Prayers have been answered...
Have some pretty good news this day for all of you tuned in. We found out about our transfers this morning. I have been praying and hoping to at least stay for another transfer. We have been having tons of success in the past couple weeks and have a few more baptisms set up for the next few weeks. I really did not want to miss out on the fruits of our labors here in this gold mine of San Ignacio. ¡Nos quedamos acá! I guess that God has prepared the both of us as the miners for this area if he wants us to be here 3 transfers together. It is pretty rare that comps stay together for more than two transfers. In this case with E´ Wixom, I am actually pretty stoked for another transfer working with these people because we both know them way good.
The other tender mercy of the Lord to us this past week was a surprise miracle baptism! Yeah, we found a person just waiting to get baptized that lived right next to one of our less-active families that we visit. Estefanía Sosa. 19 yrs old. 2 children. Lives in a shack. Her story is that she investigated the church about a year ago with the elders, but the only thing that was stopping her was getting married. The elders basically taught her everything and just left her as a present to future elders ready to go. Turns out that she got hitched a few months ago to her husband that is in jail...ha. They did the marriage ceremony in the jail and the first counselor in our bishopric even provided the food for it. Ha ha. I´m not quite sure what he is in jail for, but his wife even gave him a Book of Mormon to read a while ago and it sounds like he loves it. I am just curious now if they can do marrying over there, why wouldn´t they be able to do a baptismal service?... We had her baptismal service yesterday at 18:00 after church and it was one of the best baptismal services we have done or seen in the mission yet. Even though we have known her for less than a week, we wanted to go all out on the baptism. We organized a musical number, had way good talks by a few members, prepared banana bread and browies, and made sweet invitations. We couldn´t quite get her family to come to the service, even though they include a few recent converts, but it was still really good!
We are even preparing more baptismal services for the next few weeks. I really want to work my butt off to make them happen because I know that if I do my part and just tire myself out effectively working at the top of my potencial, the Lord is going to bless me with baptisms. Just have to lose myself in that! We have Teresa(mom) and Martín(19) as a reference from another ward. Martín basically lives the life of a mormon but just doesn´t quite belong to a church. He doesn´t smoke, drink, go out a party in the boliches(popular argentine dance clubs...usually not the best place to feel the spirit), or go out and just cause havoc with all of his drug-addict friends and rob every house they walk by at night. His mom told the misioneras in the other ward that she is worried for him and she doesn´t think it is normal. We passed by their house and explained to him that we have what he is already living. They will get baptized one of the first weeks in May. Irma Fiorentino, our English-speaking, Canadian friend and her husband will be moving back to Toronto this Thursday. She surprised us and came to sacrament meeting yesterday. After the meeting she told me that she is super happy because she had gone to some bible study class of some other church and they convinced her that all churches are going to lead us in the same exact direction because we all worship the same god. Basically the belief of all catholics, but now she thinks she has a stronger testimony that it is true. She is really good so we are going to communicate with missionaries in Toronto to keep workin with her. Another new investigator came to church yesterday named Lucas that comes from the same family that gave us Estefanía. Lucas just needs to get married and he can get baptized. Haroldo is also another old guy that we found in the street that is super interested in the Book of Mormon and what it has to offer. He read half the Book of Mormon in one week. He commited to go to church but he unfortunately didn´t keep his commitment.
Since we are working a lot more with less active families to obtain good references, we are doing a lot of Noche de Hogars(FHEs) to gain the trust of the members. We had one with a stake presidency member the other night and a less active family. He got permission from President Ávila for us to be out late because they could only start it at like 21:00. We ended up staying till like midnight. Good times.
I donated blood for the first time on Saturday. It was some emergency blood drive that they had in the Mendoza Zone Stake :Center for all of the missionaries. It was for some test or something. It was a pretty fun morning. My blood type is AB+ just in case anyone wants to know. Good times.
I think that I have been having some minor/major digestive problems again in the past few days. I made some onion rings the other day. They were really good, but I think they gave me some sort of curse.
I would like to take up this precious part part of my weekly letter to tell the mother how awesome she is. I was uncontrollably happy when I saw the package waiting for me in the offices on Wednesday. The ties, candy, broken head-scratcher that I found out is on like every street corner here so I hope you didn´t spend too much time looking for it(Love ya ma). I am starting to get more into tie trading lately. Earlier in the mission I wasn´t too much for it, but now that I have a bigger quantity, I am willing to see what more is out there.
