Friday, December 31, 2010

Dec. 27, 2010

WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS, WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR! Wow so Christmas is already over and new years is this week! Que loco! It was my last Christmas in Paraguay! Ha they did so many fireworks!!! And new years eve is just going to be even crazier, I love it. It is so Paraguay. I think one of my favorite parts about Christmas this year is that we made these cute lil gifts baskets with pan de banana (banana bread) and boiled cookies and some Paraguay candy and we put one of those pictures of Christ (that you sent to put on the lil Christmas tree) on every plate. They were so cute, yall´d be proud. And then we went out and Christmas caroled! Ha Christmas caroling in Paraguay is the BEST! Ha they loved it but they had no idea what was going on. We would clap at the door and they would come out and before they got to the front gate we would start singing and they would like try to come up and kiss us (to greet us) or they´d be like, here just come in the shade, you don´t have to stand out there in el sol (in the sun), haha. They didn´t really understand that they were just supposed to just sit there and listen. But it was way fun, and we had to wait for a lot of colectivos, so we would just bust out our hymn books and start singing Christmas songs with our lil santa hats and reindeer ears on. It was actually really cool, I felt the Spirit really strong everytime we would start singing. Ha I almost decided to just take my santa hat off, put it on the ground, stick our colectivo money in it, and just start collecting change, lol but then I decided maybe that´s not so missionary appropiate. Good times. Ok and let´s just talk about Christmas good! I LOVED all my lil regalos! They were all soo good and exactly what I needed and the 12 days of Christmas thing was soo soo cool (ha even though I did it backwards), I loved it! Thanks soo much! I loved the testimonies and the pictures of yall. So creative! And all those cards, PERFECT! I could go on and on! Yeah and oh...Gregorio, our recent convert- his son just got in a really really bad moto accident and so we got permission to go visit him in the hospital yesterday, yall could pray for him! Man, hospitals in Paraguay are pretty scary, I don´t think I would trust them. That was quite the experience. Aver... yeah but it was SO GOOD to talk to yall and hear yalls voices. Ha that is so fun! And DAD you are a stud!!! I am so glad you figured it out to work so I could talk with Ty too!!! I loved it! Ha just like old times. Yeah I was telling everyone how cool it was that I got to talk to my brother even though he´s on a mission, yeah pretty sure that never happens. That was a huge blessing! Mom, you about killed me when you told me what you did after you hung up. Talk about trunky! Ha jk, I´m fine, It´ll just be a lot of fun to eat cute lil american appetizers and sit down and play dominos! But man can yall believe it is going to be 2011?!! I remember writing last year and saying, holy cow, it´s going to be 2010 and I´m going to be in Paraguay all of 2010, and now OPA 2010! That was fast. Que pucha sheraá. But I love putting metas (goals), new years resolutions, empezar de nuevo and commit yourself to being better, that´s great. Ahhh and it´s Kylee´s birthday this week!!! Cute, 2 years old...really?! Wow that is crazy! Ahhh and it was so cute to hear Nate´s lil voice on the phone, I can´t believe how much he talks, that is adorable!!! I wish I would´ve been able to talk to Kylee and Tyler, yall just have to give them lots of love and tell them it´s from me. But it sounds like yall are going to have a super fun week all together. So fun. Everything is going good here, there is SO MUCH work to do! We are trying to find more people like Gregorio because he was the perfect investigator, really ready and prepared to receive the gospel and to commit to living it. He will be such a great leader. Once again I am just so greatful to have witnessed that miracle! It was the best Christmas present. That is what Christmas is all about. That is the reason for the season. To come unto our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And it was so amazing to see that happen in Gregorio´s life and see the change take place in my life as well. Amazing! I love it. Alright I love yall and otra vez I loved talking to yall and hearing yall, and it was really cool to read all your testimonies because I could just read it and hear yall talking, thanks so much for your love and your support. Talk to ya next year haha. Stay safe.

Hermanita Nelson

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dec. 13, 2010

M´bae chapa?!!

