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.
We had all of Wednesday in our area, and had several decent lessons, one with a man named Luis, who is a young father and a lawyer. We've had a couple good lessons with him, and we just gave him the Book of Mormon, so we'll see what happens with him.

Thursday Angel Ferloni, our ward mission leader, came with us for several hours. We managed to talk to Gloria about the law of chastity and how she's going to need to move out or get married to her boyfriend. She asked us to help her look for a small house she can rent, because she's not sure she wants to marry her boyfriend. (They already have a kid together, and they've lived together for at least 4 years. We're not sure what she's waiting for...) However our best lesson of the night was with Zuni. We finally managed to find her again, but it was a bittersweet meeting.

Zuni needs treatment almost every other week, and the cost of travel has really taken a toll on her family. They're in a really tight spot financially, and Zuni is unable to work. She told us that unless something miraculous happened she would be moving to Encarnación this Sunday, yesterday We were devastated that we would loose all of her progress, and that the Sisters in Encarn were going to baptize her. We shared stories of Job, and Endure to the End Scriptures, which she took really well. We then asked Angel to share his thoughts and he shared his testimony of how he came to know the church was true, which appeared to have no relation to the conversation. Again we were devastated thinking he hadn't been listening. However, when he finished, Zuni told us that in all her life she'd never heard such a powerful testimony. She told us she stopped going to her church because she didn't believe them, and that she was absolutely certain that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is God's church restored to the earth! It was such a spiritual moment that we forgot our personal cares and worries.

Elder Thorpe vs. The Maipas Burger
Friday we had a district meeting followed by a Baptismal Interview in Pilar. So we lost that whole day as well, but we ate in a bakery called Maipas, which had the best Arroz con Leche that I've ever had. They've also got hamburgers the size of my face. Between the empanadas and all the desserts, my diet was shot, but at least I enjoyed myself doing it. If any of you ever visit Paraguy, make the trip to Pilar. It sits on the banks of an arroyo, or really slow river, which floods frequently. But the city is really beautiful, and it has Maipas. I promise it's worth it. Vale la pena.

We call these Dulce de Leche Nachos.
Cinamon and banana cookies with
Dulce de Leche and shredded coconut.
Saturday we walked for several hours, but Sunday was Mother's Day back home so we got to make Skype calls! After church we hooked up to the WiFi in our apartment, It's so weird to think that our apartment has WiFi, and we didn't know for 3 months. haha. It was great to be able to talk to the Family again, but I understand why it's limited to 2 times a year. It was really tough to end that call knowing that I wouldn't see them for another 7 months. It left me feeling really trunky, which is basically homesick, but it was a really great experience.

I want my family and friends to know how grateful I am for all the support I've received. It took a lot of work to get me to where I am, and I'm thankful for all of your help. You guys mean a lot to me, and I wouldn't be who I am without you. I hope those of you in my family understand how much I love you guys. I wish you all could have been in that video call but, alas, there's only so much time allotted to call. I love you guys, and I think and pray about you frequently. I hope you mothers had a great Día de la Madre, and that everyone has a great week!

Hasta la Próxima,

OH! I almost forgot, we also technically had an investigator in church this week! I say technically because he's one of the crazys who wanders around the plaza where the buses stop. He's come to church in the past, but he doesn't progress much. However he has a lot of information about a lot of crazy things. For example, he is convinced that God saved Joseph Smith from cannibals

because he was a perfect man God, and because God needed Smith to build temples so the Catholics could partake in the confirmation. He also says he went to the temple to be confirmed, but they told him they weren't doing confirmations that day... Yeah he's a little nuts. However because we set a date to visit him and share our message, he counts as an investigator. So as of now, I technically have had an investigator come to church. However I would like to be able to do a little bit better this coming week.

That's it for real this time!

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