Tuesday, May 24, 2011

6 great months; the power of prayer . . .

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hello to all!
This week has been an eventful one, and I am really excited to be able to share some of it today! This last week on the 17th, I completed 6 months in the mission. It is crazy to think that I have already completed one-fourth of the mission, and how fast time has flown by. It has been a good reflection point, and I hope I can continue growing and bettering myself every day.
We have a family we are working with named Cristian and Nelida. I have explained a little about them before in the past...long story short they are so awesome. There is a special bond between us and them, and they are progressing and working towards baptism in the near future. All of the family of Cristian are members and most are sealed and active in the temple. All but him were baptized. He knows the church is true and wants to get married and baptized. Nelida comes from an all catholic family, and so it has been hard for her to change and be open. But now she knows that she needs to get baptized and married, and knows the church is true. The only thing as of now that is holding her back is what she has seen with some members in Cristian's family. Some of the kids that are members are completely inactive now and have not been great examples to her. She understands the importance of persevering to the end and, quite frankly, is scared for the after-baptism part. We are doing a family home evening with her in about a half hour, and I am excited to continue to help them in this spiritual journey.
We also are working with Christian, who is 20 and really awesome. He told us he has already received an answer, and knows that the church is true. He is preparing for baptism for the beginning of June, and is an overall great kid. We have changes coming up this week, and it is looking like I might be leaving to a new area. If so, I will be a little sad if I wont be able to be a part of his baptism, along with Cristian and Nelida, but I know that I have done my best to help them, and hope they continue to progress to baptism and to being faithful members of the church.
I have been enjoying listening to church music on the mission. I did not think it would have been possible for me to leave behind all my favorite bands for 2 years, but believe it or not I absolutely love listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and other church artists and hymns. Its funny to think that it used to be a struggle for me to have to listen to church music on Sundays at home, when I am now enjoying it so much.
We were at a less-active members house this week and they have this cute little 3 year old kid named Mauro. He has some health issues, but is a really funny happy kid. He was starting to pitch a fit, and so I started to try to help with him and let him draw on some of my agenda pages. He noticed my watch and loved looking at the light go off, so I put the watch on his wrist, and he had the biggest smile on his face. When we were getting ready to leave, his mom was asking him to "give the elder his watch back". He put his head down and tried not to listen. After she asked him a few times, he picked his head up, and with tears in his eye (but not crying out loud or making a noise), he gave me the watch back. It was the sweetest thing I might have ever seen.
We had a cool experience with prayer this week that I would like to share. We were having a rough day, and could not seem to get into any house. Things were just not working out. I suggested that we should stop and say a prayer, and ask for help and guidance to know where to go and what to do, and that we would feel good about what houses to stop at and to try. Right after our prayer we started walking, and I felt like we should stop and clap (yes, its kind of interesting, you clap at the gates of houses here instead of knocking or ringing doorbells) a house. A lady came out and let us share a quick message with her and her sister there. They were genuinely interesting in our message, and had great questions. We were able to teach a great lesson with them, and are working with them right now. Who knows what will result from one clap, but whatever happens, I know that the Spirit is the key in finding, teaching, and helping people progress and follow our Savior. I am so thankful for the Spirit. It is vital in success as a missionary, and I am working my hardest to be receptive to the inspirations I receive, and to have the courage to act upon them.
Well, we have changes this week, and I am not sure what my future holds in store. I will be sure to let you all know next week about the latest news down here in the Heart of South America. All is well here, I love the mission, my companion, leaders, and this sacred opportunity to serve. Pray for me and the people here. I love hearing from you all, and appreciate the messages.
Until next week,
Elder Barco, Banco, Vaco, Babcock (whatever you all prefer ha ha)

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