I want to share one brief experience I had this week. We were visiting a family we had contacted on the street. It was our first time meeting with the mother, and she was quick to inform us that they were very Catholic. Igual, they were happy to invite us into their home and share a little of the palabra de Dios. They had a beautiful family, with father, mother, two sons, and two daughters, and there was a feeling of unity in their home - we could tell they loved each other very much. So we started talking about eternal families and used that to transition into the message of the Restoration of the Gospel.
There came a moment in the lesson when I opened my mouth to speak, and the words I was going to say disappeared from my mind. I paused for a moment and offered a silent prayer that the Spirit would direct my words. After what was really only a brief moment of silence (perhaps a second or two), I began to speak. I taught about the priesthood power and authority to bind families on earth as well as in heaven. I testified that that power is once again on the earth, that through this power, families can be together forever. When I finished speaking, the mother looked at me and said, "Me gusta eso mucho. Me hace sentir una paz escuchar su voz tan suave!" ("I really like that. It makes me feel peace to listen to your soft voice!")
The peace that this mother felt had nothing to do with the tone of my voice. She felt the Spirit testify that my words were true. Families can be together forever!
The best part of being a missionary is that there are moments when - if only for an instant - we seem to slip out of this mortal sphere and catch a glimpse of the glory that awaits us.
Have you caught a glimpse of heaven this week?
Q & A
1. You've mentioned how there are a lot of little shops there. Are there any larger supermarkets? Anything American like Walmart?
The closest thing to Walmart here in Encarnación is called Super Seis and it's basically the same thing just with different products. A little smaller than Walmart - maybe it would be more closely related to a Smith's or Raley's. There are also several smaller supermarket chains around the city - we usually shop at one called La Familia Villalba because it's the closest to our pension.
2. What about shopping malls or movie theaters? Have you seen anything like that?
Shopping malls exist, I think, but I've never been to one. Movie theaters also exist here. I think there are two in Encarnación. I know there is one that we often pass on the way to Rama 1.
3. Do kids wear uniforms to school like they did in Mexico?
Yes they do. I was explaining to someone that in the United States students don't use uniforms, and he looked at me weird and asked, "How do you know if they're students if they don't wear uniforms?"
4. Do you know anything about the schools there - like what time the school day begins and ends or when they get out for summer vacation?
I know the school day is divided. I'm not really sure how the system works, but there are some students who go during the morning and some students who go during the afternoon. I don't know if their school day is shorter than ours or how that works or anything, but other than that, vacations seem to be about the same as for the United States - only summer is during December, January, and February instead of June, July, August. They started school in February or March.