Monday, February 24, 2014

Week 56

Turns out I still can’t play basketball. That’s what we played last Monday for p-day and it’s the same old same old,  I can drive on anybody and just can’t finish.  I’ll literally pay somebody to teach me to finish, ha ha.  It’s so sad.

Then unfortunately my comp got hosed on a speaker he bought to listen to music in the house with.  The guy was a little sketchy, but my comp did all the right things and made him bring it out and try it out and everything and it worked just fine. It just doesn’t read USB.  So that’s a bummer.  We will try and return it and see what happens.

Then later that night, we did a really good FHE with the Familia Martinez who were all super excited since their son was finally getting out of prison after 5 or 6 months. So that turned into a great night.  Hopefully the rest of the family can come to church now and not just the father.  

Then since we are still learning the area a little bit, we found some really sick people that were accepting our lessons and everything - only to find out that the don’t actually belong to us.  So that was depressing.  But such is the mission.  Somebody in Capiata just lucked out on our hard work.  

Speaking of hard work, we have been working a lot with this girl named Maria Belen Ojeda and she is going to be baptized this week.  She’s an 11 year old niece of a member in our ward that moved here to live with her aunt from the Chaco.  She is so legit and so excited to be baptized.  It feels great to baptize again and to see the results of our work. 

Something that still needs some work, or in this case to work out, is my body.  It’s falling apart and looks terrible.  I thought I’d bottomed out a couple months ago, but I guess I was wrong.  Not only that, I’m straight up weak now.  We had to return a grill from a family a couple blocks away and I had to stop 3 times and my biceps hurt for like 3 days after.  Sooooo, who wants to be gym buddies with me when I get back?  This is unacceptable.

Also unfortunately, we are leaving summer and getting into fall.  Which means the rain is coming.  I got straight up soaked last Wednesday night.   Luckily our bishop gave us black garbage bags to use as ponchos.  But I just tore through the bag with my hands and head instead of using scissors like my comp.  The result?  I had a deep v-neck poncho that didn’t do me a whole lot of good.  It looked sweet though.  

I also have developed my first hole in my shoe.  Not a good sign, as I have 10 months left.  Hopefully they can at least hold on until winter when I can use my boots again.

Also this week was a lesson in potential.  We contacted and found a ton of super legit families that sat with us read with us and accepted all of our commitments.  But over the week, we truly got to know them and their potential.   It has changed from golden to, dang I guess we will come back 1 more time next week.  Kinda sad actually.  But on the flip side, some rando that we met in the street on Saturday and invited to church came to church without even a lesson from us.  So that could turn into something legit. 

We also had the opportunity to do some service this week and I gotta say, I prefer a hoe to a machete.  The hoe was so much nicer.  My comp got worked by the machete - his hands were all busted up.

Also I hung up my hammock and am doing my language study in there now.  The best idea ever.  Hammocks are amazing.

I gotta go, as we have a sweet FHE planned but it’s been a good week.  I can’t wait to talk to you guys again next week.

Take care.


Elder Frost


Monday, February 17, 2014

Week 55

So it was quite an interesting week. First of all, we had changes this week.  So that is always quite the experience.

We got the news Monday, and it was cause for more than a little excitement in my life. Elder Stopper absolutely hated the news and was quite adamant about hating the news. For me I’m more oblivious, nonchalant, as I’m just doing my time.  And 6 weeks with one person, is the same as 6 weeks with somebody else.  Either way, I’m a missionary and I’m gonna do me.

Also, nobody knew my new companion so it was hard to get excited or upset about the news. My new companion is Elder Beus from Farmington, Utah.  He has been in the mission for a little over 6 months but comes highly recommended from the higher ups in the mission. So take that for what it is. Elder Stopper decided he did not want to say goodbyes to anyone, but rather, to have one last soccer game and just do goodbyes there.  That ended up being a great thing, as our day got taken for a loop, when Elder Fernandez, Elder Menchaca and Elder Wall came by.  

Elder Wall is going home after a good 2 years served.  Elders Menchaca and Fernandez came with him from Pedro Juan and were waiting for changes on Wednesday. They wanted to visit some of his old areas which lead them to us. We ended up checking out some huge mountain that he had wanted to climb and took a bunch of pictures there.  It was a pretty great view. Then back into town for the goodbye soccer game.  It was really fun, but unfortunately, I played pretty poorly.  It is probably my last chance to play with these guys, since this tradition likely dies with Elder Stopper.

Then on Wednesday, we went in to Asuncion for changes. I saw and talked with a bunch of my friends in the mission.  Which is always one of my favorite parts about changes.  Well it’s the only part I like usually.  Then we headed back to the area.  After taking care of unpacking and buying groceries, we went to the ward activity and called it a night.

