25 January 2011

Zone Conference in Rio Gallegos

Well, this week was sweeeeett here in Rio Gallegos.  We had zone conference, and it was amazing.  President Gulbrandsen and his wife taught about the Doctrine of Christ, but it was way, way good.  I came to understand even more the pain that Christ felt when he paid the price for our sins.  I`ll just share a little tidbit.  How do you feel when you lose a loved one, or are away from a loved one for a long time?  When we sin, we aren`t able to enter into God`s presence at the last day.  Not being able to be with him is the punishment for our sins.  So, just imagine that pain of losing a loved one, multiplied by the close relationship between God and his children, multiplied by eternity.  That was a drop in the sea of punishments Christ had to pay for every human being who ever walked or walks or will walk the earth.  That is why I`m here.  I know for a fact that the message we share allows people to accept Christ`s sacrifice, saving them from that pain one day.  Man, I had no idea my mission was that intense!  Haha, but I love it, I love understanding even more why I`m here.

Elder Wright and I also taught in the zone conference.  I shared the vision that Elder Wright and I have and basically how we want to achieve it.  I stole the example of Vince Lombardi from Elder Uchtdorf`s talk in the last general conference and talked about how he always used the basics as the core of his teaching football.  We want to use the very basics of missionary work to see an explosion here in Rio Gallegos, leading to forming a stake here one day.  I know we can do it! 

Also, President Gulbrandsen did some visits with us.  We went and saw some investigators and even gave a blessing to the son of a part-member couple.  After the blessing, president whipped out his i-pad and showed a movie of Jesus!  They were blown away!  haha!  We also were walking in the street and president saw a man hacking away at the ground with a pickaxe.  He said, "hey, that guy needs help"!  So, we walked over there and president demanded the pick-axe, telling the man that we were younger than him and that we could do it in half the time!  So, we started pick-axin and shoveling and president worked faster than anybody!  I couldn`t believe it, but president was hacking away with all his might, laughing, and teaching at the same time!  Haha, it was great, we talked to the man and ended up teaching him.

We also did divisions and Elder Labra, one of the assistants, was with us for 2 days.  He taught us a lot and we were able to find some great investigators, a lot of which came from part-member families.  The ward directory is a great tool for missionaries.  One of those investigators was a man named Josè who is the father of a really inactive member.  He accepted the baptismal date con gusto and is super excited.  But...he left on vacations!  Which is the story of almost everybody here in Gallegos right now.

Elder Wright and I also had a way cool experience with the spirit.  The other day, we were walking and for no reason felt we should help a little girl we saw who was carrying a bucket of water behind her house.  So, we walked behind the house, but she had disappeared.  So, we knocked on a door, and it turned out to be a member who has been inactive his whole life.  That experience was so real, so tangible, that I have no doubt that God will respond to our prayers through revelation.

So yeah, I`m pretty sure Rio Gallegos is ready to explode.  We`ve been in close contact with the district presidency (the same as a stake presidency) to work on helping each branch have a branch missionary coordination meeting.  As zone leaders we`ve also recieved instruction to, not only use the videos that the apostles gave us (one of which is the robles family), but to study them every day in our companionship study!  Haha so we`re going to be in the church every day watching the videos, studying them, and finding parts to use to teach. 

Well, the weather here continues to be warm (except for the random rain showeres that come out of nowhere and are FREEZING!), and I`m loving it while it lasts!  Have a great week, pray for Rio Gallegos!!!!

I know that Christ is your Savior.  I know he loves you.  I know that if you will read the Book of Mormon and ask God if it is true, you will recieve an answer.  I know that this gospel will bless your family.

Finally, I have to send a big.......... MUCHÌSIMAS GRACIAS to my Grandma Lockhart for helping me out with my mission!  And for sending so many letters!  She`s been a great, great support for me on my mission.  I love her and appreciate all she does for me!  I also appreciate ALL of you who support me on my mission in any way!  

Con amor,
Elder J. Hales 

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