|Thanksgiving in Horqueta|
Glad to hear you guys all had a sweet and relaxing ThanksLIVINGbreak 2k15 (shout out to da broski). Mine was pretty stellar here in Paraguay tambien, so get stoked for some minor insights.
The weather: Alright, well this is a moment where imma fill you in on some stuff that actually affects me quite daily, but I just don´t have the time to explain it in emails, so you´re gonna just have to wait for all those crazy chat seshes after the mish. BUT can we just take a second to talk about how fickle the weather is in fetching Paraguay? SO FICKLE. Like, the heat and humidity are pretty constant, but the intensity changes on a bi-weekly basis. And THE RAIN. Oh, the rain. It just pours and pours without ceasing and without reason. Like I think it was two weeks ago that there was a 3-day period that rained so hard it was literally dangerous. And normally I´m a pretty solid sleeper slash I actually like to sleep with rain, but it was so fuerte and so intense that I couldn´t even sleep. And it doesn´t really help that our roof is like a sheet of tin lolz. But f´reals. But honestly I´ll miss storms like these, because I´ve honestly probably seen 50 plus in my time here thus far, and we just don´t really have them in the states. Maybe in like the midwest? But I´m really not planning on ever living there, so... Also, I´m pretty sure they just have rainy seasons and stuff, whereas with Paraguay it´s just kinda whenever.
Oh, but funny side story about the rain this past week. So we have lots of cockroaches in our apartment. Like, lots and lots. But we try to put poison and stuff around, so every morning we just wake up to dead cockroaches chilling back-up on the floor. BUT the scariest thing about them is that sometimes they crawl on the ceiling above us. And let´s be honest, who can sleep with that right above their head? But for the most part I haven´t had too many straight up negative experiences with them (minus one with Hna. Aguilar. Lolz. I have a pretty classic video.) So anyway, one night it´s raining fuertisimo and I´m kinda awake but also kinda in a lucid state and then I feel something drop down by my wrist. And then it starts running up my arm and I like sit up super fast and am like "omgosh, no puede ser." So I kinda freak out internally (trying to be quiet but figure out wtheck is in my bed), but turns out my comp is already awake on account of the crazy lightning storm going on, so she´s like "what´s up?" So I turn on the lights, and there it is, a fetching huge cockroach running around in my bed. Ughhhhh. So yeah, I got it out, but it ran under my bed and I had literally 0 ganas to find and kill that thing. So I ended up just giving up and going back to bed, but it was kinda hard after that on account of all the thunder slash lightning slash rain and also on account of that sensation of a cockroach running up your arm.
Thanksgiving: So we ended up having the sweet foreplanned Thanksgiving at the Cranney´s, and it was sick. One of our zone leaders and his comp ended coming too, so it was like a big "family" dinner. And of course we´re all speakin´ English (#partyintheUSA), so it actually did have kind of a state-sy feeling going on (well, actually our ZL´s comp is from Brasil, but his English is pretty on point, so same dif.) There were mashed potatoes, cooked carrots, rolls, layered jello, chicken (instead of turkey. what canya do?), and PIE! Apple pie and chocolate pie, por la Hermana Cranney. It was felicious and I was 2 happy. And we all went around and said what we were grateful for and it was actually a kinda spiritual experience. I was just feeling super grateful. And then we also all had a paper with our names on it and we passed it around and everyone else wrote on it what they appreciate about you, and it was a good time. Then we just went back out and did normal stuff, but it was nice to at least have a little bit of time to celebrate Thanksgiving. The Cranneys do really bring that family feeling to stuff, so it was actually a pretty emotionally chill experience. The only bad news about Thanksgiving day was that actually later in the day I ended up getting a pretty killer headache (like my first one on the mish.) But all in all it was still a good day.
Dat half-way mark tho: SO Thanksgiving Day mismo was, as you also know, my half-way mark on the mission! Crazy!! I´ve made it through nine months! (side note, I can´t believe that´s how long a pregnancy lasts, cause it feels like it´s been SO LONG.) But anyway, I´ve known this day was coming for a while, but I actually felt sooo stoked when it finally came. Like, in a humble way, I´m pretty proud of myself. Proud of what I´ve done, proud of what I´ve endured, and mostly proud that I´ve never given up. There have been some hecka hard moments, but I´m still here! And if I did it once, I can do it again. It reminds me of in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when he goes to kill all the dementors and he´s like, "I knew I could do it this time because... well I´d already done it!" That´show I feel. Seriously tho, I feel pretty empowered and again, really grateful. Anyway, we weren´t able to do much that day to celebrate, but on Saturday my comp and I went on got french fries together, and it was pretty dang fun #compdate.
