Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Week #103

Hola Familia!

 Today will probably be the last letter that I write home because next week is transfer week and interviews with President. I don't have a lot to say to everyone today, which kind of goes along with what I'm going to talk about. After almost two years of living, breathing, teaching, and learning the gospel, I realize just how blessed I am to have been called a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. My life will never be the same, and I don't want it to be. I'm different, I'm a changed man, I actually feel like I understand the gospel now (even though I have a long way to go). The gospel is such a deep concept. There is so much to learn and so much to study and so much to apply. I have learned deep doctrine of the plan of salvation and I understand a whole lot more of what the Atonement means to me. I know a lot more about the depth of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. But when all is said and done, I realize just how simple the gospel is. The Lord has blessed me with the ability to teach it simpler and clearer. The more the Spirit teaches me of the deep mysteries of the Kingdom of God, the easier it becomes to teach those mysteries to someone that doesn't even know that God exists. Teaching and testifying in a simplified version gives us power. I've seen it again and again with President Cifuentes. He teaches with simplicity and the Spirit moves us.

So I guess to finish my last and short letter home, I want to bear my simple testimony: I know that we have a Heavenly Father that loves us and so He sent His Son to show us the way back home. He blessed us with a Church so that we can become worthy to enter His presence again. I know that Joseph Smith restored His Church to the earth through angels. We hold the Book of Mormon today as proof of this restoration. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and it testifies of our Redeemer Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our Savior and He died for us so that we can live with Him and our Father again. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I love you and I'm excited to see you all again!

 Love, Elder Bosco II

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Week 102

Hola Familia!

{Wesley is talking about a video that a member sent to us on Facebook of the truck stuck in mud...}

I´m laughing pretty hard right now because you already know about the truck getting stuck just a few days after it happened. It´s incredible how social networking works. I´m not sure what you saw from the video, but I´ll have to tell you about the story. We got permission to go visit Alexis and Belen in General Cerri and teach them a lesson. I don´t know if you remember them, but I was teaching them with Elder Dement about 4 months ago. And just so you know, Cerri is one of the muddiest places on this earth. I remember serving there and literally not being able to see my shoes at night because they were COVERED with mud (okay maybe not that bad, but you get the point). We got to there house (which is in a muddy area) and Elder Paleka wanted to back into the house. He was backing in and the back wheel slipped into a little ditch full of mud. We tried to rock it back and forth to get it out, but the back wheel ended up getting even more stuck. There was no way to get out. Luckily, Alexis loves cars and is very handy when it comes to mechanical things. We were able to tow the big truck out with a little beat up car. While the little car was towing it out, we were behind it pushing and the car sprayed us with mud. My pants got pretty muddy haha. The reason you have the video is because Sis. Sabatini (Alexis´ mom who is a member) saw us and took a video of it. It was pretty funny.

We went in there home full of mud and we were able to teach Alexis and Belen. They ended up getting married but they haven´t gotten baptized yet. They go to church every once in awhile and they were in a stall with their progression. I taught them of the blessings of being obedient and how it will bless their family forever. I remember having the feeling to tell them how much I loved them. I will never forget the tears I saw in their eyes when I said those words. I truly did mean it- man do I love them. As a missionary, the Lord truly blesses us with the ability to love and to have true charity. I felt it for them very strongly. I told them that I hoped to hear some good news from them some day. News that they had been baptized together and made it to the temple together. When I was leaving, Alexis hugged me and told me that I would be hearing good news from them. Just that morning they were talking about the importance of the gospel in their lives and the life of Tiziano (their 3 year old boy). It was an incredible night for me and I was so grateful that the Lord had given me the opportunity to meet and teach them. The Lord has blessed me again and again here on the mission and I´m forever grateful for that.

Thanks for all the love and support! I love you all!

Love, Elder Bosco II

Monday, May 30, 2016

Week #101

Hola Familia,

It was been such a spiritually exhausting week, but I AM HAPPY. I can´t even put to words some of the experiences that I have had this week. It was a week of ups and downs and a week of uncertainty. Throughout my time as a missionary, I don´t think I have ever felt so much spiritual exhaustion, miracles, and happiness at the same time. Let me tell you a little how it went down.

