Wow this week just seemed to fly by in comparison to what I just went through the last week here in Leopardi. It’s been a little rough for me to get used to the area but we are still chuggin along finding two or 3 people every day and helping them come unto Christ. My comp is truly amazing. His name is Elder Ratliff he is from California and he has about 4 months in the mission. He is just super super pumped to be working with me. My first day here I told him that we were going to be inviting everyone to be baptized. He was a little scared at first to hear that announcement but really he has just taken that invitation to heart and now he has a desire to invite everyone to be baptized. Really it was so cool to be able to see that develop in him. It was so long ago that I had that desire come into my heart that I had pretty much forgotten what it felt like. One day we were walking home after having taught a guy for about 10 minutes and inviting him to be baptized at the end and he accepted. Elder Ratliff was just describing how he was feeling. ¨I feel like I really understand what my purpose is. I thought that I could only invite people when I thought that they were ready to be baptized, but now I understand that I invite them to be baptized because they aren´t ready. I must challenge them to use their faith. I feel something deep inside me that really I am helping others come unto Christ. I like it.¨ Really it was just so super awesome to have that experience with him. It is all so true. I have seen many types of Paraguayans here in Paraguay. The majority of them are always scared to take that step of baptism because they don´t know what it means right now, but being able to see the power of our testimonies in helping those people feel peace and then accepting the invitation to follow Christ. It has helped me come to understand that truly I do nothing. This call as a missionary came to me because I was worthy and because I had already been chosen to leave. Inviting someone to be baptized brings this feeling that is pretty hard to describe. It makes me get all anxious and knowing that I will be helping someone to come unto Christ through their own covenant.
This week we had tons of miracles. I left on Tuesday to go to an area called Villa Anita to help a missionary called Elder Carrillo. He is a cool elder From Mexico although he makes me think of a Tongan because of the way he looks and talks hahahaha he thinks it’s funny that I say that to him. We really had quite the day. We started out the day a little late because of some of the stuff that we had to do after the district meeting but finally we got out of the house and we started working. In about 5 hours we found 8 people and we invited them all to be baptized and they had accepted. It was just so amazing to see the change in Elder Carrillo as we invited people to be baptized only after having taught them for about 10 minutes. I told all of the missionaries that we need to change our focus in the district to more on Baptism and how it is our purpose. They all really didn´t think that it was possible to be able to put someone with a baptismal date only having taught them for about 10 minutes. Well we did it with eight people and all of them were excited to come to church and to know if the BOM is true. Really it was such a great day that in the end we bought Lomito Arabe to celebrate. We were super humbled to know that the Lord had used us that day to help others come unto him. It really helped Elder Carrillo as well see that there are tons of people to baptize in his area and all that they need to do is just invite them to make that step. We are passing through a rough time in the district with the missionaries in that they have not been focused on baptizing and have been focused too much on all the problems that are going on with the members. They have gotten a little lazy and a little disobedient. It’s been a little hard for me to gain their confidence because they just think that I am here and that I’m going to be leaving soon so that I’m trunky. It’s a process that is taking a little longer than I would like, but I have divisions planned for the following weeks with those missionaries so we will see what happens.
We are going to have a baptism this next weekend. It is going to be such a huge miracle. We had this kid named Enrique who came to church to just kind of know what it is. He liked it so much that he just kept coming. Elder Ratliff and his old companion had talked with him but really hadn´t set in a good time to teach him. He came to church last week we put him with a baptismal date and we couldn´t find him all during the week. We got him to church on Sunday and we announced his baptismal. He is just super super pumped to do it. We went in and taught him after to church to really see how was his desire to be baptized. He said that he wanted to do it. He didn´t really know why he needed to but he felt a desire within himself that he needed to do it. We went over all the baptismal questions to see if he had a testimony. We taught him all the commandments and wow he was just beaming by the end of the lesson. He was just so exited. It’s going to be an interesting week to try and teach him because he is going to be working and going to school but we are going to fast and pray for him so that he can maintain his progress and be baptized on Saturday.
We were able to see some other miracles as well with being guided by the hand of the Lord. We are finding lots of people who want to follow Christ. We just have to help them take those necessary steps to come unto him. I am loving the mission right now. I think more than ever I am learning the power of a testimony of the truth as I work here in my area with my new companion. He is still having difficulties with the language but he is using his testimony to help others. We aren´t asking how is your knowledge, we are asking, how is your faith. I love things here. The ward is very very tough but we are working with all our hearts. I love the mission and I love you all and hope you have a super awesome week.