Well it has really been a crazy week! I am out of the office! I finally got my change out of the office, and now I am in an area called Laurelty. It is near San Lorenzo and Luque which are both pretty close to Asuncion, so I am not super lejos (far), but at least I am not in the centro (center). The area is great. I would compare it to a ghetto neighborhood in a big city. It is pretty ghetto and there are tons of druggies and borrachos (drunks) there. And the best part about it is that I am doing a white wash! (Opening a new area) I am doing it with the Elder Anderson, the ex-assistant, and he dies (goes home) at the end of this change, so I reallly think I have a good chance of training Elder Funk. When Elder Anderson and I were in the office together we both really wanted to do a white wash, so we suggested it to Presidente. He said it's what the Lord wanted that mattered, so I guess it was.
I will give you guys a rundown of our first three days in the area. So first, we get there the first time we try to enter the house and the key breaks in the lock! So we have to break down the back door to get in. Then, we had to fix the back door, fix the front lock, and get settled into our house. Then, the house was super gross, like I have lived in some pretty bad houses here in Paraguay, but this one was bad! So we called Velma, this lady that the church hires to clean, and she came and we helped her clean the house. That took us all day. Then, after tons of cleaning and bug killing, we finally get out to work the next day, but we know no one, so we are lost. Luckily, a joven (youth) guided us around a little bit. Then it started to pour rain. Ha Ha. So we thought the worst of our troubles were over. Then during the night, the humidity of the house got the phone wet and it died on us, so we had no phone, like one family that we knew, and a huge area. So, we started working and it was a really tough day. We only could get one lesson and it was the last person we contacted. Then we get home and our lights don't work and we have no light in our study room. So, during all of this we were fasting, which made the fasting even harder and made us a little more annoyed. We finally made it to Sunday, went to church which was good, and then broke our fast. We then got out to work and just when things are the toughest, we found a really cool family of 5. It was such a blessing from the Lord. Now they did not seem like the most ¨golden¨ investigators, but if we don't baptize them si o si (right now) they will be soon. The Lord really does bless us when we sacrifice. The power of fasting is really a strong thing. If we sacrifice a little for the Lord, he will bless us without a doubt. Even though those were little things that happened they combined to really make out first week here a struggle, but we kept going and kept pushing, and the Lord blessed us. Now I know through this email you guys can't get the feeling of the heat here, but when you are fasting and don´t drink water the whole day, in the hot sun, it gets tough.
I am really excited to be able to work with Elder Anderson for these last couple of weeks before he goes home. I have already learned a lot and I know I will learn more. I am so excited to be in Laurelty to be able to serve the Lord. We talked with the Bishop and informed him how we are not here just to baptize. I was reading in Preach My Gospel, and it says that these people have the ability to become like our Heavenly Father, to become like God. That is what I have been called to do, to help these people make the covenants necessary to become like Heavenly Father. So we told him just that, that we are here to bring leaders into the church. I really have faith that the Lord is going to bless us with some good success in this area and that he will guide us to those who are ready for this message. I love you all so much, and have been so blessed here on my mission. The time still goes flying by each day and it always seems to get faster and faster. I am pretty sure Chris should be finishing his mission soon here, Crazy! This morning I was reading the General Conferance talks and I read the one from the Prophet called ¨Dare to Stand Alone.¨ It is a really good talk and got me super pumped up to be a Mormon and to be on a mission. We really are God's strongest children and that is why we came here at this time. I love you all and hope that we won´t be afraid to stand for what we believe in. God bless!
Ps. So are Aspen and Russ going to go to Guam for sure or is it just a maybe?