January 27, 2014 – Paraguay
I love hearing every week about the great things that are happening in your lives. The Lord has blessed us so much. I can hardly believe it. You’re all growing up and making good choices in your lives. Thank you all for being such great examples for me!
You won`t believe my hair! That`s natural! What the?
Any thing out of the norm … An investigator ran and hid inside her house. We were like, we know you’re there. We saw you. Haha We’re not that scary, are we? Maybe I should bathe more often …
We do exercise every morning in the mission. When I started my mission I could only do 10 push ups. But now I cazn do 10 push ups!! Haha
On a collective [bus] this week a 12 year old kid asked if he could drink from my water bottle. Sure, I guess. He backwashed, then tried to give it back. You can have it.
Tomorrow I’m going to eat 3 varieties of bananas, magos, peaches & plums. Be jealous. Might be 1000 degrees but the fruit is yummy!
I JUST HAD THE BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE! We saw so many miracles this week. It was crazy!
We didn`t have any baptisms planned for this weekend. On Thursday the AP`s came and gave us a talk. It was about challenging our investigators to show their faith and to get baptized. So right after that, during our lunch appointment, I challenged an investigator to be baptized.
R is super duper cool and a little miracle. We found him one Saturday. He stopped us on the street. We thought he was a crazy drunk man because he came running after us yelling, hermanas!!! He stopped us and said that he recently moved from Asuncion and was taking the lessons from the missionaries there and he wanted to start taking them again. We trusted him when he started doing this finger snapping thing that the elders do and said “fetch” haha. He is an ex-priest and knows a lot about the Bible. We said, ok. Problem is, he doesn`t have a permanent residence, or cell phone because he just moved. So we gave him a map of the church, told him the times and prayed that he`d show up.
He showed up! One of the nicest people I know, an hermano in the ward, took him in and has been staying with him this week. This Hermano, Hmo. I, is so faithful and resolved all of this ex-preacher`s doubts. He was a super doubter.
We show up that Thursday and to my companion`s dismay, I said “Will you get baptized Feb 1?” I had faith that the AP`s didn`t lie to us.
He said, Yes.
And we were both like whaaaaaat!!!! (But inside. On the outside, we were cool beans.)
Then that afternoon we went to visit our other investigator, J. We had his baptism planned for next weekend. We showed up, and we just felt full of the Spirit. When the Spirit testifies, and they KNOW it`s true, they are ready to be baptized. If they`ve repented and they have the desire to follow Christ, they`re ready.
So I said “Will you get baptized THIS SATURDAY?” That`s in 2 stinking days!!!
He said yes!!
Then that night we went to the church for a meeting and R was there. We showed him the baptismal font. The Spirit was so strong. Walking away from that experience Hna Trillo and I both felt that R was ready to be baptized THIS SATURDAY!
So the next day we had a morning appointment with him and we read Acts 2 which is the story about when 3,000 people got baptized after they received the witness of the Spirit. We read that and told him that we have a baptismal service this Saturday and we know that he is ready and that he has a strong testimony of the gospel, that he knows it`s true. Will you get baptized this Saturday?
Can I? He asked.
Our poor district leader is running around interviewing our investigators! Hahaha. For R he asked if he was already baptized. He talks like a member. Knows the jargon and everything!
On Saturday they were baptized!!
Another miracle. J`s wife, D, I think I’ve written about her before, she said if he gets baptized, she`s going to leave him. She`s Catolica ite!!! Super catholic.
On Saturday for the baptism, we roll up in a member`s bucket on wheels (which we had to push because it doesn’t have a starter anymore hahaha ). We saw her out front and we thought oh no!!! Turns out, she and alllllll of the family came to see the baptism! It was so beautiful! Wow!
On Sunday they were confirmed and received the Priesthood. They both bore their testimonies. R`s was beautiful. He spoke beautiful words about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. All that J said was that he felt really good and really happy inside, and I have never heard a more powerful heartfelt testimony in my life. They know that the gospel is true and it changed their lives.
Yesterday we visited J and one of his daughters. She said, I want to get baptized too! We asked, Why? She said, after the baptism, she went home and prayed for God to show her the right path. She had a dream that night that she was at church and the man at the pulpit told her this was God`s path and she needs to follow it.
On Saturday after the baptism, we visited the V family. They were the ones we walked past, a bunch of kids with an owl and both of us turned around because we knew that we had to talk to them!
So we visited them Saturday on a super spiritual high. Committed all 7 of them to baptism for the 15th!
On Sunday, 2 of the kids came to church. They loved it!
We visited them after church and it was one of the best lessons of my life! I am a true convert to teaching according to their needs. We found out their need is unity in the family. So we taught them about how the gospel brings our families together and unites us, even after death. So powerful. We committed them to read, pray on their knees, and come to church as a family, and we promised them that their family would be unified and they would have more peace and love in their home.
The Spirit was so strong and testified of our words. It`s almost something palpable.
We asked the Dad how he felt at this moment. And he said “I feel changed.” He couldn`t say anymore because he was about to cry.
We prayed together after that on our knees and the Spirit was so strong.
The church is true. I know it. I can`t deny it! I have been blessed, my family has been blessed, and I have seen the lives of others changed and blessed as well. I am so privileged to be doing the Lord`s work. I have come to know so many wonderful people here and I am so happy for all of the miracles I have seen. I can`t express all that I feel. Know that I love all of you so much! That Jesus Christ really is our Savior and Redeemer!
I love my mission!
Love, Hna Anderson
Since it sounds like you might be training a new hermana in a couple weeks, anything you’d do differently the second time around?
I`ve learned so much and changed so much over the past 3 months. EVERYTHING! But I think that`s just a life experience thing. There isn`t anything blaringly that I`d do differently. Just try to be a better person, try to teach better, and try to help her more.
What traits do you observe in the happiest missionaries?
Not uptight. They enjoy every moment, no matter if there`s sunshine or rain. They are here to work and to learn.
You write about being up at 5:30 am on Sundays to go pick up investigators? Are you knocking on their doors at 6:30? What time does church start? Are there multiple wards/branches that meet in a building like we have here?
We have to get ready (an hour) and then we have to walk to where ever they are (15-30 minutes) we`re knocking their doors at 7 or 6:45.