I’ve been thinking a lot about the dynamics of the church here. We attend a branch with roughly 400 baptized members – at most, 50 are active. The retention rate is low.
The Argentine people are very passionate. I’ve found that their passion tends to create lots of waves within the church – waves of high numbers, then low numbers. Sometimes the missionaries get discouraged because their main objective here is to baptize, not to re-activate. The mission president here has especially encouraged them to focus on baptizing which means it’s solely up to the members to “go & rescue.”
I have a very good friend here who was somewhat of a mentor to me when we first moved to Argentina. She was a counselor in the district primary presidency. I love her. She had the most enthusiasm for her calling than anyone I’d ever met.
Recently, she was sorely offended by another member over a business deal involving her inactive husband. This incident cut her to the core, and she decided to become completely inactive along with her three primary age children. I’ve been so sad over this!
She still communicates with me, so I’m trying to find a way to “rescue” her. I’m hoping that she’ll realize the significant impact this is having on her & her children. However, it’s been a testimony builder for me & my family to realize that we all have our free agency, and regardless of other people’s choices, the Church is perfect, the gospel is true, and Christ is at the head of our Church.
Like Elder Holland said in the last general conference, (I’ll paraphrase here), ‘I’m sure it must be awfully frustrating for Him to work with imperfect people, but that’s all He’s got.’
My Mom & Dad were good sports to let me take and use all these pictures of them in front of our chapel.