Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January 1, 2013

It is finally 2013!  Less than 4 months until we have him home!

December 31, 2012

Dear Mom,

Happy New Years Eve.  I will miss the waffles with whipped cream and every type of topping I can imagine....I think I will be eating some junk food anyways since that is what we survive on here in Paraguay.  ;)

It was great to see and talk to you all.. ... . .the next time we talk will be live.  In 109 days, we will be talking and it will be pretty much the best day ever....

From the letter is sounds like you all enjoyed Christmas day.  We did too sort of.  We couldn’t sleep at all because it sounds like a battle field outside.  It’s going to be the same today...everyone at 12:00 will be shooting off thousands of fireworks. 

Later that night on Christmas day we made our tacos and they were very disappointing.  We went to a different place to buy our food because where we normally go was sold out of tortillas and had nothing.  We got to the other place and it was packed.  They didn’t have tortillas either, but they had something like tortillas, it’s Arabic bread.  So we decided to buy that and did the rest of the shopping at this place....never going back there again.  We never have to buy meat because grandpa always gives it to us....well here we buy meat and its good, nothing compared to what we have at home.  But we bought meat at a different place, it would be like you buying ground meat from Friendly Fred’s or from Kings. It was nasty.  And the cheese we used was like a plastic bag, it just melted and stuck to everything.  The picture of the food looks great but the taste. . . not good at all. 

This week was fast....but was a little hard with Christmas and not many people and stuff.  Tomasa is still reading her Book of Mormon and came to church yesterday.  She is going to be baptized the 12th and not the 5th because she wants her mom to come, but tonight we are gonna see if we can change her mind  a bit.  Last night we ( I ) taught lesson 2, the plan of salvation.  It is pretty much my specialty.  The best lesson to teach, probably because you don’t teach it that often.  It’s always the restoration.  I’ll have to teach it to you when I get home with my scriptures.  That’s the best part of teaching this lesson. . . I have like 50 scriptures to share that teach the lesson for me. 

Nelson came back to town, and we have visited hem twice.  He said he was going to come to church yesterday, and we passed by his house but nothing.  We are going to go back one more time and see how he is, but we might just drop him because he has stopped progressing.

I brought my list to the computer place today, the list i was supposed to have on Christmas.  Some of the things from the list are:

1. Stuff I need to do the week i get home....I-Phone 5, Haircut, Dentist, Renew Drivers License.

2. Fat week.. . I have a list of stuff at the house, but so far this is what I have. . . Costco Muffins.

     Friday: Buffalo Wild Wings.....later that night i want breakfast for dinner, pretty much what we eat on new years eve.

     Saturday I want to wake up to Maple and Chocolate bars from Albertsons and a gallon of choc milk.  To get me ready to kick Grant’s Trash wrasslin!

     Sunday, Party at our house after I speak in church.
3.  Stuff i want to do in Cali. . . Disneyland, 6 Flags

I still don’t have anything about school. . . hope I at least get into BYU-I.  Have you found any scholarships yet???

Love you all


December 24, 2012

Dear family. . .

I don’t have much time here at the internet.  They are only letting us use half hour, so it’s a short quick one today....since we sort of talked haha...Grant and M’Kay missed out! 

SO the world is getting smaller...there is a sister in my district from LA...Hermana Valencia.  She was roommates with Maureen and Annette Mickey last year at BYUI haha.

This week when we were teaching, we sang Christmas hymns, and we asked a guy if he had a favorite Christmas song that we could sing him. . . he asked us to sing him Rodolfo el Reino...Rudolf the Red nose reindeer haha...

I love you all and can’t wait to Skype you tomorrow.  Its going to be a great Christmas. . . from all over the world, together as a big happy family!!!


Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17, 2012

Dear Family. . . This last week was good.  I officially completed 20 Months in the Mission, and it has been 2 years since I opened my Mission Call.  Time is going by FAST!!!  That’s crazy that Kwenton gets home on Wed...He gets home with Elder Heiner’s cousin I think.  And Tyler gets home in January!   Last week we had changes.  I thought that I might have had a change but I’m still here in 3 bocas with my comp, Elder Chavez.  I only have 2 transfers left after this one...I am praying that it will be in a new area for the last 3 months of my mission.  I don’t want to be stuck here 5 transfers or for you guys 7 months.  Elder Chavez and I had a better week.  We had more lessons and more new investigators but nothing real solid yet.  I’m pretty sure that the zone leaders are gonna want to do divisions with us this week.

