Saturday, January 5, 2013

I'm in the Oven

There is a saying here that says ¨estas en el horno¨. It usually means you did something wrong. Well i just got transfered to Los Hornos (the ovens) so it sounds like i have done alot wrong... Good news is that for transfers today it was perfect. It clouded over and has a rained a little off and on. Its about a 2 hour train ride to get here from capital. The bad news is i have to go back 2 more times this week. Christmas eve was soooooo hot!! They said it got up to 46 degrees celsius and it was like that all day long until midnight when a massive storm came in and cooled everything down. Tuesday was a pretty chill day. We werent supposed to leave in the morning for the crazy drunks but we went out and visited a couple families and was even able to skype the fam. Everyone is looking good but much older....algunos tambien tienen muchas canas mas....I hope it was a Merry Christmas for everybody. That night though i actually started to get really sick. Wednesday i had to go out with another newer missionary and by 7 i had completely lost my voice. That same day we found an innactive family. To be honest I have never heard of a family having so many problems. The 25 year old son has a terminal disease and cant walk anymore, she has no work, he doesnt either, a small tiny house with no windows. To top it all off they have no water whatsoever. Oh, and it was her birthday and the 6 year old daughters birthday on friday. We stopped by to give her a small present. I honestly dont think i have ever felt like i did while talking with them. The other big news is a surprise baptism we had! An 8 year old girl wanted to get baptized at the last moment and the parents andbishop said ok so we did it. Bad news is while filling the font up, the water shut off. It had only filled up about 18 inches. We told her we were going to postpone it and she told us no. lol. She said ¨I am getting baptized today and Martino, you are going to do it.¨ Well we ended up doing it and it turned out great. I was a little upset about leaving this area so quick. There was so much i wanted to do to help everyone and yesterday i was really feeling bad. I started to think about it and we actually did alot. Baptized 2 almost 3 future priesthood holders that can one day be a big help to the ward. We also activated many families and strengthened many others. I might have wished to be there longer, but it was good. I just have to realize that the fact im leaving an area so quick maybe isnt because i did something wrong but because someone needs me here. The main thing that called my atention this week was the opportunity to talk with that poor family. I really do believe i was able to more fully understand the love Christ has for us. I listened and looked at her thinking, ¨why does she have so many problems even if they are her fault? Why is it that i cant do much for them except try and comfort her?¨I am pretty sure that is what our father and elder brother say about us. Correcting my own thought, they have already said that. That is the whole reason for the atonement, to help aleviate our pains and sufferings. ¨Why is it that Elder Martino makes it so hard on himself?¨ As a father and brother they dont like to see us burnourselves, and they have told us not to, but when we do they are there instantly to help take away the pain that we caused. Love, Elder Martino

End of the World Today!

