23 April, 2012

Fast ride on a double decker

Well, this week has been a really good week. We've had our ups and downs, our joys and sorrows, the trials and blessings...... but most important we know we are doing the work of the Lord. We are strengthening our faith, developing the celestial attribute of patience, and really learning to be firm in our faith.
To start off the week, we went to AsunciĆ³n on Monday, like I told you guys last week. We got home at about 9 or so. Our bus driver was crazy. He was in a big hurry, but the good news is, we got to our destination 30 minutes early, in rush our traffic. He was just flying around, passing people up hills around corners...... in a double decker bus! The greatest is that we had front row seats for the whole show. We were up top in the very front, so we witnessed the whole ride home. Lets just say there wasn't a whole lot of sleeping that was getting done on the drive home. It was quite a "on the edge of your seat" experience. We passed literally everybody and everything on the road, we were the fastest ones driving around. We got home, and weren't able to do anything else during the day.
On Tuesday, we talked about the consecration, or dedication to the work of the Lord in the district meeting. It was spiritual, and went really well. We also talked about the baptismal invitations, because the district has fallen big time on that. The rest of the day Tuesday, was a trial to our faith, and our enthusiasm that we still had from the last week. We literally knocked a good 40 doors, and only got into one lesson with a couple, but it was only for 5 minutes, and then they had to leave. We didn't find any news during the day, which was really tough. We maintained our enthusiasm really well, and kept on pushing hard the whole day. We also went and taught the family that had attended church the last week. They are progressing really well. We taught them the plan of Salvation, and it went really well.
On Wednesday, we actually were able to find some good new investigators. We found 4 in total. We had branch night, and one of the young women brought a friend, and they wanted to learn English. So we brought a male member to be present, and taught them some English. We taught them how to pray in English..... Something I've almost completely forgotten. It went really well, and the friend asked us some questions about what we do as missionaries.
On Thursday, we were guided to an investigator who´s wife died on Monday. Literally, out of thousands of people in our area, we happened to find him 3 days after his wife had died. He had taken it pretty hard, and started drinking because of it. We had a really good lesson with him, and he is progressing now. He wasn't able to attend church, but he committed to attend this week. We also had a good lesson with Reinaldo and Silvia (the ones that attended church) and talked to them about the law of Chastity, since they aren't yet married. They agreed, and said they would talk about it.
On Friday, we really got pushed to our limits of faith and patience. It was raining basically all day, and so most of our appointments fell. Since people don't sit outside when it's raining, we only had one option left..... knock doors. We knocked doors for a good 4-5 hours of the day, in the mud, and rain trudging around, just trying everything to get into a lesson. Every single person we talked to just either flat out rejected us, or said "come back another day" (the Paraguayan way of saying I'm not interested). We just kept going and going with nothing else to do. During the day, we knocked a good 60 houses, and the result of the day...... zero new investigators, and some muddy shoes and pants. The most important result..... our faith and enthusiasm for the work, still at 100%. I honestly don't know how, but after all, the whole time we we happy, and just pushing along the whole day. We came back happy and content for having done everything we could in some not so desirable circumstances.
On Saturday, the day started out the same, we knocked about 10 houses in the morning, and nothing. Then we saw a family sitting outside, we went over and taught them. Where is there house you might ask? Well right in front of the huge Catholic church here in our area. They were really intelligent, and understood really well about why it was important to have prophets and everything. They already had a Book of Mormon, but they said that this time they were really interested and wanted to know if it was true. They said they have had a bunch of other missionaries that have come over, but they never really had interest, but that this time we explained everything really well, and they said it made them want to know if it was true. Well, I don't say that to say we are better than other missionaries, obviously we are teaching the same message. It was just a miracle to see that someone who has already heard the message, when taught by the spirit, are a lot more open, and willing to experiment. On the other side of the spectrum, we also taught a guy that just wanted to argue with us after lunch. We sat down, and he started going off about how his church has prophets, and all this other stuff. After 15 minutes, I asked him what church it was. He has gone there for 25 years, but he replied, oh it doesn't have a name yet...... what? Well apparently his prophet is still pending on that revelation..... Anyway, we tried to get into a lesson, but before we could say a prayer or anything, he said, You know what I don't like about your church? He asked who's name we baptize in. I replied, in the name of Jesus Christ. He said, no but if you were to baptize me, what would the words be that you pronounce. I said, well in the name of the Father and the son and the Holy Ghost. He said, well that's where you guys go against the Bible. It says that Paul baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I told him we weren't here to fight, and that we were going to leave if he wanted to argue about stuff. He just said he wasn't arguing, and then continued reciting off all these different scriptures from memory, just trying to show off how well he knows the Bible. So I pulled out my bible, and right off he just said, go ahead and look up Mathew 28:19 (just happened to be the scripture I was about to pull out) It is the part where Christ tells his disciples to baptize in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy ghost. He said that after Christ said that the apostles received revelation that it really meant in the name of Christ, and that it should only be that. So then, I just pulled out the Book of Mormon (the easy way to win a bible bash) and showed him 3 Nephi where Christ teaches in the Americas to baptize in the way we do. He then pulled out a scripture in the bible that says that if someone announces a different gospel than what Christ left, it is cursed. I told him, well yeah, you are changing what Christ himself taught, so you are right there. He kept arguing and asked, in who's name did Paul baptize. I just told him, well yeah he baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, just like he preached in the name of Jesus Christ, and just like it says that the apostles met in the name of Jesus Christ. When somebody does something with the priesthood of Christ, then they are doing the action in the name of Jesus Christ. After that he kept arguing, so we just left the lesson. He was just there to argue, so there wasn't anything else left to do.
On Sunday, our attendance fell..... We still had 3 investigators, but the family we were teaching didn't come to church for some reason. Our baptismal dates basically fell, and now we really have to do some repairing this week. Things are still looking up a lot. We have a ton of investigators that are progressing really well, and that are really interested in knowing more. We have a lot of work to do, but it's just a matter of time before we start seeing some more baptism.
Today we had interviews with the President. They went really well. President talked about some stuff that I had on my mind, and really was guided by the spirit to help me with some questions. That's about all for this week. It has been a good one, and my health is all good..... well all except for the back. My back isn't doing so well from all the walking on empedrado, but it's just minor back pains, nothing to big. I can't keep on any weight here, because of all the walking and everything. I am doing really well. I'm happy, and excited for the work. I love you guys tons. Thanks for everything.
Elder Griffin

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