Monday, December 1, 2014

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

So I feel way dumb for thinking when I wrote last week that I had missed Thanksgiving. After reading all the emails I realized I hadn’t. haha But good news is my district leader is not so dead to the world and he arranged for us as a district to go out to eat Wed night. I will hopefully have time to send more pictures. It was way good. It was like some kind of burrito(they don’t really eat much food like that here) so it was a good change of pace. On real Thanksgiving my comp, who had never heard of it before, and I had chicken stuffing I made from a box from Charlsie, raw potatoes, haha (I tried to make mashed potatoes in the microwave, but it didn’t work) and bread. It was great. haha I told her she had to say what she was thankful for and she said me and I just started crying so hard because I didn’t even realize how much I missed all of you till she said that and it made me feel good that someone was happy I am here.

I totally forgot to say last week my greatest blessing!!! so when our President got to the mission he was not pleased with the conditions of the pentions and he has been working hard to get new pentions for us to live in. They have changed almost all of them. The week before I got here ours changed and my comp says the old one had twice as many cockroaches. She thinks the ones we have came in the move. ugggg haha Anyway, our pention is nice and...... we have an air conditioner in our bedroom!!!!!!! It is heaven when we come home soooo sweaty we sometimes just sit in that room. haaha One day we were so hot after walking back from zone conference (30 min there and back) we just ate lunch on our beds ha. But ya it’s really nice. Also all the faucets here are just one temp. You don’t have two faucets even when you are showering. I was telling my comp that I’m not use to the cold showers and she just looked at me so weird. “Did I not tell you about the light switch?” “What light switch????” ummmm She proceeds to tell me there is a magic light switch that makes the water hot!!! hahah She said she is just use to cold showers so she forgets to turn it on.. haha Anyway, so if you were feeling bad for me, don’t. I have cool air at night and a hot shower in the morning. When I shower at night I don’t turn it on, though, because it’s soo hot. You have to shower before bed or its so gross. You will see why after seeing the pictures of my feet

I forgot also to mention the rain. It rained twice my first week and three times this week or two (I can’t remember). Anyway I have never seen anything like it. Leading up to rain it is so hot and there are no clouds and then they come and it just starts pouring rain, like buckets and buckets of rain and all of a sudden the whole road is a river. It’s crazy! It rained last night, so now the whole road is full of puddles. I love it. The first time it rained it was in the afternoon and we had to walk home at 8:30. I kept jumping in all the puddles and getting all muddy. haha My comp just thought I was crazy. hahah It’s hard for me not to act crazy sometimes, like one time we were walking and the Macarena music came on. I started to dance and she looked at me and said Hermana we are representatives of Christ. ha So I have to remember that sometimes. Most of the time it’s not hard to remember, just sometimes, like when I want to play with the kids .... 

So to help my pronunciation she makes me read from El Libro de Mormon with a pencil in my mouth repeating after her. This is after I have already read it for 30 min on my own. It’s so hard and my jaw starts to really hurt, so if you want to feel like a big looser put a pencil in your mouth and try to read Spanish its hard and entertaining. 