Ok, well I really feel like there was more stuff to say, but I seriously am coming up kinda blank right now on the stories of the week. My journaling has seriously gone down the drain this change, and I feel pretty bad about it. But it´s just cause I am externally processing with my comp so much that I don´t really have as much need slash the time to journal well. But I know I gotta work on that because I´m a big journaling advocate, so I need to practice what I preach. But yeah, things continue to be super great with my comp. Seriously, we get along super well and this change has been pretty bomb. True story is that we are in week 5 of 6 already. I cannot even. It´s flown by, honestly. I will probably die an emotional death if we get changes right before Christmas and I go to a new area with a new companion. Although let´s be real, I could totally see that happening. Vamos a ver #pray4Holly
Other cool news is that we are actually in Ybi Ybu right now! I´ve always wanted to conocer a Ybi Ybu. This is where my trainer Hna. Valenzuela was born on the mish and passed her first 6 months, so I´ve heard lots about it. And then my other ex comp Hna. Nuckles was here for 4.5 months, and then Hna. Lundberg was here for 4.5 months right before this. So it´s safe to say I´ve heard a TON about it, and it´s way cool to actually get to see it. It´s not quite as "campana" as I thought, and TBH it looks a lot like Horqueta. But I´m actually writing this in a cyber and not at the capilla in Horqueta, so that´s different. And my old zone leader is the Presidente de Rama here, so that´s chill too. (Side note is that it´s so small here that the missionaries have all the callings. One of the hermanas is Relief Society President and the other one is Primary President. And then one of the elders is District Leader and the other one is literally the Branch President. So that´s way small. Although other side note is that the attendance in Horqueta at church yesterday was literally 8 members. Soooo, that´s pretty rough.)
In terms of the work right now in Horqueta, we are contacting a ton and really trying to focus on having the spirit to discern who´s ready to receive the gospel and to MAKE AND KEEP COMMITMENTS. Those Paraguayans and their commitments tho... They don´t like them. But we have really been working as a companionship on that, and it´s gone decently so far. It´s pretty hard in missionary work on account of it´s not that often you get to see the fruits of your labors. And then of course you have the never ending and un answerable debate of what´s your role as the missionary vs. what´s God´s will for your area. Like, is it that if we worked harder slash better slash more efficiently we would find more people who are ready to be baptized? Or is it just that we´re doing the best we can but people have their agency and also it´s not God´s will at this moment? I guess it goes back to that whole "pray as if everything depends on God and then work as if everything depends on your" mentality. But that can also get kinda unhealthy, so my comp and I are trying to learn how to balance it out. We were actually talking the other day about what defines success as a missionary. Like, it´s obviously not the number of baptisms, but at the same time sometimes it can get external like that. So is it the amount of people you are helping? The quality of service you give? How exactly obedient you are? etc. etc. But anyway, I realized this past week that I´ve been defining my "success as a missionary" by my will to continue moving forward, and also how happy I feel in general. Which is I think why I was having such problems for the past few months, which is because I wasn´t always that "happy", and therefore didn´t feel as successful. But now that I´m with Hna. Lundberg and am having a lot more fun, I also feel a lot more successful. So obviously this was a good realization to make, on account of I can try to shift it slash control it better in the future. I´ve just learned that for me, honestly one of THE most important thing is my companion. So that´s been good to learn from experience #wifeskillz #lyfeskillz
Ok, sorry this got kind of super detailed in an existential way. I guess I´ve just really missed journaling, lolz. And I still miss typing my journal entries instead of handwriting. Whatcanyado?
But I love you tons and tons! Hope you have a great post Thanksgiving and a stellar first week of December! It´s getting pretty dang close to Christmas! ALSO you should all watch this video if you haven´t already #HaNacidoUnSalvador. It´s on point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhYKrbSGi2U
Enjoy your sweather weather and apprecaite it x10 for me
xoxo Hermana Ross