Monday, November 23, 2015

Week #74

Hola Familia!

I can´t believe basketball season is starting again. I still remember the last year when you told me that and it feels like yesterday. Time goes extremely fast and I can´t believe it. And just so you know, I´m not jealous that you´re going to Hawaii because I´m living with an Hawaiian. We cooked some Hawaiian food and it turned out a lot cheaper than it would in Hawaii haha.Yesterday we had some pretty fun cooking because we had to stay in the apartment all day after Church. Yesterday was the final election for President here in Argentina and they told us that we couldn´t leave. It felt like a Sunday at home. And although it was a great rest, I´m glad that we can start working again.

We´re still working a lot with the Menendez Family. They know that they need to get baptized, but they feel like they´re not ready and they don´t feel ready to take on that kind of commitment. We were going to announce their baptism yesterday but they talked to us in the morning and told us that they didn´t want to get baptized this week. They want to wait a little bit more time. As a missionary, it hurts when people don´t do the things that you know are best for them. But just like the Savior, we can´t obligate nor force anyone. We must invite with the Spirit so that the Spirit can soften and change their hearts. Knowing this, I got off the phone with MariLu in the morning and felt the impression to say a pray. I got on my knees and prayed and asked that the Lord would touch the speakers and the teachers so that they would say the things that Omar and MariLu needed to hear. I prayed that they would recognize the Spirit. I finished the prayer and felt peace that the Lord is working with them and that they will progress on His time and when they are ready. I truly know that God answers prayers, because He answered mine. Omar and MariLu made it to Church before the Sacrament and it was full of the Spirit as always. The Youth that graduated from Seminary bore small testimonies, and then Hermana Gutierrez spoke. She´s the Gospel Principles teacher and she spoke about enduring to the end. I don´t remember exactly what she said, but I remember thinking and feeling that this is exactly what Omar and MariLu needed to hear. It was unbelievable. I prayed and prayed that they would stay for the Gospel Principles class to hear Hermana Gutierrez again. (Omar had knee surgery last week and was hobbling around, that´s why I thought they were going to head home). Heavenly Father answered my prayers again and they stayed! In the class we talked about the Family and responsibilities of each member of the family. The Spirit was incredible, especially when Hermana Gutierrez closed her testimony about how she wants to see each one of us in the temple. She closed with tears in her eyes and I know that the Spirit was felt. MariLu felt the Spirit without a doubt. She was crying and I knew that the Lord had answered my simple but fervent prayer that I offered that morning. I´m still hoping and praying that they will feel prepared, but I know that as we do all we can, the rest is put in the Lord´s hand.

Our Heavenly Father truly answers our prayers. He hears and answers each one of them on His time. I love the mission because I feel so close to my Heavenly Father and I feel that I can talk to Him like a friend.

Thanks for all the love and support. Good luck in basketball this week! Do some work Collin! Love you!

Love, Elder Bosco II
We marinated meat with vegetables Saturday night and it was a delicious Sunday dinner in the apartment!


Monday, November 16, 2015

Week #73

Hola Familia!

It hurts me to hear all of the sad things that are happening in this world. Just like the scriptures and prophets warn, if we don´t keep the commandments of the Lord, we will be destroyed just like the Jaredites and Nephites were. But if we keep our covenants and listen to the Prophet, we will be okay! And for that, I´m super grateful and happy. I don´t think that there is a better and safer place to be than on the mission serving the Lord. 

We had transfers this week and luckily I get to stay here in Bahía Blanca ( the area is called General Arias) with Elder Paleka. Actually, all of the elders in the apartment stay also. I´m really excited because we´ll be here for Christmas!! The zone didn´t have many changes easier which makes me really happy because we have great Elders here in Bahía Blanca that are progressing a lot.

The reason that I´m most excited to stay here in General Arias is because we are working with a lot of people and seeing a lot of success. First off all, thank you for all of your prayers! Omar and Mari Lu Menendez GOT MARRIED! It was such an awesome experience. They´ve been together for 20 years and they have 4 children and they never got married. The man doing the wedding why they decided to get married and they said, "They are getting married for God and so they can have an eternal family." It was the Spirit of the Lord that softened their hearts and strengthened their faith enough to make this decision. And because they fulfilled the Law of Chastity (which they have been breaking for 20 years) the Lord instantly blessed. There family is more unified and they are filled with happiness. Mari Lu is filled with so much light and she received a relief that can only come from the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It was a clear difference and she wants to keep progressing! She wants to get baptized a lot, but she wants to be able to do it with Omar. Omar wants to get baptized, but he wants to read more, study more, learn more, and prepare more. He´s awesome and I know the Spirit will testify to him that he IS ready and that it´s just the first step to achieve an eternal family. The kids will start progressing more when school ends here. We´re praying so that each one of them can make the decision to have an eternal family through baptism and confirmation of the Holy Ghost.

We´re also working with a woman called Flor. She has come to church for the last 4 weeks and is very prepared to be baptized, but she´s not married. The issue of marriage is big here just like it is around the world. She´s doing well and progressing but we´re praying so that her husband´s heart is softened so that he decides to get married to her.

Thanks for all the love and support. I love you all so much. Have a great week!

Love Elder Bosco II
Omar and Mari Lu´s wedding!!!

 Finally! They got married!
Wedding (it kind of looks like the outside of a temple haha)

 Me, Omar, Mari Lu, Elder Paleka, Elder Price, Elder Valle

 The entire Menendez Family!

( from left to right: Lucas, Joana, Omar, Mari Lu, Jonny, Celeste)

Please keep them in your prayers! They are progressing so well and they need all the blessings from the Spirit! Thanks!!


