Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Happy Day at last has come :)

I don't think I can even think of any words to describe this week.....Which brings me to some exciting news!!!  Felicidades (Congratulations) to the family Spinelli!  After a months worth of exercising diligence, faith, patience, tears and smiles, Cynthia and Marcel were officially married on the 28 of November and baptized the following day.  The wedding turned out GREAT!  My companion and I even ended up whipping out our "Beauty Weapons" to help Cynthia the day of her wedding because the original person called at the last minute and cancelled.  So we got right to work! :)  My companion did her nails, I the hair, and one of our members did her make up.  she ended up looking very beautiful as well as Marcelo and the kids.  We also ran into two other last minute problems... No one knew how to tie a tie for Marcel and we forgot to call someone to drive the family to "White" (the place where they were getting married).  Well, luckily , the bishop showed up and tied the tie and also drove the family to "White".  My companion and I were also privileged to attend the wedding where they signed the papers and all, but the best part was throwing "rice" all over them in the end.  A tradition in ARGENTINA.

The following day (the day of the baptism), we ran into a little problem....Ha it started to rain and rain super hard.  Well this family lives about 30 minutes walking distance from the church.  And as for the family, they travel by bike with three kids.  So when my companion and I called, we told them not to worry about the weather, we would find them a ride so that you won't be drenched twice in one day.  (Baptized twice :))  HaHa  Well, this was Marcelos response, "Ahh, no importa! Mejor!, Mas Bendiciones!  (Ah, no big deal, This is better, More Blessings)  What wonderful spirits!!  About 15 minutes before the baptism, not many members had showed up and my companion and I began to worry.  We said a quick prayer and with much faith, 10 minutes later a HUGE crowd of people came to support the family.  Not only that, but when we began our first hymn, our mission president showed up to support the family and shared a little scripture as well.  The spirit was so strong and as I watched this family share their testimonies, I knew that they were going to be strong, faithful members of the church and not only that, but for this ward.  After the baptism, we had a surprise wedding cake for the family with the Salt Lake Temple on it as well.  I loved this part the most because from the very first day we taught the family, the thing they wanted most was an "eternal family" sealed in the temple for time and all eternity..............

As well as our other investigators, this week my companion and I decided to find another way to het the family Zeron to come to church....well everyone like food?  No?  We decided to plan Sunday breakfast with them and they all accepted.  Well Guess what"  2 out of the 9 attended.  We were hoping to get the entire family to come but we were happy to at last have 2.  It's a start, right?  With even better news, Veronia, the mom and her daughter who attended said that they loved everything about it and are excited to bring more kids next week to church.  We also had a lesson with Maria (The mom of Angie) and she committed to being baptized the 6th of December.  So we are super excited about that and are praying with faith that all will work out.

So I can't believe how incredibly blessed I am...to be a missionary...to be in Argentina...for my beautiful family...my companion and her smile.  For my investigators, and myself to have the ability to communicate to others about God's plan (gospel).  To be blessed physically, mentally and spiritually.  To be capable to be a servant in the Lord's hands.  That 6 1/2 months have gone by in a whirlwind and I have had miracle after miracle that God has given ME these blessings and experiences thus far in my mission.  Sharing this magnificent gospel and watching people grow, understanding God's plan and why we are here on earth.  To testify of Christ and His atonement.  FAMILIES and what they word ETERNAL really means! And to have faith to view everyone of my investigators through the same example of Christ by baptism in His name, but even better seeing them in the TEMPLE.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

P.S. My companion and I had to give a talk on getting members involved in missionary work in church.  This is my talk....!

Homework:  Go out and teach with the missionaries!

