This was a really good week, I had a lot of fun. Lots of little miracles as well. This week we did about 80% repairs on the Chapel/Pension. We put in new fluorescent lights, a new sink, and now all that is left is fixing the water pressure so that we can shower. Then we will buy a few things to improve the pension, like plates and spoons! Basic necessities to live.
Wednesday we did exchanges with the other missionaries in the district, I was with Elder Aranda from Spain. We were only together for a few hours, but we had a good time. We had lunch and visited with a family that got baptized back in December, which was fun to talk about how they got baptized and the missionaries that taught them (one of which was in the MTC with me that I know pretty well.) Elder Aranda has only been out in the field about 6 months, so I was the lead missionary in everything. We got a couple of references, and had an overall successful day in his area.
Thursday was a day of miracles. The zone leaders came down from the Capital and did exchanges with us, I was with Elder Agren from Utah. We tried to visit a few members, but nobody let us in. Finally we went to a house of a member who hasn’t talked to us since last year, came to church two or three times, got baptized in November, and never showed up again. Miraculously, she let us in, and we had a very nice lesson. Then, en route to the hotel to end the day, we contacted a family of 7, Familia Sosa, who let us in to their house, gave us cake, and we taught them Lesson 1. They understood it well, and committed to praying. We are going to pass by today or tomorrow, they weren’t able to come to church, but they have a ton of potential. A complete family here where the parents are actually married! That never happens!
Sunday, more miracles. We had visitors from the stake come! First time in the 3 years of the area that has happened! A member of the high council, and a counselor in the Stake Relief Society Presidency came and gave talks. Also the first time in 4 months that I did not have to speak in sacrament meeting. We had 19 people at church, including 3 investigators! Elisa, Emilia Barrionuevo (the wife of the member who got married 2 months ago) and somebody who had come a couple of months ago that just showed up randomly! Elisa and Emilia should be getting baptized this week, we just need to find an adequate source of water to actually perform the baptism. We just got permission (as I am writing this email) to baptize in the pool of the hotel during the hours of the siesta (2-6 in the afternoon). Another miracle!
All in all, a really great week. As far as birthday celebrations for me today, nothing too crazy. Just a lunch with a member, and maybe dinner at the restaurant in the hotel. A pretty laid back day. I definitely don’t feel 19, I feel like just yesterday was the surprise 18th birthday party at the Hickmans! I am looking forward to conference this weekend, it should be really good. Hopefully we find a way to be able to watch it here in Aimogasta. If we don’t, we will travel to the capital to watch.
The most exciting thing this week was finding the Familia Sosa. And having visitors from the Stake. The Stake high councilman said he was going to recommend sending 2 more missionaries here to make us a total of 4 in the area, and to send somebody from the stake or branch on a weekly basis, as well as a few other things. I think that would be really good! This coming week, General Conference is what I am looking forward to most! A song we sang, ¡Mirad Reales Huestes! My favorite story of Jesus, walking on the water, and the experience with Peter there. Anything to eat on my birthday..a toss up between Uncle Zeb’s and a Whataburger Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich with a Dr.Pepper. My favorite thing in Argentina, bife de chorizo, a cut of Argentine steak.
Love you all! Have a fantastic week! Remember to go into Conference with a specific challenge/question and you will get your answer!
Elder Michael Mangum
Jesus Walking on the Water - Wherefore Didst Thou Doubt?
Prepare to Be Inspired
Finding Answers at General Conference