Dear family and friends,
Hard to believe Christmas will be here in 3 weeks. Where is the Christmas Spirit?! I have hardly seen any decorations, havent heard any Christmas songs... and still find it weird feeling the hot sun beating down on me in December. Besides being able to look at a calendar and knowing Christmas is coming soon... the only other clue here in Argentina has been the ever present explosions of little kids throwing fireworks in the streets. Hope to see some REAL Christmas spirit soon!
Today we had transfer meeting. No changes here... staying at least another 6 weeks here in Wilde with Elder Alvarez! I am happy to be staying, but I think by next transfer he will be MORE than ready to take over the area with a new companion! I was in a different area 4 days this week for a leadership meeting with Pres. Stapley and he seemed to run the area well with the other missonary and they got some good stuff done! It was tough being away from my area for such a long time... but I did get to enjoy some hot showers and AIR CONDITIONING in the other Elders Pension.
The leadership conference went really well... but 4 VERY LONG days! The focus was in the new 8 lessons called Fundamental principles of Preach my Gospel that we learn/teach in our District and Zone Meetings. (The Doctrine of Christ, The Role of the Holy Ghost in Conversion, Revelation through Scripture Study, Revelation through Prayer, Revelation through going to Church, "We invite, they commit, we verify", and How to begin teaching) These lessons were put together by the first presidency to help us to focus better in our purpose as missionaries to "Invite others to come unto Christ by recieving the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ y His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, reception of the Holy Ghost y endure to the end. As a mission we are hoping to meet the challenge Pres. Hinckley extended several years ago to double the baptisms in all the church, a goal which to this point has not been met!
This weekend we FINALLY performed the song I was practicing back in October to accompany several hermanas in the ward. We ended up doing it for a Relief Society activity which went really well! (I got a video even so I will do my best to get that sent home soon!) We got to stay for the rest of the meeting as well (ended up with a big bag of homemade goodies and a 2 liter bottle of pepsi. They felt bad they had all that delicious food in front of us when we had already started our fast. :)) They shared some awesome messages, experiences, and testimonies about the focus they had this year in developing and sharing their talents!
Sunday was fast sunday. Always great! This weeks lesson depended on what the Elder Quorum presidency determined was the need of the quorum. Well he decided that since we were few in numbers... what we needed was more people! He paired us up in 2 and had each of us think of an inactive member family who could use a visit... and then sent us to visit them! I think it was successful overall. Even if we didnt bring many people back to the church at least they know we were thinking of them! Testimony meeting went really well. One 15 year old girl in our ward shared her testimony about how at the beginning of the year she had set a goal to bear here testimony every month... and that this month she completed her goal! That over this time her testimony has grown and it has helped her overcome her fear of public speaking. As we approach the end of this year I hope we can all look back on the goals we set this past year and evaluate our effort... and if needed revise and set some new goals for next year that require us to exercise some FAITH to achieve!
I love you all and hope you start off your Christmas season well! STill enjoying some snow?
Elder Ian Wheelhouse