Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015

Hey Family, so life is pretty good ...

Umm where to start.

Monday -- P-day was pretty lame, we really didn't do much.  But it is okay because after being in the Chaco and getting use to not doing much, I am use to lame P-days.  Haha.   I think one of the hardest things about being lejos (far away from other missionaries) to die (finish his mission) is that I don't get to see any of my friends, but it's all good because most of my friends are lejos as well, so it really isn't that big of a deal. :)

But yeah, this week was super good.  We were able to find a bunch of new investigators that are super nice -- who are really thinking about the things that we are telling them, and so that is super cool.  

Life is good here in Paraguay.  One exciting thing from this week is that it appears all of the hard work that we did in Neuland is paying off.  I heard from Elder Eaquinto that 51 people came to church this past Sunday, and so that is super cool.  Also, one of the families that I was going to baptize actually came to church, and so they are definitely moving forward.  So, yeah, I am super stoked about how good things are going in Neuland now.  When I arrived in that area we had only six people coming to church, so 51 is amazing.  I honestly learned a lot from serving in Neuland and I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to get to know the people of Neuland and to be able to learn things from them.  

It's interesting because when I got in to my new area, my comp said that this area was doing so well -- the best it ever has -- until two weeks before I arrived.  You know how in the scriptures when people are doing the wrong things, they don't want to hear about it.  Well apparently one of the Counselors in the mission came to Tacuati and "dropped Cain" (spoke very frankly) on a lot of the members, and ever since the people have been in kind of a fallen state.  Apparently the fall is going to be big from what I have heard from my new companion and the new Group Leader, so we are going to work a fool (work hard)  and hope that the fall isn't a really big fall and that we can avoid it so it doesn't go down.  :)

But, yeah, what I have learned from my mission is that God puts me in areas that are about to fall, and then helps me to help the people come back.  It is going to be interesting to see how these experiences from my mission help me in my future.  Maybe some day I am going to live in a falling area, you never know.  :)  But, instead of worrying about the fall here in Tacuati, I am going to keep Neuland mind and where they are now -- 51 at church, that is super, super cool.  I am super happy with that.  :)

So we had a zone meeting on Saturday, and so I had to travel from Tacuati to Horquetta to Concepcion to get to that. The traveling was so miserable because on Friday I woke up feeling super sick with super hard sheeves (diarhea).  It was super hard because I couldn't go like ten minutes without using the bathroom and I was traveling, so that was hard.  But it's chill because I took some crazy pills that they have here in Paraguay -- which are similar to Pepto Bismal -- and that kind of helped.  It's funny because I didn't know if I should chew the pills or let them dissolve and so I chewed them and they turned my tongue black for a while. Haha.  But I am starting to feel better now, so that's all good. ;) 

But yeah, I didn't really sleep well Friday night because in order to catch the bus, we had to be at the bus stop of 5:00 a.m., and so I kept waking up.  Then I had to take a 90 minute bus ride, and I was sick and didn't feel good and I just wanted to be home.  Because I was sick, I couldn't sleep on the bus and so I was feeling a little grumpy, but I got over it.  

So we had our zone meeting and that was super good.  It was about how we need to help the people learn to resolve their own doubts ... we need to teach them to fish, not just give them fish ... and that was super good.   Also in the zone meeting they talked about how as missionaries we have such a great power, and how important it is to always have the Spirit with us, not only now, but after our missions.  They talked a lot out pornography and the things we need to do to be able to avoid temptations that are going to us come after our  missions.  It was really a super good zone conference, I liked it.  So yeah, I haven't been in my area since Saturday early morning. In the last couple of days I have been able to do divisions with Elder Munoz and Elder Bronson, who is my zone leader, and we were able to apply some of the things we learned from the zone meeting.

But yeah, other than that the week was super interesting.  A lot of people in my area speak Portugese and I can actually understand them pretty well, so that is good. Today has been really cool because I was able to play soccer with some of the missionaries from Concepcion -- having been in the Chaco for the last six months, I have really missed playing sports and doing activities with other missionaries. So that was actually a lot better then what I have had in a really long time. ;) 

Anyway, I sure love y'all and I hope that y'all are doing really well. ;) 

Elder Turley

Questions of the week

So how are things going? 
Things are going just fine ;)

Are you getting use to Tacuati? 
Yes I am. It is really green compared to the Chaco.

What was your favorite meal this week? 
I am not really sure, I had some good rice yesterday. 

Do the members feed you all the time? 
Yes, we have lunch citas (appointments) every day. 

What types of things do the members feed you?
A lot of like spaghetti stuff, that isn't spaghetti, just normal Paraguayan food.

Are you staying warm? 
Yes, I am mother.

How are you feeling physically? 
I have had some stomach issues, but nothing too bad.

What was your happiest moment this week? 
Hanging out with other missionaries for p-day.

What was your most difficult moment this week? 
Just that the people don't want to go to church because they don't have a calling.

What was your funniest moment this week? 
I don't really have one. 

Tell me about your favorite lesson this week? 
We had a lesson that was super good with Juanie.  She felt that the things we were saying were true, and that our church is the only church that says those things.

