Alright, let’s be honest. There is just way too much good news to fit into one email. But I’ll do what I can with the time that I have. First off, you should know the leaves are starting to change here in Roca, and it’s just drop dead gorgeous. The apple harvest is almost over, and there are crunchy leaves everywhere to be walked on. Happy Elder Davis. 🙂
Second bout of happy news that cannot be contained. We got wind at the beginning of the month that Elder Cook is coming to Neuquen for a special stake conference in the beginning of June. Well Pte. Lovell being the incredible man that he is informed us this morning that we will be having a special mission conference in Neuquen with Elder Cook. Cannot. Contain. Excitement. We’ll have our mission conference on Saturday June 1st and if I’m still here in Roca we’ll have a special stake conference with Elder Zeballos of the seventy on Sunday the 2nd. June 1st also just so happens to be a transfer Saturday, so instead of doing phone calls we’re going to be all together. It’s also the last transfers right before the mission split so it’s probably going to be the last goodbye to some of our companions. It’s going to be a great weekend. Time to get prepared!!!!
The good news just never ends! Yesterday we had our special broadcast with all of the stakes and districts of Argentina! It was fantastic. Elder Nelson, Elder Clayton, and Elder Bowen all gave their talks in Spanish. Sister Stevens of the Primary Presidency had a translator but her talk was still good. Conferences with general authorities are simply the best. Aside from being stoked out of my mind for general conference (which is only two weeks away!!!) the conference answered tons of questions that I’ve had for quite a few weeks. Elder Bowen spoke on personal revelation and how we need to actively receive it, Elder Clayton shared an incredible message on spiritual self-sufficiency, and Sister Stevens spoke on tender mercies and our Heavenly Father’s compassion. Elder Nelson talked about being true to simple principles of the Gospel, and the great blessings that come from doing so. He used his ever so famous quote that living the Gospel successfully is not rocket science, a phrase which sounds rather amusing in Spanish. Loved every second of it.
And then there is Julio. We could not track him down for the life of us this last week. And then he showed up to our English class on Saturday! We told him about the conference and he committed to coming, but only if we arranged his baptismal interview. This kid forces a hard bargain. 🙂 So Elder Kimball and I got to sit on the front row with Julio for the conference and as soon as it ended we grabbed a room for him and Elder Gonzalez one of our district leaders. Apparently he cruised through the interview. What a capo. We’re meeting with Julio and his mom tonight to find out if Julio is going to be baptized this week or next week. Crossing my fingers that it’s this one. Julio is just ready to take off, and is already talking to us about going on a mission. 😀 I love this kid to death.
Our happy surprise this week was Anibal. Last month we found him while doing contacts on an exchange day. One of the friendliest guys I’ve ever met. We set up an appointment with him and a week and a half ago we swung by for the first time. It was an interesting lesson. We shared a message of the Restoration but when we got to the Book of Mormon we found out that this was exactly what Anibal wanted to know more about. Something that is rather interesting about these last couple weeks is the amount of agnostic investigators that we have been finding. Most people down here at least profess to have a passive faith in Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. Anibal was quite clear with us that although he doesn’t deny the divinity of Christ, he’s not ready to consider him to be the Son of God. More interesting was when we invited him to read 3 Nephi 11 he told us that he wasn’t going to read it. Just like that. But he did want us to come back.
So come back we did! He had us sit down and say a prayer. And before we could say anything, he told us that he read 3 Nephi 11. All of it. And all he wanted to talk about was what it says about baptism. Why it needs to be immersion, why so many churches do it in other ways, why don’t we baptize babies; pretty much every major baptismal question that we answer over the period of a month. But then we got to Anibal’s biggest question. What is going to happen to me, being that I am not baptized in any church? Am I going to hell right now? So we had a rather interesting lesson about what happens after this life. But then Anibal surprised us when at the end he told us something that he’d never even told to his wife. He told us that in the hard times of life, he feels as if someone is helping him. He’s not sure who, and he’s not ready to say that it’s God or Christ, but he does have faith or confidence in something. But he wanted to know more about agency and the plan of salvation. So we gave him one of my favorite Book of Mormon chapters: 2 Nephi 2. First time I’ve given that one to an investigator. And yes, I am incredibly impatient for our appointment on Wednesday.
So the fun challenge that we’ve been given is to read the Book of Mormon by the conference in June. Se animan? 🙂 You know you want to join me! The greatest blessing that I have received by studying the Book of Mormon so much is coming to know just who is my Heavenly Father and who is my Savior, and of the love they have for me. If anyone feels like life’s just not quite giving, pick up the Book of Mormon, and set yourself the goal of reading it looking for the precious truths that talk about Jesus Christ, His atonement, and just why He does the things He does for us. I promise it will change your life.
I’m also pretty sure that Elder Kimball is just the best companion a missionary could have. This guy just knows not only how to make people happy and encouraged, but he also balances me out. I’m really intense, and he’s quite laid back. This transfer is going way too fast for my taste, and these next two weeks are going to fly. We’re doing exchanges with both of our district leaders, and so there will be some healthy amount of bus time traveling out of our area. And then next week is ZLC and General Conference. There is never enough time to do anything! But that’s ok. Because we’re seeing miracle after miracle out here, and there’s no sign of them stopping any time soon. Thanks a ton for all ya’ll for reading my letters and saying so many prayers for me, my comp, and our investigators. It truly does make a difference. I am on cloud nine to be here in the Patagonia, in this special ward, serving in this amazing zone. There’s not a place on earth I’d rather be. The mission is simply the best. Have a great week!