Sounds like all is well back in the States. I am glad to hear that Reese Bastian got his mission call to Nicaragua, that is going to be such a cool experience. It is such a blessing to be able to serve a mission, and be able to bring our brothers and sisters back to our Heavenly Father.
This week was a little different. There is an Elder that got his change a little early so he has been in the office for the past week. President asked me to work with him for the rest of the week. He is a really good guy, just extremely lazy. I don't think I have taken more buses in one week before. It was good though because we found a really cool family in a part of the area where we had really nothing going on. It is 2 daughters, the mom, and the grandma that all live together. The daughters are identical twins and they all really accepted the message of the restoration well. The mom is really Catholic, and has trouble realizing that only one church is true. Here in Paraguay they teach that the church is inside of us, so it's okay, as long as we believe in God, we will go to heaven. Faith without works is dead, but it really is tough to explain to some people. We had a good lesson though, and they seemed interested in coming to church this Sunday, so we will see.
Other than that I have just been wondering about where I will go, and who I will be with. I am a little nervous to see where I go, because it really makes a difference in the type of work we do. But, that is the beauty of missionary work. It doesn't matter if you're baptizing every week, or if you're only doing menos activo visits, as long as you are loving the people, bringing them closer to Christ, and dedicated to the work, then you are successfull. I have come to learn that real success comes from true dedication to something.There is a story about a boy in a race. It says that all he wanted to do was really impress his Dad who was watching in the stands. He was running and running as fast as he could, but fell, looked up at his Dad in the stands, and got up and kept going, as fast as he could. Then, he fell again and did the same thing. He got back up and kept running. He came in dead last and felt horrible. He went over to the stands looked his Dad in the eyes and said, "I am sorry I came in last." His Dad said, "In my eyes you won the race because you kept going, and kept getting up even when the times were tough." He was dedicated to the race, and to finishing and impressing his father. We are the same way with our Heavenly Father. If we are dedicated to getting back in His presence, even though we may fall, we just gotta keep going and we will win. I love this gospel so much, and it is such a blessing to know that God knows me personally. Jesus Christ bled for us and now lives. I love you all so much and hope this next week you feel the love of your Savior and stay dedicated to the final goal, La vida eterna.
God bless, Love,Elder Pearson
Letter written to Mom's seminary class...
Mba’e te Kopio Seminary class? This is Elder Pearson, Sister Pearson’s son serving in The Asunción Paraguay North Mission. My Mom asked me to write you guys a letter, bearing my testimony and expressing my feelings about the church. I have been on my mission now for about 16 months, and I have never been happier in my life. My testimony has grown more and faster in these past 16 months than I think it ever will.
As young men and women in the church, you are in the most fun, yet the most difficult and challenging time in your lives. I don’t want to sound like every other old person who has talked to you about this before, but I really do know what it’s like in High School, I was there only a few years ago. I know how tough it can be to make the right choices, especially when your good friends are on a different path. I have come to realize, before my mission, but especially while serving, that there are a couple of things that are really important in keeping us safely on the path to Eternal Life. First, is The Book of Mormon and how key it is.
I won’t lie, I was never the most scripturally minded kid, and did not put forth the effort to read my scriptures like I should have when I was in High School, but I can now testify to every single one of you of the power and guidance that comes from reading the word of God. The verses might be a little hard to understand or just boring to read, but I promise that they hold revelation directly from your Heavenly Father just for you. Dive into the scriptures and take the time to really understand what you are reading and I promise it will be a blessing.
The next thing is prayer, and how it can comfort you when you’re down and guide you when you’re lost. Don’t underestimate the power of prayer, and remember that it was through prayer that Joseph Smith received his answer and saw God and Jesus Christ. It really is powerful, and you can talk to Heavenly Father whenever you need to, in any situation. So with these two things, the Book of Mormon and Prayer, you can receive your own testimony and know for sure that this church is true. A lot of you probably already have your own testimony, but if not, you can gain one. Remember that God loves you, and you are one of his children. He loves you so much that he gave you the opportunity to go back to him and always be happy. The last thing I wanted to touch on is missions. I know you guys are freshman and your mission might seem really far away, but it is close. All of you youth, especially young men should prepare yourselves to serve the Lord. You are needed in the service of the Lord, and people are waiting for you to knock on their door.
The Lord knows you better than you know yourself, so let him guide you, let him help and comfort you when you need it. I can bear testimony to every single one of you that he knows you, and only wants what is best for you, just like your parents. I know that you guys might think differently sometimes, but you parents love you so much, and would do anything to help you. I know that the church is true because I have asked God myself if it is and the Holy Ghost has told me that it is the only true church upon this earth. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God which can guide each of us to eternal life. I testify to all of you that Jesus Christ lives and that he was resurrected just like all of us will be.
One thing I want to invite all of you to do is to read in the Book of Mormon every day, even if it is only a couple verses, or even one, but read every day and I promise that you will be happier than before. I think it would be good to start your reading in 3 Nephi 11. As you read the story of Christ coming to the Americas, put yourself in the shoes of the people who saw the marks in his feet and hands, and think of the joy that they felt. I am so grateful for the chance to serve the Lord here in Paraguay. God bless you guys in school, sports, and everything that you are doing. I know my Mom loves you guys too, and she really wants to help you all come closer to your Savior Jesus Christ through her teaching in Seminary.