Monday, May 30, 2016

Week 24 - End of Transfer 3

Chocolate chip pancakes for District Meeting
So this week has been interesting for a couple of reasons. First it's the end of the 3rd transfer here in San Ignacio with Elder Thorpe. We've had a lot of fun together but we knew that one of us was going to be leaving this week, and we were both pretty sure it would be him. But let's focus on what happened this week in our area.

Tuesday was one of the hardest days of my mission. For the morning we cooked chocolate chip pancakes as a district before our district meeting, so that was awesome. Later after the meeting we got invited to eat lunch with a member, Hermana Mercedes. She cooks some of the best food I've ever tasted. However we burned almost 2 hours in her house, when we're supposed to keep them to an hour maximum. After that we took our Ward Mission Leader, Angel F., to visit some of our investigators. As I've said before, Angel is awesome and will go with us for several hours at a time. Tuesday he was with us from 3-6 and we didn't have a single lesson. In fact, the only lesson we had at all Tuesday was with Gregorio C. So we basically walked around from 3-9, with a break in Gregorio's house. It was a tough night...

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 23 - A step forward and a step back

So this last Monday, the 16th marks my 5 month point in my mission, and this coming Saturday will make 4 months in San Ignacio. Wow has the time moved fast. It's strange how time moves here, because the days are long, the weeks are worse, and every month disapears in an instant. However I have seen a lot happen, and I have done a lot in these last several months, and this week was no exception.

Let's start off with the bad news, of sorts. This week we had the Law of Chastity lesson with Zuni. It wasn't intentional; we were teaching the 10 commandments and when we arrived at number 7 she asked for a lot of clarification, one thing lead to another and, boom, chastity. It went pretty well, considering she´s 23ish and lives with her boyfriend. However she didn't like the idea of not having sexual relations until marriage -- not because she doesn't like waiting or other typical reasons -- but because she is fundamentaly opposed to getting married. I don't know what it is, but for some reason she said, "I don't want to get married" more than 15 times in our 45-minute lesson. She also asked what happens if she doesn't comply, and we said she couldn't be baptized until that happens. Then she asked if we'd stop visiting if she said she didn't want to be baptized. We urged her to pray heavily before making that kind of decision, but we haven't seen her since, which is the bad news. Keep her in your prayers if you would.

We had an awesome lesson with Mariela and Alberto this week. When we first contacted Alberto he told us we wouldn't be able to stop by frequently because his suegra, or mother-in-law, didn't like religion. However this week when we sat down to talk, Mariela's mother and brother joined us for the whole lesson! I guess Mariela said somthing about how much she likes listening to us, because the suegra changed her mind completely and participated in our discussions! They didn't come to church this week, but they are reading, and they have really good questions, which means they're also understanding what they're reading.

Speaking of church, Francisca, our abuelita who was fighting for custody of her Grandson, came for sacrament meeting this week! We were going to visit her Thursday to remind her, but she made an emergency visit to San Juan, so we didn't see her until Sunday morning. However, she'd told us several different times that she was going to go, so we grabbed Angel and stopped by to pick her up. She was home, she was prepared, and she said she really enjoyed the meeting. She made several friends quickly, and recognized a few faces as well. We are excited to help her meet the goal of baptism the 18th of June, and I'm really grateful to finally have an investigator in the church. It´s taken a lot of work to help somebody progress this far, but God has taught me a lot in the mean time.

For my testimony I want to share a little of the talk I gave this Sunday. I spoke on a talk given in October of 2015 by M. Russell Ballard titled "God is at the Head". It is important to remember in these latter days of turmoil that God has always worked through prophets and apostles. Without the early apostles, we would have few of Christ's teachings, few accounts of the miracles He worked, and no account of the empty tomb and resurrected Christ. Without modern day prophets we wouldn't have inspired literature like The Family: A Proclamation to the World. We would be lost at sea without oar or rudder. If we have faith that God is guiding his prophets, we will be able to stay in the Good Ship Zion as Brigham Young counselled. We will remember that our boat has the divine destination of Exhaltation, and that it is impossible to arrive there by jumping ship and trying to swim alone. Trust the prophets, follow their counsell, and stay in the Good Ship Zion. I Testify that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only ship that will reach that divine trajectory. Stay strong, and stay in the boat!

