Monday, November 5, 2012

"Jorgelina. Miembro de la Iglesia. Bautizada."

Well, I am still here in Ciudad del Este 2.2. Elder Izurieta left for Coronel Oviedo, where he will be companions with Elder Adamson! I love my new companion, Elder Matthew Nielsen! The picture attached is of him. He is a hard worker who walks fast, talks to everyone, and knows how to work with members. That is one thing we are trying to do more of. The more I think about it, the less it makes sense to work in an area where there are no members. People need the support and the friendship of members if they are going to come to church, commit to make changes in their life including baptism, and stay active in the church. Elder Nielsen has also already taught me a lot about setting achievable goals. I love doing that! I don´t know how long I will get to work with him, but I am sure we will have a lot of success and fun together while it lasts. Elder Nielsen has lived a lot of places, including Brazil (he speaks Portuguese), and most recently was in New York attending West Point. He was the mission secretary, and it is interesting you should mention the office because he says I am the type of missionary who will probably be in the office soon. I think I would like that! We´ll see.

Elder Morgan says, "My favorite part about these pictures is Hermano Benitez. He is wearing Sergio`s blue shirt because he and Elio Martinez, the ward mission leader, lent their clothes to Sergio at the last minute for the wedding."

More exciting news, as you saw from the picture in the emails with the pictures, Sergio and Blásida finally got married and baptized! It was very stressful because they were very late, even though we did a lot to get them there early. We also had to run and make copies of our passports so we could be witnesses, and then the font started to flood (for once we actually had too much water). Once that all settled down, it all went well and it was a spiritual experience for all. This was the first time I got to do the baptism...which is amazing. I cannot wait to do that again. It could happen soon with Ismael and Patricia, who are still waiting to receive an answer that the church is true. We talked about that in our district meeting and someone suggested that they might need to repent to receive that revelation. Sure enough, we talked to them about their situation and he admitted he feels really bad that he did not get married before moving in together. So they agreed to get married this Saturday! More weddings! They need to attend church at least once more before getting baptized, so hopefully that will be next week. The other people we are working a lot with is the Gamarra family, another huge family of mostly adults (the other one, the Villalva family, is looking grim right now. Their dad does not want us to come by, but Maria still tries to come to church). They always ask very interesting questions, and they are a little set in their religion, but I really have hope for them. If we can help them all, that would be over 15 baptisms! That would probably be the happiest day of my life.

Two more interesting experiences. First, I got to help the primary practice for their program by playing piano. Difficult, but a lot of fun. We also got to visit Jorgelina, a lady in our ward who is very close to dying of cancer. She has wanted the sacrament and a blessing from the missionaries for a while but her family has not let us come by until now. The title [of this email], which means "Member of the church, baptized," is about all she could say. It was such a touching experience. She is great. I read Alma 46:39-41 this morning and thought of her.

Now, to answer your questions. I never thought to compare alfajors to moon pies. They are usually a little crunchier and more delicious. Haha, and I was just saying that I got used to keeping my distance from girls, not that the girls in Utah are as bad as the ones here. Paraguayans do not play baseball, but I have seen them play something that looks like cricket, but two on two. It is suprising how well I can already communicate a lot of basic things in Guaraní. I can teach you a bit. Remember that in Guaraní, the ch makes a sh sound. "Mba´e" means how or what. So the three common ways to say hi to people (how are you) are "Mba'eichapa," "Mba'eitecopio," and "Mba'elaporte." I can kind of explain what each of those words mean...but it`s not worth it. What is your name is "Mba'aicha nde rera?." And "my name is" would be "Che rera..."

Great to hear about the cars, Steelers Game, Star Wars, etc. I keep praying for you, and I hope all is well. Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you or tell you about. Love you all!

-Elder Wesley Morgan

Missionaries waiting outside the church at 4 AM to go to the missionary conference Wesley mentioned in his last post.

The "beautiful landscape of Paraguay"

Elder Morgan and Elder Izurieta with the Baez family

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