Sunday, October 26, 2014

October 20, 2014

well this week was pretty good. it was super hot, and on friday it got up to about 110 degrees farenheit, and walking around in the sun while all the paraguayans were napping made it feel even worse. but anyways we had interviews with president this week, and then i had divisions with the district leader. in the interviews and with what the assistants said (we had interviews with president and a lesson with the President's assistants) i learned a ton. mainly they told us we should put people with baptismal dates throughout the week, invite them to church, and then set appointments for sunday, so that the verification of them going to church is a bit closer. that way they'll feel more committed. so then if they do go we can go on sunday and congratulate them on their progress and help them continue learning towards their set date, and if they dont go, we can go right after their date fell, explain a bit more about the sabbath day and the importance of repenting to prepare for being baptized and put the date again so that they see the importance of that goal. so anyways we were able to put a few people with baptismal dates during the week but as the week continued we werent able to find any of them anymore. the district leader called us on saturday to verify if we had appointments with everybody that had dates and i explained that we could plan to visit them but that for the past few days we hadnt been able to find any of them. he said to do it, with faith, so we did. sunday came and we didnt have anybody in church. so we went out to put baptismal dates. we passed by a lot of people but didnt find anybody except Isaías (which was a miracle as we hadnt seen or taught him since last sunday). he said his aunt didnt want him to get baptized, that a lot of his friends and neighbors made fun of him for listening to us, and that he doesnt like getting up early on sundays. also he prayed to ask if the book of mormon was true and he didnt get an answer. so we promised him that if he would read every day and come to church next sunday that God would answer him. we invited him to prepare to be baptized on the 1 of Nov and he didnt accept, but he did commit to reading every day and going to church.

on wednesday we moved. our new house is nice but it doesnt have air conditioning yet, and on wednesday and thursday nights the power went out a few times so we couldnt use fans. those were the first and hopefully the last times in my life that i've had to sleep with a handkerchief nearby. i seriously just felt like i was sleeping in a pool of sweat. and i had just changed my sheets this week. but anyways we should be getting air conditioning installed today or tomorrow which will be nice.

also on saturday francisco, (one of my converts here, that got baptized in July) got married with his girlfriend who's a member. that was pretty cool and there was really good food. but now theyre gonna move so i wont be able to see them anymore. but its chill

on saturday after the wedding we had a pretty cool experience. what we had planned to do at 8 fell, so we just started walking to do some contacts. we started to go down a street, and then i felt that we should turn. we passed a house and i thought i heard someone say elder but i wasnt sure and then we kept walking. i normally dont like going back to houses after having passed them but i felt we should so we went back to contact them and they immediately just invited us in. there were two friends that are about 20, and one said hey elders used to come to my house. and we always talk about the mormons and the different religions. can you tell my friend the story of Moroni? so we basically just explained the whole history of the book of mormon and they understood super well. it was a pretty awesome lesson. theyre atheists and seem more interested in the story than in the religious part, but still it was pretty cool, and i know that God gave us something to do when we didnt know what else to do.

on thursday we contacted a girl and she said to come back when her family was there. usually appointments where we contact one person and set an appointment to visit another person fall, but we went back and her brother let us in. we started teaching her mom, then her brother and his friend came, then the girl came too. we taught about the restoration, and finished explaining everything, and then the dad got there too, and another friend, so we explained the book of mormon again. turns out they actually have get togethers in their house friday nights to talk about the bible, and this time they had unexpected visitors teach. they liked the book of mormon and committed to read it, but are pretty solid in their church. but it was cool cus they were so willing to recieve us and we taught a ton of people.

we ended up leaving sergio. i talked to president about him in my interview, and he said that we should just invite him to be baptized. we did it, for this saturday, and he said he didnt have sufficient faith to just leave his job and get baptized, and that he wanted to wait until God opened the path so that he can change his schedule or something without any issues. we said that when that happens that he should let us know so we can pass again. he was a bit sad and me too but God is hastening the work of salvation and we need to hasten it too.

also we finished teaching martin and giseña the plan of salvation. they said they wanted to be an eternal family and said they were gonna go to church but they didnt come.

Lider (the husband of Gianina, who got baptized last week) who was baptized in may, got called as second counselor in the branch presidency this week. which just shows that God doesnt need people to know everything or have a ton of time in the church to be able to work through them. he just needs people who are willing to do what he asks. by small and simple means are great things brought to pass.

I know that this is the work of God, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints truly is the kingdom of God on earth, and that it is led by God's chosen servants.

