Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ramos Mejia- Week #57

Elder Zivic is in the other room....

Season’s greetings to you and your kin, (line from Elder Sabey)

Well, this week has been busy, to say the least. I guess when you are an office elder getting ready for a General Authority to come tour your mission, more is expected of you. Let’s just say that all six of us, blatantly broke mission rules last night, and we were all working in the office until about 12:30 at night. I remember at BYU I would go to sleep sometimes at like 3 or 4, and be fine…Let’s just say I was dozing off while walking last night. A missionary is not built to be up past 10:30. It actually was pretty funny, because everyone was just losing their minds from the stress and being tired. My question is, if we knew he was coming three months ago, why are we having to work down to the wire? Then I thought about it, and it always works out like that…no matter how much preparation you have, it always seems like the night before you are pulling the all-nighter to make sure everything is perfect. So everyone had little projects to do, and mine was to obtain all the materials that would be needed for the meetings, such as microphones and keys to the audio room, and all that jazz. So I called Church HQ down here in Buenos Aires to get all the stuff like last week, and they kept telling me they would come to deliver it to us, well long story short, it never happened, and up until 11:00 last night I still didn’t have the stuff I needed. I thought Elder Woodmansee was going to kill me with lasers coming from his bloodshot eyes! I finally got a hold of the stake president and we got someone over here to open the secretary’s office. Also, Mom, about the being in a nicer area comment: Yeah, this place is definitely safer than my other areas. The roads are paved here…but it is still considered a “slum” of Buenos Aires in some parts. Also, President lives about 40 minutes away in a nice part of the Capitol, which is in the North mission. But everything worked out, and Elder Zivic is next door in the chapel! He seems like a pretty laid back man. We haven’t had our interviews with him, but it will be sometime within the next two days. The details might have to be in next week’s email.

So tell the Grandmothers that I miss them, and miss hearing from them. Tell Grandma Wilma that I obviously do not look down on her letters for grammatical errors; ha I am not sure why she would think that. She helped in the process of raising me…so it is pretty much impossible to look down on her, because what I am is a product of her and my family’s teaching, so if I looked down on her, I would technically be looking down on myself. I love my family for what it is, even if we warsh clothing. Also, I haven’t heard from either of them since my birthday, which is just entirely too long to go without grandma love. I know Grandma Sherry is a little under the weather, to put it lightly, with the cancer treatments, so I won’t demand a letter, but just let them know I am thinking about them.

So about the Elder that got deported, he is in Los Angeles, and is supposed to come back whenever he gets his passport. So who knows? That is great you got to see everyone in Livingston. Do I know the girl Sant is dating? Also, Moriah’s wedding announcement said she was getting married in June, so why is she just having an open house…or is that how they usually do it…I have no idea. Wish I could have had a corn dog with you, Dad! Also, I will be home next summer for the county fair, and I definitely will need some Park County corn dogs…they were so good. That Education week stuff sounds cool. Well, you could buy a Wii…or add to my car fund! I will let you be the judge of which is more important in the eternal perspective…keep in mind that usually girls like guys with nice cars more than guys that sit and play Nintendo, so this will probably effect whether or not the Gilmore name lives on through me. I still feel pressure about being the only male Gilmore of all the grandchildren…I better have a son. Elder Brook´s package got sent back because, although I go to mail every week, I only go to the huge mail place in Capitál every two weeks, and wouldn’t you know it, it was closed for pig flu, and I didn’t get back in time. Also, they have downsized all the missions to only two cars. So we are kind of hurting. President uses one, and then we all now have to plan for the rest of the things to do with one car. Why don’t they just take one of the 90 cars in the Hollywood mission? We don’t even have bikes here, because they would get stolen…they are probably going to take our shoes next…no just kidding, just takes a little extra planning, which is good. It can only make us better.

