Tengo dos bautismos el 15 de marzo -- I have two baptisms on March 15!
I arrived in Paraguay and I really like it! The climate at the moment is just like Newport, so it isn’t hot, and there is a lot of humidity and a breeze.
My companion is Elder Jace Gummersall, he is 19 and he is from Spokane – a place called Liberty Lake or something like that. I’m not sure if Bill served in his area. I asked him if he knew Bill, but he was only nine when Bill was there, so he doesn’t remember. My companion is super cool! He keeps telling everyone that I am famous because I was in High School Musical. (Side note: Jon was a basketball player on the same team as Zac Effron). So apparently I am pretty cool within the Missionary Crowd. I really like my companion and we get along really well.
My Spanish is doing decent, but I have a lot to learn. I understand the people of Paraguay less than I understood the Argentina people, but it is coming along – I can bear my testimony in Spanish so that’s all I need. Haha. The people in Paraguay speak super fast and super slurred and it’s kind of crazy, but I will get it, but please keep praying for me. Also, please pray for my cough and sinuses to get better. My cough was gone, but it came back two days ago. It’s funny because they use “Hauls Cough Drops” as candy down here, so it is super cheap and they are all over the place, so I got like six packs today. I think I have allergies, so I am going to buy some allergy medicine and see if that helps. I use Breathe at night and it works great, but during the day while we are out, it wears off. My area is nice we have water and the main street is gravel so that is pretty cool.
So President McMullin sent Elder Gummersall and I into a brand new area of the mission, a city called Luque in an area called Laureltyl (about 30 minutes away from Asuncion). This area has been closed for a while because the last missionaries that were there didn’t really work it and so nothing was getting done. Our President sent us there to open it back up. My companion and I had no contacts or anything to work with because the last missionaries there didn’t keep a record. It seemed kind of crazy to me to open a new area as a greenie, but my companion and I were up for the challenge and we are on fire. In the last four days, we have contacted over 100 people, have hit all our goals, and have committed two people to baptism.
The two people we have committed to baptism are a grandmother and her grandson. The grandson told us that he took the lessons a long time ago and wanted to get baptized, but his grandmother said “no” and so he never did it. When we met with the grandmother and grandson (side note: I wish he would have told us their names), we talked to them about the Joseph Smith Story and told them to pray about it, which the grandmother said she would do because she was able to feel The Spirit strongly with my companion and I. When she did pray about it, she had a spiritual revelation that Joseph Smith is indeed a prophet and said she would be baptized. We are pretty excited about it and are looking forward to keep working with them and seeing them enter the waters of baptism on March 15th.
It is really cool here in Paraguay, I like it more than Argentina. Everyone down here drives crappy cars, but they have really sick sound systems -- like really good. It’s funny because everyone here sits in front of their house drinking Te Te Te, which is an herb with cold water like a tea. I think I am going to bring some home because they won’t let us have any down here because it’s passed around so much they don’t want us to get sick. Most of the roads are dirt and my companion and I walk a lot and we talk to a lot of people. A cool thing, there are a lot of horses, dogs, and cows, just walking on the road every day.
We are talking to another guy named Bruno right now. He started not believing in God about a month ago, so we are trying to get him to believe again. Right now he is pulling that “I don’t want to accept your message because I want to be right” type thing, which is kind of stupid, but we are going to keep working with him because we both think that this kid understands and that it is just going to take a little diligence.
My first day in Laureltyl, we went to lunch at a family’s house who is pretty poor, but they were super nice. They showed us a video of the last missionaries killing a goat. Apparently that is a thing they do on birthdays here, so looks like I am going to have to take a machette to a goat’s throat in a few weeks -- I will be sure to get photos of that and a video (side note: mom will not be watching this).
My companion and I walk a lot and teach a lot of first lessons, but it is hard to get people to commit to a second lesson. I really like the people here in Paraguay, though.
I live across the street from a Pizza Hut, so that’s cool. You can get like a specialty pizza with breadsticks and soda for ten dollars. Everything is super cheap and I don’t think I’ll have any problem living within the budget the mission gives me. The weirdest thing I have seen is cow stomach. They bread it like chicken in the states. I ate some in the MTC, when I didn’t know what it was, but I haven’t eaten it here yet, and am not sure if I will. But Paraguay is pretty dope and I am glad I am here. There are always people playing volleyball and soccer and having fun.
I live on a main road and it is like a bunch of dirt roads. We are responsible for part of a city and the area we have reminds me of downtown Los Angeles. My apartment is pretty clean. It’s two bedrooms with a bathroom and a kitchen, so it is pretty chill – nothing too out of the ordinary. There are some mosquitos around, but I have been using repellent so I haven’t been bitten. The mission has us spray something all over our house so we don’t really have many bugs, just some spiders, but they aren’t really a bother. There are chalk marks all over our apartment walls, and I wrote my name on it, so that was pretty cool. We have a dumbbell and the weights are made of a steel pipe and two rocks on each side of them. Pretty cool, HaHa. Our Church Building is nice. Sunday’s are cool. I had to bear my testimony yesterday, and a guy came up and said that they have had missionaries who have been in the ward for a long time who don’t talk as well as I do. That was cool and made me feel pretty good. So something funny, the Sacrament started, and I looked down and a dog had run in between my legs. Apparently if anyone leaves the door open, dogs will come into the building.
Everything here is super cheap. Apparently I can get solid gold or silver rings and necklaces down here for $10, so if ya’ll want something, let me know before I come home. Haha.
I wanted to send some pictures but this computer is really slow, so I will for sure send some next week. Well, I love ya’ll. Thanks for all that you do for me. You are amazing parents and I am so grateful for you guys and all that you do. By the way, mom, how are you feeling? Read D & C 42 verse 40ish something. It talks about how if you have faith, you will be healed in God’s time if it is His will. In that scripture it says if you die then that was God’s will, but don’t read that part because you aren’t going to die. Haha!
Dad, I love you. Thanks for all you do for me you are the World’s Best Dad! ;)
I love ya’ll, I will be praying for you.
CON MUCHO AMOR