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