Friday, April 4, 2014

Families Can Be Together Forever, Conference this Weekend

Mom Note:
There was an earthquake in Chile on Tuesday.  The area of impact was the northern part of the country as well as Peru and Bolivia.  Chad's mission office sent an email on Wednesday stating that they are 1200 miles south, and that it was business as usual. Missionaries are happily serving and sharing the gospel.

New rule from Rebecca's Mission:  NO packages to Argentina.  As a missionary mom, I disagree with that rule.  It applies to the whole country.  Hopefully it is temporary. Thanks for your support to the missionaries!

Dear Friends,
A couple of weeks ago, Rodrigo, who got baptized in this ward 5 months ago, received the Melchizedek Priesthood.  It amazes me that less than a half year ago he was an atheist.  It is hard to change, but we must never forget that the Lord, who is all-powerful, can change people.  It was the first time that I participated in ordaining someone to the Melchizedek Priesthood.

I really like the members here in this ward.  They are helping us out so much.  Last Monday, the Bello family invited us to a family home evening, and they also invited a newlywed part member couple.  The couple got married 1 month ago, and moved into the ward 3 weeks ago.  He, Raul, served a mission in Spain, and went a little bit less active for a time.  His wife´s name is Kathryn.  The theme of the family home evening was family.  The opening hymn was Families Can Be Together Forever, we had a prayer, and then Sister Bello talked about the importance of getting along in the family. We watched the 30 min church movie Together Forever and it was awesome.  Elder Copling and I then shared that families can be sealed in the temple. Kathryn read D&C 132:19.  We then explained that to enter the temple, a preparation is required, and that the first step is baptism.  Kathryn readily accepted a baptismal date for the 13th of April, but only on account that she comes to the conclusion that this is the true church. She has a lot of questions, and had studied before with the Jehovah´s Witnesses, but we know that if she sincerely asks God if these things are true or not, God will bless his daughter with an answer that this really is the true church, that Joseph Smith really was called of God to restore the church that Christ established during his earthly ministry.  I was so extremely sad when I didn’t see them in the chapel yesterday morning, but they both walked in right before the sacrament hymn.  It was awesome.

I love you all so very much.  I love you more than the number of times a car´s wheels goes round and round between Minnesota and Idaho, or between Concepcion and La Paz. 
Elder Withers 

Dear Family, 
This last week was great, and this next one coming up is super eventful......we get to watch General Conference.  Sooooo excited!!!!

This week we had a lesson with a cute 11 year old girl in the front room of her house. About half way through her Dad and brothers walked in.  They hauled in big bags of fishing nets, and a handful of fishing poles, and another big bag of who knew what. They dropped it all on the ground, ripped open one of the bags, and pulled out HUGE catfishes.  They were the biggest fishes I have ever seen.  

The Dad would pull one out, hold it up in the air for a second, while his family would all shout (there are like 15 or 16 of them)....."heyyy" and then he would dramatically throw the fish into the sink.  He pulled out 2 monster catfishes and dozens of other medium sized fishes.  I think they sell them, but it was a solid reminder in case I could ever forget -  that I am living right on the Parana River.  

In the mission right now we are doing what is called "Plan de Revolution", where we go through a series of steps to be led and guided by the Spirit to know which sector of our area we should contact, which streets, and at what time.  President calls it a process to receive a reference from the Lord, and it’s true.  We have met lots of incredible people lately.  

I saw a man mow his lawn with a machete the other day.  It looked painfully back breaking and time consuming, but he was just cutting away little by little.  And I don’t know if I have mentioned this before or not, but cough drops are sold in the candy section, because people actually eat them like candy here.  The flavor menthol is a sweet here, but for me I can’t do it.  It tastes like sickness to me.

We got slammed with rain this last week.  So much mud......everywhere!!!!  On Sunday it was the weirdest of all.  It would rain hurricane hard with tons of wind, for about 5 minutes and then it would stop for like 10 minutes, and then start up again raining super hard with tons of wind.  It went back and forth a few times.  

Yesterday we contacted a man who is 100% German.  He moved to Argentina as a little boy with his parents to escape WWII.  We meet lots of people with European descendents, but he is the first who is all the way European.  

And yesterday on our way home people were lighting off fireworks and honking their horns and and yelling like crazies in the streets.  A member told us it’s because a soccer game was going on, and a group of people must have been excited because their favorite team won.  It made me wonder what it’s going to be like here in July when the world cup is going on, and then I decided that I don’t actually want to know what it’s going to be like.  We are still a ways out from the World Cup, and people are already starting to go nuts.  I’m hoping that the U.S. has a really crappy team and gets beat, it would keep everything here a little more peaceful for me.  

I am thrilled to watch conference this upcoming weekend.  It’s true, conference is something that connects us all together all at the same time.  

Just so you know, on Sunday morning, we stand outside the church doors as missionaries too.  We are waiting for everyone to go in.  All 6 of us missionaries. Sometimes we have to go pick someone up and walk with them, but most Sundays we try to be by the doors to welcome members and be ready to show investigators where to go.  It’s cool that your missionaries in Minnesota do the same thing!

I hope you all know how much I love you and pray for you!  I love you more than the number of puddles I walked through this week!  (it was at least a million).

Hermana Withers

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