Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April 23, 2012

Vance loves all these murals around town.

I saw the picture of Ragnar and I was like "I wonder where that is, it looks like a beach. Maybe its Saguaro lake or something or Tempe Town Lake" But its a legit beach haha! Thats awesome that you ran Ragnar! I
know that praying helps even in running because I have said a prayer at every start line of every race haha. But I still have had bad races. But yeah prayer works.

The weather here in Paraguay this week has been AMAZING! I feel like I am in a really ugly dirty poor part of California everyday. The sun is just hot enough to feel it on your skin but the cool breeze makes
everything ok. Haha but Friday it rained all day! And I dont have an umbrella! I had one but it broke in the first big rainstorm (5 dollar arizona umbrellas dont work in south american rainstorms XD) and so I
was just using my companions rain pancho. Everything stayed dry except for below my knees. By the end of the day I wasnt even dodging puddles, I just walked down the middle of the road in ankle deep water. But then Saturday was perfect. The clouds went away and it was just awesome and we had 7 lessons in one day! So cool. That is the most lessons that I have ever had in one day.

I am glad that Marly and Drew are emailing me more frequently now so I can know what they are up to haha. and tawny sends me like 5 emails a week that just say "hi, I dont miss you" But its all good. Thats
awesome about Derek talking haha I am excited to call home on Mothers Day and I want to use skype if we can get it to work. I think it will be easier in this area because it is a richer area so there is faster

Hermana Plummer is in my district! She is actually in my ward, I see her everyday. I just saw her like 30 minutes ago. Her parents are coming!? So legit. I will definitely see them. She was in my first district and then she left and I stayed for one more change and then I left to Lambaré and now she is in my district again. Pretty cool, she is a good missionary.

Hahaha Hermana B! She is so cool! But I am in Lambaré, not in Ita. My trainer is in Ita. Did you get my message from the "Barrio Lambaré" facebook? I was eating lunch with a member who runs that page and he asked me to add myself and add you. So yeah.

So this week was pretty cool. Saturday was awesome and Friday was cool because it was the most rain I have ever seen in my life but not cool because I was wet and miserable all day. We walked all day long and no one would let us in because we were all wet. We had two lessons though. Thats about all that happened that stands out this week.

I was thinking the other day of things I need if you are going to send another package. I need more socks. I only have 8 pairs and sometimes it gets really close to having to wear the same pair two days in a row
because the lady that does our laundry takes a long time sometimes. So socks would be great. I also am almost out of Old Spice body wash. If you could send me another big bottle I would greatly appreciate it.
And also there is no such thing as root beer here in paraguay. I know that it is basically impossible to send soda in the mail but root beer hard candy would be marvelous. And i could share it with Paraguayans.

I hope you all have a great week!!!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 16

Hola Familia,

Looks like everything is going good in Qtown. Everyone is busy, thats always good haha. Skylar is having back pain because he is walking wierd or what? Thats cool about Drew and basketball. He is going to be a stud his senior year. I told him I cant wait to watch him play in the Suns arena for the state championship his senior year. And Drew told me his friend Nate wants to get baptized but doesnt know in which church yet haha. I would get on that soon ;)

So this week was honestly, one of the longest eeks of my life haha.  Everyday felt like a year. But its all good. I have made a goal to write more spritual or happy things in my emails so that other moms will send my emails to their sons like you do to me. :) I feel like my emails sometimes sound like a big complaint.

So a couple cool things happened this week. First, one of the lessons we had this week was awesome. We have an investigator named Osvaldo that has been meeting with the missionaries for about 2 months now. He is about 50 years old and has a couple kids. He really hasnt been progressing in the gospel very rapidly but we keep visiting him
because he normally does his reading assignment in the book of mormon and came to general conference. So we decided to take the bishop with us to the lesson with Osvaldo. We started the lesson how we had
planned and shared a couple things and then the Bishop took over haha.  He just started talking and talking and talking and said all the things that Osvaldo needed to hear. Bishop made him feel really comfortable about the church and stuff. Then Osvaldo came to church for the first time and got to hear a bunch of powerful testimonies and really felt the spirit. So cool!

The other cool thing. Tuesday night we were walking down a street and saw a dude standing outside and so we contacted him and said the normal stuff and he let us in to teach him. We sat down and taught a powerful and clear lesson 1 about the restoration and he told us straight up "I am very honored you guys shared this with me. This sounds really important" Then we taught him about the book of mormon and he was so excited that we were going to lend him a copy of the book of mormon. He was like "This book is sacred to you guys and you are just going to leave it here with me?" It was so cool. So yeah that was an awesome lesson. I will keep you updated on how that goes. His name is Carlos (just like 99% of latinos).

Other than that this week has been pretty normal. I am loving my personal studies and getting to know new members. We visited a member family last night named the familia gonzalez. The husband and wife are
both returned missionaries and are really cool. They really enjoyed the family photo that i carry in my scriptures. (The christmas card)

I am excited to hear from you next week and excited to share more miracles!

Rohayhu! (i love you in guaraní)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April 9, 2012

Letter to Mom:
Elder P., Jose, and Elder Johnson

Thats so crazy about your dream haha. I do love you mother! I love this work (most of the time) but the temple is not on the side of a mountain. I dont think there is a mountain in Paraguay. haha. I have been thinking of how if you and dad came to pick me up in Paraguay in October of 2013 I would have so much fun showing you guys where I lived and stuff and introduce you to members and converts. It seriously would be so much fun. 

