Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Dog that (Almost) Got Away

So, yesterday we were out in Aratiri taking some beds to some missionaries. The chapel is right on the ruta, basically a freeway and there are cars flying by all the time. But, people still cross it like nothing. It has a huge cement barrier in the middle with some slits every once in awhile and the people just sit in the slits waiting to pass..even moto's will try and fit, but they just hang out the front and back. Anyways, So yesterday a super small dog started crossing. Instantly, that dog was a gonner. It didn't even look, just crossed in front of cars. But, somehow-basically a miracle, a van came to a screeching stop and this tiny dog curled up and ran back to the side yelping and freeeeeaking out. It was hopping on 3 legs so we figured it broke its leg or something. It came to the fence of the church and spazzed its way over to us. It laid down next to us so E. Parada started to pet it. It had a tiny small burn mark on its leg but it luckily didn't get hit. After about 3 min, the missionaries got to the church to open it up. So we went inside, got the beds and took them to their house and went back to the church to get more beds for another area. When we got back, we were about to unlock the gate when I noticed the dog was still there! Only this wasn't breathing. This dog literally got scared to death. We watched it somehow escape, but it freaked out so much we think it got a heart attack. We were in shock bc as we petted it, it stopped yelping and just laid right by us annd seemed super happy, still breathing hard, but happy. But then, somehow it just died... It was super sad, but that's my story for the week! haha

On a happier note, "J" came to church again!! His baptism date is now in October to help him prepare a little better! We are so blessed to have found him! This week, we talked a lot about repentance and baptism. The way he feels about God and his internal need to find the truth and do it correctly is amazing. Every time, he always comments on something new he learned and what he can do now to help him in his daily life! 

Being in the office, I get to see what the church is talking about. This week, the released this Religious Freedom Site 

I honestly do not have any idea what is happening in the US right now, but I haven't heard of too much talk of laws against religious freedom from my parents..So it reminds me of that time when Gordon B. Hinkley advised everyone to get debt-free...A few years later, the economy crashed. The Lord has given us modern day prophets to guide those who listen to him to happiness. To me, the apostoles and prophet are hitting religious freedom HUGE right now on I know without a doubt they receive revelation for what will come in the future so I know that soon, the freedom of religion will be so restricted that us members will have a hard time living the way we know we should. Any members of any religion for that matter will have a hard time. On the site there are some really great videos and examples of expressing our beliefs in a good way. Hopefully you have some time to check it out. Remember, in the 2014 April General Conference, Elder Holland said, "Be strong. Live the gospel faithfully even if others don't live it at all. Defend your beliefs with courtesy and compassion, but defend them."
We all need to defend our beliefs and defend the rights of all to worship how they choose. If we aren't united, everyone loses the freedom. Hope you have some time to check that site out. It is super cool!

Make it a great week!
Brody and Elder Crofts from last weeks race

This is a video of Elder Parada

Sunday, September 11, 2016

#teamgagaazey #Walk for Alzheimers

What a week! Well to start it off, I wanted to give a shoutout to Gaga and the Walk for Alzheimers! Not only did she have a bunch of support in Coronado but also a bunch of support here in Paraguay! (picture attached)
And then there is Joel. He came to church on Sunday! He is so cool I love being able to talk with him throughout the week. So Joel is actually an artist. He loves to do portraits and he gave us 2 pictures, one of Joseph Smith's first vision and the other of Jesus Christ. I lucked out to score this amazing portrait of Cas well because we hit 100 days in the office without a crash. That was pretty monumental so President Evans said, "Well we should celebrate!" Well we couldn't celebrate that night because Elder Parada had to drive an hour into the chaco to close a house. On our way back, we had just stopped at a red light (E.Parada was driving) when 5 seconds later, a nice young girl rear-ended us. There went that record. We pulled over and she tried to tell us it was our fault. That was pretty hilarious. Luckily, nothing too bad happened. She was in a small red car and us in a her car got the worst of it haha. But man, she put up a fight backed with 3 other girls and a guy trying to explain to us somehow, it was our fault. Last time I checked though, if you crash into someone while they are stopped at a red light, it's your culpa...So that ended our streak..which meant we didn't end up celebrating unfortunately. haha 

Today we went to President's house and played Risk with Travis. He killed us. Literally. haha The Evans are so loving and nice to us. And travis is a pretty awesome kid. He is always here at the office after school with us and has become like another one of us missionaries! The other week we went on a division with him. Even though he didn't understand almost anything, he was stoked to go and do some missionary work!

This week, as I was studying the book of mormon I came across 3 Nefi 27:16
And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.

