The superbowl does not exist here. Nobody talks about futból americano, let alone the superbowl. Here it is all about River Plate and Boca Junior (some moogle homework for ya) when the World cup isn´t in season.
So the first experience, don´t ever go shopping right at the end of your fast. I spent more today on food than I have ever in my mission. Next, the penguins. We were able to go because Presidente was with us and gave us permission. It was soooo cool. The President came down and his wife told us that they wanted to have a P-day with us. So after a lot of wheeling and dealing by my companion with the agency that goes out in catamaran, we got the spot to go. Then when we showed up our president counciled with the asistant (Elder Labra) and he felt that the boat was big enough, and with the president with us and his approval, we went! And now that they have already seen the penguin island, I doubt they will do it again if they ever have a P-Day in the south again, so in otherwords I saw a miracle and got my wish to have a picture with a penguin.
About the baptism. They are the Hurtado family and we met them our first week here because they were old investigators that the missionaries before us dropped. So when we stopped by we were patient and even joined in their laughter (it´s like Brandon Santos´s family but with more kids) and they started to listen and feel the spirit. Now all of the kids are baptized, talking about going on missions, and are pressuring their mom to get baptized. They are really cool and the mom invited us to have dinner with them one night and she is going to cook us Bolivian food, because she´s from Bolivia. There is a definite difference in their faces and countenances now and we can tell they are all a lot happier. All of them were baptized at first except Eduardo, the tallest one and his mom. Then he told us that during the baptism of his two younger brothers he felt desires to be baptized. So while everyone was eating and leaving afterwards he had his interview and we decided to baptize him. So we filled the faunt back up but hot water wouldn´t come out, so he did it in cold water with nobody there except his family and one member who showed up from another branch. Afterwards he told us that he felt more complete, which is significant because before he would tell us that he never felt if this is true or not. In other words he received his answer after his baptism! This last Sunday the three oldest all received the Aaronic Priesthood and the oldest, Julio, wants to baptize his mom.
This experience came about largely because two weeks ago, the week before their baptism, one of the asistants (Elder Labra) came to Ushuaia and ended up staying a week with Elder Martinez and I. I learned a lot from him and experienced a lot in that week. Also, One night Presidente Gulbrandsen went with us to visit the Hurtado family and also Diego y Tamara (the family where I am painting). Those were also very spiritual experiences and I learned a lot. During one of the nights that we visited Diego y Tamara with Elder Labra I had an unbelievable experience. My companions started talking and talking while I was sitting there not talking. I had no idea what to say so I just started praying and trying hard to think about what to say, and I started to think about all of the experiences and visits we have had with him. Then I started to feel a really strong love for him and his family and that´s when Elder Labra asked me to share what I was feeling. So then I started talking and the scripture Moroni 7:48 came to mind. I shared it and through strong emotion choking my words and speaking through the spirit. I have never before felt the pure love of Christ but I´m sure that that night I came pretty close. It was a very inspiring experience and has taught me a lot about the importance of charity and the importance of having it for those we know. Later during other lessons with other people, I have found that when I can start feeling a love for those I am teaching I start receiving the inspired questions that cause the investigator to basically look to heaven for an answer which then causes them to feel the spirit and in that moment is when they start learning because the spirit is teaching them. That´s the importance of inspired questions in our work now.
Those are the stories I have for this week, and I am still in Ushuaia for another transfer (they were yesterday) with my companion Elder Martinez who finishes his mission this transfer, so I will be here at least 3 more months, this transfer and the next to work with the new missionary that will come after Elder Martinez leaves. That is great with me because I have come to feel a love for this branch that I have never felt before in my life and absolutely love all the members here.
Thanks for your letters and love. Chao chao, hasta la semana que viene!