Sunday, February 13, 2011
Rain season has come to Argentina! Woo! and it is crazy! The streets do not have drains so they become swimming pools….. Sunday morning the biggest storm hit and it was crazy! We got to our humble church building and found that four people had come to church! President, Presidents wife, myself and my companion……We started sacrament meeting with these four people. It was crazy! A few minutes afterwards we heard the sound of a car pulling up and two more members came. In a moment afterwards showed up two more members! We finished with 8. Sacrifice is often a principle that is difficult to learn. These people didn´t mind getting wet, they just wanted to come. I learned that when we sacrifice for the Lord, he knows it and will remember.
As I am waiting for my pictures to download I watch videos on LDS.org. I watched one that touched my heart. It is about Tyler Haws. A basketball star that played for BYU and got to serve in the Philippines. The moment that brought back lots of memories was when they went to the MTC. Mom, Dad, Megan, everybody was crying! I don´t like when my family cries. I never have told anybody this, but a voice came into my head saying are you sure you want to do this? Are you sure you want to go away for two years? Will it be worth your time? Are you willing to leave your family for such a long time? I remember looking at Mom and Dad, taking my luggage and just walked to the door without looking back. I made a decision that day to always look forward and never look back. Looking back just makes you turn into a pillar of salt. I hope to always look forward and never look back.
If you want to swim or just want some rain come on over to Argentina! I love you and I always will respect you. Never Look Back. Love you! Until Next Time!
Friday night we were finishing Family Home Evening and we were about to lock the door when a young women showed up and said she needed to talk to us. Surprised we went and talked with her. I guess before she was very active in the church, but to due to her boyfriend of 4 years had gone inactive trying to please him. Realizing her mistake she ran to the church building and wanted to talk with us. She said a phrase that stuck in my mind,¨ I needed to talk to somebody who had the spirit and I knew that you would.¨ We gave her a few words of advice, we said a prayer, and she was fine. We are helping her come back to the gospel, but she does want to change. What this young women said shocked me in a way and help me gain a testimony that all times I have to have the spirit. Not only as a missionary, but the question is are we living all that we can to have the Holy Spirit? People will come and ask for help from you and we have to be prepared.
I got another e-mail from church travel on February 11th saying that instead of Megan flying home on Wednesday, March 2nd into Cedar City, she is flying home Thursday, March 3rd into St. George. I don't know why, but I am delighted we don't have to go to Salt Lake or Las Vegas to meet her. I am estimating she will be traveling for around 30 hours by the time we see her, so it will be nice to bring her home to a cozy little bed soon after we pick her up. Her flight plans say she leaves Manila at 11:05 a.m. on March 3rd and arrives in St. George at 10:49 p.m. on the same day (after traveling for 30 hours). Crazy, right? Anyway, we are all going to wear yellow at the airport because that is her favorite color and because that is the color in the famous song about coming home, "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree."
So, Sunday night as usual I e-mailed Megan. I told her I hadn't received any e-mail from her the previous week and needed her response to the deferrment from BYU-I. Then I decided to check my 'junk' e-mail and there was an e-mail entitled, "Proposed Itinerary for Megan Dustin" from church travel. I quickly opened it and saw the date for her travel: March 2nd. Oh, no, the travel department didn't get the message that she extended. I quickly shot an e-mail back to them (which of course they wouldn't get til the next morning) and told them of the error. Then I went back to my inbox and there was a one line e-mail from Megan saying, "Is this working?" I e-mailed back and said, "Yes". Several minutes later she replied that the internet was not working properly and she hoped she would be able to e-mail. I sent another message back that church travel had her booked for March 2nd!!!! Several minutes later she sent another e-mail saying, "Yes, mom I am coming home March 2nd," and that is the last we heard!! So I can only assume that the information I sent her changed her mind, she reported to her mission president and church travel revised her original travel plans. So I told Rick that this is like finding out you are really nine months pregnant and get to deliver the baby any day when you actually thought you were only 8 months pregnant. Woo hoo!
