Oh my life I don´t know where time has gone! It seems like I was just hugging you all goodbye. I am just loving it here in Paraguay and learning to adjust to the life of a missionary. This week was awesome. I got 80 contacts (same as my comp) and my district leader was really impressed! yay! By the way my district leader is Elder Hatch who is from LA, California (he is in Mary Ellen´s home ward!)(she is one of Hills new best friends from BYU and serving in Korea) what the small world right!? Any way we have reached a ton of goals, I witnessed my first baptism and my companion and I had the greatest experience.
We weren’t talking at first... she would kinda ignore me, she always seemed frustrated, and I didn´t know what to do. So everyday I would pray. On Tuesday we had a fast for an investigator and that night she literally broke down apologizing and opening up to me. It was the sweetest thing. She has just been super overwhelmed, as was I, cuz she has only been on her mission for 3 months! So we´re both newbies in a sense. We now laugh together, and learn from one another, and our friendship is growing. She is adorable!
We live in an apartment (just us two) in Loma Pyta, about 15 minutes or so (by bus) from the Asuncion temple. We ride the bus if we need to travel somewhere like the temple or mission home or other areas in our district. It is so fun! The buses are crazy!! They are bumpy and jam packed with people. It is a great place to contact haha. It costs 2 mil which is equivalent to 50 cents. Loma is close to Mburucuya (where I did an exchange the other day with Hna Wood from West Valley, Utah). Mburucuya is a nicer neighborhood. Here in Loma there is one busy street that separates two LARGE neighborhoods. We hardly walk/cover 1/8th of a neighborhood in a day. There are so many houses (little and hidden) The people have close to nothing. The members here are mainly inactive but are always happy and loving. We clap (don´t knock). Everyone says Adios here. It is a phrase you say if you are just passing by. Otherwise you say hola, como esta like usual. :)
My district is super fun. We love playing jokes on each other. There are,I think, 4 elder companions and hna Tocataquiza and I :) Get this: in January there were only 14 sistsers... there are now over 40!! Crazy right! Some of our investigators: Abel (15) who has the greatest testimony, but his mom won´t allow him to be baptized (we were so sad cuz he was set to be baptized this coming saturday). He is the one we fasted for. We have a lot of old woman and teenagers as our investigators and as our contacts I feel like. They are all wonderful but it is hard to get them to follow through with commitments. We pray fervently and have faith in the Lord.
We eat at different members houses everyday. It switches back and forth every week. Yesterday we had two meals in a row!! Ya talk about food baby! We had Chorizo de viena (kinda like a brotworst) and ensalada de tomatas y papas (potato salad). The weather has cooled up a bit the past few days. On Friday I had an exchange and it went right down to pouring! All day long! It makes it hard to hear (at least in the houses in Loma cuz their roofs are tin/wood/old) and hard to teach but it´s more fun! We walked and worked hard in the rain. I was soaked except for under my rain coat yay! but freezing!! We took hot showers and made some hot cocoa when we got home. Mom my bed is fabulous. Climing into bed is so rewarding after a long day of tracting and walking miles and miles. Oh and when it rains, some of the streets completely turn into rivers!
Catholics, Catholics, Catholics if you aren´t a member you can bet your bottom dollar they are Catholic. The houses here in Loma are small compared to places like Mburucuya (more city). They have tile floors, a sink, some just a bed (usually a queen they share) and a fridge. Clothes hang to dry on lines. No one is afraid of germs here and a little dirt... this is going to be good for me haha. Everyone wears flip flops... I though the dirt has bugs that turn ur feet black!? haha I think they are immune. Oh and you know how in Jungle Book the ladies carries baskets on their heads! People do that here selling bread! It´s so cool!
This week has been a fabulous one. I wish I could tell you everything!!! I wanted to share a quote from this incredible talk I am reading (the 4th Missionary by Lawrence E. Corbridge). ¨There are two ways of evolving: deliberately and accidentally. You can decide who you want to become and deliberately work toward that end, or you can just go with the flow and become whatever life makes of you. In that event, you will become whatever the fickle circumstances and forces of life and society will make of you; whatever is currently considered to be popular or in; whatever is easiest. But, whatever you become accidentally it will not be nearly the full measure of our potential. You will become just someone, somewhere in the middle.¨ Who do you want to become? I have recognized that I must completely forget myself, wants, desires, etc. and go to work with full purpose of heart. Do what the Lord asks no ifs ands or buts. Give him my all, my everything, my whole heart. I love you all!!!
Last photo with her companions at the el CCM in Buenos Aires. And Elder Aguaro. (Steve' mission Pres from 27 years ago).
The streets of Paraguay. It is true. Red, muddy, wet, green. Happy Hillary.