Monday, February 28, 2011

New Assignment

Hey, Everyone.

First off, CONGRATULATIONS, SUMMER AND WILL!!! (And Hunter and Ethan) Kate looks so cute! Her cheeks are HUGE! haha. I love you guys, and her already!

I don´t have time to write very much at all today.

I received a new assignment which moves my P-Day to Wednesday, and sometimes I might not even have one.

I have been assigned to work in the offices of the mission as the Registrador (Registrar). It basically means that I will be in charge of all forms, statistics, materials, orders, mail, and things like that for the mission. I am very excited for this opportunity, even though it means less time proselyting. That is always the catch with working in the offices. But luckily, my new companion(s) both want to break the normal ´´being-in-the-offices-means-you-don´t-baptize´´ stereotype.

I am currently in a trio. I am with Elder Pratley from Boise, Idaho, and Elder Hermosilla from Chile. E. Hermosilla is my first Latin-American companion that I have had in the mission. Elder Pratley will be here long enough to train me in the systems and procedures, and then he will most likely be transferred out, and E. Hermosilla and I will be together. I know E. Pratley from my first transfer here, and I met E. Hermosilla today. They are both great, and I am looking forward to these next few weeks/months.

I am serving in the area of Adrogué B, in the city of Adrogué. The address you have to send me letters is the physical address of the mission offices. It is a church building with the offices upstairs. I have´t seen my pension yet, but I have heard it is one of the nicest in the mission. With air conditioning in the bedroom and the kitchen. In my last pension, we had one fan, and there wasn´t even a difference between the bedroom and kitchen. It was all one! haha.

So, hopefully on Wednesday I will be able to send out a longer email, with answers to questions and stuff like that.

Love you all.


Elder Scot Daniel Stobbe Jr

Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Failure is not falling down, failure is not getting back up

This last week went by fairly smoothly. It was a routine” week in the mission. Luckily, “routine” means meeting new people, spiritual experiences, and growth through trial. I will share one story that happened that illustrates my general view of missionary work.

First off, us as missionaries have a job to do. That job is to invite people to come unto Christ by sharing the restored gospel, so that they have a chance to repent, be baptized, and enter into the kingdom of God. I realized shortly after getting here that we can only do so much, and then it rests with them to accept and act, or not. So, we go out every day, we talk to people in the streets, in their house, waiting for the bus, wherever. We do our best to be obedient so that we can be worthy of the Holy Ghost to guide us in our work. And when we finally find someone who is willing to listen, we teach and testify with that same Spirit. But as it says in Preach My Gospel, even some people who hear the message, and receive an answer as to the veracity of our message through the Holy Ghost may walk away. For whatever reason, they choose not to accept it. That is the hardest part of our Heavenly Father’s plan. No one can be forced. That is the hardest part about missionary work....

