Thursday, May 30, 2013

Locro (stew)

We passed another great week here in San Rafael. Unfortunately we had a few complications with Milagros`s preparation for her baptism so that will be delayed for a week or two. Oh well. Some of the big things that happened this week were the ward activity for the 25th of May(Argentine patriotic day), working our butts off to get the numbers that we needed this week, and not too much more...ha ha. Kind of a normal week.

It is tradition for the Argentines to eat Locro, a heavy soup-type of food that has a lot of meat, on the 25th of May every year. It is really good, but after you are done putting a few bowls in your belly it is hard to stand up and walk like missionaries do. We had to go stop by the pench because I got lots of heartburn and minor stomach pains so I took a few tums and a 10-15 minute lay-down-on-the-bed-and-complain break. I work my Argentine pride tie also. We had a bunch of investigators at the activity but it is just super hard sometimes to get the members to be their friends. This may be one of the hardest wards that I have worked in through the mission.

Milagros kinda got cold feet a couple days before the baptism and doesn`t think she is ready so we are pushing it forward a bit, but on the other hand, Vanesa, Ayelèn, and Luciano are progressing a ton and are for sure getting baptized this week! Vanesa even wants to presente(bless her baby) in church. I hope that everything goes well. We are working with like 6 different families right now. Finally have lots of people to teach and baptize, now that I am probably about to leave the area in a couple weeks. Oh well, some missionaries have to do their job of planting the seeds as well as harvesting as they say.

We are going to start a zone purification this week which should be great for the zone. We are going to start with a fast on Saturday to start June of Purification in order to leave things behind that impede the spirit from being with us continually and also to have more faith. Should be fun.

Well, I don`t have way too much time today, but I hope that everyone is safe and sound and healthy up there. I love you all and keep you always in my prayers.

Un abrazo,
Elder Larisch
 Not sure what these pics are about...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Buscar Milagros (Search for miracles)

Another greeting from here in Argentina! This week I have some pretty good news! We had a super awesome week with missionary work! We are seeing miracles all over the place and seeing a lot of progress here! I think we got the best numbers that I have ever gotten in my whole mission only without the baptismal number...but we should surely be getting that this weekend!

First off we started off well even on Monday, our P-day, and on Tuesday getting a couple good lessons with our progressing investigators. Then Wednesday came along which was the day of interviews with Presidente Àvila. After we finished with our personal interviews, the assistants came and worked with us for the day as we split up and just went and looked for miracles. We ended up meeting a ton of people and we saw a ton of success. We also learned a couple new effective strategies of finding people in the streets. Ha ha. Never too late to learn new things about missionary work. One lady that Elder Garcìa(Assistant) and I found basically poured out her soul and got emotional to us and told us that her husband passed away a couple weeks ago and she was super interested in our message of the plan of salvation and of eternal families. This actually happens to us often, but I felt more this time because of the faith that I was having that day in my desire to see miracles. I am surprised at all of the lessons that are taught to us as missionaries out here about faith. I thought I knew what it was before the mission and understood it perfectly but I was very wrong. It is one of the coolest principles of the gospel by far!!

Yesterday in church I think we, the missionaries, basically ran the church... ha ha. Bishop called us Saturday at 10:00 pm to tell us that we had to talk...normal for bishops in Argentina to advise us 12 hours before or less of that we have to talk in sacrament. It was good though. I reviewed with the members in my talk a resource that was given to the members in the church during the time of President Hinckley called Feed My Sheep. Which is a guide for showing members really what they are supposed to do in missionary work. Then it was no surprise that our Sunday school teacher didn`t show up to teach our Principles of the Gospel class to new members and I taught it. And in priesthood, the member of the high council in the stake designated to our ward did not know how to teach very well as we were learning about temples yesterday so we had to help him explain many things in the temple also because we had a couple investigators and new members that we didn`t want to get confused. It is very hard as a missionary in Argentina to have a peaceful Sunday at church... ha ha. At least it is a lot of good experience for the future callings that I will have.

