Monday, February 19, 2018

Mon., 2/19/2018 (Neuland/Paraiso)

It's been a busy week and I don't have much time! Here is the week in a short email!

Elder McEwan had his birthday Wednesday! I made him some puffed oven (German) pancakes to celebrate. After, Pte Carlos Colman and a native member went with us to meet a few members in a little town called Yacac'vash that is 50 km from Neuland. It was a good visit. There are a good number of members that live there, and they haven't had missionaries there in the 17 years they've lived there since they colonized it. Needless to say visiting a new area is pretty dope.

Friday we went out to Paraiso with the bikes. It was really a rainy week. We did a few visits in the afternoon.

Saturday early we got up and biked the 20 km to Yacac'vash. We had the people all get together and taught about the Restoration of the Gospel, using a LOT of pictures. They also love singing so we sang a lot of hymns. We had everyone go home for lunch, then we got them all to come back to teach the Plan of Salvation. As in 90% of our lessons, there was a language barrier, but with the help of a LOT of photos and the Spirit we were able to teach them all and they were so very grateful. These saints were baptized with their whole tribe in Mistolar in the 80's but haven't had much contact with the church for years. One of them, Guillermo, helped to translate for those that didn't understand. We then went back the 20 km to Paraiso on bike. Thankfully it was overcast, as the sandy trail was very humid. I have a few pictures of the salt stains on my clothes from sweating, but idk if I'll have time to send the pictures. A miracle happened on the way home though: Elder Hermansen called us early with our changes (he was supposed to call on Sunday evening, but called Friday afternoon) and said we had to come back to the city. At that point we were 5 km from Paraiso with LITERALLY NO SIGNAL. We had no idea how that call go through. We rushed to Paraiso where there is 1 bar of signal (in some places) and called our driver to pick us up. He wasn't able to until later, but changed his schedule and got to Paraiso around 8 pm. He came right in time, as the rain picked up and the roads were getting worse and worse. Thank goodness for 4 wheel drive! For those that know what mudding is, that's how the road is getting to Paraiso! So we also helped another truck get unstuck, and got home [Neuland] late! We were so tired.

Sunday it rained and at 9 only Arnildo and us missionaries were at church, so we had to start with only 3 people! Nicacio and 2 of his daughters came around 9:15 and so we did have 6 people! I presided and directed and gave a talk, and directed music, and Elder McEwan did the rest! After Sacrament Meeting we watched General Conference talks so that they could learn some! Nicacio and Arnildo love learning! The rest of Sunday we went and said goodbye to all the members here. It's hard saying goodbye, as I was here 5 changes, but I'm excited for my new area! To save time and money, they notified me of my new area Sunday, and I will be going tooooooooooooooooooooooooo... LOMA PLATA! It's another town here in the Chaco where there is just a group of a few members and the missionaries just opened up the area 7 months ago (the same time as when I moved to Neuland)! It's part of the Filadelfia branch. My new companion will be Elder Garrett from Utah, who has 3 months more than me in the mission! I'm really excited; I really like being in the Chaco. For those who don't remember, the Chaco is a big desert area (where it NEVER rains, but when it does, it does a LOT) which consists of the northwestern half of Paraguay. There are 8 missionaries here full time (and sometimes 2 sister missionaries) and one District, named after the Paraguayan state of Boqueron. It's basically a really cool place, and I'll be able to keep seeing Elder McEwan and maybe some of the people I know from Neuland! I'd like to share a small saying with yall from a song (I think its from the movie Prince of Egypt.) "There can be miracles...when you believe!" I know that is true because I've seen it in Neuland and all throughout my mission. We need faith and actions of obedience, and God will always help us! I hope y'all have a great week! Thanks for the emails! It's always nice to know how everyone is doing!

Pictures:

1 Saying bye to Hno Claudelino.

2 Some breakfast...

3 ...In bed! Happy birthday Elder McEwan!

4 Welcome to Yacac'vash!

5 With Guillermo and his family.

6 We got up at 4:30 a.m. to take a rattler to Fili to get a few things for our trip. We took the opportunity to sleep.

7 40 km of biking and all we saw was a tractor. On that road a hat is much better than a helmet for your protection.

