Monday, May 19, 2014

Week 68

We had a really good week this week. I always like weeks when I get to do something out of the ordinary.  470 days and counting of the same is starting to get to me so this week was definitely a blessing.

The first thing that helped was on Wednesday when we went to a choir practice.  Now for any of you that knew me remotely before the mission, that sentence is going to shock the heck out of you.  A choir practice would have  been one of my least favorite things to do.  And ok, I still don’t love it.  But we went anyway, and I surprisingly had a very good time. It does help that I sing better than the majority of Paraguayans.  Nothing to be ashamed of.  The idea was to do a little choir on Sunday for Mother’s Day here in Paraguay.  The youth planned, organized and did it.  So it was a little shaky.  It ended up being the 4 missionaries, 2 young women, 4 young men and a mom.  We sang “Teach Me to Walk in the Light” and some other primary song.  The highlight by far was when Elder Laurante was taking it all serious and "teaching" us how we have to sing, and I was making faces. The youth loved it and laughed.  Definitely lightened the mood.  Although maybe not the most respectful thing I could have done.  We left with a plan to meet together on Saturday with hopefully more youth. 

Also on Wednesday it was Elder Alvizures’ birthday so we sang to him at the choir practice.  But besides that, we did absolutely nothing.  He didn’t want to make a big deal about it.  All too normal if you ask me, but hey, it’s his b-day.  It was also Paraguay’s Mother’s Day this week.  It’s the 15th of May always.  It’s quite different from the States.  Nobody really does anything or buys anything for mom. It’s just a day off work, and everybody gets drunk.  Nothing says “I love you, mom” like being absolutely hammered and making poor decisions. 

We went out to Nueva Asuncion that day, and it started to rain, and the swamp does get swampy.  But it was still a good day, and we talked with Celeste, a 9-year-old girl who doesn’t talk.  Her family are all members just inactive, but they want her to be baptized.  The last time I saw her I literally talked to her through a Barbie.  This time she opened up at the end and talked a little and had us draw pictures in her notebook.  Baby steps. 

We also went and filled up the font, which luckily was still half full from the week before, so it went fast.  Even more luckily it was still clean.  So we lucked out. 

Then on Saturday, we woke up and went out to service in Nueva Asuncion.  Basically we “extreme makeover home editioned”  her house.  She needed a new roof and to patch up her walls so the water doesn’t get in.  While we were there, half the roof got re-tiled and the walls got patched up.  Apparently it didn’t quite get finished as we had to leave early so we are going to go back in 2 weeks and finish up.  Paraguayans’ construction work is still weird to me.
Also, a really old member fell and broke his finger.  Being old sounds terrible. Once we got home we were going to shower and then head off to choir.  Well, we got a surprise as we had no water.  So covered in dirt and cement and just generally dirty, we didn’t go to choir.  Finally the water came back; we showered and did visits for the rest of the night. 

The next day, Sunday, was our baptism - bright and early.  We got there and somehow the font has half drained, so we start filling it. Luckily, the wait allowed all of his family to come.  It felt great to have a baptism again, especially his as he is going to be great, and we fought to get him there.

Then in 2nd hour, they decided to have an impromptu choir practice.  Plus -- all the youth were involved. Negative -- all the youth were involved.  It was a mess trying to get the young men who didn’t want to do it to try and behave.  But the 4 missionaries separated and settled the problems.  So we sang and it sounded good, all things considering.

Then a scramble as our lunch cita dropped, but an Hermana was nice enough to cook for us and the other elders. Then a good day of visits and the week was over.  This week we have interviews so that’s always an experience. 

Hope you guys have a great week and take care of yourselves.  See ya soon!

Elder Frost

Monday, May 12, 2014

Week 67

So first and foremost, I want to give a shoutout Happy Mother’s Day to my wonderful mom who put up with way, way too much of my crap during high school. I’ve come to learn and appreciate what she did for me out here in the mission. No matter what I say in this blog, it won’t be enough to praise her. But I do want to thank her for all the good moments in my life: the summer book fairs, books on tape in the car, always being there to read and correct and help me with school papers, always supporting my choices even when she disagreed, for all the hours we’ve spent playing board or card games, and always challenging me to be better. I also want to thank her for not killing me for things I did and said.  Love you, mom.

