Contacting Elder Rainock:


Address: Elder Cordell B. Rainock
Mission Argentina Mendoza
Cabildo Abierto 161
5501 Godoy Cruz
Mendoza, Argentina

Sending Elder Rainock packages: It´d be best if any packages are sent in the large padded envelopes instead of boxes and contain very little value. (time frame: letters - 3 weeks, packages - around 1 month)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

"It's crazy to see the difference the Gospel has made on them"

(written Sept 20)

This week we have been getting ready for transfers that will be happening this coming week. We were supposed to be receiving a group of 30 but it´s gone down to 20 since some missionaries will be waiting in temporary missions for their visas. It´s the first time in over a year that this has happened. It caught us by surprise!

Elder Garcia made us some traditional Mexican tacos this week. I made the guacamole and he showed me how to make the tortillas as well. We had to buy the corn flour to make the tortillas in the main market in Mendoza because you can´t get it anywhere here. They were very good. Authentic Mexican tacos consist of homemade tortillas, chopped beef (not ground beef), a tomato-based salsa with jalapeno, guacamole, and cilantro... I think I included everything. There is no cheese and they are served with the ingredients lying on the flat tortilla. They aren't served folded. You just pick it up and fold it when you are ready to eat :)

I thought I´d share with you guys something very special from last weekend. I don´t think I have mentioned this before but there is a family in Villa del Parque (the ward that I´m serving in) that has been coming to church for over a year now. They aren't baptized because the parents are waiting on a divorce (which takes a very long time here especially if you don't have any connections) to go through before they are able to get married. They have been together for almost 20 years but he never legally divorced his wife from before. They have 2 children together and they both assist church regularly with them. The youngest child, who is 10 years old, is very involved in primary and actively participates in the classes and in ward activities. He loves going to church and his group of friends he has there. His parents really felt that, although they couldn't get baptized at this time, that he should go ahead and get baptized because it is something that he had been anxiously awaiting. So he was baptized last Saturday in a beautiful baptismal service. He was full of excitement and his parents wouldn't stop smiling the whole night. It was a very uplifting experience. 

This experience was especially meaningful to me because it's a family that I found with Elder Rich when we were in this area a year ago. It's crazy to see the difference the Gospel has made on them. I have had an especially unique opportunity because most missionaries get to serve in an area once and only get to see the effect the Gospel has on a family for a short time period. I have been able to see this family go from sleeping their Sundays away to attending the full three hour block at church each Sunday morning. From having struggles in their marriage and family to growing a deeper love and respect for one another and facing the everyday trials with faith and hope. The mom has especially grown in her testimony as she used to only invite as in to help her husband. She shared her testimony in church last Sunday in the sunday school class about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ helps them in their relationships as a family and she even said, "you have no idea how much I long for Sunday to come so that I can go to church. We used to sleep until 2pm every Sunday since it was our only day to rest now I usually wake up before my alarm because I am so anxious and excited for church." Haha! Her testimony re-fueled my spirit and brought tears to my eyes. They are a special family and if they were the only family I found in my two years then it would all be more than worth it. I really love them and they have a special place in my heart. 

I hope everyone has had a good week!

- Elder Rainock

"family history has a direct correlation between helping people get to the temple"

(written Sept 6)

It was super busy as we had leadership council and started zone conferences within the same week. In leadership council we prepared a part on the responsibilities of leaders - specifically focused the zone leaders and sister training leaders. It was fitting because there are so many new leaders this transfer as many went home in the last. 

Our zone conferences are going well so far. Elder Garcia and I give our presentation on working with new members of the church. It's a 45 minute presentation that we have given 7 times now so we've got it down pretty well. That being said, everyone single one has been different as we receive little bits of guidance and direction from the Spirit in each one to meet the specific needs of the individual zones. 

As we prepared the presentation we got together all of the notes we took from the meetings we had with Elder Viñas to see apply what he taught us. He spoke a lot about the "My Family" booklets that the church is using now to jump-start family history work with new, uneducated (me being one of them), and less-active members of the church. We decided to take a good 15 minutes to talk about that and Familysearch because, in the end, the information in those booklets is supposed to be entered in Familysearch. It's perfect for Argentina because members feel comfortable doing stuff like that in their homes and then we can take them to the family history centers where they can enter in the information and work with those assigned to family history. 