So, something pretty fun that happened this week: Sunday night we were invited over to the mission home by President and Hermana Benton for dinner. Steak…corn on the cob…and baked potatoes. I almost felt like I was being disobedient by eating it, because that just doesn’t happen here. It was kind of like a little family night. We ate, and were then told that it was Benton family tradition to tell gross stories right after eating…I love them. So it wasn’t like we all went around telling our own story, but it was funny. President asked about my toe operation, which has pretty much healed by the way, so that was a fun little story to tell. I just have to tell you though, I could not stop laughing when President and Hermana went off. They started talking about how they can’t really take gross situations, which sparked the story when their cat had kittens, and President was feeling sick, but Hermana wasn’t affected, and actually was eating a BLT the whole time. So President then says, “Yeah, I just couldn’t handle it. The same thing happened with our first child.” Hahaha, so that sparked the story of the birth of their four children…yeah…it was hilarious. It wasn’t inappropriate or anything, just really funny how they both told the story. So then we turned it over to a more spiritual note. We sang a few hymns together, and then sat down for a little forum discussion. Topic: Agency. I was way excited because I am actually studying agency right now, and I have for a good while, so it was perfect for me. President really helped us understand a few things.

First we kind of talked about how when people say free agency, it isn’t correct. Someone had to pay, and then from that the discussion went to how we lose our agency, when we don’t use it wisely. The obvious example being when we sin, or get into an addiction, we gradually lose our agency. We all looked up scriptures and talked a little more about it. I really liked something that President said though. He said, “As you make right choices, it is easier the next time to make a right choice. As you make wrong choices, it is easier the next time to make a wrong choice.” So I have to keep making right choices. Every choice we make either moves us closer to God, or farther away. There are no detours. We have to ask ourselves before we make a decision, big or small, is this moving me closer to Heavenly Father? Is this really what He wants me to do, or am I doing it for me? If there is one thing I have learned here, it is that I don’t know what is best for me, nor do you, neither does anyone else. Heavenly Father knows what is best for us, because he can see the “big picture”. So we better stick close to Him, and do what He would have us do, not what we think we want to do. I noticed that I make a lot of decisions that probably don’t move me closer to Him, nor is it what He expects of me, but I am learning, and loving the journey. I realized this is the first time I have ever been on a mission, or been 20…and I have no idea what I am doing. This is the first time I have ever had to make decisions like this, or live like I am living. I use my agency, and some stuff works, and some doesn’t. All I can do is keep doing the best I can, and rely on the Spirit to guide me and instruct me on how to use my agency wisely. Then, as I learn more, it will be easier to heed the voice of the Spirit, and make the right decision. Bah…I have a long way to go. Good thing I have so much time to learn it. So that was my week. A little busy, but I still learned something, and had a pretty good time. I just finished talking to Elder Zivic who told me about the time he and his wife went snowmobiling in Wyoming. I almost forgot that he, as a General Authority, is in Salt Lake at least twice a year for General Conference. He speaks in English, too, but lives right here in Haedo, which is in the stake I am serving in. Cool stuff.

So, that’s all for now. I am grateful for all your support, and hope the summer is going well for everyone. It is still freezing down here…sometimes. I am grateful for this opportunity the Lord is giving me to grow. I thought before the mission I was a pretty good guy wouldn’t need to change very much, but it has been crazy to see just how much I have learned. Guess I wasn’t all that, ha. I’ll tell you who was though! Christ. I have grown closer to Him than in any other time, and am learning more and more from Him on a daily basis. I believe in Christ, He stands supreme! From Him I´ll gain, my fondest dream; And while I strive through grief and pain, His voice is heard: “Ye shall obtain.”

