Wednesday, December 31, 2014


I moved out!

I'm now in an area called Paraguarì 1.1, which is the favorite area of my trainer Elder Arrington, and many, many other Elders here in Paraguay. Elder Arrington basically never shut up about it. He was absolutely stoked when he found out I was going here. It is a large, jungly area that baptizes a lot. (We also have a nice house). My new companion is Elder McDermott from Utah and my district in the MTC! Another American. That's technically my 5th if you count the two in the MTC. We are the two oldest missionaries in our district. I guess President wanted new blood out here.

In about 20 days or so I hit 6 months of my mission. Time flies. Technically today I only have a year and a half left. It's crazy to think about, but I must say it's been great so far, and it can only get better in my eyes. Experience!

Saying goodbye to my converts was extremely hard. When I went to go see Pedro for the last time, he started to tear up, took my hand with both of his and said "siempre voy a recordarle" which means, "I'm always going to remember you". He and Elder Henrie asked me to say a prayer for him and I literally almost cried during the prayer. It was really hard, but I feel so blessed to be able to serve a people like the ones here in Paraguay. I love the people here. I really do. I know that through the good works of myself and the other missionaries that I can help bring people unto Christ, which is an experience I wouldn't trade for anything. 

It's been a crazy, hectic week, filled with traveling and other strangeness, but Paraguay continues to be fun. My "Goats in Trees 2015" calendar definitely helps.  It was fun talking to my family on Skype, and the love from all of the family on Christmas was definitely felt by me here in Paraguay! Thanks for everyone's love, help, and support.


Elder Wilson

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


¡Por fin!
I no longer live in the dumpiest house in the mission! To be honest, our new house is actually really, really nice. It costs about double what the other one cost, but now we have AC, we don't have roaches or creepy neighbors, and it's extremely clean. Also the faucet has a filter on it as well, so you're welcome, Mom. You can stop worrying about all the tapeworms I probably have. I'll try to include some pictures of the house. It's really great and it makes me super happy. What a christmas gift. Feliz Navidad.

Other than that, we had an interesting week. We had a lesson with a drunk man that ended with him saying ¡SOY EL DIABLO! and hissing at us like a vampire. What an intelligent gentleman he was. We have also been focusing a lot with the "El es la Dádiva" (He is the Gift) campaign. I have seen a surprising amount of miracles come out of showing this video to families. Even though nobody knows the word Dádiva and we have to explain that it means regalo every time. Still, it's a great program that is really working out for us.

In other news, the greatest thing of all time is coming to pass in Paraguay for the next few months: MANGO SEASON

That's right, kids, every tree on every property is bursting with mangos. They are also incredibly delicious. Probably one of my favorite things about Paraguay so far. We just pick good ones off the trees, put them in a bag, take them home, wash them, and eat them. Elder Henrie doesn't like them though. Qué lastima. 

Also I'm going to send the money for my packages this week because Elder Tripp sent the forms early last time and I didn't get to send the money. I'll have them before christmas for sure!


Elder Wilson

 algunas fotos de nuestra casa nueva. Este casa es muy lindo (yo se que es muy amarillo) y es mas grande que la otra. Voy a vivir aquí hasta el fin de este cambio y probablemente me voy después eso.

(No Subject)

This week was really, really strange. There is a little bit of a sickness going around this place between the missionaries after a lot of rain and cold last week. I'm okay now, and doing super great, but I was sick for a bit and my comp got it too. Don't worry though because I'm still just having a good ol' time here! I did get to experience a Paraguayan doctor's office though, which was an interesting experience. I don't have high confidence in the medical expertise of the Paraguayans. Ibuprofen and lots of water is apparently the cure for everything.

We've also been focusing on finding a new house, because my new companion absolutely can't stand it. He can't sleep and it's just a bad situation. I'm definitely on the same page as him about the house (it really is super bad) but I don't really enjoy complaining too much. We get along super duper well, but he's had some super hard and sketchy areas, so I can see where he's coming from, even if I think attitude is a lil' bit more important. We found what could be our new house, but it is connected to a house of some  girls that are studying in college, so it'll most likely get rejected by President. I'll be honest though, that sounds a lot less creepy than living next to the "girl" we live next to now.

