20 February 2010


So this week was great. We have Melissa´s baptism tonight, I´ll send ya some pics next week. She is the daughter of a member who was inactive. She is nine years old. She's super smart and has a strong testimony.

My companion, Elder Coria, who is from Bahia Blanca, Argentina, is way cool. We´ve been killing the work here together. He told me that because I´ve been in Argentina so long, I now have sangre caliente (hot blood). Haha! So I signed my first contract this week! YEAH! Haha I know, its not that exciting. But it was a landmark. So after the conferences with Elder Aidukaitis, the mission ignited. We set huge goals, we are seeing miracles, and I´m LOVING IT. I know that every missionary says this and its kind of cliché, but my life really has never had so much purpose and it's flying by. I feel like I was just arriving here in Virreyes and its been like 4 weeks.

Ok so I´m about to tell probably the funniest story of my mission so far. Me and my companion, as always, got on a bus to ride to our area. We live in a different area, so we have to ride to our area every day. We got on the bus feeling pretty bold, so I got out a pamphlet of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that had a picture of baptism showing. I talked to one man, who wasn’t interested. Then I talked to the man right behind him. After I did my contact, he didn’t say anything, and then asked me, "Do you want to pray for the sick right now?" I was like, what the heck? But we had to get off in like 5 streets, so I told him that I didn’t have time. He stood up, told me he was evangelical and that he prays, and went to the back of the bus. Well this kind of left me feeling bad because he thought we don´t pray. So I thought to myself, still feeling bold, "Elder Hales, you can pray a short little prayer with him, and maybe get his direction." (note from Justin's Dad: direccion is Spanish for address) So, I went to the back of the bus where he was standing waiting to get off and said, "Ok, do you want to pray?" He told me no, "I already prayed", but I insisted and told him, Its Ok, I´ll say a little prayer. I closed my eyes and went to pray, wanting to just do a little one, when I felt him GRAB MY HANDS with his hands and heard him start to pray. He started praying the craziest prayer I´ve ever heard. He was praying about everything EXCEPT the sick. Seriously, it was super flowery, super crazy, and super loud. Imagine tele-pastors x10. At one point (about the 20 second mark) the bus stopped at a red light and everybody could hear him praying. Everyone on the bus, including the bus driver, turned around to see a mormon missionary and a crazy, evangelical man holding hands and praying. At one point, I thought to myself "Elder Hales, what happened to your short little prayer?" I half peeked from one eye and saw my companion trying to block the view from as many people as he could. The whole time I was trying to pull my hands away, but he had an iron grip and would squeeze really hard when he prayed really intense. He would say amen like every sentence, and after each amen, I would shout AMEN but he would then continue and continue and continue!! After about 30 seconds of praying like that, the man stopped, looked at me, and said, "Thank you for the knowledge we have just shared together". Then he got off the bus. We got off with him and Elder Coria couldn’t stop laughing for like 20 minutes. I wanted to take off my name tag and put on one that said, "Iglesia Evangelica". Haha it was insane, but hilarious.

We have baptisms planned for the following three weeks. The lord is blessing this mission and me. Thanks so much for your letters and packages, don’t forget me just because I'm in the offices! I need some love!

P.S. There is also a crazy hippie (long hair, head band, sunglasses, everything) that always gives us the peace sign and shouts , "alright, alright, alright" over and over. Man, I love Argentina.

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