Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Week # 53

Hola Familia,

I am so happy to hear the news about Connor. [Connor is a young man in our ward that played basketball with the boys. Last week he was in a very serious skateboard accident which resulted in severe skull trauma and fractures- we are happy to report that he is recovering and is being moved out of ICU this week. There are no signs of brain damage- he is able to walk and he remembers everyone- truly a miracle]   More than just the miracles of God saved him, but also the faith and prayers of everyone. There truly is power in a sincere fast. Thanks for being such a great example. The Grandview 6th ward is Zion!
Good luck with the heat. It´s getting pretty cold here, but it´s a pretty calm winter. With a jacket, it´s not too bad. But because we are close to the ocean, it rains super hard sometimes- and that´s always fun.... haha.

I learned a few things this week that I wanted to share with everyone. It was actually the day that it rained hard! In the mission, the rain is always a trial for me because being soaking wet and not being able to dry is the worst! But I´ve learned to truly love the trials like rain that we experience as missionaries. I learned this week that the Lord can bless us and encourage us IN our trials in ways that we can never expect. I´ll give you an example. We had to walk 30 minutes in a rainstorm that was brutal. But without even thinking, we started walking. Our shoes were filled with water, our jackets were soaked to the point that the rain was seeping through them, and there was a lot of mud. But as we kept walking, I don´t know what it was, but I got really excited. Something that I hated doing (walking through puddles of rain) was actually do-able. I realized that our mind throws fear at us when we start to face a trial. But as we face trials with gratitude, the Spirit changes the very nature of our mind. In place of fear, the Spirit fills us with Faith. And for this Faith, that only exists from the Atonement of Christ, we can overcome ANYTHING. This same faith is what helped the pioneers crossed the plains. This same faith helped Joseph Smith face all of the tribulation, and this same faith is what gives us strength to face and to overcome trials and tests (like Connor´s accident). As we face our trials with an attitude of gratitude, we are allowing the Spirit to change the way we look at things. He will bless us with an ETERNAL perspective.

I know that this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ and it is the only gospel and church that has this ETERNAL perspective of all things. It´s my testimony that the Lord will take away the veil (spelling?) from our minds so that we can think eternally if we are always grateful.

Thanks for all the love and support. I´m so happy to be named an uncle again! 

Love Elder Bosco II

Farewell to Pres. and Sis. Parreno

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week #52

 Every morning!

Hola Familia!

I´ll make sure to keep Connor in my prayers. He´s a great young man and we can all have confidence that the Lord will take care of him. The Lord hears and answers prayers and will definitely bless us as we fast for Connor.

Speaking of the Lord answering prayers, I want to continue with the story that I told you last week. About the mother and daughter that we found walking on the sidewalk. Their names are Karina and Karen Molinas. It was truly a miracle that we were able to find them- it was truly an answer to their prayers. Anyways, we had a family night with them and with some members from the church last Monday night. It was the first one that they had had for years and it was very special to them. We got talking to them about how they got to know the gospel of Jesus Christ... and this is where the miracle happened. My testimony of the way the Lord works with His children here on the increased and I know now why we were the answer to their prayers.

First off, a little side note, Elder Sisson has an uncle that served in Bahía Blanca, Argentina 10 years ago. The funny thing is, we found out that his first area was Caisamar, Mar del Plata. When I heard that, I knew that there is a reason that Elder Sisson is here. Also, he has another uncle that served in Paraguay and Uruguay many years ago.

As we started asking Karina how they got to know the gospel, she started talking about the missionaries that baptized her parents (because she was born in the church). They got baptized in Uruguay many years ago by an elder named Elder James Price. NO WAY... Elder Sisson sat there with his mouth wide open and said James Price is my uncle. We still aren´t sure if it is really his uncle or not, but Karina said that Elder Sisson looks a lot like Elder Price in the picture they have. It was such a cool thing to feel the Spirit tell me that the Lord truly knows His children. Karina´s entire family is less active now and Karina and Karen came to church for the first time in years. Their hearts were full and they don´t want to fall again. It was a miracle and I´m so grateful to be a part of it. I´ll let you know when we find out if it truly was his uncle or not- I´m pretty sure it is.

