Monday, September 9, 2013

Seize the Day

Seize the Day is a great phrase (and song) that I am using to keep myself excited. Every day is a marvelous opportunity, and with how fast the time goes in the mission, sometimes I forget how important each day is. This week we had a zone training, talking very in-depth about planning, teaching, and working with members for three of the most important invitations: baptism, repentance, and church attendance. I don´t know why, but Alma 7:15 really hit me hard. I was blessed with a perspective of how many people in this world desperately need the blessings of repentance. At times my thoughts wander to life after the mission, but since that I have had the feeling that there are so many people here in Paraguay who haven´t received the gospel, and when I get done, there will still be a lot who need it! I can´t leave them hanging! I guess I have to have a lot of trust in the new groups of missionaries. But right now, I really want to keep working. I do wish we were having more success, but that will come when it is the Lord´s will.

Zone Training (Elder Morgan is hiding in the back)
 Speaking of new missionaries, my companion is excellent. He is interesting, because his family isn´t 100% active in the church, so he has never felt pressure to serve a mission, but they were very supportive. His great-grandfather was the last one in his family to serve, so he is a bit of a pioneer. I can tell he is very self-motivated, but this week I had to help him remember that we can be happy if we gave our "best" effort, even if we can always improve. The Lord is patient with our failures, and progress is enough for him, so long as we trust in him (Ether 12:27).

We actually found a miracle yesterday. Her name is María, and she just started working and moved in with a less-active family. They have been offended by just about everyone in the chapel, but they like eating lunch with us. So we were so surprised to see them at church yesterday with María! They want to help her, but that also means THEY have to come to church. I love it. God plans much better than we do. We also have a girl named Marta. I don´t know if I mentioned that she came to church last week with her grandma, who is a member. She attended church AGAIN on her own. It´s easier to find her in the chapel than in her house, but as soon as we can start teaching her again, she´ll be baptized pretty quickly.

We still have Catalino, who is really suffering with his mouth cancer. He couldn´t go to church again, and he has backed out of a lot of appointments with members for pain or doctor´s appointments. We can´t blame him too much, and he really does want to change. The doctor forbid him from smoking, so that helps. Please keep him in your prayers along with Jorge Nuñez, one of our invesigators who lost his job. I hope we can help turn that trial into a blessing with the Gospel.

I know that more than anyone, Daniel needs your prayers. I remember how hard my first weeks were. The mission never gets easy, but it does get easier. (Hope that makes sense). I have been keeping in contact a bit with Elder Byers and Elder Blanchard. As you know, there isn´t ever much time, including today. We went with the Arnolds (senior missionaries) to Campo Nueve, a mennonite colony with an American-style supermarket. They had a few things, most of which were very expensive. I bought a few things, which are in the picture I sent. I realized that I am pretty satisfied with the food here, but it was fun to buy some things like Marshmallows that I haven´t had in a while.

American food!
 I also have given, received, and traded a few ties with members and missionaries, but it´s not a huge thing here. I have been very tired this week, but like I said, I am just trying to keep working. The companionship we studied with last weeek seems to be more obedient, and we do have people who can get baptized soon. This Saturday we´ll have an open house in our branch, and that should help us a ton. Please keep both of the Elder Morgans in your prayers (There´s only two...or is Trevor still in the field?*). I love you all and hope you take advantage of every day to strengthen your faith and serve those around you.

-Elder Morgan the Older

*Elder Morgan's cousin, Trevor Morgan, has been serving a mission in Portland, Oregon, but he returns home the beginning of October!

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