Monday, December 22, 2014

Hospital Visit

Hola Familia!

This week has been a really great one! Not gonna lie it feels superrrrr superrrr weird having Christmas in the summer down here but I am loving the Christmas season! I hope you all are loving it too! I have an experience I wanted to share that happened this week that was pretty cool.

So Wednesday morning for our zone activity we all got together and went to go to sing Christmas songs in the hospital to all the sick people down here. K, first off imagine the sketchiest place you can think of....... ok got it....... now times that by 10 and there you have a Paraguayan Hospital.  You know those run down sketchy hospitals in scary movies that always have zombies in them? Yeah exactly like that. There were parts of the hospital with tons and tons of sick people then we would take a turn down a hall and it would be completely abandoned. But really though it was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. Most of these people by the time we were finishing one Christmas song were full out crying and breaking down because of how grateful they were. During all these songs and throughout the whole time in the hospital just the spirit there was so cool. I seriously don’t even know how to describe it. If I were to try and put it into words it would be just feeling a warm feeling of pure love for these people. I have never been the kind of person to cry about anything but seeing these people breakdown in front of us over and over really got to me. Just to have the opportunity to make these peoples day a tiny bit better was the coolest thing ever. 
I’m so grateful for this opportunity I had, it really changed my outlook on life a lot more. It helped me realize the real important things in this life and also how good my life has been up to this point. I don’t know why I have had all these great things in my life that I’ve grown up with and just had or why God chose to bless me with all these things like being born with the gospel in my life, having great parents that have taught me everything I need to know, having awesome family and good influences everywhere in my life. I feel extremely blessed, I am so grateful to my heavenly father for the love he has shown to me. This is a big reason why I am out here serving everyday of my life. Some people don’t even know that their Father in Heaven even loves them or of their divine potential that we all have as sons and daughters of God. I love that I get to share about the love that our Father in Heaven has shown me and watch it bless these people’s lives. I am loving this time in my life so much and I can tell you right now that its going to be the hardest day of my life to have to leave this place. I hope you all have an awesome Christmas.

I love and miss you all.

Elder Midsize(Nyberg)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ohhhh La Fabrica

Hola familia!

This week was a pretty chill one! Life here in Paraguay is getting better and better! Even though the weather is still getting hotter and hotter.... for us down here the official start of summer is like December 21 and I can definitely feel every day just getting a little worse and worse because of the heat.  I'm always asking the older missionaries how last summer was here for them and one thing I have found in common with all of them is that they all used the exact same words ¨I survived¨ -haha yeah and all the Latin’s I ask just say ¨vamos a morir¨ tons of times –haha. Oh (which means were going to die). 

But even with how hot it is here I am so glad I lived in St. George before this because there are some missionary’s that come from cold places straight to Paraguay and they are legit dying from the heat -haha. Even though the weather here is nothing like St. George with all the humidity I am still so much better off being accustomed to the heat than some missionaries and I am so thankful for that. The humidity is such a weird thing here I still am not even used to it yet. It’s like there is small little water droplets in the air everywhere you go and it feels like the air is like thick and heavy its hard to explain -haha. 

This week was kinda cool I got to go on a division with another elder in my district named Elder Wagner from St. George too! He went to Desert Hills and is like a year older than me but it was super cool just to talk to him all about stuff back in St. George and he could actually relate to it. There is actually quite a few missionaries in this mission from St. George so that’s rad. One thing the Paraguayans always say after they ask where we’re from and if the answer is Utah they always will say ¨ohhhhh la fabrica!¨ (the factory) -haha its kinda funny most of them don’t know where this ¨Utah¨ place is but they just know that tons of missionaries come from there so they always call it the factory. It is kinda weird coming from Utah out to another country or another place just because the difference is so big! Like I still remember when I went out proselyting in the CCM and the people didn’t know what the Mormon church was or never heard of it and it just blew my mind –haha. I always thought everyone just knew about us and just knew all about our church.... but nope! For sure living in Utah is really different than living somewhere else and being a member. My comp. is from California and he like freaked out once he found out we get time out of High School to go to seminary and it’s like right across the street in a big building just for seminary -haha. I remember thinking when I was younger everyone just did things like don’t drink coffee and tea or never say any swear words or even not being able to go out and do regular things on Sunday just because I thought that’s how life was, and that’s just how everyone was. -haha it sounds kinda dumb now to look back on and think about how I once thought about these things kinda like this. But really once it all came down to it what I really needed was a true testimony of the book of Mormon. After I read, pondered, and prayed about these things and the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon I received an answer that I can never deny. I have no doubt in the world when I say that I know the Book of Mormon to be true and that the fullness of the gospel is contained in its pages. And after I knew this, all these things that I had been living in life changed from ¨weird rules that everyone in Utah just does¨ to things that God has told us to do only because he loves us and wants the best for us. If any of you have asked yourself questions like, why do we do things a certain way in the church I sincerely challenge you to Read, Ponder and Pray about these things in the Book of Mormon to truly gain a testimony of them and to have a stronger testimony of the truthfulness of the book of Mormon. If you do these things in the way that Moroni has asked us (Moroni 10:4-5) to do them I can promise you that God will answer your prayers. Because he has answered mine. I am so grateful for the knowledge that God has blessed me with and the opportunity that I have to share this knowledge everyday with the people here in Paraguay.

