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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Letter we received from Brian's Mission Pres Today! Made me cry!

MisiĆ³n Argentina Mendoza Cabildo Abierto 161 5501 Godoy Cruz Mendoza-Argentina Tel. (0261)-424-3197 July 19, 2012 Dear Brother and Sister Passantino, It is a pleasure and a blessing to have your son here in the Argentina Mendoza Mission. He is an outstanding missionary and is an example to all. I now will have the opportunity to work with Elder Passantino each day as he has been called as a Traveling Assistant to the President. Your son will come to know every single missionary in the Argentina Mendoza Mission. He will direct many of the mission activities and training. In addition to his own missionary proselytizing activities, he will direct and lead the zone leaders in our mission. Elder Passantino has a wonderful spirit. Those who serve as Travelers should be examples in all areas and he has exhibited the ability to do that. We are grateful to you for him and for the excellent example you have set for him. Sincerely, President Sergio E. Avila

Monday, July 16, 2012

Packing my Bags

Dear Family and Friends, Well its been fun being here in San Luis for the last six weeks but I have just been transfered for my last three weeks. President assigned me to be a traveling assistant so that will be a cool opportunity to travel around the mission and help some of the Elders that need it. Im excited to do that. My companion will be ELder Reininger from California. We had a good but tough week here in San Luis. President and his family came to have a Zone Conference and I was able to give one of my last testimonies in that type of setting. He talked a lot about obedience and how the small and simple things make the biggest difference. Lately lots of the people we have been teaching have sort of disappeared becuase of work or they randomly moved and a number of other reasons. I hope one day to see the fruits of my short labor here in San Luis. The people are so great and I love them so much. There are so many good people trying to live righteous lives in the world. I am constantly inspired at those who make changes in their lives and do their best to follow the Savior. I think as I have progressed in my mission I have learned to give people a fair chance and not be so judgemental. As I look at my own self I see my own imperfections and become more tolerant and understanding of others. Its easier to love people now and to forgive forget and move on. This week my companion and I had a little argument over something very insignificant. Its amazing sometimes as normal people we let little things bother us so much. My companion and I then evaluated the situation and realized how dumb we had both acted and we willing to forgive the other and move on as if it had never happened. It was a tough day and we were just frustrated and a little stressed out over some things that were going on. Later that night we were able to visit this sweet lady who had just passed through a difficult seperation with her husband that left herself and her son shocked. It was so hard for them to deal with. We went and were able to lay our hands upon her head and give her a Priesthood blessing of comfort. It was just what she needed. It gave her strength and showed her that God was mindful of her. Her faith is what got her through. (Helaman 5:12) I think I said in my last email that my companion ELder Sierra spoke a little about Ether 2 in his talk but I would like to share something from it that I learned. The Lord asks the Brother of Jared, “Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?” Obviosuly you have to read it in context to understand but we should ask oursleves the same question. What should we ask the Lord for that he may prepare us when we are in our own “Depths of the sea” . I know that he can prepare us for the difficulties that will surely come in this life if we simply just ask. That short little visit with her showed us God “ compassion and that we can each be God” instruments in bringing forth his work. He loves that lady so much and I know how much he loves each and everyone of us. I pray that everyone has an excellent week! love Elder Passantino

Monday, July 9, 2012

Elder Yao and I in front of chapel near where we live!