Elder Gilmore

P.S. Sister Pollock did end up giving me a hug, but it was a half hug, and pretty sneaky. I don’t think anyone saw it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ramos Mejia- Week #56

Learning to Walk

Hey Everyone,

So, this week was just crazy! With transfers and everything we had so much to do, hence, I am writing late. It all started last week when President and the Assistants started transfers. We went out and did some errands in the Capitol, and came back; to find President’s passenger side window in his car bashed out…it was sitting here at the church, and they heard a loud thumping from inside, then the alarm went off. When they went out, the thieves were gone, and so was President’s GPS system. So, we are taking more precautions here in the offices of locking all the gates and knowing where everyone is at all times. I guess they thought I was outside breaking down boxes or something. So that started probably one of the busiest weeks of my mission. All the transfers were made, and Elder Fox is the new AP. He is the elder I lived with in my first area for four transfers, or 6 months, and now we will most likely live together for another four transfers…or in other words I will have lived with him for a year of my life by the time this is over. We were talking and laughing about how I guess this means we have to be best friends, and be in the sealing room at each other’s weddings. I haven’t told him about Brett and Kyle yet, but I am easing into it, don’t worry, they still hold the #1 spot in my heart.

So the weekend before transfer meeting is always busy, and this go around we were actually down one man, because Elder Pollock went off with his parents on Friday. They were really nice, and I probably could have just sat and talked with them all day, but there was work to be done. Sister Pollock did mention though about how Dad is famous on missionary mom.com, or rather, how I am famous because of my dad, and how he linked everyone through to my blog…so that was funny. They all just left on the tour of Capitál with President and everyone going home, and she asked us if we were coming. We said no, and she said, “Oh, how sad!” haha it is sad…

So we got through the transfer meeting on Monday without a hitch, and it was great, only to fly into Tuesday, with all the new Elders, and one Sister, coming. Well, we get a call at about 8 or 9 in the morning from Sister Abbot, fresh from the MTC in Provo, telling us that Elder Seedall, also fresh from the good ol' USA lost his passport…and they aren’t letting him through Customs…I guess they didn’t fly directly to Argentina like we did when we came. They first went to Lima, Peru and had to get off and change planes in the middle of the night and then showed up here. So somewhere in that process he lost his passport. Long story short, they wouldn’t let anyone see him, and he was all alone not knowing how to communicate. I guess they got someone back there who “spoke English” to tell him he was officially being deported. So he is probably already back in the United States, in the MTC again or something…we haven’t heard anything since. So even though poor Elder Seedall didn’t make it, the rest did! They all looked dead tired when they got here. When we were getting them all into their taxis to go to their areas I was helping an elder that was kind of just standing in a haze.

“Where ya from, Elder Moore!?!”
“St. Louis.”
“Hey, I’ve been there! You are going to Castillo! That is where I started, but a different ward. You’re going to love it!”
“Are you nervous?”
“I´m terrified.”
“Yeah it is a little stressful when you start out, but don’t worry.”
“I guess I will play the piano to relieve my stress, back home Halo relieved my stress.”
“Oh my gosh, I love you…”

This little conversation was followed by a good 5 second awkward pause…then he kind of smiled and said, “oh…thanks…” hahaha it was way funnier in person. Anyway, they made it safely.

Yesterday we went down to Church HQ for South America South area, which is basically the United States inside, and talked with Elder Petersen, the area doctor, and he operated on me. For about 8 months I have had an ingrown toenail, but it hasn’t bothered me too much, just slight discomfort. I never wanted to go take care of it because I always had goals to reach and didn’t want to waste time, but the other elders betrayed me and told President and Sister Benton about it…and they suggested I go. Happy to say that all went well, and my ace bandage is snug around my toe. It wasn't in-grown, he said it was a "p***********************"...all I know is that it was a long word that started with a "P", or in other words, and infection that occurs on the nail wall. The needle to numb my toe was only a little bit shorter than a #2 pencil, and he stuck it in about 5 times. I have heard horror stories about it, and I went with Elder Shields when he was my companion, but it wasn’t even bad. He said I did really well, and should think about a career in medicine…something about having good composure around needles and excessive blood. We got a great video of the procedure, which probably climaxed when I asked, "Is there usually that much blood?" He, without hesitation, gave a stern, "No" and continued on with his work, hurriedly putting gauze into my open wound. So I have my soapy water and cheap argentine version of Neosporin to soak my toe in every morning and night, so I should be good to go. Now I just have to learn to walk again...just kidding.

