December 30, 2013 – Paraguay
Hello family! And Happy New Year! How great it was to see you!
You know what’s super crazy? This week starts 2014! I feel like my mission is practically over and it just started! I have so many more things I still want to do and so many changes I still want to make. This time goes so fast. Especially night time. I feel like I lay down and then the alarm goes off!
Hna G – the final part
During a lesson her friend called and said he was deathly ill and needed someone to take him to the hospital. So Hna G called his boss and said, “Are you aware that your employee is deathly ill? I’m from the press and I was just checking to make sure you were going to be taking him to the hospital . . . Yes. And call me when you’ve dropped him off.” It was super funny!
But we’re not going to visit her anymore. She isn’t willing to change.
We’ve been saying good-bye to a lot of investigators this week. Sometimes it just breaks my heart. I want so much for them to have what I have! To feel what I feel! When we taught M yesterday I really felt the Spirit and I bore a heartfelt testimony of the righteous examples my parents were for me and how she can be an example for her child who will be coming in a few months. When she said she doesn’t want to get baptized I almost cried! I feel so much of the Savior’s love for her and I know how happy she could be! But Hna Trillo and I both felt that it’s not her time. The mission has the greatest sorrows, but also the greatest joy! Like the joy we felt when F came to church this week and D received her answer that the church is true!
One of the members that we visit is 8 ½ months pregnant and when she saw my name, she was like, “That’s the one! I’m going to name my son Anderson!” Checked one off the bucket list: have someone name their child after me.
Christmas was fun. We got to go to a member’s house and eat food until 10:30.
Right now I’m in Brazil! How cool is that? We went as a zone (minus the other hermanas) to visit the giant dam thing on the river Parana and went on the dam bus tour. . It was super sweet and the weather was perfect. It was has been soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo hot here this last week. I can`t believe it`s December! I wish all of you could come here and visit Paraguay/Argentina/Brazil. Adventure of a lifetime! Maybe too much adventure . .
There are these cicadas that are huge! And are unbelievably loud. If they sound off next to you it’s like someone’s shouting in your ear. It’s ridiculous! When you teach out in the jungle where there are lots of trees it’s so loud!
Funny of the week:
We try to work until the last minute even when we are DEAD tired. Some nights I fall in my bed at 11 and literally instantly fall asleep. But anyways we had this really long day and I was super sore from climbing hills and also I did an excess of exercises which I will not repeat. We still had 20 minutes before we were going to meet the Elders so we were like, let`s go contact this one guy who wanted us to come visit and we can invite him to church. He found his house and it looked like there was a doorbell so I pushed it, and turned out all the lights in his porch. hahaha. Not doorbell. Light switch. Turned the light back on and clapped for him to come out. He came out and first thing he did was turn out the lights. And the Spirit was like RUN AWAAAAAAY RUN AWAAAAAAY! And so Hna. Trillo and I started backing up, but we were wedged in between his car and the door. He walked up to greet us.
Note** greeting with men and women in general is hand shake. Women and women is kisses on the cheek. And sometimes with men and women it is also kisses but with missionaries it is FORBIDDEN. Also, no thank you. **
So he stepped forward to greet me with a kiss on the cheek and by this time I was freaking out, but good old Hna. Trillo shoved my hand at him, almost punching him in the stomach and said something along the lines of “we are missionaries that represent JESUS CHRIST and his CHURCH. And you are invited tomorrow morning. CHAO!!! ” And we booked it. hahaha
Don`t worry mom, the Spirit takes care of us. 🙂 Also I`m not as dumb a blonde as I look. I hope 🙂
Also Hna. Trillo is teaching me how to talk like a Porteño. I have a sweet accent when we`re just talking the two of us. It`s suuuuper funny 🙂
This week we saw miracles! F came to church again and is progressing towards his baptism on the 11th!! We taught his family this week and it was so amazing! The Spirit! We taught the first lesson and I gave one of my most heartfelt testimonies of Jose Smith and of the first vision. The Spirit was a physical force and F and his two daughters were almost in tears. They for sure felt something! F accepted the First vision and committed to follow a living day prophet, Thomas S Monson. But his two daughters refused to accept what they had felt. You stinkers! You totally felt something!!!
Everyone says, we love it when you come to our house, we feel so good! We bring the Spirit and they like to feel it! But they aren`t willing to accept the Spirit because they aren`t willing to change. The Spirit indicates when we need to change and when we refuse, we are refusing to follow the Spirit and the Spirit retracts.
We are so pleased with F who feels the truth of what we teach and is making changes in his life! We need to find more people who are willing to change!
Another is D. She got her answer this week and is progressing to baptism! We almost brought them to church this week., her and her whole family, but her mom got sick and had to go take care of her. D is one of the most faithful women I`ve ever met. And she has made drastic changes in her life from the first lesson. She was the woman who adored Maria and was one of the most Catholic people I`ve ever seen. But as she`s prayed and received the confirming witness of the Spirit, she has been able to change. It is so beautiful to see that in people! I feel so blessed to be on a mission! I have grown so much and changed from the Spirit that I have felt. The Spirit changes us.
How was your Christmas?
Not super exciting! We sang carols to the members. Also, they don`t celebrate the 25th only the 24th. Christmas Day was great because I got to see all of YOU!!! I was so happy! It didn`t even matter what we talked about I just wanted to talk! And it didn`t make me trunky or anything. I was more motivated and excited to work!
Any plans for New Years?
Not too sure yet.
Does church attendance change with the Christmas season?
I think if there`s any excuse at all, people don`t come to church.
Does the ward do a Christmas party? If so, what was it like?
We had a Christmas dinner and it was super fun! We got a couple investigators to come as well as some less active families who haven`t come to church in a while. It was good!
Are there any Paraguayan Christmas traditions that are unique?
They almost don`t do anything special for Christmas. But EVERYONE eats pad de la navidad (nasty fruit cake) ensalada de fruta (fruit n cotton tail) and asado (meat cooked over coals)
I love you all so much! I always feel so frazzled when I write and I wish I could tell you all about how I feel, but happy new year and enjoy every minute of every day!!
Love, Hna. Anderson