Next week I miiight not get to email. There's a chance that the people that own the cyber cafe we email at won't be here because they'll be participating in the March of Caaucupé. The 8th of December March of Caaucupé is a Paraguayan/Catholic cultural event in which everyone in the country marches to a place called Caaucupé to worship a giant statue of the Virgin Mary. Seems legit to me. Obviously some people here only skimmed the 10 commandments, becuase I thought there was something about idolatry in there. Could be wrong, though. So if you don't get an email next week, that's probably why. Or weather. That's sometimes a factor.

Well, like always, this week I'm doing great. I'm having tons of fun working with helping people as we move closer to Christmas. Super excited for that, by the way. I've got a package sitting in the house and an absurdlyheavy one in the mission home right now, so I'll probably be fighting the temptation to open those for a while. I'm super thankful for everything I've been given and my opportunity to have all the fun experiences I'm having. I love my mission!

Elder Wilson
Can't believe they spoiled another lightsaber reveal in a Star Wars trailer
(But isn't that mad because it's super cool)

Monday, November 24, 2014


So this week was the week of changes, and I have a new companion.
His name is Elder Henrie, and he is 6'6" and is from Idaho.

Elder Arrington was a great first companion and trainer and I was super lucky to have him as an example as a missionary. We had a lot of fun and success and I can't wait to see what the future holds for the rest of my mission. Elder Henrie seems to be along the same lines which is great, and so far we get along really well. I'm happy to have him here. 

I'm also still in Coronel Oviedo in our nasty house, which Elder Henrie (who goes home in 6 months) says is the worst he has ever seen as well. What luck. But really I think it is going to be a great change for the next 6 weeks. Our investigators are progressing pretty well, and two of them (one of which is of course is an 81 year old man, go figure) came to church yesterday, and can potentially get baptized this saturday. We'll see where that goes. 

We're still working with Pedro, who is still sick (he says its just a temporary thing, but he's 90 years old, so I'm not exactly sure how much longer it'll be until he passes on.) I'm sending a picture of his "house". Our other converts are remaining active which is super nice to see. It was kinda sad when Elder Arrington said goodbye to them because he said they were his favorite converts. Pedro was all sad like "will you come back to visit?" and he was like "no... I can't" it was pretty darn sad. 

I'm doing great though. I can't believe I'm at 4 months already, and I also can't belive that Rush only has 4 months left... Ridiculous. But I'm in it to win it, so I'm going to be working hard for the next 5/6 or so of my mission to send you guys the best darn emails this side of South America. I'll try. Not a promise though ;)


Elder Wilson

Monday, November 17, 2014


This week we have transfers (or as we say, "cambios" or "changes", if you wanted to know the significance of my David Bowie themed E-mail Subject).
 I don't know if I'll stay or go, but most likely I will be here and Elder Arrington will move to a different area. 

I'm also no longer a trainee! According to everyone else, today is my first day as a full-fledged missionary. I still feel like I'm in training, but what can I really do about that, right? My trainer says he still feels new, and he gets home this July.

My first two changes in Paraguay have been super fun and rewarding. It has been insane to see a new culture, meet new people, and to baptize people into the Church of Jesus Christ. I feel extremely blessed to have had that opportunity, and I sure as heck can't wait to do it more often. My area is huge and crazy and filled with all kinds of weirdness, but really that's exactly what I wanted out of my mission. Fun/Educational/Spiritual. I couldn't ask for anything more. 

For instance, this week, while on divisions with Elder Tripp (whose area is small and mosty city), it rained hard and flooded our entire area. I didn't get any pictures, because obviously I don't want to ruin my camera, which turned out to be a really great decision. Why? Because I stepped (fell) into what looked like a patch of shallow grass which turned out to be a 5 ft. deep canal. Everything got wet. The 10 peso tie I bought in Argentina is basically wrecked, but it was hideous and was the color of the chocolate river from the original Willy Wonka, so I'm not really super heartbroken. Next, I went on divisions with Elder Sanchez, who leaves his mission right after Christmas, and with Elder Carias, who leaves to go home in like 3 days. It's very strange to see so many missionaries leaving. I still have a while until then, so it helps to just focus on the work and how many hilarious stories I'm going to have when I get home.

