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Monday, March 7, 2011

Hola from San Juan!

Dear Family and Friends,

Things are sounding pretty crazy from the home front our there. I just want you all to know that you are all in my prayers and thoughts!! I love you all.

SO, my area Rawson is doing pretty awesome! We have a good ward and lots of awesome members to help us out. My companion is a very humble Elder from Montevideo Uraguay. He has been sent home twice from his mission. He was in a motorcycle accident about 4 years ago that really hurt his knee. He was actually blindsided by a truck, and he said its a miracle that he is alive. But, ya about his knee, he had to get a large plate put in to fix the bone. After about 7 months in the mission he started having terrible pain in his knee again. He went to the doctor and found out that the plate was growing out of his skin. He had to go home and get surgery to get it taken out. After six weeks of being home he returned to the mission only to find out 5 months later that because of the last surgery, a problem had developed with his tendons where he couldn´t walk right. They sent him home again for rehab, and they told him he probably wouldn´t be able to come back. ELder Crossa was devestated at that news and petitioned to come back after another six weeks of rehab. The permission was granted and he returned. Now he will have cronic knee pain for the rest of his life. His example of the love of the mission really showed me how great it really is. He loves helping people, and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. I´m grateful to have him as a companion and work hard here in Rawson!!!

This area is a little different because it is a lot smaller, but almost all of it is suburbs which I like. The people are way nice here as well. The province of San Juan is a lot more tranquilo, which is a change that I like. We have more leaders in the ward, and we have basketball rims above the soccer goals, outside of the church which is great. I just have to get a basketball now!!! :) As I am sure everyone knows theyu just love soccer down here. Generally they either like one of two teams: River or Boca. At first I liked Boca more, but then I didn´t want to get in arguements over something that I didnt know much about so my team is Tomba. They are from Godoy Cruz, which is where the mission offices are. River and Boca are from Buenos Aires. I wanted to be different than everyone else too haha. People here laugh as the USA soccer team so I just tell them that if our athletes that played football, basketball, baseball, or any of the olympic sports wanted to play soccer we would absolutely dominate. The States arent like here where its either soccer or well.... soccer. I also just say that in the States we have our girls play soccer haha. (No offence to the girls :)) AND the last thing I say on the subject is that the US will win in 2014!!! I hope... the world would just hate us then :)

I have been thinking a lot about sacrifice lately and the blessings that come from it. Really sacrifice is one of the greatest uses of our free agency. If we want to attain a certain skill, we have to sacrifice our time in the working towards it. If we want to attain a certain blessing, we sacrifice the vices that would otherwise keep us from being blessed. Really sacrifice turns in to our greatest tool in molding oursleves into the person that we want to be. I am so grateful that I have the right to choose who I want to become and know what I must sacrifice to do it. I am so happy in the mission right now. I am learning life lessons, that I probably wouldn´t be able to learn in any other place at any other time. I am seeing lives changing, and my own life is being changed into more of what I want it to be. I love and miss you all, and can´t tell you how content I really am serving the Lord!!

Elder Brian Passantino

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