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Monday, July 25, 2011

Short and Sweet!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well I am pretty short on time this week because we are having a zone leaders activity for P-Day. We are going to play soccer and some other activities and then have a doctrinal discussion on ALMA Chapters 5-15 about the missions of Alma and Amulek! When I was reading it it was just so incredible! The power that they had was amazing. They knew who they were and they knew that God was on their side. I hope I can be like them. I am doing very well here in Lujan! Today is a holiday here some sort of Saint day(there are a ton of holidays here and everything always closes down...) Its pretty funny though. It was Elder Allen´s birthday yesterday so that was a lot of fun. We went to a member named Hermana Montenegros house and she made him something like raviolis and a cake! It was great and he really appreciated it :) We live with two other Elders and so we were going to try to get up and make him breakfast for his Bday, but he is a really light sleeper. We got early and he just hopped right out of bed and woke up so we sorta failed there... haha :) It was a great week anyways! We are working really hard and having fun! I love feeling the SPirit and trying to listen to it´s guidance! I love you all and miss you!

Elder Passantino

Monday, July 18, 2011

Great week in Mendoza Mission!

Dear Family and Friends :)

It has been another great week here in the Mendoza mission! We have had some great experiences so far and the miracles just keep on coming. We live with two other ELders named ELder Evans and Elder Fausett and this week something really cool happened. Elder Evans asked to borrow the ´´Restoration´´ DVD from me and so I let him have it. Later that day he left his scripture case in the bus and was very upset about it! It was the first time in his mission that he had forgotten it. He would have to buy a new DVD, scriptures, and ask for more pictures from his family. Two days later he received a call from some other ELders in the zone. They then went on to tell him what had happened. The night before, these ELders had planned for some reason, to go to a neighborhood they had never gone to before. That day while they were in the neighborhood a man called them over. They talked to the man and he said he had something for them. He went in his house and grabbed the scripture case and asked if they knew who the Elder was in his photos. They said yes and then the man said that he had opened the case, watched the movie and had begun reading the Book of Mormon. He was so excited he planned an appointment with them the next day! What a miracle huh? Everything was in tact and the man had a strong conviction of the things he had read and seen were true. The Lord works in miraculous ways doesn´t he??

On the home front here in our area we are still teaching Danilo and have seen a huge change in him. He didn´t drink or take drugs for a whole week! That was a huge step in the right direction for him. The next day after we saw him he texted us and told us to go over to his house again. When we went over to his house he looked really happy. He went on to tell us that the day before after we had left an old friend came over and he took some drugs with him. He said he felt terrible and in the morning just felt like he was going to die. He said he just had the worst pain he has ever experienced in his life. He remebered what we had been teaching him about prayer so he began to pray to God. He said he talked with him as if he was there with him and as a ´´man talketh to his friend.´´ He told God he wanted more than anything to change and follow him and that he would decide then and there if only God would heal him. He trusted that God was listening and acted on faith. Within 30 seconds his pain went away and didn´t return. He described how shocked and grateful he was for a Loving Heavenly Father who has mercy on us. The change in him was so apparent. You could see it in his eyes. He went to church and loved it again and said he know God wants him to be baptized because the Spirit has confirmed to his soul that it is true. I am grateful that the God does the work and all we have to do is present the message. God always answers our prayers and will always confirm the truthfulness of the Restoration of the Gospel to our soul. With this confirmation we need not doubt. All someone has to do to know the truth of the message is read, ponder, pray and go to church with the sincereness of heart that will produce spirtitual experiences. I know the work is ture.

