Finally, the presidential race of Argentina is over. The last time the Argentines voted, the votes fell in a 3 way tie. Which required a re-vote... yesterday. Which meant we stayed in the pension ALL DAY... AGAIN. But this time, we were better prepared. We had a Work and the Glory marathon, we made apple pie, and Hna. Beckstead taught me how to play chess. I'd say it was a pretty successful day.
Since we got to Sáenz Peña, Hna. Beckstead and I have been teaching a woman on and off named Carina. She's been investigating the church for over a year and multiple sets of Hermanas have taught her before us. She's really special. She's told us of multiple experiences she's had that prove to me that the Lord really is and has been preparing specific people to receive the restored Gospel. It wasn't by coincidence that those first Hermanas found her. And it DEFINITELY wasn't by coincidence that they found her AGAIN after her and her family had moved to the OPPOSITE edge of the area. Like I said, she's special. But it's been pretty difficult to teach her. She lives far and out of the way. And we can only meet with her on certain days.
The first time Hna. Beckstead and I met her, we were impressed by her Gospel knowledge and the spirit she emits. She could have been baptized that very next day had she wanted to. But little things kept coming up. Little impediments that kept her from coming to church. She had to go visit her family in the country. She had to vote. She would have had to walk by herself.... Little things that to the eyes of a missionary, are easily overcome. But what may be no more than a pebble to me, could be a boulder to someone else.
Every time we went to Carina's, we exhausted our spirits trying to determine what was really impeding her and commit her to come to church one more time so she could get baptized... This went on for four and a half months. It's the most tired I've been on my mission. Teaching people with Word of Wisdom issues is one struggle. But teaching people who are tangibly close to membership in the Lord's church but still so far is a completely different type of battle. It's HARDER. But it all ended this week. Carina never needed us to give her a baptismal date. She needed to figure it out for herself. And she did. She told us Friday morning that she'd going to be baptized in December. She prayed and received her answer. And December is when she and the Lord have decided is the right time. It was like finally reaching the top of the mountain after an endless, steep climb. She's going to make it. And she's going to make an AWESOME member. It's been a privilege to be able to teach her.
|Hermana Beckstead, Carina and Me|
This week, in our Book of Mormon reading, we got to one of my favorite parts: the second half of Alma, featuring Captain Moroni. So good. One part I love a lot is the exchange of letters between Moroni and Pahoran, the chief judge. Moroni and Helaman have been backed into a corner by the Lamanite armies. They're outnumbered and outmatched and Moroni is angry that the government hasn't sent them any help. He sends a scathing letter to Pahoran accusing him of treachery and threatening vengeance. Little does Moroni know of the insurrections against the government that Pahoran himself has been facing. Any normal person would be ticked. But how does Pahoran respond? "I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart." What humility. Instead of jumping to the defensive and accusing Moroni for not coming to HIS aid, or not even questioning why Pahoran hadn't responded and jumping to the conclusion that he was a traitor, he just takes it. Pahoran gracefully explains to Moroni the situation and says, " I do joy in receiving your epistle." And for that humility, the Nephites were greatly blessed. Helaman and Moroni's armies received support and Moroni and Pahoran were able to drive the rebels out of Zarahemla and restore peace. Where there is humility, there is unity. Where there is humility, there is peace and love and immeasurable blessings. I think we can all be a little bit more like Pahoran. Patient and humble, even when an army of Nephite traitors is rebelling against you AND the chief captain of the Nephite army, a terrifying military genius with the power of God on his side has threatened you with destruction. If Pahoran can manage it, I think we can. Humility is the key to happiness, I would say.
I know the Book of Mormon is true. It tells the stories of REAL people. It testifies of Christ. I know He lives. I know He loves us. And now behold, I close mine epistle.
|We're teaching people who have owls!! So Cool!|