Oct. 3, 2016
Hi Everyone! Great hearing from all of you and hope everyone is healthy and happy!
This week was pretty crazy...on Friday in one part of our area there was a mass eviction where lots of people were forced from their homes. The police came in with riot shields and it was very chaotic. One of these families were members so we spent a few hours helping them dissemble their house in what I can only describe as the most chaotic church move I have ever taken part in. Houses were being bulldozed and it was really sad to see.
On Saturday, things got worse, and as we were driving through the area we heard several gunshots and people were lighting straw mattresses on fire to burn their homes. We asked our taxi driver a few minutes later if he knew what was going on back there and he said completely seriously "Ohh there´s a championship soccer game! Yeah there are two teams..." and he went on giving details about this soccer game completely oblivious to what we had just driven through. Elder Sierra and I just cracked up. It was crazy!! We ended up inviting him to come to Conference.
Conference was amazing! I had to watch the first two sessions on Saturday in Spanish because there was no English transmission, but it was really special because when you can´t write down exactly what they are saying, you write down exactly what you are feeling. I really enjoyed President Uchtdorf's first talk and the Spirit was so strong throughout that day!
On Sunday morning we got to greet all the saints as they gathered in the Stake center in La Pampa! It was the happiest moment of my week to see so many righteous Latter Day Saints gathered to hear and sustain a Prophet of God! Unfortunately, none of our investigators attended which was really sad for us as missionaries, but we made several visits and calls to each one of them and did our best so there is nothing to regret!
This week I learned an important principle: optimism is an essential part of faith. I am a new and naïve missionary with a pure optimism at times simply because I do not know reality yet. Sometimes my companion and others around me tend to dampen that optimism because they "know better" or have experienced so much rejection before, but if we are to be faithful we must be optimistic. If we act without a sincere belief and hope that something is going to happen, we are not acting in faith.
Updates on investigators: Claudia y Ximena haven't progressed much this week but Secundino read 10 chapters of the book of Mormon on his own! It was amazing to hear this! I love this work and love all of you!