Monday, February 23, 2015

Week #35

Hola Familia!

What a great week we had this week. President Parreño came to Trenque Lauquen and we had a zone conference. I would like to share with you some of the things that he taught us. It´s great counsel for missionaries, but even greater for people in general. He said.. Never lose the capacity of being amazed and being grateful. He told us that sometimes there are missionaries that get bored on the mission or people that get tired of praying, tired of reading, tired of living the commandments, and tired of going to the temple. He pointed out that these people stop being amazed and grateful for the little things God does for them every day. Something that helped me overcome my foot problem before the mission is that I would write down in my journal every night at least three ways that I saw the hand of the Lord in my life that day. Little miracles that happened and little ways that Heavenly Father was showing me that He loves me. Here in the mission, I made a goal to do the same. As a missionary, the miracles are incredible and it strengthens my testimony and strengthens my desire to serve every day. 

I was studying about Jesus Christ and the Atonement today and a thought came to my mind. My testimony of the Savior is one of the greatest blessings that Heavenly Father has given me through His Spirit. So I paused my study and I wrote down my testimony of our Savior in my Study Journal:

I know that Jesus Christ lives. He is my Savior and I´m eternally grateful for what He did for me. He loves me and He never leaves me alone. His love is strong enough to give me hope and peace that I can overcome my weaknesses, sins, and shortcomings. 
I may experiment trials, temptations, weaknesses, shortcomings, and disappointments, but gratefully Christ had the courage, submission, and unwavering love for having suffered them for me. 
He is my hope, my light, and my strength. He is the mirror image of Heavenly Father because He is PERFECT. I have come to know and love my Savior Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father as I´ve been forced to humble myself and rely on Them. They live. 
Oh how great is the joy I feel as I testify of them to others. It has been one of the greatest blessings that I´ve received in my life- a testimony of our Heavenly Father and our Savior. 
Our goal on earth is to know Them, to understand Them, and to become like Them. 
Even though I´m not perfect, I´m grateful everyday that Heavenly Father trusts me enough to represent His perfect son. As we make and live covenants with our Heavenly Father, we will come to know Him. And as we live our covenants, we will come to know and understand a little bit more everyday the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 
As we listen to the still small voice in our lives testify of the Father and the Son, we will come to know truly who They are. I testify that They live.

I challenge each of you to never stop being amazed and grateful at the small miracles that we experience everyday in our lives.

Love, Elder Bosco II
The parks in Pehuajó are so beautiful!

 Elder Fallentine´s Birthday lunch with the Llanos Family!

 Trenque Lauquen (1 hour from Pehuajó)

 Polenta and mixed vegetables! Yes I made it myself.
We also learned how to make gnocchis this week. They´re soooo good!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Week #34

Hola Familia!

It sounds like you all had a great week!  And no, my package hasn´t come yet but I should probably get it this week. I can´t believe Russell left me here alone! Tell him to write me!

This week was a good one. We had a lot of little successes and a learned a LOT. First things first, I have to tell you about one of the lessons we taught. It was a Evangelical family and the grandpa was against the Book of Mormon. He´s a funny guy and we have a good relationship, but he just doesn´t seem to get it. I said a closing prayer, then after, he said one. He prayed that by the time that I return to the United States, that I´ll be converted into an Evangelical and that I´ll go around preaching the word of that religion. Please pray for me that that prayer isn´t answer. I sure hope not. hahah.

The best thing that happened this week was seeing how happy Alejandro and Vanesa are (Mom- can you send pictures from their baptism to Vanesa on Facebook? Thanks!). One of the first things Vanesa asked when she got to church was where the tithing envelopes were. She paid her tithes and offerings and she told us that it was the first time that she has ever paid tithing in her life and she grew up in another church. It was humbling to see her faith. Another great thing that happened was that Alejandro was interviewed and received the Aaronic Priesthood. This is great news for the branch because there aren´t very many Priesthood Holders. There family is happy and truly progressing to a Temple Sealing one day.

I also learned a lot about how the church works. We help President Suarez with the finances, tithing, and paper work of the branch because there has to be at least two elders doing it. Since he´s the only one that´s there most of the time, We stay and help him because he needs us. I love it! I feel like I´m in the bishopric and I learn how the church is run. There is truly order in the church and I´ve gained a strong testimony that the Savior is truly running this church. Even though it´s a bit different being in a really small branch, I´ve learned so much about the church and my testimony truly has grown.

In this area, I´ve learned a whole lot about how Satan blinds us when we get offended easily, irritated often, and hold grudges. I´ve been focusing on having more charity and I challenge each of you this week to read Moroni 7 and live a little bit more charitable. Charity is what brings about Miracles in our lives.

Thanks for all the love and support and prayers. Good luck this week Provo in Basketball! Play hard!

Love, Elder Bosco II
I don´t have great pics this week but I want to show off some of my cooking abilities

Mom- I made STUFF [what I we called a mixture of everything from the garden] today... It was so good! haha

Wesley sent this letter home with Elder Russell Isom to read at his homecoming talk last week. They only saw each other Wesley's first day in Argentina but we were sure glad Russell was there.  Thanks Russell.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week #33

Hola Familia!

