Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Miracles in Chile and Argentina this week!

December 7, 2014

Dear Family,
Well, this last week was really quite exciting.  It was really hot.  But, I greatly enjoyed being able to teach Patricio, as well as interview other baptismal candidates.  It is honestly one of the most rewarding things in the mission, interviewing people for baptism.  I was really tired all week because of waking up early to finish teaching Patricio, but it was all worth it.  He was baptized, as well as the family the other elders were teaching.  One of the people I interviewed, Carlos, asked me to baptize him.  It was neat that all 4 elders were able to baptize.  

There was a real miracle this week.  The day of the baptismal service, Patricio was working on a roof, and some old wood gave in, he lost his footing, and fell about 10 feet from the roof, landing really bad on the concrete ground, hurting his head a little bit, but his head landed on something soft, but then a large heavy piece of roofing material fell from the roof and landed on his head.  He was unconscious for a little bit, but soon he was able to ride his bike, with great pain, to the car of the Kauers a missionary couple (from Rexburg) who were passing through Parral to drop stuff off, and they took us and him and his bike to the church for the baptism.  He was obviously hurting really bad, and Hermana Kauer gave him a couple of extra strength Tylenol pills.  The baptism went well, and Patricio commented that he felt great, pain free, the baptism took not only his sins away, but also took away his physical pain.  The Atonement of our Savior is an infinite sacrifice, he suffered for not only our sins but also our heartaches, disappointments, embarrassments, and pains of all kinds, spiritual and physical.  The next morning he was still doing great, without pain.  It is a miracle.

I love my mission, and I have a testimony that God lives and loves us. I am out of time now, I love you all, and have a lot more to say, but will send more next week.
I love you more than the number of drops of water in the Pacific ocean.
Elder Withers

Dear Famliy,
I am sitting at sort of an old and ancient dinosaur of a computer, and the exclamation point button doesn’t work, so all of them are going to be upside down today¡
This was a pretty good week.  We keep moving forward with the Christmas plan the church is doing, and it’s been cool, because people are a little bit nicer, and much more receptive to us.  There is something about the Christmas spirit that softens hearts and makes everyone a little bit kinder.  The church has suffered major blows here in Galvez for what disobedient missionaries messed up....... the name of the Christ wasn’t always appropriately represented like it should have been or deserved to be here, and it’s been taking a ton of work to clean it all up....because in small towns, gossip flies at record speeds.   That’s why we are trying to take full advantage of the Christmas spirit while it lasts, because we are making huge advances here with people and a few neighborhoods that have been tricky for us to get to....and its cool to see the miracles and progress¡  The work has never been easy, but it is always possible....it’s always possible to see miracles, and witness change and progress......sometimes the moment we wish to see the miracle or progress isn’t always on the same schedule as the Lords.......but they always come. 

We taught Eduardo again, and we taught him the Word of Wisdom.  I admit I was a little nervous as to what he was going to say about all of it....but we said a prayer before going in, and it was a miracle.  We explained that we don’t drink alcohol....and he responded, ´´Oh....I always drink wine with my dinner, but I can just start drinking more juice that’s okay, what else do I need to know?´´  Then we went to coffee and tea, and he said, ´´Well....I don’t know about those two, I really like coffee in the morning to wake me up, but you know what.....I could start drinking more mate¨......what else?´´ And we said, ´´Well....we don’t consume illegal drugs and he said, ´´great no problem there´´ and we also don’t consume tobacco......and when we got to tobacco he went ballistic, saying that he had changed his mind about getting baptized, that smoking isn’t that bad for you, that he needs cigarettes to calm himself down and so on.......the man who before was telling us he was willing to start drinking more juice and mate changed completely, and my heart sunk to the very depths.....we didn’t know what to do.  We calmed him back down...good thing his wife was sitting there with us the whole time, I said like a dozen more prayers in my head......and we started to talk about smoking, and why Heavenly Father asks us not to do it.  It took about thirty minutes of extra explaining and divine intervention from Heaven putting the words in our mouths, but by the end he said.......”It’s true you are right, I have always needed to stop smoking, but I have never really tried.....because truthfully I like smoking.”  He said, ´´God has told me I need to be baptized, so I better stop smoking to make it´´   What a miracle¡

I really don’t know how it happened or how he changed again, but he is truly progressing and changing.  His wife told us later as we were heading out of the house, that for the first time in their thirty years of marriage he said he would stop smoking, before he would fight back or say no, or completely avoid the subject.  Truly amazing.  

On Sunday morning we also went to pick-up a less active family.  The dad always goes, but the mom and kids never do.  We have been working with them since we got here, and when we showed up at their house on Sunday morning to walk to church....we found a family, with the dad and deacon aged son in white shirt and black slacks, the mom in a skirt and her other two boys with combed hair and neatly cleaned clothes.....ready at 8:15 to walk.....they live super far from the chapel and are very very poor, but seeing them make a sacrifice to sharpen up and go to church on Sunday was like Christmas early, they will be eternally blessed for all earthly sacrifices they make to be obedient, no matter how large or small.  

We are just trying to keep up with everything....we are always looking for new investigators, we still clean the chapel each week......may the members who do that each week in their wards or branches be blessed¡.......we keep meeting more and more less actives, and I am truly just so happy.  Happy to be a missionary, and happy to be a member.  

Galvez has done an impressive job with Christmas decorations....in La Paz last year they didn’t have anything until Christmas Eve, and what they pulled out was kind of pathetic.  This year all stores have nice big trees, lights, music, Santa things and so on....I love it¡  I truly love Christmas.  
Thanks for all your wonderful letters.  In response to questions about Christmas plans. 

Galvez is sort of an interesting situation, in that not a single member here has a computer with internet.   Some have phones with internet, and others have computers but no internet......and we also don’t have anyone to spend Christmas with because the rule from President is that Christmas Eve has to be spent with an active member family, no part member families or less active families allowed.... no non-members may be present for reasons of safety and so on...to avoid people drinking and swearing and stuff, and so in Galvez we find ourselves in a bind, because a perfect and wonderful family like that doesn’t exist yet, but our wonderful branch president yesterday invited us to spend Christmas with him and his family.  And they are out of this world wonderful, the only thing is that they live two hours away in Santa Fe, but we asked our Mission President for permission pleading our case....and it has been granted.  Our Branch President has offered to come and pick us up, spend Christmas Eve with his family, then we will spend the night with sister missionaries who live there, the next day use his computers to call home, and then return to the apartment of the sisters in Santa Fe....for security reasons.  Remember how the police went on some sort of lame strike last year?  Well they are expecting it again, and this year worse.  So Christmas is to be strictly spent in the apartment, and on Friday we will return to Galvez.  Those are our Christmas plans......wonderful right?¡  We have to skype home as soon as possible after studies, all for the same security reasons.....which would be around 10-11am for me.  I hope that works for everyone.  Another bonus is that he has 2 computers.  

I love you all more than the number of people looking forward to Christmas around the world¡

Hermana Withers

No comments:

Post a Comment