Monday, August 31, 2015

Stake Conference (August 31,2015)

Okay I'm just going to start the letter this time. It's really hard to start these sometimes, you know? 

This week my convert Oscar got ordained to the office of Elder in the Melchezidek Priesthood! I'm extremely proud and so happy to see his progress. He's 100% my strongest convert, and really really loves the church. He is absolutely going to be a leader of some kind. Next stop: Temple (and Finding him a wife so he can be the new Bishop). It's really a blessing to see the fruits of our labors as missionaries, and I know he'll stay strong and active in the church. How awesome. 

We also had our meeting with President Gonzales, which was quite awesome. He really knows how to use the scriptures. Everything he said he followed with "Book of Mormon- So in Alma blah blah" It was really a great time and we got to shake hands with him which was great. Next thing I have to do is shake hands with an apostle. I only ever saw President Monson's dark silhouette at the Temple Celebration in Atlanta, so I would like to get a chance to maybe see an apostle in real life. Not that I need that to know they're apostles. 

Speaking of Apostles, we had a Stake Conference where Quentin L. Cook and Robert D. Hales spoke via satellite to the saints in Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina. Also Elder Maynes of the Presidency of the 70 spoke entirely in Spanish, which was cool. They're great men, and spoke mostly about missionaries, the family, and keeping the sabbath day holy. All of those are well needed by the stakes and wards here in Paraguay. A great experience. In the same conference we sustained Oscar as a Melchezidek Priesthood holder. 

We've also got an investigator who'll be baptized this saturday. I'll give more info after the Baptism, but it's going to be an awesome experience, especially since transfers are the 9th of September, and we haven't had one yet as a companionship. We've been working pretty hard and improving little by little, and it's just wonderful to see the ward spring into action and improve with us. As we've gotten more spiritual, as has the ward, and our investigators. 

So anyway, it was a good week. We also ate "Mondongo" which, as they've described it to me... is: The part of the cow where it stores it's waste.

It was kinda chewy. 

4 1/2 Stars out of 10


Elder Wilson

Happy Birthday Brynn and Maren! Brynn, be careful on the road, please. I'm gonna want the car when I get home. Just kidding! Love you two!

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Good Week! (Aug 17,2015)

Hey so an update about my investigator Carlos: He went to church this week in Paraguarì. He's doing really great and tells us he has a testimony of the restored gospel, and of the Book of Mormon. He has a little bit of fear concerning baptism, but I'm sure with some more knowlege and help from the spirit, he'll do just fine. 

Also a guy who always goes to church (the best friend of the bishop), who always rejects us when we talk about baptism, came up to us at church on sunday and told us he's going to prepare to be baptized. It's such a blessing to see the miracles that the Lord can work if we endure, pray, and diligently search the scriptures. Many missionaries have taught and preached to this man, and I'm so happy to have to chance to see this change wrought on his heart. 

We helped the other companionship of sisters move this week as well. This time they lived on the 5th floor, and it was really funny to see President Wilson throw the mattresses from the top floor all the way to the bottom just for convenience. It was pretty great. We did it a lot faster this week, and it was a fun time for everyone. Although I am a little sore, I'll admit.

I would like to touch on something that happened this week. The Ex-Missionary who lives in our ward but hasn't been active for 10 years, denied my testimony a second time this week. I gave a short little testimony, and he said "you know... that feels empty to me". So I decided "bueno, I'll try to be as honest and sincere this time as possible" and I gave my testimony again, after hearing him explain why it doesn't make sense that Jesus would force us to work for salvation and how mormons are just scared of breaking the commandments, and that's why we believe that God is real, just out of fear. In my testimony, I started to weep a little bit, and I know that what I said will stand as a testimony before God and Angels against him at the last day. We invited him to come to church. The most beautiful thing I can think of happening to him is to baptize his wife and children and be sealed to his family. So we're not giving up on him. He was a missionary at one time, after all.


