Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter!

Well, we did not have a baptism this week. Sonia has been in the hospital for a few days with her daughter and newborn granddaughter, who is having lots of complications. She (Sonia) seems to be doing well, and she even said that an extra week free from cigarrettes before the baptism would be good for her. That´s a change of heart!

During weekly planning we decided to talk to Andrés about postponing his baptism a week to make sure his wife does it with him. He said that would be wonderful. They prayed for a sunny day (it has been cold and rainy) so that Antonia could come to church with the baby. On the way they ran into Marlene Centurión, a recent convert who was excited to find someone else going to our church, too. Just a few of the miracles that have made them even more sure. They are such a converted family. We reviewed the baptismal questions last night, and they are 110% ready. Antonia seemed very shy at first, and Andrés seemed like he didn´t want to commit, but they have opened up, trusted in the Lord, and they are now like our second family. Yes, I have a lot of second families here in Paraguay.

So, if all goes well we´ll have three baptisms this Saturday. Debora didn´t come to church, again. But her less-active father-in-law did! Progress! That great family I mentioned last week pretty much tried to drop us, but we were insistent, and they gave us permission to keep teaching their children, who have lots of interest. We also had a great experience reading the introduction to the Book of Mormon with a new family, Cesar and Marcelina Insfrán, who had seemed very closed-off but were very interested by Christ´s visit to America and the opportunity to pray to know the truth.

I don´t normally mention the exchanges I do, but know that we do exchanges just about every week. This week we did TWO. One with Elder Ruiz, a Peruvian who was in my district in the MTC. He´s working hard, but they don´t have much support from their members, especially their branch president. Good news--In our meeting with President Agazzani and the Stake President, one of the many things accomplished was that President is going to take out the four missionaries in that branch and put in two sisters. That should solve a lot of problems.

I also did exchanges with Elder Velasquez, which was interesting because we worked together once in Ciudad del Este--August 2012! It was his last Friday, and we were able to teach 8 lessons that day. That kept him from thinking to much about home. He also sold me one of his SD cards, which is good because the one that came with my camera is full!

Oh, I also wanted to mention an eye-opening lesson I had with Elder Ruiz. We ran into two atheists, who were very intelligent, and knew quite a bit about the church. They mostly wanted to mock religion, so we couldn´t achieve much. But the sad part was when their 6-year-old daughter came out and said she also "used to believe in God." It´s so sad to see a little girl talk about not believing in God the same way she´d say she realized the Easter Bunny doesn´t exist. Though I often do not agree with other religions (haha, that´s a light way to put it), I am SO grateful to serve in a counrty where almost everyone has the tradition of accepting that God exists. Besides helping them live better, more hopeful lives, it saves us a lot of work as missionaries.

Church was very spiritual yesterday, though there wasn´t much about Easter. One of the bishop´s counselors talked about the importance of talking to the investigators at church, something we had shared with him at lunch the day before. Sorry I don´t have much more time to talk about Easter traditions. I think I explained a lot of that last year. They eat a lot of food and watch The Passion of Christ all day. 

They sold the house we wanted to someone else, so we´ll have to keep working on that, along with everything else. And hey, you do have other things to look forward to--like Mother´s Day and Skyping your sons. Hope you enjoy it all! Love you lots!

-Elder Morgan the Older

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