The Vasquez Family was preparing to get baptized this weekend. They had their baptismal interviews and they were super excited! Something came up however and the question became real to see if Ariel was actually ready to get baptized. At first we felt that maybe he wasn´t, so we told him that and he got extremely discouraged from the set back. He had been striving and giving everything to be prepared to get baptized with his family and to hear that hurt him a lot. Going home that night, I was absolutely devastated. I remember all of my set backs with my foot. I would have a goal, I would give everything to reach that goal and come back and play, and then I´d realize that I wasn´t ready. It hurt me badly. I often found myself doubting myself and asking myself if I could keep moving forward. I usually had thoughts of giving up. These painful memories came back and I felt them for Ariel- but this time they were much spiritually deeper. Some tears did fall down that night and I was in a lot of pain for him and his family. Not only was Ariel discouraged, but his wife and his daughters felt the same way. They started doubting if they could do it. I started doubting our decision, maybe Ariel IS ready... maybe we´re wrong. I struggled a lot with these thoughts but I also felt like Alma when he feared to do what was wrong in the sight of God. I prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed. We prayed, we pondered, we thought it out. No matter what we were doing, these thoughts could not leave my mind. What were we going to do?

The next day we talked to President Cifuentes and he explained to us a lot about the repentance process. He told us that Ariel could still be ready but that he needed to understand a few things. Along with being ready or not, Ariel and his family had a desire to follow Jesus Christ and change. They had changed so much at this point and becoming better everyday. We visited the Vasquez Family that evening with some hopes of finding the answer, but the visit was very uncomfortable. They were discouraged and Satan was doing everything he could do to ruin the spirits of this family. I was starting to get a little discouraged for Ariel. He was having thoughts like I had when I experienced set backs. Maybe I should quit. Maybe it isn´t worth it. Maybe I can´t do this anymore. Satan just couldn´t work on him like he worked on me, I wouldn´t allow it. We got back from the appointment and we started a fast. This fast turned out to be one of the most miraculous fasts that I had ever experienced. 

That night I talked to President and I told him how I didn´t know what to do and I was scared to do what was wrong. He told me, "don´t worry, you will know, you will know." Those words stuck with me and will stick with me forever. We visited the Vasquez family on Saturday morning- the day of their scheduled baptism. I had woken up a little earlier to read the Book of Mormon and I read a story that was pure inspiration for Ariel Vasquez. When we got there, Ariel had no desire to get baptized. But let me tell you how the Spirit works- it touches the hearts of the children of men and it works miracles. After sharing the Book of Mormon story, Elder Paleka bore a powerful testimony that brought tears to each one us (including each one of the daughters). In that moment I had no doubt. Just like President said, "I knew". They were ready. And the confirmation to my heart that that was the right decision was powerful and distinct. They were truly ready.

It was an unbelievable baptismal service. We had to fill up the baptismal font with buckets from the neighbors water because there wasn´t water pressure in the Church. The water was dirty, cold, and there was very little of it. But the excitement and the Spirit that was felt touched my life forever. Two families got baptized- The Vasquez Family and the Villagrán Family. There was a total of 8 baptisms and 16 people dressed in white. We sang "Be Still, My Soul" and Sis. Cifuentes played the violin. It was an incredible night and my joy was full.

On Sunday was my birthday and probably the happiest birthday that I´ve had in my life. Watching each of the Vasquez´ walk down the aisle and sit down to receive the Holy Ghost was a treat to me. Each of them (especially the daughters) had smiles from ear to ear and the Spirit was great. I gave a talk on the Atonement and it pretty much summed up my entire week. I am a literal testimony this week of feeling the strength of the Atonement. What an experience.

At night, President and Sister Cifuentes invited me over and surprised me with a birthday cake. I´ll send you a video that they took. Thanks for everything and especially the prayers. I truly feel your love.

