Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mud and Miracles


The internet was down all day until recently, so we´ve been just reading and studying in our bedroom all day (the only room with air conditioning) because it was too hot to do anything else, wishing the internet would come back! And finally it did, and I was so happy to get your emails! 

Man, thank you so much everyone for your emails! You have no idea how much animo they give me. Animo is....encouragement, motivation, enthusiasm. Really, thank you so much! It paid off to chew you out a little about my lack of mail..haha. Sorry about that. But not really.  I also got some real postal mail this week! Jessica Jackson, Carrie, Shea, and Steve, thank you for the letters!!!! I think it takes about 4 weeks for packages and letters to get to me from the US. Oh it was so nice to hear about how you´re doing, on paper. Thank you! Your encouragment will have a ripple effect as I preach with more vigor and vim this week!

Carrie, I was telling my comp what an amazing mom you are, and your story about making butter with your kids only proved my point. And it made me SO happy to hear about your missionary experience! You know, before my mission I think I was afraid to share the gospel because I thought people wouldn´t want to be my friend after I talked about the church with them, but I PROMISE that is not true. If we truly love the gospel and love our friends, we will not be afraid to share it, for perfect love casteth out all fear.

I wish I could send individual emails, but I will just have to hope everyone reads this on my blog. Justin, thank you for your letter! It was great to hear about your training experience and it is crazy I am only 600 miles from your mission. Olivia thank you for filling me on your life! Cameron, thank you! Thank you for your prayers and being such a faithful blog reader, still! Matt, I haven´t read all about Mongolia yet but I printed your email and can´t wait to read it. I will send you a letter when I have time but it takes about 4 weeks to get back to the states. I didn´t get the email you sent from Mongolia....but I got your second one I guess! But yes, the menos activo who I bribed to come to church with your hymn book has been to church 3 weeks in a row!!! :) And she loves her little hymn book. 

Mom, your idea about a health class is WONDERFUL! I have wanted to incorporate my major into missionary work since I got my call, but even more so after getting here. In every prayer people pray for salud (health) and yesterday we had a fireside (more to come about that) and some of the key people were not there because they were sick. I want to do that, so if you contact the Benson Institute for me, I would love that. It´s just hard to know where to start. And the problem is not the availibility of vegetables and fruits, just that people don´t buy them and don´t like them. Also, best of luck to you and Carrie with your intensive Spanish class this summer! I am so proud of you! You´ll probably speak better gramatically than me when I come home, ha. This week I heard the quote, "The only limits you have are the ones you set for yourself." And I thought of you, mom. You set no limits. You chose to do hard things, even when you don´t have to, like homeschool and take classes and eat healthy and run, and a million other things. Thank you for your example of that. 

Also, dad. I wanted to say that those fathers and sons activities and everything you do with the grandkids is so worth it. I have had random memories come to mind this week, such as hiking out of the Grand Canyon, and going to the cabin with you and always stopping at Walmart in Payson to get ice cream. :) Keep it up. And keep up the running Thunder Mountain! I´m so impressed! I am so thankful you and mom are so fit so you will be healthy when I have more kids you can be grandparents to. :)

Oh this week.....SO GOOD!!!! Today is our most well-deserved p-day yet, we worked so hard. I am so full of animo and just so PUMPED right now! I am so happy. And to me, that is another testimony the church is true. How could I be happy if I was spreading lies? Happiness is a gift of the spirit, probably the one I receive the most. 

Our mission had a goal to have 100 baptisms in May. We as a companionship had a goal of 2 because there were about 4 people at the beginning of May who were just about ready. But every one of them either moved or decided they would not get married to the significant other they live with. Anyway, so it was the end of May and we had no baptisms and no prospects. But on Thursday the elders called us and asked us to do a special fast to reach the mission goal. We had just eaten a huge lunch with a member, so we started fasting right then. A few hours later we knelt as a companionship and prayed specifically for individuals and prayed for help with our goal. We then went to consejo de barrio, like ward council. While there a lot of the leaders said we should baptize Rolando Ruiz, a 10 year old in a less active family we have been working with a lot. We didn´t think he was ready because his family hasn´t been coming to church. But the ward supported it and said we should do it this Sunday while his dad was in town. So, on Sunday we had a baptism! It was a very sweet experience. Truly a miracle. Prayer works, fasting works, work works.