But this story isn’t about that side of the work. This is about how agency is also the best part of Heavenly Father’s plan. We had been doing our best all week. Working hard, visiting our investigators and members, doing contacts, praying for help, all the good stuff. But we didn’t find anyone new to teach all week. On Saturday, we went to lunch with a family in our ward se llama los Gaspari. They have been members for over 30 years, but had been inactive for a year or so up until about November. They asked us how the week had gone so far, and we told them. They said, “oh, that” too bad elders. Sometimes the work is just hard. ”Yeah,” we replied. After we finished lunch were sitting there talking and they stopped and said, “Oh by the way, we have a referral for you guys. It’s our next door neighbor, and she will be here in 10 minutes!” We were so surprised and so grateful for them. It turns out that their neighbor had been going to an evangelist church for a while, but felt like it didn’t have what she was looking for. She commented on that to Sister Gaspari, the member, and asked her what she should do. “Well, you know what? You didn’t find what you were looking for in that church because it’s not the true church of Jesus Christ. Luckily, my church is. You should come over on Saturday and listen to two young men who are called to teach people like you who are looking for the truth.” This lady, Amalia, was touched by the Light of Christ inside of her and the Holy Ghost from this Sister. She immediately agreed, eager to find out if we really did have the truth. So on Saturday afternoon, she came over, and we had an AMAZING first lesson where we talked about the Doctrine of Christ, his Atonement, and what it means to have His true church on the earth today. At the end, she said it all felt right and she was eager to go home and read, study, and pray to see if it is really what she is looking for. We on the inside have the advantage of knowing that it is what she is looking for, so we are just going to pray for her, keep working, and wait until she receives her answer. She has one of the purest desires of the truth and her Savior’s love that I have seen so far on the mission. When we asked her what the Atonement of Jesus Christ meant to her in her life, she teared up, and couldn’t talk for a while. Finally, she told us she couldn’t describe it, but she felt inside the importance of being able to repent and be forgiven. “To be clean,” she finally got out. “That is what I want.” We were and are so grateful for that opportunity we had to meet her. The importance of members in missionary work is immense. I have not seen a person change and get baptized yet on my mission that did not have a member as family or a friend. The ones who truly accept our message can see the difference in the lives of their loved ones, and want that. It says in Doctrine and Covenants that many people are looking for the truth, but know not where to find it. But luckily, the members they know do know. That is the beauty of this Gospel. Once you have it, you can bring it to countless numbers through your example, and a little bit of courage to talk to them about the Church. It wasn’t meant this way, but I am adding on to this message a call out to all who are reading this to find ways to share the Gospel (including to those who may already be members, but are struggling.)

I know that this is the work of the Lord. He guides us and works with us every day. I love being a missionary.

Elder Scot Stobbe

Monday, February 21, 2011

Last weeks letter... sorry

Hey Everyone!

How how is everyone! Sorry about last week. I had a special personal assignment I had to fulfill, therefore there was no blog posted. But here you go now!

Actually, this won´t be much of an email (lengthwise), seeing as not much went down this last week. Elder Allen was sick for a few days, and we sort of fell out of rhythm. Things were just getting tough, and by Saturday night, we were both feeling pretty down. We hadn´t been finding any new people to talk to, the investigators we have were not home for their appointments, just things of that nature. So, on Saturday night, we decided to give each other blessings of comfort, counsel, and energy. It was a great experience. While I was receiving my blessing, I felt the Spirit fill my heart, and felt the love of my Heavenly Father. And after, while I was giving a blessing to E. Allen, it was as if I was just sitting back listening to someone else speak. The words just came out. We both felt the Spirit strongly, and are ready to take on this week. At the core of everything are our testimonies. We know that we have a true message, and that we are where we need to be. With that, we can do anything. My teacher in the MTC told us that two people can accomplish anything, as long as one of them is the Lord. So this week, we are putting our trust in the Lord, and we are expecting great things.

We did have the opportunity to do some service this week. We went with two other elders to the area of the Sister Missionaries, which is just west of ours. The service was clearing out the back yard of a member family. But at first, we didn´t have a weed wacker, so we were using a scythe! It was actually pretty fun. The grass was about 3 feet tall, mixed with weeds, covering the whole back yard, and when we left, it was all nice and short and good looking. But we did cheat, because about half way through, the sister missionaries remembered that one of the members in their ward had a weed wacker, so they went and got it. That made the work a little easier. It was nice to get out work like that in the sun. We had to till the dirt in one part so they could make a garden, and I got that assignment. When I was done, my arms were dead, but if felt good. After, the sister’s made us tacos, and we went and got ice cream.

