Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16, 2011


I finished my first change in Paraguay! Can you believe its been 6 weeks! Only 13 more changes here! hahaha.

So this week was just about as good as last week. Not many lessons but it wasnt as boring as last week. Me and my companion forced ourselves to clap houses during the siesta when no one wants to talk and we got some appointments out of it but minimal success. Going from house to house and clapping and then having someone wake up, come to the door and see us and then say "otro dia" over and over again isnt fun. But we made a goal to stay productive and when you dont have appointments, that is about as productive as you can be. 

This week for some odd reason I started picking up Guarani words really easy. I learned how to say "como se llama" "hola" "donde esta su casa" "no se" and some other stuff. It was really wierd. When i first got here I couldnt even understand the spanish and now the guarani is making sense. Wierd. We contacted a guy on the street the other day and he was being a jerk and wouldnt stop talking about how we are just rich americans and stuff and my comp was having trouble introducing the gospel and so i just butt in and asked him a few questions in Guarani and he totally lightened up and told us where he lived and then i told him that we wanted to share a message about jesus christ and it turned out he lived outside of our area. But we took his information and we are going to forward the reference to the north mission. My area borders the paraguay north mission on two sides. So there is a chance that me and my comp could be walking on our border and the north missionaries could be walking on their border and see us but we have no idea how far that border is from where the other missionaries live so it will probably never happen. 

I gave a talk in church on sunday! So crazy, get this. I wrote the whole thing out word for word and then i totally winged it when i got up there! In total spanish! Sweet right? We have a new missionary in our district that is in my ward and he gave a talk too. All 4 of us in my ward had to give talks and the bishop didnt tell us until saturday night while we were planning. It all worked out fine though. And we had an investigator at church! So cool. Number wise, our work doesnt look successful but numbers arent what makes a successful missionary. We are working hard and the success will come. I know it. 

Thank you for the pictures! I love the one of Derek! hahahahaha. 

The pictures I am sending are 1. my district in our last district meeting of the change and 2. The awesome clouds outside our window one morning. Oh yeah, it was pretty rainy this week too. I forgot about that. It rained and was cold outside for like two days straight. But dont worry, its freaking hot again.

Les Amo!



Letter to dad:

Thats good that your week was good. I love the san tans! Its basically impossible to get lost out there, it is all one loop. Kallan and I would ride mountain bikes out there all the time! I miss those days. That is so cool about your book of mormon reading. I am in 2nd Nephi 15 right now in spanish. The first day I got to Paraguay the mission president gave us all a copy of the book of mormon and an invitation to start reading it in spanish and marking every reference of Christ with the same color pencil to build your testimony that it really is another testiment of Jesus Christ. Its pretty cool to see mi Libro de Mormon with yellow marks all over it. All i have done is marked references to the Saviors name. Pretty sweet.

P.S.  Sent with two more pictures

These are photos from my companions camera. One is me looking all deep like into the distance of a South American Rain Forest but if you look closely you can see mydistrict leader hunting mangos in the tree in his backyard. The other one is just me being all excited about the hamburgers that my district leader cooked for us that day. 

My district leader is named Abinadi A.... He is from Mexico and the coolest person I think I have ever met in my life. It still trips me out that I can get to know someone pretty well in a different language. His name is ABINADI!!!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

January 9 Dad's letter

Its good to hear from you. I am glad to hear you got a lot of stuff done this week. I wish I had a gym membership here! haha. I was walking the other day and I saw what I think is supposed to be a public gym. But I doubt we would be able to use it. It was like one of those tiny ghetto ones you see in the movies that a kid starts to use and then becomes a great fighter or something. Like an underdog movie. Anyways, we only have 30 minutes to work out in the morning and like 10 of that is used to pray and put on our shoes to go outside and run one lap around a plaza in front of our apartment and then take off our shoes. Thats about 30 minutes. My comp really isnt the excersising type. But whatevs, I am enjoying not having to run forever everyday but I also am missing it a lot. Sometimes I wish I had a comp that was a distance runner and wanted to run ridiculous distances everyday like me but no. haha. 

This week was super super tough for me and my companion. We had only 8 lessons all week. The most we had in the first change (which i just finished!) was 14 but still only 8 lessons meant a lot of walking. We walked pretty much all day every day. And it keeps getting hotter and more humid here. I cant believe how much I am sweating. I come home every night at 9 and am dripping from my face and my clothes are soaked like i just got out of wrestling practice. Its tough. I usually take a cold shower and put clean garments on to sleep in.  

