This last week was special. Not because of any experience I had in themission work, but because of Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving. You have the food, and family (normally). But you also have the reason for the holiday,giving thanks. On Thanksgiving, we went to a members house (a mom and her son named Paola and Juan Cruz) had had our imitation of Thanksgiving dinner.Instead of turkey, we had chicken. We had mashed potatoes and corn, but the gravy was imitation, made with chicken broth instead of turkey drippings.Unfortunately, there was no green bean casserole, yams with marshmallows,stuffing, homemade rolls, or pie. We made it spending only $60 pesos, whichis about $15 dollars. Not bad, huh? And it fed 4 people. After we finished eating, we went around the table telling what we are grateful for. HermanaPaola, who was baptized in May, had quite a long list. She has had a pretty hard life, but her outlook has changed completely since getting baptized.She actually had quite an experience during General Conference. In fact, it was during the same talk that I had my revelation about school. She was baptized in May, but said she didn't really have a complete testimony. She was about to stop going to church because she felt that she couldn't go and pretend everything was ok. So during General Conference she was thinking alot about that but not really looking for an answer specifically from conference. On Sunday morning during President Monson's talk though, she said she felt the Spirit testifying that this man is the Prophet of God, and that was quickly followed by a confirmation that the Church is indeed true. Almost as soon as the prayer finished to end the session, she ran to the bathroom so no one would see her crying. Since then, she has continued having problems, but she knows she is in the right place. She had been serving as Young Women's President up until yesterday as well, but she was released and called to be the Primary President. President Cignoli, theBranch President, said that he received the revelation to call her when he was not even looking for a Primary President. He was just thinking about the Branch and he felt very strongly that he need to release her from her other calling and call her to the Primary. She said she is nervous but excited, as can be expected. She is such a great example of the change that can take place in the life of someone who is converted to the Gospel. (Did I mention she quit smoking overnight? Before she was baptized, she knew she had to stop, but didn't want to. She liked smoking, but she knew it was breaking acommandment. So she plead for help, and received it!) In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to share some things I am gratefulfor:
Elder López. He is my companion, my friend, and my brother. He helps me be better, see things from a different point of view, and helps me eat healthier! He has taught me how to play ping pong better, and that real tacos are not made with ground beef or grated cheese. He has taught me phrases like "chafa", "chueco", and "no tengo idea". He showed me how to eat empanadas with lemon juice, and how to survive when you didn't eat breakfast, church ends at 12:00, and we don't have lunch until 3:00! He has taught me that often the most commonly used and simplest scriptures are the best, and that sometimes you have to teach a 50 year old like they are 10,and a 10 year old like they are 50. I love my companion and am grateful for him!
The missionaries in my district. They help and teach me so much. They are hard workers, and are willing to do what our Mission President asks us to.They are diverse. In our district we have 2 Americans, 1 Mexican, 1Colombian, and 2 Argentines. They also have all taught me how to play ping pong better. I love my district and am grateful for them.
My Branch President. President Cignoli is one of the most humble people Iknow. He leads our branch thinking about each person individually and how his decisions will affect them. He is patient with his son, who is very difficult at times. He works 6 days a week at a factory that makes cotton thread, standing the whole time, so he can support his family. He gives us lunch every Sunday. He loves the Lord and has an unshakeable testimony of this Gospel. He supports the missionary work, and does all he can to help us. I love President Cignoli and am grateful for him.
My Mission President
My Zone Leaders
My Family. I cannot fully express the love and gratitude I have for every member of my family. Just thinking about any one of them fills my heart to overflowing. I miss them, and think about them, but I know they will be there when I get done. I know that they love me too.
My Friends. They are on a level with my family. Their examples help me, and their words of love and support carry me.
The Bible Dictionary
The Joseph Smith Translations of the Bible
Principles of the Gospel Manual
A Living Prophet
Technology that lets me communicate with my family weekly, even though theyare over 5,000 miles away.
Fireflies (I saw them for the first time in real life the other day! Theyare awesome!)
Rain, Snow, and Sun Summer Sno snow-cones (even just the memory of them!)
Wrinkle Free Shirts
Personal Sewing Kits
Fans when you don´t have air conditiong
Windows when you don't have a fan.
Many other things that I am blessed with in my life, that aren´t going to make in on this list. And last, but not least, My Savior. I am so grateful for His life and example, and His Atonement. I learn from Him everyday, and grow to love him more every day as well. He helps me through the hard times and the good. He manifests Himself all around me. He is my Rock and my Redeemer. I am His servant, and hope to serve him well. I love Jesus Christ, and am grateful for Him. A few answers to questions/comments. Sorry about the checking account. I'm not sure what happened. I thought Icould only pull out what was in there. Apparently not. I will be more careful in the future. For now, I do not need any extra money. I seem to remember you saying I would get my old number back when I got home, is that still the case? Just wondering. Also, how is the 4S comparedto the 4? How is the voice command thing? I can write normal letters whenever I have free time. Emails are written on P-day, and we have an hour, though I can print off the emails, and read them outside of that hour. I have a letter for Shered written, and am in the process of writing a few others as well. Did you hear back from SisterMontes? As far as clothes go, maybe just one more tie for Christmas. A pink or purple one from Missionary Mall would be cool. For the other stuff to come in a Christmas package, I would want whatever Mom or someone else thinks of. In addition to what I put last week (gum and beef jerky in a ziploc bag) Iwould ask for Red Vines and a Symphony bar, candy canes, and Wint-O-Greenmints. As always, pictures and notes too! A missionary I knew had a book called the Little Book of Missionary Quotes. There is also one that has inspirational stories. They are all called the Little Book of... I already have the Teaching Tools one. I would like those, if you can find them. Well, that is all the time I have for today. I love you all, and am grateful for all of your support and love. p.s. I upload some pictures and a video to DropBox.
