Monday, August 31, 2015

Week # 62

Hola Familia!

Thanks for the update on the family! I love hearing about everyone and how everyone is doing. I especially like hearing about all the missionaries that are entering the MTC and the mission field. Get ready for the greatest experiences of your life. Experiences that will change you forever. I have learned so many things here and I´m truly enjoying working in the Lord´s work.

Right now I´m in Bahía Blanca in an area called General Arias. I´m with Elder Dement who is from Texas and has been out on the mission field for one transfer longer than me. I´m loving every minute with him. He works extremely hard and he is always willing to learn. I´ll send you a picture of us. I think the reason that we´re such good friends and we work well together is because he reminds of me Michael Holland. He has the same sense of humor and he does things that remind me of Mike. We laugh a lot and have a good time working hard. I´m liking the area a lot. We live in a small apartment with 3 other Elders, so it´s pretty fun. I couldn´t get to know the ward very well this week because we had a conference that I´m going to explain later in this letter. I´m extremely happy to be where I am right now and I´m truly enjoying the life as a missionary.

All of Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay had a conference (that was announced only one week ago) and we got to listen to Elder Cook, Elder Hales, and other leaders of the church. They talked about the Sabbath Day and how we must keep it with more holiness. They also talked and stressed about the importance of serving a mission. They repeated Pres. Monson´s words that every worthy and able young man should serve a mission. It is a Priesthood responsibility. They were stressing the importance of missions because they would like to see more missionaries from these three countries. The work here is growing and it is incredible to see.

This week I had an experience that strengthened my testimony. I was reading in the morning when Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I started to ask myself if this actually happened. I had the impression to pray in this moment and ask God if it were true. I prayed and I felt peace, but my answer came later on in the day. Before lunch, Elder Dement and I knocked on a door and a man answered and we started testifying of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We talked about Joseph Smith and we testified of the First Vision and the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, these people didn´t accept the message and had many doubts about prophets and even told us that they knew a woman prophet. We testified with power and authority that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet of God today on the earth and that the Lord has called 12 apostles as he had in the past. I walked away from that moment knowing that the Lord had answered my prayer from that morning. Joseph Smith truly did see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It´s true, I have no doubt about it. The gospel of Jesus Christ was restored through Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon is the proof of that. I know that this message is true and I want everyone to know it too.

Thanks for all the letters, support, and prayers. I love you all a lot and I hope all is well.

Love Elder Bosco II
Elder Dement from Texas

Monday, August 24, 2015

Week #61

Hola Familia!

I know you probably won´t believe it, but I got transferred again..... to a different Area. It was actually really surprising. But I´m getting pretty good at packing my suit cases and changing areas. Although I didn´t like it at all before the mission (and I still don´t like it a lot) but I´m getting pretty good at adjusting to change. I´m still serving here in Bahía Blanca in an area called General Arias. It´s a bigger ward and a huge area. I´m really excited! I´m with Elder Dement from Texas. I know him a little from leadership meetings and I´m extremely excited to work with him. He´s an extremely hard worker and I know that we´re going to get along well.

These last few days, I´ve been thinking about what the Lord wants me to learn with all this change in the mission. I mean in one year, I have had 10 companions and 6 areas. I´ve had to get used to working with many different personalities, I´ve had to learn many different areas, I´ve had to live in my different places, and I´ve gotten to know many different people. And although changing often has been one of the biggest trials for me, it has also been one of the biggest blessings. I have learned SO much from each and every one of my companions and my areas. I´ve grown so close to many members here in Argentina. And as I was sitting in Sacrament Meeting yesterday, I realized how much that I desire to see all of these members (in all of my areas) in the Celestial Kingdom one day. Through all of this change, the Lord has capacitated me to love many more people and many different types of people. It has been a great blessing in my life and a trial and challenge that I´m still willing to accept.

I truly believe with all of my heart that this is the Lord´s work. He directs the work completely through a beloved prophet, even Thomas S. Monson. We are so blessed to have prophets and apostles who guide us through the counsel of our Savior. The Savior also directs Mission Presidents because this is His work. I´ve learned countless things here on the mission and the Lord keeps teaching me more every day.

