Monday, August 31, 2015


Hola Mi Madre Amorosa,

Thanks for all the pictures you sent this week, I loved all of them, especially the ones of Theo dressed up in Camille's clothes haha and I have been enjoying the peanut butter you sent. I'm trying to find some American chocolate so I can make a chocolate peanut butter milkshake. I'm glad you guys are enjoying the start of school, the weeks have been flying by for me. I always feel like I need more time because we don't always have time to talk to everyone we want to. And unfortunately none of our investigators went to church on Sunday :( We are thinking about paying for a bus to pick them up because all they have is a motorcycle and they all want to go together, but the motorcycle can only take 2-3. But we are visiting them a lot and its kind of difficult because one of the men we are talking to only speaks Guarani, so we have to go with a member each time or else he doesn't understand. And to get to their house it is about a 20 min bus ride and an hour and a half walk. So, yesterday we walked about 3 hours to visit them, and he wasn't home, but we talked to everyone else and set up an appointment to visit them on Wednesday with a member who can speak Guarani.

Everything is good though, I didn't know the work was going to be this hard, but salvation is not easy. It wasn't easy for Jesus to suffer and die for us, so it won't be easy for us as well. But, I pray for help every day and for the gift of tongues, and I can see how I have been growing spiritually and mentally the last few months. I have really grown to appreciate the scriptures too, I hardly ever read the Book of Mormon before my mission and am now reading it every day, it is such a blessing, the Book of Mormon has a lot of power, and that's something I invite everyone to do, to read and to pray about the words of the prophets. I've seen how it has strenghtened families, we have had family home evenings and read chapters with families, it's awesome. That's homework for you Mom, to read the Book of Mormon with the rest of the family today for family home evening, and I'll check up on you guys next week. If you don't know where to start, I recommend 3 Nephi 11, when Christ visits the Americas or simply starting from 1 Nephi 1.

Anyway, I'm very grateful for you guys and all the letters I get each week, I love you all and I'm grateful for the opportunity that I have right now to serve a mission, it truly is a humbing experience to witness how the gospel can change lives, eternally. I can't wait to hear from everyone next week and I'm sorry if I couldn't respond to you, limited time :( Hope you all have a good week and I love you Mom! ¿Gracias por todo! ¡Te Amo!

Elder Spiro

One of the investigator's homes. They mostly teach them outside.

On the way to the waterfalls they saw last week with the district,

View from the elder's apartment

Monday, August 24, 2015

Waterfalls and improved church attendance

Thanks for all the updates and pictures this week, and I got the two packages you sent me! Thanks for sending all of the awesome stuff, the pillowcase helps a lot, I love all the letters you guys wrote, and the picture book. I always look at them when I'm missing you guys. And all the snacks too! I don't know when to use the peanut butter, because it is very scarce here and I want to ration it. I have looked in the stores and they do have American stuff, but the prices are all super high. Its ok though, I'm enjoying the food and learning how to cook better and make different things. I'm glad you guys had a good week, I'm sure its really warm down there, it has been nice and cloudy here, but there are some days where the sun is out and its really tough to walk all day, but its alright.

This week has been good for me, lately we have been having a tough time getting people to church and finding people with a desire to learn more and progress, and I have been praying a lot lately for my investigators, especially for them to attend church because we can't help them progress if they don't go.  But on Sunday, we were sitting in the second hour of Church, and suddenly two of our investigators walked in, they are the ones I was telling you about that we found by following the promptings of the spirit. It was so awesome, and also one of the members brought a cousin of theirs to church too, we talked to her and her parents are members but inactive and she has other brothers and sisters who aren't members as well, so my goal is to re-activate their family and baptize the kids. I am super grateful that I've been given this opportunity to help their family and I testify that prayer works when we persevere and continue doing the things we need to, everything will work out.

P-day hike with the district to some waterfalls

The waterfalls we went to were really cool, we went as a district for an activity, and walked around and took a lot of pictures and stuff. I'm enjoying the mission a lot, and the experience of being somewhere new for the first time, I feel like I have matured and grown spiritually, and there is still more experiences to come! For that, I am grateful to have this opportunity to serve the Lord and for the support of my family, I love you guys and I can't wait to hear from you next week. I keep you in my prayers every night and day and if any of you needs anything from me, I'll help in any way I can.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week of 8/17/15

I'm glad your trip to Utah was great, I loved all the pictures and congrats to your team for winning the tourney! Haha, anyway Paraguay has been great, the weather lately has been awesome, really cloudy with a nice wind. We have been working hard, and in the farther parts of our area. I found out the other day that we have the biggest area in all of the mission. Its just difficult for people to get to church, because the buses aren't running on Sundays and a lot of people don't have cars or motorcycles. But we have talked to a lot of new people and many have accepted a baptism date. 

I had a really cool experience the other day, we were walking to a little town called Guazu Kua about 3 hours away, but we didn't know that at the time, when we got dropped off at the entrance we talked to the first house and the people told us it was only an hour walking, but its actually an hour in a bus and 3 hours walking! So, we started walking and we saw this family that was all sitting outside and a bus started driving up for the city, so we had to make a decision to either take the bus or talk to the family. My companion said he felt we should talk to the family so we did, and the bus passed. It turns out though that the family wanted nothing to do with us and just said "Otro dia!" (Another day!) a bunch of times. So we just kept walking and talked to a few more people, then it was lunchtime and we had nothing to eat yet so we stopped in a little city called Chircal, after about an hour of walking. Another bus started driving up and my companion told me to make the decision to stay or go, so I sat there for a little and listened for something, and I just had this feeling we should stay and wait, so we did and the bus passed. We then walked up to the first house we saw and talked to a family, and they accepted a baptism date! It was really cool, and then after, we were walking and these people suddenly called to us from their house and were waving, so we went and talked and it turns out they had received lessons from the missionaries before but they hadn't come back, and they all wanted to be baptized too! We talked to a mom, her daughter, and her mom, and none of them are married but are living with their boyfriends, and they want to get married before they are baptized. That means we could possibly be planning three weddings for one day! It's all part of the work though, and I know that had I not listened to the spirit, we wouldn't have found those people, so I am very grateful.

