Monday, April 3, 2017
Editor's note: In downtown Asuncion a few nights ago there were some violent protests because of a decision their senate had made recently. This decision was not received well by the constituents. As a mother of a son possibly living in that area and seeing the fires, destruction and even a death resulting in the protests and riots, I can tell you we were pretty nervous, wondering if Alex was in the same area. Here is the letter we received today. -Chris
So ya, the riots and stuff happened to be in our area, but I was on divisions with another missionary so no worries, but nothing happened to the other missionaries either, we were just told to stay inside our houses and unfortunately we were unable to watch the Priesthood Session of conference because it would have been too late to get back at night. I really enjoyed conference anyways, I listened in Spanish but I still got a lot out of the talks, I really liked a lot of the 70`s talks, their insights are very interesting, hope you all are good, sorry to say that their won`t be any pictures this week because i forgot to bring my camera :( but next week for sure!
Our investigators are doing well, we weren`t able to visit them for a couple of days because of the problems, but Miguel was able to come to church, and he said one of the talks really touched him. We have been working hard and finding many new people, I may not be here when they get baptized but I know I could at least plant the gospel seed in their lives.
My last interview with President Wilson went great, he asked me about some of my spiritual experiences in my mission and the hard moments too, but the lessons I have learned from those tough moments was the most important. He asked me about what my plans were after the mission and I talked about studying and going to college, and he talked to me a lot about getting married. He said the most important thing I should focus on is being sealed in the temple, and that the other things are important too, but I should have the Lord`s will before the wordly things. He told me something important, that no good job or studies can get me an eternal family, so I seem to have a lot of thinking to do.... haha
But anyways, this week should be interesting, and I have been told the Aguayo family from my previous area is planning on going to the temple to be sealed, so I will have pictures of that if we can organize things well :) Hope you have a great week, thanks for everything!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by Chris at 2:04 PM
Monday, March 27, 2017
Woo! Ya, I had a great week, we are seeing the progress in our area which is super awesome. 3 investigators came to church, the branch president helped us in bringing Mirna and Alex, they are super awesome, very nice and the members were very friendly to them as well. It's tough to not be able to help someone who has cancer, there is only so much that we can do, but I try my best by sharing the Gospel and helping their family understand about the blessings that they can receive.
Another investigator named Jose Maidana came, he is the son in a family who are now coming to church again. They are sealed in the temple but have not attended church in years but they are returning and can see the blessings in their lives. Sister Maidana was crying in church during a talk that seemed to impact her a lot. I was grateful to see the fruits of our labors this week.
I also had a very special experience this week. I had a baptismal interview for an investigator of another companionship in the district to see if they were prepared to be baptized. Her name was Cynthia. She told me that she felt that she was prepared but that she wanted to wait a little longer for her baptism. I began to ask all the interview questions and she had no doubts about the doctrine or anything, so we talked about her family and her life, and she expressed that she had a lot of problems in her family. As I listened, I prayed in my heart that I could say what she needed, and that the Spirit could guide me. I don't remember everything that I said, but I know it came from the Spirit, and I felt guided as I promised her blessings. After, she sat there thinking and I asked if she would be baptized. She smiled and said: "I will be baptized !" I could only sit there and thank my Heavenly Father, I know that the Spirit is the real teacher, as missionaries we aren't sent to convince people, but to create an environment where the Spirit can testify of the message of the Gospel.
Today I will have my final interview with President Wilson, so I'll let you know how it goes next week, but everything is going great. I`m working hard and I can feel the Lord guiding us here in Centro, hope you have a great week, can't wait to hear from you soon!!!
|Elder Spiro and his district|
|A service project|
Posted by Chris at 9:25 AM
Monday, March 20, 2017
All is well here, ya I had to give a talk. It is pretty normal to give talks now, and with being in a small branch, any we could be asked. For example, the branch president asked me in School to give the talk because the person assigned didn`t show up so I decided to talk about obedience, and I think it went well. We only had 22 people , but the man we met the other week that was on the bus came to church too! His name is Miguel, and I was super happy that he came, he made an effort too because the bus he took dropped him off really far from the church but he walked anyway. We also encountered a mom and her son , the mom (Mirna), very sadly has cancer but she asked a lot of questions about our church and wants to attend with her son (Alex). She is going through chemo right now and I know it is really painful for her.
It was a good week in all, an active family moved to a different ward which is kind of sad, but we are working with what we have, and I know the Lord will provide miracles for us as we are faithful.
Being a district leader is rewarding. To see other missionaries have success when they were struggling in previous weeks, and being able to help the district meet the goals of our mission president. It motivates me to give the example, because I can't teach anything if I'm not doing it either. I know that President Wilson gives us these assignments to help us progress, and it has helped me a lot in these past weeks.
Sorry for the short update, but hope all well at home and I will keep all of the family in my prayers, can't wait to hear from you soon!
|Saying goodbye to elder Morales|
|Helping a family move|
|On top of a building in town|
Posted by Chris at 8:14 AM
Monday, March 13, 2017
Thanks for the birthday wishes, everything went well. I didn`t even remember that it was my birthday until about midday and we were going to buy something special like pizza for dinner, but it was really expensive so we decided to make hot dogs. But it was cool, I made the cake instead of cupcakes because we didn`t have a pan to make the cupcakes :) But it turned out good, and after everyone in the zone sang me happy birthday, I didn`t enjoy being sung to but I was grateful haha.
