Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Week 82

It was hot this week.  Like insanely hot, for a supposed winter. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually looking forward to the cold Montana winter and the snow.  


Sorry about the blog last week as well.  I went to go get ice cream and when I came back the internet had gone down.  Hopefully you all still enjoyed it, even if it was a little later than normal.


We also did one of the saddest things  I’ve ever done in my life. We bought soy burgers.  Now before all my relatives disown me, it was on accident.  We wanted hamburgers to eat and so we just grabbed the cheapest ones.  Well to my surprise when I went to cook them they were soy burgers.  Not very good ones at that.  But with enough cheese and BBQ sauce they were edible.  Never again!


Later on Monday, we had a really fun F.H.E. with the Acosta family, including Nahomi and Ivan the kids we baptized.  We wanted to do a fun lesson, but also teach them about choices and consequences.  So I shared some scriptures and then we had an activity.  We bought some cookies for them.  And then played a game where we put a coin in one of my hands and if they guessed which hand they got a cookie.  Well once all the cookies were gone we pulled out an even better brand of cookies and they all got excited.  Well… these cookies had a catch. They could either walk away with the cookies they had, or gamble it all on the new cookies.  Naturally they chose to go for the good cookies.  Well as any gambler knows the house always wins.  We won since my comp kept the coin therefore ensuring our victory.  They were outraged, but we had won.  So we explained all about choices and how Satan will tempt us and the consequences of our actions and then we all ate some cookies.  We are probably the only companions that would actually teach a lesson while gambling, ha ha.  But it worked.


Then on Tuesday I went on the slowest bus of all time.  I literally could have run faster for most of the trip.  Extremely annoying!   I’m not going to miss the buses at all. 


We also had some really cool things happen this week.  So we’ve been working hard, but not much to show for it until now.  When we got 3 references from families we’d been working with, and all 3 asked us what they need to do to be baptized.  It doesn’t get any nicer or easier than that.  The first one is named Arminda.  She’s 13 and has come to church forever.  In fact I thought she was a member, but she’s not.  She’s really smart and picking it up quick.  We are excited about her.  The next is Brian.  He is a friend of Beto, a recent convert and 19.  He’s come to church twice now and on Sunday, he asked us to baptize him.  So we need to finish teaching him and then he’s good to go.  Then the 3rd is a kid named Kevin who came to church as well.  We are just beginning to teach him.  All-in-all it should be an exciting, good next couple of weeks.


Also this week, Rodrigo did indeed receive the Melchizedek priesthood so he can start preparing to go to the temple and be sealed with his wife.  We are super excited!  We’ve worked really hard to help them get to this point, and he’s a great guy.


Also some sad news, an Hermana is going to get her electricity turned off, and another girl is threatening to kill herself. We are doing everything we can to help, and hope we can turn things around with them. 


We also had a special stake conference this weekend with a broadcast by Elder Bednar.  It was really good and should help a lot here in Paraguay.  It was even better for me as a package from my family came, and I was able to eat good American food during it. Yum yum!


Well that’s it for now. Talk more next week.  Take care, and be safe.


Love you guys!

Elder Frost

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Week 81

Started the week off right, with a great p-day! We went into town and met up with a bunch of buddies to buy supplies then we went back to the house for a BBQ.  Now it was only some cheap hamburgers and some fried mandioca (Yucca in the U.S.), but it was still a blast.  We ended up having only 5 people come, but hey, more food for me – right? We just kinda hung out and ate and talked football, and it was good.  And that’s the only good thing about Paraguay winters -- it’s still so hot you can have a BBQ.



After the BBQ, we had a pretty normal day in town before coming back out for an FHE with the Fernandez family. They are a family we inherited from Elders Jimenez and Laurente when the areas got combined.  Most of the family are recent converts and the parents are just waiting on some paperwork to be married and then they will be as well.  They invited us and the Arguello family over for the FHE.  And, being the amazing delegator I am, I convinced Natalie Arguello to be in charge of the lesson and the activity.  So we just showed up and had fun!  It is so much nicer and stress-free that way.  It was a good lesson on patience, and then we played a game where we had to change seats and stuff.  It was a good night and a good p-day.


Then on Tuesday, we had no water.  So we went to district meeting nice and smelly and with some 5 o’clock shadow.  I can’t wait to have my facial hair again.  We also have had problems with our sink not draining, but we’ve temporarily fixed that.  This house just keeps giving us fits.  It’s kind of annoying.