Right after the baptism we had a charla fogonera (sorry, somethings I just don´t think in English)...a fireside. We planned it all by ourselves to motivate the ward, because the most prepared investigators are usually friends with members. We have put so much into it. I could tell you how half the people we assigned to do stuff didn´t come through, how the electricity went off in the middle of it, how a lot of people we expected to come didn´t, how people here don´t know how a fireside works, etc....but instead I will tell about why it was so wonderful. We had recent converts bear their testimonies, we had the seminary class sing "We'll Bring the World His Truth" with us, we had inspiring videos, and we had some less actives there. I spoke about how I KNOW it is the gospel that will help people with their struggles (not humanitarian organizations, etc.) and how you don´t have to have a nametag to do missionary work, in fact is better if you don´t have a nametag! It was like the branch was a family and people were happy. Success, in my book.
What I´ve learned is you really have to OVER prepare...to shoot for the stars to just land by the moon. You have to invite 7 times as many people as you want to come, commit 10 people to give talks if you want 5, haha. But, we did have 5 new investigators at church this week! I wish I had time to tell you all about each of them. I am very hopeful.

Dad, you mentioned being spiritually blind and deaf. I can´t tell you how much of a problem that is here. Twice this week we have met with people who have indicated they think we might be the true church, but they say, "But I can´t change my religion!" So, even though they haven´t done a THING to indicate they believe their church is true, they can´t leave that religion? They have bought the lie of the devil that they are stuck in a tradition of their fathers. When really, changing is what this life is about. We accept truth no matter what its source, and we change accordingly. So many people, when they see us missionaries, want to prove their spirituality by bringing out their big, beautiful, expensive Bible. They bring it out in the box they bought it in and proudly hand it to us and let us look at it. And I´m pretty sure it is the second time it has ever left that box. It is sickening, really, how stuck people feel in their religion. It´s like they view religion as a race you are born with. Any ideas of how to help them take off the blinders?

The people here love to talk (on and on and on) about the miracles they have seen in their life, their blessings from God, etc. I am so glad they recognize God in their life, but they think we are just here to spread feel-good messages, to talk. When really, we are here to INVITE action, to CHANGE things. The gospel is the power of God unto Salvation! But you can´t be saved just by talking about God! People don´t realize that God gives us answers to our prayers, either. They think he only answers prayers through blessing you with temporal things like daily bread, health, and tranquilidad (the only three things people really want here). It is exciting to teach people that God will answer our questions, too. He gives us temporal blessings, yes, but also information, answers. Oh I am so thankful for the Restored Gospel!

This week was really rainy. One day it just rained and rained and didn´t stop. There we were.... two American blonde girls in their rain boots and umbrellas trudging around, so happy. And everyone kept asking, "Why are you out in this?" And it was the perfect seg-way into our message: The gospel is the most important thing in my life, and we are here to share it with everybody! We can´t wait for the rain to stop!" I think they were impressed. :) 
Speaking of that rainy day..in the morning when we saw the conditions we were worried we wouldn´t be able to get our contacts for the day because no one was outside. But we had just watched a bunch of the training videos (the District, they´re called) which never cease to get me sooooo stoked to just go get ém! So I prayed so hard that we could find people to talk to that day. I prayed as if it all depended on God, and then left the apartment and talked to every single person we saw, as if it all depended on me. And so, we met our goals. We also have been having a hard time meeting our goals of with-member lessons and new investigators, and this week some of those fell into our lap like never before. I love it when blessings are so obviously from God, when you know that it was neither coincidence nor your own efforts. 

I wish I had time to tell you about some of the interesting things I got to do this week...a service project of cleaning the Garcete´s house (the husband left to work in the chaco for 6 months, leaving a mom with three tiny kids and newborn, no money, no NOTHING) which was so gratifying yet so disgusting. Or how when we went to eat at Hermana Ferrera´s she made me fry the steak over a fire in her little tiny shack kitchen that was built for her (a 4-foot-something woman) so I kept bumping my head on the sooty, black, wooden roof. Oh I love my mission soooooo much. There are very hard, hard days but I try my best to not get discouraged. I feel so blessed more than anything. And even on days when I feel like I did no good, I hope I can at least show God that I love him, and because I do, I want to feed his sheep, even if at times I don´t feel I´m very successful. 

