Hello! Happy President´s Day! I completely forgot that today is a holiday at home until my Dad wrote me about what ¨Washington´s Day¨ was like when he was a kid. It is also a holiday here today and tomorrow, called ¨Carnival¨. Nothing much seems different here except not a lot of things are open and there was a huge concert and bingo on Saturday with thousands of people= impossible for us to sleep!
Yesterday I attended my first district conference (a district is to a stake as a branch is to a ward : ) ) and heard some amazing talks from the district presidency and our mission president and his wife. I love President Giuliani´s enthusiasm! The first thing he said when he approached the stand was ¨It is so great to be here and to see your smiling faces! (pointed at his face and made a huge smile) Smile! It´s Sunday!¨ He loves goals, and encourages us missionaries to think of the specific steps necessary in order to reach those goals. Many times we (I know I have done this!) will make a beautiful goal, write it down, and forget about it. President told us that our main goal here in Misión Argentina Rosario is to one day have a temple in Rosario. He then told us what other big steps need to take place before this can be made a reality:
1. Encourage young men to prepare to serve a mission now, so there will be no doubt whether they are ready or not once they are of age. (He also put in a nice plug about how even though it is not required for women to serve, they are more than encouraged to serve, and that they bring a certain spirit to the work that elders cannot. He looked at my companion and I when he shared this, and I of course got tearyeyed.)
2. Increase Church Attendance. Invite people to church! Help those who are struggling to stay active!
3. Increase Tithing. Ah I love his explanation for this goal! He said the Church needs dedicated tithing payers not because we need the money to build the temple, but because we need to show the Lord that we are willing to sacrifice temporal things in order to receive blessings from a higher, spiritual law. We must follow the simpler commandments first in order to prepare ourselves to receive the blessings that come from higher, more sacred covenants.
4. Be worthy to enter the temple
We have some plans to help our branch remember these goals daily, and we are excited to press forward with these goals! We know that a lot of time and work will have to take place before we can have a temple here, but I have faith that every little effort will help.
This work is such a beautiful thing. More and more each day I am reminded of the importance of inviting people to follow through with their committments to read, pray, and come to Church. We are teaching them to recognize the blessings that come from being obedient, and step by step they are preparing themselves to make and keep sacred covenants! I have been blessed with the knowledge of beautiful and sacred things from going to the temple, and I want everyone I meet to have the same blessings too!
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. Love and miss you all!
xoxo hermana miller