How is everyone?!! I love yall!! Ok and mom, I got the packages!!!!!!!!!!!! I was SO EXCITED! ANd we set up our cute lil Christmas tree and put all the wrapped presents right underneath, and tomorrow I get to open the first one!! It´s a good thing I got the best mom in the world! So yeah I just got the 2 big ones with all the wrapped stuff! Aver, oh so we did have CAMBIOS!!! Ha Hna Messina and I, are now on our 4th change together! And we are now in a trio! Ha another trio, yikes, but we´re with Hna Tuaóne, and it´ll be good! So we had to rearrange the whole house to fit 3, and everyone loves that there are now 3 elderas! Ohh and at changes this Elder came up to me and handed me a picture, and I was thinking, who are you? I´ve never seen you before lol, but it was a picture of him from the MTC holding up a Paraguay flag with another elder, and then I realized that it was TY!!!! Ha I was so excited!!! I can´t remember his name, but apparently they were together in the MTC in the same zone, and after like 8 months, this is the first time I´ve met him. Ha it totally made my day! Oh and guess what, yesterday it DIDN´T rain!!!! Bueno, it did rain later in the day, but in the morning it didn´t. We didn´t have as many people come with us this week because they were all ¨sick¨or they were taking care of someone who was ¨sick¨. Haha they can´t leave the house if they have a headache or their stomach hurts or anything. But our golden guy, Gregorio came and he just loves it, we haven´t been able to see him because something always happens so that our schedules conflict, but we´re going to try tonight. We also had this cute girl named Jessica come with us, who´s 22 and has a cute lil 4 year old boy. We also finally met with our branch president last night and now we understand a lil better all of the problems that there really are in this branch! But we did have 58 people in church, which is HUGE!!! We were so excited, most of them just piled on in for the last hour (sacrament) but we´re trying to work with them. THey have a lot of excuses for why they don´t come the first 2 hours to the classes...oh excuses! Aver.. yeah so Pres told us that there is over 1,000 people that are members but that the majority were baptized for almison (like welfare), so what do you do with a 1,000 people that don´t even want to have anything to do with the church, but are baptized? Ha I don´t know. So we are trying to do everything we can to help and serve in anyway that we can. So much work to do! No time to waste people. But I love all the people and this area is great, so I´ll probably die here or go back to Luque which I would love! Oh and we might be able to go to Luque this Friday for a baptism, so I´d be able to see some people and that would be so so cool!!! Vamos a ver! I love Paraguay and I love the mission! Ha I can´t remember what life was like not being a missionary and I can´t imagine it not being a missionary, so basically I´m just going to stick with the being a missionary for the rest of my life thing. It´ll be great! I really am so thankful for yalls support and love! It helps so much! Ohh and you know what?!! THe mangos are starting to come out!!! I´m so so excited for that! It´ll be so great to hear yalls voices in 2 weeks! Have a great week! Love yall!

