Well this week had its ups and downs. We had a way good zone conference. We did a training on teaching skills and so we had one missionary choose a super hero and the other missionaries had to start a lesson with him and use inspired questions, how to begin teaching, and listening skills to figure out who the super hero was. It was way fun and everyone enjoyed it and learned a lot. We also created these little cards for everyone that have questions that we talk about after every lesson to see if we had a successful lesson or not. It is working way good and the missionaries all enjoy doing it because even if someone rejects the message, we can see that we still have success because we did our part. I love having a big zone.
Also, this week we worked like crazy with all the members. We had divisions just about every day and all of the soon to be missionaries are way excited. The members are amazing here and always super excited to help us out. We also did divisions in Hernandarias which is the city north of Ciudad del Este with two of the companionships from over there. It was way cool and they all left more excited and we learned a lot. One of the missionaries was in my first zone and he was kind of a trouble maker, but he has totally changed and is working way hard and helping out his companion who has lots of problems. It was cool to see how the mission can change people when they really give their all.
This week we were not even able to talk with Teresa. Her leader from her other church showed up last Sunday wondering where she has been and despite the fact that she recently told us that reading the Book of Mormon and learning more makes her "feel like she is flying" she does not want to participate more in the church with us. Her daughter also never wanted anything to do with us or the church or anything. We are going to still try to meet with her, but it was pretty hard to see and experience, because even though she is a great person and tries her best to follow Christ. I know that it is only through the gospel that she can have true joy for this life and the next. But we did all we could and she felt the Spirit, so I know that we did our part. And we are going to keep trying to work with her.
But this week, despite the difficulties, we had one huge miracle, that at first didn´t seem like a miracle. Lourdes is the daughter of an awesome member who has two daughters who are baptized, but who has not been able to be baptized herself for over 10 years because she is married to a man who refuses to divorce her and lives with a different man. Her son Gaby is 7 and is preparing to be baptized in September. But about 3 weeks ago, we had a fast with her in which we asked that she could have the opportunity to get baptized. I thought it would take a lot of time, but I promised her that if she was living the gospel that the Lord would provide the way. Well about a week ago the man who is living with her left with another woman. It was very sad and definitely difficult for her and her family, but this was the answer of the Lord. This guy she was with had always had problems with her and he obviously wasn´t that great of a guy, so she was able to leave from a bad relationship and can now be baptized. She didn´t realize it until her mom started telling her that she could be baptized, but Lourdes thought she had to get divorced still. We told her that she could now be baptized and gave her the challenge to ask God if it is what she should do. I think she already knows, but we are anxiously waiting for the answer. The Lord blesses us when we ask in faith, though it is not always in the way that we think, but I know that it is always what is best for us. We are praying that Lourdes can finally fulfill the desire that she has had for over 10 years and receive the Spirit to comfort her in her time of difficulty and give her the strength she needs to carry on.
This scripture in D&C 138 has helped me out this week.
25 I marveled, for I understood that the Savior spent about three years in his ministry among the Jews and those of the house of Israel, endeavoring to teach them the everlasting gospel and call them unto repentance;
26 And yet, notwithstanding his mighty works, and miracles, and proclamation of the truth, in great power and authority, there were but few who hearkened to his voice, and rejoiced in his presence, and received salvation at his hands.
He wrought might works and miracles with "great power and authority" and still they rejected Him. Just because the people rejected Him did not change the fact that He was the Son of God. And His success did not depend on if those accepted the message He brought. All I can do is teach with power and authority and that is the real success.
I love you all so much and am so grateful for your emails of support and all of your prayers and love.
Con amor, Elder Hawk
Elder Rusque and Elder Hawk --- yo, gangster style
La Gran Zona Porá