Buen dia from my home away from home
I really feel like I am never leaving this little town, which might not be too bad because I am really comfortable here and I can walk around with my eyes closed and find where I am going. It will be really strange in a month when transfers come.
This week we had lots of meetings so that means lots of travel. My favorite. The worst bus ride this week was actually the best because we got to watch two movies on the way to Comodoro and I was sitting behind some like traveling Jews from Israel. They are like famous or something on instaG so they took a picture with me and were freaking out because they were gonna be the only ones of their Jew buddies that had a picture with a redheaded mormon in Argentina. Haha or something like that I could understand because they spoke like 10 words of Castellano and about 25 of English.
Wednesday we had the broadcast in Caleta at 2 in the afternoon. They talked about some cool stuff and our new hours are so sick. We have two different schedules now for the summer and the winter, and we can choose basically everything we do. We don´t have to be home until 10 and we sleep at 11, and we wake up at 7:30. Also we can study during the siesta when everyone is asleep and nobody will open the door. Thats like from 2-5 in the afternoon. So anyway that was pretty cool. Also we are counting numbers different now and I think it´s going to be so much better.
Friday we had a multi-zone conference in Comodoro with President. Got a little boring at times but it was fun because I got to see Elder Rennaker and Ward and a bunch of the other guys I am friends with from the MTC.
Saturday we had a cake night at the church that we organized, and actually more people came than I thought would come. Elder Popa and I made an oreo cheesecake which was so dang good I almost cried.
Monday we had a crazy cool lesson with this family we are teaching and totally witnessed a miracle. The last Saturday we went over the law of chastity and how they need to get married and stuff. We tried like we always do to talk about a baptism date so they will actually start working on that and can prepare. The husband, one of my good friends, is totally ready. He totally has a testimony and wants to be baptized. The problem is his wife is like a super feminist so she always says that she needs to choose when to get married and when to get baptized. She doesn´t understand that we just try to put a goal so they will actually do stuff. She says she is going to for sure, but we know that if we just leave it like that it will never happen. And they have already been living together for like 13 years and have an 11 year old daughter so its not like marriage is that big of a decision any more. So thats basically what went down Saturday, then we fasted
Sunday and Monday and had a lesson with them Monday night. When we got there it was totally different, they started asking how they can start getting ready because this guy is totally ready to be baptized. It was so cool to see that change of heart and how the Lord blesses us for our faith.
That´s basically it. Julio and Gimene got back from Salta so now I have somewhere to go when I walk all day and nobody wants to listen haha. I am just doing my best and trying to enjoy my last month here.
So grateful for everyone and everything in my life. I wouldn´t trade the mission for anything, besides seeing the Gospel change peoples lives every day and being able to testify of my Savior, I have learned a ton of stuff. I hope and pray to be the Lord´s hand in working miracles for the rest of my time here in Argentina. I know without a doubt our Savior lives and loves us, and that His gospel has been restored.
¨Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people.¨ Mosiah 18:20
¨And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer.¨ Mosiah 27:36
Some way good ice cream the flavor here is Calafate its like fruit, Watermelon and salt.
La Joda con Rennaker y Ruano, Random pic of district meetings
Buen dia from my permanent home, Pico Truncado Santa Cruz Argentina haha.
So I am staying another transfer. My companion headed up to Comodoro to work in the office so he wouldn´t have to walk as much, and Elder Popa came here from the office. That means when I leave here, almost certainly at the end of February, I will have almost 7 months in the mission. Am I mad? No the truth is I am really comfortable here in this desert pueblo. I have made some really good friends like Julio, Ricardo, and Milton and really the only thing that matters is the people.
It makes me mad when missionaries say ¨my baptisms¨ or ¨my converts¨ or when people are ignorant and stupid enough to ask an Elder or Sister how many baptisms he or she has had in the mission. This is not important. If we only bring one person to the font, if only one person accepts the gospel because of our efforts, we are successful. I am tired of the pride that some people have and I know for a fact that is not the Lord´s way to serve. These are His children, His baptisms, and His converts. If I could have only one thing in my mission it would be to be completely protected from the stain of pride that affects us as people so easily, and through that maintain the true spirit of my calling.
Well after that rant, the week was pretty good.
