HI family! As you know, last week was a tough one and I think it was kind of a good learning experience and allowed me to rely more completely on the Lord. I always look forward to the emails from the family and everything just seemed to be going wrong last week.
This week has honestly been awesome. Things got better...as they always do...and we are working very hard. Hermana Plessl is just great and I love being her companion again. We work so well together. I am excited that I have this change and probably the next to be together with her. She has such a strong testimony and love for these people. She loves the individual and the details, something that I had lost a little, so it has been refreshing to be with her.
The work this week was still tough, but we are working hard to get the trust and help of the members. We went out with one hermana this week and have a few others that are going to go out with us this week. It honestly helps a lot. The hermana that we went with this week showed us the houses of some less active members so we went and visited them with her. One of them was a family whose dad was terribly sick. He has cancer and is literally skin and bones. You can see his whole skeleton. His wife and daughter take care of him all day and he just looks terrible. I asked the brother if he would like a blessing and he agreed so we came back with the elders the next day. The blessing was special and after, we asked them why they had stopped coming to church. There weren’t many good reasons why and finally the mom said that she really was Catholic and that she had only joined the church because her husband promised her he would quit smoking and drinking if she got baptized. Sadly, he did not keep his promise and for that reason, he has cancer. There were a lot of tears and sadness. We talked to them about repentance and that this brother still had the chance to change. We told them to come back and that they knew it was right. They made excuses about why they wouldn’t be able to make it and I left just feeling sad for them and worried about how much more time that brother has before it’s too late.
In contrast, it made me think of one time where we went to visit one your friends, dad, who was in the hospital with cancer. I don’t remember how old I was or his name, but I remember that man’s happy and smiling face. He was a good member of the church and had a family that he loved. I remember him joking around and jumping up and down on his skinny little ankles. I remember crying as I left and thinking that it must have been such a challenge but he was so happy. That really had a big impact on me. That was not the scene that I saw this week. It broke my heart to see him miss out on those years of joy and blessings. I know that God loves His children so much and that the gospel means joy for families. Whenever I ask people what they want here, they usually say the most important thing is health, but that just isn’t true. I am so glad to know that there is more than that.
Speaking of joy for families, we had another really cool experience this week with a recent convert family. I LOVE them! We ate lunch with her on Friday and she taught us how to make empanadas. After, we sat down and wanted to share The Family: A Proclamation to the World with her. She and her husband loved it. It was as if it gave them personal counsel. We talked about the threats of the family today: homosexuality, abortion, pornography, immorality, and especially here in Paraguay women working out of the home because the father doesn’t want to. The roles are completely switched. She got teary as she explained how much she loved the counsel that it gave and that she had found from the church and prophet.
Well, I gotta run! I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week.
All my love,