If anyone reads my emails and thinks I'm discouraged, please imagine me as I actually am while I write. Smiling and laughing. Because honestly, I'm just trying to make these as entertaining and informative as possible. I love this place, but it isn't exactly Candyland. Some lady was open air breastfeeding on the stand in sacrament meeting. Don't see that everyday in the states, do you? It's a really funny and cool place, and you wouldn't believe how nice the people are.

As always, I'm having fun and spiritual experiences every single day, and I'm very excited to report back to everybody every week. Paraguay is super cool. Attatched is a random picture I took and a picture of Wilson, my convert's kitten. The second one is probably more for Maren than the rest of you, but enjoy it anyway!


Elder Wilson
The artist formerly known as Ziggy Stardust

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It's like America (but south)‏

So not a ton happened this week as far as any real work updates go, and I was sick for a day, so I decided I was going to take some time to write a little bit about the things I see on a daily basis in Paraguay. I think I'll focus on just a few things.

After emailing last week I saw 6 people on 1 motorcycle, and one of them was breastfeeding what looked to be a toddler.

Now that's Paraguay.

So this country is a little bit of a train-wreck. Don't get me wrong. I love this place. The people are nice and willing to listen, the countryside is beautiful, and they sell Trix in it's original shapes. What more could I even ask for? But to be honest, Paraguay has a large list of seemingly unsolvable issues. This is not a complaint letter, but there really is a lot of stuff to laugh about and make fun of that makes each day a killer mission story in and of itself.
I guess I'll start with the smell.
There are 3 main smells of this country.
-Animal carcass
-Cow patty
-Burning plastic
Wait, 4 smells if you include:
-Alcohol on people's breath

So the beautiful countryside I described is marred sometimes by rotting animals, cow dung, and a ton of trash. Which is interesting.

Next is the food.
So this is something that will probably disappoint my Dad a bit. It sure disappointed me. Somebody (sure as heck not me) needs to tell the people of Paraguay that Mayonnaise is not a pasta sauce, and that vegetable oil is not a salad dressing. The food of Paraguay is, for the most part, really really... bland.
All of the food they eat is designed to make you full, and to be as lacking in spice or flavor of any kind. It's not so much that the food is gross as that the food is just sort of... boring, with the occasional creepy chicken testicle or goat's hoof or whatever.
Chipa- Bread shaped in a donut. Hard as a rock.
Sopa Paraguaya- Not a soup. A bitter, yellow, bread-like thing. Not terrible. 3/5
Empanadas- Come in different types, AWESOME. Best thing here except for...
Lomito Arabe- Like a burrito, or actually more like a wrap thing with meat, lettuce, and a white sauce (like a greek sauce of some kind, like on Gyros)
Mandioca- Like a terribly bland baked potato. You eat it with everything. Very filling.

Also you can buy Mexican style tortillas and jalapeños (expensive but worth it) at stores, which is nice. They come in that plastic zip bag like the generic kind in the US. My comp says he used to like spicy food but now he doesn't after not having it in a long time. This will not happen to Ol' Elder Wilson.

In other news, next week is changes. I'll get a new companion (most likely) next Wednesday. I probably won't know about it next Monday unless Elder Arrington goes to work in the office, which isn't likely either.


I'm having tons of fun and working really hard. We're doing pretty well and coooould have another baptism this week. The house is... well it's terrible and we didn't have power again but I think you guys get it at this point. It's bad.


Elder Wilson
Unnecessarily captions himself at the end of emails

Joe's Apartment

Carlos (17) and Veronica (12) 

I have two more converts! 

So the story with these two is pretty cool. Before I got here, Elder Arrington baptized a 15 year old kid named Oscar. He's super cool and goes out teaching with us all the time. I went over to their house the day I got to Paraguay. We have been working with his siblings for the entirety of that time, and  they finally got baptized. The best part is: Oscar and Carlos say they want to serve missions. HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE? Really cool.

