The Book of Mormon is amazing! I have started reading it over again about a week and a half ago. I never realized the amazing stories that fit inside 1st Nephi! This week was like discovering it all over again. 1 Nephi 4 offers an incredible story of adoption. Think about it--Zoram was, in reality, another one of Nephi's brothers after this moment. He dropped everything to follow, in faith, the family of Lehi. 1 Nephi 7, vs. 19 (make sure to look at footnote a and follow the other scriptures it reads) is one of the sweetest love stories I've ever done read. And Nephi gave me strength this week in chapter 17. If he was called to build a ship and moved forward with such faith and a go-get-em attitude, surely so can I. I love the scriptures. KEEP READING THEM. If you don't read them, I beg you to start today. We live in a confused world--i see it every day walking through Metropolitan central of Cañada de Gomez. The light, the guiding light we have is--truthfully, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures are our compass, the Prophets our north star. Drink, freely, from these precious words. I know them to be true.
This week has been wild! Tuesday was fantastic, we had a training meeting for leaders and trainers/trainees. Upon walking into the front doors of the church, I saw Hermana Alicea. I don't think I've ever run faster to hug someone in my life! I squeezed her tight and had some time to chat with her and see how the first few days of training had been. She's tearing it up. I knew she would :) Missions are the best. My mission has offered me some of the sweetest friendships I have ever had. The training itself was incredible. President Giuliani frightened me a little bit when he instructed us as trainers, that we need to be almost perfect, because we're raising up/training up the next generation of great missionaries. Well, I'm not sure why he called me to be a trainer, taking note of all the imperfections I´ve got going--but that's who the Lord always calls, right? Jovencito Joseph Smith of 14 years old, Young Samuel, Little David. It was a beautiful meeting and I treasured the counsel and the spirit felt. I think I could have cried with happiness when the other Elders from Venado Tuerto, las Hermanas, and I joined in singing the closing song. There's a special and unique treasure of experience that comes when you serve alongside others in the Service of the Lord.
Hermana Martinez and I have DONE WORK this week. We know our area much better now and are coming to know the members, less actives, and investigators every day. We've both come from completely different backgrounds and have strikingly different opinions about certain things, but we teach with such unity. We testify in great union! On Thursday we had a Miracle--we encountered a family just sitting outside their house in the middle of the siesta. We asked if we could share a short message with them about Jesus Christ, and they accepted. We shared the restoration. I asked, in the beginning, if they believed in Jesus Christ. They expressed that they did. I asked if they knew what Jesus Christ did when he lived on the earth. They expressed no, they did not. Later followed to show that they didn't know hardly at all who Christ is, truly, and what he did. I was moved to tears later, thinking of this concept. I have been blessed all my life with a family who has read the scriptures. I have been blessed all my life with Christlike examples who have surrounded me, primarily my parents. Coming to know him every day, I do know who Christ is, and I love him. We offered the purest testimonies we could muster and invited them to baptism on November 9th. The three women--Grandmother, Aunt, and Daughter of 20 years or so--All accepted. It was a beautiful moment! I hope they continue to progress towards this goal and continue to want to learn about Jesus Christ. I am so thankful to know that Christ lived, that he healed, that he suffered and rose again for me. El es mi mejor amigo.
Some short things--I learned how to make ñokis today! They are my favorite food here in Argentina. A sister in the ward taught us how to make them! I was delighted to learn! Look up a picture, if you can. Also, I love learning and speaking Spanish. I tend to pronounce my s's, which many folks don't here, and I've been told I have an accent like the people in Spain. Every time I hear a word I don't understand, it's like a strategy game to figure it out before I get home to my dictionary. I LOVE TO LEARN LANGUAGES! I'm teaching Hermana Martinez English, and yesterday during language study we found ourselves doing the elementary school hand game "Miss Mary Mack" to learn a few words. I was cracking up! I ended up doing a translation of it into Spanish so she could understand. "Señorita Mack, Mack, Mack, en vestido negro, negro, negro." I have a new addiction to yogurt and granola. OH, and grapefruit. Just plain old grapefruit. Who knew, right? It is bitter but it is the best! Also, music is one of my greatest joys on the mission. I am striving to memorize a new hymn in Spanish every week to have handy when I need something to sing in the streets. We walk, I'd say, about 8 miles or more every day in Cañada. It's a LOT, but it gives me time to think.
I think I've found the Gig Harbor of Argentina, Rosario. Many more plants, and many more folks financially steady. And very beautiful. I will come to love Cañada de Gomez as I have my other areas :) I know. All in time. And you can't help but love where you are when you're serving God. Or rather, when he's blessing you.
I love you, sweet family. Thank you for your prayers. I feel them all the time.
Se que este es la iglesia verdadero de Jesu Cristo. Amo mi oportunidad a servirle con todo mi corazon y en todo el tiempo que tengo. Espero que mi ofrenda chiquita podría ser algo de significa en los ojos de mi Padre Celestial. Se que mi debilidades son fortaleza atravez la gracia de mi Salvador.