Monday, November 30, 2015

A baptism and a some cleaning

Hello Mama,

There won`t be any exclamation marks for this email, because the keyboard I`m using is really bad, but I`m doing great and happy and healthy. It was the last week for this transfer and we had a baptism! (I found the button for the exclamation mark) And it went super well! There was a lot of people that showed up and we all felt the spirit there, and the next day I did the confirmation. When we walked up in sacrament meeting, the bishop asked me to do it, but because he had told us he was going to do it before I was a little nervous.  I remembered the words in Spanish and it all went well. 

I`m glad you guys enjoyed your Thanksgiving, thanks for all the pictures. I didn`t really do anything, because my companion is Latino but today we were able to clean the temple and I sat for a while in one of the rooms and thought about what I`m thankful for and about the mission and all, it was really cool, and I got to clean the baptismal font. Tomorrow we find out the changes for this next transfer and hopefully I won`t be taken out of the area again haha :) 

We are planning on having another baptism this week or the next for a boy named Elias, he is 9 years old but SUPER smart. He knew the word "restoration" when we taught him and nobody that I have taught in Paraguay so far knows that word, he was basically teaching us when we taught him The Plan of Salvation. Everything is good here, I learned that if I do everything possible that I can do and learn through the trials and struggles, the Lord will help us find the people that are prepared to recieve our message and will help us have success.

Thanks again for everything Mom, I got both of the packages you sent and I`ll make sure to follow the instructions for the Christmas one, and my plaque looks super awesome! I`ll try to take a picture for you guys for our Christmas photo, the weather hasn`t actually been super bad lately, its hot one day and rainy the next, but we still haven`t reached the middle of the summer yet. :( Hope you have a good week and I have a lot of pictures for this week but this computer is really bad and I don`t know if I`ll be able to send them but I`ll try! Can`t wait to hear from you soon and have an awesome week!

Te Amo Muchisimo!
Elder Spiro

Elder Spiro's zone

Guido's baptism

In front of the Asuncion temple

Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy and needing chicken recipes!

Hola Mama!

Estoy muy feliz y contento, espero que ustedes tambien :) Anyways, all has been good this week, not the most productive because not many people wanted to talk to us but it's okay, we are spreading the word around and planting the seed of the gospel in houses. We didn`t have a baptism this week but on Saturday we are planning on having one, the last weekend for this transfer! We are also planning a video for this upcoming Sunday and inviting everyone we can. We are going to be watching Meet the Mormons, and hoping to have a lot of new investigators and less active members and everybody come to watch! The ward leaders are very helpful in this area, because a lot of them are returned missionaries so they know how to work with the ward and help us missionaries too.

Thanks for all of your updates, and make sure to take pictures for Thanksgiving, I`m not sure what I will be doing, probably nothing because they don`t celebrate it here and my companion is Latino, so he doesn`t celebrate it either. I have been searching for turkey too, but I can`t find any. For Christmas, I think what I have to do is plan 1 hour during the week of Christmas when I will Skype you guys, the internet cafe they have here has a webcam, hopefully it works haha :)
Thanks for all the stuff you have sent though, I still haven`t gotten the package for Halloween but I`m sure it will be here soon!

Sorry that my letter is so short this week, this keyboard is tough to type on, and thanks for all the advice about what I`m going through with the work not progressing much. I have been thinking a lot this past week about it, and I realize I need to be more grateful of what I have, I`m here in Paraguay serving the Lord, I have an awesome family, my health, I`m learning a 2nd language very fast and able to teach in it, and every day I learn more and more how the Lord works in his timetable and will never abandon us and all of our trials are for our benefit, because when we are in our comfort zone all the time, we never will learn anything.

Thanks again Mom for all the updates and pictures and I just need one thing from you, if you could send me some easy recipes to cook chicken, pasta, rice, and easy stuff like that, that would help a lot because I want to start learning to be able to cook more types of food. Let me know if I can help with anything either and I love you and keep you all in my prayers and hope you have a great week, and say hi to everyone for me!!!

Love you Mama!!!!!!!
Elder Spiro
At a district activity

Splits with the zone leader

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week of 11/16/15

Gracias por all of the letters and pictures you have sent this week! Everything has been good here in Paraguay, not much new, just trying to find some people to teach and helping them progress. This area is very different from my other two areas, it is a lot more difficult to find people because mostly everyone is wealthier and they don't want to listen or they are working all day. And it has been super warm here lately so walking around in the city with all the concrete is not very fun. But it's all good, we might have a baptism this week, I´m not going to say yes for sure because I don´t want to jinx it but we are planning for it whether it happens or not. The problem is our investigator needs to have a interview with the Mission President because he had some stuff in the past that he did, but if he has repented and truly wants to change his life, we have faith that he will pass the interview!

The zone conference went well too, we went to the office and had the conference, it was really cool to hear from the Mission President and see what his vision for the mission is. He talked a lot about how important it is to have converts and not just baptisms, which is true because the people we teach are souls not numbers. There are a lot of new rules though, and it is difficult enough to even have a lesson!  We can´t have lessons with women if there isn´t a male that is 18 years or older present. And a lot of the time the fathers are working during the day and only the women are home, so we always need someone to go and teach with us that is 18 or older. The ward doesn´t always want to help, but it's okay, we are searching and having faith that we can find families to teach.