But yeah I have never walked so far in my life. Surely I have ran more miles in a week than i am walking right now but at least when I run it only takes 2 hours max and I do it early in the morning when it isnt so hot. As a new missionary I have 4 hours of studying everyday so we leave the house at about 1 everyday and that is when it gets the hottest and the people here take a "siesta" where they go home from work for a few hours to sleep and then they go back at 4 or 5 and work till 7 or 8. Its really retarded because if we set up an appointment with someone in those hours they wont answer the door when we get there or they wont want to meet with us because they say they need to rest. Its ridiculous. Its like 3 hours of clapping houses and getting rejected. 

Fast sunday was really tough for me too. Long long day. We got up at 6:30 like normal and we started fasting on Saturday at around 1. So sunday we get up and go to church. Church starts at 8. We had 3 investigators tell us that they were coming to church and all 3 didnt come. One of them had a brother from Argentina come into town without notice, one never woke up, and one who we have been teaching for a while now didnt come either and so we went to his house to pick him up and he heard us clapping and turned on some music really loud and wouldnt come to the door. And now he wont answer our phone calls. So frustrating. He even has a baptismal date. I dont know what to do with that guy. 

Its tough and a lot of time it sucks but i am not hating life. 

Next week if possible send me a "read the book of mormon in a year" schedule starting in February. We have a recent convert who wants one. But send it to me in an attachment becuase i cant go to other websites, Thanks!


January 9, 2011

Ahahaha yeah as many times as I said it before, I know now that there really never was an uneventful week.

Thats so cool that you get to teach Book of Mormon. That is my favorite thing to tell people about. The only problem is that is what most of the people have problems with. But I still tell them all about the book of mormon every chance i get. Its so important because if we didnt have the book of mormon, our church would be nothing. Its crazy to see how attached some people are to there bibles here. We gotta ween them off a little bit and teach them to use both the book of mormon and the bible together to have the fullness of the gospel. 

This week for me and my comp was really tough. We walked pretty much all day every day and got rejected about 19,230,731,242 times. We even got cussed out in English by a paraguyan. The guy could barely speak english, it was so hard to understand. He called us wierd boys. That was so odd. I couldnt stop laughing at him. That made him more mad so he started walking toward us in an angry fashion so we just ran away. hahahahaha. oh good times. That was like when me and my comp were way past the point of being disappointed when we got rejected just because it happened so much that day. We almost expected it. But I try to stay excited and positive at each house.

Fast sunday was really tough this week. Its really tough when we are still expected to walk all day long. We start our fast on Saturday afternoon so that we can eat lunch on Sunday. Still tough. Our ward finally had a ward council meeting though! First one since i have here. The bishop had sandwiches and juice and stuff too. So funny. And so awesome. Tell dad he  should make sandwiches for ward council. haha. 

But yeah, not much more to say for this week. I have gone 6 weeks without drinking milk because i am scared of paraguayan milk but my comp finally convinced me to try it today. So we found skim milk in the super and bought it. What scares me is that it comes in a 1 liter box and it comes warm. Like you dont have to refrigerate it until it is open. I hate milk already and that is just gross. But i bought some and a box of paraguayan frosted flakes. So hopefully i am still alive next week. haha. 

If you have already sent me a package thats ok but if not please include some maple extract. Me and my comp make french toast every tuesday morning but we dont have good syrup. The syrup he makes is good but it kinda just sugar flavored. But if you already sent the package totally ok. I am excited to get some mail. 
The picture I attached today is basically the only cool picture I took this week. haha I really only took it to send to uncle eric. But yeah. 

Have a good week!!!

os quiero (vosotros hehe)


Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2, 2011 A letter to his dad

I can see how time off is good but a routine is good too haha. Thats cool that you got the stump out of the ground. That tree must have been deep if it snapped the tow strap! haha I am excited to see how the house will look in 21 months. Uncle Eric told me that it was tough to watch the Jazz play haha. But I thought that the NBA wasnt going to have a season this year? Check out the pics I attached, a member in my ward gave me that shirt and he had no idea who the phoenix suns were! But the first time I saw it I wanted it and once i got to know him better I told him I was from Arizona and that is a basketball team in arizona he gave it to me! haha. His name is Mario Borja and he is one of like 6 returned misisonaries in my ward. He served in the paraguay north mission. You will have to show drew the pics. I think he will like them. 

Thats cool that Rocky and Jana gave talks. I forgot that you were the one that assigns talks! is that fun? 

I really am feeling a lot more comfortable here now. There really is no language barrier anymore and now its just time to work. We are having a really hard time finding people to teach so if you want to help out with that, we could really use some prayers for us to find investigators. I take a lot of pics so i will probably be sending some home every week. 

