Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Change takes time and time brings change!


This week I had divisions with Hermana Benson. It was kind of a terrible, horrible no good very bad day in which everything that could go wrong did. We had a disaster weekly planning as a zone, Hermana Rohm took the keys to our apartment to San Justo so we were locked out, and pretty much no one was home or opened their doors.

However, Hermana Benson was a super good sport about it and was so full of optimism it was hard for me to be grumpy. We also finally were able to teach a lesson to a less active woman, Paola, and her brilliant 8 year old son, Amir, about the restoration. He won't actually count as our convert baptism because his mom is a member but we're  enjoying teaching him to prepare him for baptism anyway and helping his mom to become active again. He practically began teaching us as he understood it and his mom came to church on Sunday! (He was with his Dad for the weekend) Hermana Benson is an amazing teacher and the spirit was super strong.

We also bought ice cream at night to celebrate her 9 months in the mission.

Hermana Benson and Hermana Millet
It's Hermana Rohm's last transfer so each p-day we find ouselves on a new adventure. Last week we ate hambugers off the street with about 5,000 toppings. It was sooo unsanitary, sooo unhealthy and sooo delicious.

I am so full of different emotions today I'm not quite sure what to write about. Part of me is disappointed about what we accomplished this week and what I yearn to see happen here in Ramos. Part of me is full of concern for our Hermanas in Ramos and some of the challenges we are seeing with them. Part of me is full of inspiration that I have learned this week from Elder Gonzales, from other missionaries and from the spirit. And part of me is full of hope and gratitude at some of the small blessings we have seen this week.

Last week I wrote to President with a question about one of our investigators, this is what I said:

Our progressing investigator is a man named Alfredo. He is 83 years old and his daughter (his last family member still living) just passed away about a month ago. We have been teaching him since I came to Ramos. He is a really sweet old man who always accepts us and if we come to get him is willing to go to church. He cannot read because his eye sight is really bad (even with a big Book of Mormon and glasses) and still has not been able to give a sincere prayer without reading a piece of paper or being directed. He is living all of the commandments but cannot remember anything about the lessons we teach. I have been really torn in the past few weeks about what to do. I have a lot of regret that some of my investigators in Lujan are not active and living worthy of the covenants they made and I made a commitment that I would not baptize anyone but a worthy convert who understands the covenant of baptism and is willing to live it. Right now I do not feel that Alfredo will go to church each week, read the scriptures or pray, and I am not confident he will pay tithing or keep the word of wisdom (more than anything because of ignorance). However, I know that each of God's children needs the covenant of baptism.

So I would like your advice President. I am willing to baptize Alfredo if it is the Lord's will. If he is not able to understand everything and just needs to pass through this covenant I will help him. But I don't want to place a burden on the ward of a member who cannot live the commandments or baptize someone who will not be a worthy convert. I am continuing to pray and trying to listen to the opinion of Hermana Rohm but I would love to have your support to help me know what is the right thing to do.

He then replied:

Sister Millet:  You have such a pure heart. I look forward to your letter each week. If you don't think that Alfredo really understands the baptismal covenant then I think it would be best not to baptize him. I would recommend that you bring him up in ward council and explain how he is alone and see if the ward would be willing to show love and support to him. Not to prepare him for baptism, but because he is a son of God that has no one else in his life. Eventually he may understand enough to be baptized. If not, all that will take place when Christ comes.

With that said, I don't want you to get the wrong idea about baptism. If the people that you taught in Lujan believed and were willing to repent, your job was to baptize them. We never know who will stay strong and who will not. Some people I baptized that I thought for sure would be General Authorities are now inactive. A young man that I baptized that I wasn't too sure about, I ended up running into in the temple 10 years after his baptism. We have to keep baptizing; we just have to make sure we keep working with them after the baptism for many months to help them endure.

Go forward with faith. I know there is a reason you are there.

Un abrazo,
President Robertson

Alfredo wasn't able to come to church on Sunday which may actually be an answer to prayer. I didn't feel right about us having to go search for him in the morning knowing that his baptism was planned for this upcoming Saturday. When we went Sunday afternoon, however, he was dressed in a white shirt and tie with a suit coat, slacks and dress shoes. All of them old and a little dirty, but the best he has, ready to go to church. It gave me a little more hope that he is understanding more than I think.

He also came with us to a baptism on Saturday night and was feeling excited about his baptism. We taught him a little more about the covenant of baptism and gave him the pre-interview and I feel that with a little more time he can be baptized. I hope to work more with the ward council in the next few weeks so that we have a plan of action to help him before and after his baptism.


Springtime in Ramos.
This last week I have been studying obedience and noting things that I believe we need to improve upon as a companionship, such as keeping our lunches under 1 hour, and using our time more wisely with members. I also want to put more effort into incorporating the members in effective ways to find more investigators. We have been getting to know them over the past few weeks and now that I feel that we have some confidence with them I would like to begin to work in a better way with them.

This past week we had some great experiences with member referrals. I am learning how, especially in Ramos, some of these referrals will take more time. They are not people that we can immediately teach and commit to baptism, but are individuals with whom the members have been working for months or years. If we can be patient and continue to encourage these efforts I believe they will pay off with long lasting converts.

Yesterday I learned that one of the members who grew up in Bragado is talking with one of the investigators I left it that area, Alejandro. She was friends with him growing up and shared the gospel with him but he was never ready. In a facebook conversation he told her how Hermana Peterson and I arrived at a time when their family needed so badly the unity of the gospel and how excited he is. Hermana Peterson and Cuevas have continued to teach them and they have all come to church the past few weeks! His wife and children are progressing a little more slowly for a baptismal date in October but he has plans to be baptized on Saturday!

This member worked with him for years and the fruits are finally coming! I have a goal that if every member of the ward in Ramos could have one or two families with whom they are working and praying to share the gospel, we could baptize every month. The work is a little slower, okay A LOT, here in Ramos, but I know it's just because there are things the Lord wants me to learn and apply to become a better missionary and a better daughter of God. I am learning to be happy all day every day because I am doing the Lord's work.

I love being a missionary! I love you all! I love my savior Jesus Christ and his plan of happiness for me!


Hermana Millet

P.S. I finally found an Argentine world cup jersey with Messi's number. It's trucho because the real ones cost like 700 pesos but I love it!

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