Monday, October 26, 2015

Short again, next week longer (Oct. 26,2015)

So I'm still in Ñemby and so is Elder Sander. We're going to be together another 6 weeks here working our hearts out. We got an injection of new elders and sisters in our Zone that will be a new challenge and hopefully a blessing. This week was one of the best and hardest of my mission, but I feel like I'm progressing well. We worked hard with little results, but the ward is stronger than ever with a lot of progress for the missionaries and my comp and I. It's raining like crazy, and I hope nobody gets mad for the length of my letters. 

Today is Elder Sander's birthday, and he's pretty excited, so we're going to have some fun on P-Day. Eat some good stuff. We've got another one of those Zone Leader conferences this week, which will be great for our excitement and the work. I'm happy to be here in Paraguay working hard. I'm making good friends in the field and in the wards here, and we're working as hard as we can.  


Elder Wilson

Conner and Elder Sanders with Victor Aricha

Scary Bridges (Oct. 19,2015)

Our vision for the work here in Paraguay is a strong, fortified, and happy church. We're trying really hard to get that into the Elders and Sisters here in our Zone, which is kinda hard because they're sort of fighting it. We did some "checking up on" some of the Elders, and we found their apartment a total disaster-  disgusting and unclean. No wonder they haven't been having success. We're working really really hard to try and help them out, and it's sort of working? This week is the week of transfers, and I'm pretty sure I'm staying here in Ñemby with a new companion.
We've been travelling in our area quite a bit and checking out new places to work. I'll try to send some photos of some cool bridges in my area. It's always a fun time in Ñemby. Elder Sander is probably my best companion so far. We get along great, teach well together, and have the same dreams and visions for the church here. I'm happy to have been here with him for these six weeks. We cooked some Thai Panang Curry this week, which was actually super amazing. I was really happy to be able to try something distinct and different after literally a year of noodles and beef. It was so good.
This letter is really short, but It's sort of a crazy day. We had a baptism of the sister missionaries this morning, which was actually the baptism of Kevin who I talked about. He moved last week to their area, but I still consider him my convert. It was awesome to see him taking this step in his life, and I hope to be able to help him grow and get better, even if I can't visit him.
Elder Wilson
                                                                     Finally made Panang Curry

                                                     Things unique to Paraguay
Scary Bridges

San Antonio (Oct. 12,2015)

This week is largely more of the same. I would love to say that it was incredibly different and crazy, but it was mostly just running around, growing a bit and trying to learn. Of the few things that happened, I did go on companionship exchanges with Elder Chura from Bolivia, in his area "San Antonio". It's a nice little town based around a single street, with the pretty LDS chapel right on the highway. It's been raining pretty constantly, so I've been soaking wet for days. We're trying to help the Elders be a little more intelligent with their Agency, which is working for now. 
I've learned in my mission that in order to help people in the gospel you have to love them, and show them that you love them. At first, for example, I would try to sort of show people why the gospel was true with information, then later on in my mission, tell them why it was true while respecting their beliefs and other aspects, now... I sort of just tell them the truth with love. I don't know how to explain that well, but basically I've found that people react well to honesty, frankness, and love. It's not that hard, but it's something I've had to learn. It's been a good change to show everyone with a smile that their Heavenly Father loves them, and that's why he sent us to them. 
We had the opportunity to attend the baptism of the Sisters in our district, who baptized a man with terminal cancer and his mother. The mom gave a wonderful testimony at the end of the service, and I had the opportunity to confer the Holy Ghost upon their heads. What a blessing it is to be a holder of the Priesthood of God. It's a privelage and an honor. I know I touch this subject a lot, but it shocks me just how much I've learned to appreciate that. 
I'm reading about the two thousand stripling warriors once again in Alma 56, which is a great chapter on the faith of the Ammonites. They're way cooler, and incredibly ripped, than I'll ever be, but I'll try to mimic their faith and remember that my own mother is probably very similar to theirs.

#LDS Conf (October 5,2015)

General Conference is just a blessing.
You know, I just really feel electrically charged with the spirit after such a powerful General Conference. I'm happy that I was a missionary during this conference. I was really excited for the whole thing, and it really pays off to pay attention to the word of the Lord. 

Once again I am appalled at the thought that I once thought Conference was "boring". What a dummy. These are the most important weekends of the entire year. I know this might just be the missionary talking, but I don't ever want to miss a session of General Conference ever again. After all, they're ALL talking directly to me, and to you. 

Some of my favorite highlights were, of course, the words of our Prophet. His talks in both priesthood session and Sunday morning were inspiring and heartwarming. He truly is a prophet of God. I also felt a great love, as always, for all of the First Presidency, as well as the Quorum of the Twelve. Their inspired council is helping me to be a better missionary and disciple of Christ, as it should for all of you. I have no doubt in my mind that these are inspired men. 

