Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September 26, 2011

 Fransisco and Maria's baptism

Fransisco and Maria got married on Friday and baptized on Saturday. To be baptized, unmarried couples who are living together need to either get married or move to separate houses. This is a big problem in Argentina. There are many laws in Argentina that make it easier and more convenient to stay single than to marry and getting married is really expensive. As a result, almost no one gets married here, but just ends up living together. So we spend about half of our visits trying to help people get married. I really don't know that much about marriage, so I just end up testifying as to how much the marriage of my parents has blessed my life. Maria and Fransisco got married this Friday and we were allowed to attend. The Argentina government does not recognize marriage by churches, so everyone who chooses to get married has to get married first civilly, and after that in their chosen church. The civil marriage is carried out in the equivalent of a DMV in the United States, except for way more dirty and full of people shouting in Spanish. Amidst all of the shouting and dirty DMV atmosphere, Maria and Fransisco had an awesome marriage service. It was super peaceful, and one could feel that they were doing the right thing. After the service we threw lots of rice on them.

The week was surely highlighted by the baptism of Francisco, Maria, and Rocco. They were all so excited for the few day leading up to the baptism. It was way too good to see how much the Acuña family wanted and felt the need to be baptized. The baptism was so great. Elder Oporto and I planned for days to ensure that the baptismal service was a good one. We made programs, called every member of the ward, washed all the baptismal clothes, cleaned the church beforehand etc. But when Elder Oporot and the family Acuña got to the church one hour before the baptism was scheduled to start, we could not find Maria's baptismal clothes anywhere. Elder Oporto and I frantically searched  in every little closet and everywhere else in the church for something that Maria could use as baptismal clothes; a tablecloth or bed sheet or anything white. We eventually found a dirty little baptismal jumpsuit, that was meant for little boys. We washed it as fast and well as we could and gave it to her. She was so humble and cool about it and told us that she would get baptized naked if she had to. We told her that that would not be necessary. The baptism ended up being super nice. Lots of the spirit and lots of tears.

On Saturday we got transfer calls and were shocked to find out that Elder Oporto was being to transferred to La Plata. We only had one transfer together, and for sure thought that we would be companions for a good amount of time. I was super sad to see Elder Oporto go. He is always just super tranquil and happy to be where he is. I will miss him. But today I received my new companion Elder Borgersen! He has been in Argentina for about one month and is still learning a lot as far as the Castillano goes. Nevertheless he is awesome. He reminds me a lot a lot a lot of Tim Tebow. He is from Oklahoma, so he has a killer hick accent, has sweet Tim Tebow hair, talks about Jesus all the time, plays football, and is just generally super nice. I can tell that we are gonna have a good few transfers together. I'm a little bit nervous to be the older companion, but I'm sure all will go well.

Right before he left, Elder Oporto showed me a Mormon Message on Youtube that impressed me a lot. It's called "Come what may, and love it." by Joseph F. Wirthlin. In the message Elder Wirthlin talks about the importance of loving your life independent of the situations you are in. When I first heard the phrase "Come what may and love it", it really hit me and I decided that this needs to be the theme of the rest of my mission. "Come what may and love it." Our happiness should be independent of our situation, whatever it may be.
All is well. Life is good.

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