Dec. 6, 2010

DECEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wait a second, aren´t we still in like August? Ha that is when Hna Messina got here and that seems like yesterday! 3 changes ago, and I have 3 left...que pucha cherrá! and December means it is ALISA´S BDAY!!!! FELIZ CUMPLE!!!! That´s so fun!!! And Happy Bday Rick tambien. Hahaha I loved the story about Nate and his firetruck haha and Kylee and her lil cheer, what cute lil sobrinos I have!!! I´m so proud! Ahh and Ty, holy cow, I love how you so calmly told that story about you almost dying and running into a ditch! But I´m glad you are good! Ok a couple stories... Ok so this morning we put up our cute lil christmas tree and window decorations and my comp made these sweet snowflakes! And yeah mom I want the pics of yalls decorations! Ok haha there is this one lady, menos activo, who we´ve only seen a couple times but the first time we saw her and were saying goodbye, I went up to give her kisses haha and she kissed me and then pulled me into this super tight hug and just clung onto me and said, "ah chulina!" haha and she does that everytime she sees us, it is hilarious. And want to hear an embarrassing story? Ok so yes, I´ve been in Paraguay a year, but ha my spanish is apparently not perfect, we were teaching this family about the plan of salvation (el plan de salvacion) and so I´m starting, and I´m like ok ok, what do yall think el plan de salvacion is? and they were like uhh... and so I repeat it a couple times and phrase it differently... yeah Heavenly Father has un plan for each of us, what do you think that plan is? haha and the guy just keeps giving me the weirdest look and I could tell he was thinking like so hard, and then I said it one more time, el plan de salvacion- and you can just see the light bulb click and he starts laughing and he was like ohh I thought you said, el pan de salvacion- the bread of salvation- haha so the whole time he was trying to figure out what I was talking about and he like thought I was talking about the sacrament or something, good times. que verguenza! ok and yall should all look up la virgen de caacupe, every year on dec 8 they have this HUGE misa and they go and worship the virgen that´s in caacupe, and caacupe just happens to be right past our area, and the thing is the people go WALKING from all over Paraguay to go and worship the virgin, they could just take a colectivo but they walk to show their love and sacrifice for this virgin, and so yesterday we started seeing the people that were starting to walk there a couple days early, but tomorrow it´s going to be crazy and there´s going to be a TON of people!!! ha everyone keeps inviting us to go and walk with them to caacupe to worship the virgin- we´re like here, let me tell you a lil something somethin about the restoration of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints lol, gotta love Paraguay! Ok want to hear another good story, so yesterday was Sunday- which means OF COURSE it RAINED again, justamente at 7:30 when we left to go and get our peeps and continued raining all morning- of course it stops raining right at 11:30 when church gets out and doesn´t rain for the rest of the day, ha whatever it´s cool. but we have a MIRACLE story!!! Seriously, straight up miracle from our loving Padre Celestial. We met him on Thursday night at like 8:45 by complete coincidence, we had just randomly decided that we would change our plans a lil bit to come back and work around our house and to stop by for a menos activo family, so we walked up and went and shook their hands and we met a man named Gregorio. We were just going to share with the mom because the dad had his friends over, but one of his friends (Gregorio) came up to us and told us he had met with the missionaries in Argentina when he was living there and that he knew all about Joseph Smith and the first vision and loved it, and so we invited him to share a lil bit with us, and he just talked and told us about how God had been preparing him to receive this message, and how it was such a miracle because he had just been back from Argentina for like 2 weeks and had lost contact with the missionaries because he suddenly had to come back to Paraguay and that he didn´t know there was a mormon church here, but bueno everything he was saying was just an answer to our prayers, we have been praying so so hard to find someone who will just accept the gospel and be excited about it and understand it and have their own desires to learn more and to go to church, etc. well wow, he told us, I know that I am an answer to yalls prayers and that I am the fruit of your labors and that God loves yall and your are angels in His work and that this is true, and he accepted the baptismal fecha without problem and then told us that he wanted to come to church so that he could prepare himself for his baptism and that he was going to try and bring his son and that he was going to help reactivate that family and that God has a work for him to do and he just kept praising us and telling us that all of our hard work would be paid off and we would recieve blessings and that he was just one of those blessings that we were receiving. I think my mouth was just wide open the whole time he was talking. It was incredible. And he came to church and tried to bring his son, but his son didn´t want to because of the rain, but he even got up at the end of church to bear his testimony and told everyone that he knew this was the true church and he knew it without a doubt and that is why God had sent his angels otra vez to bring him the restored gospel. It was amazing! We were so excited! Man, and I just feel so blessed to witness this miracle and to be able to be an instrument in the Lord´s hand in leading Gregorio into the waters of baptism.ahhh it is soo so sso cool!!! Man and it was just such a sweet tender mercy of the Lord to us, that he loves us and is watching over us and that his hand is in all things! And he was all excited about going to church and being there on time and everything, we actually got there a lil late, and it was a lil sad because when we got there, there were only 7 people there, and we had 3 investigators. It was kinda frustrating bc all of the amazing classes we told them they were going to have, there weren´t any because there weren´t any other youth there (we had 2 teenagers with us too) ahhh but by the end of church there were 36 (they all came for the sacrament for the last hour), ahhh there is soo much work here to do! pray for us!!! I love yall so much and am SOOO thankful for your prayers and emails and love! I hope yall have a great week!
Hermanita Nelson
haha and yeah the people still call us elderas!