Milagros, the daughter of our recent convert Leonardo, along with her boyfriend Nicolàs, came to church because we went and had breakfast with them in the morning. They are progressing a ton! Leo, sadly still does not have the Aaronic priesthood because the ward has delayed the interview too long so...the plan is for Milagros hopefully to get baptized on Sunday after church and after Leo can get sustained by the ward and receive the priesthood to baptize his daughter right after! That will be one of the best experiences of the mission to watch, I am sure of it. Leo has been desiring that she gets baptized for a long time now. She has fallen in love with the Book of Mormon and is hooked to the story. We have been telling her that for the past two months but sadly she never opened the book. It has power!

Since I just barely finished Doctrine and Covenants, I have decided to start the Book of Mormon over again and have a focus. After a making a list of topics I could mark, I decided to mark all of the parts that impact me on the topic of being a true disciple of Christ. I have found many already including even a couple parts before in the testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith. He by far is one of the best examples of discipleship obviously because he was chosen by God to be the dispensation head prophet of the most important and last dispensation in all of time. In his testimony when he is chatting with Moroni in his room, Moroni tells him that his name will be taken for bad and for good by the people of the world. This phrase made me remember of something that a seminary teacher taught me one time. That if we, as members of the church of Jesus Christ, are not hated by anyone we are failing at being true disciples of Christ. Any faithful member should have this same prophetic announcement upon them also that their name will be talked for good and for bad. If we are always sharing the gospel with others, there is a 100% chance that we will get rejected at some time. We are in the dispensation with the most faithful and obedient children of our Heavenly Father along with the most rebellious and disobedient. We must always remember in those moments of rejection whose name we carry upon our countenance. It is not our message that we are sharing, it is surely His. I love this gospel and I know with all my heart that it is true.

I love you all and wish you a happy, warm month of May while over here I am freezing my face off!
Un abrazo,
Elder Larisch
day with the assistants
huge hamburguesas!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

te amo madre (I love you mother)

Well, I was already able to see all of you last night on Skype so I don`t know if there is way too much new to tell you. Ha. It was awesome again being able to talk to you and see you even though you couldn`t see me there. I will make sure to attach a pic so you can see what it was like for me. I hope that mom was able to have a great Mother`s Day! I have always been and am and will be super grateful for all of the sacrifices that you have made so that I could get to be where I am now. You, once again, easily take the trophy for MOTHER OF THE YEAR! I wasn`t able to write any cheesy poems this year...but you know how much I love you!

My new comp is from Sandy, UT and is named Elder Bennett. He has 17 months in the mission and I am training him as a new zone leader here in San Rafael. He likes to work hard so I think that before I leave here we will be able to see a lot of success! I hope that we can start changing this zone a bit because we have got some tough missionaries here. Lots of them are ending the mission.

We are seeing some progress in our investigators. It still is the hardest thing in the world to get them to come to church, but they are obtaining their testimonies of the restored gospel here a little there a little. Our convert, Leo, is doing just about everything he can to bring his daughter to church early in the morning but it seems like she is just not going to budge. Once she starts reading the Book of Mormon and praying regularly she will easily make it to church. It is always like that. The book of Mormon and and prayer are some of the most powerful and easy ways that our Heavenly Father can speak to us. If only every investigator just understood that... Our other investigator that had a baby when we didn`t even take note that she was pregnant is going to get baptized at the beginning of the next month with a couple of those little kids in the fam. Vanesa is her name. We have actually been able to see big changes in her since the first visits. The whole family is just very uneducated and didn`t really understand anything in the beginning, but now Vanesa can remember just about everything from the lessons that we have taught her. Miracles!

I will make sure to keep Opi and grandpa Fletcher in my prayers. I still plan on going fishing with Grandpa right when I go home if his casting arm is in condition or not. I can`t believe Kim is turning 40 already. She is getting kinda old...ha ha. That means that she was my age when I was born. Cool.

Un abrazo,
Elder Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera
  Happy Mother's Day Skype
 Elder Bennett from Sandy, Utah
 The piano Man
Where's waldo???