I am really excited to study the book of mormon this year in church too. I have been studying it every day this week in personal study and my testimony is growing every day. I love it. I could read it all day long. In spanish or in english! haha. Sometimes it is cooler in english and sometimes cooler in spanish. Like the last verse in 2 nephi in english says "i must obey, amen." and in spanish it says more or less the same except the word for "must" and "should" are the same in spanish so its not as intense. Stuff like that. 

I love hearing from you guys! I am excited to email every week! 

The detail on the shirt is PHX Suns

January 2, 2011


¡Feliz Año Nuevo! At least thats all i have heard haha. Yes for your information, I was in bed by 10:30 on new years eve and didnt even have the desire to stay up because i am a perfect missionary. haha just kidding, but yeah i did get to bed on time but because i was wiped out and had no desire to stay up till midnight and then wake up at 6:30 like normal. If you miss sleep time on the mission it takes forever to get it back with the same 8 hours of sleep every night. But you dont have to send me new years eve stuff to give to kids, they ALL do fireworks. Every single child, ages 2 and up do fireworks at all hours of the day. A pack of like 40 firecrackers is about a quarter. Not american money but that is basically what they are worth. And they are so annoying! Haha on christmas eve they do fireworks too and those woke me up at midnight but on new years eve they didnt wake me up. But new years day was tough to work because everyone we talked to was still completely wasted or too hung over to want to talk to us. 

I miss Bulkogi!!! And sheen ramen. They have top ramen here but its kinda expensive. Funny how things switch here. In american money it would be like a dollar and 25 cents for one pack. Ridiculous. But we eat really well so dont worry about that. If you really want to send me some food, any kind of candy that isnt chocolate would be really good. Specifically Skittles and Starburst. Those are types i cant buy down here. I can buy a generic chocolate that is close to the same as at home. i am not a huge chocolate fan anyways. I was pretty ignorant when I was excited to go to paraguay and eat mexican food every day because the food here is nothing like mexican food but i really do miss burritos and stuff. and i wish they had horchata here but they dont. If you found a powdered horchata drink mix that would be awesome to send me. But basically they have every flavor of kool aid type stuff here. And its all pre sugared and cheap so i buy a lot of that. 

New years eve here was pretty cool though. We went to a new converts house for dinner and it was the exact same meal that she fed us on Christmas eve but its all good haha. Grilled chicken (cold), potato salad, some wierd salad, and a gaseosa (soda). They have good cheap soda here too. Guarana is my favorite flavor. But its a mission rule that i am not allowed to drink any type of Cola. Sadly. 

New years day we had church at 8 am and 40 people showed. Sad. But it is only 20 less than normal. But its ok. Everyone we tried contacting on New Years day was still totally wasted and didnt want to listen to us. We even went to a guys house who wanted us to come by and teach him again and he straight up told us that he is still drunk and that we should come back tomorrow. At least he was nice about it. He is a good guy really. But then finally at like 8:15 we made a last ditch attempt to sit down with someone and we decided to go see a guy that we hadnt seen in over a week. We had had 2 really good lessons with him before but he works all the time and is never home. So we went over there and luckily he was home and let us sit down with him. We sat down and asked him if he was able to read the book of mormon we left with him in the last visit. He jumped up, ran inside and got it and came back and was so proud to show us that he was already in I nefi 10! Me and my comp almost died of shock! hahahahaha it was awesome! So we talked to him about it and he totally was understanding all of it. It was really cool. Then we asked him if he had the chance to pray about it and he said yes and that he knows its true!!! Ahhhhhhh! So cool! So we immediately invited him to be baptized on the 28th of this month and he accepted. I cant wait to see how he progresses. 

Other than that, this week has been really tough. Lots of walking and not many lessons. If you (family and friends) would like to help out please pray that me and my comp will find people to teach. We have been praying every day just for someone to want to listen to us. And pray for Hermano Alfredo that he will be baptized on the 28th of January. But I was told to not ask you to fast for my investigators so dont do that but pray your hearts out! :) 

Sounds like you are doing great and I am glad that you are getting back to your normal self mom. haha. One thing i really would like you to send me in the package is a pack of colored pencils. Specifically "crayola twistables" but if you cant find those, any colored pencils will do. And maybe a little tiny manual sharpener so that i can sharpen them. And candy! haha. 

The pictures I added are me and my comp at dinner at the house of Hermana Eva Ferreira, Me and my district at our christmas district activity where we got to throw around a football and play some basketball ( I can dunk Paraguayan hoops super easy) and the last one is me and my 1,000,000 guaranis! hahaha i took out some personal money to buy some leather scripture cases. They are going to look super cool! 

Note to Mom:  Remind Vance to get his hair cut.