Love, Elder Bosco II

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Monday, May 23, 2016

WEEK #100

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Weeks #98 & #99

#98 May 13

Friday, May 6, 2016

Week #97

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Week #96

Hola Familia!
It´s crazy, but I finally got to work with Elder Bates. This week we are here in Monolito II in Mar del Plata with Elder Bates and Elder Palacios. It was actually pretty funny working with Elder Bates. [Elder Bosco and Elder Bates Usually as missionaries when we say we´re both from the United States (and from Utah) they always asked us if we knew each other before we got to Argentina. I don´t think they realize that Utah is a big state. But working with Elder Bates was different because we said yes.... we DID know each other before the mission. It was pretty funny. We were asked about 4 times the other day.
We had interviews with President Cifuentes this last week and I learned so many great things. One of the things that he taught us has been on my mind for the last few days and I would like to share it with you. He told us that there will be some point in our lives (maybe we´ve already crossed it, or maybe we are crossing it) when we will have to make a decision- the path of selfishness or the path of service. He asked us which one was good and which one was bad and he told us that they were BOTH good paths because they both lead us to the Celestial Kingdom. The selfish path is the person that does everything right, they read the scriptures, pray, keep the commandments, and meet all of the requirements to enter into the Celestial Kingdom. These people think of their salvation and the salvation of their immediate family and they are happy with that. The service path are those who truly follow the example of Jesus Christ. They read the scriptures, pray, keep the commandments, and do everything they can so that they can enter the kingdom of heaven. But they do it thinking of others and serving always. Instead o being only worried for their own salvation and their immediate family, they´re worried for the salvation of Heavenly Father´s Family. They truly strive to be more through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Both paths go to the Celestial Kingdom, but one path reaches the highest degree, which is exaltation. Where am I at? I´ve been asking myself all week long. Do I serve and love for the right reasons? I hope so. If our goal truly is exaltation (and I hope it is) then are we truly striving to become charitable even as our Savior. It´s definitely a work to be done. We must progress little by little. I have no doubt that if we properly use the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we will be able to accomplish all that we need to. That´s my hope and my prayer.
Thanks for all the love and support! Congrats on finishing another year at BYU- especially Alexis for graduating! I´m so proud of you!
Love, Elder Bosco II

My life on a cot haha

 Serving with Elder Bates!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Week #95

Hola Familia!

We had a leadership conference on Tuesday and then we headed out to Tandil with Elder Swanson and Elder Gutierrez. I haven´t ever served in Tandil so I get to know a little bit more of the mission. Some of the things that we talked about in the leadership conference impacted me and I wanted to share them with you.

As missionaries we set a lot of numeric goals and we strive to accomplish them. But something that we noticed in all of the mission is that the goals were all so high and the actual numbers weren´t very close. It´s great to have high goals in the mission, but if our goals are so big that we don´t even think we can accomplish them, than they aren´t good goals. I´ve learned a lot on the mission how to set good, reasonable goals. I began thinking about goals in my life. I realized that I need goals that I can reach but that PUSH me. I don´t need goals that discourage me, or goals that are so easy that I don´t even need to try to accomplish them. The Savior showed us the example. He accomplished His goals. He came to this earth to do many things. His biggest goal was to atone for our sins so that we can all live again with Him. It was His goal and He did it. We won´t be able to accomplish a goal quite so great, but the key is to have the little goals that we can accomplish so that we are exalted one day- our biggest goal. My testimony is that the Savior is cheering us on in every day. He allows us to make our own goals and then strive to accomplish them. He´s there with us every step of the way. His Atonement gives us the power to accomplish things that we can´t accomplish by ourselves. With Him we can reach our goals. We might slip up, we might fall down, and we might get discouraged, but the Atonement allows us to get back up and to keep fighting so that we can do what our Heavenly Father desires of us. I have a firm testimony of this because I have seen it again and again here on the mission.

Thanks for all the love and support. Congrats on finishing school Alexis! What an awesome example! Love you!