This scripture means a lot to me. First, I will explain why it means a lot to me this week as a missionary. Joel has been super interested about repentance and has asked a lot of questions regarding that. We were explaining what happens after death and that everyone will be judged according to the desires of their hearts and the obras they do here on the earth. And he kept wanting to know more about this. Unfortunately, this scripture didn't pop into my mind while we were there, but as I was studying the next day I came across this reference in Predicad mi Evangelio. Instantly I knew it was the escritura that Joel needs to read! Now I love this scripture anways because it means that I can always be forgiven of my sins! It is so simple. Anyone that repents, gets baptized and endures to the end, o sea, that continues repenting and changing to become more like Christ until the end of their life will be held guiltless before our Heavenly Father. Guiltless! Think of that. You know that feeling that comes when you do something wrong or bad. If we don't repent of our sins, we will have that feeling forever! But, all he asks is that we intentar to become like him, perfect in every manner. Luckily, he knows we aren't perfect and doesn't expect that from us! What he does expect is that we try. If we give it our best effort, I know for a fact that we will be able to live with Him, our Heavenly Father and with our families forever! Such a great blessing to have this promise in my life! The scriptures contain the gospel of Christ and contain the path to la salvacion. All we have to do is read them and act on what we read and we will find happiness!

I love you all!
Elder Zaugg
Our Team GagaAzey

Views from our run today

Elder Parada was rear ended driving van

 Elder Hunsaker 

 Picture Joel Drew


Be a Good Listener

We went bowlinggggg today!!! That was super fun. It was E. Ticeran's first time bowling. He fell on the ground a lot. hahaha 

Mumbles. Noises. Grunts. Groans. Really that is mostly what I hear when someone speaks Guarani. The language is so different to any other that it all comes into my head like a big blob. I'm sure that is how I felt about spanish a year ago..For the first couple of weeks, I only tried focusing on the spaces in between words. They talk so fast here that I thought every sentence was one word! (funny story about that...last week, the new missionareis went out contacting with some missionaries on their first day! Of course, the majority of the Americans have a tough time understanding. It takes awhile to train your ears from hearing MTC spanish to actual spanish. BUt there were other newbies, from south america-spanish speaking countries-that did not understand the Paraguayos because of the speed they spoke. They asked the American comps to translate.....) So anyways, after about 3 weeks I was able to notice most of the spaces between the words and pauses between sentences, but I still had to actually learn the words. The words they were using didn't mean much to me because I only heard noises! Finally, after studying and practicing, I trained myself to hear spanish! 

Understanding other people and other languages truly is a gift God grants us. The ability to communicate with others allows us to progress temporally and spiritually. For example, without the divine help from our Heavenly Father, I know that I and many other missioanries would not be able to speak and understand spanish or any other language in just over 3 months. Most people are shocked when they find out we learned the language that fast. It is possible because our Heavenly Father sent us here to Paraguay to preach the gospel and we can't do that if we can't speak the language or understand the people! The Book of Mormon teaches us in Mosiah 15:28 that "the time shall come that the salvation of the Lord shall be declared to every nation, kindred, tongue and people." With the divine help we receive, missionaries all over the world are able to preach repentance and help God's children make their own choices to return back to live with Him again. 

Training ourselves to listen and understand the words people use is one thing. We also need to train ourselves to listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Without practice, we may not be able to understand him. He speaks to us in a passive voice that allows those who are seeking His guidance to hear him. If we are not paying attention, we may not recognize his guidance. Two Sundays ago, we were walking around clapping at houses (like always). We had a lesson in 20 minutes and I was stoked because frankly...everyone said no that day. Seriously, we didn't get into a single house. We were about ready to head over to the lesson but decided to try one more street. We passed a couple houses and then as we passed another, I instantly felt an actual impression telling me to contact that house. I literally could not have mistook the feeling. The front was barren, only mud and there was a tiny light on in the back. We clapped but nobody came out. "Oh boy I thought, another one either "not home" or just avoiding us." We clapped again and a man walked out. He gave off a little laugh and I really expected some sarcastic comment. His name is Joel, 25 yrs old, an artist, and is just exploding with questions. We sad down on some bricks and begain talking with him. He asked questions the bounced back and forth from cualquier topic. After an hour of mostly listening to him, sometimes getting out a couple words, we finally found a point to end and sum up the conversation and left him with a Book of Mormon. We were already 30 min late to our lesson. We set up a time to come back Friday. We showed up that Friday as he was walking out of his house to the street. We were about 30 min late. He told us that he had been waiting for us and had walked out several times to see if we were there. As we sat down on the bricks again, he apologized and said, "I'm sorry I didn't have time to show you any drawings, I was busy reading this book." He read 1 Nefi, Mosiah, 3 Nefi, Moroni, and other books inside the Book of Mormon! He loves pictures and paintings, so looked in the front of the book of mormon and read about the events described in the pictures. I was shocked. Never have I seen someone read so much after we left the book of mormon. We ended up teaching him about prayer and he accepted the baptismal invitation. On Sunday, E. Bingham and I went back and taught him the Restoration. Fast forward to Tuesday when Elder Crofts and I taught him the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He pays so much attention and is always waiting for us! I love it. He accepted the baptismal fecha for 24 Septiembre! Finally, a progressing investigator in Campo Grande. We are so blessed. We are so stoked to have met him. Had we not been guided by the Holy Ghost to contact that house, we would not have found him. Now I'm not perfect at listening, but I know it's possible if we pay attention to the still small voice. And if we do, blessings will be pourded down from heaven!

Love you all!

Elder Zaugg

family in our ward getting ready to get sealed in the temple