I love you all!
Ok, so here's the scoop on some of the happenings with our investigators.
Juan, a Peruvian man we've been teaching for about three months, was baptized last Saturday night. His biggest problem for a long time was that he just didn't pray on his own. He prayed when we taught him, but he wouldn't do it on his own. Now he has already shared his testimony about the Church and prayer with a few of his neighbors, and he hasn't even been confirmed yet! He was supposed to be confirmed yesterday, but his aunts paid him a surprise visit at 7:00 in the morning and took him out to buy things for an asado (Argentine Barbeque, but better). But he is now willing to come with us to other citas and things, so we're excited to begin working more with him, and not just teaching him. Now he gets to teach with us.
Eusebio was confirmed on Sunday by his son. He's moving along strong and slow. He likes to understand things, and understand them well, so his reading has been slow, but steady. He reads from every book we have given him every day (the Book of Mormon, Gospel Principles, and a couple pamphlets). He lokes coming to church and has been coming on his own, sometimes getting there even before the Bishopric.
The Silva family is doing well, for the most part. Claudia is still having problems getting to the Capital to have her documents fixed, but she says that they're going for sure this week.
We "found" a new couple this last week too. Their son is going to (shiver) the University of Utah. He decided he wanted to study there after having worked at Big Sky Ski Resort in Montana (o.O) for two years. So he applied and is now rooming with a member. When this couple went to visit him, the roommate (who served a mission in either Guatemala or Costa Rica) took them on a tour of Temple Square. They left their information with the offices of the church, who passed their information on to us. They are of a Catholic background and have a lot of questions, but the woman, Ana, believes strongly that they found out about the church for a reason. She doesn't believe in coincidences. Guillermo on the other hand has a few more doubts about the Apostasy thing and the historical background of the Catholic Church in relation to Priesthood authority. But he is very open and even excited to read the Book of Mormon to see if his doubts are answered in the Book.
We also found a few other new investigators while looking for a reference. Four women who were selling on the street invited us over to talk to them. We were with two members at the time and we taught them about the Restoration, following up by giving them all copies of the Book of Mormon with a promise to come to church and a baptismal date. They are very open to the things here and liked the Spirit they felt around us. Every time we pass them, they wave to us now.
I've been enjoying my studies recently in many of the talks of General Conference. We got a copy of the Liahona from one of the members and I've bene reading mostly from there. I started with Priesthood session and the last two talks of the Sunday Afternoon session, since those are the ones I missed. Then I continued from there. The messages are so inspiring. This morning I read Elder Baxter and Elder Soares's talks. Elder Baxter's dealt with a message to single parents which included the experience of a woman recounted by President Hinckley in 2006. In that experience she recounted how she didn't think she could keep on going and prayed to God for a moment of relief. His reply to her was that "I can come to you." I really liked that, in that it is a message we can all apply in our own situations. I also liked President Eyring's talk about building a foundation of Faith. From Elder Anderson's talk, I loved how he talked more about how we should ask ourselves how the Lord thinks of us.
I've been pondering a lot lately about humility and pride. It's something that has been worrying me a little as I have been drawn to my own shortcomings. I started thinking about the Pride Cycle in the scriptures and how we always need to keep ourselves humble to be able to receive the blessings of the Lord. It also reminds me of Alma 37:37, in which we are admonished to "counsel with the Lord in all [our] doings, and he shall direct [us] for good." If we acknowledge Him in all things, we will be directed in the way we need to go. We've been understanding that a little more as we have found our new investigators.
I'm excited to work even harder this week and I am looking forward to all of the challenges that we have been given by our President to open our mouths a little more (though not wider) and invite the people to the Temple Open House.
I know that the Temple is a sacred place where we can feel closest to God in this world and in which we can feel most strongly His love for each and every one of us. I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to carry a current Temple Recommend and for all of the strength I receive for honoring the covenants I have made. Though my temptations have not disappeared, nor really lessened all that much, I have found an additional strength in those covenants to resist that which was harder before. I know that through keeping those covenants, both from the Temple and my baptismal covenants, I can enjoy more fully the presence of the Spirit in my life.
I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week. I thank you for all your prayers and love, I feel them.
Elder Matthew H. Dewsnup
Misión Buenos Aires Norte
Gral. Lavalle 1828
1646 San Fernando
Buenos Aires, Argentina