Monday, November 24, 2014

Snakes song

This is the song Andrew told us about a couple of weeks ago.  I believe it was written by an Elder who served in the Argentina Buenos Aires Norte Mission.  It gave us all a good laugh. :)

Things are going good...

Things are going good.  I'm glad you all still are thankful for me. HAHAHA 
Thanksgiving? What's that? HAHAHA   I won't be celebrating that for the next 2 years.  It's a real shame.  No worries though, I am in a very fun part of the country with lot's of crazy adventures happening. 

I miss Saturdays with the family.  Every Saturday when you guys are waking up and my day has already started I think of you guys going to Mcdonald's or Blackbear and all of the fun times that we had on Saturday.  I'm always thinking about what you guys are doing, kind of weird but it helps me through the tough times.  I just do what I have to do. :) 

No packages yet.  They give them to us in zone conferences and the next one isn't until December.  So sorry I haven't received them yet.  Maybe next week or something, I'm excited for the little surprise.  

No worries about snakes, I won't be bringing any of them home with me (referring to a funny missionary song he told us about in his last letter).  It's a great song and it really is a problem. I'm not even kidding so many people whistle at me it's scary.  I get called blonde here almost every day and I thought my hair was brown.  I guess it's not to them, who knows? 

I am still with Elder Diaz.  He's my trainer and so I am with him for 12 weeks.  After the 12 weeks he will go somewhere else and I will stay here for another 6 weeks, so about 10 more weeks in the area I am in.  The other Elders in my house went home.  It was sad because they were awesome but we have 2 new Elders living with us.  One is from Bolivia and he is a new missionary.  He has been out less time than I have been, and the other missionary is our District Leader and he is from Honduras.  They are both really nice kids but not as fun as the other Elders, but it's all good. 

We do Service now every Saturday and we do a little of everything.  We take two machetes and cut grass and tress and anything else you can think of.  It's awesome and the people love our help.  

No baptismal dates, not having much success there.  That's probably the low part but I'm trying and hopefully things will change soon.  Not a lot happened this week a lot of the same old same old.  I haven't had any running water for a full week and that has been terrible.  It's awful to shower in the morning I have to take a bucket to a neighbors house and fill it up and then take it back home and dump water on me.  It's awful! Hopefully we get water sometime soon.  It stinks really bad!! 

The family home evening we did last week went well.  They liked the cakes and are a really nice family.  They made us dinner too and it was awesome. They have 3 little girls ages 8, 6 and 4.  

Church yesterday was good.  I am the new ward pianist.  I play the piano for the whole ward.  It's one of those smart pianos that just plays the songs and all I have to do is click play verse and it plays the song for me.  They don't know this because it is in English so I get up there and play the piano and look like I really am playing.  It is hilarious. I got compliments on my piano ability, it's pretty funny. 

That is really scary to here about Chase (OMANA), I'm glad he is o.k. and that he is staying out to finish his mission.  He is almost done isn't he?

Good old Ryan (referring to his best friend).  I bet he is living off of top ramen and it's alright I live off of it too.  Tell him to spend a little more money at the grocery story and stop being so stingy!

Thanks for keeping me in mind.  I love reading all of your emails.  It helps me get through the weeks. Thanks for always being a good example to me.  I wouldn't be here right now if it weren't for your examples to me.  I pray for you guys like 4 times a day.  I can't wait to see you guys soon. 

For Christmas I think I am going to make a Skype account this week and then I will tell you when I will be on.  I'll have all the information for you next week.  I hope it all works out o.k.  It would stink if I couldn't talk to you guys.  I can't wait to talk to you guys.  Only a month left and by then I will have been out for 4 months.  It's crazy, time is going by quick. 

Love you all, 

Still no packages means he hasn't received his new camera yet. UGH! I am dying to see his cute face, Christmas can't come quick enough!

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this cute missionary of mine
Until next week...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Better Week...