Sunday, February 6, 2011
This week we were talking with Peter. Peter before was a very active member. He had many important callings and he was preparing for a mission. Some things happened and he went inactive. Only recently we went to go visit him. The lesson was powerful. I felt inspired to talk about who we really are. We are children of God and have the potential to be like him. We also talked about how we were chosen and elected for these days. We fought a war in heaven and now we are in another war with more casualties. Around us we have spiritual medics called the scriptures, prayer, prophets, fasting, many things that will keep us safe in the horrible war. For myself one of them most comforting doctrines of the gospel is that I am a son of God and that I was saved for this day. You were too! Shall we go on in such great cause? How can we say no? Never forget who you are!
I received the deferrment letter from BYU-I two weeks ago and mentioned to Megan that we needed to reply. She responded that she had taken all the pre-requisites for the nursing program in her two years there and hadn't been able to get into the nursing program so she thought she would stay in Cedar when she returns from her mission and apply to this nursing school and others instead of go back to BYUI. So I tried to log on to her bYU-I account and had to answer her challenge question since she didn't remember her password. Challenge question: "What is your favorite beanie baby?" Well, she (and Josh) have a large collection of these adorable little toys and she often drew a picture of one of them in her drawings: 'Pixie'. So I entered that and it was wrong. So I e-mailed her asking this very important question and for whatever reason she wasn't able to e-mail me back. In that same e-mail I also told her that her friend Raelynn had called and wanted to know if she wanted to room with her for spring semester (April-July) because it will be Raelynn's final semester at BYUI. So I thought this piece of information might change Megan's mind and so I needed a response for that too. Alas, I will just have to wait til the next Monday...
Today we invited the branch to come and play with us Ultimate Frisbee! Yeah! Many came, but only our branch president wanted to play with us. We went to a field and with him we threw the Frisbee around between the three of us. This is the way President Javier Marchetti works. He has only been a member for little over a year and yet one can tell he was prepared to accept the gospel. At a young age he wanted to find God, he was confused and in the end thought it was better to be atheist. He married his wife and once again the desire to find God came into his life. They both decided they didn´t want to be Catholics and began the search. Monica Aragon is a friend of Hermana Marchetti, served a mission and while the hermana was searching for a church happen to talk to Monica and Monica invited some friends over. President Marchetti had questions such as ,¨ If God called prophets, shouldn´t he call them today?¨ They accepted the gospel with easiness and live it with diligence. His first calling was to be Branch President. The Lord knows what we can do and what we should do. The only thing we can give Him is our will and let Him take charge. He can do a lot more with our lives than we can. I desire to give my will to the Lord for my entire life.
This week we went to go visit the Familia Chaile and it was wonderful! They have about 7 sons and 2 daughters. When they come to church they fill up half of the room! They are really poor, but frequently sacrifice meals so they can come to church. We went to go visit them this week and their unity is impressive. They do Family Home Evenings, read the scriptures together, prayer together, and you can tell they love one another. Due to missionaires before in our pension we had a enormous stack of clothes from missionaries before us. I was thinking what can we do with all these clothes? So I put all the clothes into a huge bag and we carried to the family Chaile´s house. The hermano Chaile was just staring at us and couldn´t believe we had had given him all these clothes. We also received a blessing in the end because one the daughters who has not been baptized now wants to talk to us. She is about to have her first born daughter, so we might have to wait a little while, but she is willing to be baptized! I love service and I am grateful when we have the blessing to serve.
Graciela is another one of our investigators who is progressing finely. She studied with the Jehovah´s Witness before, but didn´t agree about not donating blood and not standing for the flag. When we started with her she said Jehovah every other word. She prayed to Jehovah, but with time the spirit has changed her. She says Heavenly Father. Every time we go she has questions. The other day about poligamy and why children suffer. The spirit has guided myself and my companion in answering her the best way possible. In both occasions, she says thank you for clearing my mind and thank you for allowing me to get to know thee better. When she went to church afterwards she told us that during sacrament meeting her doubts had been cleared away. She is changing through the Holy Ghost.