Email received March 4, 2013
¿Como están todos? La vida acá en Paraguay es excelente! So first off, before I forget I got my valentines package 2 weeks ago and it really hit the spot. I´m living with 4 missionaries again and all but one got a package but we shared and he´s expecting one soon. In my next package if it´s not too much to ask I would love some more socks because the hermanas that wash our clothes have a tendency to loose those quite often, also I would love some sweaters. I couldn´t believe it but last night was actually really cold! It was such a nice break from the crazy heat. Also tell my little cousin Boo boo that I got his letter and that I´m working on writing him back but that I can only hand write so it will take a little while possibly. Alright, there is a lot to say and I have no idea how long I have to write because this computer doesn´t tell me the time, but I´m pretty sure I remember about when I started. Anyways a little bit about Piro´y. The ward is small but it´s amazing! We have a ton of member participation even though it´s only got about 6 active families. Also just thought you might like this mom but in the cyber i´m in they are playing the Smiths but in Spanish, it´s pretty funny. Anyways The ward mission leader is awesome, he finds people and then comes with us to go teach them. The bishop has been bishop for about 10 years and he´s still awesome, his wife is from Brazil but speaks Spanish pretty well, his mother in law however doesn´t speak a lick of Spanish so it´s kinda fun talking to her because I have to guess that I´m answering her questions right, but Portuguese is pretty close to Spanish. Like I said we live entre 4 here and the house is... not very great, but I really like it because we really don´t need much. It´s got ac and a couple of pet mice, so what more do we need right. We are looking for a new house but it´s fine now, I´ll take some pics and send them home. Elder Williamson and I are going strong, he´s a super nice guy and really funny. He loves going out and working hard and he´s obedient. We´re seeing some real success out here and it´s awesome! If nothing crazy happens we should have a baptism this Saturday. It´ll be Benigno and he just moved in with a member family so hopefully one of them will be able to baptize him.
Alright so yesterday was stake conference and it was super stressful. There were so many people and it was about impossible to locate our investigators and make sure they all had seats, but we had 5 in church which was awesome because two members of the 70 and president were there and spoke! It was a good conference. The problem was that a lot of our investigators couldn´t make it, but Benigno was there so that was good. He really liked it. A bit of a funny story that happened this week now. On Saturday we were in a village and we had reached all of our goals, and it was about 8:00 and we return home at 9:30 if we don´t have a lesson and 10:00 if we do, so we still had a good hour and a half of working time. So as we were working I saw this semi older looking lady trying to dig a hole, so I told Elder Williamson that we needed to go help her. We walked in and I took her shovel (which was a pole with a head size of a blue book of Mormon to dig) and I asked her why we were digging. She had this big steel oil barrel in the ground that she had been working on taking out all day and couldn´t, so I started digging around it to pull it up. Well it turns out that this big barrel was actually a tube and they used it as a sceptic tank! It smelled super bad and there were mosquitoes all over the place. Elder Williamson didn´t really know what he was doing with the shovel so I was going at it for a while. Finally it started moving and the women got really excited. She jumped inside the tube (it was about a meter tall (yeah, I speak metric now)) with the gross water and everything and started trying to wiggle it around from the inside. We were finally able to get a big piece of wood and pry the thing out, it took a good 45 minutes. It was funny, this lady was crazy but I guess her son almost got baptized once but at the church with all of his clothes she got scared and told him he couldn´t. She has two copies of the Book of Mormon, one in Spanish and one in Portuguese, and we´ll see what happens there. After that we went to a menos activo family we´ve been working with and they gave us hot dogs. I really feel bad eating with the people in the villages because they made us eat 2 hot dogs each, and their 3 kids split two hot dogs and the mom and dad had a potato and water stew. The people here sacrifice so much for the missionaries that it makes me want to cry sometimes, but I believe they will be blessed. On a side note I think I forgot to tell you the most interesting thing I´ve eaten. It was in Marambure and it´s called mundungo. It´s cow intestines and we ate it with these small fish they caught from this dirty lake behind their house and they made it a stew with boiled water.
Well I love you guys so much. I love my mission a ton. It´s been super hard and super rewarding. I´ve been more blessed than anyone here in Paraguay. A lot of people say there´s real life and there´s mission life but going off a thought from Elder Holland I don´t think I knew what real life was until I came on my mission. Real life is that extreme poverty exists, 13 year old girls have children, people have to live with abusive spouses just to have a roof and some food, and the magnificent part is that the Gospel has the power to make all of their lives better. I love soooo much seeing how the gospel can take peoples lives from the worst places possible and give them hope, let them know that there is a reason to fight and that God has a perfect plan for each of us that we can have a better life, a perfect life. I love being out here and working hard, the harder you work the better you feel, it´s so awesome. Que Dios les bendiga para siempre!
The pictures are of my new house, the hermano Justino florentín from marambure and two of my little amigos that thought I was a magician because I would do little magic tricks for them. They also loved it when I did that really fast clap for them.