Monday, September 19, 2011

Week 96 in Paraguay Change 16 Week 5

So I'm just about out of time today so this one will probably be a little short, but don't worry, anything I don't say by now I'm pretty sure I'll remember enough to tell you when I get home. First things first about the finances, so they took advantage of me in Saltos. I bought a camera for 90 dollars and specifically asked them to charge me in dollars because the exchange rate is higher there so they can rip people off and make money, they charged me in Guaraníes anyways, so that is why the camera was more expensive. I wish I would have noticed, but I didn't notice until the next day because the receipt they gave me said 90 dollars, but the receipt that was with my card said 400 mil, which is more than 90 dollars. Then the next day I just decided to take out the rest of my money to start buying some last things and use in the airports to have cash, and I just tried a high amount, still not realizing I got jipped in Saltos on my camera, just to see if it was on my card not really expecting it to all come out and it did. I think probably because you put more money on my card on Monday, so yes I took out money.
As for the baptism, it didn't happen because the little girl got sick over the weekend, there was a whole lot of rain, but we have it planned for this week, she will get baptized before I go home for sure, my last baptism. Other than that I don't really have much more to say, well I do but I really don't have time, I had a really awesome spiritual experience in a lesson this week, you are going to have to remind me when I get home to tell you, I won't forget and I wrote it down. I want to cook some Paraguayan dishes I've learned to make for you when I get home. I love you all so much, I really feel for my BYU cougars, but I'm alright as long as they have a good team next year! Love you so much, see you next week! Elder Adamson V

Monday, September 12, 2011

Week 95 in Paraguay Change 16 Week 4

Hey Family! So I'm in Saltos right now, I came here today to teach the rest of the Elders in the zone in a joint district meeting and then stayed for P-day, I'm going to be doing a division with them tonight and I'm heading back to Santaní on the 11 oclock bus. First things first, I bought a camera today, I have been thinking about it a lot but never wanted to do it because they are so expensive in Santaní, but today I was in Saltos on the border of Brazil and the prices are a lot lower here, so I didn't really think about it and just bought one, it was 90 dollars. The cheapest one I've found in Santaní is over 140 dollars, and the one I got is pretty nice too. I wanted to get one so I could have one for the airport and things, a few people are going to go here to see me off and I want to be able to take pictures with them, and it will be nice to not have to use my comps camera for the next two weeks. Well, I don't have very much time to write, we've got to go get doing some other things, but we had a baptism last week! I attached a picture of their wedding, my companion has all the pictures of the baptism though. It was such a great baptism, and we are going to have another one this week, and some more next week, if everything goes well, so I should be finishing everything out strong, it really hasn't quite hit me yet I'm going, it's all gone by so fast. Well, a quick story from this week. We called out a little 5 year old kid for lying to us, it was so funny. So Paraguayans when they don't want to talk to you they send out their kids to tell you that they aren't home. It's pretty normal, but I've never had something like this happen, the kid ran out and we had just seen the mom go in from the bathroom and he tells us that no one is home but him, a little 5 year old kid; so I tell him, "Then who is the lady that just finished showering and entered the house?" he just looked up at us dumb and told us he didn't know, like all other Paraguayan kids, and then my companion looks at him and says, "Are you lying to us?" and the little kid, all hurt, just said yes and then went running into the house yelling for his mom. Anyway, I love you all so much, can't wait to see you in a couple weeks and explain things to you a little better! Love you sooooo much, Elder Adamson V

