You can read more about the mission split at President and Sister Lovell’s blog:
You can read more about the mission split at President and Sister Lovell’s blog:
And what a happy Monday it is!!!! This was such a crazy good week, and I am more than happy to be here letting ya´ll know just how great it was. Well I suppose we shall start with the crazy announcement that we got this last week.
The assistants gave us a call on Thursday night to share with us some ´´good news´´. More like crazy business, but I digress. Apparently that afternoon Pte. Lovell received an email from the exec secretary of the missionary department announcing the creation of the Argentina Comodoro Rividavia Mission. BLOWING ME OUT OF MY MIND. Church offices wanted the missionaries to know before the rest of the world, so Friday morning I gave the call to the zone letting them know. We´re still slightly in shock. This is a HUGE change in the mission, mostly because the new mission boundaries are half the size. No, we don´t know anything about how they are going to divide the missionaries yet. I´m kinda torn up though because my first two areas are in the other mission from where I am right now… Plus I´m rather attached to Pte. Lovell. We´ll see what happens. All of this will take effect as of July 1st, but isn´t this all so exciting!!!!???? 58 new missions in the world, doubling the amount of missionaries in the field… Church is true, this is God´s work, He´s getting things speeding up, and the standard of truth has been erected. Couldn´t think of a better time to be serving as a missionary!
Well let´s see, what happened this week. Oh yeah. FEDERIKO GOT BAPTIZED!!!!! What. A. Boss. I love this guy to death. He was so excited all week. On Tuesday we had his interview after lunch, and went in nervous, but came out with flying colors. He´s just got this way of reminding you just to be happy when you´re with him. As we filled out his baptismal record he asked me to baptize him. Hecho! We had an interesting time getting the service ready. It only became even more fun when the water main cut off with the font 3/4 full. Federiko´s not exactly a small guy, so we were a bit nervous that we wouldn´t get him immersed. But! After two tries, we got it taken care of! There was a crazy intense Spirit present in the service. And although there were some fun little surprises such as speakers not showing up, not very much water in the font, the important thing is that Fede was the happiest son of God on the planet this weekend. I´ve come to appreciate how precious a thing the priesthood is. Still wigs me out how incredible it is to have the very authorized power of God each time I stand in a font or place my hands on someone´s head. On Sunday E´Kimball confirmed Federiko, and later on we had our lesson with him preparing him to receive the Aaronic Priesthood next week. Have I mentioned how amazing he is? 😀 Happy Elder Davis.
Also, we had the fun little miracle with two other companionships. Things fell in place to have a baptism in each of the three wards that are here in the city of Roca. It´s been a long time that each ward has baptized all on the same day. So cool. It´s going to be happening a whole lot more often. As in two more weeks! All three of the wards have some pretty rockstar investigators preparing to be baptized on the 9th, including our newest addition to the dream team, Julio. We had our first lessons with him this week. Let me just tell you. If he had his way, we´d be baptizing him this afternoon. On Monday we shared the Restoration and extended the date. An hour later we met his mom who said that she´d be more than happy to have us teach the two of them together. Thanks to Elder Kimball´s smooth talking we arranged an appointment for the weekend and had a crazy great lesson on the Doctrine of Christ Saturday night. Roxanna is not quite as anxious to be baptized as her son, but we´ll see how she does tomorrow after we answer the question that she asked as we were walking out the door: “why are there so many churches in the world?”
We also had exchanges this week! Lots of fun. I was with two missionaries that have less than 6 months in the mission, Elder Lozada and Elder Child from Peru and Alaska. I love being around new missionaries. They have an infectious enthusiasm for the work. We learned a lot and taught a lot on Friday. We were surprised by a visit to our Sacrament Meeting from Pte. and Hna. Lovell yesterday, and it was so good to see them and talk up the crazy changes in the mission. Luckily we also have zone conference tomorrow, so I´ll ask him about the plans for the missionaries. Other than that, tons of other great things happened. Maybe one day I´ll actually have time to talk about each one. Until then, know that I´m the happiest missionary on the planet, I love my comp, my area, my mission, and this work. It´s going to be such a great week!
