HOw´s everything going? (I have no idea why the o keeps capitalizing itself). This week was pretty grand, a really great week. First off, last Monday right after I sent the email we ran into some other Elders that had just come back from the office in Asunción and they had my package! So don´t worry mom, I have things to open for Christmas (I even resisted unwrapping most of the gifts when I got the package, but I did open the ones that had chocolate in them so I could put them in the freezer). Tuesday was pretty much the only regular work day we had this week because on Wednesday we had to get a couple of things ready for our big Zone Christmas party on Thursday. It was a way fun party. President, his wife, the assistants, my zone and one other zone all got together in my church. We first sang some Christmas hymns, then we put together some little candies to give to children in the hospital. Then we all went to the hospital and caroled and gave away these packages we made. It was the second hospital I´ve been in here in Paraguay. The first one was in Asunción during my division with Elder Vance because we were asked to give a little baby a blessing (I did the anointing). That hospital I´m pretty sure was the free health care one and it was honestly one of the most heartbreaking places I´ve ever been. It looked like whatever we had left from world war 2 we just sent down to Paraguay and they are still using it. It was a little dirty too. But this hospital that we caroled at was much better. Hermana Madariaga really loved it when we sang we wish you a merry Christmas in English, so we sang it so much. It was funny because the Spanish elders had no idea what to do and the English elders only knew the first verse. Then we watched some of last years Christmas devotional and a video that President made of his mission. Pretty fun. Then I had a division with my zone leader named Elder Roberts. It was a way fun division. He is a lot like me so we got along really well and taught really well together. He´s going home first week of January so he´s got a lot of experience and since we´re so similar he was able to help me with a lot of the things that are hard for me because they were also really hard for him.
So people have started decorating even more. Everybody puts up Christmas lights, even if it´s just one strand hung across the middle of the wall. They also have a lot of nativities. They´re really cool because they use these coconut leaves to make them. Also there are a ton of Christmas trees. They´re all fake and they´re not nearly as big as the one in the states, but it´s cool still. Also a lot of people raise pigs all year then kill them for Christmas and new years, so guess what we did for service this week? Oh yeah we helped slaughter a pig! On Saturday this lady called us and wanted us to come help her kill her pig so we ran right over. They had a rope tied to its back leg, then they dragged it out of its pen and tied a rope to its other back leg. Then we dragged it over to a tree and had to hoist it up on the tree so it was hanging upside down (and it was still alive at this point). Then it got a little gory, but the pig was dead. They caught all of the blood in a big blue bucket and they´re keeping it for later, gross. But it was an opportunity of a lifetime. Then that day I also gave my first blessing in Spanish, it was cool. All of the words were just coming to me. I gave it to Nidia, she needed a lot of comfort. Sergio hasn´t been doing too well lately. Then on Sunday the bishopric asked me to give a talk next Sunday about Christmas, I think I´m going to try to focus mostly on Christ and his life and the Atonement. I´m just glad they´re giving me time to prepare. Also before I forget I still don´t know anything about how it´s going to work calling home on Christmas, but I´m sure they´ll tell me in district meeting tomorrow. But for right now I´m planning on trying to call home around 3 o'clock Paraguay time, I think that's about noon Utah time but you´re going to want to verify that. I´ll let you know more on Monday.
Well my time is drawing to an end. We didn´t have any investigators in church this week. Antonia had an emergency out lejos in the Chaco so she coulddn´t come, but we´ve still got some people we´re working with. We get a lot of first visits but not as many second or thirds, but they´ll come. We just have to keep looking for the people that are prepared. On my division with Elder Roberts he taught me a lot about setting good goals for my mission. He set some and he says because he´s always served with these goals he has no regrets from his mission. I took one of his goals and set it for myself. I decided that I´m always going to do the things that I´m afraid of doing but that I need to do, like contacting for example. I´m always super afraid to just go up to random strangers and start talking to them. Elder Roberts had the same problem so we did some practices and he helped me a lot. It´s kinda sad how the mission works because you get to know people and you get close to them, then they go home. But I realized this week how short my time on the mission actually is, so I´m glad I was able to set some good goals now. I love you guys so much and I can´t wait to talk to you next week! Think of some good questions to ask me because I have no idea what to say. I believe I have 40 minutes to talk so we won´t have too much time but it will still be great. Keep on the straight and narrow and be exactly obedient like the 2000 stripling warriors (I read about them this week and theirs is sí o sí my favorite scripture story).