The other important thing about Mother’s Day is that it’s one of the 2 days every year that I can Skype or call home. Luckily for me I can Skype here. It’s always one of the highlights of the year. I Skyped with my family on Sunday, and it was great seeing them again. Some things have changed -- my dad is balder and my sister is a ginger, but it’s still family. As usual, we talked and talked and talked and said a lot of words about nothing, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I love my family.

It also occurred to us that it is my last phone call home. How crazy is that? Feels like yesterday I was calling home for Christmas and had a year left. The time is flying. Can’t wait for the end and to be home again.  I love the mission and the things I’ve learned here, but to steal a line from Dorothy, “There’s no place like home.”

Besides that huge moment, there were some other fairly big events that happened this week.  We did some service this week for a lady in the ward. We eat lunch with her on Saturdays, and she is super cool.  So when she told us that she wanted us to cut the weeds behind her house, we had no problem. Turns out that a bunch of thieves have been hiding in them at night and robbing people as they walk home. They got even braver a couple of weeks ago, breaking into houses at night and stealing cars and motos when they got the chance. The sister even heard them talking in her yard about breaking into her house. Luckily, they didn’t. So we came with the other elders here in Yuquyry and Vasilio, our professional yard work guy, and a youth in the ward. It was quite the field. So we spent a couple hours cutting and cutting and cutting some more. I’m getting pretty good with a machete; although, we realized I cut completely different than the Latins.  But it works. 


We had fun--  it’s a good time doing service with Elder Jimenez.  He’s a good guy.  Me and him pushed over a tree as well.  It was all eaten out by ants, so we just pushed and over it went.  So that was pretty cool. We got most of the field cut down and then after some juice we headed home to shower and cook.  

So we got invited to a little girl’s birthday party, and to be nice, I asked if we could bring anything thinking she’d say no or ok how about some pop or cups or something.  Nope.  She wanted peach cobbler.  So that’s what I did.  They loved it.  It is good.  Thanks to Elder Anderson for teaching me that one.  We ate cobbler and cake and drank hot chocolate and pop and talked and sang happy birthday.  It was good to celebrate something again.

One other interesting thing this week was they fixed our windows.  After the pictures you guys saw, it’s clear our windows needed fixing.  Well they said they were gonna come every night this week, but in the end it took until Friday for them to actually get there.  And when they did, all they did was rubber cement some pipe cleaners to the ledge and said that will seal the windows.  I’m skeptical, but we will see.

Finally, we had some baptism drama this week as we have been preparing a guy to be baptized.  He passed all the mission standards, and passed his interview, so no problems- right?  Well, no.  Our bishop was against the baptism from the start, but he said it was up to us.  And he’s right, we can baptize without any permission from him.  But, when we told him it was gonna happen, he freaked out and called the stake president.  So I get a call from the zone leaders, who wussed out and told us we shouldn’t do it since the bishop disagreed.  I argued with them.  The next thing I know, I get a call from the APs. They talked to me about 5 seconds before having enough of me arguing and sending me to the mission president.   I argued with him as well. In the end, I half won.  The baptism still got canceled, but not permanently.  In the end, the mission president came and interviewed the investigator and the bishop and cleared him to be baptized this week. The issue was the Sabbath day, as our investigator works Sundays, but we explained the importance of it and he promised to look for a new job and to talk to his boss about getting his shift changed.  Good enough for us, and the mission president, but not the bishop.  So that’s what the fight was about.  But in the end, he’s a great guy who despite being visibly upset when we had to cancel his baptism less than 12 hours before it was supposed to happen, he came to church anyway and passed his interview with the Mission President with flying colors.  One baptism this week.  I’m excited.  

I hope you guys have a great week, and I’m sure I’ll have more stories next week.

