If I had to pick a word for this week it would be "glorious".. and a really close second would be "fast".
So to start off.. the cold definitely hit paraguay this week. Last Monday was okay.. but then after that.. it was just plain freezing. The beginning of the week was rainy.. and then the cold just stuck. We live in a pretty good pension.. but at night.. there is a slight but definite draft coming in from the holes in our roof and walls... haha. but it's okay. Hermana Cannon and I battled through with MANY layers of clothes.. and then blankets on top... and lots of herbal tea. We have two blankets each.. andnight Hermana Cannon decided that she was still too cold at night.. so she put on blanket on top of her.. then put ALL OF HER CLOTHES from her dresser on top of that... and then her other blanket. It was really funny... and she continued to sleep like that the rest of the week. hahhaa.
I can not even tell you how much I LOVE these people in this branch. It is one the most amazing branches ever. Their love for the gospel and their dedication and love for the savior is amazing. They were able to travel 6 hours together as a branch this weekend and go to the temple. And they came backjust beaming and full of strength and the spirit. Fast and testimony meeting was so spiritual for everyone as they bore testimonies of the blessings fo the temple. It was glorious.
Umm.. Leticia and Ignacio.. it was just a week full of miracles with them. Last week to be honest.. we had just a really weird lesson with them. Hermana and I just felt pretty lost.. and we were all over the place as we tried to guide the lesson and at the same time answer their questions and at the same time teach them with the spirit and look for their needs. It was just a crazy lesson.. So this week.. when we went by for the first time.. we went in solely with the purpose to feel the spirit.. and find their needs. It was one of the particularily colder days this week.. and as he huddled in their small house.. we just started talking. I was praying and praying for the spirit to be there.. and slowly they started to open up and ask us their real doubts and questions about the church. They had come to church twice now.. and their best friends are LDS.. so they now know quite a bit about the church. Their main doubts were about the Book of Mormon.. and as we taught as simply as we could.. and promised that they could know it was true through prayer and reading the spirit was strong. Up until this point as well.. they would never pray or try to pray with us.. but at the end of the lesson.. I invited Ignacio to say the prayer.. and we waited in silence for a few seconds as he hesitated.. he said yes. And I have never heard a more sincere heart felt prayer in my mission from an investigator. It was so sincere... and the spirit was so strong.. I kid you not.. I could not keep tears from coming to my eyes. He finished the prayer and we all just sat in silence for a few moments. Uh... you can not describe these little moments. It was amazing to see the change in them and seeing the spirit working in their eyes and hearts.
We were actuallly able to see Ignacio the next day at our lunch appointment with his best friend who is a member. We were able to have another lesson with him after lunch and he told us of his feelings.. and how he is seeing a feeling changes in his life and for his family. We asked him to be baptized.. and he accepted.. and they both came to church yesterday. Which was glorious... BUT... as I mentioned before... the testimony meeting was mainly focused on baptisms for the dead... and we definitely have not touched that point of doctrine with them yet... sooooo.. I just prayed the entire time that they would feel the spirit.. and not let their questions or misunderstandings make them doubt. We will have a lesson with them.. and we will have to see what they thought.. and where they are at. We will be praying.. but man.. they are so amazing.
Another moment of the week that was glorious.. and maybe my favorite. So we were waiting on the side of the road for the bus to come by... (in paraguay.. "bus stops" don't exist.. but you basically just wait on the side of the road for one to pass.. and hope that it stops for you when you flag it down).. so we were waiting for a bus.. and there is usually always people walking around selling little trinkets like sunglasses.. and makeup.. little keychains.. stuff like that.. and one older guy with shaggy hair and red eyes came up and saw our name tags.. and said "mormons!! I am a mormon!! And I was a missionary too!!!" To be honest.. I didn't give him the time of day. We get crazy people claiming they are mormon all the time.. and precisely at that moment.. the bus came.. so I shook his hand and went to flag down the bus... and just as I was about to step on.. my companion grabbed me and told me that we needed to go back and talk to him. We had already been waiting for a bus for about 20 minutes.. and I didn't want to waste any more time.. but I followed her back to track him down. We asked him if we could sit down with him on a nearby bench.. and he said yes. As we began to talk to him.. he started telling us of how he was baptized and how he served a mission in brazil.. and was zone leader.. and helped many to be baptized.. and the him coming back.. he started living with a girl and she got pregant.. and after that he was too ashamed to go back to church.. and hasn't gone back since. His name is Hugo.. and now he lives with his daughter.. and he makes his living selling makeup and cell phone charges on the side of the road. The spirit was there.. and as we bore simple testimony of the saviors love and his grace and how much he wants him back.. tears sprang to his eyes. We said a prayer with him.. and then we parted ways as he promised that that night he would start reading the book of mormon and go back to church that weekend.
Baptisms in the mission are amazing.. and seeing investigators in church.. and having lots of investigators.. but moments like this... are the jewels that embellish my mission I think. a 20 minute conversation with a stranger on the side of the road.. and helping him feel God's love for him.. is really what Christ did and would do. Helping those wandering sheep find their shepard again. Hugo doesn't even live in our area.. and we will probably never see him again.. but he is glorious. And that moment was glorious.
I am grateful for an inspired, glorious companion.. who wasn't too busy to pass up an opportunity to help one of God's children that he put in our path. I am grateful for the glorious spirit that guided us this week and that gave us peace and comfort on the cold and rainy days.
I am grateful to be a missionary in this glorious work.. and see changes and miracles in people.
Today was warmer.. and I am so grateful to know that my savior lives.. and that he loves us. And that there is a glorious, perfect father in heaven that loves us, and knows us. And we mean everything to him. His love is infinite and glorious.
I hope you all have the greatest week.
lots of loves!! especially to all you moms out there!!
|two pairs of tights... two pairs of sweats.. two hoodies.. and socks.. and a beanie. and mint tea of course!!!|
|this is a member.. and his monkey that gave us lunch . I love him. the monkey's name is Enrique and just THE COOLEST PET EVER. I will definitely be looking into getting a pet monkey when I get home.|
|Our lunch . Talapia with vegetables soup.. and mandioca. It was actually really really good fish. :)|
|Just some amazing members of the branch.|
|working this morning.|
|selfies waiting for the bus. :)|
HAVE A GLORIOUS WEEK!