Monday, March 28, 2011

Double Cold, Knee Deep Water, and the Power of Prayer...

Monday, March 28, 2011

I had an incredible week, many great learning experiences that have helped me become a better missionary and person. To start the week off on Tuesday and Wednesday we had a special capacitation with Pres. Madariaga on the 8 fundamental principles of PMG. I learned so much on the importance of prayer, The Book of Mormon, church attendance (definitely the hardest part for the Paraguayans), and the Spirit in conversion. It was a really uplifting start to the week, got me up in spirits and excited to get out and serve. I love our mission president, he is an incredible leader, mentor, helper, teacher, president, example, everything. I had the opportunity to talk to him after and just ask him for advice and help with improving myself as a missionary, and having the Spirit with me. I have learned so much on the mission already that has forever altered my life. I have understood new aspects of the gospel that have never sunk in as deep before. I am so thankful to be here in Paraguay serving. There´s nothing on earth i´d rather do, and i´m forever thankful for the knowledge and insights i´ve gained already, and hope to understand and expound on my knowledge every day.
We were able to teach a lot of lessons this week with a lot of new people. We are teaching an awesome 16 year old named Federico. He always plays soccer at the church, and has a genuine interest in the gospel. I was able to put my first baptismal invitation with him, and he accepted it and committed to do his part (read, pray, church, etc) in order to receive an answer and be baptized. Also on Wednesday night it was late and we needed to complete all our goals, and we found a group of around 6 younger teens (around 11 to 17) all hanging out and being a little rowdy. we went over and started talking and got to know all about them. We taught one of the coolest lessons I´ve ever been apart of about the power of prayer, and were able to get the whole group to sit down, all reverently folding their arms and listening, while I said a prayer. I know that the power of prayer is real, and that He is always listening to us, and willing to help us, if we have a sincere heart and desire to know. All we have to do is humble ourselves before Him, and plead for His help, and with faith we can learn, change, and serve. I have felt the prayers from home this week, and know that I am praying for you as well. It was a cool testimony builder for me on prayer.
I was cold this week in two ways. 1. I have had a cold the last few days, nose running like crazy, which has been frustrating at times, but such is life and isn´t nearly enough to slow the work down. 2. The weather has really cooled off, and it gets nice and cold, especially in the mornings. The rain here is insane, last night I honestly felt like I was under a shower head, and definitely as wet as if I was. Its funny to see all the Paraguayans look and us and think (and say), wow those Mormons are crazy! (haha) The streets flood every time, and last night we had to cross a flooded street in water knee deep. I always thought that missionaries exaggerated the phrase "walking through water knee deep" but I quickly found out it is true.
I've been surprised in how quickly the language comes for missionaries. Ive been in paraguay a little over 2 months (wow time flies) and I feel really good about Spanish. I can practically hold my weight and have good conversations in lessons and with members. Guaraní also has a big influence here, and so I´ve been working on that too. My comp knows a lot, and taught me many phrases, including "hendy la kabejurezá" which always makes the Paraguayans laugh and think i know Guaraní. Lets just say I am slowly mastering the art of deception when it comes to understanding and speaking Spanish and Guaraní.
I had a great week, I felt the power of prayer: personal, companionship, and those from home. Thanks for everything, I appreciate the kind messages and support. Keep me in your prayers. I love this work, and wouldn´t be here if I didn´t know it was true. Best of luck and may God bless you in the upcoming week.

Elder Babcock

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