Dear wonderful people,
IT WAS AN AWESOME WEEK.
Now that I have that off my chest I am so happy to tell you about why the emotional intro to my letter. There was just so much to do! We started off doing exchanges with the elders in Villa Regina Monday night until Tuesday night. I was with the recently arrived Elder Ottenbacher from Cedar City, Utah. What a great missionary. Incredibly humble. He waited a transfer for his visa in Fresno, California, but I have never seen a missionary be able to speak so well. He is still learning on the vocabulary side, and it´s tough for him to get used to the Argentine accent (I can empathize) what he does say he says incredibly well. We worked here in my area in Roca and had buckets of fun making contacts and teaching our rock star investigators.
After divisions it was back to work with Elder Kimball. We had an incredible day Wednesday. We taught a record six lessons in one day, and found two investigators. 🙂 With all of the responsibilities we have in the zone and with the ward and stake, we usually have meetings almost every day or other random things that need to be done. But we finally had a full day to dedicate to pure missionary work. And there was much rejoicing. I love this area. We have met so many incredible people in such a short time.
On Thursday we met an incredible man. His name is Alejandro. He´s a bit up there in the years, but his humble personality was amazing. He was just so happy to see us and have us in his house. We shared to him the doctrine of Christ and invited him to be baptized. He told us that he often has problems of health, and asked us if we could help him. And so we gave him a blessing of health. Few times in my life have I been more grateful to have the priesthood and be able to bless the lives of others with my calling and office as an Elder.
Saturday we met with him again to teach him the restoration. Upon touching the topic of the Book of Mormon he went to the back of his house and dug out an old copy of that sacred book. He told us a little about the missionaries that brought it to him. About how they made him feel, and how he felt the same way with the two of us. We invited him to church and invited him to pray with us. Which he did. He gave the most humble and thankful prayer to his Heavenly Father thanking Him for sending two boys to visit him and bless his home. That has to be one of the most incredible prayers I have felt. And yesterday he came to church! We had to leave Sunday school to look for him, and the walk was slow, but he cheerfully walked the 13 blocks with us to the chapel, and loved every minute of Sacrament Meeting. So much that he said he is going to come every week.
And then there is Federiko! Well guess who is getting baptized this Saturday!!!!!! I am so ridiculously excited. We just barely met him two weeks ago! It is just amazing to see how God prepares people, and when we are obedient He crosses the paths. Federiko is so excited. He wants to know more, but he´s gotten his answer about the church, about the Book of Mormon and about Joseph Smith. He´s really excited to study from my copy of last may´s Liahona to be able to learn more about President Monson. We covered the baptismal questions in a lesson on Saturday and he is going to pass with flying colors tomorrow. He told us at the end ´´I might not know everything, and I want to learn so much more. But I know I´m getting baptized on Saturday.´´ AAAAAHHHH!!!!!! He´s just so amazing!!!!!
And there´s my comp. Oh how I love Elder Kimball. He´s quite the patient temperate man. We balance each other out well. I´m always the intense, ready-to-go part of our companionship, and he´s the one that takes the step back to ponder. I’ve learned a lot from him this last month. We´re going to be good friends after the mission, of that I am sure. I couldn’t be happier to be with another missionary or in another ward. We´re seeing so many miracles.
My beloved friends and family. Thank you so much for your prayers, your letters, and everything. I am the luckiest and most blessed missionary on the planet. It is thanks to you that so many things have happened. With the support I have back home I feel like I’ve won the Heisman trophy or something like that. And it´s showing out here. We´re seeing miracles every day in the lives of our investigators. So it´s time to get back out there and get to work! Love you all! Writin’ y´all after another great week!
Alright well before we try and get started let me just share that this spacebar is dead. Not kidding. Oh well that´s the adventure of being in a cyber cafe right?
Oh what a week! It went by so fast and I am SO tired. Seems to be the common theme of being in Roca. Let me just say that I cannot get out of these stinking buses for the life of me. Wednesday we hitched a ride out to Neuquén. Yikes that city is hot. We were already pushing 90 at 8:00. Joyous. We even had our suit coats because it was a Zone Leader Conference with President. We only put them back on to say hi to President Lovell, and then he too took his jacket off. Patagonian Summers. The best.
