From Monday, August 12th:
Estoy empezando a valorar más mi tiempo acá en el ciber. Siento muy cerca de ustedes y me encanta llevar conmigo sus consejos y buenas experiencias. Estamos bien aquí en Avellaneda y estamos trabajando fuerte para poder hacer la obra de Dios en nuevas maneras. Encontramos éxito y siempre nuevas aprendizajes.
We`ve had a great week here in Avellaneda. We are always amazed at the doors that the Lord opens up for us and lately it feels like more and more people are being presented to us- it`s a good lesson on organization for us! We have been sleep deprived this week and trying to organize all that we have going on for us has been a good trial! People come and go - it`s sometimes a sad process as investigators loose that initial interest they had or as we`ve seen, shrink from the invitation to change that the Savior offers us. As a missionary I think I`ve come to understand the Lord's work of Salvation in such a tender and patient way. Even in the big city we find small but wonderful opportunities to give a hand to those around us through the day. We always love to introduce ourselves and usually get a return visit with it- it`s how we`ve seen the spirit of the Lord soften the majority or the peoples hearts- when we go back however we never are able to find them! Boo. Elder Anaya explained it that God has such confidence is us that He allows us to touch their lives in a way that only we could- and that`s it! With that small taste of His love He goes about preparing them for the day when their hearts are broken and spirits contrite! How important to serve right in the moment no?
We`ve gotten to know a couple people this week that I`d like to tell you about. On Saturday we went to a members house where we met up with a friend of hers- it was a very effective así! Her friend starts off by reading in Galations 1:6-7- "anyone who preaches more that what has been written shall be accursed." Shoot. He was very faithful to the Bible and wanted to make sure that we first understood that concept- however besides how against he was about the Church of Jesus Christ initially he has a deep and tender faith in our Father in Heaven and with help from the Spirit and helping him to increase that faith, he committed to read the Book of Mormon "because of the faith and surety that was felt." is what he told us afterwards. How amazing to see his heart softened and repentance made as this man was able to come closer to our Savior Restored Gospel. We had the visit this week from Elder Walter F. Gonzalez our area President who is an INCREDIBLE teacher. Wow! I really gained a testimony of the spirit that the General Authorities carry with them. They have allowed the spirit of Christ change them! How badly I wanted to be like him when I grow up! Anyways he spoke to us about our mission purpose and a couple area goals but then headed into the importance of the book of Mormon and how we should "flood our lives" with the Book of Mormon. Elder Anaya and I the rest of this week (the meeting was on Thursday) were super fired up about the Book of Mormon in our work and decided to walk around the streets carrying a book freely in our hands. Amazingly every day we were blessed with opportunities to testify and introduce the book to at least one person we was genuinely interested. That day (Thursday) we walked into a couple on the street who looked as us SO weird as we asked them for directions but we started chatting about the Book of Mormon and they became SO interested (haha bipolar attitudes when the spirit comes into play) as we spoke to them about the testimony of Christ that the Book of Mormon can help us obtain!
About a week or so ago we ran into a man named Fernando in the house of a member. He was kinda interested, ended up asking us a bunch of weird questions that we could tell didn`t have anything to do with how he was feeling. We told him that in another moment we would come by and take time to answer everything. We got back to visit him on Friday and had an amazing lesson with him! Nada que ver with the reunion that we first had. He had read a bunch in the Book of Mormon and had a much more humble attitude. In the time we were gone had said a prayer for the first time in years (this was all solo..) and everything about him had changed. We began to talk to him and he listened so well but at one moment in the lesson it was as if the spirit took over the lesson and we began to ask him questions that completely opened him up and he himself was able to figure out a lot of things I believe. I was so grateful- couldn`t have had that experience if we hadn`t given way to the spirit in that moment. From Fernando I understood better what it means to be repentant.. to lay our burdens at the Lord's feet and be able to have Him begin to fix our lives.
I LOVE missionary work- I`m so grateful for MY mission! It has been MY opportunity to become converted to the Lord in the ways that the Lord knew best. I was reading a scripture this week in 3 Nefi 13 that really touched my heart, I`ll share it with you guys:
32 For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
I studied a little bit more on what it means to seek the Kingdom of God and I found it to be a personal invitation and a life-long process. I know that as we strive to be Obedient to the Lord, strengthen our personal testimonies of our Savior Jesus Christ and most of all dedicate ourselves to the service of God and others we fulfill this commandment of the Lord! I hope this week you guys, with me, can seek to be more prepared for the Kingdom of God in our lives! Love ya`ll and hope that you have a great week! :)