Monday, January 28, 2013

"We are troubled on every side, but not discouraged." II Corinthians

Deeeeeeeearest Family,

This is very late because earlier the LDS mail site wasn`t working, so we went out to work and came back a couple hours later.
Thank you for the birthday wishes! I got a couple emails from friends I haven`t heard from in a long time, so thank you so much! I didn`t at all expect anyone to remember my birthday considering the first of the month always sneaks up on us. It will be a great day because we have our best lunch appointment on Fridays with the Perez family. I feel like their house is the only place I eat delicious food. I am not excited to go home, but I am excited to eat good food again. You know you`re a missionary when you risk your own health to be on good terms with others (read: when you eat empanadas de carne and drink glasses of soda because that`s how the members show their love to you, which is what I just did about 10 minutes ago.)
About this time last Monday I began to feel sick, and it was the start of a weird illness all week that I`m still recovering from. Mostly I had a throbbing headache all the time, sometimes coupled with a sore throat and sometimes with a stomach ache. But, thanks to prayers, we hardly lost an hour of work. I just took ibuprofen and endured. Thankfully it`s not dengue fever. 
Rosa is going to get baptized this next Saturday, but almost her whole family was in church yesterday and her mom even got a calling as nursery leader! Hooray for re-activation! It feels so good!
I got a really sweet letter in the mail from a girl I don`t know. She introduced herself as a recent convert and said that Christian Duke had a huge role in her conversion. She told me her beautiful conversion story, and how now she is at BYU in Provo with a strong desire to serve a mission. She thanked me from the bottom of her heart for being the example that motivated Christian to serve a mission, and for unknowingly changing her life. She said she`s wanted to write me ever since she heard the testimony of Christian. It was a letter that gave me so much hope and motivation to be better, to always just be obedient. So sweet of her to find my address and write me a letter, no?
We had some moments that were so spiritual and precious this week, and others when I found out about problems that I never imagined I would have to face as a missionary. I will tell you about the former. :) It is so important to talk to everyone. A while ago I bought a huge umbrella because it was the only one I could find, and my old one broke. We were walking in the sun on a road with no shade and a mom and her little daughter were also walking in the same direction. I shared my shade with my easily-shareable umbrella and we talked to her. Her name is Norma and she left her husband last week because he has another in his sad. Anyway, in this very difficult time we were able to teach her and her dad, who went to church a lot several years ago but never got baptized. Norma feels like we are true servants of God because we talked to her just at a time in her life when she needs help. It is so important to talk to everybody, to just open my mouth. 

Many times when we introduce ourselves and talk about the church, people from other religions say, "We are Catholic (or Baptist, or from Dios es Amor or take your pick), but there`s only one God!" indicating that as long as we talk about God it doesn`t matter what Church we go to. One man this week explained it as, "It doesn`t matter if we arrive at the feet of God in a car or a boat or a bike or on foot, as long as we get there!" and another says, "Churches are like schools, it doesn`t matter if you go to a private school or a public school, as long as you learn in the end!" But I ask myself, did God ever say that? Did He say we can believe whatever and we will be saved? Did he say that broad is the way that leads to salvation? He sent His Son and said that HE is the way, the truth, and the life, and only through HIM we can get there. And if Christ established His church, that is how we should follow Him. I`ve been thinking about Matthew 7:14 a lot this week, how the path is straight and the gate is narrow, and few there be that find it (interesting you should mention that scripture in your letter to me this week, dad). In that same chapter it says that all those who say "Lord, Lord" will not be saved. Only those who follow Him in HIS way, who submit to His will through baptism with his power and permission, His authority. And that is why we have to tell everyone of the restored gospel! So they know that the same church that Christ restored is here!!!  His Priesthood power has been restored to the earth!  Isn`t it the best news on earth?! I`m so thankful I`m called to bear it. There is really no better way to love one another than to share the gospel with them. Friends don`t let friends live without the gospel. We have to share the gospel! 
In case you are curious, we finally caught the rat in our house. We were on divisions and Sister Sanchez from Panama was here the morning we finally found it in our trap (alive!) and she bravely took care of it for me. Whew.
I had a lot of things I wanted to tell you and thought I would remember without writing them down, which I didn`t. It was probably something about how I love being a missionary.

I am so thankful that I have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life, that "God has shined in my heart" as it says in 2 Corinthians. Thanks to this, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed." I couldn`t describe the mission (or life) more acurately, it is sooo hard sometimes. :)  However, thanks to our knowledge of Jesus Christ and the full gospel, we can be troubled with work or hard classes or perplexed with problems in the ward, or persecuted with a 5 month wait until you enter the MTC, and we can still be haaappppppppyyy! We can overcome distress and destruction. Oh man oh man I love the gospel. 
Your very sweaty sister missionary in Paraguay,
Sister Faith Goimarac

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday Faith. You are such a great example to all of us. You have such a strong testimony and are doing so well. You have made such a difference out there. Love, Sister Schabatka


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