I got your package yesterday! Thank you so much! It was the biggest surprise because you didn`t tell me you sent anything. Hna Greer and I were SO happy to get new CD`s, and those socks are so clean and new I could hardly bring myself to put them on. I appreciate it so much. It got here in just 3 weeks!
This week we had the baptism of probably the oldest investigator I will ever have. Juan Leon. He is 80 years old and doesn`t speak much spanish, mostly guarani. He is so willing to live the gospel and even walk great distances to get to church. And I don`t even know how much he understands about the gospel. Anyway, when he walked up to the church for his baptism I walked up to him to greet him and said, "Juan Leon! We have white clothes for you to wear for your baptism!" and he said, "Oooohh, como una paloma!" meaning, "Like a dove!" It was a sweet moment. I will send pics next time I can. He had a hard time getting all the way under the water, but Ino (our ward mission leader/best friend who baptized him) is strong and it went well after the second try. Hermana Greer and I sang, "Teach me to walk in the Light" in Guarani, and everyone said they understood!
On Saturday we had a world wide day of service. Was this for the whole church? Did you guys do service? Anyway, as a branch we left at 6:30 a.m. and drove out to a little school and painted it (I have had paint on my hands and arms and legs for two days since . Coupled with the mosquito bite scars it`s really attractive). Our investigator Nelson came! He participates in church things more than most members, ha. He helps clean the chapel and he even bore his testimony in church yesterday about the service project when our branch pres asked him to! While we were painting, we were talking to a non-member young man there who was saying he didn`t want to go to church or do anything religious. Nelson piped up and said, "I used to think that way too, but it`s actually really great and I have learned lots of good things at church." He was such a good little missionary. His problem is that he still feels the church prohibits too many things, and will prevent him from having fun. He says he truly believes the church is true, but has hestitations about baptism. He just wants happiness and thinks that happiness is found in disco tecs and with lots of girls and playing soccer on Sundays and stuff. It hurts how badly I want him to understand that there is a deeper level of happiness just waiting for him if he makes a couple sacrifices first.
There was a big hail storm near Asuncion this week with hail storms the size of grapefruits, apparently. It killed 5 people. Mariam`s relatives live there, and they were going to come to her wedding on Saturday, but because of the storm and their house that got damaged, they couldn`t, so we postponed the wedding to this Saturday.
Yesterday was a very busy Sunday. The first hour, the primary teacher wasn`t there and there were about 12 kids who showed up, so Hna Greer and I taught them primary songs. So fun. I am self-appointing myself the primary chorister and am going to start doing that every week, because the poor kids only know "I am a Child of God." Then the second hour we taught gospel principles about the Book of Mormon and the Bible. Then the third hour I played the piano and gave a talk, so I was on the stand the whole time. As I bowed my head for the closing prayer I gave a sigh of relief that I was done. But then I realized that I wouldn`t have it any other way and I love being that busy. Good thing, because busyness doesn`t stop after church. I spoke about prophets and encouraged everyone to go to General Conference, not to just read the talks in the Liahona. I am more comfortable speaking in church every time. It is truly a pleasure.
This morning we cleaned our house top to bottom. I said how I love seeing things go from dirty to clean, and I realized that that satisfaction is exactly why missionary work is so satisfactory--we get to see people go from confused or burdened or lost to confident, believing, and understanding. For instance, Celzo, the man we baptized last week, got the priesthood on Sunday. He has truly changed just in the short time I`ve been here. He said that his eyes have been opened and now he understands life. :)
There is never a dull moment. Whether it be from fishing dead lizards out of baptismal fonts to capturing big spiders out of your shower to letting your comp dig a bug out of your toe, to buying kerosene to get the paint off of your skin.... I love it. I truly do. I love adventures and even problems and moments of weakness that make me look to God even harder. I am so thankful for the Holy Ghost, who is such a motivator. When I am tempted to get discouraged, all it takes is a little dose of the Spirit to make me determined to go get `em. This is Christ`s church. It is true. Nothing else matters.
I also love each of you and love to hear from you. People may think they have nothing of interest to write to a MISSIONARY, but the truth is I just want to hear about YOU and your life. Even politics and what`s going on in the ward or what you`re learning in school.
Your Sister Missionary,
Hermana Faith Goimarac