While preparing and presenting I have realized more and more the importance of family history work. There are many aspects to it in which I have been enlightened but one of which I will share right now. New members of the church are often full of joy for the new knowledge that they have come to know. That joy often leads, as it did for Lehi in his vision, to the desire to share it with their families. When the new members learn they can share this message not only with their living relatives but give the opportunity for the ordinances for those beyond the veil it brings a new depth to their understanding of the Gospel and becomes an anchor for them. Giving them the opportunity to search for family members not only brings to surface memories or new found knowledge of family members but bring them the desire to go to the temple and perform the work for them there. If someone achieves that step of going to the temple to perform the first saving ordinances of the Gospel for their relatives they are well on their way to "enduring to the end." It's a good indicator that they are converted and will only help them in their further conversion. The next step would then be to continue faithful in the Gospel to, when arriving at the appropriate time and after being a member for at least one year, continue performing the later ordinances in the temple. 

I have often asked myself on the mission, "How do I help this new member continue progressing and to one day arrive to the temple?" Unfortunately, I have often discounted the importance of family history but now I can see, very clearly, that family history has a direct correlation between helping people get to the temple. I am very grateful for the opportunity I have had this zone conference to prepare and teach on this subject. It was a big aspect of the Gospel that I was missing in my life. I am looking forward to working more on my family history when I return from the mission. 

Hope all is well for all of you back home!

- Elder Rainock

"felt a sense peace and happiness"

(written Aug 30)

This week we recieved two sister missionaries from the MTC because they were advanced in Spanish and didn't need to stay for language purposes in the MTC. Other than that this week was spent going to the area and preparing for leadership council and zone conferences which we have this coming week. Preparing for both leadership council and zone conferences in the same week has been a little hectic but not as bad as I thought it was going to be. 

Thursday night as I was talking on the phone with President Goates about some questions we had in regards to zone conferences I asked if he would be coming to the offices at any point on friday. He mentioned that he wouldn't be but that he would be accompanying some missionaries for the day. That sounded pretty interesting to me because he hadn't had the time until then to go out with the missionaries. I was pretty excited to ask who he would be going out with but before I was able to he asked me, "what do you guys have planned for tomorrow?" .... Doh! We were planning on organizing leadership council and zone conferences in the morning and then going out to the area in the afternoon but he wasn't able to for some plans that he had in the evening. So we decided on reversing our schedule and going out with President Goates to our area in the morning.

He arrived nice and early to do companionship study with us then we left to Villa del Parque in our normal mode of transportation... the bus. It was pretty funny to get on the bus and ride to the area with the mission president. 

We were able to follow the plans we made for the morning pretty well as many people are often home in the mornings. On top of that, we were able to talk to some unplanned contacts which the Lord surely guided us to. I'll share an experience of one of those contacts right now. 

After our lunch appointment we went to the bus stop to head back to the offices. At that point it was the siesta hour so there weren't any people on the streets. Approaching the bus stop we saw a lady seated on the curb waiting for the bus. As we got closer we realized that she was crying. We kind of looked at one another in hesitation wondering what we were going to do. We all knew that we couldn't just leave her there but we didn't know what to do for a few moments. After a few seconds we initiated a conversation with her and found out what her problem was. Her grandfather, who basically raised her, is very sick and it doesn't look like he is going to make it much longer. She felt useless because she doesn't have a job or any way to help him and that's all she wants to do. We were able to help her feel a little better for the moment and get her contact information to go by another day. She looked a little happier and lighter after that. Our conversation was cut short when the bus came but that experience was a testimony to me, on top of all the other experiences of the morning, that the Lord was guiding us. Later that evening as I reflected on that experience it brought some more in-depth thoughts to me as to my calling as a missionary. 

