The Obelisk of Buenos Aires!
New area of Palermo
September 15 Tuesday
We had our first District Meeting:) We talked a lot about the importance of finding people to teach and applying 3 principles: opening our mouths, congregating those around us, and asking for referrals. After the meeting I had my first lunch in a member's house here in Palermo! We've been receiving a lot of Tupperware meals, so it was really a treat to get to eat with Hermana Palma! We had empanadas with cheese and ham (The cheese and ham turned out to be a theme of the week...). After lunch we met up with All and taught Daiana the Restoration. I also gave her the two skirts that I never use so that she could come to church on Sunday with a skirt, something she'd been wanting for quite some time:) It's amazing to see her progression in the gospel, how quickly she can find the scriptures we share and to hear her pray. She's a wonderful girl and reminds me a LOT of my first convert, Zulma. We tried finding Exequiel, but we didn't have any luck... We did, however, visit with Carlitos and help him with his family history. My companion very lovingly helped him fill out some more of his genealogy. He's such an example of faithfulness to this gospel! He also gave us some of his Peruvian dessert... messy, but it was good:)
I finally got to meet Lautaro, Oriana, and Zuleika, three of Hermana Johnson and Hermana Muro's most recent converts:) We first visited with their grandparents and shared a scripture before going over lesson one with the kids:) They were a little rowdy, but know a lot about the gospel! It was great to see them all raising their hands at the same time and all wanting to contribute:) We also had correlation with Elder Hunter and Hermano Pucheta, where I was asked if I would be willing to give a ten minute talk over the Book of Mormon... It's just one of my favorite subjects, and I had no trouble agreeing to such!
We went to visit the Gonzalez family and I shared Alma 2:28-31, explaining this struggle all of us have with the person we were before and the person that we want to become, that God knows we can become. I could really feel the spirit as we were sharing the scripture, and was able to look at the verses in a different light. It was truly a moment where each of us was being taught by the spirit, as I didn't know what I was going to share until I opened the scriptures and went for it!
Afterwards Anderson, who has only been a member for a month, accompanied us! Man was it amazing! We visited with Daiana, and Anderson helped us explain the plan of Salvation! We tried to visit Exequiel as well, but after teaching him the word of wisdom on Monday I think he was hiding from us... We also taught Carlitos about fasting:) To end the night we visited with Kathy Campos. I tried to shared the video LIFT with her, but couldn't find it in Spanish... oh well!
On Friday no one seemed to be home at first! My companion and I tried in vain to find Jose Luis, Daiana, and others. As we were in the front of the Sandon's door, about to knock who shows up but Daiana and Jose Luis! It was truly as though the Lord had seen our efforts and had led them to us! It was truly a great blessing. Later while we were visiting with Hermana Sandon we invited her to think of those she knew that didn't have the gospel and to invite them to come to church. She said she had a couple in mind, and we did some practices with her to help her feel comfortable inviting her friends when the real moment came:) We ended the day having dinner with Hermana Saverry:) You'll never guess what we had for the fourth or fifth time... yep, ham and cheese.
I finished writing my talk for Sunday! We then took the subte, or underground train to get to the Lopez family. We had lunch with them, and afterwards were able to teach Lautaro and the girls the plan of Salvation. We visited with Daiana afterwards and taught lesson 3, the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we came in she seemed sad about something, and I was able to share Helaman 5:46 and 47 with her as my companion gave her a hug. The lesson went really well and once more Daiana knew just where every scripture was:) She's awesome! During the day while Victor was accompanying us we managed to teach a TON of lessons and invite a ton of people to come to church the following day. The investigators literally seemed to flock to us! It was insane! I have never taught so many short lessons in one day! After teaching the entire world (kind of) we went to see Luz Gonzalez and wish her happy birthday. Somehow that turned into my companion and I singing for her in front of a huge group of her friends... All I can say is that in my "past life" I would NEVER have done such a thing! It's crazy what the mission does to you...
Whoo! Gave my talk:) It went really well, although I was a little nervous. After church we had lunch with Maida. She's from Brazil, and lunch was delicious! I can proudly announce that it wasn't ham or cheese:) We had rice, which I was missing from my San Fernando days, as well as milanesa al caballo (milanesa with a boiled egg on top) and salad with Cesar dressing. YUM! After lunch we met up with Victor and were able to ask Daiana how she liked church before visiting with Kathy Campos. Our visit was a surprise, and when we left she sent us a message saying that we had visited her right when she was passing through a difficult moment. We had only been able to visit her because the appointment that we had had scheduled had fallen through. It's crazy how the spirit works, putting us right where we needed to be in the moment this sister needed it. We always work with the spirit. If not, many times we wouldn't know who we needed to visit. After visiting with Kathy we tried to find Exequiel... As we walk up to his door it opens and out he comes, at exactly the right moment! We both knew it wasn't coincidence, and we knew he knew it too. I don't know what to make of him, but the Lord keeps crossing our paths. We'll just have to see! After checking up on him and scheduling an appointment for Wednesday we went off to church where a piano recital was being held. We got there just in time for the refreshments... sad! However, I did get to play a little bit of piano after a good 6 months of not really touching one! That's what happens when the piano in San Fernando just happens to be LOCKED. After saying goodbye to Elder and Hermana Hunter we went to visit with the first counselor in the bishopric and his family. I felt really at home with them and we talked about family history and the mission:)
All in all a WONDERFUL week, even if I had to fight off a cold. We are blessed that the members and good people of Buenos Aires take such good care of us!
Love you guys!!