Elder Wilson

                                                                         NEW SCRIPTURE CASE
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Priesthood Power (Aug. 10.2015)

First of all, I would like to let everyone know that my convert Oscar is going to have his interview to recieve the Melchezidek Priesthood this sunday, and in the following week be ordained and sustained at Stake Conference. I'm very proud and really excited for it. He's super strong in the Church and is a benefit to the ward. It's amazing to see what good can come from accepting the gospel. Right now, he's finished the Book of Mormon and is reading Doctrine and Covenants, while reading the Book of Mormon through again another time. I'm so happy for his progress, and I'll make sure to send updates when he actually gets the priesthood. 

We also got to help the sister missionaries move into their new house with President Wilson. He's really, really cool, and pretty funny. Of course, the Elders did all the heavy lifting, and he made a lot of jokes about how the sisters were being "overworked" and stuff. It was really funny when he gave me the "oooh riiiiight" ;) eyes to me after the sisters explained to him the "important" difference between their closet for clothes, and their closet for books. They didn't understand when he said closet, because he was actually referring to their "library". He's way chill, and we all (including him and his wife) got to go to the activity in jeans and a t-shirt, which was a nice change of pace. He carries with him a great spirit, and we carried a bunch of heavy stuff up like 3 stories with him. This week, we're probably going to help the other sisters move in to their new house, which is on the 5th floor. So that'll be fun. 

We've been working a lot with less active members to search for converts, and two of the less actives we brought are going this week to get advanced to the office of Teacher. So that's really great to see some progress with them as well. 

Other than that, just a standard week. We had a lot of meetings and stuff so missionary work took a bit of a hit this week, but we're doing good. It's a wonderful experience reading the Book of Mormon so many times in the mission as well. Getting to really feel and prayerfully delve deep into every chapter and every page is unlike anything else I've ever experienced. I know that Heavenly Father has blessed us with this most wonderful testament of his son Jesus Christ. I love the Book of Mormon.


Elder Wilson

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Roll Tide (Aug. 3,2015)

So about a month ago Elder Garbett and I came across a guy named Carlos. He's a friend of a girl in the ward, and we decided to shoot by his house and talk to him. He was pretty interested, and he said he would love to go to church and read the Book of Mormon, but the only problem is that he would have to travel to Paraguarì for a month. So he left and we didn't talk to him for quite some time. We just went back to his house on saturday, and found that he had returned just that day. He quietly let us inside and we sat down and he told us about how The Book of Mormon helped him find Christ, and how we were the way that he discovered the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. There was only one problem: His mom HATES mormons. I could put money on the fact that she's never even spoken to a mormon. But whatever, he's super cool and loves the fact that the resurrected Christ came to the Americas. We're going to help him out. 

Also I've just gotta address this. Ashley, my younger cousin, is now married. Congrats, Ashley, and good luck! Eternity is a very long time. I wish I could have been there, but I guess just sending  It's nice to see active members of my family doing what they should.  The pictures are great and the blessings of a sealing are greater.

 Also can someone tell me if we have to get married by the government and later in the temple or how does that work with the new marriage law stuff? 

But other than that, I'm having a blast and working hard. This week was a bit tough, but with hard work comes blessings. We were walking by a restaurant and "Sweet Home Alabama" was playing and when the song went "Sweeeet home Alabama" Elder Garbett shouted 
"woooooooo ROLL TIDE ROLL!!" 
It was really funny. He doesn't even like football.


Elder Wilson

Conozca Los Mormones‏ (July 27,2015)

This week we finally started to see some success in our area.

For those of you who don't know, working in the city in Paraguay is very different from working in the countryside. We eat a lot with members, teach a lot with members, and generally have a lot more contact with the members. Members members members.  In areas like Paraguarì and Coronel Oviedo, we went out adventuring to find little shacks in the jungle where there were people to teach, and here we mostly work with member referrals. 