I have seen Harry Potter stuff all over the place…trunky…and yeah mom I heard about that Harry Potter theme park before I left on the mission, I read everything I could find about it, and plan on going every year at least once for the rest of my life. Well, the work is picking back up, and we have a baptism with a 17 year old named Elias on the 1st of August. He is golden.

This week in my studies it has been really interesting. I kind of realized that my studies aren’t just for one hour…I am being taught all day. Speaking of learning to walk again, I am continuing to ascend the mountain of spirituality, if you will, and am finding out more and more it is a hard road, one I have never attempted to travel, but at the same time, I’m not alone in the climb so it looks promising. I look at it as a parent teaching a child how to walk. Heavenly Father is teaching me how to walk. I have always been a good crawler, and have been able to get pretty far crawling. A lot of good experiences, lessons learned, trials overcome, but it is time to move on to the next level…and I don’t quite know what to do, it is easier to just crawl, but He knows that I can do more walking. He has set me up on my feet and let go of me, and is standing right in front of me with His Arms open, but how do I get to Him. How do I walk? Haha, obviously the physical answer is obvious, but how do I do it spiritually. I have seen a lot of Argentine babies learning to walk, and they just kind of stand in the same place staring at their mother, not moving, but you can tell they are doing some intense thinking of how to get over to her. You can see it in their eyes. So I am learning how to walk, and then He will teach me to run, and eventually fly…on my Firebolt…buahaha ok inappropriate Harry Potter reference right there. Anyways, I have determined that for now, my answer is look to my Perfect Example, the Lord. He knows how to walk, and I have sacred records that tell me how He did it. Become Christ-like, and you will be up and walking in no time.

Speaking of studies, my gospel understanding and knowledge is just loving being in the offices, where I have access to unlimited conference talks and religious forums. I found this quote from Spencer W. Kimball.

“To be like Christ! What a lofty ideal! The Savior had a pleasing personality, He was kind, He was pleasant, He was understanding, He never went off on tangents, He was perfectly balanced. No eccentricities could be found in His life. Here was no ostentation and show, but He was real and humble and genuine. He made no play for popularity. He made no compromises to gain favor. He did the right thing always, regardless of how it might appeal to men. He drew all good people to Him as a magnet.”

I am not like that, but I want to be. I love you all. Talk to you next week!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cereal Feast

This is a video of Sean with Elder Latorre in Merlo, Argentina in May, a few days after his birthday, having a "cereal feast".

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A few more pics

The Smiths prepared a meal in honor of Elder Pollock going home next week

Office Elders with the Smiths

Ciris gets to baptize

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Harry Potter Pictures

Sean's reaction when he asked the Assistants if he could go see Harry Potter on P-Day. He has on his House Elf shirt. I think you can guess what the answer was.....

In the spirit of Harry Potter week, Sean made some slight changes to this picture of the Mission President, his wife, and the office Elders.

Ramos Mejia- Week #55

Harry Potter is a child of God..... fictionally speaking

Well Hello there,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!! Did you ever think we would make it this far? I am so sorry about this birthday letter fiasco, I thought it would get there in time, but it should be getting there soon. Also, don’t freak out Lacey, I am writing your birthday letter this week so it gets there in plenty of time…why are all the women in the family born in July…I think I counted like 7 from aunts and cousins and stuff…

Don´t worry, I have made it one more week without the pig flu, although I did go one night with an intense fever, but it was gone in the morning so I took the liberty of keeping that a secret! If someone would have known, they probably would have carried me off to the pig flu infested hospital and I would have contracted it. So we dodged a bullet. This week was kind of a downer as far as the work went. Germán totally disappeared…well, there is a longer story to it, but it is complicated. He is the boyfriend of Sandra, who was baptized a few weeks ago, and they got into a fight, and she won’t let him back in the house for now…but that is where we always teach him, so we have no idea how to get in contact with him, …so we have been advised by a few members to let it blow over and continue with them after peace has been made. So kind of a lame way to end the week, but there is still hope for Germán. I got a letter from Alex Greaves, and yes Alex I have seen a Harry Potter billboard, but it was far away, and all I could see was what looked like Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Dumbledore standing in a subway station or something…I asked special permission to go see it on p-day, but was denied…oh well 11 more months. Oh yeah I turn 13 months on Saturday.

