For 10 days, Seventy Nathan Sherer and Elder Gary Metzger provided ministry to open up the work for the restoration in Chile and Argentina. We visited three elders who were former members of the Community of Christ in Santiago, Chile. We found our contact there, Reinaldo Hernández, through Facebook, pointed out to us by our new contact in Buenos Aires, Argentina. On Saturday evening, March 12th, we met with these 3 men and answered their questions and testified of the work of the Holy Spirit and the organization of the conference. Reinaldo had already baptized his mother and sister, and the other two elders were busily engaged in ministry as well. We stayed in Reinaldo's home and he provided for our needs as the gospel indicates. We left them with great hopes. Two of the Elders have written us since and let us know that they and their groups will be joining us. That gives us Two Elders and Six members in Chile.
On Sunday we ministered to many in Reinaldo's family and shared in class and testimony. Reinaldo's mom, who is a member, invited her entire family to hear a class by us. We discussed the Kingdom of God and what it was. We were talking about how to become a citizen and read What Peter had to say on the day of Pentecost to the people that were gathered there. Nathan read Acts 2:38 where it says that Baptism is for the remission of sins. Reinaldo's aunt, Nancy, shared how terrible it was for a church to baptize innocent children, implying that they are sinful at birth. It was a great opportunity to share the Book of Mormon witness. The Spirit of God ministered to many of his family. Every house we went into they wanted us to bless it. We blessed three different houses.
Monday the 14th we traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina to visit with Pablo Salvato, a contact we have had for over 5 years. He had a spiritual dream in which he saw himself in a tall building, looking down and seeing a man standing on the waters of a river motioning for him to come. Pablo knew that this man was sent of God to lead him to the other side and escape destruction. In March of last year, he recognized Gary Metzger's face on Facebook and immediately asked for baptism in response to God's revelation from years earlier.
Pablo's wife, Elena, has been studying with Pablo at home for many years now, but never expressed a desire in being part of the work. During Tuesday afternoon, we felt led that we should sing. Elena shared that she had received ministry from an angel about two weeks prior to our visit and that he sang her a hymn and told her to receive a blessing three times. Later that evening, Elena shared with us that she has been sick with a problem in her blood for about 11 years. At the end of our sharing, it was 1:00am and there is a campfire-like song that speaks of seeking the Lord at 1:00am for him to resolve our problems. That song was sung and we prayed. We also agreed administer to her for a blessing later.
On Wednesday we continued classes and spoke to some personal issues that were bothering Pablo. That night Pablo had a dream. He saw himself naked before the Lord, and then the Lord gave him white clothes. He understood that his dream meant that in his present condition that he was naked and ashamed, but would receive robes of righteousness with his baptism.
The next day, we performed the laying on of hands for Elena's healing and then had Pablo's baptism. To our joy afterwards, Elena told us that she also desired to be baptized! She had asked for years for people to come to her house and pray for her, and no one had done so. She had promised the Lord when someone would, that she would unite with them in the work. She also knew that when the angel had come to her two weeks before and told her to receive the blessing that he meant more than just a physical blessing, but also meant that receiving us and the gospel were part of that as well. So both were baptized that day, and after classes in the afternoon about members' duties, they were confirmed as the first two members of the church in Argentina!
Seventy Frank Frye had also made contact with a man in northern Argentina over a year ago. This person heard we were coming and was able to join us for classes on Saturday and Sunday and to ask us questions to clear up his understanding of the differences between the Mormon Church and the Restoration. The truth was difficult for him, but he left with much to consider and great desires to join us.
We finished our stay in Argentina with a communion service with our new members and prayed for God's blessings on His work.