-Elder Scot Stobbe
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Hey! This week was a great one! In large part because Magalí and Ludmila finally got baptized! It was a great turnout. They had members of their family come that have been inactive for years. And the next day, some of them even went to church. We are hoping that these two girls can breath some new life into their families. We visited them Sunday afternoon to explain a little more that now they had been baptized and confirmed they had a lot more to do. They were both so happy and willing to continue on the path back to Heavenly Father. One funny thing that happened during the baptism: We let the water run a little too long and it ended up coming up to Ludmila's shoulders, almost to her neck. After she was baptized and it was time to get out of the font, she found it difficult to walk with the water that high, so she just did a couple of breaststrokes and swam over to the stairs! She is probably one of the only people small enough to swim in the font we have here. It is quite small. Her mom had to chasten her a little, because she had mentioned before that she wanted to swim in the font, but we told her that it wasn't appropriate. But she was just being an innocent kid and wanted to swim a little! In the end though, it was a great experience. I uploaded some pictures to DropBox. I will make sure to send an invite this time so you can see them all! (Magalí is the taller one) On Saturday morning, I had the opportunity to do three Baptismal interviews down in Dolores. It was a bittersweet experience. The first two were for two young sisters. They both were so excited to get baptized and both understand what the missionaries have taught them. I felt the Spirit so strongly as I finished both interviews with an open-ended question: Why do you want to get baptized. The first girl told it was because she wanted to be able to live in the Celestial kingdom, and she knew that baptism was the only way to accomplish that. Her sister said because she wanted to be able to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus, which was essentially the same response as her sister. Those answers made me realize that even though there is a LOT of stuff we have to do in between, that is really the point of getting baptized and becoming members of the Church. To be able to return to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus. The third interview was with a man name Roberto that is about 70 years old. He has had a hard life. He talked for about an hour about many of the things that have happened to him in his life, before I could even start the interview. He had come to a point in his life where all he had was the Lord. He doesn't have any family left, and his only real friends are the ones he has met at church the last month or so. He understands that he needs to be baptized to receive all the blessings that Heavenly Father has for him. He has an amazing Spirit. The part that makes this bittersweet is because, without going into any details, he did not pass his interview. He was discouraged for a moment, but I tried to help him see that he would simply have to wait a little longer, not that it would be impossible. When he left, he was happy and determined to do whatever was needed to be able to get baptized. It is amazing what the Spirit can do to help us personally, and allow us to help those around us. What a great gift we have from Heavenly Father. Dad- I attached those two letters with information. Not all of it is valid, for example when it says your missionary will not know how to get around. Being in the offices made me an exception of that one. Read them both with mom, and let me know any questions you have. The Iguazú falls trip doesn't seem worth it to me. Maybe you can ask los Montes. When you say that a computer is included in the tuition, does that mean a new one, and it is mine after I finish as well? It is weird to think that I will want to wait for something newer and nicer than the iPhone 4S, but that is what we think every time, isn't it? We'll see what happens when the time comes. After more thought and consideration, I believe I am going to choose a different degree. Instead of the BFA Graphic Design, I am going to choose the BS Web Design and Development. It seems better suited to what I want to do. I will see if I can take some other art classes along the way. So when you do the enrollment, keep that in mind. Thanks What is the current time difference between us? 4 hours, right? I don't know if I can call late as 3:00, because we might have to be in our apartment by 6 our time. I will let you know as soon as I know. Derek, if you are reading this, congratulations! I am so happy for you and your new wife! You are a great example for me. I wish you the best in this new adventure! Mom, I loved that perspective of more Christ. I had never noticed that. Now that you know a little spanish, you can start with that one word and learn more for when you come down! I have seen the truth of what the Sealer said here in my current area. It is actually pretty sad. There have been several ex-Branch Presidents here in Chascomús that have made wrong choices and fallen away from the church. In fact, there are an astounding number of inactive ex-Branch Presidents here, at least 6! It makes you realize that you truly do have to strive each and every day, and during this life you will never "make it" even if you are a Sealer in the temple, a Bishop, or even and Apostle. Obviously, they are a litte closer than we are, but they still must strive daily. It is a lesson we could all use a little refreshing on. I am enjoying the missionary work. It seems like all of a sudden I am one of the older missionaries in the mission, and it is my duty to be an example and set the pace for our mission. I get constant reminders from President Stapley that he is depending on me to show the mission what how he wants it done, since I was in such close proximity to him for so long. I hope and pray that I can fulfill this responsibility, and help the other missionaries here in Buenos Aires. I love everyone, and miss you all. I had a dream last night that I got home and Rob, Matt, Mark, and Kelsey were all married already. I hope that doesn`t actually happen. Take care.