This week, in a lesson at the house of some recent converts, we got the chance to watch Meet the Mormons, because the only Paraguayan with Netflix happens to be a convert of about 3 months. We brought our 16 year old investigator Wilson with us as well. Everyone makes fun of the fact that he's named Wilson and that Elder Wilson is teaching him.

Elder Garbett and I just finished our first transfer together. Overall it's been really great, but I've been having to work a lot to not use deadpan sarcasm because it's the only language my companion and I speak. It's a bit like me when I got here, and we do really get along well, but I can see how hard it could have been for my trainer to deal with someone who uses sarcasm like I do. Nobody is perfect, and I'm sure not, but Elder Garbett has been doing a really good job at getting used to the mission and sort of figuring out how it all works. It's something that just takes some time and hard work, and he's on the right track. We're finally starting to see some fruits coming from our labors, and we had a few investigators at church yesterday. So, all in all, we're doing good. 

I also got to do another baptismal interview, which are always very spiritual and amazing. My assignment as District Leader has helped me grow a lot spiritually, and it's been cool to see things from the other side of an interview or a meeting.

Other than that, Elder Walsh, who I've lived with for 2 transfers is going home tomorrow with my trainer Elder Arrington. They're incredibly trunky, and it's actually really really bad. He got up this morning chanting "send me home! send me home! send me home!

Until next week,

Elder Wilson

Text to Voice (July 20,2015)

Really during my time here in Ka'aguy Rory we've gotten really close to the Fernandez family. They're sort of a special case that always seem to have problems and challenges and it's an awesome experience to see them grow in the gospel. It's not fun, however, to see them backtrack. The dad went and got his temporary temple recommend this week, only to immediately start fighting and drinking like a crazy madman, threatening to beat up my convert Cristobal. Ridiculous. That same night, amidst all of the chaos and craziness at their house, something awesome happened. 

So Sister Fernandez cannot read. She's not educated, and has never read a book in her entire life. My companion and I had the impression to download the Gospel Library app onto her 17 year old son's filth-ridden ancient android gingerbread 1.0 samsung phone, and we introduced her to the "text to voice" and "audio recording options". As she was walking home from Cristobal's house, there were tears in her eyes as she was listening to the opening lines of the sacred record known as 
1 Nefi 1. She knew the Book of Mormon was true long before she could actually read it without the help of the missionaries. I asked her (in spanish of course) "Sister Fernandez, how is it?" "It's beautiful, Elder, it's beautiful"- It was a sweet moment and I don't know if people really appreciate the gospel like they should.We have so much at our disposal in the states. For instance, our ward had it's first ward council THIS YEAR on sunday. I wonder how that would fly in my ward.

I also hit a year in the mission this week on thursday. Pretty crazy. It's going by way fast, but I'm making the most of it. I hope haha. 

"The secret to missionary work is.... work"- Ezra Taft Benson (Okay I didn't know anything about the former prophets before my mission, but they were amazing. Spencer W. Kimball is probably my favorite though. I'm not choosing or anything.


Elder Wilson

                                     The Wilsons and Elder Arrington who goes home next wednesday
                                                           Gummy bears worshipping Papa Francisco

President Wilson (July 13,2015)

We finally got to meet and have interviews with our new Mission President,

Sergio Agustin Wilson
of Durazno Urugay.

He seems like a really great President, and he at least seems a liiittle bit less strict than President Agazzani. He sort of said something along the lines of "well, we should be obedient, but we also want to enjoy what we do". So that's promising. It was awesome to get to take a picture with him and the other 2 "Elder Wilson"s that there are in the mission. Also with Elder Arrington because he's been companions with ALL 3 ELDER WILSONS. How crazy is that. And the Pope came. As soon as he landed a horrible rainstorm started. Go figure.
The people here were calling him "A second God". Blasphemy. But that's not really what I've been thinking about much.

