Monday, August 25, 2014

Letter #41 August 23, 2014

Hey Everyone
I cant think of any good jokes this week, thinking hard for next week!!  This week was nuts.  We ran all over the place trying to get things ready!  We had an awesome weekend nonetheless. This week after months of long hard work, the Barbosa couple was finally able to be married and baptized!!! We ran around like chickens with our heads cut off this week and made sure that everything was perfect for them.  We had to do paperwork, find witnesses for the wedding and on top of everything make sure that money was in order.  Here in Paraguay it is 200,000 Guarani or around $40 dollars.  That's around half a months salary here, so it was a huge sacrifice that the Barbosa family made.  Brother Barbosa has been fighting the entire 3 months we have been working with him to try and stop smoking and drinking.  This week it was make or break.  Either he was going to stop doing these things, or they weren't going to get baptized.  Monday night we decided to go buy him a big bag of candy to help take away his urges to smoke and drink.  That night we took him 6 lbs of candy.  Man did he eat a lot of candy.  We did not see him a single time this week without candy in his mouth.  He is an awesome guy and he is going to be a great Priesthood holder.  I was touched when he asked me to baptize him and I thought a lot about the change he had made going from a passed out drunk to now being a member of the Restored Church.  At the baptism we hit a couple of snags.  There was no leader there to preside, no refreshments, nothing.  We had to run all over again in order to get stuff ready.  To make things better, the water in the font hit me about mid thigh.  Super low.  I had to let Brother Barbosa down easy then shove him under the water.  He came up with a huge smile on his face!!  We have seen all 5 of these family members enter the waters of baptism, and they are now on track to becoming an eternal family.  Nothing short of a miracle!!  Don't worry,  we also had our share of funny experiences this week.  Friday night, we wanted to go stop by the Barbosa´s house just to make sure that he was staying strong and fighting the urges.  We decided to get on a different bus that we thought would drop us off closer to their house.  After about an hour on this bus, I turned to my comp and we both knew that we had passed Ita Paso over 30 minutes ago.  We just started to laugh and decided we would ride the bus to the end of the line, then swallow our pride and ask the driver where the heck we were!!  We got off at an abandoned gas station and walked in the general direction of Ita Paso, down a dirt road with only the vague lights of Encarnacion shining dimly in the night sky (man I should be a poet ;).  We hit a spot where a dirt path turned off the main road and we took it.  We walked through a bunch of weeds for around 20 minutes before somehow we ended up in the front yard of the Barbosa family!  It was a miracle!!! I didn't know whether to laugh of to cry at this tender mercy.  Not going to lie I was pretty sketched out at the thought of walking down a dark dirt road in a sketchy part of our area, but God knew my heart and blessed us.  I am so grateful for all I am learning and especially for my better understanding and love for the Gospel.  The scriptures have truly come alive and I look forward to studies everyday.  Understanding this love would of helped me in school before my mission ha. 

I love you all and you are in my prayers always!!!  Letters would be great, and photos too!!
Elder Ollerton

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