Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving thoughts

Hey Mom!
First sorry to tell you that there won`t be any pictures this week because the place we usually go to for the computers was closed, and this new place has very slow computers and I can`t connect my camera. I had a great week, in church we had 3 people come and it was also the Primary Program and it was fun seeing all the little kids singing and saying scriptures haha. It makes me remember the primary programs when I was a kid.
Our Thanksgiving wasn`t too exciting, I bought some food and I made mashed potatoes and chicken nuggets haha, I will send pictures next week of our food. I was thinking a lot about why I am thankful and I realized many things, of course my family and the desicion I made to serve a mission. I don`t know what I would be doing if I wasn`t here in the mission, possibly not active in the church to be honest.  I can not be grateful enough for my missionary calling and the things I have learned, I hope that these next few months I can progress even more.
To answer your questions, we all went to a city called Fernando de la Mora, it was actually one of my old areas, to listen to Elder Rasband. The ward I am in right now has about 75-100 people every week, there were more people this last week for the Primary Program.
We have been working with Mabel, we had a pre baptismal interview last week, I talked with her and her boyfriend, and she told me that she has been getting a lot better at not smoking. She had a experience this last week where she wanted to smoke but she began to read the scriptures and she said a prayer to give her strength, and she fell asleep.  I have been praying and fasting a lot this week so she can keep strong because this Saturday is her wedding and baptism and if she smokes this week we will have to pass it for another week.
To tell you the truth, it seems much more difficult to not smoke/drink here, because almost everyone does it. 
We are also working with a teenage girl named Araceli, she lives with her sister and brother in law and she doesn`t get too much attention from her family so she is basically alone watching her nieces all day.  We have been teaching her and she came to church this week and she seemed to enjoy it, the young women were talking to her too.
We found a big family on Monday, and they were all very interested, and accepted a baptismal date but they were unable to attend church because they had to visit their Mom who was sick. This next week I`m sure they will go.
We are getting ready for the Christmas season, I put up the little Christmas tree that I have and the lights, a few houses in the streets have lights too. A lot of people have the Nativity scenes. 
I got the card from Harry Potter World that you guys sent, and I think my Christmas package arrived this week, thanks for all that you guys send! Hope you have a great week and can`t wait to hear from you soon! Always keeping you in my prayers!

Elder Spiro

Monday, November 21, 2016

Visit with Elder Rasband

Hey Mom,
All good here in Paraguay, I will start out first with the visit from Elder Rasband. It was an experience that I`ll never forget. We got there early to sit and study a bit, and they told us that Elder Rasband would be arriving soon. We were combined with the other mission of Paraguay, there were a lot of missionaries packed together. When Elder Rasband entered into the room, I felt the same feeling of when Elder Bednar visited in the MTC, I felt a sense of peace and happiness. He talked to us about how we can improve, he thanked us for our service and he answered some questions. We had the opportunity to shake his hand and when I shook his hand, I said Hola and he told me Hello haha. 
When he bore his testimony of the Savior, my testimony was even more strengthened, I understand why the Apostles are special witnesses of Jesus Christ. It was an awesome experience and I hope I will always remember it. After when we got back to the house, I was really tired and had very little energy but as we left to teach, my energy came back and I was fine throughout the whole day.
David wasn`t able to be baptized because he will be entering into the military camp but I have never seen a person more changed than him.  He dropped his drug addiction, drinking, smoking, and is a completely different person. I hope to see the picture when he is baptized, maybe I will still be here, his military camp lasts 7-8 months but he has breaks where he returns home every 8-15 days.
We have been working a lot with Mabel, we found out that she has a smoking problem, so we will see if we can help her. She has gotten better but she had never told us before, so we weren`t able to know until this week and I think it's tougher to drop a habit when you are doing it alone.
Not much else, we found a less active family that has a teenage girl that isn`t baptized, we will be teaching her this week to see how interested she is. And we are working with the members and went with the first counselor to visit less active members this week.
We won`t be doing too much for Thanksgiving this week, I will make some mashed potatoes and I think we will try to find a chicken or something haha. Make sure to eat a lot for me, and send pictures!
Thanks for everything, good luck in the new ward, I`m sure you will be getting new callings too. Have a great week!!!!
Elder Spiro

p day activity

with David

the District

Mission meeting with Elder Rasband

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week of 11/14/16

Hey Mom!
Thanks for your pictures and email, I had a good week, its a blessing to have the sombrero, it helps a lot in the heat. I heard about our new president, I was at a members house when I heard in the other room that he was announced president of the U.S. The people keep asking me what is going to happen now with people from other countries, if they can enter into the U.S., but I don`t have any idea. 

