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Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Hola familia!! How are you all doing?? I hope that you are doing great. Well I have had another fantastic week so that's been awesome! I got released as District Leader on Sunday so that was a little sad, but I was very grateful for the opportunity to serve those wonderful Elders, and I still can just in other capacities. We had another excellent Sunday with a great devotional. It's cool because we get to watch in class sometimes devotionals that were given at the MTC in the past by the quorum of the tweleve and such! We have seen ones by Elder Bednar and Elder Holland so far. They are absolutely incredible. Something that Elder Bednar said that I really liked was that the best way to prepare for a mission was to become a missionary not just merely "go on a mission." Obviously it is a life long process and we must always strive to share the gospel, because of the hope and joy that it brings us! I am always amazed here at the love the Savior sheds upon us, and how much I have felt the pure love of Christ, it is truly amazing! (Moroni 7:45, I think) But I am constantly edified everyday by the Spirit that is the supreme teacher here. I learned a lot of cool things about faith here its amazing how much power comes in wanting to believe something, believing it, knowing that it is true, and then acting upon the knowledge which the Holy Ghost has given us! Its truly a blessing. I had some incredible experiences this week that are very precious to me. Last Tuesday we had another District meeting thing after the Devotional. The Spirit was literally poured out upon myself and the other Elders in the room. I think I understand now the words of Paul when he said, "covet to prophesy." It was a very special experience that I will not forget, partly because I have been writing it in my journal! Oh the new District Leader is the Elder who I have become really close with, Elder Brook. I think I have talked a little about him, but he is a great example to me of enduring the hard times, and following the Spirit at whatever the cost. He was baptized a year and a half ago, when he was 19 yrs old. He had been investigating for about two years but his parents never approved of his desire to be baptized, because they are not religious at all. He basically took a leap of faith by being baptized, and when he told his parents he finally wanted to be they said they thought they had failed in raising him. He said that was the hardest day of his life but the Spirit told him constantly that that was the decision he needed to make. I respect him so much for pushing through those hard times. His family still isn't very supportive but they are coming around. He lets me read letters from his mom from time to time and she says that his new found religious zeal has caused he to contemplate what she believes in. He said that that is a huge step for her in his eyes. He truly has made major decisions in his life based solely on faith and the Spirit, it is a great example to all who know him, and I have the deepest respect and love for him. His story almost exactly resembles the story of Mom and Dad, except for a few minor differences. It makes me appreciate ny parents more than I ever had, as I am beginning to understand the leap of faith that my Dad took by joining the church, and the humble but stunning example my mother has set for generations to come, by staying faithful to the beautiful Spirit that is in her. I love my parents and my family more than anything, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to give other people the Gospel of hope that is my foundation and strength, even Jesus Christ. I want everyone's family to be together forever with their Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ and I couldn't be more grateful to get that opportunity at the ripe young age of 19. I know I made the decision to serve a mission long before this earth, and I committed to do all in my power to invite others to come unto Christ, through His restored and true Gospel! I am fufilling my preordination (Abraham 2:8-9) and I have the Spirit to testify to my soul that that is true! I love you all, I continue to do amazing and rely on God to help me through everything, as I put in my strongest effort. I pray for all my family and friends everynight and day and I hope you feel that!

Elder Passantino

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hey one month almost down!!!

Hey Family :) (and friends). Another great week down at the MTC!! WOW ya its been pretty busy and hectic but great. I have some really sad news though first... I didn't make the MTC choir :( I was so bummed about it. They didn't have try outs or anything, but their were more people than they needed so they took people's info and muscial information. I didn't make it so I am so sad. God's hand is in all things I guess and sometimes even when we don't understand everything, He does. And I just have to trust him. The other hard thing for me is that my Companion Elder Frost made it so he has been ecstatic about it and its been hard for me, but I am happy for him.

Well besides the sad news things are looking up here. Another great Sunday, as I gave a lesson on the Book of Mormon. Everyone of these District Meetings we have on Sunday is totally and completely led by the Spirit its truly amazing. I am so blessed to be the District Leader I have learned so much from these Elders. I will probably be released tomorrow or later this week, but it has been a blessed experience for me! The Branch President told me I have done an excellent job, and that if I had done a bad one I would have the calling until I got it right. haha. Well anyways about the Lesson I started off with Elder Holland's talk Safety for the Soul, and we watched most of it, which always brings the Spirit. It was just a amazing lesson because everyone participates and bear's in their own personal way their own testimony!

