Monday, April 28, 2014

Week 65

So, I feel old.  I am old actually, and it kinda sucks.

So this last week two more of my mission friends went home as they ended their time. I’m realizing I have less and less people I know every time the mission gets together.  So that’s kinda freaking me out. Also back in the States all my friends are graduating college this month or have already graduated. Where did the time go... also I’m still a college sophomore. go me.   But for all my friends, good luck in the real world.  I’ll be along someday...

Now, on to the week that was.  It began with a normal Monday of soccer, cyber and grocery shopping. Although my team went on the most impressive run of wins I’ve seen in the mission during soccer.  We straight up dominated. My defense was lock down again; although, my shot has become terrible. We beat everyone over and over again. We played so long and won so long Elder Alvizures had to sub himself out due to dehydration. It was legit.

Then we had a Noche de Hogar with Jose Felix and his mom. It went really well.  He’s a little different, in more ways than one, but he wants to help us.  Plus they gave us dinner for free.  Love free food!

We are working a lot with members, and well everybody, to work on reading the Book of Mormon cover to cover.  It’s amazing how many people have been members their whole lives and never done it.  So if back home, you are one of those people - do it.  And, yes, I didn’t do it until the mission I’ll confess, ha ha.

On Tuesday we went to the temple. We only get to go once a year so it’s kind of a big deal to the missionaries. It turned into quite the day. Started off with way too early bus rides like most mission days do, then it got crazy as all the missionaries tried using the same bus.  So no one got on.  In the end, we trusted a missionary who was wrong, and we ended up walking forever to get to the temple. So we got there all tired and sweaty and just a tad bit late. 

On the walk, a shopping center had the VS (Victoria’s Secret) fashion show playing on a Times Square type screen.  It was crazy.

Anyway the temple went really well, even though I almost didn’t get to go as the humidity has blurred my numbers on my recommend, so it couldn’t be read.  But they did finally admit me, and it was a very great experience.

After that we had a testimony meeting that went really well.  I even bore my testimony or the thing I attempt to call a testimony. I haven’t done that in years.  It went well, I think. I also got told by the mission president’s wife that she misses my confidence.   See I told you cocky was a Christ-like attribute.  Just kidding, ha ha.

Then lunch was Pizza Hut, so pretty solid even though not States quality.  Then a slideshow of the mission. I was in the slideshow 2 times -- one at a BBQ in Anahi, and the other with Elder Anderson at Rafa’s baptism. Yup -- being an example for the entire mission, That’s me and Anderson.  But for real, those were the best days of my mission and how the mission should be.  I’m trying to get back to that, and with Elder Alvizures, we are progressing.

Then as we waited for a bus, we went into BK (Burger King) and got milkshakes and they happened to be showing the champions league semifinal between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea so I may or may not have kept ordering things and eating them until the game was over. Sadly the game was a disappointment, but still a good time.

Then on Wednesday, Elder Beyhmer and Willes both went home. So crazy that everybody is dying on me.  But good for them, and hopefully, I’ll hit them up once I’m back in the States, as they are going to UVU.  Like I said, I feel old.

That same day I also did visits with Jose Felix, the member from Monday night. So like I said, he is a little different, which makes visits a bit of an adventure. One is he’s gay.  So that’s just always a little uncomfortable.  The second is he loves deep doctrine and most of the time it is way, way, way, out there and not at all confirmed.  So you gotta be careful with what he says.  But the visits went really well. He showed us a lot of former investigators’ houses and some of his neighbors.  We got some good work out of it.  The final visit was with a deaf lady who was nice enough to invite us to her grandkids’ b-day party on Saturday.  So that was exciting.  We do love parties and free food.  Not sure if I said that. Ha ha. 

We also did service this week cutting down a coconut tree.  So we walked around with an ax for awhile.  Surprisingly nobody wanted to talk to us.  Nobody wanted to talk to us when a boxer followed us around for awhile either, but both were good days.  We did the service on Saturday -- my job being the unknowledgeable ax user was to pull on the rope so the tree fell in the right direction. We brought a pro with us and in like 10 minutes he cut the tree -- something it woulda taken us hours to do.  So that was a plus. 

Then at night we had the deaf lady’s b-day party.  It turned out to be just us as everybody else had come and gone before we got there.  She had made 20 liters of hot chocolate and had cookies and candy and cake to eat. So we ate and drank and had a good night before she sent us home with a doggie bag. Super, super nice lady and really funny.  But trying to yell a lesson is really ineffective, so we will see where that goes.

This week there is a member of the 70 coming, so that’s exciting and then next week is changes.  Time flies.

