Well, this week was really good. Honestly. I really feel like I`m adjusting well these days. It`s a huge blessing. I wish I could email throughout the week, because then you could get the day by day vs the summary at the end of the week. I feel like on p-days I`m always just stressing a little and it clouds over my emotion from the week that was actually very positive. I`m in a pretty solid mood right now too though #streamofconsciousness #cantstop #wontstop
Dalma y Lucy y Hector: So, last week I mentioned to you that Dalma and Lucy (the hijas de Joel y Lucia) are now taking the discussions. Well, turns out that Dalma also has a boyfriend named Hector that is actually TOO PREPARED, and he was asking way deep questions and actually seemed pretty smart (relatively speaking). So we taught all of them together and Joel joined and it was just really good. Unfortunately, it rained hecka hard yesterday aka attendance at church was really bad, SO we had to change their fechas (which sucks, because it was going to be on my birthday, if you remember. But whatevs, I guess it`s not about me anyway... lolz.) But anyway, things are going well there and it`s just such a miracle. We`re visiting with them again tomorrow so look forward to a sweet missionary-status update next week. I honestly wish I could describe things better, because I know it pretty much just sounds like "missionary writing about investigators," but what can ya do?
Paraguayan culture: So it`s been brought to my attention (by myself) that I could do better with loving the culture of Paraguay. Even as I write this I can think of several things I`d like to say that could be improved. BUT, I decided that I need to really, really focus on the things I do like so that I can love the people more. Firstly, I really do appreciate how tranquilo everyone is here. While it sometimes translates into negative actions (such as being lazy, not taking action, etc.), it also has a positive side that results in general acceptance, general laid-backness, being mas o menos chill and open, etc. I really am blessed to be in such a mission where we always have tons of people to visit and things to do and finding opportunities #thefieldiswhite. But really. In general people will accept us, and almost always they believe in God. That`s super awesome. That really is something I appreciate about Paraguay. People just have faith. Even if they don`t understand why sometimes (or even act accordingly in the way they should), they are still willing and open and try their best to make God a part of their lives. It`s chill.
Also, other "less important" aspect of the culture, which I actually appreciate GREATLY is that everyone here blasts music all the time. People will literally live in a one room hut on a dirt floor with one bed for the whole family, and they somehow manage to afford some pretty swanky stereo sets. Like, definitely nicer than the ones most people have in the states. I`m talking legit DJ status speakers. How can they even afford those? But anyway, I`m for sure not complaining because they always play music super loud and it`s a good time. As we walk around all day we just get to hear tons of music and it makes me really happy. A decent amount of it is Polka Paraguaya, which is usually in Guarani and not really anything I would ever listen to in real life. BUT, you know me, and I`m all about loud music. So I love it anyway. And sometimes it`s just normal Spanish music, which is better. They also play a lot of music from the states, which is prime. They freaking love Ariana Grande and Ellie Goulding and Iggy Azalea. The dispensa across the street from where we live must have played "Love me like you do" more than 200 times in the past two month... Anyway, so that`s for sure something I appreciate about the culture #taylorswift4lyfe
Food: So I keep forgetting to tell you what I eat here and Rachel`s asked me like three times now, so... Anyway, for the most part it`s been 100x better than I had ever hoped. I`ve been really, really blessed. I was so worried about it beforehand, and thus far it hasn`t relaly been a problem. In the morning I just eat cereal (mostly Froot Loops. Side note, I just figured out as recently as last change that you spell Froot Loops like that) or I make crepes with dulce de leche RIP Nutella. Then for lunch we usually have appointments with members or investigators and they make us meat with rice or noodles. So essentially I just eat rice/noodles. Food here is really, really average and mostly not super delicious. Hermana Valenzuela actually hates it, which is really funny. She`s pretty passionate about it... So yeah. And then for dinner we pretty much si o si eat quesadillas. I think I`m actually becoming addicted to them because of how much I just always, always feel like eating one. They are so delicious though, honestly. And it`s a blessing that my comp and I are just on the same page about them, because we always just look at each other and are like "you want a quesadilla?" "yup, sure do." Sad note is that it`s really hard to eat anything healthy here (not that I did before, per se), because they are seriously lacking in the fruit and vegetable departments. They have some natural fruits and stuff, but other than that nothing really. But I`m for sure getting calcium and protein, so that`s chill.
Rain: So I just feel the need to quickly comment that whoever said that I wouldn`t need rainboots in ¨Paraguay was a dirty liar, because I sure do. I am so grateful I brought a pair, and if anything I wish I had another one. I would have had pique 1,000x (NO LIE) if I didn`t have them. We are walking in straight water and mud that would goes up to my calf every time it rains even a little (they don`t have good drainage systems here), so it`s a dang good thing I brought them, Mom.
Typical apartment happenings: So this actually happened last week, but I forgot to mention it. So it`s nighttime and I got to open the front door to make sure the gate thing is locked and this HUGE spider crawls OVER MY FOOT (I was wearing flip flops) and then proceeds to crawl super lighting speed across the floor and hide behind our desk. And I was freaking out because of the sensation of it being on my foot, ya know, and Hna. Valenzuela is freaking out too because there had been a tarantula in the apartment before, and it looked like this one was too. Well, turns out it wasn`t quite a tarantula, but it was definitely EXTREMELY big and terrifying and we found and killed it and were stressing out She`s the Man status. lolololol.
So those are the general happenings of the week and things are good. My comp is definitely reaching the end here, and she`s feeling it #17days. I can`t believe she`s going to leave and I have to serve the rest of my mission without her #breakupstatus. It`s for sure going to be an adjustment no matter which way it goes. It`s never a good time to do a hard thing, but I feel like I`m as prepared as I can be at this point. I`ve also been trying to continue working on taking things day at a time, not thinking about the end of the mission, and focusing on charity. All of those things went pretty well this week, so hopefully I can keep up momentum #workhardplayhard #ahustlersworkisneverthrough
Keep it super real in the US of A and appreciate the little things that such an organized culture provides, because I sure do. Hindsight is 20/20.
p.s. This is from a talk about patience by Neal A. Maxwell. I really liked what he said here and I felt that it really applied to my efforts in trying to appreciate the mission for what it is in the moment instead of wishing I was a year into the future already having had all the experiences that await me. If I really have faith, I have to prove it to myself and to Heavenly Father by chilling out and really trusting Him.
"Patience is a willingness, in a sense, to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe, rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance. Put another way, too much anxious opening of the oven door and the cake falls instead of rising. So it is with us. If we are always selfishly taking our temperature to see if we are happy, we will not be."
|Hermana Valenzuela's drawing of Holly|
|Fun times ironing dollar bills|
|Bed Jumping Good Times: Enlarged for added effect!|
|Enjoying a shake they invented|
|Talking on the phone in creative ways|