Monday, June 3, 2013

"And offer your whole souls as an offering unto Him." Omni 1:26‏ (Photos at end)

Dearest Family, 
So much to say and less time than ever! Today is my comp`s last preparation day of her mission, she leaves on Thursday. We are still waiting for calls about changes. I`ve been in Isla Bogado for 5 months, but if I leave they would have to whitewash the area. I sincerely hope I stay so I can take care of our converts. I love this ward. It`s going to be a struggle to get new investigators progressing because we have recently baptized all of them, but...forever onward and upward! There are always prepared people. But I`m going to miss Hermana Greer a lot. We are super good friends. I`ll let you know  who my new companion is next week. 

I was thinking about you so much on Saturday! What a beautiful wedding! You are so classy. I love my family so much it hurts. Just seeing that beautiful picture of you at the Sedona ward lawn...I just really love you. Know that. Dad, you are so inspired. Mom, the cake looks beautiful. You are all so sharp and attractive. Tom, I miss you! Write me! Carrie, your family is so precious! Elayne is so big!!

On Tuesday we had a very powerful fireside with Elder Richard J Maynes from the presidency of the Seventy. We all got to shake his hand. I learned a lot and felt the spirit so STRONGLY. Right after the fireside I went to an area called Ysapy and did a division with Hna Cortes from Colombia. She doesn`have any support from her family but left on a mission anyway. Amazing. Then the next day I came home and Hna. Greer went to Juan de Salazar and sweet Hermana Nielsen who just got here 6 weeks ago came to our area and I worked with her for a day. She`s from Colorado and went to BYU-Idaho. She loves to eat healthy and run and we had a great time together.

On Friday we had to go to the office for Hna. Greer`s final interview. On Saturday we had the baptism of Gabriel, he`s 8 years old. He has been going to church for months with his cousin Ronni but we haven`t wanted to let him get baptized without supportive adults who will help him stay active. His mom is investigating slowly, and his dad isn`t in the picture. But with his aunt Rossana and his cousin Ronni who are members, we felt he has support to stay active. He has watched all his little friends get baptized and was SO happy when he finally could. Watching him walk into the baptismal font in his cute little white jumpsuit, he gave a little gasp because of the cold water but then just burst into the biggest smile. He is such a cutie. 
We have been working with a less active guy, Leoncio, and his wife (well, unmarried) and three daughters. We have only visited with him once, but with his family twice. We have passed by their house probably 7 or 8 times and they always have some excuse or are not home or don`t come to the door. We flat out caught them lying once. Anyway, on Sunday morning we made one last attempt to get them to church and went to their house at about 7:45 (church starts at 8:30). Leoncio was there and we were like, "Let`s go to church!" he said he got home late the night before..had all these excuses. His daughter was like, "Let`s just go dad!." He got up, went out the front door and climbed a tree, came down with a parrot in his hand and put it in a cage, then got ready to go. We walked to the bus stop with him and his wife and three girls and we were all so happy! We could tell he loved being back at church. And the rest of his family are potential converts.
We have also been working with Miriam Gimenez, who is less active, and her daughter Milagros who is DYING to get baptized, but Miriam has not been to church even once since I`ve been here. We were out of ideas of what we can say and do to help her so that her daughter can enjoy the blessings of going to church. But for the past week we didn`t see them at all. Then yesterday they surprised us and showed up at church! It was the best surprise ever! So maybe you have to just drop people to make them miss you...then they step up and do their part. 

Pati Perez, a 19 year old member who I encouraged to go on a mission, received her mission call this week and is going to Buenos Aires South! We are so excited for her! 
The Benitez family is super active in the church already. Miriam`s uncle died on Monday, and she had to go to Argentina all week, but got home just in time to go to church yesterday. Her husband said, "She`s really different, because she would have reacted very differently about a death before. But now she`s calm and has a different perspective. The church has already changed her a lot." Yep, it tends to do that. 
Also, the sister missionaries from Piribebuy called us yesterday and said, "Someone wants to talk to you." They handed the phone to somebody, and it was Santiago, an investigator Hermana Greer and I worked with a TON in Piribebuy who never got baptized with us. He was calling us at his baptism! He had been investigating the church for 7 YEARS. We remember crying in lessons with him because he knew the church was true and that he should get baptized but had some mysterious doubt or worry we could NOT figure out. We talked to the hermanas today and they said his baptism was great and all the members were there because he has a ton of friends in the branch, considering he`s been going to church off and on for 7 years. They also said Sonya, another lady I found and taught who got baptized is the new primary president and is helping a lot. So much progress in Piribebuy!

Anyway, what do I say to my DEAR SISTER HOPE!? This is the last email I write to you as a non-missionary! Let me just say that being a missionary is so much better than your life now. In your words, YOU MAKE MY HEART SING. I am so excited for you and for this life-changing week. I am in the process of writing you a deeper letter by hand that I`m sending to the mission home in Brazil. So do you know how long you will be in Provo? Don`t get BYU sick. Just imagine the MTC is far, far away from Provo. 
As some comic relief to a serious time, but also very sincerely, I would like to promise you that I will write you every single week of your mission through this song by Michael Mclean. I invite everyone who knows a precious sister missionary angel leaving this week to make a similar promise to keep in touch!
I might lose my job and 50 bucks, just when my rent is due. 
I might lose control and punch my boss, and hope he doesn`t sue.
I might lose a million things or more, before this life is through.
Might lose a leg and need a crutch, but I`ll never lose touch with you. 
I might lose my watch and sense of time, where I need to be.
I might lose the stamp I need to mail my card across the sea.
And I might even lose a sock, when I do laundry,
But socks and stamps don`t cost too much, so you`ll never lose touch with me.
But there is One who loves us more, than we can comprehend.
And though our world is tempest-tossed, don`t need to feel lost my friend.
Love never ends, we don`t need to feel lost, we don`t need to feel lost, my friend.
Hope, I love you more than I can say and for that I am so happy you are going on a mission. Everything God does is to make us fit to live with Him. He wants to be with us, but we have to be like Him to be with Him. I know He has called you on  mission to not only make YOU more fit for the kingdom, but be His hands to help others be more fit, too. It is truly the best decision I have made in my life, after the decision to get baptized. I am scared to think of the person I would be if I didn`t go on a mission. I would still be worthy and active in the church, I think. But I truly see the world differently now. I love the Lord with a deeper love and know Him better. I understand what is truly important in life in a way that I didn`t profoundly internalize before. Sharing the gospel is my passion now, and it used to be a big fear. I have no doubt whatsoever that you will be a great missionary, Hope. Heavenly Father will be with you every moment, even when you don`t recognize it. I wish I could give you a big hug and cast a magic wand over you to take away all nervousness and fear. You don`t need to feel alone or lost or nervous, my friend. 
Your Sister Missionary,
Sister Goimarac I
Let me know if the pictures come through.
P.S. I didnt`have time to tell you that yesterday a moto crashed into the one in front of him and we had to leap out of the way to not be in the crash, then we helped the guy get the moto off of him. And the day before I got bit by a dog while trying to get a different dog away from me! It was a tiny bite, but I`m proud of it. :) 

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