The rest of the week was great, we had some awesome meals with members and I'm loving the food here, lots of meats and fresh veggies and potatoes. I'll have to cook you guys a native dish when I get back, I'm actually cooking stuff now too, I've learned a lot in these past few weeks.

Anyways, thanks for writing me again mom and for all the awesome pictures! I hope you all have a great week and I'll keep you all in my prayers, and if you could pray for my investigators to go to church too, I would appreciate it :) I'm glad people are enjoying the updates, its hard to remember all that has happened during the week. Can't wait to hear from you next week!
Baptism of a girl in the elder's ward

Cutting her cake after the baptism

Monday, August 10, 2015


Hello Madre,

Hope all is well in Arizona, it has been super hot here recently, and all the members and people have told me this is only winter, and the summer is much worse, so I might need a couple more short sleeved dress shirts in the next few months. Everything is good though, this week we worked a lot in the farther parts of our area, so we have talked to a bunch of new people. Which is great because hardly anyone we talked to has heard of the missionaries before, and about our church, we just need to find a way for them to get to church because it is about 5-6 hours walking from the church and there is no buses in the mornings on Sunday. I have faith though, that we can find a way, and when they begin to gain a testimony, they will have that desire to go to church as well.
Helping some members burn their trash

They week was pretty normal, we had some meals with some members, they always make really good meat and usually with rice and salad too. But they mix in veggies with the rice and good sauces too, it is always super good. We have been trying to work with a lot of less active members because there is a lot in our area. About 500 members, and only 60-70 are active. But church attendance has been getting a lot better, we have had 75-85 in our last few weeks, and my goal is to have 100 people one week. 

The lessons have been good, my Spanish is improving quickly and I learned some phrases to say in Guarani during the lessons too, they always laugh when an American tries to speak Guarani haha. I am understanding more as well, every week gets a little easier and easier in the language. By the time I talk to you guys during Christmas, it will be difficult to speak in English :) My companion is always helpful too, he is helping me lately to learn the area better so when he leaves I will know where to go with my new companion.

I hope the heat isn't too bad in Arizona, and you guys are having fun in school and watching Will, I loved all the pictures you sent and the video you sent of Will too. I love you and can't wait to hear from you all soon, and have fun at the Shakespeare festival and say hi to the family for me!

Love you bunches,
Elder Spiro

P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you!!!!!!

Monday, August 3, 2015

More baptisms and friendships

Buenos Dias Mama,

I am doing well, this week has been very busy but very rewarding, as you can tell from the pictures, we had another baptism this week! It was really awesome, we were all standing in the doorway of the font, and Floria (the girl with the glasses in the picture) was shivering and was super nervous, but then she suddenly calmed down and said she had this great feeling and peace, it was the spirit, and I could definitely feel it too. And after, we had a talk about the Holy Ghost and one of the other daughters of the mom that was baptized talked, she is not a member and isn't getting baptized, but she gave a great talk and it was really cool. We are going to visit her though soon because she seems to be very interested in the church. Anyways, we have been working hard this week and it has payed off, I am very grateful to be serving and helping people come unto Christ, I have seen the changes in the lives of my converts already, and I am eternally grateful to be a part of it.

Treats after the baptism

In other news, my companion got called as the district leader of our... well, district. So, that means whenever there is a baptismal interview in our district, he will have to go to their area. So, I will be having a lot of exchanges with other missionaries in the near future, I already had 2 this week. I am getting to know the area a lot better though and my Spanish has gotten better. It is just difficult to understand though, I am going to buy a dictionary in Guarani, that should help a little.

Everything else has been good, we have had some meals with members and every week we have lunch with the President of the branch. There is not many active members here so they only have a branch, but in other areas there are wards and bishops. We have been working hard with the less active members though, because here in Paraguari, there are about 500 members, but only 50 - 60 that are active. This past week at church, we had 86 people, which is the most since I have been here. It is important especially for our new converts to have callings, because that is when they can find their purpose in helping the branch grow and become better.
Dinner with the family that was baptized

I decided to share a spiritual thought at the end of this update, I probably will more often. Anyways, I was studying in chapter 18 (19?) of Genesis, about the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, and how God commanded Lot and his family to leave because he was going to destroy it because of the wickedness, and he told them "to not look back". Lot's wife looked back and was turned into a "pillar of salt". I was thinking about this and it seemed a little harsh for just looking back, but I realized that God wanted them to look forward and not think about leaving their possessions and worldly things behind, which is the same for us, we need to focus on our future, and not dwell in the past and our mistakes, but focus on how we can become better and improve ourselves every day.

Anyways, thanks mom for all the updates about the family and can't wait to hear from you next week.

Love you and pray for you guys always,
Elder Spiro

P.S. Sorry to those whom I couldn't respond, I didn't have much time this week!