Monday, July 20, 2015

The Worth of Souls

We got transfer calls!!  And I'm SUPER excited to stay in Balcarce with my Brazilian companion, Hermana Pugliesi and instead of me teaching her Spanish, she's gonna teach me Portuguese! :)  "Fogo nos osos"  Also, Balcarce is on FIRE!  Last week, we had a baptism for a boy named Christin (27) years old and is super excited to enter the temple in one year.  He has tons of excitement to be a leader and just loves everything about the church.  I'ts been my third week in Balcarce and I'm starting to understand the area more everyday.  I am already falling in love with the members.  This week we celebrated the independence day of Argentina (9th of July) and we had an activity for the ward with a ton of empanadas!!!  A favorite Argentine food.  We had music and dancing and it turned out great!  We also has less actives and converts attending. 

Our new mission Presidents came as well!  I still haven't met them, but hear that they are just top-notch and on a roll.  This week they had a reunion and gave a message to all the missionaries to focus on three things.  1. Repent,, 2. Obedience, 3. Follow the Spirit.  As we do these things, we will become a more unified, prepared people.  Not only for baptism, but for the promises made in the temple and the coming of Christ.  Also that our brothers and sisters we now teach will come to a better understanding of the doctrine of Christ and His unconditional love.  

This week we had tons of miracles in Balcarce. One we are working with named, Liliana, who is trying to quit smoking.  She went from 20 cigarettes a day to 4 in "3" days!  And yesterday she had "0"!  She has so much faith in Christ and the desire to make this happen.  She has been progressing super fast and has a ton of support from her friends, family and members of the church. There have definitely been days of struggle, but she continues to keep her head up and have faith in the Lord.  It has been mind blowing to work with Liliana from the very first day we met her.  She has been a huge example for her kids and those around her, as many of them do not believe in God.  She has faced so many trials in this life and she continues to NOT doubt!!! 

D&C 6:36
Look unto me in every thoughtdoubt not, fear not.

There are many kinds of fears and doubts and the Savior is aware of all of them.  He has the perfect antidote for them...The Atonement.  He suffered for each and every one of us, but as we look to Him for solace, comfort and confidence, He has promised us peace just as He has done for His disciples.  "Be of good cheer, it is I,; be not afraid."  (Matthew 14:27)

When Peter eagerly accepted the Savior's invitation to walk on the water, he set out confidently across the waves.  When he kept his eyes on the Savior, all we well; But when he looked down at the billowing, tempest-tossed water beneath his feet, he began to sink.  As Peter learned from his experience of looking downward instead of up-ward, he suddenly cried for help and, "Immediately, Jesus stretched forth His hand and caught Him."  (Matthew 14:31)  The Lord has taught us, "Doubt not, fear not" because He is there for us when we trip and fall.  Because He loves us and cried with us when we hurt.  Because He understands our pain in every form as He has borne ALL things.

There is a quote by A.A. Milne titled, "Lines and Squares" that expresses how fearful we sometimes feel.  "Whenever I walk in the London street, I'm ever so careful to watch my feet; and I feed in the squares and the masses of bears, who wait at the corners all ready to eat, the sillies who tread on the lines of the street, go back to their lairs, and I say to them, "Bears, just look how I'm walking in tall the squares!"

Like the little boy, we worry about the cracks and crevices of life that threaten or swallow us sup that lurk around the corners.  However, there is a wonderful, loving Savior waits in the corners, reaches out and guides us back in the squares that lead to eternal life.  As we keep our head up and follow His words, "Doubt not, Feat not"  He will be right there with us to strengthen our knees when weak.  To reach out and stead us, as we look unto Him, we will be saved.  There are many trials we have to overcome.  Some we are struggling with now, or we have already conquered.  it is never easy and never will be easy to overcome something such as an addiction, but I know with faith in the Lord and walking with our head-up we will be able to conquer anything!!!

Homework:  Try to overcome an addition or help someone else overcome an addiction.

Monday, July 6, 2015


I feel like I'm back in my very first area (Pigue) once again!  It's very "old fashioned" but I love it and here in Balcarce it's a ward with about 150 active members!  This week I got to know some of the members at lunch and appoints and they are on FIRE!  So willing to help and are excited to do the Lord's work!  So my new companion is Hermana Baldwin and she's from California and already speaks German and a ton of Spanish....she's on a roll!  She is 25 and already finished school at BYU.  She's super great and works hard.  I'm excited to work with her.  We live in a house with 4 Hermanas and we split the area.  I'ts a great apartment except the shower....(Bucket showers)???!!!  I don't know why, but it's always the showers!  On my second day in the area, we got a call from the Elders.  The girls have "tramitias" for their VISAS which means they have to travel all the way to Bahia Blanca which was about an 8 hour trip and guess what...all the Hermanas took a trip down and I was left to feed the ducks. :)  For three days, I went on divisions and I got to know the members, the investigators, and the area real fast.  There is a ton of numbers which I'm not used to, so it was like a big giant puzzle, but it all worked out in the end.  The people here are very friendly and everyone loves to talk.  This week we found a lady (Liliana) who has a sister that's LDS and we got talking to her more and has a lot of interest.  Luckily, Sunday morning with all the craziness from this week, we had 4 investigators at church.  3 from this week we found in the street including Liliana and 1 Progress Christian investigator that has a baptism date for the coming Saturday!  I'm super pumped for this area.  There are lots of changes/differences in this zone.  There area lots of Elders here in Mar del Plata and only 3 sets of Hermanas.  As of now until the July transfers, there will be many changes and farewells to the Parrenos that leave July 1.

We had a zone meeting this week and they talked a lot about "time".

D&C 29:7

And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts;

They focused it around this scripture and the importance of finding people who are "ready" to hear the gospel and have the desire to change.  It's so important to share the gospel with everyone in our path, but God has a time for everyone.  Some may not want to hear it now, some are ready with an open heart, maybe some already have it but don't want to "act".  I learned an important lesson that those people who have heard the gospel but don't want to act or people who don't want it, we need to let them go.  If we truly love them, we will let them go so that they can progress.  They will come to an understanding of how the spirit touched them and when it left, they will realize that the answer they were looking for was right there.  I'm so excited a a new missionary here in Balcarce to work hard and find those "escogido" who God  has prepared for us.  

From Preach My Gospel:
     "Believe that people who are being prepared to receive the message of the Restoration will be placed in your path.  God will also place you where your good acts and words will prepare people to receive missionaries and Church members.  In all your finding efforts, pray and look for opportunities to serve, help , and lift others.  As you are serving, talk with everyone you meet.  Have the faith that you can share the restored gospel.

     In every way you serve,  you should do so because you love your brothers and sisters and therefore hope, pray and earnestly desire to teach them the restored gospel."

Homework:  As members, I invite you to pray and ask for a missionary opportunity so that we can all be instruments in the hands of the Lord.