Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Week #103

Hola Familia!

 Today will probably be the last letter that I write home because next week is transfer week and interviews with President. I don't have a lot to say to everyone today, which kind of goes along with what I'm going to talk about. After almost two years of living, breathing, teaching, and learning the gospel, I realize just how blessed I am to have been called a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. My life will never be the same, and I don't want it to be. I'm different, I'm a changed man, I actually feel like I understand the gospel now (even though I have a long way to go). The gospel is such a deep concept. There is so much to learn and so much to study and so much to apply. I have learned deep doctrine of the plan of salvation and I understand a whole lot more of what the Atonement means to me. I know a lot more about the depth of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. But when all is said and done, I realize just how simple the gospel is. The Lord has blessed me with the ability to teach it simpler and clearer. The more the Spirit teaches me of the deep mysteries of the Kingdom of God, the easier it becomes to teach those mysteries to someone that doesn't even know that God exists. Teaching and testifying in a simplified version gives us power. I've seen it again and again with President Cifuentes. He teaches with simplicity and the Spirit moves us.

So I guess to finish my last and short letter home, I want to bear my simple testimony: I know that we have a Heavenly Father that loves us and so He sent His Son to show us the way back home. He blessed us with a Church so that we can become worthy to enter His presence again. I know that Joseph Smith restored His Church to the earth through angels. We hold the Book of Mormon today as proof of this restoration. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and it testifies of our Redeemer Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our Savior and He died for us so that we can live with Him and our Father again. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I love you and I'm excited to see you all again!

 Love, Elder Bosco II

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Week 102

Hola Familia!

{Wesley is talking about a video that a member sent to us on Facebook of the truck stuck in mud...}

I´m laughing pretty hard right now because you already know about the truck getting stuck just a few days after it happened. It´s incredible how social networking works. I´m not sure what you saw from the video, but I´ll have to tell you about the story. We got permission to go visit Alexis and Belen in General Cerri and teach them a lesson. I don´t know if you remember them, but I was teaching them with Elder Dement about 4 months ago. And just so you know, Cerri is one of the muddiest places on this earth. I remember serving there and literally not being able to see my shoes at night because they were COVERED with mud (okay maybe not that bad, but you get the point). We got to there house (which is in a muddy area) and Elder Paleka wanted to back into the house. He was backing in and the back wheel slipped into a little ditch full of mud. We tried to rock it back and forth to get it out, but the back wheel ended up getting even more stuck. There was no way to get out. Luckily, Alexis loves cars and is very handy when it comes to mechanical things. We were able to tow the big truck out with a little beat up car. While the little car was towing it out, we were behind it pushing and the car sprayed us with mud. My pants got pretty muddy haha. The reason you have the video is because Sis. Sabatini (Alexis´ mom who is a member) saw us and took a video of it. It was pretty funny.

We went in there home full of mud and we were able to teach Alexis and Belen. They ended up getting married but they haven´t gotten baptized yet. They go to church every once in awhile and they were in a stall with their progression. I taught them of the blessings of being obedient and how it will bless their family forever. I remember having the feeling to tell them how much I loved them. I will never forget the tears I saw in their eyes when I said those words. I truly did mean it- man do I love them. As a missionary, the Lord truly blesses us with the ability to love and to have true charity. I felt it for them very strongly. I told them that I hoped to hear some good news from them some day. News that they had been baptized together and made it to the temple together. When I was leaving, Alexis hugged me and told me that I would be hearing good news from them. Just that morning they were talking about the importance of the gospel in their lives and the life of Tiziano (their 3 year old boy). It was an incredible night for me and I was so grateful that the Lord had given me the opportunity to meet and teach them. The Lord has blessed me again and again here on the mission and I´m forever grateful for that.

Thanks for all the love and support! I love you all!

Love, Elder Bosco II

Monday, May 30, 2016

Week #101

Hola Familia,

It was been such a spiritually exhausting week, but I AM HAPPY. I can´t even put to words some of the experiences that I have had this week. It was a week of ups and downs and a week of uncertainty. Throughout my time as a missionary, I don´t think I have ever felt so much spiritual exhaustion, miracles, and happiness at the same time. Let me tell you a little how it went down.

The Vasquez Family was preparing to get baptized this weekend. They had their baptismal interviews and they were super excited! Something came up however and the question became real to see if Ariel was actually ready to get baptized. At first we felt that maybe he wasn´t, so we told him that and he got extremely discouraged from the set back. He had been striving and giving everything to be prepared to get baptized with his family and to hear that hurt him a lot. Going home that night, I was absolutely devastated. I remember all of my set backs with my foot. I would have a goal, I would give everything to reach that goal and come back and play, and then I´d realize that I wasn´t ready. It hurt me badly. I often found myself doubting myself and asking myself if I could keep moving forward. I usually had thoughts of giving up. These painful memories came back and I felt them for Ariel- but this time they were much spiritually deeper. Some tears did fall down that night and I was in a lot of pain for him and his family. Not only was Ariel discouraged, but his wife and his daughters felt the same way. They started doubting if they could do it. I started doubting our decision, maybe Ariel IS ready... maybe we´re wrong. I struggled a lot with these thoughts but I also felt like Alma when he feared to do what was wrong in the sight of God. I prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed. We prayed, we pondered, we thought it out. No matter what we were doing, these thoughts could not leave my mind. What were we going to do?