Love, Elder Bosco II

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Week #94

Hola Familia!

I had a pretty great week. A lot of blessings and small hugs from Heavenly Father. I had the awesome opportunity to return to Pehuajó and to see the progress that has taken place there. The Vila Family is doing alright. They were extremely active until about February. They were planning on going to the temple with goals and everything, but it has been pretty hard for Vanesa. She has experienced opposition and trials and she is struggling with her testimony. But Alejandro is still very strong but he doesn´t know what to do. We shared with him that of the importance of building his own life upon the rock of Jesus Christ. As he does that, we told him that his family will follow him. It was a sweet experience being able to see him. I wasn´t able to see Vanesa or the kids, but it was a treat to see Alejandro with a firm testimony in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Please keep them in your prayers. I pray for them often so that they can make it to the temple. Elder Paternina (The Zone Leader in Pehuajó that is Branch President there right now told me that he is doing everything to help the Vila Family make it to the temple). It put me at peace knowing that such a great Elder is praying and looking out for them.

I think the sweetest experience of the week was during the testimony meeting on Sunday. We met in a different rented home that is a lot cleaner and brighter. The Spirit was very strong and there were 4 couples there that were inactive when I was there a year ago. Elder Paternina is working hard to help them all get sealed in the temple. I sat next to Hno. Llanos. Him and his wife were very active many years ago until they got offended with the leaders in the church and went inactive. When Elder Fallentine and I got to Pehuajó, we established a good relationship with them. We often visited them to exhort them to return to church. Many times the conversations ended up being a little frank, to the point, and a little hard for the harded heart people. I often felt that maybe we were wasting time with them because they would never accept what we were saying. They would always complain and argue about something. I can honestly say, one full year later, that the Lord does His work in His own time. He can soften the heart of anyone. Let me tell you how..

When I visited the Llanos family, Hna. Llanos answered the door happy to see me and one of the first things she did to me was apologize. (Huh???) Yes, she apologized to me for the arguments that she started with us. She told me that she was extremely grateful that we had visited them and shared with them those messages. Hno. Llanos (who was even less attentive than Hna. Llanos at the time) told me with tears in his eyes that it was because of those visits a year ago that they are active in the Church. They have changed. They let go of the natural man and changed. Elder Paternina told me that Hno. Llanos is one of the strongest men at church right now. Hno. Llanos told me that he would never forget our names in his household. I start to ask myself, what did I do? I thought I felt like I was wasting time with them when I was here a year ago... Oh that´s right. I didn´t do anything. The Lord did it ALL. Once again, I was the recipient of a blessing from our Heavenly Father.

Let me tell you one thing, the mission is incredible. I will be sad when it´s over.

Thanks for all the love and support. Have a great week! Love you!

Love, Elder Bosco II

The new church in Pehuajó. It´s so much better! but still a little rented home.


Friday, April 8, 2016

week #93

Hola Familia!

I absolutely loved General Conference again. As I sat there hearing the last song from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Sunday Evening, it hit me that it would be my last Conference on the mission. It made me sad because I know that it will never be the same. It made me think about the last Conference that I watched before the mission. I´m not going to lie, it feels like that was yesterday. In the beginning of this week we worked with Elder Bowen (from the MTC) and Elder Maldonado (again because he got transferred.. lucky him haha) in Villa Mitre here in Bahía Blanca. We spent a few days working hard with them and tonight we´re going to Pehuajó to work with Elder Paternina (from Columbia). I´m super excited because I served in Pehuajó over a year ago and it was one of my favorite transfers in all of the mission. I´m excited to see how the people are doing!

