Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 22

Dear family <3 * (Hearts and Stars)

Well, I would say this week has been a good one. It was honestly really rough for the first few days, but it finished off strong. I`m in week 5 of this transfer now (out of 6), which is nuts! I can`t believe that transfers are coming up so soon. Anyway, I`ll get to all the *exciting* details of my week now. 

Paraguayan hospital: Heyyyy, so I never mentioned this before on account of it`s not really a super big deal, but I have had kind of a weird bacteria/infection thing on my skin for a few months now and it`s made my lips hurt super bad and look super feo. So anyway, I`ve talked to the mission nurse and also the Mish Prez`s wife about it a few times, but TBH I think the mission is kinda just one of those "suffer through the pain" types of things. But anyway, por fin the nurse was able to set up an appointment for me to go see a doctor. So we went to AsunciĆ²n on Wednesday and I was able to talk to someone there. I was pretty nervous, on account of I`ve heard sketchy things of Paraguayan hospitals and such. But it wasn`t really that bad, per se, and I got prescribed some stuff that seems to be working really well. The doctor here said it is some kind of allergic reaction, but a doctor from Salt Lake said it looks more like a bacteria. Anyway, it`s fine, so don`t worry. But yeah, it`s been an "exciting" experience in my life.

Language studies: Oh man, we`ve had some good language studies this week. I`ve been trying to help my comp more with her English, because honestly I`ve been forgetting because I`m obviously more focused on trying to learn Spanish. But anyway, I`ve been teaching her basic conversational things, and it`s real talk hi-larious. Seriously, sooooo funny. The pronunciation is just too much for her. She says every W like a G and every TH like an F, etc. She literally cannot pronounce the word "with" in any other way besides "gif." It`s pure comedy, and we are both just cracking up the whole time. 

#missionlyfe: So this week the Bishop asked if I could give a talk in church. Omheck, can you imagine? And he was like "Don`t worry Hermana, only for like 10ish minutes." Hahaha like I can speak in Spanish straight for 10 minutes. Lolz. But what better way to celebrate my 5 month anniversary with the mission than to do something slightly uncomfortable that puts me out of my comfort zone, amirite? Fitting, to say the least. Anyway, the topic was how the spirit can help us make decisions, which is a pretty bomb one, so that was at least fortunate. The other fortunate thing was that I had enough advance notice that my comp could help me translate some stuff and I could try to incorporate scriptures and quotes. But just keep in mind that our barrio isn`t just like typical South America 10 people - there are like 60 people there. Which I guess is NBD, but I was still kinda nervous. Anyway, it actually went really well. For sure the spirit was there, and that`s the goal. But it`s funny because I also obviously have to play piano still every week in Sacrament meeting, and also direct the hymns in the other classes, etc. The missionaries are really important in the wards here, actually, so that`s good/can be bad. But yeah, after my talk was over I felt so much better. It`s like in Harry Potter when they were wearing the horcrux locket and then when they took it off they just felt happier and less angsty. 

Familia Figeredo: So we`ve been working a lot to reactivate this family, because they have so much potential. The dad is an RM (returned missionary) and knows his doctrine like fer realz. Anyway, we`ve been visiting with them for quite a bit, and the past few weeks they`ve been coming back to church! I`m pretty sure they`re legit reactivated, because the dad of the family is acting really serious about his commitment, and he`s not one to mess around. So that`s been something exciting happening with the work here. (They`re the ones with all the pitbulls, btdubs).

In other news, our district is super bomb. It`s really small (just 4 Elders and us 2 Hermanas), and I honestly prefer it that way. It`s easier to plan activities and talk to our DL (district leader), etc. Today we had an activity together and had another PK futbol tournament, and I won again! Guys, this is seriously big news. (Sidenote, PK stands for penalty kick. Really nobody knew that? Colin, how`reya gonna make it to FIFA 2022 if you don`t know basic soccer vocab?! Get on it, broski.) Anyway, it was a good time. And this coming Saturday we`ve been organizing a bi-ward activity to watch Conozca a los Mormones. Gonna be a good time, for sure. Hopefully I don`t cry during it again, but let`s be real, I probably will. Oh yeah, I for sure cried during my talk, just in case you thought I didn`t. Lolz, I`m becoming one of those people. 

