Monday, April 27, 2015

(April 27,2015)

So we've got two people that are trying to get baptized this week. It's a little complicated, but it's kinda fun to explain.

So we've had certain investigators for quite some time. First I'll talk about Rodney. We found Rodney in like a "miracle contact" sort of situation a few months back on splits with the Zone Leaders, and then we couldn't talk to him too much for a while because he was always out of town (he's 9 years old) but we continued to teach him off and on. This last week, on another split with the Zone Leaders, we randomly went to his house, and he got interviewed to be baptized, and he got permission from his mom to be baptized. So you can say I'm pretty excited. 

The other is Noli, who hasn't ever gone to church with us until yesterday. She went a few times with some elders before but not enough to get baptized. Now she's sort of in a position where she wants to get baptized, but she has to go visit her grandpa who is on his deathbed on saturday and sunday. We told her to ask the Lord what she should do. He'll respond, she just has to know how to listen.

I see miracles every day people. Honestly it's like... literally every day. Sometimes we're miles away from town and I pray "please send someone to us if we're supposed to go to this place" and then as I say amen I hear my comp go "hey, a car!" and they stop and take us. That has happened many times. You could say it's a coincidence, but really stuff like that happens a lot. Super cool.

I'm having a good time, and although sometimes it's hard, it's always a good learning experience. 

Elder Wilson

Next week hopefully I'll have some baptismal photos to send home

                                         Me with my dad on the first day of school! Lolol just kidding.
Elder Liddell 

Mormon Movies‏ (April 13,2015)

Not a ton happened this week in the wake of Conference Weekend. We're still going strong using the "Gracias a que El Vive" campaign videos, and teaching lots of people. Really I still hold every single person that works in the Church's video department needs a raise. So good. The videos invite the spirit and make it a lot easier for us missionaries to testify.We're still trying to get a baptism, so we'll see where that goes. I would like to baptize someone with Elder Liddell, but our investigators are seemingly dropping like flies. Honestly I would be more stressed out if I didn't have a video playing every 15 minutes reminding me that Jesus got rejected too. Just kidding. Really we're having fun, and the Branch here is especially great, really supportive of the missionaries. 

Also, speaking of videos, Meet the Mormons is going to hit Paraguay here in a bit, and we're going to see how people react. I think it'll be great. I'm excited to see what comes out of it. I hope it's not a bad thing ;)

So my mission is still going on, and I'm glad to hear that everybody is all happy and hopefully crying because they miss Elder Wilson sooo much. Really I'm glad everything's okay over there, and I can assure you everything is alright here in Paraguay. I'm probably transferring out of Paraguarì May 6.


Elder Wilson

Cow's Hoof Stew (4/20/15)

So normally I write down in my planner what I'm going to talk about on P-Day with my family, but this week I kind of slacked on that front. The only thing that it says on my planner under "email to family" is: Cow's Hoof Stew.

Because I ate some cow's hoof stew this week. 2.5 stars out of 10.

We had interviews with President Agazzani this week, which were super awesome. He's a really great president, and although a lot of the missionaries complain about him (several of my companions) I think he's an amazing leader and a great man, and my interview went really long for some reason. They're supposed to be like 5 minutes long but we went over that by like 15 minutes just sorta chatting about the mission and companions and stuff. It was cool. 

We then saw him again at our District Conference for Paraguarì, which was a good experience, especially since some of our investigators drove really really far on a motorcycle all the way to another city just to go to the conference. Made us pretty happy. 

Also to talk about the cow's hoof. It's not that it's gross, but it just sort of doesn't make sense to eat it. You do all this work to get the meat off and then it sort of tastes like a piece of fat that got left out and hardened a little bit. Not exactly efficient. 

I also would like to thank my family for the package I recieved! Definitely one of my favorites so far. The Salt & Vinegar chips, Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies, the old-timey copy of the book of mormon, the pictures of the beach, the pictures of Maren, the easter candy, the shirt, the pictures of Maren, and all the other stuff that was in there. Super awesome. The Latino Elders find the Book of Mormon original remake super interesting. It's cool to see the little changes that they did to transfer it over from old English formatting to the more modern stuff. Super sweet.

