So this week was pretty amazing. Usually there are like two or three good highlights of the week, but this week there were so many, so I am pretty contento right now.
So our mission is still trying to focus on sharing 30 Books of Mormon with return visits every week. This challenge is pretty rough for me because it's not like you can just talk with five people and hand out five Libros de Mormón, it varies on the day, the weather, and the area. And if I focus on all the Books I still have to give out and how many people don't want them, Élder Hardcastle can get just a tad exhausted. But I came up with a different idea: instead of focusing on all the books I was needing to hand out, I was going to focus on just opening my mouth more. So, I began by setting myself a personal goal for contacts, hoping to reach the goal of Books of Mormon. Well Tuesday I reached my goal well before lunch, and thought, ''Well, this isn't so bad, I can keep going!'' Up to this point I hadn't given out any books, but as I went for 'bonus contacts', we started finding good people! And shortly after we were able to give away three! Just a small change in my perspective was able to help me work a lot more positively!
Later that afternoon we went to the hospital and waited again. We thought they were going to cut into my companion's hand to take out whatever was bothering it, but they didn't. We had to make another appointment for the following week to take it out. Then we took the train to get to the district meeting right after it ended (thanks to all my extracurricular trips in the mission my knowledge of the Buenos Aires' public transportation is quite extensive), then the bus we took to go back to El Talar popped a tire, so we made it right in time to start preparing for our ward activity. I was sitting at the piano playing prelude (more piano stories later) when my companion comes running up to me and tells me to look at his hand. He had begun to play with the infected part and applied some pressure, and this little tiny piece of organic something a few centimeters long shot out of his hand. It was kind of a gross strange miracle, but hey! One less trip to the hospital this week, and more time to work!
And then on Thursday I celebrated 23 months as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we were blessed with another miracle. So a few days before, my companion contacted a lady selling cactus and though she was nice she wasn't interested, but we were able to obtain a referral from her of a lady whose husband died a few months ago. We went and contacted the house but she wasn't available. THEN on Thursday we saw the same lady selling cactus and she asked if we were going to go talk to her referral. It wasn't in our plans, but I said we would so a bit later we tried again and were met by a man. We explained to him who we were and a bit of why we were there, and he said that the referral was home, but she didn't want to receive any visits because she wasn't doing so good. But then a few moments later she had a change of heart and let us in. We had a really great talk with her! Her husband died right before Christmas and she thought with time her wounded heart would heal, but it had only been getting worse and she was in a bad place. We asked her what she was doing to get closer to Christ and she said she wasn't doing anything. So we shared the Book of Mormon with her and after a bit she started doing better! She accepted the Book of Mormon and said she would keep reading it and that she would pray and go to Church on Sunday! She told us after that God had sent us because she was doing really bad. I love being used as an instrument in God's hands. Especially since we never would have found her by just contacting because she lives right next to an evangelist church!
AND THEN CAME SUNDAY. It was probably one of the best days of my whole mission. The only really bad part was that I had to play piano in Sacrament meeting and I really slaughtered Jesus Once of Humble Birth. I'm definitely a two-talent piano player and not a five-talent one. But other than that, it was glorious! Do you remember the man that went to Church last week,? Yeah, well he went to Church again yesterday, so that was a great start. Then I didn't have to teach Gospel Principles because last week the ward sustained an actual teacher to teach it. Then the bishop drove us home from church (we live only a few blocks away but still). Then our vianda had a 600g bag of cookies and we ate them all that day, and we were able to take a 10 minute siesta. Then later on we went over to the house of the miracle referral we received because she didn't go to church. I was starting to doubt her level of interest because our visit the day before had fallen through, but wow, all that changed when we saw her. She was doing so much better! She told us that our first visit had really changed her attitude, and she was so grateful. She is functioning again! I think she didn't go to church because her family came over to visit, and she hadn't been able to talk to us on Saturday because she had to do some trámites (I still don't know what that word is in English sorry). But she told us that she had read the Book of Mormon, and accepted another visit. MILAGRO. And then she went to mom-mode and asked if we were going to stay outside in the cold without coats on, haha. But yeah, I feel really confident that she will really accept the Gospel and see it work in her life.
AND THEN we had a lesson with the investigator that went to church twice but with whom we never could schedule a visit. We taught the Restoration with our ward mission leader, and it was great. He accepted everything! and then he accepted a baptismal date for June 3rd. Then we taught him the 10 commandments with the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity because by the way things look we may only be able to teach him maybe once or twice a week. Once again, He accepted everything without a problem. I am SO happy=)
It looks like hard work is paying off! I love being able to serve as a missionary! It is the hardest thing I have ever done, but I have come to know that God is truly good. I have never been so certain of His love for me. Just do what He asks you to do, I promise that you won't regret it.
See you all soon enough,
I found a cheap place to buy food. Así que, aproveché.
My companion never ate tacos before, So I decided to treat him.
''Wow that looks Instagram worthy'' -Elder Jensen
Close-up beauty shot