As I begin to write this letter, I´m sitting in the tiny chapel of Pehuajó in Argentina and I can´t help but cry. I´ve never felt so close to the Savior as I do right now. As I read about what´s going on at home and friends that are leaving on missions and are receiving their calls, I can´t help but cry with tears of joy and happiness. There´s a picture of the Savior above the computer that I´m on right now and I can´t help but look at it and fill his love.

This week was crazy but one I will never forget on the mission. The Vila Family was baptized! Alejandro, Vanesa, and Ricardo. This family is special and I love them a whole lot. First off, Alejandro has never really been interested in going to church throughout his life. He has always believed in God but church just wasn´t his thing. A year and a half ago, he received a Book of Mormon and he´s read a lot of it. The missionaries before me taught him a lot but he never wanted to commit to anything until he was FOR SURE that this was the right thing to do. We got here to Pehuajó and on the second night that we taught them, the Spirit was incredibly strong and he accepted a baptismal date and was incredibly excited the whole time- truly it was many MIRACLES.

Vanesa´s family is very evangelical and the only reason that she had interest in the Mormon church was because she was starting to see many changes for good in Alejandro´s life. She prayed one day at church that her family would come to church and the next day, they all went to the Mormon Church ( What an answer to her prayer!) But the day of her baptismal interview, she had many doubts and couldn´t sleep the night before. She doesn´t have a super strong testimony, she just wants to be united with her family. I asked her if I could give her a blessing right before her interview and she accepted. I can honestly say that I don´t remember a word that I said, but words in castellano filled and left my mouth and I could feel the power of the Priesthood of God working through me. After the blessing she spent 5 mins alone and afterwards in the interview, everything went well. The next day, I asked her how she slept and she said wonderful!! I asked her what she did, and she told me a simple, but most powerful answer in the world. She said, I prayed. What an incredible woman with so much Faith. But that´s not all, on Saturday- the day of their baptism, her father told her that he asked their pastor and he said that if she´s baptized again into a different church then God will punish her. This through her for a loop and put a lot of doubts in her mind. Satan was attacking her hard because he knew how much faith she had. We taught her a lesson of comfort, and gratefully the Spirit accompanied us. She felt a lot more confident after and decided to get baptized.

Saturday night was spectacular! I´ll send pictures of the baptismal font. It was a different experience, but the ordinance and the Spirit were the same. It was an experience I´ll never forget. The Vila Family are starting their preparations to be sealed in the Temple one day. I´m so happy for them!!

I love you all and I thank you for your support and prayers. Good luck to all the new missionaries and the new mission calls! It´s the greatest experience ever!

Love, Elder Bosco II
Yes I´ve learned a few things about cooking here... 
The baptismal font! We finally figured out how to set it up

 The Vila Family!

 Baptism of Alejandro, Vanesa, and Ricardo Vila!!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week #32

Hola Familia!

I finally made it to Trenque Lauquen on Tuesday, we had our district meeting, and then we traveled to Pehuajó. It was a lot of travelling for 3 days. But finally I´m here. The little city of Pehuajó is beautiful. Our house is actually extremely nice and there´s only two of us. We have a nice bathroom, a nice washing machine, and the best part, we have air conditioning! haha so cool! My new companion is Elder Fallentine. He´s from San Diego, California and he went to 3 semesters at BYU before leaving for his mission. He´s been in Argentina for 3 months and I´ve been here a little longer, and we got here without knowing a single thing!

It´s been a blessing being here without knowing anything. It´s forced me to get on my knees and to ask the Lord for guidance. We´ve been teaching a family that has been kind of interested in the church for awhile now. The father, Alejandro, has been reading the Book of Mormon for a year and a half now. We had a powerful lesson with the Spirit and they accepted the invitation to get baptized. And so this Saturday they´re getting baptized! Vanessa, Alejandro´s wife, and their three kids are all so great. Ricardo is 8 and he´s getting baptized too. 
We invited Vanessa´s cousin to come to church and she came with two of her children! Their were 21 people at church in total and 8 were investigators! haha. the branch is really small here, but we have a great branch president and a lot of desires to work hard. We hope to see a big difference here in Pehuajó. With the help of the Lord, it´s possible. Because I´ve learned here that no matter how big the ward or branch is, the church, the Sacrament, the Spirit, and the Lord´s teachings are all the same! It gives me so much joy.

I want to talk a little bit about forgiveness. The gift of forgiveness is one of the greatest things that the Lord has given us. On the other hand, holding in grudges is how Satan can blind us from being truly happy. I´ve seen here in the short week that I´ve been here how this branch could be so much stronger if we all just understood the power of forgiveness a little bit more in our lives. I´m working on it myself. Being able to forgive others and especially myself. If there is something or someone that you need to forgive, do it. I promise you that those feelings are from the Lord. He wants us to be happy and the only way to happiness is true forgiveness.

Thank you for all the love, support, prayers, and letters. They mean so much and I´m so grateful for them. I love you all so much!

Love, Elder Bosco II

(Elder White was the zone leader here in Trenque Lauquen the last transfer but got transfered away when I got assigned here. So I just missed him! haha)

The room for Sacrament Meeting!
 The chapel in Pehuajó
Elder Bosco by the  chapel in Pehuajó
The room for Sacrament Meeting

Marcela got baptized and I got to go back and congratulate her! She´s so happy and we were so happy to see each other!

 The bathroom in our apartment is NICE!
 Elder Fallentine and I ( he reminds me a lot of Tyler Hissong )

 There´s a lot of work to get done!