Hope you all had a good week; I know I did. 

Love you guys and take care,


Elder Frost

Monday, April 21, 2014

Week 64

So one thing I hate about the mission is the inability to be there for your family when they need you, and when they are celebrating. This last week was my mom’s birthday.  Since I was taught at a very young age never to say a women’s age I’m not gonna say how old, but happy late birthday mom.

Monday was an interesting day. I had an interview with the president in the morning which went really well.  But an Asuncion trip always takes up a ton of time. 

Then we went to the cyber to email and such and the power went out in a whole city block so we sat there awhile and just enjoyed not doing anything.  Finally it came back on and we finished up.  Then we bought groceries and went home after waiting forever for a bus.

Then there was a lunar eclipse Monday night, so we naturally tried to stay up and see it.  Well after checking the window like every 15 minutes, I called it a night around 1 am…without even a glimpse of the eclipse.  My comp made it a little longer and saw the beginning, but also fell asleep. In the end, the idea of having to get up at 6:30 am was worse than the desire to see the eclipse.

This week was also all about service; service we actually did, and service that got canceled as well.  We did some service for an investigator, cutting apart a tree that fell down and crushed his fence.  I used an ax for what I think is the first time in my life, and I realized a chain saw is so much better. I also got a laugh out of the Latin's when I explained that nobody uses axes anymore.  Lazy gringos, ha ha. 

We also met an interesting family that as all sorts of issues and varying interest in the church.  We ended up teaching the mom, son and father separately, and it may stay that way due to the aforementioned issues.

Then on Thursday, we had to do a division.  I ended up staying in my area with Elder Greer. We had service planned all morning, so that’s what we did.  But only after he made us take a bus I’d never used before because he didn’t want to wait.  So yes… we got lost and ended up walking an hour to find the actual house.  Once there, we got assigned to help the bishop cut a tree.  But not the whole tree, just the branches that were hanging over the member’s house. Way, way up.  So in Paraguay instead of a bucket truck the bishop climbs up there without anything holding him there and hacks and whacks at the branches with a machete until they are about to fall then ties a rope around it and breaks it off before lowering it down to the ground and us.  We cut the branches into smaller pieces. 

Then we switched to the other house where they were knocking down a wall.  That was pretty fun.  But I’ve realized how unable my body is to do real work anymore.  It’s sad. 

Then we ate lunch grabbed some fruit to take to a member and headed home. We dropped off the fruit, then showered and walked an hour to the swamp. We did visits in the swamp and met some cool people.  We found out that due to Good Friday, the next day there was no more buses and so we walked home just before the huge storm hit.

We had a lightning bolt hit so close to the house it fried a couple bulbs.  We also found out a ton of water enters the house through our balcony door and the windows - turning our house into a lake when there is a lot of rain.  So we tried to fix that for awhile.  Eventually the best thing was taking my towels and using them to block the rain.

Then we woke up the next day and since there were no buses due to Good Friday, we waited 3 hours for a bus before finally getting back to Luque and making the switch.  Then instead of waiting again, we walked the hour and half home. I was tired! 

We also ate a lot of chipa this week due to Paraguay tradition during the holy week.  Due to the rain, most of the parties and things got canceled and it was actually a quiet Easter.

On Saturday we watched Tom and Jerry while we ate with some members.  So that was legit.  It’s a great show!

We finally have an investigator with a baptism date.  Hopefully it holds.  Tomorrow we go to the temple, so that will be cool.

I’ve got nothing else to report. Life goes on.

Take care everybody.

Elder Frost

Monday, April 14, 2014

Some Pictures - Finally!

Catedral San Lorenzo

Easter came early

Familia Avalos
Familia Diaz

Familia Vera

Familia Poncs

Freddy Gonzales
Hermana Troche and Willie

New house in Yukury


Nidia's Family


Soccer Boys

Familia Zorillo

Week 63

So, we played soccer last Monday, and I’ve gotten fat and lazy with bad soccer skills once again. I still have it in bursts though.  Enough so that Elder Dias from Brazil was nice enough to tell me I’m only the 3rd white kid he knows who can play. Not too shabby!

One other thing from this week is I learned how much of a pain it is to wait on buses. Anytime we come to Luque or the city closest to us we end up waiting at least 30 minutes for a bus and then it’s on a terrible dirt road and packed.  Soooo much fun.  

