Monday, June 30, 2014

World Cup craziness (June 23)

Hello all!

Well just to start off I would just like to say it is completely different being in Argentina for the World Cup than the United States haha. All of the sudden Argentine flags came out of nowhere and now they are all over houses and cars and people and dogs and anything a flag can hang on! Not to mention Argentina won their first two games so now they are already guaranteed a spot in the 8th finals. When Argentina plays we basically have nothing to do... As of yet we have had no special rules come down but we are not allowed to watch the games so we just kind of walk around in the street like lost puppies listening to people scream at the television inside their homes haha. The entire country shuts down for those games! Not even the dogs come out into the streets! And there are a ton of dogs!!! We may not be able to watch the game but we always know what the score is based on the people who come running out into the streets screaming ¡¡¡Goal Goal Goal!!! and of course yelling at the random yankee with a shirt and tie on and his Peruvian friend. I guess it is all part of the mission experience though haha! Argentina plays again this Wednesday but it is at 1 in the afternoon here so we will be eating lunch and not in the streets this time. Hopefully that will work out more to our favor :)
Anyways this past week was a good one we worked hard and found a few new people to teach. We were able to find a less active family who is really cool. They have 4 kids and all of them are baptized but the two youngest ones who have 8 and 6 years old. The 8 year old turns 9 on July 2 so we talked with his family and they agreed that he should be baptized on July 6. However they did not come to church this week despite our best efforts and so we had to put his date back to July 13. We will be working hard this week and of course going by his house to make them go to church this Sunday. It didn´t rain all last week except for between 8 and 9 in the morning on Sunday, right when people are going to church... Of course when it rains here nobody wants to go to church so of a ward of 400 members we had 64 in sacrament meeting due to 1 hour of rain... I guess the normal attendance is like 90ish people though. There are a ton of less actives here. It is sad to see people who once had a testimony give up the blessings of the covenants they made for reasons that have nothing to do with anything.
Nothing really all that exciting happened here this past week. With the colder weather moving in and the world cup it makes it a bit harder to find people willing to listen to a Gospel message and even makes it harder for the members to want to help us do it. I wish that there was something that I could do to help people see that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a bit more important that Soccer but I guess when you are in South America during the world cup it is just a bit hard to do haha. Regardless we are just going to keep working and praying and I am sure that there is someone here who is more interested in their salvation than a soccer game :)
Well that is really about all that I have for this past week. All is well here and the district is doing well too. My district has baptized 4 people so far this transfer so they are all working hard and having success. I have been able to do a few baptismal interviews lately which is really such a humbling experience to stand in as a representative of the Lord to see if a child of God is ready to enter into the first saving covenant with Him. I love being a District Leader and I am really happy to be able to serve with and strive to help the other great missionaries in my district.
Just one thing that I have learned lately is the importance of being diligent. It really doesn't do us much good to work hard when the times are good and the success is easy if we don´t continue working hard when the times are rough and the success is hard to come by. One big inspiration is the Savior in His life and how He was always focused on His purpose of serving others and helping everyone. He never stopped working even after His death as He continued His great work in the Spirit World and then even after His resurrection (no idea how to spell that in English now haha). I am so glad to be able to be here in the mission and have the chance to serve others and learn more about myself and my Savior as I do so. The time continues to fly by and my year mark is starting to creep up on me. All I know is that I need to keep working and love every moment because before I know it it will be gone. Thanks for everything that you all do for me and especially the prayers that you send my way. I love you all and have a great week!

Love always,

Elder Zollinger

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