Hello to all!
All is well here! We had a week full of surprises, such as food, talking to the family, and baptism miracles.
First things first, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY MOM! It was awesome to talk to you on Saturday (as well as the rest of the family), and to hear Jake and Emily play the guitar and sing! They are so talented, I am excited to be a part of the "Babcock Band" when I get back. But them seem to be sounding just fine without Elder Babcock there. Given that it was my last phone call home, (time is flying!) we talked about the future South American trip this November, which will be an exciting way to finish my mission. But for now, I am focusing on the work, and when that day comes, it will be all the more special after 2 years of dedication and hard work. It was sad to say goodbye to the family and to hit the red button on Skype, but it had to be done. I am so grateful for the best mother in the world! I was beyond blessed to be sent into such a great family, with the anchor of that great family being the woman who keeps us all together. She is special. Not only does she cook the best food in the world, send the best letters ever, overwhelm me with packages, but she is just like the Savior in that she really does love others. The Young Women back in the ward sure do have the best President around. I love you mom, and am eternally grateful for always worrying for me, looking out for me, praying for me, writing me, and loving me unconditionally.
On the way here to the Internet Cafe, we were walking and saw 5 people all on the same motorcycle. Let me repeat, 2 wheels, 5 passengers...The motorcycle of Paraguay is the Mini-van of Utah! Gotta love it!
Also, I had an interesting lunch this week...Caldo Avá, which is "Man soup" here in Paraguay. We got there, and our lovely lunch appointment quickly turned into Fear Factor: Paraguay Edition. We saw him pull out of the pot what looked to be all sorts of inside parts of the cow...And that is surely what it turned out to be! We ate Mondongo (stomach), Chinchulín (some sort of intestine, not sure what it is in English), Tripa gorda (Large intestine), and last but not least LIBRILLO (which later was described as the filter of the cow poop. It is named Librillo from the Spanish term Libro=book in English, because it looks like an open book, and to be eaten, it is cleaned sheet by sheet.) Not too bad, right? Well, it got worse. When we described our lunch to a member, she told us that the Librillo is fine, unless it is a dark green, because that would mean that it was not cleaned properly, and still had the poop particles on it. Well, as you guess, it was dark green, chewy, and awful. It was one of those horrible realizations that, after hearing it, you just have to laugh it off and be thankful that you have yet another great mission food story.
The very best part of our week came when we were walking down the street, and we saw 2 members drive by on a motorcycle. We kept walking towards an appointment, when we ran into the member, who had shortly dropped off the other at his house. We got talking, and I asked about the family of the one who was dropped off, and why he was the only member in his family. He said, more or less, "Funny you asked. He said that he was planning on baptising his little brother next weekend!" Well, that sure would be big news, so we hurried to his house and sat down. With a big smile on his face, he says, "Elders, we have some big news. He (the 15 year old) asked Mom for permission to get baptized, and she said ¨Well, if that is what you want to do, then I will support you and give you permission´". Our jaws about hit the ground. Little did they know, we had done a special fast as a mission as well as in our companionship to find someone to be baptized this month. Our area has been tough for the last little while, and we had just about lost the faith. The Lord showed them and even us the blessings that He had prepared for us. He had been trying to get baptized for the last 4 years! He had asked her millions of times. And, after all the prayers, fasting, hard work and sweat, we all have been able to see that miracle come true. It is such a blessing to be a missionary, to be able to help others come unto Christ through baptism and confirmation. I know that miracles have not ceased to happen. He is planning on baptism for this Friday, and we are all excited to be there to support him.
Thanks for the support, keep us in your prayers! Love you all!
Until next week,