Tuesday, August 20, 2013

(No Subject)‏

Email received August 19, 2013

Hola familia,

Boy what a week. The weather here is either really cold or really hot, but I kinda like that because you either dress for warm or for cold, you don´t have to do that awkward kinda hot kinda cold thing. This week was really really great and really really hard at the same time (I think that´s what made it so great). I don´t think we had a single full work day this week, but the Lord still really helped us work hard when we could. On Tuesday we had zone conference then I had to go do some stuff in the cyber for my district, then on Wednesday I was the sickest I´ve ever been in my entire mission then on Thursday we had to go hang out with one of our zone leaders all morning (which was actually really cool, I´ll explain why later), then Friday we had to do some things for the branch and only had a few hours is all to work, then Saturday we the other elders in Trinidad had a baptism that we helped them out a little bit with (but it was definitely worth it because we had an investigator and less-active member attend) then Sunday the normal church and rendir cuentas at night. But the cool thing about all of that is that in spite of it all we were still able to get most of our goals for the week and we had 4 investigators in church and about 12 less actives! It was a huge testimony to me that when we use the Spirit to set goals then do all that we can to reach them that the Lord takes care of us. It´s been one of the coolest things for me to see the Lord´s hand in the work, and lately more than ever I can see it so much. We have a big focus in the mission now on working with the less-active members, and even before President had told us about that I was already feeling the same need. But as we´ve been searching for the families that haven´t been to church in years it´s been a common thing to hear "You know I was just thinking that it´s been a while since I´ve been to church and I think we need to go back" or "It´s so funny that you guys came by today because I just ran into so and so from the branch and I started thinking I should go back". The Lord is definitely softening the hearts of the people here and it´s so great to see it and be a part of it. One of the coolest experiences I had this week was when we went to hang out with our zone leader. What happened is that on Thursday a group of people, mostly youth, from Concepción (about a 6 or 7 hour bus ride from here) came in to go to the temple and one of the families that came in was a family that my zone leader had helped get everyone baptized and they were being sealed, so he got to go to that but President didn´t want his companion going into the session so they called us and asked if we could hang out with his companion and just do a giant study-a-thon. So when we got there we got to hang out for a while with all of the youth and it was such a strong spirit that they brought with them. A lot of them shared their conversion stories and it was so cool and so powerful hearing that. Then I also got to talk with my first zone leader that I had here in Paraguay (he was Paraguayan and has since finished his mission but he went to the temple that day and I got to see him and say hi). It was really cool talking with him and remembering how much he had helped me. Then we studied and went back to the temple to look for the elder that was in the session and we got to talk to more youth and some families and again I felt the Spirit so strong and it got me super excited to go and find the less-active members and bring them back so that they can go to the temple. This week we have a baptism scheduled for Saturday for the son of some recent converts and this should complete their family so in about a year, probably right around the time I´ll be getting ready to go home, they should be getting sealed and I hope I´ll get to participate in that. The temple really is the goal and there is nothing that is worth sacrificing it for, I really felt that super strong this week. My companion has been a little antsy to leave lately, he´s been in the area about 6 months now and it's a pretty small area and it´s been pretty tough the past few months working with the leadership of the branch, but things are a lot better now. But it´s looking like next week he´ll be leaving but luckily we have tons of people to be teaching so I don´t think it´ll be too bad for him this week. I understand what it´s like in your first area because you really want to leave to get to know the country more and everything, but at this point in my mission I realized I hate leaving areas. Right when I feel like we have tons of progressing investigators and the ward is really starting to be involved I get transferred, so I sure hope they keep me here a good long while. But this morning we did companionship haircuts to build a little bit of trust and unity, it was pretty funny but both of our haircuts turned out pretty well I feel like. I haven´t written Andrew in a few weeks but last I heard he was still the same Andrew with his great work ethic, just loving the work and the people. I´m really bad about writing the cousins, I tried writing Caleb Reber and Travis Maddox but I still don´t have their email addresses, if you could send them to me that would be great. I bet Caleb Reber is going crazy with the time thing, especially if he has a Latin companion. I´ve learned to start telling my comp that we need to be places a half hour earlier than we actually do so that we can arrive on time and still the things never start on time. It used to drive me crazy but I´ve learned that there´s nothing I can do about it, so I do my best to make sure I´m ready and everything on time and try to help my companion so he can be ready too. Well I hope you all enjoy school this week, just remember how fast last year passed by and pray that this year passes a little slower because I need a lot more time in the mission, it´s going by way too fast.

Con mucho cariño y amor,
Elder Zachary J. Hulsey