Thursday, January 19, 2017

Happy Transfers!

Long week as always, but overall things went smoothly and everyone is safe in their new areas, so mission accomplished! 

A few highlights out of the million things that have happened:

- The Laspina Family got baptized last week! Danilo is a champ and reached his goal of a full two weeks without ONE cigarette. I love the man. So impressed and blessed to be a part of his repentance process in that area. What a special family for me and for our Heavenly Father. I've always dreamed about working with a great family on my mission, and I have before, but the Laspina family was such a tender mercy in my life. Having helped them to flip their family around with their marriage and now their baptism has been an amazing experience. Hermano Maneiro (my other recent convert, from my time with Paleka, who had never baptized before) baptized Danilo, Baltazar Tidei (our neighbor) baptized Pamela, and I had the privilege to baptize little Selena. That was so cute. Right before performing the ordinance I brought her into the water and she looked up with the biggest smile and a cute little laugh. aww!  AND as a cherry on top it was a back to back baptism with Lucrecia's baptism just a week before. Lucrecia came and offered the opening prayer as well.

Pre-bappy selfie!

 Post-Baptism : )

 Love this group!
(left to right): Sis. Cifuentes, Pres. Cifuentes, Sabrina Laspina, Pamela Laspina, Danilo Laspina, Selena Laspina, Moi, Liam Laspina (only 6 yrs old... baptism to come), Isidro Maneiro, Baltazar Tidei

- Two Sundays ago there was a newcomer at church named Carlos. He's probably about sixty years old... he's kind of a larger fella, and is neighbors with Hno Martinez (a member who lives close to us and lets us use his gym in the morning). We talked to Carlos after sacrament meeting and he commented that lately he's had a lot of health problems and was actually told he might pass away. So one thing led to another and he ended up talking to Hno Martinez. Telling him that he noticed was religious and had something that he didn't. He asked him to help him have whatever that was and to help him die well. We've now had about four lessons with Carlos in the house of the Martinez Family (they have a son serving in Salt Lake), including an awesome family night where we were accompanied by Lucrecia as well. He came to church again this last Sunday and was being such a chatterbox in Gospel Principles. He won't stop talking about how much he loves the classes and our discussions with him. He reads the Book of Mormon (always more than we invite him to... stud), and is saying his prayers. I honestly LOVE this man. Such a gentle giant and a humble spirit who sincerely wants to follow our Savior, Jesus Christ. In order to do so, just last night he committed to be baptized on February 11th! He'll be praying over the next couple weeks about that decision, so please pray for him!

- Cool story: So last Saturday we were buying all the tickets for transfers, and in order to divide and conquer with a couple things, my companion and I did exchanges and I went with Elder Acosta to the bus station. We were there forever, then returned for a bit for the Laspina's baptism, then back to the station again. During all that time we never had the chance to eat, and neither of us had time to eat breakfast in the morning either, so we were just starving. We both kept saying "Wow... tengo tanto hambre.." haha! So after the baptism, during the second round of ticket purchases. We continued mumbling about how hungry we were. Then all the sudden this guy comes up to us speaking English and says to me "Hey Elders... my bus is about to head out, but I saw you guys and thought you've probably been here for a while and you're probably really hungry" then he hands me two sandwiches as my jaw is plastered to the tile. I said "Thanks so much! Who are you?" he said "I'm one of the three neph..." haha just kidding. He was a member from New Mexico. NO idea what he was doing there, but to me he was an angel haha. I think that was just Heavenly Father just saying "Congrats on the baptism... here's some sandwiches so I don't have to listen to you grumble anymore." Elder Acosta and I were super happy the rest of the night.

So the start of this new transfer means the start of zone conferences and interviews every transfer now. So for that we'll be heading out in just a couple hours to Viedma to kick off the first conference of the transfer. Luckily my companion and I will be able to take time to do divisions with various companionships while we travel. I'm excited to be able to work and teach as much as possible. As far as teaching in zone conference, my companion and I will be focusing on helping the mission to improve in personal study. I'm excited to teach this cause usually the teacher learns more than the student, and this is definitely an area I need to improve in. Here we go!

Elder Jolley

Said goodbye to some good friends this transfer:

 Elder Way (featuring a photo bomb from Sis. Cifuentes)

 Elder Tew

Elder Miller

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