Hows it hanging everyone! Oh boy what a week last week was! So as of right now I do not know any changes yet but I will find out at any moment today so maybe by the time I´m finishing up this email I´ll have them. So this week was extremely spiritual and pretty funny as well. So two funny stories. On Thursday we did service in the morning and then we had a lunch appointment so we didn´t have time to go back to our house and study so I suggested that we just go to a park and sit under a tree and study (I´ve done that a couple of times before and it has been a pleasant experience). So we sat down in this park a little in front of a school and began to study. Within about 4 minutes there was a group of about 4 or 5 eight year old girls sitting down next to us moving closer and closer until they were RIGHT next to me. We didn´t know this but I guess the school had just let out. They started in with all of the normal stuff telling us how pretty our eyes were. So we thought since they were eight they would get bored of watching us study after like a minute or two so we were just going to ignore them until they left. Well these weren´t your normal eight year old girls because they sat and watched us for a Half Hour! Finally it just got so weird that we got up and found a different park. Haha at one point I pulled out my pen to mark something in my scriptures and they were gasping and saying "wow that´s so cool" Haha marking scriptures is pretty awesome. The second story happened on Saturday. So Elder Williamson is a very competitive guy, and for a while now he´s been wanting to arm wrestle me and he swears he´s never lost. Well on Saturday he brought it up again as we were getting ready to leave and I figured why not. So we were going at it and I beat him! Haha he was pretty upset and immediately wanted a rematch. I wouldn´t let him and it was driving him crazy! Haha he´s just super competitive so he started throwing all these things on the table. I finally agreed to rematch him today and he said if I loose then he´s going to buy me two alfajors (alfajors are kinda like the Paraguayan Hostess Ding-Dong cupcake but with dulce de leche instead of cream) and an oreo alfajor if I win (which is super good but a little expensive). Haha we´ll see if I can win again.
So like I said this week was also very spiritual. With Elder Maynes on Tuesday I learned a ton of awesome stuff. It turns out he served his mission here in the Paraguay Uruguay mission years ago so he went up a said a greeting in Guaraní, it was pretty sweet. Then I don´t know if you remember dad or mom (I feel like one of you were with me) but he came to a fireside once with us in our stake and told a story about how he had to sing a solo in his mission because he didn´t set up a musical number for a zone conference. Well he told us that story again but the cool part was we were in the exact same place where it took place! Some pretty cool things he said that I really liked were that the first vision was the first companionship teaching an investigator the truth in this dispensation. The second thing he said that I really liked was that the Holy Ghost can be our witness in the final judgment when we have to account to the Lord for the service that we rendered. The Holy Ghost can say that he was present at the lesson (if he was) and that we did our part in helping these people receive the restored gospel and come unto Christ. It was way cool. Another cool thing was we did a division on Friday and I stayed here with my zone leader to do a baptismal interview for 2 of Diego´s cousins. Both me and my zone leader were very worried about it because it looked like there wasn´t going to be anyone to bring them to church on Sundays so we wanted to wait to baptize them, but we didn´t know how to break it to them or their parents (because the last time we postponed the baptism the mom got pretty upset). We prayed and studied a lot and felt really good about just relying on the spirit in the moment, and he totally came through for us! The words we said were completely guided by the Spirit and we were able to get through a little bit to the Parents and they finally agreed to let us teach them! We really stressed the importance of the Gospel for the families and it was really powerful. We both felt really good afterwards. Then yet another super awesome thing that happened is that the family we´re teaching, la familia Cristaldo, came to church! The husband didn´t come but we figured he was just at work (he travels a lot). So I was praying so hard that the hermana could feel the Spirit and want to keep coming back. Well she ran into an old primary class-mate and she seemed happy and she asked us to come back after church. We told her we would stop by today, Monday, and share. Well last night we didn´t have anyone to visit and we were by her house so we decided to just stop by and set a time to return the next day. When we got there she made us come in and talk. She expressed that she and her husband had actually had a big fight and he left to go stay with his mom. I don´t want to give to many details but she was very sad and very worried about her family and really unsure what to do. She always tells us how it´s super hard because she wants the good example of a father for her kids but he´s never home and when he is he doesn´t set the greatest example and she feels really alone raising the kids. Well I guess one of the testimonies from a young women yesterday really touched her because the young women said we are never alone. The Hermana Cristaldo realized that she is never really alone and that God must have sent us to her right in this moment so she could come and here that and participate in the church. She said that she realized the happiest time in her life was when she was a little girl in the Mormon church. It was such a powerful experience to me because she is a real person with real problems and i´m just a little 19 year old kid here with a message from Jesus Christ, but this message is so much bigger than we even imagine. This message, when properly applied, has the power to bring light into darkness and hope to the hopeless. It literally brings joy! I know that Jesus Christ lives and that he has once again restored his Priesthood authority on the earth, thanks to this priesthood authority we can become clean from sin and receive the Holy Ghost as a constant companion. Those aren´t just words to me anymore. People aren´t clean and don´t have the Holy Ghost to help them always until they are baptized and confirmed, imagine how that must feel. I really took for granted the great blessing that I received being born into the true church with the real priesthood authority and to a good, strong, faithful family. I´ve started reading the Book of Mormon again trying to learn all I can about repentance and forgiveness. So far what I´ve learned is that repentance requires a change in behavior and desire, without both we aren´t actually repented. We as missionaries can try to help people to change behaviors, but it´s really only the Spirit that will help them change their desires. Once they´ve done that then they are ready for baptism and confirmation. It´d be extremely difficult for someone to feel that Spirit strong enough to change their desires, and they wouldn´t know how to completely change outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We´re needed as missionaries to help people, but we as missionaries need to Spirit to help people. It´s really cool being involved in such an important work and being able to work that closely with a member of the Godhead to do it. I love the Lord, I love this work, and I love all of you. I hope you have a great week (congrats on the graduation Spencer) and I hope that you love the temple.
Con Mucho amor,
P.S. you guys never told me where Blake Clark is serving. Also see if you can find out how old Kyle Knickerbauker´s doing, and Nathaniel Adair. I´ve been thinking a lot about those two vatos lately