I love you all and miss you tons!

Elder Midsize(Nyberg)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

First Package Arrives!

¡Hola Familia!

Sorry I didn’t get to email yesterday on Monday, December 8th there was a crazy huge catholic holiday where everyone in Paraguay no matter how far walks/crawls to a city called Cacupé where they have this MASSIVE catholic rave/dance party/fiesta... yeah basically everyone just goes there to get drunk and party but its supposed to be like a worship for the Virgin Mary or something. So anyway every store was closed down and there was nowhere I could write you guys! 

But this last week has been a pretty chill one besides HAVING CHANGES! And you'll never guess where I am now!............................. yep I'm in the same area with my same comp -haha. But cambios were super fun and lots of things got changed so I thought I'd take this email and just talk about my area and how life down here is! and hopefully I can send some pictures too.

Right now I'm in a little town right on the Routa 2, which is kinda, like the highway here. My town is called Itauguá and there are 4 areas in my town for missionarys to work. It used to be the Hermanas Seeley and Seemann in one, across from them zone leaders Elders Smith & McClelland, then me and Elder Hathaway a little bit down from them. BUT NOW! We have two more Elders, Watkins (from my CCM group) and Wagner working in the area across from us. In the change Hermana Seeley got switched out and Heremana Seemann is training a newbie Hermana Hall. So everyone in our district is training and were all Americans too! (Which isn't the best for my spanish- haha)

My area- ummmm probaby the one word that describes my area is difficult -haha. Before my comp and I came to our area, the whole area got shut down for any kind of missionary work. After a few months of our area being closed me and my comp were sent here to do a whitewash train... It was very difficult to get started. This past month has been one of the hardest with starting at ground zero with these languages and ground zero with our area. But one change in and we are doing sooo much better and having so much more success finding people and with teaching! Another thing about my area is that there are about 50 members in our area but they are all super inactive and just really need help to be fully converted to the gospel. This has been such a huge part of our work.  We have helped reactivate two families so far and its one of the coolest things to see the change the gospel brings back into these peoples lives.

The food! Okay I’m just gonna start naming off some everyday foods I eat all the time! Right now actually I'm eating a milanasa sandwich and they are super good, it’s like a deep fried piece of meat on a sandwich with lettuce and tomato and stuff. We have them all the time for lunch. Empanadas are another huge food here. They make empanadas with about everything you can imagine inside of them but the most common are meat, chicken & ham and cheese.  With the members we usually eat pasta or noodles, which are so good. They always have like a side dish of usually bread or mandioca. Mandioca is like the famous food here in Paraguay its kind of like a potato but it doesn’t have any flavor to it. Tons of people eat it down here just to fill them up so they don't go hungry. Then the Fruit! Ah there is soo much fruit down here it's the best I have apples, bananas, oranges, pineapples, and watermelon everything! They make this thing called ensalada de fruta (fruit salad) but it's like cut up fruit that has been soaking in this fruit juice they make and serve it super cold. Man its one of my favorites!

There are tons of animals but not as much as farther out in the chaco. I see cows, chickens, and goats walking all over the streets. People have parrots as pets all the time and they are super fun to play with but not when they bite -haha. There are at least a million dogs in my little town I swear! Dogs are everywhere. 

Collectivos are these super cool busses that are always packed soo full but they are how everyone gets around. They are always painted super rad and have a ton of Catholic Jesus pictures on them or of The Virgin Mary. The drivers of these things are legit crazy. To this day I do not know how they don't just crash into everything they drive by. But I have been in one where it ripped the door off of another car -haha just a little sketch. Whenever you’re at your stop you push on this button that makes a bell ring so he knows to stop. And when I say stop I mean he slows down just enough so you can jump off and kind of land without falling over most of the time -haha. It's something you have to get good at, jumping off while it's still moving. You can always count on them to be super hot and sweaty and have no seats left to sit down.