Ok, well those are pretty much the noteworthy things from my week, mas o menos. I`m feeling pretty good/normal, and I`m hoping this week will be a good one. I`m sure it will be, on account of "life`s what you make it (so let`s make it rock)." 

Love you a lot,

Hermana Ross

First is me in front of our swanky house (it`s not actually as swanky as it looks, but it is really nice, relatively speaking)

Sweeeetttt ice cream that I got last P-day. So good, so good. 

Me with #thechildren. 2 kute. (You can bet they all have lice)

Me with a bunch of pitbulls at the Figeredo`s house. They have a bunch and they are pretty aggresive, ngl. 
Good news is there are puppies!!!
Me preparing my fetching discourso #sospiritualrightnow

Cute wall we found

My comp eating food at our district activity today

Marlina, the daughter of the Figeredos

Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 21


Well, here`s to another week of my life in Paraguay! Omgosh, pure comedy is that right now in the ciber I`m in they are playing a hard dubstep version of the song "Do your ears hang low." Dyinggg.

Ok, well this week was ight. I don`t know, it was technically pretty good and not as bad as I`d anticipated given all the stuff we had to do, but at least this weekend I`ve felt a teeny bit moody. Couldn`t even tell you why, but it`s unfortunate. There was for sure some good stuff though, so I`ll get to that.

Zone conference: So on Wednesday we had our zone conference, and TBH I wasn`t really looking forward to it. I feel like during practices it`s just kinda missionaries evaluating (/judging) other missionaries` abilities. And especially with the fragile beginning stages of my Spanish right now, I`m just not about being put on the spot. So eventually it gets to the part of the conference where we break into companionships and have to practice with like an AP (assistant to the President) or something. So our zone leader starts walking towards us and I`m like "chill, we`ll just practice with him. he`s really nice and we`re friend-associates." But then, PRESIDENT cuts him off and is like "I`ll practice with these hermanas." Lolololol so we practiced teaching President like 10 different times, seriously. And it was for sure a stressful experience in my life. I know you`re probably just like "Oh, that`s chill, whatever." But let me tell you, I was intimidated, and it was stressful. But the conference overall was more tranquilo than I`d anticipated, so mostly it was fine. We had to wake up again at 5am to go though, and let me tell you, that`s so rough on the whole week. Just waking up that early twice this past week really messed with my schedule. There`s never time to catch up on sleep, and I was just struggling to make it through some days. And my comp is not really the type to take breaks, so that makes it a little harder for me too. Having different intensities of work ethic is a really interesting dynamic in a companionship. 

One of the highlights of the week though was that on the way home from the zone conference we were on this collectivo and this guy got on with a boombox and started freestyle rapping and it was SICK. I`m not even kidding. And he`s walking down the aisle and he passes us and starts freestyle rapping about me (in Spanish, obvi. Just in case you ever forget I`m in Paraguay). And he`s like "Esta chica con ojos celeste" blah blah and then he starts rhyming stuff with "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" and I`m just dyinggg cause he`s SO GOOD and this was seriously the sickest talent I`d ever seen. So afterwards I was like "OMHeck, you have a seriously buen talento" and we contacted him and it was for sure a great moment in my life. 

Divisions: So then on Friday night-Saturday night we had divisions with the hermana training leaders. I ended up going to a different city to work in their area, and I was with the new HTL, Hermana Wiscombe. She is from North Carolina and also went to BYU before the mish, so it was fun to talk with her and stuff. She was Hermana Larsen`s trainer, so that was fun too. I really like her a lot, actually. Her personality is pretty interesting. She`s just really laid back and chill, but not like passive or unopinionated, per se. Almost like kind of somber(?) or something. But anyway, it was a good change of pace, and it was cool to see her area and get advice from her and stuff. She said that when Hna. Larsen showed her pictures of me before she thought I looked like a blogger. Hahaha I don`t know if I should be offended or flattered lolz. But anyway, I liked being with her because I just remembered that there are so many different types of people that I really like and get along with in different/unique ways. 

OH and one of the best things of divisions was that I got to take a hot shower! I never mentioned this, I think, but one of (the only?) downsides of our sweet new casa is that there`s no hot water. And let me tell you, it`s been pretty dang cold here. Pouring rain, tons of wind, and just overall not-very-warm. Man, I`ve taken some painful showers. One time my companion literally started tearing up after her shower because it was so cold. But anyway, I got to take a niceeee shower on Friday night, so that was pretty sweet.

