Monday, September 14, 2009

Paraguay is beautiful

I don't know if I ever told you, but Paraguay is gorgeous!
It is green with palm trees, pine trees, millions of orchids,
hibiscus, and everything else. it is beautiful and the
sunsets and sunrises (crazy that I'm awake that time of
day) are so incredible. The roads are made of piedra which
is like cobblestone. It's beautiful right up until the
moment that you step on them because they're way uneven
and difficult to walk on, but pretty nonetheless. People
sell fruit from horse drawn carts in the streets and walk
around selling chipa (basically butter, flour, and cheese).
It is beautiful to look at.
First news, we had 5 people with baptisms planned
for the 26th of September. they are so great and we
had the best experience with Raquel this week. Her brother
is pentecostal and she has faced a lot of oppositition
with her family, but she has been faithful and
great. We watched the restoration with her and her
brother and he told us that he almost cried. it was
so great. All of our investigators did great all
throughout the week and were progressing, etc.
This is a really fragile time for them so we really
worked hard this week to try to protect them.
BUT, only one came to church yesterday. it seriously
broke my heart. sometimes its hard to understand why
people make poor decisions when they have the knowledge
they need and have received spiritual witness. We are
just going to work harder with them. We are going to
try and prepare them for Oct 3 now which means
that we have only 3 for the 26th now. It will work out.
I know it will. I constantly feel responsible for
these people. I worry about them, think about them,
pray for them. It is almost overwhelming sometimes.
I want them to have a firm testimony, to not only be
baptized but to be strong members of the church
who will continue on to the temple and be firm
the rest of their lives. It is a lot of responsibility.
We work with some inactive families too and it just breaks
my heart. (sigh).
Our apartment is small with windows, and a tile floor.
It was quite dirty when we got here, but we did some cleaning
and it is either better or I am just used to it.
Either way, I am fine. We have a fridge and a gas stove
and oven, so that is great. Washer and dryer? haha. no.
We have a granite basin. basically, this is how it works:
I put water in a bucket with soap., put my clothes in there,
let them soak, scrub them with a brush and hang them to dry.
I already ruined a shirt. Pretty independent though huh? haha.
they always smell weird too. I don't feel like I'll be clean
until i get home. oh well. I am adjusting. The shower is a
spiquet in the wall. We have to heat up the water for at
least 30 minutes before if we want to shower.
Food: is really hard to eat well here.
I have been learning some paraguayan and latin foods
which has been pretty fun. Basically i eat cereal with bananas in the
mornings. They use yogurt like milk here and it is liquidy.
I usually put that in my cereal. During the lunch time, we eat
with members or investigators. We eat a lot of noodles,
rice, potatoes, meat, mandioca, bread...stuff like that.
Lots of starch and carbs. I have been courteously
eating meat. It has been really hard at times but I really
don't want to offend and can usually just swallow
it with a bite of something else so it has been ok.
Yesterday was ROUGH though because there was sangre on it.
I almost couldn't breathe but luckily i got the small piece.
Really the members take good care of us. They are wonderful.
For dinner we usually eat like salads with lime, advacados, pineapple,
oranges. rRndom things because we are way too tired to cook.
Basically, my body doesn't love me, but today i am turning
over another new leaf and going to try to control what I
eat here. It is really hard though because I am always
hungry. We walk like 15 kilometers at least every day.
I don't know how many miles that is but we are walking a lot
in the sun and it can be quite draining.
Bugs: roaches, spiders, mosquitoes, but nothing too crazy
which is such a blessing.
Dogs...still gross, but they have been leaving us alone.
Sis Roig family is so great. I love them. I gave them the
copy of that picture.

Got dear elder letters from Jessy, and Sister Thrasher.
I also got grandma Dixie's as well as mom, dad, and Aunt Pam.
I pray that grandpa is doing better! I'm so glad that
grandma is taking such good care of him. my prayers are
also with grandma and grandpa Goedde! Please tell them I
love them and am sorry for Grandpa's loss. I hope he
is doing ok. I am going to try and get some letters
in the mail today but the days seriously fly by.
voy a procurar.
Today my companion and i did an activity with our zone.
We kind of dropped the cane, but all went well. They
were pretty sweet and receptive. We talked about unity
and being caballeros, and worthy holders of the priesthood.
We also told them all that Pres Callan and Elder Aiudukaitis
were coming so they would all dress their best, behave well.
At the end, we told them that Pres Callan never was going
to come and that we need to act appropriately at all times,
not just when we´re trying to impress our leaders. It was
effective and we are hoping that we´ll see some changes
for the better in our zone. Speaking of Elder Aidukaitis,
our conference is tomorrow. I'm excited.

That is so great that you got to go to martins cove!
I am really interested in all these church things now.
Like family history, church history. I really want to go
to Jerusalem, cook, play the piano, raise is weird.
haha. I am learning so much. We have changes next week!
I'll be in the same area but with a new companion.
I don't want my companion to leave! I"m sure I will learn a lot from
my new companion also, but Hermana Soria will be hard to top.
I am way excited for conference. It's coming up here quick!
We are going to centro ( a different ward) to watch it.
Tell my friends I love them too! That is so fun that you got
to have dinner with them. Do't bother them about writing me.
I cant expect that because i never wrote people on their
missions. Not ever my own brothers! Letters are always nice
though if they have time. it helps a ton. Also, i want to
see pictures from Ashtons wedding, Jessy had a birthday
(sorry for not sending you anything!!!!). i cant remember
what else i forgot, but i will try to repent and make it
up to my friends.
I have to go! Love you all! Still waiting for the
package but should get here next week! Don't worry.
I am so excited!!!
love, Rae
Dad, have fun in HK! I love China.

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