Well I finally made it through training. I can’t believe I have been gone 4 months!!! So the change is this Wednesday, we don’t figure out who is staying and who is leaving till Tuesday some time. But it’s pretty set that Hermana Escobar is leaving, which is so scary for me because I will be in charge of telling my new comp about all the investigators. I will have to know all their names and the streets and where they live. I don’t know, it just freaks me out. I know how to get around but trying to explain where people live on the paper work we have to do is so hard because no one has a set address - three houses past the big mango tree with the cows out front and a green fence – that’s the address, haha oh Paraguay....
Random thought: I have been meaning to share that I love this about Paraguay. Everything is made in PARAGUAY. It’s so cool. If you buy milk, eggs, a notebook, or a pen all of it says industrial Paraguay on the back or made in Paraguay.
Ok so about this week. We had lots of little milagros (miracles), as always we found some really amazing people. We also had a Capacitación de zona!!! I liked it because I learned a lot, but I really hate putting all our numbers up on the board. After you put them up and say your goals all the district leaders start raising their hands and hounding you about why your numbers where low and what are you going to do better. Lots of times we don’t know - we are trying our best. “What are your plans to have more people at church?” ummmmm Invite more people, call them on Sundays, no se... We are already doing both those things but in the end its their choice if they want to come or not. But they talked a lot about baptisms in our area of South America. Our mission is third in most baptisms. We had like 1400 mas o menos (more or less). It was crazy. It said each missionary baptized 7.5 people. So that got us all pumped up about asking people to be baptized. I think that I really needed it. I have become kind of shy about asking people to be baptized. It’s hard not to feel like a freak coming into someone’s home for the first time and asking them to join your church if you look at it like that.... which is how I was.
So then Friday after the capacitación the sister training leaders came for exchanges and it was really great. We talked about what happens if people aren’t baptized, what blessings they will miss out on. I went with Hermana Jeppeson. She goes home this change so she was kind of trunky. haha In that regard it was kind of hard being with her, but I learned so much about our authority to invite people to follow the example of jesucristo (Jesus Christ) and be baptized in his church. The reason we ask people so soon is to find their doubt and to see if they are going to progress. The thing is, we can visit people all day long but we aren’t visiting teachers. We’re missionaries here to baptize and to take the gospel to these people. Lots of people will listen, everyone here will listen, but everyone won’t be baptized. It’s really hard weeding out who will and won’t. There is one lady I love, she is so sweet, and Hermana Escobar went to her with Hermana Jorgenson. Of course they invited her and she said no and all these things about how she loves the missionaries. Hermana Jorgenson said I wouldn’t go back to her. She just wants best friends. She doesn’t want to change. The question is does anyone here want to change? They see us as just nice girls dedicated to talking about Jesus, or they see us as people wanting to change their religion. Neither is true. We are here to help them to know the true and everlasting gospel, to find the conditions and the manera (way) to obtain eternal life!
So with all that in mind we went about this week boldly inviting and teaching the gospel with 5 great people saying si o si I will be at church two with fecha (baptism date). Sunday comes and no one is there, not even Justina. I was crushed. Its hard. Every week your faith grows in these people and then they don’t do this thing, which I know is lots to ask, to get up early and come to church. But it’s also a little thing that is going to change their whole life!!!!
Sunday night we visited a family with lots of asistencia and we invited them to be baptized. I think they have lots of desire. They said they will pray as a family. Their names are Maria and Hector. I hope they decide to be baptized because, honestly, they are great.
Oh, I forgot it was my turn to give the talk this week in sacrament. I was so scared. I went without a written script. Last time I had word for word written down and I just read, but this time I shared some scriptures and talked about oración (prayer). It was great. I don’t think they all understood, but I hope they felt my testimony. That’s what I said in the beginning. I just hope they could feel that I knew what I was saying is true. That’s what I am going to leave you with, a shorten version of my talk.
I know God wants so badly to hear from you in times of joy and pain. When he answers your prayers immediately thank him. The line I love from True to the Faith said “kneel and pour out your heart to the Lord for the things you need and then do all you can in your power to make these things happen”. When I first started this whole thing I just studied and studied and honestly I didn’t pray for Heavenly Father’s help learning Spanish. I just figured he knew I needed it and I didn’t want to ask without putting in what I had first. But then I was humbled and realized that you need both to pray with all your heart and then practice and practice and practice. I know I still have a lot to learn but I never would have known all I know without the Lord. When I said that part about I obviously need to practice more they kind of laughed because it’s true. I don’t speak perfect but the fact that I can speak Spanish at all is a HUGE miracle in my life and a direct answer to my prayers. I love what Alma 37:36-37 says about prayer. “Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever. (37) Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
I love you all so much. I hope that you can feel my prayers I make for each of you daily. Gracias por el apoyo.