It has been quite the past couple of weeks, full of spiritual highs. I´ll do my best to share the good news of living the gospel of Jesus Christ down here in General Villegas :)
Elder Manwaring, my new companion from Georgetown, Kentucky is probably the funniest, most faithful youngman I know. An example of his true dedication to the work came last Monday when he shared the most heartfelt testimony on the Book of Mormon beyond what someone with only 2 weeks in Argentina can share. He is a missionary above and beyond his young age in the field and his example of Christ-like charity is pushing me to show a greater love to my brothers and sisters. I am extremely grateful for Elder Manwaring, and time we have to serve together.
This past week we were able to have 2 missionary devotionals, one for the entire world and the other specifically for our Zone of Venado Tuerto. Throughout these two special conferences, what continually penetrated my heart was the desire to truly become a disciple of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. A visiting General Authority, Elder Ferriera from Chile, focused his message on the Saviors invitation to ¨Come, and Follow Me¨ In this life we first must seek Him, by putting our confidence in Him who has put his confidence in us we will find ourselves developing attributes and habits that bring us closer to Him. We find ourselves COMING. After, or even during this process of discipleship, we need to start LIVING or rather applying the way Christ walked into our daily life. Here on the Earth our Father in Heaven is looking for, and needs more disciples of Christ. True Disciples who are willing to come, to come and stay. To truly live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, doing our best to walk, teach, love, and serve how He served. I am forever grateful for this oppurtunity in my life to serve as one of his representatives here in Argentina. I love what I am doing, and I pray to continue walking and learning about this path of discipleship throughout my life.
This past Sunday we were able to participate in the sacred ordinance of Baptism. As shared earlier, Santiago Ojeda, a young 10 year old boy wanted to follow the example of his mom and be baptized. Yesterday Santiago Ojeda was able to be baptized, not only following the example of his loving mom but also that of our Savior. The Ojeda family is an incredible example to me of God's love for his children. One month ago the church and it´s blessings was not here in Villegas, but through the eteranal love our Father has he was able to prompt our mission president, President Zanni, in re-opening the Church of Jesus Christ here in General Villegas. Our Heavenly Father´s love is endless, he loves you and he wants you to be happy. For that reason he has given us the teachings of his Son Jesus Christ, to help us find peace and true happiness in this life.
I love what I´m doing and I love all of you.. Keep on Keepin on :)
We didn't get a full email from Makord this week, but here are some pictures and pieces of emails we got! He and his companion picked up two new missionaries, so now there are 4 missionaries in General Villegas.
The goverment pool here in Villegas, that you and Mavrik saw through google earth, is a really cool place. General Villegas is the most family oriented place I´ve ever been in here in Argentina and those are 2 huge pools near the lake. Elder Brock and I took a walk around it one of his last nights.. Kind of special memory for me.
I LOVE the spanish influence in Stake Conference. Our President of the Area, President Gonzalez is from Uruguay and wouldn´t be suprised if he was the one who spoke this past week. Soy un Hijo de Dios.. I am a Child of God.. one of the best Hymns out there has been fun to learn and memorize in another language. Pretty cool to see how we can connect with people all around the world when we can communicate in another language, a large blessing in my life.
It´s hard to not go to church with a smile on your face when you know it will only be an hour ;)
Elder Krizsan, from Barnwell Canada, noted this week that if he stays here in Villegas until the end of his mission it will be quite the readjustment to the 3 hour block. As I´ve gotten to know Kriszan better and better over these past two weeks his testimony for sacrifice bringing forth the blessings of heaven has really impressed me. As aquainted with the first Sunday of each month we were participating in a fast. In truth, taking a break from the food is something I should do more often, but the lack of water in the heat had me dying.. As we went to church with parched throats a real testimony strengthener happened. After passing the Sacrament to our small congregation of 7 members, a young boy crawled through the entrance door. Following him came his four older siblings.. The Ojeda family had walked over 2 miles in quite the weather to make come to the house of the Lord on the Sabbath. The experience brought tears to my eyes as we could so clearly see the hand of the Lord responding to our prayers.
The following afternoon turned into a beautiful day in whick we were able to pass for the Ojeda family and get to know them a little better. Just three weeks ago (week of the re-opening) Santiago, un chico de 11 años, asked his mom to be baptized in a church. When his mom responded wondering what church he said, well the one we went to before the one where you were baptized. She sadly had to tell him that that church had been closed down...
I know that our Heavenly Father allowed the miracle of his church being reopend because of his Chrildren here in Villegas, His children like Santiago Ojeda.
Tonight Elder Kriszan and I will take the 2am Bus to Rosario and meet our new companions.. We were both called as trainers for new missionaries and will split the area of Villegas upon our return. Pretty excited for the oppurtunity and know the Lord will help us continue in building Zion here in General Villegas.. El mas Grande que hay!!
Love ya´ll, keep on shining on
Feliz Año Nuevo
Sorry for not sending a message last week, our computer cafe lost power as I was writing. After a series of unfortunate events Elder Brock was able to safely make it to the bus stop last week and is now home in the southern south of Louisiana. We picked up my new comp, Elder Krizan, on the highway last Saturday and have been working hard here in Villegas since. Things are under control here and the normal missionary life is back in force. Elder Krizan is from a small town in Canada and, like me, feels right at home here within the gaucho influence of Villegas. We had the oppurtunity this week to know the Ojeda family.. As we walked towards there home (utilizing our mini map) three little kids came screaming out with big smiles on their faces.. They were overjoyed to see the familiar white shirts of the Elders again. It has been a great week and I´m ever greatful for the oppurtunity to be here in Villegas sorry can´t write more it´s the siesta time and the owner is kicking us out.. Love ya´ll keepon keeping on
Argentina Rosario Mission
Elder makord Larsen