One thing I noticed about the Apostles and Prophets when they speak, is that they are living testimonies of the gospel. They always share personal experiences on how they´ve seen the gospel work in their lives. They find such a deep meaning to everyday events. I loved what Elder Stevenson shared with us about losing his car keys. Something so simple that helps us learn about the restoration of the Priesthood keys through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Other Apostles shared stories that enlighten our mind to the mysteries of the gospel. I began to think why I can´t do that more with my life. Why can´t I be so in-tune with the Spirit that I see everything through spiritual eyes. Well the Lord gave me an opportunity to learn something like that yesterday through a mistake we made. It was a mistake, but I learned a lot. haha

Last night we were in the Bus Terminal waiting for our 7:30 bus to go to Pehuajó. We got to the terminal at about 6:45 and we waited for the bus to get there. We were in the right spot. Buses came and left and we kept waiting. Finally 7:30 arrived and the bus we thought we were waiting for hadn´t come yet. There were other buses but we didn´t think it was ours because it wasn´t the bus we thought it would be. A few of the buses left and 7:40 came around. The bus still hadn´t gotten to the terminal. 15 minutes after the appointed time, we started wondering if we had missed our bus. And we realized very shortly after that yes, we had missed it. Dang it... Those buses are pretty expensive and we felt terrible. We talked to some people working and they said that there was nothing that they could do. We had lost the bus, the ticket, and the money. I said a little prayer and I felt peaceful and calm. I had a feeling to talk to a lady at a different booth. She was extremely nice and somehow she allowed us to change our already invalid ticket for a ticket the next night. What a miracle and blessing. Being a lot more eased at mind, I began to think about the situation that had just occurred. We had been in the right place at the right time, but we missed the bus. It came and stopped right in front of our eyes and we missed it. It wasn´t what we thought it was. It was there for over 15 minutes and we let it go by because we weren´t truly prepared.

As I pondered on what had happened, the Spirit enlightened my mind to realize that the second coming of Jesus Christ will come in a similar fashion. First of all, many people aren´t prepared for it. And they will obviously miss it. But I´m thinking more as members of the Church with tickets. We know it´s coming. We know the signs. Just as we had tickets with the time and place that it was going to arrive. But if we aren´t alert and spiritually awakened. The Lord will come and we will have no idea. He will wait there and we will have no idea. And finally it will be too late. And after it´s all said and done, we won´t have time to look for the bus because it is too late. The faithful covenant people of the Lord have already taken the bus and we were sitting around looking for something else. I pray that I will be prepared for the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I hope it won´t pass any of us like the bus passed us in front of our eyes. If we keep our covenants faithfully, I´m sure that we will have no problem when He comes again. He will come soon. I know that without any doubt.

Thanks for the prayers, love and support. Have a great week. Love you all!

Love, Elder Bosco II
Watching the Priesthood Session

Alexis, Belen and Tiziano

With members from Cerri (Bahía Blanca)
Omar and Marilu Menendez

Member from Arias (Bahía Blanca)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Week #92

Hola familia!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM AND COLLIN! You know that I would never forget that!. I can´t believe that Collin is already 18 years old and ready to go on a mission. I´m also really excited to hear about all of these Taiwan mission calls. There is a lot of work to do there and the Lord is calling on the best to do it. You think it should be getting cooler here-- and it is-- but there are still a few days and nights of heat. I´m sure it means that it won´t get too cold here in the winter but we'll see. 

This week was transfer week and we got to welcome all of the new missionaries. I love meeting them because they are always full of FIRE. Sometimes as we go through the daily routine as a missionary we lose this fire, but it´s always nice to see these Sisters and Elders with the desire to serve. It was pretty cool seeing Amanda Yapias from Provo High School. She's doing awesome and she'll be a great missionary. 

