Good luck flying to Spain this week Hope! I am super excited for you. I miss you a ton. Tom, thank you SO much for your email! It was the most pleasant surprise. And I thought the whole point of cactus was that they do NOT need water...? haha
Dad, thank you for recommending the Inconvenient Messiah again. I have it on CD (Steve gave me his talk on CD, best gift ever) but you mentioning made me read it again. His words, ¨When it seems at times that the harder you try, the harder it gets, take heart. So it has been with many¨¨ were super comforting today.
This Tuesday Hermana Quispe and I got up at 4 a.m. to go to zone training in a place called Ybu Yau (kind of like BYU mixed up, don`t you think_ Imagine a question mark right there, this keyboard is awful. Anyway, perfect for someone who is a little bit BYU sick right now as school starts next week and this is the first August since I was 5 that I have not gone back to school). Anyway. After a long bus trip and training and another super hot trip back, we got back to Concepcion about 3 p.m. and hit the streets to make some visits and preach this amazing message.
No sooner had Hna Quispe mentioned how much she was looking forward to sleeping that night when we got a phone call. Hna. Quispe said, ¨ No me digas!¨¨ I was to leave Concepcion that night at 11 p.m. and take a bus to Asuncion and be transferred to an area called Piribebuy. Changes are every six weeks, and this week was week 4 of a change. But because of three sisters going home this week in order to start school at BYU there were special changes. But because Hna. Quispe and I just barely got put together, I was not expecting changes at ALL. I didn`t want to leave the branch, the people, my Latina companion...
I had 7 short hours to say goodbye to the people I have come to love so much, and to pack. It was SO hard. I don`t know if I will ever see them again, and all of a sudden I had to say goodbye when I had least expected it. I told the Meza family I had to go and thought I would cry. Kneeling on that kitchen floor of theirs for the last time, listening to little Mercedes Meza thank God for me and thank Him for the true church that will help them to be a happy family....can a heart get more full?
I am now companions with Hermana Greer from Maryland! I sat by her on the airplane from Dallas to Buenos Aires on the flight here to Paraguay. We have been here the same amount of time, but she served in Colorado for three months before that, so she actually has twice as much missionary experience as me. Nonetheless we are co-senior companions...which has been interesting, not knowing who has authority so to speak. She is great and I am super thankful to be her companion. I am already learning so much from her. She really cares about this work and wants to put her whole heart, might, mind and strength into it, as do I. I have high expectations for this area! Vamos a cambiar este rama pequena. Vamos a ver una estaca en ningun tiempo! (We're going to change this little branch. We're going to see a stake here in no time.)
Piribebuy (Peer-eee-beh--boo-oy) is like the garden of Eden. It actually reminds me a lot of Africa (and with no power or running water the first two nights and cold showers and slow internet...it feels like Africa, too. But I loooooved Africa so this is good news for me). It is much smaller than Concepcion, much more tranquilo. It is what I imagined Paraguay to be like. I love it already. I took some beautiful pictures this morning on a long run (Hna Greer loves to run! Yippee!) but I am afraid I cannot attatch pictures at this internet cafe, which breaks my heart because I have some precious photos with some members in Concepcion.
The branch here is a lot smaller. I had to play the piano yesterday because I am the only one who knows how. Remember mom, how when I was taking piano lessons you told me that one day I would be in a branch and be the only one who could play? Prophesy fulfilled. haha. I am very excited to work here. Also, you know you are a missionary in Paraguay when you step off the stand at church from bearing your testimony and almost step on a dog that is lying on the floor of the chapel.
We have a house here that is about three times bigger than our little apt in Concepcion. It has a beautiful back yard. In fact, I have a little analogy that is kind of silly but was meaningful to me. As I was packing in a flurry to leave Concepcion, I thought how I had just bought a lot of food that I could not take with me because I had no room. I thought,¨Man, I even just bought a big papaya I am not going to be able to eat.¨ It wasn`t a big deal, but I did think that. And then when I got to Piribebuy, the first morning I went to our backyard to find two papaya trees, and picked a delicious papaya. I gave God a little papaya, and He gave me two papaya TREES. And that`s just how life is. We give God a little bit, and He always blesses us with more. It is a principle I am learning time and time again on my mission, and a principle I love to teach. Give God a little extra today, and just watch another blessing come into your life.
I am indeed grateful for the changes that God gives us. The purpose of life really is to change, and I sure hope that I change enough so that I am a different person when I come home. The discouraging moments for me are when I realize that the gap between the kind of missionary I want to be and the missionary I am now is so very wide. It will indeed require all 18 months and then some to become the missionary I hope to be.
However, in all the changes in life that come our way, our ability to be successful really depends on our trust in Heavenly Father, as Richard G. Scott says, ¨
¨Your peace of mind, your assurance of answers to vexing problems, your ultimate joy depend upon your trust in Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.¨
I love you all and miss you sooooooo much.
Your Sister Missionary,
Hermana Faith Goimarac
P.S. Katie Nelson! Thank you so much for your letter! Oh man your words meant so much to me. And CONGRATS on your wedding! I can`t believe you still read my blog and wrote me even though you were about to get married. Your new husband is a lucky, lucky man! And that is blog-official! ;)