Friday, February 12, 2016

1st To Teach In The Outskirts Of Agua Blanca Paraguay - Exhausted, Tested For The Dengue Virus - A Day Of Rest - 11 Investigators In Church

As we ate lunch this Sunday afternoon with a member family in Agua Blanca, I was surprised as the sister who made us lunch told us that we were the first missionaries to try and teach the people of Agua Blanca. The missionaries had been coming to Agua Blanca for about 2 years now, but what the sister said is that they had never tried going further out into the depths of the area to try and find people. With out even knowing it, my companion and I are actually the first missionaries to ever teach this people... now I understand the exaggerated staring from everyone! ;)

One of the people that we have found and have been able to help make it to church for the past 3 weeks is a woman named Corina and her two children. She told us that the Catholic church just didn't fill the hole in her heart that she had had for such a long time. We talked to her about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, and she was enchanted by the idea of all of it, but still had many doubts that she needed to resolve. We told her that if she asked God with real intent if the Book of Mormon was true, God, through the Spirit would show her the truth. As I am writing this, I think I might have already mentioned this part of the story last week, sorry if I am repeating some things.
She prayed, and told us that she asked God to show her if this church was true or not, and that she would open the Book of Mormon to a random verse and read. She opened to Mosiah 27:13, where it states that the true church of Christ had been established, in that Book of Mormon time. For her, that was a good enough answer.
When I heard that, I kinda pounced at her and said "Will you be baptized then???!" I think I scared her because I probably said it really loud ;) She said "I want to try and ask God, and see what happens again."  I thought that was a wonderful idea. 
The next day my companion woke up and told me that he had had a dream, about Moroni 7:5, 6. I thought it was interesting that he had a dream about a specific scripture. Two days later, we had to head out to Agua Blanca again on bike. I got on the bike and rode for about 4 miles, when all of a sudden, just couldn't go anymore. There was no more energy in my body. I almost fell asleep while riding my bike! As we were far away, with out anywhere to rest, we didn't know what to do. We stayed there and rested for a while, and finally a very good man took us home in his truck. 
This day and the next day, I spent sleeping. I have never slept so much in my life, but the mission nurse said my body was just physically spent, and needed a break. She also was nervous I might have a really bad virus that is going around here in Paraguay called Dengue. I went to get tested for it, and it was negative luckily. 
During this time of my little rest, I felt horrible. I really felt like I had failed the people of Agua Blanca, and those here in Katuate, and felt like I wasn't the servant of God that I needed to be. I remembered a scripture that Brother Christensen recently shared with me. D&C 10:4 (Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided ...but be diligent unto the end). My companion also shared with me 1 Timoteo 2 3. I realized that I had done everything that I physically could do to help these investigators, and the Lord was happy with my work, even though I am not invincible. 
Sunday came, and honestly my thoughts were pretty negative, thinking that the investigators wouldn't come because we hadn't visited them. I was proven wrong.
11 investigators should up, and I was shown, that sometimes it is okay to leave the seed we plant to grow for a time, to allow the Spirit to work.
Sunday, we went to Agua Blanca again and the 2nd to last visit we made was to Corina. She told us that she had prayed again, and had asked to be shown what to do, and if she should be baptized. She opened up to Moroni 7:5, 6. My companion was shocked (the same scripture that he had dreamed about). She said that she would be baptized, and knows that the Book of Mormon is true and that this is the path that her family is to take.

I too know that this is the true church. There are many churches, but not a single other contains the full truth that the Book of Mormon contains.

This week I learned, that even though I am not perfect, God, through the atonement of Christ, is pleased with my imperfect efforts.

I love you all :)


Write to Elder Graves in 1 of 3 ways  :

1. E-mail

2. Send letters through the Church Pouch Mail Only postcards or one-page correspondences (no envelopes).

Fold the letter in thirds, secure the long side with tape about one inch in from each end. Do not seal the ends. Stamp and address the blank side as you would an envelope. Use the following mailing address:
Elder Taylor Graves
Argentina Posadas Mission
POB 30150
Salt Lake City, UT

3. Physical Mailing Address:
Elder Taylor Graves
Córdoba 1243
Posadas, Misiones 3300
Casilla 12

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