Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Miracles in Uruguay

So this week flew by. My compañero and I have really seen a lot of miracles this last week. Last week we had to leave our area to be able to email home. I don't remember if I told you guys last week. 

It was Dia de Los Reyes that day and quite a lot of places were closed, including the internet café we normally go to in our town. ( I did not know what this was, so I looked it up--Dia de Los Reyes (known as Epiphany) is celebrated on Jan 6 to honor the Three Wise Men. This holiday represents the day the Three Wise Men gave gifts to Jesus Christ. The day closes the Christmas festivities and is the day the people exchange gifts. Christmas might be over, but it doesn't mean the gift giving (and receiving) is over. Children in Latin America and Spain receive the majority of their gifts from the Three Kings rather than Santa Claus at Christmas. Before going to bed, the children place their old shoes with a wish list on top for the Three Kings. In the morning, the shoes are filled with toys and gifts from the Three Kings.) We weren't about to let that stop us from emailing back home. We got on an omnibus for a 25 min to ride to another area to use another Cyber Café with some other missionaries in our district. 

Today our Cyber Café was closed again so we made the trip again. One thing I absolutely love about Uruguay is the massive amounts of buses  always passing by. Often times we have to take the bus to go from one appointment to another since our area is so large.

Anyways, back to those miracles I was talking about. We were given a list of prospective missionary aged young adults by the stake and were asked to seek them out, and try to reactivate them. So the 30 names on the list have been our backup plans for when a charla (visit/discussion) falls through. 

We stopped at the house of this one kid named Jesus, He had been baptized about 3 or 4 years earlier. He wasn't living there anymore, but his dad answered. He invited us in. We talked for a while about what he already knew about the church. He was pretty well versed in church history and used to read the Book of Mormon. He said he would listen from the other room when his son was receiving the charlas. His only hangup was with organized religion/ a physical church.

He had some concerns about pride entering in a church, like what happens so often in the Book of Mormon. We shared some scriptures in 3 Nephi that talk about this, and shared some excerpts from Pres. Uchtdorf´s talk "Come Join With Us"; the part that talks about how, the church is run by men striving to be perfect. The Church and Doctrine of Christ is perfect; but we as mortal men, we falter sometimes. 

He's progressing extremely well and we've addressed a lot of his concerns. We are going to try to invite him to be baptized the next visit, if we receive the prompting. He is well versed in the Bible, and has shared with us some Book of Mormon verses and has testified that what they say is true. Fingers crossed that he will continue without any huge stumbling blocks. 

We've also gotten some references from members that I can really see going far. It's so cool to look at someone and see them in your mind getting baptized, going to the temple with their family, going on missions, having callings. I hadn't really thought about how much all of these things affected peoples lives. To see recent converts making these steps is so amazing. 

Unfortunately, we have an investigator who is not progressing at all. She has received all the charlas plus an additional 5 or 6 visits just with us and members bearing testimony. She doesn't really have much interest in our message. We are only invited to come back by her husband, who is a member. It's rough, because I can see her as an awesome member, I can see her, her husband, and her little boy in white; going to the temple to be an eternal family. I can see her son serving a mission. We´ll probably stop by every once in a while just to share a spiritual thought and just see how the family is. 

It´s just rough because, I would never just want her to be baptized just to please her husband or us. I want for her to know for herself, the joy she could have with the blessing of an eternal family. I suppose only time will tell. We can always pray and hope.

Sorry that got so sad at the end. Well I hope everything is going well at home. I love you guys.

¡Les Quiero!

Élder Taylor

P.S. To answer some questions: 
Are you in the city or out in the country?
I am in a populated area, Mostly suburbish residential area (think the residential part of indianapolis like driving to Indy from 40 before you get to White River). Lots of houses, tiny, close together. It´s a little nicer though (Like I would feel safer walking down this road). Then we have a main road that runs through from Ciudad Vieja (30 min away by bus) way out to the Campo (rural area).
How many weeks between transfers? How many weeks will you be with your trainer?
The transfer cycle is 6 weeks, but because I'm being trained I'll more than likely be here for 12 weeks.

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