Also I got sick this week.  So it’s officially fall, almost winter.  Almost one year ago, I got sick for the first time -- Easter Sunday. Not fun.  I’m hoping this year goes by a lot better.  Ideally less than 2 trips to the hospital ha ha.  So far it's just a head cold, but so it begins.  Also I found out that, yup, I am allergic to something. Some plant in Paraguay does in fact cause me to have hives.  So that sucked, but I got medicine from the nurse and all seems to be better now.  Hopefully, it stays that way.


Also, I got the chance to do karaoke again this week. I’ve missed it. We did it as part of a ward activity. Elder Jimenez has a program that acts like an actual karaoke machine. It was pretty cool to sing with words and the bouncing ball, and it judged you and gave you points.  I was the worst of the night.  But I was sick, and I was far away from the computer so it couldn’t hear me well. Ha ha.  It was really fun.  This program even had songs in English, so naturally everyone wanted me to sing.  But they wanted me to sing songs that I have never even heard of before and tried to justify it as, oh well, it’s karaoke.  Nope, not gonna happen.  They did get me to sing a Backstreet Boys song though.  And then we all sang some Spanish stuff.  Luckily one of the songs was by Camila, a favorite of Elder Anderson’s, so I knew it a little bit.

There was also a ton of cake, so that was a plus. I ate a lot.  But not as much as I wanted to ha ha.  I am trying to lose some weight. Luckily, the insane amount of walking we do here is doing work, and I feel better even if I don’t look it yet. 

For example, on Thursday we went to Nueva Asuncion, the little colony like thing we’ve got.  Well, we missed the bus going out there, so we decided to walk it. Over an hour later we arrived. And that’s not even far in this area. Everything is at least 40 minutes from our house.  It’s crazy!  Being in the jungle is definitely different.  We had a good day out there though.  Basically, I showed Elder Alvizures all the things that I was shown the week before, but we got to know it a lot better and visited some good people.  It was also less of a swamp this week, but I’m sure it will be back. We did catch the last bus out of there though, as the gang of thieves is running around.  A member told us a story about some elders years ago who got robbed all the way down to the skin.  And they had to walk the hourish home in the nude. Yup, not for me.  Ha ha. 

We also had an interesting experience this week as we got our electric bill.  It is not included in our rent, like it has been in my other areas.  Well, our landlord gives us the bill and says, “I gave this to the other elders but I guess they didn’t pay cuz they are going to shut off your power Friday.”  Well, it hadn’t been paid in 3 months, so that was fun.  Luckily, the office took care of it.

Also, we had rain this week. Another sign that it is fall almost winter.  I still hate the rain. I also found out that our house leaks through the windows, so that was interesting waking up to rain on the floor.  Luckily, no holes in the roof like in the other houses.  So all’s good still with the house. Also lucky for us, this area is really great in giving us references so that’s been good, since without them we’d be seriously lost. So we spent most of the week contacting references. So give your elders people to visit ha ha.

Also I got to meet 2 of the first people baptized in the area, and they’ve been members basically since the beginning of the church in Paraguay.  They even built the church building.  It was way cool to hear their stories.

Also, we finally began to get the hang of all the little paths in our area, and it makes it a lot shorter but I’m allergic to some weeds ha ha.  So it’s a good and bad thing. But our area is really pretty.  If you like the jungle, ha ha.

One of the references we had this week was a guy named Jose that the elders used to teach before a guy threatened to kill them and they got changed into another area, ha ha.  He is super legit and easily jumped to the top of the prospective baptisms list. I’m really excited to be working with him, and it should be a good thing.

Also, I met a man without a leg who still plays soccer.  He has 2 fake legs -- 1 for normal use, and 1 for playing soccer.  Now that’s dedication.  I’m gonna miss the soccer madness of South America, ha ha. 

Also I saw part of the masters golf tournament at a guy’s house.  Who knew golf was popular in South America? Also, I wanna play again. Boakes temp -- let’s get er done.  Also, I played credit card Monopoly in Portugeuse while waiting for lunch. It’s so different.   Latins don’t know how to play either. Ha ha.

But all-in-all, it was a good week.  Hope yours was just as good.

Love you guys.  Take care.


Elder Frost


Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 62

So had a pretty crazy week.  Any week with conference is crazy, but this week was crazy from the start.

So my group from the MTC has been dropping like flies.  Well, on Monday I heard that Elder Fernandez, one of my buddies from the MTC, was going home.  So we had to go to Asuncion for his goodbye party at Pizza Hut. Well, that turned into a slight problem since the cleaning lady was supposed to come over.  I successfully got my way out of that.  Basically, I just left. Ha ha. But I did give my keys to my zone leader who was nice enough to do the cleaning check with her. I guess she was very unhappy that we left though.

