Hey, I have got a bunch of little stories to tell you!
He is the Gift
First off, we are planning to do an activity in the Plaza here in Goya ...we finally got permission from the city government to set up a stand in the plaza to preach. Haha, we went like 4 times to talk to them, but they wouldn't attend us. But the 5th time, we went in normal clothes and they finally talked to us, haha. We showed the government people the video "He is the Gift", and talked about what we wanted to do. They gave us 3 days to do it: the 17th, 19th, and 22nd. So by the time you receive my next letter, we will have already done 2 of them. The mission gave us money to buy huuuge photos of "El es la Dádiva," "The Cristus," "The Buenos Aires Temple," and "Christ in the Americas." Gave us around 1000 pesos. Also the members are helping us. They're letting us borrow some Christmas trees, some decorations, and a tent. Also our Branch has 2 brothers that are DJ's. They've got some huge speakers that they offered to set up in the plaza to blast some Christmas music. Haha, Goya is about to be bombarded with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! :) So we will see how that turns out. :)
Our Zone is having a Christmas Party on the 23rd! We are going to travel to BellaVista for the day, play some games, enjoy a white elephant exchange, eat at a buffet!!!!!, and other fun things. I'm pretty excited about it! :)
We're having lots of success with our investigators. So it's probably time I give you some updates on them.
We met a man last week named Gabriel. He has already gone to church 2 times. He told us he'd like to get baptized, so we've scheduled him for the 27th of this month, just after Christmas. He lives alone with his daughter. He is a really great man, and super faithful and determined. But he's also pretty sad about a break up he had with his girlfriend 5 months ago ...and understandably it affects him, but maybe a bit too much. We have been trying to help him find peace and motivation in the Lord's Gospel. Every time he has a "lapse" he reads the BoM, and he always feels better. He is super accepting of everything that we have taught him up to this point, he completes everything that we ask him to do, he loves being at church, and he is really excited for his baptism.
A woman named Viviana literally stopped us in the street last week and asked us when we are going to visit her. Naturally, we set up an appointment with her :-) for just a few days later, and it turns out she lives just around the corner from us!! She lives alone with her son Antonio. They are super open to the Restored Gospel, and willing to learn. Viviana has always believed in God and wants to get baptized. Antonio says he doesn't believe in God (I think he does), and like every young man loves those good old video games waaay too much. But he always stops to listen to us, haha so that's good. They've completed every commitment we made with them, they came to church the very first time we asked them, and are going to get baptized on the 3rd of January.
Mirta is incredible as always. The only problem keeping her from joining the church is the government. We're still trying to get official papers from them that says that she as been legally divorced. But they are RIDICULOUSLY slow, and said we have to wait until March. Really!?! All they have to do is pull a piece of paper out of a book. That's literally all they have to do ...walk into the back room, look up the year, and pull out the document. Phsss, super frustrating; but we will continue to work with them to see if they can't do it faster.
This week was literally amazing in terms of missionary work for our little Goya Branch. Last Sunday was the highest Sacrament meeting attendance it's had for years, an amazing 139 people came to church! ...and we normally have only around 70 or so. This was so awesome that President Franco mentioned it in an email to the entire mission:
"Realmente hemos visto milagros en la misión por Él es la Dadiva, más notable ¡una asistencia de 139 en la rama Goya! Estos misioneros nos han dicho que han utilizado Él es la Dadiva como locos y han visto milagros. Sigan este ejemplo y todos veremos tales milagros!"
"we really have seen miracles in the mission from "He is the Gift." The most notable is the attendance of 139 in the Goya Branch! These missionaries have told us that they have been using "He is the gift" like crazy, and they have seen miracles. Let's follow this example, and we all will see miracles."
Obviously, the missionaries in Goya are quite happy; we've really been working hard trying to bring the message of the Restored Gospel to our brothers and sisters in Goya.
Well, that's about all I can think of at the moment. Please pray that our investigators continue to progress and get baptized and that the activity in the plaza goes well.
I wish you could come down here and see the beauty of the country and meet these wonderful people; I really love it down here.
And I love you all so much!