30 March 2010

Three Baptisms!

I hope everything is going good for you all in your respective parts of the country. I was super excited to hear the new news of baby number 2 that will be joining the family while I am gone. It is weird thinking that I will have two people to get to know when I get home. I hope that I have the chance to get to know them soon after I arrive so that they aren´t too old and think that I am a stranger the first time that they meet me.

Things out here are going well. This last week was good. It was a busy one trying to get the baptismal services organized. It was a great thing that we had help from people in the branch in Simoca. Since they are the ones that live the farthest away, it would have been really hard and really time consuming to get things going without their help. But luckily there are some really cool members there. We actually have a ward mission leader in that branch, something that lacks in Monteros. And it is kind of like you said mom, we spend a good part of our time putting out fires and trying to get the work done at the same time.

There is a big problem with pride and damaged pride in the church everywhere and it stands out a lot here, I don't know whether it is because of our calling as missionaries that I am more aware of it or because we have a good rapport with the members and they confide their problems in us or what, but there have definitely been some one of a kind experiences that I have had in this area. One of a kind in the sense that they are the first time learning experiences during my mission. And I am glad in a way because I am learning things that I am sure that many missionaries and surely many members of the church don´t get the chance to be exposed to. But anyway, that´s that. I don´t want to go telling you all a bunch of the people´s issues. It has also been an interesting experience for my companion. He is definitely not used to having that level of contact with people and doesn´t like having that close of a relationship with people to the point where they are willing to tell you their deep dark secrets. I don´t try to form that sort of relationship, but I guess I just have a way of doing it without trying. Hopefully it´ll be good for me in the future in some way shape or form.

But anyway, back on topic. The baptisms! The baptisms went really well. On Friday we had two baptisms in Simoca, for Rodrigo Lazarte and Ramon Campero. That went really well. They are friends of a member family in Simoca and they were a reference from that family. Rodrigo decided he wanted his friend, Rodrigo Romano, to baptize him and Ramón chose the dad, Pocho. It was super cool seeing those four all in white and having them participate in that special moment together. It is something that reminded me of when Sean Fisher got baptized and he asked Ryan Grow to do it. Good memories. Then we weren´t there on Sunday for their confirmations, but they said that it went well. We had to go over to Simoca on Sunday night to get the papers signed. Then on Saturday we had the baptism of Gisel Alí. She has been dating a member for a while and he is on a mission currently. She made the decision to get baptized a long time ago but was waiting to turn 18 so that she could make the decision on her own since her family did not want to support her in the decision. But she has the support of the family of her boyfriend, so that is really good. Then on Sunday she was confirmed along with the boys in Simoca. We had to stay in Monteros because other than the branch president there is no other worthy priesthood. That makes things interesting sometimes.

Today while we were doing our shopping for the week I got a phone call from the zone leader saying that my companion had to travel to Salta and had to be there at 4 o clock. So that changed our plans for the day a little bit. So for the next day or so I will be doing divisions with the district leader and his companion in a city called Concepcion. It´s named after "la immaculada concepcion de jesus" (the immaculate conception of Jesus Christ) and it is a little bit bigger than where I am at :). It is the second biggest city in Tucuman and there are only 2 missionaries here. They definitely have their work cut out for them. I heard from a couple of converts today that are passing through some difficult times. Rodrigo, the last baptism in Perico, has been getting a lot of problems from his family and is kind of frustrated with everything. On top of that they have been giving him anti-Mormon doctrine. He is a really good guy but his testimony is still growing. I would really appreciate it if you could pray for him, his name is Rodrigo Copas.

As of now we are working with a few people, trying to help them take the steps necessary to follow the gospel. There is a girl that is a member of a less active family that is super smart that we are working with. She is only 9 but she is way intelligent and she is super small too, she´s probably just more than a meter tall. She´s super funny. We were supposed to pass by the other day but we couldn´t because of the baptismal interviews and when we went last night she was angry that we didn´t come. We called, but they didn´t pick up. She was kind of throwing a fit and then we started to teach a little bit and we got her and her little sisters involved and then she really got into it and it turned out good. I’ve been sharing the Starbursts with the little kids. They really love them, and they were so excited when I told them that if they all behaved and kept still and quiet during the lesson that I would give them each a couple of Starbursts. Now my only dilemma is what do I do when they run out :)? Ha-ha.

Things are going good overall. I did get the package as you have probably already caught on. Thanks a ton; I’ve been sharing most of it. My comp thinks that the marshmallows in the cereal are the weirdest thing ever. He loved the Girl Scout cookies though. Ha-ha. When I explained the Girl Scout program to him he thought it was the most ridiculous thing ever, then he thought about it for a second and said "but if they keep making these cookies, I don´t care how weird it is." I love you guys a ton. I am looking forward to hearing from you all next week. Until then; I Love you all.

Elder Jeff Rose

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