Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Lord Qualifies Those He Calls... So Everything should Turn Out All Right

Hola Familia,
Well, I’ll start with the transfers. I know I told you that I might train, but it looks like I’m gonna have to wait for a little bit longer. One of the assistants called me today in the morning and told me that my hijo has been delayed due to his visa, and will be arriving in about a week. I’m gonna train! I’m so excited. He’s called elder Taylor, from somewhere in Utah...go figure. I can’t wait to see what it’s like to go through your first weeks in Argentina! I’m also going to be serving as district leader. I’m very excited for that as well because I know that I will learn so much and become a better person. For both of these assignments, I don’t feel exactly prepared, but I know that the Lord qualifies those whom he calls and that I have his help, so everything should turn out all right. I will tag along with the zone leaders or elder Chunga, the other elder I live with. He is also training!
The week was a little more stressful. We had some significant unity problems. Apparently, my comp thought that because we got the standards, we could take a couple days off. It definitely doesn’t work like that. We just didn’t click this week. After two transfers together, the light at the end of the tunnel came into view and we bolted. Not my favorite week, but as always, I still learned a ton and am anxious to get going with my new assignments.
The baptism of Hugo went well. No one from our ward, minus the bishop came, so that was lame, but we did it with another little girl that we taught in the branch, and her whole family came, so there were people there at least. I just talked to the elders in his new ward, and he will be well received I’m sure. I now have a camera, so I will be send you a pic or two. He asked the elder who did the interview to baptize him, which was cool because he is on his way home right now. He got in the water his last week. Cool to see. The bishop confirmed him and the spirit was strong. What a privilege to participate in things like that.
We had some way cool lessons this week. I’m not sure if I’ve told you yet about an argentine custom, but it makes for awkward situations as a missionary. Everyone kisses to greet. Mostly the women, but there is nothing weird about two men giving a kiss on the cheek to greet each other. Took a while to get used to... We don’t do it as missionaries, but sometimes there is no avoiding it, especially with the old women. Luckily I have only had two or three man kisses, and alcohol was probably involved...good times. But the other night, we were talking to this hilarious old lady. She is Evangelista and has a lot of faith. We explained that we don’t greet like normal argentines, then gave the flu as an excuse. She went off for about 5 minutes about how we shouldn’t have fear of anything because we are the servants of the Lord and stuff like that. Needless to say, there was no avoiding the kiss. Funny stuff. Last night we had a very powerful lesson with her. She has no problem believing in Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon. All she needs to understand is that there is only one true church, and she’s in the water. She is really great. We are teaching a few other families, and are seeing a little progress. I plan on using the faith and excitement of a newbie to elevate the area. I’m very excited to hear about what they are teaching in the MTC. I took notes, but I missed a lot of stuff. They teach you how to be perfect there. We are going to apply everything he learned there...that is, once he gets here.
Anyway, that’s about it. I’ll be here for one or two more, but I’m looking forward to it.
I love you all so much and can’t wait to see the pics from your weekend. That sounds like so much fun. We should do that after I get home! I love you a ton, and KNOW that this is the church of Christ, restored in its perfect form with prophets and apostles and all that good stuff...revelation....authority...you know....
Elder Rau

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

La iglesia de jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos días...un camino real...