Monday, November 9, 2015

Week #72

Hola Familia!

It´s getting pretty hot here in Bahía Blanca. Luckily, President Cifuentes changed our schedule, now we study during the "siesta" (nap time) for Argentina. It´s a blessing because we work in the morning when it´s a little bit more cool outside. During the siesta when it´s extremely hot and there aren´t many people, we´re inside studying with fans blowing the whole time. We´re all getting used to the schedule, but I´m extremely grateful for it.

I´m filled with energy and I love being a missionary. Being in the sun all day isn´t easy (and it isn´t fun sometimes haha) but I love feeling like a missionary. Sweating all day long and feeling like I don´t have any energy doesn´t make me that happy, but seeing the Savior lift me up on His shoulders and give me energy and power through His Atonement makes me SO happy. When I don´t feel like I have the energy or the desires to keep moving on, the Atonement simply always carries me and I can´t explain it-- it´s something that you must feel as a missionary. 

I love reading and studying the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon. Studying it and discussing it with Elder Paleka and the Elders in the apartment gives me so many desires to strive to be more like Nephi. I know that he lived and that his record written upon the golden plates were indeed translated by Joseph Smith. They truly have the words to eternal life and they help me change. I desire to repent and to become better every time I pick up the Book of Mormon and read it.

While studying about the Atonement and the Resurrection today with Elder Paleka, I came across a scripture that has sunk deep into my mind and into my heart. It´s found in DyC 88:32. It´s says that we will be resurrected to the body that our spirits are willing to take. We will literally have the amount of happiness that we are willing to receive. I realized through the Spirit that if I want to be happy, I can be happier! It´s my decision. I also realized that God´s Plan is perfect for all of His children because ALL of His children will receive the happiness that they are willing to receive. In other words, everyone will be as happy as they want to be! I love the mission because we share with others that there is more happiness to what they now live. When we find out that there is more, we are able to find TRUE and LASTING happiness through our Savior Jesus Christ.

We had a great experience with Omar and MariLu Menendez. They are getting married on Wednesday! They´ve been together for over 20 years and they´ve never been legally married. They all  have a great relationship with each other and they are a great example as a family. Since they went and put a date to get married, they have struggled and experienced difficulties. To the point where they even doubted to get married, if it truly were worth it. Satan works hard with them because he knows that this family is getting ready to be sealed one day. We visited them last week and we talked about obedience. During the lesson I asked MariLu how the plans were for the following Wednesday. (I was expecting hesitation in there answer). She answered with with excitement and said that she knows that they are going to be blessed. She said how they had always wanted to get married but never took the initiative to do it. (I´m not going to lie, the answer took me for surprise- a GOOD surprise). The Spirit filled the room and we were able to promise blessings as they showed their obedience to get married on Wednesday. I´m so excited for them! Please keep them in your prayers so that they can keep progressing. The Lord is always ready to bless us when we decide to humble ourselves and obey His commands.

Thanks for the love and support and prayers. Have a great week!

Love, Elder Bosco II

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week #71

Hola Familia,

First off, as an Area (not just a mission) in South America we are starting to read the Book of Mormon and our goal is to read it before the start of the next General Conference. They sent us a schedule of what we need to read everyday to be able to finish it and we started today! I´m already loving it because all of the missionaries are studying the same things and there are a lot of points of view to change from! As a mission, we´re also reading Preach My Gospel together. Each day we are given a topic to study. Now pretty much all of the missionaries have the same personal study. I´m really excited because the spirituality of each missionary is going to increase and definitely we´ll see success.

Something has been on my mind these last few weeks that I´d like to share with everyone today. We know from DyC 130:20-21 that every blessing is based on the Laws of God. Laws that God himself lives and that cannot be changed. I´ve been thinking alot about this topic because President Cifuentes shared with us something that I will share with you today. These laws and blessings (from obedience to the laws) are part of God´s plan and for ALL of God´s children. These blessings are for every one of His children whether they be members of the Church or whether they be atheists. If someone lives a healthy and long life, it´s because they show obedience to the laws that God has set. They have received those kind of blessings. If someone becomes rich from successful business, it´s because this person has been obediente to God´s laws of economy. If that´s the case, what are the great blessings and promises from being a Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints? Other Churches have seen miracles of healings because they have showed their obedience to that commandment of God. When they show faith in Christ as non-members, and we show faith in Christ as members, we´ll receive the same blessing-- because the blessing is based off of the law and it has been that way since the beginning of times. The difference is, is that as members of the Church, more of God´s laws are revealed to us through modern day prophets. Without these prophets, we wouldn´t know God´s laws. Therefore, we wouldn´t be able to live them and receive God´s blessings. The rest of the world can´t receive the blessings from living the laws that we learn in the temple- and the greatest of these, the Sealing Law of God. Imagine the blessings that are promised to us and the blessings that we receive just because of the knowledge and obedience to the laws in the temple. That is why we are a blessed people! Because we know about the power of sealings in God´s temple and we show our obedience to receive these blessings. Yes it is worth it to be a member of God´s Church because it is the Church of ETERNAL FAMILIES! I love this gospel and I love the way God has made His plan so that we can return to His presence with our families FOREVER! 

I hope you were able to follow my train of thoughts about the blessings of the temple and the sealing power. haha. Please keep in your prayers Omar and Mari Lu Menendez in your prayers. We are hoping that they get married on November 11, 2015! Thanks for all the love and support and prayers. I love you all!

Love, Elder Bosco II

 The biggest Mountain that I´ve seen on the mission. We did a baptismal interview in a little town called Pigüé

Elder Price dressing up like Elder Valle (from Chile)