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 aƱos 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

Monday, September 1, 2014

Proverbs 25:25‏

Proverbs 25:25‏ - As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.

This place has sure been crazy, and I'm sure you all have questions, but I don't even know where to start, so i'll just give a brief overview, and I'll probably omit some stuff as to not scare my Mom or Maren ;)

When we first got to Asuncion, I was surprised at how modern it was. Everything was nice and shiny and new. Then I got assigned to the Campos.

My area is... interesting.  It's absolutely the most impoverished place I have ever been. There are animals everywhere and people either live in homes made of plywood, sheet metal, mud, or black trash bags. (Also when I'm describing this area please don't think I'm hating life because actually I have a great attitude about it and love the people here, as weird as they are. I'm just describing it). My house hasn't had water since the 29th (so no showers or bathrooms!), and we live next to a transvestite, but I'm really keeping my head up and having a blast. Also,  I walk miles and miles for hours every day and everybody speaks Guarani. Nobody has blue eyes here, and my companion says they love mine and that whenever I buy anything from Paraguayan ladies I can talk them down to nothing. 

I have an American companion. His name is Elder Arrington and he's actually a really cool guy and a great missionary, which I'm so thankful for. My spanish is improving every day and I'm having tons of fun learning and growing. My package got here and I LOVE IT. Apparently that betty crocker stuff is like gold here in Paraguay because it doesn't exist. I've also (not by the choice of my companion and I) had McDonald's twice and dominoes once. They put full sized oreos in the McFlurries. We also got two of our investigators to go to church sunday. Speaking of church, instead of drinking fountains they have a water cooler with a single cup that is used by everyone in the branch. Yummy.

Well, this place is super crazy and fun and I love teaching the tiny little people here. I love your mail and I look forward to having more time and information to talk about next week.


Elder Wilson

Los Campos
 My kitchen
Front room
The bathroom