Monday, November 30, 2009

In the Heights...gone jungle!

-If you are an "In the Heights" broadway show fan like Shauna, you'll love this ..."So, I seriously feel like I´m living in the heights gone jungle. Piragua guys ride around on their bikes selling shaved ice and ice cream, people are always saying ´que calor´, all the family owned shops are just like usnavis, a couple people in my ward have their own salons, all the music, etc!!" While living in NYC, Shauna saw this show five she is living the real thing!

-"This week has been good. By far the best yet. We´ve taught a lot--had lots of appointments. A couple of the days we were out running along the cobblestone streets from appointment to appointment. I find myself happiest when we´re sweating to death, busy, walking lots and teaching lots. Ya know..working hard! Even on saturdays! haha!"

-"I also feel like I´ve had somewhat of a Spanish breakthrough this past week. By no means am I near being fluent, but little by little its coming along! Mom, in one of your dear elders you wrote to look back in my journal and see progression...I´ve been doing that and it's helped me see that I am making some progress even though it may be small! I read for at least 40 minutes in the Book of Mormon out loud each day during my lang study time and I think that's been the key to what's really helped me. When I don´t know a word I look in my English scriptures that are sitting out on my desk as well. Teaching is a lot easier these days and just like little things I´ve done there is no way I could have done when I first arrived! I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for His help and hope that I continue to receive His help and the gift of tongues! I talked to an elder this past week from Utah who has been here for just over 2 months...he said he is able to understand well but speaking is still awkward. The mission is all about being patient!"

-"Okay, your thanksgiving sounded like so much fun!! I´m SO glad you had a good time! I have to admit...I had a meltdown on Thanksgiving. We were out walking the streets and I was thinking about what you were all doing...Macys Thanksgiving parade on the TV, tables set, mom cooking-humming away in the kitchen, etc, etc....and i started crying! H. Castaneda was like ´what happened´...I explained to her that I really missed my family! She's pretty understanding. She told me something I liked and have thought a lot about since....she said we came on missions knowing we´d return to our families...but right now we are loving and serving this people and we don´t know if we´ll have the opportunity to see them again. It´s true! So whenever I´m feeling down or homesick I think of that and realize I better soak it all up and serve with all my heart each day! Also dad, read your email you wrote last night...thanks for your thoughts on how it was for you on your mission! It seems like everyone goes through the same thing!"

-"Had stake conference yesterday. It was crazy!! We left our apt at about 730am and were going from house to house telling people to get ready. People are def slow paced here. I´m all about the NY style go-go-go. Very different here. It's a test to my patience each day. But anyways, our ward had a bus take everyone to the stake center which is about 20 mins away since only 4 or 5 familes have cars in our ward. It was crazy! The bus was crowded and was like booking it down narrow cobblestone streets dodging palm trees! The choir at stake conference were all wearing these interesting matching outfits and ties, kids were running around....its just so different! I couldn´t understand a bunch, but it seemed that the stake leadership was pretty strong. Our ward is a good ward as well. The ward members seem to be really united here. There are about 7 to 10 strong families I would say."

-"Tomorrow instead of district meeting we have zone conference!! I´m really looking forward to it. It is from 9 til about 4 in the afternoon! It's at the mission office and Pres and Sis Callan will both be there and like 22 missionaries. 4 hermanas in our district...I´m the only American Hermana. We´ll have talks, interviews with Pres. Callan, a doctor is coming to talk to us about summer health, lunch, classes, etc.. We had to prepare talks in case we get called on...Americans write theirs in Spanish, natives in English. Hermana C was translating hers this morning...she seriously knows NO english. I was able to easily help her translate. I think she got a small taste of what I´ve felt like this past month!"

-"Oh my gosh! I´ve seen 2 snakes this past week. Ahhh. We were walking on this dirt path in more of a jungly area and I saw them! Seriously, nast. They were like 1.5 feet long. So like baby size, but big enough to scare me and sending me running down the path!! ha!"

-"Daniel, who I wrote about last week, is getting baptized this Friday! He had his baptismal interview this past week and all is well! Friday at 7pm...can´t wait!! So happy for him! He kind of reminds me of a Paraguayan Brent Pulley! ha! If you can even imagine that! As for other investigators...we are trying to get them to really commit to baptism! its tough here...every one either drinks, smokes or isn´t married but living with their boyfriend, girlfriend!"

-"You´d love the ice cream here. Its 2 mil guarani which is about 40 cents and you get 4 scoops! It's awesome!! Good thing I´m walking a bunch!"

-"So, I am almost done with the Book of Mormon. Have about 50 pages left! I seriously love reading it every morning during my personal study...the time goes by too fast when I read it! I´m excited to finish it and start over!"

-"Today.....going grocery shopping after we´re done here, hanging up a strand of christmas lights we have in our apt! Yay! And also, we have a little baby size christmas tree! Makes me happy! I´m planning on making some more brownies this afternoon and taking to them to the familia Lopez tonight! They are a new member family in our ward who we visit with often. They don´t have much but are so giving to us! I love them! Their daughter is one of the pics I sent you! Then tonight we have a few appointments lined up!"

-"I love it here. Ya, its hard. Times I think I can´t go on. But at the end of each day I´m always smiling and pumped up for the next day. My testimony of the Savior has grown so much this past month. He really does know us and love us. Just like the scriptures teach..His arms are always open. It's our choice to go to Him and accept Him. I feel like I actually have a relationship with Him now. He is my friend, brother, comforter and Savior. I know this church is the true church. The Book of Mormon truly is the word of God. I am so grateful for its teachings. I´m grateful for this opportunity to share this message with these humble people here in Paraguay!!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting these! I having been skimming and cracking up for the past hour! Oh how I miss na but she is inspiring me :)