Friday, June 30, 2017

Mon., 6/26/2017 (Yby Yau)

It has been a pretty eventful week, so I'll start from the beginning! Monday I was with Elder Behrens from Boise and Elder Reategui from NYC in a trio for P-day, and it was COLD. Turns out it got down to 1 degree Celsius! And raining and windy. To end P-day, we had to go to the other side of PJC to pick up the office elders' truck, since Elder Behrens used to be secretary and has a license. We had to get a ride from their landlord, who stopped by their house to pick up his 2 dogs. The dog that climbed all over us did it in this moment. We finally got the dog under control, but there was no hope for our 3 white shirts hahahha. We picked up the truck and went back to their area to work. They're in a whitewash (both are brand new in the area), so I showed them around Monday evening since I had had 4 or 5 divisions in their area. 
Tuesday, my 20th Birthday, we had to get up around 4:30 to pick up my companion, the zone leaders, and the office elders from the terminal. WE then had district meeting, and got to get a ride home with the office Elders. They had to renovate a couple housing contracts, so it took a while to get home, and we also found a cool national park on the way so we took a pit stop. Later the office Elders had to stay the night so it was a pretty jam packed birthday! Nobody sang but we got to do a lot of cool stuff and President and Hermana Evans called to wish me happy birthday so that was neat. The rest of the week was back to business; we had a couple service projects raking leaves and such, and I started teaching Elder Cartagena how to cook. Sunday we had church as normal, and I taught the first 2 hours as usual, but we had visitors. The District President, Secretary, and a couple of the people in the Young Mens' presidency dropped by. After church we had a meeting with them, and learned a lot about working together as a branch and with the missionaries. It was really helpful. They also brought a huge container of empanadas, and they didn't know how we were going to finish them off, but just think about how much the missionaries eat and the fact that nobody ever feeds us. Between the two of us, we finished off at least 25 or 30 empanadas hahaha! WE got back out to working the rest of the day. It is SO much easier when the members give referrals and help the missionaries. Today for Pday we are here in Yby Yau. Since I'm district leader and there are just the 4 of us, we will have our meetings here in Yby Yau, we just have to have a member come to the meeting. We went to Cerro Memby for Pday. That's pretty much all for the week! Please remember your scriptures, prayers and to go to church! There are so many people that I've met here on my mission that don't have the knowledge disposable to them that we do, because they've rejected our message! Don't reject the message! The only way to not reject it is by looking for it. You can do that by reading, praying, and going to church! Have a good week! And thanks for all the birthday wishes!
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1 Got to see my buddy Elder Grey from Honduras during transfers; we waited together for a while
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2 District Yby yau!
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3 A lot of divisions later., I finally had to say goodbye to Elder Ollero
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4 As well as Elder Albornoz, our zone leader
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5 Asado (Cookout) with Airton on Elder Castros last Pday in Yby Yau
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6 We helped dig a well 
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7And I got a little dirty
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8 Last pday we got attacked by a dog in a car hahahah
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9 we got the dog under control (with Elder Reategui from NYC)
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10 And then picked up the office Elders truck from the shop
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11 We got a lift from the office Elders to District meeting
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12 My bed for Sunday and Monday night
PS that bed was actually really comfortable
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13WE GOT IPADS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well not rally but it was pretty close. Whiteboards are soooo useful when the people speak a different language! ! picture is worth 1000 words!
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14 We got a ride back from district meeting too
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15 WE got a ride home too! Also discovered a national park in the middle of nowhere
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16 Pretty cool place
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17 The park is some kind of war memorial
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18 And there's the name
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19 For those who have said that Paraguay doesn't have mountains, hills or good views:
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20 This all occurred on my birthday. Turns out the office Elders next stop was pretty far out and President didn't want the driving far during the night, so they had to stay with us for the night
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21 Elder Olson's cooking class
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22 He's learning!
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23 We went to Cerro Memby for Pday
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24 Some cool graffiti halfway up the hill
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25 I think it's suposed to be a rainbow?
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26 A little throwback to the university days because lets be honest, everyone is always sleeping
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27 In the words of Louie, " What a wonderful world!"

