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In the summer of 2012, Anthony traveled with HIA to Mozambique, to work with Brother Chris Sweeny at the Brothers of the Sacred Heart mission and school in Amatongas. The work was demanding, but extremely fulfilling. From painting the schoolhouse to building a playground, Anthony and the HIA team worked tirelessly to make a difference. “There was usually some sort of physical project we worked on, but at the end of the day, it was so much more than that,” noted Anthony. “To be exposed to a different culture and see life through individuals’ eyes from the other side of the world was a holistic experience.” Once again, like his mission trip to Honduras, Anthony experienced the changing power of living one’s faith. It was that feeling of being a part of something bigger – of making a difference in someone’s life – that led Anthony to make the decision to do full-time missionary work. “While I was working with HIA, I was attending LSU. But after my experiences in those three and a half years, I decided to make the commitment to full-time missionary work for the church.” So, at the age of 21, Anthony withdrew from school, put his life on hold and dedicated the next two years to serving others. He was assigned as part of a group to the Rosario Mission in Argentina, covering the provinces of Buenos Aires, Entre Rios and Santa Fe. “The mission work was 24/7 for two years. I didn’t have a personal cell phone or a computer, we just kind of disconnected from worldly things and focused on the spiritual well-being of others.” The days were long and usually began around 7 a.m. After morning exercise and scripture study, Anthony and his mission partner would spend the rest of the day and evening meeting and visiting with families. “We weren’t obligating families to anything, but offering to individuals who were searching for more faith in
their lives the opportunity to hear the Gospel and bring them closer to Christ.” Their day would usually end around 10 p.m., when they would go back to their apartment, get a little rest and reset to do it all over again the next day. Like his previous mission work in Honduras and Mozambique, Anthony’s experience in Argentina revealed that serving others is a two-way street. “Having experienced other cultures and after living in Argentina for two years, you realize that all people generally have the same values. At the end of the day, people love and want to care for their family.” Being able to live within that culture and recognize that, opened a whole new perspective for Anthony in how he saw and interacted with people. “It makes you a lot less critical of why people do certain things.” Instead of generalizing an experience across an entire culture, Anthony began to see any negative encounter with a family or individual
Students at the Brothers of the Sacred Heart school in Amatongas.
Anthony (left) and his fellow missionaries assigned to the Rosario Mission in Santa Fe, Argentina.
A Brothers of the Sacred Heart School Since 1894