Wow has this been a week to remeber in my life... I am so thankful for our loving Heavenly Father and oppurtunity we have to learn and grow. "When our heart aches it grows, we grow to make room for something more" This week has been one of aching and growing.
The travel to Argentina was acutally much easier then anticipated, after landing in Buenes Aries we found a bus and headed for Rosario. After meeting our incredible mission president, President Zanni and his family, we spent the night in the mission home. The following day I met my trainer and new best friend, Elder Ashby. We were assigned to a small pueblo called La Emila just outside of San Nicolas a suburb of Rosario. La Emila has a small operating branch with about 120 members. It is an awesome place to start off my mission! The people here are so loving, humble, and willing to help the missionaries. We have eaten extremely well and I know that the food will not be a problem for the next two years :)
I wish at the MTC I had studied the Castellano rather then Espanol, the language is definitley a barrier that is hard for me cope with. I know through continued diligent study and relying on our Savior Jesus Christ we can do all things, including learning a new language. Throughout the week I have really tried to focus on listening to the natives and trying my best to process their words at a slow pace, it is coming along. Luckily my trainer, Elder Ashby is amazing at the Castellano and has been teaching me some tricks that helped him learn. :)
On Saturday I hit a low in the mission field. It was a long day and I was frustrated with the language, we had little success and 2 of our appts had fallen through. The missionaries were in charge of a branch family night that started at 7. We had prepared a short message to share along with the Branch President, President Gomez. At 7:45 we had 5 people in the small chapel... I was in the corner reading aloud the Spanish Book of Mormon and my companion was playing the piano, he began to play 'God Be WIth You Till We Meet Again' and I lost it. Everything just came out of me in that small chapel as tears rolled down my face. I was lost, surrounded by nothing familiar and I couldn't communicate with the people. We started the meeting where we watched my favorite church film, Only a Stonecutter. I am so thankful for the oppurtunity we have to feel the love of our Savior and Heavenly Father through the Holy Spirit.
While I may be in a small town in Argentina, I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who cares for each of us. This love, is something I am familiar with and is something I needed to feel on Saturday night. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the same no matter where we are on this planet, I saw this during the sacrament meeting yesterday. Twenty Four people were in attendence and 15 of them bore incredible testimonies! Sunday has become my favorite day of the week where I can rejuvenate my spirit during the Sacrement ceremony.
Me and Elder Ashby are excited to contine loving the people of La Emila helping them come closer to our Savior Jesus Chirst. After meeting with President Gomez we learned that he would like us to continue on reactivating non active members. We know that Christ can help us in opening their hearts and seeing the continued blessing the gospel can be in their life.
I would like to once again share my love for the mission field and the MTC with an excerpt from my journal,
"This is my last Sunday in the MTC. This incredible place has edified and uplifted me on a daily even hourly basis. As I sit here at the departure devotional I reflect on how blessed I am for the MTC. It is a sanctified holy land where Makord Larsen became Elder Larsen! I have a testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He lives and he loves, because of his love he sacrificed his mortal body in order to save us all. The Atonement of Jesus Christ allows each one of us to improve and chnge our lives to better follow the example of him. Perfection is our standard, we are to compare ourselves to him and him alone. Through him we all can be perfected, there is no other way. This knowledge brings peace to my soul and joy to my heart. By living the gospel of Jesus Christ we can learn and grow. This 'thing' the gospel is what I hope to share with the people of Argentina. I know my call has been inspired of God. I pray for those who are prepared that they may be receptive of the message of the gosepl of Jesus Christ. I know him, I love him, it is my desire to serve him with all my heart, might, mind, and strength." 7/26/15
I am so thankful for the oppurtunity I have, there is no other army I would rather be working for then the Lords Army. It will not be easy, I am a grateful we all have the Savior even Jesus Christ there to guide us all. Love and miss you all, take care!
-I have seen near 500 different dogs this week, so at this point I don't care if we get a new puppy. They are everywhere and they are loco