MCOH (Mighty change of heart): So I`ve been reflecting a lot this past weekend on the whole "change of heart" thing. I swear I already learned this lesson on the mission, but apparently not, because I`ve been struggling with it again. Man, the mission is really hard for me in some ways. Sometimes I read missionary letters from other people/I read a lot before the mission, and I just felt like I never heard very much about the hard aspects of missionary work. I don`t know if other people are just kinda withholding the truth with themselves/in their letters, or if maybe they really just do love everything about the mission that much right off the bat. I don`t know, but at least for me, in complete honesty, there`s a lot that`s hard. So much of it is contrary to my nature, and TBH I`m finally understanding "the natural man" for the first time in my life. I never really dealt with this before the mish, I feel like, but now I`m SO aware. It`s just not in my personality to feel comfortable going up to people on the street and to start talking to them about the gospel, in a foreign language, in the middle of a foreign country. And honestly it`s the same with pretty much everything else. I`m doing it all, obviously, because that`s what I`m here to do, but it`s hard for me a lot of the time. I want to love the people, and I`m trying so hard (and it`s not like I don`t like them), but I just feel like most of my behavior is motivated by love of God than anything else. And that`s not even bad, but I just know I could really love the mission more/faster if my heart could change. But it`s soooo hard, and I don`t really understand exactly how it happens. Anyway, sorry if this sounds angsty/negative. I don`t mean it to. Really, I`m fine. And I know that things always get better with time, but I guess it`s just been hard for me to realize that as much as I`ve adjusted thus far, I still have a long way to go #enduretotheend #discipleshipneverends. There`s a quote I really like from conference, in which Michael T. Ringwood says, "The good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that the desires of our hearts can be transformed and our motives can be educated and refined." I`m all about that hope/I have faith that it`s true and can/will happen.

Reflections: So I was reading this morning in Ether about the brother of Jared and such, and there were just a couple of promises given to them that I really liked. Firstly, in Ether 1:42, the Lord is talking to them in regards to their imminent travels, and he says "I will go before thee." And then in Ether 2:5 it says, "And it came to pass that the Lord did go before them." And then in Ether 2:6, it says that they were "being directed continually by the hand of the Lord." I just really, really, really find a ton of comfort in the fact that the Lord will go before us and direct us. And obviously we know that`s true, because the atonement has already taken place, and he has already paid the price for our sins/always knows how we feel. And he will go before us and lead us and guide us and sustain us. And I know that`s true, and I feel that`s true, and I`m so grateful. Really.

Ok, well that`s been my week mas o menos. Oh the joys of the roller coaster of mission life. It`s like living a whole life in 18 months. Really

Love you so much! Thx for all the support, really.

-Hermana Ross

p.s. Lolz, so my companion is pretty dang healthy, and grocery shopping is always a good time. I`m like "Welp, I got my cereal and quesadillas. Ready to go?" And she`s like "Hermana! I have to get x ingredient and y ingredient, blah blah." So shopping takes a hecka lot longer than it would with just me x2. The good news is that she`s helping me eat a little more saludable as well, on account of she`s not always wanting to buy a bunch of junk food. So that`s good, yeah? Yeah. 

 A pit bull puppy

Divisions with Hermana Wiscombe

It's cold and raining BUCKETS at a time

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Week 20, yo

Week 20 (which I am in now) *Beep boop*

Dear Family,

My week at a glance:  So this week was honestly really good.  Like really. We're working hard, my Spanish is mejorando like crazy, my comp's so nice and seriously presh, my district is really good, and we're constantly finding new people to teach.  Pretty much the dream.  It's still hard, but I kind of think that's a big part of the point.  Anyway, this week was long and intense, but mostly just good.  But I'm not kidding when I say we walked well over 50 miles this week.  Like, easy.  When we get home at night I pretty much just crash after planning. Oh, but also this week it was discovered that my companion loves the card game Speed, so we've been having competitions of that sometimes at night.  Good times.  Also, in other news, El Papa has been in town this week and everyone has been on vacation for it.  That's right. THE Pope is here in Paraguay.  Everyone and their mother (literally) has been obsessed with his coming for months. I guess that's what is bound to happen when you're in a country that is 98% Catholic, amirite? Lolz

