I´d like to start out with an awesome spiritual experience! That happened about......... a month and a half ago. haha
I was on divisions in another area in my zone with a missionary that only had about 4 weeks in the mission. He´s super awesome, his name is Elder Roman. We had a pretty tranquilo (tranquil) day, nothing big had really happened, just a normal, hot, humid day. lol
We decided to go visit a less active member they had plans to go see. When we showed up, I realized he was the older brother of a Brother in my ward! We (Elder Aldave and I) had just met him about a week before at his brother home in Parque San Martin ! So almost immediately we hit it off.
After a few minutes of conversation, he invited us in. We talked for a while, nothing serious. Shared a scripture or two and then as we were getting ready to leave, one of us (I don't remember who) decided to feed the conversation, or keep it going a little longer. We didn't know why but we did it. And wouldn't you know it, not even 3 minutes pass by and there was a knock at the door. It was one of his friends who, lives not too far away but, he hadn't seen in a while. She told him she felt like she needed to visit him that day but didn't know why. When we heard that, Elder Roman and I just looked at each other and smiled. We KNEW why she was there. She sat down at the table and we just started talking. She opened up quite a bit about her life and the struggles she was going through and she said that she had been praying a lot to God for help and strength to move on. We proceeded to teach her the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and promised her that if she sincerely desired to know the truth of the things we shared, she could pray to our Heavenly Father, and know of a surety that we, as missionaries, and our message, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, were the answers to her prayers. By the end of the lesson, she was in tears. She said she felt the love that we and our Father in Heaven had for her and that this is exactly what she needed. A few minutes later, not fully realizing the power/importance of what had just happened, we ended the lesson and left.
I haven't been in too many lessons where we have brought the Spirit so strongly and seen our message be the answer to someones prayer, so that was special! But! I never really suspected what happened next. As customary (if you teach someone from another area) we passed the reference of her name and address to the Elders of the area she lives in. And we left it at that. We never called to find out how things went, we never saw that lady again.
But, about a month later, an Elder (who happened to be from Merlo, back when I showed up in August) came up to me in a Zone Conference and said, "Hey! Elder Pribyl! Was it you that passed us the reference of that one lady ____?? You taught her out of the blue and passed us the reference..." I commented on the lesson and how awesome she was. He then told me," Elder, you´re never gonna believe it, shes getting baptized in 3 weeks!" Man....... the joy that I felt in that moment. Unbelievable. Just to be able to be a part of such a joyous and miraculous time in this woman's life, I couldn't be happier. And it's unbelievable to think that it almost didn't happen. What if we had left that house just minutes earlier? What if she hadn't followed that prompting to go to her friend's house on that day, at that time? This woman's life was changed. Her prayers were answered. And I am so grateful to say that I had even just a little role in that happening. It really strengthened my testimony of following the Spirit and teaching people in such a way that the Spirit can testify of the things we teach. That they can feel the love of their Father in Heaven through learning of His Gospel and His plan for us. And that truly, miracles CAN and DO happen. It is definitely a story I will never forget.
Oh! One more story. Another mini miracle!
It was my last Sunday in Parque San Martin. The week before in District Meeting, we had committed to finding 8 new investigators for the week. Saturday night rolled around and we had...........0 (zero). That night my Zone Leader, Elder Hernandez called me and said,"Hey Elder! How's it going with your goals?? Did you find a lot of news this week capo??" I then told him we had none and were a bit anxious to see what was going to happen the next day. All he said was,"Go out there and find them, they are waiting. Have faith!" So.... that is what we did! All day Sunday, we were trying to do anything we could to find those new investigators. We KNEW they were waiting for us. Long story short... by 7:30 PM we had 6 news... Sooooo close, yet sooooo far. And it was a crazy coincidence. In District Meeting we all made a promise to Elder Hernandez that if it was 8 PM and we had 6 news, instead of just giving up and going to visit a member or an investigator, we would go out and search for those two people, waiting to hear our message.
Elder Aldave and I were just about a block from the pench (apartment), about to say a prayer, when one of our investigators rolled up on his motorcycle. We talked to him for about 10 mins, but about half way through the conversation I saw two ladies walk out of a house about half a block away. I had wanted to talk to the family in that house for the whole time I was in Parque San Martin and never did it. And STILL, it didn't cross my mind to go and talk to them.
We finished the conversation with our investigator and started walking towards those ladies. I was about to walk past them without saying a thing, but Elder Aldave, the capo he is, just started talking to them. We chatted for a while and decided to ask them if anyone else was home. They said it was only them two, and we were thinking about teaching them but for some reason decided to wait. We kept talking, tranquilo, just shootin' the breeze, and one lady brought up that her daughter and husband were going to show up in a few minutes. And sure enough they did! But wait... it gets better! The daughter told us that her brother and some friends were just about to come over too! So we waited just a bit longer... and sure enough they showed up too! Long story short... after waiting about 30-45 mins (by 8:15), we were sitting down to teach 11 people! 11 people that WANTED to sit and listen to our message! It was awesome! Probably the biggest miracle I´ve seen yet (or at least in a while...)! It really strengthen my testimony of the power of prayer and the purpose of working towards a goal. When we put in all we´ve got, God puts in the rest!
So, as some of you may already know, I have finally left my first area! It was really hard to leave and say goodbye to "my" Argentina. Since Day 1, I had only ever really been in Parque San Martin, so basically it was my only view of what Argentina is really like... I was excited but kind of nervous to see what the rest of it was like, especially because I had NO idea where I was being transferred to.
Well, as it turns out, my second area is just as awesome as my first! I am in a place named Mariano Acosta. It's super awesome here, and it's crazy because it is a lot like Parque San Martin! Good mix of middle to lower class, humble people. One or two busy streets and lots of dirt roads. My new companion is Elder Connell from Kent, Washington. He´s a funny guy, and it has been a fun first few weeks getting to work with him. When we showed up, we felt so blessed! We had 2 investigators READY to be baptized! One our second Saturday and the other our third. We also had a family of 3 that the other missionaries had just come in contact with. This area is super sweet and I am looking forward to working here for a while.
Sorry that this post was superrrrrr long, but I hadn't written a good blog post in a while and I thought these stories were awesome to share!
Hope all is well with all of you back home! Love you guys and miss you guys!
Un abrazo, (a hug)