Monday, January 31, 2011

2 Men Dressed in White

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAPA BEAR!!!  You 21 year old champ you ;).  I think everyone who reads this letter should go and give my dad a gift for his birthday.  And if you´ve already done it, it again!

I just wanted to tell a cool experience we had yesterday.  There are these 2 girls (Luz and Asir) we are teaching who are part of an entire family of inactive members.  Luz is 10 and Asir is 9.  They always come to the Wednesday branch activity night where we teach them English, but they have never come to church.  Luckily, their mom is going to allow them to be baptized.  The family is really great -they always receive us and they´re really nice - but they don´t attend church because they have problems with the members in the branch (not such a good excuse for me, but we´re working on it).  Sunday, the little girls didn´t come to church, so we had planned to go see what happened as our last visit for the day.  We had an impromptu meeting with the Elder´s quorum presidency that ran over about an hour and 15 minutes, which put us way behind.  We couldn´t cancel our appointments in order to have time to visit Asir and Luz because they were with one partly inactive family and one family where the husband isn´t a member but the rest are, and we promised we were going to come by on Sunday.  So we run out of the meeting and blaze over there.  Turns out that the inactive member

Monday, January 24, 2011

We Worked Our Little Missionary Tails Off

Hello to everyone this week!  Hope all is just peachy with my long lost family and friends.

The work has progressed here in Obrero by leaps and bounds this week.  We committed ourselves last Sunday to teach 40 lessons total this week.  Blistering heat tried to slow us down.  Thunderous rainstorms tried to keep us indoors.  Punk teenagers tried to throw mangos at us.  But we worked our little missionary tails off, more than doubled the amount of people we talk to every day, and we ended last week with 42 lessons in total!  Does it not show that I´m excited? Haha.  As dead tired as I am - and believe me, I´m completely whipped - I have a real feeling of inner peace and extreme happiness that comes with working to your limits and doing the will of the Lord.  I am finally starting to feel like I´m doing what I came here to do.

But, as with all things in life, there are still obstacles to overcome.  As hard as we work, as much as we study, and as obedient as we try to be in order to qualify for the blessings of the Lord, we just cannot get these people to come to church.  The culture and tradition here isn´t quite haha.  They are excellent

Monday, January 17, 2011

Come Partake of Salvation

Hello family and friends!

We had a zone activity today.  It was really great, really inspiring.  We went over some details that President Callan told the zone leaders in their last leadership council.  Then I spent the whole time talking to Hermana Sargent hahah.  I can´t even tell you how weird it is...the Hermanas that were in the MTC with us only have ONE CHANGE LEFT before they go home.  She finishes this change, and then next change is her last one and she goes home in March.  That is really really strange to me.  I have so much to do and so little time left.  But it was good to talk to her again, it´s always nice to talk to an MTC buddy :).

President seems to be tired of not having success here in Paraguay in this mission.  He is fed up with the lack of obedience, the lack of baptisms, the lack of success.  And I don´t blame him.  Paraguay is a prepared country with hundreds of prepared people in every area, it´s we as missionaries that aren´t cutting it.  For the past 2 weeks or so, my companion and I have tried to be strictly obedient and talk to more people during the day, and really we have seen miracles.  I´ll tell you about one that happened yesterday.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Priesthood Blessings are Incredible

Hello everyone!  There isn´t much to report on this week, sorry.  That´s because I was sick and in bed for 3 days.  Boo!  I had a major cold, a giant headache, and a doozy of a fever.  Got up to like 102.  But I got better in a jiffy and am out teaching and working again, thanks to some resting time and to a priesthood blessing from my companions.  A little side note that´s not the purpose of my email today: priesthood blessings are incredible.  I´ve given more blessings in my mission than I think I´ll ever do in one calling, and seen countless more.  And I´ve seen them work.  I have no doubt in my mind, because of my experiences and because of the spiritual testimony given to me by the Holy Ghost, that the priesthood is real, is on the earth today, and does miracles when righteously used to bless the lives of others.

And with that, we continue exploring the First Vision :).

Monday, January 3, 2011

Being a Missionary Rocks!!

Bad news: The book of 2010 has just finished and closed shut.
Good news:  I started writing the sequel on Saturday.  Should take me about a year or so to finish.

Happy New Year everybody!  It was wonderful to see you all through Skype on Christmas.  That was the best Christmas gift I´ve ever gotten.  I love and miss you all.

Wow, only 8 months to go.  President Callan just told us in this week´s bulletin that he emails everybody that 21 new missionaries are coming in next month.  That is a lot!  We´ve got a few more coming than going, so that will boost the work a bit.  I´m so glad to be a missionary.  I don´t know what happened to me, but I´ve just been in super missionary mode the past week.  Ever since my new trainee came, I´ve just been trying really hard to do everything right and to be obedient 100%.  The cool part is that I am already seeing a huge increase in success just in this 1 week.  I´ve gained a big testimony that the Lord does bless us more for obedience.  It´s just one of those things like "Well duh!" you already know, but it´s just different when you actually are actively putting it into practice.  I´m so happy to be a missionary.  Maybe because I´ve realized how little time left I really have, I don´t know.  But for the first time, I´m sincerely happy being a missionary.  I don´t mean that I