I had an amazing birthday week. I sat on the front row for Elder Holland's talk this last Saturday! It was the most amazing moment ever!! I just love Elder Holland!!! And I really love Sister Holland, too!!! First, I am going to tell you about Sister Holland's talk.
She started off talking about a moment about three years ago when she and her husband were having scripture study. They began to talk about how God would get all the work done in the last days. She said that she told him,"I just read, I the Lord will hasten the work in my time." She said that standing there looking out at the 900 something missionaries in Buenos Aires, she is seeing the fullfillment of that prophecy. She said, "If you have ever wondered why you are here, this is why! You are here to be God's miracles. You were sent to this earth with the predestined purpose to hasten the work." She gave an amazing talk about keeping your eye single to God's glory. She used DyC 88:63-68 to explain this and said it has been she and Elder Holland's life scripture. Both she and Elder Holland emphasized that it is not what you say, it is who you are!
When Elder Holland walked up to the pulpit, he had everyone stand for a second. When I stood my face was about 5 feet away from his. The spirit was so strong; I got the chills. Obviously, he said it as only Elder Holland can, but he mostly talked about true conversion, now and forever. That the mission of the church right now is to have everyone more converted, and this new era is starting with the missionaries now. We are to be true now on our missions, and then be true forever. As he said it, "The Mission is REAL LIFE! When you go home you are not to go back to anything like you were before." It was great. He talked about how missionaries are the most loved and prayed for group in the world. His talk was uplifting, powerful, and just got us all excited for missionary work and the rest of our lives in this gospel. I had expected to be chastized a little bit, because as a group of missionaries we are always always lectured about obedience, but Elder Holland said, "The most tedious thing I ever have to do is talk to missionaries about obedience," and then he addressed our mission presidents and said regarding obedience, "But this group looks good, I do not sense much disobedience here at all." The gift of discernment is so cool.
I mostly just would like to bear my testimony that Elder Holland is truly called of God. I know that the words our Prophets, seers and revelators are to help us on this journey back through life and with things that we don't completely understand so that we can return to live with our Father in Heaven. The church is just so true.
Work in our area has been great this week. Florentina and Pedro will be getting baptized this Saturday! YAY! YAY! YAY! They are so ready and so cute. We also have many other investigators who are progressing. O. is an investigator who found us. He is very very educated about the Bible, and the first lesson there was a little contention with conflicting doctrines. We told him that we love and believe in the Bible like him, but we weren't going to argue. We just left him a Book of Mormon and asked him to read and pray about it. When we came back the next time he held his Book of Mormon next to his Bible on his chest and said this is the word of God. Thank you so much for bringing me the truth! He is excited to be baptized in December. We have many other miracles just like this in our area every day. Our Branch is so so so amazing. Every organization is always talking about missionary work. "How are we going to get, more young men, more young women, more priesthood, more relief society sisters?" These are the words we hear often, and this is the topic of every ward council. Yesterday we had 30 people at church. And our Branch President along with other leaders of the area have set the goal to have 80 people in church by March. My companion and I made a joke about how we found some good land for the chapel, and the branch president said back super seriously, "Let me know where it is, because if we find the right palce we should buy it." Our mouths just dropped. It is so amazing.
Over all here in 9 de Julio it is sunny, blazing hot, but the best place in the world. I have an amazing companion. (Seriously my companion is amazing, especially amazing. I love her so much! I have been blessed with many awesome companions.) We are working so hard, and the Lord is blessing us with being able to teach the elect!
|One of our 5 hour bus rides into Buenos Aires|
that we love so much!
I am getting to be a very experienced at riding the bus.
It was worth it, though, to see Elder Holland!
|President and Hermana Carter and all the missionaries of the |
Argentina Buenos Aires West Mission!
|Asado for my birthday lunch! It was delicious.|
|My Christmas presents. You know how impatient I am.|
I may or may not have a giant Christmas tree hanging on our wall :)