Monday, July 29, 2013

Week 26

So I was in the hospital again this week.  But for the first time it wasn’t for me.  One of the Hermanas (Sister Missionaries) in Pedro Juan is sick, so we had to go show her the hospital and stuff.  So that was an interesting experience. 

Inside the hospital chapel
But I will now go back to the beginning of the week.  It started off weird as we had our first p-day without the missionaries in Rama 5b.  We literally spent like all day together on Mondays it was strange. But we eventually got over our loss and had a typical p-day. 
That night we did a Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) with the Familia Morinigo, which went really, really well.  We did a lesson using the proclamation to the world about families, ate food and had a good time.

Then Tuesday was Elder Anderson’s first district meeting as our new district leader.  It was cool to see, as he has been my comp forever, and I wanted to see how he’d teach missionaries instead of locals for a change.  I really liked it.  First of all he brought the great states tradition of bringing food to any church meeting when he brought doughnuts for us.  Then instead of hearing the same stuff we always do, he talked about ward council and how we can improve it and use it better.  It was nice to not have to sit and listen to somebody tell me to do something that I already know I need to do and he actually gave us ideas on how to improve.
Also it was ridiculously cold this week.  I need to give a huge thanks to my mom for overriding my stubbornness and making me take my thermals, as I actually used them this week.  Thanks mom for being a mom.   Also, I managed to mooch some heaters off the zone leaders so that helped but dang it was cold. I swear I’m turning into a South American or humid cold is way worse than Montana cold.

Anthony on some giant steps
Also huge news on the soccer front this week, as Olimpia played in the second leg of the Libertadores Cup final.  Well, Mercedes is a die-hard Olimpia fan, and as a recent convert, she is struggling with church attendance.  Mercedes swore that if she went to church, Olimpia would win.  She didn’t go to church.   Well karma sucks.  Olimpia was celebrating a 2-1 aggregate goal advantage with 30 seconds left before the other team scored meaning a tie breaking shootout.  They lost.  As a missionary I can’t serves her right… buuuuuut. 
Anyway, I had to do a division with the zone leaders this week.  Now if you’ve been reading this blog, you know I hate divisions and think they are a waste of time.  But for once, this one wasn’t that bad.  I was with Elder Bennett from Canada.   Sidenote:  his family lived in Choteau, MT for a little while.  That day, I wore my 3 Rivers black jacket, so that was ironic.  Anyway it was a good division and I learned a lot about what I can do to improve as a missionary.  It was awesome.

Griselda, her friends and family at her baptism
And finally, we had a baptism.  Griselda finally got dunked.  We’ve been working with her forever and you all know the story, so it was a huge relief when it finally happened.   We had to scramble at the last minute to just have enough priesthood holders there to do it.  Elder Anderson did the baptism and I confirmed her on Sunday.  It was my first one of those and while I butchered it linguistically, it’s the thought that counts, I believe.  Baptisms are one of the best things about the mission, as it’s a tangible result.   It’s weird how that is something I miss.  I miss having a job where I can see what I’ve done at the end of the day. It’s kinda driving me crazy out here.

Anyway, love you guys. Talk to you next week.


Elder Frost


Monday, July 22, 2013

More Photos

Pretending to do the zip line at Chakurrai
Other waterfall at Chakurrai
Burger King
 The streets when it rains

A canal they dug to try to drain water from the streets
The Elders of Rama 5 and Hermana Selva

Week 25

So first off, I want to apologize for not recognizing my pops bday last week.  On July 20th in the age of dinosaurs, my dad was born. (or does it just seem like he’s that old), haha.  But for real, I wanna give a shout out to my dad for his bday and hope everyone treated him right. Your definition of right can be whatever you think he deserves, haha.

Anyway, moving on to my life out here in the mish. So last week we got changes and the news straight blew our minds. So in Rama 5, Elder Plasencia has been here for 4 changes, Elder Anderl 2 changes,  Elder Frost 3 changes, and Elder Anderson 4 changes.  So, we all thought Anderson and Plasencia were gone.  Well… we were half right.  Elder Anderson stayed and Elder Plasencia left.   Elder Anderl also left.   Elder Anderson stayed as district leader. And his comp… well of course it’s me. Haha.  Somehow, someway, we are still together and we couldn’t be happier.  However, there are lots of changes as he is a district leader now and we have all of Rama 5 instead of just half.  So, that was pretty crazy.   