On Friday we had interviews with president. I was really excited and nervous for these interviews as it was the interview I was going to talk about going home a little bit early.  Also in a change, instead of having one big meeting, we had several stations where we learned things and then got pulled out one-by-one to do our interview.  In the end, I had nothing to worry about, as it went well and I got my time.  My new end date is December 17th.  Which should give me plenty of time to do the things I need to do before school starts in January.  Also I get to be home for Christmas, my birthday, and New Years.  So that will be fun and quite the party.

After that, we went to McDonalds with Elder Wolfgramm and Elder McClelland, which was way fun.  I love those guys.  We also got into the deepest, weirdest doctrine talk I’ve ever been a part of.  It was quite interesting.

Also, we had some legit visits with the Familia Diaz, who we can hopefully help bring back to church.  We also had a visit with Fabian, a professional chef, so that was legit.  You know how I love my food.  

We ended the week with a fireside about families on Sunday, and that was amazing.  It was one of the best ward activities I’ve been to.  I liked it a lot, and hopefully we can build on that and do even better in the future. I’m excited for the upcoming change and the work we have in the area including a baptism the 28th of February -  fingers crossed.

One other big thing this week was Valentine’s Day or single awareness day. And it made me realize that I have never had a valentine in 22 years of existence. I can’t decide if I should be proud of that, or sad.  But I’m leaning towards sad.  Either way, I’ve decided that as much as I enjoy spending all of Valentine’s Day with some dude, or getting into fights with teachers in the MTC about nothing, or hitting happy couples with water balloons, which are the activities I’ve done the last 3 valentines days, my goal is to have a valentine for next year. It’s gonna be tough, but I feel like I can do it.  If you wanna be my valentine, just let me know. Ha ha. I always love packages. ;)

Well that’s about it for this week.  You guys take care of yourself and I’ll talk to you next week.


Elder Frost


Monday, February 10, 2014

Week 54

Well, it’s official -- my best friend and the best trainer out here has gone home.
Elder Anderson finished his mission last week and spent a week touring the country with his family.  He is now enjoying life in the States. Good for you, man. I just want to take this opportunity to thank him for all he did for me out here. Without him, I probably would have been home months ago when I wanted to quit for the language, or after that for being depressed, or after that for punching out the AP.  Ok, that one I wish he woulda let me do.  But the reality is he was like my brother out here. Always let me vent and never had anything to say but agree with me. Never got on my case for how I was living my mission or the many, many problems I have with mission personnel. I don’t like to get super spiritual or to share many scriptures on the blog but I do want to share a scripture.  It’s Proverbs 17: 17 “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” It shares my thoughts about my friend and brother out here, Elder Anderson, and all the other missionaries that are going through this challenge in their lives. Take care, man.

Well, let’s see, after that, not much else seems to really matter this week or to have made much of a difference.  We had a birthday party for Elder Stopper since his birthday is in March and realistically he won’t be here any longer as changes are today.  That was a good time.  Some of the other elders got together with us, and we ate Elder Stopper’s favorite food -- BBQ’d pork with rice and minestra de lenteja (stewed lentils). It was pretty good, as always. 

It was actually quite the week for birthdays as we celebrated another one on Saturday night.  One of my favorite members is Hermana Vera.  Well, her husband is always out of town working so she didn’t get a chance to celebrate her birthday with him. He came to town this last weekend, and she decided to have a BBQ for her birthday and being the super nice lady she is, she invited us. So me and Stopper bought a cake hoping to save money only to find out it’s a lot more expensive that way.  Oh well, we bought and carried the cake to her house and had a great time.  They really know how to do a BBQ.  There were ribs and pork and sausages and some intestine thing stuffed with rice.  I didn’t like that.  Then, there were like 5 different kinds of salad and rice and bread and lots of drink. We ate, and ate, and ate until I thought I was gonna die.  But I didn’t and instead just got even fatter.  Man, the mission is killing me. Ha ha.

What else? Oh ya -- the Copa Libertadores is going on right now. It actually just started a couple weeks ago. It’s a huge tournament for soccer where they take all the top teams from the leagues in South America and they compete. Well, Guarani, one of the teams from Paraguay, played this week in Paraguay. They lost the game in Chile by a score of 1-0 but played a lot better so everyone was excited for the return game at home. And they weren’t disappointed -- well at least for the first two-thirds of the game. They came out great and were leading by a goal with not much left in the game, and should’ve scored a couple more but just couldn’t quite finish. Those came back to bite them as U de Chile went on a run late in the game and came from behind to score and score again and win the game, effectively eliminating Guarani from the competition. It is quite something to watch soccer in a restaurant with a bunch of drunk Latinos cheering for the home team. I’m really not sure I will be able to get over the lack of support in the States.  The atmosphere and soccer craziness of Latin America is infectious.  I love it!

