Monday, April 26, 2010

Short Note To Say HI !

Quierdo familia

¿Cómo están? Todo tranquilo? Espero que sí. Vida aca en Paraguay es siempre bueno. Hay un gran bendición para servir el Señor como un misonero. Todavía estoy aprendiendo español, o castellaño aca... es el mismo, pero empece a aprender un poco más de guaraní. Por ejemplo, Ñandejara nderaihu significa que Dios te ama. Es muy difícil para pronunciar guaraní, entonces, yo necesito enfocarme en mí pronunción de español primero. Haha.

Like I said, life here is great. I’m always learning and progressing. It’s necessary... haha. There isn’t much to report differently since Thursday. It’s just been work! Which being a missionary is. There isn’t too much to be excited about this week. No big events. But I need to show my new comp still to a few more areas and families, and investigators. If we can catch them at home. That’s been the hard part lately. But we’ll do it! :)

May 9th... woo that’s coming up quick. I hope we can all talk together. That would be really nice. I still have to find a place to call from. That’s the hard part. I’ll have to talk to my branch president about that.. Speaking about branches, I always forget to tell you. All of the ramas in Ca’aguazú have their own building. Rama 2 is more towards Asuncion in the little outside divisions around Caáguazú, which is in the area called Ciudad Nueva. It’s a small building, but it works! Anything is better than nothing! :)

Thanks for the email! I loved reading your notes from the meeting. I hope to get them soon in the mail. That’s great that you are having more success with your students, Mom!! Different experiences every week in Mutual sure do make a difference!

Sorry about the short email - Thursday stole all of my information. Ha. I hope all is going well back in the States. Stay cool while I try to stay dry! Haha. Everything is great. I love y’all and wish the very best. Les amo muchisimo!!!

Elder David Watson

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Companion, Same Area


Tanto Tiempo!!! Sorry about not letting you know about cambios - it completely slipped my mind! I’m still in Ca’aguazú, but Elder Beramendi se fue al Ciudad del Este para ser un líder de distrito. Needless to say I was a little nervous to show my new companion, Elder Villegas, quien es de Santiago, Chile. He’s been out for 9 months, and was the trainer of Elder Clyde, another missionary who came with me. E’ Villegas arrived yesterday around noonish, and then we took a taxi to our pensión, where we could drop off his stuff. Then we ate lunch at a small restuarant called Bamboo. They make some great empañadas de Jamón y Queso, y tambien de ‘Mexicano’. Our district eats there after every district meeting. Anyways, about 3 we headed out after a quick planning session. We contacted a little bit, and talked with a conversa reciente y nuestro nuevo líder misional. Right when we got there, it started pouring like NO OTHER. By the way, I love idioms now. They are so great! So we spent about an hour, hour and a half, sharing scriptures, sang a song, and our investigator that lives with them came out. So we taught a quick lesson and checked up on him. Also, we talked about Guaraní and English. Fun stuff! Pala is shovel, and aguata he’ta is caminando muchismo. And Haku terere’y is demaisado calor. It was funny because one of the younger sons was trying to teach me the pronunciation... good stuff.  We left when we thought the rain had stopped for a while, enough to make it home. NOT! We got soaked! Plus I made a turn way too early so we got ‘lost’ a little bit. Not completely, but enough to not know the area too well. But we made it back, soaked to the bone. How about that for a welcome to your new area?? It’s all good though. We’ll probably be getting a lot more rain, now that it is full-on fall and going into winter. Changing the seasons in your head es tan díficil. Haha.

As for me, things are going great. I am getting accustomed, a little bit, to the weather and lifestyle here. My Castellaño (Spanish is from Spain, not spoken in Sudamerica... so they tell me... :) ) is getting better. I can understand the majority of the Spanish now. E’ Villegas speaks much more quickly than E’ Beramendi, so that will help my understanding a lot. We had a bautismo with the family Cuyari. Five of the kids were baptized. The father was baptized during conference and the mother, hopefully soon. She is re-timida, so we need to figure out how to help her, with the help of the members, because she only speaks Guaraní. But our other investigators are great! We had 8 baptisms last change, all in the month of Abril, and we should be have some more pretty quickly! E’ Beramendi really did work with his old campanions, during the past change, we’ve been able to prepare more people. If all goes well, we just might have up to 5 or 6 more this change! Yeah! I’m re-animado sobre esto!

Oh! Funny story. Because E’ Sorensen’s, a missionary in my district from Folsom, CA whose been out one change more than I have, his companion changed to be a Zone Leader in Encarnación, we were on divisions yesterday. As we were walking to his area, we were stopped by a jovencita, cerca 16 años, who said ‘Excuse me, but do you know English’ with a States accent. Qué sopresa! She had lived in CA for 5 años but had moved back to Paraguay. E’ Sorensen couldn’t talk in straight English - he had to use Spanglish. But we invited her to our English Class every Thursday, and she said she’s going to bring her classmates (when we talked to her, there were about 5 or 6 guys who were her classmates), so they could learn English. We were so surprised! How often does someone stop you in Paraguay, especially in Ca’aguazu where not everyone even speaks Spanish, and talks to you in perfect English??? So that was pretty cool! That’s my English for another month.... hahaha.

