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.

Tuesday afternoon Elder Cañete (from Asunción) and I taught Francisca, who is one of our most promising investigators right now. When we contacted her she wanted to be better able to understand the Bible, so we gave her the BoM and explained how we could help with that. During today´s lesson she opened up a lot and told us about how her 7 year old Grandson lives with abusive parents and how she´s about to finish the court process to take custody of him. She was really worried for his well being and E´ Cañete, who is a convert of 2 years, shared how much comfort love and support he found in our church, and she accepted the invitation to be baptized, and promised to come to church next week. She already believes that the BoM is the word of God, and she´s told us she´s never felt so peaceful in any other religious setting.

Wednesday we ran into María, who I´m not sure I´ve mentioned before. She found us in the grocery store buying a new gas cannister, and she asked us to teach her what makes our church different, but it english so she could practice! Well Wednesday we found her again and she told us she was taking her exam tomorrow en Asunción. So we sat ourselves down in front of the church and began to teach the restoration in English. And let me tell you, it was probably the best 2 1/2 hours of my mission, because neither E´ Thorpe nor I have taught in English, and María is Paraguaya with a Brittish accent! She asked all kinds of deep analytical grammar questions, and we all had a blast laughing and trying to remember English together.

The rest of the Jimenez Family
Friday we made a trip to Santa María to visit Brother Jimenez, who recently moved from San Ignacio, and is trying to reactivate his family. He´s had a rough time finding work and his family was in general need of a spiritual boost. However for various problems (bus doing circles for 45 minutes before leaving, we didn´t have minutes, etc) we spent a large portion of the day there.

We also managed to find Zuni that night. We talked about the commandments she´s going to have to follow before her baptism. It was so awesome, she was eager to know what God needed her to do. In fact, she was so open to new commandments that when we explained Word of Wisdom, she spent all of 5 seconds mourning the loss of her coffee before looking for a substitution so she could comply with the commandment. Then at end the lesson she prayed for help so she could be baptized as soon as possible! It´s mind blowing how prepared she is!

And with all of that we still haven´t even arrived at my favorite miracle of the week!
Saturday night we managed to find an ex-misionera less active who´s almost never home, and had an awesome lesson with her where we talked about misison life. As we ended we recieved a phone call from a less active who we stumbled upon a few weeks ago. He recently moved from Encarnación and was in the process of re-activating himself. We were excited that he´d called and asked us to visit, so we changed our last plan of the night and visited him.

However, he wasn´t calling for himself. He was calling because his non-member wife had been asking him about his church and agreed to meet with the missionaries. Better yet, not only had they asked us to visit (which doesn´t ever happen), but they also offered us a part of their Asado, which is assorted grilled meats, before we had even sat down! Within 10 minutes of our lesson we could see how prepared she was to recieve our message. As a teenager she converted from Catholocism to some church which turned out to be more like a cult. The leader prohibited their reading the Bible, called himself God, and beat anybody who didn´t bring in enough money. Later, when her daughter was 3 months old, somebody tried to kidnap the girl from her mother at gunpoint. All she remembers is saying, "Oh, God no" and falling to the ground with severe memory loss. But the guy left without taking the girl, nor shooting his gun. After that she told us she was certain that God exists, and that our church is the only church that hasn´t made her cringe when she hears their doctrine. They would have come to church too, but the Daughter´s immune system is weak and it was a really cold day, so they didn´t. The names of the family are Alberto, Mariela, and Milagros who is 8 months old.

I´m almost out of time, but I want to end by saying that watching these improve their faith is the greatest experience of my life. These people are finding God in their lives, and I get to be a part of that change. I am so glad that God allows me to help out, even with all of my imperfections. There is a marvellous work taking place in San Ignacio, and the Lord is guiding it every step of the way. I love this city and the people I´ve met here, and I´m so glad to have this chance!

That´s it for this week,

Gregorio, Natalia, Ricardo, and his minion which he was
shredding with a key while we talked about how children
are innocent and can´t sin. The Irony of Ricardo killing
a minion as we discussed this topic was too perfect.

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