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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Another Update From Rosario

Hello, how is everyone? haha. I had a pretty solid, busy week. I hope you are all doing well, and I received some great mail just the other day! Megan Thacker, thank you for your letter! I enjoyed reading it, and be sure to say "hello" to Camille for me. haha. I reallly appreciate everyone´s letters, and I sent off a handful last week. Hopefully many of you will receive them in a couple short days. It is kinda hard to write letters here since everything is so crazy.... I have definitely had an adventure here in the offices!

Anyways, this week I want to write a little more about one of my favorite recent converts.

Marcelo Gomez. Up to this point on my mission, he is probably the best convert and coolest person with whom I´ve come into contact. I think I described him a few months ago when he was baptized, but now he has attended church regularly for nearly four months! Wahoo!!! That´s what I´m talking about :). So yes, he has progressed rapidly and now serves as a regular member. Here are a few more quick facts about him, just so you can all get to know him a bit better:

-He is about 35 years old.

-He has a family of four with one on the way.

-They have very humble circumstances; he is a contruction worker in the heart of downtown Rosario.

-Everyone in his neighborhood speaks really informal Spanish with a lot of slang. It is kinda hard to understand sometimes but can be really funny.

-He really wanted a suitcoat to look like the people in the Bishopric as well as other active members, which made me smile. About half of the people dress up in a suit. The rest wear slacks with a button down, and some come in jeans. We let anyone in, knowing that physical appearance doesn´t matter that much. People still try to do their best, which is great. Marcelo diidn´t feel embarrassed or anything, but he said he wanted to look like the Bishop and really show repect when he comes to church. So guess what? We talked to the president´s wife, and she found a donated suitcoat for him! He loves it. :)

Last Sunday, he came to church dressed like a champ. I don´t remember if I mentioned it earlier, but one day Elder Hull and I gave him a few gifts. We both gave him a tie and one of our shirts. We both know he is a great member, does his best, and works hard. While providing for his immediate family and some of his extended family who live close by his house, he stuggles financially sometimes. However, he refuses to accept help or money. I really like his attitude, and he works like 12 hour shifts to provide for his kids. Anyways, long story short, Elder Hull and I wanted to help him out. He was extremely grateful, and this past Sunday, he used the suitcoat, my shrit, Elder Hull´s tie, his own pants, and shoes that a member gave to him as a gift. He looked great, and we took some pictures. This Sunday he also received the Melchizedek Priesthood, honoring it well with is suitcoat and faith!

-He would be considered lower middle class, as many people are worse off than him, like some of the families I taught in Santa Fe who live in little huts. This was way back at the beginning of my mission.

-His youngest son, Kevin, will turn eight soon!!! Marcelo is really excited to baptize him by himself.

-We are teaching some of his extended family right now, many of which have promised to come to church and some of the activities. Little by little, we are seeing miracles in his life. He has shared his testimony a handful of times in an incredible, powerful manner.

-It really is a blessing to have known him. He also built his own house!! Crazy, right? What if you came to eat at my house one day and later found out that I had built it myself??? haha. You would probably be a little scared and feel like something seemed sketchy and not sturdy! ahaha.. He really did a great job though, and we enjoy chatting with him inside his own cement house. Seeing the gospel help his family has really changed my life!

-He now serves as the Ward Secretary. You have to remember that the wards down here don´t function quite as well, so any calling or service really makes a difference and contributes to the ward success! More than half of the members just come to listen about twice a month. Not Marcelo, though. He comes about 95% of the time, unless he has to work or do something urgent downtown! What a boss :).

-Okay, there are even more details about Marcelo, but that should be enough for now. He makes me laugh, and we visit him about every other week right now. As a current member, he now receives visits from some other members of the high council and Bishopric. Basically, he is doing great :)

Alright, sorry for the kinda short letter. I wrote a bunch to my family, and we plan to play tennis today! Yep! So we have to go head out there before it rains. Like always, thanks for all your support and prayers. I think about you often. Go cougs! Go Jimmer! Vamos Argentina!

Elder Jones

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