The Franco family and us: Alipio, Leti and Janet.
Another dollar, another day. We worked even harder this week with even higher numbers, and we finally are seeing some fruits! We had four investigators in church yesterday, but almost more sweet were several less actives who came that I didn`t think were going to reactivate for a while.
We saw a little miracle, too. Well, several. We see miracles all the time. But anyway, I`ve been praying to have another baptism in January because the mission standard of excellence is to have 2 each month, and I believe that God would not ask us to do something that is impossible. We have also been trying to visit a very inactive family, the family Resquin, and they never seem to make time for us. We have been going to their house over and over to no avail. We had a great lesson with them the first week we were here, and they said they would go to church, but didn`t. And since then they haven`t wanted to talk to us. But on Wednesday we went yet again, and caught them outside (aHA!). And they were so happy to talk to us, actually. As if they hadn`t been avoiding us at all. The mom said, "Hermanas, we have something importantismo (very important) to do. My daughter Rosa is 9 years old and isn`t baptized." And thus it is. She already has attendance at church and the elders taught her a while ago, and we are re-teaching her everything this week and have a baptism on Saturday! Hna. Resquin and Rosa went to church yesterday and everyone was so happy to see them. Members came up to us and said, "Hermanas! You did the mission impossible! You got the Resquins to church!" But all we really did is just keep on trying to visit them.
Another day we were doing a visit with Leti Franco (I`m attaching a pic of her and her family, they help us a TON) and asked her if she knew an old investigator named Elaine that we had found in the area book. She knew the general area and we asked around and found her. Little did we know that the day before Elaine had come home from the hospital from having a baby, and was alone with her two other young children and her husband was at work. Her house was a disaster, and on top of that she doesn`t have water at her house and had to carry water, which she shouldn`t be doing after having a c-section. We immediately washed dishes, cleaned up a bunch of trash, got lots of water, and transformed the place. It felt so good to be at the right place at the right time. I felt so much joy helping her, because she was really stuck. By the way, she is from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Ever since your call, Hope, I see people and things from Sao Paulo everywhere I look!
My comp is just so great. We make a good team, I think. She speaks guarani and is teaching me, and I am teaching her a little english. I decided that it doesn`t matter if your circumstances are ideal as long as you have a great companionship, you can be happy and conquer. Good lesson for life: marry the right person.
Yesterday we had an interesting little conversation when we clapped the house of someone who wanted to teach us that we need to study the Bible more, and ONLY the Bible. It made me think a lot and I realized that we are really the only church that believes that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Everyone thinks they believe that, but if they think about it they don`t. If God never changes, it means that if He revealed His gospel to His prophets since the beginning of time, He will today, too. It means that if it was a sin to commit adultery back in Jesus`s time, it is still a sin, etc. People who think that the Bible is the only word of God we are ever going to get just don`t know God very well. Do they think the Bible was written in a day? No, it was written over years and years as God revealed his gospel to his prophets and they wrote the Bible. So....God spoke more, and then more books were written over centuries. And if God is the same, He is going to continue speaking more, or adding books. Everyone loves to quote the verse from Revelations that says "if any man adds or detracts from this book he will be condemned" (of however it is in English). But they don`t understand the Book of Revelations if they use that to mean there will be no word of God. This is a battle I fight daily, trying to show people God loves us enough to guide us through these latter days. The heavens are NOT closed, folks. God speaks to us today because we need him now more than ever. And why do you murmur and complain about receiving more direction from God??
There is a young woman in the ward, Pati Perez, who is 19 and has wanted to go on a mission but hasn`t been able to decide if she should. I wrote a few scriptures on a post-it note that helped me when I was deciding to go on a mission, and as I prepared to go. (D&C 100:1 and D&C 31. Scriptures that Matt Price so wisely texted me.) I gave her the note on Friday when we had lunch at their house, and the next day we were with her to do a visit with her and she said, "Hermana Goimarac, you helped me so much. I read those scriptures and then my patriarchal blessing and prayed, and felt so much peace. I`m filling out my papers on Monday. Those scriptures addressed my exact concern, that my family is going to be ok while I`m gone." Her mom is in poor health. It made me so happy to be able to help her.
Your helpful spanish word for the day: la lagartija (lizard). Helpful for explaining to your companion why you shriek from the bathroom when the little lizard who lives behind the medicine cabinet pokes his head out at you while you brush your teeth. But it`s a cute lagartija.
I am so very happy. So content. So hot. But so thankful.
Your Sister Missionary,
Photos: Today we went on a little excursion to Aregua.
The Franco family and us: Alipio, Leti and Janet.
Our house. Prettier on the outside than in...haha. And still has a rat we cannot trap.