Monday, October 27, 2014

The Work Moves Forward

Hey fam,

This week was really good. Another week that just flew by!  It has been in the 80s and 90s all week temperature wise, and hit 100 today.  And this is supposed to be Spring.  We did quite a bit of service this week, mainly in the landscaping department, and moving bags of concrete that weigh more than I do. We helped out Hermana Martinelli and one of her nonmember friends. We visited Alejandra almost everyday this week, making sure she felt ready for the baptism. 

Thursday was a really good day. We had a lesson with Catalina, the girl who got baptized last week, who brought her friend, Valentina, who appears to be legitimately interested in the gospel as well. Also, we went to Salsipuedes on Thursday, which is a little pueblito outside of Rio Ceballos. Cordoba Capital is like Houston, Rio Ceballos is Sugarland, and Salsipuedes is Sienna Plantation, at least in regards to distances.  Although we ride busses, so everything takes quite a bit longer. And Salsipuedes is probably the poorest of the 3 as well. We went to visit Susanna, who we found a couple of weeks ago, and had already read the whole Book of Mormon when we found her. We went over the Plan of Salvation, and she was in tears as we went over the Atonement. She is in a rough situation right now, separated from her husband who is an alcoholic and she’s living in the back of her sewing shop. As we talked about how Christ knew what she was going through, and had suffered for all of these pains and afflictions that she is experiencing, the Spirit was incredibly strong. She told us that she needs to be baptized, but doesn’t want to rush anything or feel pressured. She’s already told us that she knows the Book of Mormon is true and is currently in the process of reading it again.  It’s only a matter of time, we are going back on Thursday to teach the Restoration, which she is already familiar with. We’ll see what happens!

Saturday we had burgers with the Stake President, and then the baptism of Alejandra! Elder Gravelle and I have been teaching her for the past 2 1/2 months, and it is amazing to see the progression that she has made in that time.  I remember the first time we went to her home, it was my 3rd day in Argentina, and she didn’t want anything. The only reason we went back is because her daughter was interested. Now, after slow and steady progress week by week, she made it. The baptismal service was really nice, her daughter even came.  The only reason she isn’t baptized yet is because she lives with her boyfriend, but we´re trying to fix that.  The Bishop performed the ordinance because he knew her, and the Spirit was there in abundance. It is really neat to see how people completely change into new, better, and happier people when they live the Gospel.

Answers to the fam’s ?’s :

My shoes are always dusty, I have to brush them off every night when I get home.  No primary program as of yet, and I haven’t heard anything about one. Nobody snores, and the food I miss most from home are the chocolate chip cookies.  Send me the recipe!   I will try to celebrate Thanksgiving, although I doubt I will be with this companion because transfers are this weekend and we have already been together for nearly 3 months. Spiritual highlight of the week was the Atonement discussion with Susanna, closely followed by the baptism.  I just finished reading Jesus the Christ.  I am currently studying a lot about the Atonement and the life of Christ.  We do have a baptismal font, and what made me smile today was opening up my email and seeing how loved I am by friends and family.  Glad to hear that everybody is having fun and doing well!

Love you all,

Elder Mangum
PS - No pictures this week, got a bad computer.  Next week I’ll send them, the baptism was a blast! I would love the chocolate chip cookie recipe, and any others that you think are simple and I could use here.  Love you!

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