Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Easter and a miracle wedding

Hola mi Mama y otros que están leyendo! This week was a great one, but very stressful at the same time, but I will explain what happened. Luckily, it has cooled off here a bit and the time has changed to an hour earlier so I think we are 3 hours ahead of AZ now. We had a good end of the week, with the wedding and baptism, and we also had an investigator come to church! It wasn`t Celzo, but he did attend the wedding and he said he enjoyed the church. 

So what happened on Saturday is that we went in the morning to fill up the baptismal font and that went fine, we cleaned it and it was all ready for the baptism that night. Then we left to go and teach for a few hours before we had to come back and set up everything else. So we arrived about 2 hours before everything started and it was awesome, all the decorations were set up and it looked great, the baptismal font was all ready, we just had to wait for everyone to show up. So the judge shows up and the Aguayo family and basically about all the members of the branch too. We handed the copies of the IDs to the judge and about 5 min later she calls us over to tell us that they can`t get married, because there is some rule that nobody knew about that you have to wait 10 months after you are divorced to get re-married, and Brother Aguayo (Mario) had only waited 8 months. So she started getting ready to leave and we were freaking out, there was about 80 people there, a ton of food, family members that had come in from other parts, all the decorations, and it would have been all for nothing.

So while we were thinking of what we could do a member of the branch called a judge that is her friend and asked him about the rule and that if he could marry them. He said that he could and that the rule only applied in situations where the couple that was divorced was still living together and they weren`t, so she came running out to tell us that another judge was coming and I felt so relieved and thankful. So we put on the movie Meet the Mormons while we waited and the judge showed up abot 30 min later, the got married and baptized! And the next day they were confirmed members, after 3 years of waiting!

I learned a lot that night about not losing faith, I think I said about 1000 prayers and my companion did too. A lot about patience and not losing hope when we think the worst is happening and there is no way out. I know that these are things I could only have learned on the mission, and I am very grateful for the blessings I have received so far. We have transfers again tomorrow, so we`ll see if I leave my area again or if the Lord needs me to stay a little bit longer. I just know I need to not be mad at what happens but to obey with happiness and willingness.

To answer some of your questions, there are usually about 80-100 people that attend church on Sunday in our branch, and we didn`t really do much for Easter. We went and showed the video that the church released, but the Paraguayans don`t celebrate with the eggs or bunnies or candy like we do, they have a week here called the semana santa (holy week) its a catholic holiday, and they make a lot of traditional food and eat it as a family. 

Thanks for the emails and stuff you sent me in the mail, I hope you have a good week and can`t wait to hear rom you soon! Oh yeah, did you find the picture of grandpa when he was on his mission? Thanks!

Elder Spiro

FHE and brownies!

The wedding that almost didn't happen!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week of 3/21/16

Que tal su semana? I bet it was awesome because you went to Disneyland! Thanks for all the pictures you sent, and I got the birthday package too! Thanks for all the food and stuff, I`m using the waist bag right now, and the foot insoles will help a ton! And we are eating the snacks super quickly haha.

We had a good week this week, it was very warm though, the heat came back. We walked a lot and not many people wanted to talk, but despite that, we had 5 investigators attend church! We had talked to Celzo on Saturday, and had an awesome lesson with him, he told us he has received his answer after praying and studying, and knows the church is true, but his only fear is that he doesn`t know if his mom will give him permission to be baptized. And he wasn`t able to come to church because she didn`t give him permission to come, but we are going to try and talk to his mom this week, to explain to her what we have been teaching and that it is Celzo`s decision to attend church/ be baptized, and that we aren`t obligating him to do anything. 

We are also working with the Aguayo family who have their baptsim and wedding this Saturday, we went over the baptismal questions with them yesterday, and they shared their testimonies and we can see they are very prepared. I can definately see Brother Aguayo as a bishop soon after his baptsim and recieving the priesthood. We are very excited for them and finally the moment has come, after 3 years of waiting/ investigating the church!

