Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Mon., 2/6/2017 (Juan de Salazar)

Boy have I news for yall!
Sorry I didn't write the past week, we were in the hopsital half the week hahaha. Ill start with the week before then work to the big stuff. Around 2 weeks ago we were working with Euclides, one of the inactive members in our ward, who smokes and has various other things he has going on. Except the es is an ed because he committed to stop smoking! He has been going on 2 weeks without cigarettes, and its been awesome because he can tell theres a difference, and we can too. He used to never have energy and just lounge around, but recently he has had so much energy that one day we found him outside working during the siesta hours(siesta is after lunch til 3 or 4 and being outside, working, and being awake during this time of the day is uncommon). Its been awesome working with him as he tries to stop smoking and reunite with his family. He came to church 2 weeks ago and wants to keep coming back and put his life completely straight.
We got to have a family home eveining with a new famiuly in the ward, the Francos, and made pizza! Pizzas here are a lot different, but pizza is pizza! It was good. The food has actually been super good here lately. The Hermana that feeds us on Thursdays has always cancelled but 2 weeks running she has been able to feed us. Stroganoff and spaghetti(well close to the 2). Good stuff.
Our landlady also owns a gym, so everymorning for our exercise time(normally 30 mins but we get up early for a full hour) we go over there. Missionaries in our mission are only supposed to listen to church music, so every morning theres four of us screaming out "I need thee every hour" or "Praise to the man" or an EFY song in English Spanish or Portuguese. At the moment, the four Juan de Salazar elders are me, Elder Tesucun(from Guatemala), Elder Passos(from Brazil) and Elder Echague(from Concepcion, Paraguay, he is only here for 3 weeks while waiting to leave for Peru for his mission)
On to what you have all been wondering about, whats going on at the hospital?? Well here we go. 2 weeks ago we had a service project cutting some grass and deforesting for a 98 year old lady in the other elders' area. Elder Tesucun got 2 blisters on his hand from the machete he was using, and one of them was in a wierd are of his hand where blisters arent usual. After about a week, it developed and was pretty nasty, so we went through a lot and finally got him to the hospital Monday. We spent all day Monday and Tuesday in Hospital Bautista. and Tursday we went back again. Turns out it was a venomous spider bite, so hes on 3 or so pills right now. Yall might think this was all pretty hard for us, but the reward comes after the trial of faith and this week we saw it come in a visible form Tuesday. Elder Tesucun had been in pain for days, but he grew up boxing and is really good at holding the pain. We had multiple visits before, and were supposed to meet the doctor at 4 to have some work done on his hand, but there are always so many people waiting the appointments are always late. Turns out, the doctor wasnt even there that day til 6 or so, so we waitied 2 or 3 hours. We we eventually get out of the appointment and go outside the hospital, and decide we should call Hermana Evans to let her know what was going on. We were going to stand in the shade but moved to another side of a bush, where we were visible from the street (at this point we are 30 or so feet inside a fence). Some random guy saw us from out at the street as he was walking past,and walked over to us and started up a normal conversation. he squinted at our name tags and tried sounding out our names like all the members do, so we assumed he was a member of our church in Asuncion(in the boundaries of the other mission at this point). After a few questions, we find out he isn't a member and has never talked to missionaries before. He has seen us a lot but never spoken to us. He asked about our missions and such then asked if we would share some with him. We started explaining a lot of stuff because he was asking questions faster than we could answer them, then he asked if we could sit down and talk more. We ended up sharing a lot of stuff abut the restoration and the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was awesome because he already understood the importnace of the Book of Mormon as ANOTHER testament of Jesus Christ, speaking about the people in the Americas, even though he had never hear about the Book of Mormon before. We eventually ended, and he went on his way with a Book of Mormon, and a desire to be baptised by someone holding authority from God, and attend church. The awesome thing is, we didn't have to commit him to attend church, he said he thought he needed to. Baptism too; he had so many questions about whgat to do to be baptised. Everything about the lesson, meeting this guy and the timeing and everything definitely wasn't us. We had divine help, giving us a push to where we needed to be to help another person start their path to Christ. What a blessing to be able to see the fruits of our labor.

