The travel plans came on Friday! I'm headed straight for Argentina (which I was a little worried about because the visa can be hard and I was worried that I'd be transferred elsewhere). The first flight is to Georgia and flies from 11 to 4 so it's a long first one, then I take an 11 hour flight down to Buenos Aires. Unlucky for me, I have to travel back up to Salta which can be either really miserable or kinda short. If they book me a flight, then it's about 2 hours up to the city, but if I hop on an bus then the drive can be up to 17 hours. Haha on dirt roads. But it isn't summer down there so it won't be super hot, hallelujah. So, pray for the flight, guys, pray for the flight. Also, something pretty awesome: the flight to Buenos Aires has every single Argentina missionary on it, so there's going to be about 30-40 missionaries on that flight. Not to mention that all the South America missionaries are going to be on the flight to Georgia, so you can imagine the glory of 40-50 missionaries walking off the terminal in Georgia, and everyone handing out Books of Mormon and preaching the Gospel. Haha it'll be a party!
As for stuff going on around here, we have stopped teaching our teachers and begun teaching the other missionaries. We still teach Gabriel every morning but more about him a little later. As we have been teaching the other missionaries in our district, it's been fun to see the kind of Spirit that can dwell in a pretend lesson with people you joke around with in the dorm. Seriously, I love these guys and they probably aren't even real people! Haha (shows the isolation they put us in). But, I just can't wait to see the day that I see the first person on my mission actually change their lives and enjoy the peace and happiness that is The Church of Jesus Christ. And that doesn't mean baptizing a bunch of people. Lately, every time I've heard people talking about baptism statistics, I've gotten really mad. Because to me, that's always been looking at people as a number that you can show off to people when you arrive home. I care about people. I care that they are converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My dad sent me an email today about this today and it really helped me out. I'd been preoccupied a little because I heard some other missionaries talking and almost dissing another Mission area because the baptism rate wasn't as high as other areas. My dad didn't know about it and yet in the email, he told me about the importance of conversion. That, even though baptism is important, the conversion of someone (REALLY changing their lives) is what we as missionaries are looking for. And often times, missionaries just bring the Spirit and he does all the work. So, I prefer to look at the people I have loved. Because I haven't converted anybody. The Spirit of God will do that. I get the amazing opportunity to help people change their lives through baptism and confirmation which signifies the amazing event that has already been taking place. That's what I've really been learning this past week. Especially with Gabriel. We teach him every morning and even though we know he's Mormon, we love to just teach him. He's probably one of my best friends here in the MTC and he's almost 50! Haha (once again, shows the isolation they put us in). And yet, every day I see not only him, but myself, changing as the Spirit guides our constant conversion to the Gospel. But, tomorrow, we have to say goodbye to Gabriel... Real bummer but I know we'll be buds throughout the mission and when I get back, I'm gonna call him up and make him cook me some authentic Chilean food. Haha it's fun to see that those friendships from a mission are already forming.
Alright, I gotta give the funny story of the week. So, me and my companion Elder Erickson have been having this ongoing battle with the other companionship in our room. It started off small but it is getting really intense lately. Every time we get home earlier than the other companionship, we hide all of our stuff and hide anywhere we can in order to scare the crap out of them. And lately, we've been having no success because the hiding spots have been used up. So one day, Elder Erickson and I had to head up to main campus for his doctor's appointment thing and we got back just before the other companionship was to arrive back. They thought we were on main campus so it was the perfect opportunity. Now, there was a little pre-planning of course, and we knew that everyone in the room had a bowel schedule because the food here is really bad for your health. Haha so we knew that a certain Elder would be making a trip into the bathroom for a pre-volleyball bathroom break. So Elder Erickson hid in the bathroom cupboard just under the sink and I hid in the kitchen cupboard for the unveiling of an awesome prank. So, in walk the Elders. Of course, they look around for us because this is an ongoing ordeal of scaring but decided that we were still on main campus (we placed everything perfectly so they would never think we were home). And of course, a certain Elder, who will not be named, walks into the bathroom, locks the door, and turns on the fan. I almost blew my cover laughing because I knew that everything was just too perfect. A couple seconds later, Elder Erickson flings open the cupboard doors and gives the funniest, blood curdling scream which echoes through the dorm. We finally had our revenge. I think that it's easy to guess that the outcome was as expected... Perfect.
People matter, whether it's showing you care through teaching or playing pranks. I know it, I live it, I love it!
Nerdy missionary chillin
Zone: sunday selfie
We make snowmen with our playdough, I mean potatoes
Funny kid: him and I always peep around corners at eachother
The district: model posing
Devotional with BYU roommate and wardy
Two years worth of Journal and Pen