Well, the work goes forward. I need to write down what happens during the week. 

Oh yeah we also went back into a super Jungly place, but I forgot my camera. 
Yeah, I know, I know.


Elder Wilson

Haha you thought I forgot 

Package (with some stuff taken out of it... sorry, I really couldn't wait to open all the stuff)
This is me with a twinkie. It felt like Zombieland here in Paraguay with all the lack of twinkies.

Prophets and Apostles‏ (April 6,2015)

Well General Conference was awesome.

I hope we can all agree on that one. Although it was a bit different, it was an amazing, spiritually uplifting experience. We also had about 4 investigators come to the Sunday Morning session, which was quite nice. 

Holland always kills it. There were so many talks that just would not have been the same had I watched them in Spanish. I got to watch them in english and it really improves the experience. Although President Packer is a little hard to understand sometimes. Great talk, though ;). All the other Elders that were watching it in English with me were kind of strange and didn't have plans to even think about girls after their missions, so they all got cane dropped on them about 1,000 times about returned missionaries who don't want to get married. It was super funny. 

One of our main investigators, Noemi, who was supposed to get baptized Saturday, discovered some pamphlets of the biggest apostasy garbage ever made: "Tabernacle of William Brannon". Honestly we couldn't believe  it when she told us that she "just remembered that she followed Brother Brannon and not Joseph Smith". "It's SO FAKE HOLY COW how can she not see this?" We thought. We proceeded to hit her hard with some Book of Mormon stuff, and told her that if she read the Book of Mormon, and would come to conference, she would know Thomas S. Monson was a prophet, and that the Church was true. She didn't come to conference, so we went back and had a crazy awesome lesson where we dropped cane using all of the conference talks (this happened last night. We taught with power and authority while talking about: The difference between dancing and hearing the music, Jesus saving us from falling off the cliff, and many, many, many of the conference subjects.
 She currently has a baptismal date in two weeks.

Honestly and frankly, we have a prophet here on Earth, and I'm extremely thankful for that. I also love every single one of the Apostles and General Authorities who spoke in the conference. I feel so blessed to live in a time where we have the power of God flow into his servants, and to all of God's children all over the world.


Elder Wilson

       The Elders and Sisters watching General Conference in English. The american sister is in her first week,          so her companion from Panama had to watch all of conference in English. 
                                                             Paraguarí at sunset

                                  Also some makeshift pasta salad because I had some italian dressing 
                                  They don't have a ton of ingredients but it was still awesome.

Easterweek 2015‏ (March 30,2015)

My beloved brothers and sisters, 

The Apostle Paul wrote... (haha just kidding)

This week is Conference/Easter Preparation week over here in Paraguarí!
I'm super excited. Conference is a pretty big deal, along with pretty much the most important time of year, which is Easter. Before my mission Easter was just a day to eat rabbit shaped reese's candy and stuff, but now, since I've been here, every time I think of Easter I really am just... filled with appreciation for the Savior. I still love those rabbit shaped reese's, but the true purpose of Easter is really making it's mark in my life. By the way, those new Jesus videos are super super cool. The new actor is like 200% better, but aside from that it just shows everything I love about the Saviors teachings. I've read ]Jesus the Christ twice already and still my tiny little human mind can't fully comprehend the atoning sacrifice of our Lord. 

Conference, of course, is another awesome addition to the week, with the chance to listen to The Prophet, The Apostles, and other general authorities speak. How cool is that? My one request would be to
I never understood this before my mission. Conference was just an awesome time to eat food and sort of rest instead of having to get up to go to church. Don't get caught not knowing what they said the next sunday because people always ask and I was always like "oh ya know stuff about faith and prophets and stuff" and just don't be like Conner was. Be like Elder Wilson is. Taking notes and everything I'm so proud of that boy.

