Well everyone, Here I am, in a strangely rainy Mendoza Argentina- on- Tuesday of all days. we had interviews with the mission president yesterday so p-day was moved to today. I'm also writing in the afternoon because I woke up today with a really sore throat and congestion, very suddenly- and so I was resting in bed in the morning. Hopefully it will go away soon though.
So, we have some exciting news- Do you all remember that I told you about two weeks ago that a young lady named Gisela had arrived all on her own at the chapel, and that we had started teaching to her the gospel? Well, she has accepted a baptismal date for this coming Saturday, the 14th. It has been quite the miracle- we've hardly done anything except for teaching her the missionary lessons- and she has put in her part and has progressed amazingly. It's not very often that you find a person who is so auto sufficient- who does things for themselves proactively. It's inspiring to see someone finding joy in the gospel and immersing themselves in it.
Apart from that we also had the experience this week of talking to a lady who is confined to a wheelchair after falling down some stairs and also recently lost a brother, and to a young fellow who repairs photocopy machines- both of whom invited us to come back to their homes to teach them more about the message of the restored gospel.
In the interview with the president, he exemplified what my last transfer in the mission, coming up next Sunday, might feel like. he said, when a runner runs a marathon, or a swimmer swims long distance, they have to conserve energy or they will not be able to finish the race. you have to pace yourself throughout in order to not fall down in the middle. however, when the finish line comes into sight, when the last hundred meters are near, the last reserves of energy that the athlete has saved through the entire race can be expended to bring them to the end in the best time possible. ironically, in the moment in which they are most tired, they can afford to expend the largest amount of energy, since when the race ends they can rest and recuperate from the tiring event. He told me, "Elder Backstrom, these are your last hundred meters. Make them count. Don't listen to the adversary, who will try to tell you, "you are tired, you are almost done, just don't work." make the best of your last hundred meters." I can say that I sure plan to.
When I first arrived in the mission, it did not seem real that I was a missionary; that I was one of the guys with white shirts and ties that I had seen all my life in church; now it does not seem real that there is a date that will be the end of all of this. Well, there is, and it comes. So I will make the very best of what is left.