They got baptized Saturday, and confirmed on Sunday. I baptized Carlos, and my comp baptized Veronica.  

They named their newborn kitten Wilson. 

It's such a blessing to see the gospel bless peoples lives like I'm seeing every day. I still get kicked back a little bit every time I think "wow, am I actually on my mission?" The white shirt and tie are there, the tag is there, but it's crazy to think that I've actually made it to this point. I mean, I am the most humble guy around, as I'm sure I let you all know... Just kidding, but really if anyone isn't planning to serve a mission, and can, they're most likely making a big mistake. Everyone here plans on going. All of the men, and all of the girls. They make some crazy sacrifices for it.

Anyway, the baptisms were really really cool.

Now I get to complain about my house.

That's right, boys and girls, we're still living in our Chateau of glory.
The super nice house we were going to move into got rented by someone else while the office workers were on their way to our house. Right after I told you guys we found a new one. What a disappointment. This week has brought a new "Men in Black" themed challenge to the house. Cockroaches. Many, many, many cockroaches. Attached is a photo of our dustpan at the beginning of the infestation. I didn't take any more because we just started sweeping them out of the house and killing them all and it was really gross. Obviously we're still praying to find a new crib.

This last week was really fun, and I can't wait to tell you guys what happens in this coming week!


Elder Wilson
Proud Owner of La Casa de las Cucarachas

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mo' Money, Mo' Problems‏

So Tuesday morning we got a call from our Zone Leaders telling us that they found three houses for us. We went and checked them out and all three of them looked good enough to report to our President. So we did. Tomorrow the office workers are coming out to look at them and see if they will be good enough for the Zone Leaders to move into. We, on the other hand, would be moving into the ZL's current house above a pharmacy, which is conveniently located near the church and shopping on Mondays.

So after about 7 weeks of searching for a way to get out of the tomb we live in, we may have finally found a way to move out. With luck, we will probably be out of this house by the next time I write. 
I guess sarcasm and complaining really can solve all of my problems. 
Who knew? Just kidding, everyone. I absolutely owe it to all of the prayers that I, and I'm sure some of you have been saying for me. I oftentimes worry that my upbeat attitude about these kinds of things doesn't quite come across in a text format, especially when I'm talking about things that would normally seem unbearable. 

We also had a generally successful week that we believe will possibly culminate in a few baptisms in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for that. We invited tons of people to sacrament meeting, but only one came. Normally this would have been disappointing, but then two random people showed up that just happened to have all of the asistencias they needed to get baptized in a few weeks. Pedro also couldn't come to sacrament meeting or receive the priesthood yesterday because he was really sick. Yeah. 90 year old guy has "just a little cold". Well, at least I know where he's going when he dies.

Other than that, we've just been a little tight money-wise. We had to pay  for a bunch of trips to Asunción and stuff so money has been hard to come by, we're makin' progress though and I ordered some plaques in Guaraní. 

Guaraní es difícil ité, pero es divertido también 
Jahatupao Domingopé?


Elder Wilson
Guaraní-Español Spelling Bee Champion 2014-2016

P.S. Send my love to Nana Julie! Hope she's doing great!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mi Casa

This week was filled with all kinds of "fun" adventures in the wake of my first baptism. (as far as updates on that, Pedro will receive the Aaronic Priesthood next Sunday)

Our Mission President Pedro Agazzani describes our house as this:

"By far the worst house in the Mission."

So after we returned from Asunción by standing on a bus for three hours that was playing the Sylvester Stallone artistic masterpiece "Cobra", we returned to our lovely house. I went on splits with the new guy, Elder Tripp from Colorado, and generally had a pretty successful and fun time teaching and things. Elder Tripp had heard stories about the house in Coronel Oviedo, and surprisingly about my MTC legacy. Which is, some other guys and I convinced one of my companions, Elder Rogers, that he peed the bed. He believed it, and he freaked out on the last day when I told him
he didn't do it. But anyway, when we got back to the house it didn't have any water or power.