We took the news well, eating at the burger joint one last time, ending with a toast to the ride that was Rama 5.  So, we thought we had to move all the stuff out of their house, but we didn’t.  So that was nice, cuz moving a fridge woulda sucked.   Saying goodbye to them was weird.  We spent so much time together and had such a good time and generally liked it each other.  It was more like saying goodbye to a brother than some random kid you met out here. That just shows how tight we became.  It truly was a brotherhood in Rama 5.

Toast to Rama 5 

Wednesday night was the first half of the Copa Libertadores (NOTE:  the Copa Libertadores is an annual soccer tournament – Similar to the Gold Cup that is going on right now).  Paraguay won, so we had fireworks and yelling in the street all night.  It sounded and felt like I was in a war zone.  Love soccer countries! 

Copa Libertadores

 We had interviews with the new pres this weekend and it was awesome! I am really glad he is my prez.  We didn’t talk about much, I mostly told my story and you all know it, so I’m not gonna rehash it here, but it was way good. 

I had to give a talk on Sunday which is a bummer as I still don’t feel comfortable in public speaking like I do in the states.  I don’t quite have my flow or charm in Spanish.  Oh well it went good.

Also, apparently I have been sleep talking in Spanish.  So I guess all that studying and listening has sunk in somewhere.  Sadly my sleeping self probably speaks better than my awake self.  Maybe I’ll start sleeping in lessons.  Just kidding.  Well maybe. Haha.

Also for hopefully the last time, I’m going to update you on Griseldas baptism.  Due to some crazy events, it got moved to this upcoming Saturday.  And barring a hurricane or something else, it’s finally going to happen.  Which is awesome, since we’ve been working with her since I got here.  We have baptized 2 of her kids, got her married, and got her to quit smoking.  She is basically my mom out here.  She’s a great lady.
The king on his throne

Anyway I’m outta time for this week, but I hope y’all are doing well and should write me.

Take care


Elder Frost

Monday, July 15, 2013

Week 24

So this is probably the last week that I will be with Elder Anderson, and honestly that blows. I hate change. I still have shirts that I got from soccer tournaments 7 years ago. I don’t get rid of anything until it is beyond the point of broken. So dealing with all this change is not my favorite thing to do. Definitely my least favorite thing to do, especially when I highly doubt I will get a comp that I like more or get along better with than Anderson.

So we made sure we had fun this week along with the work. We did an awesome activity night with Blanca and her family where we made cookies with them and did this cool activity where we put 2 mil in a box and asked one of the kids to give us a mil and we’d give him whatever was in the box.  The catch was that he didn’t know what was inside the box.  So, he had to have faith in us telling him it was better.  It was way cool.  

As cool as that was, sadly we lost Sister Macfarlane from our area.  She was bitten 2x in a week by dogs and got special changed to Asuncion for rabies shots and better medical attention. We need all the cool Americans as possible.

Speaking of American things, well maybe it’s better to call it food things, Elder Anderson and I  did well in that regard this final week. We found a gelato place.  Yup, way worth the cost.  I love that stuff.  I may move to Italy later in life, so I can live on a beach and get fat on gelato and pizza and pasta. Ya, the more I think about it the better that sounds. Also we made tacos with actual hard shell tacos, taco seasoning and Cholula (hot sauce). Yum!  We finally ended the week with chicken alfredo where I seasoned the chicken and made some bomb parmesan garlic breadsticks.  I may not be Channing Tatum in The Vow, or Zac Efron in the Lucky One, or whatever that dude’s name is from A Walk to Remember, but I’m getting there and I guarantee I cook better than all of them.  So ladies, remember that. ;) hahaha

Anyway moving on, we played soccer for a ward activity night.  And, hopefully we should do Griselda’s baptism this week as well.  That’s really exciting as we’ve baptized two of her kids and have worked with her since I got here, seen her get married, and quit smoking.  Just to be able to see her get to this point is incredible.  And it’s only going to get better for her!  We still have some good work to do here though, and that’s exciting as well.

