Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 1 of 2015

My goly its 2015 already. This year has gone by verrry quick. I am entering into what us missionaries call the "blackout year" because I will be gone the whole year. But I couldn't be happier doing what I am doing.

First of all, It was impossible to sleep when the new year came. The Paraguayans Love their fireworks. Expecially the loud ones. Once the clock hit 12 Paraguay turned from straight green to all the colors you see in fireworks. Because we couldn't sleep, we decided to sit out on our porch and watch them for a bit. We also ate a pomegranete (I think I forgot to mention that our house has a pomegranete tree.. my bad). It was pretty delicious.

As for the work in 2015, things have been really great. We have been praying really hard to find the people that are ready to listen to our message and we have started to find them. So you know what that means, story time! You get three of them this week.

Story numero uno: Its thursday night and we were planning on who to visit, and we had one empty hour open but we didn't know who would fill it. And then, the sudden inspiration to visit a contact came to my mind. The contact wasn't solid and he seemed like the kind that wasn't interested but too nice to say no. So we didn't think anything would come from that contact but decided to go anyway. Fastforward to the next day and we visit his house. He wasn't home, but his sisters were outside chatting, so naturally, we start talking to them. Then one just opens up to us and tells us her story of how searching for God had saved her life. But she also mentioned that she thought the church she was attending was good, but it wasn't the right church. Then she hit us with the question that is one that every missionary loves to answer, she asked us "Why are there so many churches on the earth? Jesus Christ only established 1, so why are there thousands?" It was absolutely fabulous and we were able to teach the restoration to very curious ears. She couldn't go to church this week but said she was always very interested in visiting the chapel. I am super excited for them and hope that they continue to be interested. We are visiting them tomorrow, so keep your fingers crossed!!!

Story numero 2: We had some investigators who said they were going to go to church but they didn't. And yesterday we were visiting them to see why. And supposedly they were already to go, but right as they were leaving, he got called into work. It was work or lose the job, and he needed this job. So thats why he didn't come. But he said that he was super excited to go next week. He loves our visits and say that after we started visiting them, they have been a happier family. It's amazing to see how much the Gospel can change families, just by listening to it and making commitments to live it. We probably will have the chance to do some service with him and help him make a garden. So I'm looking forward to that.

Story numero 2: This one made my week. We are thinking that it might be a golden investigator . But the story goes like this: A returned missionary just barely came home on Tuesday. He asked a lady if the collectivo passed by and then they started talking and eventually he got her information and stuff so that we could visit her. Yesterday we visited her with the returned missionary and she immediately opened up to us. She started telling us how she was quitting smoking and drinking and stuff so she wouldn't be a bad influence on her children. She also said that she wanted to get a lot closer to God. So we talked to her about repentace and stuff. And naturally baptism came up she had lots of questions about baptism and how it worked, she then proceeded to tell us how she didn't believe in infant baptism because they wouldn't know the significance of baptism. It was the first time I have ever heard someone say that. She was exceedingly happy to know that we belived the same thing and that the choice was personal. It was amazing and to make things better, when we were talking about the authority to baptise, she said "I believe that you guys have the authority. I have talked with catholic missionaries, jehovahs witnesses and people like that. But they don't make me feel the way that you make me feel. You guys are special." It was every missionaries dream.

I am super excited about the work in this area. I know that God listens to our prayers and will answer them. I know that this church is true and is the only church on the face of the earth that is Completely true and has the authority and power to make covenants. I know it and I know that many people are coming to know it. I love the mission and can't wait to find more people to teach!!

With all the love of Paraguay,

Elder Jared

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