Pensamiento Espiritual: Since my mind has been focused on baptism a lot lately, that is what the thought will be about.
Why do we get baptized?
To receive a remission of sins
To become members of the Church of Jesus Christ
To be able to receive the Holy Ghost
To show our obedience
To enter into the kingdom of God
If we look at this list and see how important baptism is. Here are only 5 important points of baptism. If the bible says that there is only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism, how then shall we know the correct manner of baptism to fulfill each of these points? It is very important to have the one correct baptism. I testify that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is that only church on earth today that can fill us and give us all of our needs.
Much love from Mendoza, Argentina. Signing out is...
Whats new? How is everyone doing? I am at a terrible computer and the dang space key keeps getting stuck and is making me very frustrated... The computer is also very slow. I think I am definitely being tried of my patience.
We had an okay week. We have been continuing learning a ton from our stud bishop who is 29. We have a lot prepared for the future and have been working with a bunch of future baptisms. It has actually been kind of a problem that so many people are progressing for us. We find that we end up wasting lots of valuable time with so-so investigators when we actually should just be spending the majority of the time with our very elect investigators. No baptisms this week for us, but the hermanas in our district had a really good baptism of a really good person. We went to her baptismal service and felt the spirit very strong. I love seeing people that are so prepared making the next big step in their life with baptism. Unfortunately, we were not able to get any of our investigators to church. It is definitely one of the hardest, most uncontrollable things of missionary work. But the good thing is that when they actually do come to church, the chance of them getting baptized shoots way up.
Yesterdays reunions in church were some of the best I have been in. At least in testimony meeting, we felt the spirit very strong through some of our newer and less active members. We didn't exactly have investigators, but we had at least 7 of our less active families in sacrament meeting that we are working with a lot. Now we just need to get them to bring all of their non-member friends that were the reason they were inactive to church. But anyways, testimony meeting was so awesome because we knew the stories and background situations of many of those people and have seen the amazing change that the Evangelio de Jesucristo has wrought in their lives. Good times.
We just bought our bus tickets to go to Potrerillo today for P-day. I have seen some pictures of it and it just looks like a good fun time. It is just a place up in the mountains with some great scenery and lakes and stuff. I'll be sure to fill you in visually the following week. We slept over at our Zone Leaders pension for the night so we could save some time this morning. It's gonna be a good day.
FYI, I have been using my left thumb for the spacebar this whole email. Try it, it's not that easy to do continually.
Well, this transfer has gone by super fast!!! I can't believe that we only have one week left till next transfer. Elder Wixom thinks that I am going to stay here in godoy cruz and train a new and incoming missionary. I am hoping for the same! Ha.
Tell Lexi to stay away from the boys till I get home, and Brooke(Ike), and Mallory(Tashj).
"Brethren, the world is in need of our help. Are we doing all we should? Do we remember the words of President John Taylor: ‘If you do not magnify your callings, God will hold you responsible for those whom you might have saved had you done your duty.’ There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save. The blessings of eternity await you. Yours is the privilege to be not spectators but participants on the stage of priesthood service."
I definitely second the words of our living prophet though. Do what he says!...if and only if you want more blessings.
Stay sweet. Love y'all
Directamente del centro(coraz'on),
Elder Dev L'areesh
La Iglesia de Jesucristo de Los Santos de Los 'Ultimos Dias es la 'unica verdadera en el mundo
Yes mom, they do celebrate Easter here. They don´t really do too much of the huge partying and stuff though. The only easter bunnies that I saw were a few chocolate ones in the grocery store. Just about 110% of the Argentine population is Catholic. Something kinda funny is that Christmas and Easter are about the only times that they get off their butts, put down their máte and go to church for the special holiday mass. Easter for us was just another usual sunday.
My comp and I had a fun experience in church yesterday. Right before taking the sacrament, bishop had his secretary come down to us and ask us if we could do a special easter musical number because I guess they forgot to make the meeting special for easter. They announced it after the sacrament so we didn´t have a choice. Bishop wanted us to try harmonizing and all that good stuff. We didn´t know the spanish easter hymns well enough so he just let us pick another song. We sang ´Que Firmes Cimientos´(How Firm a Foundation) and it went okay. For not ever singing in front of anyone before and usually just practicing in the shower, I think we did okay. Ha ha.