Oh yes, for my weekly health update -- I have overcome strep and then a cold and am now on antibiotics for my sinus infection.  Apparently, some of the residual effects of dengue is a very weak immune system and my hair may all fall out. Yay for South America.   Anyway, I am getting better.  Although I am ridiculously tiny at this point and, yes, I’m sure you’ve noticed in the pictures I’ve lost like 30 lbs already so I’m pretty skinny.   The good news is I can’t lose much more without dying.  The bad news is I’ve lost all the muscle tone, and it’s incredibly depressing.

Finally, my original group from 2 years ago goes home this week and that is even more depressing -  as that should have been me. Yay for poor life choices.  It’s weird that all my friends from freshman year in college are back or getting back.  But I’m glad I made it here even if it took a year and a half.

Love all you guys.  Take care and I’ll talk to you next week with news about changes and most likely my new companion.


Elder Frost

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Week 23

So as most missionaries we get our money at the beginning of the month and eat ridiculously well for the first week or so and then we’re broke. Well, we decided to go hard and eat some pizza. So Rama 5 (me, Elder Anderson, Elder Anderl, and Elder Plasencia) decided to go to one of the local pizza places last p-day. First of all, it was really good.  Secondly, I got some chili cheese fries and, although not from the States, they were way good as well.  It was a good night.   It reminded me of all the good times with friends back in the States.

Pizza Party

So then Tuesday we had to go to a meeting with the new president on Wednesday.  Our bus left at 11:00 pm, so we first had to escort the Hermanas to the bus, as it’s dark and fairly sketchy.  We had to avoid a drunk that was pretty bad.  Anyway, as we are waiting for the bus, tons of fireworks go off, horns honk, people run around with flags and scream and the place just goes crazy.  Apparently, Olimpia (the local soccer team) won something and that’s all. Gotta love soccer crazy countries.

So after a 4-hour ride, we got to San Estanislao for the meeting.  But, its 3:00 am, so I got to sleep on a church bench.  Weirdly, they are much more comfy and easier to sleep in when church is actually going on.   

Anyway, after about a million alarms went off at 6:30 am, I got up and went exploring the city with Elder Plasencia to find some breakfast.  I ended up buying a loaf of orange bread. It was pretty good.  I hung out with Elder Plasencia and Elder Morante in the back, learning Peruvian slang which was highly entertaining.  

Then everybody started running around putting on suit jackets.  So obviously the new president had arrived.   First impressions, I’m very glad he’s gonna be my president for most of my mission.  He just seems very laid back and chill.   He joked about himself and his family and just seems like a good guy.  He was very nervous, but who wouldn’t be?  I really liked getting to know him and his family.  I’m excited to see how he runs the mission and to do an interview with him.
After that, it was back on the bus.  I got to listen to Skyfall as our bus was playing it, but there was no TV on the bottom.  Weirdly, I knew exactly what part of the movie it was at, just based on sounds of gunshots or whatever.

So the next day was the 4th of July, and nothing big to report during the day.  But at night after we had all returned to the house, we had a BBQ for the 4th.  We made homemade hamburgers, ate chips and candy, drank some soda, and just kinda chilled.  For the second time this week I had memories of my friends and made me trunky, but hey they can write me.  Yes, that’s a hint -- write me. Haha. 
Happy 4th of July
4th of July burger and drink

Anyway, after that we had some good work the rest of the week -- did some really good visits with menos activo familias (less active families) and Griselda and Juan. Griselda came to church and has a date set for the 15th. So, Elder Anderson and I can, for sure, baptize her.  Juan is a great guy, but he can’t come to church due to health difficulties, but we visit him once a week and just share with him.  He also has a nephew that wants to be baptized, but the boy’s mom is inactive and doesn’t want to come back.  So, we didn’t know what to do.  So what a shock on Sunday when Juan was there with his nephew.  Come to find out, some members picked them up.  It was way exciting.  Also most of the menos activos we visited came, including most of the Familia Ojeda, which was really exciting.

