28 June 2010

Tough Week but Optimistic

How is everyone doing?

Well, it's been a crazy usual week on the Mission. So much to say in so little time, right? Well the whole week in general has been a slow hard week, and I´ll explain why later in the email; but I looked at last week's stats for the whole mission and everyone was having a hard week. I think it is due to the World Cup. We planned to have two baptisms this week but they fell through. Gabriella and Rosa just don´t think that they need to be baptized again in the church. We have tried so hard to explain the Priesthood and how the Authority was taken from the earth! No luck but we aren´t giving up on them so we´ll see how the future goes. Our strongest baptism date for next week WAS Eliana. A couple days ago we stopped by on a routine visit to her house and she wasn´t really excited to see us as usual but she still enjoys to have us over. She has doubts about Jospeh Smith and really doesn´t have a real testimony of the Book of Mormon. We testified and taught her about everything but she still was doubting so we had to push her baptism back a week. I think one of the main reasons is that we can´t baptize her in the river, but we found out that she doesn´t have a testimony of the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith.  I'm dissapointed but at the same time glad we found the missing keys because I don´t want to baptize her without her having a testimony. After that lesson I felt so down because she was progressing so well and we were preparing for her baptism. Seriously, on the way out of the house I bore her my tesimony so hopefully I planted a seed. I felt so angry, sad and didn´t want to work anymore. We wanted to just go back to the pench!! It was the worst feeling ever. Even when we just wanted to give up for the day we still worked hard and hoped for a miracle but still got rejected a bunch of times.  We met some nice people, though. We´ll see what the future brings with them.

So this past week has been downright hard but we are going into this week with optimism. Even with the hard week we had some great times too. We had a Noche de Hogar with the ward this Saturday. Around 50 members showed up and we had a great time! The moms and daughters were cooking in the kitchen while we were setting up the tables and games. The teenagers were on the computer listening to music hah and the dads were talking about soccer. It was so awesome to see everyone just have a great time together and be united as a ward. Just spening the night with everyone and having a home evening was a great feeling. An ex missionary, Leo (who always wants my ties) taught about unity within the ward.  For the games, me and Elder Latorre started a game of Pictionary with gospel topics. We ended up in a ¨tie¨ to keep the unity hah. I loved being there with them, they feel like family and they really are opening up to me as a missionary because I´m not new anymore. Every Sunday I am so stoked to go to church because of the members and I always am so happy to see them. Our relief society pres is a stud and I wrote her a note telling her thanks for everything you do for the missionaries and the ward. She told me thanks so much and her face lit up and she always talks to me.  She even sneaks some primary dulces to me. She´s a stud! She is a hard worker too. She does so much for the ward.

Sunday was crazy with the soccer game. During the game no one was outside. When tracking all you can hear is the game and every house we pass the game is on. I´ve never seen so many huge Argentina flags in my life!  When they won, the town erupted for like 20 minutes with shouts and fireworks and the soccer blow horns. Then during the day sporatic fireworks go off.  But these are like M80´s going off. Haha awesome. Reminds me of the times on Balboa Island with M80´s.

Well that's about all I can recall about last week. There is such much that goes on in a week that it  feels like a year, but at the same time it feels like it's going by too fast.  Hope everyone is having a great time at home and enjoying the summer. Have a great time in Newport and enjoy the beach for me. Just expect me to live on the beach for a couple of years when I get back off the Mission! hah. Since it is cold here I don´t really think about the beach right now but I do miss surfing and the beach, dont get me wrong... I'm loving my time here!!!

Always read your scriptures and be grateful for everything you have. This gospel is everything and enjoy it! The gospel is something to enjoy but always be thankful for the blessings!

Elder Shepherd

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