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Monday, August 6, 2012

Last Week of Mission

Dear Family and Friends, Well this will be my last official week... I can´t believe how fast two years have come and gone. I remember the first day being so excited and then that night being a little daunted at how long two years seemed. But they surely have. Its hard to explain the emotions that I have right now. I am so excited to see my family and friends again and at the same time am so sad that I have to leave Argentina and the people I have come to love so much. It´s a miracle how much one changes while in the service of the Lord. This last week I was in a touristic city called San Rafael with and Elder from the United States (Elder Tingey) and another Elder from Argentina (Elder Falcon) We worked really hard and saw a lot of miracles. God really is preparing the hearts of the people to listen to the message of the Restoration of His Gospel. They just needed that little but of faith so we relied on God and saw the mircles. On Sunday I was able to return to my one of my favorite areas and see some of the amazing people I was able to help along the way like the Zarandon Family, The Gilabert Family, Lidia Ester, Danilo Gonzalez and was able to eat lunch with the Montenegro family. It was such a happy day. There is no greater satisfaction than seeing people that you were personally able to bless strong in the Gospel and relying on Christ. This week I will go back to San Luis to help some Elders there. I will work with all my heart might mind and strength until the end. Two women that I was teaching in San Luis both were baptized this weekend. It was so amazing to hear that and the changes they have made in their lives. I love the Gospel. I know its true. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and that He is God´s only begotten Son. I know that the gospel has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. I will write my last email next week for everyone but until then have a great and happy week! Love Elder Passantino

D & C 18:15-16

Dear Family and Friends, I had a very special day last Tuesday as I said goodbye to the people I came to know over the past six weeks in the province of San Luis. Tuesday was my last day there and I wanted to say goodbye to as many people as I possibly could before I left. One of our investigators, a young woman named Marsela who had sort of disappeared the week before was one of the people I really wanted to say goodbye too. We literally hadn't seen her in over a week. That afternoon after I had packed some I said a pray with my companion that she would be in the house and that I could say goodbye to her. We got to the house around 8 at night and all the lights were off. I was pretty bummed but we decided to knock and to our surprise she came out the down and let us inside. She had read 1 Nephi and was intrigued by the Book of Mormon. She had read all the pamphlets we had given her and even did all the scripture studies on the back. She is such a happy and optimistic person. She has had a tough life as well. She has a three year old daughter and is pregnant again. When her spouse found out that she was pregnant again he left her. The reason we hadnt been able to find her the last week is because she had been in and out of the hospital because of problems with her pregnancy and at the same time is working. She is such an example to me. When I told her that I was leaving the next day she just broke down in tears and thanked me so much for what I had done for her. It was a very powerful experience for me. She had a really hard time with me leaving. I was able to leave her with a new Bible and with my testimony. It was so hard to leave because I loved her so much and was so happy that she had accepted the Gospel in her life. As my companion and I were about 2 blocks from the house I heard a little shout from her girl Abril, ''Passantino, Passantino''. They called me back and met up to us about a block from there house. Marsela was still in tears and then said, ''with all the love in my heart I give you this (a little fish stuffed animal) which represents the likelihood of us finding each other. Its hard for one fish to find another fish in the sea but God has let us to find each other. Thank you so much for what you do.'' It was such an act of genuine love and care. She doesn't have much, in fact very little but she gave the best she could and it means so much to me. I choked up a little and finally understood the scripture, '' 15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one asoul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! 16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the akingdom of my Father, how great will be your bjoy if you should bring many csouls unto me! That scripture finally made sense after all this time in the mission. That moment is why I was supposed to be in San Luis. Even though we didnt have a lot of success that experience changed my life forever and made me realize that she was the reason I was there for those short six weeks. She will be baptized next weekend. Other than that I have enjoyed my time traveling. We went to some places with some amazing views of the mountains. I was able to work with an ELder from Peru, Bolivia and Argentina and an American whose parents are from EL Salvador. This week we are going to San Rafael about three and a half hours from here so that should be cool. ALright everyone have an incredible week. I love you all! Love, Elder Passantino