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mon, 6/19/2017 (Yby Yau)

WE don't have too much time and I'm half frozen so it's gonna be quick. Monday we stayed in Yby Yau for Pday. There was a big national holiday for the day when the war of the Chaco ended, so everyone this side of Asuncion had a big parade. In Yby yau that consisted of only drums and girls with flags and batons. I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to hear again hahaha it was so LOUD. Elder Castro and I then cooked out with Airton, then we moved all the junk in our house to.... where the Hermanas are going to live! We have been working the last few weeks to get sister missionaries to Yby yau, and we finally got the green light to move their furniture in. Tuesday we went to Pedro Juan for District meeting, then went home and Elder Castro finished packing, then we took a colectivo to Asuncion all night. We got there in the early morning, and I got dropped off at the chapel in Limpio, Paraguay where I waited for another van to take me to the bus stop to wait for my companion. His name is.... Elder Cartagena! He is from Sucre, Bolivia, and only has 3 months in his mission. We also got a lot of news of new transfers, and I am now a District Leader! My district consists of us and the Hermanas from Yby Yau, who are Sister Training Leaders. We got home in the evening. Thursday we spent the day showing all three of the new missionaries around Yby yau. Friday and Saturday were normal days of contacting and more contacting, aaaand more contacting. All of our success got shifted into the area of the Hermanas, as well as everyone that speaks Spanish, so we have to have a translator at all times. Saturday we helped dig a well, which I have pictures of but I don't think the pictures are going to work today, so sorry! Sunday I taught 2 hours of church, then for Sacrament Meeting the other 3 missionaries all spoke. We had ward counsel for the second time that I've been here, but it was just us missionaries and the branch president. Yesterday Elder Cartagena and I had to go to Pedro Juan, where I am staying with Elder Behrens from Boise Idaho and Elder Reategui from NYC, and Elder Cartagena is in Asuncion doing immigrations with the zone leaders.

Thank y'all for the happy birthday wishes and prayers! I'm doing good here and its a lot of fun. Please remember to read your scriptures, pray, and go to church this week! Y'all have a good one!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Mon., 6/12/2017 (Yby Yau) Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Well this week has been eventful, so lets start at the beginning. Monday Elder Castro and I were supposed to have a division with 2 elders in their area in Pedro Juan, but they never showed up so we went and worked in their area anyways. We set 2 baptismal dates with new investigators in the area, so hopefully they'll progress. 
Tuesday we had district meeting then we had another division with the zone leaders.Wednesday we had continuing bike problems, so we set out on foot. None of our teaching appointments were home, so we went out to find some new people to teach. We decided to go down a road that was kind of dark. We contacted a few houses. and finally stopped at one house, where as usual, all they speak is Guarani. We were able to share a very very very very simple message, and they wanted a Book of Mormon. Note that it's really dark outside, so we wanted to head a little closer to home, as we were probably about 6 km away. We continued on the road, but we both had a VERY bad feeling in the same moment, and Elder Castro looked at me and said, "lets run's" and we did. As we heeded the prompting the first time, nothing happened. We were kind of confused as to what we had to avoid. We didn`t have the chance to think about it until Friday. On Friday, we went by with Airton to teach a lesson It turns out the family is awesome. There's a mom, dad, and two boys age 8 and 4, and a girl age 7. The 2 boys can't talk, and the others only speak Guarani, BUT that doesn't matter. because we're all children of God and he sent us 2 to find this family. Anyways, the Hermana told us that she had had a dream that 2 young men with white shirts and ties would come to their house that day and to listen to them. She said it's obvious we're from God because there isn't anyone else that would ever be able to find their family. The hermano also had a dream, about reading the scriptures, so we gave them a copy of the Mormon Kuatiane'e (Bookof Mormon in Guarani). The other day when we had to run strikes me as important, because it's proof that the Holy Ghost led us there, but that house and no further was our purpose. Thursday the office Elders came by and stacked our house full of furniture. Apparently Peru played Paraguay, and Airton and Elder Castro promised each other that whoever lost had to buy food to grill out. Peru won so I think we're grilling chicken with Airton today for part of Pday hahaha. Sunday we did a division with the young men to get investigators to church. Since the ones Cristian and I were going to get live 6km or so away, we got to church an hour late, so I didn`t have to teach in Priesthood! But I did end up teaching Sunday School and we both gave talks in Sacrament Meeting. Last night, we started going to members' houses so that I could say my goodbyes. Later, the zone leaders gave us our changes and I'm staying! Elder Castro has to leave. It will be hard because we've been working together for a while. From what we've heard, almost the whole mission had changes, and all the people that have less time in their areas are leaving! It's pretty crazy. Fun stuff.
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1 saying goodbye to Dani and Diosnel Fretes. At this point we thought I was going to leave the area
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2 Elder Castro got a package from his family! They sent him 2 backpacks, one for him and one for me. Thanks Fm. Castro!
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3 I squeezed 4 liters of pomelo(grapefruit) juice. Incidentally, my hands all but fell apart the rest of the week from the citric acid hahaha
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4 It got a little cold here. Luckily, we have 2 little heaters to keep us alive

