Hola familia y amigos. This week has been kind of short for us missionaries because we basically only went out teaching from Monday to Friday. Since we had Conference on Saturday and Sunday, we got to take a little break from all the walking and sit down to listen to the living prophets and revelators. But before I talk about how much I enjoyed the talks of Conference, I want to tell a story about someone that we were able to meet this past week. Well, every few days we walk to a part of our area and look for the investigators and less active members who we hope to teach. Usually, we walk down the same street or at least pass by the street while we´re walking around doing our visits and we always see this old guy with a big old beard, sitting on a log under this humongous, tropical tree, always drinking some type of cheap alcohol from a cardboard carton. Every time that we would pass, we always would wave to him, not thinking about stopping and talking because he was just a drunk guy that wouldn´t be interested. Of course, he would always say things like ¨God bless you¨ and ¨Good Luck¨ but that is pretty normal from the borrachos in Argentina. Well, last week in church, we were talking with some members and this girl in the Young Women´s came up to us and told us about this little old man that she talked to with her friend, and how we had to visit him because he was a really good guy. She gave me the direction and I was pretty excited to see this guy who had been so open to these girls´ message. When we passed by, I was super surprised to find that it was Luis, the drunkard under the tree. Well, Luis lives alone, under that big tree, in a little house that doesn´t have a kitchen. He doesn´t see his family very often because he´s fallen a long way from what he used to be. He drinks because he can´t sleep at night from thinking about his family and wondering if they are okay. And he isn´t able to leave to look for work because the kids in the neighborhood will take the rest of the things that he has there in his little shack. I judged a book by its cover. I thought that this man was just a loco who chose the way he was living. Maybe he could have changed his lifestyle on his own but I can see how hard it would be without a little bit of help. He´s very interested in the message that we have to offer as well. I left him with a Book of Mormon, and even though he doesn´t have glasses to read it, he said he would ask a buddy to read it to him. I didn´t know if he would, or if has done it yet, but I could see the happiness that it gave him to have Another Testament of Jesus Christ in his hands so I had to leave it with him. On Friday, we got in our service clothes, called up a couple other missionaries, and headed to his shack with some breakfast and a toothbrush and toothpaste. You should´ve seen the look in his eyes. After asking some tools from the neighbors, we started to help rake the thousands of giant leaves, pick up the trash, and move all the stones and bricks to one place. Unluckily, we weren´t able to make a huge difference in the mess but we were able to start the process in changing this man´s appearance. When we go back to see him, we are going to help him shave the beard and change the clothes so that he can feel the way that he looks: fresh.
From this long story what I hope to convey is that every single person that you see: young, old, skinny, .... fluffy, smart, uneducated, funny, rude, pretty, ugly, or even a drunkard, are ALL children of God. They all deserve to feel the love of a friend, or better said, a brother or sister. Our Heavenly Father cares about each and every one of His children and hopes that they have a family here on earth, whether a family by blood or a family in spirit. For that reason, God has called each one of us to serve one another, and what better service can one give that be a friend to somebody who has none, or better said, to be a brother/sister to someone who feels alone in this big world. My testimony is that we are all here to grow together, that God has a plan for us and has sent us all here that we could uphold and strengthen one another. My invitation is that we can all be there for those who need the support of a friend. Don´t judge a book by its cover, because that book might need some brushing off and fixing up before it shines. Jesus Christ was a brother to all, likewise we must follow His example. I know it, I live it, I love it!
Yolanda will be baptized this Saturday. I haven´t heard whether she´s still smoking but I believe that she stopped the last time we visited on Thursday. If not, we´ll just keep fighting with her. I love you guys. Apply the talks of conference. They apply very well to today´s generation. Ciao
-Pictures be comin´ the next week!
-Also, Mom, before I left, the Bishop asked me to send something that you could read to the ward so they could hear a little of missionary work. You should share this story and my testimony.