We went to visit the power company the next morning only to find out that they don't know what's going on with it either. So for the rest of the week the air, lights, and (most importantly) the fridge, all shut off. All of our food was ruined. I'm sure if you guys have checked the weather here you know that it's pretty hot here. I'm sort of used to the heat from living in Arizona and Georgia, but still, I never had to walk for miles or sleep without AC in either of those places.

So we've been searching for a new house, aaand NO HAY NADA

Estamos perdiendo mucho tiempo buscando.

But we have to keep trying. We currently have lights and water and stuff but we've spent a lot of time looking for a house. President commanded, we followed. We went and visited a three story mansion this morning as well. There's no way we can get it, but still, we have to search everywhere. 

Other than searching for a house we've mostly just been finding new investigators and trying to get more baptisms! Our mission is one of the highest baptizing missions in the world.

I don't have a ton to write about this week because we basically just looked for a way out of the serious rat's nest we live in. Hopefully next week we find a new home.


Elder Wilson
Likes big homes and he cannot lie

We were bored at like 10:00 last night so we burned this clock in our house. (it was broken anyway). Terrible idea. We had to fumigate our house with fans for like an hour.

Also this picture is of my trainer, me, and my trainer's trainer.

Monday, October 13, 2014


I baptized Pedro Monteflix (our 90 year old investigator) this Saturday, and stood in the circle while he was confirmed yesterday. It was an amazing experience, and I'm going to go all the way back to the beginning.
So I contacted lil' ol' Pedro about five weeks ago while proselyting in a forest about 40 minutes from our house. We hadn't had much luck that day and decided to (of course) just go to one more house in the area. This happens often. We went onto a property which had about five or six spider-web infested shacks (all of which have satellite dishes because every shack in Paraguay has a satellite dish because TV is more important than A.C. and water), and saw a few people talking and contacted them. Not interested. So we went to another, it had some super old guys who basically only spoke Guaranì, so we skipped them, and then we contacted some more. Not interested. So we went back to the old guys. As it turns out, they knew a bit more español than we thought, and we started to teach them. At that exact moment, I knew I wanted to baptize Pedro. I saw him dressed in white in my mind and the rest is history. I felt the spirit so strong every time we taught him. His little brother Solfido, who is 85 years old, seemed to be less interested and less happy in general, so we started to focus on Pedro instead.
We initially also had some problems getting him to church, even though he had an extreme desire to attend, as I've already mentioned. Then we found out that he had already been to the church before, and liked it a lot. He told us after every sacrament meeting that it was "tranquilo" and that he felt great every time. He also said our church was different from every other church he had ever been to.
So now on to the baptism. We went and got him from his property in the woods, and he was all ready with his towel and everything, and took him to the church. We sang some hymns, and got into our baptismal clothes, and got in the font. All good so far. Okay so remember, he's 90. Born in 1924. He's basically made of Papier Machet and sawdust. So the sweet little guy gets into the font, all ready, and sort of struggled with the instructions. I said the ordenance, and aaaalmost got him to go under. He got a little scared and his eyes went all wide and he sort of fell forward. The second time, I explained it to him softly and in front of everyone, and it went smoothly. He was baptized. This guy, who I had contacted and been in every single lesson we ever had with, was finally baptized. He came out of the water, gave me a hug and two thumbs up and said "Tranquilo!"
So after his confirmation the next day we went and visited him and he told us how he wants better glasses to read the Book of Mormon and the Gospel Principles book more often. He also told us that he felt stronger and healthier than he has in a long time, on top of feeling "mas... alto!"
Gosh what a wonderful experience. I have my first convert to the church, and his parents were born in the 1800s. I've just been so happy and excited for him and for my mission and to tell all of you.
Other than that, not much has been going on. I'm in Asunciòn right now to sign immigration papers, and all of the guys from the MTC were there, and my español is probably 100x better than theirs, which makes me very happy. I also got a letter with some pictures from mom and I think someone stole the flash drive you put in it. I did, however, get letters and a rockin' picture of Maren from her first day of school so at least that made it. Also Brynn is quite an artist and drew a picture of me. How sweet.
Anyway, this church is true. It can't not be true. Anyone who says it isn't true is probably in cahoots with Satan. To look into the partially blind eyes of a 90 year old man and see him reborn as a person without sin is a miracle like no other I've ever seen. I know I like to keep my emails light, but just know that I'm loving my mission and working to make the Lord, and you guys, proud.
Elder Wilson
Proffessional Baptizer

