Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rafael Castillo- Week #15

Whew! Hey Mom! Hey Dad! Hey Lace! Hey Everyone!

So I will start with the illness story. Last Monday was Transfer Meeting, where all the Elders in the whole mission go to Ramos Mejia (the offices) and we have like a huge meeting. The leaving Elders speak and the AP's speak, and President and Hermana Benton. Then there is like a huge slide show and it shows all the new companionships, it is pretty fun because everyone like oohs and aahs at everything. Especially when it shows who is going to train the new elders. But anyway, I left there feeling like a million bucks. We eat pizza for lunch and head out to work some more. At about 7:00 at night I was dying. I had a full body fever...like my entire body was on fire...seriously. So we went by la Hermana Romero and she found out I wasn't feeling well...probably because I was about to pass out on her table. So she asks what I ate that day. I told her "pizza no mas". She asked where I got the pizza, and I THOUGHT it was our usual place. But no, Elder Torres said he got it from a street vendor because it was cheaper...what? IDIOT!!! haha so we found out the cause, and she starts making this weird lemon drink to give me. So it is this herbal lemon steaming hot drink...like burning my throat, and she is giving me random pills to take at different times of drinking this thing, and all I can think is what the Health Guy in the MTC told us, NEVER TAKE MEDICATION FROM MEMBERS!!! But, I was dying, and she reminds me a lot of Karen McCann except shorter and will smaller hair, so I trusted her. ;) Love ya Karen! Anyways the stuff worked wonders...in seriously 15 minutes I was back on my feet and feeling 100 %! It was VOODOO MAGIC!!!! I do not know what in the world was in that stuff, but I felt better so quickly. Then when I woke up the next morning on p-day I felt like crap again, but I slept for like 5 hours and felt better, and I have been better ever since. So basically I was sick for like the 8 hour window I had to email you. But, it’s done now; I am doing great physically and spiritually so no worries.

Umm...anyone ever heard of General Conference? oh you have? yeah it ROCKED!!!!! We were allowed to go if we had investigators there, and let’s just say, Heavenly Father really blessed me this week, especially because I am senior companion for 2 weeks until Elder Shields learns the area, anyway, I was blessed to not send Castillo 1 into apostasy under my direction, and I got to go to EVERY session! I was so happy! Also, not only that, but for missionaries that have spent less than a year in the mission, they set up an English room, so I got to watch in the language of the restoration: English.

I don't know if it was just this conference, or because I am a missionary, but there were some canes being dropped all over the place. It is interesting that the more in tune you are with the Spirit the more you get out of conference, because the Apostles are speaking with the power of the Holy Ghost, so the more you have the spirit the more you understand the message they are delivering. Holy Cow they were coming down on the people, calling for some serious repentance, with love of course. We were laughing because it seemed like every talk they were telling the church in Argentina what they are doing wrong. Example: Elder Oaks giving that talk on Sacrament Meeting. The people here needed to hear that. No texting! No wearing flip flops! Dress appropriately! Everyone here wears jeans to church. He said something like "it is sad to see people come the Sacrament Meeting to renew their covenants to remember Christ always, and in the same meeting see them breaking that covenant." WOAH! I like how he said Sacrament Meeting CAN be a spiritual experience, it doesn't have to be, and he said going to Sacrament Meeting is as sacred as going to the Temple...wow great talk! Also Elder Nelson dropping the cane about marriage! Haha it was insane! He said, "Marriage is a divine commandment! It is a gift from God, and when we reject a gift, we reject the Giver of the gift." WOAH! Who has the gumption to reject God? not me, I am getting married! Also, Dad, dang did you hear Elder Scott in the Priesthood Session, he said, "Imagine we are having a personal priesthood interview...If you feel uncomfortable about any of the questions I asked, the time to repent is now!" and then he just stared into the camera for like 5 seconds...5 seconds of silence and him staring into the camera...HOLY SMOKES!!! it was intense, and I was loving every minute of it. Also, the women talks dominated this Conference. The sister that gave that talk on Virtue! That was the best talk I have ever heard in my life. Also, that morning in personal study I had just read that part of the Book of Mormon about Lehonti coming down off the mount and being poisoned by degrees, so I felt cool. Elder Bednar has made my prayers so much better. He said to try and say a prayer without asking for anything, only giving thanks. It really makes you feel good to only tell Heavenly Father what you are thankful for, and helps you realize how much He blesses us. I really liked Elder Holland's talk on angels, too. So deep! I loved how he said angels aren't only beings on the other side of the veil, because it made me think of mom so much. I just think back on all my experiences in my life, and all the help mom has given me, and some of those experiences I can't think of any possible way I could have gotten through it without her, including, but not limited to, being born...haha. but seriously, thanks mom for everything, I love you so much, you are my angel! Alma 56:48

Anyways, it’s about time to sign off. Quick baptism update, we lost both our fechas because they don’t have enough times at church, so back to square one, but I feel good about the work I am doing, so I know I am doing what the Lord wants me to do, and if I don’t get any baptisms my whole mission so be it, even though, everyone else is getting a lot of baptisms...there is a lot of stress and pressure in the mission, but this transfer I realized that it is a satisfying stress if the stress comes from wanting God's children to progress to return to Him, and not just stress about having outward success to be able to tell people about. I love my mission, I love this Church, and I can't see any way that it can't be the Kingdom of God. Thank you all for the prayers!

Con todo el amor que esta en mi corazon,
Elder Gilmore

Ps. there is a sweet techno song playing in the internet cafe right now and I guess I was bobbing up and down subconsciously to it, because Elder Fox just started laughing at me...don’t be hatin...Peace be the Journey, Cool Runnings

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