Another week here in Buenos Aires and the theme lately fro me has been love. I've recognized how much I've truely come to love everything here. The amazing people, their language, their culture, and even the dirty nasty city I call home! This place is amazing, and I've been so blessed by all the accumulated experiences. Yesterday we had the opportunity to listen to our beloved Prophet and other leaders from the church. There were beautiful messages but what struck me most was that every single person that spoke expressed how much they LOVED the Savior Jesus Christ. When he is the focus of our love, our families succeed, our problems seem smaller and our opportunities seem greater. The legacy that our Loving Father in Heaven and His Son have left us is a legacy of LOVE. A legacy of mercy and forgiving. A legacy of Second chances and comfort every time we fall down and spiritually "get a scratched knee."
I think of how ungrateful sometimes we are and I think that God feels a deep sadness for that. But not a selfish sadness for him, but a sadness for us, because He knows that the only way to be truly happy, is to be grateful and USE the LOVE that he has left us.
In the beginning of my mission I can admit that I worked a lot out of a sense of Duty and the desire to make other "proud of me." But that motivating factor in my work has since changed. Every day, I wake up at 6:30 and head out to be ridiculed and rejected because I LOVE the people I serve, and all the ridicule and rejection is worth the one person that will open their heart and be filled with the Love that comes with repentance and service.
I know very little. If you ask me to memorize and recite I'm next to worthless. But I do know that God loves and that I love Him and that He has sent me here because he has MILLIONS of children that feel deserted depressed and unloved. And if we are supposedly the body of Christ, is it not our responsibility to Love?
I love you all, hope you and your families are healthy and united. Because at the end of the day, nothing else matters.
An update here from the Acorn Grove (translation of Avellaneda)! Another hot week! Hot like fire!!! We have been doing really well and have been seeing a lot of miracles! This time of Pascua or Easter has been amazing. It is a time when the difference between believers and followers is apparent Those who believe in Christ recognize the purpose and maybe go to church for Easter and call it good. Those who follow Christ sanctify this holiday making it something special in family or within their congregations It is a time of thanksgiving and gratitude to the Savior for all he has done. The difference between believing and following has been on my mind a lot lately.
Everything is generally the same in my life. Working hard and growing and changing. I'm kinda mind dead right now. Me and my companion just ate 2 kilos of french fries together. The oil is getting to my head. Here are some great pics from the last little bit though!
Baptism of Branko
Us eating "Animal Fries" from in and out Argentina
Us and the kids again. Elder Alvarez is from Uruguay
Me on the rock
Us and the Paraguayo kids from the Familia Benitez
Kid robbed my camera and this is what happened. That is the face of "alright now give me back my camera!"
Baptism of Carlos Benitez by his cousin David
Us in the truck. Not legal but totally normal.
Tower and Little Benjamin Solorsa
Another Succesful pday of laundry
BK cuadruple stacker baby!!!! HELLO DELICIOUS!!!!
I am the Walrus! CUCUCACHU!!!!
Argentines LOVE tang. There is a whole aisle of it!
Just sitting here in the family history center writing you a note! Here is a live action foto for you! It is rainy and dreary outside and we're going to go to BURGER KING in a little bit to buy ourselves QUADRUPLE STACKERS!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!
So this week we have time for letters and pictures! I sent a lot of pictures from last week of some of the parts of Avellaneda. It is interesting for me to see your pictures and see the difference between the world I live in and the world you all live in. We are blessed with such an abundance and economic security. Here that is just something that exists with an elite few. Inflation is constant. When I first got here a kilo of bread cost 4 pesos and now is 14. In just two years! The people here suffer greatly economically and spiritually but have an optimism and desire for better times to come. Just like everywhere, there are those that are destitute and hopeless and those that are destitute and hopeful I think what the Gospel does is provide the hopeless hope, and the hopeful the ability to make their hopes reality. Ezra Taft Benson in a discourse once said,
"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature."
That is what I have seen every day for the last two years. Everyone falls down. Some fall further than others. Some start further down and so when they fall it seems even further! But Christ descended below all and through his grace and A LOT of hard work, we can be lifted and changed. God is so good. He will provide the way. He does provide the way. I love you all. We are so blessed and loved. More than many of us will ever come to realize.
View from the Torres Puerreydon towards capital. One on a foggy day and one on a clear day. When it is foggy a stench of rot and decay permeates the city. This part of Avellaneda is the most contaminated place in all of Argentina.
This is the Familia Molinas. They are the Loyal Saints of Avellaneda! We took this picture at our last supper with the Elders of Avellaneda 1B right before their area was closed.
A view towards capital at night!
Burning Tires on the Bridge in protest of who knows what! Someone is always burning something and protesting something here. You'll notice all the publicity vans are keeping a good distance! :)
And this is a four lane street 100% flooded after a rain storm. They have serious drainage problems here when it rains hard.
This is a perfect example of the plan of Salvation....a nasty dead dog carcus. :)
And these are our water filters after a month....ya.
Me and lem and then me in front of my Futbol team's stadium! Aguante Racing!!!!!!