Email received April 15, 2013
Hola familia, ¿que tal?
This was quite a week. It all of the sudden got pretty cold (which was pretty awesome!) It felt like Thanksgiving time, so it´s really weird to me that its only April. So I don´t personally know Elder Osborne, but I know his trainer (I replaced his trainer here in Piro´Y). I realized that it was this week a year ago that I opened my call, and so if Spencer´s call gets here on Thursday our calls will have come exactly a year apart (that´s pretty sweet!). But I hope it comes before because I know how hard the wait is. I´m pretty sure Paraguay is 2 hours ahead of Utah right now because for us General Conference started at 12:00 in the afternoon. The office elders leave to go out and work around 4:30 (so 2:30 in Utah) so you can try to call them the day he opens it but if no one answers that would be why (I don´t know if the number just goes to the secretary and he answers even when he´s out working or not). But otherwise they get into the office around 10:30 I think so if you call after then (which would be 8:30 in the morning in Utah) than there shouldn´t be any problems. So sounds like you guys had quite a week, that´s awesome! It´s always so much better if you can stay busy. We´ve been having it a bit rough with investigators lately but we realized that if we keep our attitudes up than our teaching is better and the spirit is stronger so no complaints here. I know that if we keep praying the Lord will direct us to those that are just waiting to hear the gospel. This is the last week of the change and Elder Williamson is pretty sure he´s going (he thinks he´s going because he´s never been with a companion longer than 2 changes or in an area than 3, but we´re getting along so great and working hard so I think we´ll be together another change), so we´re trying to get the teaching pool up right now so that if a new Elder comes in he´s not going to be super depressed not having anyone to teach. So last night I heard of the coolest sounding church ever! They study martial arts (specifically Jujitsu) and the word of God at the same time! I was just imagining some people in the ring wrestling on the ground but trying to read the bible at the same time, I thought it was pretty awesome sounding (maybe you guys can start doing that on fight night). Also today we went to Caácupe where the famous Virgen de Caácupe resides (the statue of her obviously). It was such a cool looking church. We went in and took tons of pictures. This one Elder was trying to get me to come take a picture of him pretending to baptize me at the little baptismal stand but I remembered what we talked about before I left and I decided that could be considered really disrespectful so I didn´t do it. Then he tried to get his district leader to come do it with him and his district leader dropped him cain for it (so I´m glad I didn´t). There have been Mosquitoes a full lately and the mosquitoes here carry a disease called Dengue. I´ve been bit a lot but luckily I haven´t got dengue and now that´s it´s getting cold there shouldn´t be as many mosquitoes.
So this week I had my 3 month interview with President Madariaga. He told me something really cool, "El aprender es cambiar" or in English that´s learning means changing. That really got me thinking a lot. Lately I´ve been comparing the sons of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon to Meshak, Shadrak, Abed-Nego and Daniel in the Bible just because I think that their stories are pretty interesting. But after talking with President I realized that I´m not really learning anything if I´m not finding ways to change and apply what I´m learning, so it´s kinda useless studying just because it´s interesting. I started really trying to apply that into my studies and it´s really helped a lot. Every time I´m about to study I pray that I will be able to find something that I can apply into my teachings or that I can get better in and I´ve had pretty great success in that. I´m still studying the exact same materials but with a different purpose and it makes it a lot more worth while. I also had a big realization of what our purpose actually is as missionaries. We´re not here to prove other people wrong, but to show people the truth. Bible bashing and pointing out flaws of others´ churches or beliefs doesn´t really serve for anything. They might understand everything that I say, but that would just be a transfer of knowledge from mind to mind. What needs to happen is that there is a transfer of testimony from heart to heart. For this we have to study and understand the doctrines, and be able to bear pure testimony of them and back everything that we say up with scripture. We teach the lessons because the lessons are the things that invite the spirit most, we teach according to the needs of the investigators so that they´ll open their hearts and be receptive to the Holy Ghost. My only job as a missionary is to be a worthy conduit that the Spirit can powerfully testify through. It´s so simple but it´s pretty hard because it takes a lot of humility. But I know that it´s the only way to move this amazing work along. I love you guys so much and hope you have fantastic weeks. Megan as far as science demo team goes, I really liked it. I thought it was a ton of fun but it sounds like you´ll be pretty busy so you´ll have a great year next year regardless. I hope Emma enjoys choir tour, Maren enjoys her Hope of America (America rocks by the way! It´s totally cool!), and Spencer hang in there, the call will be here soon.
Elder Zachary J. Hulsey