Letter – September 4th
I keep putting the title “Weekly Letter”, but they have not been to “weekly” lately- sorry. Anyway, this is been a way cool week. It’s weird how fat fast time has been flying by.
To start off with, my companion got bit by the same pit bull as the last time. We saw it coming around the corner and already knew what was going to happen. He’s OK though just never wants to walk by that street again.
Also, there was a super big swell to hit Trujillo this week. For all the surfers, I bet it was a blessing from above. But for the people in my area, it was like another natural disaster. The waves got up to like 7 feet and broke over all of the rocks that have been put up to protect the people’s homes. Any large amount of water is a big problem when your house is made of mud bricks. Also we got to go to the temple last week, which was way cool.
This week, I have been thinking a lot about faith and it has been a topic that has come up in my studies many times. I feel like it is a phrase that is often misunderstood. Sometimes we think of it as a supernatural power or something weird like that. I’ve come to understand that faith is just a simple assurance or trust in things not seen that are true. It is a principle of action and of power. For faith to bring salvation, it must be centered in Jesus Christ. Doubt and fear are the opposite of faith. Faith doesn’t come from seeing signs or proof, but rather it is the result of diligent study and righteous living. Then, where true faith is found, there are miracles, visions, dreams, healings, and the gifts of God to man. Faith is the essence of all eternal progression.
As a missionary, we must have faith to achieve the miracles necessary to bring others to Christ. Not so much miracles like moving of mountains or great manifestations of power. Rather, the miracle of softening of hearts or answers to prayers. One of many miracles that happened this past week was getting to know a woman named Roxanna, a single mother with more than a few trails in her life. She told us how she was doing her best to move along in life, but that she felt there was a certain part inside her that felt empty. We were able to teach and talk. She felt the Spirit and came to church this past Sunday. After the meeting, she told us that, for the first time in years, she felt perfect peace and felt the void inside her start to be filled. She is now preparing to be baptized in a few weeks. It is cool how aware I have become of all these things the Lord is doing. I hope we can all be more aware of the miracles that occur each day around it. Tell next week, Seebs.
I love Sundays. I am rejuvenated and refreshed after sacrament meeting. It’s almost as if I feel like I can do anything and tackle anything. I have clarity and discipline…Then comes Monday and life tends to get back to the usual. My goal for this week—how about this month, is to change my actions and not do the same ‘ole things. I’m going to try to do the things that I think about on Sundays when I’m feeling the Spirit and the influence of the Savior. Does this happen out in the mission field? Do you get all pumped up and then get back to the same old – same old?
It’s hard sometimes ‘cuz you come out of the sacrament so like ready to work and so recommitted to give it your all. Then the next day is p-day and the majority of the time we aren’t even proselytizing and sometime I get distracted and forget. But the sacrament is very sacred for me. I’m looking back into my life to try to repent of all that I’ve done. I desire to be clean more than anything. Repentance is a gift and I’m so grateful for it. There is nothing that can stand in the way of me being clean and doing Heavenly Father’s will. I would sacrifice anything for Him. I’m happy to be here and to serve and to have parents that understand it too. We had the opportunity to visit with Elder Hugo E. Montoya of the first quorum of the 70. The first meeting was a leadership council with him. The second meeting was the general mission conference. In this meeting, he just told stories and bore his testimony. It was like way different than what I expected after the first meeting with him, but very powerful at the same time. It was very cool too ‘cuz he tried to help us see that the general authorities are regular people with the same calling as us. But you could see a difference. What’s different between him and others was that he was completely consecrated to the Lord’s work and you could tell Elder Montoya loves The Savior. It was cool. I came out of there with the determination to look into my life and find what I lack and what I need to fix and to do it. I love you guys so much and I know that Christ live. I will do anything to serve him the way he has commanded me to even if it’s hard. I loved our time at home and stuff and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m just looking for a way to be better each week and fix anything that I need to fix. Know that I love you guys and that I know this church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ are true.
