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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

One Week Left in MTC!

Dear Fam and Friends,

Yet again another awesome week- the mission never seems to disappoint. Today I got all my documents signed for my visa in front of one of the console people. He talked to all the missionaries going to Argentina for about two hours! I'm so excited to be going to that amazing country and I can't wait to preach the Gospel to such amazing people! There is something that I am really looking forward to and that is the food :) He said Americans love it because a filet minion there costs about 1.25$ and same with the other really high priced steaks in the U.S. He definitely confirmed that they eat the most meat of any country by far so that was cool. I'm going to love that, I just got to make sure Im doing all of my workouts... :) I will though, I have doing them religiously here at the MTC too, like at least trying to run a mile and lifting weights. I was playing basketball for lots of the time here, but I sprained my dang ankle again last week so I have decided not to do that anymore, because I always hurt it when I'm jumping... Anyways no need to worry about that it's a lot better. But ya anyways, Argentina, he answered a lot of questions which was really nice about the culture and things. He said they don't use really the formal ways of speaking like the USTED AND TU forms and that everyone is referred to as VOS... SO that will take some getting used to, but the Lord is with me so I don't worry about that.

Something that was brought to my attention this last Sunday's devotional is that it isn't as important as what we say, as it is what they here through the Spirit. God is the great teacher, basically we are just bearers of the Spirit that testifies of Him and His Son Jesus Christ. It gives me great comfort to know that I can't do everything myself, but with God all things are possible. Its such a blessing that I have come to know. I truly believe that our Father in Heaven is most generous of His Spirit with the full time missionaries. We have accepted the call to serve and set ourselves apart from the world. Although many things in the world aren't bad or evil, but in fact good, the best route is always the one that Jesus walked. Focused on the Gospel and living a life in the service of others. While I have been here I have felt the overwhelming desire to make people happy. It's a hard goal at times, but when we align our lives with God's will rather than our own path, we can be an instrument of happiness, in a world full of sorrow and distress. I am trying to become a faithful servant of the Spirit. President Packer said that one of the greatest blessings of a mission is the unique opportunity to learn how the Spirit speaks to us and follow in its path. I love a scripture in Isa 30:21 that talks about how we can know the path we need to take and we will be guided. I have felt the Spirit so strong here, as I continously bear testimony of Father and the Son and the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. It lifts me and makes me a better person. The Atonement of Jesus Chrsit transcends the tests of time and is all encompassing and eternal. It changes people, and it has the power to relieve of of any pains and sorrows as long as we follow the path that God himself has laid for us. I can't wait for the opportunity to spread the Restored Gospel of JESUS CHRIST to those people who are seeking for the truth, but just know not where to find it.

The language has had its tough days, and I have also had days with greater confidence, but the amazing thing is that I just have faith that it will come. I know that I'm not going to be perfect, and that I will struggle everyday to express my feelings, but as long as the will of the Spirit of God is expressed in my broken Spanish, then that is really all that matters. What an amazing opportunity that lies ahead of me!!!! I just can't wait! My attitude is positive and light hearted. I have gained a concrete faith and trust in God that whatever trial will be put in my path, with His help I can overcome it victoriously.

Early this week I started a more indepth study of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is amazing how profound and simple it is. Jesus pleads with us to, "come follow me." And we are wise when we do. For when we follow the Good Sheperd we will always be in the right. How grateful I am for my Savior, I love him more than anything and would be willing to sacrifice my life for his name like all the great martyers of Him before. How humbling it is to know that I can be the voice of him that begs people to "come follow me." It is a simple phrase, but contains in it's words the power unto Salvation. It is soft, not harsh, and offers unspeakable blessings that have been only made known to the pure in heart. I cannot ever leave His guidance and path, for I have seen the other side, and I want to be by his side. (Rev 3:21, Rom 8:17)

This week our Branch President was released. It was a hard day for him, and for all the Elders and Sisters that had come to know him and love him so much. He was a man of integrity and a man who had a presence of power and of peace. I am very grateful for his leadership and kindness that he carried with him everyday of his life. You could see the Master in his eyes, and that is how I want to be someday. I'm sorry I don't talk about the logistics of the MTC much in my e-mails, but I try to write the things of my heart. It's hard for me to do sometimes, because those not of my faith may mistake this for something that it is not, but I want everyone to know of my testimony of the Savior and the Restored Gospel of the Lamb. I'm just filled with gratitude!! I love you all so much!! Keep smiling and Know that he is God! I'm so excited to leave next Wednesday!!!

Elder Passantino

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