Well it went from hot to freezing cold in less than a day. And the cold here is different. It is colder.. and more profound. It is super humid still so the cold goes straight through your jacket and into your soul. We were also without power for a few days so this morning I took a freezing cold shower, but we just need to walk faster to keep warm.
This week started out pretty slow and we were having a hard time and I didn´t know what more we could be doing and so I prayed for guidance and thought about what I would do if I was my leader in the mission. And I thought "I would do divisions with me to help us out, but we don´t have zone leaders any more." Then, the assistants called and told us we would be doing divisions. I went out with Elder Silva and we found a family that is super prepared and they came to the stake conference and are way excited about the gospel. He also helped me to learn a bit more about following the spirit better in lessons. It was way awesome and I was happy to be with him again for a bit. It helped us out a ton and we are excited to keep up the work here.
This Friday we had a multi-zone conference and the assistants asked us to do a practice. I was pretty nervous, but it went way well! We talked about giving real compromisos (I don´t know the word in English. It´s like when you leave something for them to do) and verifying them better so that the people understand that it is something important and not just something that we ask them to do for no reason. There was one part when we were demonstrating following up on the compromisos and we were showing what to do when they haven´t followed through with a compromiso and the Spirit was really strong and we finished our demonstration and everyone was dead silent, feeling the Spirit that was there. It went way well and afterwards Presidente LaPierre told us "muy buen hecho" (good job). I thought about it afterwards and realized that we hadn´t made or planned this practice, but the Lord had done it through us. It has been amazing to see the Lord work through me to help other missionaries improve. It is really a great blessing and opportunity to be a leader in the mission.
Then we had stake conference and the Saturday night session was 100% about missionary work. It was way good and all of the leaders are way excited to start working even harder. On Sunday after the stake conference, we were talking to Presidente LaPierre about our branch and our week and our branch president came up and started talking about how grateful he was for the good missionaries he has received (Elder Perez and Elder Silva who are both now the assistants were in the area before) and I know it made President LaPierre feel good to hear good news, because a lot of the time he just has to deal with garbage. I felt lucky to have such an awesome branch president who supports us with everything he has.
On Sunday, the branch president had rented a bus to take everyone to the conference, but it rained. In Paraguay, when it rains, no one goes to church. A lot of our investigators flaked out, but I had faith in the members. The bus got a flat tire in the morning and so we walked fast in the rain to help out and when we went into the bus, no one was there. I was kind of sad, especially after the conference to think how much blessings everyone missed out on. I also was thinking that one of the challenges as a member of the church is complacency. We think that we can do the bare minimum and squeak into the Celestial kingdom, that we go to church on Sunday, but the other meetings aren´t really important. But the gospel doesn´t work that way. We need to give all that we have. And when an obstacle comes our way, it is just an opportunity to show more faith. Our job now is to help these people gain that faith and overcome the customs that aren´t in line with the gospel. But we all need to take a moment every once in awhile and think about if we are really giving ALL that we have to the Lord. I know that I can give more.
And those are the lessons that I learned this week in an apparently random order. haha. But we are excited to keep working and improving and building the church here in Ciudad del Este. I love you all so much!
Con amor, Elder Hawk
Fotos: Los saltos de monday (zone activity)
This is a huge dam called Itaipu. (ee tie poo)