It feels like a month since I`ve written, so much has happened. On Tuesday we went to Asuncion to pick up my companion, Hna. Francois (you know how that`s pronounced, mom, but everyone here reads her nametag and pronounces it literally, frankoys, haha). She and I and Pres and Hna. Madariaga went to lunch at a really nice chinese buffet, just the four of us, which was so special. Hna. Francois is amazing. She is from Haiti but got a scholarship and studied for two years at NY state university and was living there when she left on her mission. She joined the church at 11, her mom is inactive. She has all sorts of dreams and goals to change the world and we plan on being friends for life and solving world hunger and helping poor children. She already started an NGO and I`m going to join it with my goat project after the mish.
Hope, your talk gave me and Hna. Francois the goosebumps (I read it to her). You are such a good writer! And I am so glad I wasn`t the translator because I have no idea how I could have put your beautiful words into spanish. I`m so proud of you. THank you for your overly kind words about me. It makes the mission worth it if I have been able to influence my family for good. Have you thought about asking your stake pres if you can leave a change early? I would look into it. But with sisters in the ward (!!!!!!!) you can go on divisions with them and it will be so fun! It would make their day if their first week you volunteered to go out with them and show them around town and visit less actives or set up with member lessons with them. Make them treats, write them notes, introduce them to your friends, give them references. That`s what us sisters want. References from members. Like your co workers. Just tell them to show up at their houses.
We had a great zone conference this Friday. Oh man I love them. They had a birthday cake for me and Elder Seaton, my zone leader, because we have birthdays in February, and they all sang in english, spanish, and guarani. The assistants gave a great presentation on happiness, and how happiness really comes when we do the will of the Lord. It`s true, when I ignore a prompting or don`t do something I could have done, I feel guilty. And guilt is the opposite of happiness. But when I just do what I know I should I feel happy. It`s simple. Obedience equals happiness. Faith equals happiness. That is our message to the world! If we work hard our whole lives, we can stand before God at the end of our lives and be free of guilt. That is the great objective. And all we are trying to do as missionaries is help peolple live in a way so that they, too, can look God in the eye without guilt.
Today we went to San Lorenzo to get lomitos arabes with the elders and I invited Hna. Pelozo (Silvia, now). It was so fun to see her. I love her so much. It is such a privilege to get to know such great girls on my mission. How did I get so blessed?
As far as the work, we had less time this week with all the traveling to Asuncion and the zone conference. Marcos and Elva had family in town and didn`t go to church. No one went, actually, except a new investigator named Orlando, who is 18 and whose family heard from the elders a lot about 3 years ago. We taught Milciades (the police guy) and he loves the church already, thinks the Restoration makes so much sense. It was so fun to teach him, but he doesn`t live in our area so we can`t continue with him.
I heard Hope say that the church made 58 new missions!!!!! What music to my ears! How very exciting! We actually heard today that Paraguay will have three missions (right now there are two). A mission in Argentina is going to cover part of Paraguay. And in July Pres Madariaga and his wife go home, and our new pres will be Pres McMullin and his wife, from Bluffdale Utah. He served in Ecuador and she in Spain. Yea for returned missionary couples!
Well, I`m in a hurry to get an FHE ready for tonight. Just know I know obedience to God is the only way to real happiness.