Elder Passantino and Elder Sierra

Happy 4th and 9th for Argentina

Dear Family and Friends, Happy Argentine Independence Day! haha Yea its the 9th here in Argentina so thats cool, besides the fact that everything closes down today. Its been a pretty crazy week here. My companion and I both gave talks in Church yesterday. I spoke about the phrase thats repeated in the scriptures ´´retain the remission of your sins´´ and how we do that and how the Savior cleanses us according to our diligence in following him or as John says, ´(1 John 1:7)´´But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. My companion spoke on the exchange between the Lord and the Brother of Jared and likened it to ourselves. (Ether 2:18, 23-25) The sister missionaries as wel spoke and then we all sang COme Thou Fount in Spanish for the congregation! It was a really great Sacrament Meeting. Lots of crazy things are happening with our investigators. I have learned some important lessons lately. We have been teaching this amazing person while at the same time she was living with her boyfriend.(not a good thing) Things werent going good at all in their relationship and so she decided to leave She left with all her stuff before he could get home a couple nights ago. It was a very hard decision for her to take but she knew she was doing it for the right reasons and for the best. But sadly, when we met with her in the chapel two days later she found out tha tshe was pregnant with her boyfriends child. Now she has to live the consequences of such a poor decision. She was absolutely devestated and pleaded for help. It was so sad to see. We comforted her and promised her that it would be alright. She has decided to raise the baby by herself so we hope that works out. That is why God gives us commandments because he knows the consequences and the feelings that will come. What I feel is a great mistake by many people is that they preach more the message of ´´how can get out of this situation the easy way?´´ Rather than ´´what can I do to avoid a situation like this all together?´´ Many in the modern world teach easy redemption which warrants and accepts whatever action becuause ´´I´m already saved because I accepted Christ so it doesn´t matter what I do because his love will save me in the end or in the words of Nephi, ´´ 7 Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: aEat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us. 8 And there shall also be many which shall say: aEat, drink, and bebmerry; nevertheless, fear God—he will cjustify in committing a little dsin; yea, elie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a fpit for thy neighbor; there is gno harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. 9 Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, afalse and vain and bfoolish cdoctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark. When justification for sin is based on an easy repentance process after committing the sin, God is mocked and as Paul says, (Hebrews 10:26)´´ For if we asin bwilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.´´ and justice takes its place. The atonement of Jesus Christ is infinite and his grace is sufficent for the truly penent. It is a miracle what he did and we could never ever ever save ourselves for by our righteous actions. Christ is the only one who saves and can cleanse of all sin after we follow Him with our heart which entails the steps of His Gospel. I am so grateful to believe in a loving Christ who is so merciful and will freely forgive. His grace is what saves us. I hope everyone has a fantastic week! Love Elder Passantino

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hi family and friends!

Dear Family and Friends, It was a good birthday week. Some of the Elders and Sister missionaries threw a little surprise party for me so that was nice :) My comp told me there was a ´´meeting´´ that night in the church and they got me good. haha. We were able to go to Mendoza this week and have a leadership consel again. A seventy came, Elder Resek. It was a great experience. It was one of the few times that I have seen President Avila cry so much. You could really feel the love that he had for us. There were about 12 of the elders there that will be leaving in August and he had a hard time sharing to us Jacob 5:71-72 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come. And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things. It was a special moment to hear that and to recommit myself to endure to the end and work until my last day. It seems like the days just go faster now and that there is a short time left to cherish as a full time missionary. Luckily there are so many amazing people here. We are teaching some awesome people. There is one person named Marsela who bought a dress to come to church adaquately this week. It was so cool to see her do that. She will be getting baptized soon. I have had a renewed faith in the Book of Mormon and a renewed testimony of it. I just think its impossible for someone to read it with real intent and ask God if its true and to not receive an answer of its truthfulness. That book has changed my life and I have no doubt of its divine origin and message. ´´...It came fourth as Joseph said it came fourth and was given to bring happiness and hope to the travail of the latter days.´´ (Jeffrey R. Holland, Safety for the Soul) I have seen firsthand how it brings hope and happiness. Logically to me(although I speak with my own bias) it makes sense that a God filled with infinite love and compassion for his children would provide another rock foundation where his children could be sure of the truth. God is aware of the multitude of churches, organizations and beliefs that profess Him and his infinite goodness and grace about Him and His Son and has done the best He could to make himself personable to us. He made himself known from the beginning to our first parents Adam and Eve and gave them counsel and direction, commandments, hope and a correct idea of what kind of being he was. The whole reason we have the Bible is because he revealed himself to man and commanded them to write what they saw, heard, felt and what he told them to write. He wants us to know who He is so He reveals himself to special people called prophets(Amos 3:7,Numbers 12:6,8) I think one of the things that makes him sadest is some of the concepts people have of Him. It usually is a great ´´something bigger´´ but defining him is almost impossible. Thats why He sent His Son to show us exactly who He was, for Christ was the ´´brightness of his glory and the express image of his person.´´(Hebrews 1:3) He gave us the scriptures so that we would know who he is and still there is so much confusion and so many different religions. He brought fourth the Book of Mormon to show us who He really is and to end the discussion about it. In his love he brought it forth so there wouldnt be need for any more confusion. I will be forever grateful to Him for bringing to light the Book of MOrmon and all that it entails. I love you all and wish everyone a great week! Love Elder Passantino