The office or Pres. haven’t said anything about calling home for Christmas, but Elder Chavez and I have it all figured out.  We have been looking for a place to skype on Christmas but everyone is going to be closed and they are closing at noon Christmas eve, so like they close at 8 in the morning for you all.  Yesterday after lunch we went to the chapel and downloaded Skype to the computer in the Bishops office, and I have a webcam.  I logged on yesterday to see if it worked and I sent Grant a message.  It’s the last call home from Paraguay, it will be a good one.  I will be at the chaple at 4:00 my time to skype all of you...and Spencer too!!!  Can’t wait....I even have my paper of stuff we can talk about on Christmas!  Only one week...YES...CAN’T WAIT!

For the Missonary Plaque,  Moroni 10:32.  That’s what i want on my plaque, if they can do it in Spanish do it in Spanish but if not that’s fine.

You all in America, nice and toasty warm in the house...no problem...it’s so hot down here.  Yesterday, walking to church at 8 in the morning, 100 degrees!  Not cool.  We cooked an egg on the road Thursday...took like 2 minutes...yeah that fast!  And the worst thing about all of it...I don’t have AC.  The Ac didn’t work very good anyways, so we had some dude come look at it and he took it out to see the problem...some big thing they have to replace....he hasn’t brought it back yet.  And the office said that they would get us a new AC in 2 weeks.  Yeah right, they won’t ever get it to us, and the guy who took our AC won’t answer our phone calls...I’m pretty sure he sold it or something...fetching Paragayos!  And I think that i am getting skin cancer, that’s how hot and strong the sun is!!!   We can’t even sleep at night, at home it cools down at night time...not here....it gets hotter...You wake up in the morning all greasy and in a puddle of sweat on your bed...grossssss!!!! 

My Christmas plans. . . pretty much nothing.  Eat my Hickory Farms while I skype you guys.  Nobody here invites us over for lunch or dinner, less chances that they invite us over for Christmas.  Our plan was to make some Mexican food, tacos and quesadillas.  But my comp has no money left for the rest of December and I have 300,000 left, so Ihave to share with him again!  Don’t know if my Christmas dinner is going to happen....too bad I’m not in Puerto Pabla with Jorge and Betty, eat some Crocodile and some Armadillo and Cow Tounge, and Manta Ray and Beaver for Christmas.  Oh well, this just means that next Christmas when i am home will be even better....

So mission wise, like the investigators are not really progressing.  They read and pray every once in a while or they pray to the virgin of Caacupe, but they never come to church.  That’s the problem with praguayos....their pretty lazy... They just won’t come.  We had 3 people that were certain that they were going to come to church, yeah you already know who came...nobody.  We did find a cool family this week though, The Azucas Family...it’s just hard for the Dad, he doesn’t really believe in anything.

DAD. . .tienes que mejorar tu español.  Tadavia puedes hablar mas o menos pero hay muchos errores.  Era un poco chistoso leer su carta haha.  Sepas que te amo y que te quiero mucho.  Gracias por todo.  En quatro meses vamos a hablar bien, y vamos a cambiar tu español...toda la familia se van a burlar de tu español. Si esto pasara, no seria muy bueno. Te hace falta venir a paraguay bueno no a paraguay, su español es muy feo, te hace falta visitar a Mexico u algo haha.  Te quiero papa.  Hablaremos Martes en la Navidad, en Español.  Y dudo que Grant me gane en una lucha....yo soy el mejor de la familia.  No pierdo a mis hermanos...no importa si tenga 200 libras...yo soy un capo y siempre salgo campeon.  Y cada dia manana y noche hago mis ejercicios....y son muchas.  Flecciones del pecho y abdominales....yeah buddy...Mis brazos y pecho ya han crecidos mucho...esta semana me pese y peso 157 libras....y no soy gordo....entonces que venga Grant a perder....lo voy a destruir!!!

Oh and mom, Christmas pretty much doesn’t exist down here so ill just leave it up to you to find me an ornament.  Thanks :)

Love you all . . . see you on Christmas!

December 10, 2012

Dear Family. . .