This week was also Día del Niño (NOTE:  In Paraguay, Children's Day is celebrated on August 16 in remembrance of the Battle of Acosta Ñu.  It is said that 20,000 men from the Triple Alliance [Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina] during the Paraguay war (from 1864 – 1870) were stopped by a Paraguayan force made up of 3,500 children ages six to fifteen.  They protected the escape of President Solano Lopez).  Children's Day is a national holiday, used to remember an event which happened during the five-year war. That is where they celebrate kids since kids fought and died in some war they had forever ago.  But it’s more annoying as a missionary than anything since like every holiday buses don’t run and everybody just gets drunk.  The ward threw a party, but we weren’t invited.  So it was just kind of a downer all around.


Then we did some service on Saturday by helping a guy build a foundation for his house. Basically he dug trenches then filled them with a mix of rock and cement.  Didn’t look great to me, but hey, it’s Paraguay construction!  We spent the whole morning moving rocks for him.  I felt like a mix between Fred Flintstone and a member of a chain gang in prison.  But we helped, and it felt good to do something…even if it killed me.  My muscles literally don’t exist. 


Then on Sunday, we had a good meeting in church when we decided to go to the family history/temple prep class with a family we are teaching.  It turns out I don’t know nearly as much family history as I thought.  For example, I know most first and last names up til great grandparents.  But I only know the first name of 1 of my great grandparents. I have no idea on birthdays for aunts, uncles, grandparents, or even my mom.  Well, in my defense, her’s is in April, but it’s tricky. Ha ha.  (Note:  It is not that tricky since his Aunt Liz (15th), Mom (16th), and Grandmother (17th), are all in April).  So that was cool to realize I have some work to do there. 


Then we had a birthday party for Luis Alberto, one of the recent converts of that Fernandez family.  It was fun.  It turned out to be like the whole ward was invited, so it was just a big party.  We had fun talking and kicking it with the youth there.  Then a visit with Rodrigo went awesome, as he asked us to pray for him so he could get the Melchezidek  priesthood this weekend.  Later that night, he found out his record had been found and he was going to be able to receive the priesthood.  He says it’s all due to our prayer.  So that’s legit.


That’s about it for this week.  Take care and have a great week.


Elder Frost

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 80

It was a pretty decent week.


It started on Monday when I finally started doing some of my recuerdo (souvenir) shopping.  I’ve resisted buying souvenirs up til now, cuz I didn’t want to carry my stuff around with me the whole mission.  But now that I’ve got 4 months left… it’s time to start.  So I started asking around and found some really cool things to buy.  The first purchase was this handmade chessboard made out of palo santo wood.  That wood is legit!  It’s actually illegal right now to cut down the trees, but once it’s made into something it’s not.  So, I’m safe.  But it’s all hand carved, and there is a map of Paraguay on it.  He wrote in my name and my mission areas so it’s pretty cool. 
























After I ordered that from him on Monday, we headed out to shopping pinedo to eat at Pizza Hut and meet up with some buddies. It’s interesting how my friend circle has changed throughout the mission.  I was the young guy searching for friends and now and I’m the old guy and people seek me out.  But it’s cool.  I’ve met a lot of really cool guys out here.  Right now it’s me and Elder McClelland, Elder Wolfgramm, Elder Luke, Elder Yumar, Elder Turley and Elder Alves.  It’s been fun.  Most of us made it to pinedo.  It was good laughing and having fun while eating pizza. 


After pizza we got some frozen yogurt, which was dope.  All in all, it was a fun, good p-day. 


Tuesday was an interesting day, but not for us.  Tuesday was the day one of our member friends, named  Axel, had a doctor’s appointment. It’s an important appointment cuz he’s been sick for a really long time.  The week before, the doctor was pretty pessimistic, saying that it probably wasn’t going to get better.  So over the weekend, we fasted for him.  Not really notable until you realize that I’ve only really fasted a handful of times in my entire life.  Even here in the mission I skip it more often than not.  I definitely didn’t have a testimony of fasting going into it.  Well, this last week probably changed that.  We fasted for him.  Then on Sunday we talked to him, and he said out of nowhere he felt better.  Then at his doctor’s appointment, the doctors said he is getting better.  They just don’t know how or why.  So that’s really cool!  One of the most spiritual moments of my life.


Also, we had a division this week which was interesting.  I was going back to my old area.  I had to show Elder Barillas around Nueva Asuncion.  It was weird being back there.  But I showed him around and it went really well. He’s got some really quality people out there if he can only get them to come to church.  My comp had an interesting day as well, since one of our members came out of the closet while he was there so that’s intense. 


We also had  a zone meeting and interviews this week.  I hate both of those, but these weren’t terrible.  My interview went well, just a check up on my happiness and such.  Then we did lots of practices.  We dominated!  I got to use one of my favorite scriptures about the apostasy in Job.  The AP loved it and said he didn’t even know it.  Ya, that’s right, I’ve got more scriptural knowledge than the AP, ha ha. 