 Karina Molinas! What a miracle!

It´s my testimony that the Lord loves us and wants the best for us. He has a perfect plan for each of us and the plan is that we are filled with the most happiness that we can handle. It´s our decision on the amount of happiness we will let into our lives.

Thanks for all the love and support. And Happy Father´s Day to all the Fathers and Priesthood Holders in my life. Especially you Dad. Thanks for your example! Love you!

Love Elder Bosco II

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week #51

Hola Familia!

First things first, I want everyone to know that we´re okay. Elder Chronister was in my District last transfer and he got transferred to a different part of Mar del Plata. Our areas are still pretty close, but the other that he was in seems to be more dangerous. As a missionary, hearing something like that didn´t make me more scared, but it actually strengthened  my Faith. Elder Chronister is like a brother and when I heard that he was okay, I had confidence knowing that the Lord is taking care of Him, and us. In the streets at night, I feel safe. I know that the angels of God are surrounding us and he will bless us with promptings from His Spirit when we need them. Missionaries are truly protected.

I want to tell you all about a miracle that we were able to experience. We were walking down the street and it started pouring haha. Elder Sisson told me that when there is bad weather, it means we´ll find someone chosen from God. Literally 20 seconds later, we found them.
A mom and her daughter were walking and when I saw them, I told myself that I was going to talk to them without hesitation (and I´m so grateful we did). We said hi to them and they said, Hola Elderes! That´s usually a sign that they are members or familiar with the gospel. I asked them if they were members and they said that they were less active members. The mom started bursting into tears, and at this moment, the skies bursted into tears as well- it was POURING haha. We ran under a roof and started talking to them. The mom explained to us that they had both been baptized years ago and that she had gone down the wrong path. She wants to get her life back together and this morning she listened to MoTab on the internet and afterwards kneeled down and asked God for help because she truly misses the church. She was crying the entire time. She said that she had always known that God listens to her prayers, but she´d never thought that God would answer her by sending her missionaries. Elder Sisson and I sang her the himn, Where Can I Turn For Peace and the Spirit filled the room. It was incredible. We invited them to come unto Christ and they are 100 percent willing to start their lives over. It was incredible experience. They´re both moving to Buenos Aires on Saturday and they know where the churches are. I told them that their next major goal is to enter the temple again (they´ve both done baptisms for the dead). We´re going to teach them a few times and then send them off to Buenos Aires to start a new life. As a missionary, I truly believe that our eyes are set apart. I saw in them only a porcion of the potential that God sees in them. I could see them both in the temple and living faithful lives and blessing thousands of people. I surely thanked the Lord for giving me the opportunity to be His hands in this sacred work.

Thanks for all the prayers, love, and support. And no, I  haven´t received my package yet. Hopefully this week? we´ll see!

Love Elder Bosco II

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week #50

Hola familia!

Mom, you guys got to eat with Elder White´s Family? He told me that he´s going to visit you guys when he gets home. It will be a week after Dallin gets back. Tell the Squire´s thank you so much. They´ll never know how much that meant to me that they took the time to see me. They gave me a Triple (BoM, D&C, and the Pearl of Great Price). But it was a big one with big lettering. It´s almost impossible get here in the mission. Anyways, I was able to give it to Martín!! Because he has problems with his vision and can´t read the normal size very well, he´s been using his cell phone and enlarging the text. He was extremely grateful and happy. He´s been reading and marking it up like a storm!

Speaking of Martín, he bore his testimony in Sacrament Meeting yesterday. It was his thirdish time formally bearing it in front of people, but it was the first time that I got to hear it. It was powerful. He was definitely prepared to receive the gospel when the Lord put him in our path, but in 7 months of progress, he has changed a LOT. He used to be really shy, and now ( although he´s still shy), he gets up in front of people and bears his testimony with power. He told us the way he has changed the way he talks to people, he took out an earring to feel more worthy, and he shares the gospel with his family when he can without causing contention. I get so happy when he comes to me at church and he tells me about how his family is accepting little by little. Sometimes he asks me questions about the Book of Mormon and about the doctrine. It´s truly an honor to take the time with him to teach him the everlasting gospel. He´s very humble to learn and to be corrected and to get better at the things he needs to improve. He´s such a good example to me! He has plans to start his mission papers in December.

