WE have had a good week this week. Actually a very good week. Monday after writing we played monopoly. In the evening we had district meeting. Tuesday we took a colectivo to Neuland so I finally got to my area! It's a little German colony that also has 2 neighborhoods of Latinos and a neighborhood of Nivacle Native Americans. We spent Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday working in Neuland. We spend most of our time with the Nivacles because the Germans don't want to listen to us and the Latinos are never at home. It's kind of hard when we teach the Nivacles because only the men speak Spanish, so we have to have a translator or wait for the head of the family to be at home. It's awesome though because they all want to learn about Christ, and with the language barrier we get to teach simple lessons, and there isn't really anyone that wants to try to battle us with words. They are all so nice! The kids rush up to us when we come by and hang off our arms and they're pretty crazy. They all say in a timid voice "tarjeta?" which means card or in this case pass along cards hahaha. Thursday morning we also had to go back to Filadelfia to take out money because we had to go to part of our area for Friday until Sunday. It's a little expensive because it is far away and nobody lives there. Don't forget, we are in the Chaco, a big desert, and the area, Paraiso, is kind of far away. It's another little settlement of Nivacles, and there is a group of members that meet there for church. We have a house there where the members have church. It's an area that only has wells for water, so we have to pull up water for everything, including showering. We also have an outhouse! Cool stuff! Paraiso is the Spanish word for paradise, and if it didn't get up to the 120s (Fahrenheit) some days it would be paradise! It's a really beautiful area. Neuland is also really awesome, especially for the fact that it's the middle of a desert. Elder Castañeda and I have really just been hauling this week. We had good numbers for the fact that we are working in the hardest area in the mission, and we spend half the week traveling. We have been working on serving each other more, and we're both loving the work! We're also working really well together already, so I'm excited for what will happen in this area! Sunday in church we had 33 people come in Paraiso and in Neuland there were 22. From what I've been told, the weeks we're in Neuland everyone goes and if we're not there nobody goes. It's the same with Paraiso. The people here are so awesome! They don't really have that much but they make do with what they have! Today we had to go to Abundancia for district meeting at 6, and there weren't any colectivos so after we got back from Paraiso we had to go last night and we got in a little late. Today we got to be together as a district and played a little bit of soccer. That's the week! One thing that we had to work a lot with is callings. Many times we thing that we have a calling in the church that is more important or less important than another, such as a bishop being more important than a greeter or a Deacons' Quorum secretary, or vice versa, but that's not true. Everything we are assigned to do, is our contract with the Lord and not with anyone else. Every calling is important. We shouldn't aspire to be better than another; we should aspire to be like Jesus. Everyone please think on that, and have a good week!
1 The chapel in Neuland.
2 It's all in German!
3 The kids really do just storm us!
4 We also find ourselves far from home at times.
5 They wanted a picture of me with their toy gun.
6 In Paraiso!
7 With Hermano Paclusi, the group leader in Paraiso. He translates for us too and visits all the members and all the members while we're gone! Great guy!
8 We did service at his house Saturday.
9 The Elder that I replaced here dropped the bucket down the well and we kind of need that... it took a while, cutting down 2 trees, and a broom, but we got the bucket out!
10 With the bucket.
11 We always look for good spots to take nametag photos.
12 The little guy on the right has some cool hair... his name's Fabian and he's going to get baptized in about a month! Also the girl in the middle, Norbalda. We're pretty excited for them! They are excited too; they come to church every week an hour before church! And set up the chairs and hymn books! That's dedication for 9 and 10 year olds!
13 Our house/church in Paraiso! They meet in the middle part for church.
14 WE got kind of hungry and there aren't stores within 50 km of Paraiso... luckily we had a little bread.
15 There aren't any pots in the Paraiso house, so yes we cooked rice in a frying pan!
16 We had to go to Abundancia Sunday night.
17 BBQ sauce and rice really isn't that bad when you haven't eaten in about a day... we even had some chicken (even if it's just a drawing).
18 Paraiso in Paraiso.