I also recieved the packages you guys sent me, thanks so much for the food and the letters. I was able to get Allan his picture book and it was good to see him one last time before he leaves. He seems very happy and I know he will change and help many lives in Peru. I can`t believe he has made it to this moment when he leaves for his mission. When I was in Thompson he hadn`t even sent his papers in yet. He isn`t a convert of mine or someone I have re-activated but I am grateful that I was able to help him prepare for his mission, I have learned a lot from him as well.
We are working hard in our area, we were going to have a baptism this week in our area, a young man named David. He had addictions to drugs and he has changed his life around. The only problem is that he will be attending a military camp where they give him coffee to drink during the day, and its not something where he can say no, it's sad that something like a cup of coffee is keeping him from being baptized. We talked with him and he understood, he told us it makes sense, because he doesn`t want to be baptized and then not keep the commandments, it was a testimony builder for me to see a young man with so much temptation around him to want to follow Christ and turn his life around. We are praying for him and thinking of what we can do to help him.
We also are talking to Mabel, who is preparing for her wedding and baptism, we talked with her this week about the plan of salvation, and she had a few doubts about the resurrection. We are going to have a family home evening with them tonight and hopefully we can help her understand more, and feel the spirit.
Not much else new, we will be having a visit form an Apostle this week, Elder Rasband. It will be the 2nd time in my life when I have seen an Apostle in person, so I am very excited and it should help me with motivation to keep working hard and finding new people to teach. I feel the need more and more each day to share the restored gospel to the Paraguayan people, it has come from study of the Atonement and better understanding of the purpose of the gospel.
Thank you again for everything! Hope you have a great week and can`t wait to hear from you soon!
Elder Spiro

Looks like some of our packages from the last few months all came together!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Rocio's baptism and other successes

Hey Mom,
Thanks for all the stuff you sent this week, and I think tomorrow I will get the packages you guys sent me :) I think I will be able to get it to Allan someway so no worries about the book.
I`m glad that you guys enjoyed your Halloween and ate a bunch of candy haha, I had a great week, they didn`t celebrate Halloween here but we had a good week, it has been super warm here but I will buy my sombrero today so that should help a lot.
We had Rocio`s baptism and it went great! Not as many members came but everything turned out great and she is very happy and excited to be a member, she has some friends in the young women, so that helps. Her and her family who were less active members are coming to church every week, they are a very nice family and are happy to be attending church again, they ask us a lot of stuff about the temple and what they can do to prepare to enter.
The mom of the 2 little girls, Mabel told us after the baptism that she decided that she wants to get married so that she can get baptized! A lot of miracles are happening in this area, and I am thankful to help the Lord complete His work here in Kennedy. We planned with her and her boyfriend to have it December 2nd, right before we have transfers, she had a few doubts about getting married, but we talked to her a lot about the reasons the family is blessed when we keep the commandments and also when the families can be sealed in the temple.
We are also teaching another man that we found this week as we were walking down the street, he yelled something at us and then we went to talk to him, and he said he wanted to change his bad habits and his life. He has problems with drinking and smoking, but we talked a lot about repentance and faith, to help him understand the Atonement, he wasn`t able to attend church on Sunday, a member passed by to walk with him but he wasn`t home.
We are also teaching a lady who is in a wheelchair, her name is Edi and she has had a very tough life, her parents abandoned her and now she has to work to be able to live with a family that basically adopted her. When she attended church for the first time she told us she felt a peace that she has never felt before and it is unlike any other place she has been. We wheeled her wheelchair on Sunday to go to church and a member gave her a ride to her house after. She is a very nice lady, it will just be tough for her to attend church.
That's about it, we are working hard and finding more people to teach, hope you have a great week and can`t wait to hear from you soon! I am doing awesome and the time is passing by way too fast!!!!!
Elder Spiro

Divisions with a new elder from Mexico

Making lomitos

Preparing for the baptism

Rocio's baptism