So guess what I realized on Friday???? It´s finally the holiday season!!! Ah. Happiness. As I sit writing this email in a cyber in Comodoro I am remembering rather fond memories of spending the holidays in the MTC last year. Such good times. While most people are reading this are probably experiencing a drop in temperature, we are experiencing the opposite! Because there´s no such thing as Thanksgiving here in Argentina, las fiestas begin in December and not the last week of November. And no, there´s no black Friday.
However, I did get to have a fun little bus ride for Thanksgiving. And when I say bus ride I am referring to the lovely 5 hour trip up to Trelew. Elder Jewkes and I hopped on the bus Wednesday afternoon so that we could start our visa papers Thursday morning. It is ridiculously expensive to do it here, so that´s why the office is shipping us around to get it done. I was just chuckling that I´ve made that trip 4 times in the last two months. Oh Neuquén Mission… The traveling never stops. I have to say it was rather fun to get to spend so much time with E´ Jewkes. I´ve missed the big guy and we had a lot to catch up on that´s happened since the MTC.
Doing visa work was rather mundane. It mostly involved waking up early in the morning to sit in an office. Think drivers license work. But the good news is that after a second trip back north I will once again have a legal visa, and should be completely legit here in Argentina until the end of the mission.
After getting back to Comodoro, we had the greatest weekend ever. First off, Sandra is the best. We´ve started teaching her the commandments this week, and she does not cease to amaze me. She´s not exactly jumping with excitement to give up coffee, but she has a lot of faith in the promise of blessings. She also was way excited to hear about tithing and fasting in the church as well. Every time we have the chance to teach her I´m amazed at the testimony that she has. She is going to be great, and I am almost as impatient as she is for her baptism.
Our other happy miracle is Sabrina. She´s a sister to a member that is in the reactivating process. We had Zone Conference on Saturday, and we were planning on passing by Sabrina to see how she was doing. It had been a couple weeks since we had seen her, and while we were on the bus we had the impression that we should invite her to come and do a chapel tour with us. So we did! She met us at the chapel and loved it. But especially the Aula Sacramental. She struggles with social panic and doesn´t do well with large groups of people. But the minute she walked through the doors into that sacred room she said that she wanted to come back. She was so nervous to come to church when we picked her up, and she didn´t say much, but I can definitely say that she felt the Spirit when she came. And I was moved to tears when I saw the Relief Society jump to action and help her to feel comfortable and welcome. They even invited her to an activity tomorrow! Ah. This ward. Love it so much.
Oh yeah we had Zone Conference. Pretty much amazing. I love President and Hermana Lovell. They´re just the mission leaders that I need. We learned a lot, and I wish I had time to share, but during that entire conference I learned so many things that and heard so many things that I needed to hear. It´s amazing how God qualifies us for the callings that He gives us. We talked a lot about referrals and other happy stuff but the icing on the cake was President´s talk on 1 Peter 1:2-8 and D&C 4. Look it up when you get the chance!!!
This week we had the most amazing opportunity to share the Plan of Salvation to people who desperately, and I mean desperately need it. I know that the Gospel is here to heal the hurting souls of God´s children here. And there is nothing more fulfilling in this life than knowing that I´ve been the messenger to bring hope back in to someone´s life. The opposition and evil and strife are so real. But I just love thinking about Romans 12:21 or Alma 36 about how the Good and the Joy of the Gospel will overcome anything and everything. We´re here as missionaries to succor the souls of our brothers and sisters who need Christ in their lives. And I wish I could explain how I feel when I am given the chance to see that change in someone´s life. I suppose I should invite you all to have that experience. Because nothing is more worth it. I love the mission so much.
Well it´s time to jet! Time is flying, and so are we here in Comodoro! So many great things are about to happen! I know that there are miracles just waiting around the corner for us, and I am so thankful for all the prayers and love and support that are always coming from all of you. Thank you. Of all the things that I´m grateful for, I am most grateful for the people that my Heavenly Father has put in my life. I have the most amazing family and friends. And I used to say that I felt so lucky. Now I know that I am simply so blessed. Time to go share some of that good stuff! Have an amazing week!