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.
-Elder Stobbe

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