I thought about how us missionaries are called as representatives of Jesus Christ so I thought of Christ taking our position in that situation. After thinking of that I realized that Christ would have never hesitated and I felt a little ashamed that I did so. But realizing that I am not perfect I felt a sense peace and happiness that, in the end, we attempted to do as he would have done - show compassion and invite her to come unto Him. 

Hope everyone is doing well!

- Elder Rainock

"The Gospel is so uplifting and empowering that even in our weakest state we can be happy"

(written Aug 23)

This week was full of uplifting experiences and I learned a lot about one of my favorite subjects, the Atonement, as that was the focus of Elder Viñas' trainings. I feel very privileged and blessed because I was able to be present in each of the 3 meetings. And although the theme was the same for each meeting I don't think he repeated the same thing twice... so I got about 3 hours of doctrine on the Atonement and how that applies to us as missionaries and our calling. It was uplifting and reassuring as often we are too hard on ourselves when it comes to forgiveness. 

The first meeting was wednesday morning up in San Juan, the second meeting was on thursday here in Mendoza, and the last meeting was down in San Rafael. On both wednesday and friday Elder Garcia and I got to go out to lunch with President Goates, Sister Goates, and Elder Viñas. Interestingly, I might have gotten more learning out of the teaching and analyzing that he did with us at lunch than in the meetings themselves.. haha! Elder Garcia and I left lunch with our jaws hanging from disbelief from what we had learned in a simple sit-down meal with Elder Viñas. 

Elder Viñas shared something very interesting in all of the meetings that had to do with our responsibilities in the church and how we should never cast blame on others but instead offer help and just do it. He said how it is the same old story everywhere he goes - the missionaries blame the members for not helping enough in finding or teaching and the members blame the missionaries for baptizing people that aren't ready or for not fulfilling their responsibilities. When what we need to do is do everything within our power to help or offer help. We blame others while not realizing that it is within our power to help the situation. If the missionaries want the members to help we need to encourage them, uplift them, give them ideas on how to share the Gospel. If the members want the missionaries to baptize people that are better prepared they need to warmly welcome our investigators, accompany us to lessons, and even better.. invite their friends to listen in their homes!! 

In the three meetings that we had both Elder Garcia and I gave talks. My talks were on charity and how obtaining charity is necessary to have in our callings as representatives of Jesus Christ. I started my talk by talking about the often ignored but very important part of charity which includes being enduring, bearing, long-suffering, and not easily provoked. Complaining about our situations or circumstances, especially when it becomes a habit and something we do for the even littlest things, is a good way to keep charity out of our hearts. I then shared some scriptures from Isaiah 53 that show Christ suffering for all and not once complaining. 

I then moved on to talking about the part of Charity that is like faith - it takes us to action. Us as missionaries, charity should be the motivating factor in us sharing the Gospel with others. I finished by speaking about how to gain greater charity through prayer by reading and then sharing an experience about Moroni 7:48

I just want to share one cool experience that I had yesterday evening as I was driving back from San Rafael with Elder Garcia. We were about an hour into the drive and Elder Garcia had fallen asleep so I was driving silently while listening to the Mormon Tabernacle choir CD we had on. I was reflecting on some of the spiritual impressions throughout the meeting that I had and then a special moment I had with Elder Viñas we he pulled me off to the side after lunch and told me something that meant a lot to me. I wasn't in a moment of sadness nor searching any kind of relief but the Lord decided to bless me with a beautiful experience unlike any I had experienced before. The music was leading to a climactic point and just as it struck, the very instant, the clouds ahead opened up to allow a beautiful display of sun beams that pillared down on the horizon in front. It caught me off-guard but the fact that it happened so simultaneously and the feeling that overcame me was enough to know that it wasn't coincidence. I guess He wanted to make sure that I didn't rule it off as a coincidence either because after about 15 seconds, just as suddenly as it appeared, when the climax of the song ended the rays disappeared. The experience was beautiful and I felt as if my senses had reached their threshold of enlivenment for this life.. haha. That's the best way I can manage to describe how I felt... well... and it brought some tears to my eyes... but that's nothing new for me :) 

It was an especially cool experience because I had just shared in my talk that morning that in order to have charity for others, the pure love of Christ, we first need to feel that love ourselves. We need to treasure the experiences we have in which we feel the love of our Savior and through our prayers ask to be filled with that love as it says in Moroni 7. In my talk I mentioned a number of ways in which the Lord can answer that prayer including experiences like that (something that I had never personally experienced). As I had been preparing to speak on that subject the last couple weeks I had made sure to give special attention to asking for charity in my prayers... I felt like, even though I wasn't feeling desperate or asking, the Lord decided to maybe bless me with that moment as a little pick-me-up after a few hard months health-wise. 

