Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Week (Juan de Salazar)

Tues., 1/31/2017 (Juan de Salazar)

We didn't have time yesterday to email because we were in the hospital for my companion, and right now we have a couple minutes to email so its gonna be short. I'll write more next week. Elder Tesucun got some kind of spider bite and his hand got all swollen up, and yesterday we were in the hospital for him to get operated on. Today in a little bit we are going back to get another procedure for that. He will be fine though, just in a little bit of pain. I personally am doing fine, and we are gearing up for our last week this change. Thank you for all of your emails, and Ill read them all. Other than that, it was a pretty normal week. We also will have a few changes in the mission schedule next change/transfer so that's exciting.

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1 taking the laundry to the hermana who cleans it; we pick up one weeks laundry when we take over the next weeks because she lives a little far out
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2/3 staying occupied with the area book, sandwich lomita and Elder Tesucun's unending desire to play uno
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4 Don't worry Mom and Dad, we're preaching the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15)Displaying DSCN0802[1].JPG
5 pioneer children sang as they walked... and walked... and walked ... and walked..
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Have a great week!

Monday, January 23, 2017

What a week

Mon., 1/23/2017 (Juan de Salazar)

It's been a lot better of a week! Everyone that's served a mission probably has had one of those weeks with your companion that are kinda hard to go through! It seemed like we just couldn't agree on anything and a lot of different stuff was happening. Well last week was like that but this week has been a lot better. Tuesday we had a division and I worked with Elder Tapia. Our air conditioner this whole time is one of those old 80's ones that really only pumps in air from outside, and it was really not air conditioning anything. But we got a new air conditioner Wednesday! It was great, goes down to 17 celcius so we aren't complaining. Of course 17 is really cold for here, and today we had it on 27 or 30 celcius because we don't need to waste power and 30 is cold compared to outside. The only problem is that we got out and worked for a couple hours and got a call from our landlord... her sliding door couldn't open all the way! So we had to go back and talk it over, then thursdaythey came back again and moved it to another side of our room. There is still a big hole where they had put it but we're in Paraguay so its fine hahaha. Elder Passos's companion is from Paraguay so we're all learning a bit here and there. He's serving here for a couple weeks til he can go off to his mission in Peru. Saturday we had a service project with them in their area of the ward, and it started off as cutting grass with Machetes and a sickle. After an hour or 2 the grass area of this woma's lawn was in the sun, and Paraguayans as a rule don't work in their yards in the sun, so we go behind her house and it was bushes and trees, basically wilderness. She said everything goes so we started cutting down everything that the machetes can cut down, which was basically everything. The banana trees are the best cause they go down after one chop. Plus they have bananas. We finished and went home, then went to our lunch. After lunch was one of the best days we have had. One of our less actives, Euclides, smokes, but decided to quit, so we set some goals and such with him. He is a very tough person to convince to do something like quitting smoking. We then went to another person that we were going to have a lesson with,but she wasn't home. We were pretty bummed but we were closer to one of our other areas where we had an appointment to meet an investigator later, and we felt like we should go visit her. We walked over really quickly to her house, and she was outside. We were planning on teaching the plan of salvation, and when we went up to her she told us she was waiting for a colectivo because her niece(I think) just died. We asked if we could have a short lesson with her since we were already planning on teaching about that subject, and she said we could talk til the colectivo comes. We shared a short message, and she definitely felt the spirit. There were some pretty big clouds coming in, and once again we felt we should go to another house. This other house was way out of the way of everything, and it was about to drop buckets on us outside, but as they say here, ¡egual no mas! When the holy spirit guides, you gotta follow. We booked it over to Julios, and the rain started right as we were walking up. The wind was really strong too, and we were glad to get there. A minute or 2 later a kid runs up to Julio and says something in guarani, and everyone in the house left and ran up the street. We followed, and a woman's roof had flown off of her house, leaving everything exposed and destroying her fence. Paraguayans being scared of rain, they all stood under a covering(half the neighborhood being there hahaha) while Elder Tesucun and I helped 2 men take apart the roof and such in the pouring rain. We helped til there wasn't anything more to do, then went back to Julios. Turns out he was busy then but we were guided by the Lord to where we needed to be. Elder Tesucun said we need to go to that area in a few days and try talking to some new people. We then went home early because we were completely soaked and dirty, and I've been sick since tuesday so I don't want to get worse. It was a good day. Yesterday was also pretty good. I found out that Elder Bridge(my first companion) and his first companion in Juan de Salazar were the first ones there after the area being closed for a while, so that's partly why the work here is kind of slow. Today for Pday we played some soccer at the chapel then went to Limpio for lunch and getting groceries and such.