I was beginning to wonder if I would hear from Drew this week.  We usually hear from him around 8:00 in the morning each week which is 12:00 their time.  Today we didn't hear from him until later in the afternoon.  I was pretty much glued to the computer all day hitting refresh...yes I am that Mom.  It was great to hear from him and especially since his week was so much better.  Not sure this Missionary Moms heart could have handled another letter like last week ;)

"This week has been much better for sure. Time sure flies.  I woke up today and it was P day again.  Not sure where the time goes.  Next week I will have been gone 3 months.  I miss you guys but know I shouldn't be anywhere else.

 Thanks for the packages.  They give them to us in Zone Conferences so I won't actually get them until next month.  Can't wait to see what you sent.

I wish my companion could send you some pictures but his camera broke in his first area.  I am going to have Elder Lopez send you some pictures.  He only speaks Spanish and he is heading home on Wednesday.  You will be able to see the most amazing food that we make.  He is heading back home to Guatemala so look forward to that.  It will be exciting.

This week we found a new way to talk to the people.  There is a really poor part of our area.  Most of the houses are made out of whatever they can find to make them. The big storm that was a couple of weeks ago knocked down everything and so instead of just talking to them and trying to share a gospel message with them we decided to offer Service.  We do this every Wednesday and Saturday.  This past Saturday we were able to help 8 families.  We spent the whole morning doing anything the people needed and we gained a lot of trust from a lot of people this way.  I came up with the idea after last week and we have so many new investigators because of this.  It has been AWESOME! 

We are close on some baptisms but it is very hard to get people to come to church each week.  We have 7 people with baptism dates but they aren't until next month. You have to attend church 3 times before you can be baptized and it's hard to get people to come to church because everyone works on Sundays.  We are trying so hopefully next week we will get a few of them to come.  As people get closer I will let you know but for know we are just working with quite a few people.  

Today we made a cake and that is why I am so late in writing you.  We are taking the cake to a family that pretty much lives in a piece of plastic with a tin roof.  It is so sad but they are the nicest people.  They have 3 little girls that are awesome and we will head over there after we finish emailing and our p day is over.  

Not much is new.  Just working hard.  You wouldn't believe how much weight I have lost.  My pants are don't fit at all.  I have cut my belt twice now.  When I get the new camera you will die laughing and how big my jeans look on me.  I can't believe I used to fit into them. HAHAHA

It is crazy how little we have.  I definitely have been humbled.  It's going to be so weird to come home and have so many little things that I never thought I would appreciate.  

No complaining about the cold.  It just keeps getting hotter and hotter here.  The humidity blows my mind. I got to Paraguay in the rain and it still was hot.   I would love the cold.  It's going to be so weird having a Christmas without snow during the middle of the summer here.  Dad you should hope for snow.  Then you will be lucky enough to drive Dora the Explorer, good times in that car. 

The hardest part of my mission is being away from family and adjusting to the missionary life.  Going from having to so much to having so little.  I miss just being home and being around people.  Just the US in general.  It's very different here. 
My favorite thing about my mission is the people, especially the kids.  They all love me and I love them just as much.  I love seeing all the little kids who don't have anything but are so happy kicking around bottles and chasing me around. 

The greatest lesson I have learned so far is to be humble.  I have learned to not complain about anything and take whats thrown at me and move along as if nothing has happened.  

I would love some of Moms bacon.  I won't be eating that for 2 years.  The food isn't too bad but when I get home I am going to eat a lots of meat.  We don't get much meat here because we only spend about $20 US a week on groceries. There is no way we can afford meat.  

I am so sad that Kelly (Featherstone) moved.  How could he leave.  I leave on my mission and the ward just falls apart. ;) Tell him he was my favorite leader.  I can't believe he is gone...that is crazy.

Brighton is crazy now too.  I leave and everything falls apart.  I must have been the only thing keeping things together hahaha.  That's scary though (referring to the threat made over social media). Lucky son of a gun can't believe he got to miss school.

Also you asked what my favorite songs are I like to listen to...there is a missionary song called Snakes.  It is so funny go listen to it.  The songs that keep me going are Aaron Edsons Wondering and
Carters song by Emily Babcock.  They are AMAZING!   

