On Tuesday I did divisions with another companionship in the district, it went pretty well, there were some things they were struggling with, and so I talked to them about that, but the divisions were helpful I think. During the divisions my throat started hurting a little bit.
On Thursday, we had a zone conference with President Callan. It was a really good conference, like all, and I feel like I learned a lot from president about some more things we can try, to see more success in our area. On the same day, later in the day, we had a lesson with a woman named Lina, and her son-in-law. They are a pretty poor family, we have been teaching Lina for a couple of weeks now, and she has attended church once so far. They have a ton of chickens running all over, a couple of dogs, and even a pet monkey in a cage, that has temper tantrums sometimes. On Thursday, we went there to have a lesson with them, and I felt like we should teach lesson 1. She had been taught by other messionaries before, so I thought to myself that it wasn't necesary. Then I felt the impression to teach lesson 1 again, so I conceded, and we started up lesson 1. We got really deep into some of the doctrine, and it was really spiritual, we went over prophets, and it helped a lot for them to understand the importance of the true church, instead of just whatever church talks about God. With the life of Jesus, and the apostacy, I think it really hit their needs, and their doubts they were having. Then we got to the restauration. I said the first vision, and then after it took a while for something to come, so it was just silent for a moment. Then finally the words started coming out, and I bore my testimony and felt the spirit guiding it stronger than at any other time. The spirit just completely took over the lesson, and it really just hit home to their needs. Lina said she was feeling the spirit really strongly, and committed to read and pray that night. It was one of the most spiritually edifying lessons I have been a part of. It is amazing to me how beautifully the words and scriptures, and testimony go together when they are guided by the spirit. The spirit really is a perfect teacher, obviously that's why we have to teach by it. It also is really cool seeing how it hits right at their doubts and concerns as investigators when the spirit is the one teaching.
The next day we went back, and she had prayed and read, and knows that it is true. Unfortunately she couldn't attend church due to her daughter having a baby on Sunday.
On one of the days of the week I don't remember which, a man with a machete, and a plastic grocery bag came up to us. We got kind of nervous, seeing as he had a machete, and he told us that he had been working all day, and that the lady didn't pay him, and that he had nothing to eat. He seemed really sincere, and we felt bad for him (and he had a machete) and so we gave him a 10 mil guarani (2-3 dollars). He took it and we walked off..... close call.
We have been finishing the thank you letters to the members this week, we have already written them all, now we are just trying to get them in their houses without them noticing. A lot of them have thanked us for the letters. I think it is helping them have a better relationship with us, so if nothing else it makes them feel good about themselves. It makes us feel pretty good to be serving them as well.
On Saturday we did a service with Emmanuel, one of the members, we cemented in some rocks in front of his house for a walk-way. It didn't turn out all that well, but we aren't exactly experienced with rock laying, it's tricky stuff.
On Sunday, we had a stake conference with Elder Foster from the 70. President Callan, and the temple president were also their, and it was a pretty good conference, their weren't as many people their as we would have liked, but it wasn't too bad of a turn out. They talked a lot about the importance of families, and it was really spiritual. I feel like I learned a lot from it. There was a youth choir that sang in it, and it was pretty bad, and off tune, but other than that the conference was pretty good.
This week we started a "game" to help us do better with the contacts. We came up with certain ways of contacting related with a certain sport (for example: volleyball; first elder does the warm up of the contact(bump), the other one does the contact part(set), and then the first one bears their testimony(spike)). Every time right before we do the contact, we say a certain sport, and then follow the contact (yes, we are that bored). One of the days, I said volleyball, and started the contact, then my companion found out his information, and then I bore my testimony. At the end he gave us both little candies..... best contact ever! Believe it or not, it has actually helped us to have more variety in our contacts, and helps us follow the spirit more on them. We also play golf(if someone passes, without contacting them, on your side, you get a point) all day. We sometimes have to come up with things like that to help us focus more on doing it.
Also on Sunday, I lost my voice due to something in my throat. In the morning I couldn't say anything, and later in the day, I could say a little bit. My companion had to guide everything during the day, so that was pretty funny. It was actually awkward in some situations, because he would just sit their waiting, and since I could hardly say anything, I had to do the same..... lets just say we had a lot of awkward silences. It was fun sounding like a 14 year old boy again though with my voice.
Right now we are having a pretty big rain storm.... it's cooling things down a bit. The heat has started climbing up there this week though. It's nice when it rains, because it helps with that.
Changes are coming up this next Sunday, in about 10 days. There are a 18 more elders that go home.
Love you guys tons, and hope that everything is going well with you. Hope to hear from you next week......