Mi Amada Familia,
Wow, Hope and Dad are hiking the Grand Canyon as I type! I have to say I got a twinge of homesickness there, reading about their daddy-daughter campout and then a backpacking trip. But I am mostly so happy you all are doing fun things. You gotta keep Hope busy for the next 17 days. Man, I just love you each so very much. Is everyone going to be in town next week for Hope`s farewell and Sabrina`s wedding? Tom and Neal too?
We had a super busy week. This is definitely the busiest time of my mission, and one of the busiest times of my entire life. We did two divisiones. I stayed in our area and worked on Wednesday with Hermana Venegas from Peru who just got here three weeks ago, and on Friday with Hna. Vilcahuaman also brand new from Peru. It was fun to work with brand new missionaries. Wednesday was Mothers day here, and no one has school or work. It was also rainy and cold all day. So everyone was either a) with their family b) drunk, because it was a day off or c) in bed because it was cold. Even though I had a plan B to every visit, we ended up needing plans A-Z and still no one answered their door or let us in. At 8 at night I was just so ready to go home and Hna. Venegas was so cold, but we`re supposed to be out until 9, and I wanted to be a good example of hard work. Standing in the cold thinking of who we could possibly visit, Karen called us and said, "I just got home, are you coming?" Hallelujah! Someone wanted us! She had a bowl of popcorn and a warm house waiting for us. What an angel. God answers prayers.
We had the baptism of Rossana on Saturday! She`s the mom of Ronni, who got baptized when I first got to Isla Bogado in January. We have been teaching her off and on for a while, but I honestly didn`t think it was her time. She isn`t your typical investigator. She`s never really been religious. She was actually a drug addict and living with her boyfriend until about 5 months ago. She had a baptismal date clear back in February but that fell through because they didn`t get married. But she started coming to church on her own every Sunday, without us even inviting her. She kept saying she wanted to get baptized. So we taught her again and emphasized the promise one makes at baptism to keep the commandments, and she understood very well. She and Diego (boyfriend) haven`t been living together for months and she promised to live the law of chastity. She passed her interview and on a very rainy and cold Saturday got baptized! Her non-member friends and mom and sister were there and we taught them all the Restoration at the baptism. It was very spiritual. Rossana got up and said, "I am so happy. I just feel really good. I am just really......happy. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen." Her little nephew (Ronni`s cousin) Gabriel is getting baptized on Saturday, along with the Benitez family and Analia!
We had to have the baptism in the chapel of Laurelty because our chapel had water issues again and we couldn`t fill the font.
This week we are going to the office in Asuncion Tuesday-Friday to present at every Zone Conference. We are speaking about the need to use the Book of Mormon in our teaching more. I have learned to love it even more preparing it. Ezra Taft Benson said, ". Is there not something deep in our hearts that longs to draw nearer to God, to be more like Him in our daily walk, to feel His presence with us constantly? If so, then the Book of Mormon will help us do so more than any other book." I like that.
Tonight we have a great FHE planned with the Benitez family and the bishop. Please pray that they can progress towards their baptism this Saturday without any problem. Satan works hard the week before baptism (or leaving for a mission, or even just going to church) to distract or impede spiritual progression.
Best of luck with everything this crazy week. I love you and miss you so much!
Your Busy Sister Missionary,