Sorry about last monday, the power went out in our area for a storm that passed through so thats why i got it off Tuesday. We ended up leaving after all the wind and everything stopped but dont worry we still got soaked. Tuesday was interesting. We left for a couple hours to work but we had to be back and take the train to Glew for a meeting. President Stapley wanted us to accompany him in a meeting with the stake president and all the bishops in our stake. It was really good all that was shared and i hope it can really help are stake improve. President dropped us off at the train station but all trains were stopped for a couple murders that had just happened on the bus. That made for along wait, but the bad thing its not the first time its happened since ive been here. Wednesday and Thursday not too much happened. Friday was a great day. I was able to spend some time helping Hermana Nina, who lives in front of us and is our mommy, with her geneology. The bad thing is im having to learn while teaching her. It really is fun though even though i have no idea what im doing. if someone could help me out, she asked me to help her find something out about a Palmina Fanizza. Oh, and the hermana is going to start reading the book of mormon in Italian with me :). That afternoon we headed off to Brandsen, where we used to work part-time, and had two baptisms. I apologize i forgot my camera today to send photos but next week i will. And, as you will see int he pictures, i got to baptize in a tiny portable plastic pool. I wasnt sure the man and I were going to enter...Then we had an end of the year dinner with them. The best part is the 2 baptisms were 2 people we had found and it was great to see the seeds sometimes we plant! Saturday we got our chapel ready for Sunday and spent the time trying to teach as many people as possible. Oh, we went way out in our area but the mosquitos were literally eating us alive. i had never seen so many in my life. The good news is being way out in the country we saw a wild peacock. It was kind of weird but super cool. Now Sunday :). We had church and right afterwards three more baptisms. My comp was to first baptize Clara theni was to baptize Diego and Zahira. Well Clara got really scared with all the people there and ran to the bathroom crying. Well we went ahead and I baptized the other two and when she came out she was still super nervous. Im not sure why but i was changing and all of the sudden my comp came in and said she wanted me to baptize her...Well i got in the water and helped her down and they opened the doors. Before i started she asked if she could give me hug which i guess in a situacion like that im not going to say no while everybody is watching. Good news is it allworked out! :) Now the thought of the week. We have an investigator, or boyfriend of innactive member, that is a really great guy. We is growing so much and loves sharing with us. He asked us an interesting question the other day. ¨Why is it that most people only go to God when things arent right? If he is our father, wouldnt it make sense if we talked to him all the time?¨ I had never heard someone answer there own question like he did. Then on Sunday it was my turn to talk about our heavenly Father. I focused in mainly on that topic. Why is it, even us members some times, go to other people, doctors, or even family before our father in heaven. The truth is someone who believes he is our heavenly father but doesnt talk to him before anybody else really doesnt understand our relationship with him. It is a lack of faith on our part if we dont. We can give the excuse that we forgot, and if that is the case then i dont believe we really understand who he is...I am not sure that we even comprehend a portion of his love for us, but i know that should be our goal. What better way to get to know someone then to talk with them. Love, Elder Martino

That's what I needed!

Well lets see... Monday, nothing really happened. Tuesday neither. Wednesday, all the zone leaders had a meeting with President that lasted just about all day. It actually helped me a whole lot. It was a good moment to think about everything going on in the mission and in our zone. We got home and tried to run and go talk with a family but on the way my chain on the bike broke...We made it there and they couldnt even meet with us. So then we hurried back to the church for a lesson we were going to have with a new investigator, the catholic guy i told you about. Turns out something similar happened. We watched the Restoration and it was really good but afterwards some argueing started going on as i just stayed quiet. Long story short is we wont be teaching him again. Thursday we had a zone meeting in the morning and the streets were completely flooded up to the church door. All afternoon it poured and we literally couldnt enter into the majority of our area. Friday we had exchanges and i went with Elder Hoagland who is from....Dallas, Texas. I went to his area in Guernica and the bad part is that they didnt have a single thing planned all day except contacts...Good thing is i promised my self we would find someone. We went ALLLL day contacting houses. We ended up finding an innactive family who in turn went to church for the first time in a very long time yesterday. We afterwards continued clapping houses and still nothing. It was 830 and we have taken the bus to get back and gotten back right on time but we decided to pass by one more house. I know this is a common story you hear from missionaries, but it happens. We took the second mile and found someone. We taught her and she accepted to prepare herself to be baptized on the 23. Hopefully she will make it, but the best thing that happened was that it was the very last house. It wasnt even a plan that we had but it worked. Saturday we changed back and i came back to my area. We did a service in the morning washings walls with bleach which really helped with my hands :). Then we spent the rest of the day teaching. Yesterday was a good day. We baptized Marcelo who is the father of a family and has listened to the missionaries for years and finally felt it was time. It was a great baptism!! Last night we even went to there house and I made tacos for them. Next week we have 2 baptisms on Friday and 3 more on Sunday. As for right now it is pouring again outside. I was doing some thinking the other day and being in the mission over christmas can be difficult for a missionary. Sometimes its hard to think, ¨What would i be doing right now if i was home?¨ The truth is it can be hard if you let it, or it can be one of the best experiences ever. In Acts 20:35 it teaches us something very important about Christmas. Being a missionary as far as i can understand is the only moment a person will have the opportunity to give everything. It is better to give then to recieve but the truth is when you give yourself to this work, you recieve more then any other person in the world will recieve for Christmas. Thats my thoughts at least. Love Elder Martino