With Elder Galicia and Alexis
Getting ready to help the Gutierrez family fumigate corn
Elder Galicia and Alexis
Ready to go!
Hard at work
A little less hard at work...
A good day's work
Juan Pablo's baptism
Buen día todos! Espero que todo vaya bien para cada uno de ustedes!!!! Porque todo está bien conmigo esta semana. Estoy contento. Alright, so, this email might be less fun stuff, but the thing is, that the spiritual stuff that I want to share is also fun! So yeah, just enjoy it like I did this last week. It has been a week of MIRACLES. Yes, those still exist, and I witnessed so many with my own eyes. It's all a matter of perspective, you know. So, try and have the right perspective! :)
So! Where on earth to start??? I already sent the pictures, and wow those were some super fun pictures! I have more, but those will have to wait for another 15 months, no more. ;) But, as the pictures show, Saturday was a day that will NEVER be forgotten, for me! I´ll start with Saturday morning, because really all the crazy stuff happened Saturday.
So, we woke up at 4 in the morning (I was SOOOO TIRED) and went to go set up the baptismal font, since with my luck I have always had a tarp font and it requires a lot more work to fill compared to the self-timer one we had in New Mexico (but the irony is that I never used that one....) So we get to the church, wearing normal clothes because it's 4 in the morning, and Bishop had locked the room with the font!!! And we didn't have the keys. so we actually broke the door kinda (I take responsibility, it was an accident really. And all for a good cause, right??) and started setting it up. So we set it all up, and left it filling with two hoses so that by 9:30 or 10 when the service was going to start it would be filled. But, being 4 in the morning, we were tired, and a little slow to observe (shoot, we should've been more like Mormon, who was quick to observe. Sorry Book of Mormon, I failed in applying your wonderful precepts D: ) and we left the hole unplugged in the bottom!! So we go back to the church at 8:45, an hour before the service was going to start, and it was filled maybe 1/8 of the way, because all the water just left through the plug hole. Now THAT was a heart attack. We wanted everything to be perfect for Graciela, since we finally got her to accept this day. So we plugged it and left it filling and ran back to the pension hoping that things would work. And you know what the first thing I did was? I went to the side of my bed and PRAYED. SO HARD. Because I felt awful that things weren't going to be as perfect as we wanted for her and her baptism. So I just prayed and prayed. But obviously God is happy when someone decides to follow Him, because when we went back an hour later, it was almost to the point of overflowing. You have NO IDEA how big my smile was, just realizing that without a doubt or other explanation, my prayer had been answered. There is no other way to explain it. So, we proceeded with the service, and it all turned out just perfect (except for her best friend Hermana Padilla, who gave her as a reference to the missinoaries in the first place; she is stuck in Chile right now, with all of her kids at home here, without her to help with anything. crazy situation....) so that turned out super good! Then we ate with Obispo and that was a super good lunch. But we found out that Juan Pablo, the son of Hermana Gutierrez who cooks us dinner every Tuesday and Thursday, received a call to work from 6 in the morning until 10 at night! So we thought his baptism wasn't going to happen. But first of all, this is the miracle with him:
So Tuesday we did intercambios again, but with the Assistants! It was so crazy. I went to Godoy Cruz Central Mendoza with Elder Tilleman, my first Zone Leader when I arrived here in Argentina, and that was a really cool day. But his companion, Elder Drennan, got to enjoy Elder Galicia´s birthday with the dinner with the Gutierrez family, who did an asado (why do I always miss it?? :( ) and cake as well. So all that went good I guess, but the best part was that Elder Drennan asked to have a special interview with Juan Pable to "get to know him" since that was supposedly the reason he was on exchanges with Elder Galicia. So they told the parents and family that, and they said sure. But in the interview, Elder Drennan asked him if he wanted to be baptized this weekend, as a surpirse for his mom, and he said yes he did. So instead Elder Drennan did the baptismal interview, and kept it a secret from the Hermana and his family. So when they told me about that Wednesday morning, I was seriously jumping up and down and punching the air! We have tried this whole transfer to get him to be baptized. So, that was the secret we had to keep this whole week. We had Bishop invite the hermana to have an interview Saturday night at about 8 as a reason for her to get to the church, but then that's when we found out that Juan Pablo had to work and also help his dad fumigate. So that is the reason we went to help his dad fumigate, to finish faster and be able to still have the baptism. And that turned into a few great hours of service and fun, as is seen in the pictures I sent. So then we had a little snack dinner with them when Juan Pablo got home, then at about 9:30 it stopped storming and raining (the storm was another miracle. We had been praying all day for Juan Pablo and his baptism, and in the middle of fumigating, it started storming really hard, and we had to stop. But then we had to wait in their house for a little bit) so at 9:30 we finally got to the chapel, and she didn't know why Juan Pablo had come. But she went in to have an "interview" and while she was in there being detained, me and Juan Pablo changed into our white clothes. And we started singing, the 6 of us there besides the hermana and the bishop in his office, and when she walked out, she just paused, didn't realize why Juan Pablo had changed clothes, why he was wearing so much white... and then she just started to cry. It was the BEST surprise I have ever experienced or been a part of in my life. Because it was a surprise that has to do with, well, everything, eternal life, taking a step closer to Heavenly Father, and following Christ. So that really makes it the best so far. So we had a baptismal service for Juan Pablo as well, at 10:00 at night, with the rain, and it was just surreal. I don't know if my faith was the reason for these little miracles (and others that happened that day) but I know that whether it was or not, my faith has increased, and I will never forget that day, 9 of February, 2013.
