I am writing you from another city! but still far away from Asuncion. It’s a city called Peter John Gentleman or in Spanish - Pedro Juan Caballero. It is right next to Brazil. We are learning a little Portuguese haha. It’s a chilly area!, the coldest zone in the mission haha. So I will be here for winter, haha. We are teaching a Brazilian girl (Emily) but she speaks Spanish perfectly. The missionaries usually give away Portuguese copies of the Book of Mormon, haha. We have been working with a man, Vicente. He likes speaking Portuguese more than Spanish but with us he has to speak Spanish. His baptismal date is for Sunday after church, so well see - if he doesn’t smoke or drink this week. He really wants to follow Christ. There has been a great change in his life and a greater desire to follow the Savior. In all this city there are 5 companionships of missionaries. We are in rama 1. It is a very rich place (in comparison) because there is a very strong Brazilian influence. You can even use Brazilian money here - reals. There are very big super markets with GOOD food!
I feel that my testimony of the Plan of Salvation has grown here. I feel that every trial that we have is something that God wants for us to learn. I have been listening to many talks that I have on my iPod and a common theme is that trials make us stronger and if we didn't have them there would be no purpose. It is a very saddening experience to hear about the death of a family member but the knowledge that we can live with our families again is a promise that is given from God and an everlasting promise. I love the Savior. I have learned so much from him on my mission. He knows how to shape my life with things that he knows I need. For example, why in the world would a parent give a needle to their child? That is PAINFULL!! Why would a parent willingly inflict pain on their baby? Because they know that a little pain now will save them from suffering in the future, save them from trials that they can not handle. God knows what we can handle and what we can not. If we receive a trial from God it is because he knows we can overcome it and win the victory over our trials. And just think of what we learned. We can look back and see that we have grown.
I love you all soo much and always pray for you, especially for Grandma Spackman. I pray that God can be with her more than ever. I love you Grandma!!!! Thanks for everything, everything that you guys do for me.
Love, Elder Lucas Rodgers