Mon., 7/31/2017 (Transfers from Yby Yau to Neuland)
Well I have had the busiest week of my life for sure. Monday we wrote y'all then went to Pedro Juan Caballero to print pictures for our converts of their baptisms. We had a family home evening with the zone leaders and a family in their area, using my recipe, the zone leaders materials, and Elder Cartagena's supervision. Tuesday we had a good district meeting and everyone said goodbye because we had changes. We then went home directly after, and despite our colectivo possibly breaking down (we had to stop about 10 times), we made it home in time for me to finish packing then we went to say goodbye to the members I hadn/t said goodbye to yet. We ended up getting a cookout in because we had a bit of time (the colectivo passed around 11:30 at night). We said goodbye to the branch president, who helped us get all the stuff from the house to the road where the colectivo passes. Airton and his brother Nielson waited with us til the bitter end. After, we went to Asuncion in colectivo. We got to the terminal, and I was tired because I didn't sleep the whole ride. We got off the colectivo and went to where the office elders were waiting to get stickers to put on our luggage to go to the center of our zone. I got Mariano Roque Alonso on mine, and it turns out I'm going to the Chaco! My new area is called Neuland; its a little german colony in the middle of the Chaco. The Chaco is a big famous desert that is the north side of Paraguay, with no water. It's pretty cool though; I love it already. My companion is Elder Castañeda, and he's a small indigenous guy from Ecuador. He speaks another language called Quichua! He's really nice and we get along real well. There are 2 other missionaries that also will be going to the Chaco this transfer, Elder Salazar (I did a lot with him in PJC) and Elder Starks from Utah. With that news, we weren't able to go our new areas because we had a few things to do later in the week in Asuncion. The next 2 days,Wednesday and Thursday, we were in an area in the middle of the city an the elders there just told us to contact whatever we wanted, so contact we did! Thursday,I was in the same area, Trinidad with the Elders who are assigned there, Elder Sotec from Peru and Elder Hernandez from Colombia. Friday we had to get up early, because we had to help all day with a temple trip for 150 or so Nivacle indians from the Chaco. The other Elders who have been there have been working for over 6 months to get it all to work out, so we got there right in time hahaha! It was really a great experience, working inside and outside the temple with them, but it was also really hectic because they have a different language, Nivacle, that only one missionary really knows enough to communicate, but it was really an awesome experience that I'll have to tell you all about after the mission because there just isn't time! Saturday we helped out some more with the Nivacles, then Elder Castañeda and I went to the hospital. For the pat few days I hadn't really been able to walk; we thought I had an ingrown toenail but it turned out to be a parasite and I had to get a surgery to get it removed. As such, we looked like we were running a 3 legged race the rest of the day and Sunday also. We took a bus to Abundancia, which is another area in the Chaco, and we couldn't get to our area that night so we stayed over with the Elders there. Their area includes their house, one of the biggest chapels I've ever seen, and 56 houses of members that all speak Nivacle. We stayed there until today, when we got a ride to Filadelfia, which is another area in the Chaco, and tomorrow there will be a bus that we can take to our area. Neuland is the furthest area from the office in the whole mission (520 km; Yby yau was 367 or so). It actually has 2 areas; the other one of them is called Paraiso (Paradise) and is 70 km further from Asuncion. Today we are in Filadelfia, and it's got a lot of German people! I still haven't gotten to Neuland but next week I'll try to get pictures to you! Have a good one! Remember to read the Book of Mormon this week! Also pray and go to church! The book is blue, the church is true, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. Thanks for all the emails and prayers, and especially photos!
1 Zona Pedro Juan Caballero.
2 Asado with Luis Diego and Leo.
3 Saying goodbye to the squad.
4 Airton and Nielson wanted to wait with us until I had to leave.
5 Saying goodbye to my man Elder Cartagena. He's a good comp and good teacher; they're going to be baptizing about every week in Yby yau this change. I'm excited for him!
6 Once again, 5 stars.
7 This bridge is not safe. Its basically 2 metal strips and the wood from pallets
8 Another picture of the bridge.
9 Turns out there was an Elder Olson in Trinidad who just went home!
10 The new Chaco Elders!
11 Elder Hernandez in front, Elder Sotec in the middle, Paraguay River in the background!
12 We took a pit stop for Pizza!
13 Working out the schedule for the temple.
14 We went to the temple! (with Elder Castañeda)
15 and with Elder Hill.
16 We went out to get Lomitos since we hadn't hardly eaten anything in 3 days.
17 Temple trip!
18 In Abundancia with the Neuland families that went to the temple!
19 Yeah, I went to church with 1 shoe. Hermana Evans said it's the first case of pique that she's seen in her time here in Paraguay.
20 With Elder Castañeda and Elder... Brower! He's in Abundancia right now.
21 Some of the Nivacles had to ride for 8 hours on a tractor through the desert to get to the road to start the journey. They're from a place called Mistolar that's further out than everything but there aren't missionaries there.
22 In the middle of the Chaco is the biggest church I think I've ever seen
23 The Chaco is a whole other level and so is my companion. Elder Castañeda is awesome!
24 We got a ride to Filadelfia
Have a good week! Auf Wiedersehen!