Thank you for the pictures, dad! The backyard is gorgeous! I can´t believe how great it looks! Way to go! Bien hecho! And the little models in the pictures are pretty adorable, too. :) I loved the pictures of your nature treasure hunt. You two are the best grandparents. That pic of Katherine with the red rocks behind her reminds me of many pictures we have of me and Hope when we were about that size...oh the memories.
Mom, good luck planning the wedding this week. Y buena suerte con espanol! Va a rendir muy bien. :) I am definitely praying for the whole family. I hope the wedding brings everyone together.
Since I always write emails on Monday, my mind is usually on what happened at church the day before. Yesterday was another incredible Sunday. I was a little desanimada en la manana (discouraged) because....(well a few reasons: I had accidently left a pan of cookies in the oven overnight (to help you get a visual picture I had just woken up and was kneeling saying my prayers when I smelled cookies and jumped up like I was electrocuted and realized I never turned the oven off. Very black cookies) and felt bad for wasting so much gas, and it was a really cold morning)...I always have really high hopes for investigators to show up and they rarely do. But yesterday, we had a few more miracles! Seven investigators! Herminia and her children, the Mezas (except Juan Angel...argh), Sulma, and a woman we have been teaching since my second week who I thought would NEVER come, Bernadina.
When Sacrament meeting was starting the Meza family wasn´t there, and Hermana Springer and I didn´t know if we should have President Gomez announce their baptism for this Saturday or not (this Saturday is their 4th baptismal date, they keep falling through). But I decided to tell him to go ahead and announce it. It was an act of faith. As far as we know Juan Angel has not smoked since last Thursday and everyone is planning on their baptism this Saturday, including him. It is Hermana Springer´s last Saturday of her ENTIRE mission, so it better happen! Nothing like baptizing the sweetest family in Concepcion to end your mission with a bang.
I gave a talk in church again. Last time I spoke in May, I was still getting over the fact that I would have to prepare a talk without the help of lds.org. And this time I had only a day´s notice and it wasn´t that big of a deal at all. I talked about the blessing we have of having a living prophet and having guidance and direction in our life, and I used the analogy President Monson used in conference this past April of his little toy boats floating down the river, taking the path of least resistance because they didn´t have direction. Really, I am SO thankful for a living prophet and the authority he has. I think I just took that for granted and didn´t realize what a big deal that is before.
This week for the 4th of July we made an apple pie (picture included) in our only pan, a 13 x 9. It was divine. We had a little dessert potluck after district meeting. The elders in our district are so lucky to have sisters in their district, are they not? We sang the Star Spangled Banner at district meeting. I would go on and tell you just HOW thankful I am to be an american citizen, but you´ve heard me talk about that a ton and I don´t want to tear up right now.
Last Monday we went fishing (picture included), as I mentioned last week. It was fruitless but fun. It was also super hot. The next day however, it turned really cold, and since then it has mellowed out. That night we had an FHE with the Meza family at a member´s house. I prepared a lesson on Job and made arroz con leche for the treat, my best batch yet, I must admit. So delicious. I love preparing FHE´s.
Yesterday Concepcion exploded with excitement. It was the big championship soccer game between the two biggest teams, Olimpia and Cerro. It was great news for us because (due to the rain and cold all week) we were super duper behind on contacting, but thanks to the groups who were out waiting for the game to start, we contacted a ton. Cerro won, and so all the Cerristas (cerro fans) blew off fireworks, honked horns, blared music and danced the rest of the night. At one point during the game, we saw a young man sitting outside his house by himself. We asked him why he wasn´t inside watching the game, and he pointed to the sky and said, ¨"My team is up there." My team, too, man. My team, too. :)
I liked what you said about courage, mom. It is a very necessary gospel principle and one I wish I had more. Sometimes I feel so incapable to influence. I feel like in English I would be much bolder and clearer, but with poor Spanish, who am I to boldly persuade or call someone to repentance? I just hope people can feel my love for them, even if they can´t understand me.
I wanted to say something to one of the most faithful readers of my blog, Cameron. Cameron, you mentioned that I see things so clearly and you wish you could be like that. I will tell you why I can see life clearly: because of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that we lived before this life, and that there we knew and loved our Heavenly Father. He sent us to earth to learn and to gain experiences. Just like you don´t learn much in school without tests, we had to come to earth to be tested in order to learn. Each day we have choices to choose between light and dark, to follow God or Satan. And God has given us tools to help us and guide us during this life. He wants us to be happy. He loves us more than we can comprehend, like any parent (especially a perfect Parent) would. And after this life we will see Him again! With this perspective, isn´t life easier? Isn´t it more clear how we should go about each day? How we should treat others? What decisions we should make? I know you know the importance of following God and that you have a relationship with Him and Jesus Christ, but I invite you to go to http://www.mormon.org/ and read more about the plan of Salvation to learn about the great perspective I have been blessed to know. The best thing about it all is that you don´t have to believe it just because I do. You can pray directly to God and ask HIM if it is true! Pay attention to your feelings, and I know you will get an answer.
I am so thankful for Jesus Christ, whose love and mercy is more broad, long, deep, and high than I ever realized. I am so thankful for each of you. I love you!
Your Sister Missionary who is every day more eternally grateful she decided to serve a mission,
Sister Faith Goimarac
1 and 2: Fishing at the Rio Paraguay
3: FHE with the Meza family! Sorry it´s blurry, Paraguayans don´t take photos often. But such CUTE girls, no? Also, I cut like 4 inches off my hair a couple weeks ago.
4: American as apple pie.