|Elder Snow sends Elder Woodruff home...|
|...and welcomes new companion, Elder Bazan, to Santa Rita.|
Long time, no talk! It´s so great to hear from all of you, thanks for an awesome email!
This has been a crazy week! I spent a couple days in other areas for divisions, Elder Woodruff had to go to Asuncion for a leadership meeting, then we had this awesome Bautismo Guazu (big baptism) where a bunch of people got baptized in the Ciudad del Este Stake. I´ll try to send some pictures.
Then I went back to Ciudad Del Este again on Tuesday to put Elder Woodruff on a bus to Asuncion. He´ll be flying home today. I´ll miss him lots, he is a great missionary. My new companion is .... drumroll.... Elder Bazán! He is from Perú and I´m really pumped to be with him. I have one change more in total than him because I was in the MTC longer, but we got here to Paraguay at the same time so I had briefly met him before. Elder Bazán was in the Buenos Aires MTC, he speaks fluent Spanish and I´ll help him some with English. I will have the opportunity to be serving as a senior companion. It will be really fun. I will be in an apartment with 3 Latin missionaries so my Spanish hopefully will get better. I´m super excited!
Dad had asked a little bit about investigators. The people that are progressing most right now are Isaias, Mirta and Mariela. Isaias and Mirta are a couple, he is 19 and she is about 23. They have an awesome baby boy named Emerson, he´s always smiling, so funny. Mariela is the younger sister of Mirta, she´s about 11. They are all so awesome and so prepared. They are reading lots in the Book of Mormon and understand it really well! They recently read Alma 32 on faith and loved it! They have a baptismal date for the 19th of February, we´re still working with them to help them gain stronger testimonies. They are doing really great though.
We are also working with an awesome couple named Hernán and Sandra. We found them about a week ago and they are really progressing a lot. Hernán has a brother who recently had a motorcycle accident and isn´t doing so well. We talked to them about finding more peace through Heavenly Father. They really enjoyed listening and we kept teaching them. They went to church this last week and loved it! They have a baptism date for the 26th of February. After talking with them, Sandra really liked how she felt when she talked with us so she told her friends (who are also having tough times) about how we helped her to feel better. So she introduced us to her friends and they are progressing really well now also. It´s just such a testimony to see how the Lord is preparing people to receive the gospel. It just makes all the rough hours so worth it when we are led to someone who is just so humble and so prepared. I love the people here. Many have very little, but they are the ones who have the greatest happiness. It´s beautiful to see.
Last Saturday we had a Baptism Guazu! It was so awesome. About 16 people were baptized in the stake. President Callan came out to Ciudad Del Este and gave a great talk. It was a very spiritual experience and we had a couple
of investigators that were able to make it there as well. They loved to see the big beautiful chapel since here in Santa Rita we are renting a small place for church. It really put in perspective the growth of the church here in Paraguay. I love that vision that one day the church will be so strong here and it motivates me to work hard.
Thanks to Mom for sharing your running experiences. Needless to say, I´m very impressed. I don´t think I could run a fifth of a mile let alone 5 miles right now. But I can walk like 12 miles a day. Slow and steady wins the race, digo yo (digo yo is a favorite catch phrase of Elder Woodruff, it´s worn off on me).
Thanks to Dad for sharing that sweet spiritual experience. I really love the example you used with Nephi and the importance of showing the works as part of our faith. I love the scripture in James 2 that faith without works is death. We always need to have faith in the Lord, faith carries us to actions. Show the Lord rather than just say it! Another example I love that talks about that is the story of the Brother of Jared. When he goes to the Lord with the problem of the light in the barges, the Lord says to him: what would you have me do? Then the Brother of Jared shows his faith and thinks (acts) for himself. It´s so important to go to the Lord, but it´s so much more important to have the attitude that we are going to do something, that we are going to make some sort of change to receive His help, His blessings. Thanks for sharing that Dad, I love to hear the spiritual experiences that you have. I feel very grateful to have such awesome parents, an awesome family. Keep up the good work!
Hopefully this email is as good as the one you sent me. I love you all lots and lots! I´ll write more Monday