I'm running out of time, but I hope you all have a good week! Read your scriptures, say your prayers, and go to church! Have a good week!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mon., 6/5/2017 (Yby Yau)

What a fast week, once again. I'll get right to it. This week was pretty hard climate wise, as it changed from really hot to 40 degrees to really hot. Monday I had a division in the night with Elder Passos again, and almost died of walking hahaha. I'm accustomed to biking now so walking is pretty hard when we're going fast. Tuesday we had our district meeting, then Elder Castro and I waited in the terminal. There weren't colectivos, so we ended up waiting until 4 to leave for Yby yau. When we got home, it started raining, but we didn't have anything to do so we went contacting houses close to our house. About everyone didn't answer but we got to talk to a few people.

It goes dark around 5:30 here right now, so everyone goes to bed early. Wednesday, we had a normal day of teaching people, and we passed by one of our investigators, Benicio, who is 32 or so years old, to see how he felt about getting baptized this Saturday. He was still hesitant, but Airton (the young man who translates for us) saved the day and explained the importance of AUTHORITY of the person who baptizes. (He was baptized 2 times before, but by people who don't have God's authority.) I dont know how he explained it differently, but something clicked and Benicio really wanted to get baptized. Thursday, for the Noche de Rama activity, we played duck duck goose again, Only Airton and I knew about it and everyone here loves it so it all works out! Friday, the zone leaders came to do the interview of Benicio in the morning. He forgot to be at home so we had to wait a while. To get to his house, we have to go about a km in the main road, then take a trail (very similar to the Appalachain trail) about another km to where he lives. The zone leaders were here too long to eat lunch in their area, so we decided to cook. One of them wanted to show us how to make a dish from home, and I don't know what was in it but Elder Castro has been pretty sick ever since, but I didn't have too bad of a reaction to it. Saturday, we had an activity watching the final of champions league and right after it the baptism. It worked out pretty well because we got a couple of investigators to go and we had a good turnout of 25 or so at the baptism. The landlords of the chapel kept turning off the water and we only could get it to knee height. It all worked out in the end, and he was super excited to be baptized. Since Sandris baptism didn't have a cake, we had to make 2 this time, and I have never seen cake disappear so fast hahaha.. Sunday, during fast and testimony meeting we had 5 of our 6 recent converts bear their testimonies so that also was cool. I forgot to mention that (future) Elder Villalbas papers are in the system! The medical papers were a bit of a hassle, but he is excited and ready to get his mission call. I'm excited for him. He helps us translating every day so he will definitely be ready. We discovered about 5 or 6 new kinds of fruits this week, which is also good. Everyone here has a lot of different fruit trees, and we got about 15 grapefruits from a member family, so we will have our vitamin c supply boosted a little. Sunday, we had 25 or so people in church. When the meetings started there were just 6 of us so Elder Castro and I went to bring members to church. Today we are in Pedro Juan again for P day. With changes coming up in a week and a half, it's pretty sad because I will probably have to leave Yby yau but who knows! Anyways, I hope you all have a good week! Also don't forget your scriptures, prayers, or to go to church! if you've got a problem, read the Book of Mormon. If you still have a problem, continue reading until you don't have your problem anymore. Also do what the book says. Keep the commandments, do the little things and you'll see the blessings. Thanks for the prayers and emails, I love y'all!
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1 Benicios baptism!
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2 We got to be the witnesses
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3 With my amigo Derlis and his half dead duck. It got cold one night and all the animals here died
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4 With Airton on the way to Benicios

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Sent the wrong pictures hahaha sorry
1 Benicos baptism
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2 With everyone that went
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3 at the font