Sunday, July 2, 2017

Life Advice from President Goates

We had another solid week of work down here in General Alvear! One of the most exciting things that happened was everyone thought it was going to snow yesterday because it was cloudy and foggy. So, I was getting really excited to see some snow and have my companion touch snow for the first time but we got our hopes up for nothing.
The highlight of the week was our trip to San Rafael to have our last Zone Conference with President Goates. In the morning, we had to sprint to track the bus down because we were running late but we eventually made it to San Rafael where we had one of the best conferences I've attended. We  received some instruction about our missionary work and how we can improve ourselves personally. One of the focus points of our meeting was using the Book of Mormon both with our investigators and with ourselves.  Specifically, we learned how we can improve our personal study of the book of Mormon. It made me realize how important the Book of Mormon is in our lives and especially in our religion. It is the most attacked book in the world, for a reason, and we are so lucky to have the fullness of the Lord’s gospel in these latter days through the Book of Mormon!
President Goates then gave his “life advice” for “life after the mission.” He talked about finding an enternal companion and getting married and “stuff.” It was weird, to say the least, but it made me realize that kind of “stuff” is the next big step in my life after my mission.  It was so great to hear from President Goates one last time! President and Sister Goates have helped me so much in my short time here in the mission. The main thing that I will miss about them is the love that they have shown for me. Every time I was with them I could just feel the love they have for each and every missionary! They will be very missed!
While in San Rafael we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders and I had a chance to go back to my first area and show them around the little town. To be honest, it was really strange to be back in Salto and it felt a little bit like déjà vu! The best part of the exchange was I had a chance to go and visit my investigators, Daniel and Carla.  I gave them a surprise knock on their door and we were able to catch up for a little bit and it felt so great to be with them again. They were the first good friends I made in Argentina and I hope our relationship can last a lifetime. They told me they have plans to get married in the next four months and after that, they plan to be baptized too! As a reminder of them, they gave me an Argentina jersey and it was just a great moment that we shared together!
One thing we are trying to do in our area of General Alvear is get the members really involved and excited about missionary work. So, on Tuesday it was Flag Day here in Argentina and we held an activity in the chapel and played some games and had tons of fun with the members.  We also shared a spiritual moment and tried to get the members, especially the youth, involved in our missionary the work!
One highlight of the week happened when we went to visit a less active man who has been a member for awhile (his wife is still active) but has fallen away over the last couple of years. With the Elders Quorom President and one of my friends from the Stake High Council we went to the man’s house and chatted for a while. We had a great talk about the priesthood and the role it plays in our lives. We were able to touch the heart of this man and we each shared some experiences that we have had with the priesthood and the Spirit was so present. It was probably one of the most spiritual lessons I've had on my mission, so far. On the way back, we discussed what we had talked about with this less active man and my homey from the Stake High Council shared the thought that this man is one of the lost sheep that Jesus talked about in the New Testament and we just need to bring him back into the fold!
This week we set the goal to try and teach every minute of the day, which means every time we come in contact with someone, we have to teach them something. When we meet someone, we quickly teach them a principle and have a short lesson on the street. Then, we set up an appointment to visit their house. Instead of our first lesson being a long one at a house, this quick introduction to our message has resulted in some really good success! For example, on Sunday night we just sat on a porch with a group of young kids and talked about the Bible and read some scriptures with them. I'm just trying to help my companion see the importance of talking to everyone and this week, we had some great results!
I hope everyone is enjoying the nice warm summer and having as much fun as possible. Life is too short to have a bad day!

I love you all so much,

Elder Roderick

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