Hey everyone how´s life in the good ol' US of A? I always see people with American flag shirts and such and it always makes me laugh. A lot of people wear shirts that are in English and they have no idea what they say, it´s pretty funny. This week was way good. We had our zone conference on Wednesday and it was amazing! I was so pumped up to go and tell everyone that they need to repent and be baptized or they´ll never be able to live with Heavenly Father again. I got a package on Wednesday, it was a dear elder package with tons of candy in it, Thanks! There was a note in it but i think the people at dearelder made a mistake because the note was for an elder named Ricky Pierce, i think he´s still in the MTC because it sounded like he hadn´t been out very long. But it was a good package regardless. I put together a package with these things called Alfajors, they´re super delicious and very popular here but when I was going to send it I realized that it would cost some money. I decided that it would be better to buy some cool souvenirs for you guys instead of waste all of the money I have on sending a couple of alfajors, so be patient and I´ll hook you up when I come home, I already know what I want to get people. On Thursday it rained sooooooooo much! Holy cow our whole house started to get wet. We got pretty creative and started to catch the water that was dripping in the house with whatever we could find. We were stuck in the house until the evening because all of the streets were totally flooded, but we did some good planning and it was still a pretty good day. We found a great family that day that seems pretty promising. We went and visited some people and their backyards had water up to at least my knees. It´s totally worth all of the rain and things though because Paraguay is sooooo beautiful. I don´t mean to get all sappy or anything but one of my favorite parts of the day is when we´re walking through the jungle the day after a rainstorm (so it´s super green and there´s tons of little streams) and the sun is setting. It really is so beautiful. It´s kinda funny because when i first got here everything was so new, the sights the smells, the language the culture, everything. It was never that i didn´t like it, it was just new and different. but the more time I´m here the more I just love it. I love the new things. The other day we were walking and i smelled something that just smells like Paraguay and I started to smile. I´m starting to really love the people also. Paraguayans are super funny and they do and believe some really funny things (like you´ll die if you eat watermelon with milk). But I watched this video on the life of President Hinckley and one thing that I learned is that life is miserable without a sense of humor. You just have to look at the stuff and laugh a lot of times. It would be super easy to just get mad and frustrated at a lot of these things, but I´ve just decided that I´m going to laugh and be happy about it and whatever situation I find myself in. This has helped me so much to just be happy and love the people and the work. If you can´t find anything funny to laugh about, find something that´s hard or frustrating and laugh about that. President Hinckley had to do some pretty hard things that he didn´t like doing, like traveling for example, but he was always such a happy man. A nice sense of humor goes a long way.
So Christmas in Paraguay is a little different. I´ve been asking my companion all sorts of things about the history and the holidays and such. Just a couple of random side notes, Their summer vacation started last Friday so Adam you´re birthday would be a summer birthday here! (happy birthday this week big guy). Also they were in a war against Bolivia and they only won because they dug underground tunnels and snuck up on them in their sleep, pretty cool. But anyways Christmas, so obviously they celebrate Christmas because everyone celebrates Christmas, but it´s not a real big deal. They normally have a dance at night and party (because they´re always looking for a chance to party) but they don´t do gifts or anything really. But they decorate the city with lights (it´s pretty funny because these little shacks just have these funny Christmas lights) but that´s more just tradition they´ve adopted I think. There equivalent to Christmas though is called Los Reyes (the kings). It´s on January 8th and what happens is that each individual person puts out a plate of Pasto y agua (grass and water) and if you behaved well that year then I believe it´s these three kings that come to your house while you´re sleeping and leave you gifts. It´s pretty much like our Christmas, a day to spend with your family and everything.
Well It´s about time for me to go but I love you guys so much! I can´t believe I´ll be celebrating my 4th month mark this week! I didn´t even realize it was December until I wrote the date down in my journal, holy cow the time flies! My companion keeps telling me that it doesn´t feel like Christmas to him because he´s not with his family or drinking terere (it´s a drink like Mate but with cold water). I just laugh because it´s like a million degrees so I reallllllllllly don´t feel like it´s Christmas. But I guess that´s good because I won´t get trunky. I have gained such a strong testimony of this gospel and of all of its organization. Out here it´s not organized quite as strictly as it is back home and you can see the difference. Keep doing the things that will keep you on the straight and narrow, I´ll see you guys in 20 months (that really doesn´t seem that long, weird).