Buen dia a todos!!!
Okay, gotta say, TOAY is awesome. (And yes mom, you DO say it like "toe-eye") In this little town just outside of Santa Rosa, the majority of people have a relative that is part of the Argentine Army- the base of which is just a couple of blocks away. Another fun fact- this week was the week of the Gaucho! So I now have many photos of horses and people in traditional dress (that they wear everyday anyway). They like to hunt too- I saw a huge wild boar on the back of a pickup truck the other day! Yes mom- dirt roads, 1 internet cafe with 2 computers. Still haven’t gotten mail or packages for like, 4 weeks due to holidays and protests and transfers, but I´m hoping that I´ll get it tomorrow :) Even with all the "stuff" that I´ve acquired the transfer went smoothly. A few complaints from taxi drivers, but that´s normal considering we were 3 girls with 9 suitcases going from Bahía Blanca to Santa Rosa :) The apartment rocks here, and I love Toay- it´s beautiful! The ash of the volcano in Chile even came to visit us. It didn't affect me at all- the air just smelt burnt for a while, but my poor companion had allergies AWFUL.
Apart from these charming and awesome things, we've seen a TON of miracles here this week. It´s hard but great to "open" an area (2 new missionaries without area experience). Our first day here, they told us: Your investigator Susana is going to be baptized on Saturday! Felicitaciones! Get to know her and the members and plan the baptismal service.... no pressure, but it was joyful from the get go! Susana´s baptism turned out really great! Her testimony is so bright, how could it not? We had a lot of help from the other sisters here and from the members- surely from heavenly hands as well. I’m very grateful to have been able to be here for that great day!
In our very first day here, we found a wonderful family in which some have already been baptized, but the majority have not. It´s SO WEIRD that they’re not already baptized and members of the church. I don´t believe in coincidences- the odds are WAY too low. Our first day in the area, we "happened" to take a street and passed by a house where two women "happened" to be leaving to take a walk. Listening to the advice of our leaders (TALK TO EVERYBODY!) we started a conversation. They were in a hurry, but another woman went out of her house and invited us to go in and talk. This is where the crazy picks up EVEN MORE. I can´t share all the details, but this woman and her family have gone to church MANY times in their home town up north. She left to find work in Cordoba and didn´t find a Mormon church but with the help of an evangelic congregation her boyfriend cut down BIG TIME on the drinking and smoking. They moved here to Toay about a month ago when their house flooded- they lost everything they had. They live with her sister now, but thanks to many answered prayers, they’re going to rent a house nearby. They’re looking for God in their life and want to be a strong family. They accepted EVERYTHING we invited them to do! They´re going to be married in 2 months, and baptized thereafter, and they´re SO excited to be able to be sealed in the temple a year from now. Man, it´s rare to find people who are so ready and are thirsting so much for the gospel in their lives, but I share my witness that THEY EXIST. They are just waiting for a little invitation or a little conversation to be able to change their lives. There are more people waiting to hear message of the gospel and change their lives than we realize. Are we willing to share? To just smile and make a new friend? What´s the worst that could happen- you get more friends... so VAMOS! In the prayer of our dear Susana, she prayed that there would be many people to attend her baptism to help her rise above where she is now and be guided to a better life- the people are praying for fellowship! And I know without a doubt that God puts people in our path who need us or we need them. It´s amazing how a little thing like opening our mouths can lead to such a grand change of lives!
I hope you all have a wonderful week! Get out there and change some lives! You can do it!!! (Especially if you do it with the help solicited from our Heavenly Father)
Love you miss you!