Yes... times. I’m 3 hours ahead of you right now, because of the time change this past month. Elder Watson and I SHOULD be on the same time, but I’m not sure. I haven’t caught him online yet so I can’t verify. But that sounds like a plan. I need to ask around to see if someone has telephones we can use... I think our Branch President does but I am not sure... but definitely. Probably around 4ish your time. That’s 7 here and should give me a good hour to talk and half hour to make the trek back to our pensión.

Woo hoo! Pictures! I still have yet to receive my first package, which I will probably get later this month. I will ask the adminstrador if he has received one tomorrow or the day after. That way I will know for sure if I get it at the next zone conference.

Woo hoo! Great to hear from Josh!!! I’m so excited for him! I can’t wait to hear where he is going! I’m sure he is really excited to be getting ready! I got his Dear Elder last week at zone conference, so I will work on a response that will hopefully get there before he leaves. :) I know that he is preparing his best to be an excellent servant of the Lord. Suerte amigo!

Oh, because my letters probably haven’t arrived, I want to wish Abe Wilson, Jon Cannon, Ryan Gillis and James Meiling the best of luck! That is amazing where you are going! I know the Lord has called each of you to the place where you will work the best in the Lord’s hands. Thanks for always being friends! If you can, let my parents know your mission addresses so I can write you! If anyone else from my BYU ward has received calls, I’d love to hear where to! I wrote a letter to Abe about a month ago, actually a little bit more, but if it takes 3 months, there’s no way he’ll get it before he hits the MTC. But I’m so excited for them!! Yeah!

Oh man! I bet the fruit trees are going to town!! The fruit should be pretty good by the time I get back! Sorry mom! I wish I could do that [mow the lawn], but I’m a little far to help out. We’ll be back before you know it.

Elder Bednar!! Sweet! Take advantage of it and take some good notes! :) I’m excited for y’all!

That’s too bad about BYU. I’m sure they will turn it around [They lost pretty bad to TCU in baseball].

The work here in Paraguay is going great! I’m having the time of my life! I’m learning so much! It is such a blessing to be able to serve the Lord and learn by the Spirit. It’s amazing to see the changes of Gospel of Jesucristo puede hacer in people. One of our investigators gave a prayer this past week where I could feel the Spirit so strongly. This really is the work of the Lord! I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the same church established by Jesus Christ when He came to the Earth. I know that the Book of Mormon contains the teachings of true prophets y las enseñanzas de Jesucristo. It truly testifies of Him. Through its teachings, along with the Holy Bible, we can come unto Him and prepare ourselves through Faith, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost by proper authority (Baptism too!) and enduring to the end that we can enter the straight and narrow path that Jesus marked for us. Through ordinances like Baptism and the receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost we take steps towards returning to live with our Heavenly Father. I know that we can know the truth of all things through the power of the Holy Ghost. All we need to do is seek, and we shall find. Knock, and He will answer. I invite all to pray to our Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, giving thanks and asking to know the truth and answers to our questions. I know that the Book of Mormon can answer questions of the soul, like ¿What purpose do we have in this Earth? and ¿ How can I avoid sins and live a better life? The answers are in this book. Sincerely pray, and you can know the truth for yourself.

Anyway, I am out of time. I love you! Take care of yourselves! Sigan adelante siempre! Les quiero mucho!!!

Con amor

Elder David Watson

Monday, April 12, 2010

Green Oranges and Lemons?

Hola Familia Watson

My exclamation mark isn’t working again. Can’t show my excitement. Lame... but that is alright. I’m sure you can imagine it. My SD card converter thingy isn’t working right now, so I can't download any pictures today. I’ll try again later.

This week has been great. We’ve made a lot of progress with our investigators. This Sunday, if things go as planned, we should have another baptismal service. I have Zone Conference this Wednesday in Ciudad Del Este, so that will be a fun trip out of town. The Zone Conference should last pretty much the whole day, but it will be worth listening to my Mission President. I’m excited. Sometimes being here seems like a dream... everything flows together. But it’s great learning, growing, and being able to serve the people of Paraguay. It’s a completely different lifestyle, and it’s kind of growing on me. If that’s the right phrase. I can’t remember idioms anymore. They all seem weird. I can understand why others who are learning English are totally confused. I’m finally able to start adding my two cents to conversations here, as long as it’s not in Guarani. Not much, but the more I work with it, the better I will get. Oh... funny thing... sometimes the little kids, who only know Guarani por la mayoría, call me ja’raha or something like that. I am still learning the pronunciation of Guarani. But it means amigo grande, or big friend. Kinda cool. I can’t wait to be able to learn more Guarani - but Spanish first, and I’ll be able to learn plenty of Guarani.

