Monday, June 28, 2010

July is Upon Us Now...

Querido Familia,

Quiero empezar con decirles que tu carta me ENCANTA.. Estoy sonriendo muchisimo. Me gusta las cuentas acerca de la vida de ustedes. Me puse un poco ‘trunky’, pero, hoy es Pday, todo bien. :). La parte sobre me puse trunky es en broma, no mas. :). Hay que reirse. :). Tambien la traduccion de Google me encanta. Quería decir: If someone has sent me a letter, and I haven’t responded yet, please tell me parents so that I can know. Pssh... ‘that I might taste good.’  HAHAHAHA. Paul ya está poniendo sus papeles para la mision? Qué loco! No puedo creer! El tiempo esta volando! (The time is flying!!). Estoy muy animado para él! Quiero que venga a mision! Estamos teniendo mucho éxito! Un companerismo justo ha tenido 78 lecciones esta semana pasada - 33 con miembros (a investigadores)! Nuestro misión va a tener muchos bautismos y mejores miembros! Lecciones con miembro van a ayudar los miembros a tener un testimonio más fuerte y los nuevos miembros van a tener muchos amigos y una sistema de apoyo ya en un mundo que está un poco diferente. Estoy muy animado! :) :). Just in case Google doesn’t do its job right, or more likely if my Spanish is bad, I wanted to say that lessons with members to investigators will help the members have a stronger testimony and the new members to have lots of friends and a system of support in a world that is a little different.

Si! Yo puedo recordarme perfectamente la experiencía de mamá con sus libros. Qué loco ésta día. Demaisado libros. Pero, igual, no más.

Well, where do I start? I was going to write an all Spanish letter again, but I started thinking in English. Or I started typing in English. One of the two. Anyway, it threw me off a little, so I might as well just keep writing. This week was pretty good! Hot, but good. So much for being winter here. Well, right now it’s a little chilly, but phew - I was sweating pretty good during the week. I was actually running around trying to keep on top of everything - literally! The other missionaries in my ward had a baptism, and we brought some of our investigators to it. But our other investigator lives on the other side of the church, so we jetted over to his house. But he had left 2 MINUTES before we got there. MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But he came to church on Sunday. I had to remember the word Sunday. Haha. Anyway, things are great here. We’ve been treking all over our area to find the people who are waiting to hear the gospel. And the truth is, they are out there! We found a couple yesterday while roaming around (well, I shouldn’t say roaming but to me it seemed like it! En realidad we were being led by the Spirit! :) ) and we hope to work really well with them. If this wasn’t the Lord’s work, there is no way we could have found the people we have found and started teaching. They are out there, ya just gotta find them. It seems difficult in the moment, but when you are trying to do the right thing, and you are worthy, the Lord will guide you with what He would have you do. It’s not like I’m having an experience with ‘Oh, we gotta talk with these people.’ It’s more like, ‘Hey, let’s try contacting by the houses instead of the main road so that we can teach some lessons.’ And we find people! It works! It really is the Lord’s work. There’s no doubt about it.

I’d like to end with telling you how much I love reading the Book of Mormon. I was reading this morning in 2nd Nephi - and man, how inspired are his words! Lehi with his sons! He tells them to be men and have the courage to follow the Lord and His prophets. Rise out of the dust, I think exactly. It made me think of a two year old wailing and crying, rolling around in the dirt cause he doesn’t get what he wants. The most important thing is that we follow the guidance of those who know the way - and that’s what we should do. I love 2 Nephi 4. But I can’t go into detail - out of time.

Well, I love you all! I can hardly believe I’ve been on the mission for 6 months. Almost 6 months, I should say. I love hearing from ya! I encourage you all to read the Book of Mormon every day, at least a few verses, and try to imagine the situation in your mind. It really brings the scriptures to life and helps us make ourselves better. Love you!

Con mucho amor!

Elder David Watson

Monday, June 21, 2010

A letter in Spanish, Translated

David's letter this week was in all Spanish.  We have translated it to the best of our ability.  We have included both the English translation along with his original Spanish email.

Hi Family!

I only have a small amount of time today – I had to go to the office for an interview with President Callan. As always, appointments are not always on time, but I have to take advantage of the opportunities given me.