This week we kind of got a little discouraged because every lesson seems to go the same except for the fact that each lesson I feel more confident to say more in the next. So this is pretty much how each lesson goes: we walk to a house, we may know them or may not, clap, they come or we just smile and wave because most the time they are outside all ready, they open the gate, let us in, pull up two chairs, offer us terere (Cold Mate), we tell them no, and then we talk to them a little, get to know them. They are always so chatty. Most of the time they don’t even give us a chance to say we are missionaries. Then finally we bring it in to the convo (AHHH it just started raining again!! hahah I am so happy. My comp said we should bring our umbrellas with, but I talked her out of it. She just looked at me ahhh we will be wet! haha) anyway, then she asks if we can sing. Yep we sing a hymn every lesson in Spanish, no piano, while they stare at us. At first it was hard for me but lately we sing Christmas hymns and I love it. One time they gave us this fruit to eat and I really didn’t want to eat it because they just picked it off the ground, anyway, I put it in my mouth and I had never seen anything like it before. It’s like an orange ball and I am trying to chew and there is a pit and I just keep swirling it around in my mouth. At this moment my trainer says “Let’s sing.” So I sing a whole hymn with this huge pit in my mouth and then when no one was looking I quickly put it in my hand and sat it on the ground next to me. Next we ask to pray and usually they want my comp to say it, which is great. ha But sometimes I say it and I am pretty sure they don’t understand, that’s ok. Then we share the first lesson or sometimes the second, depending, and when it’s the first I say the first vision and sometimes I say it right and mostly I say it wrong. But its magic because the Spirit is always there and I can feel it so strong and we lead them into the baptism invitation and they say “No, I have already been baptized (did you listen to what we said? It didn’t count. It wasn’t necessary. You were a baby ugh) and then we bear a beautiful testimony and the Spirit is there and I tear up because all I can think is they are going to say yes, I know it and I picture their family in the church. We ask again and they just stare at us and don’t answer. It’s so weird. Actually throughout the whole lesson we ask questions like what does the atonement mean to you and they just look at us and say nothing. It’s so weird. I don’t know why some people answer, but for the most part they don’t. Anyway, then we ask if we can come again and share more and we invite them to church and 50 percent say yes and then we give them a pamphlet to read. We say “Can we provide any service for you today?” and they always say “No, I have lots of kids to help me.” and then we ask them to pray (after explaining prayer) and they say they don’t know how and we explain again and then we ask again and they stare at us like we never asked a question. Finally one of us offers and we leave and I want to die. Lots of the time I think the lesson went great and I am like whaoooo they are coming to church and my comp is so discouraged. Anyway that’s how it goes. Oh, I forgot. When we ask if we can come back, they always say “We can see Christ in you girls. We love what you are doing here. I bet lots of people turn you away. We will always receive you in our home, feed you, listen to you, but we have our own church we go to on Sunday. I read the bible every day. My family is all Catholic, this really is not for us. 

It’s really hard. We never know who is worth going to see a second time because we never know if they are going to progress. Anyway, we had one golden investigator, Pedro, and he was all set to be baptized this coming Saturday. He just needed to go to church one more time. We have taught him everything, he has accepted all the commandments. We get to church Sunday and no one comes. No one. We invited 18 people to church and no one came, not even Pedro. I felt soo bad. When we call him he doesn’t answer. We don’t know what we are going to do. We just have to remember that when we are rejected they are rejecting Christ, not us. It’s just hard because everyone seems to be so religious. One man asked me this week, “If I came to you and said will you be baptized in the Catholic Church would you?”  I thought he was asking what I knew about the Catholic Church and in bad Spanish I said I would need to be able to speak better Spanish to answer that. He started laughing but apparently my comp told him that if God told her to, she would. I thought that was a good answer. That man we were trying to contact said we could come to his house anytime but if we want to share messages from the Bible, like the ones before, he didn’t want to hear it. It was really weird. We were like “Aren’t you Catholic? Don’t you believe in the Bible! The people here are so confusing!!!

I like it though. The more we teach, the more people know us. It’s crazy how much people already know. We say our name and they say “Mormones, ya I know you guys.” and most have listened to missionaries before. When we walk down the street I recognize so many people and we always wave and they are so nice and polite to us. I love it here. I love how laid back the people are and friendly and willing to listen. 

One thing that is hard, we will teach two different families that live pretty far apart and then we go to one’s house and the other family is there. This happened last night. We went to Pedro’s house to see why he didn’t come to church and his sister, who accepted a date but also didn’t come to church, was outside with a woman we had taught this week and also invited to church. They both said sit and we did. Then when we tried to share a lesson they wouldn’t even look at us. This morning I was reading in John when Peter denies Christ. That’s what I felt like. I was like, earlier this week you loved us, what happened!! 

I love it in Paraguay, though. It’s so beautiful and out in the compo there is this sweet smell in the air. It always sounds like the 4th of July fireworks go off day and night all over. haha Sometimes it makes me jump because they sound like they are right next to you. 

Ahh, this is such a long letter and I haven’t got to the best part. The church campaign for Christmas is “He is the gift”. The video is so great, watch it! We are sharing it with everyone. We carry this old crappy dvd player and show it in every lesson. It is so powerful. You should all share it on Facebook with your testimony. 

 I love how it’s so hot but it’s still Christmas. There are nativities and lights on houses and they will have like a tree in the front yard with ornaments and tinsel. haha I love it. 

I love you all. Sorry if this is so scatter brained. 

Hermana Ball

Doing the pronunciation exercise
My desk

Our kitchen

Look How Tan I Am!

Just Kidding.  This is after washing them.

Thanksgiving with the district

Us smelling the sweet smell of Paraguay

The meal I made for us.

My first zone conference.  I had no idea what was happening.
We made the cake that Charlsie sent and inside the oven all the cockroaches burned.  It was gross!!

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