#LDSConference:  Ok, so I know that this happened like over three months ago, but I'm on missionary standard time, aka I don't really know/have access to what's going on in the world around me. TBH I don't even know stuff going on in Paraguay (minus the pope because I for sure know about that).  People are always writing me stuff like "Oh, I'm sure you know all about this, blah blah...."  Let's be honest, you shouldn't assume I know about anything. Freaking I forgot about the 4th of July, and only remembered when at our lunch cita someone wished me a happy independence day for my country #soembarrassing  Anyway, I just got ahold of the conference Ensign this week (shout out to my main gal/the Dogma) and omheck it's so good!

 {Editor's note:  She refers to her mother, her precious mother, as "the Dogma", but at least it's capitalized, amirite?}

 I could go on and on.  I wish everyone in the world would read it.  Seriously quality.  Every day in comp study I pretty much write a talk to share with my companion from one of the conference discussions.  Lol@missionarylyfe  But really, Mom and Colin/also Rachel/Dad should read a talk together every night or something.  Also, priesthood sesh was really good.  Potench my favorite one.  Also, I am reminded of how much of conference was about marriage and family.  A lot.  Also both L. Tom Perry and Boyd K. Packer's last talks in conference were hardcore about that.  Interesting for sure.

Oh, and just a noteworthy happening, we had a Pk futbol tournament with all the elders in my district that was detailed and semi-complicated and lasted for like an hour, and I WON!  Against a bunch of Latinos who LIVE for futbol.  For sure a highlight of my week. Livin that sporty lyfe.

Also, my comp is continuing to try to learn English, and it's pure comedy.  I love it, seriously.  It makes me realize how much the gift of tongues has been given to me on the mish.  Also, all the elders in my district are trying to learn English too, so I'm like an English-speaking expert celebrity or something. It's nice to have skills/actually it's not really a skill, it's just my  native language.  #America5ever

Have a g-r8 semana,

Love, Hermana Ross

Hermana Pisco in the Pre Dawn Pday hours

The bright spot of Pday misery involving all day bus travels to Asuncion for immigration issues:
 Reuniting with CCM companions!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Week 19: Same Area, New Companion!

Ayyyyy family! Well, as promised, this week was cambios! It for sure has been an eventful/long week, and I have a decent amount to report. Colin using Lil John voice "*let`s go*"

Tuesday: So Tuesday we had our district/zone meeting in which changes were announced. I was really nervous for no particular reason (well, I guess there was a reason), but also I really did/do have faith in the woG (will of God), so I was wishing I was better at putting my faith into emotion, ya know? Anyway, so they announce changes companionship by companionship, and ours was freaking last! So I was so nervous and then they`re like "Ok, Hermana Valenzuela se va... a su casa!" lolz. And then they announced that my new comp is Hermana Pisco!! More to follow.

Cambios: Ok, so then on Wednesday morning we went to this stake center where all the changes were happening for pretty much all of the missionaries. I got to see Hermana Speakman, Hermana Larsen (for the first time), and Elder Payne! So exciting. And we were all pretty nervous, and they were kind of freaking out even more than I was, so that made me feel a little better. It was for sure good to see them, but it was also a weird experience because Hermana Valenzuela left with the other missionaries who are finishing their missions, and it was just kind of like "Ok, bye forever..." #14months

Hermana Pisco: Ok, so I didn`t know/had never heard of her, but I soon found out that she is from Lima, Peru and only has THREE MONTHS in the mission. Oh my gosh, that`s even less than me! Can you believe it? I mean, crazier things have happened, but still... So I met her Wednesday morning and we drove back to Anahi together. She was in the CCM with me at the very end of my time there, and she says she remembers me (TBH I don`t remember meeting her, but she did look kind of familiar). Anyway, she`s so precious and really sweet. I`m feeling pretty good about things with her. She pretty much doesn`t know any English, so it`s for sure 100% Spanish immersion, but she`s helpful and patient and things have been going well so far. 

