Monday, May 18, 2015

A sacred, holy experience...

There are these sweet black guys that sell watches in the plazas,
they speak Spanish, French, and their tribal African language.

Super tight. The watches are pretty nice and costed very little.

And since I broke my watch like forever ago, I decided to buy a new one :D
Hello Familia!!!

Alright, this semana was super successful para nosotros! We worked hard!! And ya, The Lord really blessed us this week!

We have made lots of progress with Jonny and his family. We have been working with Jonny through his sister Vanina, who is essentially teaching him everything, and we just pass by to verify. It is working really well.

On Tuesday, we taught the whole family about the Sabbath day. It was super calm, and you could tell they really understood it. And we applied everything we taught completely to the family, because that's what they care about the most (awesome!). We encouraged them to go to the Cultural Activity for the Córdoba Temple -- which the mom came to! -- so that was a huge step forward!

I made some sweet tacos the other day!

Then on Thursday my companion, Elder Caceres, and Elder Gonzalez (another elder from our district) went over and taught them lesson 3, about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to receive permission from the parents to baptize Jonny. Unfortunately, I wasn't there 'cause I was doing exchanges with Elder de Avellaneda. But my son (Elder Caceres) did some seriously great work! And they were able to receive permission for Jonny's baptism! :D  The kid wants to be baptized sooo bad that I know he'll keep progressing to make that happen. He is such a happy little guy, and is always playing with his Hot Wheels cars or with marbles; we like to play with him a little bit before each lesson. I am certain that with the help of Vanina, he'll be baptized on the 6th of June!  Please pray that the father's heart will remain soft so that he will go through with his word that he gave us.

My exchange with Elder Avellandeda was super fun. I went with Elder Bingham to his area. He's been out in the mission field a long time, like me. And we already knew each other, so it was pretty chill. Elder Bingham is a funny guy.  I love how he contacts people ...always interesting and funny. I went to their area to give an interview for one of their baptismal candidates named Agustin ...such a good kid. Passed with flying colors. At the end of the night, Elder Bingham and I bought 30 empanadas; ooooo they where so good.

But the highlight of the week was easily the dedication of the Córdoba temple. I was extremely blessed to have been able to participate in this incredible event for Argentina. Last Saturday night was the cultural activity.  We missed the first half because we were looking for investigators to bring to it.  Thankfully the Lord blessed us, and we were able to bring Vanina's mom, who loved it. :D So we did catch the 2nd half. It was really nice and to watch the faithful Argentine youth celebrate their new temple. There were dances and songs from every providence and state displaying to the world their culture. It was really nice.

The next day, Sunday, was the temple dedication. I was able to participate in all 3 sessiones. I loved it. You could feel this "higher power" present in the temple. Now, we weren't physically in the temple, but the chapel we were in was "transformed" into an extension of the temple. And we watched the dedication on a giant screen. The power and spirit of the temple was easily noticeable to all in attendance. We had to be an hour early, and we couldn't talk as we waited. This was a perfect opportunity to ponder about my mission and the significance of the temple. Man, how I miss being in the temple!! As we waited, pictures of temples from around the world, both inside and outside, would move across the screen. Being in this environment, in complete silence, in perfect meditation with God, made it so easy for me to receive a strengthened testimony that this is the House of the Lord. Temples are so beautiful. The temple is where He walks and where His presence is felt.

There was one part that I just loved. Elder Uchtdorf and Elder Christofferson went outside to set the last stone (I forgot what it is called in English), and after they had each done their part, they invited some kids to come up and participate. It was really special to see. About 5 little boys and 5 little girls, each about 3-5 years of age, ran up to "set the stone." This reminded me of the part in the BoM when Jesus takes the kids and blesses them. They are so pure and loving; much closer to Christ than we are as adults. It was so cute to see all these happy smiling little kids run up to the apostles to help them in placing the stone. Children are clearly of the Kingdom of God.

I felt the spirit the strongest at the beginning of the dedicational prayer of the first session. It was read in English, and then translated into Spanish. The spirit overcome me when Pres. Uchtdorf began to speak. His prayer was incredible. The words were definitely revelation and came straight from the spirit. You could just feel the spirit of unity in the chapel, and I'm sure amongst all the saints of Argentina. These brothers and sisters have worked so hard and for so long for their temple, and just to be there, united in prayer with them, was such a privilege.

I know the temple is where families can be sealed for eternity. I am grateful that I was sealed to mine. This temple dedication increased my love for you guys, my family, and my gratitude for your faithfulness. I love you and miss you so much. Thank you for your example to me my whole life. I understand so much better now how blessed and lucky I was to have parents like you. Love you so much!

Elder Clemons

Talk to the hand...

Brother Micheli has got some sick gear!!  This is his helmet and gloves.