"Things are good down here. The highlight of this past week was the baptism of Oscar on Friday and his Confirmation yesterday at church! His baptismal service was really nice and we had a lot of support from ward members there which is always great! Also, Hna Castaneda and her comp, Hna Lozano were able to join us for the baptism because Hna Castaneda helped teach him. As part of the program us 4 Hermanas sang "I´m trying to be like Jesus. (I felt HUGE standing up there with the 3 other Hnas! ha!) Also, as part of the program, Oscar shared his testimony. It was awesome! He talked about how he always heard about the ´Mormons´and wondered about our church since a young boy, has talked with Elders in the past but knows that the Lord was preparing him throughout the years for when we knocked at his door last month and shared the message of the Restoration! He is seriously so excited about everything. And knows that this is the truth. Sunday he walked around the chapel with a smile on his face. He really has made some changes. I am happy for him. I can´t even describe how it is to see someone we´ve been working with dressed all in white and making a covenant with our Heavenly Father. It makes every hot afternoon, being rejected by people, blisters, etc, etc....totally worth it!! I love the mission!"
"So last night we were visiting an inactive family...familia Otto. Hna Otto and her 3 sons are members, but her husband isn´t. Anyways...last night when we went to visit the husbands parents and step sister were there visiting. They are from CHILE! But have lived in Paraguay for a few years now. The first Chileans I´ve met here...beside elders from Chile, which don´t count. ha. We were all sitting around this little round table drinking juice...matte for everyone else :) and eating bread. They don´t know much about the church but they were so excited to hear that my dad and brother in law had served as missionaries in Chile and they were telling me all about Chile. So proud of their country. It was cute. I couldn´t help but think about Dad and Mark when talking with these Chileans and the people they served with and how similar our missions and experiences are! They were such nice, humble people! It's funny though, I feel at times I´m like peoples entertainment...so many people who we visit and talk to are excited to have an Americana in their house and always ask so many questions about what I think of their country versus the US and like to try out their 3 words of English that they know on me. It's fun though!"
"Okay, on Saturday night we stopped at the store across the street from our apartment before going in for the night to buy matches so we could cook. The store is owned by a family who is always just sitting outside every night. I went up to them and asked if they had matches and then was talking to them about the pastries they sell. The 13 year old daughter looked at me with a suprised face and said ´?aprendiste Castalleno?....which means, you learned Spanish?. It made us all laugh! I quickly realized that I hadn´t talked to her for a few months....usually only say hola or que tal as we pass by. I seriously think it was a little tender blessing from the Lord that she said that to me because on Saturday morning I remember feeling so inadequate with the language and I remember thinking..will I ever honestly just talk fluently!?. But I think it helped me think okay, Shauna...I am progressing and with the Lords help I can learn more!"
"Speaking of languages....mom asked about how involved Guarani is with Spanish. It depends on the family. Some speak more Guarani than others. But usually it's mostly Spanish and at times they´ll talk to their family members in Guarani which throws me off! Hna Jara and Hna Castaneda have both told me that when they came from their countries it was hard for them to understand at first because people here randomly mix in Guarani. It really is a totally different language. For even native Spanish speakers it is hard to speak they say."
"This morning in personal study I was reading in Jacob 4 and the first 3-4 verses really stood out to me....its Jacob writing about the how they have written on the plates and how they hope that people will recieve them with gratitude and learn with joy. I like that. It made me question myself how I have received the Book of Mormon in my life? And how can I show more gratitude for the Book of Mormon? Do I learn with joy? I can imagine a prophet engraving on the plates, each letter, each word. Difficult as Jacob says. They didn´t have a laptop or even a simple piece of paper and pen back then to quickly write something down. I am so grateful for the prophets in the Book of Mormon and for their obedience and willingness to do what the Lord commanded them to do. Now today, we have the Book of Mormon in our lives! And it truly is another testament of Jesus Christ!"
"The work continues to go forth. Lots of teaching and trying to find those who are prepared. We have a big pool of investigators...however, none with a baptism date lined up. We are working with them though and trying to get them to progress!"
"I am so looking forward to conference this weekend! We only get to watch Sunday....but still, can´t wait!! There will be a bus that will take our ward to the stake center to watch it on Sunday afternoon! Can´t wait! I´m not sure if I´ll be watching it in Spanish or English...I´ve heard they usually have English for the missionaries...so we´ll see!"
"Friday is my 7 month mark on the mission. Can´t believe it. Each month passes by a little faster than the last. Crazy."
"Today for pday.....the usual. I´m going to make some more cookies this afternoon because its Oscars 28th bday today! Tonight we have an appointment lined up and an FHE with an investigator at the Canete familys house!! Looking forward to it."