Monday, October 6, 2014

Blue Monday

This week we took a trip to Asunción for my exam. For those of you who are unaware, halfway through a Missionary´s training he or she goes to the mission home to take an exam to see how well they are getting along. So leading up to this I was pretty nervous, and feeling a little stressed about some other things, and I was sort of in the dumps a tiny bit. We took a three hour bus ride to Asunción through heavy rain (the bus was driving through several feet of water) and general terrible conditions.

On top of all this, the music of Paraguay was blasting over the radio in the bus. Polka Paraguaya and Cachaka music which sounds like *tiss tiss tiss* repeated a million times, played for about the first two hours. Then something rather unprecedented happened. "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order played on the bus radio, in the middle of backwater nowhere Paraguay. It was the weirdest,, coolest, strangest thing to have an alternative 80's hit play randomly amidst hours and hours of accordions and cymbals. 

The exam also went really well and I'm pretty sure if there were grades, I would have gotten an A.

We also went to visit ol´Pedro again, and he gave me a hug and a dozen eggs when we left. He's such a sweet guy and if he's living by this Saturday he's going to be baptized.

Ricardo, our gun toting, wild eyed investigator did not get baptized this week because he did not pass the interview, but he is really changing his life and can be baptized this Saturday as well. In a prayer he asked for all of his family to receive the blessings of baptism as well.

Conference was absolutely amazing this year. I think it's because I'm a missionary, but man did those talks rock the house/tabernacle. I especially loved the talks in languages. We watched it in English but switched it to Spanish for the talks that were in Spanish. It was really great and a spiritual experience that helped me feel both close to the Lord and to all of you.

Also as a side note I'm like 90% sure I saw Davis Ridings in the missionary choir during the Saturday priesthood session. Forgive me if I'm wrong but I totally thought either I saw him or someone looked exactly like him. If anyone knows, can you please remind him about that dog picture somehow. Thanks.

Other than that, not much went on this week. It was hectic and it's raining right now, but I'm having fun and getting ready to start my second change in Paraguay!


Elder Wilson
 A Paraguayan city from a double decker bus.
Some Paraguayan greenery on the fast lane.
  Conferencia General.
My new fanny pack from an elder who is about to leave, Elder Arongo from Colombia.

Monday, September 29, 2014

.38 Snub‏

An eventful week. 

Firstly, right after I wrote my letter last week the Mission President showed up at our house and let us know that "it isn't under proper living conditions for missionaries" (doesn't exactly take a rocket scientist to figure that one out- our house is absolute basura) and that we need to find a new one by today (So we had a week). We've looked and looked and looked and every single house is absolute garbage in our area. 

This week I also participated in my first priesthood blessing in Spanish, got to play the guitar, received an anti-Mormon pamphlet, and studied under candlelight.

Also, Pedro, our "90 años y guapo" investigator finally got to come to church. Por fin. We convinced our branch president to take us to go pick him up and he finally said yes and we got to go out and pick him up. He has a baptismal date for the 11th of October. 

So yes studying under candlelight was fun (picture included). The power went out for a day because of a massive lightning storm (of course) and it made the streets dark and scary. It was like a South American "The Walking Dead" episode, only instead of zombies it was drunk Catholics. 

I got to play some guitar and play some sweet licks for my comp and some investigators. It was quite refreshing to play.

Anti-Mormon stuff makes me mad and I'm not going to go into much detail about the anti pamphlet I got- It sufficeth me to say that I tore it up and threw it in a river.

