I never thought I would be on a beach in Paraguay, but there I was. On the beach. In Paraguay. I love this place. (the pictures are in drop box). We played volleyball with the two zones in Encarnacion and the Gringos won. So that was sweet.
This started out as one of the most frustrating weeks of my mission. We had leadership council on Tuesday and then on Wednesday we had emergency transfers in our zone so we were stuck in centro until like 7 o' clock and then once we finally got on a colectivo (after a very drunk man threatened to kill us) we arrived to find the church full of giant ants. Also, our air conditioning broke and it was quite hot and humid. Then we had our zone meeting on Thursday (which was actually way cool. We had a testimony meeting and it was very powerful) and at Thursday after lunch we had 0 lessons and 0 time in our area. But on Friday we just decided to go out and have ourselves a day. So we did.
We had a few good lessons and then we went back to the street where our apartment is (which is this tiny crappy house that we are finally going to change next week!) and the lady who lives right in front of us said hello so we decided to talk to her. She lives in the house that I have seen every day leaving our house for a month, but a house that I have never contacted. So we start talking to her and she just starts telling us about how hard her life is with her husband in prison and her 8 kids and working two jobs, etc. She said she just sees us smiling all the time and she wants to be a person like that who just smiles and laughs. It was maybe the saddest thing I ever heard. But the happiest thing she ever heard is when we told her about the power that the Spirit can have in her life to be a constant friend and to guide her and direct her in all she needs. (This was when I began to remember that without the Spirit I am nothing) We gave her a book of Mormon and she said she was excited to read it. She was way happier and more full of hope after we left.
Then we went to teach a family we found with a recently reactivated single mother who has a very difficult life. The husband of the investigator wasn´t home, but we sat down and the wife just started talking with the member and Lilian (the investigator) just started to completely open up and the Sister Barrios gave her way good advice and said that the feelings she gets with the missionaries is the Spirit and invited her to church and everything. We didn´t even do anything, but Lilian said she had only told her parents some of the stuff she told to us. Then on Sunday after a difficult morning we went to visit her and her husband again in the evening. We taught them about eternal families and the Spirit was so powerful. We asked them how they felt and Lilian said that her husband almost never lets people in and doesn´t like talking a lot but with us he just feels a serenity. They said that we seem wiser beyond our years and that we just have experienced so many things and I told them that it is not because of us, but it is because God helps us and supports us and helps us to be more than we are. Something I needed to be reminded of. Then at the end they said that they understand it all very well and I just looked at them and realized that it is because they are not learning but remembering. I had only felt like someone was remembering what I was teaching one other time in my mission. Then they said that when we talk they feel like it is Christ teaching them. That felt really good because that is our whole purpose. But more than anything I have realized again that I am nothing. The Lord does it all and all I can do is try to be His instrument.
I am way excited for the progress here in our zone and in Ita Paso. I am so grateful to be a missionary.
Con amor, Elder Hawk