Another thing that was really cool that happened this last week occurred on Sunday.  So I had always been told that it is basically taboo to use props or do an object lesson from the pulpit.  Now I may have been lied to since this particular talk happened with my mom when I was determined to use the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue as my prop one Sunday. Ha ha.  But either way, I like them. There was a lady who used them on Sunday for her talk. She had a Ken doll all dressed up in pioneer looking clothes and like a handcart looking thing, then she gave a really good talk.  She also had pictures and other things she kept using to relate her talk with things people could connect with.  It was great! It was so different than most talks down here, and it even got me to look up from my awesome drawing on the back of my mission planner.  I may have to outdo myself on my homecoming now to have that kind of reaction, although I still have a year to plan that.

We also got changes today.  I am staying in Anahi 1 with a new comp named Elder Baus or something like that. And Elder Stopper is leaving. Changes are weird.  

Love you guys. Take care.

Elder Frost


Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 53

I know I started my last week’s blog talking about food and how it made my week.  Well, this week was very similar.

On Monday I got a slushie. Yes, some of you will laugh, but I haven’t seen a slushie in over a year.  It’s not exactly like 711s are on every corner down here.  Anyway, last Monday we ate at McDonalds and right by McDonalds there was a lady with a little stand selling slushies.  Obviously, I got really excited and bought one. It was lemon flavored.

Then on Tuesday, we tried having district meeting.  But, no one had keys.  So that got moved until Wednesday. 

Since we had some time to kill before our lunch cita, we went and visited a member whose wife has cancer, a lady we took sacrament to the week before. The husband and wife live and work in the same place. He is a glassblower. When we got there he was at work so we went and watched him blow glass. It’s amazing how they do what they do and how it all works. We talked for a while after that and then went and ate.

On Wednesday night, we had our normal soccer night.  But for some strange reason, almost no one came.  In fact, instead of having 4 or 5 or sometimes 6 teams, we had exactly 2.  So just the 2 teams played.  It was a lot of fun to be able to play for a good while like that.  We ended up playing for 80 minutes or almost a whole game.  Needless to say, I was dead.  I haven’t played a game of that length since my senior year of high school-over 4 years ago.  I’m outta shape.  The mission killed me!  Well that, and the fact I haven’t gone to a gym in almost 4 years as well.  Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and I played really well.  I got lots of compliments from the fans and the players. I still got it!

The next day a member showed us this place called Loslagos.  We stopped by just to see what it was on our way to a visit.  It turns out it’s a hotel ran by a German guy who bought the land when it was still a jungle and chopped it all down and made this resort-like place.  There is a lake to fish in, a lake to canoe on, some rope bridges, some houses to rent, horseback riding, all sorts of stuff.  But for me, the coolest thing was seeing the birds.  The guy has toucans and some other parrots kept in a cage.  I’ve wanted to see a toucan my whole mission, and I finally got to see one.  Well, more than one.  They are awesome! I want one.

After that, we got wet, as it rained and for the first time in months.  I didn’t have a plastic bag with me in my backpack, so I got wet and all my stuff got wet.  That’s such a downer, but such is the mission.

Then we visited Fredy, the less active guy, who hates North Americans.  But, he has grown to love me.  And slowly but surely, we are getting him to come back to the church.  Right now it is only activities, but soon I think and hope it will be on Sundays as well.  He has grown to love me, and now wants me in the circle when his baby is blessed in April.  Hopefully, I’m still here.  Not bad for a gringo from Montana.

Then we had our ward cine night.  Unfortunately, it was worse than last week, as no one came this time. Ouch. So we did an impromptu obra misional with the lider and made sweet announcements and invitations for our fireside this Sunday.

Then on Saturday we visited Fredy again, and we ordered pizzas and just had a good night hanging out and talking and eating with him and his family.  I really hope we can get them back. Also this week, I bought a new camera so that is a relief that I can finally take pictures again.

And finally, I found a place that does frozen yogurt like the places in Utah.  And yes of course I went.  Chelsea Chen that was for you!  Not as good as the States, but still amazing.  As you can see, I still think with my stomach.  I’m short, fat and proud of that and in the mood for food.

And with that, I will leave you guys as my time is up and the week is over.  I hope you all have a great new week; I know I will try.

Take care of yourselves. I love you.

Elder Frost