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Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Easter! Week of Miracles!

Well Happy Easter Everyone!!!

This week has probably been one of the most amazing weeks of my mission :) Elder Austin and I just worked as hard as we could and prayed a lot for guidance on what we needed to do. We were truly blessed with some miracles this week. Let me tell you of just a few.

Tuesday morning we woke up early and were really feeling the Spirit. We really prayed hard to know the will of the Lord so that we could know what to do. We had a day planned and started executing it. We prayed for people who would be ready to hear the Gospel. As we started the day it was really great we were happy and in good spirits! We stopped by the house of a member just to see how he was doing. We felt prompted to ask him if he knew any people that might be willing to hear the Gospel. He told us of a family that he had been friends with for a long time who was going through a hard time. We had another apointment after that but felt prompted again to just go directly to the house. We went and found the mother of the family, an older lady and began talking to her. We talked about Jesus Christ and about other important things pertaining to the Gospel. She then told us this, "I had just recently started praying because I feel this time in my life I am ready to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized. I didn't really know how to do it so I told God that he would lead me and show me the way that I could be baptized. Then you two came.! :) It was a testimony builder to me that the Lord knows each and every one of his children and that the gospel in which we are engaged is true. She also said I told God I didn't want to get baptized in just any church, but I wanted to get baptized in the true church. I was humbly touched by the power of following the still and small voice of the Spirit. She will be getting baptized the 7th or 14th of march.

Later on we had intended to go by a family that we had on our list but lived a ways away. We decided to still go and see how they were doing. When we arrived a man ushered us in as if he had been waiting for us. We didn't know him at all but something felt different. He said, "I had had missionaries come over before, but I had never really prayed before. Yesterday I started praying and this morning I prayed by myself for the first time. I am going through a hard time in my life and the life of my family and I prayed that the Lord would give me guidance for my children and for my life. I would like my children to go to church and I would like to start going myself." Can you believe that?? God knows his children and God also knows the only thing that can cure all pain, guilt, and strengthen during trial is the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. We later shared our testimony on the cleansing power of the atonement and how accepting Jesus Christ in his life through the medium of baptism (John 3:5) can bring that free grace and mercy which only the Savior can provide. This gospel is a gospel of hope and of peace. It brings lasting satisfaction, not just the immediate gratification of ones own lust. It brings a cleanliness and holiness in your lives that can only be found by living the precepts found in Christ's true Gospel.

Oh what a week it was!! We worked as hard as we possibly could and relied on the Lord to do the rest. "Trust in the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and lean not on thine own understanding." That is true and as missionaries we do that everyday. It is a miracle to me that two americans who have lived in Argentina for 6 months and have the capability to help others come unto Christ. We never obligate anyone to do anything, we only invite and have them pray to know if it is what God wants not just the "Mormom missionaries." I can testify that it is what God wants but you have to pray about it to know if what I am saying has any truth to it. (James 1:5), (Moroni 10:3-5) I am so happy and enjoying the true happiness that comes through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The more I rely on him and His merits the more I want to take on his attributes and help all those in need of his everlasting hope!!

On some other news we will be having a Zone meeting this Wednesday in Mendoza, so we will take the 2 and a half hour bus ride down there so I am way excited for that!! I am learning so much from my district and zone it is so awesome!! Also i don't know if I have ever said this but like all the girls down here play Field Hockey, which is cool because a bunch of people in my family have played that lol. Argentina girls field Hockey is "supposedly" the best in the world or something... I don't know about that :) Well happy Easter(a little late)!! I love you all!! Take Care!

Elder Passantino

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hola Familia!

Hola a todos!!!
Well its been a week to remember that is for sure! So as you all know transfers were this week and I thought that Elder Crossa and I were going to stay here in Rawson, but that's not what happened. Elder Crossa left to Mendoza and I stayed with an Elder who came in my group named Elder Austin. SO we have the same time. I got asked to be senior companion and the District Leader! I was way surprised but humbled for the responsibility and trust from the Lord. It´s only my fifth transfer on the mission and I still have so much to learn but I guess we get put in quick growing and learning positions sometimes huh?? I am grateful too because the District is awesome!! They all have a desire to work and work very hard for the cause of the Lord. For this I am grateful :) Hahaha well my companion is a great guy too!! I think the best way to describe him is just a big ball of fun! Oh man the first hour I was with him he spilt milk all over the floor and the table, and then a half an hour later spilt soda everywhere. Then when we started walking he tripped three times and fell down while climbing up the stairs!!! It is so funny sometimes with him but he has a desire to work harder than any of my other companions and has a powerful testimony. He is a great man and we laugh so much each day just because of the kind of person he is :) It should be a very fun and successful transfer!!! I am way excited and so is he and that is just the thing you need in this work!! Excitement for the work of the Lord. My comp looks a bit like Syndrome from the incredibles, mixed with Chris Farley. haha its fun.

The zone of San Juan is awesome as well, and my old good friend Elder Sansford moved here to be the Zone Leader, so I get to learn more from him and get to talk to him every night verifying. We have a huge vision for the zone based on the vision of the stake President. There is a big push and focus to work more and more with the ward and get them involved as much as possible. It makes the work so much easier and brings the fire of the Gospel when we are all working together under one cause, ´´inviting others to come unto Christ.´´ We have all the tools necessary to bring to pass miracles, and we just need to work and trust in God. Its going to be a great transfer!!!