Monday, September 5, 2011

Week 94 in Paraguay Change 16 Week 3

Hey Family! I can't believe it is SEPTEMBER! But believe me, I don't know if I am going to want to go when the time comes. My mission and my area are better right now than they have ever been my entire mission. We are putting things into pratice and we are really seeing results. I can't believe what Santaní is like now, it is completely different than when I first got there. I am really excited for what is going to happen these last three weeks. Yesterday we went out to look for investigators to take them to church and everyone we went by to take to church wasn't ready. We went for three different people, two were in bed and the other one didn't even have any response to our claps, so we just went to church, and when we got there, there were 4 investigators there waiting for us, and 5 other investigators came before sacrament meeting started! It was amazing, the branch is growing so much, we used to have an average total church attendance of about 35 people when I got here and yesterday we had 90, including 14 investigators, 9 from our side and 5 with the other Elders. The work is really moving forward and the Lord is blessing Santaní. This Saturday Justino Salas is going to be getting married and baptized. He is going to marry in the morning and then get baptized in the afternoon. He started investigating the church 15 years ago and has gone to sacrament meetings on and off for the last 2 years. Right now we have a Paraguayan Elder in Santaní on the other side that has made real good friends with him because he hardly speaks any Spanish. He told him that the only reason he hasn't listened to the missionaries or got baptized is because they never understand him, this is the first time that people have tried to teach him in Guaraní, and it isn't me. I try to teach him in Guaraní, but I really don't speak very much, but the members go there 2-3 times a week and teach him. He told Elder Aguilar that once he gets baptized he wants to receive the priesthood, get a calling and help us teach his friends. When I first got here he wouldn't even leave the house to shake our hands, and now he has completely changed and its all because someone tried to teach him in his own language. Guaraní is so great, I love the language so much, it is just so hard, sometimes, I can't motivate myself anymore to study it because of how little time I have, but I know I need to, the very little I speak has helped us so much. I have never been more laughed at my whole life though. You really have to have no fear to learn Guaraní, it's so hard because most people you can't communicate well enough with in Spanish, so it seems worthless, then on top of that once you even try the littlest thing they make fun of you, they laugh at me sooo much, but I've got to the point where I really just don't care and I expect it, and I laugh with them, and they help me learn that way. Anyway, running a little bit off topic and I don't have too much time. As for the other investigators, Cintia's mom went to church again, she has a baptismal date for next week, the 17th, and she is set to go. The only thing she can't get over is her ex husband, they aren't married so if she wants to be with him they have to get married before she can get baptized, but he doesn't want to marry her and they aren't even living together, but every time we talk about it she says that she misses him. I was pretty frank with her one day and just laid out the law of chasity to her and asked her some pretty frank questions, and she says they haven't done anything to break the law in over 2 months, but she still wants to be with him even though he is off and the rumor is he has another family. So we are going to gently, but probably boldly, to get her to make a decision to just let him go completely. We will see what happens. We are working with this really cool family too, don't have too much time to write about them, but they went to church for the first time yesterday too. One of the sisters has been twice and the older sister and her couple went yesterday. The younger sister is Karin and the older sister is Viviana and her husband is Jose. They came to church completely alone, we didn't look for them and no members went by their house, they are really sincere and I could really see them getting baptized at the end of the month, we are going to challenge them with a date for the 24th tomorrow. Anyway, I don't have much time and I'm sure you would like to know how things went with President Arnold, to wrap it up short it was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. I have never met and sat with any man as in tune to the spirit, he knows exactly what to say and you can tell he completely relies on the Holy Ghost to guide his words. He talked a lot to me about life after the mission, in fact everything we talked about was about after the mission. He put a goal with me to pay off my house completely by the time I was 30. It is a really lofty goal, but it was amazing how much confidence he put in me, and I could feel the confidence my Heavenly Father put in me. I have no idea how I am going to do it, but I'll do it, because I know the Lord has the confidence in me, and who knows, maybe the Lord will need me for some reason or other and that is why he wants me to do that. Pretty much the whole interview we talked about setting goals, planning for goals, and actually completing with the goals we set. It really put into an eternal perspective the little things I've been learning here on my mission. Anyway, I'm all out of time now, I am so very thankful for this mission, I am having the time of my life right now, the mission is better than it has ever been and the time is going by way too fast I can't believe it. We have so many people to teach and the work is really moving forward. I love these people and I am truly going to miss them, but I am going to serve them the best I possible can in this little time that the Lord has given to me that I have left. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that he truly is directing this work, I love you all so much and I am so thankful for your support, Elder Adamson V