Elder Woodfield

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October 13, 2014

we had a baptism this week wooo! Gianina got baptized after facing a lot of opposition. so these past few weeks we've been getting ready for her baptism, but her husband, Lider, hasnt wanted to baptize her. we've been teaching a ton about the families and how the father is the patriarch of the family, but he just didnt want to baptize her (and sometimes she didnt want him to baptize her either). we had a ton of appointments with them this week but they all fell until friday. we went friday and asked how everything was and they said fine. i asked lider if he was gonna baptize her and he said no. i asked why and he said that they had fought the night before and that they were now separated and that now it was even less of a possibility that he would baptize her. so we asked gianina if she still wanted to be baptized, and she said yes. we asked her who she wanted to baptize her, and she said lider. we read a few scriptures in Proverbs and in 4th Nephi and left them with Alma 36 to read and ponder after we left. then we went again on saturday, and Lider's car was out front again (it hadnt been on friday) so that gave me a bit of hope, but they werent there. we talked to Gianinas dad and asked him to tell Lider to bring a white shirt and an extra shirt (we had pants) hoping that they were okay again. we had the font ready and we were in the chapel waiting before the baptism (which was supposed to start at 7) and the first people to get there was the branch president and his family. they said that they had hurried to get there cus they thought they were late and asked us where everybody was. our phone was dead and our charger doesnt work so we couldnt call lider and ask where they were so we just said that they would get there shortly. then sergio got there and then another investigator Jose. it was already a bit past 7 and gianina and lider werent there still. i went into the bathroom and prayed alone and felt that everything would be fine. then they got there a bit later and lider was in a white shirt and said he was gonna baptize her. the baptism went well and then afterwards lider gave his testimony, and said that they had passed some difficult times but they were able to overcome and had come out even stronger. it really reinforced in my mind that Satan does attack us in vital points in our lives, but that the wisdom of God truly is greater than the cunning of the devil, and that if we trust in Him we'll come out stronger.

we taught sergio and he came to the baptism but not to church. he said he'll start coming regularly when God gives him another job or makes possible that he can change his schedule in his current job.

Isaías is progressing well and is gonna get baptized on the 25th. we got to church a bit early so we decided to go around to get a few investigators that lived nearby. we went to get Isaías and nobody came out of his house. we left and went around the corner and saw him waiting outside the house of his member friend to go to church! it was pretty cool.

a few weeks ago, a young guy (José) that speaks english contacted us in the street. he said he wanted to know more about Joseph Smith but that we couldnt visit him in his house cus his family is really catholic. we gave him our number and he said he would call us to set an appointment to teach him in the chapel. he never called us and i thought he was just another one of those people that contacts us just to practice their english a bit. then this week we saw him again and set an appointment. turns out he's kind of atheist but we had a pretty great lesson and he does have a desire to believe. he came to the baptism on saturday but didnt end up waking up to come to church on sunday.

we also found a few other pretty great investigators just by contacting. we contacted an older guy sitting in the street and sat down with him and had a brief lesson on prophets. we left him with a pamphlet of lesson 1 and then left. on friday we went back and he had read the whole pamphlet. he asked us what we thought about people who get baptized multiple times. we read in Acts 19 where it talks about the 12 people that Paul rebaptized after realizing that their baptism probably hadn't been done by somebody who had authority and in Moroni 6 where it says that they should be sincere. he didnt really like that people get baptized two or three times. we gave him a book of Mormon and there was just a moment where he felt the Spirit really strong and thanked us for visiting him. we invited him to be baptized on the 1 of November and he replied '' if i only say sí, it would be very little. i'd like to be able to express myself better, but the only thing i can say is sí.'' it was pretty incredible to see how the Spirit changed his thoughts so much and helped him know that we have valid baptisms in the Church of Jesus Christ. he didnt end up coming to church but i wanted to share about that lesson cus it was great.

y ese no más. I know that Christ lives and that he is my and our Savior.

