Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Christmas In Paraguay 2013

Week 35                            Christmas in Paraguay                           Dec 29, 2013

I can´t believe how time flies!!! It is unreal!  But first off I must say it was so refreshing and exciting to see you all and hear every ones voices!!! Oh, I miss you all tons but seriously hearing you all just got me pumped to go work even more.  I can´t believe I am almost halfway done with my mission!! unreal.

We had Christmas Eve at Presidente´s house and his family.  We enjoyed a wonderful dinner and dessert by Hna Mcmullin.  It was so fun to spend it with them.  We went caroling at this hospital in our area and the bishop’s house.  It was definitely a different Christmas, but there was no denying the incredible love and spirit of our Savior Jesus Christ.  We played white elephant at pte´s house.  All the office elders were there and hermana Fuller (the nurse) and hermana Siddoway (who is here on a mission with the church perpetual fund i believe?).  And we got to ride around in the Presidents car and hang out with cute Erin (daughter) the whole time. That girl knows how to quote Brian Regan. Man, it was a stellar Christmas.  Plus a member gave my comp and I a plate full of Chipa Guasu which is this cornbread type stuff but made with fresh corn off the cobb instead of corn flour.  We were sick full.  

Half-way through the week we headed back to Yby Yaù. We put on a big fin de año cena with there tiny Rama (branch).  It was an absolute blast. So many came.  Non members and less actives!   We hung up the fabric tree mom, that you sent, all the decorations and we blew up balloons, and made silver stars to hang from string, cardboard, and tinfoil.  It was such a perfect little night. We helped the primary perform a Christmas song and some young woman performed a dance to ¨Feliz Navidad¨.

So, I did yep, I did... get to hold a monkey.  We named him Clever. I think I mentioned last week. He is so cute.  He´s not feisty if you just love him and don´t try to pull him away from anyone.  Hahaha

So mom you wanted to know how often I travel and do divisions with the sisters.  It depends, usually 2-3 times a week depending how far we are traveling.   Some places are up too 8 hours away so we travel all night on a big bus and then work all day and then jump on the bus the following night to come home and work the next day.  It can be tiring but it is just an absolute blast.  Especially when we get to buy hot chipa on the bus in the morning and you have crazy fun adventures like last night on the bus.  I had this crazy old lady behind me like freaking out yelling and nonstop talking for what seemed like 2 hours.  I was actually just laughing.  I was half asleep and did not understand a word she was saying I think she was just freaking out about when she had to get off.  I love Guarani and Spanish it is so cool understanding other languages. Well can´t really understand guarani quite yet but a few words.  

Changes tomorrow.  Got to give a devotional tonight and teach the trainers in the morning with my new comp, Hna TOMCO!!! We were in the ccm juntos!! so fun!!

xoxoxo Love HNA OWEN

Other replies to our emails:
I loved hearing your voice mom. I say we go (travel to Paraguay and Argentina) during the summer cuz it´s so hot here in Dec. but we´ll chat :)

Nick, so fun!!!! Oh it was so good to see you on skype!!  didin´t seem like it was really happening.  it felt like no time had past.  Sounds like Chirstmas was eventful and fun! miss you xoxo love hna owen  

(response to an email I sent to Hna McMullin thanking her for taking care of Hillary and watching out for her and allowing us the best Christmas ever…)
She is doing a fantastic job.  We are so looking forward to the time we will have together watching her serve as one of our sister training leaders.  She is very loved and respected by all the sisters here.  Has she always been such a happy person?  I have never seen anyone adjust so well to the stresses of missionary life.  She truly seems to focus on the Gospel and on the people around her and loses herself in the work.  She is a great example to us all.  Thank you for sharing her with us!

Hna. McMullin

When the call came in.  Pic on right was her first reaction (laughing and crying at the same time)
It actually froze right there on the big screen.
Then fixing computer so it works with the help of Elder Bayless (friend from home)
Singing Silent Night in Guarani

Most of her facial expressions through out our Skype time.  Gosh we miss her.
What a blessing to see her live and hear her voice

I Held a Monkey

Week 34½                                                                              Dec 23-29, 2013

   So yes it´s true.  I held a monkey. He was absolutely darling.  I was feeding him Mburucuya juice in a bottle and he kept shoving the bottle out and spitting it out on me.  Then he decided he didn´t want anymore and curled up in my arms to sleep.  Oh and the family let me name him.  I sugessted Billy at first but they weren´t too big of fans so I named him ¨Clever.¨  Then my comp Hna Buss was holding him and he got mad when Yesica (12 yr old member in Yby Yaú)  tried to take him away so he furiously crawls up to Hna Buss´ear and bites it!! AHHH hahaha serious and then starts pulling furiously at her hair and biting it.  We were laughing so hard tears were running down my cheeks. 

    Goodness, the weeks really do just get better and better here!! The only sad part to this week was saying goodbye to my wonderful Hermana Wood.  She is now home and spending Christmas with her family.  Love you Hermana Wood.  Miss you dearly and thanks for the note.  I will miss you this Christmas.  Hermana Buss and I have had a great week in Yby Yaú.  I LOVE IT THERE!!!  It is so sad I only get 3 more days there.  Hopefully I will go there again some day.  It is amazing with the rich smell of mangos as they begin to fall, Chickens are outside (we throw them our left overs), electric buzz of giant locust, plains of trees that run out to the horizon and you can see in every direction, a chapel the size of a small american house, 20 members in church (it was a good day), monkeys to hold, small town,  Guarani (I ka tu Pura´hé... I am learning to speak one of the coolest languages),  kids everywhere...that follow you everywhere, and hilarious old people that laugh and speak guarani to you... in a nutshell heaven!  

    We found a golden investigator THROUGH A MEMBER!!!  yippee!!! 
I have been reading ¨How to be a Consecrated Missionary¨ by D. Tadd Callister.  All of you need to read it. Off the charts.  Anyway I have been focusing on really learning to give my all to my Heavenly FAther. I have been trying to just focus on the investigator and what my comp says and just loving them with all my heart and learning to see them through the eyes of my Savior. Oh you should have been in that lesson.  So her name is Teresita.  She is 16 and just darling.  As we taught her about the restoration or the Gospel, a light seemed to turn on in her eyes.  The spirit was so thick.  She explained she had never heard of this and how she would be sure to pray and ask if it were true. We are so excited to work with her.  

xoxo con cariño, Hna Owen

P.s. i forgot to bring my camera hook up so no pictures.  You´ll just have to trust me on the monkey story.