It was another great week despite the challenges and I think that is one of the best parts. The Gospel is so uplifting and empowering that even in our weakest state we can be happy.

- Elder Rainock

" I am in a place where I can continue to do what I love"

(written Aug 16)

Today has been a much needed P-day. I took a three hour nap and Elder Garcia and I went out to buy some fish for him to prepare as we both miss eating it. We bought some merluza (hake, a more mild fish) and some shrimp that he prepared very well. We had some leftover rice from the other day that we ate on the side. I'll attach a picture at the end. It really hit the spot and I am feeling a little more relaxed today.

This week has been full of excitement! We received a group of 32 missionaries including a very good friend of mine that went home from his mission in December. I think I remember writing an entry about how we stayed up late talking and the night before he left as his situation was very similar to mine. Well... he is back and it was a grand reunion. We gave eachother a big 'ol hug in the airport and when we pulled away we both had tears in our eyes. I was so happy to see him and catch up on all the details that weren't talked about in our email communications. He was already an excellent missionary before leaving and I can't imagine how good of a missionary he will be now. There was also another missionary that returned after receiving knee surgeries and going through therapy who I had the chance to work with one time as well. It was great seeing him and it was a happy reunion for all. 

The 30 new missionaries that we received are all excited to be here and have brought a new light to the Mendoza mission. They came in on tuesday night after miraculously making their flight in Buenos Aires with confusion over a pilot strike that was going on. We took them to the mission home where they ate dinner and then sent them off to get a full night of sleep. 

The next morning they received some trainings from President Goates and Hermana Ashby (the mission nurse) before eating lunch. After lunch we took them to Cerro de la Gloria (Glory Hill) which is a historic monument for the armies that liberated Argentina from Spain. Elder Garcia and I gave a spiritual thought about the liberator, General San Martin, and related his story of freeing people to our purpose as missionaries. That evening we ate pizza and then went out into the streets near the offices to let the missionaries have their first experiences talking to the people of Mendoza. I got to go out with three new missionaries and we had a great time! All the missionaries that participated had a really uplifting experience. 

On thursday morning Elder Garcia and I had a training with all 30 of the new trainers while the new missionaries received training on finances and other similar things from the office elders in another room of the church. Afterwards we ate lunch and presented everyone to their new companions!!!! That was the most anticipated and excited part of the day which was followed by a small training before sending them off to their areas. 

It was fun receiving such a large group but I was happy to finally get to bed on time for the first time in a week on Thursday night. Yesterday we had planning session with President Goates as we prepare for the visit of Elder Francisco J. Viñas ( this next week. We will be taking him on a three day tour of the mission so that he can speak to all of the missionaries. He will also be having a meeting with investigators of all the missionaries here in the Mendoza area as well as for members who bring their friends. I am really looking forward to meeting him. Elder Garcia and I will be the opening speakers for the three meetings with the missionaries followed by Sister Goates, President Goates, and then Elder Viñas. 

Just a little update on my health. From the tests that I have done so far everything has come out alright so some possibilities have been eliminated. I will have some more in depth tests done on Monday the 25th. My stomach still isn't all that great but I have felt very blessed this week. Last week I was really struggling with the fact that I wasn't able to perform my duties with enthusiasm and a smile as I need to be able to do as a missionary. I was trying to fake it and I couldn't even do that... this week, even though my health has continued the same, I was actually really happy. There was a moment every day where I realized how much joy I had in what I was doing even with the stress, fatigue, and dull pain. In the moments that I stopped to think about how happy I was I felt the sense of a flood of prayers coming over me from all those that have kept me in their prayers. I want you all to know that I really appreciate your prayers and that I had a really good week. 

