this week was awesome! as those of you who regularly read my emails will know, my previous companion and i had put a shark in our tank (see email from June 8th) to help us be better and have more faith. but as we like nutella (a lot) we killed that shark within a matter of a week or two. and we started once again to go back to being what we once were (which is no good). this week i decided that needed to change, and i bought 7 alfajores, one for each day of the week, that i could only eat if i contacted somebody on every bus we got on that day. on monday i didnt get to eat one, but every other day i did, and we began to see miracles once again.
on tuesday we did divisions with the zone leaders. i stayed in Yaguaron with Elder Coombs (from Idaho) and we went out to look for former investigators that had previously attended church and that could get baptized in any moment, when they decided to repent and make that covenant. and we didnt have much success. but then on wednesday my companion and i went to a guy called Esteban, who first started to investigate the church 15 years ago. he had attended church in various occasions, but didnt get baptized. then the missionaries recently started visiting him again, and he went to general conference in april, but still didnt want to get baptized. i had taught him a few times before, but he always said that he was going to think about it. then we went on wednesday and taught a bit about spiritual death and agency and the atonement and baptism. we explained that he could only be free from the spiritual death by accepting Jesus Christ as his Savior by repenting and being baptized, and we invited him to do so. he said he would, in the course of the week. i wasnt sure if he had committed to repenting or being baptized in the course of the week, so we invited him to be baptized that saturday and he accepted! he ended up having a few emergencies in his work though, and we werent able to do his interview, but we passed by again on sunday and he has committed to getting baptized this week! he has been reading the Book of Mormon, and has stopped drinking coffee (even when he had to work for 24 hours straight on saturday)
also on wednesday, we found a less active youth walking around, and talked to him. he had accompanied the missionaries a lot before. he told us that he was currently on vacations, and we asked if he wanted to accompany us the following day. he accepted. the first time i met this youth, he didnt believe much in God, and he had committed to not praying until he went back to church. as we walked on thursday with him, we conversed, and he said that he wasnt going to go on the mission cus he had to study. but anyways we went to visit the Aguayo family (the family of Emelia, see last big paragraph of June 22nd) and we taught them the restoration. we had taught it before, but this time we taught it with the youth translating to guarani (Emelia wasnt there). the mom (Mercedes) really liked it, and said that if her daughter gets baptized, that she wants to go to our church as well and get baptized, along with all her family. her sister (Miguela) is reading the Book of Mormon and taking notes, and has recieved a testimony, but she wants to think a bit more before she gets baptized. but after that lesson the youth gave the last prayer, and then he said that he wanted to go on the mission! he also came to church on sunday. it was pretty incredible how the Spirit worked through him to help him to speak fluently (he said that normally when he tries to speak guarani a lot he starts having difficulties) and to help him remember and teach the doctrine and testify (in other lessons, where the people understood spanish, he wasnt quite as talkative when we asked him to participate). but anyways we went to the Aguayo family again on saturday to teach the plan of salvation, and they all committed to going to church except Miguela, who had homework (two grandchildren who live in another part of our area and one neighbor also committed to going to church). and on sunday they went to church! Emelia went, accompanied by four small children (Jasmin, Pamela, Javier, and Maria), two of which are at least 8 years old, and after going to church accepted preparing to be baptized with Emelia July 18th!
on thursday, on the way back from the Aguayo family, we decided to go visit a part member family, where the parents and their grown children are members, but there is at least one girlfriend (Sara) living there who isnt member, who my other companion had taught twice, when i was on divisions in other places (her boyfriend, Adilson, who is member, had never been present). but anyways we went, and we found Adilson and Sara together! we taught them a bit and they accepted getting married and Sara getting baptized on July 11th! they ended up not going to church on sunday, but they did read a bit in the Book of Mormon, so they now have a date for July 18th.
we also went back to Jorge, who we found last week, and discovered that his wife (theyre actually married, which is a small miracle) went to church before in Ita. we werent able to teach them again until sunday, but after resolving a few doubts, they also accepted a baptismal date for July 18th.
President Agazzani finishes his mission on wednesday. and its been a bit cold.
in the course of the week, a lot of things have happened to make me realize the importance of having our faith firmly centered on Jesus Christ himself. if we have faith in the church, or in members of the church, we may be able to repent and be baptized, but when the storm comes (see Helaman 5 12) we will likely fall, as those things are not sure foundations. thats also why its so important that there's somebody watching out for every member of the church, because if they dont realize that theyve put their faith in something other than our Savior, when their foundation crumbles they need somebody to help keep them up, and build themselves upon the Rock of our Redeemer, or they will fall, and great will be their fall. i know that Jesus Christ lives, that he is my and our Savior, and that He loves us more than we can comprehend. i know that He truly does want to provide us with miracles in our lives, but that we first must have faith. and not just a passive belief, but a living active faith, that drives us in every waking moment to be better.