We also did service this week.  We cut down some trees for the Lopez family.  It was intense.  We got up high in a tree, like straight up like a Paraguayan monkey.  It was nuts!  But we did a good job.


Not much else awesome happened, so I guess this is where I’m gonna end for the day.


Take care, and love you guys.


Elder Frost


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Week 79

We had a crazy week. Literally, something happened almost everyday.  Most of the time the things weren’t pleasant.


It did start with some good news though, since we got the news about changes.  I know I mentioned this last week but it’s still a relief.  I’m glad to be staying in my middle of nowhere area with my companion.  So, after celebrating that news, we had a pretty normal pday; some soccer, some food, and some internet.


Then on Tuesday things began to get different.  So, it started with the normal goodbye meeting for the district missionaries who were leaving.  But since there was nobody I was really going to miss, that was kind of boring.  I did take some photos with people that wanted of them with me though. I felt almost famous, ha ha.  Then we had lunch with Luke and Yumar, which is always a good time, even if Yumar was pretty sick.  Then we went home and we began cleaning and packing. 


So that was part of the differentness of this change.  Even though I was staying, and with the same companion, we had to move houses.  We ended up picking up all of the other Yuquyry elders area and gave away Nueva Asuncion, thank goodness.  So we moved to be closer to our area.  So it was a night of cleaning and packing and then we were ready to go.  Well we were supposed to be moving into an awesome house, but it was just dirty, dirty, dirty.  I found it immensely ironic this week that in all TV shows it has a Latin housekeeper.  However, this house was where 2 former Latin missionaries lived, and I’ve decided they need to be better houskeepers. The house was disgusting.  It smelled like an old person house, just full of dust and other weird smells.  There was a white mold growing on all of the cabinets and a black mold on the stuff in the fridge.  There was dirty clothing strewn about the house and more spider webs then in a Spiderman movie.  My mom woulda freaked out.  So our plans got changed and we spent the rest of Wednesday cleaning our house.  So we went into Luque and bought cleaning supplies.  It was that bad.  On top of that, many lights in the house didn’t work, and neither did the toilet.  So little-by-little, we cleaned and fixed things so it was clean enough to put our stuff away and to sleep. 






It was a bittersweet day though, as we had to say goodbye to our old landlord, who is one of the nicest, greatest guys I’ve ever met.  He even helped us move.  Such a great guy! 


Well we went to asleep excited for the next day. Only to find a pipe to burst, so we spent most of the day trying to fix our plumbing problem in the bathroom, and finishing cleaning.  We did go out and buy food for the week and some presents for friendship day.  A day I plan on celebrating in the states. (NOTE:  Día del Amigo in Paraguay is the eve of July 30 and is used for giving presents to close friends and loved ones. The game of the Invisible Friend (Amigo Invisible) is considered a tradition, in which small sheets of paper with names are given to all members of a group, each of them secretly selects one, and on July 30 gives a present to the person on the paper. Kind of like secret Santa here in the U.S.)


We went to a member’s birthday party. Having some cake tasted good after the day we had.  Finally at night, our new landlord came and took care of the problems, and the house was readier. 


The next day it was off to the office, bright and early, to sign back into the country.  After a breakfast of gummy bears and donuts, I was ready.  It actually went pretty fast and so I got to hang out with Elder Menchaca and Elder Alguilera.  They are two of my better friends in the mission and 2 guys I met in the MTC, oh so long ago.  But we all talked about how fast time has gone and it’s true.  Also there was an hermana that came with me that goes home in two weeks. That’s crazy!  She was the nicest missionary to me in the airport.  I’ll always remember that.


Then on our way home we ate Dominos Pizza which was well worth it.  Then as we were waiting on a curb, we saw the funeral procession for our bishops mother-in-law drive by.  So we chased them down on foot all the way to the Catholic church.  It was a lot more emotional than most funerals I’ve been to, and definitely more Catholic.  I don’t really know how to explain all that I saw, it was just different and I’m glad I understand death better now.  Although it still scares me to death. Ha, ha get it? 


Then on Saturday the cleaning lady came and helped us finish cleaning the house.  So it finally looks good and smells good, except one light still doesn’t work. 


Then lunch with the Lopez’s, who are awesome.  They helped me think of things to buy as souvenirs.  We also got a chance to comfort them and witness the power of a father’s blessing.  Their son Axel had doctor’s appointments this week.


Then on Sunday we had a normal day…normal for the week we have been having.  We ran out of cooking gas in the house, so our landlord got us some more.  We cooked, met a couple progressing investigators, and then the other elders left us after dinner at the Arguellos and then we called it a night.


All in all a hectic week that I’m glad is over.  But we are excited for the upcoming chance and there are interviews tomorrow, so that’s always interesting.


Well, have a good week, and we will talk next week.  Love ya!


Elder Frost