What's up? So this week was super interesting. We had work to do and we went out and did it. And guess what, it's super sick (cool). When I first came to the Chaco and was companions with Elder Burger, we had really low attendance at church -- 10 to 12 people each week. Since I have been here, our average has gone from 10 to 25, and that's awesome.
It's crazy because I have felt that my efforts have been counter productive, and we have had problem after problem. But it recently hit me that my point of view is crucial. As a missionary, I have had a lot of success in the baptism area, and it was hard to come to the Chaco where baptisms are not as common. It's hard to see success when success is measured by baptisms. So with all the problems we are having and not a lot of baptisms, it could be super hard and super discouraging if I let it. But I realized this week that I need to change my point of view. We are growing as a branch! Maybe we aren't getting 40 people to church, and I am not baptizing lots and lots of people, but we are still growing!
Honestly, at first I was kind of scared and a little lost as to what to do, but I was able to change my point of view on things and I realized that we are growing and I just need to show faith and do the things that I need to be doing. :) Honestly, the past few months have been a little hard out here, but I am doing fine now, and I know that I am here for a reason -- I know that, and so I know that I am going to be doing good things here. :) But yeah, the work is going well out here and we are doing good things.
So our Chaco problem that we are having this week is that the kid came home from his mission and is now officially "in-active." This is so sad because we were hoping that he would come home and help his family become active again, but "no," he has decided to go in-active. This is honestly something you never want to hear as a missionary. This kid had grown so much on his mission and had gained a testimony, but now he is just going to throw it away because of things that his parents said happened to them by other church members (that really didn't even happen). It is sad and a struggle, but we are going to keep working with him and his family.
But yeah, on a happier note, I am in Asuncion right now and we are going to the Temple tomorrow. I have been able to see Elders Garner, Singer, Mclelland, and all my other friends, so that has been so cool. It's always nice to "kick it" with the homies (good friends). But yeah, I will be in the Temple tomorrow and I will be praying for all of you. :)
I love all of you, and hope things are going well for all for y'all!
Scenes from the Chaco
Jon loves dogs so much!!!
This is a picture of a man from BYU Idaho who has come to the Chaco to help the Neviclay people.
Jon said that the children "loved him."
Oh just a little beehive!!!
Pictures of Neuland, Paraguay
Jon made chilli for dinner -- he is getting to be quite the cook!
On the bus going to Asuncion -- an 8 hour drive!
(He seems a little tall for the bus)
I noticed that his fingers look rough and worn, one of the blessings of living and
working in the Chaco. I love him and am so proud of him!!!