I had to wait a couple of days the first of the week in Caleta, I don´t know why because my companion was only an hour a way, but it had it´s fun moments visiting people nonetheless. Wednesday we had a half day of work, due to the fact that we had to go back to Comodoro in the evening for my companion to be in a meeting the next day in the office. Got to eat some good chicken and hangout with Hernandez and one of my other buddies named Racua. Super funny dude from Bolivia, he was up for training so I walked around Comodoro with him and the new kid from Ecuador making a few contacts and chilling.
The weekend was pretty good as far as numbers go, and we had a few killer lessons. We are working a ton with this really old lady named Clara, and she is trying to quit smoking. We took one of my good friends, a member named Mercedes she is like 60 something and super funny, and had a freaking bomb lesson in Clara´s house. Also went to visit a less-active kid of 18 years who really needs lots of help. After talking with him for a pretty long time, he decided he wanted to make some changes and some goals to get ready to serve a mission. We made some short and long-term goals with him, one of which was to take out his earring. As soon as he read the paper he just took that baby right out. It was so sick honestly.
Sunday was good because the Hileni family came to church again. I taught the principles of the gospel class with them and the sisters and it was legit. The gift of tongues is so real I am speaking castellano like a firehose no joke. I think I am gonna write some raps in spanish and see how they turn out haha.
Anyway thats pretty much it. Just doing the best that I can and trying to stay humble and ready to be an instrument in the Lord´s hands. I really depend on Him every second of every day and I feel it such a privilege to be able to represent his son here in Patagonia.
Our Savior lives. This is His church and His Gospel. There is no other way to eternal life. There never has been and there never will be. He is the way, and how grateful I am to know He lives and loves us.
¨O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life.¨ Jacob 6:11
¨But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, He will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage.¨ Mosiah 7:33
I don`t have a lot to tell this week.
As far as the work goes my companion was still in a lot of pain so we took it easy. Super fun kid and we had some good times but I am really excited to get back to work! I am in Caleta right now and my new companion will get here tomorrow. He is from here I think Mar de Plata but I`m not sure. Oh by the way I am staying another transfer. Yep that`s 6 months in my first area. I guess in other missions that is not that big of a deal but here its a lot! The mission is big so there is always a lot of movement! As you already know my little town isn`t very exciting, but I am staying positive and the truth is I am really comfortable there! Julio, a member that I know really well, he`s like my older brother he`s so freaking funny and we chill all the time. And then Milton, Noelia, and Frida are progressing a ton and so hopefully we`ll see some miracles there in the next 6 weeks.
Gave a talk on Sunday. Super fun giving a talk in a different language because it eliminates a lot of the fear of like giving a regular talk. I feel like you can say a lot more stuff because you aren`t so stressed out. I talked about the atonement and it was super cool.
Just want to say that I know that the mission really is the Lord`s work. That He really knows us and is looking out for me down here every minute of every day. I have learned a lot of things from the mission already, but one of the most important is something I have felt ever since I got to the MTC. That is the love our Father in Heaven really has for us. I cannot explain it and I am a way more positive and caring person now because of it. Super grateful for everything and everyone and want you all to know I am happy, healthy, and safe.
¨And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.¨ 2 Nephi 25:26
¨I have Charity for my people, and great faith in Christ, that I shall meet many souls spotless at his judgement-seat.¨ 2 Nephi 33:7
¨Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand, For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works.¨ Jacob 4:10
que tengan una linda semana!
This week was a really good time. Two pdays recopados in a row and Zone Conference. Well zone conference isn´t fun but I always get stuff from the office so I like zone conference.
Last Monday we went to Caleta for super pday. We ate pizza and watched Finding Dory, haha pretty funny! The pizza here isn´t too good but hey, I miss just chilling and watching movies.
Tuesday was some chill work, with my companion having some knee problems, we do what we can!
Wednesday Gimene´s mom taught me how to make empanadas. If you don´t know what that is look it up, really famous Argentine food. So I have got some skills under my belt in respect to the kitchen.
Thursday was another chill day and we had a dinner with this super funny member. The family is huge and the brother is the funniest guy we are such good friends. He reads so much and is so smart and knows so much stuff its insane. Every time we go to his house I just talk with him for like 2 hours and I only say like 20 words because he talks so much. We talk about politics and church history and profound doctrine its great. We had to go to Caleta that night so we slept there. We froze our butts off haha we hardly slept maybe like two hours. I don´t know why it was so cold but the heating is off and its summer so I´m not sure. But we did not have our sleeping bags or anything so we started out the night in socks, and by morning we were in suits hahahaha. If I could send the video I would, super funny Hernandez and I trying to prender el calefactor in the middle of the night hahahaha we were laughing so hard.
