Hi My Beautiful Family!
It is a hot, sticky Monday here in San Justo, I smell like sunscreen and mosquito repellent, and I feel so happy to be a missionary right now in Buenos Aires. Thank you so much for your emails, they are the cherry on top!
This week has been full of both challenges and miracles, and it's amazing how Heavenly Father uses both to bless us. On Wendesday we had an amazing conference with a General Authority, Elder Zeballos and his wife, and I came away just bursting with desire to be a better missionary. Plus we got to see a bunch of the other missionaries, something that is always a highlight for me. There is always a crazy energy present when a bunch of missionaries get together, and I love that "righteousness" isn't "nerdy" here on the mission. The righteous missionaries are the coolest kids on the block. :)
Thursday we had our usual weekly planning, and I got on the phone to call a family to schedule an appointment with them. We had a lesson with them a while ago, the Spirit testified so strongly, and they said they would read the Book of Mormon and pray as a family, but that they wanted some time. They are a couple in their 70's and a special-needs daughter. We were super excited for them, so the response that I got on the phone on Thursday was a complete shock. The mom answered the phone, and it was like it was a totally different person. She told me that the Book of Mormon wasn't convincing and that they didn't want to have anything to do with us. That same day we had a lesson with Rosi and Jesus and met their mom for the first time, only to hear her tell us that Jesus could be baptized but Rosi couldn't until she is 18 years old. We got home that night, tired grumpy and kind of numb to everything. Elder Dressler our District Leader called us as usual, and all he had to say was, "How's it goin Hermanas?" to cause an eruption of tears. The poor thing just sat on the other end of the line in silence as we cried our little hearts out. And Hermana Castillo and I aren't the whiny Hermana type, but it was definitely one of the hardest days we've had together, and we finally just had to let it all out.
So after that lengthy, depressing description, let me explain why it was cool. After we got off the phone with poor Elder Dressler who sweetly told us to go cry all our tears out, eat some Oreos, and go to bed, we felt much better and had one of the best talks I've ever had in my life. We talked about what we were going to change as missionaries, how we were going to improve, and how we were going to dedicate 100% of our heart, might, and mind to Heavenly Father and His work.The challenges of that day had truly humbled us, and in that moment the Spirit came to teach our humble hearts. The next day I woke up with an energy and an excitement for the work that I had kind of lost in the previous days. We were beyond obedient in every little thing that morning, went to work, and the miracles haven't ceased.
Yesterday in church, Jesus and Rosi both came. Plus Berta and Ruben. Berta is the mom of a member and she doesn't have a leg, so she is in a wheel chair. Ruben is a friend of the same member and is basically a 13 year old in a 48 year old body. He hates any kind of commitment, even something as small as an assignment to read one verse in the Book of Mormon, and we have been working and working with him to help him "commit" to anything because investigators have to DO something on their part in order for their faith to grow. We finally helped him commit to coming to church, and when I saw him, Gladys (the member), and Berta rolling up to the church in her wheelchair on Sunday morning, my heart nearly burst with joy. We are working with some incredible people, and the goal right now is just to have the Spirit so that we can help them FEEL that our message is true and then help them ACT and try it out for themselves.
Jesus is so incredible, and every lesson with him is a joy. When we asked him how he feels about our message and the Book of Mormon, all he said is "Genial" which is basically Castillano for "awesome."
In other news, it's super hot here right now. Hermana Castillo and I are a little worried because this is just spring weather and people keep telling us that this is nothing. Both of us are already dying. :) I drink water like crazy, and getting on a Colectivo to sit by a window and feel the breeze is the most heavenly thing in the world. I'm learning to cook like a Peruvian because Hermana Castillo is the best cook in the world, and this week we didn't have almuerzos with the members for some reason. Basically, life is good, and everytime I read one of Al's emails, I count my blessings and remember how lucky I am to have a fan to turn on in the night. That girl is amazing!
Well fam, I've gotta run. Thank you again for you emails and support. You really are the best family in the world. I love bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Argentina, because I know how much it has blessed us. It is real and true and brings real happiness!
All my love,