HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Honestly, who ever thought it would come. It’s a new year!!! I hope everyone is super stoked with their goals already, and that you are just pumped to do great things in life. So it has been a great week! I think I can truly tell all of you that this week I have worked the hardest I have ever worked in the mission……literally! We are both just so dead from talking to everyone and running around every second to find people to teach and progress. I am not sure when we will see the fruits of these labors, but we know that God is going to bless us soon for all of our hard work!! I love my companion so much. She is seriously such a big blessing in my life, and especially at the end of my missión. She is really helping me push myself, and is motivating me even more than ever to figure out who I am. Love her and love bonding!!!
- So as missionaries, we often do weird things to contact people. This week we might have helped this overweight super humble argentine woman chase her goat all around this dirt field. I about died watching my companion just drop her bag and start chasing it saying ¨this is a huge Ammon sitch!!! We will catch it and she will be super impressed and want to hear our message.¨ hahaha - I just followed her and we neither of us had success, and in the end, she didn’t even end up talking to us or thanking us, but it was way fun and funny. We went back to chat with her one day and take pics with the goat. She and her two older parents were blasting argentine crazy music outside their house and just beaming at us with their wide toothless mouths with chickens running loose everywhere. We had to scream so that they could hear and understand us with the loud music, and all of them seemed deaf. We just ended up taking pics and peacing out. Love awk stuff like that.
- As we were teaching this old lady outside her house earlier in the week, these two kids kept passing by on horses and were like racing….it was so cool, and I was just so amused at the fact that in this chill neighborhood, kids would just ride by super loud on horses and it was considered normal. I watched them ride by and this cute lady chatting with us all about every detail of her life, and I just took in this moment with so much gratitude and love. It was one of those ¨ I am never going to forget this experience¨ kind of moments. I love wild Argentina and everything that goes down here on a daily basis.
- We ate lunch with these investigators this week, and as we were chatting and eating, typical awkward me, I was cutting my milenesa, a huge piece of meat, and of course I like do it weird and cut it wrong, and it just goes flying off the plate across the room! Haha - everyone was laughing and making fun of me and on top of it all I was rocking the bun on my head and I just looked like a joke. After we ate, the mom offered to like paint my nails – haha - and she busts out this stuff and we just paint nails together and eat ice cream and laugh. It was a way good time.
- New Years Eve: my companion and I ate some poor food alone, blasted EFY “Shine The Light” music, and just went out to the roof and watched all the Fireworks go off, and talked about this last year, and what is to come this new year. It felt good to be here in Argentina, and I just wouldn’t trade that moment for anything.
-So like I have said; this has been the most intense week of my life! We are finding way good people to teach, but they are not really going anywhere as fast as we would like them to. As always we practice patience! We taught Marta this week about baptism, and the Book of Mormon, and she really has so many good questions, and wants to know the truth. She has a huge family and really wants to do what is right to please God but lacks the strength and will to do the things we suggest for herself. Every time we are there, she feels the spirit and knows we have something that she has never felt before…. and she wants it, but is still not progressing too
much. We are also teaching Genoveva, who feels such a strong peace with us, and said that we are an answer to prayers, and we have changed her life but she still, as well, does not have the ¨time¨ nor the will to do her part and obtain this everlasting peace for herself. We taught a lady that has heard from the elders a ton and knows a lot about the church and right when we began to teach she said, ¨Look I don’t do commitment, and just know that I am comfortable with where I am at.¨ We talked to her a lot about the importance of commitments, especially with God, and how it can bless and help her to be a better wife and mother. It is almost like she knows but does not care enough to do and change. She doesn’t really get the concept of priorities and responsibility. We also found this super humble family, and the mom is a widow, and we taught them about the plan of salvation, and about baptism. They accepted everything they heard and enjoyed all we taught, but when it came down to commitment and them actually having to do something, they didn’t seem quite excited. We showed up Saturday, and they were all out front, downing beers. They offered us some….haha - awk - but we tried committing them to go to church and you can imagine how that ended.
-Don’t worry…we did have some good lessons with some promising people! We contacted a woman one night, and gave her a Book of Mormon. We found out that exactly a year ago, her whole house burned down, and she lost everything, and even her husband. She is such a humble and sweet lady, and when we passed to teach her, her daughter was there and they attentively listened to the restoration and even had questions! It was one of the most powerful lessons I have ever had, and both my companion and I were like shaking with the spirit…it was so intense! We left on cloud nine, and even though they are unable to come to church this Sunday, we pray they will progress soon! We also knocked this ladies house and right when she saw us, she was not interested and was completely rejecting us. We somehow softened her heart, by just being really loving and friendly people, and she let us in and we got to teach her! It was so cool to feel and see the change in people so quickly once they know and can literally recognize that we are different and we represent the Savior, and can help them bless and change their lives. She felt the spirit, and we left her home with a prayer, and she is definitely excited for us to come back! We also found this cute family and taught them about how families are forever and sadly the mom did not accept a baptism date but the 12 - year old daughter did, and she is definitely excited to come to church and learn more!
- So you can all imagine we are a little bugged and frustrated with these people….haha - I just don’t understand how people can feel the power and spirit of God touch their hearts to tell them that the things we bring to their door and teach them are true, and then they do NOTHING about it. It is like no one understands the true definition and purpose of the word COMMITMENT. I have thought a lot about this and really pondered on the real reason why we even have commitment and what is the importance of it. I love the scripture in Deuteronomy 26 that states,
16 ¶This day the LORD thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes
and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
First of all, it is the Lord that has commanded us to not just listen to the things he has told us but to DO them so we can be blessed. In Psalms 37 it says, 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
- We must commit ourselves to the Lord and do the things he tells us so he can be our light and guide in our life decisións and help us along the way. I find it so interesting that the things of the góspel are so simple but yet so hard to do sometimes. If we know that we will receive more help and blessings in our life, them why can we not just follow the counsel of the book of James chapter 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
- If we would just take a second to wrap our heads around the concept of the gospel, and understand that because it is commitment, responsibility, priority, hard work, sacrifice and devotion, we would get that not only for our own benefit but for our children. We want our children to grow up and progress in this life being happy, successful, and reach our highest potential. Everything about the góspel is spiritual growth and positive experience. It is for our benefit.
- These so called ¨annoying¨ or ¨burdens¨ of commitments we have, are actually there to bless and help us in our lives, and more importantly to be successful parents to this rising generation. If we want out kids to learn how to make good decisions on their own, learn why it is important to commit to good things, and stick to them to the end, regardless of how long or how hard it is to accomplish them, we would do great things in our communities, and in society and the world. We would master celestial goals and reach them. We would comprehend what accountability is and we would accomplish great things. In Omni it says: “Come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him…..and as the Lord lives, you will be saved.”
- God loves all of us and wants us to be happy, and as a living witness and testimony of it, I can say that through action, commitment, responsibility, and having patience in the whole process of receiving what we are working for, we define what true happiness is, we feel it, love it, embrace it, and will forever cherish it. Each day it takes a lot of work to experience this true happiness, but it is ALWAYS in the end worth all the work and effort.
- Let me quote yet again by an apostle of God, Elder Uchtdorf, who has so clearly and wisely said that, ¨diligently DOING the things that matter the most will lead us to the savior of the world.¨ What a blessing it is to be a part of the truth. How lucky we are to understand the góspel. How important it is then to live it daily. I cherish every part of this true church, and I pray with my heart and soul that we can do all we can to master the concept of commitment and live it as much as we possibly can. I love life and I love you all. With a new year in front of us, let us
remember the profound words of Jacob, and follow them- “O be wise; what can I say more?” (Jacob 6:12).