We spent the whole week inviting everyone and their grandmother to the conference, and we had a bit of success as far as that goes. Our investigator Kevin is set to be baptized this saturday. He attended both the Priesthood Session and the session on sunday morning. 
My mind is like a conference soup right now, so it's a little hard to think straight, but I just want everybody to know that the work is going well, and we're having a great time. The Zone's biggest deal right now is having low levels of hope, or power in teaching and working. We're going to try to give our same spirit and excitement for the work to these great, but unexcited Elders and Sisters. With the help of all these talks, it'll probably be a bit easier and fresher in their minds.

Elder Wilson

Nearer My God to Thee (Sept. 28,2015

Not a huge week, but some interesting stuff happened.

As far as us in the work this week, we're doing good, and had a lot of lessons with several investigators that are progressing pretty well. We have quite a few people with baptismal dates set for the 10th and 17th after General Conference. It's going really well, and we're trying to help out our Zone a ton by going on splits and checking on areas and trying to get everyone excited for the work. The numbers in the mission have dropped dramatically in the past few months, and a spirit of dissapointment seems to be going around the mission. My companion and I are working hard to keep everybody super happy and with the spirit of the Lord working in their areas. It's more difficult than I thought it would be, but we're seeing progress.
We also had the chance to sing at a catholic funeral this week. My companion and I went to the house of a part member family and they asked us to sing some hymns and say a prayer. We sang  Nearer my God, To Thee, and God be with you Till we Meet Again. It was really nice to see the people react to the hymns, and many were crying. One lady there approached us and told us that she was a less active member, and that it reminded her that she needs to return to the church and respect the covenants she made. It was quite an event, and in the house it was funny to see a picture of the Temple in Asuncion right next to the idolatrous statues of Mary and San Cayetano.
We also did some splits this week, which were cool. I had the chance to help out a brand new Elder in his area, and it was the first split with a leader in his mission. A wonderful opportunity to ponder my mission and think about the beginning of my mission and how crazy it seems and how fast-yet-slow it's gone. He really seemed changed and moved by my advice, something which I had never thought of happening in my mission.
Also we noted the passing of Elder Richard G. Scott this week. What a crazy cascade of events this year. We thank Elder Scott here in the field for his awesome talks and work, and we await anxiously for the conference this saturday and sunday. I'm way excited. We're listening to Motab to get pumped up for the first sesh.
Elder Wilson

                                     Leadership manual (I'm pretty much Captain Moroni)
   The computer place I'm at. You know you've got a good cyber when you're looking for your camera on          the computer and you accidentally click "3 1/2 inch floppy".
                                                                Our house

Zone 6 (Sept. 21,2015)

This week was a hectic mess of all sorts of meetings and craziness.

I'll start with monday. So we had our big ol' jedi council meeting on monday, which I talked about last week. The Elders from my group ask a ton of really obvious questions and it's a little embarassing, but pretty funny to see what's going on with all of the different missionaries, and the direction that President wants the mission to go as opposed to what the missionaries think. 

Then on thursday I gave my first Zone Training, which was super cool. It was a double Zone Training with Zones 6 and 7. It was a little boring, because we were talking about pamphlets and medical stuff, and many other such like things, but I think we did really well. Our Zone has been suffering quite a bit as far as numbers go before I got here, and most of the Elders and Sisters have almost completely lost the vision to baptize. It's interesting to see that at a certain point in my mission I've changed my way of thinking quite drastically. I've had a few companions with bad attitudes about Baptism, but right now, where I'm at, I love preaching baptism by immersion for the remission of sins. There's nothing like it, and I hope that my cheery attitude and the attitude of my companion can help kick the Zone into gear and start working like crazy to preach repentance to the people of Ñemby. I want President to be like "woah what's going on in Zone 6? it's like the waters of Mormon over there!". 
I think that's going to be just wonderful. We talked about it for a good half hour in our Zone Training.

There's a big Elder in Zone 7 named Elder Sherwood who always lifts me in the air for a bear hug and cracks my back in a million places. He's pretty cool. He played football for Mountain View in AZ, for those of you who know what that means. 

The next day we supervised interviews with President Wilson, which was amazing as well. I love having the opportunity to express my feelings about the mission and learn from someone so filled with inspiration from on high. President enlightened us a bit about his vision for the mission here in Paraguay, and I was filled with the spirit and am 100% ready to help establish Zion here in Asunciòn. How cool would that be to hear after my mission that Paraguay is basically the Utah of South America. In it to beat Peru haha just kidding. 

Other than that Elder Sander and I are doing just fine. Other than a busted AC unit, our house is great, our area is better, and the work is in progress. We have an investigator named Kevin who is going to get baptized the day of General Conference. He went to church yesterday with his family, and the young men's program jumped right in to help out. They even went over to his house to hang out and share a little bit. What a blessing. 


Elder Wilson