So Taylor made it here Wednesday and he seems like he is doing great! I have seen him about everyday so that is nice. We will definitely try to get some pics, but its tough because we can only take pictures on Sunday and Tuesday. But, I think he might be having a little trouble with his companion because he is autistic but he seems to be doing great nonetheless. I also have another friend in my Branch that I home taught in Idaho so I thought that was pretty neat! And my good friend from Idaho named Ryan Plumb got here last Wednesday as well so it was fun seeing him and giving him a hug!

It's hard to describe the Spirit here sometimes, becuase its just a constant presence. I love that. Oh one huge accomplishment that my companion and I had was that we taught the second lesson (plan of salvation) for 40 min all in Spanish! It's amazing how when you are giving the lessons the Lord helps you know what questions to ask, what scriptures to say, and to have an unconditional love for the person you are teaching, even if it is practice! My companion and I really felt the Spirit as we bore pure testimony of the Plan of Salvation!! It is such an amazing blessing that God has given us a way to get back to Him with our families, through the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I know that the Plan of Salvation is indeed a plan of happiness, and answers the questions which philosphers and churchmen have been trying to answer since the beginning of time! I truly thank God for a Prophet, a revealer of Christ and his Gospel. The same Gospel which has been taught everytime their have been true prophets on the earth!!

We have had some beautiful lessons in our Priesthood meetings in our branch. The Branch Presidency is truly divinely inspired. One of the most important things in this life for everyone to know is who they are! Once that knowledge finds itself deep in your soul you will truly be a changed person. Brother Gubler gave the lesson this week on knowing who we are. It struck a perfect cord with me. It coralated perfectly with my Patriachal blessing that says during my mission I will gain a deep appreciation for my calling, and some more things :) It also helped me understand more something that President Packer said in a talk called, "The Pattern of our Parentage." He said that would we know who we are it changes how we act with others and once the true realization comes to our soul that we are not just creations of God, but in actuality are the sons and daughters of God we could never willingly hurt or injure (physically or any other way) someone else. Thats an excellent talk by the way I would admonish you all to read it. We are indeed sons and daughters of God the Eternal Father. And we accept Christ and His gospel we become the sons and daughters of Christ(God) (Mosiah 5:7 I think?). It is a beautiful thing once we instill in ourselves with the power of the Holy Ghost the truth about ourself, where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. Their are people everywhere who are lost or content with their current positions, but once they have planted in their heart that they are indeed royalty, the son of a Heavenly King and Father it will change their lives and they will thirst for righteousness. I can't wait for the opportunity to go and share the message with all of God's children, that he is there! That he loves them! And that He has given the plan to come back and dwell with Him in eternal life! Well I know I am in the right place at the right time. I know God is mindful of me, and is preparing the hearts of those that I will teach this wonderful truth to. I am blessed more than I can possibly fathom!! I love you all so very much! Know that I am praying for all your problems, and for your welfare daily. I love the Lord and I am on will be on His side forever!! (Joshua 24:15)

Elder Passantino

P.S. I love you family you inspire me daily! You are aMAZING AND i LOVE YOU ALL!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hey! Week 3!

