Thursday, March 10, 2016

10 March 2016

So, first I want to tell you about today. It's 10 o'clock in the morning and we already had a huge spiritual experience today. That's pretty much how Trenque Lauquen is, we just cram everything in, then the best things happen when I'm least expecting. So anyway, yesterday we were with our investigator, M, my favorite fun argentine grandma, and she's going thru a bit of a hard time. First, her son has cancer, and they told him that it's complicated. Second, she, as all good abuelas do, has a bum knee. And the doctor says that she has to not walk a lot. And has to bike. Three, when she was biking around town, a car hit her bike and she fell and hurt everything worse, and especially her bum knee. Four, her cancer son has a catscan today and the last time he freaked out and couldn't do it, so she's nervous about that. So last night we told her that the missionaries could come give her a blessing if she wants it and has faith, so she said she did. So we called the elderes and we four went today, p-day, in our p-day clothes all the way to M's house to give her a blessing. And it was a super spiritual experience. Her husband was there, and he's not super believing in god and religion and all that, but we asked M who she wanted to give the blessing, and he was like, can we all just pray, and she explained to him that the elders had to do it, and I said "well, we'll just finish the "spiritual part" with everyone saying a prayer." So then the elders gave her the blessing, and it was super special. And then we all took turns, all six of us saying a prayer. The elders started, then Hermana Nomellini, then M and then it was D, her husband's, turn. AND HE PRAYED. For the first time. And he just said what was in his heart. And I've seen such a big change in him. In all the time weve been with M, we haven't been able to teach him very much, cause he's not a big fan of religous talks. But more and more, he's participating. And this week, he started praying with us. And today he prayed. And it was a beautiful, heartfelt, faithful prayer. And then I finished. And then we hugged M, and she shook the elders hands and she was just so greatful. Then they gave D huge hugs and we shook his hand with all we got. And the spirit was strong. Everyone had tears in their eyes. Even the elders. It was just a beautiful moment. And then we left. And now they're ready to take their son to the study. They've just progressed so much and on that note.....

¡BAUTISMO! M's getting baptized on the 19th. She's so excited. We were a little nervous to give her a date, cause we always talk about her baptism, but she's told us a few times that she wants to take her time. But we felt super strongly that shes ready to accept a fecha and that she'll be ready the day it comes. And she said, yes, finally. Then we went and invited some of her grandkids and her son in law to her baptism. She's just so great and a perfect example of conversion and fruits of repentance. For example- she went to church alone last week, she wants to clean the church, she told us that the gospel taught her that she needs to be nice and say hi to people even when they dont say hi (these things are super important here in Argentina), she also said that she needs to stop saying bad words and she's doing it, little things like that. And it's all just one big thing- conversion. I LOVE THE MISSION!!!!! So yeah, that's what's going on in Trenque Lauquen. Umm, what else.

Yesterday was zone conference. My last zone conference. We went to Santa Rosa. You know who's in Santa Rosa??? Hermana Bindley, my ex comp, best friend and future roommate. It was so awesome to see her. I felt like Alma when he runs into his buddies and they've all stayed faithful and he's so proud of their progress. We started talking and we talked about the work and mission life and everything we've learned ALL NIGHT. It was the best. I love how I have the opportunity to see conversion, even us missionaries convert ourselves. And the zone conference was super awesome. We talked about all kinds of things, but more than anything, that as a mission, we're not baptizing a lot. It's true, because before we were baptizing anything with two legs, but now we're all a little scared to return to our old mistakes or focus on other things, like all the menos activos from all of the crazy baptisms. But president wants us to baptize, but baptize converts. And he felt like that's not happening cause we don't have enough investigators. So instead of yelling at us and telling us we need to baptize, like they did before, he taught us how to find investigators. He's just soooo awesome! 

Well, I've got a lot to write and not a lot of time. I told dad some good spiritual stories and so I'll write you a funny one. Like I told him, I saw Hermana Bindley yesterday. It's been like 2 weeks since her birthday so I decided to bring her a birthday gift. Remember when we bought science papers and laminated them and walked around saying "we believe in science" nacho libre style. Well  bought a giant poster of a dude with all of his body parts like a puzzle and laminated it and cut it out and drew him a placa (I like to call him Elder Cuerpo) and gave it to her with all of her favorite candies. It was a huge success- she loved it. And she got me a birthday gift- a bag that she had made in a sociedad de soccoro activity. She said I can put things I like on the inside and she put things that made her think of me on the outside- a bird, cause my birding stories kill her, my initials in a weird print and a bit of red and blue flannel cause she alllwaaayss talks about how nice red and blue flannels look on dudes. And I loved it. She's just the best. She is definitely my mission bfff, and I think she's gonna stay my bff for a long time. We always talk about what our slc apartment is gonna be like :)

Ummm, well, I've written a lot and I still have to write everyone else, so I'll just finish by telling you that my garden is good, Boris is growing and my cilantro is almost ready, I have spanish maps and a chart about photosynthesis and animal cells (in spanish on the wall) and I'm working on a new periodic table of elements for a placemat. I'm just realizing every day that I'm super excited to be a chemistry major when I get back.

Love you so much! Send me more spiritual experiences and church stories next week! Thanks for always writing me!
Hermana Long

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