I got a haircut today and man I feel better. Hey guess what, I´m in Congreso, Capital Federal de Buenos Aires! Yeah, it´s a lot hotter here... I can´t wait for summer... anyway, the branch is awesome and the members really love us, the missionary before me was here for 6 months and did a lot to earn the love of the members so now I´m disfruting that. We again have lunch everyday of the week and when people cancel there´s a couple members always ready to cook for us. Not only that but they cook pretty good. No offense but I can´t say that I´m one of those people who miss momma´s cookin´, not because you cooked bad but because the people here cook so dang good! Ha ha, one lady said that she knows how to cook a chicken by taking out all the bones first without disarming the form of the chicken. Then she cooks it and stuffs it full of ham and cheese. Yeah how cool is that, I´m going to see if we can´t go over one P-day to learn how to do that. She said that when she was younger she learned how to cook from an aging chef. There are also a lot of really cool members here who are willing to help us. one recent convert accompanied us for 7 hours one day! Then her husband always leaves with us when we show up, he actually expects it! So yeah, the branch is cool and even has some return missionaries. This past weekend we actually had a baptism. We really had two planned but one of them turned out to be a member already, he just didn´t tell us at first because he was inactive and wanted to come back to church, and the other one was a person who couldn´t find their info in the database, so he had to be baptized all over again for the paperwork. But it´s still a baptism!
It´s also really weird to think that I´ve only been here a week because it feels like I´ve been working here forever already. I guess that comes from trying to love the people so much. I also can´t believe that today I celebrate 16 months in the mission... that´s how much time my trainer had when I was with him! That´s how much time Elder Torres had when I left him! And they both already finished the mission! This is so weird, I still feel like I have maybe 6 or 7 months in the mission field. Anyway, other than that things are pretty cool here. I´m with Elder Valenzuela who´s from Mar De Plata here in Buenos Aires and yup he talks like a portaiño. He has 5 meses in the mission and is actually just waiting for his visa to go serve in Venezuela. He´s cool and good at soccer.
So this week has been the week of putting baptism dates. I´ve learned the importance of getting people baptized, like I told Jordan, without baptism our friends and family have literally no chance of being able to return to their heavenly parents after this life. Sometimes to motivate myself i think of one of the people I´m teaching and I wonder how I would feel to see them rejected from God´s presence during judgment day and know that i could have said something to help them accept the Gospel in this life. That always helps me want to make more contacts in the street and keeping working for my investigators. That´s why when people say that missionaries only want to baptize to look good with numbers their wrong, because the missionaries who baptize a lot are the ones who realize that God wants all of his children to be baptized, now. So what we´ve been doing to put baptism dates this week is passing by old investigators who already have been to the church more than three times and have been taught a lot of the lessons, basically they only lack getting baptized, and reading a scripture with them, then kneeling down with them and having them say a prayer asking if the Book of Mormon is true or if they should get baptized for the day we set for them and then reading in the pamphlet of the Restoration about prayer to help them realize the answer that the Lord gave them. Doing this I also realized the importance of being obedient. In the first part of the mission I was always obedient to follow rules no mas because that´s how West Point trained me. I also realized I was miserable and wanted to leave the mission because i felt sad and useless. Now I realize that by being obedient I am showing love for God and through my faith to be obedient he blesses me to feel loved and more important I feel the confidence that when i ask the Lord to bless an investigator with an answer to their prayer about the Book of Mormon, He is going to answer that prayer in the moment and then I just have to help the person recognize that answer. I know that´s true because in every visit this week, actually every time in my mission, where we´ve done the prayer with the investigator they have received their answer in the moment, every time. That´s why I know the Lord wants missionaries to baptize and wants people he blesses us to get to know to get baptized now, because He has never stalled in blessing someone with an answer when they have the faith to read and pray with us in a lesson. That´s why Jordan needs to know he is serving a mission to love the people so much that he wants them to acheive the salvation, which means he wants them to get baptized because that´s how they start their journey. In other words, Jordan´s purpose as a missionary is to baptize.
Love you all and thanks for the letters and advice and everything. Have fun getting Jordan out of the house and don´t forget to invite your friends to church. By the way, Jordan should be going out with the missionaries 2 to 3 times a week for a hour and a half or more even if they don´t have appointments set and are just traveling around, especially if he´s not working anymore. Chau chau.
P.S. General Conference is in a few weeks, don´t forget to read your scriptures daily to prepare!