Monday, May 30, 2016

Week 24 - End of Transfer 3

Chocolate chip pancakes for District Meeting
So this week has been interesting for a couple of reasons. First it's the end of the 3rd transfer here in San Ignacio with Elder Thorpe. We've had a lot of fun together but we knew that one of us was going to be leaving this week, and we were both pretty sure it would be him. But let's focus on what happened this week in our area.

Tuesday was one of the hardest days of my mission. For the morning we cooked chocolate chip pancakes as a district before our district meeting, so that was awesome. Later after the meeting we got invited to eat lunch with a member, Hermana Mercedes. She cooks some of the best food I've ever tasted. However we burned almost 2 hours in her house, when we're supposed to keep them to an hour maximum. After that we took our Ward Mission Leader, Angel F., to visit some of our investigators. As I've said before, Angel is awesome and will go with us for several hours at a time. Tuesday he was with us from 3-6 and we didn't have a single lesson. In fact, the only lesson we had at all Tuesday was with Gregorio C. So we basically walked around from 3-9, with a break in Gregorio's house. It was a tough night...

Last Photo with Mercedes and Lorenzo.
I´m really going to miss these people.
We´re praying that Lorenzo decides he wants to be
baptized soon, because he´s been putting it off for
almost 2 months now...
However we have had several opportunities to give service this week. We gave a blessing to Hna Mercedes on Tuesday, then Wednesday night we gave one to the mother of an investigator of the sisters, and another to our Branch President. Sunday afternoon we gave one to María F. (who got baptized 2-3 months ago). Later Sunday night we were coming back from an appointment and we saw an older woman staring worriedly at the street. We asked her how she was and she asked us to help her to her house. She'd recently had a knee surgery and couldn't lift her feet more than a few inches. The reason she looked so worried is because there was a 2 inch drop from the street to the dirt, and she didn't want to fall. So we took her by the arms and walked her to her house, about 3 blocks away. We literally helped an old lady cross the street! Lot's of service this week in San Ignacio.

Here we are with Hermano Lorenzo and Hermana Mercedes
for Almuerzo (lunch) for the last time.
We didn't find Zuni this week, nor could we meet with Rosa V., so neither one of them are progressing right now. Francisca on the other hand is more than prepared to be baptized on the 18th of June. We talked with her about the Doctrines of Christ, and she understood really well. She told us that a lot has changed in her life, and not all of it has been good things. However now that she has her grandson in her care she is ready to be washed clean of all her past and start over. She is already sharing our message with her neighbors! She invited 2 of her good friends to come to activities next week, and responded to a concern on baptism. She knows that only we have the authority to baptize, but when her friend asked about it she said, "What damage could possibly be done by being baptized?" She's awesome, and we're so excited for her progress.

Now let's get to the news you've all been waiting for: What happens this transfer. 3 weeks back President LaPierre told Elder Thorpe that there was no chance of him staying another transfer in San Ignacio. However I recently learned the hard way how absolutely necessary confession is in the repentance process. After an interview with President LaPierre, a phone call to my Stake President, and a week and a half of waiting, the church department has decided that I need to go home for 6 months. I will be allowed to return to the mission this December, and I have every intention of doing so. But for now I am being pulled from San Ignacio and Elder Thorpe will be staying another transfer.

To anyone who may have a hard time understanding why this is happening, please do not interpret this as a punishment. I am not being sent home because I lied to my stake president, nor because the church doesn't let sinners serve missions. I am going home because God knows, and now I know, that true repentance takes time. And complete repentance through the Lord Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to become clean. I want, God wants, and the church wants that I have a successful mission. The only way to do that is to be clean of past sins, and live worthy of the promises God makes to his Missionaries. These past 5 months have been great, but they have not been what they should have been. I don't want the rest of my mission to feel the same way, so I will be coming home to make those changes.

Brothers and Sisters I testify that the Atonement is real. God forgives each and every sinner who comes to him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, ready to change their lives. Those who do so will, like Alma, experience a joy so exquisite to rival the pain they felt only moments earlier (Alma 36). Christ's atonement knows no limits, and all men can partake of the pure and lasting joy that comes from a sincere repentance. I have felt these changes in my life, and I testify that the Atonement is real. It really happened. Christ descended into mortality and suffered for us -he died for us! And all he askes is that we take advantage of his freely given gift. I love this gospel, and I am very excited to return to Argentina 6 months from now. San Ignacio will always hold a piece of my heart, and the people here have changed me in ways I  could never explain. I am sad to have to leave, but I know It will all work for the best, according to God's plan.

"I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord, 
over mountains or plains or seas. 
I'll say what you want me to say, dear Lord, 
I'll be what you want me to be."
-I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go, LDS Hymn


  1. Good for you, Elder Sam! What a wonderful choice you've made. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony of the Atonement.

  2. Elder Scott, I love this entry so much, I can't even put it into words! I've always thought you were an incredible person and I've loved watching you grow into the young man you are now. I think you have grown into an incredible person over the last few months. I'm so humbled to read your testimony!

  3. Good job Elder, and thank you for sharing so others can learn from your example. Good to know that where I served is in such good hands 30 years later.

  4. Beautiful testimony. Thanks so much for sharing. I admire your decision.

  5. Beautiful testimony. Thanks so much for sharing. I admire your decision.

  6. The Gospel is true! The Atonement is REAL!! May God bless you Elder. Stay focused on your goal to return to serve. I look forward to seeing your mom post in six months...and remember, we are all sinners and have need of the repentance process every single day. He loves us!!!

  7. Wow! Thank you for this. The attonement is real. Good luck

  8. Wow! Thank you for this. The attonement is real. Good luck

  9. You are amazing. What you are doing is harder than what many have to endure and yet you have expressed yourself with much eloquence! Very inspiring!

  10. That is a sweet testimony of the love our Savior has for each of us.