I really love being here and I am happy that I am in a place where I can continue to do what I love while receiving the proper treatment. I am really looking forward to this week and seeing what Elder Viñas brings to help our mission continually improve! 

Here I have attached some pictures of my last few days with Elder Quadros and the lunch that Elder Garcia prepared today. 

Love you guys!

- Elder Rainock

The first one is of Elder Quadros and I at an asado that the Perez family prepared for us. Super good! 

The second one is a selfie of us in the elevator that we ride up and down on to and from President's apartament. We usually take advantage of the mirror to adjust our ties right before seeing President as well :) 

The third and fourth one shows the meal that elder Garcia prepared! Hit the spot!

"I felt like a true representative of Christ"

(written July 26)

These last two weeks have been pretty busy for Elder Quadros and I. We've been traveling around the mission with President and Sister Goates as President does personal interviews with all of the missionaries. We go along to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible and we take advantage of the opportunity by go on exchanges with the zone leaders. It's been very tiring but, as always, very rewarding as there are always many spiritual experiences on exchanges. 

I've had the opportunity these last two weeks to visit two of my old areas (Tupungato y Villa Mercedes) and do exchanges there. At one point Elder Quadros and I were walking the dusty streets of Tupungato together and it felt like we had never left since we had been companions there one year ago. It brought back a lot of memories and we had a good time telling President and Sister Goates some of the funny stories of stuff that happened to us since we have lots of time to talk as we travel. 

Included in visiting the old areas is the opportunity to show the missionaries that are currently there old investigators that might have been lost in transaction. It's a double-whammy because you get to help the elders find more people to teach and you get to see those people again. We had many wonderful experiences doing that. 

Also, the exchanges bring about the opportunity to visit converts or people who the missionaries are still teaching and encourage them to keep on going. A lot of times that really helps the investigators and converts because missionaries from before are able to mention spiritually uplifting experiences that remind them of what they felt and why they made the decisions that they made. 

I want to share one experience that I had in particular and it doesn't have to do with either of those topics just mentioned. Yesterday morning as we were in Villa Mercedes I went out to one last appointment with Elder Reynolds (one of the current zone leaders there) before heading back to Mendoza. The lesson was with a man that suffers from epilepsy and is burdened by his illness. He laments that it may prohibit him from being able to find a wife, have a family, to be able to work again, etc. I had never met the man before but as Elder Reynolds was explaining the situation I could feel some of this man's heavy burden come over me. I'm sure it wasn't anything like what he feels but it was enough for me to develop compassion for him and want to help him and I'm sure that Elder Reynolds could feel it too. 

Elder Reynolds mentioned that they had never really focused on the Atonement and when he said that we knew that that is what we had to talk about. I opened up to Alma 7 and read verses 11-12 that talk about the Atonement and how it isn't just to overcome sin but it is to overcome all things. We decided to share those scriptures with him and to help him understand that the weight of this sickness that he has can be lifted as he puts his faith in Christ. That Christ suffered all things so that He could feel what we feel - and Him, being perfect and having a perfect knowledge of all things, knows perfectly how to help us. 

"...and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." - Alma 7: 12. 

Afterwards we explained to him that we can receive relief by exercising faith in Him. And Faith means action (or works). We talked about the importance of prayer, scripture study, and church attendance as works that will prepare him for the first ordinance of baptism.
I had never met the man before so I didn't know how the lesson had gone in comparison to lessons before but I could tell that he felt something special and was more ready to make some changes in his life. Elder Reynolds mentioned afterwards that he had never seen the man that excited in a lesson and so desirous to progress. 

It was one of the most spiritually uplifting experiences I had on the exchanges we did because I felt like a true representative of Christ. Feeling the burdens of others as Christ felt the burdens of all. I know that our heaviest burdens can only be lifted by putting the Atonement of Christ into our lives. That means putting our faith and Him and showing that faith by action. 

