Another week passes by too quickly and the spirit is burning strong in our bosoms. What a weekend we’ve had here. To sum it all up, we had a cultural celebration, a temple dedication, and an incredible experience with new investigators to pump us up and get us on a spiritual high heading into the new week.
First things first, the temple in Buenos Aires was rededicated yesterday by President Eyring. We watched it from the district center (my chapel) and loved every moment. I love President Eyring, he’s a true representative of Jesus Christ. Saturday at the cultural celebration, he welcomed everyone and thanked them on behalf of President Monson and the Lord himself. He said it with such conviction, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that the Savior has personally sent his regards a few days before when in talking to President Eyring. He inspires me to strengthen and personalize my relationship more with my Father in Heaven and with my Savior, Jesus Christ.
In other news, we met some incredible new people yesterday searching for a member referral. We had no idea how to get to the house, seeing that the houses don’t have solid directions (there’s just a bunch of alleys and passages that aren’t named, numbered, or even listed on the maps of the city), but we set out with faith that we would find the Lord’s chosen people. At the fist house we came across, we greeted the señora and told her who we were looking for. It happened to be her partner, and she happened to be one of the other people we were trying to find. These are the directions we were given: From the evangelical church, before getting to the Gauchito Gil (a saint), enter the alleyway, third house. Nice and vague when all the “houses” are jammed together and there’s like 5 evangelical churches and 30 Gauchitos in the street where they told us to search. Anyways, we found the house, they let us in without hesitation, and as we sat down, they asked us who we were and what congregation we represented. Now, if we were to say we represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the get go, they’d be lost and confused, so we told them we were the Mormons and then explained the true name of the church. The gentleman, named Angel, told us that he had a book that talked about a man named Mormon that he had found in the garbage six months before and that he had been reading ever since. He brought it to us, and lo and behold, it was a tattered Book of Mormon and he was already to Alma 60. He told us a little bit about what he had been able to understand, talking about Mormon and Moroni and the tale the book tells, and it surprised us to see his level of comprehension. His pastor had visited them on various occasions and had told him to burn the book, but he told us that he was never going to do it because it testified so much of Christ that he knew it couldn’t be harmful.
So, he tells us that he’s been looking for the truth for years, but has never been able to find it because everyone uses the Bible, but everyone makes their own conclusions and the only result is confusion. This is a missionary’s dream: a man who looks for truth, who doesn’t trust in the simple answers that others give him and won’t settle for less than the true church to make the decision to be baptized. Such was the conversation we had with him. He hasn’t been baptized because he hasn’t found the truth. Simply enough, we taught him the restoration, explained to him the significance of the Book of Mormon, and invited him to be baptized. At first he was hesitant, but we invited him and his wife to take a few seconds to meditate about the decision they would be taking to follow Christ upon being baptized by true priesthood authority. After about a minute, Angel, with tears in his eyes, looked up and said, “For years I have been waiting for the chance to be baptized because I couldn’t understand the difference between all the different churches. Now I understand. I’m going to be baptized in this church. I’m going to get married first and the be baptized on October 13th.” The spirit was so strong in that moment that I almost couldn’t hold in the tears. With gratitude abounding in my heart, I testified to the truth of the restoration of the Priesthood, the truth of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the truth of the Book of Mormon. The Lord prepares his people to receive the fulness of His gospel. I love being a tool in his hands to bring to pass His work.
Anyways, that’s the fun for this week. My last day in the mission will be January 2nd, it seems, so we can go ahead and prepare ourselves accordingly. There is work to be done. Lots of work, haha.
Take care, loved ones.
Elder Steven Reid Walker
P.S. Here’s a little info. about Elder Eyring, one of Steven’s heroes.
President Henry B. Eyring was named First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on February 3, 2008. Previously, he had served as Second Counselor in the First Presidency to President Gordon B. Hinckley since October 6, 2007. He was named to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 1, 1995, having previously served as a member of the Seventy since October 3, 1992.
President Eyring previously served as First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric from April 1985 to September 1992 and as Church Commissioner of Education from September 1980 to April 1985 and also September 1992 to January 2005.
President Eyring was president of Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, from 1971 to 1977. He was on the faculty at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University from 1962 to 1971.
He holds a B.S. degree in physics from the University of Utah and master of business administration and doctor of business administration degrees from Harvard University.
Born in Princeton, New Jersey, on May 31, 1933, he has served the Church as a regional representative, a member of the general Sunday School board, and a bishop.
President Eyring is married to the former Kathleen Johnson, and they are the parents of four sons and two daughters.
Recent articles, addresses, and speeches
The Gifts of ChristmasNovember 2011 General Conference
A WitnessOctober 2011 General Conference
Opportunities to Do GoodApril 2011 General Conference
A Living TestimonyApril 2011 General Conference
Trust in God, Then Go and DoOctober 2010 General Conference