It has been a busy week here in Paraguay. After writing last week on Monday, the 6 of us Elders who all are serving 500 km from Asuncion somehow made it back to the office without getting lost again. We helped the office Elders move some dressers from their house to someone else's while waiting, then went to the supermarket to get some dinner. My companion and the other Elders present got a ton of food, but I just got 2 empanadas. I finished a lot faster, and Elder Behrens, President Evans´ secretary asked me to go work with him for the evening, since our colectivo was at 11 p.m. to go home. We went out to his area and it was pretty fun riding in a car and speaking to people in Spanish! In Yby yau there is a bit of a lack of Spanish speakers hahaha. We rode in the colectivo to Pedro Juan, and I didn´t sleep. That's fine though because we pass through a ton of towns where there are missionaries and its pretty cool to see at night. We got to sleep 3 hours in the house of some other missionaries while waiting for district meeting. We finally got some sleep that night. Wednesday we went and contacted a bunch of new houses in a new area of our area. Around lunchtime one of the people we talked to asked if we wanted lunch because she had had 8 kids and is used to cooking a lot but they all grew up and left home so she can't eat all the food. You betcha we took her up on that offer hahaha. The food was really good, and her daughter made fresh pomelo (i.e. grapefruit; I just found out that the 2 are the same) juice for us. They had also just made a fresh batch of a ton of dulce de leche, so we helped with the taste testing. Thursday and Friday we just continued looking for cool new people to teach. We found some cool people. Here a large number of people say they believe in Jesus Christ and a lot of them say they´re Catholic, but they don´t ever go to church and many don´t know anything about Christ except that he is the son of Mary. It´s great to be able to talk to them and help them understand who Christ is and what he has done for all of us. Saturday we had to move a lot of stuff around the house to clean and make it easier to combat the holes in the roof when it rains. We also got the church cleaned and had the usual soccer with the young men. Playing soccer here as the only gringo is a lot of fun. They don´t believe that I´m not from Germany, and there were a lot of people I had never met before that played with us. Every time I scored everyone went crazy and started shouting GOOOOOOOOOOOOL ALEMANIAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!(Germany) It´s pretty crazy but that´s how it goes in Paraguay. Sunday during church I taught Priesthood, we taught Young Men, then it was fast and testimony meeting, so we didn´t have to give talks! Today we went to Pedro Juan Caballero and will be staying the night with the zone leaders. We went to a place called Shopping China today, which has all the clothes, sports equipment, food, cleaning products, and all kinds of other things that you could think of. It´s also all in US Dollars. It was kind of cool to walk around and see, because everything is imported and it´s all from the US, Europe, and all other parts of the world. It was really cool. Today we are going to have a Family Home Evening with the 4 Elders in the 5th Branch of Pedro Juan Caballero. The family makes chipa for a living, so we are going to make Chipa! more to follow on that next week.
In Latin America, the naming custom is for a person to have a first name, and then the last name of their father, and then the last name of their mom. As a result, every Latino has 2 last names. Their missionary name tags say only their first last name. All of the Latinos get to have name tags with both apellidos, but just have to ask first. My companion has his and I thought it was pretty cool. He said I could get one too, but I only have 1 last name so I told him I can´t. Elder Castro was pretty confident that I could get them, so he called up the cartero (basically librarian) and ordered me plaques reading Elder Olson Riding. Kind of random but it worked hahaha so now I will have name tags with 2 last names. I thought it was pretty funny, as I´m pretty happy to have mine in Guarani. Elder Castro is a cool guy, and always looks out for others first.
In Paraguay this coming week is an event called Semana Santa. You all may recognise it as Easter. It´s honestly a cool time of year, because it´s when we remember the Atonement of Jesus Christ (well we always do, but Easter is specifically for that). We are sharing a video with everyone here called Principe de Paz (i.e. Prince of Peace). Y'all can find it on Youtube or Mormon.org . Y'all should go watch it; it puts a good perspective on what Jesus did for us. It´s about 2 or 3 minutes long, so I think everyone reading this has time to go watch. What harm is there in strengthening your faith in Christ? I´ve been doing that a lot this week. In addition to the scriptures and Preach My Gospel, I´ve been reading from the book Jesus the Christ. If anyone every tells you (I´ve had a lot of people at home and here tell me this) or doubts that we believe in Jesus Christ, I encourage you to send this book their way because it´s all about the teachings and life of Christ. Oh, it´s 800 pages of the truth. I also encourage everyone to read Matthew chapters 5-7 or 3 Nephi 12:14-16 because it´s straight out of the mouth of our Lord and Savior. I say these things in his name, Jesus Christ, amen.
1 Eating in Shopping China today
2 Last Tuesday with Elders Vasquez and Andrango from Ecuador. Elder Vasquez has special permission from President Monson to have a ponytail, since he is indegenious from Ecuador
3In Burger King during Pday with Elder Andrango, Elder Salazar, Elder Torres and Elder Castro.
4 The Temple of Asuncion, Paraguay. We got lost trying to get here last Pday. Its also closed on Mondays but it´s pretty cool.
5 I got to work with Elder Behrens Monday night. He likes working hard, likes contacting(tracting), and we got along very well
6 The only way to have any water pressure in the sink and showers
7 Putting our name tags to use
8 Elder Castro putting in work on the can of peaches. Can openers haven't made it to Paraguay yet I guess
9 We found 2 mice in the back of the house where there's some storage. We chased them all around the house and there are now 0 living in the house.
10 Elder Olson in the Armorio with the shoe(for those who play clue)
11 House cleaning, Peruvian style
12 We helped get a big poisonous frog (or toad, I really don´t know) out of the Branch President´s wife's kitchen
That's all I have, but I'll try to get more this next week. Have a good one!
Read your scriptures!
Say your prayers!
Have a good week!