This week I also got my packages from my mom and they were jam packed with American food! If any of you see Roachy make sure you all give her a giant hug for me. Every missionary was like fighting for just little pieces of this candy it was so funny, I have some pics of my comp eating hot Cheetos for his first time in like a year and a half. But really I have the best mom I could ever ask for. #Roachyisthebest 

I love you all and hope you have an awesome week!
Elder Midsize(Nyberg)
Outside Nate's Apartment window off of Route 2
1st Package Arrived! Nate's Loving his favorite Cool Ranch Doritos!
Nate's Companion Elder Hathaway loving Hot Cheetos!
from left to right
Hermana Seeley, Hermana Seemann, Elder Smith, Elder Me, Elder Hathaway, Elder McClelland

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Score~ God: 1 Satan: 0 #winning

Hola Familia!

This week has been super great and I hope you all had a really good one too! My comp and me are pretty much fimiliar with our new area now and were just doing work! My days are getting really busy, which is great!

My last p-day was so great! Me my comp and the zone leaders took that 4-hour trip to the city to go get Quiznos this time -haha. If your kind of noticing a pattern every p-day is just our chance to get real American food even though it takes a huge trip to get there it is totally worth it! It’s awesome that I’m super tight with our zone leaders too because they totally hook us up with everything! Then my other favorite part of p-day is getting to email everyone and see how life is back in the states because down here I feel like I’m in a bubble where I have no clue what’s going on outside of my little tiny town Itaguá! -haha Also the break we get on p-days are sooooo needed –ha. My whole body by the end of the week is just so sore just to get to lay down for 30 minutes and not have to worry about anything at all is so great! Yeah p-days here are the best!

So in this neighborhood that is an hour away by foot we found this guy named Juan and he is way into the bible and overall just trying to find the true church! He is a pretty sweet dude and he told us that he has been meeting a lot with the Jehovah’s Witness missionaries; on this day he showed us some of the pamphlets and papers that they have given him.  Just a little back story with the JW missionaries, we always see them out front of the big supermarket here with a little stand all set up and every time they see us or we pass by they get all super awkward and look at the ground or something -haha it’s kinda funny. Especially when I say hi and just smile they always give me a weird look back. But anyway they have given Juan a ton of papers about the Book of Mormon and all about Joseph Smith. Juan gave us a couple cuz he had a ton of them. So my comp and I read through it later and almost all of it was straight up lies... It really makes me sad that for them to try and preach their doctrine they have to try and attack ours. He said they spent more time talking about Joseph Smith and trying to tear down our church then even talking about anything from their religion -haha. Not only do we have to try and teach really closed off Catholics but now were getting legit questions like "who gave Joseph Smith the magic silver sunglasses to write the Book of Mormon? “- These JW's are really not making this easy but it’s all good cuz we are surprisingly having a ton more success in our area! I am noticing so many more little miracles that are helping us out. It’s so cool. Score: God:1 Satan:0 hahaha #winning.

So there’s this kid named Antonio that’s Elder Smith and Elder Mcclellands investigator that got baptized this week, which was super cool. Even though he is the other Elder’s investigator somehow we have become really tight. He always calls me "teacher" because I always tell him funny new words in English. But he really wanted me to speak at his baptism so I said that I would even though I knew it was going to be really hard because of my Spanish. -Ha if it were anyone else I probably would have tried to get out of it –haha.  Antionio is such a rad kid.  Straight up, he is such an example to us and everyone around him, I love it. But I used like an hour and a half of study time just to prepare a 10-minute talk –haha. It was hard enough just preparing the talk really good but then I had to figure out how to translate it all... I gave the talk and I did so much better than I thought I would do –haha. The people actually understood me so that’s a plus. But yeah, it ended up being a really cool night!

I just wanna say that I seriously love the members down here in Paraguay. For real they are the nicest people you could ever meet. I had an experience this week when we were just walking back from English class (which is always so much fun) to our house to get ready to go to bed and stuff when this little car with a whole family packed in there pulls over and yells, "Elders Elders!" They were a member family in a town close to ours but they went out of their way, no matter how much we insisted it was okay, pulled over and bought us both some dang good super panchos (kinda like giant hotdogs).  Just to give you a feel for these people, their car was soo junky even though I’m sure they could barley afford to pay for it along with providing for their whole family.  Just seeing them with their clothes that don’t ever fit right, obviously they don’t have a lot.  But they stopped and paid for some food just to help us out. This right here means the world to me.  I have no doubt that these people would have given the clothes off their backs to someone if they needed it. Just to think they have barley anything at all but yet they give so much! It’s always easy to give stuff away when you have a lot but when these people have almost nothing and still give it all away, it truly shows how Christ-like they are becoming.  I love my miembros so much, I’m so grateful for the opportunity that I have just to get to know them and how much they are examples to me. I am surrounded my members who I am convinced are some of the nicest people in the whole world.  Straight up. I love these people. I love this country. I love this gospel. I love being a missionary. I’m lovin life.

I love and miss you all 
I hope you all have an awesome week!