Wow, so much to write and so little time! We didn't have time to print emails earlier in the day, so unfortunately I haven`t been able to read your emails before writing this. But thank you so much for writing them because I printed them and will engross myself in them shortly.
So, you want to know about changes, huh? I was told on Monday I will be training again! I went to the office and in the meeting for trainers presidente said, "Hna Goimarac will have a local companion for one week, and her new companion will be arriving next week. She is from Haiti, a beautiful African girl." Haiti! I asked him why she was coming next week and he said they advanced her in the MTC because she knows sufficient spanish. I`m probably training the first sister missionary from Haiti who has served in Paraguay. Tomorrow I`m going to meet her and I`ll tell you everything. I`m so excited to talk to her....I just hope we can communicate well. They speak french in Haiti, right? And some language called creol or something? I remember wanting to go to Haiti after the earth quake. Little did I know Haiti would one day come to me. So I`ve been with a girl who I actually already knew from Caacupe, Monica Resquin. She`s headed to Argentina on her mission in April. We did divisions in Piribebuy and had already worked together, so it`s been great.
Thursday was the longest day of my life. I woke up, excited and a little nervous for our three weddings that day! I was a little skeptical about Leo and Liz, but the others were sure. Members went in the morning and decorated the chapel, even though it was POURING rain allllll day. Five cakes were bought by the ward. The judge was scheduled to come at 5 p.m. The whole ward was invited. Well, at 1:30 Antonia tearfully called and said her fiance left her. At 3:30 the zone leaders went to Leo and Liz`s to talk to them while I called Arnaldo to make sure he was still on. He said yes. Whew. Por lo menos una boda! (At least one wedding!) But then 10 minutes later he called and said Esther didn`t want to anymore. So we ran to their house (still raining). We talked to tearful Esther in the little room she shares with Arnaldo and their daughter. She said she just wasn`t sure. Arnaldo doesn`t express himself very much and she was ticked with him and didn`t know if she wanted to marry someone who doesn`t talk to her enough. It was now 4:15 and the judge was on her way, everything ready, and 0 of 3 couples were planning on getting married. But, surprisingly, I was able to have a calm and optimistic attitude. I sat on Esther`s bed next to her thinking...."I`m not a marriage counselor or relationship expert. What can I possibly do or say?" But we called Arnaldo in. I actually thought of a couple things I have learned in my extensive experience with DTR`s**. I asked Arnaldo, "What do you admire about Esther?" and he said, "....todo." Esther started to cry a little. We asked her the same thing and she just said, "I don`t know." But after saying a prayer together and talking they decided to do it. Esther already had a dress ready and copies of her ID card...she was so ready. The whole family actually got there right at 5 (being on time is a huge deal). Antonia, Arnaldo`s sister, went to go support her brother. Her fiance Rudlofo showed up, and seeing that it was a civil marriage and had nothing to do with the church (I guess he was afraid getting married in the church would indicate he has to be affiliated with the church) decided to get married, too. So spontaneously, Rudolfo and Antonia got married, too (in their jeans).
I have to say, it all turned out way better than I expected. Many members came to support them, there was music and the couples danced. It turned into a ward party....but so much happier. Everyone was SO HAPPY. Especially the two couples. I know marriage is what God wants because we could not have felt so happy if it was not right. It was a very happy day.
I did get your birthday package last week and forgot to mention it. Thank you so much! You always know just what to send. Letters and cards are the best. I love you each so much. :)
Yesterday I spoke in church and felt it went really well. Marcos and Elva came on time to church! But Elva is 7 months pregnant and after two hours of classes didn`t feel good, so they weren`t there for sacrament mtg. But I`m so proud of them. Keep praying for them. Miliciades (the police guy) didn`t come but we talk to him and he`s still interested.
Today over my breakfast of a peanut butter and banana sandwich I was reading the January Liahona for about the 10th time, when I found myself staring at a picture of a road covered in snow. And I remembered dad said one of his pictures was in the Ensign, and sure enough, in little letters on the side it said "Photo by Michael Goimarac" and I knew exactly where that picture was taken! I love that road! It is such a good pic. And I love that photographer! He is such a good one. Congrats, dad. Keep sending those photos in.
Here is a pic of Arnaldo, Esther and their daughter Hayley. SO precious, no? Esther is really smart and ready to get baptized as soon as she goes to church 3 times. I`ll send more photos in a separate email.
I loooove my daily adventures and spiritual experiences. I wish I had more time to tell you of a few more. But in short, I love you and love the scriptures and love God. Missionary work is truly the best. May we all do a little more of it.
**For those unfamiliar with BYU lingo, a DTR (Define The Relationship) is when a couple seriously discusses where their relationship is going and if it is going to continue.
P.S. Mom, I was going to tell you that Note 3 to chapter 3 of Jesus the Christ talks about an interesting peception of the word of wisdom I think you will enjoy. And note 1 answers a question that many people have that you really understand, about free agency even though God knows what will happen. Enjoy. :)
When I go home I have so many books I want to read. The Great Apostasy by Talmage, The Atonement and Mediation by John Tanner, the Doctrines of Salvation, Lectures on Faith. You`d think I was someone from the Middle Ages who had hunger not for bread and thrist not for water....sino de oir la palabra de Jehovah (but to hear the word of God). It`s not like I don`t use that scripture every day or anything.