A year ago today I had been in Tanzania for almost a month already! I wish I could get a hold of some of the HELP international volunteers who are there now and have them check up on some people for me. 

Charlotte Searl is going to the MTC this week heading for Paris France! You probably aren´t reading my blog two days before your mission, Charlotte, but just so everyone else knows, I´m SO excited for you! I am so thankful I met you in the Lima, Peru airport 3 years ago, got to to be roommates at Heritage, and now that we get to serve together. I will be thinking of you! And you will have the best p-days exploring Paris! And I´m glad you got called to a P place, so you can match me in Paraguay and Danielle in the Phillipines. :)

I was thinking as I was running one morning, how indebted to my heavenly parents I am. They have given me life and sustain my life every single day. And then I thought how thankful I am for my earthly mom and dad, who also gave me life and have nourished me physically and spiritually every day, too. And you do it for all of your children, not knowing if you will get anything in return. You are just like our heavenly parents and I only hope I can be a parent like you. I am so overwhelmed with gratitude for you, mom and dad. Thank you for all you did to prepare me for a mission and for life. I love you so very, very much. I miss you! 

I am so thankful for the opportunity to be here, for my helpful, kind, sweet, inspired, knowledgeable companion Hermana Springer; for the Spirit that guides even a girl who can´t speak Spanish very well. I´m thankful God understands and answers my Spanglish prayers. I am thankful for the supportive friends and family I have. I am so thankful for the scriptures and I treasure the time I have each day to study like I never thought I would.  I am thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ that is the answer to every problem we could possibly face. Remember that in the end, what life comes down to is whether we are more concerned with what God thinks of us, or what others think of us. Trust in God and care more about what HE thinks!

Your Sister Missionary,
Hermana Faith Goimarac

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Muy Agradecia

Hola Famlilia.

It was a little sad to come print emails this morning, with high hopes of hearing all kinds of things from several people, only to have one email. Thank you, dad, for being so faithful. :) Without you I would have had nothing. You´d think with 7 siblings (and what...3 boyfriends? haha jk) I would get more communication. But then when we came back his afternoon to write emails I got your letter mom. Thank you! I´ll have to print it and read it after I am done as I only have a bit to type this. If you could send them before 7 a.m. on Monday your time, that would be perf!

By the way, this is the blog of my companion, if you feel so inclined to read her letters, too: 

Ahhhh.....me encanta la obra misional (I love missionary work). Si o si. I´m feeling very, very grateful today, so this email is going to take the form of a grateful list, as I am quite fond of those. 

1) I am mostly grateful for the Atonement. You are probably thinking "What a typical missionary email for her to type that." But it is true. Without it there would be no gospel to preach, there would be no hope for any of us. I read a phenomenal talk in the  April Liahona by Elder Bednar called the Atonement and our Journey Through Mortality or something like that. It talks of the enabling power of the Atonement, how we can be strengthened to deal with our problems instead of our problems just being taken away. Also, seeing all of the suffering here just breaks my heart. But I am reminded of perhaps one of my favorite lines in Preach my Gospel that says, "Everything that is unfair about life will be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ." We don´t understand it but we can use it. Oh how sweet the gospel is!

2) I am grateful for parents who have always walked the talk. They didn´t tell me what to and what not to do and then live differently. If only everyone had such examples to live by! It was Mothers' Day here in Paraguay on Tuesday, so there was no work or school and everyone was outside their house...drinking. Everyone was carrying loads of beer around and every man had a can in his hand. It was sickening. That´s the only way they know how to celebrate around here, though. Anyway, I´m sure the parents all tell their kids, "Don´t drink,¨but everyone was drinking, so of course the kids are going to. There was even a baby I saw with a beer can in her hands. I felt like Alma in Alma 31:30...the wickedness pains my soul. It just hurts me so bad to see alcohol ruining this country. 

