It’s hot and we’re nice and sweaty. Pretty picture, right? The people laugh at us for our shirts, ties, and hats as we wipe the sweat from our brows with worn handkerchiefs fashioned from expired t-shirts. We let them laugh. Our duty is of eternal importance. I feel more professional and serious when I write, but I feel comfortable when I write my thoughts out loud.
In short, it’s been a long week full of anxiety and anticipation as we prepared our first baptism since July. José Luis Rodriguez, once a teacher in a Catholic school, decided to follow the strong promptings that the Spirit was giving him and was baptized this past Saturday by our Branch President, who, ironically, shares his same name. He’s been a wonderful investigator, very sincere, and very attentive to both the teachings and the whisperings of the Spirit. In his first visit to church a month ago, he was blown away by the powerful feelings of love and acceptance that he felt while he was there. He loved it and hasn’t left since then. Two years ago (I think I already told you) he was run over by a bus and his legs have essentially been reconstructed with iron. He’s such a sincere guy. He’s had a rough life, he lost his mother young, and every time he’s been ready to get married, his girlfriend has cheated on him (three times). Needless to say, he’s told us that he has felt the forgiveness of our Father in Heaven as he’s prayed and is already learning how to follow the impressions of the Spirit. This one’s going to go far in the church.
In other exciting news, Lucas, our 17 year-old friend, finally received permission to be baptized. His dad has been against him for the last month and a half, but yesterday, his mom told his dad (after growing tired with the way his dad has been taking advantage of Lucas’ desires to be baptized and while his dad was drinking and yelling at the family) that she didn’t want Lucas to turn out like he did and that she was going to sign his permission. Lucas got way excited, jumped up and kissed his mom on the forehead and couldn’t turn off his smile. He’ll be baptized by his best friend from school, another great kid from the branch named Gonzalo, this Saturday.
The fun with all of this is that this week we have transfers. This means I only have three weeks in the mission remaining. It’s not real to me. I do feel somewhat tired of the routine and the same excuses that the people give us, but trust in the Lord’s wisdom and want to live these last three weeks as if they were my first and love it all. It’s hard, but I can’t die! haha.
Dad, a lesson Presidente Heyman taught me is that we shouldn’t try to understand the lesson we are meant to learn in the moment. Lessons are to be analyzed after the trial has been overcome. It’s a very effective way to stay focused and determined without frustrating ourselves for our apparent lack of progress. It’s what gives us the strength to say, “give me this mountain” and enjoy the growing process.
A cool insight I’ve found this week is just how much the book of Helaman in the Book of Mormon explains exactly what we are living right now. I want to invite you to read Helaman 11 and 12 and then tell me what it reminds you of. Especially in the beginning of chapter 12. Interesting stuff.
Hopefully, I stay here to finish up the work I’ve been given, we’re looking forward to three baptisms this Saturday if all goes well with a marriage this Friday…
The only thing I wanted you to check out, mom, is how we can get my books for BYU and if you can set me a dentist appointment for when I get back. I think my teeth need some love and care after two years without a dentist. Thank you.
And Luke, tell me what’s up? I haven’t heard from you since you told me you were doing your papers. Just because I come home in three weeks is no excuse to not write me, haha.
I feel like Ammon, a bit, in the sense that I feel like I could live here forever. I love the people so much. I love this mission. It’s the best on the earth.
Take care, loved ones,
Elder Steven Reid Walker
Misión Argentina Resistencia
Entre Rios 435
3500 Resistencia, Chaco