Friday, October 28, 2016

Faith Moves Mountains...Or Starts Cars

Speed walking. A great trait to have as a missionary. I think my grampy is a professional. Anyways, we were speedily walking almost running to a member/menos activo house to beat the storm that was coming in. I had decided to change our previous plans to go to this members house because we would be able to go inside and get out of the storm. Any second, the water was going to pour down. We made it just in time. As we were at the members house, we found out that their son was on on their way to the hospital. He was at his university, when apparently a super strong wind picked up a table and hit him in the head. The father was on his way so we were with the rest of the family. We read about Christ coming to the America's and healing the sick. We had a kneeling prayer and the spirit was definitely there. They were at peace with what was happening. They then gave us dinner.😊 Meanwhile, it was pouring outside. Oh, their son is doing good now. Nothing to harmful! Anyways, we didn't want to walk home in the rain..so we waited. And we waited and ate to long and left late, while it was pouring. So we started running home. We ran about 5 blocks, realized we were already soaked, weighed down by the dinner and decided to cross the street and hope for a miracle driver to pull over and take us home. We were a 30 min walk away from home and we left at about 9:30pm. So while we were walking we were talking about the miracle stories we had read or heard about missionaries in similar circumstances. Rest be assured, nobody stopped to take us. We were so wet. About 2 blocks before arriving at our house, we saw a car stopped in the middle of the road with 1 hazard on. We stopped to see if they needed help. It was just a nice plump man, about 35 with a car that would not start at all. The road was fairly busy so we helped him push the car to a side street. Then, we sat there looking at his engine talking with him. He explained that this never happened, but he thought he could fix it. Elder Parada (yes, Elder Parada is my new comp. We had changes on Sunday! I stayed in my ward, Campo Grande.) asked if he thought about saying a prayer. "Oh no no no. Its just blah blah blah". He tried starting it and surprise--nothing. This man was so clueless around cars(probably as clueless as I am). So he came back, began twiddling his thumbs in between wires. We asked again. Same response. "Fine, I thought. If you aren't going to pray I'm going to say a prayer in my head". I figured Elder Parada was doing the same thing. That morning I had just studied praying with faith and I said one of the most faithful prayers in my life. I said multiple actually. But I asked Heavenly Father to help this man continue on his way to pick up his son and get home safely, and to not perform this mighty miracle by his faith, but by the faith of Elder Parada and I. After I finished that prayer, I asked him to try starting it again. It had been about 10 minutes from the time we first found him. He decided to give it a try. 1st attempt. Nothing. 2nd turn of the key and the car started without a problem. That is the power of God. Elder Parada and I looked at each other instantly and just smiled. We had both been offering up prayers of faith and were yet again amazed by the power of God. The man sat in his car just revving the engine for literally 3 minutes after it turned on. He didn't need to, but we think he was just stunned. Nonetheless, he didn't want anything to do with us so we walked on home on cloud 9 from experiencing that miracle. 

Other than that amazing miracle, we have also been blessed in our area. Unfortunately, the 2nd Joel moved to Limpio about 2 weeks ago. Forget to let you all know. But between Sunday and today, we found 5 new investigators which beats the amount of investigators we had in the previous 6 months! Hopefully they will have some baptism dates to report for next week! I will give you some more details next week...I wanted to talk about something huge I learned this week.

