Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm about as Dark as a Paraguayan!

Hey everyone!  How's it going?  Time again for a weekly news bulletin.  Can you believe it's been a month already that I've been in Paraguay?  What definitely doesn't feel like it.  As of Wednesday, I'll have 3 months of my mission under my belt.  Crazyyyyyy.

Anywho, I get to call home this month!  Wahoo!  Christmas day we get to talk for 30 or 40 minutes, I'm super stoked for that.  I don't know if you have to call me, or if I call you, or how it works.  I'll find out and be sure to let you know before-hand so we can have something set for sure.

Ok, so every month we take out our 750,000 Guaranies for money here.  Today is technically still November, but we got to take it out today.  Guess how much money I had left over from last month?  5,000 Gs, which is about a dollar in America hahah.  But it's alright, because I shouldn't ever be that low again.  For one, I only got to take out 600,000 the first month (who knows why) so I was already short.  And also, Elder Ganga ran out of money this month about the beginning of last week (he had to buy stuff for our apartment), so I was paying for all the bus rides instead of splitting them with him.  Ended up being an extra expense of about 35,000 Gs.  So no need to worry about my money situation, all is well.

If you didn't guess already, I'm about as dark as a Paraguayan now from the sun lol.  Well, kinda.  My arms below my sleeves and my face are dark.  But without a shirt, I'm still white as a ghost hahah.  I took a picture of the difference, it's amazing.  I'll be sure to send it when I get my camera cord.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I found Chicken Nuggets & Peanut Butter - I'm Saved!!

Hello all!

Thank goodness I figured out how to change the keyboard settings to English, I was tired of typing with the Spanish keyboard layout, holy smokes.

First thing is first - I have fantastic news (probably the greatest news I could ever think of): I found chicken nuggets at the store last week.  Wooo boy!!  Let me tell you, they were delicious.  I don't think chicken nuggets have ever tasted so good.  This week, I also found peanut butter!!  I'm saved!  I bought that with some bread, so I'm going to eat tons of peanut butter sandwiches.  Score.  They have JIF, like good ol' American JIF.  But they also have Paraguayan peanut butter which oddly enough was designed/created at the University of Pennsylvania.  The other Elders told me it was better, so I got that today.  Can't wait to try it when I get home haha.  Peanut butter and chicken nuggets!  I'm getting more accustomed to the food now too, so I'm not sick anymore and can actually eat a meal without wanting to throw up.  Can't say I quite ENJOY it yet, but it's definitely manageable.

So we had a baptism this past Saturday, but it was an 8 year old girl whose parents are both members so it doesn't really count haha.  We're teaching a family and one lady right now who are progressing the most.  They love having us over, they read the Book of Mormon and pray and everything, but we can't get them to come to church!  The family (Johana, Nestor, and their kids Jessica-10, Brisa-7, and Jenni-2) came to church 2 weeks ago and loved it.  Last week some of Nestor's friends showed up drunk at like 7:30am so they couldn't come, and this week we don't know what happened.  They said we could come get them before church like we did 2 weeks ago, and when we went they didn't answer.  Sleeping?  Ditching?  I dunno.  And the lady who is progressing, Lucia, she just won't come.  She likes talking to us and stuff, but I don't know what her deal is.  We always have people to teach and never have to just go out knocking on doors (or clapping behind fences) looking for people, but the people here don't like committments.  A bit lazy, but ah well.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What the Heck kind of Butterfly is that?

Hello everyone!

First things first, Im getting your DearElders within a week or 2, so that is probably the best way to communicate with me.  We only have an hour per day to read all our emails (which we get 3 from the mission), write to the mission president, and write home, so DearElders seem to be best.  Ive gotten a few from you mom and dad and I got one from Katie so far too.  Ill be able to respond via email within a week or 2, depending on when the mail comes.

The other Elders were telling me about this package service that the Post Office does now, I wish I had known about it and been able to tell you before you mailed me the stuff.  Its this box you get, and you stuff as much as you can into it and send it for a flat rate, regardless of what or how much is in it.  Just pack it full and youll pay the same rate every time.  Check that out for next time.  And I only get packages every 6 weeks, so it wont be until next change that you can get pictures when I have my cord.  Send food if youre going to send anything hahah.

Another week down.  Whew.  Its been really difficult this week.  Besides being physically exhausted and all the walking we do, this past week was pretty rough on me.  I started getting really homesick Monday or Tuesday.  Its hard, I really miss you guys.  Im really trying, its just difficult and time passes so slow here for me.  I know that the more I get lost in the work and focus on the people and what Im doing, time will go much faster and Ill be happier, but its hard when you dont understand what the work is saying!  Im workin on the Spanish, and I know it will get better with time, its just hard to know what to do until then, yenno?  It will get better eventually, no need to worry.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hello Paraguay!

Whoa, these Spanish keyboards are weird...

I made it!  First thing's first, I'll tell you about when I got here.  We arrived with President and Sister Callan waiting for us.  They are super nice, we love them.  We loaded our luggage and took a picture with all of us and the Callans outside the airport and then went to the mission home.  (Driving here pretty much means you have a death wish, by the way).  When we got there at about 7:30 or so, everyone introduced themselves and then they had food waiting for us - a chicken with a sauce (called milanaze) and mashed potatoes.  Pretty darn good, I must say.  Then we got to watch a baptism which was sweet.  Then back to the main room for some presentations and information.  We slept in a hotel that night, and then came back to the mission home for one more presentation.  My package in the brown box was waiting for me, thank you so much!  It's saved me.  Then we met our trainers!  My companion is Elder Ganga, I'll tell about him later.  Then we found out where we were going, got to email you, and took the 7 hour bus ride here.

We are in a place called Ciudad de Este, or East City.  You should look it up on GoogleEarth or find it on a map of Paraguay sometime.  It´s pretty neat.  A weird place though, huuuuge open fields.  It´s like if a field had a field, we would aspire to be that.  Serious open country, not a jungle like I thought it would be.  The houses are like Belize style, all run down (according to American standards).  This place is gigantic.  There are small clusters of 3/4 houses, and then at least 100 yards between houses.  It's ridiculous.  Everything here is dirt too, no paved roads except the main road back to Asuncion and 3/4 rock-paved roads.  It rains here (what the heck?) so when it does, your shoes sink halfway down in the mud.  I've accepted that NOTHING will stay clean here hahah.  I also think I've found out where flies come from.  Any time you see a fly, know that it's got a family of 50 here in Paraguay lol.