This week I have to admit that it's pretty easy to believe it's been a week. Its been a LONG one, too haha. Always plenty of surprises, and it's just been an interesting week. Sorry I say that every week huh? So to answer your question Dad, yes we traveled again this week. Thankfully only to San Luis for a zone capacitación, but that's still three hours on a bus, and we had to take the 6 bus, so we woke up at 5. And we didn´t get to shower. The guys fixing the church (I´m going to refer to them as the guys, because they´ll come up later :D trust me) had turned off the water or something. So that was a long trip, we felt disgusting. Other than that, the week was normal however. Well normal schedule, but still pretty crazy. We finally found Yamila again on Saturday, and found out she´s moving permanently to Villa Mercedes. So we had to send one of our golden investigators to the Elders in Villa :/ we were bummed. But it's okay, she´ll still get the chance! It's just frustrating because we were finally seeing potential here. And we haven´t got in with the Tolaba family again, which is probably alright since they tend to talk most of the time. and we´re really trying to teach lessons, because we haven´t been teaching nearly enough, so we literally feeled spiritually drained. The good lessons where people understand and the spirit is strong really fill your spiritual meter back up. And we´ve been seriously lacking those. We´ve spent the last week walking back and forth across town, one day in blistering heat and the next in the rain (the weather is worse than Utah, ¡¿que tal?! ) and no one has let us in, except a few random visits. It's, well, frustrating haha but we know we just have to keep on working. There´s a reason this is happening, and we want to figure it out and fix it. So we just keep going, don´t worry :) the problem is probably on our part, which calls for plenty of praying, changing things, repenting, and asking for forgiveness.
But that leads me to a quote that I heard last night on one of the talks that we downloaded. Again, it's from Elder Holland, the same talk as the other quote was from, but it's a different statement. "Surely, the thing God enjoys most about being God, is the thrill of being merciful." Maybe things are going rough here because of little things me and Elder Day are neglecting, and although we don´t deserve it all the time, God still gives us the little things each day that keep us going, whether it's a short visit with someone after walking for hours, or something one of us says to lighten the mood and dispel the frustration and disappointment, or whatever it may be. That is for sure Him being merciful. We as missionaries are supposed to be the best examples, supposed to be representatives of our Savior Jesus Christ in all that we do and say. But we are still mortal. To continue on from Elder Holland, "Mortals will always struggle to measure up to the immortal hopes placed before them." That hit me more than anything from that talk because, well that is talking directly about me. I am just a mortal, and I´m definitely struggling to measure up to all I am supposed to be, I have been my whole life. And that's why his other statement hit me even harder, because I felt like a failure, and then as Elder Holland always does, he gives hope. He said that Surely God loves being merciful, and I felt so much better, it helped me focus on the small things that have kept me going instead of the big things that were holding me down at the moment. It's just a great relief to know that God loves being merciful, "to those who don´t expect it, and especially to those who feel they don´t deserve it." I don´t know which one of those I fall under right now, but either way, I am so grateful for the small things that have kept me going even through the rough times.
Anyway, to go to a happier note, yes Mom I could definitely agree that us Elders still need moms, because things don´t always work out as great as it could be :) Hermana Ávila does a great job, but she can´t pay attention to 200 missionaries at once, which makes me very grateful for Hermana Alaniz here in Justo Daract. She takes very good care of us, and she understands things to a depth that isn´t seen much here. She´s definitely becoming the same "mom" that those other elders have talked about in their blogs. I don´t know what we´d do without her honestly.
So the guys left Thursday morning, and left the place a pretty big mess. They cleaned some stuff, but not very thoroughly. So we did a lot of cleaning, and no thankfully they didn´t take anything. Although they did use basically EVERTYHING in our pantry and fridge. Remember how I told you I spent a ton of money at Carrefour to hopefully last me this transfer with milk and snacks??... Yeah that's all gone already. They drank all our milk and everything. We were pretty flabbergastered at that, for lack of a better word. But oh well, we just figured we´d ration our money out better and keep going for the next two weeks until we get next month´s amount. Since we traveled so much, we ´ve been pretty low on money, and it doesn´t help that we have to use cash everywhere here in Justo. But I just got the email today and they finally gave us our reembolsos for the trips and everything, so I´m doing just fine now. :)
But yes, the guys left and the place looks way better. SO much better. It's all yellow which is a weird color for a church, but they fixed the heaters, the sink, cleaned a lot of things up, and painted everything. So they did a good job. They painted our room too, which was GREAT. Our room hasn´t been painted or anything for years, and after having just missionaries, yeah you can imagine what it looked like. So that all turned out well! We were just short on food after that haha.
Wow, Christmas is coming up. It's so wrong, it's getting hotter here haha. I don´t like that. I´m going to love Christmas all the more when I get back! I´m going to Temple Square and everything :) Alright I have Harrison... I´ll think this next week and decide. Because to be honest, if I was in a different area I´d get him something from Argentina. But there isn´t anything here or in Villa mercedes... but I will think about it and let you know! Either way, he´ll get something for Christmas, it's the present that counts ;P Just kidding, it's the thought.
