Email received August 5, 2013
Man this week was quite a busy week here in Paraguay too. My birthday was pretty good, I went to this fancy looking restaurant in my area for lunch and I did a baptismal interview in the night. Also Hermana Mcmullin called me and made her kids sing to me, it was really special for me. Also today my zone leaders are treating me to TGI Fridays so that should be pretty fun. Thursday I was praying all day for little Spencer and on Wednesday for little Travis (speaking of which I would love it if you could send me their emails and Caleb´s too). I had interviews with Presidente Mcmullin and it was awesome! He had sent his son off to the MTC in Chile the day before and he was telling me that as parents you don´t want anything else for your kids than for them to be on their missions, but it still hurts to send them. I felt so peaceful looking at the photos that dad sent me of the departure, I´m so proud of Elder Hulsey the hijo as they say in Spanish. The big city is treating me well, there´s a lot of cool things here to do on P-day but in my area there´s just tons of humble people. One cool thing though that we found out this week is that the Paraguayan river is one of the boarders of our area, so Argentina is right on the other side of the river! The cool part is that there is an island in the middle of the river where some of our investigators moved to, and from what we hear there are tons of people there and missionaries have never been to this island before. So we´re going to talk with President this week about going out there on a boat and seeing if there is any potential! The island I´m pretty sure is still technically my area and I think that would be sweet! The branch I´m in has a lot of less-active members and not a lot of active members at all (there´s actually only one family that´s active and about 10 other people that are active but not entire families, Trinidad A has a little more activity but not much). So in my interview with President we talked about helping the less-actives, it was great. President and I are actually a lot alike so I´m really glad to get to be working with him. But despite the lack of active members, the less-active members still love to feed us so we have plenty of lunch appointments. Like I said my area is poor as dirt but I love it a lot. It hurts me so much to see how these people are suffering in poverty but still so many of them harden their hearts. I've been focusing on loving them more and it´s really sad to see the people I love suffer so much and knowing that it´s not necessary all of the suffering. So many of their problems could be solved by the Lord if they would just keep the commandments, but I understand how hard it is for them because to keep the commandments for them really would require so much faith and sacrifice and trusting in the promises of the Lord. They really don´t know where the day's food will come from so to pass up a job opportunity for a Sunday seems ridiculous to them because its a chance to eat, and getting married costs money and they view it as an unnecessary expense because they can just live together anyway. I wish I could just show them the blessings that await those that keep the commandments, like it says in Mosiah 2:41. So that´s my situation right now and I kinda feel like I´m in Nephi´s position when he had to get the brass plates. He knew what he had to do but he wasn´t sure how, so he went and tried many ways and eventually he was able to obtain the plates. I know that I need to help these precious souls come unto Christ and I´ve tried a few ways that haven´t really brought much fruit, but last week I had a great idea in bringing less-active members to fellowship and support other less-active members so they can share their testimonies and feel the Spirit that way. It was great and on Sunday one of the families we´ve been working with came back and a young man we did this with too! The work is tough but possible and in working with the less-active and new members we´ve been able to find even more people to teach. I´m really blessed to have a great district. My district is me and my comp then two companionships of hermanas and they are awesome! They work super hard so it´s great working with them.
So this week there were a couple of funny things that happened. We were sitting in our lunch appointment when these two old men came walking in to the house with super dark sunglasses and a guitar and they were dressed just like grandpa charlie (same red flannel shirt with blue pants). I stuck out my hand to shake the guys hand and he just ignored me, then the kids told me that he was blind. They guided him to the couch and he sat down and pulled out his guitar with trembling hands. Then all of the sudden he started playing some of the best guitar I´ve ever heard and singing these old Spanish love songs! It was super sweet! The guy was kinda crazy and he kept telling my comp that he would play a Bolivian song for him because Bolivia is close enough to Peru. It was pretty funny. So then later that day we saw this super old lady having a hard time walking so we offered to help her to her house and we started talking with her. I guess she had lived all over Europe and the US (she speaks french, italian, english, spanish, portuguese and guaraní) and she was pretty funny. She said she was a psychologist and could read people like books. She looked into my eyes and said I´m smart and happy, then she looked into my companion's eyes and told him he´s also smart but very shy (which is funny because I would not call him shy) and that he needs to be more confident like me because we´re both good looking so we both can be nice and confident. Haha. Then the best thing happened on Saturday. We went looking for a less-active member and we found his family so we started teaching them. The dad started drinking a ton when we got there and at one point he got up and tried whispering something to my companion (but it came out a lot louder than a whisper) and he told him that I had a giant number 4 on my face, so tomorrow in his big soccer game he´s going to wear the number 4! Me and my companion were laughing super hard and his family reassured me that I didn´t actually have a number 4 on my face.
Well I love you and thanks for the pictures and packages (I got the birthday one and the year mark one a few weeks ago, the rainbow chip was a great call. My oven doesn´t work so I cooked the cake in the microwave and it actually turned out great). I figured out how to just put the pictures on my memory card so I can just do that and look at them through my camera so you don´t have to print them out and send them to me. I love you guys so much and hope you have a wonderful week.
Elder Zahcary J. Hulsey