Hey Family!!
Hows it going everyone! Well I guess week three is over! Time here is really crazy. Kyle wagner told me in a letter this week that one day feels like a week and a week feels like one day!! Its so true haha. Well anyway it's been another amazing week at the MTC! My Spanish is improving every week and I feel more comfortable because I am really relying on the Lord in all my study. It's such a blessing to me that I studied the Scriptures before my mission because even if I don't know how exactly to say the scripture in Spanish, I can find the scripture that will answer a specific question so I have been really blessed in that respect. We have a thing called the TRC where we practice teaching people and people from the Provo area come in (usually members) and have us practice. It was Elder Frost and my first time teaching the first Discussion in Spanish in a setting like that. We were teaching both people who spoke only Spanish to us so it was interesting but a real eye opener. The Spirit really helped each of us know what to say when we needed it, it was amazing. It was probably the most eloquent we have both spoken Spanish thus far! Its amazing how the Lord blesses you when you are doing his work. The Gospel is so amazing and it brings me so much joy!!!
So we had another amazing District Meeting this week on the Spirit. I asked a few of the Elders to do certain things regarding experiences they have had with the Spirit in their lives. Some shared the Doctrine of the Spirit, and another Elder shared the role the Spirit played in his conversion! It was amazing to me how essential and influencial the Spirit can be. When I spoke I remembered stories that I haven't thought about for years. It was amazing how when we are worthy of the Spirit it can give us the words to say when we really need it. I felt prompted to tell each Elder in there that during their missions, if they worked hard and relyed wholy upon the Lord, they would witness an experience where God would show them through the Spirit how much he really loves every person in this world. He would show them through the Spirit, "charity the pure love of Christ." It was an amazing experience!! I love learning from all the people here. Everyone truly has something to offer to the Gospel plan that no one else can, and it has been an immense blessing for me to gain a testimony that we truly can learn something from everyone. I know that is true now. And this week has again proved to me that if we are worthy of the Spirit he will tell us all things that need to be done and said in the moment that we need them.
Another cool thing this week was making contacts. We go up to other missionaries and offer them our testimony in Spanish and a short message. My companion and I were very pleased when one of the missionaries who has been here three weeks longer than us, thought we had been there much longer than him, and was impressed at how well we spoke. Its always nice to receive that encouragement on something that is such a challenge.
Today we got to go to the temple again, and myself and five other Elders from the District participated in Sealings which was such a wonderful spiritual experience. It is amazing the blessings the Lord will pour out upon his faithful, simply because he loves us more than anything!! Also one of the Elders in our District, (who is also Bruce R. McConkies great grandson!) father is the temple recorder, so we got to talk to his dad and ask him any questions so that was awesome! He also said he could give us an "all-access tour" of the Salt Lake Temple when we get off our missions if we wanted to!
Thank you guys so much for your love and support and letters! I love getting them from my family and friends its truly a dear blessing while I am here at the MTC! The Lord is at work in the lives of all the missionaries here and he wants us all to succeed. He shows us that unity is the way of the Lord, and how he accomplishes his work. Oh I memorized the first vision in Spanish this week so that was cool!! I really am continually working on becoming a more Holy disciple of Jesus Christ and becoming a faithful servant. Its amazing how much of a Better day you have when you work as hard as you can, and see the daily miracles which the Lord is eager to give us. Its a blessing being in the same place as so many people striving to do the right thing, following Jesus Christ, constantly in a state of worship and praise of Him and the Father. The doctrines of the Gospel are more fully expounded to us as we study the simple truths that are the first and most basic principals of the Gospel. The depth will come through the Spirit as we truly have this glorious religious experience for ourselves. A testimony comes from the Spirit and comes from within, as we lose our pride, and become willing to be wrong, and willing to except all of God's truth. I am bold to say that I know this work is true and that what the sectarian world refers to as Mormonism is the eternal truth of Heaven. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love my family more than I can describe, my friends as well and no matter what anyone believes or does I love them. I'm grateful for the most amazing family in the world and the most amazing friends! I will try to write you all back as soon as I can!! Its amazing here and I have been changed by the Spirit of the Lord!

Sincerely and with Love,
Elder Passantino

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hey Week Two!

Hola mi familia!!!

So thank you for all the e-mails I printed them out and I am going to respond to them today :) So this week has been awesome! My companion and I have really bonded this week and it has been great. SO ya like I said the Spirit was so strong this week. Let me give you a quick story. So after we had a whole mission conference this week (only on fast sunday) we had a district meeting, where I was pleased to lead. It was an amazing meeting that was full of the Spirit. I felt like the meeting definitely had a purpose and I felt prompted to share personal stories from my life and other things I hadn't prepared to do. It was on the plan of Salvation and we got into the atonement, I bore my testimony of it and how I knew with all my heart that it was true. After that everyone was putting in their input and The Spirit was very stong! Then a Elder named Elder Munoz told our district of how he had been meeting with the Branch President, District President, and soon MTC President about some sins he had to overcome. He bore testimony of the atonement and told us how much he loved us. It was one of the most powerful experiences I have had with the Spirit in a very long time. After he spoke for about ten minutes the Spirit prompted me to close the meeting with that, and have Elder Brook say the prayer. There was very few dry eyes after the meeting and I gave everyone a hug afterwards. The Spirit was the most intensified I have felt almost in my life. Later, Elder Brook asked me why I asked him to say the prayer. And I told him I was prompted. He told me that he knew he was supposed to give the prayer and that every word he said was given to him by the Spirit. That was an amazing experience for me, that the Lord loved us enough and approved of what we were doing, to litterally change our natures for that time beings, into spiritual giants. It was great :)

