Hey it was great to hear from you all this week! I always look forward to Monday morning and hearing about what`s going on back home. It`s funny, I mentioned to Elder Love that in every email I get from home, Dad makes at least 1 reference to golfing and mom always makes at least 1 reference to scouting. So I`m starting a new game to find out how fast I can find the golf and scout reference and show it to Elder Love. Haha I`m just kidding, I love so much hearing from you and appreciate so much your letters.
So this week has been pretty crazy. Long story short, Álvaro was not baptized. We worked really hard to try to have the baptism, but we are just going to have to learn some patience. Álvaro`s mom is not a member, his older brother and 3 older sisters are members. Álvaro is the youngest (he is 10 years old) and the mom has some doubts that he is still too young to get baptized and doesn`t understand everything. We were going to have the interview on Thursday, but she expressed some doubts and said that they would be out of town, stuff like that. So we passed by again on Saturday morning and we found her and her kids were washing clothes. So we gave some service, helped them wash the clothes, and talked more about the baptism. So we got permission again and everything was set for Saturday night. Then we went by that night to get everyone to the baptism and she had changed her mind again. It was a little frustrating, especially since we have tried and worked really hard with this family. Even though they can be a little difficult, I feel more love growing for them and I really want what is best for the family, for all of them to receive the gospel. It`s a little tough sometimes because everyone has their agency. I know that the gospel is the best thing for them and that they`ll be happier if they only accept it, but we can`t force it on them. So maybe I just need to learn more patience.
Oh! I almost forgot. This week we also had zone conference! It was incredible. Elder Mervyn B. Arnold, who is the President of the South America South area is doing a mission tour and he was at the zone conference. I really felt like the zone conference was just for me, like God specifically wanted me to hear the things that we learned in the conference.
There were three zones at the conference, so there were a lot of missionaries there. In the morning, we had a meeting for the zone and district leaders. It was really good. Then in the first session of conference, we talked a lot about the mission purpose, and what our focus here in the mission should be. We read in 3 Nephi 11 where Jesus Christ talks a ton about baptism. President Arnold talked about how our focus and goal should be to baptize. We also talked about planning and how we can plan better to get more people in church.
Then during lunch, President Arnold wanted to do interviews with the zone leaders individually. So I had a 1 on 1 interview with a General Authority. Wow, he is a spiritual giant. I had the chance to ask him a couple of questions. It was pretty awesome.
Then in the second half of conference, we talked a lot about how to work with the members more and how to work better with ward council and ward leaders. It was so perfect for our area and I know that it will help us a ton. Then President Arnold talked about how to have the Spirit with us constantly, what we need to do to have the Spirit with us all the time. I loved it. We did some practices and that was about it. Then at the end, President Arnold bore his testimony. The Spirit was incredible. When he bore his testimony of the first vision and of the Savior, it was like a Spirit fire in the room was burning my face off. Once again Heavenly Father confirmed to me personally that the Church is true!
Another highlight from this week was a Family Home Evening that we had with a part member family on Monday. There is a family where the mom (Daisy) is a member and the dad (Alonso) is not. They are so awesome and Alonso is going to be baptized, but they are waiting for a divorce with Daisy`s ex husband so that they can get married and Alonso can get baptized. Alonso is from Barcelona, Spain. He is a stud, haha. He talks in vosotros, It`s purete -Paraguayan word for awesome. Last week we visited them and I told him how Dad served in Barcelona. I told him that you were in Valencia for a little bit also, but I couldn`t remember the names of any other areas where you served. Where else in Spain did you serve, what are some of the names of the cities? Did you learn this crazy other language that they speak there that is like a mix of Spanish, French, Portuguese and what not? Anyway, last week I told him that I remembered you would always make this Spanish tortilla out of egg and potatoes. So on Monday at the family home evening they made that for us. Ooooooh, so good. A taste from home, haha.
Anyway, things are going super well here. We had kind of a rough week numbers wise, but we are excited and we know what we need to do better. After fasting yesterday, we decided that we need to work more with the members, get the ward action list working and rescuing more less active families, because there are so many in Costa Bonita. I know that we will see progress. It will be slow going, but the Lord will bless us. I`m so grateful for the church. I`m happy to be here and to receive more testimony every day about the blessings of obedience and keeping the commandments. Thanks for always writing and being so supportive. I love you all very much!