December 16, 2013 – Paraguay
I`M GOING TO SKYPE IN A WEEK!!!! 🙂 We get to use the computers in the church so I think it will work out. And the time is the same for phone or for skype.
C is full of hills. It’s super fun. There’s this one place right close to the river with this crazy hill at like 85 degrees! You have to do that shuffle jump thing to get down and going up is like crawling a vertical wall! My upper body is all fat from the food I eat here, but my legs are all muscle. I’m like a runner – fat on top, muscle on the bottom.
One funny thing this week, we have one investigator whose husband works in a football field as security. Here, for fun if you’re a man you go to a bar, or you go play futbol (soccer). So we went to go wait for our investigator there. Chatting, having a good time waiting. Then this man walks in, “Hermanas??!” It was a cross between surprised and horrified. I look around and realize how bad this looks. We’re sitting in this indoor football field with a bunch of guys, most without shirts (men in Paraguay don’t wear shirts). Reminded me of the story Dad told when he went to check on an investigator at the movies on his mission. Haha This guy was a member of a branch from C and he told us to get out of there speedy quick because it was Friday night and about to fill with a bunch of men. Everyone here takes really good care of us! It was super funny though.
Spanish funny of the week: Buses are called collectivos. The smell of them is vomit. Collectivo vomit, or more appropriately, collective vomit. We laughed pretty hard at that one because it is sooo true!
The best food ever that people give us is ensalada de frutos. Fruit’n’cottontail! [family name for a favorite fruit cocktail recipe] Remember when we used to eat that? It’s so good here! Peaches, apple, banana, pineapple and whatever other fruit can be found. With guava juice sometimes.
Don’t worry Dad! I have lots of time to enjoy myself and enjoy the culture! Sometimes we’ll be hiking to get to our investigators and I’ll turn around to see the jungle and it just takes by breath away. I just have to stand there and soak it in. The river, the jungle, the sunset. It’s so beautiful. Also, I don`t see many Americans, but I see people from all over the world, Bangladesh, Korea, etc, who come to sell stuff.
Mom, as far as veggies go – here they actually eat salad sometimes. I haven’t had any foods make me sick yet – only bad water. I’m trying to filter everything, but I have to drink the water members and investigators give us. I’m going to be more careful after last week though. It’s not worth it to get sick. I’m so glad that Megan Norton asked about me! [a favorite girl in the ward that has Down’s Syndrome] That’s my ultimate dream! I was just thinking about that the other day, I wonder if Megan asks about me. She makes me happy!
I`m pretty sure every week in the city is cuckoo crazy. Hna. Trillo and I are absolutely having a blast!
So Hna. G. On Monday night we showed up to take her to the Bishop`s house for FHE. It was an absolute CATASTROPHE!! We show up and she`s sick. That`s fine, we`ll just take grandma, our investigator, and her sons. But C (her youngest son, the only sane one in the family, but he has a ridiculous name. We try not to laugh) says, grandma can`t go, she already drank her drink today. Her what? We get a glance at her in her room and she is OUT. bahahaha. What? Then Hna. G wakes up, says she feels fine, and insists on taking us to the Bishop`s house in her car. Car won`t start. We pushed her car two blocks in the mud in our skirts with our investigators standing outside their houses staring at us and laughing. hahahaha Disaster!
Then we were teaching her next door neighbor and I was right at the most important moment of the lesson. I had the copy of the Book of Mormon in my hand. “I testify that the Book of Mormon” – “HERMANAS!!!” Suddenly Hna. G appears over the fence yelling at us in Guarani. She wanted us to meet her son who had just driven up.
Then on Sunday she didn`t show up at church. So we went after church to visit her and see what happened. We show up and poor C is sitting outside by himself. Inside their patio is a discotec. Music blaring, and all the rest that goes along with it. What?
Local crazy part 2
So that crazy lady from last week? Remember her? Well we walked to a less active member’s house one night and the crazy lady was just outside across the way. We`re like, please don`t see us, please don`t see us. She saw us. She jumps up from her chair and comes charging at us. I`ve never seen a 70 year old woman run so fast! Hna. Trillo and I backed up against the fence, preparing for the worst. She comes shouting stuff at us in Guarani and Spanish. What I could pick out was, “I`m hungry! Give me a pamphlet!!” I scrambled for my bag. I have never unzipped, located a pamphlet, and thrown it so fast in my life! I threw it at her, the beast accepted the offering and was calmed and didn`t chase us down the street. Whew.
We had a lot of miracles this week. The first was the first church attendance of an investigator for the month of December! Neither us nor the Elders can seem to bring members to church. This investigator is named F. A member had given us a reference of a less active to visit. We didn’t know her name and only mas or menos [more or less] where she lived. But that`s pretty normal. You don`t need directions because most everyone knows one another I`ve found. I had this feeling during studies that we needed to scratch our plans for the first part of the day and go find her. So we started looking and asking around. Then I saw this family and I knew why we had come here. F is really great and we`re hoping that he will bring his family to church as well! He said he loved the meeting and he`s going to go to church forever! YES!
We are looking for the prepared. We pray for that every day and the Lord is guiding our efforts!
We also set a baptismal date with the sister of a less active. We have millions of less active members who just need one visit or two to get activated again. We have been having lots of success talking to their families and setting baptismal dates with their neighbors. Two birds with one stone! Pres Benson said the best way to strengthen a ward or branch is to get them excited about and doing missionary work. We`re doing just that!
We had a ward conference this last week and the 4 missionaries, the bishopric, everyone was working so hard to make it great! We had a choir of the youth and the missionaries sang a special musical number. The bishop spoke after us. Of his 7 minute talk, 4 minutes were talking about how we were like a choir of angels. I mean, my voice is decent, not great. But the singing here is so different that when I sing, they all stare at me like I`m Hannah Montana or something. Pueda ser. 🙂
I got to watch the Christmas devotional on Sunday and it was sooo good! I loved it! I felt the Spirit so strongly. I love studying about, testifying of, and feeling the love of Christ!
Sounds like all you kids are doing great! Glad to hear it! I bet Chicago will be so fun for Sara! And great job on running LeAnn. Reece, you be good for the elf! And Nate, haha, I’ll have to see your video of the exploding garage door opener.
Much love and Christmas cheer!
Hna Cami Anderson
Keep the faith! The Church is true! I know it! Jose Smith saw God the Father and the Son. The Book of Mormon is the Word of God. God is our Father and gave us the Gospel to bless us and our families. He loves us so much!