I love you all and am praying for those of you back home. 

Here are pictures from a hike called Cerro Arco that we did last P-day. 

"Miracles always happen"

(written July 12)

I apologize that it has been so long since I have written a blog entry. For that I will write a nice little update right now along with some pictures!! 

The transition between the Ávilas and the Goates has been very smooth. It has been a busy time but we haven't experienced many problems. The Ávilas will surely be missed but President and Sister Goates are so easy to love that no one feels an emptiness. I am looking forward to getting into contact with the Ávilas when I return but until then I have found it very easy to fully embrace the presence of the Goates. 

President Goates was a director of a sector of a large company that works on creating unmanned aircraft largely used by the military. He is also a former stake President in Arizona. His experience as a leader in the church and in the business world really show in his ability to make decisions and to follow the Spirit. His open and loving character always fills the room with light.

Sister Goates has served in a wide variety of callings in the church and is a published author. She brings a lot of life to our meetings and, of course, is emotional and cries a lot (not out of sadness but when she hears something that touches her). Elder Quadros and I get a kick out of it but love her for being so sweet. 

They arrived two weeks ago from today. On that saturday we (the Ávilas, Sister Ashby, Elder Quadros and I) picked them up from the airport in Mendoza and took them to the mission home where they were shown around and acquainted. The following day we attended church in what is now their home ward with them and the Ávilas. It was awesome because they all spoke!! I was grateful to have been there. 

After church we all had a lunch together here in the offices and President Ávila showed President Goates around and they had a short little meeting together. On purpose, they are instructed to have very little time together and are given a list of certain important points to cover. Those points are mostly administrative things such as keys and codes for doors, information about the vehicles, etc... As far as the missionaries in the mission and how the missionary work was done there isn´t much said. It is so the new mission president has a fresh start and all the missionaries as well. The new mission president is to rely on and guide the work purely on his own inspiration and guidance from the Spirit. It has been pretty clear to us that are close to President Goates that he is inspired and we are seeing lots of great things already. 

The first week consisted of a leadership council in which President and sister Goates got to meet all of the leaders in the mission. They spoke on various things they learned in the MTC and President Goates gave instruction and set his vision for the mission. Following the leadership council we started a tour of the mission which we just finished yesterday. 

The first week we stayed in Mendoza so that they could get settled in and be close to home but this last week we traveled to San Juan, San Rafael, and then to San Luis... man that was tiring. I am pretty wiped today and I am looking forward to a nap. 

In the tour President and Sister Goates shared information about themselves and their lives. It was an introduction to get to know them so that the missionaries could find out who they are and relate to them a little better. I got to hear the presentation over and over again so I know their lives inside and out... haha :) It was a great experience however and in each meeting there was always something new that they added in. President Goates has had some very difficult trials in his life and his testimony of overcoming difficulty and finding strength through the Atonement is powerful and inspiring. I have the greatest respect for him. 

The next three weeks will be even more busy. I believe this saturday I will be able to write an entry but I know for two weeks after that I will not really be having a P-day. President will be doing interviews with all the missionaries for the next three weeks and Elder Quadros and I will be doing exchanges with the zone leaders in the zones we travel to. I am excited to go on exchanges because 1) Miracles always happen and 2) I get to visit my Tupungato and Villa Mercedes!!!! 

I can't write this blog without mentioning the biggest thing that is happening right now in Argentina. The world cup!! And Argentina is heading to the final against Germany!!! I am super excited to be here during this time. I really hope they win so I can say that I was here when they won it all!! The streets are a little crazy here when they win and after the semi-final game it got a little out of control. But what can you do? They live and breathe soccer here and their country is going to the biggest game of them all.. let 'em live a little I guess. Tomorrow, after lunch, all missionaries will be returning to their homes to avoid any conflicts or danger in the streets. It's better to play it safe than sorry. 

I am happy and getting along just fine here. I am learning so much with these experiences I am having here and finding lots of things I need to improve on as well. 

One thing that has really called my attention these past few weeks is the undeniability of inspiration in the organization of the church. It is undeniable to me that this church is the true church on the earth today. The fact that we have leaders that receive revelation from God to guide us means that it is living and will continue to grow in the direction the Lord wants it to go.