Monday, August 29, 2011

Week 93 in Paraguay Change 16 Week 2

Mba'echapa che familiakuéra? Asrivíhina pe carta katu peikuaa haguâ la ohasáhina che vídape ko'anga. Aipota otermina haguâ che misión Santanípe. Che a'aprendese guaraníme gui, a'aprende chupe hasyeterei! Well, there's a little bit of jopará for all of you, I'm learning Guaraní, but I really don't know how to speak it all that well. The people here don't really either, they just speak what they call Jopará, which is a mix of Guaraní and Spanish. For all you that speak Spanish you can see the Spanish in what I wrote. I wrote, "How are you my family? I'm writing this letter so you can know what is happening in my life right now. I want to finish my mission in Santaní. I'm learning Guaraní, but learning it is really hard!" It's coming along, but the progress is slow and time is really winding down fast. I still don't speak it well enough to hold a conversation, but I can teach simple things, like prayer and things like that, it really helps to get into houses, everyone loves someone that speaks Guaraní. I'm kind of sad that I've never really been anywhere they speak Guaraní a lot until now. It would have been nice to be where I'm at now before I got here and go off of that, but what can you do, I've been and I'm at exactly where the Lord wanted and wants me to be. Speaking of which, President gave us a little heads up that there are going to be a lot of special changes this next week to get ready for the real changes, because changes this time is going to be really crazy. Luckily I'm not in the office anymore to take care of that, in this change when I go home and the last change combined there were 46 new missionaries, which means 46 new trainers because trainers have to stay with the greenie for two changes, and 18 zone leaders went home, which means in just two changes there is going to have to be 46 new trainers, 18 new zone leaders, and the mission has to open 5 new areas, that is a lot of weight on a lot of young missionaries and a lot of stress for a Mission President, so he wants to do a lot of the moving people around next week, which means there is a good chance Elder Felix might leave. Of course we don't know, but I've got the office Elder blood and it's always fun to speculate and think about who will be going up and who is going to be leaving their area. But anyway, that probably doesn't interest you much, the real news of the week is that we moved houses, we are living now on the second story of a really nice place that is a lot cheaper than where we were at before, some members showed us the place and we have known for a while that our old owner was charging us way too much and taking advantage because we were American, so when they showed us how nice the new place is and told us the price we accepted and moved. It worked out really well too because we are right at the end of the month so we have two houses until Wednesday and we have the big zone conference with Elder Arnold tomorrow, so the Assistants are going to stay in our old house tonight. My interview with the Area President will be tomorrow during lunch, 66 people are going to be in the conference, among which there will be 8 zone leaders, all the other missionaries are going to a restaurant to eat lunch while the 8 of us stay at the church alone with President Arnold to eat and have interviews. It's just a little intimidating but I'm really excited, it will be a really great opportunity to have the interview with a General Authority. He gave a conference talk either last year or 2009 if you want to look him up to see who he is, he is one of the most powerful men I have ever heard speak, he's the one that came back in March. It should be fun. His full name is Mervyn B. Arnold if you want to look that up, it was a great talk. Anyway, I'm out of time, the time on P-day always goes by way too fast, but I love you all sooo much. Elder Adamson V

Monday, August 22, 2011

Week 92 in Paraguay Change 16 Week 1

Well, one more week has gone by in Paraguay, I can't believe how fast time goes, I woke up a little early today before the alarm went off and I just sat there thinking and I started to think about all my old roommates from BYU, and it hit me that every single one of them are home now, pretty much everyone I know that left is home now, they're all just waiting for me now, and now officially I am in the oldest group of missionaries in the mission, we are the next ones to go home. It's really exciting, but the truth is it's a pretty sad thought, Santaní is really starting to get going now and we haven't had any baptisms yet, the members are so excited and it looks like things are really going to blow up here, right as I'm about to go. We have so many people we are working with and each one of them are so close to getting baptized, but they are just have these little doubts, but we are getting through it, we have been bringing so many people to church and they just aren't committing to baptism. It's a little frustrating because throughout my whole mission in every other area if I brought a person to church more than once they got baptized, but here we have some investigators that have gone to church multiple times and still don't want to make a commitment. I really think we'll be having some in September though. We are working with some couples to try and get them married, two couples specifically and in both couples the wife is already a member, so we are trying to get them married and the husband baptized. We are really close with one of them, but they don't speak hardly any Spanish, I try to teach them with my broken Guaraní, but they don't understand much, but members have really been helping a lot with that. I have been learning so much Guaraní here to try and teach people. I told you about Cintia, well she still hasn't missed a Sunday since she first went with us and we are trying to baptize her mom. She doens't speak much Spanish either. She has been my motivation to learn Guaraní. I really want to be able to see her baptized, she went to church with us the week before last, but yesterday she went to her old church again, so we are going to keep working on that. Her daughter bore her testimony in the testimony meeting she went to and I think that really helped her a lot. She said she had a dream that she went out working with us one day and was teaching the gospel with us, she told us before that she would pray and seek an answer if she should get baptized, so I thought she was telling me about the dream because she thought it was an answer. So I asked her, "You're going to get baptized now then, right?" and she just said that in the dream we didn't say anything about baptism, that we were just talking about God, so it has been pretty frustrating, but I think I will be able to see her baptized, hopefully. It's going to take a lot of faith, but it will help Cintia out soo much, she cried and cried when we told her that one of us was going to leave at changes, and then we got changes and we're staying together. Oh yeah, I didn't tell you yet, Elder Felix and I are still together, it looks like he might be my last companion, but he has been here a really long time so we are thinking there might be a special change before changes. We'll see. Anyway, out of time, I don't know how that happened. Anyway, as for the airport stuff, being able to my sister in Atlanta, I'm sure I can leave and I don't need a comp, I'm flying to spokane alone and I always travel alone here. I'll ask my mission president, but I'm sure it won't be a problem as long as I don't leave the airport. I'm just a little worried about making flights, I only have an hour and 40 minute layover in Atlanta and I have to go through customs because I'm coming into the country on that flight, in Utah it might be easier, I already sent a letter to Andrea asking her to see if she could get permission to pass security in Atlanta, we get permission here, but I don't know if its going to be the same in the states. I love you all so much, Elder Adamson V

