Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October 21----Pretty Darn Good Week!

Hey all!

Well this last week was pretty darn good!! A lot of good stuff happened and I learned a lot this past week. The beginning was a little sluggish and slow but we made it through and had a great ending. For the first part of the week the adversary was really working hard on my companion, our investigators, and myself. It seemed like a lot of our investigators were slowing down in their progression and we did not really know why. Also my companion was a little homesick as our ward mission leader took a vacation to Uruguay (where he is from) and met his family and took pictures with his parents and siblings and worst of all, his dogs. Haha I though it was funny but he was pretty homesick because of it.

 I'm doing good with that but this past week Satan really tried to get me discouraged about everything. It was really hard to stay happy and upbeat as he was hitting me with all he had. I was getting frustrated with the language and not being able to help or talk with people perfectly, because mom gave me her perfectionism. I was starting to think that I should have gone somewhere else on my mission, which is not realistic at all as I was called here by a prophet of God. It was tough though. But with study and prayer we both were able to get over his pushing on us and we had a great weekend. I will talk more about this weekend later.

Well this Thursday is my one month mark here in Argentina. To be perfectly honest the first month was really slow haha. The mission is definitely the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, much harder than West Point. But I have also learned much more in the short time I have been out here than I ever have in my life.

 I receive revelation literally every day from the Holy Ghost for me, for my investigators, and for the work. It is so crazy as I literally feel so much closer to my Father in Heaven out here. I can tell Satan is working so hard out here on everyone and everything to try and slow the work down but it is just so amazing as the Lord always wins and it all just keeps pushing forward. It is seriously a literal battle with sin. Every day we are out there fighting against sin and evil. It is amazing to see the power of God and his hand in every aspect of the work. It is definitely the most amazing thing I have seen in my life to see people´s lives change as they receive the faith and hope that comes from knowing the gospel of Jesus Christ. And besides, the evidences that Satan is doing everything he can to stop us only strengthens my faith that this Gospel and Church is true and that with God, all things are possible.

Well back to this weekend. Saturday was a great day as we worked in the vineyard. We taught a bunch of great lessons and had real success with a few new investigators. I also prepared a talk as I had to give one yesterday in sacrament meeting. I talked about member missionary work and how important it is to get the members involved. It actually went really really well and my Spanish was really good as I talked. I just kind of joked around on the pulpit about how I was new and to forgive me if I make mistakes. Every time I couldn't think of a word I just kind of laughed and explained what I tried to say. The members loved it and a lot of them came up and told me how much they liked it and loved how hard I am trying to learn Spanish. It really strengthened my faith and helped me to know that I really have learned a lot of Spanish and can say what I want to without too many errors!

 We also were really excited as we prepared the chapel for our first baptism together as a companionship. That´s right I said it. I HAD MY FIRST BAPTISM YESTERDAY!!!!!! It was by far the best experience of my life. Her name was Wendy Geraldine Cuellar Perez. When she asked if I would do the baptism I about died. I had no idea how to say her name correctly. I literally wrote it on a sticky note and put in on the back of my badge and recited it and the baptismal prayer all day. haha I was so nervous that I would somehow mess up. I was literally less nervous being a range safety with 200 new cadets than I was getting into that font!!! The cool thing is though that as I was getting dressed in all white I just had this comforting feeling come over me that the Lord would not set me up to fail and that he will especially not let me fail in doing a sacred ordinance like baptism. Besides, I have never had a bad experience when I was dressed in all white!! It was so cool and the baptism went perfectly. They said I even had the accent down perfectly as I said her name and the prayer. Haha that is what a day of saying the same line over and over again will do for you! But yes it was amazing and as I lifted her out of the water I felt like I didn´t have to do a thing. I seemed as though there were angels there lifting her out. It was soooooo cool. I wish I could explain how happy I was as I walked about of the font. Wow is about all I can say! I am so glad that I was able to do that and I will remember it forever.

We should have another baptism this next week. It is actually a ward baptism though as the girl is 8 years old and her mom is an inactive member. So the number will not come to us but it is ours in heart though as we reactivated her family and we will be performing the ordinance. My companion will probably do the actual baptism for her but it is all the same to me! I will attach some pictures that we took in another email. They are a little blurry so sorry for that but they are all we have!

Anyway I am doing good and having fun. I am still healthy and what not. I had a bit of a cold this week but it wasn't too bad. It is starting to get warmer and humid here so I sweat a bit but its not that bad yet. My body is so confused because the temperature is going the wrong direction haha. It is all good though it will figure it out.
I´m glad that Barry is back and doing well. Thanks for going to his homecoming and Marshalls this next week. I am sure they appreciate that! Also thanks for getting their emails for me.

 I am glad everything else is going well too. I hope all continues to go well with the move in of Dave and Kelly and hope their home goes up well! I'm glad Dad is getting right on into the retired life and having fun. He told me that the Traverse had to have a lot of work but was covered by warranty. That´s good or that would have been expensive!

Well anyway thats really about all I have for this week. Just plugging along and doing the work of the Lord. I´ll let you know next week how everything else is working out! Oh yeah and about the investigator who got offended, well it all worked out and she decided to get baptized. You may be asking why we didn't

baptize her though. Well it turns out that she was baptized years and years ago in Bolivia as a kid and she forgot. Haha so she is already a member! Wow that is crazy how that one turned out. My companion and I laughed so hard about that.
Well anyway I hope that everyone has a good week and thanks for all the updates. Love you all and talk to you next week!!

Elder Zollinger

Elder Zollinger, Sister Perez, and Elder Pereira

Members and family at the baptism

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