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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy Day After Halloween!!

Dear Fam and Friends!!

So ten days in Argentina already its going by pretty dang fast so I have to make the best of it all! Yesterday was Halloween and you wont be able to guess what I was... READY... A missionary! lol. With an orange tie :) haha so I guess I had some of the Halloween Spirit. I wore it with my black suit so that will work for me.

So how are things going here?? Well they are going very well. Its been a hard first week, just with the culture shock and everything but I'm doing great still. The language is very difficult and frustrating, but I take comfort in knowing that every missionary who has had to learn a new language has gone through the same thing I have and all that is going to help us My Father in heaven, diligent work and study of the language, and a patience I have never had before, but which the mission has really taught me and helped me develop. Its been a great blessing to be able to receive the gift of patience in all things. I feel like that is one of the refining things that I have needed to learn and develop. So Im grateful for learning that now, early in my life.

The members here are so kind and nice. They are always willing to help and give the missionaries some food or Talca. Basically Talca is Coke just a bit cheaper than Coke here. Coke is way expensive here but the people love it haha. So basically our schedule is that we get up at 630 pray and work out, then from 7 to 8 we eat breakfast and take a shower, basically get ready for the day. The at 8 its personal study, 9 its companionship study and then we are usually out of the door at 10. We usually have people to go and visit and talk to, or we will do 创ALB创 which means Abrir la boca, or open the mouth to people on the street. We have Lunch every day with a member at around 1 to 130. It is weird though becuase usually when we get there, they start cooking so we are usually there until about three. After that we go back to our 创Pension创 Which is the word for our apartment, during the Ciesta. The Ciesta is from about 1 to 530 and all the stores close down and everyone goes home from work and goes to sleep or just chills in there house with there family drinking Mate haha. Its pretty funny actually! After we get back to the pension, I do an hour of language Study, and my comp helps me with it for about 15 min and then I do it by myself, while he goes and takes a nap.

Everyone is so tired during Ciesta time its really funny. Especially since my comp is from Buenos Aires he dies during that time. But that time for about an hour or hour and a half is sort of like a planning and relaxation time for the ELders here. SO its a good time to have language study. I need it!!! The hard part with the language is trying to help people out and connect with them, but its so hard when you cant understand the little parts of what they are saying. Its ok though my companion helps me out and I usually get the jist of what is going on. All I need is time and that will come. We leave the pension between about 430 and 500 and go out and do similar things. We walk a lot!! Probably close to ten miles a day. The city is pretty spread out so we have our work cut out for us when we start walking. But its nice we can talk to people outside their homes and things and on the street.

It is amazing how the Lord puts us in the path of people when they need help. Like right now we are teaching this Lady named ALicia and her husband died about five months ago. She loves when we come by because she says she can feel the Spirit. She is also trying to quit smoking and so we are helping with that too. The World is a really troubled place sometimes, but Im glad we have a Savior that knows what they went through, because heaven knows I cant understand things like that. Luckily though we can bring the good news of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and that there is an entire perfect plan of Salvation that is in itsleft an absolute miracle. We meet many people who are struggling with the loss of a loved one, addictions, abuses, and really anything that is bad or horrible. Many of them go to church but just cant feel that hope and peace. Its an amazing feeling when we talk to them and you can see their eyes light up becuase of the message of the Restoration and that there is a way away from the pain and suffering. Even those we teach and talk to without terrible problems, know that we are there to help show them the way of Jesus Christ. Its a humbling and great responsibility but I am very grateful for the opportunity.

The Miracle of this Church and the Gospel is that they don't have to believe us. The only thing we do is teach and help, but God will answer their prayers. We present the truth and it is their responsibitly to find out if it is true. You could explain away anything in this world with logic, but the power and the beauty of this restored Gospel is that we invite others to read, ponder, and pray and we KNOW they will receive an answer. That is why I am here because I have done the same thing, read, pondered, and prayed and have gained a witness that Jesus is the Christ, we are God's children, and that the same church Jesus organized while he lived on the earth is again here, in La Iglesia de JesuCristo de Los Saintos de Los Ultimos Dias! Its true, and thats my testimony. If people want to feel more happiness and joy than they ever had all they need to do is ask God sincerely, not thinking they already know the answer, but that through the prayer of the humble and faithful seeker they will be given an answer in the affirmative that it is true. Im so grateful for that knowledge.

Missionary work is tough and anyone who has ever served knows that. But that is where the power in it lies. In the grind, in the constant tiredness for the cause of Christ. That is where we find ourselves and our potential. And its all worth it when you can help someone else see that in themselves. If someone doesn磘 believe in miracles, come serve a mission, and Im sure your perspective will change. Im so grateful to be here and I love my mission and the people here. I hope and pray that everyone is doing amazing and Im grateful for all your love and support! I love you all!!

Elder Passantino

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