Nov. 29, 2010

Ok ok ok!!! Well I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!!!!! I heard that some of you just had a fantastic weekend...aka EMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FELICIDADES!!!! Ok so Emily is engaged!!!! With a fecha and everything!!! Well now that ALL of my best friends are going to be married when I get back...awesome haha. Just kidding! I´m super super excited for you! Ok let´s talk about our Thanksgiving here in Paraguay, well first our lunch apt. called us and canceled haha, nice, so then we decided to go and get some empanadas and do it Paraguayo style. They were pretty dang good, and then we came home that night and ate PECAN PIE with VANILLA ICECREAM!!!!!!!!!! Oh man I´ve either been gone a really long time or that was one really good pecan pie! It totally made me happy! This past week also hit a lot of big dates for me!!! Let´s see Tuesday the 23rd was my 14th month in the mission, and the 24th was my ONE YEAR in PARAGUAY mark!!!!!!!!! Ha that is insane. And then Thursday, Thanksgiving, and Friday I started the DyC countdown. Ha I don´t know if all the missions in the world do this, but you start it when you have 138 days left (bc that´s how many sections there are) and you count down. Ha I still clearly remember when Hna Case started that. Crazy!!! Ok and ready for the really sad news, we only had 21 people at church yesterday. We left way early to go and stop by for everyone and it started raining pretty hard at like 7:15 and we hadn´t brought our umbrellas or anything, so we got soaked! and no one would come with us! it was so sad, ha and then we had to wait for 45min in the rain waiting for the colectivo and ended up being late for church, and we came in soaking wet. We did have 1 person come with us, and then we decided to go and invite people on the street because there was only 2 people in Relief Society-the teacher, and one of the hnas that we convinced to come to church even though it was raining- ha the thing is Paraguayos are scared of the rain, and when we passed by her house she was like no the weather is to feo, to ugly, I can´t come...we were like no no no you are coming with us and we are going to get soaked together lol, but she got her husband to take her in the moto- so bueno, we decided to go look on the street, and after inviting a million people to come and see the church, we convinced this man named Ricardo to come in with us. haha he was funny- apparently everyone in the ward knows him too and says he is crazy, but they were all really impressed with him and his behavior and he absolutely loved all of it. We also gave talks. It was a lot of fun actually. We were just so tiny and there was no microphone or anything, and it was one of those testimony builders. It´s like wow, why do we do all this stuff as missionaries? Go out and get soaked in the rain to pass for people to come to church and all of the other sacrifices, but it´s because it is all SO IMPORTANT! And that´s what I learned as I was giving my talk. God loves us so much! And how can we show our love for Him? It´s simple, we keep His commandments. And man I just know that brings the felicidad! That makes us happy! That makes us spiritually strong! Sacrifice brings us closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I just love this gospel and I just love the mission! Paraguay is great! It is crazy, but that is what makes it so great! I love yall! And I am so thankful for yalls examples and love and sacrifices! That is what makes it all worth it! Haha and other funny story, there is this kid that looks just like Payden!!! And he acts just like him. He´s 11. haha it´s great. Everytime I see him and talk to him, it reminds me of Payden. That actually happens all the time, I mean, we´ll be sharing with someone and it just reminds me of all of yall. There´s a lady that is igualito a Alisa and another one a Angela, and there´s this way cute lil jovencita that reminds me so much of Alena, and all the mother´s I´ve had here in Paraguay have reminded me of mom. And ha I just love showing my fam pics to everyone because they always say the same things-they always love dad and that he is bald and they just think you and dad look so young. And there was this Elder in my last zone that looked just like Ty! And there are always people that remind me of yall. Yall are always in my thoughts and prayers and that´s what keeps me going! love yall!!!

Hermanita Nelson