So this week I left my first area. How sad. I didnt cry but when i got to my new area I realized how cool my first area was and how much I miss it. I feel like Lucerito is my home and I had to move from all my friends and family. How crazy is that. In 4 months I got so close to all those people that dont even speak english. It really is sad but I am excited to start working in a new area. So now I am in an area called Lambaré. It is one of the richest areas in Paraguay, or so I have heard. Every house is gigantic and has the most security I have ever seen. The south american Representative for Nike lives in my area and has the biggest house I have ever seen in my life. It seriously is like a castle. 5 floors high with a huge white marble wall surrounding it. It takes up a whole block. It is all made of what looks to be the same material as the temples of the church. There are only two people living in this house! And he has 5 security guards working 24/7 outside of his house. Que loco! But yeah if you want to know where I live just go onto LDS.org and go on meeting house locator and type in Lambaré and I live basically next door in a little tiny house. 

I have evolved past wiping! -Vance's words
My new companion is named Elder Gonzalez and he is from Honduras! Whats up with all these latin companions? He is WAY different than my last companion Elder Palma. With elder Palma we laughed and joked and had a good time and had success. With Elder Gonzalez, so far, its different. He is super focused, I think, because he never talks to me really. He does all the planning by himself and really teaches all the lessons by himself. His last 3 companions didnt speak spanish barely at all so he is really used to doing everything by himself but he told me this morning that he keeps forgetting that I speak spanish and that he can let me talk in lessons. So I was like "yeah that would be cool if you let me talk but its whatevs." (I said that mas o menos) 

It is great to get emails from you, mom. I really do like your emails. And i saw the pictures of the house that dad sent me and it looks awesome! 

I still need to write president Callan an email so I gotta go but I hope you have a great week! 
His new companion Elder G. from Honduras and an RM from Chile

Letter to Dad:

I totally forgot that yesterday was Easter until I read your letter. Here in Paraguay no one celebrates it like we do in the states. It is a week long holiday called "semana santa" or holy week. And Thursday and Sunday are the big days but no one does anything really. The most I saw someone do to celebrate was get drunk. Sadly, that really is the only celebration I saw. In Sacrament meeting the talks were about The Atonement and were really good. We had an investigator in the meeting too so that was cool. Haha but this week was so tough. Because of the holidays everyone left! Seriously, so many people decided to go on vacation this week it was ridiculous. We walked around in the streets without a place to go for hours on end. In the first 4 days of my new area I feel like we have clapped every house and got rejected 234,087,234 times. 

But thats crazy haha that Michelson went 3 over par! Hahahaha. How could that happen!? He is a pro! I go 3 over par regularly. And I forgot about the election. How crazy would it be to have a mormon as a president. Think of how different the USA would be if Joseph Smith won his election to be president.

Romina was baptized on Christmas and Leonardo. I can't fix this picture, sorry.
I did see the pictures of the house! So cool! The grass looks so good and the basketball hoop! How cool. I miss sports. The Diamondbacks are going to win the world series!? Whoa! Never would have expected to hear that. 

This past week I have really been trying to take advantage of the atonement and develop more Christlike attributes. I know that if I can be more like Christ, I can help more people accept his gospel.

Have a good week!

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012

Ok, So this week was an odd week but really fun. 

So we really didn´t have any stand out moments or anything. Sadly we didnt find a whole bunch of new investigators, didnt have a huge amount of lessons and I felt like we were working really hard this week. I dont know exactly what was going on. It wasnt like i was hating this week but really, we didnt have that much success. I was still having fun though. The highlight of the week was obviously Conference. General Conference was super cool. I can honestly say that I felt the spirit more in this conference than in any conference before in my life. I have narrowed it down to a couple reasons why I think this conference was better than ones of the past. 1. I think I am becoming more spiritually mature being on a mission. Well, I like to think that. 2. I really prepared myself for this conference. In the march liahona (probably the same in the ensign) it had an article about how you can prepare yourself for the conference that is coming up and it mostly talked about reading the conference issue from the last general conference. So everyday last week I read a talk and really studied the words of the living prophets. Doing so, I was a lot more excited for new conference talks. 3. I think that I am getting better at recognizing the promptings and impressions of the spirit. I can honestly say that I felt distinct impressions of what I can do in my life right now in the mission to improve myself. One spiritual impression that I recieved during one of the talks yesterday afternoon (one of the 70s i dont remember who exactly right now) He talked about how we need to be more natural and normal about sharing the gospel and that if we pray and ask God who we should share the gospel with and trust in the answers we recieve, God we tell us who we need to share the gospel with. As I heard that I got the impression that I need to use the area book more and pray about who I can find that will accept the gospel. All the people in the area book have already had missionaries over before and my area never has really had success using the area book. If I dont leave my area on wednesday (changes) I am definitely going to do that. 

But on a not so spirtual side conference was really fun too. All 20 of us missionaries from my zone that speak english were crammed into a tiny little room to watch Conference in english. It was crazy haha. It was like a tiny little sunday school classroom. But then on Sunday we found a way to move ourselves into a bigger room haha. I have a picture of the room on saturday and sunday. 

sorry this weeks letter is short I just dont have a lot to share this week haha. 

Yes, I got my new shoes haha. My old ones fell apart literally in front of the stake presidents house about a week before my new ones were going to come and I didnt have any other shoes. Luckily, we were talking to the stake president as we walked toward his house and as soon as my shoe fell apart and I was standing in the street with only one shoe on he asked "do you have other shoes in your apartment?" and i said "honestly, no" and so he went in his house and brought me out a pair of brand new shoes to use until mine came in haha. The stake president is so cool. 

welp, I love reading about all of your lives and I hope you have a great week!

Les Quiero!