Anyways, hope you guys have a good week going back to school and work, and I`m sad that the Utes lost, but they had a good season from the looks of it. The conference we had with the 70 was awesome, I learned a lot from him and he was very humble and taking pictures with all the missionaries haha. Can`t wait to hear from you soon and have a good week!

Elder Spiro

Alex and a member of the Quorum of the 70

Elder Spiro and President Wilson

A frog (and a couple spider friends) in the elder's bathroom :0

Alex and a ton of mini coconuts

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week of 3/14/16

Gracias para su carta, siempre disfruto leyendo como están ustedes. Estoy muy bien y feliz! It was probably the most uncelebrated birthday I`ve had but for sure one of the best. I didn`t get the bday packaqge yet, but hoping tomorrow I will get it because we will be in the office of the mission for a conference, a member of the 70 is coming to talk to us. Luckily, it has been cooling down a bit here in Paraguay, so its not too bad walking around all day. We only had 1 investigator come to church this week but we had a stake conference that was really good. We heard from President Wilson and his wife, which was pretty cool.

The baptism and wedding we had is being postponed becasue they had someone pass away in their family, so we are going to give them some time with their family. We talked with them last night and we rescheduled for the 26th of March. We also met a really cool investigator this week named Selzo. He is only 15 but is really smart and has a ton of interesting questions. We passed by his house the first time and gave him a pamphlet to read about the Restoration. And the next visit he brought out a notebook with a bunch of questions haha. There were questions about the golden plates, and the apostasy, and if we have a prophet and apostles today, and we are going to visit him tomorrow, because we gave him a Book of Mormon and marked a part for him to read.

Not much else, we have been working hard, and my companion and I get along well, so all is good. Hope you are doing well too and hope you guys have fun in California this week, and make sure to send lots of pictures! Thanks in advance again for my birthday package and can`t wait to hear from you soon! And Go Utes!

Elder Spiro

View from the roof of the elder's apartment

Birthday lasagna

Lifting with Elder Sherwood

Stake Conference in San Lorenzo

Monday, March 7, 2016

Feliz cumpleaños!! 20 años!

First I want to say thanks to everyone who has sent me an email wishing me happy birthday! Sorry that I won`t be able to respond to all of you but thanks! It means a lot and I may be far away from home, but I am very grateful and love you all!

Hola Mama!

Thanks for everything you sent! I haven`t gotten my bday package yet because some Elder in the office messed something up with the mail this week, or that's what I`ve been told. But its okay, another week won`t kill me to wait. I`m glad you guys finally got my letters and I hope that was alright for a Christmas gift, really lame and 3 months late, but I`ll send them 3 months in advance for the next Christmas! 

It feels really weird to be 20, and it hasn`t really hit me yet, being here on the mission, I kind of forgot it was my birthday until last week when it was Camille`s bday. Luckily my birthday falls on a Pday so we can relax a little but we are also having a family home evening tonight with the family we are planning the wedding and baptism for. They are going to make lasagna, I`ve only eaten it once here in Paraguay, and I`ve been craving it for a long time! Yesterday, we had lunch with a family after church and they made me a bday cake too! It was awesome, I just wish I would have brought my camera to take some pictures. 

I can`t express how grateful I am and how much has changed in this year from 19 to 20, I feel like I literally am becoming more of an adult and I learn a lot everyday. The mission is an experience, and there really is no way exactly to describe it. I am extremely grateful that I made the decision to serve a mission and I know that this is where I need to be at this time in my life.

This week was great, besides cleaning the temple we had 4 investigators attend church! They are progressing and 2 of them are investigators we have found recently too. Thanks for everything again, and I`m sure I`ll be saying it more after I get my bday package. I hope you have a great week and I can`t wait to hear from you soon! Let me know if I can do anything for you! 

Te Amo Mama!!!!
Elder Spiro

Pictures from cleaning the temple last Monday