Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Working for 200

Dear Family!

Once again it is Monday.  The weeks really fly.  Thanks so much for your emails.  I’m so lucky that I can know every single week what you guys are up to.  As usual, I loved hearing about the mission calls!  Wow.  I had no clue that Katie Pendleton was going on a mish.  That’s so awesome.  Good for her.  That’s too bad its Chile....... J.  Chile and Argentina have the biggest rivalry.  If Alex ends up going to Chile I hope we can still be friends after. J

We had a good week.  In my letter last week it was titled 200.  That’s because our mission has the goal to get 200 baptisms this month and for every companionship to baptize.  This is something that has never happened.  We are working really hard to get this goal.  I testify that this work is real.  This isn’t just something good.  This isn’t just a way to meet new friends.  This is a sacred cause.  The cause of God the Father.  Because of the importance of this work there is lots of opposition.  Satan is so real.  He will do anything to stop us from reaching our goal.  He works hard because he knows we can do it.  There has been so much opposition in this week.  When I got here to 9 de Julio the area was kinda dead.  We had 2 investigadores.  But we are working really hard.  This last week we found so many great people.  This last week was the deadline to find someone and baptize them in this month (you have to go to church 3 times before your baptism).  So we worked really hard to try and get lots of people in church.  We also went to Uritrco and Alto Alberdi to help the sisters and the elders.  One thing that has been really tough for me is the attitude of my companion.  He is really negative.  He doesn’t have faith in anyone.  Sadly it really hurts our companionship.  I feel like I do everything alone.  But we had a really long talk last night.  I think this week will be better.  Even when my patience just leaves me I try and keep the attitude, ok the Lord put me here to help him.  I know that I can change his mission.  And that’s what I want to do.  I don’t just want to think, ok 3 more weeks with this guy and then he’s gone, ya whoo ( yes that does come to mind now and then J haha).  Last night he told me, Elder I have had lots of faith in people for 6 months.  I’m sick of being let down.  And really that’s something hard about being a missionary.  But it’s what you got to do.  We aren’t going door to door selling kitchen supplies.  This is the Restored Gospel.  It’s something we have and they need it.  We know it’s true.  If we don’t have faith in them, they wont get the chance to have the gospel.

So I’m sure you are wondering if we had lots of success this weekend.... We didn’t have the success that we had hoped. But, we still had a little miracle. Get this. We had 6 people with a baptismal date committed to go to church. They were so happy, and so sure they would go.  We were going to pick them up Sunday morning to help them go for the first time. One called us Saturday night, out of nowhere her son who just happens to be a Jehovah Witness showed up and took her to his house for the weekend.  She tried to stay, but he wouldn’t let her.  We called our other investigadores and they didn’t answer. Our investigadores were dropping like flies.  So we went to church.  I’m not going to lie, I was doubting a little.  We did everything and everyone fell threw.  But I still had hope that someone would go.  Success is a gift.  I was so sure that for the work that we did that week, fasting, and praying and praying and praying, leaving my own area to help the sisters and Uritorco, that God would grant unto us success.  And he did.  A random guy named Francisco went to church.  I don’t know how, I don’t know why, be he went.  I know that it wasn’t just something that happened.  I have faith that he will get baptized in this month.  Please keep Francisco in your prayers.

The sisters also had a miracle. They are kinda struggling with investigadores too. So we went to there area with a Christmas message and shared it with a few members. We committed them to bring someone to church.  One lady brought 3 friends.  It was way cool.  What a blessing.

On Tuesday and Wednesday this week I worked with my hijo (son) in Uritorco.  It was way fun to go back.  We had an unforgettable experience.  My first week with Elder Whetten we received a great reference.  Her name is Monica and her family owns a carneceria (they sell meat).  The live above their store.  Three months before we met her she left the store for a second and left her 2 daughters (17 and 20) and her grand daughter (1 year) to manage the store.  While she was outside the pilot light of a stove went out and the store and the house filled with gas.  The older girls fell into a coma and the 1 year old died.  The girls after a week in the coma woke up.  It was really sad for them.  Her family stopped going to church.  Right in the worst moment, we walked in the store.  The first 2 times she said that she didn’t have time for us.  But finally she started listening. We got her to read the Book of Mormon and that was the trick.  But we never really had the greatest of lessons with her and her husband Esteban.  We mostly just stood up and talked while they worked.  Well Tuesday I went with Elder Whetten to visit them. Esteban asked us if we know how to play the guitar.  I knew that was our in.  So of course I started talking about Elder Whetten and how awesome he is.  So they invited us up to the house.  Finally!  Elder Whetten tuned the guitar and then played his great Mexican song.  The 2 girls were there also with a friend.  You guys have got to hear his voice someday.  He has the greatest deep country voice.  When he started singing you should have seen the girls.  The only thing keeping them from getting their hands on him was the table in between us.  It was great.  I wish I had a good voice like him.  I’d trade my good looks and a pair of JordansJ.   So Monica and Esteban are having progress. Slow, but progress.  They are going to be leaders in the church one day.  They have tons of opposition with the family and friends.

I wanted to finish by sharing a scripture with you guys. I am reading in 3 Nephi right now. I really liked it.

3 Nephi 5:13    Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.

We are all Disciples of Christ.  Everything we do can have an effect on Eternal Life.  I love you guys so much.  I hope you have a great week.  I can’t wait to talk to you in two weeks!

Love Riley

And, Here is a great experience from Riley’s letter last week:

Right after I got done writing you guys last week I went to the Mission home for the new DL training.  It was really great.  I learned a ton!  It was fun to see who the new DLs are. There were 10 of us and Elder Anderson happened to be one of them.  It was great to be with him for the day.  He is in an area called Cruz del Eje... Sound familiar?  It’s from my old District in Dean Funes.  He told me something that made my day.  Get this, he said that while walking down the street the first day, completely lost with his companion, a lady rides by on her bike and says, hey elders! come to my house.  They walk about 3 blocks and get to her house.  Turns out that she is a recent convert.  She was baptized about 5 months ago.  Her daughter was also baptized.  She showed them the pictures of her baptism and told them that she had just finished the Book of Mormon.  Elder Anderson said, oh Elder Medina was your missionary, looking at the picture.  She said, well he baptized us, but my missionary is named Elder Watts.  One day I had to take my 2 sick kids to Cordoba.  I was waiting on the bus and was so sad and stressed out.  I sat down and this young man started talking to me.  He taught me about the restoration. Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  He took my address and promised that other missionaries like him would go by.  Our family will never forget him.  Do you remember Ana?  She’s still going strong.  Elder Anderson baptized the remaining 2 members of the family.  It really made my day.  It was definitely a tender mercy of the lord to hear that.