This last week was very good. We had six investigators in the church yesterday, one that already has a baptismal date. We will work with others who are interested this week.  They are very good, and I am encouraged to work with these families. They are very interested in how they can improve their lives and the status of their families. I have seen the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives already. They are more happy, united, and have a reason to strive to live with our Heavenly Father after this life. We have five things we need to accomplish during our lives. These things are faith in Jesus Christ, repentance of our sins, baptism for the remission of our sins by someone who has the authority and power of God, receiving the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands and endurance, or being faithful to the end of our lives. I know these things make a difference. This can help us become closer to our Savior and our Heavenly Father also. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Church of Jesus Christ. Indeed, there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. These can be performed only in the true church of Jesus Christ. You just have to prove the Lord’s promises. A promise that we read in the Book of Mormon (I like both 2 Nephi 31 and Moroni 10) and pray for an answer on whether the Book of Mormon is true. Another is that we attended the Church of Jesus Christ where we can feel the Holy Spirit. And then, we must pray about the truthfulness of these things with sincerity and true intention. I know this Church is true. Everyone may know this for yourself too.

I’m learning a little Portuguese. It’s a bit more useful than Guarani. Unless they send me back to the country, Guarani sentences are sufficient. I don’t have much news, but every day I can make a difference in my life. Every day I learn a little more about the Lord. I’m still getting accustomed to life in the city. But this has been a good change for me. I love being a missionary of the Lord. There are many blessings in missionary work. Can I give you a suggestion? If you help in missionary work, you, yes, you, will receive more blessings. I promise. I also pledge that your ward, branch, stake, district, community will improve and everyone will be happier and have more joy. It may be a bit difficult in the beginning, but you have to persevere. You can experience the happiness and love that we have in this work. I’m experiencing this every day. I wish you may experience these feelings too.

Your week sounds like a good week. I was glad that all is well with you. Thank you very much for all the cards. Please forgive me if I cannot answer quickly. I’m trying to answer everything. But with the missing letter and the time it takes to write and send is difficult for me. But I will try and do my best to answer. Please, if you sent me a letter and I haven’t answered, tell my parents that I can be better informed. Thanks for all your love and faith in me. All of you make a big difference in my life. I love your letters and news. Have a great week! Much love !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

With hope of Paraguay,

Elder David Watson

Now... for the Spanish...

Hola Familia!

No tengo mucho tiempo hoy - tuve que ir a la oficina por una entrevista con Presidente Callan. Como siempre, horarios no estvieron en horario, pero, tengo que aprovechar del tiempo que tengo.

Ésta semana pasada hubo estado muy bien. Tuvimos seis investigadores en la Iglesia ayer, uno que ya tiene un fecha bautismal. Vamos a trabajar con los otros investigadores que tenemos. Ellos son muy buenos, y estoy animado para trabajar con estas familias. Son muy intersados en como ellos pueden mejorar sus vidas y el estado de sus familias. He visto las bendiciones del Evangelio de Jesucrito en sus vidas ya. Ellos estan mas feliz, unidas, y tienen una razon para esforzarse a vivir con nuestro Padre Celestíal déspues esta vida. Ésta razon es que tenemos cinco cosas que necesitamos cumplir durante nuestras vidas. Estas cosas son: fe en el Señor Jesucristo, el arrepentimiento de nuestros pecados, el bautismo para la remision de nuestros pecado por alguien que tenga la autoridad y poder de Dios, la recepción del Espíritu Santo por la imposición de las manos arriba de la cabeza, y perservar, o ser fieles, hasta el fin de nuestras vidas. Sé que estas cosas hacen una diferencía. Esta diferencía puede ayudarnos a acercarnos más a nuestro Salvador y tambien a nuestro Padre Celestíal. Sé que la Iglesia de Jesucristo de Los Santos de los Últimos Días es la iglesia de Jesucristo. En verdad, hay un Señor, una fe, un bautismo. Estos puedan ser realizados solamente en la iglesia verdedera de Jesucristo. Solamente hay que probar las promesas del Señor. Una promesa es que podemos leer el Libro de Mormon (una parte, no más. Mi parte preferidos son 2 Nefi 31 or Moroni 7) y orar para recibir una respuesta sobre si el Libro de Mórmon es verdadero. Un otro es que asistimos a la Iglesia de Jesucristo, podemos sentir el Espíritu Santo. Y déspues, hay que orar sobre la veracidad de estas cosas con senceridad y verdedera intención. Sé que esta Iglesia es verdadera. Todos pueden saber por si mismo tambien.

Estoy aprendiendo un poco de Portugues. Es un poco mas útil que Guarani. A menos que me envie otra vez al campo, frases de Guaraní son suficientes. No tengo muchas noticias acá, pero cada día yo puedo distinguir una diferencía en mi vida. Cada día estoy un poco más acerca del Señor. Todovía estoy acostombrándome a la vida de la ciudad. Pero, este cambio ha estado mi cambio preferido hasta ahorra. Me encanta ser un misionero del Señor. Hay muchas bendiciones en la obra misional. Puedo dar una sugerencía? Si ustedes ayudan en la obra misional, ustedes, si o si, van a recibir más bendeciones. Les prometo. Tambien les prometo que su barrio, rama, estaca, distrito, comunidad va a mejorar y todos van a estar mas feliz y tener mas gozo. Quizas va a estar un poco díficil en el principio, pero, hay que perservar. Hay mucho feliz y amor que podemos tener en esta obra. Yo estoy experimentando esto cada día. Me gustaría que ustedes pueden experimentar estos sentimientos tambien.

Su semana suena como una buena semana. Me alegré que todo está bien con ustedes. Muchas gracias por todas las cartas. Perdóname, por favor, si no puedo contestar rapido. Estoy intentando a contestar todo. Pero, con la carta perdida y el tiempo que toma para escribir y enviar es un gran dificultdad para mí. Pero, voy a procurar y hacer mi mejor para contestar. Por favor, si alguien me envió una carta y todovia no le contesté, diga a mis padres para que yo pueda saber bien. Gracias por todo de su amor y fe que tienen en mí. Todos de ustedes hacen una gran diferencía en mi vida. Me encanta sus cartas y noticias. ¡Que tengan una semana excelente! Mucho amor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Con esperanza de Paraguay,

Elder David Watson

Monday, June 14, 2010

I love it here in Lucerito!

Quierdo Familia,

Gracias por la información! Me gustó mucho la carta. Siempre me encanta leer las noticias de la familia. Por invierno, hace mucho calor ahorra. Aun la gente tiene un poca de sopresa. Usualmente, hace mucho mas frio durante estos meses. Pero, creo que tengo un poco de suerte (por una vez!) que no hace tan frio. Sin embargo, probablamente va a hacer muy calor este verano. Ay! Vamos a ver.

Hoy, paraguay va a jugar contra italia. La gente tiene mucho animado para este partido. Todos quieren hablar sobre el partido y la copa mundial.. Pero, es un asunto que la gente en le gusta tomar. Entonces, para hablar con la gente, especialmente después durante la noche, es muy intersante. MUY intersante... :).

Well, update. I love it here in Lucerito. True, it is much harder to work in the city than out in the campo, but all the same, it’s great! Elder Silva is a great companion! It seems I have made more progress with Spanish, teaching, and learning in the past two weeks than in the past three months! It really is a blessing to be here in the mission. I have learned so much about who I am and who I can become. That is the beauty of the message that I share every day. How amazing it is to have prophets in the world today! Imagine following a Moses, Noah, Abraham in our day! How easy it would be to listen to the word of the Lord! Prophets are God’s spokespeople - these men have God’s authority and power. They speak with God face to face. And we have a prophet today with the same authority and power of God. I know that this is true - and his name is Thomas S. Monson. As always, with everything I teach, we can know the truth through earnest prayer to our Heavenly Father, in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Well, I am really excited to be here. Really excited to help the people of Paraguay come closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am truly grateful for everyone that I have known. Everybody has had an influence in my life that has helped me become a better person. There is no way I can thank all of you, but please realize that I am truly grateful. I hope that life is great for each and every one of you. Enjoy the summer! Love ya! God Bless!

Con mucho amor!

Elder David Watson

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bordering Asuncion North Mission - Elder Felix... Where are you?

Hola Familia!