The ZLC was really good. So many crazy things are happening in the field. The big news? Well right now we only have 131 missionaries in the mission. But by July we will have over 200. Guess who´s a happy elder! I´m so excited. Seriously. New areas will be opened! Many wards will have two companionships (including many here in Roca!!!!!) and there will be lots and lots of training. Remember that scripture about God´s plan never being frustrated? Well we´re starting to see that one working out here in the field. So many things have picked up in the past few years in mission work and more so in the past few months. Most of the conference we talked about having a vision for our stewardship. Be it for our zone, our district, our area, or even our companionship. Great leaders aren’t just administrators or managers. They are individuals that use great visions to inspire others around them. Elder Kimball is an amazing missionary, and I am so glad to be working with him. Together we´re going to work our tails off to work for the vision that we have for Zona Roca, and to share it with the other missionaries.
The focus I’ve had the past few days has been on the interactions and relationships we have. As missionaries we are anything but robots. We are expected to be obedient and effective, but certainly personal. I’ve come to learn that leading is far much more than checking up on the progress and work of other people. It´s about reminding them why we´re doing what we´re doing. It´s about inspiring them to become better than they were. In reality every principle of leadership is a principle of the Gospel. Because we´re all trying to become like, and help others become like Christ. But we first have to have a vision of who He is. And that´s called a testimony. I have learned that a testimony has two great effects: it helps us know who we are and what we may become, and gives us the strength to act upon such knowledge. I suppose this is why the mission is such a valuable experience. After two years it doesn’t become irrelevant experience. As missionaries we don´t simply help investigators be successful up until baptism and become members. We help them have success as Children of God by helping them learn of His plan and His teachings. And then put said teachings to the test. Everyone in reality is an investigator. Even the person looking at us in the mirror. Because we all need Christ´s Restored Teachings. I haven´t just learned how to help non members learn and apply the Gospel. I’ve learned to help my fellow missionaries, but certainly myself. I’ve learned how important it is to do all we can to let the doctrine of salvation to penetrate us to the point that it gives us the confidence to climb every mountain in our path. And then immediately reach back and give a helping hand to those around me who need the same help that I have been given.
Oh and Federiko? Amazingly well. We had the most miraculous sacrament meeting yesterday. Focused on what? Baptism of course. It just worked out like that. We gave him a date this last week in only two weeks and he accepted. But after three rock solid meetings he came up to us yesterday and said the magic words that every missionary loves to hear: ‘I think you need to fill up the font!”
Nope. Without words. Someday I hope to have the time to tell you people about how amazing this guy is. He´s going to be an incredible leader one day in the church. Already is guarding the Word of Wisdom, praying, reading, attending every meeting, and meeting with us three times a week. Thanks be to Flaco for finding such a prepared son of God to listen to the gospel. Dear members of the church: please work with the missionaries in finding and teaching. Miracles happen!
Well it´s time to run! Thanks to the lovely extended weekend it took a while to find a cyber that wasn’t closed for the holiday. But I´d say I did rather well with a half broken keyboard. Or maybe not. Haha thanks for the prayers! They work miracles down here for us in Roca! Hope to hear from you all soon, and that a great week is had!
And to think a couple days I was wondering what in the world I would share on Monday in my email home. And then we had the best weekend ever! Haha in reality it was an amazing week from start to finish. We started the week doing guess what! Yup! Hopping on a bus and
travelling out to Villa Regina to attend the district meeting out there. They´ve only got a companionship of Elders and one of Hermanas but it´s a great district. Both of the areas have this contagious habit of baptizing often. 🙂
So since getting to Roca, I never have any time to do ANYTHING. We are always sprinting to get home on time at 9:00 and from then until 10:15 we are either on the phone or planning. But Elder Kimball and I decided that it was high time to make some tasty food. So we busted out the brownie and muffin mixes that I got for Christmas. First time I´ve made something from a box in the mission, but it was worth the time it saved. We were quite happy missionaries. It´s always fun getting to the end of the month and having good food to eat. 🙂
And then there´s Elder Kimball´s mysterious power to make food appear. Wednesday we were walking down the road trying to find what to do after plans A B and C fell through. We´re trying to think of a member we can invite to a lesson and he tells me ´´what I want is a lesson with member, pizza, and a cold shower….At the same time.¨ Yup. That´s my comp. Well we got the lesson with member and although there wasn´t pizza that night, the family Mellado did invite us back for a Family Home Evening. And yes there was pizza. Oh, and don´t worry he didn´t shower until we got back to the pensión.
