Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rafael Castillo- Week #19

Stake Conference and Lunch in Capital

Hey Fam and Friends, and other people who read this blog...

No, Dad, we can't use our backpacks, so don't send a camelback, and no I haven't used that filter water bottle because I don't have a backpack to carry it around in during the day. I had to buy a little one strap bag from the mission to just carry scriptures and some folletos in. Also, folleto means pamphlet...or whatever that English word is. And that picture in the Estandarte will be my picture for the end of time. They take it the day you arrive, and if all goes well we should be in there this transfer for 3 indicators...which really isn't that hard to do, I don't know why more missionaries aren't in that thing.

Well, not to start out on a negative note, but I almost threw away my white pants this week because I figured I am never going to baptize anyone, but then I realized that I am only in my second transfer. Ciris MISSED church again, ahhh so baptism is cancelled. All he had to do was come to stake conference, on a FREE shuttle the church paid for...come on...haha no its all good. I was disappointed, but Elder Shields cheered me up. The thing is, people say, oh well you are planting seeds, or, baptism isn't a sign of success. Well I'm not some gardener out here people, I'm not here to plant seeds, I am here to baptize, and the seeds being planted are just a natural consequence of the work we do. The field wouldn't be white already to harvest if we were still planting seeds. Anyway, at least in this mission, I have only met one missionary who HASN'T had at least one baptism every transfer...and I am going on three without one. But then Elder Shields told me that Elder Hill, who is awesome, and I really look up to him as an example, didn't have a baptism until his 4th transfer, and I feel a lot better. Anyway, the negative is behind me, I feel better and am excited for next transfer.

So we went over to Ciris' last night to see what happened on Sunday, and he said he had to do his school project again...I just can't stay mad at him...he is awesome. He showed us his project and the kid is a dad gum genius architect kid. He had his whole room covered in blueprints he has made up for all different kinds of buildings. It was sweet. Also, when we first met him he said he wants to be a Pastor...obviously with a little construction business on the side... Anyway, Elder Shields kind of let me take charge a little bit in the lesson, and by that I mean, I prepared a little something in my mind while walking the streets that day. So I taught Ciris all about how there is going to come a time in your life where you are going to have to choose between right and wrong, for example, baptism, and Satan is going to do every single thing possible to stop you, and that I wouldn't be surprised if something came up the next couple of weeks on Sunday, and he is going to have to choose, and when we choose we show two people two things. We show God that we don't have the faith the follow Him, and we show Satan that we will give in to the temptations that he throws at us, which just gives him more power over us. I was really feeling it, and the Spirit was really strong. Anyway, we reset the date for a couple weeks from now, and we will see what happens. Also, I have decided that I am not going to tell you every single date we set for baptism because it is lame when every email I have to tell you that dates fell through. So from now on, it will just be like, I AM HAVING A BAPTISM THIS SATURDAY, all of a sudden.

Also, it was stake conference this week, and it was GOOD. Too bad Ciris wasn't there to see it. President Benton was there and spoke and got all the members fired up to get involved in the work. Then the temple president spoke, who is from the United States, but sounds Latin, and it was by far my favorite talk. It sounded like a General Authority up there. He talked about how he imagines a congregation like ours, sitting in a room all dressed in white in Spirit Prison, learning to understand the ordinances so they can accept them when their work is done, and every time a baptism is done in the temple, the door from Prison to Paradise opens, and all the spirits in Prison see Paradise, but only one gets to leave. He ended like this, "How great the joy in Prison is when that door opens, and how great the misery is when it closes again." It was really powerful and reminded me that I am out here doing work for the living, but it is every member’s job to be doing the work for the dead, because they are waiting with baited breath for that door to open for them to walk through.

So today is kind of special. President Benton called Elder Shields last week sometime and told him that his uncle, who is a BYU professor or something, is in Buenos Aires, and that he is going to let him go to lunch with him today in Capital. So...naturally...as his companion who has to be with him at all times...I am going to lunch in Capital today! Kind of takes up some of my P-day, but WHO CARES. This is going to be sweet! I am pretty excited about it. Also, I think there is some special reason President is allowing this, but I don't know, because I am pretty sure that just because family comes you can just go out and eat with them...don't get any ideas family.

So I will end with one more story. This whole transfer, our companionship is the only one in the whole zone who has done at least 20 contacts every day for the whole transfer, and the promise given by Elder Ballard of the Twelve to missionaries is that if each Missionary does 10 a day their baptisms will double, because they will find the elect of God. So we have really put our faith in that, and we're not doubting, but wondering, when our baptisms would duplicate, well we still don't know, but we are finding higher quality investigators it seems. People who are keeping more commitments. For example, we taught this one woman yesterday who we contacted last week and set an appointment. Her name is Bernarda and seemed interested. Anyway, we teach her, and she is giving like all the right answers to our questions, as if she had been taught by us before or something, so we ask her, and she says she way being taught about 6 months ago but the Elders stopped coming by, and thanks to our incomplete area book we had no record of her. Anyway, we tried to give her a book of Mormon and she says she has one already...not only that she has been reading every night...she is in Mosiah! She has just been reading with not contact from the church. Her exact words, "I read and pray and meditate, and I know it is from God, it is SACRED to me." YOU BET YOUR FRIED EMPANADAS AND POMELO SODA IT IS! We tried to give her a fecha, but she said she needs to pray and meditate about that too...which is alright with me, because I know the answer she is going to get. Anyway, I think next transfer is going to be sweet. Transfer meeting is on Monday, so hopefully I am staying in Castillo to see the fruits of all our labor.

Love, Sean

P.S. I am going to go camera shopping next week, so thanks for the money in the account, it should be about 700 to 800 pesos for a good one, Elder Shields said, so there is plenty in the account. Love you!

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