June 29, 2015




Jacob Whiting

Como me gusta la Fruta

Hola Mamá!

How are you? What's happening? How was your week? My week really flew by. I am kinda confused about why I am sitting in front of this computer again. But asi es la vida. It’s raining right now. Actually, it’s been raining all day. It started last night, and it just keeps on going. I don’t know where all this water comes from.

So this week started off really well. On Tuesday we did divisiones (splits) with the Assistants. They came over to our apartment nice and early and we worked all day with them. I was with Elder Toledo, from Chile. Of course, on Tuesday the heavens decided to give it everything it had, and it ended up pouring all by the end of the day we were nice and cold and wet, but we still had a great time. We ended up finding some people and having some really interesting people. We found this one couple named Em. and E. Em. was way nice and wanted to listen to us, but E. didn’t even want us to be near her. Well, we taught them the Restoration and Em. accepted a baptismal date, but E. just said it wasn’t true and then when we asked to say a prayer to leave she just started praying to Jesus, thanking Jesus for sending his son to die for us, and thanking Jesus for being our father, etc...It was an interesting prayer...but we hear a lot of those.

It’s really great having so many lunches with members. I have eaten more fruit (fruta) this past week than most of my mission - several oranges, a couple apples, a couple bananas, and we even had a salad on Saturday! It’s awesome! Como me gusta la fruta!

Guess what. I found A1 steak sauce last week! I was so amazed!

This week we have been working with D and V. They are way cool. They are a couple that the other elders were teaching here before we came. V. is a friend of M. (a member) and D. is her boyfriend who also just happens to play for Chaco For Ever (which is a professional soccer team here in Chaco). They are both really cool. They have been listening to the missionaries for a while, and they both know that it’s all true. They said that they have seen how the gospel has really improved their unity and relationship as a couple. We had our first lesson with them on Monday and got to know them a little better. Well, we shared Mosiah 18:8-10, and then asked them what they had against being baptized? They said nothing, and then Veronica said that they wanted to get baptized, but they just want to prepare themselves more. The spirit was strong. Then she asked us if we would prepare them for baptism. I said, "no". I felt prompted to say that. She seemed kinda surprised, haha. I then took a moment to explain that we, as missionaries, teach others what THEY have to do so that the SPIRIT will be able to prepare them and help them know the truth. The idea was to help them both understand that WE don’t teach. The Spirit does. She sat there for a second thought and then said, "You know what? I know even more now that this is the true church. You telling me that makes me know that this really is the true church and that it doesn’t just come from man." It was really incredible. The spirit truly guided that lesson.

We are also working with the Flia. V. The Hermana S. lives alone with her kids, and they are pretty inactive. She lives in this little house with her 4 kids, including her 2 older daughters, B.(15) and M. (16). They have been listening to us really well since we've been here, which is good, because they need a lot of help. B. smokes and both her and M. live there with their boyfriends. Also, the mom has been going to another church called the church of Ledesma, which is a church that was started by and excommunicated yeah...but they are listening really well and they even came to church on Sunday!!!! That was exciting! We were really happy to see them there.

So I am still getting used to being in a ward. It's pretty cool. I played the piano on Sunday again. It looks like I am going to be doing that for a while. haha. Go figure, but I kinda like it. It’s nice to have the members do everything, and we can focus a little bit more on our own responsibilities.

I have been still been studying and learning a lot about the Atonement and repentance. This week I really learned to understand something very important about the Atonement. It is common to think of sin and repentance when we think of the atonement, but the Atonement is about a lot more than just healing our wounds and redeeming us from our sins. Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “The repenting sinner must suffer for his sins, but this suffering has a different purpose than punishment or payment. Its purpose is change. It’s about making us better people. There is a quote that I read this week (I will try to find it and tell you what it is) but it basically said that the Atonement is supposed to make us better than we could have ever been...better than even if there hadn’t been a Fall. Wow! Then I made the following connection. The temple is the way that we receive blessings, powers, and promises that are only made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Our Savior loves us so much. He didn't just redeem us of our sins. He made it possible to become like Him and our perfect Heavenly Father.

I know that He lives. I know because I just know. I am not fully capable of expressing how I have come to know that, but I just know it. I love Him and I am grateful for his sacrifice. I am so grateful for His amazing and boundless love. I truly feel it. I hope others can as well. I know that this is His gospel and that I am doing His work.

Con mucho Amor,

Elder Gabriel Christiansen
Misión Argentina Resistencia


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