Another thing I forgot to tell yall is my big language mistake. Everyone that serves a mission in a foreign country has one of these. It was a couple weeks back but I forgot to tell you all. The word for jersey here is remera, and a very similar word to remera is ramera, which means prostitute. All confident in my spanish, I said that this monday or another monday we should go get jerseys (except it came out as prostitutes hahaha).

Well that's the week, I hope everyone is doing well! Also if possible send pictures, its nice to see how everyone's doing! And for those reading the blog I accept all emails! (matthew.olson@myldsmail.net)

1 the new whip(car)
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2 mismo
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3 After the service project(ft. Elder Echague (pronounced EE-chog-way) from Concepcion Paraguay
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4 Elder Echague and I after playing soccer.
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5 The new air conditioning unit. That's 30 Celcius and yes it is cold for us here hahaha
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6 The old air conditioner
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7 After saturday's rain. We were lucky to be on high ground because there was some flooding in Asubcion and probably parts of our area.
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That's all for the week!

Los amo,

Monday, January 16, 2017

Mon., 1/16/2017 (Juan de Salazar)
It's been a long week here in Juan de Salazar. We don't have time to email much today, so I'll keep it short. Last Tuesday I went on a division with Elder Tapia in Emboscada. It was a lot of fun, and we worked really hard. Emboscada is a really big area with very few colectivos, so we ended up having to walk a couple miles home at the end of the day. A lot of the people in their area have wells for all their water. Wednesday I was back in my area, but it took a long to to do the exchange and we didn't get much done. For me, the rest of the week was pretty basic. A few big things happened with other people, though. Elder Robalino, the other new Elder near me, had to go home, because he was sick. He may be able to come back in a month or 2. His blood testing also showed positive for having had Dengue in the past, which leads us to believe the first time when he got sick and me too (at Christmas), he (and my companion thinks I) got a mild form of Dengue. Our one investigator who was going to get baptised, Marcos, moved to Asuncion, so we're back to square one. It's kind of difficult having me as the trainee being the Elder that knows the area. For saturday and Sunday, Elder proffit from the office was with Elder Passos. Fernando Aquino, the youth from our ward, leaves on his mission tomorrow, so yesterday there was a small party to see him off. Today I was supposed to have immigrations, but we got to the office and found out I didn't hahaha. It's ok though because I got to meet a lot of new Elders. Also, we haven't had water in our neighborhood so that has been an exerience. At least we have an excuse for not doing the dishes!
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1 Elder Campos(one of the Emboscada Elders) had 5 and 10 guarani coins. With inflation, they're worth nothing, but they are pretty hard to come by
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2 Emboscada with Elder Tapia
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3 Only 3 kms to Emboscada!
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4 Elder Robalino! Elder Passos had my camera one day and took a lot of pictures. Elder Robalino will hopefully able to come back in a month or 2.

