So animal report: We haven’t had very many cockroaches lately, basically since Hermana Aguilar came, and I was so stoked. But Mickey, our mouse, has become very prevalent. He started eating all our food, so now all the food is safe in the fridge. We think that’s why we don’t have any other animals, ‘cause Mickey ate them all. I can’t decide what I hate more, Mickey or cockroaches. I really don’t want them to come back. I killed one the other day outside our house as long as my finger. I was freaking out. I did not want that thing in the house. The ones in our house are babies compared to that!! We also have a chrysalis in our staircase waiting for the butterfly to come out. What else? Oh I also found a dead lizard. I think Mickey killed him.
Hermana Aguilar and I are still growing accustomed to each other. We had a heart to heart this morning and she said lots of things that have been hard for her this change. It’s all things I have been struggling with so I realized the importance of communication. I have been scared to voice my fears and problems because my Spanish is not so good and I don’t want her to be offended. But I realized it’s really important and I hope things go a lot smoother this week.... but I honestly love her so so much! And I know for a fact my Spanish is lots better.
I feel kind of bad because I sometimes hesitate to tell you all about some investigators because Monday comes right after Sunday and when they don’t go to church I am discouraged and lose faith in them but that’s something I am trying to work on, having faith in people and knowing that it’s never too late for someone to change. So we have been working with this family, it’s a single mom and her two daughters. The mom works a lot and so the girls are home alone a lot. The mom’s name is Norma and the girls are Nilley (11) and Lujan (6). Nilley is so cute. She loves learning. They have never been very religious, which is kind of a breath of fresh air. They love every new idea we present, well Nilley. Norma is still a little hesitant. Nilley is so responsible. She takes care of Lujan every day and cleans the house and cooks and basically does everything a mom does while her mom is working. I know I was not that responsible when I was 11. We taught the 10 commandments the other day and in the end we asked her to name them all off. It was so funny, she was like, hmmm love God, don’t love other Gods. Be good on Sunday, be good to your parents .....she forgot don’t murder so I started pretending to stab Hermana Aguilar and she was like oh oh oh yaaa No Mutar!!!!! haha I love her so much. We had family home evening with her and her mom and Andrea. I don’t know if you remember, she is the golden convert in our area. She has been a member 1 year and is super strong and the only one in her family. Her sisters, Rosanna and Lori, want to be baptized but the parents won’t give consent. Anyway we had a way fun time. Norma, the mom, was laughing so hard when we were playing this game called chancho (pig). Later in the week we had a lesson with Nilley and Rosanna and Lori. Lori didn’t want to say the prayer and Nilley was like it’s so easy you just say what you’re grateful for, what you need, it comes from the heart!!! Anyway when we left her house she said she was so excited for church. She felt like she was going to get up at 6 to get ready haha. It’s like Christmas Eve for her. I left a note saying when we would call in the morning for church, what day we were coming back and her baptismal date.... but when we called in the morning her mom said she had to go work for her aunt. I was so crushed. She also said she saw the note we left and wanted to talk to us. We are going today to talk to her. I feel terrible. I wrote the note for her to be excited about what was to come, but I’m scared of what Norma is going to say. In the past, Norma has had lots of problems with Nilley, so I don’t understand why she has a problem with her learning more about God and trying to be a better person. Pray that everything will go well. It’s hard because since they didn’t come to church, now her date is pushed back and it’s the Saturday after the change. So, I probably won’t be here anymore. It’s hard to think I may not have any baptisms while I am here, but I know that my time here has not been wasted. I found a really amazing talk this week titled “More Than Conquerors Through Him that Loved Us” by Elder Paul V Johnson, I think, from 2011 May General Conference. Man it really was what I needed this week! He talks about why we have trials in our lives. A quote I love in the talk is from Orson F Whitney dice (it says) “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted... all that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, build up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable.. It’s through sorrow and suffering, toil, and tribulation that we gain the education that we CAME HERE TO acquire!!” Isn’t that awesome!! I teach the plan of salvation so much but that really puts into perspective for me why we are here. We came here to have these experiences, to prepare us for the life to come, to prepare us for the people we need to be! He also says that beautiful blessings are always on the heels of great trials. ...It so true. Christ suffered the pains of the world and died on the cross and three days later the moment that changed everything happened. He was resurrected, he came back, he lives... but he had to go through the pain first. Elder Johnson also says sometimes we want to have growth without challenges and to develop strength without struggle. I think this has been my attitude my whole life. I want the benefits without the pain. But it really doesn’t work that way. Elder Johnson also quotes Elder Oaks when he had been going through a struggle. He said he was tempted at times to say to Heavenly Father, I have learned the lesson by now, I don’t think I need to go through this anymore. Can you take this away now so I can go on to other things?
I think this is one of the biggest trials of faith in our lives, having enough faith to understand that God really knows what is best and the trials we need to learn. I love the last part of the talk, when we die we don’t want some random person at the gates of heaven to say well you’re done. We want to meet our Savior and have him say, well done thou good and faithful servant. This is our goal!!! This is why I am here in Paraguay. You can live a good life, you can be a good person, but there is only ONE way, one person, one path, that is going to lead you to salvation and it’s through and by our Savior, Jesus Christ. We didn’t come here to just be good, we came here to acquire the knowledge it takes to be goddesses and gods.
I had a great week. I learned a lot, but most important I shared my testimony of my Savior with LOTS of people and at the end of the week, after the trial of my faith, countless times when Sunday came the blessings did too! We had two investigators at church, Justina, which is huge blessing. She didn’t come all of February and Ramon another abuelo (grandfather) who is super sweet, haha both are over 65 so all the elders where kind of chuckling because all our investigators are old, but they are the ones who want so bad to come to church. So, like I said before, it’s never, ever too late to change. You may be 70 or 98, like Justina’s dad.
I am getting so stoked for conference!!!! Only one month away and the last Saturday of this month is woman’s conference already. Pray hard I get to go. Hermana Aguilar said lots of times the zone leaders say it’s not a productive use of time, so I wanted to cry! I want to go!! I love you all and I hope my little thought helps you this week!
Hermana Ball (Pelota)