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Monday, June 25, 2012

Thanks for the Birthday Wishes!

Dear Family and Friends, This week has been awesome! We continue to find amazing people who are looking for the truth in their lives. The other week we had our interview with the mission President. While my companion and I were having an interview a man mistakingly walked in the chapel and found us there. He was actually looking for a place to help him find employement. We were able to talk to him a while with President Avila. He really needed a lot of help in his life. We set up another time to visit with him and realized that he has had a pretty hard time in his life. He had recently gotten out of jail after being acused on false charges, and he also lost his first baby girl two months after her birth. He is looking for work and was sort of a wreck. We were able to give him a lot of comfort and we are going to continue to work with him to help him and his family out. We used the scriptures to give him that comfort. I have always found strength in the words of the Savior when he says, ´´ Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father aknoweth that ye have need of all these things. aBut bseek ye first the ckingdom of God, and hisdrighteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:31-33. I know that if he decides to follow Christ without looking back he will find the strength and the hope he needs to continue onward and forward. I want to thank everyone for their awesome birthday wishes. I feel so blessed to have family and friends like you guys! I couldn´t be happier. There is no greater thing I could be doing for my birthday. I love you all so very much and miss you guys and can´t wait to see you all here pretty soon! Love Elder Passantino

Monday, June 11, 2012

Elder Passantino, Elder Ostler and Elder Moon

Family Home Evening

Helping the Hermanas

New Area

Well its been amazing already here in San Luis! Its a new province and its way beautiful. Its really like a mini San Francisco its way cool. My companion Elder Sierra is one of my best friends and we get along so well. He is from Bogota, Columbia which is the capital. We live with an Elder named Elder Moon and then another Elder who is from China. He is convert from Buddeism. He ´s 23 years old and I respect him so much. He got baptized about 17 months ago and has such a strong testimony. He still cant speak Spanish too well but he tries so hard and studies like no other. He moved to Buenos Aires when he was 18 from China and met the missionaries through a friend when he was 21. He never practiced Spanish while he lived here so he never learned it before. There was no one in Argentina who could teach him the Gospel in Chinese so after a few months they were able to get someone who could translate. He said simply, I read and prayed to God and felt so strongly that is was true. He was baptized despite zero support from his family. His family later moved to South Africa. His family wan´nt happy with the decision he took to go on a mission either because he had to choose between paying to go live with his family in SOuth Africa or going on a mission and he choose to go on a mission. He is a man among men. He is an example to everyone and although he can´t speak very well his testimony is heard in the corridors of the heart. We have been a trio for the past two days and he gave a powerful testimony to a very inteligent person yesterday and left them shocked. This man was very intelligent and had studied a lot of stuff against the church on the internet without finding out the truth from the church. He began to say a million things against the Book of Mormon, which to me was pretty comical. After we had responded everything Elder Yao said, ´´I have a question for you, what do we eat in China?´´ The man then said well um rice and I heard that you eat dogs and cats. Elder Yao then went on to say, ´´Exactly, because 100 people out of 1,400,000,000 people have eaten dog or cat in China means that everyone eats dog and cat and thats nowhere near the truth. If you want to know what we eat in China ask me.´´ He then explained that it was the same with the Book of Mormon and that if you want to know it its true you have to read it and ask God. The man was left without words and even though it was broken spanish he understood perfectly what he said. Two scriptures came to my mind as he spoke , ´´ But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; (1 Corinthians 1:27) and And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:4-5). He later bore his testimony to the truth of what he knows to be true. And so do I. I hope everyone has a great week!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

San Luis-maybe last area!

Dear Family and Friends, Well it looks like I got transfered to my last area. I am going to San Luis which is another province in Mendoza. I have been in the other two provinces but have never got to go to San Luis so I am really excited about that! My new companion is Elder Sierra who is columbian as well. We lived together when I was in San Juan(Chimbas) and we became really good friends so it will be awesome! All in all I am looking forward to it and was ready. We recently found a family who will be getting baptized in a two weeks so that was so exciting! The Mom of the family is Etel and she was so ready. We helped her quit smoking and quit drinking and she has received such a strong witness of the truthfulness of what we teach. We gave her 3 Nephi 11 to read and then to pray and to ask God if it was true. She said as she read she was overcome with the desire to repent and to come unto Christ. She has been to many other churches and has always enjoyed them but said she has never had that burning urge to repent as she had when she read that chapter. 3 Nephi chapter 11 is when the Savior makes his visit to the Americas among the people called the Nephites. In verse 23 He says, ´´Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them. SHe was touched by that and said that she prayed harder and more sincerely than she had ever prayed, asking forgiveness for her sins as well as asking for a witness from the Holy Ghost of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. As she did so she felt full of peace and felt a sure confirmation that is was true, that she had been forgiven and that she should be baptized. Im so excited for her and the other people that we are teaching here they are so special to me and I love them so much! I know God lives and He is so loving that he is willing to answer our prayers. Have a great week everyone! Love Elder Passantino