That's really all that's been going on with me, I hope you all have a good week!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Mon., 1/9/2017 (Juan de Salazar)
[Answering a question about where Elder Olson is serving:] I am serving in Juan de Salazar A. My area is the border of the 2 cities, and so Im technically in both but our casa is in Luque
.Well it has been a busy week. Monday with all the immigrations and other stuff we had on we ended up not getting out to work, as we had a lot of traveling, had to go to Asuncion, and had probably about 4 to 6 hours of collectivo wait and travel time. There were NO colectivos runnung since it was just after the new year. Tuesday we had our district meeting, but met as a zone for the full time. There were a few rules changes, such as not being to be able to leave our areas as much on p days, and the way we count our lessons and who is an investigator and all kinds of stuff. Then we had divisions, and I went with elder passos for the day. he's from Brazil; a really hard worker. He is one of the Elders from a block down from our house. Elder Robalino, his companion, was with Elder Armstrong, and he fell unconcious again but it wasn't too severe, they returned to the house and were fine. Thursday we had our zone conference, and it was really great. Its great being with lots of missionaries because we are all friends. As of now, I'm the only one in the zone that can play with 2 hands on the piano, but I wasn't called on to do anything musically. Before and after the conference, we had interviews with President Evans. He had a few obedience questions that he asked me, then we talked about a few questions I had about obedience and companionships. It was super good. Elder Tesucun and I had the key, and we had to lock up, so we stayed til 6 or so, after everyone else was gone. When we got home we had a few things we had to talk about with the Zone conference and all. we talked about obedience and how we can be obedient and such. Friday was very busy. We had an appointment in the morning that screwed up our schedule, then we didn't have our lunch appointment(every day this week it got cancelled by the members) so we had to cook ourselves. Elder Robalino wasn't doing too good, so we visited them. While I was at his bed talking to him, he passed out again. When he regained conciousness, he couldn't even lift his fingers. We had a change, and I was with Elder Campos, who is from Guatemala and in my district, and we went to the Hospital Bautista in Asuncion with Elders Passos and Robalino. We were with them a while, then went back to our area, but by that time we only had time for a lesson then bedtime. Saturday we just had a regular day, then Sunday as well. We got a couple less active members to come to church, so that was good. Today there was a meeting in Asuncion for all the district leaders, so we went over. I spent most of today with Elder Whipple, who was in the MTC with me. He is serving in Yby yau, which is in between Concepcion and Pedro Juan Caballero. His companion is from Paraguay, so he speaks Guarani, so Elder Whipple never gets to talk in lessons because it is all Guarani. He is glad though, because he is learning a lot of Guarani. In my area, most people speak Guarani more clearly than Spanish to each other, but with us its normally Spanish. Every now and then we'll meet a person that speaks only Guarani. The other area in our district, Emboscada, has those both, plus a couple pockets of German speakers. President Evans said that it's not the right time for me to work on German, since I need to get Spanish down first, but maybe I'll be able to in the future.Displaying DSCN0607[1].JPG
1 Zone conference
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2 Elder Fairbanks, the new assistant had to show the rookies how it's done with the camera angles

3 Then he joined the photo
Displaying DSCN0610[1].JPG4 With Elder Hill, who Elder Tesucun trained for the last 3 months
Sorry I can't send more pictures, I honestly don't really have any this week. We have been so busy with Elder Robalino's illness and all the other stuff that we have been going to bed earlier than 10 some days. Have a great week y'all!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Busy week, new companion!

Mon., Jan. 2, 2017 (Juan de Salazar)

