Dear family and friends,
Sounds like some exciting stuff happened this last week! I continue to hear stories from everyone here about how much it has been snowing in the United States.... any of that happening in Utah? We have enjoyed some cooler weather here these last couple days and it seems like the hot summer weather should be coming to an end pretty soon. The mornings and evenings are nice and cool but it can still get pretty hot during the day. Another week gone by with no place to call home! Still no news on when we will be able to move into our new pension.
This week we had interviews with Pres. Stapley. The mission is focusing a lot in Obedience right now and he shared some great scriptures with us. Romans 5:19 y 1 Timothy 3:12-16. We also actually spent a good part of time in my interview talking about a companionship issue in my district that is getting out of control. :S Tomorrow afternoon Pres. asked that the Zone Leaders and I have a chat with this particular Elder to try to understand better why he is doing the things he is doing. I have never been one that likes to correct people, but I think the most important will just be to listen y try to understand his point of view and offer some counsels in a kind, loving way. Apparently he didn´t respond well even to Pres. Stapley, so hopefully we will be inspired to find the best way to help him enjoy and have success in the mission.
We also had some pretty interesting teaching experiences this week. We visited an inactive member family who absolutely LOVES the missionaries y is always talking about how Missionary Work is the best thing the church has. The father has some SERIOUS word of wisdom problems. I´m pretty sure he smoked a whole box of cigarettes just in the hour or so we were visiting with them as well as downing a bottle of beer. He doesn´t want anything to do with the church and told us we could pass by to visit but that he doesn´t want us sharing ANYTHING or inviting them to do anything with the church. They actually invited us to stay for dinner y he actually didn´t have any problem with us blessing the food and he even said the closing prayer. He has 2 daughters who aren´t members y they seem to get along really well as a family, but could be doing SO MUCH better with the gospel in their lives. I imagine we will pass by one or 2 more times to see if there is any chance of possibly sharing a message with them, but if not we can´t afford to continue passing by.
On Tuesday we contacted a reference we recieved last week of a guy named Marcelo who apparently gave the other missionaries the address to his work. We got to the work site y someone must have a) seen how confused we looked and b) known exactly what we wanted, because they came up and asked if we were looking for Marcelo. Not at all what I was expecting, a big 6´4¨guy who looks like he could be a professional football player y who speaks really well in english. They called him over and we talked for a minute before he excused himself to finish loading up a big dump truck with sand before his lunch break. We had a good talk with him and got to know him a little bit, and he even drove us in his car to our lunch cita that we were running late for. He seems more interested in practicing English with us than anything else (he is planning to go to the UK to study) but apparently he is married y sounds like he has a great family! We set a cita with him to have an English discussion in the church on Saturday which ended up falling through, but we have been in contact and he gaves us his address and invited us over to his house this week.
This week we also visited Darío a couple times, y he is turning out to be one of the best/most prepared investigators I have seen in my whole mission! He told us a bit more of his story, how he had been living with an adopted family his whole life and recently made contact with his biological father who lives in our ward. It is very obvious that his adopted family is very well off, y he told us that he never felt like he fit in with his adopted family y never felt loved. His fathers family is almost the complete opposite, a very large, humble family, but he said that in these 3 weeks that he has known them, even though a bit awkward at first, he has felt accepted and loved more than any other time in his life. Almost the whole family are members of the church y even though they are less active, he has seen first hands the blessings of having a family who lives and follows gospel principles. He has already picked up the habit of praying and everything we teach he understands perfectly. He is already making good progress on the Book of Mormon y well on his way to recieving a testimony! The only downside is that he is only at their house on the weekends y he is planning to go study to be a policeman starting in March. This evening we are hoping to visit him and set a baptismal date for the end of this month!
Delio also is doing really well. Still working on the whole marriage issue. He is from Paraguay and doesn´t have Argentine documents so it could be a little harder than we had thought originally. He continues to come to church and is more than ready to be baptized. Yesterday he even got up and bore his testimony about prayer in Sacrament meeting! Noemi also finally came (his member girlfriend) as well as their 3 kids Cristian (7), Juakin (4) y Milagros (5 months). Sure a handfull!
Last night I also talked with Elder Alvarez and got some news from Wilde! Apparently they had an emegency transfer y he has been with his new companion for about a week now. They are also looking for a new pension (finally!) but are finding that everything in Wilde is VERY EXPENSIVE, suprise surpise. Apparently a lot of the members are on vacation... but some exciting news... Marcos y Soledad are planning to get married on February 28th!!!! I imagine they will be baptized that following weekend and I am hoping to get permission to go to their baptism considering it is relatively close (7 train stations, we also have several buses that go to Wilde!) He seems to be happy and having some success in the area which of course left me feeling pretty content as well.
Anyways family, thats all for this week! Hope you all have a Happy Valentines day and I am looking forward to hearing from you all next week! As always thank you for your prayers in behalf of all of us here in Argentina!
Elder Ian Wheelhouse