Hey Dad, thanks for the letter. This has been a cool week for us here. I wrote about it in the letter I sent to mom.
Remembering is the key. I just finished the book of Ether in my personal reading and pretty much every war problem and rebellion that happened to that people was because their leaders didn’t remember. They forgot what they had promised the Lord they would do and they forgot what the Lord had done for them in the past. They key is to always remember.
And yes, inspired questions are the key to teaching with the Spirit. The other day President Marble had me do a practice in front of the whole zone on a teaching point. When I asked a yes or no question, he pause the practice then roasted me for not asking an inspired question. He did it to teach, but yea inspired questions help people learn and more than anything I think it helps people realize and come to know that this stuff is REAL.
I’m so happy to be here right now. Its weird how fast time flies by, so I’m just making the most of it. I’m kinda anxious to come home, but it’s going to be OK.
Love you guys a ton. See ya soon.
Extras from Elder:
Hey mom thanks for the letter. I had a funny experience today. This morning when I was getting ready, I put on my shoes and walked over to get something from my desk. As I walked over, I felt something in my shoes (I thought it was trash or something) but then I felt it move. I took off one of my shoes and turned it upside down and 3 cockroaches fell out onto the floor and ran into a hole in the wall. It’s not the first time I have found cockroaches in my shoes, but it’s the first time I’ve put them on with them in there.. It was kinda gross. Every time I feel something in my shoes now I think like it’s a cockroach.
I got the changes for my last transfer in the mission and I will be staying here in Buenos Aires area till the end with Elder Bejarano, so I’m stoked. I really would have been bummed to get sent to another area for my last 6 weeks..
Everything is going well. It feels weird cuz I’m like realizing that the mission is ending. It feels right, but weird. I just wanna do as much as I can in these last 6 weeks. Idk what more to say about the week but Ii love you guys!
Hey Mom, Thanks for the letter this week. I’m doing great here and am having a ton of fun. I feel like I have been Zone Leader in this zone for forever. This past week we had a leadership council and I thought back on the first time I was in a leadership council. It was one year ago with Elder Godoy of The Seventy. I realized that, of all the people that were in my first leadership council, I was the only one left. Everyone was different except for President and Sister Marble. It was kinda weird. I felt like old or something.
This week has been a way cool week here in Buenos Aires:
One miracle in particular was with and investigator named Edwin. We have been working with him for a while. A month and a half back he even got married so that he could be baptized. However, he was convinced he could not give up the coffee and for that reason, he didn’t pass his baptismal interview. After the interview, he seemed a bit discouraged and a bit mad. He kept coming to church but told us he would never stop drinking coffee and that it “wasn’t a problem in his eyes.” After trying to work with him for a few discouraging weeks, we decided it was not going to be best that we keep focusing on him. However, just yesterday we decided to visit him. We got there and asked him how he was doing and what his perspectives on baptism were. He directly responded that he had decided that he wanted to be baptized. He told us how he had just dropped coffee 15 days before, which for him was a miracle. He then proceeded to ask if he could be baptized this coming Sunday. We responded yes and began to plan the baptism. He will be baptized Sunday and will be confirmed the following Sunday. (Sunday’s are his only free days). It was a huge miracle and answer to prayers.
We also have another investigator whose name is Roxanna. She was a miracle as well that we came in contact with knocking doors just three weeks ago. She is very prepared and will be baptized this Saturday the 16th. There are lots of good stuff going on right now.
Also I’ve lost so much weight and like don’t know what to do. I can’t gain weight right now. Idk why. I eat a ton but like i just can’t gain weight. Maybe I’ve got like a parasite or something I’m not sure.
Tell all the boys I say Hi. Can’t wait to come home and got to the beach and everything. I just hope it’s still sunny so that I can get a tan lol. Love you can’t wait to see you guys. Weird to think we will only write three more times.