Then the sick part of the week! Today we went to Puerto San Julian with the familia Hileni, the investigators we have! They are so cool! When I got in the car in the morning, they told me to open like the dashboard thing and there was a present for me in there! It was the sickest knife, its massive and has like a massive finger of a bird on it, they are like ostriches but smaller and they just roam wild. So that was cool. Then we went to Puerto San Julian and saw a massive boat and tons of cool stuff! Guanacos and Armadillos and lots of way old stuff from the Spanish Exploration.
Talking with them on the drive back (like 3 hours) they told us about how since they have been praying individually and as a family they have seen miracles in their lives! They want to get baptized! I hope if I stay here another transfer that we can make that happen! I feel so blessed and fortunate to have been called to the Patagonia! These people are so genuine and they would do anything for us! I had the amazing privilege to be the Lord´s instrument and bring them to the knowledge of the truth!
My faith has never been stronger, my testimony of this Gospel is something I am willing to give my life for! My Father in Heaven has given me so much and this is the least that I can do! I no longer think of this as a sacrifice but as a privilege.
¨O, my beloved brethren, give ear to my words, Remember the greatness of the Holy One of Israel. Do not say that I have spoken hard things against you; for if ye do, ye will revile against the truth; for I have spoken the words of your Maker. I know that the words of truth are hard against all uncleanness; but the righteous fear them not, for they love the truth and are not shaken.¨ 2 Nephi 9:40
¨And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.¨ Luke 9:23
A little bit of history: The origin:The name of San Julián was given by Ferdinand Magellan when he reached this bay on March 31st, 1520. On the following day, Palm Sunday, there was the first mass on Argentinian territory, said fact is remembered by a monument located in one of the extremes of the avenue that runs along the coastline (Avenida Costanera).
This is where he visited with the investigators on P-day. Pictures are near the bottom.
This week was super chill although you might not expect that at this time of year. The most exciting thing definitely was talking with the family on Monday. I honestly felt like I just saw them all! The time has gone so fast for me these 5 months! I hope that continues for this year haha!
This week we had some really cool moments while not doing a whole lot of the regular stuff. My companion is not doing so well and is having really bad knee problems, so we are having to take taxis and stick to appointments only. He may be headed home in 2 weeks I think we will be finding out soon. He loves the mission and does not want to leave.
Tuesday we had a cool little lesson with Clara, who is a really old lady that has been sort of an off-and-on investigator for a while. While we were talking with her Tuesday she said she wanted to be baptized, but she feels like she needs to learn more and doesn´t feel worthy. It´s really sad actually because we have probably taught her all the lessons like 5 times each and she can´t remember anything. She has been taking valium for sleeping for like 20 years and it totally wrecked her memory. I hope we can help her feel ready and that she can make that decision for herself soon.
New Years Eve, we hung out with our investigators Noelia, Milton, and Frida. We had a super cool lesson with them and they are progressing a ton! Yesterday was their third time at church so that was sick. We talked about the Law of Chastity and marriage and they want to get married and they said that for sure they want to get baptized! Holy I was so happy. To think that for all the countless doors I knocked in these 4 months here, that one door one afternoon turned out to be someone looking for the truth, and that they really want the Gospel in their lives and the blessings of an eternal family. Here, these people and these moments are very few, but I will knock another ten thousand doors if I have to find another family like them. So neat to be able to share something so near to my heart and such a part of me with people who want the same things I do; a peace and security in this life, and a surety that they will be able to be together forever.
I hope that this year we can all make the small changes necessary to feel the power of the atonement in our lives. That through small things every day we can combat the power of Satan and stay worthy of the countless blessings we have received, and those that are awaiting us. I am so grateful for everything I have and I love this Gospel with all of my heart.
¨...inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me ye are led.¨ 1 Nephi 17:13
¨If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them, if he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.¨ 1 Nephi 17:50
¨Yea, they may forget, yet I will not forget thee, O house of Israel. Behold, I have engraven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy wall are continually before me.¨ 1 Nephi 21: 15-16
¨Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.¨ 2 Nephi 4:28
feliz año nuevo!
Not very many pictures this week. We did not do anything too exciting.
Jake Is currently serving in the Argentina, Comodoro Rivadavia Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints. He reported to the MTC August 3, 2016. This blog is for family and friends.