Thanks for all the love, support and prayers. I love you all!

Love Elder Bosco II

 Super PDay with the Bahia Blanca Zone

 Downtown Bahía Blanca
 The missionaries from the USA



Monday, August 17, 2015

Week #60

Hola Familia!

Haha to answer the question about the cigarettes and smoking. They are right, everyone smokes here. And let me tell you, I´m pretty sure I´ve smoked a pack myself from all of the second hand smoke haha. I used to get brutal headaches from smoke, but it´s not as bad now- blessings from being a missionary. But the worst is when we´re in a home and they are smoking and you can actually see the smoke in the air... I usually hold my breath and take quick breaths through my shirt. When we leave those homes, I usually try to breath out all of the smokes from my lungs haha. I know it doesn´t work, but it does in my mind.

This week was incredible and I learned a lot about the opportunities that the Lord gives us as missionaries and members of the Church to help prepare people to receive the gospel. The Lord always has a way of softening peoples hearts, and sometimes this process happens through our actions. I have three experiences that stuck out to me this week.

1. We got our hair cut on Thursday. I went in the morning and then we went in the afternoon for Elder Brown. When we were there in the morning, I asked the hair stylist about his son that was in a picture and we got talking about his family. We talked about the mission and what we do. Anyways, when we went back in the afternoon, we got talking again and he asked us out of the blue what happens after this life. We started talking about the resurrection and the plan of salvation. He told us that his son had died 3 months ago and that he was initially mad at God. But now he just wants to have peace and comfort knowing where his son is. We taught him a little bit, gave him a pamphlet, and showed him where he could find more answers online. It was a testimony that the Lord prepares the hearts of his children in the right moments.

2. We got home from church, and on our door the neighbor (and owner of the home that we rent) had invited us to go over to their home for lunch. It was awesome. We got their and all of their family was visiting them. There was about 20 people. We had an asado, empenadas, potatoes, fruit salad, and we talked a lot to them. They offered us wine and we told them that we were okay with water. We talked about why we do the things we do, what we do as missionaries, about the language (a few of them spoke english) about sports (especially the NBA and Manu Ginobli- he´s from Bahía Blanca), and about the United States. The Spirit kept telling me to smile, to laugh, to be happy, and to show them by example who we were. When we finished eating, I asked if it would be okay to share something with them. I didn´t share scriptures or anything, but I shared my simple, but strong testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ. That He lives and we can have eternal families because of Him. It was an incredible experience to feel the Spirit and to know that we love our Savior Jesus Christ. One of them even said afterwards (who was Catholic) that we focus a lot on Jesus Christ in our Church. I was glad that the Spirit bore witness of that to him. We left them with a prayer. It was an experience that the Lord blessed us with.

3.And the same Sunday, we were walking and we saw a young couple digging out weeds on a piece of land that they had just bought. They were preparing it to build there house there. We stopped, grabbed the extra shovels and started helping them. As we helped them, they asked us a lot of questions and we were able to share many things with them. In a few years they will move here to Cerri and I hope that they are prepared to receive the fullness of the gospel. They were so amazed and grateful, that they asked if they could take a selfie with us haha because they wanted to tell their friends.

I know that the Lord has many ways of preparing His children to receive His gospel. I challenge each of you to pray for opportunities and ways to help people strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ. If we are willing, I promise that the Lord will give us opportunities.

Thanks for all the love and support! Good luck starting school everyone!

Love Elder Bosco II

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Week #59

The Church in General D. Cerri

 We can´t ride bikes anymore because it´s a rule in the mission, but it was fun while it lasted! haha
 There is a soccer club that is from the little pueblo in Cerri. It´s calles Sansinena and a contact let us take a picture with his drums. They are crazy here about this team!

