Oh, boy, oh, boy, I love my mission. If there is any future missionary out there reading this who has the fear of just surviving 18 or 24 months and wondering if they will make it....NEVER FEAR! The mission is great and you will love it. Have hope.
I am glad you had a good time in San Diego. I was thinking of you all week. If I weren`t so happy sharing the best thing on earth I would have been jealous. But who has time to be jealous when you`re milking cows and calming teenage-girl boyfriend drama, and racking your brain about how to get the ward involved in helping your convert participate, and running on beautiful chilly mornings, and the dozens of other little tasks I did this week. But I am indeed glad you all went. I loved your Mormon Batallion pic! I was also thinking a lot about Elise, and how happy I am for her and the testimony-builder she is to me. I wish I could have been there to support her and feel the spirit.
Also, happy birthday Kimberly Eggett! I always remember your birthday is tax day. I hope you have a great day today!!!
Also, public congrats to Cameron for finishing the Book of Mormon! Six months is not long at all, I think it took me two years to read it through the first time when I was 8, haha. I`m so proud of you! I know with all my heart the Book of Mormon is true. I would love to know what you think about it, and I also hope we can talk in person about it in October when I get home.
Can I just start by bearing my testimony? Yesterday in church I really felt the spirit so sweetly. My testimony of the gospel has grown a lot this week. I know that this is Christ`s restored church. I know that God lives today and guides us through His church. I know He hears and answers prayers. I don`t know how I know that so surely, because I often times can`t see the answer to my prayer or see how God is answering it, but I just KNOW He is answering. I can feel it and have NO doubt He hears and answers us. I know His Holy Ghost really guides. I am so thankful for it.
Yesterday we left the house at 7:30 a.m. to pass by 5 different houses to go with some investigators to church. We arrived at church empty-handed and a little late. So if you ever see missionaries (or anyone for that matter) arriving late, don`t judge. They were probably doing a good deed that made them late. Anyway, our efforts were not in vain because our investigator Christian Morales (a different Christian than the one who came a couple weeks ago) showed up with his little boy (who looooved wreaking havoc in sacrament meeting with the other kids...ha. Seventh heaven for him). Christian really enjoyed church. We are focusing on finding men investigators, because every ward and branch in Paraguay needs more priesthood. We have learned how to capture their attention in lessons and contacts. It really works. You have to talk to men differently than women because they are not as naturally interested in God and religion, I`ve found. So we`re focusing on finding men to teach, I try to contact every non-drunk man I see. Man-hunting....I`m going to be in good practice for when I`m back at BYU in a few months, haha.
Anyway, the testimonies at church yesterday were so good. I am so glad we had an investigator there. However, I was also very full of Godly sorrow. I seem to have my deepest thoughts while sitting on the piano bench during the sacrament. I was thinking of all the things I did the past two weeks, what I need to repent of, etc. And on the one hand I was so very joyful and light and thankful...for all the things we did do. But as I thought of all the people I love who we had invited and committed to come to church who were not there, my heart was so heavy. What more could we have done? How can I help these precious souls understand just how much better their life would be if they would do a few simple things like go to church?
I think some people probably think we do what we do just to fill the chapel, just to find people to go to our church. I love to clarify that that is NOT our motive. This is the only church that has the keys to unlock the gates to the celestial kingdom. No one else has that authority. But also, going to church makes life so much easier! I can`t even say how happy I was yesterday in church. The truths we discuss, the testimonies we heard, the pure doctrine that was spoken. I have no doubt we are in the true church. And I have no greater desire than for the whole world to know of it.
It got kind of cold for the first time. I think I have gotten way too accustomed to being hot because the littlest bit of cold makes me freezing and I pull out my sweaters and scarves. haha. I am so paraguaya. It`s like in Africa we were all hot but it was their winter, and they were wearing their winter clothes. But now I`m pretty much just like that.
Wow, I really don`t know what to say. We worked very hard this week and have super high numbers. I love being with Hna Greer. She makes me a better person. For instance, we are doing a sugar fast right now and not eating sugar until the end of her mission (well, she`s a little more diligent in this regard than me. It`s gotten cold and I am a lover of hot chocolate.) We also go running really hard in the mornings. She also has talents that I have always wanted that inspire me, like braiding my own hair, singing perfect harmony, and drawing craazy good. We have the best conversations allll day and I love it. It`s a constant spiritual round-table discussion between the two of us.
Well, I don`t have much else to say except that I have a whole new vision for my life with new goals and dreams. I must go on a mission to Africa with my husband. I must run a marathon next April. I must convert a family asap. I must be the missionaries' best friend my whole life and do visits with them all the time, because missionary work is the best work there is.
Well, I love you and have a scripture from me to you: Moroni 8:3.