Monday, October 19, 2009

Ramos Mejia- Week #69

Por favor.... Por favor

Hey Grandpa Mike and Grandma Page,

I’ll answer your questions first. The package came, and it was not in one piece. I didn’t have to pay anything for it. It had been broken into. I took a video of it so that you can see the state it arrived in. Long story short, it looked like they ripped into it, ripped open every bag that had candy in it, (I assume looking for valuables) and somehow didn’t find the ring, the memory card, or Dad’s patriarchal blessing. Go figure! They did however eat a few of the apple sauces. I guess there was so much stuff inside they got bored before they got to the valuable stuff at the bottom. So I saw the videos, and have cracked up and fallen in love with Rihanna…I mean Rhiannon…I mean, well you know what I mean. She is going to be perfect for me to take out and attract women with, you know showing my sensitive fatherly side…nah just kidding, that stuff never works, and I wouldn’t stoop so low as to manipulate a five year old like that. My toe is fine, Mom, I only wake up with my sock soaked in blood a few times a week now, so I think it is healing. Also, that last sentence was just dripping with sarcasm, don’t worry, it is completely fine. That’s cool that you made Enrichment stuff for the house. Also, go Lacey super step-mom. Elder Sabey hadn’t heard of the pizza place in Denver. We haven’t really started anything yet for Elder Bednar. He will be visiting here in Ramos Mejía and North and South mission are coming, so it will be more like the time we saw Elder Nelson, and less like with Elder Zivic. I don’t know any more details that that.

So as for Daylight Savings Time: I don’t know if you heard, but Argentina did not participate in it. This is not a joke…they actually refused to do it. President printed off an article that says, “Argentina Says No to Daylight Savings Time”…ha…haha…really? Yes, so we didn’t change any clocks, because the government here decided like the day before that they would have none of it, because there is “no need for it.” I don’t think that they or I fully understand the consequences of this decision, but I am sure that this somehow throws off the whole Gregorian calendar and Ben Franklin is scratching his head in the Spirit World. The biggest thing about this that affects the mission is flight times…but I am sure everything will work out.

So it was another busy week. It always seems like there is a lot that happens, but it doesn’t translate over into an interesting email. It was just busy. One cool thing that did happen was that, like in Brett’s mission, for the first time we as office elders were invited to the zone leader conference at the mission home. Most of them are my good friends, so it wasn’t awkward for me to be there like it was for Brett. Or at least, it wasn’t like what Kyle assumed it was like for Brett. I had a good time. There was a huge ping pong tournament, which Team Gilbey entered…and…we lost in the semi-final against the zone leaders of Marcos Paz…I could give excuses…but I’ll just say that we made too many mistakes. Alright change of subject.

So we went down with the zone leaders, President, and Hermana Benton to Rio de la Plata for a short walk, and had a very interesting experience. We stopped on a little bridge looking thing to take a picture, and there was a small hill / look out point that we were going to go up onto. Well there were like 10 college kids up there and they see the army of black suits nearby. It turns out that they were from the States, studying abroad, and it was apparent that they knew who we were. So we were just taking some photos and some guy that was too cool for his own good yells down at us, “Polygamists!” Good one, buddy. We just minded our own business, and a few seconds later he yells, “Child-Rapists!”…our general opinion at this point is that he is an idiot…and President turns around and says to him, “Hermano por favor”…just trying to be nice and courteous. Then he can’t shut his mouth and down right mocks President Benton, and with an imitation of his accent he says, “POR FAVOR POR FAVOR!” I won’t forget how I felt in that moment or the way that I saw 22 other Elders tense up at the sound of our President being disrespected like that. President just brushed it off and started to walk toward us. I thought that we were just going to leave and forget about it, and then I learned a valuable lesson from President Benton. He said, “Let’s go up there.” So we followed him up and we started talking with all the students there. All of them were really friendly, and President talked with them about the Church and everything. The immature kid just kind of sat in silence after that, and we got to know these other students just getting to know Buenos Aires. They took pictures of us all lined up, and then one girl asked if she could have a picture with us, President said yes, and she came on over and put her arms around me and Elder Hatch…Elder Hatch was just mumbling under his breath, “five more weeks, five more weeks.” He goes home in five weeks, and my hands shot into my pockets. President was just laughing. I told him I would probably need an interview after that, and he has joked around with me about it a few times since then. So I basically had a girl wrapped around me on the romantic Rio de la Plata…it is probably on the internet by now.

Anyway, moral of the story is that President showed that it is possible to share the gospel in all places and situations. It would have been easy enough to just leave and forget about it, but he marched up there and shared the gospel with them. He didn’t retaliate to pathetic insults, but instead was just loving and friendly and got to know some people who needed the gospel. It was really cool for me to see the patience and love that President shows towards all people. I was also thinking about how I felt in that moment. It was a sickening feeling to see a man I admire and love so much be mocked like that. That kid didn’t know the influence that President has had on me, the other missionaries, or this world, and then the soul-searching question presented itself. How do I feel when I hear the lips of men mock our Lord, Jesus Christ? The Son of God, who I admire and love so much, who has had such an influence on me, and on the world, is mocked more than any other being I can think of. How do I feel in those moments? Interesting question to ask yourself. Our lives are constantly filled with opportunities to learn and recognize the Savior’s influence in our lives.

Elder Gilmore

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