Elder Woodfield

October 6, 2014

this week was pretty great, even though we didnt really do much. on wednesday we had a meeting for all the companionships that are training, and in the evening we had a branch activity, so we only had an hour and a half to do proselyting. on thursday we had a baptismal interview of Gianina (the wife of a recent convert. she got baptized when she was eight but it wasnt registered so her membership records dont exist. she doesnt remember the details that would make it possible to just make a new record so we have to baptize her again) and missionary correlation meeting so we didnt have a whole lot of time that day either (but my comp and the comp of the district leader went to teach Isaías while we were in the interview). friday was a normal day and saturday and sunday we had conference. we had to go to a different chapel to watch so we couldnt go visit investigators or anything between sessions so we didnt have time to work those days either.
but anyways we were gonna have a baptism yesterday in between conference sessions, of Gianina, but her and her recently born daughter both got sick so they couldnt come.
on saturday we went to get Isaías (and his member friends) to go to the conference but they couldnt come. we went to get Cristina (who hasnt been to church in a while) to come and she came to the first session. she left after to take her kids home and then come back but didnt end up showing up again. Sergio came for the second and the priesthood session and saturday, and the first session on sunday, but when he found out that we were gonna watch it in english,  he wanted to come watch it with us so i'm not sure how well he understood. but he said he liked it. on sunday morning we went to go help Lider (gianinas husband) give a blessing to his daughter so that they could come if she got better and gianina could get baptized, and it ended up taking a lot longer than i thought it would. the bus to go to the conference was gonna leave from our chapel at 12:30 and we left Liders house at 12:25. i was a bit worried about Isaías, who we had planned to pass by before going to the church to get on the bus, as we werent going to have time to get him, but as we walked up to the church, i saw him sitting in the first row of the bus with a shirt and tie. i jumped on and was also pleasantly surprised to see Francisco, who's been working a lot on sundays and hasnt been able to come to church a whole lot. then after we got on, a big less active family got to church and got on just before it left. it was pretty great.
apart from the conference there wasnt really a lot of exciting stuff that happened this week. Gianina's gonna get baptized on saturday if everything goes well, and Isaías two weeks later.
I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God, and that he and his counselors and the Twelve Apostles have all been called of God to lead his church, under his direction and in the manner that he has established. it really saddens me to see people just go to one or two sessions of GC when they can go to all, and that they just dont fully appreciate the guidance and blessings that are available. i invite all of you to study carefully the talks spoken in this conference and evaluate, as one of the speakers invited, your spiritual well being, asking yourself, ''Is it I?'' be sure to always face towards God, and not worry about the honors or praise of men. I share this testimony and invitation in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Elder Woodfield

September 29, 2014

this week was pretty dang swell. we were able to get the participation of the members a heck of a lot more than before and saw miracles.

on tuesday a less active family called us and asked us to go to give them blessings as a couple were sick. we called the branch president to ask him to send someone and he asked us to go, so we went and gave two blessings and taught a bit about the responsibilities that come with blessings from the Lord. the mom (who is the most active member) said she wanted to go and wanted her kids to go but she had been sick so nobody had gone for a while. on sunday almost the whole family came, even a few who are more less active than the rest.

on wednesday we saw a lot of miracles. we went and taught one of our investigators, Jose, who we found a couple weeks ago. we found him contacting, set an appointment, and when we went back he was waiting for us (that almost never happens). hes a really good guy, and is active in the Catholic church but said he really liked talking to us, and that he realized that a lot of churches do a lot of things that dont go along with the bible. the first time we taught him we invited him to be baptized but he didnt accept. the second time we left him a book of mormon with 3 Nephi 11 marked, and the third time he had read all of it, as well as the introduction and the testimonies, and he accepted a baptismal date! he couldnt come to church on sunday cus he was on vacation but it was awesome.

then we went to the church in the evening for fellowshipping night (a weekly activity here in paraguay for all the branch members) and one of the youth was there with her friend, Isaías. we had taught him before (in my first transfer here) but he hadnt really showed much interest. but on wednesday his friend called us over and said hey Isaías wants to be a member of the church! so we started to teach him again and its going pretty great. he didnt come to sacrament meeting on sunday, but he lives close to the church so we went to his house before the classes started and he came for the last two hours.

also in the fellowshipping night they were doing a practice for the primary program. Cristina, a recent convert, had invited a friend (Elena) to go to the activity and her son participated in the practice. we contacted her friend and taught her on friday and had an awesome lesson with her. we taught about being clean of her sins through the gospel and she said ''well i dont know if i can get baptized twice but if i can i want to do it again, like Christ did it.'' it was amazing. she didnt come to church on sunday and we dont know why, cus Cristina didnt come either.

we taught Martin and Giseña again too on saturday and they came to church again, and Giseñas daughter was in the primary program. it seemed like she liked the primary program quite a bit, but she still doesnt want a baptismal date. we gave her a teaching record so that she can see all that she's learning and all that she's progressing so i hope that that will help.

it's starting to get a bit hotter again. i think thats all. here you go.