Also I did end up eating the crocodile. In the form of Crocodile Empanadas. It was actually really really good. Definitely would recommend it. I also did a contact a few days ago standing in a hill of fire ants! They were all over me and I started freaking out and running around and stuff. It was okay, the guy we contacted was a 10 year old less active and he's super cool so whatever. 

Oh, and I'm still with Elder Liddell.

Well, Pay attention to General Conference and please think about our Savior more than chocolate.  Or you will get fat I promise.


Elder Wilson

Crocodile empanadas
 A picture a 3 year old drew of my companion and I. We just walked into a random primary room and saw what they had drawn.
The missionaries in Paraguari

Crocodile Dundee‏ (March 23, 2015)

Another week

So to start out, I'm going to talk about our magical Sunday experience from yesterday. So yesterday was the start of fall in Paraguay, which means cooler weather, less daylight, and of course, setting your clocks back an hour. We got a call from our District leader, who got a call from our Zone leader, telling us to put our clocks forward an hour. Of course, being the sheep we are, we decided to do that, confiding in our leaders. What happened? We went out looking for investigators at 5:00 in the morning waking people up to go to church. "WAKE UP!" "AH COME ON MAN WHY ARE YOU GOING BACK TO SLEEP DON'T YOU KNOW THAT IT'S A COMMANDMENT TO GO TO CHURCH?" So then I had the impression to call my district leader. "Hey Elder ¿que hora es?"  and he responded "5:45". so we went home and decided to wait to go out and pass for everybody again. We ended up getting a few people to church, which was nice. This transfer I have seen the attendance at the branch go from 51 to 91, so we're making some progress.

Today we're also invited to a family home evening with some inactives to eat Crocodile. It's gonna be super sweet. I actually have grown to love eating the weird stuff here because it actually has some taste to it. Crocodile should be cool. I hope I get to eat it with a big bowie knife."Now that's a knife"

This week is the week of transfers, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I'm staying here with Elder Liddell. He's got 2 transfers left and unless he trains someone else I'm probably staying here. We'll see. Paraguarì is a sweet area. Really is the coolest.

Well, we're having a good time as always and working our butts off. I'm really feeling a good change going on in me as a missionary. It's like a cool superpower or something. A real one, not just money like Batman and Iron Man, or something really loud like Green Lantern's ring of power, but more of a slight one like Wolverine's healing. As you can see it isn't exactly a change of personality but more of a... I don't even know. It's cool. I'm having a lot of fun and I feel a little more mature about a lot of stuff. It might not seem like it based on the tongue-in-cheek tone of a lot of my emails, but really it's pretty cool to see.

I actually just think it's a bit of humility, is all.

Elder Wilson

My comp and I. Like Rush he doesn't really smile in photos, but he's cool. 

A Crocodile skin.

Conozca Los Mormones‏ (March 16, 2015)

So this week we had a Zone Conference in Asunciòn, which was pretty awesome.
We watched Meet the Mormons, which was really cool to finally see something that resembles a movie. Everybody in the conference started crying when they saw their "Utah Mountains" and their "Salt Lake Airport" at the end of the movie. Babies. I didn't cry when the movie started in ATLANTA AAAH YEAH that was pretty sweet though. That was cool. But anyway the movie was a good experience and it was cool to be the first people in Paraguay to see it. 

The conference was really spiritual and was generally super great. President Agazzani is leaving soon so I think he wants to do it with a bang.

This week we went to some cool parts of our area and found some new people. We got guided to some houses completely by the spirit, and taught some cool lessons. We've been using the Book of Mormon a lot more, which is something that I've really been loving during my mission. My testimony of The Book of Mormon has grown immensly while I've been here, and to me now it just seems ridiculous that anyone could not love it. 
People that don't have a testimony of The Book of Mormon either didn't read it or didn't understand it. Or both.

I've been growing a lot this transfer, and I've been working on developing myself as a missionary and a disciple and I must say I'm feeling the spirit a ton. It's a great experience.