“How can I make my weaknesses strong? The scriptures say our weaknesses will be strong characteristics, so how can I do that?” That was my sincere question to the to the Lord right before personal study. I started by Reading 2 Nephi 32 (continuing where I currently was). In verse 3, it says to “feast upon the words of Christ and they will tell you all that you should do”. Okay..So that felt like the start of an answer. To turn my weaknesses into strengths, I need to study the scriptures more, conference talks, Preach my Gospel and so on. Great. But I didn’t feel like that was the entire answer, so I kept reading, verse by verse with my question in mind, searching for the answer. In chapter 33 of Nephi, I cam across verse 4, “And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them…” Wow. Nephi explains that he wrote his prophetic words in weakness? Yet when I read them they hit with so much power and truth! Okay, so what do I need to do to turn my weaknesses into strengths? It´s funny because up until now, I had the thought that after doing “whatever it is that I have to do to magically change my weaknesses into strengths” I would wake up one day in the future and my once-upon-a-time weakness would be one of my strongest qualities. I was still looking at my question searching for a good checklist to use in order to achieve this worthy goal! So I kept reading in verse 4, “for it persuadeth them to do good;…it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end which is life eternal”. “Hmm…maybe, just maybe, I had found my checklist” I thought. So using the 2 scriptures I marked, I made the connection—“feast upon the words of Christ for the words of Christ will tell you all things you should do” and now Nephi is telling me his words are weak but made strong unto me because they “persuade me to do good; speak of Jesus, and persuade me to believe in him, enduring to eternal life”. So my checklist to “personally change my weaknesses into strengths” is simply:
·         Do good
·         Believe in Christ
·         Endure to the end (encompassing the commandments and gospel of Christ of course)
Well great! Now I know what I need to do, right? Wow I was so equivocado! Then, the little “a” by “fortes” in the Portuguese translation of the Book of Mormon caught my attention. I moved my eyes to the bottom… “4ª Éter 12 26-27”. “Yeah, I've read that. If I do what’s right I can turn my weaknesses to strengths. That’s where my question started” I thought. You see, I wasn’t completely satisfied with my “checklist”. It was pretty vague and the “endure to the end” box…man I won’t be able to check this “checklist” off until I die! That’s kind of lame… So, I was stuck. I decided to read Ether 12:26-27 again. But first, I want to mention that in verse 23 Ether cries unto the Lord, “Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things because of our weakness in writing…” and he continues through verse 25 about the weakness of writing. Two prophets stating that the scriptures we study today were written in their human weakness. Christ responds in verses 26 and 27 stating,
  “Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness; And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them”.
And then I realized what I had completely misunderstood from this scripture. Yes, yes it does promise that our weaknesses will become strengths. But it doesn’t require that we do a mountain of things to change them. Christ give us the perfect instruction:
·         Be humble and come unto Christ
·         Have faith in Him
That is it! It is not something that requires me to stretch my limits and do everything to be perfect, no. Christ will make my weaknesses become my strengths. Not I, but Christ. I can’t do it, but Christ can because His grace is sufficient.
It reminds me of a speech on Lds.org from “Hope Works” called “The Perfect Lie”. The perfect lie is the following:
Me + More = Christlike
Satan uses this impossible equation to make us feel like we need to be more faithful, more patient, more loving…to be Christlike. When in fact, I will never be exactly like Christ because He was perfect his entire life. But Satan made me think it was possible. If I could do more good, be more diligent, then I could turn my weaknesses into strengths and be more like Christ. But Tiffany Webster shows us that Christ’s equation, the perfect equation, is the following:
Me + Christ = More
If I am humble, have faith in the power of my Redeemer, He will turn my weaknesses into my greatest strengths because He i son my side, and His grace is sufficient.

Elder Zaugg

1-P-day.....for everyone else. But its cool because my friends come and visit me!
2-Thanks mom!

3-A video of a normal thing that happens in Paraguay...When it is mango season, there are 10,000,000,000 mangos. When it is strawberry season, every corner is filled with a vendor selling them for the same price. And there are certain places dedicated to sell certain things. For example, this video. If you want to buy a chair, you just have to travel to the ruta in Luque and you can buy 1 of 5 models from 1 of 100 vendors for the same price.

video

Sunday, October 23, 2016

PICTURES

Sorry everyone-I have no time! This week was such an amazing week I wish I could explain everything. But I have literally 5 minutes. First, Joel did get baptized, many of you may already have seen that. But then it was just filled with service-something I´m trying to work on-from secret doorbell ditches leaving food, to other small things, and then to service projects like today's. But Im just really happy and just wanted to let you all know that service brings happiness.

Elder Zaugg

P.S. Next week and from now on, I will be writing on Fridays (at least while I am in the office). Pday has changed to Friday!

PICS:
Joel with his new art supplies that Gaga sent for him! He loves them!!
We got bikes!.....but only for 3 more days until we send them to the chaco
With the hermana that makes the super super cool ties...that's one reason I have no time now.
We helped an investigator of Elder Parada and Gibson clear some land this morning. His house is right behind us...
selfie with elder bickley in the background trying to bring down a vine

Joel's baptism







Sunday, October 16, 2016

Bad driving and Baptisms

Sorry folks, I won't have much time to write a great email today because we have a baptism. Unfortunately, the baptism will happen tonight so I won't be able to send photos until next week, but hey, its a good reason to not have time to email! 

President was gone all week in Argentina for a mission president conference so it was a little different in the office! But still way busy, I feel like there were so many places to go. For 2 days I spent like 12 hours just driving around Asuncion-I was done at the end. Too much traffic here ha. I hate getting stuck behind a colectivo because there are rarely opportunities to get around  them. You just have to wait as the people get on and off. Maybe I was sent to Paraguay to learn patience.  As much as I love having almost no traffic rules while driving, I hate it when others don't have rules as well. Imagine yourself in a super long line in Disneyland for the Cars ride and fifty people cut to the front on the outside of the lane. Yeah thats what it feels like while driving. As much as you try to stop them, it doesn't work. Oh and the line at the stoplight. Thats huge. Everyone is trying to get out first. The roads are 1 lane roads but everyone tries to make it to 2 two lane roads. Especially at the stoplight. Thats the point in which they can race to the front. Some people are so good at timing the lights that they will wait patiently in the back until just before the light turns green and they pull out into the incoming traffic and rush to the front of the line. Oh and don't get me started about the moto's. Thats another story completely. They fight their way through traffic whether it be on the right side, the left side, below the car or above they always find a way to get in the way. But don't worry, we are on 36 days without a crash so we are moving up despite all the reckless driving-mostly by the paraguayos but some times us ;)


This week, we were spending a lot of time with Joel to support him for the baptism. They only day we didn't meet with him was Thursday and that was when his tests came. Crazy how fast Satan attacks! Joel doesn't have problems with keeping the Word of Wisdom, or going to church every sunday-no just the opposite. He has a problem with thinking to much about the gospel and wanting to do too much. He gets thinking and than overthinks himself into doubt and insecurity about the church. Satan creeps into his mind this way. But luckily, he has a testimony and never let go of his decision, but help was needed! Like we all need it. Some times, we have trials and difficulties that make us question our testimony. But we should never lose site of our goal and how we can get there! The "iron rod is the word of God". The Book of Mormon will guide us AND protect us in our search for the truth. We explained that to him and he told us that the past couple days he hadn't read it. It truly is a book we should read every day to never waiver in our testimony! 