Also I'm being as safe as possible, and at our Zone conference this week they told us not to send anything scary to our parents. I deeefinitely didn't have any investigators named Ricardo (Mad Eye Moody) point a .38 snub-nosed revolver at me this week. It was unloaded and he was just showing it to us. He's very proud. We're probably going to baptize him this weekend. He has a fecha for the 5th. Oh yeah we also dropped Elida the snake as an investigator because she invited us to sleep over and says her parents won't let her get baptized. So yep.

My good attitude also surprises me all the time. I can't believe all the crazy awful stuff I'm totally okay with.

My Spanish is always improving and I definitely am aware that I end like all of  my emails with that fact. 

We're also still looking for a house. Wish us luck on that. President says it has to be chuchi. 

Also to my family: I'll try to drink less water, geez I get it I get it- I'm gonna get a tapeworm and die- just kidding but I will try to drink "safe water"

Elder Wilson

Conner didn't explain why a knife is in the door.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hell & High Water

Rain in Paraguay isn't as fun as I thought it would be, so this week was quite the experience.

A fun fact I didn't know about Paraguay is that they have crazy lightning storms that light up the sky like a fireworks show. My area (Coronel Oviedo 1.3) is one of the largest in the mission, and goes all the way from where I live (which is the corner of the area) to Caaguazu. I barely actually have any places with shops in my area, and I'm mostly running around large fields of dirt and grass and things of that nature. The combination of these two things means that the area gets really, really muddy.

We also have a few investigators who live slightly off the beaten path. One such investigator, Elida, who has everything she needs to get baptized this saturday (here's hoping!) lives in sort of a medio-campo area. Friday my companion and I ran (RAN) a few miles in the straight mud just to get money so we could pay for a taxi to take her to a youth activity. It was awful but she made it. On a side note, Elida is also what we here in the mission field call a "snake". She likes Elder Arrington, and has started to act a little creepy around yours truly, and you all know I don't want anything to do with that. Talk about "yo tengo una novia" amiright? But seriously, her ex boyfriend is really mad at Elder Arrington (he's also an investigator, and he has a googly eye so I call him Mad Eye Moody) so we'll see where that heads in the future. He's got his EYE on Elder Arrington. Or on me, or on the ground. That thing moves around a lot.

Our other investigator is Pedro, who I think I mentioned last week. Pedro is 90 years old and has no way to attend church on his own. He is also like the sweetest person ever and he really wants to go to church and get baptized, but he needs to come to church 3 times before he can. We went to his house on saturday and he was shaving and getting ready for sunday and was super enthusiastic about coming.

He wasn't at church on sunday because nobody picked him up.

We had asked the ward members if someone could go get him, but nobody wanted to help. When I say that I don't just mean to say it like I'm mad. The Branch President, one of the only ones with a car (and who is currently under investigation for stealing money from the church, but that's another story), was too busy working sunday to help, and the other ones just said it was either too far or too hard to get there. A branch member said he went to Pedro's house and he was all ready to go to church and excited but had to break the news that nobody was coming. Makes me sad.

We also had to pay for a second taxi for Elida to get to church.

Later that night however, and after a stressful week of wading through mud and running and having people cancel on us, we had a little itty bitty miracle-ish thing happen. We met a golden investigator (one of those "okay just one more house") type things, and she is baptized in the church (when she lived in spain), but has 3 daughters that haven't been baptized. She told us that she had seen us walk bye every day and was dying to talk to us.

Oh and about the Branch President, yeah we all think he's robbing the church. The last Branch President was excommunicated for the same thing. Only time will tell how that'll play out.
Overall it was a stressful but rewarding week. As you can tell from the pictures, I'm really turning Paraguayan. We also made some more brownies that Elder Arrington got in a package. He's definitely a cool companion, even though he hates the Beatles which is heresy.


Elder Wilson

Paraguayan Soccer Champion

P.S. Our mission president doesn't let us drink
Coca Cola because white missionaries drink nothing but soda and get dehydrated and go to the hospital.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Amber Waves of Pain

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe

This week was the week of September 11, as I'm sure you are all aware, and apparently some of the people of Paraguay knew it as well, and solemnly and reverently remembered the day in the best way they knew how: By getting naked and shooting off fireworks. 