Really, that's about it for right now. The weeks go by a little too fast sometimes.


Elder Wilson

"cure for diabetes here" 
Wow the Paraguayans finally found the cure for diabetes.

 Just a random picture I took with my companion when we were hangin' out.

Josè Smith‏ (March 9,2015)

Queridos Hermanos y Hermanas,

This weeeek we spent some time exploring our area, which is, in fact, (according to what my zone leaders and everyone says) the largest area in the mission. So we've been exploring it a bit, and avoiding soto because nobody is really progressing there, and we figured that El Señor probably wants us to find some new people. We took our travels this week to a place called Caballero. It's further than Guazu Kua, but less "fields and swamps" and more "people with a car/way to get to church". It's a nice little town with a lot of pueblitos. Well, that's about all I can say about Caballero.

We also found some seriously cool investigators. One is named Jonas (12 years old), and my companion and we had to lift him out of his bed into his wheelchair, put his shoes on for him, and I rolled him all the way to church from his house. It was really rewarding to see him and his sister in church. After that we watched the movie Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration with them, and I guess you could say it turned out well. His sister (18 years old) cried and then said a prayer that was really cool and honest. She started reading the Book of Mormon before we ever even talked to her. We left it with Jonas and she saw it later and just started reading. Very cool. I love testifying of the restoration. I feel super cool whenever I do. It's totally sweet.

I also had the wondeful opportunity to drop cane super hard with the ward this week in my latest talk. I've given a talk like every week since I've been with Elder Liddell. Don't know why, but it's always a great opportunity to lay down the law on the apostate version of the church that exists in Paraguay. Honestly. Drunk guys blessing the sacrament? Not gonna fly in my father's house, know what I mean?That was back in Coronel Oviedo, but still here in Paraguarì there are some nasty problems that plague the church. It's always nice to remember that the Church is perfect, but the people in the church are not perfect.  

I also went to a birthday party for a girl in the ward who turned 18 and the next day got set apart as the primary president. She's in charge of like 90% of the inactive members here because missionaries just baptized children for like 10 years here.

I'm doing great, really. Honestly right now I have no complaints. I'm happy, I'm safe, we're doing our work and being obedient, and I just feel.... I don't know... happy. Like a missionary should be. 

No se precupen, mis hermanos y hermanas, todo esta bien conmigo. 


Elder Wilson

The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins‏ (March 2, 2015)

(The title does not have to do with the missionary portion of the letter)

This week things calmed down a bit in Soto. By "calmed down" I really mean "shut down" because honestly it's a ghost town now that school started here. 
One fun thing I got to do this week in Soto is go to the bathroom in someone's shack just to realize that THE TOILET WAS BROKEN. I had to walk to the local well to fetch water, and come back to get that baby to flush. Honestly I'm extremely grateful for the things we have in the states, like water.

This week my companion and I have been finding a lot of awesome investigators and working really hard with the ones we have. The work is going a little slower than we would like but we're doing the best I can and seeing great results. We had a lesson with the headmaster or whatever of all the Freemasons in Paraguay as well. It was really interesting, and since I've learned a little more about the world's least cultish cult during my mission, it was cool to see and hear some weird stuff from the guy. He was super accepting and promised to read the Book of Mormon, which I'm sure he won't forget about, seeing as he lives right next to the Paraguay Temple.

I also went on splits with one of my ZL's Elder Allton. He's a really cool guy and I learned a lot. I always try to learn whenever I'm with my leaders here in the mission. This isn't my two years to sit around and stay the same, now is it? I'm having a great time though, and learned a ton about the mission and I really am constantly learning and improving. It's really cool to see and feel. I'm still me, I just feel a little better all the time. It's a nice feeling. 
But like I said, I'm still me. Here's some evidence:

Now it's time to dedicate a moment of quiet reflection to 
Leonard Nemoy, who passed away this last friday. Surely one of the great actors of our time. Or so he always probably thought.

Thank you for your quiet reflection.

Elder Wilson
Maybe he'll come back like in Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock