Tuesday, April 26, 2011

La Semana Santa ...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hello to all!
Another week has come and passed, how time flies. This week was the biggest weekend in all of the year here in Paraguay. La Semana Santa. Everyone looks forward to this weekend all year, its huge. The whole country shuts down for the entire weekend, and practically everybody leaves the city and goes out to the campaña. Unfortunately, we live near the city, and so it was tough to find people to visit, but all turned out well, and we actually had one of the best turn outs Ive had so far in the mission at church! The big tradition here is to get together with the extended family, relax and drink tererè, and make chipa. Before this week I was a big fan of chipa, i would always buy it when the chipa ladies would get on the buses, and when members would give it to us I was always really excited. However, after this week, I am not too big of a chipa fan. Its this weird hard bread thing that, when eaten soon after being made and when its prepared correctly, is delicious. Every house we went to wanted us to try their chipa, and to take a bunch of it home. By the end of the week, it was like eating wood. The outside shell was rock hard, and after working for a few minutes to break the outside, the inside tasted like sawdust. Long story short, the chipa got old, and will be taking a brake from it for a while.
I have a good funny story to share this week. Last P-day we went to Asunciòn and got to eat at Burger King. It was delicious. We live with 4 elders in our house, and the other two got locked out of the house, and had to wait for us to come all the way home to unlock the door, which would take a few hours. While we were walking out of BK, while holding my big bag of burger and fries in one hand, and the ice cream and drink with drink holder in the other, I decided to crack a joke and said "oh how the tides have turned." Right after finishing the word turned, My drink holder ripped, and the drink and ice cream fell and spilled all over my shoes...I dont think that happened by chance, and after a few laughs, I learned a lesson and sure was humbled.
Another funny story was when during a lesson, a little tiny 3 year old kid in our ward went behind us to use the restroom ("water the weeds"). Soon after, I heard a slap and looked over at my companion, and saw the little kid hit my companions arm. We looked at his arm and it was soaking wet. I then asked him, "did he just hit you with his pee hands?", and he simply responded with a yes. It was really funny, he is always a good sport with the kids.
On a more serious note, we have been visiting a great old man named Carlos. He has sincere desires to follow Christ and be baptized, but he is living with another lady. They are both very old and weak, and she was previously married to another man, but never got a divorce. After talking to our President and explaining to Carlos the law of chastity, we weren't able to baptize him. They couldn't be married because of the divorce issue, and because of their health it was impossible for them to separate. However, he is a great guy and we still plan on visiting, teaching, and helping his testimony grow. It was a really sad visit, but he has a great heart and desires to better himself, and I know it will all work out.
We are teaching a really awesome 20 year old kid named Cristian. We found him as a reference from our ward mission leader, and have been visiting him almost daily. We went with a recently returned missionary in our ward to visit him, and taught about baptism, and he accepted to be baptized in mid May. It was a very spiritual lesson, what many missionaries call a "Preach My Gospel lesson". I feel really good about him and hope everything goes well. His only problem is that he is super busy, and had to travel this last weekend, so he couldn´t attend church, but hopefully soon he will be able to go. I will make sure to keep you updated.
Easter Sunday was really special for me. We had ward conference, and the stake president gave an incredible talk on the atonement. It has been an incredible journey already here for me in the mission, and I am so thankful to be here. I love the work, and I know that He suffered, died, and resurrected for ME, so that one day I can be with Him again. Its overwhelming to try to describe my feelings about the Savior, so for now I will just leave with my simple testimony that I know that my Redeemer lives. I love Him, and I know that He loves me. Thanks for the messages and support. Keep me and the people here in your prayers. Until next week!

Elder Babcock

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