You are not going to BELIEVE my transfer!!!! Yeah so normally I wait until the end to keep you all reading my email to let you know where I´m going or what´s happening, but I can´t wait. I´M GOING BACK TO CALETA OLIVIA!!!!! I´ve been assigned as zone leader in the Caleta Olivia branch. And I could not be more excited. The scary part is that EVERYONE–and I mean everyone here in the Roca zone made this prediction. And I´m not gonna lie this is also quite bittersweet. I´m still unconvinced that it´s been four and a half months since I got to Roca and three months since Elder Kimball got here. I am going to miss this area and my comp more than this email can convey. There´s never enough time to do anything!!!!
–After talking about blessings of tithing for 10 minutes–
E´Kimball: ´´Dude, people must think that Link from Legend of Zelda was a crazy tithe payer. He just goes out and finds money and stuff by hacking down weeds.´´
Yup. That is why I´m going to miss this guy.
Well it was a fun last week here in Roca. It went by too fast. We started off enjoying bbq empenadas made by Elder Jewkes. Tasty! We capped off the day having an amazing lesson with Anibal. He is just the greatest guy on the planet. We talked a lot more about the faith he has in God. For the first time since we have met him, he has admitted to having prayed in the past. He also told us that since he met us last month he has begun to pray again privately. Not even his wife Natalia knows that he has been praying. I am humbled by the good that he wants to do in the world, and even more so by promising him that through the Gospel and Church of Christ he will be able to realize such desires. The really happy miracle was when E´Kimball felt the prompting to give him a call at 10:00 Sunday morning. He forgot to wake up on time to go to church, but ended up making it to Sacrament Meeting just as the prayer was being said. And who says miracles have ceased? Luckily I´m going to have some time to go and say goodbye to him and Natalia. Yesterday at lunch the stake president and his wife told us that they´re going to set up a family home evening with Anibal, Natalia, E´Kimball, and E´Hunsaker. Anyone have any ideas how I can be in two places at once? Ah well. E´Kimball is going to do a great job here.
We also did another exchange this week! Elder Sangroni is one of our younger missionaries in the Universitario ward that started training Elder Saunders a few weeks ago. So I hopped to the other side of the canal to work with E´Sangroni in his area on Wednesday. We went and had a really good meeting with his bishop coordinating efforts with investigators and less actives, headed over to lunch, and then we hit the pavement. We talked to so many people that day, it´s not even funny. We worked really hard to find some prepared people ready to investigate the restored Gospel. And it was nearing the end of the day when we had quite the happy miracle. FYI last week got really hot. Like 95 degrees hot. Yeah that´s right. In the fall. So to survive I was drinking tons of water. at about 6:00 pm I finished off what was left in my water bottle and we knocked a door looking for an old investigator. When no one answered we decided to cross the street and look for someone else. When we crossed three teenage boys were walking towards us and asked us if we could give them any water. I apologized and showed them we didn´t have any left. They passed us by and a second later we heard some magic words: ´´Elders! Come here!´´
We turned around and walked over to a man who was watering his grass behind his fence. He asked us if he could fill up my water bottle to which I gratefully responded. When we asked him who he was and how he knew we were elders he responded that his name was Juan and that four years ago he met the missionaries, but over time loss contact with them. Having recently moved to the house where he is now living he lost his Book of Mormon. He got quiet and then told us how much he loved reading the Book of Mormon with the missionaries and the peace that it brought to his life. He paused and looked at us asking ´´Do you have a Book of Mormon for me? I would really like to have one.´´ Those are magic words. We quite gladly have him a copy and set up a return date. The elders have their appointment with him tonight and they´re going to let me know how it goes before I get on the bus. Missionary Work. The church is true. 😀
As a quick side note, celebrating the end of the transfer Mama Olga and Flaco invited us over to have lunch. It also happened to be their daughter Daniela´s birthday, as well as the birthday of our convert Federico. Argentines love two things that they don´t normally eat here because they´re not quite sure how to cook them: Tacos and brownies. Luckily Hna Santiago, one of the missionaries sharing the ward with us is a pure blood Mexican. Spicy food is in her veins. And apparently I´m a baker or something like that. Because while the hermanas made the tacos, I made brownies. And I made a ton. So much that the giant pan that they were baking in was almost too small to hold all the batter in. You might think that brownies and tacos is a weird mix, but it was the best lunch I´ve had in the mission. Hermana Santiago, Hermana Ojeda, Elder Kimball and I made quite the team here in Roca 1 this transfer. And don´t get me started about how much I´m going to miss Mama Olga, Flaco, Daniela, and Federico. Words don´t describe how much I love that family of recent converts, and all that they do for the missionary work, and all that they have so freely taught me.
It is an unjust thing time. There is never enough of it. And I am trying to use it as best I can. When I think about how many months and transfers I have left I get quite the sinking feeling that it´s not enough. So much has happened here in this area. We have worked and worked and worked, and prayed and prayed and then prayed some more. But a couple weeks we fasted with the hermanas and Flaco our ward mission leader that things would change in the right direction with the ward leaders. And last night we had the most amazing ward council I have had in my mission. Something just clicked. Overnight the bishopric, relief society, and elders quorum went right to work. There are huge miracles that are about to happen as the great wave of missionary work hits Roca in the next few weeks. Elder Kimball has a lot of work to do back here. And I can´t wait to hear about the success he´s going to have with Elder Hunsaker here in the area and in the zone.
Oh I am so excited. I find it fitting that I read through all the missionary chapters of Alma this week. I´m feeling a lot like how Ammon felt in chapter 26.
1 And now, these are the words of Ammon to his brethren, which say thus: My brothers and my brethren, behold I say unto you, how great reason have we to rejoice; for could we have supposed when we astarted from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?
2 And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?
3 Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how amany of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made binstruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.
4 Behold, athousands of them do rejoice, and have been brought into the fold of God.
5 Behold, the afield was ripe, and blessed are ye, for ye did thrust in the bsickle, and did reap with your might, yea, all the day long did ye labor; and behold the number of your csheaves! And they shall be gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted.
Now I might not have had thousands of baptisms here, but when I think of the baptisms that we did have in my short time, I think about the future of Julio, Federico, Paola, Federico, and Gisel. Federico and Julio are going to go on missions. Paola is going to do baptisms for the dead in two weeks in Buenos Aires, one of the names that she is taking is her father´s. I think of the blessings that will come as these five sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father accept callings and responsibilities and the people that they will help convert and bless. I love this next verse because it describes so much better than I can what I feel at this special moment in my mission.
35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all apower, ball wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a cmerciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.
I know that God lives. He is our Heavenly Father. He has a perfect plan to help us become perfect even as He is. Christ lives. His Church is on this earth. And I will thank them both for the blessed opportunity I have to carry his name on my heart and bring His blessings and His love to the people of the Patagonia. Certainly we have reason to rejoice. 🙂
Thank you for all of your prayers and for reading and sending letters and everything else you all do to make me the happiest missionary on the planet. May you all have a wonderful week. I know that I will. I cannot wait to see what is just around the corner! Talk to ya´ll next week from Caleta!!!