Anyways the Spanish has been getting better this week. Its still definitely hard, and I know the only way that I am going to learn it is to rely on the Lord, while doing everything I can! I saw Kayleen twice this week, but yesterday when I saw her she looked horrible, becuase she had been throwing up the past two days and hadn't eaten in 30 hours... It was sad, but her companion looked like a good trooper. I have interviews with all the Elders in my district every Friday and things are going great! We celebrated the Birthday of an Elder this week named Elder Rueda and he expressed his deepest thanks that we remembered and did that for him. It was crazy this weekend we could hear the BYU game from the MTC! How did they do?? Oh and the choir starts today! I cant wait to sing at Priesthood session it will be such an amazing experience and I know I will love it! Look for me! This week has been great though. The Spanish is hard, but since one of our teachers in a native Ecudorean its nice to hear it as fast as a native says it. Oh we got to watch a past talk Elder Holland gave at the MTC in our classroom. It was one of the most powerful talks I have ever heard! You have to look for it it is called the Miracle of a Mission, its amazing! He came for Devo on Tuesday the day before I got here so I just missed him :(... but there is a general authority ever week so I cant wait to see who it is this week. It was Richard G. Hinckley last week. Its also our service to clean up after the Devo on Tues and Sunday.

But ya anyways I love you all so much! I I know that I am servving a mission for the Lord Jesus Christ and am participating in the most important work in the History of the World, the Salvation of a human soul! By the way my sickness is better, but my voice has literally almost been gone for a week now! Thanks for your prayers and fasting on my behalf I can feel it everyday! O how grateful I am for the Gospel and how eager I am to share it with God's children in Argentina! I met some missionaries going to Italy and they are going to look for Passantinos for us so dont worry! I love you all so much! Oh btw dad 2 Nephi 31:20 is now my favorite scripture! I read it everyday during personal study! You will hear from me in a letter soon!! I love you all so much ( with the Pure love of Christ!!!)

Elder Passantino

Sunday, September 5, 2010

And the next chapter begins!

Mitch to the Rescue!

Brian's first "priceless" companion!

We wish you the best Elder Passantino!

Bond? No Elder Brian Passantino!

Saying goodbye to his second family the Ysantino's!

Provo Temple

Saying Goodbye to the Family!

One last time at In and Out!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hey from the MTC!

Hi Family!! So I only have fifteen minutes to write you today and I printed your emails so I will respond to those later in a personal email :) Wow the first almost week has been pretty crazy! This is definitely the hardest thing I have ever even come close to doing!! The Spanish right now is kicking my butt, especially since our teachers only speak in Spanish, so that has been very difficult. Its getting better though. I'm positive the Lord sent me on a foreign speaking mission because he wanted me to humble myself and know that it was Him who was helping me, and me not doing it on my own! The Spirit is really strong here, but its still very difficult. When it comes to waking up, I am the first one up in my room everyday at 6:20. The Lord has really helped me in that way and has given me adaquate sleep everynight. My companions name is Elder Frost and he is a pretty cool guy. I don't think we would have normally been friends but its nice to know how to deal with people. He is really helpful to me. Oh man my call as a district leader came as a shock!! Its been very humbling, but the Branch Presidency and the District is great! There have been some really hard days so far, missing my amazing family, but I know that my purpose is just and that I will be blessed as I bless the lives of the Argentine people. I know that the Gosepl is true and I have a firm testimony of that, thank heavens! I love my family more than anything I have ever known!! Everyone knows that I have the best family in the world in my district with the best brother and sisters in the world. I can't say enough about how much I love you all! I love receiveing letters and Dear Elders it really strenghens me,keep them coming! Thank you soooo much for the treats and the donuts! I was the favoorriittee Elder on the floor last night! I went to the temple today and that was good but I have a pretty bad cold so pray for me. I will write each of you individual letters so don't worry! Please keep the prayers coming, and I know they are!!! Know that I miss you more than words can describe but that the people that I teach would miss their families in heaven if we weren't there! I love you so much! I am doing great! Thanks for watching Beck, it makes me so happy! Keep the faith, stay strong and know that God is with you! I love you more than anything and I always will!!

Elder Passantino