Happy New Year's! It has been a very busy week! Early tuesday, we went to the house of Elder Passos(the other zone leader) and Elder Robalino, and Elders Passosand Bridge recieved information on who is staying in their area and who is leaving. I AM.... staying in my area as expected by most, and recieving a new trainer. They were not supposed to tell anyone before our meeting about who is getting transferred, but Elder Robalino and I were not to be left out since we are their companions. We then got ready for the day and went to meet with the zone. They announced the transfers, but not where the people are going; only to be back at that chapel in Limpio at 6am the next morning. After our meeting, we went back to our area and went and visited a lot of people for Elder Bridge's last day. He also spent time packing. We also got haircuts, which is kind of scary and you don't really get to pick your haircut. Mine wasn't too horrible this time hahaha. It was a busy busy day. That night we arranged for our landlord's son to drive us to the office the next day, since it was too late to get a taxi. Wednesday we got up around 5:15, got ready, and left to Asuncion. There were a lot of people in the office. How they do changes here is everyone meets at the chapel where their zone meets every week if they or their companion is getting exchanged. Then a van comes along and they get taken to their new zone's chapel. If they are far out or are going to be, like Pedro Juan Caballero, or the Chaco, they go to Asuncion, then their new area. Since Elder Bridge was ending his mission , we had to go to the office. I waited there for 2 or so hours, and they had doughnuts for everyone there. I mean a couple hundred. They had these really good things that are croussants, with powdered sugar on top, and dulce de leche in side. they were really good. I finally got picked up in a van, and we went to a few places, then my building. My new companion is... Elder Tesucun from Guatemala! He actually can understand english decently well and is our new district leader. He grew up boxing and did a lot of outdoors stuff, like canoing and kayaking for his training, and loves soccer. He used to play soccer in international tournaments for his school, but had a motorcycle accident and can't overdo his exercising. He only has 6 months in his mission. He was trained for 3 months then trained another Elder for 3 months, and now is finishing m training for 1 and a half months. Interestingly, his trainer trained him when he had only 3 months in the mission, so iI'll get to see them for a while yet here. The rest of Wednesday Thursday, and Friday were pretty busy with trying to get Elder Tesucun accustomed to the area. It is pretty hard to do, since I don't even know all of it. In the night on Friday, we had a ward activity that we went to, but it started arounfd 9, so we had to leave early. Saturday, we were in our house studying when Elder Passos called us and was hysterical, calling us over right away. What ahppened was he was on the phone with one of the Assistants to the President, and walked from one room in their house to the other, and found Elder Robalino out cold on the floor. We got a Taxi, and helped carry Elder Robalino to the car. He was at this point concious, but couldn't move a muscle and it was difficult to even open his eyes. We all went to the Hospital, and helped him into the emergency room. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, there isn't really an ambulance type service here that I can tell. So we waited for a while with the assistants and President, then went home to get Elder Passos's stuff and so that we could get to work. That evening, we had a dinner with a less active family, and it was really good. They had a lot of different dishes, including 3 or 4 kinds of meat. There was another war's worth of fireworks shot off at 12 and long after. Sunday, church was at 9 instead of 8:30, and we didn't get the message. We went to help bring a less active young woman to church, but she has epilepsy and wasn't feeling good, so we coulnd't bring her to church. We got there, and the first family in church was... the inactive family that we had had dinner with the night before! Also, another inactive member that we had visited came. In total, we had 40 or so compared to the usual 90, and Elder Tesucun and I had to bless the sacrament. He also got called to give a talk during the meeting, so that was exciting hahaha. Today we had to go to the office for my migration papers to be a full resident here, and had to be here at 8. The office Elders and Zone leaders had a meeting and played soccer beforehand at 5, so we went to play too. We had to get up at 3:30 to get there in time, and went with Elders Passos and Grey(the new Zone leader). after, they had arroz con leche and croussants that we got to have. then we had migrations. We had to get blood work done, so we went to the hospital(I'm getting to know it pretty well hahaha), then a couple police stations to sign papers. That took a long time, and since the process changed, instead of 20 mins, it took around 5 or 6 hours. We did get to go to mcdonalds, which was really nice. Compared to our food, a burger, fries and their new kitkat mcflurry that all the elders in that area have been raving about was a heavenly meal. After that, we came back to our area to write home. Thats the week!
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1 Elder Tesucun! My first latino companion
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2 A bit of walking
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3 A bit more walking
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4 In our casa with Elder Tesucun

Have a good week!