Wow! Not much has happened in the past four days besides the fact that I have been getting to know the investigators and members of Lucerito. Lucerito is split into two halves along the ruta. We have the north side of the ruta while the District Leader and his companion have the southern part. Funnily enough, part of my area está justo al lado de Misión Norte. So if Elder Felix happens to be next to Lucerito (I have no idea what the area is called :( ), we are practically next to each other! Hahaha. Anyway. We have been working hard! It’s starting to get pretty cold at night here, but with all the walking, it’s not too bad. :). We found 3 new families to teach - 2 of them are related to each other! So we are going to keep on working hard, finding people to teach, and helping them come unto Christ through His restored gospel.

You did what, Mom??? WOW! I wish I could have been there to see that! It’s good to know that the Young Women are learning to take care of themselves just in case they are stuck on the side of the road with no one to help. Knowing car mechanics is always a good thing :). School’s over? Already? No way! Time is going by so fast! It seems like yesterday I was in the snow! But that was 3 months ago... g whiz! It seems to be getting faster and faster with every day. I was thinking the other day that time IS faster than the speed of light... but I just can’t prove it... hahaha.

I hope Josh comes here! Maybe I can be his entrenador! That would be wickedly sweet! Wherever he goes, I know that is where the Lord has called him to serve. Estoy tan anímado para él. SWEET! :D. That probably means any paper letter I send won’t get there in time. Chiste. Snail mail in Paraguay really is snail mail. Hahaha.

Bryan’s already having his Eagle Court?? Wow wee! That’s so great! I’m really excited for him! Go Bryan!!

I am glad to hear that Flash is alright. Dogs and health issues can be confusing. For me at least. I’m just happy to know Flash is good! :).

This Sunday was a really good fast and testimony meeting. First of all, it was nice to sing along to a piano! Second, almost all of the congregation (50 or so) bore their testimonies! I was invited to introduce myself and bear my testimony. It’s a little easier to be in front of a bunch of people, but I’m pretty sure some of the things I said didn’t make sense. But that’s alright! Still working on it. I’m really working on speaking better Spanish than my first area. There people would say ‘Yo conoce, yo tiene, vines (en vez de ven), Tu tengo,’ algo así. Claramente, Guarani es el primer idoma allí. Probablamente eso es como le perezco a la gente de Paraguay. Pero, está bien! Todavía estoy aprendiendo! Ahora, hablo casí todo in Castellano, aun en la casa con Elder Freeman. Creo que esto va a ayudarme a aprender más rapido y mejor. Cuando hablo en ingles, mi Castellano falta mucho. Entonces, el más castellano yo hablo, el mejor mi castellano puede ser. Tambien, me ayuda mucho que no tengo que hablar en Guanarí. Más tiempo para mejorar mi Castellano. Me gusta mucho Lucerito y el trabajo acá. Muy diferente que Ca’aguazú, pero, tambien, muy bueno. No necesitamos preocuparnos sobre la hora, y podemos enfocarnos más en el trabajo. Parece que Elder Silva y yo vamos a estar por 3 meses juntos porqué él tiene solamente un cambio acá en Lucerito. Espero que sí porqué estamos trabajando muy bien juntos.

I know that this is the Lord’s work! There is no other way I could possibly be here and learning Spanish and teaching in it so well. Well, as good as I have gotten. There is no way I could have received so much help from the Lord if this wasn’t His work. The Book of Mormon really is another testament of Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith was a prophet, called of God to restore His authority and power on the Earth once again - the priesthood. Through the priesthood, or God’s power and authority, we can be together, as families, for all time and eternity. We can receive divine help from the Lord. But it only comes through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This church is the same church Jesus established in His days, only that it is now in our day, or the latter days. The time to come unto our Savior and God isn’t later. You start thinking about a bunch of tomorrows and find that you have a bunch of empty yesterdays. The time to act is now. I promise that we can receive many blessings from the Lord through our obedience. And we can know it is true through prayer. Prayer is communication with our Father in Heaven. Through it, we can know the truth. It’s that simple. All we have to do is be sincere and willing to act on that answer. As a messenger of Jesus Christ, I testify of these things. I know they are true, and you can too. Put our Father in Heaven to the test. As we are told by Malachi in his last chapter, the Lord challenges us to put Him to the test. But we have to be sincere and willing to obey His messengers.

I love you all! I hope all is going well! I have heard that some of my letters haven’t been going through - I sent one to Aunt Wendy, Wendy Bentley, Amy McGreevy, Abe Wilson, and to you. I hope it arrives! Those letters were really good! I am praying for all of you! Take care!

