Ready to go on an adventure? I sincerely hope so, because here we go;)
3rd of Nov: GOD'S TIMING
-After P day had drawn to a close, as it always seems to do;), we grabbed some Ugi's (best pizza in Buenos Aires) and headed down to see Zulma, our recent convert. When we arrived and began talking to her, her brother Cristian came up to go into their house. We offered him a piece of pizza, which he couldn't resist, and took the opportunity to talk to him as he ate. We asked him if he had read in the Book of Mormon and prayed. He said he was praying, but that he wasn't reading in the Book of Mormon. We opened to 3rd Nephi, chapter 11, and began reading with him. We read in a circle taking turns, Zulma, my comp, myself, and Cristian. As we got to verse 10 and Christ announced himself to the western hemisphere I could feel the spirit flood the space around us, palpable and strong. I don't know if he could feel it, but to me it was unmistakable. I bore testimony to him afterwards of the the power of the Book of Mormon. My companion had been bearing testimony of the power of the Book, and as she did I felt inspired to ask him if he believed the Book had the power we said it did. He said he didn't know. I then asked him how he could find out. He said he needed to read, and to pray. I then bore simple testimony that without the Book of Mormon I wouldn't have a testimony of the church. That it was only through this book that I knew everything else was true. If he didn't have a testimony of the Book of Mormon he wasn't going to ever know if the church was true, no matter how many times he went to sacrament meeting or entered the church building. The power was in the book, and I tried to explain with all the energy and spirit that I possess that it is the KEY to EVERYTHING. Everything hinges off it. Everything would quickly fall and shatter without it.
After talking with Cristian and inviting him to read and to ask God if these things were true we went down to the bottom of our area to try to find Gladis. She was just leaving as we showed up, and we had the opportunity to see how she was doing and invite her to church. We have stopped by many times trying to find Gladis, always coming seemingly in vain, as she was never home. Yet, here she was. As with Cristian, we had arrived at just the right time to talk with her. And so this Monday has rightly been dubbed with the title God's Timing. Because we truly work within God's Time Table.
4th of Nov: FINDING THE VISION
-In the morning, during my training, our focus was centered on one key part of a missionary's life. The VISION. Seeing and truly understanding to your very core WHY Baptism is so essential. Why it is what we strive to accomplish. How it truly saves souls. And to be honest, as we were talking, I realized that I didn't have the vision. I wanted it, badly, but I didn't see the true power behind baptism. In my mind I tend to focus on retention of recent converts and getting them to the temple. I think at times I fear to baptize, because I fear that after they have received so much light they could fall away. Get lost within the winding streets of Buenos Aires, being held at a higher standard and a higher light. I fear losing saved souls.
During language study I read all I could about baptism, trying to see it as the Savior sees it. And then I thought of Christ's example. A perfect man. Yet, one who was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. To do His Father's will. And then I saw baptism in a somewhat different light. More as a gateway, as a true rebirth. As the only way to truly grasp the power of the Atonement, and have the right to it's incomprehensible strength and light. I prayed desperately to find this vision. To have the spiritual vision. And although it is still a process, I Will find this vision. And that is when miracles will occur.
top right: E. Molina (district leader), Elder Anderson, Elder Enhibretsen (sp?)( former zone leader), Elder Molina, Elder Perry, Elder Laudie (from MTC district), Elder Seda (zone leader), Elder Garcia, Elder Long (also from MTC district), Elder Sanders.
Front row: Hermanas Hemi, Dickson, Arntsen, and Zendajas
5th of Nov: NO LIMITS
-During our monthly Zone meeting we saw a video about Brock, a football player. The video clip was all about placing no limits on our potential. To prove a point Brock's coach asked him to get to the 50 yard line with a teammate on his back. However, he was also blindfolded. With the voice of his coach guiding him and pushing him forward, he started to head for the 50 yard line on his hands and feet. As he moved forward the pain came sweeping in, and he started to falter. As he began to drop to the ground his coach dropped to his knees and began shouting encouragement, helping him every single second along the way. Brock continued to ask if he had reached the 50 yard line. The coach told him to forget about the 50 yard line, and to give Everything he had. To hold nothing back. Brock's teammates, who at first had jeered and laughed, stating that there was no way he could get to the 50 yard line, grew quieter the farther Brock went. As he passed the 50 yard line they one by one stood up, in awe of what Brock was accomplishing. And yet Brock had no clue. All he knew is that it was dark, he was alone, and hurting. He didn't know how far he was. He didn't know if he had even made it to the fifty yard line. Finally, devoid of all strength, he dropped to the ground. He was in the infield. He had crossed the Entire field, shattering the goal of a 50 yard line. And yet he Still did not know! He still could not see. Weakly he asked his coach if he had made it to the 50 yard line. -I have to have made it! I have to have made it to the 50 yard line!- His coach took the blindfold from his eyes, and suddenly Brock Knew.
