Feliz Cumple Dray!! :) 9 years old ya.. Wow! I can only imagine how much you´ve grown!
What a week! We´ve been bastante occupied.. We´ve had a ton of things that have come up this week that have kind of gotten in the way of being able to work. Elder Jarvis had to take care of some visa issues so we had to make a couple trips up the Buenos Aires. A bad feeling was had for the train after this week.. demasiado tiempo sentado! Ha it was a lot of traveling and a lot of time that we didn´t think we were going to have to take. It gave us a great opportunity to work on our contacts though. When we got to certain station close to La Plata we decided to get up and start talking with the people. I wish you guys could have the train experience in Argentina. There are tons of vendedores.. people that sell random things.. that hop on and walk through the whole train giving there little shpeel and then the get off. One after the other they follow in this line and each has there opportunity to catch the attention of the people. It is amazing all the different types of people that you see, the different voices and how each gives their presentation. Well one of our goals as missionaries is to catch the attention of the people and make them happy right.. so the 2 Mormon Americans hop in line and take part in the sales line! :) It helped us a lot and was fun at the same time! There is always something good that you can do when bummer situations come.
We were sad that we didn´t get to do a whole lot of visits this week, it really put a slower feel to the work here. We are super excited for another couple baptisms that we´re gonna be having this week! Florencia, the daughter of the Flia. Cejas this week is going to be baptized. It has been so great to see her progress. When we first were meeting with this family she was so shy, or just didn´t want to participate at all because she stayed in her room the whole time that we were there. A few weeks ago she started to come and listen a little bit more and when she told us that she wanted to get baptized we were SO happy! She has been watching her family change and knows that it comes from God. She also has been reading and praying and has been able to feel the spirit in her life and personally has been able to make changes like her family. She still is super quiet but it´s a ton better. We´ve been working with the Young Men/Young Women program in our ward to help her feel welcomed to the church. Los Jovenes have been great missionaries, they´ve gone to look for her for mutual and also gone to visit her and read scriptures! That is one thing that Villa Elvira has, our members are incredible. Abril is la hija de la familia Ortiz Martinez. She came up to us on Sunday and told us that she decided that she wants to be baptized. She has 9 years and talks like she's 30. She is super smart and on several visits she asked us to talk to her not like a little child but a grown up... well excuse me! :) haha. We´ll be finishing up teaching her and we´re hoping that she´ll be the foundation for her family, that through her desire to go to church also her family will continue to make their way back in the church.
On Saturday we had a sweet activity in our Stake. The area presidency has started a program called "Visitor Center in the Chapel." They want to bring the same spirit that is felt in Salt Lake to those who live in Argentina. It is an amazing program and the spirit was felt so strong! I gained a huge respect for Sister missionaries. After standing there, my feet hurt! Fa.. I felt like a baby, but it takes some skill to know how to stand for hours! What Elder Jarvis and I were able to do is give a little presentation at the Baptismal Font. Groups of people would come in and we would take 10 minutes and teach them about the Ordinance of Baptism and help the people feel the spirit. With a few investigators that came they were touched so greatly by the spirit of the chapel and the whole program that they accepted a baptismal date then and there! What a special experience! :) It went from 4-8 on Saturday and really was a huge help for us there.
Well family I´m out of time, but I wanted to thank you for your letters and for all the things that you guys are doing there to be such a great example to me here!
Love you guys tons!
Damian Avila and his little sister Mité's baptism
Visitor Center in the Chapel Program