Spanish: Honestly it hasn`t been as bad as I anticipated. It`s actually been a relatively good time. It feels freaking awesome to finally be taking active steps towards improvement. I feel like before I was missing the action part of faith, and therefore just believed that one day I would know Spanish (faith=belief+action, ya know?). I mean sure, I was acting before (I`m obviously in Paraguay listening to Spanish 24/7), but now I`m really making constant, active, efforts. You know how in the game Catch Phrase you have a word that you have to explain without using the word itself? Well I`m pretty much playing Spanish catch phrase ALL DAY LONG. And it`s actually moderately fun. I mean sure, it sucks to not be able to express myself well, but it`s a different kind of enjoyable. Por ejemplo, I ask this question a lot: "What`s the word for the opposite of [insert word]" Lolz #allday #everyday. It`s still hard for me in lessons to teach well, and it`s hard for my comp too because she is kind of timid and also new, but we`re learning together. I think at the end of this change she`ll be a great teacher and my Spanish will be much better. Here`s to hoping, amirite? #eldondelenguas

Birthday: So my birthday was kind of a weird day for me, TBH. And not even because it was my birthday, but just because it came so close to such a huge change in my missionary life. I`m not going to lie, this week has been pretty hard. It`s been a steep adjustment. And not really for the reasons I anticipated. More than anything else it`s just having a new companion. And not even because she isn`t super nice, and not even because she speaks Spanish, or anything else. I think this would have happened with any companion I got, actually, even if they were from the states. I think it`s just because for my first two changes, Hermana Valenzuela kind of was the mission for me. And now the mission is just the mission, and I feel different about stuff. I`m in the same area talking with most of the same people and with a really nice comp, but it`s just different. I can`t explain it well. Anyway, so on my birthday we went to the Souza`s house and had lunch with them and with Hna. V and her parents. They got me a cake, and it was super presh, but like I said, I was just feeling pretty sad. And then we left to do other stuff and eventually went back to our house to eat dinner. And my comp fell asleep on her bed, and I decided to open my birthday package. I seriously never thought I`d be one of those people that cry while opening packages from their family, but... #it`smypartyandi`llcryifiwantto. So after that I eventually pulled myself together and woke up my comp because we had to go to a district meeting thing. So we left for that and the meeting started and nobody had wished me a happy birthday, which was kind of a bummer, but whatever. But then two of the Elders had to go to the bathroom, so we were all waiting for them, and then Elder Bingham (who is my new district leader, btdubs. And also the only other North American in our district) said it would be better if we switched rooms for the meeting. So we went into the cultural hall, and they were waiting with a cake for me and everyone started singing Happy Birthday and it was so precious! I was honestly pretty surprised because I didn`t think that the Elders in my district were into that kind of thing. But it was honestly so nice of them, and we just hung out and ate cake for a little, which was a good time. So in terms of birthdays, it was a pretty funny one in my life, I think. The entire day was good and lots of good stuff happened, and even though I was pretty sad I appreciated the humor of the situation. I think I have a talent for thinking stuff is funny even when I`m sad. So that`s GTN (good to know. Shout out to Baby Ray for that abbreviation. Thx)

English class: So there`s been this boy named Brian who comes to English class almost every week, and he`s 2 presh. He`s 12 and speaks Spanish, Portuguese, Guarani, and a little bit of English. He`s really intelligent (obviously), and also is super meek while still being super fun and friendly. The other day we stopped by his house to talk with his mom about the church a little bit, and he told me all about his love for DJs and music in English, so we bonded over that for sure. I really want him to get baptized, but his family goes out of town every weekend, so they can never come to church or anything. But I have hope that God will provide a way. Updates to come. 

In other news, my new companion is really hardworking and is really into contacting and stuff, so she`s been keeping us going hard. I`m a hardworker too, but just in a different way, I think. But it`s good for me to have her as a comp, because we both have really strong desires to work and to try and help people, so I think we`ll have a successful cambio together. 

Also, she wants to learn English, so I`ve been teaching her some important words and phrases. It`s been a good time. You can bet she already knows the words "awkward, hipster, dating, chill, tired, nap, hungry," etc. It`s also helped me realize that as hard as it is for me to learn Spanish, it`s for sure harder for her to learn English. The pronunciation is sooo hard for her. And obviously my accent in Spanish isn`t great, but at least the words are pronounced how they`re spelled. 

