Monday October 27, 2014
Well I’m still alive -haha and I finally made it to PARAGUAY!! I woke up at 4am in the CCM, got on the airplane for a couple hours and I made it! I’m just gonna run by some cool stuff that happened this week!
Driving here is literally insane! Going from the airport to the mission office was so crazy! I don’t know how we all made it alive -haha but really there are zero rules when it comes to driving. It’s super sketchy. We got to the office and they fed us some really good food. We had a couple of meetings and then we got to walk around the temple. Man that was super cool. After, we practice a song and didn’t know why we were practicing, but then they told us we’re singing at a baptism service tonight! It was one of the coolest experiences of my life! We got to watch the baptism and everything! Also on the ride back to the office I was in a van full of Latinos and then just me. There was only spanish speaking going around... lets just say it really hit me how hard this is going to be to learn the language! Also on the ride back I saw these super sketchy looking wooden huts with metal roofs on the side of the road. I didn’t want to ask the question being afraid to hear the answer but I asked it…”Do people actually live in those things?” I got an answer back that I will never forget. From the AP who spoke English. He said, ¨Oh yeah! Those are the really nice ones too because they have wood sides and actually have a roof.´´ Wow. I have definitely learned to be grateful for what I have and how lucky I am and I continue to thank Heavenly Father everyday for it.
The next day I got my first comp! His name is Elder Hathaway and he is from Corona California. He has been out for a little bit longer than a year. He’s a super cool guy and the most important part is he speaks ENGLISH!!!! Anyway, they just told us to leave the office so we had to grab all our stuff and find a taxi to take us to our new area, which is like 1 hour and 30 min. away from Asunción. The city is called Itauguà. It’s a small city right at the center with some supermarkets and stuff but if you walk 15 min out it gets chaco(jungle) super fast -haha. The food is so good! I eat empanadas all the time and I’m always trying new stuff! We are whitewashing in this new area and it has been closed for the past little while so this should be fun.
Next my first real normal day in the mission! We woke up at 6:30 and exercised for a bit then had to go get some groceries cuz we have no food -haha yeah that was my first time buying groceries.... I ended up with some frosted flakes, a bag of milk (yeah, milk is in bags it’s super weird) and some bread-haha. Then we just had to go contact everyone to try and find people because we were whitewashed here. It was cool though the other elders in our area next to us showed us this kid named Edurado and he took us around the rest of the day to talk to members and meet them. The other elders are super rad and everyone in our district is from America so I can speak in English! But I walked sooooooo much!
Today, I have already improved in lessons and my language! Don’t get me wrong I can still barley speak the language but my comp is so great, he lets me teach a tiny part of the lesson or he´ll be talking and I’m not understanding any of it, then he´ll whisper in English ¨testimony about prophets¨ or something like that and I can do that! I know I’m almost useless -haha but one thing I’m good at is bearing my testimony! I love sharing what I know to be true. One thing I’ve noticed is that I feel the spirit soo much more when I’m out teaching. Like, I’m not used to feeling it so strong and so often! I know God is looking over me and is blessing me with so many things to help me out.
Today was my first Sunday in Paraguay! I was really scared because most of the time the missionaries have to teach the classes or give talks in sacrament like my new comp was telling me he had to teach every single class in his other area. So I was stressin just a little bit...haha but I totally lucked out! There are 2 returned missionaries in this branch and one is the branch president while the other is the ward mission leader and they taught all the classes. I understood almost nothing because everyone speaks so fast! But church was a super cool experience. After contacting the whole rest of the day we came home and Elder Hathaway said something I really liked. After contacting this whole week and being constantly shut down, people hiding from us and getting mad at us. Yelling and laughing at us. I was a little heartbroken for these people that are missing out on our message and that we haven’t helped convert anyone yet. He told me that I have already converted someone. He told me the first person I convert on my mission is me. And before I can help convert anyone else I need to have a rock solid testimony out here and be converted myself. Which is so true because when I think about it in the 7 weeks that I’ve been away from home my testimony has grown so much! It’s so crucial that I have a rock solid testimony too because if I didn’t, to be totally honest, I would have been on a plane back to the states a couple of days ago. This is by far the hardest thing I have done, we walk so many miles everyday and by the time I get to go to bed my legs are completely dead and I usually can’t feel the bottoms of my feet anymore. We walk around all day in the scorching heat past 100 degrees and full of humidity, which doesn’t even go away at night. I’m lucky if I sleep for the whole night and don’t wake up because I’m soaked in sweat. Trust me I could go on about so much more -haha but I know my mom is reading this so I wont:) But, I would not do ANY of this if I did not know for 100%, without any doubt at all, that the Book of Mormon is true and that this church is the true church of Jesus Christ restored on the earth once again. Because I know this I am willing to go through any trial or challenges, no matter how difficult it is, so that I can go help bring the gospel into these peoples lives. I know its really hard but honestly I am happier now that I have ever been in my whole life! I am finally starting to get why they call it the best 2 years.
I miss and love you all!
I hope you are all doing good and have a fantastic week!:)
First Companion: Elder Hathaway
First Area: Itauguà
Nate's & his cousin in the CCM