There are many wonderful things about being able to serve a mission but today was especially wonderful! We had the privilege of having an Elder from Trevelin, a small branch in the mission, stay with us for the weekend as he was getting ready to leave for his mission. He is the only member of the church in his family. President Lovell was able to set him apart because he is from a branch in a district of the mission. He has been a member for 16 months and has read the Book of Mormon 8 times! He has also read and studied Preach my Gospel, The Doctrine and Covenants, The New Testament and The Pearl of Great Price. He has also worked to earn all of the money he will need for his mission.
While he was with us here in Neuquén he was able to work part of a day with these wonderful missionaries. We arranged to meet together at the baptism that night after their afternoon together.
When we arrived we found that the Elders had arranged for our new Elder to speak at the baptism! They were so great to do all they could to help him experience the mission! He loved it!
We were able to arrange time for him to Skype with the Asbells who returned this last year after serving a mission in Trevelin and with the Sister Missionaries who each played such a big part in his conversion.
After all of his preparation is was now time to get on the airplane!
He had never left the small area he is from until he went to Bariloche to receive his Patriarchal Blessing a few months ago. He was excited for the adventure of it all!
As we were waiting for the time he would leave I asked him about the details of his conversion. He gave me permission to share it with you.
Last year he went to his landlord to pay his rent and the two Sister Missionaries were there to teach a lesson to his landlord. He stayed and listened to them and after the lesson there was an appointment set for the missionaries to teach him the very next Sunday. As they taught him he fell in love with the Book of Mormon. These wonderful sister missionaries went by every week to read it with him. I asked him what touched his heart in his conversion and he began to relate some of his favorite parts of the Book of Mormon in great detail.
He was so excited to leave this morning for his mission in Peru. We are so happy for him and for the Peru Lima Oeste Mission to receive such a wonderful missionary.
One of the goals we have as a mission is to encourage the wonderful youth here in the mission to serve a mission themselves. It is a great blessing to be able to share the gospel and they come back with such strong testimonies. They are a great blessing to the Branches and Wards here as they return home.
We have a group in Rincon de los Sauces that just sent out their first missionary. This group was established at the beginning of this year. Her family was without the organization of the church for I believe…twelve years. They held church in their home each Sunday for those many years. Now we have a group there with 6 missionaries serving in the city and her father is the group leader. When I asked her Dad how they stayed faithful for so long he asked me to close my eyes tight. He then asked me if I could see any light. When I said "No" he asked me if I could remember the light. I said I could. He said that that is why they always taught their children the gospel because they could remember the light the gospel brings. What faith and commitment!
There are other missionaries from the Wards and Stakes that are serving but these are the photos I have. I just want you to know of the wonderful missionaries that are serving the Lord from our mission and who will be such a great blessing as they return.