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