A mission has always been something that I have truly desired to serve. And now that I have served part of it, I sometimes look back and think about all the people that have touched my life. I can´t help but get teary eyed as I think about Martín because he is one of my best friends in the world. He´s 2 and a half months younger than me and I feel like he´s like me in a lot of ways. I can´t imagine my life and this mission without having been able to get to know him. I know now why (1 reason at least) that the age changed for missionaries to serve and that I left when I turned 18. I know that I was supposed to meet Martín. There are countless numbers of people that have changed my life here and there are many waiting as I continue to serve the Lord. The blessings of the mission are incredible and everlasting!

Thanks for all the love and support! And thanks for the birthday package (I´m still waiting for it haha)

Love Elder Bosco II
[thank you Elder Sissan for the photos]

Zone Conference

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week #49

 Saying bye to Pres. and Hna Parreño!
 Birthday Party!
 Birthday Party!
 My birthday lunch with Carlos Zapelli!

 My birthday lunch with Carlos Zapelli!

Elder Bosco,  Elder Yeates, Elder Howard, Elder Sisson (mi pension)

Hola Familia!

I had a great birthday! I´m extremely grateful to be in Caisamar because the members are incredible! Carlos, a recent convert, invited us over for an Asado. We ate empanadas, asado, potato salad, a huge chocolate cake... and when we were done and completely stuffed, he told us that he bought ice cream too if we wanted it. That was the first ( and the last) time that I will ever turn down ice cream in Argentina hahaha. It was a great day and I got to spend it with some of my best friends. 

Thank you for celebrating my birthday by going to the temple. That makes me happy to know that my family is worthy to enter into the house of the Lord and feel His Spirit and love. We had stake conference this weekend as well and we got to sing in the choir. Elder Cardús (Area 70) came and spoke to us. He talked about the importance of the Sabbath Day and how we need to elevate our lives and live each Sunday with more meaning. Sunday is not just renewing our covenants, but it´s a day every week where we can elevate our spiritual lives if we choose to. If you are reading this, I challenge you to read D&C 59 and study the Sabbath Day.

 I want to tell you all about a miracle that I was able to witness this week. There is a single woman in the ward with 3 kids and we´ve been working a lot with them. They are a great family and I love them a lot. We called them one day and she told me that one of her best friends was 5 months pregnant and the baby died in her stomach. She was struggling with the way her friend was handling it. A few days later, she was having some family problems and she called us up on the phone crying and asked if we could give her a blessing. Her and her kids were having a fight and with the stress of work and her friend, she was struggling a lot. We stopped what we were doing and went directly to her house. She humbly asked us to give her and two of her children blessings. I will never forget the experience that I had. I´ve been really focusing on Elder Eyring´s talk from the Priesthood Session and being prepared to say that words that Jesus would say if he were giving the blessing. I know now that the words of God left my mouth. After the children, I had the opportunity of giving her a blessing. I don´t remember much of what I said, but I do remember the feeling that was in their home afterwards. She got up from the chair crying and said that she had just witnessed a miracle. For the past 3 days, she was filled with anguish and dark feelings that wouldn´t leave. She said that the feeling left as she received the blessing. And then the Spirit warmed my heart as her two children and her gave each other a big family hug. The Spirit was very strong and it had cast away the Spirit of contention that had been there. Just an hour and a half before, the home was filled with the Spirit of contention and of hatred. But I relearned that when one acts in the name of Jesus Christ with power and authority, Satan cannot remain. The Priesthood has complete demand over Satan. I left that home feeling grateful for having been worthy to act in the name of Jesus Christ and having done what he would have done if he were here. The Priesthood had literally healed a family that night. I know that it was the power of God.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes and all the love! Congrats to those who have received their calls to join the Lord and His army!

Love Elder Bosco II