Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Beautiful Paraguay

Well, here are some pictures. There is one of our kitchen, which is a million times better now than it was when I got here.

Our shelves of food and pamphlets.

My bedroom--Ken Kenworthy will be happy to know everyone thinks his map is awesome.

My desk, along with our chart of investigators and how they are progressing towards baptism.

There are also two of the view from our apartment.

Unfortunately we cannot take pictures while proselyting, so that may be the best you get for now. Just know that this country is beautiful. The ground is red and full of hills. The trees are green, and there are hundreds of different kinds. That street you see in the picture is the biggest highway in Paraguay--it goes from here to Asunción. And that is about the only named street in our area. Other addresses are just general distances and landmarks, which has made it a little hard to learn the area. We are doing a lot of searching for less-active members in our ward right now. There are about 600 on record. We are trying to work with ward leaders to get home teaching and other programs going to help that. One great family is the Vargas family. Lucio, the dad, is pretty much a younger John Lisonbee. They were less-active when we got here, but they love having us over to teach investigators, and they attend almost every week.

People in Paraguay are so inviting, which is a contrast from Buenos Aires. Sometimes we will just say hi and they will pull out chairs so we can teach a lesson. Part of that may be because there are missionaries of other religions who often stop by and share scriptures. These people are very religious. Sometimes we ask if they believe in Jesus Christ and they look at us like we asked if they drink water. They have a lot of faith, and many people have vivid dreams, some of which have helped them be converted. One thing we have been working on is helping people say real prayers. They are so used to reciting prayers that they don´t understand the concept. This is part of the 8 Fundamentals, which we studied in the CCM and now during our training program. Those fundamentals are great ways to apply the principles of Preach My Gospel to make our teaching effective. They are:
  • The Doctrine of Christ--The Missionary Purpose (More simply: love them and baptize them)
  • The Role of the Holy Ghost in Converstion
  • Revelation through Prayer
  • Revelation through the Book of Mormon
  • Revelation through Church Attendance
  • Teach People, Not Lessons
  • We Invite, They Commit, We Follow Up
  • How to Begin Teaching
Well, I am going to do a bit in Spanish again. Maybe I will do this every week. *El principio de ésta semana fue muy bien. Estamos trabajando MUCHO con los miembros, y es obvio que hay una diferencia en las lecciones. Junior Ramos, un joven en nuestro barrio, nos acompaña mucho. El va a ser un buen misionero. Tambien, estamos intentando a trabajar más con el líder misional de barrio, Elio Martinez, y los otros lideres. Hno Martinez es un converso reciente, pero tieno demasiado energia y testimonio.

Unfortunately, the end of the week was not as successful as we had hoped. We had one investigator at church, Chilo. That was a miracle. He is the son of Ursula, a recent convert (she is pretty much Grandmother Willow). He may even be ready to be baptized this week! We´ll see. The Aguinaga family, Freddy, Antonia, and Selva, did not attend, which is frustrating because they are so close to being ready. They know it is true, they just have to accept it. We have made progress with Junior and Perla, and he has been drinking less after we taught the word of wisdom**. He also told us he turned down a $50,000 offer to deliver drugs to Brazil because of our lessons. That´s exciting. Anibal missed church again. We really have to find out why. We also could not meet with Alejandra this week. I am going to try to keep you updated on these people, especially those who I think will be baptized, but if I ever forget to tell you about anything, feel free to ask. (Like Miguel, who has succumbed to pressure from his neighbors and does not want to visit with us anymore).

Utah is called the factory because that is where all the missionaries come from. Guarani is hard to learn, but I am picking it up little by little. Glad to hear about Romney, BYU football, and Daniel´s internship. I am so excited for him! Things are going well, overall. Last P-Day I tried to make Sopa Paraguaya. I have a lot to learn about cooking. But it was surprisingly edible. I also made no-bake cookies with some Peanut Butter that the last missionary left. Everyone in our district loved those. (Luckily those are hard to ruin). The fondo is pretty far away. I would guess about a mile. We do a lot of walking, which I enjoy. Fasting made it tough, as did the heat, which is back. But, to paraphrase a slogan from some sports company that I cannot remember, Pain is temporary but Conversion is forever. Yeah, that didn´t sound as cool as I was expecting. Pretty much we are doing all we can to help these people come to Jesus Christ, and that is what is most important. I love you all!

-Elder Wesley Morgan

*The beginning of this week was very good.  We are working A LOT with the members, and it's obvious that there is a difference in the lessons.  Junior Ramos, a young man in our ward, is accompanying us a lot.  He will be a good missionary.  Also, we are planning to work more with the ward mission leader, Elio Martinez, and the other leaders.  Brother Martinez is a recent convert, but he has a lot of energy and testimony.

**The Word of Wisdom is a law of health that was revealed to Joseph Smith by the Lord that Latter-day Saints live by.  We are promised physical and spiritual strength if we follow it.  To learn more about it, visit here.

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