Yikes. Big number. Not cool.
Family, Friends, and whoever wishes to read this email!
Wasn´t conference AMAZING???? I still can´t get off that high that came from 10 hours of awesome talks. This time around the wall socket to hook in the cable for the English speaking room wasn´t working. So we had to use the room right next to the receiver: the abnormally small nursery room. Well we managed with about 10 of us enjoying an amazing conference. I had hoped that after a week of being able to think about which talks I liked the most I would be able to sort out my thoughts a bit more and be able to comment coherently. Ah well. I loved it all! President Uchdorft, Elder Nielson, Elder Dyches, Elder Holland, Elder Ballard, Bishop Caussé, President Eyring, Elder Oaks, Elder Nelson, and of course President Monson shared some pretty impacting talks for me. Easily the toughest part to swallow was listening to the talks about missionaries and realizing that after being a missionary for four general conferences, next time the general authorities talk about missionaries, they won´t be talking about me anymore. And although that´s quite the not-so-fun idea for me, conference certainly has motivated me to up the speed these last couple months. It is time to hit the pavement sprinting every single day in everything that I need to do. It is such a privilege to be out here in the field during what certainly is the greatest singular moment in missionary work since the church was restored. Especially with the division of the mission and my assignment these last few months, it has been incredible to see how much growth is going to happen really fast, even here at the end of the world.
Each time that I have been to conference here in Argentina it has been a good opportunity to take the pulse of my progression as a missionary. My first conference as a junior companion I remember getting a relief listening to so many talks in English. I received many confirmations that the men I was listening to are indeed called by God as prophets and apostles. A few months later in Comodoro training with Elder McAllister we listened to the age change announcement and I realized how special of a time it would be and how blessed I was to have more than a year left on my mission. Six months ago in Roca I saw miracles all around as what the prophets and apostles were talking about: a wave of prepared missionaries finding prepared and waiting souls ready to be taught day after day until I was transferred from that area. And now after last weekend I feel so grateful and blessed for what I have learned serving in the name of Christ. As a missionary you come to realize how awesome (in more than one sense) your calling is. But I am coming to be more conscious of the expectations to always be a missionary that God has for me. I just love the mission so much. This last transfer President, Elder Almiron, and I have been working with some newer missionaries that were struggling with staying in the mission. I remember those first few days, and how tough it can be. But somehow you get to the point where you just love the mission. And for me General Conference has really been a huge part of that because for hours at a time I got to receive so much council that not only helped me be a better missionary, but a better person, that loves giving his all in the service of others. For every discouraging moment that I have gone through, there was relief to be found for me in the words of our living apostles and prophets. How blessed we are to have them.
This week went by so ridiculously fast. So much to do and so little time! The week started off with some incredibly good news from Salt Lake telling us that we will be receiving all of our visa waiters from the states this next transfer, making a total of 28 new missionaries that we will be training next transfer. Yeah. We only have 53 companionships in the mission right now and already 17 of those are training. So pretty much all of our junior companions in the mission next transfer will have downwards of four months on the mission. Next transfer is going to be quite the party. But we are so excited!!!! We only have one missionary going home in a week and a half at transfers, so we are opening 13 new areas.
So yeah. 13 new areas. That is a TON of work. The first part is trying to figure out where you should put those 13 new areas. So it is a lot of praying, counseling, and quite a few phone calls to missionaries and local leaders. And the list is free to change at any given moment. So now that we are back in the office for the rest of the transfer we began to realize how much work Elder and Sister Carter our senior companionship have been dealing with. So most of the week we spent helping take some stuff off of their shoulders. Elder Almiron helped Hna Carter out with recent convert reports and I have spent most of my office time with Elder Carter getting our storehouse back in order and get our payments fixed. Excel has been my best/worst friend this week. But after a couple really long days, we´re coming up from down under! We love the Carters and we are more than happy to give them a hand and help them catch up.
We finally were able to track down the Julio family this week!!!! So so so so happy! Only problem? It was just Hna. Julio and her grandson when we went by. So Sylvana and Valeria weren´t there. But we had a really great lesson that we intended to develop into The Plan of Salvation, but really focused just on the Atonement. No complaints there. Hna. Julio recently joined an evangelical church but is having some problems with her pastor so she´s a bit frustrated and confused with all the different teachings of justice, grace, and forgiveness. So we opened up the Book of Mormon to Alma 7 and Moroni 8 and she couldn´t get enough. She promised to read the rest of the two chapters before we come back later tonight. Score! Hopefully the rest of the family will be there!
Ramiro. Going again tonight. He´s been playing a lot of football lately. 😛 Osvaldo? Invited him to General Conference, but he slept in. Not too sure what´s going on with him. We´re going over with his daughter today to invite him to church tomorrow.
What has been really cool this week was going back to some of Elder Almiron´s converts here in the ward and seeing how they are. A couple are inactive, but that just means that there is work to do. They all live in the Sister´s area, but our sisters in the ward are amazing They will all be just fine.
So if you asked me what else happened in the week, I would respond with two words: transfer board. Yeah about those 28 new missionaries. Yikes. Sister Rogers came in as we were working to ask us something and looked at the board and said: they´re all so young! Yup. Nature of the beast. The apostles talked about a wave of missionary work. Well we´re about to have a tsunami. We are also going to be splitting 2 zones into 4 for a mission total of 9 zones, with a total of 5 new districts. So apart from the new missionaries we will also have a ton of new leaders again this transfer. Something that someone said once about God qualifying the called stays my worry. Like I said this next transfer is going to be AMAZING!!!
Well it´s already time to send this letter. I am loving every single day that I get to have. Especially being here in Comodoro. I love this city. After so many months it has become so familiar. I love being here in the spring. I love the members here, I love our investigators. It is a privilege every day to work with such great missionaries, especially with my companion. Time is flying. But there is yet work to be done! Keep praying for me. It really helps. Love ya!!!