This week I had the opportunity to participate in a few priesthood blessings for the sick. The first one we did was on Saturday night to Maria, the mother of my convert Belen. She was extremely sick and was afraid that she wouldn't be able to care for her extremely poor family or be able to come to church, and so we gave her a blessing. It was the first sealing I've ever done on an annointing, and was a great experience. It's funny to say that I've never performed a priesthood blessing in English. Weird. Needless to say the spirit was strong there, and she came to church with all of her family the next day.

The next blessing I gave was a little more somber. So there's a man in our ward named Pedro Espinola, a nice little old man whose wife used to work in New York City as a maid. He used to be on the Stake High Council, until he was confined to a wheelchair by his cripplingly advanced Parkinson's Disease. While we were eating lunch about 30 minutes on foot away from his house, we recieved a call from his wife letting us know that he had a high fever and was confined to his bed. As soon as we could, we left to go get our consecrated oil and call the Bishop for permission to give him a blessing, the both of which we recieved. As we entered into his hot little room, we saw him on the bed, shaking from his Parkinson's and groaning from his high  fever. As I placed my hands on his burning head, I felt the spirit channel through me a message of peace, health, and rest. It was an experience I'll never forget. I still don't know how he's doing, but he fell asleep right after I gave the blessing. I'm extremely glad and feel blessed to be a worthy Melchezidek Priesthood holder. 

My companion and I are doing really well. All of the mission success in the world couldn't add or take away from the serious and solemn responsibility of the Priesthood. So we're doing great.


Elder Wilson

Week 2 (June 29, 2015)

This first full week of training for Elder Garbett and I was a fun experience, and a lot of hard work. I didn't realize I was walking that fast my whole mission, but apparently I do walk pretty fast, judging from the huffing and puffing and "hey wait!" stuff that's been going on. I've been trying to make it a little easier on him, because he's pretty new. 

We had some awesome spiritul experiences this week as well, encountering many, many new investigators through the use of specific prayer and fasting. We're having a really good time, and I'm sure it's going to help out Elder Garbett and I mutually as we continue to strengthen our testimonies and find new people to teach and serve.

The rain once again stopped almost the entire zone from having anyone at church again, which is a minor setback. We have a good attitude about the work and are being as diligent as possible. I'm happy about what's going on and really looking forward to the future during these weeks of training.


Elder Wilson

We also ate at a restaurant named "Pupy Burger" pronounced "Poopy Burger". I know that's not exactly something of note, but it seemed pretty funny to my comp. 

The Priest (June 8, 2015)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

So this week was a week of hard work with the Lopez family getting them prepped for their


They're great, humble, and super shy, but they have a lot of family members in the ward. The Fernandez family(The family that had the flooded house) is the mom of the wife, and they all just recently moved houses (because their last house got flooded with water and they had terrible neighbors). They're an amazing family. Their 16 year old son, Josè, went proselyting with us, and we went to a member's house (the member is a teacher) and she told Josè that she was going to help him graduate from the 3rd grade. He only ever made it that far, and he's extremely excited for the opportunity to complete elementary school. 

Oscar, my convert, got the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday, and is planning on going to the cemetery this friday to start on his family history work. I'm absolutely going to have him baptize another one of my converts si o si. 
When he walked out of the Sacrament room this sunday he walked up to me and said "Just call me The Priest". It was pretty funny. We went and visited him to teach him about how to bless the sacrament, because he's going to do it this sunday. I love seeing the fruits of our labors here in the field. He was prepared to be baptized and now he's going to be doing work to help generations of people. So proud. 

The convert of the other elders here, for whom I did the interview, Belen, got baptized as well this saturday. She wasn't going to have permission, but her mom got sent to prison for theft and she got the permission from her grandma. God works miracles to bring forth righteous purposes. 

also, changes are happening here next week, so I'll have a new companion by next wednesday. My oh my how the time flows by. Hay que aprovechar.


Elder Wilson

                                                                                     The House
                                     We also baked my birthday cake for the birthday of Elder Walsh

"One time on my mission, my parents accidentally mailed me their car keys."
Never gonna forget that one. 