Oh ya, I forgot -- during the week we had a visit at night and the lady offered us some cake.  It was really good.  I had 1 bite left on my second piece when I noticed some bugs on my hand.  So I wipe them off.  That’s when I notice they got on my hands… from inside the cake! Yup, bug cake.  But at this point, I’m committed.  So, I throw it in my mouth and eat it anyway.  Still tasted good, but I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.

 Today was another great day for the week. So there is a place called Chakurrai.  It is private land owned by some American, which isn’t that special except it has awesome waterfalls.  So we set up a trip to go. We invited everybody, but for one reason or another, people didn’t wanna go.  So only Rama 5 and the Hermanas went.  But it was really fun. We checked out some crazy waterfalls, climbed around, hiked a bit, checked out a sweet overlook of the area.  It was just cool.  It’s amazing how pretty and amazing Paraguay can be. 
The falls at Chakurrai
In Chakurrai - overlooking Pedro Juan Caballero
More falls at Chakurrai

Anyway, that about wraps it up for the week.  Hopefully, some pics get put up.

Love you guys and hope all is well.  Until next week --


Elder Frost

Monday, July 1, 2013

Week 22

So for all you concerned fans out there…I’m still sick. But I’m finally getting better. I was able to finally leave the house at the end of last week. 

But due to my awesome cough and sickness, I had a voice like Don Corleone.  So I talked to some investigators and made some offers they can’t refuse. Haha.  But really I’m super glad I’m feeling better. I hated being in the house for that long.

I even tried playing soccer today and that ended badly as I couldn’t breathe at all.  But I played a solid goalie and even scored twice. Not bad for a kid who looks like he’s been in a work camp for the last 6 months. I’ve lost 15 lbs so far since I left my house, which is crazy since I put on like 10 lbs in the MTC.
We got our new mission president today, and that’s exciting. I’m definitely glad he’s from the States, as in case of big issues I’ll be able to talk and explain in English. Here’s to hoping there are no big issues though.

Also, the crazy amount of time in the house gave me and Elder Anderson some cabin fever and we gave ourselves mohawks for about a day before we decided as missionaries we definitely cannot have mohawks.  So we went to a real haircut guy and had him fix our hair.  It is really short now though.  In fact, the first time I saw Rafa after it got cut, he said I was already to join the military and be a soldier.

The weather has been terrible, so that’s always a downer. Especially with me being sick, we had to cut some days short to save the risk of getting worse.
We made cookies with Mercedes and gave her daughter a birthday present. It’s cool how a Barbie, in this case a fake Barbie, is still an awesome gift for a 5 year old girl.
We also lost power for awhile on Sunday.  And for the first time since I left the small little town of Fairfield, I heard silence.  It was pretty weird.   Elder Anderson even commented on it too.
Oh ya, since I haven’t been able to leave the house for awhile and have been really sick, all desire to shave left me.  So I had a sick beard for awhile.  And yes… that is a pun as I was sick, and it was freaking awesome.
What else, oh ya, it was San Juan, which as far as I can tell is just some random day Paraguayans decided to make a holiday.  But they painted all these trees white and as we were walking through we saw them lynching a fake body which apparently we were told represents Judas and they will light him on fire later in the night.  Apparently, they also play fire soccer for this holiday - where they wrap a ball in rags and light it on fire.  I wanted to play so bad.   But unfortunately, we missed out on all the pyrotechnics as it was way late at night and I was feeling pretty sick, so we went home.
This week we have a short trip to meet the new mission president at a zone conference thing, so that’ll be cool.  I’m sure I’ll have stuff to write about that next week.
It’s also the 4th of July this week, so I’m trying to think of a way to remember my heritage, so if ya’ll think of something email me.
Finally, a shout out to my wonderful little sister, who turns some age tomorrow. Yup, I can’t remember what age. (NOTE:  Rachelle turned 17)  Well more like I don’t want to think that my little sister is a senior in high school. Ya, dang I’m old.  Everybody spank her and give her gifts or just spank her -- I don’t really care.  Haha.
Love all you guys, and I hope you know that I think about you guys all the time. Take care of yourselves, and I’ll talk to you next week.

Elder Frost