3. I am grateful to have citizenship in a country where you don´t have to wash ants off the counter before you cook, where there are noise ordinances to prevent super loud advertisements and music from blaring all over town all day, and where there is a bigger selection of food other than soda, meat, and white bread. 

4) I am so grateful for the vision the gospel gives me. Without it, after a hard day (when, say, all of your planned visits are not home or only 1 out of the 7 people who said they would go to church actually goes) a missionary would be tempted to zip up her triple combination and hand in her article of faith cards and go home if it were not for her VISION! But with the vision of the gospel, I know every sweaty, hot day is worth it. I KNOW the message we have is what people need, whether they know it or not. I KNOW what we know is the truth. Without vision, the people perish. I am so thankful for the vision we all have: that this life is just a small part of the real, big picture.

5) I am grateful it is almost May 31. May 31 is the city´s birthday, and they are having a big desfile (parade) and I swear every school from miles around has a marching band playing in that parade, and they all practice on OUR street every. single. day. So loud. Can´t wait for them to perform already. haha

6) I am so thankful for everyone´s prayers. I can feel them. They are being answered! Thank you so much.

7) I am so thankful for my companion. She is the best. She saves me from being lost in the confusing grid system of Concepcion, and she saves me from being lost in lessons. The other night we were teaching the plan of salvation, and I was explaining our earth life. Our investigator kept saying how there are so many temptations in this life, so I asked him, "Porque hay tentaciones? Why are there temptations?" But apparently he thought I was asking him WHAT are your temptations. But he is very hard for me to understand. He started saying how he was having feelings for another woman when he is married, and on and on about his temptations....and there I was just smiling and saying, "si, si." Oh man. 

8) I am thankful for Steve. For many reasons, but this week one thing I´ve been grateful to him for is his love for Elder Holland and how he gave me a stack of talks on CD by Elder Holland. I have been playing them in the mornings while I work out or make breakfast, and they have been such a strength to me. I am taken from my little missionary apartment to the roads of Jerusalem or the cell of Liberty Jail while I am reminded that trouble has no necessary connection with discouragement, that it is in times of anguish that we learn our most profound lessons, that "Conquer we must and conquer we shall!" I´m reminded of so many truths that sometimes you don´t think about when you are teaching the first principles of the gospel day in and day out. Thank you Steve. :) You prepared me so well for my mission and just by being you I´m inspired to be better. 

9) I am thankful that I´m still not sick. I have had to eat questionable meat and drink the water, and I have more mosquito bites than I can count (don´t ask me how they get me, mom!). But I am feeling as healthy as a horse. Quite a miracle, if you ask me. 

10) I am grateful for what the mission is making of me. Before my mission, all I talked about was my mission. But now, as Hna Springer and I walk around between appointments all day we talk about the kind of people we want to be after our missions, our future families, etc. I realize that a mission is the MTC for life. Before I justified that I didn´t do much missionary work in my daily life by thinking, "I´ll just do missionary work when I´m a missionary." But now I think of how much more effective I would be if I was somebody´s friend who invited them to church or had a gospel conversation. I realize the power of member missionary work more than ever before. Before, I thought that if I shared the gospel with my friends they wouldn´t want to be my friends any more. But I know that is not true! We have nothing to lose by sharing the gospel. It is truly our biggest responsibility to teach God´s children the truth---through our famililes, church callings, and with everyone we know.  I hope I can remember this and be a bold missionary my whole life, constantly inviting my friends.

11) I am soooo grateful to have the opportunity to do what I´ve always wanted to do. This week we taught the Meza family a few times. Here I was, sitting on a little wooden chair in a tiny, dirty, dark kitchen with a Paraguayan mom and dad and 5 daughters, testifying of how the gospel has brought me so much understanding and happiness, how the commandments have blessed my life and will bless theirs, too. Teaching them that the truth of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth by a loving Heavenly Father!  They all listen intently. They have each learned how to pray and taken turns praying at the end of lessons. They came to church for the second time in a row (which is saying A LOT because everyone tells us they will go to church and almost no one does). We are having an FHE with them tonight with a member family who has children their age, and another investigator (Carlos) and his 9 year old daughter Guadelupe (who adores us like no one ever before and somehow got our phone number and calls us all the time, so cute). We'll be teaching about how faith is like a little seed, and I made "Semilla de Fe BINGO!" and brownies. (Seed of Faith bingo) Oh so excited. 