 Viva Argentina!! Go Messi!!!

Elder Rainock

This first one was two months ago when I got one of my Christmas packages. The other elder is Elder Egbert my trainer who finished his mission a week later.

The second one is of two twins that re-activated while I was there in Villa Mercedes. I love those guys and it was a great experience seeing that.

The third one is the ward mission leader in Villa Mercedes and his wife. He was an example to me of fulfilling a calling.

The fourth one is Elder Quadros, Elder Egbert, and Elder Wright picking me up in the terminal when I got here to the offices. 

5) Sending my trainer (my father) home in the airport. 

6) Elder Quadros flying on his broomstick

7) Salt fields on our road trip

8, 9, and 10) Pretty views on the road.

"lots of teary good-byes"

(written June 21st)

The last two weeks have been pretty busy and last week I didn't get a P-day at all because we had to travel to San Luis for a stake conference so that is why I didn't get to write. 

Last week we did a final tour of the mission with President Ávila. It was a special training that we presented to all the zones in the mission. Elder Quadros and I had a short part on a model of teaching that Elder Zwick taught to the mission when he was here over a year ago (before I got to the mission). President and Sister Ávila spoke on who we are and the plan of salvation. It was very powerful and will will miss them so much as a mission. There were lots of teary good-byes. 

While there is sadness about the departure of the Ávilas we are all anxious to see what the mission will be like with the arrival or President and Sister Goates. However, I will admit that I will be one of those shedding a tear as we drop President Ávila off in the airport next week. His example of a leader has left a great impact on me. 

This week we said sent off a group of 6 missionaries and received 7. The new missionaries that came are real game changers! I can tell that they are a special group and have so much potential. It was cool getting to know them and they were put into good hands as their trainers are great missionaries as well. Really, the mission is looking up! There are lot of missionaries that are doing BIG things in their areas and setting an example for others. 

This week we had about 5 hours to work in our area and the Lord has blessed us to be able to do what we could normally do in 10 hours in those 5. We found two new people that received us into their homes (they are actually old investigators of mine from when I was in this area the first time training Elder Rich). They seem more desirous now and committed to listening to us. I will update you more on them as we continue to work with them.

I am doing really well now. Even though the stress levels are high I am learning to deal with them and work at a higher pace with less sleep. Although I do like sleep I have always been jealous of people who can sleep so little and feel fine. Right now I am perfecting that art :) I am tired but I am functioning fine on the energy I have. I know a big part of that, however, is the Lord giving me the strength to do what I need to do. As I have been here in the offices I can see numerous ways in which the Lord has blessed me and if I take the time to think about as many as I can the list just doesn't stop. 

I am so grateful to the Lord for the opportunities I have been given since returning on my mission. I've had some trials in my life - the biggest of which was returning home from my mission. But now I can only see it as a blessing as I was able to use the power of the Atonement to make it out as a happier, stronger, changed person. Since being here I have faced the challenges of missionary work and have been able to build upon that testimony I have of the Atonement as I use it to not only to ask for forgiveness for my weaknesses but as a force to take on the trials. Every responsibility, being big or small, has brought its challenges and it's always a humbling reminder that the only way out is through His Atoning Grace. 

We can search for solutions to our trials in many places but there is only one place to find them. It is hard because it's humbling. But I have seen that humbling ourselves before the Lord is usually the final effort we have to give before things start looking up. It brings a lot more meaning to the phrase "depths of humility." It's hard, it might make us feel weak because we can't do it ourselves, but looking back we only realize that we are strong and that it was worth it. 

Elder Bednar left us with a great message in general conference about our trials and how they make us stronger. Take a few minutes to read it or listen to it. 

Love you all!

Elder Rainock

The picture I have attached is of a nice restaurant we went to after receiving the new missionaries. We also went there the night before as a farewell dinner to those that left. Usually the dinners are in the mission home but being that the mission home is under construction for the arrival of the Goates we went there. That is good ól argentine asado!