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Monday, March 12, 2012

Transfers to the South!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well I found out last night that I will be changing areas and I will be leaving San Juan and heading out to Alvear which is the further south of our mission. I will have to take three buses for 8 hours to get there. It is in the south of Mendoza. So I was in the hottest place of the mission for summer and will be in the coldest for winter in a couple months. I am guessing that it will be my last area which I still can´t believe! My companion is Elder Treadway who is from Mesa Arizona which is awesome! I lived with him a few transfers ago and we got to be pretty good friends so I am really excited to be with him. I was ready to move on from this area though. Alvear is a smaller zone and a lot more secluded. There are fewer elders and the majority of the areas are branches and not wards. There is only one ward and luckily that is the one that we are in.

It was a great experience being in Retiro in the Chimbas zone. I met some incredibe people and had the chance to baptize some amazing people. What topped off my stay there was a stake conference that we had this weekend. President Avila called us and challenged us to bring as many people as possible to the conference. A seventy came whose name is Elder Di Giovanni. I believe he is in the 7th quorum. President Avila and his wife also came along with the assistants of the mission. It was such a Spirit filled conference. I cannot tell you all how much my convictions were reafirmed through the SPirit that I felt there. Everyone was touced and moved to tears. The first speaker was the Stake President, Presidente Zanni. He talked about serving missions and the importance of it. At one point he called up Elder Menocal, who is one of the assistants to President and who was in my area before I was. He was blessed with enormous success because of his diligence and humility. As he called up ELder Monocal he had him call up all those who were present who were baptized or accepted the gospel while he was there. Over twenty people came which consisted of over six families and 4 marriages. I know all of them and love all of them too because they all are in our ward. The Spirit was so strong as the Stake President pointed to those famlies and to ELder Menocal and said, ´´Imagine if he would have never served a mission.´´ He then called me and my companion up there as well to share the moment. We were all deeply overcome by the SPirit and grateful for the chance to be engaged in such a work. We all hugged and cried and were grateful for this great saving work.

As the meeting continued we heard from President Avila and then from Elder Di Giovanni. Elder Di Giovanni spoke of the testimony and conversion. He said we all know people with such strong testimonies but that still dont act as if they were converted. He talked about the life long process of converting oneself to Christ and his Gospel. He spoke of the importance of the Sabbath day and also of our tendency to judge and how we need to fix that. He also talked about Charity(the pure love of Christ) being a state of being. He said the world teaches us to know things and learn but the gospel is to help us become something. He said we will be judged on the final product, or in other words what we have become. It was an amazing talk.

Later after the meeting I was able to talk to him and President Zanni, and he saw my name and gave President Zanni and I a hug at the same time and said, we are all brothers from Italy, but this Passantino is from the Mafia haha. It was a perfect ending to my time here and I couldnt be more excited to start my last chapter! I love you all have a great week :)

Elder Passantino

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