my clothes. So, it was all good.
A few weeks ago, we helped a member move houses and during the move I started talking with one of his friends who came to help. This friend and I created a bond quite quickly because one of the first things I did was attempt to yank the cigarette he was smoking it out of his mouth. LOL! I started talking to his son, as well, and as we talked about God and the Bible and all that typical stuff. We had a great chat and then they said we could pass by their house whenever we wanted. Therefore, during the week we put their invitation to the test and we paid them a visit. They opened right up to us and basically told us to, “Feel at home.” We started chatting about what we do as missionaries and their religion and all that good stuff and the first thing his son said was, “I will never believe in Joseph Smith.” He said this before we had mentioned anything about Joseph Smith. In retrospect, it was actually pretty funny and it’s given me some motivation to teach my new homies more about the truths we preach. Mauricio and Alberto have turned into my new homies here in the ARG and they are anxious to learn more. I'm really pumped for them!
Over the last few weeks we have been meeting a lot with Walter who is a 47-year-old dad. He is very religious and he knows a ton about the Bible. Legit! Every time we bring up a new principal, he knows where he can find it in the Bible. This is good and bad because he loves to contend with us, especially about the book of Mormon. But, he likes to read the Book of Mormon and he told us to that if he really receives an answer about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, he will for sure get baptized. So, now we are just praying that it's time for him to receive his answer about the truthfulness of the things we are teaching.
One thing I really focused on this week was really listening to the people we teach. Sometimes it is easy to just respond very quickly with an answer that will prove our point, but this week I really tried to focus on each person’s needs and how we can really help them come unto Christ. This worked really well because the Spirit was so present and because of this, we were able to address the needs of the people we teach!
Sunday in church we were assigned to talk in Sacrament Meeting for an entire 15 minutes, which was a little stressful because the only time I have talked that long was at my farewell, about a year ago. Ha ha! I talked about missionary work and it ended up going very well. I focused on the role of the member in this great work and I shared some thoughts from David Bednar’s talk in the last conference. He spoke about how it doesn’t matter where we are called to serve. Rather, what is important is that we are called to serve. I used the great example of my boy, Parkin, and told his story about receiving three different mission calls and then almost getting deported from Russia. All of the members loved that story and some didn't even believe it was true! A big shout out to my Life Partner for being the best example to us of not worrying about where he’s serving but just wanting to serve!
Have a good week!!