Friday, July 1, 2011

Latin American Pioneers

Hey ya´ll. This week had a bit of everything in it, but before I get into too much detail I want to tell a story. First, if you´ve gotten the July Liahona already, there´s a cool article in there about Latin American Pioneers. Anddd you all should read it, because it has to do with my story, kind of.

In 1923, a man and his family moved from Germany to Argentina. After arriving in Buenos Aires, they realized the church had not yet been organized in Argentina, or in any other South American country. They wrote the First Presidency for two years asking them to send someone down and start the Church in South America. Finally, in 1925, the church sent someone down and the church was organized. This man, who came from Germany, built the first church buildings, and taught and baptized the first 6 members in South America. He had a son, who, unfortunately, fell inactive after he married a catholic women who didn´t agree with the church. They had a son, and even though the mom didn´t like the Church, the dad (who was the son of the guy who started the church in South America) knew it was true and secretely taught his son (the grandson of the guy who started the church in South America) the basics of the gospel, hoping that someday he could baptized. But, then the dad suddenly died, and the boy obviously was never baptized or active in the church because of his mom. Alright, now fast forward to today. The grandson, who´s name is Walter, has a dream in which his grandma, who he only knew through photos, tells him to remember what his dad taught him, that he needs to do what his dad told him. So, after he wakes up, he goes to the closest Mormon church he can find (which was the institute building in downtown Mendoza) and walks in and tells the institute president his dream and that he wants to be baptized. haha. So he calls up the missionaries (he´s in the assistants area) and they´ve started teaching him, his wife, and his kid, and they all have a baptismal fecha for the 9th of July. How cool is that? They´re baptizing the grandson of the guy who basically is the reason the church is in South America.

The only reason I know that story, is because we went on division with the assitants one of the days this week. We had some really awesome lessons with both the zone leaders and the assitants, with the brother and sister of a recent convert and a bunch of their friends who are all around 16. I was pretty stoked because the friends were all interested and had some really good questions and I was sure everyone was feeling the spirit. We had the brother and sister commited to baptism and even had their interviews but, they didn´t come to church. And when we called to see if they were up this man answered who we have never met before and when we asked to talk to one of our investigators he said, "Yeah sure, here she is" and then just hung up. When we called back he was just really rude and wouldn´t let us talk to them and then asked if we were mormons and obviously has some negative feelings towards the church. We don´t know where he came from, especially since the mom is way supportive of her kids getting baptized, so it was really discouraging.

But, on a more positive note, I´ve learned a lot this week. I´ve been thinking a lot about faith and fear. For some reason I´m usually afraid to, or at least would rather not, talk to younger kids. Maybe it´s because I know I still have an accent and don´t talk perfectly or because a lot of them make comments at us as we walk by and stuff like that, but with the really cool lessons we´ve had this week (with kids the same age) I´ve realized that not all are like that. I guess I´ve been thinking about two different ideas that I´ve learned from these situations. First, I like the scripture in Ether 27:12 (I know probably everyone knows it, but I still like it haha) about how weak things can become strong unto us. I also have been thinking about how fear cannot exist with faith. I remember one time we were opening the mouth with this lady and at first I was just feeling the spirit a lot and felt like I could easily testify about whatever and then she started kinda arguing with us and for a split second I doubted myself and felt that feeling I had before leave. It reminds me of when Peter was walking on water, he had enough faith to start, but for a split second he doubted himself and that´s when he started sinking. I also really like the quote by Emerson, "Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain." Sorry those thoughts are really jumbled but I just thought I´d share some of those.

Welp, next week is the 4th of July, so I´m sure I´ll have a bunch of good stories about how we celebrated here. We´re going to go crazy. I´m so stoked.

Love, Elder Lounsbury

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