Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 8 - San Ignacio #MilagrosEnSanIgnacio

"A decent rainstorm" according to Elder Thorpe
My first full week down! Woo! The more time I spend here the more I love it! It is a lot more humid here, and also far hotter. I don´t think I've ever sweated this much in a week. But the country is basically paradise. The people are great, the food is great, the rains are fantastic... Just the other day it started dumping rain out of nowhere. The street next to the restaurant we ate at had room for 2 lanes and parking on both sides. At the strongest point of this storm, the whole street was flowing with water. Granted they don´t have storm drains here, and water flows until It hits a stream, river, or something along those lines, But the amount of rain that fell that day was impressive to say the least.

​And Elder Thorpe tells me that was a decent rainstorm. I guess we'll see how bad they can really get.

As far as investigators go we've had a few that were truly miraculous. First off, Andrea. She was contacted before I arrived, and when I got there I was told she'd already had lesson one. We talked about the Book of Mormon, and Elder Thorpe told me to invite her to be baptized. She agreed. But here's the kicker. Turns out, she's only had the lesson on the Book of Mormon. The only thing she knew about our church was that we had another volume of scripture, which she had started reading, and her testimony in that was strong enough for her to commit to baptism!

We had a few other great contacts this week as well. A man named Rutibio was walking down the street carrying a propane tank, and we offered to help him to his house. When we arrived, HE asked US when we intended to return so we could chat with him! And it was a really good lesson.
We met another girl, who is a friend of an investigator and who lives in the sisters boundaries. She told us that one day at church, (called Iglesia de Philidelphia) her BoM fell out of her bag and they "Bajaron mucho caña" (dropped the cane, or chewed her out intensely). After that, she downloaded LDS tools, and our BoM study helps so she could study in secret! She was quite an interesting find.

Gregorio's wedding papers came through, so he can finally set a date to be married! Which means that his wife can finally be baptized, and they can set a goal for the temple!!

This is the baptismal font.  It's basically an over-sized plastic bathtub. 
We had to clean it out Saturday afternoon, which took us a good hour.
But we had it looking so nice afterwards!
I´m going to preface our next big event with an explanation of the familia Servin (sair-veen). Their mother is a member, but is less active, and their father is out of the picture. Vanessa is the oldest at 16, was baptized over a year ago, and actively helps out in missionary work. She is already preparing for her mission. Macarena is 12, and was baptized 2 months ago. There are two kids between them, Antonia, who is investigating, and Samuel, who is not. Moises is 11, and is getting baptized on the 20th, Angel is 8, and the other 2 children I don´t know that well.

Angel David Ruiz Diaz Servin
Long Spanish names can be a tongue twister.

So this is Angel. His Birthday is on the 11th, and we just got permission to baptize him from his mother. He isn't a convert baptism, but I did get to do my first baptism in Spanish! We are very excited for the happenings in his family. Moises is just around the corner, and Elder Thorpe gets to baptize him.

Other things to know about my mission: First off, Paraguay is 4 hours ahead of Utah. Until Utah has daylight savings time, which puts me 3 hours ahead. For 2 weeks until Paraguay has daylight savings time, which will put me 2 hours ahead of Utah. Argentina however is the Arizona of South America, and they don´t believe in Daylight Savings. They will be 3 hours ahead, until you guys have DST. Paraguay is an hour ahead of Argentina for 6 months of the year.

My P-day looks like this: Studies until 11ish. At 11 we clean the apartment, and then print our emails. I will not likely write during this time, but I will print longer emails to be read during the day. Lunch goes from 12-1:30 because it´s the largest meal down here. We have time to cook or go to a restaurant if we want to. At 2:30 the grocery store opens up, and we go buy a weeks worth of groceries. Some time between 4-5 we go to write emails, and we get an hour. P-day ends at 6:30. This means I am done emailing at around 2:00 MST, so your window to reply is short.

Responses to other questions. I am in the one apartment in Paraguay with a Washer and Dryer, so we can do our laundry at any time. My apartment is very small. The bedroom has two twin beds, a very small couch, and just enough room for the door. The Bathroom is probably 5X5, with a shower head in one corner. No curtains or tub, just the head, sink, and toilet. The other room contains our two closets and enough room to change. The main room has our kitchen, and study desks, and a small bookshelf. It's small but really nice for 2 people.

Most people down here have cell phones, and several of the teenagers have smartphones. The church owns a computer, and the Internet cafes own computers. Other than that, I haven't seen them. Several homes have TV systems, but they aren't new. Most are the bulky cubic style TVs.

Guys, the church is on fire down here in San Ignacio!! The people here are so inviting, and so friendly. We've had so much success with getting contacts and investigators because of the customs down here. God really has prepared these people to enter into his path. Some people are progressing so fast their baptismal dates have been bumped forward! The Gospel is true, and the blessings it brings to the lives of other people cannot be ignored! I'm so grateful that God has allowed me to help him in his great and marvelous work.

Last thing, I want your favorite recipe! I'm looking for things I can cook, and I want to know what your favorites are. Keep in mind that I'm in Paraguay, and certain things are hard to find, like brown sugar and cream cheese. If you have a hard time finding it, I will too. Also freezer space is very limited, so don't suggest things with a lot of frozen ingredients. Lastly, We don't do dinner. Our big meal is lunch, so I don't have time to bake\cook\roast anything for much time.

Love you guys!! Thanks for all of your support!

1 comment:

  1. We're so proud of your hard work and dedication Sam! Thanks for writing and letting us be part of your adventure.