Wow it was really great to hear from you all this week. Sounds like it has been a week full of fun up there in Utah. It´s been a great Easter down here too. Don´t worry Mom, I didn´t get too homesick for Easter, except when I was thinking back to Easter egg chases on Sunday mornings haha. Elder Bazán and I were eating at Rosa and Gunter´s house a couple of days ago and were sharing some of our Easter memories. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the Easter Bunny exists in Paraguay also and that Rosa´s kids used to have presents from the Easter Bunny and all that haha. We ate with Jorge also, he is so great. Jorge and Rosa made it to church again yesterday (Gunter is out of town) and really enjoyed the meeting. Jorge continues to progress really well. Right now we are teaching him the Commandments and he is understanding everything very well. I love his spirit and his want to learn more. Jorge accepted a baptismal date for this Saturday. He is preparing himself very well. Whether he is baptized or not will depend on his interview. I´ve explained a little bit before that he has some learning disabilities and so are trying to find out if he needs to be baptized or not. But he understands well the difference between right and wrong and has lots of desires to get baptized (except for a little fear and dunking his head in the water!).
Yesterday in church Izaías also gave a talk! It was so awesome. Mariela, Gunter, and Rosa have all given talks as well. It´s so neat to see recent converts share their testimonies and the Spirit is always very strong. Izaías talked about Christ and the Resurrection (not sure how to spell that in English sorry). He used a couple of really good scriptures that talked about Christ´s resurection and bore his testimony. It was a very sweet experience.
We´ve continued talking with Hernán and Sandra also. Last night we asked Sister Delvalle to meet us at the house there to teach a little bit with them. The lesson turned out really awesome. Sister Delvalle shared this awesome story about how her family was baptized. They were attending a couple of churches, but were really confused. Her family prayed to ask God what they should do. Her mom had a dream of a couple of missionaries coming to there house, but had no idea who they were or how to talk to them. But then a couple of days later the missionaries showed up at their house, which was in the middle of nowhere in a mountain. They had talked with her brother in Ciudad Del Este and he told them that they should go by. After that the entire family was baptized. Sister Delvalle shared her testimony of prayer. All in all, it was so great for Hernán and Sandra to hear. Lessons are so much more powerful with the help of members. I´m really excited to see the progress of the friendship between Sandra and Sister Delvalle
One funny story from this week, I tried to make cookies.... Needless to say, they didn´t turn out quite like Mom´s. Mom, if you could send me your chocolate chip cookie recipe, with some hints, that would be much appreciated. Anyway, about the cookies, I don´t know if we were lacking flour or what (p.s. i almost wrote flower there) but the batter was super thin. So I just plopped it on the tray anyway. Then threw it in the oven, that´s another problem. The gas switches on our stove don´t have temperature, so it´s just a guess as to how far on the knob might possibly be 325 or whatever it is. So they turned out like flat, spongy, chocolate chip pancakes. I ate them anyway...
Before I forget again, Happy Birthday, Steph! Wow I feel like a ganso (goose, as Elder Woodruff would say) for forgetting like 3 weeks in a row. The big 23, I hope you are doing well, Steph, I love you lots!
To answer your question, I did meet Elder Merrill! I had forgotten that Dad told me he was in this mission. After your email last week, I went home and looked on the calendar with the pictures of all the missionaries and looked up Elder Merrill. I recognized him from the leadership conference in Asunción! I think he´s a district leader somewhere in Asunción right now. When I met him at the time, I didn´t recongize he was Rodney´s son. But it was a pleasant surprise. I remember he is short also, about my height. It reminded me of Dad´s story about him and Rodney fighting on the first day of school or something like that. I remember I was surprised to hear that Dad was in a fight haha. The next time I run into Elder Merrill, I´ll give him a big hug!
To answer another question, I haven´t received the Easter package yet, I´m sure it will get here soon. And about Skype, I would like to do it. It will be hard to find a place to do it. I think missionaries usually do it at member´s houses, but none of the members here have a computer, so we´ll see.
All in all, it´s been a great Easter! Here, they celebrate all week. Everyone makes chipa, I don´t know if I´ve ever mentioned chipa. It´s like a little bread type thing, it´s really hard to describe. It´s different, but once you´re used to it it´s really good. During semana santa, everyone makes chipa and hands it out. It´s pretty fun.
I tried hard to write a nice, long email this week. Hopefully I´ve succeeded at least a little. The most special part of the week, however, has been the blessing I´ve had to think more about the Savior. This week has been very special to reflect a lot about Him, about everything that He has done and does for us. I was reviewing a conference talk from President Monson in April of 2010. He spoke on Easter Morning and spoke of the Resurection. It is such na incredible talk and I love to reflect on the words of the angel to Mary Magdalene, “He is not here, for He is risen.” I know that Christ lives. I was reflecting a little on my patriarchal blessing this morning, and realized that I am so blessed to have this testimony of the Savior. I hope you all know that I love you so much. Have a great week!