On a suggestion from Dad, I read and re-read the talk from Elder Cook from last General Conference called Let There Be Light. First off, I don´t have it in English, so my studying was done all in Spanish. I was pleasantly surprised to find that that wasn´t a hindrance. He talked about how we as Latter-day Saints are changing the world with our take on Faith, our Religion, and the actions of our Members. We are a force for good in a world festering with evil. Even if we are not ´´converting´´ people to our religion, we have a moral responsibility to do our part to build a better society based on honesty and sound principles. The question is, what does that mean for each of us individually? I think it means we do are best to be examples and witnesses of Christ at all times, and in all things, and in all places. We follow our Faith, serve others, and be the best people we can be. I especially like the part where he talked about a study done which showed that democratic governments cannot function without a basic system of honesty. In a society where the citizens are taught from a young age to hold themselves accountable before God for their actions, this democracy will function smoothly, and they will have peace as a society. But if the citizens do not feel accountable for their actions, and do not have a basic upbringing in honesty, no amount of police officers can make them follow the laws set out by that government. It struck me because at the center of society, that really is the key. Honesty. We has members of the Church feel accountable to God for our actions, therefore we are generally good citizens. We don´t keep certain laws because we are afraid of the ticket or fine that comes, rather because we know that it is right, and we know our Father in Heaven is watching. I know that Elder Cook is right when he says that if we could just spread this basic principle of accountability, we could eliminate much of the wickedness from the world. Even though our time on this Earth is short, I think that it is a pretty good goal, don´t you?

I love this Gospel. I know that it is true, and that one day, if we do our part, we can all have the true happiness we are looking for. I know that Christ atoned for my sins, your sins, and the sins of every one of our Heavenly Father´s children. Let us not take for granted this amazing blessing by living in guilt, misery, fear, or whatever other feeling comes with unresolved sin. Christ already suffered. Let´s not let that suffering be in vain. I bear my testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church upon the face of the Earth. Christ is it´s living Head. He suffered, died, and lived again so that we can be partakers of eternal glory. Through the commandments and principles set forth by Christ through his modern-day prophets, we have all the knowledge we need to gain this glory and happiness. Let´s do what we need to, OK? In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Elder Scot Daniel Stobbe Jr

Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

8 months down. Wow.

Sorry, no pictures this week either. My card reader broke.

This week was a little sad. It started out looking great. We had a baptism set for Saturday (Juan), we had good lessons with some investigators, helping them progress, and I did an awesome exchange with one of my zone leaders, Elder Justensen. He came over to Los Hornos to do the baptismal interview for Juan. So on Saturday, we show up at the church to start filling the font, and we see a bike already there, and when we go inside, we hear the water already running. We investigate and find the ward mission leader from Los Hornos 1, the ward we share a church building with, already preparing. He told us that the sister missionaries who work in that ward also have a baptism. It was set to start only a half hour after ours, so we just asked him if we could join up, and have a double service. Of course, he agreed. So, everything went great, both of the boys got baptized, and everything was dandy. Him and his family were glowing with happiness afterward, and we talked for about 15 minutes about the experience. We told them they absolutely HAD to be in sacrament meeting on time the next day. Unfortunately, they didn´t get there on time. In fact, they never showed up at all! They are staying in Capital right now (1 hour travel at least) so we think that something happened with that. The other hard part is, that we haven´t even been able to get a hold of them since Sunday morning. Hopefully we can get it all worked out, and Juan can be confirmed and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost this next Sunday.

Other than that, not much has gone down out here in The Ovens, other than being hot and humid. It seems weird, but some weeks are defined by 2 or 3 awesome lessons, where you see the change and the growth, but you look back at the week and it looks like you didn´t do very much... if you look at the numbers. But this last week, we saw a family gain hope that their deceased father is still alive, a 75 year-old woman find strength and solace on a lonely day through the Atonement of Christ, and a single mother struggling to support her family finally see her last son be baptized, so that she can have a united family. I am so grateful to be part of this work. I feel so priviledged to see the experiences these wonderful people are having. And I am doing my best to do my part in this marvelous work and a wonder.

On a side note, I FINALLY got my Christmas package... and it was AWESOME!!!! I have been enjoying treats all week, but more especially, enjoying the notes and pictures from everyone. The kids are so cute! I can´t believe all the funny things they do, all the fun activities they have, and their simple radiance as they sit there looking at you. I have gone through the stack of pictures at least 10 times, just enjoying being with them vicariously. Thank you so much everyone who was involved in that package. I took some pictures enjoying the stuff, but sadly, I can´t send them today.

I love you all. I do not have much more to say. Keep sending my notes, letters, and pictures!