Monday, December 5, 2011

Nearer My God To Thee

Hola mis queridos amigos y familiares!  I have to say I am sorry I
have more photos of food than I do of the area!  I bring out my camera
every Sunday, so eventually I will have more to show you!  At least
you know that I am well fed : )

My companion and I had two really special experiences this week
regarding the power of the Book of Mormon.  In the past few weeks we
have not had much success while contacting on the street or knocking
(read clapping) on doors. We had a hard day on Wednesday, a lot of our
set citas fell through and I remember praying for us to have our
spirits lifted and begin again the next day.  On Thursday I took with
us an extra Book of Mormon to hand out, usually Hermana Gerratt would
carry one but I decided I needed to carry my own so it would be a
constant reminder that we have a goal to hand one out by the end of
the day!  We met this lady in front of her house who was so friendly,
as many Argentines are, but I had this really distinct feeling to
share more with her even though she told us ¨I am a believer but I
don{t practice.  I worhip God when I have time at home.  She also
mentioned that she didn{t have time to go to church with all the
running errands for her children and cooking and cleaning..  we could
tell she was going through a stressful time.  I asked her if I could
give her something, and I pulled out the Book of Mormon.  I explained
to her that by reading it one can feel so much more peace!  Similar to
the Bible, it testifes of Jesus Christ{s life sacrifce and love for
us.  I showed her the photos in the front, and she had this expression
of curiosity on her face.  She said, ¨Thank you, but I..¨¨ and I told
her it was a gift, a free gift, and she raised her eyebrows with
surprise and grasped it carefully in her hands and said, ¨Thank you so
much. I love literature!  I read everything and everything!¨ I
promised her that she would feel more peace while reading it, and
before I could say more, tears started falling down her face, she
nodded and kept saying thank you thank you thank you, clutching the
book to her heart.

Yesterday we were out contacting a street that Hermana Gerratt had not
been to in a while (she has been serving in Cañada de Gomez since
August) and we passed by a sweet old man sitting on his steps with his
little dog in his lap.  He greeted us and we crossed the street to
visit him, quickly discovering that he could not speak- his vocal
chords were removed (I think) and he had a hole in his neck.  We were
able to understand some things that he mouthed, and everything else he
wrote out whenever our guesses were wrong.  I asked him if he liked to
read, and he mouthed ¨Poco, poco.¨  and made a little pinch sign with
his fingers.  We chatted a little more and I thought ¨We need to give
him a Book of Mormon even if he says he doesn{t like to read, I just
feel it!¨  So I took out a copy and explained to him that Jesus Christ
loves him and feels his pain, and after this life he will be healed
and will be able to speak and talk! (He also suffers from a blood
disease, his blood vessels burst when he walks.)  I handed him the
book and said ¨¨This book is a gift especially for you¨  and he looked
at us in surprise and said thank you and started crying, and then I
started crying!  que verguenza, I have never broke down like that in
front of a stranger.  He hugged the book and kept saying thank you.

I will never forget these experiences, to see complete strangers have
a connection with a book they have never seen before, and in the
instant they hold it, they feel something. Never before have I seen
such a testimony of the power of this Book, these two people hadn{t
even read a single verse from it and they felt its power.  I learned a
lot of things this week, and I{d like to share one more concept that I
find so vital  I feel that you should hear it as well.  In a past zone
conference Elder Arnold of the 70 told the missionaries in the mission
here that Personal Study of the Scriptures is necessary everyday in
our lives. If we want the protection of angels around us, then we have
to do it.  Our salvation depends on it.  Studying the scriptures, I
will be honest, was not something I loved to do growing up or even in
recent years.  I have learned this past year how vital it is to read
the Book of Mormon everyday. It brings us closer to God by abiding by
its precepts than by any other book.  It is more than just reading it
and knowing what commandments to follow and understanding the history
of these ancient prophets.  The act of sincere daily study allows the
window of personal revelation to open to us, and we need that personal
revalation daily.  Powerful stuff right?  I am definitely making
resolutions to study harder every day, even after my mission!

I hope you all are well!  I love and miss you all! It feels like
Christmas in July here!  Even though we don{t hear Christmas songs in
the street, I see fake Christmas trees and Santa statues in random
places... and I{m wearing sunscreen and shortsleeved blouses.  Que

besos y abrazos,  hermana miller

We ate churros in Funes, a city next to Rosario, after our special P
Day last week with the zone.  Funes has nice landscaping, cute little
houses and shops... reminds me a bit of South Pas!  The churros were
fresh with dulce de leche inside, sorry to say they put Disneyland{s
churros to shame!!

I made omelettes for us for our Sunday meal yesterday.. they turned out 
pretty well for having an old pan that burns everything in the middle!

Walking home from church... this dog followed us ALL day.  I named him
Blazer... during a door contact I heard a noise behind me so I turned
around to discover him digging profusely in a pile of sand, and then
jumping around in it and barking.  Easily amused.

Alfajor.  Not the kind found in a wrapper.  This was from the bakery
section in the supermercado.  Tastes like two dry sugar cookies with
dulce de leche in the middle.  Pretty good!

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