What a week! Biggest news, FACUNDO GOT BAPTIZED!!! We were so excited! So, we have been teaching Facundo for 3 months now, and he was always so willing to keep commitments and put into practice what we taught him. However, his parents didn't want to give him permission to be baptized. His first fast sunday, we invited him to fast with us so he could be baptized (in October). He did it, but didn't receive permission that whole month. We invited him to fast with us again in November, so that he could be baptized the last week of November, the 25th. We worked with him all month, met with his mom, prayed for him, and practiced with him what he could say to his parents. As we entered this last week, he still didn't have permission, and we were planning his baptism for Saturday, after the combined capilla abierta that we were going to have with Nebel and Concordia. On Wednesday morning, we talked with him, and he told us that Thursday night he would talk with his dad again (previously his dad had told him that he would have to wait until he was 18 to be baptized). We practiced his testimony with him, and then decided that we would fast one more time on Thursday so that he could receive permission. Friday morning, we got up and sent a message to Franco, his friend, and asked him if he had heard anything, and he told us that his dad had given him permission!!! We jumped up and down we were so excited. We did his baptismal interview that same day, and he was baptized by Franco on Saturday and confirmed Sunday. We are so happy.
The capilla abierta was awesome as well. It was combined between the two branches that share our church, Nebel and Concordia. We had a TON of people come, and lots of member participation! Also, we had a baptism pop up out of nowhere, and for the first time, we baptized someone during the capilla abierta! Story: the hermanas in Federal had a young woman who had received all of the lessons, received permission from her mom to be baptized, and had had her baptismal interview, but she didn't want to be baptized yet. She came to the capilla abierta with the hermanas, and during the part where the two elders dressed in white teach about baptism at the baptismal font, they invited her to be baptized, and she said that she wanted to baptized right now! We talked about it, called Presidente Perez, and called her mom, and Presidente told us to go for it, so right then and there we organized a brief baptismal service in between tours, and then the people visiting the church saw a real baptism performed! It was pretty cool. Then, after the capilla abierta, we had a district-wide baptismal service, with 3 baptisms from the Universidad branch, 2 from the Concordia branch, and 2 from our branch (Nebel), all of them young men and young women. All of the members stayed, and the district presidency conducted, there was an attendance of almost 100 people, and it was an amazing experience. So spiritual, and I can't think of a better way to end a transfer. :)
In other news, we passed Thanksgiving with the Arriola family, and we made pumpkin pie with squash, and it actually turned out exactly like real pumpkin pie. It was the first pie I have ever made in my life. :) But it brought the spirit of Thanksgiving, and the Arriolas loved it.
Also, we had a surprise when we found out transfers. Elder Streuling was transferred to Rafaela for his last two weeks! So we are not finishing the mission together. So I am here now with Elder Urzua from Santiago, Chile! First Chilean companion. :)
No time left, but just a quick thought from my studies this week. I was studying PMG, chapter 3, lesson 1 (the Restoration). As I read about prophets, I came across this sentence: All people have the gift of agency, which includes the freedom to accept or reject the gospel as taught by the prophets and apostles. Those who choose to obey are blessed, but those who ignore, reject, or distort the gospel do not receive God’s promised blessings.
As I read that, it really stuck out to me that the gospel is so straightforward: blessings are decisions. We decide whether we want to be blessed or not. God has given us commandments so that we know how to be blessed, and then we have the choice to receive those blessings or not, based on our actions. So why would we ever choose not to be blessed?
I love the gospel, I love this work, Jesus Christ is our Savior, and this is His Church.
Have a great week! Light the world!
|Lunch with Hno. Reyna this week! I had a sweet Mexican sombrero :)|
|He bought Dulce de Leche and Oreo cheesecake because it was Elder Streuling's birthday...It was SO god.|
|After that, we had ice cream to celebrate Elder Streuling's birthday after district meeting :)|
|Maira, the younger sister of Fabrizio from Federal. I also did her baptismal interview, and she is also awesome.|
|Pumpkie pie!! (well, really, it was squash pie jaja)|
|Me, Elder Streuling, Franco, and Hna Arriola after lunch|
|With the new llumina el Mundo banner in the capilla abierta!|
|FACUNDO GOT BAPTIZED (more pictures next week)|
|Me, Elder Streuling, and Ayelen, our gospel principles teacher and a huge help with member missionary work :)|
|Bye Elder Streuling!|
|And me with my new companion, Elder Urzua :)|