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Monday, February 13, 2012


Dear Fam and Friends,

Its been another great week here in San Juan, Argentina. I felt one of my first earthquakes this week so that was pretty crazy... I was sitting on my bed when the whole frame started to shake! Also this week we taught a man who invited us to his work to teach him. He works at the museum that comemorates the great earthquake of San Jaun that happened in 1944. It basically destroyed the whole city and 10,000 people died when it occured! The museum shows how the city was before and what damage the earthquake did. Then there was a simulation of the earthquake that we got to feel which was pretty cool. Afterward we were shown how they rebuilt the city and how they build the buildings now, living in an area that is prone to have earthquakes. It was great because after that the man gave ELder Allred and I old photos of San Juan from the 1920´s to really remember San Juan. It was a really cool gift because it was on display in the museum. We had a great lesson afterwards with him and are excited to continue to watch his progress.

Elder Allred and I were privelged to give a fireside for a ward camping activity up in the mountains. President Avila was going to give it but when he couldn´t he asked us to do it. It was for the young men between 14 and 18. We spoke on 10 reasons and blessings for serving a mission. Some of the 10 things we came up with were, ´´ Learning to listen to the Spirit, Learning how to set goals, make plans and complete goals, Learning how not to have fear, Learning to depend on the Lord and not on ourselves, Having powerful and meaningful spiritual experiences, etc. It was an opportunity to reflect on some of the things that happen day to day in the mission and really realize the miracle of it all. It changes your outlook on life and how you try to relate to people and circumstances. Basically what the mission does is raise you to a higher level of living based on the Savior´s teaching and invite others to do likewise. You come to understand that the only true and lasting happiness comes through being a rightous person and striving to keep the commandments of God.

One of the miracles of the trip up to the mountains was that as we were walking upn to give the devotional I saw Fabricio that I baptized in Rawson. I had been thinking a lot about him and how he was doing, but it was a miracle to see him and get to talk with him a little. It was one of the ´´tender mercies of the Lord.´´ As I continue with the mission I am starting to see a little bit more of the vision of it all. As I was studying some of the talks by the prophets and apostles in this last general conference I began to understand that what they are saying is right on the money, and it is a prophetic call to a degrading society. Elder D. Todd Christofferson´s talk has hit me hard and some of the things he shared about how people think right now. I would like to share a part of it.

¨Some profess that if there is a God, He makes no real demands upon us (see Alma 18:5). Others maintain that a loving God forgives all sin based on simple confession, or if there actually is a punishment for sin, “God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God” (2 Nephi 28:8). Others, with Korihor, deny the very existence of Christ and any such thing as sin. Their doctrine is that values, standards, and even truth are all relative. Thus, whatever one feels is right for him or her cannot be judged by others to be wrong or sinful.
On the surface such philosophies seem appealing because they give us license to indulge any appetite or desire without concern for consequences. By using the teachings of Nehor and Korihor, we can rationalize and justify anything. When prophets come crying repentance, it “throws cold water on the party.” But in reality the prophetic call should be received with joy. Without repentance, there is no real progress or improvement in life. Pretending there is no sin does not lessen its burden and pain. Suffering for sin does not by itself change anything for the better. Only repentance leads to the sunlit uplands of a better life. And, of course, only through repentance do we gain access to the atoning grace of Jesus Christ and salvation. Repentance is a divine gift, and there should be a smile on our faces when we speak of it. It points us to freedom, confidence, and peace. Rather than interrupting the celebration, the gift of repentance is the cause for true celebration.¨

This talk is called, ´´The Divine Gift of Repentance.´´ The things he says are true and it is exactly what people are doing and thinking now. We have to be the ones to stop the trend and really understand what God wants of us and what we have to do to be truly happy. I am greateful for living prophets and apostles in our day, just as it was anciently (Ephesians 2:19-20). I know they are true, that Jesus is the Christ and that we have a great work to do. Have an amazing week!!!


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