Thursday, July 18, 2013

Obedience is the best way to show God we love Him (photos at end)

Dear Family,

Hope, Colorado Springs! How exciting! I can only imagine that you`re a little scared and nervous right now; it`s a lot of change in very little time. I remember being in the airport on my way here, and it was the first time I was in public with my name tag. It felt different but so good. I felt like a real missionary. I bet it was hard to say goodbye to your MTC district.  And you`re probably nervous that you`re going to forget all your Portugese....or mix it up with Spanish. Just know that GOD is WITH YOU. You know. :) I hope you get to Brazil before I go, though. We have to be neighbors for at least a change...I`ll mention that to God and hopefully your visa can speed up. ;)
Hermana Greer (er...should I be calling you Maggie now? How about I just say "best friend"?)  remember that less active, Jacklyn, you found on the collectivo and made me promise to find? We found her! She got baptized 7 years ago actually and got confirmed and never went back to church. She said it`s because one day she found a brand new box of cigarettes in the street and, in a moment of weakness, fell back into smoking (she had smoked since she was 13 but quit for a long time and got baptized) and felt too guilty to go back to church. She and her husband got married and baptized the same day and have four little sons. She and he are only like 27 years old, and she`s so beautiful. And, on Sunday they all went to church!!! We passed by their little shack of a house (she has nothing) and we all walked to church. It was quite a walk but they didn`t have any money to pay for the bus. They seemed to really feel good being back and we`re going to work with the members to help them be active members and get on their feet. They`re about to separate, so hopefully we can help their marriage and help them become a beautiful, eternal family. 
An old investigator, Christian Morales, also came (visiting him was inspiration on my part that I didn`t realize was inspiration until we visited and he said that that very day he had been wondering why we don`t visit him anymore [he wasn`t progressing]). We had a great visit and he went to church, and felt the spirit in priesthood meeting and got personal revelation about how to help his wife! Way to go principle number 5! (Revelation through church attendance!) and two other youth, Fatima and Junior. We had 5 investigators in church just like you did in Sedona!
All during the week Susan and Carlos said they were preparing to go to church. Susan even sewed herself a skirt to wear. On Sunday morning they were not there, and so I called them after the first hour (Sacrament Meeting is last). Susan said Carlos got home at 4 a.m. but they would be there for Sac Mtg. At 10:20 they were not there, and I was praying my heart out as I played the opening hymn on the piano. I was looking at the back door in my peripheral vision even though "Did you Think to Pray" has 3 flats and needs my careful attention. But in the corner of my eye I saw Susan and Carlos walk in, welcomed by Javier and Leonela. Boy did I think to pray, in gratitude! 
Come to find out, their arrival was quite a miracle. They had all piled in their car but it wouldn`t work, the gas tank spurted gas or something...and so they had to go on their motorcycle. But it wouldn`t start. They tried starting it 20 times, they said. So then they decided to go inside, kneel down and pray. At this point it was 10 a.m. They prayed, then went to try their moto, and it started like a charm. Carlos was going to take Susan and their youngest daugther, then come back and pick up his two older daughters. But when
they got to the church it was 10:30 and their moto wouldn`t start again, so their two daughters couldn`t come (they were heart broken). But it was a great faith-strengthening experience for all of us. Yet again, I know that God answers prayers. 
We taught them last night and Carlos and Susan said they both have friends who have seen their Book of Mormon and given them a hard time for it. But Susan said, "I just say, "Listen, I have prayed about this book and I know it`s true." And then her friends stop. She had a dream that a man was showing her the BOM and told her to read certain parts. She woke up and knew she had to read page 354. In Spanish, page 354 is Alma 34 which talks about today being the day of our salvation, and not procrastinating the day of your repentance. What a dream! 
The talent show on Sat was postponed to this Friday because it was pouring rain on Saturday. 
Well, I still haven`t explained the main news of this week. Monday night Pres called and said Hna. Macfarlane had to come to our area for a week because we live close to a hospital that has a rabies shot she needs. She was bit by a dog in my area when she came here for divisions and then again the next day by a dog in her area in Pedro Juan. So Hna Macahuachi had to go to Pedro Juan with her comp and I`ve been with Hna. Macfarlane all week, until changes on Wednesday. We have spent a lot of time waiting in the hospital for her rabies shot, and we saw wheelchairs there with the church name on the back.  Made me so proud!
We should find out about changes any minute. I`m very curious, because I`ve been in Isla Bogado for over 6 months now, but I also want to stay with Hna. Macahuachi. I love her lots. 
Pres McMullin has been calling me a lot to ask what I think about hypothetical changes, because I know almost all the sisters from having done divisions with them.`ll have to wait until next week I guess to know if I will finish my mission here (Isla Bogado will have been half of my mission...) or I have another area for the last two changes. If I go, I will be so sad to not see the Estigarribia family in white. It will be my first complete family of mother, father, and children.
Today we are moving houses. Long story and such a headache. At least all my stuff is packed anyway in case I`m changed. It`s a step down in quality from the house we`re in, but I say it`s good to practice living in poor conditions. 
Yesterday my comp was sick and slept for three hours. It tried my patience, but I was able to update the area book for over an hour, practice Spanish, catch up in my journal, and then I thought about the past week and wrote a quick poem. It`s no Emily Dickinson but I thought I`d share. All the things I mention happened in the past week, pretty much. 
For He will Fulfill All His Promises (Alma 37:17)
More happiness than you have yet tasted, it said.
That`s what my missionary call letter read.
To me this promise seemed hard to believe,
Yet the prophet said deep joy I`d receive.
One might look at my missionary life,
And think it`s not full of joy--but strife.
Talking to everyone, the mean and the nice,
Declaring the gospel in heat or on ice.
Dog bites, mosquitos, and rats in your room,
Slipping in mud while thunder clouds loom,
People who sometimes treat you like pests,
Others who mock the name on your chest.

Sisters and boyfriends get married without you,
And all kinds of news comes in to distract you.
But happiness comes just as was promised,
As one forgets her own will and keeps commandments.
Helping a man say his first prayer,
Clapping a house and asking to share,
Playing the piano in sacrament meeting,
Feeling God`s love while scripture-reading.
Kneeling in prayer with a whole family.
Teaching a lesson in the shade of a tree.
Watching your investigators walk into church,
Seeing the gospel bring an end to their search.
Watching a long-lost member re-activate.
Seeing an atheist his beliefs re-evaluate.
Getting a letter from one of your converts,
Admiring new members in ties and white shirts.

The life of missionary can be difficult, yes.
But the promise of happiness has been put to the test.
And I write you a poem to testify,
This has been the happiest time of my life.

I love you so much and am so eternally grateful for the strong family I was born into. You are my greatest blessing over the gospel itself. 
I testify that Jesus Christ is our Savior.  He is truly everything to me.  He is the Light of my life, and the hope of the world. How I love wearing His name. Let`s go invite others to draw closer to Him!
Your Sister Missionary,
Sister Goimarac I

Well, here are some pictures from about a month ago of my trip to Piribebuy, and of the cold and Hna. Maca and me bundled up. 


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