Sunday, July 15, 2012

President visit, piano duets

Hello to all!
Last Monday started off really well. Right after emailing the family, we headed off to meet up with President and Sister Madariaga (Mission President) to visit  a family.  We did an absolutely superb visit. Right off the bat, they started talking and became instantly best friends. We read in Matthew 28 about Christs call to the Apostles, and that 3 of those 12 appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith to restore that same power, authority, and call to go and make disciples, baptize, teach the commandments, etc. We then read in 3 Nephi 11, and talked about how Christ also did the same thing in the Americas by calling Apostles, and giving them authority to teach, baptize, etc. President and Sister Madariaga each bore solemn testimony that the church is true, and of the cleansing power of baptism. All 3 of them strongly committed to baptism, and committed to the 15th to be baptized. We all left the visit feeling on top of the world. _____ followed us out to the gate and wanted us all to stay there because of how good she felt. Those feelings, of course, were those of the Holy Ghost. Later that night we received changes, and Elder Andreasen and I are staying together for another change! We are both very, very content with that. He is a great companion.
Another quick highlight, I got a call from Christian from my first area who I had baptized. Well, he has been preparing to leave for his mission to Chile, and he called to say that he is going through the temple to receive his temple endowment! And I talked to President, and I get to accompany him! We are both so excited. I feel so honored to have been able to find him and help him to get on the path. He is a great convert to the gospel, and will be a great missionary and endowed member. I cannot wait.
I included a picture of me studying there with a sweatshirt and winter gloves because it was FREEZING cold this last week! Man, I would have never imagined Paraguay as a cold country, but it is so humid and the cold pierces my bones. Today has been great though, not cold nor hot.
Elder Andreasen is an incredible pianist, and I have been practicing a lot. We have been working on a duet of "Praise to the Man" that we are planning on revealing tomorrow in a special conference we set up with President Madaraiga about Joseph Smith. We also yesterday made up a sweet one of "Teach Me To Walk" that we are going to do for the baptism this next Friday. I love the piano, it is so beautiful. I will let you know how they turn out.
We had a pretty tough week, but the whole situation with the Family has made any trial seem small and insignificant in comparison. They are such a special family. They are so converted. She even defended her "new religion" to her brother, who started to talk bad about the church!  She has become nothing less than a spiritual giant, and we are so proud of her. I know that all people can change and repent. Of all the things I have learned in my mission, I think that change has been the biggest lesson I have learned. Have faith in the changing and atoning power of the Atonement. Everyone can change. Everyone!  Through the Book of Mormon, friendships of members, blessings, and the Holy Ghost, she has slowly started to change and be converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I feel so blessed to have been called to serve in the "promise land" of Paraguay. It has become my new home, and I love Paraguay. Keep us in your prayers! Love you all!
Until next week,
Elder Babcock

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