Monday, July 6, 2015

1 Year!

Hey fam,

It was a good week.  We didn't do anything to celebrate the 4th, unfortunately.  Not even a trip to the McDonalds that is in my area. I didn’t burn a shirt either for hitting my one year mark, but a couple of other missionaries in my age group did. We had interviews with President this Wednesday, as well as with the assistants to the president.  It went well, President and I chatted a little bit about the temple and the Atonement, laws of justice and mercy.  We are able to go the temple once a transfer, on Tuesdays or Thursdays, if we live within the province of Córdoba. That was pretty good news to get!  People had been saying that maybe we would only be able to go once a year, but once a transfer is definitely something I will be taking advantage of!  Friday we also had a zone conference, topic being obedience and the power it gives us when we obey even the simple rules that don’t seem like a big deal.  

Saturday there was a home teaching activity, and we did divisions with some of the members as they did their visits for the month.  My comp went with the Bishop, and I went with 2 members of the Elder’s Quorum.  The person we went to visit wasn’t there, but the message we were supposed to is from the July Liahona, "Oh esta todo bien" (All is well in English). After our unsuccessful attempt to do the visit, we went back to the church and had chori pan.  Sausage on a bun. Delicious.  

Sunday we had a few of the less actives show up, but not as many as we would have liked.  But in ward council we were given a list of 15 families to visit throughout the course of the week, which is awesome.  I was asked at 11:28 to teach the Young Men lesson that began at 11:30.  Topic being "How can I make the sacrament more meaningful for others?"  I was also asked to share a few thoughts regarding the importance of serving a mission.  I opened up the lesson reading the scripture D&C 84:20, which puts things into pretty clear perspective regarding the importance of the ordinance of the sacrament.  We then had a discussion on what the ward was doing well, and what the young men needed to improve in order to make the sacrament a more spiritual experience.  Then we read 3 Nephi 18:1-11, Jesus instituting the sacrament in the Americas.  We talked about the importance of "being filled" by the sacrament, even though it is just a little piece of bread and cup of water that physically isn’t going to fill us, but spiritually it will.  Then I shared my thoughts on the importance of serving a mission, using Alma 29:8-10, and talking about the Atonement and the love our Father in Heaven and our Elder Brother have for us.  With all that Christ suffered for us, and we are asked to serve 2 years which in comparison with eternities and eternities, is nothing.  The bishop and the Stake YM President were crying by the end, so I think the class went well despite the lack of preparation. 

This week is the last week of the transfer.  We have planned to visit the 15 families that the ward council gave us, of which include several in which not all of the members of the family are members of the church.  Our mission President promised that if we work "bajo las llaves" of the leadership in the ward, we will find and baptize along the way.  The 9th we have a ward activity, from 10am until 5pm.  All day long, food and music and we are going to watch "Conozca los Mormones."  Meet the Mormons, but in Spanish.  I am looking forward to it.  The teaching opportunities are progressing, poco a poco. 

The most interesting person I have met in the area would have to be Alberto, a less active who was deep in the gang and drug life back in Rosario, but moved here 2 years ago and is trying to get his life back together.  He told me his story the other day of how his life used to be...pretty crazy stuff.  He is tatted up and has piercings all over, but really has a good heart, and always offers lunches for us.  His wife is a recent convert as well, we work quite a bit with that family.  

P-days, with the cold, we don’t do much.  Exercise time, with the temperatures being below 0 and pitch black at 6:30 in the morning, I settle for a couple of push ups and a couple of sit ups inside the pension.  Thanks for the updates on what is going on in the world, I had heard that President Packer passed away, like you said, sad but not unexpected.  

Love you all!  Have a good birthday week Mom!  And Aunt Jen too!

Elder Mangum

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