This week was amazing. It was filled with so many beautiful and distinct miracles. Everyday is such an adventure. I am so overwhelmingly grateful to be here. Oh and I will attach the pictures of the baptism from last week too!
So on Tuesday we had transfers, which is super busy and crazy. There is so much to do for that, so that was a lot of fun work.
STICK SHIFT: So last week I was super stressed by it. It seemed like I could never feel comfortable driving stick shift and I felt dumb because it isn't so hard for everyone else. I was praying a lot for the grace of the atonement to be able to learn how to do it, because Elder Heaton was about to leave and he was the only one who could drive. We went out to practice, and before we went, Elder Heaton said, "do you want to say a prayer first?", so we said a prayer and I pleaded for Heaven's help and protection. Then when we went out it was incredible, it was so much easier, I felt so much more confident and at peace. I felt completely different than the first few days. It changed in just a moment. I know it is through the atonement of Jesus Christ. It doesn't matter if it is overcoming addiction, finding forgiveness, or learning to drive stickshift, His grace is limitless and so powerful. There is nothing we cannot overcome through HIS grace.
Last night, we went to deliver a bed to some Elders in Capital, right down town where there are all the tourists places and trafic is crazy. It was so incredible. Look up "9 de Julio, Buenos Aires" in google images and you will see the street of like 16 lanes that I drove on last night. It is such an incredible experience. Never in my life did I think I would ever be in Buenos Aires, driving through the city.
The adventure of Thursday: So Thursday, we had to go out to Zarate (the zone furthest away in the mission). We first had to deliver a bed, then go to pick up an Elder who had to go to the hospital close to the mission home, the next day. The roads here, especially outside of the city, hardly have any lines. So I missed the exit like 3 times haha. FInally we got to pick up the Elder and his brand new companion fresh from the MTC, then we headed back. It was really late, everyone was sleeping, and it began to sprinkle...then a little harder....a little harder...and eventually it was pouring. I could hardly see anything and the roads here don't really have a drainage system for the rain, so there were just huge puttles. I was on the edge of my seat, driving so carefully. I told myself, "I am getting off at the next exit, but I couldn't even see the lines so I couldn't exit so easily. So I kept going... and the 3 Elders in the backseat had no idea what was going on as they slept haha. Finally, we got off the highway, and were 10 minutes away from home. I still could hardly see anything. We got close and now in the city where we live. I turned down the street we always turn on, and suddenly I could hear the water rushing beneath the car. I breaked, but the car wouldn't stop. I had no control. I wasn't going fast, so it stopped. But then the engine shut off. I opened the door, and the door was touching the water outside the car. We were in a river of water. The Elders awoke to see that we were stuck in a huge river of water. I tried to start the car and it wouldn't start up. I prayed. And prayed. and prayed some more. Then tried again, as the water levels were slowly rising. Finally, the car started, and miracuously I could somehow get control and back out of this flooded street. Really, it was a miracle. I thought for sure we were stuck. Adventurous Miracles!!! So after that night, it has been pretty much easy to drive stick shift in anything else, so that is a blessing too!
The greatest miracle of all is Ricardo. We found Ricardo on my 2nd day here. When we first talked with him, he didn't seem well. He looked rough, messy hair, white beard, and missing parts of his fingers. He didn't show a ton of interest and we left him a pamphlet and told him we would check to see how it went. The morning of conference, we passed by and he said he wanted to go and he was searching for change. So he went. Then Sunday, he went again, to both sessions. He began to read the Book of Mormon everyday. He said, "It frustrates me, because I don't remember anything I read." He didn't remember, but then as we taught him, he paused us to make a comment and taught even more than what we had taught. It amazes me. He even cleaned his house that he was ashamed to let us see. Now, he is commited to be baptized. He has transformed. He told me, "I am going to continue with this forever. There is no point in starting something and not keeping with it, because you will never know what you could have accomplished, and what you could have become. I am sticking with this." This man is incredible. In just weeks, we have seen the atonement transform him. Ah, I love that man so much. Faith, not understanding is what we need for the atonement to transform us. He is getting baptized tomorrow.
I am happy. I am so grateful to be here. It is so cool to be here in the offices, driving through the city, eating in cool places, but my desire and my greatest joy by far is being a witness to conversion. There is nothing so beautiful.
I love you all so much! Have a great week!