Elder Zaugg

pics-HAPPY 19th BIRTHDAY CUTTER

cleaning the font getting ready for the baptism


getting ready for the baptism, which name tags do you boys have on???

Joel was baptized on 10-15-2016


Friday, October 14, 2016

Changes Part 5

Yep, I am starting my 5th change here in the office! Crazy to think I have been here that long!
It was a good week though-keeping up the streak of not sleeping. But also keeping up the streak of Paulistas. Every time we go, it gets better and better. This time I decided to go heavy on the Cesar Salad+every thing else. SOOOOOOO good. Its fun getting to go every 6 weeks because we get to pick and choose what we want rather than eat it all because we won't be back! 
Changes started off great-I mean, we have basically all been in the office for 4 changes now so we felt ahead of everything! Doesn't mean we didn't have to stay up super late, but we felt more ready and prepared to hit it on running. Well, then Wednesday happened. The actual day of changes. We are supposed to start at 4:30. We got up and started going, only to get a call that 1 elder from lejos missed his bus, the other missionaries from Concepcion didn't get off where they were supposed to, and we had to stop by the airport to give something to a leaving missioanry...Turns out when we actually got to the first stop in our loop for changes, we were 1 1/2 hours late....hahaha But it all worked out in the end and we had a good time doing it! I have a new comp! Elder Proffit! He is the new secretary of the mission. Elder Hunsaker will train him for 6 weeks then head out to his new area. 

Last night we played a prank on Elder Parada and Elder Gibson. Elder Bickley, Crofts and I acted like we were super mad at each other and it scared them 2 so bad hahaha we were laughing so hard. Then we had to scare Elder Proffit a little bit on his first night in the office so we reinacted the fight and he about cried bc it was so believable. The office crew here is super great and we just all get along so well. Some of the best laughs of the mission happen here, and also the latest nights, and earlierst mornings, and best moments ever. 

Joel Ayala is still progressing for his baptism date-next SATURDAY! So excited for this because it has been a very very long time! haha 

A super cool thing happened this week! On Wednesday, we went to the temple to to pick up the missionaries and take them to Paulistas. While we were waiting outside, Alicia walked out! The convert I baptized from Del Maestro!!!! That was so so so awesome! Her, Hna Leonica, and Silvia were there! Man that was such an overwhelming feeling to know how strong she is in the gospel! As missionaries, we find people to teach and baptize those willing to make promises with God and keep them, with the ultimate goal being the temple. In and only in the temple is where we can make sacred covenants with God that seal families together for eternity, and we can also help others who have already passed on through the baptisms for the dead. To see someone (or 3 people) you grew to care for so much walk out of the temple was such an awesome feeling! I challenge you to make it a goal to go to the temple this coming week to receive personal revelation and to help someone else on the other side! The blessings will be poured down on you-promise you won't regret! 

Elder Zaugg
here are some pics!

1. Joel at the temple after sunday morning conference session!
2. the boiz
3. Alicia at the temple

4. Conference at Prezzzy´s













Saturday, October 1, 2016

AMOR

God’s love is infinite and it will endure forever, but what it means for each of us depends on how we respond to His love. …

What a wonderful start to General Conference today! I loved hearing the Apostles and other leaders speak to us. I especially loved Elder Christofferson's message. I never even thought about unconditional love in that sense. But it is so true, God's love is better represented with "everlasting love" and "redeeming love". For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Our Heavenly Father loves us so much, that he provided us with the opportunities to receive everlasting life! He sent his son to the earth to die for our sins. He loves us so much, but his love doesn't mean we can do whatever we want without paying attention to what he asks in return and receive every blessing he wants to give us! It requires that we love him back enough to follow his commandments and the teachings of his Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are not perfect, but in the end, that is where "redeeming love" comes into play. If we truly do our best to follow his son and his teachings, I believe that His love and mercy will redeem us from any dark pit that sins confine us to. I don't know everything, but I do know that my Heavenly Father loves me and I have felt it strongly so many different times in my life! 

Think of how you felt when for the first time you believed and understood that you are truly a child of God; that Jesus Christ willingly suffered for your sins so that you may be clean again...

I felt pretty darn good at those moments of my life if you ask me. 

Sorry it is so short today! Got to get back to Priesthood session! I hope you all have the opportunity to watch conference tomorrow!
Love Elder Zaugg!


Sorry, i left my camera at President's house so I don't have pics :(