Padawan (June 22,2015)

Dearest friends,

So now I'm training Elder Garbett from Athens, Alabama. 
Next door neighbors, right?!

Anyways, this last week we got calls from the office for the transfers, and when they said that I, and literally everyone in my district, was training, I kinda freaked out. In a good way (I was super excited). So we're all trainers (and Elder Abarza who I lived with in Paraguarì) It's an interesting and new challenge and I hope to meet it with success and courage. Right now we don't have hardly any investigators and the work is starting out slow, but we're learning and being diligent and I'm sure it'll all work out in the end. I'm learning a lot more about my own missionary work from having to teach a new guy how to do everything. 

Elder Garbett is cool, and his spanish is really good for having started his mission 6 days ago. He'll learn fast and drop about 50 kilos of weight like si o si I guarantee it. He's got a lot of strenghts that will lead him to success in his mission. He's starting his mission at 21, and it's pretty funny to see the size difference between the two of us. As usual. 

Also, Elder Liddell and Elder Cox, who I lived with in Paraguarì, ended their missions the day I started training, and I got to see them in the office. It was a weird experience but it was nice to see that Elder Liddell finally baptized someone on the last saturday of his mission. I'm happy for him about that.

so that's why I'm going to be starting email a little later again. P-Day starts at 11 during the 12 weeks of training. 


Elder Wilson

If you want to know literally everything you need to know about my companion:
watch his youtube parody "Church Talk" (his channel is called lds parodies) 

I'll try to send pictures as well

                                                                      "este es mi hijo amado"

                                                 Everything you need to know about elder Garbett

Bridesmaids (June 15,2015)

Cristobal Lopez and Maria Belen Quintana Escobar
and Walter and his new wife Raquel

So this week, the Zone Leaders and my companionship had a double wedding. That means that Elder Jara and I married and baptized 2, and the ZLs married and baptized the other 2. It was really quite awesome. We felt extremely blessed by the Lord to have had the opportunity to teach Cristobal and Belen, and to finally see them doing something about their faith was amazing. We had to work like crazy to get the whole thing set up, but it worked out in the end. I mean, for a Paraguayan wedding set up by 4 teenage guys (and the young women's president), it looked pretty darn good.

Belen was incredibly nervous throughout the whole thing though. They're from a very poor family, and the other couple that got married was a little bit richer, and she doesn't like wearing dresses, and it was just a big crazy event (she's scared of crowds) so it was a little stressful, but everything turned out okay thanks to the Lord and the spirit. Obviously that's the only thing that's ever going to help anyone to get baptized, so I'm extremely grateful that the Lord saw fit to bless us with the ability to bring the weddings/baptisms to light. 

I baptized Cristobal, and my companion baptized Belen. We also participated in the laying on of hands to give them the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a wonderful experience that I'm never going to forget. Also, I'm pretty sure Cristobal didn't understand the whole "plug your nose" thing, because he straight up put his whole palm over his face. It was kinda funny but surprisingly it didn't really detract from the spirit. 

It also looks like my 6 weeks with Elder Jara are coming to an end. He's a good Elder, and has been a pretty good companion in this area. He also walks and acts just like a blind penguin. He's a really sweet guy though, and although he may not have good vision, his vision of missionary work is spot on. He's a great guy, and I wish the best for him moving on in the field. It's been interesting to have my first latin comp, and sometimes he gets mad about investigators talking about the USA
He's a really great Elder and will have great success on his mission.

But I have tons of pictures to send you guys, and that's going to take a while.
So I'll just send them to my mom and she can spread them out on facebook or whatever she does!


Elder Wilson

mocoi ñapymi-kuera para El Elder Wilson
iporà tererei-hina gracias a ñandajarape

Talking with my companion
                                               The Room right after we set up!
                                                        I was also a witness for the other couple
                                                          Elder walsh making fun of my companion