12) I am grateful for the lessons that I am learning from the people. I have learned that cars are overrated. Everyone drives motos. So now, I kind of really want a scooter when I go back to BYU. You think it´s a problem that you can´t give peope rides? The people of Concepcion have taught me that it´s easy to stack 4 or 5 people on. And helmets must be overrated, too, because I haven´t seen one yet. Ha. We were teaching a family with 10 kids this week, and they said they would come to church. They live pretty far from the church though, so I asked if they had a moto. They said they did, and that they also have a horse and cart. Just imagine the horse and cart parked outside the chapel. Ha. But they didn´t come to church anyway, surprise surprise. 

I was reading the Bible Dictionary about Faith, and wondered if someone could get me some lectures on faith to read or listen to? Also, on my computer I have a file called Patriarchal Blessing that has my PB typed on it. Could you forward that to me to print? I forgot to bring it. It might be in a file titled Personal things or something. 

I love you all so much! I know the gospel is true with every fiber of my being. 

And um....WRITE ME. :) (....Hope!)

Your Sister Missionary,
Hermana Faith Goimarac

Monday, May 14, 2012

Do Hard Things

Do Hard Things
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Hola Familia y Amigos!

What a wonderful week it has been! Buenisimo! It was so fun to Skype with you on Saturday, even though that seems like months ago. I thought maybe I wouldn´t have any emails today since I just talked to you and know you´re busy, so it was a very pleasant thing to see I had two emails, one from each of my dear, incredible parents. I love getting your letters so much! It´s especially nice to get emails from you, dad, because we never emailed before. Thank you both of you!
Dad, reading your email about mom definitely made me tear up in this little internet cafe. You are so right. Mom is our greatest blessing, and you are the luckiest man in the world. She is beautiful, loving, concerned, perseverant---but mostly dedicated to God, and everything else stems from that. I only hope I can be as hard-working and willing to sacrifice as she is. And mom, there really is no crown more glorious than motherhood, I can only imagine.

This week I feel like my motto of "You must do that which you think you cannot" was re-iterated in my life and I have renewed conviction for it. We were asked at zone conference to each contact 75 people per week. Not as a companionship, but individually. I thought, "I have to walk up to 75 complete strangers and naturally, cheerfully, invite them to come unto Christ somehow?! In Spanish?! How am I possibly going to do that?" The week before I had only contacted 35. And that was hard enough! But I internally resolved I would do this no matter what. And, a week later, I´m happy to report I contacted 79 people. And this week I will do it again. It truly gets easier the more you make yourself do it. Now, although I can´t say it´s easy yet, I am fairly comfortable at walking up to someone and casually talking to them and helping them want to learn more of Christ. Tons of people just sit in chairs outside their house drinking terrere (like iced tea) doing absolutely nothing, so that makes it easy to go up and talk to them because many of them just adore talking your ears off. 
Also, on Wednesday night our branch president asked one of us to give a talk in Sunday. And even though I didn´t know how I would do it, I volunteered. I thought, "How am I going to prepare a 15 minute talk in Spanish that won´t be boring and that they can understand?" But I did, and I even had to cut some out because I was going overtime. I had a few stories and I felt like it was perfect for the investigator family that showed up....(coming soon in the next paragraph!) Oh I love preparing talks. 

I just want to emphasize to everyone who reads this that when we think we can´t do things on our own, we´re probably right. But the Atonement of Jesus Christ blesses us with strength and abilities beyond our own. Somedays maybe you feel like you just can´t get out of bed, or you just can´t face another day of your normal duties. But I know we can ALL receive strength beyond our own as we pray and do something to show our faith in God. Our burdens in life will be brightened by our love for the Lord, as well. 