8 With a few people from Yacac'vash! They're such humble people and were sooooooooooooo happy to see us! Like literally!

9 We found Arthur's long lost ranch in Paraguay!

10 "You salty" takes on a whole new meaning.

11 MY MISSION CALL ADJUSTMENT NOTICE cred: Elder Hermansen.

12 A little bit of Red White and Blue to color up yalls week

13 Your average temperature on sunny days. On rainy days it isn't as hot, it's just really humid and we walk through deep mud all day!

14 Ostrich sighting.

15 Literally in the middle of nowhere.

16 Cool rainbow in Paraiso.

Have a good week!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Mon., 2/12/2018 (Neuland/Paraiso)

Well it has been a busy week here for us in Neuland. I'm not really sure where the week went to be honest! Here are the highlights. I had a division with Elder Robinson (from Idaho), which was good but he was sick. Elder McEwan and I have been contacting (tracting) a lot recently, and I must say it hasn't been really successful overall, but we have met some very heartfelt people. It is hard when there are really only 2 churches here, and the other one's preacher says to your faces a few of the things he teaches, that are not true. That leads into my interview with President Evans. He asked me about the growth of my testimony of my mission. It was a moment to think deeply. I honestly would say, that my testimony of the truthfulness of the church and our message hasn't really grown as much, it's the testimony of why we need it and the falseness of everything else. For those that don't understand, it's sooooo important that we have a prophet. He is like a lighthouse during a storm on the ocean. If we don't see or take heed of the light, we don't know where to go. We know that we are in the last days and Christ will come. The prophets have said it and still do. The Book of Mormon and Bible testify of it. A couple of the people we talked to really strengthened my testimony of that. Well we had District Conference [ie like a Stake Conference but for the small branches]. As there is no money currently available in the District, the conference was to be broadcasted. Well it was raining, so they didn't have signal in Abundancia so long story short, we didn't watch the conference. There was however some big news! We have a new District President! I won't go into details but we missionaries shouted for joy. The former District Secretary, a man named Juan Gaona, is the new District President. He is going to do so much good for the District and the missionaries! We are hoping to have a good last week of this change. Next week we may have changes, but we never know who stays or goes until then! This week we will be going out to a community about 50 km from here called Yacac-vash that we have been trying to get to for a while, so that's kind of exciting. We also got 4 flat tires this week, that was fun!

That's pretty much all.  I hope y'all have a good week!

Pictures:

1 Out of the Neuland kitchen- Puffed oven (German) pancakes.

2 A little house cleaning.

3 Division with Elder Robinson from Blackfoot, Idaho.

4 It rained a little bit here, and I must say biking through mud is kind of fun!

5 Happy Birthday Elder McEwan! He got a package that Pte Evans brought up.

6 President Evans also brought me a package! Hahaha

7 That point where you-re so wet but so happy you don't even care.

8 Through rain, snow sleet or hail....... well I guess just rain here but we don't get stopped by anything!

9 Should I start sending weekly pics of new brown widows we find in the house (Question mark) There are so many!

10 We had a lesson with Fm Ortiz, which may have been the last time I'll see the dad (Brigido) because of his work. I have seen a huge change in his life and character by his conversion!

11 Starting new trends as usual!

12 Yes that is our assigned area in the mission. Not many people get to say they served ther mission in "Unknown territory!"

