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