Thanks for keeping me in mind and praying for me. I can definitely feel all of your love pushing me along.  It means the world to me.  I pray for all of you every single day.

Love and miss you all tons


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tough Week...

I have been told that being a Missionary Mom is a lot like riding on a roller coaster...there are up weeks and there are down weeks.  I am so not a fan of roller coasters.  I am more of a merry go round kind of girl. :) 
Yesterdays email made my heart sad.  I know Drew is where he is supposed to be right now and I know that despite the ups and downs, he is loving it there and loves the people.  However after reading his email yesterday I wanted to hop on a plane and fly to Paraguay.  Not to bring him home...I just wanted to give him a hug.  Yesterday I missed him more than I have in a long time.  


It's been kind of a hard and frustrating week, but I am hanging in there.  I don't have a camera anymore, it was stolen.  Don't worry about how but I don't have one anymore.  If you can send me a new one that would be cool. It was on Wednesday and after it was stolen I was having a really rough day.  I went into my room and turned on some music and just sat there.  I was sulking for a bit and then I looked on my desk and I saw my patriarchal blessing.  I had the feeling I needed to read it.  I read it and this time noticed that there were 2 paragraphs talking about my mission and what great things I would do.  As I was reading it I had a very comforting feeling come over me and I knew at that moment that this is where I am supposed to be.

The weeks all seem like a blur here.  They go by really fast not sure why because the days are long but the weeks are fast.  

Things have been frustrating with my companion, they have been the whole time but I am hanging in there still. :) 

I am getting enough to eat.  I make a lot of fettuchini  
alfredo, it's easy and cheap.  I am loosing weight...we do a lot of walking and sweating but I am good.

The bugs are giant here.  There is something bigger and creepier in the house every day.  I will for sure have some crazy stories to tell when I come home.  

My investigator disappeared. There was a big storm here that knocked down a lot of houses and trees and we haven't seen her in almost 2 weeks.  We have no clue where she ended up but hope and pray she is o.k. 

The cute boy in last weeks picture is an investigator.  His whole family  wants to be baptized but they don't want to go to church.  It's a tough situation and we aren't having a lot of progress. :( 

It was awesome to go into the city last week and talk to the other missionaries from the MTC.  I was able to talk to a lot of them and see that many of them were having a hard time too and I wasn't as bad off as others.  It was however great to see all of my friends.

This week has been crazy.  We have had a lot of meetings.  We're trying to help the ward get put back together and get everyone's rough. 

Not much else really.  No pictures this week, so sorry but no worries I still look the same :) I'll let you know if anything changes. hahaha

Thanks for keeping me in your prayers.  I need them right now. Hopefully I will have some better stories for next week.

Love and miss you guys a lot


See what I mean about my heart sinking. I HATE ROLLER COASTERS! I hate to hear when he has had a bad week but am grateful he tells me.  I am also thankful that he had the prompting to read his patriarchal blessing and that he felt comfort and knew that he is where he is supposed to be.  I am beyond proud of this kid and just love and miss him to pieces!

LOVE LOVE LOVE this cute missionary of mine :) 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Day of the dead, Tortilla Paraguaya and Giant Bugs is what this weeks email brings...

With Daylight savings yesterday we are now 4 hours behind Drew time wise.  I thought that would mean that my email would show up extra early this morning but I was wrong.  I lost count on how many times I hit refresh and was beginning to worry I wouldn't hear from him.  So glad when it finally showed up in my in box.  I was waiting for an appt. and may or may not have done a little happy dance.  The people around me may or may not think I am a little crazy. ;)  He seems in good spirits and despite the heat and water situation is doing great.  

Everything is going good.  My companions a nice guy.  The other Elder in the pictures from last week is Elder Lopez.  I'll send you some pictures at the end if the internet lets me.  It always depends on the internet.

We get water in the morning but not at night.  It helps for sure being able to shower at home.  I don't think we are moving yet but who knows?? I would rather not move, it is way too much of a pain to pack everything up.

Bad baptism had to be changed.  She couldn't come to church this week because her baby was sick.   She had to take her to the Dr because she had a fever and they have to come to church 3 times before they are baptized.  Not sure when it will now take place but it will eventually happen.