I also had the opportunity to meet an incredible man who was baptized only about 4 months ago. He is a brilliant man who has been studying religion and ancient cultures for the last 35 years. He has been in Catholic colleges and studied among the great of the Evangelicals. He received lessons from the Jehovahs witness for 3 years. He is an expert on ancient religions and philosopy. All he wanted was the truth and for all those years of diligent study and meditation he was never satisfied with a sure answer. When the missionaries came to his house he gave them five min to speak and they simply bore their testimony of what the SPirit had witnessed to them. He was intrigued. After all the years of searching, and studying he read the Book of Momon and prayed to the source of all truth to know. He received an answer. He read the standard works three times in three months and is just full of energy and hope now that he finally received the truth. He now is writing a Book on how ´´Mormonism´´ incorporates all the ancient truths that have been believed and embraced by the ancient prophets and philosophers throughout all the ages. With all this knowledge and learning the greatest part about it is his testimony. He asked God after having received the truth, and God confirmed. The simpliest but most profound formula that the world has ever known. God is our Father and we are his children. He wants all of us to ask him the question, ´´Oh where is truth?´´ It is in testimony that he answers. I love and miss you all!!!

Elder Passantino

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New Area of Lujan

Dear Family and Friends!

Hola from Mendoza again! I made it back to the province of Mendoza for transfers and I am already loving it! My area is called Lujan. It is like an extension of Mendoza and Godoy Cruz downtown so there is a lot of city. It is a really nice city though so thats been great. My companion Elder Allen is a great man and filled with love. He was born in Pocatello and grew up there! His dad is a country singer named Darin Allen, you should look him up and see if he is good :) I think he is! He was ranked the 44 wrestler in the nation his senior year and turned down multiple full ride scholarships to serve a mission. He also received college requests for Baseball and Football. Quite the athlete wouldn´t you say?? In no way is he prideful though he is a great man. He has an incredible story of faith and converstion which I would tell if I had more time.

I got the opportunity to meet the new Mission President and his family this last week! He is an amazing man and full of the pure love of Christ. He talked about some scriptures in the New Testament and then in the Book of Mormon that made us feel such a greater love for our Savior and a determination to love and serve him even more. Christ asks us to follow his example and the scriptures say he gave his life for his friends. Obviously we cannot emmulate the infinite sacrifice that he performed but we can give our life for our friends through service. It was so powerful and I want to be a more faithful disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Right now in my new area we are teaching a hard drug addict. He is addicted to cocaine and Alcohol. We talked to him and gave him comfort and tried to help him with his problems and all the lies he believed such as: I cant go out in public and talk to people without drinking, or Im just too timid of a person and when I am on that stuff I become more outgoing. We helped him realize that those are lies that Satan wants him to believe. He understood what we said and took it to heart. He made the decision and came to church sober for the first time. He had been the first time he had been out sober in public in a long time. All he wanted in his life was forgiveness of all the bad things he has done. He has a good heart and a desire to follow God and be happy. He tool the first step and I am so happy and proud of him. Please be praying for him! His name is Danilo. I love you all so much and am praying for the welfare of each and everyone one of you! You truly are amazing at helping me on this incredible journey!

Elder Brian Passantino

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of JULY!!!

Well I am really limited on time today but I want to wish you all well!!Thanks for all the Birthdays wishes I am so greatful for all my family and friends you are the best!! Today for the 4th we wanted to do something to celebrate,so Elder Hopkin and I went to Wal Mart and bought a bunch of american things to have a BBQ! We made hamburgers, bought some really good american hot dogs, brought and american flag and everything! It was a lot of fun and we all enjoyed ourselves a lot! Almost all of our zone is from the United States except for some from Peru and from Chile. They had a lot of fun too:)

I also found out that I am getting transfered this transfer to Godoy Cruz, which is where the mission offices are(in Mendoza), and which is the biggest zone in the mission! The new Mission President called me and assigned me to be a zone leader there with ELder Allen who is from Idaho! The funny thing was that Elder Allen was in my district last transfer and we became reallly good friends and so I am so excited!!! It will be a great responsibility but an amazing opportunity! The mission President sounds great too I am very excited to have him. He only speaks Spanish but I believe is learning ENglish. I am so happy and ready for more miracles :) I miss and love you all so very much!! Thanks for all your support and prayers!!!

Elder Passantino