Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 11, 2011

Jordan and his new companion Elder Vergara in front of the famous obelisk in the middle of Buenos Aires

Jordan had to go into the heart of Buenos Aires with some other Elders from his mission to run some errands for his visa. One of the Missionaries in his group was named Hermana Price. He got to talking while he was waiting and it came out that she was a niece of Barb and Rod Price from the Greenwood Village Ward (where Jord grew up). He was happy to know someone there who has some connection, however obscure, to his life outside of Buenos Aires.  As soon as he finished talking to Hermana Price, some Elders from the Buenos Aires West mission walked into the visa building and he started to talk with them. One of them, Elder Shepard, is from Las Vegas and he used to be in Paul and Erin´s (Jordan's sister and brother-in-law) ward and Paul was his Priests Quorum Leader. It's kind of silly how small the Mormon world is.

"The first week with Elder Vergara was way too good and also really different. With Elder Stokes, we had a lot of immature fun (amidst all of the very mature missionary work of course). Elder Vergara is really fun and easy to get along with, but its a totally different dynamic than I had with Elder Stokes. Seeing as to how Elder Vergara is almost 26, the immature fun on my mission has kind of evolved. But its probably for the best. Elder Vergara is teaching me so much. He is super hard working and loving and warm and has the laugh of tinkling bells and makes me want to be better. I need to send out a recording of his laugh. It's way too good. Seriously. He is such a stud and the only member in his family. He was baptized about four years back, and since then he has been as solid as a rock in the gospel. It's also awesome for my Spanish to have a Latin comp because now I am obligated to speak Spanish 100% of the time. I love it. My Castillano is getting way way better and my English is getting way way worse. Today I was talking to some other American Elders and they were having a lot of trouble understanding me. It gave me a strange feeling of pride not to be able to speak adequate English. Anyways, Elder Vergara is such a great guy. I have been so lucky to have such great companions I can't believe it."

"This week I pretty much just took Elder Vergara around to get to know the area and all of our investigators. Everyone loved Elder Vergara so fast and easily.  One experience especially affected me this week. We are teaching a 50 some year old man named Gustavo. He has been a non progressing investigator in our area for probably a year and a half. Usually when investigators don't progress, the Elders stop visiting them. This should have happened a long time ago in Gusatvos case, but he loves the Elders so much and the Elders love him so much that none of the Elders, including me, have had the heart of wants to drop him. He always says that the Elders are his family since he has none, and treats us as such. He has a hard time believing in God because his whole family except for him (wife and two children) was killed in a bus crash about ten years back. Whenever I have talked to him about the crash, I have had a really hard time expressing why God would let such a thing happen. Elder Vergara and I went to his house this Thursday simply for Elder Vergara to get to know him. As he does with everyone, Elder Vergara got to know Gustavo unnaturally fast and Gustavo told Elder Vergara the story about his family. As he told the story, all three of us started to cry. After Gustavo finished the story, the room was so quiet and intense for what felt like 2 or three minutes. With tears in his eyes, Elder Vergara started to talk and tell Gustavo how his Father had died unexpectedly the third day of his mission. I did not know this before the lesson. Elder Vergara then told us how at this point in his mission he wondered if he should go home and this was a time of a lot of prayer for him. Amidst all the sorrow and prayer Eder Vergara thought of the words of the song ¨"A Child's Prayer", especially the lines "Heavenly father, are you really there?" and "Some say that Heaven is far away, but I feel it close around me as I pray". He said that at this point he felt the presence of Heavenly Father so strong and knew of a surety that his father was alright and that he should stay on his mission.He then gave a testimony of the reality of Heavenly Father and his love for us that siphoned the Spirit so thickly into the room like I have never ever felt it before. Elder Vergara then asked Gustavo if we could kneel together in prayer and have Gustavo offer the prayer. He accepted and Gustavo then gave the most humble and sincere prayer. After he finished we all just sat in silence for a few minutes until Gustavo started saying over and over "Me siento tanto amor, tanto amor, tanto amor". He knows has a testimony of God´s reality and where his family is. It couldn't be better. The whole experience was so intense and real."

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