Hey family family family….
Thanks for all the letters, and the pics. Last night as we were on our way home we saw a few kids out and i turned to hna. Garcia and was like, “oh my gosh! It's halloween!” we had totally forgotten. But the pumpkins look awesome, and i'm sure the girls enjoyed the dance…sarah's first. And also the pics of luke, i bet his family is so glad to have him home. I wish i could have been there to hear him speak, that would have been cool, but i know this is where the Lord needs me right now. Tell him not to worry about surfing, i'm sure it will come right back to him very soon, especially if Matt convinces him to go to Hawaii.
Wow. What a week. We had an amazing baptism! Lucas Franco, who is the father of our ward mission leader. He is 64, and he can't walk because of an illness. But this is one of the most humble men i have ever met. He only desires to do what the Lord wants of him, and is always extremely grateful and happy for what he has. I feel like as a missionary we are sent to certain areas to bless the lives of certain people, but i also feel like we are sent to certain areas because other people are to bless our lives. Lucas is one of those people that has blessed my life, and also his family. His son Guillermo is probably the best ward misión leader in the entire misión, and his wife Lorena is so sweet. Mom, you would love her because she just takes care of me… She washes our clothes, and irons them every week. The first week she threw away all my nylons with holes and bought me brand new ones! I lost my name tag and so she took her old one and put my name on it so that i would have one. She gives us treats to take home. The other day she gave us cold water bottles because it was hot outside. Then, she gave me her old bag that she used from the mission, because i've been using dave facer's old one and…sorry dave, but it's been repaired a few times already…anyway, she is so eager to serve, and just looks for opportunities to serve. And she is so humble, just wants to help.
I read a scripture this week that has kinda stuck with me.
It's Mosiah 16:5..."he that persists in his own carnal nature, and goes on in the ways of sin and rebellion against God, remaineth in his fallen state and the devil hath all power over him.”
I've been thinking a lot about humility. Humility is the willingness to submit to the will of the Lord. These people are truly examples of this, and I am trying to be more like that. Especially with a new comp…I feel like i have something new to learn from each comp. But dad, you're right, it is adjusting. I love hna. Garcia, i think she is such an awesome missionary, and we have been in the process of melding, because each missionary does things a little different. And for me, i have to be willing to try things a different way, because the way that i have done things in the past isn't always the best way. It's all about progressing, and trying new things, otherwise we will remain in our “fallen state”.
Mom, super stoked that you get to teach about missionary work because it is something i am passionate about! In response to your questions…
Everything that i have learned and am learning here has changed the way that i think about missionary work at home. I didn't realize the importance of it, and i wish i had before. You do not have to be a full time missionary to share the gospel, that's for sure. You just have to let people know you are mormon, and that they should be too! Really. The work right now is progressing here in Rafaela because the members are more envolved! But the work does not end when people are baptized, people constantly need nourishment, love, and friendship, and to have their testimony strengthened. Always, always, always. Like i told you mom in my last letter…you don't always know when people are struggling and might need an extra boost. Some of the most important missionary work is done through home and visiting teaching, and with the less actives members. We just need to put the Lord first in our lives, and think first about others and their needs. Look for opportunities to serve, don't wait for someone to give you an assignment; ask who the less actives are! And then go!!!
Lorena Franco shared with us that she read a talk about service and set a goal to do some kind of service (out of the ordinary) every single day! She said that when she put this goal, the Lord provided her with those opportunities. I know this is true. With Guillermo and his wife alone, i am seeing the impact that they have had on our ward, and they are only two people. If every member were like them, i can't even imagine the success of the church here.
Anyways. I definitely feel like i am learning a ton, and still have a lot more to learn. But i really do love this work. We've had some awesome experiences here. My comp is awesome! We have fun, and my spanish is improving…i'm kinda hoping all my other comps will be latina too just so that i will be able to understand and speak better. The weather here has been rather warm…not like summer yet. We had the weirdest day here though. Beautiful morning, crazy windy afternoon, and then a nice breezy evening. I love you guys a ton!
Until next week.
Love ya…hna. amundsen