Just wait it gets better. We were walking to Mamá and Flaco´s house for mission coordination meeting with Flaco (ward mission leader) and the hermanas when Elder Kimball tells me ´´how awesome would it be if Mamá gave us ice cream in the meeting?´´ You should have seen the look on Mamá´s face when she comes into the room and sees me dying of laughter. She did indeed bring us ice cream. Just wait it gets even better! Last night on the way to Mamá´s and Flaco´s for a lesson with an investigator Elder Kimball tells me ´´how awesome would it be if Mamá gave us empenadas before the lesson?´´ No joke. I kid you not. Not two minutes after walking through the door Mamá came back into the room with a plate of empenadas. Now I´m just trying to convince my companion to wish for more baptisms. Or maybe his powers only work with food…. Oh the possibilities! 😀
That quick trip Tuesday morning was the only time that we had to leave our area this week, so we just had time to focus on Roca 1st ward and blow it out of the water. We made the goal to testify of the Restoration with every single person that we crossed on the street. And now our agendas are full of contacts to follow up on. And let me just say that this ward is incredible. It´s amazing what happens when you have the confidence of good ward members. 3 times this week we heard the words ´´elders I´m bringing a friend to church on Sunday and I want you to meet them!´´ and 3 times we heard ´´elders when can you come with me to the house of a friend to meet/teach them.´´ Our buddy Handel starts up his famous Chorus right about then with those magical words. WE HAVE SO MUCH WORK TO DO IT´S NOT EVEN FUNNY. Haha I love being a missionary!!!
So I suppose it´s time for the happy miracle story right? Well Elder Kimball and I were talking (we do that from time to time) and we came to the conclusion that we would love to have an investigator who was on a self-prompted spiritual quest for the truth. And then we met Frederiko. Thanks to nothing less than a miraculous chain of events Flaco has now opened a butcher shop in Frederiko´s mini-market. They were talking this last week about several topics, and Flaco the capo that he is has been sliding in bits of testimony of The Gospel, The Restoration, and The Plan of Salvation. A few days ago he invited Frederiko to come to Sacrament Meeting. When Frederiko found out that there were actually three hours of meetings, he decided to come to all of them. So we met him when he walked in to Priesthood with Flaco. Well we nipped his post-catholic anti-tithing doubts in the bud as we had an awesome lesson on tithing. He felt so comfortable with the members that he asked question after question, and even shared testimony of how tithing could bring us closer to God.
In Gospel Principles he again participated as we learned about the Creation of his conviction of the reality of God and His power to create all of this around us. But Sacrament Meeting took the cake. He loved, absolutely loved the Sacrament and the testimonies that followed. It was incredible. One of the best testimony meetings I have ever seen. He was all smiles afterwards and when we asked when we could pass by to see him he said he wanted to talk to us that very night. So at 8:00 we went over to Mama´s and Flaco´s to have our first lesson with him. Frederiko just gets it. All of it. In just an hour he expressed his intentions to find out the truth from God if there really is a True Church. He already has received a witness from the Spirit to guard the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. And he gets, and I mean really gets the Restoration. Few people I have ever met have made such an astute connection with the primitive church the apostasy and the latter day church. What a boss. Cannot wait for our lesson tomorrow with him! It´s gonna be greaaaat!
Well out of time. Hope you can tell from my novel sized letters that I´m happy as can be. We´re having a great time in Roca, and it´s due in great part to the miracle of having so many wonderful people praying for us. Have a great week! Love you all!