Title:  Missionary Work
What is the purpose of missionary work?  All of us as members have a personal calling in the church.  Whether it is the bishop primary president, counselor, sacrament greeter, etc.,  But we all have one very important calling the Lord has given to EVERYONE of us and that is to share the gospel.  Missionary or not (Alma 23:4).  Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  One might ask...Why do I have to share the gospel?  That's a missionary's job!  Yes, it is a missionary's purpose to go and do the Lord's work almost 24 hours, everyday, all day.  Always find, searching and teaching the gospel.  So what's my job as a member?  I love the scripture in Jeremiah 16: 14-16.  First:  We have the fish in the water, who are our investigators, friends and even family who don't know anything about the gospel.  The the water represents and contains distractions, addictions, and evil doings of the world.  Then there are the FISHERMAN who has tools and instruments to pull, catch, or even scoop the fish (investigators) out of the terrible, yucky pond.  Second: We have the wild animals and wandering dogs in the forest and the streets, who represent people who know of the gospel and never took action or are now less active.  BUT...we have the HUNTERS who also love to use their tools as well as instruments to catch the BIG ones.  Well, I like to look at BOTH the FISHERMEN and the HUNTERS as both missionaries and members who are all fishing or capturing the lost in one and in unity.  But...one without the other can't catch all the fish and animals (Deuteronomy 1:12) the work is tiring and exhausting... a fisherman can't do the hunters work because the fisherman has his own strategies and techniques as well as the hunter.  The success just isn't that great.  Let's think for a moment...where do we stand as a fisherman or hunter, member or missionary?  What am I doing to fulfil the Lord's purpose?  As we are not all perfect, sometimes we leave the fishing pole dangling, we get too tired, don't have any time, and tend to think I didn't catch any fish today so I want to give up.  Or, this job just isn't for me.  As this also applies to missionary work.  I had a bad experience with the missionaries, or I can hardly speak the language.  I'm scared, or even pride takes place (Moses 6:31-34).  The Lord has taught that as we change our thoughts and actions around, the Lord will be their to help and guide us.  There are always going to be days when we get super embarrassed or the lesson just went down hill, or we are still learning the doctrine, can hardly read or write.  But, in reality what does the Lord think?  go and do, and I the Lord will stand next to you.  As I refer back to the story of Jeremiah 16, what happens when we wait 1 year or 1 month from now?  The fish die off?  No? or the lake freezes over and we can't catch the fish during the winter season?  or the bears go into hibernation.  So when it the right time to fish or hunt?  Summer! because the fish are out?  No - NOW! is the time to do the Lord's work.  Don't wait 3 or 4 months from now when maybe only 4 or 5 fish have died and never received the gospel, or moved away to another pone/field.  Don't be ashamed of the gospel, share what you love dearly with your friends and family.   Don't hide or bury a talent something so sacred like your testimony, which is greater and more powerful than anything of this world (D&C 60:13).  We become scared and worried when talking about the gospel, why?  or How great/strong your testimony is so how can I make it stronger?  By sharing it! and practicing missionary work and as you do so I promise you the Lord will magnify it.  As you do this, you will become confident, strong, and powerful as well as thrust in your own abilities and your own testimonies to those around you.  What is it you want to see in your own words and how can we change to fulfil our goals? Callings? How can we learn to fish or hunt with better strategies and techniques?  (Pg 168 or Preach My Gospel, Gordon B. Hinckley - "Do you want to be happy?  Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause.  Lend your efforts to helping people...stand higher, lift those with feeble knees, hold up the arms of those that hang down, live the gospel of Jesus Christ."  first of all we need to learn to love the missionary work and be excited about it.  So how do we become happy?  I have found that as I have stripped pride and humbled myself and forgot my problems and needs, distractions and wants, I live a happier and healthier life.  Focusing on myself and my own problems can easily bring pain, hurt, pride, sadness as well as finding more problems than when I change my attitude and focus on others.  Find what I can do to help and pray that I can forget my own problems and I can be happier as well as see the blessings others receive and in return I as well.  As we do this, missionary work becomes magnificent and powerful and exciting.  We are also blessed with the power of prayer here on earth.  To ask for missionary opportunities to share the gospel.  Remember as we ask, we aren't always going to receive our answer immediately unless we stand up and act.  Some ways we can do this is by 1:  Asking in prayer for missionary opportunities. 2: Service and helping others such as missionaries as well 3: References for missionaries 4: Invite people to a church activity 5: Hand a Book of Mormon or pamphlet out 6: Share your testimony 7: Visit the less active and active 8: Go and teach with the missionaries and every day small and tender mercies...Find a better fishing pole or trap and repair your instrument so that you can find and trap the fish better.  So how can we change? How can we be a strong army of missionaries? The Lord needs an army of faithful like you.  As we work together as fishers and hunters with faith in the Lord, repentance, and actions, we can take all of the fish/wild animals and bring everyone repentance and baptism.  Not only is it all about baptism, but let us change our focus and minds that we can view everyone of god's children in the temple.  An even greater gift of all, as we change the attitude of hope that members will stay active to...  "I know that our member will stay active" or from "it would be a miracle if this ward has 100 members" to...."I know this ward will have more than 100 members".  As we work together and change our faith, we will be guided and granted and always have the companion of the Lord we can bring our less actives and investigators out of the sea and bring them back to the house of the Lord.  As we do this, we will be happier and stronger members that will be untouchable.As we live the gospel, love the gospel and teach the gospel, our testimonies and effort will not be wasted.  Not only a missionary's testimony is worth a soul, but a member's as well.  There are more of you in this ward than both my companion and I in 24 hours all day.  Think of how much more we can do, let us share the fruit of eternal life to all man. (1 Nephi 8:12) and be instruments in the hands of the Lord to bring forth His lost children that without you as member my companion and I would be lost huntermen.  Thank you for your work and help in all yo u do and say.  I know that everyone of you who have taken part of the missionary work have changed many lives even when it doesn't seem like you hardly did anything.  Even just a small testimony or a smile at the right moment can change the soul of a lost one.  We have brothers and sisters waiting for us and our helllp and I'm grateful to help them stand a little taller and they too help me stand taller.  I know this gospel is true and that I'm so happy to be a missionary in this area.  I love you all and pray for you (Alma 26:36) "This is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation and my redemption".  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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