Monday, August 4, 2014

Gospel blesses every life. Awesome investigators. Fish soup and cockroaches

August 4, 2014

Dear Family,
This past week we had some really cool experiences.  Last night, we were out contacting in the street, and we came across a house that had a really interesting motorcycle trailer in front.  We thought the trailer was so interesting that we decided to yell ``hallo`` in front of the house.  A man opened the door, we introduced who we were, and before we finished saying our names he said come in.  In D&C 18:10 it says great is the worth of souls in the sight of God.  As we came into his house, we realized that one half of his face was covered in tattoos, and the other half of his face was normal.  He had a large chin piercing, had his ears gauged, and had earrings in his ear gauges.  He looked very scary, but we didn’t feel threatened in any way.  He commented that in his 42 years of life, he has seen missionaries but they never knocked his door.  He drives his motorcycle across the country, going to big motorcycle events, and doing tattoos.  Mahori, had a rough family life, joined the Chilean navy, than got into drugs and motorcycles, than got into a serious motorcycle accident, was in a coma for 2 months.  He no longer does drugs, but he does smoke cigarettes.  He says that he felt a special peaceful feeling while we spoke with him.  We were in his house for only 10 min, but we will go back Thursday.  The gospel will really bless his life.  We hope he accepts a baptismal date.  

There are so many cool things that happen each day in the mission field, and I wish I could put everything in words and then email all the amazing testimony experiences.  

I know that God is our Heavenly Father, and that he loves us.  He wants to hear our prayers.  He sent his son Jesus Christ to teach the gospel, and to show how to live the gospel.  Jesus Christ really is our Savior and Redeemer, and it is our responsibility as members to help others come unto Christ.  I invite you all to read the first chapter of preach my gospel this week.  Read it together as a family, pray about how you can help friends and neighbors come unto Christ.  Set a missionary work plan as a family, and then follow through with it.  Establish a scripture study plan, a plan to regularly study general conference talks and other modern revelation, and also a realistic plan to study the manual Preach My Gospel.  Establish what things you will do as individuals and as a family to share the gospel.  I promise that as you set a plan and follow through with it that your testimonies will be strengthened.  You will have the Holy Ghost to help you.  You will grow closer to the Savior as you invite others to come unto him.  I testify of these things, and extend this invitation to each of you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love you all.  I love you all more than the number of marshmallows it would take to fill a Goodyear blimp.  

Elder Withers

Dear Family,
Thanks for such great letters!  It is always so good to hear from you.  First things first before I forget........I have what feels like 1000 people (members) asking me for recipes from the states.  And they ask me how to cook stuff......and I have no idea.  They are always so disappointed in me saying, "you are a do you not know how to cook?"  And I always say, "Hey....easy now!  I can cook, if someone gives me the recipe.  But off the top of my head, I have nooo idea, second of all......1/2 the ingredients don’t exist here"  And they always say, "Fine......ask your mom for the recipes then"  And so that is what brings me to the question.......can you send me some recipes?  Everyone wants a good chocolate chip cookie recipe, a pie recipe (apple or cherry or peach or something), and a main dish.  And they want the easiest ones you have.  They all say, "the easiest and most delicious!"  Ha.....I swear all of the relief society sisters talked to each other about asking me, because they all attacked me with the same questions.  And I have to go through the shameful process explaining that I can’t cook without a recipe.  To end it all, I just need a few good desserts and main dishes.  Whatever you want to share....I really don’t care, but things that are easy and don’t have ingredients like peanut butter (it doesn’t exist here) and things that are super American...those are the recipes they are wanting :)  Thank you!  

This was a terrific week, really a great week.  It got super humid, and warmed up dramatically bringing the bugs and mosquitoes back.  I don’t think it will stay warm for long because it is still winter and will cool off a little bit again......but the humidity and small heat wave gave me a fresh reminder of what summer is like down here (as if I could ever even forget).  I am sooooo blessed to not have to spend another summer here.  They are scary. 

We had another lesson with Mauro (the boyfriend of the member) and he is progressing terrifically!  He went to the Buenos Aires temple with his girlfriend to see it and they both want to be sealed in the temple.  Excellent goals!  They are way ahead of their generation down here.  No one even gets married any more here, and they are planning on not only getting married, but also being sealed.  Such great examples.  He is excited to be baptized, and we are grateful to be teaching him.  

We also received a reference from a member, and the reference is amazing.  Her name is Debora and she has talked with everyone, all the churches.....and says she is still looking for the truth (she has a real chance to find it!)  We have taught her twice now, and she has some crazy hard questions....but the Spirit has helped us to answer them and she is learning quickly.  So many exciting people to teach!  

Something sad that happened this week, was on Tuesday the granddaughter of a member in our branch passed away.  She was a 5 year old little girl, and the TV fell on top of her (it was on top of a wobbly table).  They took her to the ER, and she went through some therapy....but passed away later that day.  Sooooooooo sad.  We stopped by to see what they needed from us or from the branch, and really they just need lots of prayers.  The next day when we carried on with work, teaching and contacting......the whole town of Beltran was sad.  All the strangers we met through contacts would say something like, "oh I am just so sad for the little girl who passed away"  and so on.  And it really was so sad, the news spread like wild fire and the outpouring of support that that family and household received was incredible.  The Plan of Salvation is the only thing that makes death bearable.  Knowing that we can be sealed to our families and see each other again is a great comfort to me.  I mourn for the people who don’t understand or believe in the Plan of Salvation.

A member served us a little bowl of soup the other day, and she said it was fish soup.  Sweet, no problem.  I looked at the soup...........and it was fish soup alright, but little fishes whole.  Bones, skin, and everything.  They only thing they did was cut the head off.  I nearly died.  I haven’t had a scary meal experience in a long time........I just took a big piece of bread, scooped up a little bit of soup a bite at a time and finished it.  It was more like bread with soup instead of soup with bread.  It was all cooked but the little bones still scratched my throat a little bit.  

We have also been trying to exterminate the cockroaches.....but I don’t think we will ever be able to finish.  We have killed what feels like hundreds but more keep showing up from somewhere.  Not sure how, but I am starting to lose hope.  They are seriously impossible to kill.  Almost immortal. 

If there is anything you need from me, let me know!  I am here to serve!  Have fun this week, say hi to everyone, and tell everyone they are my favorite.  

I love you more than all the messages that are sent around the world each day through the internet! 
Hermana Withers

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