This week I’ve been finding a lot of scriptures about peace, faith, and prayer. James 1 and 2 are chalk full of them, along with various chapters in Moroni, Alma, Mosiah, and 2nd Nephi. I should have written down the references so I could share them with y’all. Oh, and I realized I didn’t give credit to King Benjamin in Mosiah about believing in Christ but all prophets testify of Christ and His divinity, so I probably could give credit to all of the other prophets too. I love being able to study the scriptures here. I wish I had more time - an hour just isn’t enough. I am finding so many scriptures that are really really helpful with sharing the gospel, raising good families, building faith, the importance of living the commandments... the list could go on and on. But both the Book of Mormon and the Bible fit together so perfectly, we just need to become more familiar with them. Or least I need to.

Elder Ray. Yeah. I remember him. I wish I had my exclamation point right now. He was great. Or is great, I should say. Man... I wish I had spent much more time with the missionaries. At least I can help out with the missionaries when I get back. It’s going to be a blast. I love the prospect of it.

Info about Paraguay. The government has decided to eliminate the thousands part of their currency. So 1 dollar will be about 4.5 to 5 Guaranies en vez de 4500 to 5000 Guaranies. Much easier to convert in my head. That should take place next year. Oh... we fell back an hour this week. I still don’t know the time difference between here and Cali. I need to figure that out for next month when I call home for Mother’s Day. Don’t worry about me being homesick. I love seeing pictures of home. Maybe even a yellow lemon. Oranges and lemons here are green. SO different. Oh - One question. How do you make orchata? I want to see if I can make it here. Thanks.

Anyway, I love being here. I am learning so much. I wish I could have the time to share it all with you. I hope all is going well at home. Take care of yourselves.

Con amor,

Elder David Watson

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Weather is Getting Cooler... Whew!

Dear Mom and Dad

Wow! Time flies in the field.  To answer your questions: I only saw (live) Sunday morning in Spanish and the Afternoon in English.  I enjoyed it much more in English, much more powerful and meaningful.  One missionary has found Peanut Butter in the market, but I think that was a fluke.  I think I have to look under a different name.  But I will ask around.  I heard that Elder Holland’s talk Saturday night was really good! But I didn’t get the chance to watch any Saturday sessions.  The sessions were on at 1 and 5 in Paraguay.  So… that’s 5 hours difference, right? I actually saw Cody Stephens my last week [at the MTC] - yes, I do know him.  Good guy.  Is Byron already gone? Whew! Time flies.  Has Josh put in his papers yet???

Whew! Spring Break! That sounds nice! Sometimes I would like to sleep in, but that time lost isn’t worth it.  So that helps waking up on time every day.  HAHAHA!!! Flash! I love him.  So funny.  I miss you guys a ton, but the work keeps me busy.  Work is good!

We had a baptismal service yesterday! We baptized a mother and son, and a father of another family.  I got to baptize the mom, Rosalba, and confirm the son, Pablo.  It was really a great experience! :)

I am so out of ideas today.  The weather is actually been nice the past few days.  Overcast and windy, which means cool! Overcast and not windy… humid as all get out!! It is started to get cooler and cooler… much better than hotter and hotter.  It’s so weird to have the seasons flipped! June and July is dead winter, December and January is dead summer. 

This past week has been Semana Santa, which is a huge tradition among Paraguayos.  Something that goes along with the tradition is food called Chipas.  Chipas is bread that is cooked in an outside brick oven called a Tata Kwa.  It certainly is interesting! My tongue is still too Americanized to truly appreciate Chipas. 

I have been reading past Ensigns and Liahonas lately, in the morning after breakfast but before Personal Study and at night before 10:30, and I’ve really enjoyed reading the words of prophets and apostles.  I’ve also taken to cutting out some of the pictures that I really like… the pile is starting to get big! I am going to make a cover for my daily planner, where I can put some of these pictures, and I’ll find places to put the others.  .  Maybe my next email I will send the names of the paintings home so you guys can see them too.  One of the painters I really like is Del Parsons.  I can’t remember any of the names right now. 

One thing that I can really remember from General Conference is Elder James B Martino’s talk from the Sunday afternoon session.  He talked about going through our trials and experiences with an eternal perspective.  He remarked that when we look at the long run, we can better learn from our lives and apply those lessons to become better Disciples of Christ. 

Well, I will keep you in my prayers! I hope everything continues to go well.  I really appreciate the love and support from all of you!  This is an awfully short e-mail, and I hope you will forgive me.  I will write more next week - I promise! Take care of yourselves! ¿Les quiero muchisimo!

Con Amor,

Elder David Watson