I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Scott

Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 22: Mother´s Day Horario Paraguay

Elder Thorpe and Elder Scott with the Jimenez Family
The girls are marching in the Independence Day Parade
Wow has this been a long week. It feels like forever ago that I was writing about Día de la Madre. Things went so well this week, and we´ve seen so many miracles that I almost feel like 2 weeks have gone by. But I checked my agenda and it´s still only week 5. 

Let´s start off with Splits. The Zone leaders came to our area this Tuesday and Wednesday to do divisions with us. While they were here there was a lot of training and sharing of ideas, but we also had several amazing experiences. They showed up with probably the best news I´ve heard in weeks. Zuni Didn´t Move!!! She traveled to Encarnación last Sunday, but only for a few days. The Sisters of Encarn tried contacting her and she told them it was a misunderstanding. All of this was conveyed Tuesday morning, which made for an awesome start to the day.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 21 - Feliz Día de la Madre!

Mother's Day and Maipas Burgers
(not necessarily on the same day)
Wow has this been a rough week. It doesn't help that we spent 3 days outside of San Ignacio, but even with that in mind, things still went really rough for us. We weren't able to find a single new investigator this week, despite our best efforts. We also had difficulties finding our progressing investigators this week, so our numbers look really low, except in Lessons with Members. Our ward mission leader came with us to several lessons, so our numbers look great in that category.

Last Monday I was in Encarnación because of a mission wide leadership conference. All the zone and district leaders had to travel to Posadas Monday evening or Tuesday morning. I was on splits with San Pedro, a suburb of Encarn. It was a good experience to have a different companion for a short time, and I returned to San Ignacio with several good ideas.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week 20 - Invierno Llegó (Winter has come)

Winter Dress
So this week marks the official start of winter here in San Ignacio. Which is very strange because I keep receiving pictures of my house as the frosts are disappearing, and things are starting to green up in preparation for summer. Meanwhile, It dropped to 5 degrees Celsius, which is around 40ish in Fahrenheit. Here's a photo of how we looked this Sunday in church (which has no heating) taken afterwards in our apartment.Other than that this was a very boring week. Because the temperatures dropped from summer to winter in less than 24 hours, nobody was prepared for it, including Elder Thorpe who bought those gloves this week after 18 months in the mission.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Week 19 - Record Week

Our zone just before transfers.
Four missionaries out, three new missionaries in.
So this week we broke basically every one of our goals. The Spirit of God was with us a lot this week, and we just had a lot of success. It's not really that we changed anything, but things just worked out really well.

For Starters, we gave a blessing of health to Zuni this week because she found out that (on top of her anemia and heart problems) she is rapidly destroying the cartilage in her knees and loosing the ability to walk. After the blessing, she could barely stand, and was "exceedingly astonished" as the scriptures would say. For the next half an hour we talked about the power of the Spirit, several experiences we'd had, and she asked us how long she had to wait until she could become a member! We laid out the baptismal requirements, including the interview questions, and promised her that she could feel this same feeling during her baptism, and when she enters in the temple for the first time. She was very excited.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 18 - Drum-roll please...

A loaded package of treats from
Bea's grandma in Brazil.
(Bea is Sam's foreign-exchange-sister)
This week marks my 4 month mark in the mission, with almost 3 in the field. It also marks the end of my second transfer here in San Ignacio. The results of the transfers are in and I got to find out what the Lord has in store for me. To give a little background, Elder Thorpe arrived in San Ignacio one transfer before me, making this the end of his third. We were pretty sure he'd be transferred (he also has 5 transfers left in his mission). We also thought that if he didn't go, they'd probably transfer me, seeing as how I just finished my training. We didn't think it very likely that we'd both get transferred, as a Whitewash would be very difficult for this area. Well the results are in. Can I get a drum-roll please?