So yeah, that was Saturday! It was so crazy. But such a good day! Two baptisms, one just perfect and how she wanted it, and the other a successful surprise. And then they both were confirmed yesterday, and it was another spiritual day.
Alright, so that was basically all the crazy good stuff that happened last week, so now about these next six weeks, because yeah transfers were today! And, I am staying! And so is Elder Galicia! Only Hermana Dana and Elder Taylor are leaving our district of 6! And two more Latins are coming, so I will now be the only gringo in my district. What's up with that? Haha but I LOVE IT. I am so excited that we're staying together. We work very well together. Like you said, Dad, a Latin and a gringo really is the best pair for this work. Best of both worlds. Hermana Dana finished her mission, so she is going back to Buenos Aires. She is from Buenos Aires, and her story really is inspiring. She is 33, already married and sealed, but one year after being sealed, her husband died in a car accident. And she decided to serve a mission, and she has trained half the hermanas here, she is a really good missionary and member too. So yeah, she goes home tomorrow! Her parents drove here from Buenos Aires and actually showed up in her Sacrament Meeting yesterday, she told us she just about fainted. And Elder Taylor is going to San Juan (poor guy... sooo hot) to be District Leader! I'll miss him too, he is a great elder. But I am super excited for this transfer! I just want to work more with the people we found this last transfer. We have so many people that are progressing, and they are right there on the border. So we have some work this transfer!
So that's about all with transfers. I don't know about anyone else from my district or any other companions, but this week I'm going to be calling A___ to talk to her before and after her baptism (since I told you I was going to ask President about going back for it, but I knew I wouldn't be able to, he said I could call before and after) so I'm going to do that. She and the mom of Yoni are being baptized this Saturday. It's going to be great for Justo Daract!
Anyway, yeah. that was a crazy week we had. Now things are going to calm down a little. Tonight we have another asado (famous Argentina BBQ) with the Gutierrez family (en serio, I LOVE this family!!!! They do so much for us!) It's the hermana's birthday today, so we are going to have an asado with them. And today we bought her a picture frame, with two places for pictures, and we are going to put a picture of us two, and then of their family in the other. So hopefully she likes that! But yeah, so I'm excited to have my second asado, FINALLY!!! I'll make sure to take pictures. :) Mom I hope you liked all the pictures today, I knew you would like more pictures of me, and I found out that it's better if I give the camara to others so I don't have control, that's the best way to get pictures of me. Haha so yeah, I'll make sure to continue improving :)
Okay I just have to say something about Kate. She is basically the most spiritual person in our family I think. I can't believe how much she already knows and understands, I think she would be a better missionary than me right now!!! Obviously all the spiritual genes got concentrated in her. Lucky her, haha just kidding. But seriously, I love that girl too. She is the best sister ever! And yes I can say favorite, because I only have one :) Way to go Kate, I'm proud of you. You have more experience than me concerning the spiritual things, and you still have time for all the rest! Keep it up, and thank you for your example! Seriously, I was just awestruck reading that paragraph. (I just told Tyson about an experience Kate had with prayers being answered.)
So yeah, sounds like things are all going pretty good for the major part back home! I can't believe Kate turns 14 this year. I show the picture of our family to everyone and they all think she has 16 years or 17, and I think I started believing that too. I always tell them she´s taller than me, and so is Nathan. That just makes them laugh because they don't believe me. But it's true (Nathan anyway). But yeah, people love my pcitures down here! Anyway, we need to get going, so I am going to end this here. But hopefully you all enjoy this week more than any other! And if your week last week wasn't as good as mine was, then make sure this one is :) It's all up to you, your attitude, your perspective, and your efforts!!! I love each and every one of you. Miracles do happen! The challenge is to look for one this week. Make sure your perspective is right ;) that's the difficult part!
Good luck with all your endeavors you have this week!
Elder Tyson Gibbons