Saludos de Paraguay!
I loved talking to my family yesterday, and I loved getting back to work once we hung up the phone. Last night, we had a beautiful experience. I don't know if you remember the taxi driver I mentioned several weeks ago who was listening to the Book of Mormon audiobook in his taxi? His name is Juan. We visited his family last night. We pass by their house frequently because some of his daughters are less active and he has a niece living with him who is not a member yet (we're working with her), so we always feel like time spent with them is worthwhile.
Last night we went with a member in the branch with hopes of talking to his niece. His wife, Timotea (who has more faith than anyone I have met), welcomed us warmly and invited us to sit down. She gathered her family, and although the niece wasn't home, we were pleasantly surprised to find that Juan was home. He had felt impressed to end work early and come home that night.
Bear in mind, we visit this family on average at least 2-3 times a week. In the entire time I've been here, I have found Juan at home maybe 5 times, and never have I been able to sit down and share a message with him.
We all gathered together, Timotea, her daughters and son, her nephew, our member friend, and Juan. And we talked about God's plan for his families. The Spirit was present as we testified that families can be forever.
I love my family, and I feel that I have been exceedingly blessed to have been born, as Nephi of old, to goodly parents. I am so grateful for the hope and confidence I have that there is no power on earth that can break the bonds that bind my family together. That is why I left them and travelled 6000 miles - so that other families can experience the joy I feel. I want everyone to have this hope that I have.
Q & A
1. Have you had any experiences where you were fearful for your safety?
I don't really get scared. Nervous, occasionally, but I have faith that my Heavenly Father is watching over me. That being said, I would say that the terminal is definitely a scary place to be at night. When we went to Asunción, we left at like 11 at night, and there was a drunk guy that wouldn't stop bothering us. I wasn't really scared, because we were there with several elders, but it did make me a little nervous. Really, though, there's nothing to worry about.
2. Have there been times where you've had to go without electricity, or hot water, or water in general, or something else that we generally take for granted?
The power went out once when we were in a lesson with a less active family, but other than that, we generally have everything we need. Our shower's funny because in the summer it seemed that it only had two settings: ice cold and heat-of-a-thousand-suns. But now that the weather's cooling off, the heat-of-a-thousand-suns has calmed to barely-lukewarm. Weird. But I'm always grateful to be clean, so I just grit my teeth and deal with it.