Monday, August 15, 2011

Week 91 in Paraguay Change 15 Week 6

So, we still haven't gotten our changes today. We always get them Monday at night so we should be finding out what is happening tonight. It will be kind of funny if Elder Felix stays and I have to leave because we already went to a few peoples houses and Elder Felix said goodbye and told them he was leaving when we really didn't know. We told them we weren't sure but that it was more probably that he leaves and not me. This week has been a really great week. There were some special changes on Wednesday and one of the missionaires from the other companionship here in Santaní got changed (transferred to a new area), and since the changes were so close to the actual changes we just stayed in a trio, Elder Felix, Elder Aguilar, and I. We have been working a lot with members to go on divisions and what not, to be able to work both areas. This branch is changing so much, we haven't had any baptisms yet, but the Branch is so much better than when I got here, the members are visiting a lot of people without us even asking and things are a lot better. We have a lot more people to teach and people are progressing a lot quicker than they were before. It is kind of sad that all this is happening right as we are getting changes, but the Lord knows where he needs us and what the work is that we need to do. As for the trip to the waterfall last week, I'll just have to tell you the story in a few weeks when I'm home, I don't want to take too much time talking about it right now. I attached a few photos for you to look at to see what it was like.

We have been traveling so much lately. I went to Puente Kyha, then to Concepcion, then to Saltos del Guiará. Our zone is so huge it is kind of fun to travel and work with missionaries, but it is so tiring. This week we have changes so we are going to have to get up in the middle of the night again, all the trips we make are 4 hours or more and the bus always comes at about 3 in the morning. Luckily the buses are really nice and its pretty easy to sleep. All except this bus to Concepcion, it was worse than a school bus and it was a 5 hour trip one way. Anyway, that is about all that is happening, we are going to have our zone conference with Elder Arnold in two weeks, I'm going to have a personal interview with him. I love you all so much, Elder Adamson V

Monday, August 8, 2011

Week 90 in Paraguay Change 15 Week 5

So this week was probably one of the most tiring weeks in my mission, we did a lot of traveling and lost a lot of sleep on buses, but we got a really good nights sleep last night and we're ready to go for a new week ahead of us. The bad news is that today we went to this waterfall in our area because this is the last chance Elder Felix and I were going to have together to see it because changes are next week. We have other things to do next P-day, so we went to the waterfall and it was a lot further away than we thought and it took a very large chunk out of our P-day, so I really don't have any time at all to write because we still have a lot of things to do and we have to get to work at six, sorry, but we got a whole lot of really awesome pictures. The big news of the week is that yesterday we went to Concepción for our district conference, Elder Ávila was there, and area seventy, and we had 11 investigators in church! Concepción is 5 hours away so we left here at one in the morning yesterday and didn't get back until 7:30 at night, it was a long trip, but a lot of people went with we hadn't even met until yesterday, probably really to get to know Concepción, but we were able to talk a lot to them and we have plans to visit them this week. Anyway, I really love you all, sorry for the really short letter, I'll send a better one next week, but I better not promise because everytime I do it seems I can't, anyway, I love you all sooooo much, Elder Adamson V