Elder Woodfield

September 22, 2014


this week was pretty great, and we saw a couple miracles. on tuesday we had a zone conference, and our zone was assigned the special musical number. i'm the best piano player in the zone so i had to play the piano, but it turned out pretty good. we sang count your blessings. we got home at like four and had to study so we got to go out and work for just like two hours, and we unfortunately didnt get all our contacts.

on wednesday i did divisions with the district leader which was pretty cool.

on friday we went to visit a former investigator, Luz. i found her contacting once with Elder Blackett, and then we looked at her teaching record when we got back and saw that she had stopped investigating cus her dad said he wouldnt pay her college anymore if she kept listening to the missionaries, so we didnt end up going back. this week we ended up visiting her again, and we talked about the faith, and that faith comes before miracles. that she needs to get baptized with faith and God will provide so that she can keep studying. shes studying medicine and has seen a lot of people die, so she asked why God doesnt do miracles and save those people, and my comp shared a story about his cousin, who had a rare genetic uncurable disease (which she had heard of) who was healed by a priesthood blessing. after that she accepted a baptism date and it was a super spiritual lesson but then she didnt end up coming to church.

on saturday we went to visit Sergio. he was able to get work off yesterday to come to church, but he said that he had talked to his boss and that only very rarely would he be able to get work off on sundays. theres a member trying to help him look for a job, so hopefully he'll be able to stop working on sundays completely soon. but he came yesterday and he liked it.

also on saturday we were able to visit a part member family that we've been trying to visit for a while. about two months ago, we asked a member for a reference and she told us to visit her brother (Martin), who is a member, and his girlfriend(Giseña), who's not. we passed by briefly and talked to them a few times, but theyre only home at night and on weekends, and Giseña's grandma is sick so they usually go at night to the hospital to visit her so its a bit tough to sit down and teach them. so this week we were walking by and we saw them at home and went to talk to them. Martin had crashed his car so we gave him the number of a recent convert who's a mechanic and set an appointment with him to visit them on saturday. we went, got to know them a bit, and taught lesson 1. Giseña liked it all, accepted baptism, but wouldnt accept a date. but they came to the sacrament meeting yesterday and they liked it. also Giseñas daughter has been coming to church a lot with Martins sister, so she's gonna be in the primary presentation this coming sunday so theres a good chance they come again.

also im sure youre all eager to know how bernardita is doing but something happened and we're not teaching her anymore.

theres another less active member,Cristian, that i've visited various times during my time here whose wife, Susana, and daughter, Azucena, arent members. we always share with them and they always say that they cant go this sunday, but they will the next. this week we saw that he had taken down the front wall, so we asked if he wanted help to rebuild it. we went today to help them and he said that he's gonna go this sunday. he said he's gonna be working late and not get home til the morning, but that he's gonna make the sacrifice and go. it was pretty cool and shows how much a simple service can help people to see that we really care.

but anyways i think thats everything exciting that happened.

Elder Woodfield

September 15, 2014


this week was a bit slow. on monday we went and visited bernardita. she told us that she's been reading the book of mormon every day, but she doesnt believe that our church is the true church cus she doesnt believe that Christ established a church when he was here, she thinks he just left his teachings and that any church that tries to follow his teachings can be a true church. due to that, she wouldnt commit either to praying to know if the church was true, as thats a possibility that she hasnt even considered yet - that there can only be one true church. she didnt accept a baptism date cus she said shes really busy with school. we explained she just had to keep doing what she was doing - reading the book of mormon every day and coming to church - and not much else. she still wouldnt accept and as normal she didnt accept an appointment to come back, saying that she would call us. we tried passing again during the week but we werent able to find her. we called her saturday to invite her to church and she said she would come - with much more surety than she said the week before - but she didnt show up and didnt answer us when we called on sunday.

we taught sergio too, and it went similarly. we asked if he thought our church was the true church (weve established that he believes in the book of mormon and joseph smith) and he said that he thought any church that follows Christ's teachings is a good church. we asked if he thought more than one church could have authority from God, and he realized that thats not the way that it is. he said he's gonna talk with the guy he works with on sundays to see if he can go a bit later, so that he can come to church this coming sunday.

