Monday, April 18, 2011
Hello to all!
First things first, I wanted to officially apologize for not being able to write a letter last week. Things were beyond crazy. We had to go out to a different area during the middle of P-day to do a baptismal interview and help set up everything for their baptism, which took a long time. Then after traveling all the way back to our area late, we realized that my companion left his phone back in their area, so we had to ask a bunch of random people here to use their phone to call the AP´s, to figure out our number, to call it, so that we could arrange how to get the phone back. Then we tried to do Internet and the cyber here did not work. Long story short, we were not able to write last week, we did not even write President Madariaga. So, I hope you can forgive me, and let it be known that I will write every single week that it is possible haha.
Big news is that we got changes this week, and I am staying for my 3rd change here in Bella Vista A, and am still with my trainer, Elder Olson. Double luck right there. I love the area and my companion, so I am really excited. Another bonus is that Colligan is staying in Aregua still, which is in the same zone, so the luck still continues!
On the contrary, I got pretty sick these last 2 weeks and threw up a few times. I think it was from the meat we ate from our lunch appointment, I am not sure. I also sprained my ankle really badly playing basketball at the church for our morning exercises. And to top things off, yesterday after putting on my new clean sheets for my bed, i opened up the blanket and about 25 dead ants came out...not positive about how that happened, but I have had a bunch of weird bites on my hands that I get in the night, so I bought a bunch of stuff to cure the problem, and hope it works. And there is tons of mosquitoes here, and Dengue has been a big problem. I sure hope I don't get it.
Elder Foster of the Second Quorum of the Seventy came to our mission this last week. Everyone was really scared because last month Elder Foster of the First Quorum came and made some great changes to the mission, along with scaring everyone (in a good way haha). Elder Foster talked only to the DL´s and ZL´s, and so my companion went and told me that Elder Foster talked about the importance of working with members, and Ward Council to improve our wards and the people we teach. Its true, its the members responsibility to help the missionaries find and teach the people that are ready to change and improve their lives, so as members of the Church, lets help the missionaries find those who are ready!
Speaking of members, I know I´ve said it many times, but I am in the coolest ward ever here. We had 179 people in church, which was average attendance for the ward, but I am almost positive is the highest in our entire mission. I love the members here and the people I have been blessed to work with. I know that it has been a tender mercy of the Lord to be in this area, with a great companion, great members and people to teach, and to be in the best mission in the world. Its overwhelming at times, because of how great it is to be here, and so I am trying my best to enjoy every moment of it and help others come unto Christ.
We have an awesome investigator named Carlos. Last week, he found the other Bella Vista elders randomly and said "I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I want to be baptized." hmm... What great news it was to get that phone call from the others (because he lives in our area, so we are teaching him). So, we go there practically every day. He knows a lot about the church, and we have had a lot of "big lessons" about the earlier days and history of the church, which has been a new experience, but good at the same time. He has gone to church many times in the past, went the last two weeks, and is planning on getting baptized this Saturday. There is still a few things we have to figure out and help him with to meet this goal, it is not set and stone yet, but our President is supposed to come tomorrow to meet with him. He is 75 years old, and I don't think he has much more in the tank. He has a great heart, and always tells us that he wants to be baptized so he can receive the Holy Ghost, and feel its guidance in his life. Its been a great couple weeks teaching him, I will make sure to let you know how everything works out!
Like my mom said in her letter to me, "It's a great day to be alive. It's a great time to live on the earth. It's a great time to serve. It's a great time to share the gospel." I am beyond grateful to be here in Paraguay and to be on a mission. Its been an incredible 5 months (yes how time flies), and I can`t wait to see what the future brings. Thanks for all the prayers, keep me and the people here in them. I love you guys, and hope you all have a great week.