Thursday, July 14, 2011

Adios Bella Vista, Hola Laurelty ...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hello to all!
Well, we got changes last Monday night, and I received the news that...I am leaving (or better said, left) to another area, called Laurelty (pronounced Laow-Rell-Too). Its located not too far from my old area. My companion is Elder Hatch from Magna, UT. So, on Tuesday, I started my farewell run through my home for the last 6 months. I said goodbye to many great members and converts that I am going to miss so much. It was sad when a bunch of them cried, I did not expect that. I gave away a lot of things to them as well, and they were really grateful. It was a really really sad day, but I knew I had to leave, and it was the right thing. I don't know if another area will be able to beat Bella Vista.
I went to changes on Tuesday night in San Lorenzo, and ran into Elder Olson my trainer. It was great to see him. After waiting for a while without my new companion showing up, we called their number and they didn't know they were supposed to come pick me we made some calls and I ended up having to sleep over at Elder Olson's house with his comp. We were able to catch up a little bit and talk about the last change, he is such an awesome comp., and on Wednesday morning we said goodbye for probably the last time because he is going home in a few weeks. I'm going to miss him and his friendship.
On Wednesday morning at the office I ran into Elder Colligan, who is heading out really far by Brazil. I met my new comp, said my goodbyes, and headed out to Laurelty. I showed up to the dirtiest house I have ever seen, it wasn't the nicest welcome haha but its alright. We had a pretty good week working and getting to know the area. He is also pretty new in the area, but he has 1 year 6 months in the mission. Its been a good learning experience already, because he is a really nice, shy, timid guy, so I have been able to take the lead more and talk in lessons. We don't have really any investigators, so we are starting practically from scratch and trying to find people to teach.
Yesterday morning it was raining...and Paraguayans do not leave when it we had a solid 35-40 people at church, which was a big change from the usually 150 in Bella Vista. When they were starting sacrament meeting, the bishop on the spot asked me to give a full talk, so I went up and talked in church for 15 minutes. I also had to play the piano. It has been cool to have more responsibility and be able to do more than I have done in the past.
Its been a wild week, but I wanted to bear my testimony on the importance of companionships. Last change was a fairly difficult change, but I was able to learn more than I could have ever imagined in the short 6 weeks I was with Elder Soto. I have learned the importance of patience, of kindness, and of charity. I remember reading in preach my gospel and the mission manual, and all the times it talks about the importance of getting along with your companion, and I always skimmed by that before because it wasn't applying to me. But I understand that to be able to preach the gospel, you need to be unified, and if you aren't, the investigators are going to see that, and the Spirit can't dwell in contention. It was an incredible change, we had a lot of success in terms of baptisms. But even more, we had success in terms of fixing a damaged companionship and finding ways to together solve problems. I am eternally grateful for being able to serve a mission. Its been the best, almost 8 months, of my life. Keep me and the people of Paraguay in your prayers. Love you guys.
Until next week,
Elder Babcock

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