on thursday we went to do service in a military hospital. we got there at 10 and they told us to come back at 3. we went and finished studying and then we were at the hospital working until 8. we got back to our area and i just wanted to go home and finish studying (we have four hours every day as im training so we hadnt been able to finish all of it) without trying to do the contacts (we have to do 5 contacts every day and so far with Elder Call we've done all of them every day) so i was just walking with Elder Blackett and Elder Powell back towards house, and then Elder Blackett pointed out to me that Elder Call was over in front of a house contacting some people. i went and we contacted them and then found more people to be able to finish all the contacts. it was pretty cool.

on monday we went as a district and visited the biggest soccer stadium in paraguay, called defensores del chaco (defenders of the chaco) and went to the soccer museum too. it was pretty cool.

on sunday we had faith and a member brought a relative to church who's living with her, and we're gonna go teach him on tuesday. it shows that when we do our part with faith God gives us miracles.

i know that this church is truly the one and only church of Christ on the earth, and the only organization that has the authority and the keys to be able to act in his name.

Elder Woodfield

 ive decided to retire as a missionary and become a chipero

 defensores del chaco

me entering the stadium with a rugby ball

September 8, 2014

this week we had faith and we had a miracle, it was pretty cool. so on thursday we had companionship study as a district and talked about how the success of a missionary depends on the faith of the missionary, and not on anything else (see Ether 12:14-15). so then we were doing everything we could to invite everyone to church and to work our hardest and to not speak or think doubtfully about the people. on saturday we went to visit sergio and we got a phone call from a number that wasnt in our phone. i answered and the person asked ''are you guys missionaries from the mormon church?'' i replied yes, and she asked us to visit her the following day (sunday) in the afternoon. she had told me her name but i hadnt heard it, so i asked where she lived, she told us, and i realized it was Bernardita (previously mentioned in the emails on july 28 and august 4 as the woman we contacted who had a lot of questions). we had taught her on two occasions, one explained in the email of aug 4 and the other was two weeks later. in neither occasion she accepted an appointment to come back, just left us saying im gonna read and when i want to ill get to church. this week we passed by one day and talked to her cousin, told her we were gonna pass by another day but couldnt make it. then she called us and even though she asked us to come on sunday we passed by saturday night to invite her to church. she said she was gonna try but didnt commit (which almost always means no in paraguay). then on sunday she came to church! theres a couple over family history in the stake whos assigned to our branch to help the branch grow a bit more and do more family history and when bernardita got to church the hermana saw that she was new and a bit timid and invited her to sit with her. she had to go right after and cancelled the appointment for yesterday but we're gonna visit her someday this week to see how she liked it. but anyways i know that if we have faith God will work miracles.

but apart from that it was mostly another pretty slow week. on tuesday we met a cool catholic DJ who speaks a bit of english and understood really well the restoration. on wednesday we taught a pastor from another church, and thats always fun. 

on saturday we went and taught sergio, and we went with an older brother from the branch. we ended up having a really long lesson (hour and a half, more or less) where we actually almost didnt talk, but the brother invited sergio to come to his house to keep talking about more stuff so thats pretty cool. sergio believes firmly in the church, he just doesnt have quite enough faith to be able to give up his job on sundays until he has something else for sure. when we left the house on saturday it was hot and sunny and clear but when we were teaching sergio it started getting a bit cloudy. then after we left him it started raining a ton, and everything else we had planned fell through. we basically just tried doing the contacts and passing by a bunch of people we know to invite them to church.

then sunday was a pretty great day. we went and ate lunch after church with my favorite family to eat lunch with and got super full. we went and were doing some contacts and we contacted a family who just said no from their porch. a good contacting tactic in paraguay when its hot is asking for water, as you get the chance to at least talk a bit with the people, so we asked them for water and they brought us sprite which was pretty cool. then we ended up being able to get to know the guy and set an appointment with him. then we went and contacted and taught another family, then we had to rush to another appointment we had. we got there and they were all sitting outside and a few of them were drinking and i just thought dang it theyre not gonna recieve us. so we went up to the gate and said hi and they told us to come in and offered us asado (paraguayan barbecue). we were super full so we didnt eat any but then we taught the whole family the restoration. a lot of them were just visiting (there was a birthday) but we got their directions for the missionaries where they live. when we finished they offered us asado again which we denied, but we did end up eating a bit of cake and singing happy birthday in english. we were in the pictures too so there may be a few pictures of me on an unknown facebook account. so then on sunday we were able to double the amount of new investigators that we had gotten from monday to saturday, and if a lot of the people we taught on sunday actually lived in our area it wouldve been even more. it was pretty cool.

but yeah i know that this is Christ's true church and that God is a God of miracles - today, yesterday and forever.

Elder Woodfield