Hola Familia!
We realized that yesterday was the day we got here in Argentina- 1 year ago. I´m pretty sure I´m officially a citizen here in Argentina now!
 I can´t believe that Russell is already engaged! He hasn´t even written me yet! Somebody pressure him so he can write me! 
I´m writing today because on Monday we had a leadership meeting with President Cifuentes. It was incredible meeting and I learned so many things. Then on Tuesday we had zone conferences and I was filled with the Spirit once again. It´s been a great week and I´ve received many Spiritual knowledge and blessings.
One of the things that we are focusing on as leaders is being 100% obedient to the Mission Manual. But before we can teach the zone to be obedient, we have to be obedient ourselves. I´ve been striving even more to be obedient. And something that I have learned is that it´s impossible to obedient unless both companions are on the same page. (And yes, it goes the same for a successful marriage). So what I´ve learned, is that it´s important to be obedient and help others be the same. Having an attitude of serving others so that they can be obedient is what I´ve been focusing on. For example, if someone has a hard time with something, the best way to help them is to be the best example that you can and look for ways to lift them up so that they can react to your example. I´m pretty sure the Savior was that way. He saw many imperfect people here on the earth but he never condemned any of them. He loved them and looked for ways to help them change without forcing a change.We talked about how this is a way that others can hear the voice of their Shepard. I know that the Savior is the best example of a leader.
Something that I thought about during the zone conference that we had came directly from the Spirit. Pres. Cifuentes talked to us about how INDIVIDUAL the plan of salvation is for each and every one of us. and how the Atonement is just as personal. I thought about the pre-earth life and about the life that we were about to live- full of trials, heart aches, sorrows, and difficulties.  I feel like Heavenly Father sat down and had an interview with each and everyone of us and showed us the plan that He had for us. What exactly we would experience and how we would need to learn about His gospel. I feel like we accepted this plan with a lot of encouragement from our Savior as He told us what He would do for us when he came to the earth. The Savior of the world accomplished His plan, and we can do the same. Remember if you are experiencing something rough in your life- seek the Spirit and the power of the Atonement. It´s personal. The Savior did it for YOU and ME on a personal level so that we can live again with our Heavenly Father. I know that this is why we are here.
Thanks for all the love and support and prayers.
Love Elder Bosco II

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week #58

Hola Familia!

I can´t believe that Jordan Maw is already home from his mission and that Austin is leaving soon! How crazy. It sounds like everyone is having such a great summer. The truth is, the winter here has been great. It hasn´t been very cold at all. All the people here say that it has been really strange this winter, but I´m happy about it. It just means that the summer is going to kill us with heat.

This week I had two experiences that I wanted to share. We had bautismal interviews with an old couple named Oscar and Marta. We interviewed them two weeks ago, but Oscar was still drinking a little bit of wine, so I encouraged him in the interview to stop drinking and he accepted. We went back the next week and he told me that he was still drinking a little but just for medical purposes. I wasn´t really sure if it was okay for medical purposes, so I encouraged him to get rid of it and to trust in the Lord. I felt the Spirit tell me to listen to him and to tell him how much I loved him. He told me that he would throw the wine down the sink in his own time, but that I needed to trust in him. I told him that I trusted in him and that the Lord trusted in him. He said the closing prayer to the interview and I got up to walk out of the room and he told me that he wanted to show me something. And with tears in both of our eyes at this point, he picked up his bottle of wine and dumped it down the sink. I´m not really sure why I was crying. I think it was because of the faith that Oscar was showing. I know that the Spirit had touched Oscar´s heart. It was a miracle. I talked to President Cifuentes and because the wine was for medical purposes, Oscar was able to get baptized with Marta on Saturday- and President Cifuentes baptized them. It was incredible.

We taught a man named Nicolás who was having doubts about whether God existed. We showed him some videos and we testified about how the Book of Mormon can help us know that God exists and he still speaks to us. The lesson was great- but he didn´t come to church. We visited him afterwards and his dad got mad at us and told us to stop coming by his house because we were confusing Nicolás. It made me sad, but I know that the Lord planted a seed in Nicolás and that he will be ready to receive more of God´s light one day.

I love this gospel and I know that it is true. Being in the service of God is priceless and the blessings are uncountable.

Love Elder Bosco II