Hello everyone! I love you sooo much! I hope you enjoy all the pictures I have to send this week. It's been awesome!
This was going to be your first clue, but you already figured out where we went last week on our P day.
Last Monday we went to the Lujan zoo. It was so awesome!! It cost 200 pesos to get in but since an Elder here can get 10 pesos for 1 dollar it was basically 20 bucks. And it doesn't cost anything extra to touch all the animals! AWESOME!!!
|This is my "Ah, I'm touching a tiger" face!|
|Oh hey there tiger. What's up? I'm only three feet away from your face!|
|Parrots...Good thing I have two arms.|
|It's a lion! As if petting a tiger wasn't enough.|
|Sister Castellanos and I together with Leo.|
Our baptisms coming up are: Rolando (this Saturday)
Bruno (the 1st of Feb.)
Walter (the 1st of Feb.)
|Our awesome district.|
Other random exciting news:
The other day we were walking through the field to get to Amaghino (one of our areas) and we heard a noise in the bushes. We looked over and there was a snake moving around. Not just a little garden snake though, it was HUGE! Literally the size of my leg. Needless to say we are extra observant when we walk through the field from now on.
|The snake was THIS big!|
We got bicis! (bikes). They were delivered on Saturday (they are kind of terrible and need to be repaired) but now we don't have to walk 5,000 miles to church and district meeting. The other problem is we don't have room in our pench to store them but luckily we have nice members who live relatively close by. We haven't used them yet but we're excited.
It has been insanely hot again. But we're working through it. I'm kind of fried right now, especially the back of my neck, but we're surviving!
|Do you like our tan lines?|
On Friday we had a Noche de Hogar (family home evening) in the church. It was wonderful. The missionaries shared our testimonies about the Book of Mormon and then we did karaoke. All of the songs were in Spanish and I didn`t know any of them but Hermana C. and I sang anyway. It was great fun.
We have a new baptismal date for the 1st of February. He is the nephew of a member and was in church last week. We talked to him, set up a lesson and he wants to be baptized! He is 11 years old. His mom is great too but she is juntado (living with someone) and can't be baptized till she gets divorced and then married again. She fully supports his baptism though and he has the support of his aunt and uncle! YAY!
As you already now know from the Buenos Aires West mission blog I have been called as an Hermana Leader Educator (HLE). I am kind of overwhelmed and super humbled because I know there are so many other sisters with more experience than I have but I'm also super grateful for the opportunity to learn and love and serve the Hermanas. I am praying to be an example as a missionary, in our area, and to help the hermanas feel our love. There isn't a great feeling about the HLE right now and a lot of the sisters aren't super excited for us to come because they don't want to be corrected. In Ventura the feeling was totally different and we all loved the HLE. I really want to help develop that kind of attitude here. So far my goal is just to let them know I love them and am here to help them with whatever they need.
|The Hermanas of Lujan.|
I think that's all the random fun stuff. Now here is the spiritual side. It has been an awesome week and I have learned and grown personally a lot! Here is the excerpt from my letter to the President:
This month I have been grown dramatically in my understanding of faith. In the beginning of my mission I felt that I had faith. I knew that Jesus Christ was my Savior and that I could be saved through His atonement but I have begun a great journey in developing greater faith to work miracles this month.
This week I have seen evidence of when my faith is strong the results that can happen and when I do not exercise all of my faith how I cannot be blessed.
Hermana Castellanos and I prayed with all our hearts this week in hopes that we would be able to stay together as companions and we are so blessed to have this opportunity to work together once again. I am also humbled and grateful for the opportunity to serve as an HLE. I know that I have so much to learn and improve myself, and that it will take a lot of work to earn the love and respect of our hermanas but I am grateful for the opportunity to grow and develop greater love for them. I am also grateful that Hermana Castellanos and I have the opportunity to serve together. The unity of our calling has already brought so much more strength and unity to our companionship and I look forward to growing together as we focus on serving the hermanas under our care and strive to be an example in our own area. It is a great responsibility but also a great blessing.
This week we struggled a little more than usual to achieve our indicators. On Monday and Tuesday we felt that our plans were almost perfect. We had a balance of lessons with members and investigators, plans to find news investigators and contact referrals but everything seemed to fall through. We were somewhat discouraged but determined to improve. I have learned through other experiences throughout the week, however, that what we were lacking in our plans was the faith. We were pleased with our plans and our efforts but hadn't taken the time to really rely upon the Lord and ask Him what He wanted us to do. I am learning that true faith requires significant effort and work mentally, physically and spiritually.
On Thursday we had an experience that has changed the course of my mission and quite possibly my life. I will not try to describe the details as it was an event extremely sacred and one that cannot be explained with words, but it was experience in which I learned what it really means to save a soul.
Our investigator Rolando was hanging on the balance of choosing to accept the truth and the promptings of the spirit or listen to Satan. As we talked with him in our lesson we fought like I have never fought before to save his soul. We were extremely bold in inviting him to repent but we were filled with the love of Christ. Throughout the lesson I prayed more fervently than I have ever prayed before and I could feel the power of the spirit physically in every ounce of my being and surrounding the ground in which we sat. After we testified of the truthfulness of the gospel and his need for baptism he decided to say a prayer and ask if baptism was the right decision. Afterward he put his face in his hands and just cried. Hermana Castellanos and I cried with him as we felt the spirit overwhelm us all that he finally knew without a doubt and had accepted the truth.
This experience was incredibly beautiful and life changing. We saw Rolando experience, within the space of an hour, the change of heart that all worthy converts must feel. His entire countenance changed. After we left the lesson Hermana Castellanos and I cried together as we said a prayer of gratitude for this miracle in the life of Rolando. Yesterday he had his interview for his baptism and the smile on his face as we walked out of the room was absolutely magnificent.
My testimony has grown significantly from this experience. For the first time I realized what it means to save a soul through baptism. I realized what real faith, real charity, real humility is. We were truly the instruments of the Lord and I will forever be grateful that we were able to witness the miracle of repentance.
I love you all sooo much! Thank you for your prayers and support! Please let me know who needs my prayers. I am anxiously awaiting the package from Zobells! Hooray!
I'm so glad we are a forever family!