February 17, 2014 – Paraguay
So, I`m so stinking excited to be with my new companion HERMANA ARCHILLA! (But I miss Hermana Trillo a lot! I was so proud to see how she teaches better than I do, and how she applied and exceeded in everything that I taught her. Really, I didn’t teach her anything! She was already great and just got greater. I’m glad that she’s now training and I know that she’ll do a good job.)
Hna Archilla is from Honduras! She is so pretty! She`s a convert of almost 2 years. When we went to meet our new companions in Argentina (I was with the four other sisters that came into the mission with me) we were like, Wow. Look at our skinny, pretty new companions. And look at us. Fat and ugly. bahaha.
We received about 10 or 15 new sisters into the mission and ONE elder. Pobrecito haha. All of the trainers went over to the mission office for a presentation and everything. We got to mingle with the Argentina sisters whom I`ve never met. We`re pretty separated with the border, but little by little they`re mixing things up a bit. You can tell by looking which of the sister missionaries serve in Paraguay and which serve in Argentina. The ones in Paraguay look like they`ve all been run over by a truck. The Argentina missionaries are all make-up and hair done and clothes clean. Like, what the heck? I want to serve in Argentina. Just wait. When it gets to be winter and Argentina is colder, I`ll be serving there. Argentina is beautiful, and Paraguay is an oven.
But anyways, being with Hna Archila is a little different. I found out the first day that she`s never walked more than two blocks in her life. We were walking the first day to a meeting at the church and she said “Gosh, missionaries sure walk a lot.” And I said “Yep! It`s the best! And we haven`t even covered a quarter of our area!” Apparently it was the wrong thing to say because she burst into tears. Oops.
She didn`t say anything in the lessons the first day. But that`s ok! We spent the whole hour of companionship study and the whole hour of her training the next day practicing how she can say little things in the lessons. She`s got down the memorized first vision, how to present the book of Mormon, and how to invite to be baptized and how to invite to church and give the directions. So this day she said a little bit of what we practiced.
So the next day, we started our personal study and I think I spent the majority of my time on my knees. I wanted so bad to help her. When I got up from my prayer she was crying. So I called the other sisters in the zone, we all made hot dogs, talked about stuff and Hna Archila started to feel better.
I read her what Grandma Gould sent me about homesickness in the MTC: Mosiah 4:31. You were right, I did need to use it! I`ve used it to help a few sisters throughout my mission!
I started a fast for her this day and I have a strong testimony that God really does answer our prayers.
The next day, Sunday, she started to share her testimony in the lessons. In our last appointment with the B family (who are THE BEST) she completely opened up and cried and shared her testimony, and from that moment she finally started talking to me and smiling and answering my questions. WHAT A MIRACLE! I know that God answers our prayers and that He helps and supports His missionaries!
I really love my companion. She has a great testimony and gave up everything to come out here, with not even two years of membership in the church! I can`t imagine how that would be. I know that she`s going to be a great missionary, better than me I hope! I`m so grateful for her. She is a blessing in my life and makes me stronger.
The B family was supposed to get baptized this weekend, but they`re going to wait. Every single one of them KNOWS that it is the truth. They know it. They all cried yesterday when Hna Archila bore her testimony. The Mom just can`t leave behind her Catholic traditions, which has been the biggest obstacle for the majority of our investigators. But I know that when they are ready, they will be baptized. They want to get baptized as a family. Patience is all. I`m so happy for them! They`re my first thought when I get up in the morning! We talked all this week about the progress they`ve seen in their family since they started taking the lessons from us and started praying and going to church. The changes have been amazing. And it`s the literal evidence that this is the truth, that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is what changes us. It has brought them closer as a family, and filled the void that they felt. All we need is for the Mom to come to church just one time and feel the Spirit there.
Sorry I gave you a heart attack last time! [We tract in danger.] We did the same thing to the lady who washes our clothes. The lady who washed them before did not do a good job. So when we switched, everything smelled good and was ironed (down to each sock!). We told her that when we opened our laundry bag we just about cried! She was like, “What? On no!” “No, no,” we said, “from joy! Because it was so beautiful!”
Really, I`m super happy. I`m so happy for the B family and all of the people that we teach. They`re the reason that I`m out here!
I hope all of you know how much I love you, and appreciate you. You are all so special to me! Thank you for your support! I can`t wait to read all the letters that you sent! Also, have you received the letter I sent? I sent one about a month or two ago, and one last week as well.