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Talking to my Family

Sorry but Mom got behind! This is what he wrote the day after Mother's Day and I realized I never posted it and I don't know how to put it in it's proper place! Thanks for all who read and follow Brian! It's hard to believe we will be going to get him in 2 months! Dear family and friends, Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to talk to my family. I truly love them so much and take some much comfort in the fact to know that we will live together forever. It was great talking to them. As my mission continue to wind down I am thinking about some of the things I have learned and why they are important. One of the most important things I have learned is to seek the Lord´s approval rather than try to seek the approval of those around you or those above you. As humans we are really think a lot about what others think about us and we begin to become what others tell us we are, but I think a much more noble quest is to seek the approval of our Heavenly Father and see if our lives are in accordance with His. There is no true happiness or satisfaction until we feel truly at peace with ourselves, and we always feel content and at peace with ourselves when we feel the divine approval of a loving Father in Heaven. We do that by following his commandaments and seeking to repent, change, progress, uplift ourselves and others, and try to reach our full potential. I have learned how important it is to stop sometimes and think about where we are and if the Lord is pleased with that. We do that by asking and making the necessary tweaks and changes in our life to be where He wants us to be. That is the key to a happy life. I´m grateful to be helping od´s children here in Argentina and continue to do so up until my departure. It has been the greatest blessing of my life and the one that has brought more satisfaction and joy than any other decision. Have a great week everyone :) Love Elder Passantino
Hey Guys, Well we got back at about one in the morning from Mendoza today so I´m pretty tired. It was a fun time being with President and the mission leaders. Our mission President is really a man of God and has so much wisdom. It has been one of one of the greatest opportunites of my life to listen to him and President Lindahl when he was here and receive such wise and useful counsel. Some of my favorite Elders are leaving next week. Elder Allen, who was my companion for 2 transfers in Lujan de Cuyo is leaving. He was one of my greatest examples and I always looked up to him and wanted to be like him. When we were companions it was like going out to work with your best friend. We had a lot of success and saw a lot of miracles. My time with him changed my mission forever. Its sad when some ELders leave because its like losing some of your best friends and brothers. We get really close in the mission. Earlier last week we had a miracle. We had been teaching a lady named Blanca and her son named Brian. Brian just had such a strong desire to be baptized it was awesome, but suddenly about 3 and a half weeks ago they moved away. It was a bummer because we couldn´t find them and we thought we would never have the chance again. Until thjis last week. They moved back into the same house they were living in before and we were able to have the baptismal service of Brian this saturday and then his confirmation on Sunday! He was so happy and I was excited when he asked me to perform the ordinance. His mother, Blanca, is coming along well. Its tough sometimes because some of these people we teach have made devastating mistakes in their lives and they have such a hard time dealing with life. The incredible thing is that the only really thing that can help these people is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. There is nothing that is out of the infinite reach of the Savior´s atoning love. There is no pain, grief, regret, or sickness that he cannot heal. I love something that the Savior says prior to His visit to the Americas. He says "...will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?" 3 Nephi 9:13 He really is the only one that can give us that relief that we all need and yearn for. There is no other way. I testify that He lives. As a missionary for His Church I declare that with all the solemnity of my heart and I am one of His witnesses. I hope that everyone may have that same conviction and asurety that I do. There is no greater joy than sharing the truth I humbly bear. I invite everyone to read the Book of Mormon and to pray and to ask God of its truthfulness. Those who follow such a course will find the only real healing and will come to know the living Christ. They will know that He is guiding His servants today as He did anciently and they will come to know the meaning that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Have a fantastic week I love you all! Love Elder Passantino
Dear Family and Friends, We were privelged to baptize a girl named Julieta this week. She is a really awesome person with a pure heart. Her family has had a pretty hard life and all of her brothers and sisters are from different dads. They just moved into a really humble house that used to be an old train station stop. The life and quality of it here is completely different than the Stats. It was a great baptismal service and I was grateful to be able to perform the baptism. I have come to know how much God loves everyone. We asked her to pray to God and ask Him if what she was about to do was right and if the Church was true. She said she kneeled down and prayed and felt a comforting peace of assurance. I am absolutely convinced that all who ask God with a sincere heart will always receive an answer to the truthfulness of what we teach. I really hope you all are in good spirits and are doing your best to live good and wholesome lives. I am grateful for the people in my life who give me those powerful examples. Have a fantastic week! Love Elder Passantino