This week we committed a girl named Florencia to baptism for the 30th of April!! Woo Hoo!!! She has been looking for the truth for a while and has felt the confirmation that this is the truth! She went to conference a the last week and said that she felt one of the talks was speaking right to her the whole time :) Aint that the truth?? She has also had spiritual experience while reading the book of MOrmon and praying to know if it was true. The miracle is that we teach to the best of our Spanish abilty... and then if they will read ponder, pray and go to church the Lord will tell them through the Spirit if it is true or not. I love how merciful the Lord is with us, because if we truly want to know the truth and we search with a diligent heart, we will find it. Ask and it shall be given unto you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. That is the promise that God will not leave you to your own. As long as we allow all truth to penitrate our hearts, and ask Him who cannot lie, he will tell us the truth. I love the Lord my God. I am forever grateful. I love this work. And I love all of you!

Elder Passantino

Monday, April 11, 2011

Transfers Today!

Hey Guys!

Well I find out about transfers today, whether I am staying or leaving and if I will keep my companion or not. I am excited to find out, but have a feeling that there won't be any changes this transfer. I figure I could tell you all some funny things about here in Argentina and I'm sure some other South American countries. There is one thing that we see all the time, which is cars/trucks with huge speakers that drive really slow and shout out sales and advertisements and stuff. I'm pretty sure it would be considered disturbing the peace in the U.S. haha. Sometimes there are little crop planes that do the same thing, they fly over the towns real slowly and have speakers haha. Instead of donuts here they have facturas which are like a good pastry and sort of similar to donuts but quite a bit different too. We have a show store next to where we live that sells all the "top" brands such as adiBas, puWas, and NiQues.. haha good old rip off stuff. They call things fake here "trucho" which really means trout but thats the word they use. Something about their culture that is different than ours is that lots of times they talk about (like bad or say whatever) people when they are in the same room. That was really weird to me at first and still sort of is. But you gotta love it right!

We are working hard here in Rawson and trying to do whatever we can. Lately we have just seen a lot of people with little or no hope. Lots of times as missionaries we are those who try to comfort others in their difficulties and be the people that actually listen. Its hard at times but satisfying when you can help others. Thats what the Savior would do. Well I don't have much to report on this week, but I want you to know that I have a testimony and that I love you all. The work goes on :)

Elder Passantino

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Companion!

Well Well Well,

First off Happy Birthday to my companion who turned 21 today!!! Woo Hoo. I think when you turn 21 on a mission its a little different then in the world haha. We are going to make tacos and play Ping Pong! It should be a fun and relaxing Day of Preparation!

Well as everyone knows we had General Conference this week end!! For missionaries General Conference is like the Super Bowl for missionaries :) We get to hear Prophets and Apostles of God tell the will of the Lord to us now days. What a bold declaration it is that we believe we have prophets and apostles on the earth today, but it can and will be confirmed to those who pray and earnestly seek the guidance of God in their lives. People often wonder what happened to the Organization of the church Jesus Christ established while he was on the earth. He called twelve apostles and seventies to lead and guide his church. When he left back to heaven they were left with the charge to continue the church with all the ordinances and covenants it contained. One of the first things they did as apostles is call a new one to fill the void filled from the death and betrayal of Judas Iscariot. This set forth an eternal pattern of authority and order in God's Kingdom. As the early saints were persecuted and killed that Authority to authoritatively speak in the name of the Lord left with their death. The church continued for a time, but was soon swayed with "every wind of doctrine." With the loss of the authority which Jesus gave to his apostles called the Priesthood, no one could authoritatively write and interpret the scriptures. The church was then subject to the opinions and interpolations of man. It became a church of inspired opinions rather than a church founded upon by correct and Direct authority from God himself. Thus the reasons for disagreements, changes, and settled doctrines. The formations of other church arose and the authority that had been so vital was now lost because the people chose to reject and kill the holy apostleship. You see if there would have been an apostle on the earth there would not have been confusion concerning the doctrines, but becuase there was no longer the church fell into a state of apostasy or as the scriptures put it a falling away. This was predicted by Amos, Paul and many of the early prophets and apostles. Have we ever wondered why there are so many churches on the earth today really? It is because that authority was lost so many years ago. Gods direct line with his prophets and apostles was cut off because of the hardheartedness of the people. Luckily God is the same yesterday today and forever and in his infinite Goodness called another prophet to RESTORE, not reform, the true church that Christ established, not one established on the feelings one has towards the Bible. The authority was restored to the prophet Joseph Smith and has had a continous line from him to now. God has reestablished his Church because of the faith of his people with a prophet and apostles who have direct and frequent communication from on High to guide the affairs of his church. This is the message. This is the truth. But how can you know? You can read the "fruit" of the prophet Jospeh Smith, the Book of Mormon, which he translated, and pray to ask God if he speaks through his authority again on the earth. My witness is that he does. That we have the guidance directly from Heaven through Prophets and Apostles again on the earth. This is my testimony, and it has been given to me line upon line, precept on precept, as I have searched pondered and prayed. I am so grateful for our Heavenly Father and the sacrifice of His Divine son Jesus Christ. I know they live, and that as in times anciently, Jesus stands at the head of His Church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. General Conference is a witness of that. If you pray and listen to the talks given you will know that they are prophets and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ and that is my promise. ‵or by the power of the Holy Ghost you may know the truth of all things."

I love you all and pray for all!!! Keep it up!!!

Elder Passantino