I will be with my companion Elder Diaz through Christmas I believe.  I think my last week with him is the week after Christmas and then I will be done training.  I get to Skype with all of you soon and that will be cool.  No worries my voice still sounds the exact same. (referring to my letter that I was beginning to forget what he sounded like ) :(  

They don't celebrate Halloween here but on November 1st they have day of the dead.  Everyone goes to the cemeteries to pray to their family that has passed.  It's a lot different and actually a little creepy.

My favorite thing to eat here so far is Tortilla Paraguaya.  It's really good.  I don't know how to describe it but it's their version of a tortilla and I really like it.

The animals here are a lot the same just everything is bigger.  Moths are the size of my hand and are poisonous as well.  They scare me to death! We had one in our house the other day and I about pooped myself.  We also had the worlds most deadly spider as well.  He got loose in our house but no worries.  We found him and killed him!!

Not too many stories right now, we talk to a lot of people but they are lazy here and don't want to leave their houses.  It's hard to get people to come to church.  

The people in my branch are very nice.  We are fed lunch 3 days a week and someone washes our garments.  My favorite family here is the Alma family.  They have been like my family while I am down here and take good care of me and keep me alive. :) 

I see my MTC companion every week at Stock.  It's the Walmart of Paraguay. Around 10-12 missionaries all go there at the same time to buy their food for the week.  It's fun to run into the other missionaries there.  Tomorrow I have to go fill out some paper work in Asunción with all the other new Elders so I will see everyone tomorrow I lived with at the MTC. That will be fun to see everyone.  

I know who she is (Referring to the sister missionary who is a niece of the Jarman family in our ward.  She is currently in the MTC and  will be in Paraguay in a few weeks) She was in my Seminary class when I was a Junior.  Her last name is Jarman I believe.  She is nice. 

It seems like I have been out for longer than 2 months.  Before you know it I will be heading home.

I can't believe you let me live here, hahaha.  I am learning so much.  There is nothing like tis in the US.  I am well adjusted now with the cold showers, giant bugs and people running around naked everywhere.  It all just seems normal to me now. 

The weather has been crazy.  It changes from one day to the next.  One day it rains and the next day it is hot as ever with crazy humidity.  It rained yesterday but it hasn't rained HARD yet so it's not bad.  It just makes everything muddy here. Today it's hot as can be.  We have our district activity after this and we have a BBQ and are playing a sport they play here called PQ Volleyball.  It's like volleyball but with your head and feet, it should be fun.  

My pants don't fit anymore and my belt is tightened to the max.  I'd rather not loose weight but I think by the end my pants are going to be falling off. ;) Oh well, what do you do?? 

Love you, 

Jake and I joke about that since I am writing this blog I could pretty much say whatever I wanted and nobody would know it wasn't him.  We have joked about adding the "You are the best parents ever" line or the "I don't know where I would be without you".  You know the stuff he most likely won't say but we know he feels...hahaha.  So today I had to giggle when he sent a quick email after his first one asking me to do him a favor.  He needed me to enter his SS# in to the church website for him.  After asking me for this favor he added...
"One more thing I forgot to tell you.  I take the pictures I have with me everywhere I go.  When  we teach about how important families are in the gospel I show everyone the pictures I have.  Every single person has said the same thing to me, which is..."que linda" which more or less means that you're pretty.  They don't talk about anyone but you.  Yesterday this 76 year old guy couldn't get over how beautiful you were haha.  You have a lot of admirers here. :) " 

This cute missionary of mine sure knew I needed a little pick me up this week.  I love him so much and look forward to Mondays.  Who would have thought I would love to hear about bugs and naked people so much?!? 

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this cute missionary of mine.  Until next week :) 
 This is a picture taken last week on Pday of some of their investigators.  They took Drew and his companion Elder Diaz to see the Church of Yaguaron.  It is a famous Franciscan church in his city.  It was built by Fray Alonso de Buenaventura and his followers and took 60 years to build.  It was at one time the home of Dr. Francia, one of Paraguay's most infamous dictators.