Monday, August 10, 2015

Jesus & Marie Get Married

August 10, 2015

Hola Hola,

So I’m still with Elder Gonzalez and will still be District Leader. But two of the Elders in my district got transferred. There were lots of changes this transfer because I think President Thurgood is trying to mix the new missionaries from the West Mission into areas in the South Mission and vice versa. I talked to Elder Pribyl and he’s staying in his area but it sounds like he’s now District Leader so that should be good for him.

The lesson with Cynthia this week went really well. We committed her to baptism for August 30th and she said she’d come to church and we offered to come to her house and accompany her to church, but then Saturday night she called us saying she wouldn’t be able to go because it has been raining the last couple days and where she lives it’s dirt streets and she said it was flooded and on top of that she has a baby so she was afraid of trying to leave her house. But again tonight we have an appointment with her so I hope we`ll be able to reach her house. But she seems to be progressing really well. We also had a lesson with Fabian, yes the 20 year old that was a reference, earlier in the week and it went well. He also said he would come to church and he was going to meet his friend who is a member and come to church, but he wasn’t able to come either because there was an election Sunday and his boss had to go vote and so Fabian had to go in and work and his boss didn’t get back until 2. But then after church he called us and offered us dinner and we could share something so last night we went over to his home and his girlfriend was there and he did a BBQ for us but in the end there wasn’t time for us to teach. It was pretty crazy because it’s been raining the past couple of days and last night we were with him in his home and the power went out, but luckily when we got to the pension there was light. This week we have a Tormenta Blanca planned where the elders from the zone are going to come to our area and visit less actives. But we still have to plan it.  There has been poor communication between our Ward Mission Leader and the ward leaders and us, so we`ll see what happens, but hopefully it goes well. The new Bishop seems to be very motivated. We talked with him on Sunday a little bit about the Tormenta Blanca and I think as he gets settled in, things will go a lot smoother.

Jesus and Maria got married Wednesday at a Registro Civil in Lomas and we went. It was very simple and very fast.

They did some paperwork and then they called all of us in and then a woman spoke, said some personal information of Jesus and Maria and then married them and then they signed a paper.

It was kind of anticlimactic ha ha but it was still an amazing experience being able to see them get married because as Elder Ventura and I taught them they had said their goal was to get married but that they weren’t ready and so I thought I probably wouldn’t see them get married but I’m really grateful I was able to see them get married and support them

Their families were there and then us and two heramanos from the ward. I felt bad because Jesus said he hoped more were going to come.

As they left the building we threw rice at them. I don’t remember if that’s a wedding tradition in general or just in Argentina ha ha.

Then Friday was their reception at the capilla and practically no one came. We got there and there was literally like 5 people and some more people showed up but in the end there were still only a total of maybe 25 people. I was super annoyed and mad at the members because Jesus and Maria announced it and gave out invitations to the members, they just didn’t come. The family that’s friends with Jesus and Maria did a great job of decorating and planning everything, the members from the ward just didn’t show up. I felt super bad for Jesus for the poor support the ward showed.

But I think it was still special experience for them and they seemed to enjoy it.
I have a few short videos of Jesus and Maria dancing ha ha. I was really happy overall to see them get married and to take this step in their goal of getting sealed in the temple. They've expressed their desire to get sealed in a year and it would be great to see them.

This week we also had a pretty intense spiritual experience. Thursday night, as we planned, we put some old investigators we were going to pass by the following day, one of which was a woman named Silvia. So Friday we went to her house and realized we had tried to contact her before but no one answered, but this time we rang the door bell from the fence and Silvia came out and as she came closer to the fence we saw that she was crying and she asked us who had sent us. My companion explained that we had found her name among a list of people that had talked to missionaries before. Again she asked who sent us and if we came to just come or if it was for a purpose and if we knew what was going on. So I pretty much repeated what Elder Gonzalez said and told her we saw her name as we planned and felt that we should pass by to get to know her and that we had no idea what might be going on and I asked if we could come in and share something. She let us in and as we entered and sat down she told us how she had talked to missionaries before, years ago, and gone to church once and then she broke down into tears and told us that now we had came just as she was experiencing the hardest and worst time in her life because her son, German, had recently taken his life. As she said that, I couldn’t hold back the tears from my eyes and in that moment I don’t think my heart has ever hurt so much for someone else. But with that sorrow and heartache that in an instant had entered my heart for her loss also came such an intense and powerful witness to my heart and spirit of God’s love for his children and specifically Silvia. It was in that moment, perhaps more than in any other experience in my life, that I knew and felt of God´s love for his children. I`m not sure if the tears from my eyes were tears of sorrow and sadness for her or if they were tears of gratitude and love towards my Heavenly Father. It is hard to describe what I felt and I hope it’s not something I ever forget. In that moment, the Lord sent two young men as his servants and representatives to bring her peace and comfort with the good news that she will see her son again. That, thanks to Jesus Christ and his infinite atonement, her son will be resurrected and that she will not only see him again but can live with him again, forever. We taught her of the atonement, the resurrection and the spirit world as she asked us crying, where her son was and if there was forgiveness for what he had done. She told us he had psychological problems and had always been nervous but she had never ever expected him to take his life. She told us that soon after his death she prayed and felt a sense of peace but that since then that peace had left her and how she didn’t understand why and she just has an overwhelming desire to see him and to hug him again. The Lord sent us that day to restore that peace to her soul and heart and as she continues to listen to us and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ in her life, that peace can be restored permanently to her soul, never to leave again. Thanks to the great and wonderful news of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. He lives. God loves us. I know that more than I ever have in my life, as He permitted my companion and I to be instruments in His hands and provide peace and comfort to a woman that had lost her son just three weeks ago. How wonderful it is to be a member of His church, to know of the Plan of Salvation and that we have a Savior and Redeemer, who perfectly understands us and knows how to help us if we will just turn to Him.

Elder McFarland

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