Monday, April 7, 2014

163 baptisms! Ice cream for all!

Querida familia,                        7 De Abril 2014
Some of the sisters from Campo Largo
As a mission, we had one-hundred and sixty three baptisms last month in March, which was the goal of the mission, and the baptisms that we had this last week were the ones that got us to the mission goal. So, as a reward, our zone leader went with us to buy everyone ice cream, While we were there, there was a little boy who, I suppose, had some anti-American feelings because he asked another missionary from El Salvador why he liked Americans. This Elder replied, "because they stole Alaska from Canada just like we stole the Malvinas (Falkland Islands) from Great Britain." I thought that was really funny and the kid also decided that he now liked Americans.

In preparation for the general conference this past weekend, we spent a lot of timing teaching the people, both investigators and recent converts, about the Priesthood and those who hold it.

In all of this preparation, Jonathan has decided that he would like to be a missionary too. So we've been teaching him a little bit more about the Priesthood, how he can prepare himself and what are the requirements to serve.
I gave Jonathan a white shirt and tie to wear to church and to general conference
On Sunday, between conference sessions, Jonathan and Marcos were both interviewed to receive the Priesthood by the branch president. They both did well in their interview and will be ordained priests this coming Sunday. We're going to see if we can't get them to perform a baptism on my last Saturday here in Argentina; it would certainly be a rewarding experience to see two youth progress so quickly in the Church.

But we've been thinking that we are just finding everything and everyone that we need to be able to set up a full branch that will have the capacity to continue growing into a ward. We've taught a couple times a woman named Justina now. The last time that we talked with her she asked us if it would be alright to invite some of her friends over for the next lessons so that they could also learn from us. So now with Marcos and Jonathan we've already got our priests how are going to serve missions, and Justina and her friends will become the Relief Society presidency.

The general conference was really great though. we went to Saenz Peña to see it in the district center and rented a small travel bus to take everyone there on Sunday. 

We were the only ones from Quitilipi who went for the Saturday session, which made things a little bit easier for us. Here Priesthood session starts at nine and then finishes at eleven at night. So we stayed the night with some other missionaries in their apartment. 

The next morning we had to get up to go back to Quitilipi so that we could shower, change, eat lunch, and then get back to work so that we could gather up everyone who was going to go to the conference.
The bus ride back to Quitipili
Everyone enjoyed the trip and one girl, named Eliana, on the way back said that she was going to be baptized (before she had been undecided and wasn't sure what she wanted to do). She has been making some good changes though, including giving up social engagements to be more active in the Gospel. Here, especially in Quitilipi, all the of the youth go to the dance clubs and there just isn't anything good that happens there. So when she asked if she shouldn't go to the dances I asked her, "If you were walking next to an abyss, would you try to stay as far away as possible or walk as close to the edge as possible and try not to fall in?" She said that she would avoid the edge because it's too risky to walk the border of the abyss. So I asked her, "If everyone at the dance is drinking, smoking, doing drugs, and then going home to someone else's house and eight o'clock the next morning, how close are you to the edge of the abyss by going to the dance?" She got the message and hasn't been to the dances for two weeks now. 

I know this letter is short, it's just that we spent the whole week in meetings and getting ready for general conference. Next week I'll be sending some baptism pictures though.

os amo,
Elder Burt

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