This week we are staying here in Bahía Blanca for General Conference so we´re spending a few days in Bahía Blanca 1 with Elder Giliam (from Alaska) and Elder Caparroz (from Brazil). We're in Arias (my old area) and it has been a good experience being back here. I wanted to share with you guys an experience that happened last week in Mar del Plata:

We taught a man named Pablo. We sat down behind his house in his little patio and we started talking to him. He had been contacted the day before but he already had a lot of confidence in the missionaries. He told us that he had a lot of questions that he wasn't sure of but he wasn't sure that he could ask them. He told us that he asked a Pastor from another church these questions and the Pastor told him that the devil was putting these questions in his mind to confuse him. We laughed a little bit and we told him that we would do our best to answer all of his questions. We started with his prayer and he asked us his first question. It was something like this: "Where would we go if we get baptized and where would we go if we don´t get baptized." I simply explained to him the three kingdom of glories and how we have the opportunity to live with God if we get baptized into his Church. He found that interesting so he asked, "God is like a Spirit isn't He? Some kind of energy?" Elder Maldonado showed him a scripture from the bible that we were made in His image. We testified that God lives and that He has a body like us but it is perfected. Pablo found a lot of interest in the easiness of the answers and the amount of knowledge that we have. I began to ponder about what Pablo thought about us. He thought that we are geniuses and that we knew everything about God and religion. I laughed in my own head realizing that we DO know a lot. But the funny thing is is that a Primary child could answer these questions. The Spirit put this thought in my head: I know these things from Primary. And I realized that they were built upon little by little as I studied the scriptures daily, as I went to sunday school, as I took the Sacrament, as I went to seminary, as I put to practice this doctrine in my life. Line upon line, precept upon precept, I realized that the Lord has helped me know the deepest doctrine and mysteries of God as a CHILD! I thought a lot about you Mom. I realized that day of the importance of Primary and how it has shaped my life. The framed picture on our kitchen wall says it all, "All I need to know is what I learned in Primary" I can't say it any better than that.

Thanks for all the love and support! Have a great conference weekend and have a great Birthday Mom and Collin! Love you guys!

Love Elder Bosco II

We were in Mar del Plata with Elder Maldonado and Elder Valenzuela

Saying bye to the oldies! They were some great missionaries and examples
Yep... I opened my last tooth brush that you wrote on Mom hahahaha     MOM NOTE: I send my elders with 8 toothbrushes dated so they can get a new one every three months- he's on his last one!!! Missions don't seem so long when you they only need 8 toothbrushes!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Week #91

Hola Familia!

This week we are in Mar del Plata again and we´re working with Elder Valenzuela (from Chile) and Elder Maldonado (from Uruguay). I´ve learned a lot this week and I wanted to share with you something that has been the very focus of our work for the last month and a half- efficiency. Elder Dement and I are trying to help the leaders in the mission work more efficiently. Working efficiently is something that I´ve learned a lot of with Elder Dement because he is an example of working like that. Everything he does he does efficiently so that his time is well spent. And just like every other missionary that has ever served the mission, we realize that when our two years our running out, we look for ways to get more out of our time. I´ve asked myself that a lot lately, "how can I get more use out of our time?"

These last few weeks I´ve realized that the Holy Ghost is the most efficient worker in the world. If we work with Him, especially on the mission, we are working efficiently. What we´ve found with missionaries is that the Spirit only comes when you let it come. This means that we need to be obedient, organize our work, and have a clean house. Even though we only have a few days in each area, we realize that it´s worth out time to clean the house and organize the work on a map. Doing these things allows the Spirit to be with us as we plan for our days at night. I have found also that being clean and organized actually allows us to be obedient. It´s becoming a lot more clear to me which Elders  work efficiently because they do the little things necesary to have the Spirit with them. When we allow the Spirit to dwell with us in our homes, we can leave in the street and preach the gospel with the power and authority of God. And the greatest part is that the Spirit is with us testifying our the words that leave our mouths. We have seen the success and fruits as we do this because we just found out this week that the zone leaders from Viedma, Necochea, and Santa Rosa all have a baptism for this weekend. What a blessing it was for us to hear of their success!

I´ve been extremely blessed to be able to work with Elder Dement because he has taught me so many things about how to work hard. Just his example has helped me improve and become better. I´ll be blessed for the rest of my life from what he has taught me.

Thanks for all the love and support! I´m so happy to hear about the temple dedication in Provo! I hope everyone is doing well!

Love Elder Bosco II

Elder Yeates just sent me these pictures haha. He´ll be a good friend after the mission at BYU