Time sure flies! It still seems like a few weeks ago that I was saying goodbye to you at the airport. Now I might be in the last week of of my first area. We´ll talk about that in a minute. First as always, the children of God that we are teaching. Maria is amazing to teach. We reviewed the baptismal interview and she will definitely pass it. She just has to find a way to get out of those meetings to get a house...or just not go to them. I don´t want to tell her to do that, because she has been going to them all year and it seems like she is close to getting one. But they seem like a scam to me and I know that obeying the Lord and being baptized (2 Nephi 31:11-12) will do her more good than anything else. We´ll see what we can do. We had FOUR people in church this week, two of which were actually in church last week, we just didn´t know! It is a lady who lives way out in the edge of our area, and a less-active member we did not even know has been bringing her.
There is also Alfredo and Fabiola Caceres who came to church. They are very intelligent, open people. I really enjoy teaching them. We just answer their questions and testify of what we know. It is awesome when people just understand. Pedro and Olga Caceres (they are not related so far as we know) are pretty similar. He always has a lot of questions about things like Polygamy and the Fall, but if we give him a scripture to read and a few days to think about it, he always feels the Spirit and gets to the right conclusion. He now understands the principle of obedience and revelation (how the Lord can change the laws of the church such as polygamy) better than a lot of members. We have one other couple, Ever and Perla, who could also progress. Our goal is to teach all of them with at least one member this week. We did not get our goal of 20 lessons with a member present, but that is okay. We are always learning better ways to work in this area.
Oh, I forgot to tell you about Vincent last week! He was my first lesson in English here in Paraguay. He was a Brazilian American who just travels around the world on his bike. He is pretty much a hobo, but he is pretty smart and loves nature. It was such an interesting lesson. I did enjoy testifying in English. I never realized that missionaries probably have to explain the language of prayer (thee/thou).
One thing we did to work more with the members was have a fun family home evening with the Portillo family (picture attached). I made snickerdoodles, which they and my companion loved (I gave him the recipe and he just made them again today). We had forgotten about Thanksgiving, so at dinner with them we all talked about things we were thankful for. It was a bit more comical than at home, but it is good to laugh with the members. I have been a bit disappointed with the lack of success so far with Elder Nielsen. I think I expected that when I got a missionary who was so obedient and experienced we would just baptize the whole world. But I have come to realize we may have been put together not so that we could have a lot of success now, but so that we could learn things to bring more success to the Lord´s work later. I do not know if I am staying this change, but I have decided to have the attitude that I will be here so I can keep wanting to help these people who are progressing. At the same time, I am trying to make sure everything is ready so that Elder Nielsen could stay if he has to.
We really have learned so much together, and I will sure miss him if he leaves. He sends a random request...could you send me that picture of me wrapping myself up for Rian that homecoming date? She was in a church music video, and he is just amazed that I know her AND have even gone on a date with her. It was really funny. He has been pretty sick, and we could not even go out to work yesterday (I did not enjoy that). Hopefully we will be raring to go tomorrow!
I still don´t believe the wrist-chip thing anymore than I believe the many people who are talking about the end of the wolrd (Matthew 24:36). Christmas does seem pretty big commerically here, though the people are not as wealthy. The 8th of December is an important day for a lot of Catholics who focus on Mary, but we will have to see how the rest of the season goes.
Now, the most exciting thing, MY PACKAGE!! I was so happy to get that. I only had to pay 15,000 Guaranies (3 or 4 dollars). I did decide it would be better to open it all because it would be hard to handle that if I leave next week (transfers are the 12th). I promise I will wait with the other one! I really did love it, even just getting a package was way exciting. I loved getting the things I had asked for: hymns, pedometer, and Peanut Butter, and you sent me some things I had been thinking about buying but did not ask for like scripture pencils and post-its. The mini-Predicad Mi Evangelio will be very useful for district meetings and Zone Conferences. There is a picture of how I translated the Plan of Salvation. Elder Nielsen also thanks you for the stocking. I love the decorations (except that crystal tree that did not survive), and I think out of the whole package my favorite thing may have been the motivational poster from the talk by Elder Uchtdorf. It means a lot to me that you remember that. We are handing out those pictures of the Nativity, listening to the Hamilton Singers, and loving this season. I would suggest you send a letter to any store that says Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas and read the December Liahona (Ensign). There are some great stories in there about Prophets and Missionaries at Christmas. Love you so much!
-Elder Wesley Morgan
P.S. You should know that one of the most common comments I get when I show people pictures is "Tu mamá es muy linda." :) *
*Your mom is very pretty. :)