Monday, December 10, 2012

(No Subject)

Email received December 10, 2012

Hola familia
How is everyone today( curse that blasted question mark that I can never find). So sorry if this email has a lot of errors, the keyboard I´m using is awful. Man this week was pretty crazy, but first off I can´t believe Jeff and Boo are already training! In my mission it´s almost unheard of to be training at your 6 month mark, most Elders start training after their year mark. I´m also glad to hear that Sam is putting on weight, I pray for those guys every night. So first off this week was la Virgen de Caucup√©. I guess a long time ago a man was trying to escape some murderers and he stopped and prayed to the virgin that she would protect him, and she covered the murderers and he was protected. He gave the virgin his ca, which is an herb to sacrifice for her protecting him. So now every year on December 8th Catholics come from all over the country, and Argentina and Brazil I think, and walk to caukupe which is a city like 30 mins to an hour away I think, to show their sacrifice to the virgin for the blessings they received that year (that´s not the way we understand how faith works). A lot of people cheat and take a colectivo most of the way there, but there are some die-hards that walk the whole way on their knees or carry crosses all the way there. It was funny on Friday night because a lot of people were walking through Luque to get there by Saturday morning to start the big long prayer and we passed a ton of them and they tried to get us to walk with them. I wanted to have them walk with us to the church but Elder Morinigo wouldn´t let me. As far as the Nativity in the Catholic churches go I haven´t seen too many. There are a ton of little churches in our area but they´re super small, I´ll start looking for the nativities. There is also a giant Catholic church down the road from our house, I´m going to see if I can find a nativity there too. The thing that Paraguayans do to prepare for Christmas is kinda like our Spring cleaning. They clean up their yards a bit and paint everything ( I mean everything. They paint their houses, their fences, their trees, everything).

We finally had an investigator in church! Her name is Antonia and the way we found her was kinda cool. We were walking down a street and this girl started walking towards us so we stopped and went to talk with her. She asked us what we wanted and we were a little surprised because she approached us. Then she told us that that lady (pointing to a lady in her backyard) told her that we were looking for her. So we said uh, yeah we are and started telling her about how we´re missionaries. She stopped us and told us she´s been a member for about 10 years, just in-active for the last 2. She invited us to come talk with her boyfriend´s family, because that´s where she lives. It was the boyfriend´s mom that told her we were looking for her so we started talking to her. Antonia is the boyfriend´s mom and it turns out she had just visited an LDS church the night before for a birthday party or something and talked to the missionaries and was really interested! So yesterday we went and picked her up and brought her to church. In this mission and I would imagine in most missions it´s harder to get people to church than to get them into the waters of baptism so it was great that we had an investigator in church.
This week I also got a little sick. I made this juice out of a mango and some oranges. I had an upset stomach for a few days but it wasn´t bad so I still went out and worked. But on Saturday it was pretty bad and I felt like every weird thing I´ve eaten here was moving around in my stomach trying to come out through one end or the other. I went to our lunch appointment so my companion could eat but I didn´t eat a thing. The members were telling me that you´re never supposed to mix mangoes with other fruits, it will always make you sick. Lesson learned.
Well my times pretty much up, I´m glad Ryly is thinking about naming a horse after me, it really does mean a lot. I had a pretty cool experience this week. I´ve been struggling a lot with thinking about why I can´t be perfect. If the Savior said we need to be perfect like His father, than why do the prophets say that we just have to do our best and that our best isn´t perfect. Why can´t I be perfect. This has really been bringing me down and It makes me sick to my stomach whenever I make any little mistake. So I was reading in a book called our search for happiness by Elder Ballard and I was reading about when his grandfather was praying to receive help and he did and then the Joseph Smith story and I realized that I´m just as entitled to heavenly help as they were. So I took my problem to the Lord and I had complete confidence that I would receive an answer and I did. I received so much understanding about why I´m here on the earth and about why I´m not perfect but what I need to do and worry about instead. I realized that no matter what the problem is I can take it to the Lord and He answers me according to my faith. Take your problems to the Lord and expect an answer and you´ll receive one. I love you guys and I pray for you. I hope you have a great week and if it´s cold, just remember that I´m out here in the jungle where supposedly it´s like 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Live how the Lord wants you to and don´t get discouraged when you make mistakes because that´s why we´re here, to learn and grow so that we can become like God.

Con Amor,
Elder Hulsey
P.s. congratulations Emma on getting your young womanhood medallion! I´m super proud of you, you´re a great woman.