Thursday I had an interview with President Benton. It was really good, but I kind of wanted it to go a different way, but it was good all the same. We talked for a while about the office work…which is fine, but in my once a transfer interview with him, the office work was the last thing I was interested in talking about. I like talking about more the things I can do to progress, what I can do to raise the level of spirituality, and life stuff, but still, I got a lot of great advice, and I just love that man. Also, we spent a good 3 minutes talking about Michael Jackson! Turns out President is a fan, and said that Michael was a genius. We talked about some of our favorite MJ classics. Go figure.

The sister I interviewed was baptized on Saturday. We went to the service, and it was really great for her. She bore her testimony at the end, which usually people are way too nervous to do, but it was like she had been a member for 30 years. Great lady. So in other news, there is a missionary couple that works with us here in the offices, The Smith Family, and they invited us to dinner last night, which was awesome! Sister Smith is like a caterer food science major person from BYU and she cooked us taco salad stuff, but used the meat they have at Café Rio…enough said. It was in honor of Elder Pollock, the assistant who is ending his mission next week. On the way home, we saw that Harry Potter poster and everyone started talking in outrageous accents, quoting lines from the books and movies. I dabbled…mostly just my bertie botts line that I always would say to Lacey, also threw in a few things about the chudley cannons, and wizard chess. It reminded me a lot of BYU, when Brett, Kyle, and I would play my Harry Potter xbox game and mimic the people talking…the best always being Brett’s imitations of Cho Chang…”harrow harry” haha makes me laugh just thinking about it. Elder Pollock was just going crazy, saying that he thinks my hair is red…false…he said that when the light hits it right it has a red tint…I have never seen any evidence to support that theory. He was screaming, “ whoa! You have red hair and your name is Ron!” “Close! I have brown hair and my name is Sean!” I did tell them though that my dad and sister are/were (sorry dad) red heads.

So on a more spiritual/missionary note, this week personally has been great. For a while now, I have felt like I have hit a plateau, but this week I started to see more progression. I have really gotten back to my studies, and have been learning a lot more. It is one thing to read scriptures everyday, which I have always done, and another thing to study the scriptures every day. I have been diving into my patriarchal blessing more and more, and applying scripture to it, kind of like making my own little D&C 139 with footnotes and cross references and stuff. I got the idea from Elder Woodmansee. Anyway, I have been studying a lot about Heavenly Father’s relationship with His children, in the sense of us being His children, like not prophets, or members of the church, but children. I wonder about the pre-mortal existence, to think about how well we knew Him, and now we can’t remember, and have to get to know Him all over again. What were we like with Him, individually? We trusted Him completely, or we wouldn’t have come to the earth, so why it is so hard for me to trust Him in this life? I think about how much He must expect of me, being one of the last He would send to build His kingdom, how much instruction He gives me in my blessing to fulfill those expectations. How valiant was I? I mean, I know we were all valiant for being sent in the last days, but was I one of the most valiant, or just above average? Not to put myself down, but I think about it and He answers me when I ask Him. I mean think about it, you don’t even know who you are! I don’t even know who I am! ISN’T THAT EXCITING! I could have been just above the average of faithfulness in the pre-mortal existence, but can now use my time on earth to prove I will be the most valiant, and then add in the factor that we are trying to jog the people’s memories we teach, that they actually DO know their Father, and they were most likely some of the most valiant! It is a continual cycle of love and progression. Side-note, it is most effective to study this topic while listening to the primary choir from two conferences ago sing the songs they sang.

