Monday, March 31, 2014

Feliz Cumple Papá y Feliz día de San Patricio! (March 17)

Hola all!

First of all I would just like to do a shout out to my pops who had his Bday yesterday, hope that it was a great one! Love you Dad! Also Happy Saint Patty´s day today! I am indeed wearing a green tie all day today haha. There really isnt anyway here who does much today but it is fun anyway!
Well here we are again after another great week here in the great Buenos Aires North Mission! We had another fun and successful week here as we were able to confirm Maria who we baptized this past week! This week we really started working hard with her family and we have put baptismal dates with 6 of her brothers and cousins. Only one of them was able to come to church this past week so we had to push their dates back a week but they are still looking good to do it this transfer which will be great. My zone is looking to break the record for baptisms in a month here and we are only like 7 away. My comp and I should be able to have one more the last weekend of the month so hopefully that will help the zone break the record! If we do we might be able to go to the temple as a zone!!!! Haha you know that you are a missionary when everyone is working as hard as possible so that we can gain the reward of going to the temple :). 
Anyway we have also been having a lot of fun together here with the other two Elders in the ward. We all still live together so it makes for a good time. This morning one of the other Elders cut his foot pretty keep on a random piece of wood we have leaning against my bed and we pulled a chunk of wood out of the cut and he was bleeding everywhere. Haha we were all laughing, including him, as I pulled out my first aid kit and used my first aid stuff I learned at West Point save his life! It actually ended up not being that bad and stopped bleeding pretty quick. I went out and bought some wrap and used some antiseptic and non stick pads and wrapped it up for him. It reminded me of that time at west point when I tore all the skin off of my heels and Bean had it all wrapped up for me haha. He is all good though and we will keep an eye on it. The mission nurse is in our zone and will take a look at it today too.
Other than that stuff there really wasn´t anything big that happened this week. We did get soaked to the bone a few days ago. We were eating lunch when it started to rain a ton and of course we did not have our umbrellas. We had to go to the chapel for a meeting so we went to the bus stop but there were no buses running that day so we had to take the subway and then walk like 10 blocks to the chapel. After that we walked to the apartment and then we had to walk like 45 minutes in the downpour to our area to start working again cause of course the buses were still not running. Needless to say we were completely soaked. One thing I learned is that waterproof shoes are only great until you get so wet that you still get water in them. At that point the waterproofing only serves to keep all the water inside your shoes if you are lucky enough to have it stop raining haha. At the end of the day it finally let up and as we were walking back to the apartment my comp said that he thought it might start raining again. I looked at him and said nah I don't think so it has stopped for the day. Sure enough about 30 seconds later there was a thunder crack and it started raining even harder than before. Haha oops... my comp just kept repeating "No no I don't think it will rain any more" over and over again all the way home. Hahaha my bad....
We also had a cool experience with the Aunt of Maria, our recent convert. We were talking with her sons when she came in and we invited her to sit down. We taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (lesson 3) and when we invited her to be baptized she started to cry and said that she would for sure. She then explained to us that she had seen us in the street a few weeks ago and said to herself that if it is the will of God and if their church is true, then they will come to my home and invite me to follow Christ. It just so happens that our baptismal invitation is "Will you follow the example of Jesus Chirst and be baptized by someone holding the Priesthood authority of God?" I guess when she heard that the spirit testified to her that it was an answer to her prayers and that this is exactly what she needs to do. She has some problems that we need to help her with first but there is another recent convert in our area that is a perfect member friend for her, so she will be going with us to visit her this week. We are really excited to see how it all goes!
Anyway it sounds as though everyone back home is having a good time and working hard. One of the best lessons I have learned on the mission is the principle of hard work and the blessings you can receive from it. I learned a lot about how to work hard at West Point but I have learned more here about why I should work hard here in the mission. It is incredible to see how much we can learn when we give up our lives in the service of the Lord. One other principle I am learning is the principle of planning. Not just planning big things far in the future but also taking time to plan your next day, week, or month. Sometimes it is bad to look too far ahead because it can distract from what you are doing in the moment but if you can find the right balance you will be able to use all the limited time we have to be as productive and efficient as possible. And when we do that we can do more for others and for the Lord than we could if we are just scrambling around wasting time. This life is short and we hardly have enough time to spend with those we love and prepare ourselves to live with our Father for eternity. 
Another thing I have really started to feel is the pure love that our Father and Jesus Christ have for us. They really do love each of us individually and perfectly. They are extremely patient with us and only ever want what is best. They cry when we cry and they are happy when we are happy and have success. Our Father only wants us to be able to come back and live with him, and he is so happy when we personally decide to follow the teachings of His son and also when we can help others do that as well. I testify that He is always watching and willing to bless us in every moment, we just have to accept the sacrifice and love of His son and keep His commandments and we will be able to have joy in this life and exaltation in the life to come. I am so happy to be able to make this small sacrifice to serve our Father and His son for two years and I am so blessed to have such great family and friends back home supporting me always. I love you all and keep you all in my prayers daily. Thank you for everything and I look forward to hearing about how things are going next week. Have a good one!

Elder Zollinger

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