So that`s been pretty much what`s gone down this week. I just feel like every change on the mission requires a whole new set of adjusting. And I feel like I`ll get there soon, because it`s happened for me so far, ya know? And I know Heavenly Father can change our hearts. I already feel so much better than I did at the start of the week. I`m just going back to the basics and trying to take days one hour at a time. I still can`t really even tell you why missions are so hard, but I really do think it`s just the weird time/emotional vortex that is constantly swirling. But I can feel myself progressing, which is an awesome feeling. And I know that even though I`m far from the perfect missionary, Heavenly Father is happy with me for always trying, even when I don`t want to. For sure I would not be on a mission if I didn`t know for sure that this is where I`m supposed to be. But it is, so I am, and I`m grateful for the opportunity. 

I seriously love you guys so much. I was reading Boyd K. Packer`s last conference address again, and everything really is all about the family. It`s honestly the end goal of like everything. Well, exhaltation is, but with the family #thefamilyisofGod

Hope you all have a g-rate week. Kill it at ur internship, C-dawg. 

Hermana Ross

p.s. "If there is any one thing you and I need in this world it is faith... the kind of faith that moves one to get on his knees and plead with the Lord and then to get on his feet and go to work." #missionarylyfe #alloflife

Last goodbye with Hermana Valenzuela

The old and the new:  Welcome Hermana Pisco from Peru

District Birthday Surprise

Two birthday cakes in one day

The package from home arrived in time for the big 2-0!

The new pair of Anahi featuring Ross and Pisco:  Just in time for WINTER!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Week 18: Glory Week!


So, as promised, this past week (well, it doesn`t end until tomorrow) has been La Semana de Gloria aka GLORY WEEK. It has been all it promised it would be. We upgraded houses level x100, we had pizza not once, but TWICE, we had a sick rooftop party with a fire and decor (just the two of us, lolz), and we read so. much. of The Book of Mormon. Here are the deets:

Moving: SO, we got the OK to move on Thursday morning, meaning that we were so excited we immediately started packing our stuff and taking it to the new house. Since it was just on the other side of our tienda, we didn`t even have to have a moving truck or anything, and we just carried everything by hand. It was actually kind of hard though on account of I`m not very strong, so that really brought me back to the #Provomovingdays. Not my favorite thing. But we had these guys from the ward help us move the refrigerator and dressers and stuff, so that was chill. Honestly, our new house is so freaking swanky. I mean it`s all relative, and the house is still sketch as all get out, but in comparison to our former dispensa, there IS no comparison. We have so many windows, I loovveee it. And our bathroom doesn`t make me feel like I`m going to get a disease just by stepping foot in it, so that`s a pretty big score. Anyway, so mostly on Thursday and Friday we just moved and set stuff up. It was way funny though, because our shower in the new place stopped working after Saturday (sadz), so we had to go back to our empty dispensa to use the shower there. And OHMYGOSH, it`s CRAYZEE how fast you can adjust and then unadjust to something. I practically felt like I did the first time I ever stepped foot in that bathroom, which was "Oh my gosh, how am I going to survive here?" Lolz. So obviously that just confirms how much God has been blessing me to be able to adapt to my circumstances. It`s so freaking awesome. I`m so so so grateful. 

Glory week activities: So mostly those just took place starting on Thursday when we moved, and then continued when we got pizza on Friday night and then did our rooftop welcome party on Saturday night. Good times. Also, mostly Hermana Valenzuela just had to pack and prepare all her stuff this weekend though, so that was pretty logistical. She also has been calling tons of her converts from other areas to set up stuff with them when she visits them with her parents this week. Crazy. We also had to finish all the work we needed to do in Anahi before she left, which included saying her goodbyes, having her final lessons with people, giving away stuff she doesn`t want to take with her, etc. So mostly I just followed her lead in regards to how she wanted to spend her last few days. Having a dying companion is an interesting experience because you always have to balance a lot of logistical things with "the work." Anyway, also this week I have been reading a ton of El Libro De Mormon, because I made it my goal to finish it in both Spanish and English in 12 weeks. And my 12 weeks end tomorrow, so I gotta for sure finish! It`s been a good experience. More to follow on that next week.

