Ups and Downs
Hey fam, Well, this week was a quick one, but so much happened! It definitely was one of blessings, but there were some HUGE trials this week, so I will be typing fast to get it all in…dad…that is a hint to correct all spelling mistakes.
So good news first, or bad? Well, we will start with the good! I have two good things to tell you, and two not so good things, plus pictures to send. First good thing, Elvira and Gabriel were baptized and confirmed this week, so they are the newest members of the Ramos Mejía Ward. It was a great service. I will send pictures, but let’s just say that our convert from June, Bryan, who was baptized the weekend I got into the office, baptized Gabriel, and I can’t even begin to try and describe what it is like to see your convert baptize another convert, and Brother Salas a.k.a. coolest member in the ward, baptized Elvira. We had a little scare, because Elvira slipped going down into the font and almost ate it hard on the stairs. Luckily she grabbed onto the guardrail and made it safely into the healing waters. Gabriel followed next, and had to do it twice because his knee came up out of the water. I told him not to worry about it because I had to do it twice as well. So that was a great part of the week. Margarita was set for this weekend, and technically still is, but she got into a fight with her boyfriend/business partner/member who introduced her to the church…so she is up in the air, but that isn’t one of the bad news items.
Next great topic is that it was Sister Benton’s birthday on Friday, September 11th! It was also Teacher’s Day here in Argentina, which is weird because in the U.S. it means something a little different. The Argentines, however, don’t really remember the attacks on September 11th…mostly the response we got from people if it came up was, “Welcome to the club, our country has had our share of tough breaks.” But all in all it wasn’t on anyone’s calendar. So for Hermana’s birthday we went to her house and gave her a “heart attack”…like the young women kind when you cut out hearts and put them everywhere. She went to a luncheon or something, and we snuck in with President’s help and covered the wall in her living room. She loved it…I think. She called us and thanked us for it, and said she was going to leave it up for six months or at least until Valentine´s day. President took a few pictures of us which I will attach so you can see our…labor of love…ha I thought about that one for a while. Anyway, so it covered my arts and craft portion of the mission for a while. Don’t worry though; we had a meeting with President while we were there, too, so we actually got work done in the process. I am still working with the tie guys, so that is coming along as well.
So the bad news for the week…two things, and both happened on Wednesday night. So we went to sleep on Wednesday night, and got a call at about 11:30 from our bishop. He had bad news. So you remember Sandra who was baptized in June as well, and her boyfriend/father of her children, Germán, who had a baptismal date and everything? Well bishop had just been on the phone with Sandra’s mother and had some bad news. Germán had left to go buy something at the store, was robbed, shot twice in the chest, and killed. Boom. Just like that, that whole family’s life got flipped upside down. He was only like 24. He is in the pictures of Sandra’s baptism. We have been trying to help all we can, but it is just a mess over there. Sandra is not doing well at all. We reminded her of the plan of salvation and all that, but I have a feeling it was the last thing she wanted to talk about. It is just an awful feeling. You grow so close to the people you teach, you grow to love them! And now one is dead, and the other who you baptized is suffering perhaps more than ever before. The worst part is that I want to do something to help her, and when I saw her the first time all I could do was give her a lousy handshake…great…but, she came to church still and the sisters in the ward are scooping her up, so we are working through it. Their kids still don’t know. Abril (5) is used to him coming and going, so nothing is unusual for her, and Aaron (2) isn’t even talking yet, so I am not sure how they are going to tell them. So it was just a little hard for them to deal with, but they are staying close to the church, which is the way to go.
So the next thing that happened Wednesday was that President Benton was robbed and kidnapped for 40 minutes! This is not even a joke…so this isn’t to make you worry or anything, but Satan is wreaking havoc here in the outskirts of Buenos Aires! This place is just dangerous! 2 robbings, 1 kidnapping, and 1 murder…I am totally getting street cred. Anyway, he was exactly 1 block away from the offices and a car cut him off with blue sirens, and guys got out with guns screaming at him to get into the passenger seat. They had hats on that said police and everything. So he complies and they take off with him in his car, and the funny thing was that he said they were kind of nice after that. He asked if they were really police, and they said no, that they were professionals, this was their business, and sorry that he was the unlucky one that night. Great…so they took him and put him in another car, and drove him around to disorient him for 40 minutes and dropped him off in some field. During the 40 minutes he said they were talking about family and stuff, and showing pics of their children on their cell phones and stuff. So President taught the first lesson to them and everything. They took his phone and wallet and stuff and left him in the field. So he hitchhiked back to his house and made all the necessary calls. It was too late to find the car…they had already disabled the tracking device that was in it. I guess they really were professionals. So he wasn’t harmed or anything and just has a cool story out of it. It is pretty funny the way he tells it. So the church, the next day, went out and bought him an even nicer car, brand new…I am not sure why…He just got hijacked because his car is nice…so let’s give him a nicer one that is new and shiny! I don’t think that helps the problem, but whatever…so that was the eventful week here in Argentina. I am out of time, but I love you all, and remember that most opportunities to grow come disguised as trials. You can’t grow without the growing pains.
Also, news flash, President just announced that we will be receiving a visit from Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve in November. Boo-yah…keep the good news coming! I hope I am still in the office.
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