All is well here in Paraguay! My area is called YBY YAU which is Guarani for "Eat Dirt." It is seriously out in the middle of nowhere. It is between Concepcion and Pedro Juan the two big cities up north. It is seriously soooooo hot, like it is ridiculous. Yesterday when we were tracting it was 113 degrees with all the humidity in the world. I was swimming in my sweat. It's all good, but I heard these three months of summer are brutal, but then after that the heat is not as bad. The area is really nuts. They speak a lot of Guarani, like almost 80% of the people speak it and Spanish and Portuguese. It is nuts because with a lot of the older people I have no idea what they are saying!. I have learned some stuff, but it has been tough. My trainer's name, or ´my dad´ as they say in the mission, is Elder Gage. He is awesome. He has been here for a year and a couple of months and has only been in YBY YUA for two weeks so he doesn´t know the area too well either. This week has been kinda nuts because we went to Concepcion for a zone thing for Christmas and I haven´t really been able to get a full week of work in.
Our first Sunday was one I will never forget. Well first of all our church is a house and the chapel is separate. When we got to church about 10 minutes late, there was no one there until one of our investigators showed up and then it was the 3 of us and her kids. Eventually more people showed up and we ended up having 12 people in church. I gave a little thought about the Book of Mormon and read a passage from the Liahona. It was good, we just need to get more people to church. Sorry I haven't been able to send any pictures today, but I will next week.
I heard that only 3 other elders have started their missions in YBY YUA, which is kinda crazy. Our house is pretty nuts. It is right next to a chicken coup and it is really small. Luckily we have AC which is nice. I swear I can never quench my thirst here. The roads here are crazy. Everyone comes close to dying everyday. People go super fast and almost everyone drives a motorcycle. For P-Day we go to Pedro Juan where we can actually buy food and stuff. They have a huge market thing right next to the border between Brazil and Paraguay. Everyone here drinks Terere (mate frio - a cold herbal drink). It is ridiculous. They drink it, like seriously everyone, every hour of every minute. I have been drinking the tap water when we are tracting because I am always so thirsty. I haven´t gotten sick yet so, we will see.
One thing that I have learned about the people of Paraguay is that they make commitments like baptism and coming to church, but just do it so that we will go away. Some people are genuine and those are the people who we can bring unto Christ because they understand that it is what God wants for them. I hope all is well in California. I haven´t gotten my package yet, but it is fine I still have a while. I am excited to keep telling you guys of my experiences and of what things are to come. I love you all and wish you the best.
Hey, so I have more time so I will write a little more. So the thing with this mission is that you have to commit people to baptism pretty early in the lessons because people will say they will get baptized, but you can tell by their and stuff if they are being honest. So the mission president is now telling us that we need to commit them to baptism or else we could be wasting a lot of time with teaching a lesson with no progression. We were teaching a lady named Rosanna who seemed really interested in our message and she said she will get baptized in early January so that was awesome because it was my first time with someone who said yes genuinely. O yeah and seriously YBY YAU is like one of those places where there is not too much to eat so it's kinda funny. Yesterday I ate half a can of corn and drank some juice. We couldn´t buy anything because it was Sunday. I have already lost 5 pounds. I could become super skinny. It,s all good though. I love it here and am so excited for everything.
I love you all so much and am so grateful for all your support. I know the Lord put me in Paraguay for a reason and I am so excited to bring this message of Jesus Christ to these people. Love you guys and I will be getting the phone info to you next week so we can talk on Christmas.