So another week gone in the mission.  Another Transfer completed.  THis is Transfer number 14 of 16.  The end is comming.   But this last transfer went by way fast.  We didnt have any baptisms....and its just a tuff area.  ME and elder chavez have been trying a lot to be better missionaries.  Just to not think about time or stuff at home...

This week we had our zone meeting.  It was a tuffy.  Pres Agazzani and his wife came and dropped the cane on us a bit.  We have 2 baptisms as a zone for december, and they want 18.  We dont have anyone in plan 1 or plan 2.  IT really seems like they just want numbers.  If we can all baptize 16 people in each zone, we will reach 1000 baptism this year.  Then pres agazzani told us how next year he expects 2112 baptism.  That is a crap ton of baptisms.  They told us that we were going to have a Christmas zone conference and to bring a white elephant gift.  Should be fun.  ITs going to be on the 21st of December, AKA, End of the World Day.  Im so tired of hearing that....everyone asks us if the world is going to end on the 21st of Dec.  We just tell them thats its really possible that it ends, so they should listen to our message so they can be prepared....it doesnt work tho.

This week was really hard too.  We dont have any investigators.  None.  We found 2 new ones this last week and they are not like gold trophies or anything.  We had 6 lessons this week and 2 more with less active members.  You thought you were embarrassed mom.  My numbers were crap.  We cant figure out what happens to us.  Ever since we lost our two investigators Alex and Nelson, we just havnt been that same.  Im just in that down point of the wrestling season.  Im just trying to climb out.  Ever since mothers day i have had one thing on my mind.  The week after we did skype, you said that you had seeen a huge change in me...and that you couldnt wait until christmas to talk to me to see an even bigger change.  Everyday is just how can i make mom proud, but i dont feel like i have been changing that much these last weeks.  Last week i didnt even want to do skype, just because i didnt want to let you down.  But a lot of that changed yesterday when i gave another last minute talk in church.

So saturday night i slept on the roof.  I got eaten alive by mosquitos.  I woke up at 6:30 to the cell phone...it was branch pres....elders, its 2nd sunday, that means that its missionary work...can you give talks.  Sure, why not....so i make a talk about the gifts that we can give to Christ in this christmas season.  I talked about the first christmas when God gave us His only Begotton Son.  I talked about how christmas is about giving and not reciving.  Then i told everyone how each year, one of our families is in charge of giving christmas to another family.  I told them about my last christmas at home, when we as a family wrapped up all the presents and the spirit of Christ(mas) was at the barn with the family.  Then of  when i bought you, dad, and grandma presents...since you guys never buy anything and always buy stuff for us.  Then how it made you and dad feel...you didnt care how much the gift cost, only the thought that i had of making christmas good for you.  The main theme of the talk what things we can do for Christ, and how we need to find the Spirit of Christ durring the Christmas Season.  Then i explained how Christ, had that spirit, he didnt care how much the Atonement was going to cost, how much pain, nothing...he had the Spirit of Christ, or the spirit of giving.  Then i quoted Pres Monson, when he said we all need to find that christmas spirit, then drop the last syllabyl and it becomes the spirit of Christ.  I then invited all the members to find that spirit durring these next weeks, so that they can enjoy christmas more fully.  Of the 30 in attendance, there were some cryers.  Then we sang Silent Night....and the Spirit was strong.  In the Liahona for December, Elder Holland speaks of his first Christmas away from home...he said that then, was when he got it...when he understood the spirit of christmas.  I felt the spirit of christmas last time i was home...but as we sang Silent Night, I got it too.  I am eternally greatful for the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ and for His sacrifice for me.  Even tho i am far from being like him, he will help me.  I hope all of you can find the true spirit of Christ(mas) this year.

So its just been little by little, but durring the last 2 years, i have learned a ton.  It great to be a missionary.  Little by little came my testimony.  I had always been waiting for the one experience that was a life changer, write to the liahona church magazine.  But, its still commmin little by little.  The next for months are gonna fly by.  They are the 4 fastest in the whole year.  I hope that my testimony will keep growing like it has been.

Dad, cuantas veces tengo que preguntarte?  ¿De donde es abuelo?  ¿Que parte de MExico?

We went to the Cemitary again this week, and we taught lesson 2 or the Plan of Salvation to some people.  They looked happy, like we had given them a little hope for the future. They arent investigators or anything, but in the future they will remember what we shared with them and about the pamplet we left them.  One day.  Also, we found some bones this time....that was more creepy than the coffin sitting in the open.

Saturday was not a good day.  There was nobody here in 3 Bocas.  Everyone was celebrating the day of the Maldita Virgen de Caacupe.  Everyone went for the stupid walk to fufil their promiss.  I will buy my statue of her to bring home with my rosary!!!  If the Catholic Church was true, every country would worship the same freakin Virgin.  But here we got Caacupe, in Mexico Guadalupe, in Brazil, the Señora del aparecida....whatever...read Salms 115:3-8......that will teach them!!!

We have changes this week...i would really like to leave this area.  Go to a new area and then for my last 2 transfers, train a newby...from america of course.  Ill see what happens tomarow at the district meeting.

Oh, and the last thing of the weeek.  We have a Porron, Joto, Maricon, Marica, calling us and sending us gay text messages.  He is always sending  us messages, oh how sexy of a voice you have....call me....sooo anoying.  But whatever, cant live with them and i dont know what to do about them!

Oh and i talked to elder heiner...he said he got accepted to byu idaho, and that he was maybe going to tell his mom to sign him up to byu too.  I say we will both get in to byu because there are no people there.  Pero por si las moscas, if we dont get into byu, we will be at byu idahoand i will wrestle and you can come watch me....be on the intermural team haha!!!!!!!

One thing that made me trunky this week...only 127 days left and I saw a Honda CBR 1000 and a Yamaha F1....yeah im gettin a sweet crotch rocket when i get home!!!!!

love you all

oh and mom, tell me where i am going.  Yeah i get home ar noon an the 19 of April...but do i go to Brazil, Argentina Texas or what?????


 Elder Chavez, Nelson, Elder Salinas

 Overloaded Garbage Truck!

Dog - - Just about to die - - common to see in Paraguay

December 3, 2012

Dear family. . .

This was a tough week here in Paraguay.  We were getting things done, and then it was taken away.  Nelson was doing so well.  He was reading the Book of Mormon everyday, he was praying and he was so ready to be baptized...but Friday he tells us that he got a job offer in another city.  So he told us that he wasn’t going to be able to listen anymore. . . he was sad to tell us.  Then we had a great lesson with him.  We talked about 3 Nephi 13 where it talks about looking for the kingdom of God first...and how man can only serve one master and then about the Lilies of the Field and how they never worried about stuff, that Heavenly Father always provides for them.  When the spirit was strong in the lesson and Nelson could feel it, I promised him that he would find a job here in 3 bocas if he would come to church on Sunday, then I shared with him Ether 12:6 and told him that he would only find this work after the trial of his faith or after coming to church.  We went by Saturday and he wasn’t there. . . we went by last night and he wasn’t there.  His girlfriend said she had no clue where he went.  He told us that he was going to call us and tell us when he would be leaving but still nothing from him.
Yesterday Alex the Brazilian came to church.  OMG. . .it was so embarrassing to be  a member yesterday.  God has to be directing the church, if it weren’t so, it would not exist here in Paraguay.  During Priesthood, the branch president just talked about things to do to be auto sufficient...like make cardboard bikes and sell them....not a good idea.  So Alex was bored during that time....Sunday School was good, he was participating a little, but sacrament.....OH My Gosh.  There were no testimonies yesterday, just thanking people for junk and telling stories....then the last 15 minutes just awkward silence....Alex was almost sleeping.  If it’s like that, end the meeting, don’t just sit there and stare at people to make them feel bad about not sharing their testimonies.  Then we leave, and Alex says he was going to wait for a bus, going the other direction, he went to the terminal and bought a bus ticket.  He is going to Brazil until January.  So now we have no good investigators to teach!!!!!
This is the last week of the change and it’s been a tough one.  Ever since i got drug down with Elder Salas it’s been hard to climb out.  It’s hard to get going and be excited to be a missionary.  Elder Chavez and I were walking and we felt that we didn’t love our missions this week.  I don’t know why, but it’s just tuff.  Little things happen that make you feel bad, but you keep on doing them.  That’s why I have been trying to study about testimonies.  So I can get a stronger one, and change my mentality, and my heart, so that the Atonement will have more effect on me and I will be more faithful or a better missionary, well not a better missionary but to not die in these last 4 months and work hard till the last day!

The first 6 and the last 6 are the hardest mom!!!

Dad, de que parte viene abuelo? ¿Que parte?  Todos me preguntan y no se que decirles.

It’s getting really hot too...wake up in the middle of the night swimming in your bed of sweat!

I think we will find out stuff for Skype next week, like on Tuesday.

Love you tons. . . .


Monday, November 26, 2012

November 26, 2012

Well. . . I’ll be home for Thanksgiving next year.  I can’t wait for that....hang out with the family in the barn and eat real food, and not this stuff we have here in Paraguay.  Our Thanksgiving was good...we made Tacos.  Better than last year with Empanadas.  But it was an alright day, just way too hot!!!  Sad that you didn’t get to go up to Washington for Thanksgiving.  I hope everyone comes to Thanksgiving at the barn next year.  

I don’t really remember a whole lot from this week.  We had some great lessons with Nelson, Cantalicio, Cezar, and Alex.  We have really been able to help them feel the spirit, and start to receive a testimony of the Restored Gospel.  Alex is a new kid we have.  He is 20, is married, and served a mission for some church for 2 years and so did his wife, one of those years was in America.  So that means that both of them are agents who act...we haven’t met the wife yet but she wants to meet us.  Alex really wants to find out if it’s true.  We actually taught him this morning at like 9:00.  We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ or in other words, Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Endure till the End.  He is from Brazil and is still learning Spanish.  So most of what he says is in Portuguese.  My comp doesn’t understand that much of what he says...but I was surprised when I could understand that much.  He always says the prayer in Portuguese and I can understand all of it....it’s pretty cool...I just can’t really speak it.  But he is teaching us how to speak.

Sunday was sad because we didn’t have anyone come to church.  So they now do not have baptism dates....only Alex for the 8th of December.  We walked way out like 2 and a half miles to Nelsons house to bring him to church but he was sick and couldn’t come....so we were really tired Sunday, because we had to walk so fast to get out there.

This week I finally finished Alma and I am in Helaman.  And in Portuguese I am in Words of Mormon....still a long way to go.  Also I have been studying about our free agency and about being an agent.  We are all agents already, but how many of us really act for ourselves every minute of the day.  That’s what I am really trying to do in these last 4 months of the mission.  Be a better agent and do stuff of my free will and not because I have to clap houses or because I have to talk to that guy on the street.  This is really helping me to grow up more....and make man decisions.  Sometimes we feel that we are not really effective missionaries, so that’s why I am trying to get better with this.  We just felt a little down this week, so dad the quotes that you sent to me were inspired...I needed them...thanks.  I too found a great quote by Elder Holland this week, it’s not that directed the gospel but it’s funny:

He said,  Elders, if you we looking for your wife right now, which would you choose, the one with the pretty face or the one with the strong testimony???  He then replied saying, choose the one with the pretty face, you can gain a testimony!!!  HAHA

Mom, I now know how it feels to have an Iphone in your hands and use it.  Yesterday Alex sent us a message asking when we could meet again...and we don’t have any minutes left and it’s against the rules to send texts from our phones, we used some ladies phone to send Alex a message and it was with an Iphone.  It was awesome....I’m so getting one now.

That’s so cool about all the new missionaries getting their mission calls. I’ll bet Dalton gets his before I get home right?  And tell Aaron Hansen to have fun in Uraguay, he is going to freeze!

Also, we went to the cemetery this week.  Big mistake!  Never going back.  It’s not like in America where they get buried under ground.  Each family has its own little house in the cemetery and they put the coffins in there for the whole family.   I thought it was going to be like on rocky when they put the body in the wall then seal it off with cement or something.  They don’t!!!  They just have the coffins all lined up on the ground or on shelves.  I’ll send a pic.  IT was nasty, and creepy.  

And this week we got caught in the rain...I have videos and pics for ya...

love ya all


Cemetary in Paraguay

 This is one family's "house" to store all of the coffins

Taylor is pretty grossed out by it!

Standing on a bridge, caught in a downpour . . .

This is what was below the bridge . . . yuck!

Look what only took 3 weeks to get to Paraguay and in his hands!  AMAZING!