Monday, August 5, 2013

Faith, Hope, and Charity

Well, there is a lot to write this week. We´ll see if I can write more than Daniel. Haha, I do love hearing how he is doing. Proselyting in the MTC is a crazy but awesome experience. To answer your questions--Elder Lopez is in my district, but not my apartment. Did you ask Kate if she knows him? No...I won´t be seeing that temple video for a very long time. Maybe a little early if one of my converts goes to the temple! It is hard to find the people we contact sometimes because there are no directions (and sometimes they lie--the people here are very kind and don´t like rejecting us directly, but false directions are even worse). But with those people we have taught...I don´t know. It seems to be a common problem in Paraguay. People just aren´t always at home when they say they will be. Apart from work, they don´t have many fixed things in their schedule. But sometimes, it is fairly inexplicable.

The answer to my other question came to me a few days later. People are often afraid to be wrong. Someone here told me that he has found people who don´t like learning because they know it means more responsibility. I believe that, deep down, the people who "believe so much" in God but won´t even listen to us are afraid that they will find out that something they believe is wrong or that they will have to change. Easier just to say no. And, like you said, that is Satan´s influence.

And yes, I am learning SO MUCH every week. Every day. We went to Asunción to do a training exam--to see if we are following the training study program and being obedient. We were separate from our companions, and President Agazzani was disturbed by how many new missionaries expressed serious concerns about obedience or lack of participation. Glad my companion and I are obedient and hard-working. One thing I did realize while watching videos there is that I don´t love the people as much as I used to. I was so excited at the beginning of my mission to change everyone´s lives, and not everything turned out how I expected it. I still work hard, but I think because of all the people who disappear, turn us down, or just don´t care enough to keep progressing, I have stopped getting my hopes up as high. But that needs to change. I am studying a lot about charity to make sure that I love these people and see their potential, even if they don´t. 

I also learned that I need to have more faith that people will feel the spirit and accept the baptismal invitation. The assistants came to our zone and did a lot of exchanges: I got to work with one of them, Elder Cuases, for a few hours so I could do a baptismal interview. He is a good friend of mine from the MTC, and he just finds a way to get everyone to accept a baptismal date. I was talking to my companion about it afterwards, kind of doubting that we could do the same. But Elder Jessop, with his huge faith, basically said, Why not? And right after that conversation we found two young adult men, José and Monche, who understood very well why they need to get baptized to be saved and do it in the way Jesus did (immersion, not as a baby--the Book of Mormon is awesome!). Monche wants to pray more to be sure, but they both accepted the date. And Monche is actually using internet right next to us...what a miracle!

That is also why we invite people to be baptized in street contacts. I have always enjoyed talking to people in the street, but it is new to invite them to be baptized. Again, I just need to have faith and remember that we are "Hastening the Work" like they said in the recent conference.

I learned that I need to be firmer with my district in their planning and obedience. I don´t like correcting people because I don´t like being reprimanded, but I have to realize that making sure they are exact in the planning and obedience will help them in the end. I´m too nice to sound angry even if I try...but I think more constant reminders will help them. Man, I am going to be a lot better father than I would have been without a mission.

The mission is wonderful, and I wouldn´t want to be anywhere else. But it is the first time in my life where I can work my hardest and still not see the results I want. Still no one in church. But we are improving in so many ways, and we have hope for the future. Especially because we found Celva Britos, who is married to the son of the first members in Ca´aguazú. She has been to church several times and wants to get married in the temple, but her inactive husband just wants to take his time to come back to church in October when his 8-year-old son gets baptized. She is great, as is her mother-in-law, who we just met. We have a family night with them tonight. 

Another part-member family is Jorge Amarilla. He is 35 and his parents are members. He has talked to a lot of missionaries and does not like to be pressured, but for some reason I feel like he is close to making a decision. He is reading and praying and knows he needs to get baptized, we just need to teach him lovingly and help him recognize the spirit. His dad is very inactive, and he has pretty much said he just doesn´t want to end up like that. And we are always finding other people who could also be baptized soon. It is a marvelous work! 

Two more things. My companion is learning Spanish very fast, but still can´t make the rr sound. Do you or the girls know how to teach someone that? Also--hope this doesn´t worry you too much--after a few days I realized that a blister on my foot was in a place that does not rub, and actually wasn´t a blister. It was pike, a little worm. Luckily you showed me how to take things out with a sterilized needle, and it only hurt the day after when I was walking around with small hole in my foot. But things are great now! New experiences, wonderful people, and I have almost been in Paraguay for a whole year. Wow!

Love you so much,
Elder Wesley Morgan

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