We finally roll up into Pizza Hut, and it’s insane. I guess Elder Fernandez invited everybody he knew in the mission.  And since it was the beginning of the month, people just wanted to eat pizza.  And the out-of-towners were in to sign into the country, so there were literally more people there than there were at changes the week before. There were so many that when Elder Wolfgramm’s group arrived, they weren’t allowed in, as there were no seats. It was literally insane to see that many missionaries in one place.

After pizza, we went across the street to get a McFlurry and talk with Wolfgramm’s group and do a goodbye picture with Fernandez.  Then it was back to Luque for cyber and such.  And then pday was over.

The next day we went to district meeting, and it happened to be April Fool’s Day.  Luckily for me I grew up with my uncles and that helped me avoid a toothpaste-filled Oreo. So thanks to Rick, Ken, Jeremy, and my dad for helping make me skeptical and careful on April Fool’s, ha ha.

Then I learned that in my area we are going to walk a ton.  It is crazy!  I’m definitely going to lose all that weight I’ve gained in Anahi.

Also, a cool story is that we are teaching this investigator girl, and she has a dog.  No big deal there.  But her dog fetches rocks. It’s crazy.  He won’t fetch sticks or bones, only rocks and he fetches like his life depends on it.  I threw one poorly, and it went into some weeds.  He spent like 15 minutes searching for it before coming back with a different one.    But, hey -- “A” for effort.

Then on Thursday, I went to Nueva Asuncion.  My area is basically broken up into 2 parts.  The part closer to my house and then a part way up the road and off into the jungle called Nueva Asuncion.  It’s a swamp.  I went with my zone leader as he showed me the area, and he told me how it is full of mosquitos and snakes.  When it rains, it all pools up and becomes chest high.  It’s crazy!  It hasn’t rained in like a week, and there were still pools of water on the ground. Nueva Asuncion is just a bunch of huts really. There is like one active member out there and a bunch of less actives. 

So we visited a bunch, and I met a bunch of people. One of them is a ten-year-old girl who needs to be baptized and wants to be baptized.  What she doesn’t want to do is talk. We literally talked to her through her Barbie.  It was insane, but hey… if it works.

Then we missed the last bus out of town, so we started to walk in the dark - with 5 convicts running around jumping people.  Well, at least that’s what they say is happening. 

Anyway, our trip was fine except I almost stepped on a black snake. I’ve seen more snakes in this area than in the rest of my mission combined.  So that’s a downer. 

The Zone Leader also showed me where a tribe of natives lives, and I’m going to go there this week and experience that. 

Then at night, we saw Danny.  He is our landlord’s son and a member.  In fact, he is probably the only member in all of Paraguay to be a reference from Salt Lake.  He found the church through the website and then accepted the missionaries to come teach him.  He got baptized - so cool!  He is less active now, but he is super legit and I’m sure we can get him back. 

Then one of our other less actives had quite a week as well.  He was cutting a log with an axe when it slipped, and he cut his toe.  So he was bleeding like crazy.  He also has 0 money for food or medical attention, so he had one bandage he was going to use.  So we came and brought him some of ours.  Hopefully we don’t need them in the near future. 

We also got to see our grandparents this week.  I call them that because they are this 80-year-old couple that seriously feels like visiting your grandparents.  They are so nice!  They always give us juice and something to eat.  The only problem is, they are really Catholic and don’t walk well so getting them to church will be hard.  But I like visiting them. 

 We also hitchhiked for the first time.  Well, my first time in the mission anyway.  We were just walking home in the dark and a truck offered to pick us up.  So we did.  It was so nice to not have to walk.

Now, back to the Elder Fernandez story.  He ended up not going home since he is having the surgery here and then going to the office for his rehab.  It was so crazy seeing him at conference. 

Then conference was this weekend.  I learned the importance of watching Saturday conference as I liked it a lot more than Sunday this year. I liked 3 talks in particular. The first was by Elder Holland.  The dude is just a stud!  I really liked the theme of defending what you believe in. I also liked the talks by President Uchtdorf and Elder Eyring during priesthood session.  I felt like all 3 really connected with me.

I did get sick from eating basically junk food for 2 days though, and I’m definitely ready to be back out in the field after 10 hours of sitting in a chair.  But I thought conference was great.

That’s about it for this week. Oh, and several people have reminded me I forgot to say where exactly I am, so it’s called Yuqury or Yukury -- something like that.  It’s outside of Luque. Ha ha.  (NOTE:  Anthony is in the Yukury area of Paraguay.  It is near the Ypacarai National Park and Lake Ypacarai).
I hope you guys all had a great week and have one this week.  Take care.
Elder Frost