Monday, April 1, 2013

Semana Santa (Holy Week)

Wow, this week sure was interesting. I can now tell you a lot more about what Holy Week is like here. It´s a big deal. Reminded me a lot of Thanksgiving, actually. Everyone has Thursday and Friday off from work and school. Unfortunately, people use that as an excuse to drink a lot. So we had a few days of walking and contacting all day. Everyone attends church Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. And all day, all the channels show "Holy Week Movies," marathons of old Bible movies like Ben Hur. The soccer game rivals Cerro Porteño and Olimpia was also similar to the Thanksgiving football games.

"A picture of Easter Candy we got, just to show that they do have that here. :)"

So, like I said we are working hard. I am helping my companion a lot with English, especially using books and songs to help him internalize it. Many things are hard for his mouth to say, like "shrinking." He also teaches me Guaraní, so I can now say Cheaipota heta ñapymikuéra (I want a lot of baptisms). We really do have a lot of people who can get baptized next month, we just have to help them see the importance of coming to church. For example, there is Lorenzo, who said he is now talking to his children more about religion (Catholicism) and attending his church thanks to our visits. That happens a lot. People feel the Spirit, but misdirect their efforts. But we taught him with Hermano Damiano, the 2nd counselor and former Stake President. He also served here in Amambay (he is from Uruguay) and I am sure he was a great missionary. Hermano Texeira, the other counselor and great returned missionary, also helped us out. When someone asked him how important members are in lessons, he said something that REALLY won my respect: "Honestly, it would be ideal if the missionaries never taught without members." ¡Es verdad!*

"Here´s Diego, my awesome 'convert' (he is working on getting baptized in the ward where he lives)."

Amancio is also progressing a lot. He prays to have help quitting smoking and preparing to get baptized. Then we have Hugo, that guy who is a little crazy. He doesn´t believe God speaks to us, but he believes aliens do. Haha, it is a challenge teaching him. He always offers us alcohol, and he finally let us pray once. We had another funny experience when his daughter came into one of the lessons. She is as skeptical as him and wanted to know what the bad part of our message was. He said "Well they have this story of an angel and gold plates that I don´t believe." "That´s it?" "Yeah." "Seriously? If that´s the worst you can tell me, why aren´t you Mormon already?" He didn´t know what to say. We have had a lot of funny moments this week. One thing about Hugo, his biggest challenge is his son who died 20 years ago. He doesn´t want to accept the plan of salvation because he says it doesn´t matter to him what the next life is like or if he can be with his son again. He says he needed his son 20 years ago, not 20 years from now. That is similar to a problem we encounter a lot here. The people don´t want to learn about what happens in the next life because they already have enough to worry about today and tomorrow. What do you say to people like that?

"Here´s a picture of me during weekly planning (there is always a lot to do!)"
Thanks for all the news and encouragement. I´ll try to respond to all your questions and emails next week. (Yes, I have adjusted to converting temperatures and weights in metric). I have had a lot of people calling me or sending me things to fill out. A lot of responsibility as a Zone Leader! But I really do enjoy it here. I know the Lord is with us. We are preparing to have a great Zone training, so I will let you know how that goes. Love you all!

-Elder Wesley Morgan

*It's true!

"Here are two pictures we took from the roof of a building. Gotta love Asunción! ("The Mother of American Cities")"


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