Well, now I love Mondays twice as much because I`m going to get Hope`s awesome emails. An elder next to me at the internet place says there are more sisters than elders at the MTC right now. Crazy. What fun it would be to be there with such an army of missionaries. It is SUCH an exciting time to be a member of the church, and a missionary on top of that. We sometimes forget there`s an army of missionaries out there, because we`re kind of alone out here sometimes. We talk to people who have never heard of the church sometimes (although the grand majority have heard of the church down here by Asuncion). Anyway, your email Hope had me so happy and almost wishing I could go to the MTC again and go on another mission right after I finish this one. If I didn`t miss dating so much I totally would do that, no questions asked. But the next best thing would be to work at the MTC, and I certainly hope I can!
The Lord truly is hastening His work, and I, like you, Hope, am SO overjoyed to be a part of it, especially with my best friend and sister Hope! It is a huge responsibility to be a missionary. I know God is going to hold me accountable for a lot more things, all because I decided to go on a mission. But, whom the Lord calls, He qualifies. Thank goodness.
Anyway, I am stoked to look for you in the broadcast next Sunday, Hope! I am going to pop if you get put on the screen. And if I pop, mom is going to explode with (grateful) pride. Haha. You need to drink more water on Mondays mom, to make up for the crying you`re doing at the computer screen.
Dad! I forgot to say Happy Fathers day last Monday because I didn`t realize it was Fathers Day already! Yesterday I spoke in church and my topic was baptism. I said, "En este dia del padre, he estado pensando en mi propio papa. Para mi, el es el máximo. El me bautizò hace 14 anos...." (translation: This Father`s day, I have been thinking about my own dad. For me, he is the best there is. He baptized me 14 years ago.) And I continued about how baptism is a gift from our loving Heavenly Father, part of our journey home to Him. Dad, I am much more grateful for you than ever before. I think I said this last year in my email home, but I`ll say it again. There are very few good men in the world. Paraguay has made me well aware of that. I feel very blessed to have been born to one of the few gems out there. Thank you for loving the Lord over all things, for loving mom and for loving us. It is the greatest accomplishment I think a man can have; loving the Lord and his wife and family.
So! I got to go to Concepcion! Oh it was such a rewarding trip. One of the best days of my entire mission! First thing in the morning as we walked to the zone meeting, we saw Cresencio sitting by a bus stop, our convert who quit chewing tobacco. He was so happy to see us (I was with Hna. Wood who also began her mission in Concepcion soon after I left) and proudly told us he goes to church every week. We presented at the zone meeting, then we had lunch with some members, then we saw the Meza family! It was Nila`s 17th birthday that day and she was overly ecstatic to see us. You never really know if people are going to remember you or not, you know, or if they will be as happy to see you as you are to see them. But for the Meza family, it`s not like that. We are like family, and it was like we hadn`t been apart for a year. The sad thing is Juan Angel came driving up on his moto, and he said, "Goimarac! Can it be?!" and was very happy and wanted to hug me. Nila said, "He`s so drunk," and it was clear he was. He`s much worse than he was when I knew him.
We went to Jessica`s house (the other Meza daughter who got baptized with us). She has recently moved into a rented room with her little daugther just to get away from her dad, Juan Angel. Mercedes and Milene were also there and are as precious as ever! Nila, Mercedes and Milene always go to church and love it. Nila is in the YW presidency and is planning on a mission and everything. Jessica and her mom Gladys don`t seem to be quite as active. Gladys was at work so we couldn`t see her, but we said we would pass by the chapel later that night for branch night and see her then.
At night we did pass by and Gladys hugged me so tightly and for so long, and then I saw tears in her eyes. She said, "You`ll never know how happy I am to see you." We sat in front of the chapel and talked and talked. She has the hardest life and all because of her husband (was I not just talking about the men here?!). Juan Angel comes home drunk and talks and talks about stupid, absurd things and makes it so Gladys can`t sleep (they live in a one room house pretty much) and if she tries to get him to be quiet he gets violent, and she especially doesn`t want him to get violent in front of the kids. So she and her daughters go the Jessica`s rented room down the street, to all sleep in her one little bed. When she doesn`t do that she doesn`t sleep at all, and walks to her work dizzy from having no sleep. One night Juan Angel almost killed his baby granddaughter with a machete in his drunken wrecklessness, but Glady`s brother stopped him just in time. He was sent to jail for a week for that. It is just a heart breaking disaster and Gladys doesn`t know what to do. She`s tried everything. What I would do to just take them to the states with me and let them be part of my family. To give Nila a good education and righteous husband. That girl is going places, she`s already studying English a lot.
I was with Hna. Amado (brand new from Guatemala a week ago) in Concepcion, looking for new investigators with her. It was night time and we were walking towards the terminal. Someone called out, "Goimarac! Goimarac!" It was Leida! Our old investigator who almost got baptized but didn`t. She has moved and no one knew it. We had a great chat and she wants to get baptized. It was such a miracle she saw me, honestly. Then right after that an old investigator named Carlos saw me in the street, and we made an appointment for the sisters to visit him again. I truly feel like it was a tender mercy I got to be there to help the new sisters find my old investigators.
Here is a pic of Hna. Macahuachi and me right before we came to the cyber so you can see her. I love being her comp. She really tries to learn English and it`s fun helping her.
I love you a ton and always wait with great anxiety to hear from you. I love my mission and I love the Lord, and I`ve had several great spiritual experiences this week but just used my internet time to write Pres a letter, since he`s leaving in two weeks. Anyone wanting to read an uplifting, funny, and inspiring missionary letter should just read my sister Hope`s letters! :) hopegoimarac.blogspot.com
One thing I loved this week was finding Mosiah 16:5. The atonement is for those who repent. It is in vain for those who do not. Let`s repent.
Your Sister Missionary,