Monday, December 28, 2015

This week I got to experience an Argentine Christmas. The first thing that was different was that here in Argentina, and in most of Spanish-speaking america, Christmas is celebrated the night of the 24th. On Thursday the whole mission had permission to stay out until 12:30 at night, for a missionary that´s pretty late. My comp and I celebrated Christmas in the house of the Molina family eating roast beef sandwiches, fruit salad and at midnight we make a toast with apple cider. Also something that´s different about Christmas here is that everyone throws fireworks at midnight. It reminded me a little bit of the fourth of July. And the best part of the holiday season as you´ll see in one of my pictures is that it comes in the middle of the summer and, I am melting in the heat. Yesterday it reached 100 degrees and this whole week we´re expected to have temperatures in the 90s.
Something that I learned this week was that we can take advantage of every moment to preach the gospel. This week had several big events:  Christmas, the Christmas call to the family, and transfers, (I stayed in the same area) but Elder Gomez and I gave our best to be able to find new investigators and find people to help out during the month of January. We didn't see all of these other things that we had the opportunity to do as an excuse to not do our work, but instead as things that would give us the energy and spirit to continue working. 
Happy new year! 

Elder Lulich

 A box of goodies that the relief society sisters gave us for Christmas.
 Me melting in the heat after church on Sunday
The Molina family on Christmas eve. 
I didn't end up getting transferred. But my comp Elder Gomez got sent to my last area Villa Dolores! Que Loco! I was pretty excited to hear that he was going there, I really loved that area. I´ll be staying here in Parque Liceo, another area that I love, with a "mini missionary" for one transfer. A mini missionary is a teenager who is preparing for the mission and wants to be a missionary for a month and a half. 
But things turned out as they usually seem to turn out for me and the mini didn't show up when we all switched companions. I didn't find out until later but my mini compañero isn´t going to show up until next Monday... Que bueno. In the meanwhile I´ll be working with another Elder (Elder Rodrigues, with an s, from Brasil) who is waiting for his mini, a little bit in his area and a little bit in mine. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

This week, due to a weird series of events I got to spend three days in my area with one of the teenagers from the branch as my companion. His name is Agustin Salinas and he is 16 years old. It was a great experience being able to show one of the youth what missionary life was like. Luckily Agustin was super willing to learn and try out new things. I learned a ton. It was especially inspiring to hear when Agustin testified in the lessons and, without fear, shared what he felt and knew. I look at this experience as an answer to a prayer and an opportunity that the Lord gave me to reflect on my labors as a missionary. 
On Saturday I had another opportunity to work with youth. The stake had an activity where the youth spent a day with the missionaries. This time I was with Elder Gomez again and we were accompanied by a kid named Ezequiel. My favorite part of the day was after the activity when all the youth got together and shared their testimonies of missionary work. It really inspired me to see how they viewed missionary work as such an important thing. Sometimes I take for granted  the fact that I´m a missionary and I forget about the magnitude of what I do. The testimonies of the youth after the day that they spent with us really helped me remember that it is a giant blessing to be a missionary and work side by side with the Lord.1
I thank God for the great gift He has given me to carry the Gospel of His Son to His children. 
Merry Christmas! Que tengan una linda Navidad, y que puedan recibir el regalo de Jesucristo más plenamente en sus vidas.  

Elder Lulich

Pic 1: Agustin and I in the branch´s Christmas dinner with Gabriel. 

Pic 2. When people say," this is the smallest violin in the world and it´s playing just for you" they are talking about this violin.
Pic 3: A sister visiting Argentina from Canada made apple pie for us. It was a delicious little piece of home. 
Here´s a picture of a special lunch that we had today with the zone. A sister (the one in the middle) from Canada, who is originally from Argentina, holds a lunch every year during Christmastime. She was so sweet and just loved to serve.  


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sorry I´m writing a day late. Yesterday we celebrated Christmas with the entire mission. There was a training from Presidente Alliaud and the assistants, a big barbecue (asado), a talent show, and after it all we spent the whole afternoon playing soccer. It was great to see all of the missionaries together and all of my ex-companions.  
This week we arrived at a sister´s house and she told us that she had been waiting for us. Her husband (who isn't  a member of the church) had suffered a stroke a few days before, and after being in the hospital for a day or two had recovered enough to be able to return home. The sister asked us if we could give him a priesthood blessing. We said yes. Then she asked her husband if he would like a blessing and he accepted. It surprised me a little bit that he accepted because I was remembering the first time that we ever passed by his house and said hi to him. We greeted him saying, "Good morning Brother, how are you?" and he responded, "I`m not your brother." But this time when we came by he was willing to receive a blessing.
After the blessing the Husband asked if we could read him something from the bible. We read him James 1:1-4 and had a nice conversation about faith and patience. It was amazing to see how all of a sudden this man who didn't even want to greet us was listening to us and saying how God was a "God of miracles". It really was a testimony to me that the Lord touches the lives of people and gives them the opportunity to accept Him. May we realize it when these opportunities come and take advantage of them.
Have a great week,
Elder Lulich 

Here´s  a picture of the giant asado that the mission made for all of us. Mmmm...   

   

Monday, December 7, 2015

I always love the fast and testimony meetings that I hear as a missionary. Church members always go to general conference with a question in mind to be able to receive revelation. I believe that the same thing can be done every Sunday at church, especially on the Sunday of testimonies because it´s an opportunity to hear inspired words from every member of the congregation. This Sunday my spirits weren't so high because one of the people that we are preparing for baptism didn't show up. So I was sitting there in the church pew contemplating my "unprofitable-ness" as a servant of God (Mosiah 2) and feeling bad about myself when the testimony meeting started.
Listening to one of the testimonies I got a good reply from God. One of the members told a story about a girl who spent a weekend with her great aunt. The girl noticed that her aunt was happy despite not having many things that generally make people happy ( a husband, kids, a big house). After asking the aunt told her that her happiness came from living the gospel of Christ. 
That story helped me get a little bit more realigned. I know that I am an unprofitable servant, and I´m always going to be. I know that I need to improve some things to be a better missionary. But what I remembered then was that I should be happy because of the opportunity that I have to work in the gospel of Jesus Christ, not just for the result that I (with a bold, capital I) wanted to see. 
Have  good week and remember two things. True happiness comes from living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Don´t limit your happiness. 
Elder Lulich

This is a chapel in Cordoba called the"Capuchina"