What could we do if we were unhindered by our self-imposed limits? Think About It.
6th of Nov: SOUL STRONG
- During lunch Hermana Arnsten and I were talking, and somehow Soul Strong was mentioned. -How strong are you?- -Soul strong!- We thought it was pretty funny, but when looked at, it becomes something a little bit more profound. We met with the Familia Rios and read a little bit about Moses with them. We talked about his fear at the calling that he was receiving. How he felt weak and unable, and didn't understand how the Lord could call someone such as him, so full of weakness and fear. The Lord simply states that He will be with Moses and will give him the strength he needs. 10 chapters later, in 14 of Exodus, we read of Moses parting the Red Sea. Yet, even this miracle isn't spontaneous. Rather, the water goes back the entire night, leaving a path of dry ground for the people of Israel. Was Moses fearful that the waters would not part, or that it would not be fast enough to evade a bloodthirsty Pharoh. Safe to assume. And yet, he was Soul Strong. We also talked with the family about Moses patience, and how he beared afflictions quietly and strongly. How he was such an example to us.
We later found Marcos, who we hadn't talked to in a couple weeks, and asked him how his Book of Mormon reading was going. He said he had tried to read, but hadn't understood. We invited him to try praying and asking the Lord for understanding, and to take the time to ponder. As we did we saw wonder in his eyes and a little bit of curiosity. Enough to actually ask and pray? Time will tell, but I have a lot of faith in this cousin of Zulma.
7th of Nov: BURDENS
-Hermana Arnsten and I took a vacation of sorts from our area, at least the part worked often, to visit a part of our area that is almost devoid of old investigators, members, and less actives. We had a total of 3 names for the streets the area made up, but we planned with the faith that we would find someone on the streets who wanted to hear the message we have to share. With the help`of Jhon we invited almost everyone we saw, and met two people who seemed to have interest in learning more.
Later that day we went to the Capilla to find Anita. The Relief Society, or woman's organization for the church, were having a get together, and Anita had wanted to attend. We stayed for the first bit, leaving to try to find Zulma and Cristian before coming back. We ended up getting to walk Anita home. She had two heavy bags of clothes, and I offered to take one. It was almost as big as me, and pretty heavy. When Guillermo saw me pick it up he asked if I wanted help. I said I was strong and could handle it, thanking him for the offer. He said he trusted me, but to call him if it turned out to be too heavy or awkward to hold. I laughed, asking, ¨With what hands?¨He seemed to get a kick out of that:) As we took the trek to Anita and Domingo's place I had time to think about the heavy bag I was holding. It was heavy, and uncomfortable, but I didn't mind. Because I would have carried it as far as Anita needed it to go, to keep her from having to do so. The pain didn't matter, because it was less pain, less burden for her. And it made me think of my function here as a missionary. How far I am from having a perfect grasp on the speaking and understanding, on teaching and finding, but how I will and AM giving all of my strength to this cause. To take the burdens from others, and help them give it to Christ. To help them find the atonement. I would have carried it as long as needed.
8th of Nov: TEACHING A FULL 10 lessons in one day!
-Talk about going about doing the Lord's work! With several member's help, including Brenda and Jhon, we were able to teach 10 souls about Christ and this restored gospel. And the success was found in the invitation. Whether or not they accepted was between them and God. But we invited, and it felt so Good. Don't be afraid to be rejected. Just invite, and the Lord will work Miracles, whether it be in their life or Yours.
9th of Nov: PRESERVAR HASTA EL FIN (Endure to the End)
- After a wonderful lunch with the Montiels and Guillermo we were off! We stopped by Jhon's first and taught him about preservar hasta el fin, or Enduring to the End. Ironically enough, after the lesson, which went very well with some great comments from Guillermo, I was able to put the lesson to the test. Hermana Arnsten and I were on our way to contact some referrals when we ran into a man sitting in front of a garage. We started talking to him. He mostly talked with my companion, and at one point said he saw a lot of faith in my companion, and not in me. It was a bit of a blow, and I felt a little frustrated. Who was he to tell me how much faith I did or didn't have? It took some patience, but I didn't let it get to me in the moment, trying to do my best to listen and contribute. We ended up talking with him for close to 30 minutes, which was physically straining on my feet, as standing in one place for that amount of time truly gives them a beating. Making it back home was rough, and as we got back to the Pension I felt frustrated. I was physically in pain, spiritually bruised, and tired. Yet, I knew I was going to make it. That I was going to go out the next day and share my testimony and walk. In my own little way, I was going to endure for one more day.
I hope this has touched you in some way. That you've felt something stirring within you. Maybe a memory or a prompting of something you should do. Follow the prompting. Share what you know.
Don't be afraid to have no limits, and to trust in the vision of one who is so much higher than us.
Don't be afraid of your own mighty potential.
Hermana Mallory Lynn Dickson
(Ever wondered what a missionary apartment in Argentina looks like? See below:)
Our study area