Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Let Us Cheerfully Do All Things That Lie Within Our Power!

Mis Queridos,

Oh my goodness how I love you. My little heart just wants to pop with joy sometimes. I loved reading your emails this week. Thank you so much for sharing with me your Scottsdale trip and the incident with your finger, mom. I felt the Spirit as I read about how you felt, because I have felt the same way and I understand.  I think of the times when I have felt God´s love in my life, and it is those little moments. Little moments like when this week we had a with-member lesson fall into our lap allowing us to meet our daily occurence that testified to me that even though God has billions of children and most of them have problems a lot more serious than my little concerns, God is aware of a little sister missionary and her daily goals. 

Also, I wanted to mention (I think I have written this in emails before, but oh well) that I have come to learn that when we are acting on inspiration or revelation, we are not always aware of it. Sometimes in the church we make it sound like when we act on revelation we must think, "Oh, I am inspired to go talk to this person, I will do it." when often we just do things and later we realize we were acting on revelation, like Carrie having peppermint gum in her bag. I have had a lot of experiences like that in the past month but have no time to type them.

The thing I have learned in Guatemala and Tanzania and am still learning here is that no matter how firm my intentions of making a difference are, the biggest difference seems to be made in myself. I don´t really like that. I came to help others. I did not come because I wanted to have a neat experience. I came to introduce others to the LIGHT that I have been so blessed to have my whole life. And I do not absolutely need the blessings I am gaining from a mission, I was plenty blessed without them. But God, always giving, blessed me with the opportunity to serve a mission and countless lessons to learn, and examples from the good people of Paraguay. I was already so blessed and yet, He gives me more. Why me? I am touched as I think about His tender mercies--the blessings I don´t need and certainly don´t deserve, yet am still given. My blessings stand out like diamonds on black velvet especially when I am in poor countries, and especially when I talk to so many people about God and realize how blessed I am to know what I know about Him. 

We have been focusing on the Book of Mormon this week. We have taught all our investigators the importance of it and made promises that if they ask with real intent, they will come to know it is true. We are teaching a mom of four that I just LOVE. Her name is Leida, I don´t know if I´ve mentioned her before. But she is really looking for the truth and we have taught her for several weeks. We found her through contacting (blessings of contacting at last!). Last week we left her a verse to read in the Libro de Mormon in Mosiah 24 about God easing the burdens upon the backs of those with heavy burdens. Our next visit, she said she read it and then read on to see how God helped deliver the people. She said she and her friend Sulma, who we are also teaching, talked about their Book of Mormon reading (we had left Sulma with a different reading assignment). Leida said she believes it is the word of God, because no one could ever write such beautiful words. Sulma said she got news about her 14 year old son who is working the chaco and was not part of a big fight that happened out there, and felt a lot of comfort. She felt that was an answer to prayer. Anyway, I feel like I´m not conveying this very well, but when we talked with Leida it was another one of those sweet missionary moments I won´t forget. To hear someone say they actually read what we asked them to read, that they liked it, and that they feel it is was so sweet. I felt it was an answer to the many prayers I´ve been praying for them. 

The Meza family finally agreed to a baptismal date! This Saturday! We are doing an FHE with them tonight (Lehi´s dream! With those little kids it will be a blast.) and hopefully they are still planning on being baptized this Saturday. It will be THE happiest moment when they get baptized. :)

It probably sounds like the mission is all roses from reading the above paragraphs, but these are the highlights of many hours of work. I can´t say it is always so uplifiting or that it is easy, but I can say I love it. There are some down right very discouraging encounters and discoveries about members and investigators, but the thing is that the CHURCH is perfect, the members are not. But that is why we have the Church. Dad, I often use the quote you used to say by Neal A Maxwell that "The Church is not a museum of perfect people, but a hospital to help imperfect people become better." Often times people are reluctant to set a baptismal date because they think they have to be perfect after baptism, and I love explaining to them that baptism is just a starting point, and will help them improve and become better people although we are still imperfect .

This week it got downright freezing cold. What´s worse? An apt with no air conditioning in the scorching heat or one with no heat in the freezing cold? I don´t know. We have a little space heater though, it just only heats the space that is within 12 inches of it. And it is super duper bright. Thus, why I was using sunglasses while studying by it in the picture I´m sending. Don´t laugh, you would do the same thing. I am absolutely not prepared for the weather (who knew you would want to wear 4 layers or more in Paraguay??!) but thankfully the past day or two have been a little warmer so I have some time to go buy sweat pants and maybe a bigger coat. 

Mom, there are some fruits and vegetables available here just not much variety, and the ones they have are very expensive. For the most part bananas, oranges, and tomatoes are all that people eat. But I bite the bullet and spend 13,000 guarani every week buying apples so I can eat one every day. When I think about it, I would love to teach a health class and I know it is what they need (especially the don´t drink alcohol part!) but people don´t even want to hear about the gospel, so I wonder if they would want to learn about health. I mean, it would take changing their diet and they don´t like changing. But I want to bring it up to President Madariaga sometime. 
Speaking of whom, I´m glad they sent you pictures. Sorry that was such an unattractive day for me, and now it´s on the fridge for the next 16 months...ha. 

We came to the end of my first change. We taught about 175 lessons and contacted hundreds. I think we might run out of people to talk to. I forgot what order I attatched the pictures, but there is one of us making emapanadas last week as a district, one of our district before transfers, one of me studying just close enough to the heater to be warm, and one of me by El Heladero: the best food in Paraguay and the best ice cream (conveniently right across the street from our apt!). 
Heramana Springer is leaving at the end of this change, and I am dreading it so much. I will be responsible for showing my new companion around Concepcion and all kinds of things, and I still feel like I don´t understand enough Spanish to be responsible for so much. I will miss her muchisimo. 

Oh I wish I had more time! The stories I could tell you!!! I love you so much! And, sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven! Let that be your motto this week!

Your Happy Sister Missionary,
Hermana Faith Goimarac

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