Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Week 14 - #Aleluya

This was the scenery during the bus ride to Pilar this week.
So this week marks the start of the Semana Santa, or the holy week leading up to the resurrection of Christ. This is the week when everyone actually attends the churches they say they do. They also make a lot of Chipa, which is a breadstick made with Mandioka starch and Queso Paraguayo. It tastes fantastic. As a missionary I will not be joining in the festivities of making Chipa, (though I may join in the eating part) but instead will be handing out Pass-along cards to promote the #aleluya video for easter.

This past week has been rather busy, again with us being unable to find people and doing a lot of contacting. However Wednesday we had a great lesson with the active wife of a less active member who live 40 minutes outside of town, and for that we don´t visit them much. However, they were home in the morning so we visited and talked about the temple and how they could prepare to be sealed. She seemed really excited, and greatly desired to receive those blessings, so hopefully she can animate her husband a little.

We also encountered a less active family who have been members for a long time. San Ignacio has had missionary presence for a long time, but hasn't managed to grow much up until Posadas became a mission. The Mother of the familia Franco has been a member for 12 or 13 years now, and normally is very strong in the church. However 4 years ago the branch president said a lot of things that drove people away from the church, and she hasn´t been back since. However she always loved district conferences in Pilar, and said her kids always had a great time there. We just happened to have District Conference this last Sunday, and managed to excite much of the family about coming to church. They didn't come to the conference, but they want to come to church for Easter.

Speaking of District Conference, our branch rented a bus so that we could take everyone out to Pilar, 2 hours north [actually West], to hear the conference. I have a question for you all. If your bus has 16 real seats including the driver´s, and 6 fold out seats, how many people can you fit on the bus? If you answered 35, with 7 under the age of 10, you are correct. However you have to make special accommodations for the missionaries, who are much taller than your average Paraguayan.

Elder Thorpe is indeed standing in the roof vent, and I am standing in the stairwell.
The Conference was great and all of our members loved it. They were happy to see Pte. LaPierre again, because he´s nearing the end of his call. Overall it was a great week, and we gained 2 priesthood holders! Adelio was confirmed an Elder this week, and Carlos Fleitas had his reinstated! He can baptise his wife this next week, and we couldn't be happier for them.

My testimony is a short one this week. Go watch  #Halleluya (or however that´s spelled) and then go share it with everybody. It´s an awesome video about why we remember Christ during Easter. "In Christ, I have found a new life. Halleluya!" I want you all to know that no matter what you´ve done, you can find a new life in Christ. You can start again in Christ. And because Christ lives, I´ll sing Aleluya!

Les Quiero mis amigos! Gracias por todo su bondad y por ayudarme a llegar a ser misionero. Oro por ustedes mucho y les extraño.

We found this on a trip to Encarnación for Tramites, or paperwork. Elder Thorpe hasn't tasted root beer in 17 months. This was quite the rare, but wonderful find.

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