Monday, August 17, 2009

First week in Paraguay

This is attempt 2 as my email was just erased halfway through. PERO, estoy feliz estar aqui! Todo esta muy muy bien. Paraguay is beatuiful....the foliage, sunsets, and people that is. Other than that is is very dirty and a lot like Mexico accept I think Mexico is nicer. I really am loving it though! WE are in the most "chuci" (ritzy) area of the mission called Amabay. BY this I mean that some of them maybe have a car. Mostly though people have dirt, wood, or tile floors, not really doors or windows, and a lot of the houses are garages. we also don't knock on doors. we clap in front of houses for people to come out. the people are so gracious and a lot of them listen and will let us in. they think all churches are just great. Amambay is also the most organized ward in the mission. The people here are great! They are so wonderful! We almuerzamos with fam Roig my second day here! That is the family of the sister we met at temple square.(See picture at bottom of blog) I am serving in their ward and they were the ones on the temple committee. Dios es en los detalles. Can you send me the picture with her? Her family wants to see it. Speaking of the temple, we get to go tomorrow! I am so excited! The food is good. Nothing too crazy yet. I fear that I am going to return looking like Madame Maxine from Harry Potter when I return because all we eat are noodles, rice, bread, and chicken. Carbs and protein with all that walking makes for one tall, solid person. I hope I don´t look like a viking but alas, all is well and I will try my best to stay in shape. No promises about what you´re going to get when I walk off the plane next Christmas. haha. Things are similar to the United States in ways. All of the little convenience stores remind me of China in their setup, how they´re on all the corners, etc but they aren´t nice like the China ones. Now, some of the most important things. The work here is great! We are opening an area right now. Nothing too crazy because there were missionaries here one transfer ago, but neither of us know the area, people, and the contacts are kind of older, so it has been a bit of challenge. The bishop and the members are amazing though and that really makes things a lot easier. Mostly, we have been trying to get to know the members, the bishop, the area, and old contacts from the area book. Since Tues night, we found 14 new investigators! It has been amazing and the Lord really has answered our prayers. By the way, the Spanish here is kind of wild. I am still struggling to understand it all because they speak VERY quickly, throw in some Guarani words, speak softly, and slur their words all together. It´s getting better though and I am starting to understand more. I can´t wait until I´ll be able to understand it all. I will do better to work towards it. The more I am learning, the more I realize that people are so similar all over the world. They are funny, have the same worries, and most of all, they are children of our Heavenly Father and He loves them. My Companion is the best thing that ever happened to me! I am so sad because I am her "executioner" in that I will be her last companion before she leaves. She goes at the end of September. Her name is Raquel Soria from Northern Argentina (Santiago de Estero) and I absolutely love her. She joined the church 3 years ago and is now 28 years old but is so chiquita and cute. She is a saint. I have learned SO MUCH from her and thankfully, I can understand her Spanish very well. She is so much fun and such a hard worker. When we took the taxi to our apartment the first day, she told me that she had a dream about me 3 months ago so when she saw me walk in, she knew she was going to be my trainer. It´s funny how I just barely started praying for my trainer like a month ago, but Heavenly Father already knew. He is always way ahead of us. (and to think that was the time when I almost did'nt go!) so weird, but awesome. I am so glad to hear you are all doing well! Mail here is going to be a pain, but here is what I´ve gathered from the other elders. Send letters in envelopes and packages through the regular post office mail (not UPS or anything) with stickers of Jesus and the Virgin Mary on them (so they don't get opened) to this address - Del Maestro 2881 c/Caballero Barrio Herrera Paraguay, Asuncion. That takes about 4 or 5 weeks.Dear Elder and pouch take only a week and a half or so. I have an hour for email to you and my mission president so feel free to send me something quick on p-day and I will respond. Other than that, who knows. But the others haven't had any problems with packages or
anything so send me goodies!! haha. I was thinking about RMCF (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory) last night. Miss it. We have just enough money for the month which is great, but I like to but juice and water bottles a lot with my own money so I hope that is ok. Other than that, I am being frugal.
My mission president and his wife are amazing. I love them and am so happy. Don't
worry, they smile, the picture does'nt do them justice. they are great. I have a sec so I will tell you a couple of weird bug things that I learned. There are these black butterflies that fly around at night and lay eggs from the sky into your skin. They live on the trees. When the eggs get into your skin, this worm-snake-like thing grows and you can see it wiggling around (like on the mummy) and then it pops out of your skin....SICK! So we have to be careful about those. haha. Also, Hna Soria told me that in some of the rooms in the houses in other areas there are "reinos de araas." Dad will know what that means. Anyway, all I can do is laugh. It will all be fine I´m sure. I am not too worried. It rained today and the street flooded. This really is a world away, but I am so happy to be here. More tired than I´ve even been in my life but loving it nonetheless. In the airports and plane alone I had many opportunities to share the gospel. It was great! Pray for missionary opportunities and I know you will receive them. That's your challenge for this week. Love you all so much! Sorry again that I didn't get to talk to jordan and kris.
Much love. Rae

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