Elder Arrington (who I forgot to mention is our district leader) and I were walking the 30 minute walk home from the chapel after a district meeting on the night of 9/11, and saw a large traffic jam occurring in the streets. Suddenly before our eyes drives up a large truck with a trailer filled to the brim with naked people. These Paraguayans were shooting off fireworks into the air from the back of a slow moving vehicle, and dancing their hearts out to some polka Paraguaya. What a time to be an American in Paraguay. Who knew a people this lazy could party this hard?

In other important news, I burned the brownies I made with the Betty Crocker stuff from the package. E' Arrington and I were sitting and studying when we smelled something burning. I need to work on my cooking skills for sure. 

I gave a talk in church this Sunday,( the first outside of the MTC), and I think it went really well. My Spanish is 100x better than I thought it would be at this point, and I definitely owe a lot to the gift of tongues. The people of Paraguay always think I'm 15, and affectionately refer to me as "Elder Jovencito" or, "Elder Little Child". We have been talking to a 90 year old man named Pedro who wants to get baptized, and I really really want him to- super bad. 

I don't have any pictures this week, but I absolutely will next week. Oh also I don't know if this will work but I live down the street from the university UTIC. I don't know if that will help to find where I live but I hope so. Also it rains here a lot and has insane lightning storms. People don't like to come to church in the rain. 

As always I love your mail, and I hope I can answer all of the questions you have! Paraguay is super cool!

Elder Wilson

Monday, September 8, 2014

Here be Dragons

I live in:
Coronel Oviedo, Paraguay.

You guys asked for more info, so heeeeere you go!

We left the MTC and I was pretty thankful to finally be on my mission because I was sort of iffy on the whole MTC experience. Although my Spanish benefitted me greatly, and I often get told by investigators and otherwise, that I speak with a better accent and diction than any other american missionary.

So after landing in Paraguay (in a plane that had a huge picture of Lionel Messi on it) and walking out onto the tarmac like the Beatles, we went to the mission home and stayed the night (it wasn't anything too special). The next day, each person from my MTC group was assigned our companions and areas. I was assigned to Elder Arrington, who is 19, from Utah, and about a little over a year year into his mission.

From there we rode on a 3 hour bus ride (on the very top front seats of a double decker bus, no less). On this bus ride we listened to a single song on repeat over the loudspeakers for 3 hours. Only the highest of quality songs are played here, so of course it was something along the lines of "Peace this Christmas" by Hillary Duff, from the soundtrack of Cheaper By The Dozen. 

You already know a little about our "house". It has water now, though, and we're looking to find a home where we don't hear nuestros vecinos, the transvestites breaking plates and crying for 4 hours during study time.

Oh also i've been sick. From about friday morning at 5 am until saturday at about 5 pm, I've been sick with the Double Headed Dragon. I've been asked to not censor these emails, so basically it's been throwing up at the same time as having diarrhea (also a fever of 100 but that's not important right)? Don't worry though I'm 100% better now.

OK so anyway we also had a baptism. A woman named Soledad. It wasn't strictly our Baptism, because it was the investigator of other missionaries in our district, but both my companion and I have taught this person, and my companion Baptized her. Take note from the first photo I sent that Latins all over the world like to point at things in photos. The second picture is of my comp and I. Elder Sanchez, the taller Latino in white at the far left is from Mexico, and is really cool. He speaks English, and when he heard me singing a certain song I love, he went "Aw MAN I loooove de esmeeths" He likes similar music to me and is really cool. 

The younger boy in baptism gear, Josue, was set to be baptized, but didn't want to get submerged fully. He's 8 years old and likes to sit next to me in Sacrament meeting. He wears my tag sometimes. 

Anyway, it has been a really interesting, stressful, awesome, wonderful, crazy week, and I can't wait to tell you all more about my first baptism when that comes. Which actually could be like... next week? Maybe the next week after that? We'll see. We have some really cool investigators lined up.

From Paraguay with love,

Elder Wilson