Do you know that I love you more than life itself? 
Yes I do ;) 

Welcome to Tacuati

 Black Tongue -- result of the "Paraguayan stomach pills"

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015

Hey Parents --

So yeah, I am in Tacuati -- in the middle of nowhere which is kind of interesting because I am almost positive that I will die (finish my mission) here.  I was super sad because I didn't want to die lejos (finish my mission in an outlying area), but I think that is what is going to happen.  But, it's all good.  I have met some pretty cool people, and work wise and food wise, it's a lot better than Neuland.  

So as you know, for the past six months I have been cooking for myself.  And although I can cook, I can't really cook from scratch, so that has been super interesting the past six months.  Now that I am in Tacuati, I have breakfast, lunch, and dinner which is super cool because I am so over cooking. Haha :)  

So I have been able to get to know the Group Leader (similar to branch president, but over a "unit" not a branch) and some of the members and they are all pretty cool.  Tacuati is pretty different than Neuland.  Instead of being in a desert like I was in the Chaco, I am now like in the middle of the jungle.  There are a lot of trees and it's really green.  To be honest it is super pretty out here ... and the people are super nice, so that's pretty awesome.  So I was thinking about this change (transfer) and it most likely will be the last area I will serve in (although you never know), and it kind of blows my mind that most likely when I pack again, I will be packing to come home, so that's going to be cool.  Haha. :)

So not much happened this week.  I was with Elder Luke for about half of it -- or at least until Wednesday morning when I went out and waited for the bus to take me to my new area.  I really wasn't excited for a bus ride, and I really wasn't feeling very well, and so as soon as I got on I popped a couple of Nyquil and slept the whole time.  Apparently I was so out of it that the other missionaries who were traveling with me took pictures of me and threw stuff at me and I didn't even notice.  Apparently it was super funny.  So we arrived in Horqueta where we stayed for the night, and then the next day, Thursday at around noon, I left for my new area, Tacuati.  It took like three hours to get there and I arrived at around 3.

Tacuati is really such a different area than Neuland.  It's kind of cool because I have served in a lot of different areas.  So there is a river in my area, and that is where we perform baptisms, so I am kind of hoping I will be able to perform a baptism in the river -- that's pretty original. :) 

So yeah, I really don't have much more to say other than I am stoked (excited) to be here, it will for sure be a whole new experience for me.  I am kind of sad that I won't be ending my mission around my friends, but it's cool that I am getting to know a little bit more of Paraguay.  :) 

Life is good, and I am happy to be here.

I love y'all. 

Elder Turley

Questions of the Week -- There are a lot since Jon is in a new area.

How is Tacuati? 

It's good, I like it.

What is it like -- Desert, tropical? 

It's in the middle of a jungle.  

What is the town like? 

It seems to be a poorer town, but the people are so nice.

Are there restaurants?

There are a couple of places where you can get hamburgers and stuff.

Are there stores? (If you don't have stores, how far do you have to go to get your food)? 

There is a little store that we go to. 

Are there dirt or paved roads?

They are mostly dirt road. 

Do the people have cars? 

 A couple of them do. 

What are the peoples' houses like? 

Mostly little and made of wood or brick. 

What is your apartment like? 

I live in a super poor house, but it's a lot bigger than my place in Neuland so that is a positive. :)

Do you have indoor drinking water? 

If there is water in the city, then yes.  (Mom's note: I'm not really sure what he meant by this, I wonder if the city runs out of water).

Are you missing anything in your apartment - like a kitchen sink? (Jon didn't have a kitchen sink in Neuland because he didn't have drinkable running water).

I don't have air conditioning, but I do have a kitchen sink.

Do you have heat and air conditioning? 

No heat, and it's been freezing. 

What is your companion's name?

Elder Simao 

Where is he from? 


Do you two get along? 

Yeah, we get along good.

What is he like? 

He is strict, but not super, super strict.  We get along good.

What is your "unit" like? 

It's interesting, the church is bigger than in Neuland and I don't have to speak ever Sunday, so that's cool.  

How many members on the rolls? 

I am not sure yet. 

What was your happiest moment this week? 
Being on a 3 day division with Elder Luke.

Was was your most spiritual moment this week?

Hmmm we didn't really have any spiritual moments because we were traveling most of the week, but we did have a testimony meeting that was really spiritual. 

What was your most difficult moment this week? 

Dealing with the fact that I am lejos again (in an outlying area, away from other missionaries).  

What was your funniest moment this week?

Hmmm probably when I dressed up in woman's clothes as a joke with all the "dying" Elders.  It was super funny ... don't ask. :) 

What was your favorite scripture this week?

Hmmm probably the one that "drops Cain" (speaks strongly) on people for not baptizing their children at 8 years old. 

Tell me about your favorite lesson this week? 

We didn't really have too many lessons this week. 

Who is your favorite person of the week? 

Elder Luke, he is a homie (like a brother). 

Do you know that I love you more than life itself?

Yes I do mother.

Saying "Goodbye" to Neuland
(Jon's last few days in the Paraguayan Desert)

 Jon with Elder Luke ...
one of his best buds from the mission.
Elder Luke completed his mission this change and was headed home.

 Jon with Elder ....

Saying "Hello" to Tacuati
(Jon's new home and the Paraguay jungle. 
Jon keeps commenting on how green it is).

Jon's new home in Tacuati