Wow, DJ is home already?? That is so WEIRD: I can´t even tell you how blown away I was to think Logan will be home in about 7 months. I´ll have a year by then, too. What the heck. I know I'm going to feel the same as DJ: I think I´ll take his example and carry the nametag around with me. I already am so used to having it there always, and it's comforting. I can´t imagine what life is like without it anymore, without the calling, the responsibility, the duty of representing the names on that tag... Man it's just weird. I am SO glad I still have a year and a half to make the most of my time. And Dad are you really telling me that Nathan is only an inch shorter than DJ? Well that settles it, he´s passed me up for sure. And it sounds like Kate is getting there too. WOW.... that kinda stinks hahaha. Oh well, that's still cool :)
It's funny you mentioned talking to Tammie (I feel weird saying that) Sis. Robins about the age change for missions, because that was something that I started thinking of this week too! I already told you I was wondering if like Sydney or Cara or anyone would go, but for some reason I just passed over Kelly just because she is in school or something, I don´t really know why. But it still is an option for her too! And I think either way that would be awesome!! I´ve always wanted my friends to know what it's like when our family has gone on a cool trip, and since I left for here I´ve thought about how cool it would be for my friends to just feel what it's like doing what I´m doing right now. And that is an option now! I have nothing against it, I hope a lot of my friends can experience this, I would recommend it for anyone who ponders and prays and feels like they should go! And it's funny how accurate she was telling her what Dad´s thoughts would be, and yours. That's pretty much exactly right haha :)
I´m glad to hear all the good news, about the jury and Kate doing better and them auditioning and doing things that I would never have done back home. I'm glad they´re living up to greater expanses than I did! But I didn´t know that Mrs Gilbert had passed away :( That's really sad. I met her a couple times, and Kelly had her as a teacher. I understand why the school would be sad. A lot of things were happening my senior year to try and help her out. I´m sorry to hear that :/ Things like that always make me feel sad. However, after being out here teaching about the plan of salvation, I realize how much comfort that gives us for situations like that. I hope her family can keep going strong. I´ll remember her family in my prayers. And I´ll remember Nikki and Zach as well! I´m excited for them, I´m gonna have another cousin! whoo hoo! haha :) And yes Brian Buckner looks very happy in his engagement picture. I feel like I might have met that girl before, she looks familiar for some reason. Maybe she was with him sometime when I saw him at BYU: I don´t know! Congratulations to him too though. Now I´m just expecting one from Kyle too :P haha
Anyway, I should get going, the weather isn´t great and it's not getting any better and we still have to go buy some stuff, so yeah. Another exciting P-day, spent inside the church doing nothing. Haha how fun :) OH and before I forget, Happy Birthday Kenzie, Blake, and Logan Olaso!!! I have your birthdays written in my planner haha I just forgot to send them last week before your birthdays, so sorry! But happy belated birthday! October is coming to an end, and Halloween is just around the corner. They don´t really celebrate that down here, I guess some of the kids do some parties or something. Nothing like a Mormon party though... can´t really do a trunk.or.treat with the two families in the church we have haha, guess we could try! Gotta love those Mormon cultural activities :D And to answer another question Dad, I´m not sure if they celebrate thanksgiving down here. They know what it is, but I don't know what they do. Guess I´ll have to take your advice and splurge on something special for the day haha :) Oh, wow I keep forgetting things, HAPPY ARGENTINE MOTHERS DAY MOM! :) and all you other moms. Yes, yesterday was their mothers day, and it wasn´t anything compared to the states. Except it gave people another excuse not to attend us :/ They didn´t really celebrate it, which is sad because they don´t understand how important moms are!! I wish I could´ve skyped home but I guess I´ll just wait til christmas :) Just kidding haha así es.
Anyway, I think that's all for this week! This week doesn´t hold any surprises or trips as far as I know (that was a dumb statement, they wouldn´t be surprises would they) so hopefully we can get some work going again! I love you all and hope you all continue to enjoy life, every day, every moment, and find the good in whatever is happening in your life. Sometimes, that's the only thing you can do to keep you going, trust me. Also, I would recommend going to that speeches.byu.edu place and dowloading all of Jeffrey R. holland´s talks. They are all REALLY GOOD. Anyway that is all, keep doing what you´re doing and remember there is always someone who loves you and cares for you. ME! :) And also our Savior Jesus Christ, who loves you infinitely more than I could ever hope to, He is always there for you.
Moroni 9:6 is the scripture for this week. "And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God."
It's a constant struggle against that said enemy of all righteousness, and we have to be more diligent than ever. We have plenty of support from friends and family who love us and who look up to us. Do we dare let them down? I hope I speak for all of us when I say, I know I don't.
Elder Tyson David Gibbons