Shaping the future
It has been a pretty good week this week, with a lot of great experiences. Happy 21st Birthday to Brett and Kyle! I also got Grandma Wilma’s letter this week, and enjoyed it a lot, especially the fact that it had her shopping list on the back crossed out. Ha, she said she didn’t realize when she started writing the letter. Anyway, I will start by answering your questions from last week. I don’t think they caught the killers of Germán, nor do I think there was much of a search. That kind of stuff happens all the time here. There are definitely areas that are safer than others, but for the most part, events of that nature are commonplace anywhere in the mission. So basically everywhere is a bad neighborhood in the mission ha. Yes Dad, my heart on the wall is the left white one. We only go to one of the zone conferences in a transfer as audience members, but sometimes we go to help out in the kitchen or something. Downtown Bs. As. does look really cool, but I don’t know if I would call it Paris…although I have never been to Paris…yet. And yes, 9 de Julio, the widest street in the world is fun to drive on, and gets your adrenaline pumping. Elder Bednar is coming in week 4 of next transfer…but who knows, I might leave this transfer, I have no idea. I don’t want to jinx it, but I wouldn’t mind being in here another transfer to be here when he came. The closest temple now is 4 hours away in ferry to Uruguay, so I don’t know how many people will be going. Traveling long distances here is a bigger deal than to people in the States. The new Spanish Bible is sweet! Everyone is buying them, so I am sure the Church is making bank. They are like 98 pesos. I did NOT get to play tennis. We went on a wild goose chase trying to find a place that would rent us equipment, and didn’t have luck. Don’t worry, Mom, I don’t think you are a heathen. Just keep trying your hardest. We can’t let the basics escape us. I am sure that this is a test in your life to see if you will study without any other reason than to improve, and gain personal knowledge and testimony. The glory of God is intelligence, and we should always be trying to increase that aspect of our life, so even if there were no callings we should be still increasing in spirituality. I mean, if we think about it, nobody is just going to come up to us in the celestial kingdom and poke us so that we magically know everything there is to know. We have to do it, and no one can do it for us, but hey, I am not preaching to you. I was probably the worst of us before the mission; I rarely studied scriptures every day of the week. I didn’t understand. What is the exact date of Lacey’s wedding? I am loving this weight loss boot camp thing you are doing…and no, we didn’t spiral into depression because of all the sports losses, although it did have me on the floor laughing when I read mom’s description of Dad pacing back and forth moaning. I love that feeling. It just brings back the painful memories of the USC-Texas Rose Bowl Classic. Probably the most bittersweet moment of my life; huge disappointment because we lost, but was at least sharing it with my dad, and I knew we felt the same way.
So this week I had some great experiences. First, Margarita did not get baptized, but don’t worry because she is this Saturday. Her little fight with that guy didn’t turn out to be a big deal, so she is back on board for this weekend. We are excited because the Ward Ramos Mejía will double their baptisms since last year with Margarita. They had 7 last year, and in the past four months, Elder Sabey and I have had 8 with “Marga”. Which will put us at 14, so I am just grateful for the blessings the Lord has poured out on us to help us reach the challenge Elder Richard G. Scott gave to us last year to duplicate baptisms. Speaking of Apostles, I am super trunky for General Conference.
So next cool thing to happen was that Elder Zivic of the 70 who came and visited our mission last transfer, visited our ward yesterday. So he spoke in our Sacrament meeting. His son just got home from the Missouri Independence mission and has been kind of going on tour for the past couple weeks speaking in all the wards of the stake. He remembered us and came over to talk to us…AND OUR INVESTIGATORS! It was, for lack of a better term, bomb-diggity. That is the second time I have had a general authority do my job for me, and I am not complaining. In his talk he kind of dropped the cane about fasting, and fast offerings. Only 30% of the whole area (Arg. Par. Uru.) is self-reliant when it comes to fast offerings. He was saying that we, here, still have to borrow a ton of money from members in other places like Europe and the States. It has been really interesting to see in my mission how reliant some people are on the church, because they just don’t have enough to survive. He said that it is interesting when they get requests and recommendations for bishops and the candidate hasn’t paid a fast offering for 3 years…here is a quote in English from him I translated, “It is a sad day when a man like that is the best we have to be a Judge in Israel.” Cane…dropped…hard. So moral of the story is read Isaiah 58 about what a true fast is, and do it!
Last thing I want to talk about is a little trip/service project we participated in on Saturday. There is a hospital right across the freeway from the offices that is pretty well-known here for bad reasons, Hospitál Posadas. It is just an awful hospital. We walked in and it seriously looked worse than a rundown high school. There was graffiti on the walls, dirt and trash in the hallways, windows broken out, and stray dogs running through…um…this is where people go to get medical attention, like…have surgery…or give birth…watch out people, this is what socialized healthcare will get us one day. So we walked in for a specific purpose, and I was super excited. We went to the top floor, all the way to the west wing, where special patients are held. And by special I mean terminally ill cancer patients…all under the age of 12. It was probably the most rewarding experiences of my life so far. We had to get scrubs and masks on and then we went in and played with all the kids, most only 3 or 4, who have been classified as hopeless by doctors. It looked like the most miserable life to have. Some could barely move, and some looked like nothing was wrong at all, but they were all up in that top wing, like they were forgotten, and sat and watched TV all day. We came with candy and alfajors and other goodies to try and lift their spirits. They looked happy to see us, I am sure they don’t get many visits, other than their parents who practically live there. Elder Sabey and I played Charades with them. It was so much fun! We only did Disney movies so they could guess easily, but I still think it was hard to do Beauty and the Beast. I just fell in love with this one girl, 3 years old, named Milagros (miracles in English) who had Down syndrome and cancer. We walked in and gave her an alfajors, and she burst into tears. We couldn’t figure out why until the nurse said, “She can’t eat sweets, and she knows it.” Oh my gosh, it broke my heart. She wanted to eat it but knew that she couldn’t. Come on people, she is terminally ill! Let her be a 3 year old and eat some chocolate! So we calmed her down and gave her a stuffed animal instead, which she seemed to be content with. It was so much fun, and so inspiring to see the parents and children all with smiles on their faces even in the midst of this awful and uncertain time. We gave all the parents magazines and talked with them about the church and eternal families. It was just a very rewarding experience for me, and I will never forget it, or my cool new friends I made who will inherit celestial glory without question.
So good week, and looking at having another good one. We will probably find out soon if Elder Sabey will be leaving or not this transfer, and it is up in the air as of now. Love you guys!
President Benton quote of the week: “Elders, there is no reason to be fearful of the future. We are going to shape the future.”
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