My Dear Family,
So, the news for this week includes a bunch of different things. One, Luis and Francisco received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday and were ordained to the office of Priest. Two, Luis' son Ezequiel and nephew Ivan were baptized (sadly no pictures of that one). Three, General Conference. Four, a lot of traveling. Five, new mission companion. Six, my head is still swimming after all of it!
So a little more detail about each one.
First, the ordinations to the priesthood. Francisco for a while has been hesitant, but after an interview last week with our Branch Presidency member, he accepted the call and was found worthy to receive the priesthood. I think he thought that the moment he received the priesthood he would be made a leader in the church here, but that's still a ways off, at least until we can find a few more men and really begin to organize a branch. Luis on the other hand, even though he didn't at first know exactly what the priesthood was, has learned a bit more during this last week and for sure we will continue right there to help him learn and understand more. Both are awesome and we are continuing to work with their families.
Second, speaking of their families... Ezequiel and Ivan were baptized yesterday between conference sessions. Originally, they also wanted to be baptized in Lake Fagnano, but when we went there for the service, the wind had wiped up some waves. The water was pretty cold too. At one point, while trying to coax one into the water deep enough for submersion, a wave hit me from behind. I was standing only a little passed my knees, but the wave hit me from the neck down and I almost added angle to my already crooked nose. After a few attempts, they decided just to do it in Rio Grande in the Font. And, sadly, I have no pictures on my own camera this time.
Third, with mention of the baptism between sessions... I saw very little of Conference this time. We had arranged to watch conference in Luis's house, but by the time the baptismal interviews happened and we returned from the lake it was already 2:30 (the session started at 1:00). While having internet problems, anti-virus updates, and errands that we had to run, we didn't start watching conference until about 6:30 (when the second session was already almost over). We were able to see the first hour of the Saturday morning session before connection problems forced us to stop and we went back out to the street. So I missed almost all of Saturday conference. On Sunday, we had chartered a small bus to take us to Rio Grande to watch conference. We were able to take Most of Ivan's family and a few less active members. During the first session, I missed many of the talks because we were having problems filling the font, but we finally got it going and I was able to see the majority of President Monson's talk. Mom mentioned Elder Uchtdorf's talk about patience through and healing from trials, and I only caught part of that talk. Once the baptism was finished we were a little more relaxed and were able to fully enjoy the last session. Even with that, I had a four year old next to me (Luis's other son) who was trying to imitate me by drawing rather than taking notes and I was distracted often. He's such a cool little boy. He even wore the tie that I gifted to his dad. To conclude this part, the talks that I enjoyed the most (of the ones I was able to hear) were by Elders Packer, Davies, Holland, and Falabella. I caught a snippet of Elder Clayton's talk and he was giving much the same story that he shared with us in the Argentina Conference two weeks ago. To continue...
Fourth, a lot of traveling. With all this weekend's action--baptism, conference, errands, transfers, etc.--I think I've spent about 8 hours in a car or bus within a period of two days. I hate how tired traveling makes you, even if you're just sitting there doing nothing, it's tiring. It doesn't really make much sense to me.
Fifth, part of the traveling was because of transfers. Once we got home from conference last night, about 45 minutes later, we received a call giving Elder Rosazza his flight information. He had 45 minutes to pack before we had to be out the door to catch the last bus to Rio Grande at 10:45. Because the last bus drops everybody off at their specific destinations, we didn't make it to the Zone Leader's apartment until almost 1:00 in the morning. We had to be up at 6:00 to get to the airport so that Elder Rosazza could check in for his flight which left at 9:45. I took the next bus at 10:30 back to Tolhuin alone to meet my companion who was coming from Ushuaia in the other direction. We met up at about 12:30 in the travel office. His name is Elder Johnson. From Arizona, he loves the warmth, so being here is a little interesting... He's the oldest of five kids and loves water polo. He's a cool dude. I will have a picture for you next week of the two of us.
Sixth, keeping up with everything is rough, but we're making it. Elder Johnson was in a similar situation in his previous branch as we are in here, so he already has a bit of experience in this kind of work. We've got high hopes for this area and we're making plans to continue building the kingdom. With the few recent converts that we have, we're hoping to begin teaching many of their friends, relatives, and acquaintances. More news will be coming soon.
Stay tuned for the following report!
I love you all!
p.s. before I forget, I've already downloaded all of General Conference with President's permission so that I can hear the talks. I'll be listening a lot this week in every moment I can.