Monday, March 4, 2013

First week with Elder Gayoso

Elder Morgan and Elder Gayoso
 Okay, we found out the rest of the changes, and I was very excited! Both of our District leaders became Zone leaders! Our two district leaders are now Elder Dominguez (Hidalgo, Mexico) and Elder Richards (Snowflake, Arizona), who were already here. They are both excellent missionaries, and I am excited to continue working with them. There were changes in almost every companionship, and it seems like we have a great group of 14 missionaries. I am now companions with Elder Gayoso (in the photo). He is Paraguayan (Santa Rosa, Misiones), but lived most of his life in Lugano, Buenos Aires, which is the same ward as my trainer! That was pretty cool. He speaks Guaraní fluently, which helps. He has been companions with several missionaries who came with me. He has never been a leader, but he is very positive and excited to do everything. Really, he is an incredible example. He has had some serious family and vision problems, and he told me how that has forced him to be a positive person. He's one of those awesome people they make movies about.

The days during the transfers were pretty crazy. I was up late several nights helping other missionaries. I spent Tuesday in Centro because my companion had already left. Wednesday in the bus terminal was an interesting experience for me. I saw a lot of missionaries from my first area who are getting ready to leave, and most of the missionaries who came with me are also leading, training, or doing something exciting. Also, Elder Speedy went to be a Zone Leader in my ward in Ciudad del Este, so I talked to him a lot about the people there. We also found out that the mission is going to divide! The work of the Lord is growing at an incredible rate, and you have probably heard that in July we will have over 400 missions. One of those is Posadas, Argentina, which will take with it Pilar, Encarnación, and Ciudad del Este from our mission. Any missionary in those zones will become part of the Posadas mission, and the rest will stay here. So the next few transfers will be like receiving a new mission call. Whatever happens, I will lose contact with this area or my first one. That, along with all of the other happenings, gave me nostalgia pretty hard. I missed my old area, and I worried about which of my friends in the mission I won't see again if they go to the other mission. I even missed Elder Knudsen a ton, which surprised me (but he still has to call us all the time, so it's all good). I relate to what you were saying about James and Ryan. I don't want time to move so fast. (Yes, let's avoid talking about the end of my mission and things I am going to do after until we absolutely have to). Things are changing, but I found that the answer is to just keep working. That helped me keep thinking ahead instead of looking behind. Wherever I serve, I am serving Jesus Christ. 

Speaking of thinking ahead, I played chess with one of our investigators, Lorenzo (I actually won one of the 3 games). He is great, but we are having a hard time helping him progress. With the theme of chess, I need to think a few days ahead as to which members we need to call to accompany us. That has always been a challenge for me in the mission. We are also working a lot with the Ayala family (Juan Ramón, Felicitana, and Gustavo). Basically Juan Ramón (about 60 years old), works a lot because his wife is sick and obese and cannot walk. His son has had drug problems and causes them a lot of anguish. He asked us to be like Simon the Cyrenean and help him with his cross. We are starting basic, with reading and praying every day, and we promised that would help them see results. The other people worth noting are Julio César and Sergio, two teenage boys who we found reading the Book of Mormon when we came for the 2nd lesson. They are very interested and definitely want to come to church and get baptized. We'll do all we can to help them overcome the challenges on the way to doing that.

Those pictures from José are of the Stefanius (the Brazilian couple that gives us lunch every Monday) and the Caballero family (recent converts). That was a family home evening we did on Elder Knudsen's last night. We have a Council at the end of the month, which the President and Assistants teach, and then a training with our Zone based on what we learned there to start the month. I am very excited for that. It is going to be a lot more simple than the last one, and I will tell you how it goes next week. I will also be ecstatic to hear where Daniel goes! Great to here about Makade, he is an incredible person. We also have local missionaries that serve here for a couple weeks when there are uneven numbers or other difficulties. It is a good opportunity for someone with less than a year in the church to start being a missionary. It is an incredible work, and every member of this church can participate. Thanks for your love and support!

Elder Wesley Morgan

"Here are a few photos from the museum we went to a few weeks ago. There have been a lot of famous singers-guitar players from Paraguay, so a lot of the museum was about that. You had said something about the Paraguayan harp...but no one here seems to know much about that. Who knows?"

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