Friday, July 18, 2014

Chile is getting cold, Stake Conference in Argentina

June 2

Dear Family,
Greetings!  Concepción is getting sort of cold.  We got quite a bit of rain and wind recently, but I am in good health.  Last night the mission president called and asked me if I would be willing to serve as district leader here in the same zone.  I really don’t know exactly what I have to do, or how to do it, but I know both of my zone leaders well and they are going to show me what I need to do.  If you could include me in your prayers that would mean a lot to me.  I am staying in the same area, and so is my companion, so that is nice.  We are going to be getting an Elder Harrison from Nampa, Idaho in our apartment, so that will be fun.  

Today has been quite the party.  Our zone had lunch at a fancy American style restaurant called Mamut, and I ordered a buffalo burger.  It was really good, and the lemonade was amazing.  It was funny when I ordered the lemonade.  I made up my order really fast, and forgot to decide on what do drink.  I said ´´puedo tener una limonada de, um .....3 seconds.....limon?´´  They had a lot of different fruit options, and I realized I just wanted my lemonade to be from lemons.  It was good.  

This past week I got some amazing pictures of a sunset, but I forgot to bring the camera with me to the computer place, so I guess I will do that next week.  

We had the family home evening with Norma, the person who one day asked where church is and how to become a member.  She is really nice, and we hope she can progress well.  Amadeo came to church this Sunday.  We are thinking about moving his baptismal date a week forward, because he is understanding everything we teach him.  He was a soldier, then a FBI guy, and he is now retired.  We hope he can stay strong.  

I love my mission.  I know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and watches after us.  He sent his beloved son, Jesus Christ, to die, so that through faith and repentance on His name, all mankind may have the chance to be saved from their own sins.  I know that if we follow his example by being baptized by someone who is in the authority to do so, we can receive a remission, or forgiveness of our sins.  Then comes the baptism by fire, to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands.  We then can receive personal guidance and direction in our life, to help us return to our Father in Heaven.  I know that if we choose the right we will be blessed.  I humbly testify of these things in the sacred name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Today, I received a large stack of nearly 20 dear elder letters that have been piling up over the last few months and were in the home of other missionaries.  I will have a blast reading them this week.  Thank you all for all of the awesome letters.  I love you all more than the number of cheerios it would take to fill the super bowl, more than all the cows it would take to have enough whole milk to pour into the super bowl, and more than the number of calories you would eat if you were to cover it all with sugar and eat the entire bowl for breakfast.

-Elder Withers

Dear Family,

This week was awesome.  First and foremost, with the transfers.....Heavenly Father loves me and is blessing me with a change.  I will be training a new missionary fresh from the MTC, and I’m really excited!  A new set of challenges and adventures awaits me.  I am going to Rosario tomorrow to pick her up :)

Like Chad said, I can’t believe we are almost at the year mark.  Today is 11 months!!!  Soooooo fassssttttt.   

Also........I don’t know how much I want to tell you this, but it’s sort of a miracle so I am going to.  But don’t freak out.  Yesterday...........we got robbed.  Ha.......I told you, don’t freak out.  This is what happened, yesterday was our day to deep clean the apartment.  We did our studies like always in the morning, and then went to the store to get a few cleaning products (because we had absolutely nothing).  We got back from the store, entered our apartment, and all was good.  I went to the back of the apartment to start cleaning the patio, organize the junk I have always wanted to organize but didn’t have the time...and throw most of it away.  Hermana Ospinal came to the back too, and we really made some progress.  Hermana Ospinal had been going back and forth from the front to the back, taking out bags of garbage, and for some reason left the door open between trips because it was faster and less of a hassle.  I didn’t know this (I would have told her to shut the door and lock it every time) but on another run with garbage, she only made it to the hallway, and came back white as a ghost.  She said, "Hermana.....someone was in our apartment" I asked did you see them or do you only recognize things out of place?  She said no, there was a tall skinny man with a hood on and his hands in his pocket, I didn’t see what he was doing, I only saw him leave.  I was surprisingly calm, and said "Well shoot......let’s see if he took anything."  And sure enough, he swiped her wallet and 300 of my pesos (like 60 bucks).  She felt awful....and went on and on about how scared she was, and how sorry she was for leaving the door open for a minute... but I honestly feel fine.  I am at peace with everything, just a little weirded out that someone else was in our apartment.  The miracle is that he didn’t take the phone/documents/cameras or try to hurt us.  He just entered and left.  And it’s totally our fault because the door was open (just to take the garbage can’t trust anyone these days!)  but if anything it has taught me a good lesson to be on guard ALWAYS  always always always know what my companion is doing, and to be extra careful, locking and double locking everything.  I love that we have a member who lives next door and looks out for us, and this week we are going to be working closer to our apartment walking by frequently so it looks like we are always home.  We really are so blessed and I am so grateful for the safety and protection.  Please don’t freak yourselves out, I just wanted to share this story and miracle, I know that the Lord is always looking out for us, even if we make mistakes.  He always loves us.  Also know that I really do feel very safe in our apartment, it’s a good place.

I also wouldn’t mind if we could go a couple of weeks without a big adventure.  That would be sweet :)  This week a member gave us dinner, and served us something called Matambre.  It is probably the most Argentine meal I have ever eaten, it’s a pizza, with cheese and sauce, but instead of bread for a crust, the crust was steak.  It sounds weird, but it really was good.  

We also had Stake Conference this week, and it was incredible.  We had 2 general authorities, and a big theme in the sessions was missionary work.  It’s fun to be in a bigger area, where general authorities from the seventy come for conferences.  The conference was in Rosario, and Roberto and Teresa were able to go which was awesome.  They stayed for the whole thing and really liked it.  They have also been sharing pamphlets with their family about the church which is incredible.  We really love them and pray that their paperwork comes through every day, so that they can get married.  

We are ready to start another week with contacting and finding and teaching and serving!  Enjoy your vacation and adventures in the East (and in Chile!) and know that I love you all more than all the people meeting with the missionaries around the world!

Hermana Withers 

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