Last piece of news, we have been informed that Elder Claudio D. Zivic of the Seventy is coming to tour our mission in two weeks, so we are on code red to get everything ready for him. President also told us that he has requested interviews with…the office elders… Some may say that would be a once in a lifetime experience, being interviewed by a General Authority, but it just scares me out of my mind.

Well, hope everyone is having a great summer, because we are freezing to death, and fighting off the forces of Satan…and pig flu.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Videos of Sean's Birthday in Argentina

Sean having an Ice Cream Party the night before his Birthday

The other Elders throw Sean a Birthday Party- Merlo, Argentina

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Michael Jackson Conspiracy Theory

Mention on the blog please so everyone knows, that Elder Sabey and I have a theory that Michael is not dead, it was all a hoax, and he will be back for the 50th anniversary concert. Mark our words. Did anyone even actually see the body, they buried him early? You have got to be kidding...he is alive, and in the opening act of his concert, he will introduce a new song about being immortal or never dying or being timeless or something. So just doctor that little thought up and put it on the blog so that we get credit when it happens.

(Oh no- Sean is starting another "Elvis is still alive" rumor about Michael Jackson...)

New Pictures

Bowling! Perfect form, unhindered by missionary attire

That was a strike by the way...maybe...I was trying to put spin on it

I was the official "looker to see where the ball goes" on this hole

Classic Narnia lightpost pic

4th of July
(notice this flag from Argentina has 55 stars...)

Ramos Mejia- Week #54

Watch out or a pig flu will hit you in the face....

Hey Mom and Dad! And the rest…

Happy Birthday Grandma Wilma!!!

Well, to start off, Happy 4th of July! God bless America! We had burgers and hot dogs to celebrate, but no fireworks. Also, don’t know if you realized, but that was my last 4th of July in the mission, and on Argentine soil, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot of time left here. A few of the most patriotic quotes came to mind while thinking about our nation’s independence.

1. I say, that what you say is what I say.” –Spot Collins, Newsies…never fear, Brooklyn is here!

2. “If you are racist, I will attack you with the North.” –Abraham Lincoln, paraphrasing by Michael Scott

Well, this week was really interesting with everything that happened. First off, this pig flu, or swine flu, or gripe porcina, or whatever you want to call it, just got seriously legit in Argentina. All of a sudden it is like a big deal. I am not sure what happened. So the death toll is just growing and growing, and everyone and his brother is running into their houses and locking the door. Nobody has desires to speak with anyone else, which isn’t very good for missionary work. There are people wearing masks and hand-sanitizer is sold out everywhere. Here in my area, there is a hospital exactly 3 blocks away from the offices where supposedly there have been a handful of deaths from this thing. I walk by that place everyday…and almost catch pig flu everyday! Ha no, but seriously, they quarantined the doctors there, so all medical staff is living in the hospital and no one leaves…kind of like Wonka chocolate factory…we just see silhouettes in the windows and wonder if it will ever be open again. All school has been cancelled until further notice, and we aren’t allowed to shake hands with anyone until further notice. President Benton is still pretty optimistic. The craziest thing is that church was canceled this week and for the next two weeks. All meetings, during the week and on Sunday. The only thing not canceled is baptisms. A few stake presidents tried to cancel them, and that was quickly corrected by Elder Zivic of the Seventy, who said that baptisms and confirmations will continue. He said, “We will not stop baptizing, confirming, nor deny the ordinances of salvation to anyone!” So that is great news for everyone. Also great news is that Elder Sabey and I have a baptism set for this Saturday. He is the boyfriend of Sandra who was baptized a few weeks ago, and his name is Germán. When we first met him he was smoking 20 cigarettes a day, but he has slowly given it up and now has gone a week and a half without smoking, so he is doing really well. So yeah anyway, this pig flu stuff is now like something everyone is worrying about…as for me…I feel great, hahahahahahahaha ok not going to lie, as soon as I wrote “I feel great”, I sneezed…pig flu…