So, we have been teaching a man named Juan Angel Meza. He is the friend of a member in the rama (branch), Alex Franco, who is less active himself, but who served a mission. Juan Angel has 6 kids and comes from an Evangelical background. Anyway, we´ve been teaching him and he is golden! He said he was going to go to church on Sunday and bring his whole family. We were so excited! Sunday came and we were supposed to have at least 3 other investigators at church but none of them were there. One menos activo did come, Gloria, who we have been visiting a LOT. That made me very happy. Anyway, Juan Angel´s family wasn´t there for the first hour, or the second. As I sat in sacrament meeting the last hour, I was thinking and praying, "Why didn´t he come? He is so ready!" But I was trying to be patient. Then, right before they passed the sacrament, Juan Angel and his wife and two of his beautiful little daughters showed up! Oh my heart! It just filled up faster than a baptismal font fills up on fast forward. My talk and the others that were given were all perfect for him and his situation. Everyone in the branch welcomed his family after church, I think he is pretty well known in the community because he does the announcing at the futbol games. Anyway, very exciting. I have a lot of hope for him and two other investigators I don´t have time to write about right now. But we have also had three people get very close to baptism and then somehow fall through, so it´s a little scary to get your hopes up, but I will have faith!

We were visting a recently-converted family one night, and they live in a very small house with a dirt floor. Their little three year old boy was playing around and went inside the house and brought out his dad´s nicely-ironed, clean white Sunday shirt. He put it on the dirt floor and sat on it and was playing with it. I was thinking, "Akk!! That´s probably your dad´s only white shirt and you´re getting it filthy!¨ But the people here, including the mothers, are so tranquilo, so easy-going. No one said anything while that shirt got dirty. That family is always so happy. I have a lot to learn from such patient mothers, haha. 

An interesting thing here is that when you walk by people, you don´t say, hola, you say adios. It´s like walking by someone and saying, "Goodbye!" So if I come home and start doing that please remind me I´m not in Paraguay anymore. 

I forgot to ask the other day on Skype how Mitt Romney is doing! Can someone update me in the politics scene por favor? 

Also, have you heard from Brennan Jernigan how he liked Jerusalem? I would love to hear about some of his experiences. 

Love always,
Your Sister Missionary,
Sister Faith Goimarac

1. Today is Paraguay´s Indepence day!
2. The branch had an activity...naturally it was an asado (a meat roast? How do you say that in english?) and played futbol. Doesn´t get more Parauguayo than playing futbol in the smoke of an asado!
3. Some branch kids.
4. our kitchen
5. our apartment, where we study

Sunday, May 13, 2012

"Patience is not shoulder-shrugging resignation. It is the acceptance of a divine rhythm to life; it is obedience prolonged." Neal A. Maxwell


Dad, thank you for your letter! I would love to hear some insights from "Falling to Heaven." I love reading what you find inspiring. I know what you mean about missionary work in the ward being hard. We have been visiting some less actives, and it is so hard to see that they KNOW it is true deep down, they just don{t want to make the change. I like how you and mom and I are all doing missionary work right now. I printed my emails earlier today and was reading them as we walked to get some groceries. I loved reading how you heard about Paraguay from those men in the temple. :) My companion laughed and agreed with the part about eating every part of a cow. Oh what I have to look forward to. :)

Mom, thank you for your long email! I liked how you wrote on several different days. I understand your frustration with Spanish, but also, when it comes down to it, don´t worry too much about the little grammar details. In conversational Spanish you just figure out how to say things in the most simple way, without all kinds of subjunctive and stuff. But I need to study more...that´s for sure. Being functional is not enough. The hardest thing is understanding. I´m so tired of just nodding my head and acting like I know what they´re talking about. 

This week we had a zone conference in Asuncion,which means we had to get on a bus at 11 p.m. and ride all night to get to Asuncion in time. It was very motivating and being with the other missionaries is such a boost of enthusiasm. Not that I was discouraged before though. After the zone conference from 8 to 2 we had a temple session at 5, but before that some people had interviews with the President. While I waited I was reading the January 2012 Liahona and there was a talk in it called "Keeping Covenants" by Elder Holland. I feel like God wanted me to read that talk right then. He talked about how every time we make a covenant with God He endows us with gifts and blessings. The more seriously we take our covenants, the more blessings we will receieve, we have God´s word of that. It made me realize that this is why exact obedience brings milagros, er, miracles. Exact obedience indicates we are taking our covenants very seriously. It reminded me of that wonderful quote by Elder Benson, "When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, then will God endow us with power." The article said that they key to missionary work (and every calling, really) is keeping our covenants. This thought was so motivating to me. It just really hit me. It doesn´t matter how hard my mission is, or how fruitless it seems at times. This is my calling, my personal commandment, and I will take it seriously. 