Ward activity: So the ward had a Father`s Day activity on Saturday that we helped out with a little, and it was so precious! Honestly, so so cute. I`m really proud of the ward for planning it, because it was definitely the most organized thing I`ve ever seen them do. It was all of the primary kids that put it on for their dads, and it was just too cute. They had a little talent show and played games and stuff and I was loving it. And afterward the young men from the ward were DJing stuff, and my comp told them I was a DJ, which finally let them know I have at least .05% of a personality! And now they have been asking me what equipment I know about and who my favorite artists are and stuff, so that`s been a step in the right direction of gaining back any form of sociability #workinprogress

Well in other news, Paraguay is doing really well in the Copa Americano Chile 2015! We made it to the final four!! And we can always tell if we won a game because people just light off tons of fireworks and stuff in the streets, and it kinda sounds like a bombing is happening. But that`s way exciting! Watch the games for me *single tear*

Today my companion had to go to migrations, so we (once again) had to do the dreaded 5am AsunciĆ²n collectivo trip. Oh gosh, it was awful. Awful. It really was a flashback to the infamous temple trip. Except for that this time I didn`t get as car sick, so it was a little better. But honestly, I can`t even describe it to you. I feel like it reminds me of some documentary about India or something with buses packed so full of people you can`t breathe and then people hanging on the outside of the doors and falling out because there are so many people. So just picture that, because that`s honestly what it`s like. Anyway, but after we got there she left to do her paper stuff and I went on divisions with this super sweet Latina hermana who is just a change ahead of me. It was really nice to be forced to try and practice Spanish. I kind of think there`s no other way that I`ll learn, on account of the fact that I`m externally motivated with that type of thing. Anyway, we found out there were a ton of Elders playing ping pong in the cultural hall, so naturally I was freaking stoked and we went to go play. And let me tell you, it was a good time. It ended up being just all the elders trying to beat me, which was fun because sport-type things eliminate pretty much all cultural/language barriers #olympicstillidie #tokyo2020. Also it was the first time in like four months that I remembered what it feels like to have any talents, so that was a good feeling. And then Hna. Valenzuela came back and wanted to go to Pizza Hut for her last P-day lunch, so I left ping pong as the undefeated champ #winning. Then we just took like four busses to get to this ciber, and after this we`ll probs go grocery shopping and then to our recent convert`s (Edna) house because it`s her birthday. 

So that`s been the gist of my week! We find out changes tomorrow morning and TBH I`m pretty nervous. I`m sure it`ll be fine (knock on wood), but change is just always kind of scary to me. Especially when there are so many unknown variables. SO MANY. But it`ll just be #thewillofGod no matter what, so I`m just ready to do it already. I`m honestly wanting a Latina comp pretty badly at this point, because it`s for sure Spanish o`clock. And time is ticking. But it`s also one of those "be careful what you wish for" situations, on account of I might feel pretty lonely and frustrated if I do get one. But whatever, it`s time, and I just want to learn Spanish SO BADLY. It`s seriously such a desire of my heart. I`ve been praying for it so much and as usual, Heavenly Father delivered. So now I just want to put my desire into action and suffer through it. Get ready for a no doubt super exciting update next week #lolz. I don`t know how I`m not going to go through super withdrawls from Hna. Valenzuela though. I put so much of myself into our relationship, and I feel (once again) like I`m being cast out of the Garden of Eden into the dark and dreary wilderness. How does this keep happening?! Man, there`s so much I don`t understand. But yeah, so that`ll be the biggest thing happening this week. 

Ok, I love you all so much! I`m also so freaking excited to get my birthday package this week. Thanks a mili. Aside from that though, it will probably be a super anticlimactic birthday on account of I`ll have a brand new comp and no one will know it`s my birthday... BUT it`s fine, because I sort of definitely think birthdays can be overrated at times anyway. Anyway, hope you all have a great week! Keep living the American dream #pray4Holly

Con amor,
Hermana Ross

p.s. When we were in the offices, President was talking with Hermana Valenzuela and then he talked to me for a second and used a hashtag because I use them so much in my emails to him. lololololol. 

p.p.s. So I keep hearing Bad Blood by Taylor Swift playing here, and I just keep thinking "wtheck?" I feel like that`s like maybe the 7th or 8th best song on the album. I can`t believe it got popular before Wildest Dreams or I Know Places or like so many other songs. Anyway, I know this isn`t actually important, but still, it`s been noteworthy to me. Thoughts? I`d imagine it`s been popular in the states for a while, because all the music here comes like fourish months late #lovemelikeyoudo