Con mucho amor,

Elder David Watson

Thursday, June 3, 2010

New Area, New Companion

Querida Familia,

Wow! This has been a crazy two weeks! Last week we had Zone Conference and interviews, so that threw our schedules off a little bit, and I transferred to a new area. I have mixed feelings about the transfer, because I loved the area and the members, but I know the Lord has called me to a new area to accomplish his work. I am now officially out of the campo and now in the city. Well, suburbs of the city. In Lucerito, Asuncion. It’s much MUCH smaller than my last area, but plenty big all the same. We have 4 missionaries in our Barrio, and we live together. My new companion is Elder Silva from Costa Rica. Let me just say I love his accent. It’s the bomb! I also live with the district leader, Elder Freeman (From Missouri) and a local missionary from Ciudad Del Este, Elder Esquivel. The local is 18-years old and is planning on putting his papers in this December. The cool thing here is that priests can serve as local missionaries for a period of 3 weeks to however long they can stay. Elder Esquivel has served before, and he is great! He plays rugby, and is buff! He knows the lessons and is going to be a great missionary wherever he goes. My companion Elder Silva has been here for one change, so we will probably be together for 2 changes. I hope so. We work really well together. We should have a lot of success this change! The city and the campo are so different, but all the same, I love them both. :)

In our zone conference Elder Shayne Bowen of the Area Seventy visited with us. He talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon and how important it is to have a testimony. Without the Book of Mormon, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is just another church. But with it, we know and understand so much more of the Holy Bible and the ordinances of the gospel. It is like our eyes - the Holy Bible being one, and the Book of Mormon the other. The Bible helps us to ‘see’, but the Book of Mormon helps us to ‘see’ more clearly. The Book of Mormon helps us to live closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ, and helps us to grow closer to our Father in Heaven.

With everything that has happened, I don’t quite know what to say. Tuesday night and Wednesday morning were insane - I brought everything - except for my filtered water bottle. D’oh! I am pretty sure they can send it through the encomienda, so I’m not too worried about that. I still have that purifier that we bought, and it’s worked great so far. I woke up at 2 Wednesday morning to make it to the terminal to catch the collectivo. Demiasado temprano! We, being Elder Stringham (going home! :( ), Elder Warner (My District Leader) and I, arrived at the terminal around 6:30ish. Stood around for a while waiting for everyone else to arrive. I finally saw some of the Elders from my MTC district - actually all of them except for my companion, Elder Burley. Elder Alexander was there to pick up his new companion; Elder Nielsen was heading out to Ciudad del Este to be with my trainer, Elder Beramendi. Elder Clyde was heading to Ca’aguazú to be with his trainer again, Elder Villegas. That’s kinda cool that E’ Clyde is heading out to my area. He’ll love it! :) And Elder Bills was there to pick up his new companion. So I know where all of them are at except for E’ Burley - I am assuming he is still in his same area unless he got a transfer after our first change. That was kinda cool! I ended up talking with Elder Esquivel for a while until our companions arrived, and then we headed out. Lucerito is about 20 minutes away from the terminal by taxi. Which direction, I’m not sure. It sure is different to be back in the city though. Everybody knows Spanish, and not too many people use Guarani. Al reves! But I am ready to serve here and do my best to help the people of Lucerito to come unto Christ. Woo hoo!

A ver... hoy jugamos futbol con el distrito. Tenemos los l’deres de Zona y 4 hermanas, entonces, hay 12 misioneros. 8 Élderes y 4 Hermanas. El entrenador de mi entrenador, Elder Guitarra, tambien es en nuestro distrito. Haupei (y después), fuimos a comprar comida y regresar a la casa. Ahorra, estoy escribiendo a ustedes. No hay muchas noticias para hoy, pero, vamos a ver en Lunes.

Well, I think I will end there. I’ll use the rest of my time sending photos home. Thank you so much for your love and support! My package was great! The ties were awesome! The American sugar tambien! :). I totally forgot that Monday was Memorial Day (of course nothing happened here!). I’ll probably forget about other holidays too. Not all, but USA specific ones yes… Maybe not the 4th of July breakfast of the Fillmore Ward though. ;). I love you all! Like you don’t even know! I remember so many people and the things they have done for me. I’m out of time! Mucho amor!

Elder David Watson