The temple session was one of the most meaningful and spiritual I´ve ever been to (and it was even in Spanish). Being in the shoes of a missionary for a couple weeks put a whole new perspective on it. Mortality really is about keeping covenants. Through keeping them, we can have the assurance that we will be blessed through the difficulties of life and blessed with eternal life after. Who doesn´t want that? 

We had a couple investigators come to church yesterday, but we were expecting a lot more. We have also been working with some menos activos (less actives) and had committed them to come to church, and they didn´t. I´ve learned a lot about patience this week. I want them to feel the Spirit NOW, I want them to understand the importance of obedience NOW, and I want them to enjoy the blessings of baptism and the gospel NOW. Yesterday in our testimony meeting there were long moments of silence when no body got up, and I thought of my BYU wards where it´s almost a competition to get to the pulpit. If only Paraguay wards were that strong. But I´m sure God feels this way with us, and yet He is so patient with us. I´ve been reading a BYU devotional about patience that my dear friend Emily Larsen sent me, by Neal A. Maxwell. Thus, my subject line. Patience really is an attribute worth developing, and one we will need in the next life. 

One of the hardest things a missionary has to experience, I think, is talking to people who don´t want what you have. Yesterday I feel like everyone we contacted just wanted to talk and not listen to us. Paraguayans LOVE to talk. And I would love to listen if it was related to the gospel, but they just like talking to Americans most of the time. Anyway, vice versa, one of the sweetest things a missionary can experience is someone coming to you and asking for what you have! This happened last week. A man named Carlos was zipping by on his moto when he stopped, and turned around and asked us if we could come visit him sometime and teach him. So we did a couple nights ago. He has a daughter but is separated from his wife. We explained the restoration to him and I asked that, when he received an answer from God that this was His church, if he would be baptized. And he said yes. I absolutely love asking this question. Almost everyone says yes, actually, because we´re asking them if they will be baptized AFTER they receive an answer from God, we´re not asking them to believe us. We´re also working with a couple teenage girls who said they would be baptized, but the hard thing is getting these people to church. Carlos, for instance, works every Sunday.

I know that there are people who are prepared to receive the gospel here. If there were not, God would not send missionaries here. Wherever there are missionaries, there is work! It really is so exciting. 

Missionaries live for the small moments, I think. Moments when little 3 year old children run up to you and yell, "Heeeerrrrrmmaaaaanaaaas!" or when you get an investigator to pray for the first time and they thank God for your visit, or when you listen to a recent convert teach a gospel principles lesson on the Atonement and he talks about places like Gethsemane and Calvary, and you think how wonderful it was to see those places, but how much more wonderful it is to see that what happened there has affected people clear in Paraguay. Or small things like reading the Book of Mormon for an hour and wishing you had more time for personal study. Or printing your emails and reading words from your dad like, "Take care Hermana Faith, my beautiful daughter." and,"I know you will be a great support to those in need" from your mom. Don´t we live for little moments like that?

I love the gospel so much. I can´t wait to be here longer and see it change people. I love Jesus Christ and am so thankful we have His gospel and His authority on the earth today. I feel like the most blessed girl on earth. I am so thankful for this opportunity! I am a missionary!!!!!!

Your Sister Missionary,
Hermana Faith Goimarac
P.S. I don´t expect anyone to send me packages,but some people did in the MTC,and so if someone did I would hate for it not to get to me. So, here is my address for packages, it is different from the one for letters

Sister Faith Goimarac
Paraguay Asuncion NOrth Mission
Av. Santisima Trindad N 1280
C/ Julio Correa
Asuncion 1831

And sometimes you need the phone number of the mission home if you sent with private mail services, so it is 595 21 280 930

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