So Wednesday we weren't able to work much due to Elder Tesucun's hand, and Thursday was the hospital again. Friday we were back in our area, and started a division with the Zone Leaders. I was in our area with Elder grey, from Honduras. It was great til around lunch Saturday, when I started vomiting and diahrrea, among other symptoms, all through yesterday, I had to stay in bed, with a temperature of 39 celcius. Somehow I survived and am doing fine today hahaha. Sunday night was a big one. What they did 6 weeks ago for our changes-transfers(cambios) was that tuesday we met as a zone as usual and they announced who was staying and who was leaving. Then the leaving missionaries and their companions needed to be in their zones meeting chapel early wednesday, where they would be picked up and driven to their new zone or to asuncion for their long collectivo ride into the boonies. Well it was different this time. The mission conformed to the new way that we are supposed to have it, where the zone leaders call everyone sunday night with the news of each persons news; whether they are staying or leaving and where they are going. Then Wednesday we have to be at our zone's chapel and get picked up from there. Here is the news. Elder Echague has his own mission to go to. Elder passos is... Staying! And recieving a new companion; the other zone leader, Elder Gray. Elder Tesucun is... staying! And I am... leaving! Elder tesucun is recieving a local Paraguayan companion (most likely that is waiting to leave on his mission and has nothing to do). I am leaving wednesday to go to Yby yau! I can pronounce the name but can't really type the proununciation. The closest I can type is eeooh-boo yah-ooh and its kind of nasally starting off the first part. It's guarani. My area is one of the largest in the mission and is one of 2 areas that has bikes! So Ill have a bike for a little while. (Sorry mom, no helmets) Yby yau is relatively close to Pedro Juan Caballero, so that's where all my big meetings and such will be. My new companion is Elder Baez; He is from Paraguay so I will be learning a lot of guarani. Our lessons will also be in a lot more guarani than right now, since we are going to be out there. I'm excited for the new change! In other news, 2 new areas in the chaco have been opened up, so there will now be 8 Elders(as opposed to 6) and now 2 sisters in the Chaco. Today and tomorrow will consist of a lot of packing and visiting members. That's all the news from these 2 weeks, more to come soon!

I've got a challenge for everyone who reads this. Try to read your scriptures every day. If you aren't right now, start slow. Maybe read 2 or 3 verses a day, or a column, or a page, or a chapter. Start with a little and work your way up to a bit more and a bit more gradually. I know it can seem like a task sometimes, but think about your day. There are 24 hours, meaning 1440 minutes. Just use 10 of those for learning something new from the scriptures. I always learn something new. It's worth it to know Jesus Christ that much more. It's worth it to know him because knowing him is like having a fire in the winter. It's nice to have one, but if you don't put in the firewood(the scripture study), you lose the fire. Nobody wants to go without a fire while camping in the woods. I don't mean just the Book of Mormon. I don't mean just the Bible. I mean all the scriptures. I want to end this week's email with a quote from a good friend of mine here, Elder Schmidt. It's his testimony of the Book of Mormon and I completely agree with it 100%. "It is true. It is the entirety of this church. If the book were wrong, the church would be false. But it is not. The book is blue, the church is true. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."
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1 the other 3 Elders here

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2 Baptism!I don't have a picture of the people but we set up the room. It was an 8 year old that lives in the other area, and his grandma is a member but his parents are less actives. They had to teach him so it kind of counts. Elder Echague got to baptize Jonathan.
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3 Euclides was out working during the siesta so we pitched in
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4 And also had a lesson with him in the gutter of the routa(the only paved road in out area). Fun times.

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5 the chapel in Limpio, Paraguay where our zone meets
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6 spiders bite, if you hadn't heard
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7 I promise... we have an excuse for not working
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8 Hermana Evans, tengo una pregunta... (I have a question)
He actually was told to keep his arm raised monday for less blood to flow to the bite
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9 Elder Campos from our district, with his 20's. We have to withdraw our money 2 times a month, and the ATM ran out of the bigger bills
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10 Our week in 1 picture
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11 We decided to switch areas for a week(Hospital Bautista)
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12 If you have a missionary bhat you're a missionary right? We escaped the rain by visiting a less active family. The kid on the left, Johnathan is getting baptised this week(2 Johnathans in 2 weeks getting baptised... too cool)
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13 Elder Glasgow(from my MTC group, from Arizona), me, Elder Villacresses(from Ecuador, my trainer's trainer, which neabs he is my mission grandpa), Don't know that guy, Elder Olson(from Mississippi), Elder Schmidt, from my MTC group and Utah, Elder Raffailano, from El Salvador, and Elder Tesucun. Since Elder Villacresses are going out to the Pedro Juan caballero Zone, Elder olson is going home, and Elder raffailano is going to the Chaco, we went to Paulistas, an expensive brazilian steakhouse buffet(15 or 20 dollars in american) in Asuncion. I didn't eat anything, as I am still a little sick.
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14 Elder tesucun's sleeping habits while recuperating
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15 cont.
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16 cont.
Don't worry, he is fine now.
Thanks for all your prayers and support, and especially the emails.
Los amo,

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