Hola Familia!
Well, I talked a little bit last week about the standards of the mission. I am quite pleased to report that after doing all that we could possibly do, the Lord worked a miracle and we got it. It looked grim when Sunday rolled around, especially when two of our primary investigators didn’t make it to church. Luckily, we have two sacrament meetings, and one of them came to the later one. Its nice to have two areas sometimes. Also, someone from another ward brought a cousin or something to church, so the elders there set a cita for us and it counted. We did divisions with the members or were with them pretty much all day, and we pulled off the remaining five lessons with member present, contacted a reference and by 8:45 we had it. It felt pretty good. Now, the reason we got it this week has a lot to do with a call that I got last Tuesday morning. It was very motivating. One of the assistants called me and said hey, president wants you to train, but you gotta get the standards first (it’s a requirement to train. You have to get the standards in the transfer before) Needless to say, I was pretty stoked. So it looks like I’m gonna be able to train this coming transfer. It’s a huge responsibility and I’m pretty nervous. If I could choose, I would want a fellow American. I love speaking Spanish all the time, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to express yourself more precisely. But anyway, we worked real hard and showed our faith. If we hadn’t met our goal this week, it would have been because it was impossible. Luckily, nothing is impossible to the Lord. Also, transfers are next week, so I think I will write on Tuesday...not sure though...
Needless to say, the week was pretty good. We found some pretty solid people, but our big baptism planned for this weekend has pretty much fallen through. All of the candidates from the other areas won’t make it and we are down to one. Hugo, that guy we contacted in the street. The only reason we will get to baptize him is because the Lord is merciful. He will be moving on Monday. Pretty crazy. He is very prepared, and has already passed his interview, so we are green for the 18th. Very exciting. The others are lacking a solid confirmation, or are receiving pressure from family or friends.
I’m healthy for now. Another elder in the pinch just got the flu (not the swine flu) and he is the kind of guy that coughs in his hands and then touches everything, so we’ll see how this goes. We pretty much just make him stay in his room. Last night he asked me to give him a blessing. It was one of the more memorable ones. The words came immediately. So quickly that I didn’t even have to think before the came out of my mouth. It was pretty cool.
Back to the standards. We did it as a district, and 5 of the 8 companionships in the zone did it, so we get to watch a movie today. I think we are gonna watch Wall-E. I am so excited!
I continue to learn so much every day and I am starting to become the missionary that I want to be. Everyone always says that once you figure it out, it’s time to go home. I hope that’s not the case. I gotta figure it out early. I’m pretty content and love being here. I’m glad to hear that everything is going well with y’all. Be safe and have fun with the reunion. I’m sad to miss it, but ya know, I’ll live.
I love you all so much and can’t wait to hear from you next week and see all the cool pictures. The church is sooo true. We are led by a prophet. We are children of a loving Heavenly Father who sent his son to pave the way back to his presence. I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ, with the authority to be called such.
Love ya! Elder Rau

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Swine Flu in Argentina!

Hola Familia!
Another average week here in argentina. So this big flu thing is taking its toll. Lots of muertos (deaths) in Argentina. So far only one elder in the mission has had the big time, bad flu, but 50 of the 200 are sick. That means that for at least a day or two, half of the mission was immoblizied. Bad news. We werent allowed to do contacts (knocking or in the street) for a little while...but we only lasted a day. Being a missionary and not contacting doesnt really work....its kind of what we do here. But yeah, we are just washing our hands alot and trying to to greet with a handshake and stuff like that... which is also really really hard. I got letters from both Elder Layton and Elder Grow last week. That was cool. They are doing way good and it looks like sean is having an alma mission, as opposed to an abinadai mission. Wait, did I already tell you that He sent me a letter? Was that last week? I dont know, I lost count...but just in case, there it is again. Sean, Logan, I love you guys! Keep up the good work.
More about the flu. My comp was sick, so I had a day and a half of study. I would have rather been in the street, but it was nice to finally get to study all the things that I dont have time for. I am really grateful for the gift of tounges. Spanish is so cool.
Anyway, we are working twoards a big baptism right now. We have 4 people set for the 18th, plus an 8 year old. Another companionship has 2 or 3 plus 3 eight year olds! That would be a sweet baptism. We should be baptising two brothers of an hermana, plus that guy we contacted in the street last week and another kid we have been teaching for a really long time. We arent too sure about the last one but I think he could make it. He finaly came to church this week. Im dead set on getting those standards set by the president this week, and if we do it, Ill tell you why.
Thats about it. We should finish this transfer pretty strong. Im looking forward to a change, but more than happy to work with my comp. Hes great. Hes not that much younger than me in the mission, but its still way cool to see him progress and change. Hes changed quite a bit since we started 11 transfers ago.
Well, I love you all a whole bunch. I also love being a missionary. Its the best.
The church is true. Thats all I have to say about that.
Elder Rau