So with Church canceled and everything, people were wondering about the Sacrament and how that is all going to work and whatnot. Well, in a pretty big move, permission was given to all worthy priesthood holders to bless and pass the Sacrament in their own homes. It was really neat to think about all the brethren that were able to provide that blessing and service for their families. Having the priesthood in your home is so important, and sometimes I don’t think we realize that. I also felt great because obviously there are a lot of people without priesthood in their home, and so, with a spare three hours on Sunday morning when I usually would have been in Church, I found myself in the middle of a war of wills: Natural Man vs. Man of God. I couldn’t decide between doing two things. Natural Man, I was all for going to the nearest sports bar and watching the Wimbledon final between Federer and Roddick…the biggest tennis match in the history of time and I missed it…or Man of God, go to the houses of the members and administer the Sacrament. Ok, so I wasn’t really tempted to go to a sports bar, but I did think about Wimbledon an awful lot this week. So we really had the sacred privilege of going to member’s homes to bless and pass the Sacrament to them. It brought me back to the good old days in Lufkin, Texas, and my good friend, Garland Fairchild, that great old man that we took Sacrament to every week for almost a year. I wonder how his wife is doing. I still think about her sometimes. Her name was Frannie, which just made me want to be in her company…if it wasn’t 2009, I would probably name one of daughters Frannie. Do you remember them, Mom and Dad? Good people.

So something else happened this week that I have to tell you about. I did my first baptismal interview! I didn’t know this, but being an office elder, we do the interviews for the other office elders, or if there is an emergency we go out into the mission to do them. Well, I thought only district leaders and zone leaders did them…guess not. It was really fun to talk with -----, and help her make the final preparations for her baptism. She was really nervous, but her husband is already a member, so she was familiar with everything. To try and make it a little more comfortable, I didn’t go into the interview right away, but let her look at my pictures and talked with her about her kids and everything. She brightened right up and I got her laughing, which just helps anyone’s nerves. It is interesting to try and make people laugh in Spanish, because the sense of humor is a lot different. Also, a lot of phrases are different. I learned how to say “beggars can’t be choosers” this week. It is “A mucha hambre, no hay pan duro.” “For much hunger, there is no hard bread”… interesting…like when you are hungry, you can’t complain the bread is hard…makes sense. So anyway, everything was going well in the interview, until we got to a certain point, and she confessed a few past transgressions to me, and they were pretty serious, and happened pretty recently… I didn’t really know what to do, other than I knew that she had to have an interview with President Benton, because it was above my authority to ok it. However, we continued with the interview, and she was crying a lot, and I really was excited at how much the Spirit was guiding me in the interview, what questions to ask, and what details to get from her, how to do it sensitively and delicately. It felt good. Well, we finished up and I explained to her I needed to call President. So I left to call him and explained to him the situation, and all the details I could remember, and he said, “You did well, Elder. Those are all the details we need in a case like this, she needs to do some repenting, but we’ll get her clean of this.” I really just loved it, because it was one of those cool spiritual experiences that you always hear about, but never feel like they happen to you very often. The Spirit told me exactly what President would have needed to know in that situation. So she was set up with a time to meet with him, and everything worked out fine, and she is getting ready to be baptized this week. Newsflash: The power of the Atonement cleans any stain. It is real and changes the lives of people every day. It saves them. I was so excited for her; I mean she is my first interview, that I started giving her a bunch of presents, like DVDs and scripture cases. I mean, I am the material man, so I figured it would be alright…just kidding I paid for it. So that was a journal worthy experience. Speaking of journals, I have almost filled up my second one, so a third will probably be needed in about a month.

By the way, my international drivers thing saved us again…Elder Sabey parked illegally and the cops were pretty cranky with us, wanting to see Elder Sabey's license and stuff, but I just flashed that at them and we were let go. Well, I have to go now, out of time, and I have to buy stuff.

Cuán asombroso es que por amarme así, muriera Él por mí, Cuán asombroso es lo que dio por mí.

Love, Sean