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Levi's Quest in Argentina will soon be coming to a close. Levi will be returning home on July 6, 2011 after serving an unforgettable journey throughout the countryside surrounding Cordoba, Argentina.

Monday, July 26, 2010

First Baptixm in Villa Dolores in a Year

Happy Monday! Let's go in chronological order of the week shall we. Argentina has a lot, I mean A LOT of holidays. Animal day, student day, bald people day, Virgin day, and the list goes on. Tuesday was Friend Day. At midnight we started receiving text messages from members saying happy friend day, I turned the phone off, and seeing how it was the middle of the night I forgot come morning. As we left and went out into the streets we heard people all over greeting one another with "happy day, friend", after a couple instances we remembered what day it was, we decided to use this day to our advantage. Every person we saw we greeted energetically with "happy day" or "happy friend day" etc. When they saw our enthusiasm they responded equally, and although we had never met, they would greet us with happy day back. We then would converse or go into talking about our best friend. We shared the scripture in John that says no greater love hath man this, he who lays down his life for his friends. It went really well and was really fun.

Next day...a bird pooped in Elder Flaherty's hair. Next day, our branch was having a party for the birthday of one of the young women. Elder Flaherty and I crashed the party with guitar in hand to surprise everyone and play a lil somethin. Beatriz (our awesome investigator was there) so we were talking to her, when the Cordero family arrived. Brother Cordero didn't know Beatriz but we had invited him to the baptism that very day. He introduced himself and then the first thing out his mouth was "I heard you're getting wet". She laughed and said yes, and he continued talking to her, bearing testimony and sharing his first experiences with the church and it was awesome! The next day (Friday) was filled with what most would call luck, but those in this work know there is no such thing. On the outskirts of town there is a neighborhood where neither Elder Flaherty nor I had previousle ventured. We were told there was a member family out there. Without much idea of where in the neighborhood we went searching. We completely passed their house, but they happened to leaving in that moment and stopped us to talk. They invited us over and we're excited to go see them again this week. Next we had planned to visit a couple other member families to invite them to Saturday's baptism. First house we knocked, no one was home, as we walked down the driveway they pulled up. Next house they were leaving when we arrived, next house, as we were leaving they arrived. We barely found everyone on our list that day, but we did find everyone! Saturday we ate lunch with the Cordero family and told them of our blessed Friday, Sister Cordero said there are no coincidences in missionary, then we left to catch a bus, and as we walked out the door, there it was, and she yelled no coincidences as we got on. We didn't know exactly where this bus went but we knew it went in the right direction. When we realized it passed the chapel (where we were heading) we got off immediately, where? Directly in front of an inactive, returned missionary's store. We went in and invited him. He was super excited for us, and told us he would give up his siesta to be there (not only did he come, he brought his nonmember wife, who loved it, and got along super well with everyone).

So that leaves us at the baptism. It was super d00per. We had a lot of people come, we had to set up more chairs. Five investigators came. A lot of members (including hermano Cordero). It was beautiful! The hot water heater didn't work, yet Beatriz told us she wasn't cold at all. It was just indescribable. The first in Villa Dolores in a year, and my first in three transfers. Everyone loved it, and we had a good turn out in church the next day. I live for weekends like that.

Now to finish this timeline of the week. A member in Merlo recently opened a paintball arena. We called our mission president and he said I don't see how paintball is less dangerous than soccer, wear masks, be safe and have fun. So we did just that. We played with three 18 year old nonmembers and their 19 year old member friend. It was super fun. We played gringos vs Latins and won two of the three games. Los amo un montón. Tengan una semana de diez.



