"Its the middle of March! Wow! Time is just weird on the mission. I can´t describe how I feel about it. its passing by quick! Well, I´m glad my tape arrived! I can´t believe it got there so fast! I thought for sure it´d get there when you were all in Payson! I´m glad you enjoyed listening to it! I´ve already started another one! "
"Well, the past 4 days or so have been pretty good. It's kinda weird having a new companion...different teaching styles, changes and everything. But I like it. Hermana Jara is a good teacher and so good with our investigators and members. I´ve learned lots already. She is excited, bold, peppy and really uses the Spirit as a guide. Our investigators and members in the ward seem to like her as well which is always good! It has been different because yes, I´m the junior comp, but am the one who has most of the say in planning and where we should go since I know the people and area better. But, quickly she will learn! Already is! Hermana Jara makes me laugh because she definitly is a little HM...like Saturday our lunch appointment fell through so we were looking for a place to eat and she wanted a place that had inside seating and a clean bathroom for her to use. Uhh...that basically doesn´t exist in my area! (she came from a more ritzy ish area in the center of Asuncion.) Here, everything is just out on the streets and most of the time, the bathroom is a shared outhouse. Ha! She really is a lot of fun though. we have plans to make a music video together on a pday to an EFY song!....classic missionary fun."
"Okay, 2 bits of sad news. First off, Oscar didn´t go to church yesterday..ugh. We had a member go pick him up but he wasn´t there. We passed by his house in the afternoon to see what happened but his daughter came out and said he wasn´t home. I don´t know if she was lying for him or what. We definitly need to talk to him and figure out what he´s thinking and hopefully get his baptism lined up for another week. Also, another sad thing....the Cabellero family is moving.....about 8 blocks out of our area. It makes me sad. Sad that I won´t see them but more sad because they are moving to a little house that is like inside the grounds of a Catholic church. Its weird. They´ll be cleaning the church there and living there for free. It makes me worry because the Cabelleros are still new members and not totally 2 feet into the church...they are GREAT people but need constant help and encourgament. I am praying for them to attend their new ward and for the elders in that area to visit them often. I am seriously going to miss little Guarani Kaleb and Laura so much. When they told me they were going to move soon I seriously wanted to cry."
"So, Hermana Jara and I are really trying to seek out people who are prepared and going to accept the gospel. It's hard. So many people here say they have faith...but the problem is they don´t want to do the whole faith with actions. People want the easy way. A lot of people also get hung up about Joseph Smith. For instance, just yesterday afternoon we were teaching and older woman who is a Jehovahs Witness....she kept on referring and bringing up Joseph Smith no matter what we said or were teaching about. I finally said to her Joseph Smith was simply an instrument in the hand of the Lord. I then took off my nametag and held it out in my hands and asked her to read the name of our church out loud. I explained that yes..this is the Church of Jesus Christ, not the church of Joseph Smith..and that we are representatives of Jesus Christ, here to share a message about Him and His teachings. I don´t know if that helped her understand or not, but ya, its a challenge for people to see the marvelous work and love that our Heavenly Father has showed us through restoring His gospel on the earth."
"Yesterday at church I taught the gospel principles class about prophets. I actually really enjoying teaching that class...full of our new members and investigators. I always seem to learn a lot from their comments. Also at church yesterday, since it was the 2nd sunday, we had to give talks! Last night we taught 2 families we found...yeahhh! Finding a family that allows us to enter their house and teach them all together is like gold here in the mission field! It was only our first time teaching and meeting them...but I feel like the lessons went well. We are crossing our fingers!!"
"Well, Paraguay is good. To say the least, I love it here. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to come to this country. The work is hard, honestly, there really is never an easy day..but at the same time this work and this gospel seriously bring so much joy. Ok, that reminds me of a song that I´m like obsessed with right now....the song ´Whatever it Takes´ from the EFY Joy in the Journey soundtrack! We had it on repeat this morning playing pretty loud while getting ready for the day and I just love the words! I hope and pray that each one of us will do ´whatever it takes...to feel His embrace...to see His face´. I have learned there are always going to be times of struggle, disappointment, challenges...not only for missionaries...for everyone..throughout our lives. But, how do we respond to those challenges and roadblocks? Do we give up or do we do whatever it takes? Ah, I just love that song! You all should listen to it!"
"Well, we are off to buy some groceries, make copies of some pics and then back to our apartment! I´m going to teach Hna Jara how to make cookies this afternoon (if I can find all the right ingredients in the store..haha!) and write some letters this afternoon. Possibly take a nap? Don´t know. I always say I´m going to but haven´t yet! Tonight we have an appointment at 6 with a contact from the plaza the other night and then we are having an FHE at a members house with investigators! Should be a good day. Tomorrow we have district meeting....new elders in our district so it´ll be fun to meet them. Our new district leader is Elder Silva, from Costa Rica. So now when he calls to get our numbers I have no choice but to talk in Spanish! With Elder Parke we´d always just talk in English!"