13 When you realize the rain isn't going to stop you just go back out and work.

14 same as 13

15 It was only around 5 or 6 inches deep.

16 Contacting the German side of town but... WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE? hahaha

Monday, February 5, 2018

Mon., 2/5/2018 (Neuland/Paraiso)

Wow! Well I have been waiting about 6 months to write this email, but finally the chapel repairs have begun! For those ever caught 6 months without a roof on your church, it's nice to get a new one. That was one for the highlights, as well as a baptism! Our investigator, Arnildo, got baptized. His uncle is Nicacio, who baptized him! Elder McEwan and I had to do a major clean-up job of the chapel before the baptism due to the workers making a mess, but in the end the baptism happened, and Arnildo was super excited. Even though he is only 11 he knows a lot of the principles we have taught him better that I did when I was that age! Our District Leader couldn't believe his ears when he heard Arnildo's answers in his baptismal interview. Smart kid! He will turn 12 in about a month or 2 and is already prepping to be a Deacon. On Thursday/Friday we had a division for the interview and I was in Neuland with Elder Hermansen (District leader). We had a good day, as he served in Neuland last year, and we've been in the same District for 5 changes (over 6 months!). There was a lot to talk about. Saturday we cleaned up the church and had Arnildo's baptism. Only a few people came, but the spirit was strong. Elder McEwan and I made some sugar cookies for the event. He makes perfectly circular cookie balls! We also had a cool lesson teaching a huge family and after teaching about the Restoration, they asked us to give a couple of people blessings. One was a little kid called Marcos that we felt impressed to bless him that he'd be a missionary and have the priesthood some day (nobody in the house is a member...yet). Elder McEwan and I got pizza to celebrate the good week in Neuland. Church went well; we had 4 investigators come. We got to teach someone about the pride cycle after church; that was the first time Elder McEwan or I had ever taught it! Other than that, I don't have any time to write more, but all is well, Elder McEwan and I are having a good time, and hoping to have a lot of success this week too! I hope y'all have a good week! I love you all!

Pictures:

1 Making some shish kabobs.

2 We eat a LOT of bananas.

3 How we pour water in Paraguay. Water from the tap is not safe in the Chaco.

4 Making peach, mburucuya (passionfruit?) and banana smoothies.

5 More kitchen creations.

6 It was Elder Hermanse'ns birthday and he had left a bottle of pepper and one of lemon pepper in our house, so we put them in a stocking and gave them to him when we went to start our division.

7 We got dumped on (rain).

8 Look at that new roof!

9 Elder McEwan was reading his hand towel's tag and it said not to use bleach (in Spanish), but he misunderstood and thought it said don't use as blanket. I had to prove him wrong hahaha!

10 Getting attacked by children.

11 Arnildo's baptism!

12 Two great guys!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Mon., 1/29/2018 (Neuland)

We had a good week this week. With how everything worked out, we went to Paraiso this week which worked out well because the group leader wasn't there so we had to lead church! Paraiso went well; we had 4 investigators come to church Sunday. We worked really hard but were held back in part by the rain. It rained a lot this week, and our algiber (water tank/well) filled up. Elder McEwan completed his 6 months so he burned a tie. it hasn't really been a flashy week; just a lot of walllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkking everywhere. It's good exercise. As to the pictures, the spider is called a brown widow and depending on the source we still don't know if this variation is deadly or not but our house in Paraiso is filllllllled with them. Elder McEwan and I as always have to cook our own food, so we have been working at making fast, cheap, easy tasty food. That makes for a lot of requirements but in recent weeks we have been doing a good job. Thank goodness that we both get along and know how to share! As shown in the one picture, we make a lot of bananas con leche (bananas and milk in a blender and you can add peanut butter, jam, or whatever else you want in there. We have also been working at always getting in all 3 hours of studies this week. One scripture that we read is Proverbs 23:7 which says: "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he."
I really think that we need to all watch what we are thinking, because all actions are just something that is carrying out our thoughts. Try to have love and kindness on your minds, because everyone needs a friend! I hope y'all have a good week!

Pictures:

1 District meeting (oh yeah I may have told y'all already but there have been 2 Hermanas working temporarily in Abundancia to help them out).

2 Elder McEwan may have found how to stay out of the sun at all times!

3 It's the new trend!

4 Happy 6 months Elder McEwan!

5 ...Well it looks like he can read it...

6 Paraiso at sunset!

7 Some well needed American food.

8 It rained a LOT this week.

9 Kitchen creations.

10 Now there's a spider with a familiar marking...(hourglass).

11 Sick missionary.

12 Cutting up meat during Pday.