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Love This Mission

Monday we spent the p-day in Merlo. We played soccer and had some fun. We missed the bus that night so we had to stay the night and take one the next morning. Well, winter hit pretty hard this past week, not a lot, but there was some snow in a lot of the country and it snowed in the mountains near us. The bus we take has no heating and it really isn't sealed so it was a freezing two hour bus ride back to Villa Dolores. Then we worked throughout the week and then I had to travel back to Merlo Thursday night for exchanges on Friday. Elder McClellan and I worked hard and had a fun day. We talked to a lot of people and helped a man approach his baptism. Every Saturday we eat with the Cordoro family. The mother is usually at church. The husband and none of their three sons have come since I arrived three and a half months ago, but they are all friendly and feed us every week. Well Elder Flaherty shared a scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants about blessings and obedience to God's laws. It looked like we may have hurt Brother Cordoro's feelings from his facial expressions to the scripture. We left feeling a little bad, thinking he have taken it as a rebuking, although it wasn't intended to be so. Well the next morning as we were walking up to the chapel we saw him walking up as well. I was so excited to see him there with his wife and oldest daughter. They all stayed for all three hours and everybody was super excited to see him. I was extremely grateful he came, and I hope he continues to come. I guess Elder Flaherty chose the right scripture to have the Spirit bring a change about in him. Two weeks left in the transfer and it's interesting to think who will stay and who will go. Not only in Villa Dolores but in Merlo too. The work, however, is more important than transfers haha, just makes me want to work hard these two weeks in Villa Dolores just in case they're my last two. I love this mission. Some days are worse than others, but this is the most important thing I can be doing right now.



July 12 - Life is Good and Enjoying My Quest

I had a fun trip to Córdoba this week for zone conference and to meet President Salas, his wife, and fourteen year old son (they are from Buenos Aires). We got on a bus at four in the morning and arrived for a zone conference combined with three other zones. I was able to see Elder Frias, Elder Pacheco, and Elder Bushnell, along with lots of other friends I have made thus far in my quest. The first picture I have attached is the bus terminal in Córdoba. It is always full of people, but this night was even worse. We were in the big city on Thursday July 8. Friday July 9 is their independence day, so it was how I imagine an airport would be the day before a big holiday. The bus we usually take had every bus full till 9:30 the following morning. Luckily after a good search we found a ghetto bus with four seats leaving that night at 11:30, so we didn't have to stay the night in the bus terminal. The second picture is in front of one of the main Catholic chapels in downtown Córdoba.
Life is good. We're working hard, having fun. Definitely enjoying my quest, as I hope you are.

Take care stay awesome chao,


July 5 - Gaining Testimonies

Alright so I have a couple things to report on for my week. First off, Beatriz (an investigator of nine months) has a baptismal date for the 24th of July. Important day for our church, our family, and now Beatriz. Not only Beatriz, however. Similar to my little brother Tate, a young woman in the ward brought a friend to church several months ago. The friend really enjoyed it, but felt scared to join or ever really participate, or listen to the missionary lessons, but she liked church and us and the BoM. Well, her mother (Beatriz) is a good mother and wanted to know what her daughter was doing with the church and how the church was. Well she started listening to the missionaries and slowly has been coming to church and gaining a testimony of all these things, well we asked her to be baptized this week and she accepted, then following the Spirit we invited the daughter in to tell her the good news and we could see she was happy for her mother so in the moment we invited the daughter too and she accepted because of her mother's example and she knew she have the support of not only her friend but of her mother. Super awesome day!

Good story number two for the week. My area is geographically ginormous. I cover Villa Dolores and almost everything between it and Córdoba. We have some members that live about 45 minutes away in a town called Cura Brochero who really want us to work with them to help Cura Brochero strengthen the members, create new members, and eventually form a branch. Well when someone wants to work with us we can't say no, so Elder Flaherty and I journeyed out to Cure Brochero for a day and worked with this awesome family and a member (Mateo) from Córdoba. Mateo served a mission in Costa Rica and recently returned. Before serving he tried to do missionary work in Brochero by himself. Well as we started worked we prayed and he had a specific house come to his mind so we went to this house. Three years ago he knocked a door that nobody answered, but it had an open window. He placed the BoM inside the window and left not thinking much of it. When we found and knocked the house a woman came out with a smile and asked if we were the people who left a Book of Mormon inside her window. Mateo responded yes and said he assumed someone had been sleeping and didn't answer the door. She said she had been at work but left the window open for the cat and when she came home she found the book and started reading it. She loves it and thanked us for giving it to her and for coming back (even if it took three years). Well we are going back to see her again with Mateo and I am super excited! I also am meeting my new Mission President this Thursday. Should be fun!

Love you, enjoy your week,