In our area, I have been noticing that a lot more big, mean dogs have been wanting to eat us... The last few weeks I have had a few close encounters to being attacked. Luckily, I haven´t gotten bitten too bad yet to be worried. Ha ha. The recipe for scaring away the dogs is just bending down and acting like you are grabbing a rock to throw at them. I am starting to figure out these dogs finally.
This week we had Zone Conference and learned some super cool stuff! Missionary work around the world is taking a whole new approach from the new plan that the prophet has announced. It has already been out for a while, but we are just starting to understand how to use it to obtain baptisms. Working with members of the church is the key to success if you know how to use them in missionary work. According to stats, Argentina has been down on baptisms for a few years and now it the perfect time to bring it back up. Expect to be hearing about many more big family baptisms in the future.
For now, we have a few investigators that are doing pretty well. Irma, whom we had wanted to get baptized last week unfortunately did not make it to Saturday, but we are going to try really hard to get her to understand baptism well enough and what comes with it so that she can be a convert baptism instead of just a person convinced that Mormonism is the way to go. We have Angélica Bornignón who is doing really good, and we think that she has received an answer to her prayers. We have to have another lesson with her to see where exactly she is at. We don´t have too many more good investigators right now because we are focusing on a few other things so that we can get this plan in order to see many future convert baptisms.
Cumplí siete meses en la misión esta semana pasada. Todo el tiempo está pasando tan rápido para mí. No me gusta...(I was seven months in the mission this last week. All the time is happening(passing) so rapidly for me. I do not like...)
One thing that we are starting to put more in the missionary work is family history work. I am learning all kinds of new things about it. Do family history work! So many blessings can come from doing ordinances for the family. There are many people wating in the spirit world for people to help them out.
Today, for a fun pday activity we went to a bodega(winery) close to our Zone Leaders´ pension. It was not exactly a functioning bodega at this time and it was super old, but it was still very fun. The owner lady was a referral for the Zone Leaders so they even got to count her as contacted and they are going to start teaching her. Pictures will be attached.
If there is one thing you could do in the near future that would be a huge help is send me my Line of Authority of the Priesthood. If you could find that somehow and send it through email, I would be very pleased. Thanks.
I hope that everyone was able to have a good Pascua and take some time to remember the Resurrection for a bit. We should be forever thankful to our Redeemer that He has given us life. In the scriptures, it says that Christ is the light and life of the world. Follow the light that has been provided for us and we will gain life. I love my Savior and Redeemer and enjoy every moment of my mission because I get to wear his name on me every single day. There is no other experience where you can be so close to the spirit guiding you to the people that are going to recognize you as a true representative of Jesus Christ.
Another cool moment we had with an investigator this week was when one of them asked us why we, as members of this church, can say that we know that our church is true. I don´t recall ever being asked this question on my mission before, but I was able to share with her Alma 32. I love that chapter. Faith really can gradually change into straight knowledge only through the power of the Holy Ghost. That is called a testimony. Faith also needs to be nurished each and every day just like a seed or else it will wither and rot away.
Love you all. Pray for you every day. Signing out is...
Elder Deven Larisch
La Iglesia es Verdadera
yep, that is where good wine gets its taste...ha ha
How did everyone like conference??? It was just about the most best conference to this point in my life...not just because the talks were good, but I was prepared to hear them.
I don´t want to make anyone sad, but the bad news is that I have a ton to say, but we need to go soon. We have been making baptismal invitations for a big part of our time because Irma(came to a few sessions of conference) is expected to be baptized this weekend. Agostina and Rocío are complicated right now. Keep these investigators in your dreams. Also the Villegas family because they have been having some family problems this past week and need the spirit more in their lives and marriage. I will update ya more next week.
I wish I had more time to talk about general conference more. I very much enjoyed each and every one of the talks and throughout conference I was able to get each of my 10 questions answered. My favorites were Elder Scott and Pres. Utchdorf(priesthood session). Those talks answered some of my questions so well that I feel like my knowledge level of some topics went from a 5 to a 10. Good stuff!
Sorry family, I know there are tons of things to respond to. I will get to them next week. Thanks for all of the pictures and stuff!
Love you all!
Con tal cariño que alcance a los cielos,
¡La Iglesia es verdadera!
Elder Daybell and I may have downed a whole kilo of delicious helado..