Monday, May 23, 2016

Highland to Merlo

Just another cold normal week in the service of the Lord! Not much new stuff to say this week. Elder Francisco J. Viñas of the Quorum of the Seventy came and spoke to the institute students here in Merlo, and because that is our area we were the only missionaries allowed to go! He spoke on the sacrament and keeping the Sabbath Day holy. I already understood that we take the sacrament every Sunday to remember our Savior and His sacrifice and to become clean again of our sins. But one point that Elder Viñas stated was that taking the sacrament does not instantly make us clean and perfect. The cleanliness and purity comes as we begin to obey the commandments. I am trying to apply this principle in my life.

Highland, Utah or the Scottish Highlands?
Last night Elder Dominguez and I were walking home when we passed a bar. A guy walking out shouted to us, in English, "Hey guys how are you!" I am always thrown off when I here someone speak English here! I just never expect it anymore. So we talk for a bit. I asked how he knew that I speak English. He said that because I'm white, have blonde hair, and blue eyes, I stand out as an American! I thought that was pretty funny. It turns out this guy lived in the town of Highland, Utah for 30 years! Crazy how small the world is that we just happened to run into this guy at the right moment. We're going to meet with him this week. It humbles me to know that Heavenly Father's hand is in everything that we do. I know he is aware of each of us and loves us.

Elder Gygi

Buenos Aires West Mission is a mostly walking mission.  Jared primarily rode a bike in his first area. I asked him if he missed his bike. His response :
Yes, I do miss my bike but it was a bad bike. I tried to do the math of how many miles I have walked. The average missionary walks 15 miles a day. I have been here for roughly 275 days, I think. So that is around 4125 miles. At the end of my mission, I will have walked about 10950 miles. On two pairs of shoes! My legs are strong now. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Doing A Good Turn Daily

This is the house of familia Priess. Br. Priess (in front taking the picture) is the 1st counselor in the bishopric and his wife (far left) is he relief society president. She washes our clothes! We went to go pick up our laundry and they were having a party! Behind me is Bishop Vera. They invited us in and gave us pizza.

It's always a fun week with Elder Dominguez! It is getting freezing here. I walked to church yesterday with 6 layers of clothes on.

I had the opportunity to do some this week that I never thought I would do. I helped an old lady cross the street. I thought that situation only happened in movies or in books! We were waiting to cross this really busy street when I saw a lady with a cane next to us. I asked if she needed to cross and if I could help her. She said "Si por favor mi querido!"  (yes please my dear!) She took my arm and we accompanied her across through the traffic. It was something so small but made me feel so good doing it. It reminded me of a poem quoted by the Prophet Thomas Monson. "I have never felt regret for preforming an act of service, but I have for not doing so." I cannot imagine how I would have felt if I had walked away instead of offering my help.

E. came to church yesterday! For 2 weeks in a row he has come. He asked how soon he could get baptized! We were so surprised to hear that. He will be baptized on the 4th of June if all goes well!

We are working hard not hardly working here in Merlo!

Elder Gygi

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mother's Day Skyping

It was a great week, especially because I was able to Skype with my whole family! Crazy how awesome technology is. Mom and Taylor (and Brigham, who I count as my family) in Arizona, Sean in Utah, Dad in Washington DC, and Me in Buenos Aires. I was so happy that I forgot to say Happy Mother’s Day!! Sorry mom... Feliz Dia de Madre!

We received the news on transfers. Both Elder Dominguez and I will stay here in Merlo 1 for 6 more weeks! I am very happy that I get to finish his training. 

We had a great miracle on Sunday. We invited our investigators to church but they never showed up. We were disappointed that they didn’t come. Just before sacrament meeting started, however, a man named E. walked in the building from off the streets. We had never seen him so we introduced ourselves. He just moved here from Brasil where he attended church twice with the Elders there and was surprised to see the same church here in Merlo. He stayed for the meeting and really enjoyed it. We were extremely happy for that!

Something funny happened this week also. We had just picked up lunch from a member (milanesa sandwiches!! Yessss!!!) and were walking back to the apartment to eat. A guy on a street corner stopped us and says "You guys are Jehovah's witnesses right?" We said no we're Mormons! He the asked us what Bible we use. I told him we use the Reina Valera (standard version of the Spanish bible). He happily said "Great that's what I read everyday!" He was very interested and we talked for a while and gave him a pamphlet about Joseph Smith. He then asked if he could take a picture with me. "What why?" I asked him. "Because I’ve always wanted to a picture with an American!" he replied. Haahaha so I took a picture with him and he gave us his address to visit him later! 

2 months ago, Elder Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve visited our mission. I have been thinking recently about something I leaned. A missionary asked what we could do to be more effective. He said to us that we need to get out of the way and let the Lord work. Stop fighting against what He wants us to do. He then quoted a scripture that says, "Lose your life in the service of others." I have been pondering that scripture. It does not say, "lose 1 day, lose 6 weeks, lose 2 years in the service of others." The Savior taught us that he shall lose life for the Gospel’s sake shall find it again. I have learned that I am not serving a 2-year mission. I still have a life full of devoted discipleship to give as an offer the Savior for his for me. And that still is not enough to repay him. I know, however, that it is better than giving nothing.

I love this Church and the opportunity I have been given to serve.

Elder Gygi

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Selfie Haircuts

Jared did not write a letter on P-Day. However, we did discuss our Mother's Day phone call on Sunday. He did send the following photos. He gave himself and his companion haircuts. Fortunately for Elder Dominguez, short missionary hair is able to hide a bad cut and guys' short styles grow out quickly :/
Selfie Haircut
A stake activity where Jared was able to see D. who was baptized in March.