Love ya and take care,


Elder Frost

Monday, May 5, 2014

Week 66

First off, happy 25th anniversary to my parents. Today is the day.  And they have all of Mexico celebrating with them. Good for you guys. Here’s to 25 more.

So some crazy news of this week is that my old companion Elder Stopper went home. He went home for a broken bone in his hip. It’s really surprising. He was also doing so much better; it couldn’t have come at a worse time.  But he’s home, and I feel even older.

On Tuesday we had a dinner with Jose Felix and, as always, it got interesting talking scriptures with him. Some people need to focus on the little things and not dig deep.  Milk and meat kinda stuff.

Then on Wednesday, we had a ridiculous rainstorm hit. It started sometime during the night and ended in the afternoon on Wednesday. Our house flooded so badly. The water enters in through our windows and our balcony door. I literally started looking for something to bail water with. Our patio outside turned into a lake and where the steps were it was like rapids. The street was a river. It was crazy. I’ve seen some rainstorms, and I’ve even seen some worse than this in the mission, but Yuqury out in the middle of nowhere floods like nowhere else.  It can’t handle the rain. So we ate soup and saved all our things on the floor, and every so often we grabbed the squeegees and squeegeed the rooms we could. Then in one room we had to use a rag and soak it up and drain it into our garbage can before dumping it outside. It took a couple hours to clean and dry everything and 3 full buckets of water. It was kind of impressive actually.

We were supposed to go to Nueva Asuncion, our swamp like area, but with the rain the buses couldn’t get there and the city was literally underwater.  So we didn’t go out there.  Instead, we took care of some business around the house and waited it out.

The other really big thing around here this week was a visit from a member of the Quorum of the Seventy.  His name is Elder Wilhelm. He planned two firesides -- one for investigators and less actives and then one for the missionaries. So that took up a lot of our time this week.

On Thursday was the first one.  So we spent our day running around to all of our less actives and investigators to re-remind them of the fireside.  Only problem is that Thursday was Labor Day here, so there were no buses. Once people found that out we lost all support; nobody wanted to go, and I don’t blame them.  Over an hour and a half walk at 10 o clock at night sounds terrible. We didn’t have a choice though, so we began walking at 5:30ish to be there at 7. We walked and we walked and walked some more before a cop was nice enough to pull over and give us a ride.  He was a really cool dude. We’re going to try and visit him someday. 

The actual meeting went ok. It was all about the restoration and the people seemed to enjoy it.  It was really cold in there, so some of the Paraguayans looked like they were going to die.  Our only person that came was Abdom.  He is the husband of a member and a legit guy.  We talked to him this week, and he has read the Book of Mormon and got his answer saying he knew this church was true.  We are planning his baptism for this weekend.  So we were really excited he was able to come.

I also saw some unexpected people there.  The first was Elder Menchaca, who I didn’t think was in Luque anymore.  But he is, and it was good seeing him again.  He’s gotten tiny.  Apparently he’s been super sick for a couple weeks now. 

The other was even more surprising.  It was Elder Bennett -- now just Bennett.  He is the Peruvian Canadian that was in my MTC group the first time.  He had ended his mission last July and was back visiting people and my guess is a girl in particular.  I talked with him for a while before it was time for the walk home.  Luckily the assistants decided to give us a ride; even though it was only halfway, it’s appreciated.

Then day 2 of Wilhelm.  The next day, it was 5 hours long.  Good themes, but way, way, way, too long.  I thought I was gonna die. I don’t wanna sound negative, but so far in the mission the 70 and apostles visits have been way overhyped.  Oh well, it was still good and gave me some things to think about.

Also I get to Skype this week for Mother’s Day so that’s gonna keep my mind busy as well.  It’s so good seeing the family.

We also have some baptism drama, as the bishop doesn’t wanna do the baptism of Abdom this week. It’s a long story, but basically it boils down to him not believing that Abdom will keep coming to church. So we are gonna work on that. 

Also, final bit of news, is that one more change is down.  I’m staying here in the same area with the same comp.  So not too spectacular.  This is gonna be a good week.

Love you guys and take care,


Elder Frost