Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Week of Little Miracles

Hey everyone how´s everything going? Well another week has come to an end and this week wasn´t quite as exciting as these last few have been. To start off the week I was in divisions with Elder Marambio who´s working out in Necochea which is another city that belongs to our zone. My companion, Elder Murillo went out to Necochea to see how they were doing and to try to help them out a little bit. Divisions were interesting to say the least. Not a whole lot happened until wednesday which was the last day I was with Elder Marambio. We were a little frustrated cause we hadn´t taught very much and we hadn´t found any new investigators which is always a bummer. It was about 730 and Elder Marambio had a bus that left at around 815. Cause we had a little bit of time left we decided to go by one more house. We go to see Claudio (not the one who got baptized a little while ago) to see if we could get in to teach him. Claudio was a reference of some other Elders and we had talked to him in the door but hadn´t gotten into his house yet. We go by start talking to him in the door and he was kind of acting like he didn´t want to let us in. In addition to that it was freezing cold outside. So there I am thinking "snap, it´s super cold, we haven´t had much success and now Claudio doesn´t want to let us in". And as we were talking to him all of the sudden he says "hey it´s really cold, come on inside". What a miracle! It was super cool! He let us in and we were able to teach him and his family! 6 people in total were there. We could only teach a short lesson about the Book of Mormon and how it´s important but it was really good and it was an awesome experience. Then after all of that Elder Marambio missed his bus and didn´t end up leaving until the next morning at 4 AM. It´s ok though, it was totally worth it. We also had another interesting experience with a guy named Carlos Collado. He´s listened to the missionaries on and off for about 10 years. He has a bunch of friends who are members of the church, but he´s still yet to get baptized. A member once told us that Carlos said that something really bad would have to happen to him so that he gets baptized. Well here´s a lesson in carefull what you wish for. We went by this week and he told us that his oldest daughter who´s 19 ran away to live with her boyfriend. Bad enough? Yes. He was really perplexed and didn´t really know how to handle the situation. He was asking us all kind of questions and we were able to teach him and his wife about the restoration. The importance of having prophets and the guidence that we have as members of the church and the importante and huge roll that the restored gospel plays in our lives. We were able to apply it really well to them and we had a really powerful lesson which was awesome. Just goes to show you, be carefull what you wish for cause a lot of times God grants us those things that we say so that we change and repent. It was cool cause at the end of the lesson we all kneeled down to say a prayer and Carlos said a really good prayer at the end. When we went by later in the week they told us that the daughter had come over with the boyfriend and that things were getting better. She still hasn´t gone back to the house but Carlos and Andrea know that she´s ok and they helped them a lot. They didn´t make it to church last week so this week we gotta make a big effort to get them to church this week so that they can start progressing. Besides that not a ton happened. We had a bit of a tough week but this one is going to be better. We´ve taken a couple tough hits and now we gotta get back on top like how we were before. We also had interviews with President Detlefsen this week which was legit. Having and interview with him is always a great experience. I think he´s one of the smartest people I´ve ever met. He´s helped me a ton in my mission and has made it truely great. I love that man. He has amazing faith and vision and being around him always elevates me and helps me to be a better person. We have a goal this month that every single companionship in the zone baptizes. There are 10 companionships so it´ll be interesting to see how it comes out. Pray for us so that we can do it. We gotta make progress on getting stakes out here so that we can have a temple in our mission!! All your prayers and efforts will be felt and grately appreciated!! Thanks for all your love and support. 
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan

A "Legit" Baptism Experience

Well hello family of mine. How is everyone? Sounds like you all had a great week and guess what? I did too!!!! This week we had 3 baptisms of kids of part member families that we were/are helping the families get active once again. It was a really awesome experience. Julieta Alia, Nicolas Grondona and Lucio Lescano all got baptized on saturday and confirmed on sunday! It was pretty legit. We had another crazy day of baptism experience. Elder Murillo and I were sitting in the church just having finished setting everything up for the baptism, waiting for people to get there. Julieta and her family, the Branch President and one of his counselors get there and then we get a message from Lucio's aunt, our convert Liliana, asking if Lucio could get baptized a different day cause it was a little complicated for them and a storm had just come in and it was raining pretty hard and they don't have a car. So what do we do? Take off running for their house about 7 blocks away (needless to say I got tired after about 2 blocks). So it's raining cats and dogs and we're sprinting in our suits towards the house to see what had happened. We get there and it was a little complicated cause Liliana's house isn't all that well built and when it rains the roof leaks. We get there and they were worried about that and they didn't have a way to get there through the pouring rain. We tried calling a taxi but cause it was raining so hard they were all busy so we called the Branch President to see if he could come pick us up. Luckily the Branch President is a champ and he came, but the problem was his car was tiny and we weren't all gonna fit, and it was already almost 7 and that's when the baptism had to start. So what do we do? Yep take off running again back towards the church. When we get back a bunch of people had arrived and we were soaking wet, then all the members that are moms scolded us for taking off that like and getting all soaked but hey we had to do something and there wasn't a lot of time. So we go and change cause we had to baptize. We do that, take pictures and get to the orandance which is of course the best part. The awesome part about the baptism is that we had been planning with the members for about a week and we didn't have to worry a ton about a lot of the little details. And we had given out invitations to all the kids who then handed them out to friends and relatives and a ton of people who weren't members came which is awesome. I baptized Julieta and Elder Murillo baptized Nicolas and Lucio. Then when everything was over we had refreshments and all that jazz and had the opportunity to talk to a lot of the people who weren't members who had gone. They all really liked it and a few of them asked us "what do you have to do to get baptized?" Pretty good response I'd say. One kid came who is the boyfriend of Pamela (Julieta's sister) and he wants to get baptized!!! His name is Leo and he's a pretty legit kid. We were talking to him a little bit, he came to church yesterday and he's gonna get baptized in 2 weeks!!! The baptism was a little crazy as always but it all turned out really well!
Apart from all that we had a pretty cool week. We were able to find a lot of new people and have some pretty legit investigators we're working with and hoping that they get baptized in these next couple weeks. We found this guy named Juan Carlos who's trying to quit drinking. He was really acoholic, had stopped for a year, then started again. He's started to drop the habit again and we're hoping its for good this time! We're also gonna help another investigator put a roof on her house which should be an interesting experience. I'm excited anyway to see how it turns out.
We also have a conference this week with the area president, Elder Arnold of the 70. Pretty much the whole mission is freaking out a little bit and also really excited to see what he is gonna teach us. We've been getting a ton better as a mission and we're excited to see the counsil that he'll give us to help us to keep getting better and baptizing more of Heavenly Father's children. We have to travel so that'll be an interesting experience in and of itself. It's gonna be legit though and all of us are anxiously waiting to see what will happen. Well that's all I can really think of that has happened this week. Pretty abnormal as usual. I'm glad to see that Kyler is doing so well and that he's growing good and strong. I'll try to send pictures of the baptisms next week! Love you all thanks for everything!!!!
-Elder Nicholas Gaughan