All has been good eating, the members always want to feed us and the food is generally good haha. The weirdest thing I have eaten on the mission so far is cow hoof soup. It's not as bad as it sounds, but it's not the greatest thing either. :) But I am grateful for anyone that is willing to feed us missionaries, because everyone knows that we don´t just eat one serving haha. We are trying to work with the leaders of the ward more, and planning a lot with our ward mission leader, we are going to have the movie night with the ward the 28th of November, we are going to watch Meet the Mormons and ask all the members to invite their friends.

I´m glad to hear that everything is good up there in AZ, I hope you guys are enjoying the cooler weather, I still can't get used to the fact that we will have a Summer Christmas here in Paraguay. Santa with shorts, just doesn´t sound right! I´ll try to send some more pictures this next week of me and our area, and hopefully the package you sent comes soon too, I´m sure it will be here any day now. Thanks again for everything Mom and let me know if you need anything and I can´t wait to hear from you next week!!!!

Te Amo Mama!! Tu Hijo,
Elder Spiro

I think Elder Spiro is missing his cats from home ;)

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week of Nov. 9, 2015

Hola Mama! 

Espero que todo esta bien con tu! I am doing awesome! Good job writing in Spanish, I have to admit it is hard to write in English, because my thoughts are in Spanish and I start to think in Spanish as I type so I always have a bunch of mistakes I need to fix at the end haha :) Things are great here, we are working hard and a lot with the members, every Sunday we have about 100 people attending church, which is among the most highest of wards in Paraguay. It's for sure something to get used to when our wards in Arizona have always been so big. I have been seeing the Mission President more often lately, because we are close to the office, and tomorrow we have a zone conference in the office, so a bunch of missionaries will be there. 

It looks like you guys have been having busy weeks, and I´m glad to hear you all went to stake conference. Did Elder Oaks speak in person at the stake center, because if so that is awesome! We have been working a lot with the youth members of the ward, trying to reactivate a lot of teenagers to prepare to serve missions. The direction of the church is really good for a lot of the youth here because there isn´t a lot of adult support or supervision here in Paraguay and the kids only have 3 hours of school every day, so they have a lot of free time, we are making sure they are staying on the right path.

This week we are also having an activity in the church to watch Meet the Mormons, we had the same activity in my other area, Libertad and it went really well. Its great for new people and investigators to know a little more about the Mormon religion and to see we are people, just like everyone else. There is a part at the end about a missionary who leaves for his mission and it talks about the experience his Mom had growing up and all the trials she had to go through, it makes me tear up a little every time to be honest.

Anyways, sorry for the boring letter, not much new here just learning and trying to do my best by helping all others come unto Christ. Thanks for all your updates and pictures Mom, hope you have a great week watching Will and with the rest of the family too! I keep all of you in my prayers and thank you for your examples, I always think of you guys to help me motivate myself throughout the day.

Te Amo Mucho Mama!
Elder Spiro

Monday, November 2, 2015

Soccer Mania

Hola Mama,

Todo bien aquí en Paraguay, I am working hard and trying to get to know everybody here in my new area. There are a lot of members and a bunch of returned missionaries here. Except everyone is busy so we don´t have much time to work with them, only on Saturdays and Sundays. Everything is great, we worked hard this week but unfortunately didn´t see any of the fruits of our labors, none of our investigators came to church, but we are working with a guy named Guido, who has attended church and only needs a interview with the Mission President to be baptized. When people need an interview with the Mission President that means they have something serious they need to repent of, so we have been talking a lot with him these last few weeks about the repentance process and he told us yesterday he is ready to confess and repent and he wants to be interviewed! So we are planning on this week for everything. 

Thanks for your advice about the new area, its tough but I know Heavenly Father wants me here for a reason, or there is something I need to learn. But everything is great, the days are flying by fast, my Spanish is getting much better, and I have learned a bunch of phrases in Guarani too :)

To answer your question, they really don´t celebrate Halloween here, they had stuff in stores they are selling like decorations and some costumes, but I only saw 2 kids dressed up and trick or treating, and we didn´t have any trick or treaters at our door, so I don´t think its a very big holiday here yet. The huge events are the soccer games. Every year they have a big game between the 2 biggest soccer teams here in Paraguay, Cerro and Olympia. They played this Sunday, and ALL of Paraguay was watching, except the missionaries, we were out working. These soccer games are basically holidays for them. The people all go crazy when there are goals and there are super loud fireworks and people are chanting in the streets. Its not dangerous, so don´t worry Mom :)

Anyways, thats my update for the week, I still haven´t recieved the package you sent but I´m sure it will be here soon. Thanks though for everything, all the letters and pictures, its always one of my favorite parts of the week to hear from you and the rest of the family. Something I was studying this week was when Jesus came and visited the Americas after he was resurrected, and its interesting how he teaches basically the same things like he did in his ministry, but he adds more and explains more simply to the people of the American continent. Its chapters 3 Nephi 11 through 26 or so I believe. I realized how important it is for our investigators to read and pray though, because the spirit will be able to testify to them if they keep their commitments of reading and praying, and only through the spirit we can become converted.

Thanks again for everything Mom, and let me know if I can help with anything, I can´t wait to hear from you next week and I´ll keep you and the family in my prayers like I always do!

Love you!
Elder Spiro

Elder Spiro is thrilled to get this jersey made for $10.00