How was your week? How are things going? Are you excited for Christmas? Because I am TOTALLY excited. For a lot of things, really. There is a really cool video online that has been circulating through the world that is called, He is the gift. christmas.mormon.org. You should all go watch it. Basically, it talks about how the real reason behind Christmas is Christ, the person who started it all. It is really good, it would make a fun family home evening.
We had a baptism this week! We baptized Elena and Samuel, her nine year old son. Elena was a missionary in Guatemala and Africa for an Evangelical Church, so she has a strong Christian background. The thing that caught her attention was that she would be able to do baptisms for her brother who died. I don't think we realize what a priviledge that is, to be able to help the people that we love who didn't have the chance in this life to be able to have a second chance. How cool:)
Saturday was really crazy. One of the recent converts of my companion went to the temple to be sealed, so we woke up at 5, were on the bus by 6, and in Asunción by 7:30...yuck. Since I wasn't involved with these people, I couldn't go inside, so we had divisions and we worked in Palma Loma (my new area) all day. My companion was Hermana Fardos. She is from California and has a little bit less time than me, so it was fun to teach lessons. It taught me a lot how to lead into a lesson and how to teach at all levels so the people can understand.
I received your package mom, and it was AWESOME! My companion loved, loved, loved her stocking, she wanted to open it right then and there! We are going to see how long she can last. How long WE can last.
So, today we went to Pizza Hut...and on the way we passed Burger King, McDonalds, and a TGI Friday! My mind was completely blown. It was an interesing experience to eat pizza after 5 months...bliss:)
Now that the baptism of Elena and Samuel is over, our goal is to literally search. Clap at every house and find the people who have been prepared for the gospel. Here in Paraguay, you only have a doorbell at your gate if you are really wealthy, so you have to clap. It felt ridiculous at first, like the whole a kiss on each cheek when you greet someone thing, but now it is normal...how weird.
We were walking yesterday and someone drove by and yelled out in English "Hey Elderas (they don't know we are hermanas, so we are elderas, not elderes), How are you?" and then proceeded to call us witches. Sheesh. Some people's children. You would think that if someone was going to learn English, they would learn something useful.
Something that really took me out of my comfort zone (more than usual) was that I was asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting with 10 minutes to spare. In Spanish. Something that I used was the hymn "Have I Done Any Good?" In this hymn, it asks the questions that we need to ask ourselves every day, tells us to get a move on, and then proceeds to promise us the blessings we will receive when we do what we need to. If you have some time this week, read it and ask yourselves the questions. Mosiah 18 talks about what we promised when we were baptized, and how that involves helping others.
Something that made me sad was we visited a less active on Thursday, and this lady (like 75 years old) wanted to die. She hadn't eaten for 3 days, because she just wanted to die and go to heaven with her mom and brother. It made me so sad, because she just didn't have anything to live for anymore. She didn't want to go outside, nothing. So we talked to the Relief Society president and a group of us on Sunday went over to talk with her, like a visiting teaching thing. We went back today and she was 100% different. It was a testimony to me of visiting teaching and how the people respond so much more when they know that they are valued and loved.
Yeah, life is good, I love being a missionary, even when you sweat off everything and the only makeup you have is sunscreen and bug repellent, it is the best:) I hope that you all have a good week, and remember to ask yourselves what you have done today to help someone feel the love of Christ through you.