The next day we talked to President Cifuentes and he explained to us a lot about the repentance process. He told us that Ariel could still be ready but that he needed to understand a few things. Along with being ready or not, Ariel and his family had a desire to follow Jesus Christ and change. They had changed so much at this point and becoming better everyday. We visited the Vasquez Family that evening with some hopes of finding the answer, but the visit was very uncomfortable. They were discouraged and Satan was doing everything he could do to ruin the spirits of this family. I was starting to get a little discouraged for Ariel. He was having thoughts like I had when I experienced set backs. Maybe I should quit. Maybe it isn´t worth it. Maybe I can´t do this anymore. Satan just couldn´t work on him like he worked on me, I wouldn´t allow it. We got back from the appointment and we started a fast. This fast turned out to be one of the most miraculous fasts that I had ever experienced. 

That night I talked to President and I told him how I didn´t know what to do and I was scared to do what was wrong. He told me, "don´t worry, you will know, you will know." Those words stuck with me and will stick with me forever. We visited the Vasquez family on Saturday morning- the day of their scheduled baptism. I had woken up a little earlier to read the Book of Mormon and I read a story that was pure inspiration for Ariel Vasquez. When we got there, Ariel had no desire to get baptized. But let me tell you how the Spirit works- it touches the hearts of the children of men and it works miracles. After sharing the Book of Mormon story, Elder Paleka bore a powerful testimony that brought tears to each one us (including each one of the daughters). In that moment I had no doubt. Just like President said, "I knew". They were ready. And the confirmation to my heart that that was the right decision was powerful and distinct. They were truly ready.

It was an unbelievable baptismal service. We had to fill up the baptismal font with buckets from the neighbors water because there wasn´t water pressure in the Church. The water was dirty, cold, and there was very little of it. But the excitement and the Spirit that was felt touched my life forever. Two families got baptized- The Vasquez Family and the Villagrán Family. There was a total of 8 baptisms and 16 people dressed in white. We sang "Be Still, My Soul" and Sis. Cifuentes played the violin. It was an incredible night and my joy was full.

On Sunday was my birthday and probably the happiest birthday that I´ve had in my life. Watching each of the Vasquez´ walk down the aisle and sit down to receive the Holy Ghost was a treat to me. Each of them (especially the daughters) had smiles from ear to ear and the Spirit was great. I gave a talk on the Atonement and it pretty much summed up my entire week. I am a literal testimony this week of feeling the strength of the Atonement. What an experience.

At night, President and Sister Cifuentes invited me over and surprised me with a birthday cake. I´ll send you a video that they took. Thanks for everything and especially the prayers. I truly feel your love.

Love, Elder Bosco II

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Monday, May 23, 2016

WEEK #100

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Weeks #98 & #99

#98 May 13

Friday, May 6, 2016

Week #97

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Week #96

Hola Familia!
It´s crazy, but I finally got to work with Elder Bates. This week we are here in Monolito II in Mar del Plata with Elder Bates and Elder Palacios. It was actually pretty funny working with Elder Bates. [Elder Bosco and Elder Bates Usually as missionaries when we say we´re both from the United States (and from Utah) they always asked us if we knew each other before we got to Argentina. I don´t think they realize that Utah is a big state. But working with Elder Bates was different because we said yes.... we DID know each other before the mission. It was pretty funny. We were asked about 4 times the other day.
We had interviews with President Cifuentes this last week and I learned so many great things. One of the things that he taught us has been on my mind for the last few days and I would like to share it with you. He told us that there will be some point in our lives (maybe we´ve already crossed it, or maybe we are crossing it) when we will have to make a decision- the path of selfishness or the path of service. He asked us which one was good and which one was bad and he told us that they were BOTH good paths because they both lead us to the Celestial Kingdom. The selfish path is the person that does everything right, they read the scriptures, pray, keep the commandments, and meet all of the requirements to enter into the Celestial Kingdom. These people think of their salvation and the salvation of their immediate family and they are happy with that. The service path are those who truly follow the example of Jesus Christ. They read the scriptures, pray, keep the commandments, and do everything they can so that they can enter the kingdom of heaven. But they do it thinking of others and serving always. Instead o being only worried for their own salvation and their immediate family, they´re worried for the salvation of Heavenly Father´s Family. They truly strive to be more through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Both paths go to the Celestial Kingdom, but one path reaches the highest degree, which is exaltation. Where am I at? I´ve been asking myself all week long. Do I serve and love for the right reasons? I hope so. If our goal truly is exaltation (and I hope it is) then are we truly striving to become charitable even as our Savior. It´s definitely a work to be done. We must progress little by little. I have no doubt that if we properly use the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we will be able to accomplish all that we need to. That´s my hope and my prayer.
Thanks for all the love and support! Congrats on finishing another year at BYU- especially Alexis for graduating! I´m so proud of you!
Love, Elder Bosco II

My life on a cot haha

 Serving with Elder Bates!