Ya, there is only 1 district leader for each district, we have 3 wards/branches in our district, so I have to make sure that they are all working hard and help with baptismal interviews and stuff like that. My area, Centro, has a ton of shops, and there aren`t many houses, so we spend most of our time looking for new investigators. Something cool happened this week, we were going to another area to have a division, and as we were heading back, a man stepped off a bus and said hi to us, and he said that his mom and other members of his family are members of the church. I asked him where he lived and it happened to be in our area! We visited him that same day and he accepted a baptismal date. It's crazy how the Lord puts people in our paths to teach, we just need to work hard and do our part, and he guides us to find the people ready to receive the gospel.
Not much else, just trying to do my best and learning more and more each day. We had a branch conference this week and I really enjoyed the talk from the Stake President. Something cool is that he was the missionary who found and baptized our mission president, President Wilson and now they are both working together here in Paraguay. He talked a lot about time and how we need to prepare now, and how we can`t make anyone change but we need to look at our own progress before we judge others.
Have a great week and can`t wait to hear from you soon!!!!!!
|Birthday hot dogs :)|
Posted by Chris at 9:59 AM
Monday, March 6, 2017
I am doing well, and it's weird to think that I will be 21, I think this has been the quickest year of my life and it's because I don't really find myself thinking about how old I am or what I'll be doing next year, just focusing on the task at hand.
My new area Centro is a LOT different than the rest of my areas in my mission. It is basically in the city, there are very few houses, and most of the members life in a part of the area called the Chacaritas, which is very dangerous and we can`t enter in to that part of our area without a member. The branch is very small, we had 29 people comeand most of them are from different areas. They just have callings here to help out the branch. Despite the challenges I love the area, the branch president and members are willing to help and I know we will find success. We found a less active family this week that haven't been active for 10 years, the parents and 4 of the kids are members and the youngest kid isn't a member yet. We have been teaching him and part of the family came . I also met the member that Uncle Scott had helped serve a mission when he was younger too, that was a cool experience.
Being a district leader basically is just helping the district out in any way possible. We have weekly district meetings that I have to plan and conduct, and during the week I have to call the members of the district to get their numbers and see if they need anything in the area. It's a little stressful on Sundays because the numbers take a while to finish and then I have to pass those numbers to the zone leaders, but I enjoy it. It's nice being able to help out in any way possible to do what the Lord has asked us to do as missionaries.
My companion is named Elder Orellana, he is from Chile and he has about 5 months in the mission. He is cool, a very chill guy and a great companion.
I am happy because the Aguayo family that I baptized has been preparing to go to the temple in March to be sealed. For the past few months the area said that we couldn't go with converts to the temple, but today we got an announcement that we can! I will be calling the office to make sure that I can go, it will be a very spiritual experience.
Not much else new, all is well and I opened the birthday package a bit early because I wouldn't be able to take it in transfers, so thanks so much for all the stuff you sent. I will be making the cupcakes for the district meeting, because it's the 7th. Have a great week! Can`t wait to hear from you soon!!!
|Saying goodbye to all the families in Kennedy and Elder Kjar :(|
|Elder Spiro looks like a giant compared to these folks!|
|His new companion, Elder Orellana from Chile|
Posted by Chris at 10:31 AM
Monday, February 27, 2017
So the news came in, and my last area will be in the city, an area called Centro. And I will be the district leader. I feel a bit nervous to be the district leader, but I know that the Lord will help me. I feel a bit sad to be leaving Kennedy, I have worked hard here and I wanted to see the baptism and wedding for the Mendoza family, and Antonio´s baptism, but I know that Elder Kjar and his new companion will do well in taking care of the area.
I got the package that you guys sent! We had the conference with Elder Bragg of the 70, and that was awesome. I felt the spirit very strong and I am ready to work hard in my last transfer. It was funny bringing the package back on the bus from Asuncion, the people kept looking at the virgin Mary stickers that you guys had put all over the box haha.
We finished Elder Kjar´s training and he is very ready to be a normal missionary haha. I know that he will be a great leader in the mission, he is very obedient and will be a great example for other missionaries.
I don´t know what else to say, I feel very nervous, and today will be busy with packing my luggage and saying goodbye to all the members and investigators. Sorry to not write much, next week's email will be longer!!!!
|The last English class for Elder Spiro in Kennedy|
|He got his Birthday package!|
|The neighbor's dog seems very receptive to the teachings|
|A service project|
|Both elders obviously glad to be done with training|
Posted by Chris at 8:51 AM
Monday, February 20, 2017
All is well, we had a good week. We have been talking with the Mendoza family and she said thatshe will have off, and she is looking to be able to have every off and possibly another job where she doesn`t have to work . We have been praying a lot for their family, they know a lot of members and also Dario (brother Mendoza) always goes to the church on Thursdays to play soccer.
That is something very common in Paraguay, grown men playing lots of soccer/volleyball in the streets. They also have a sport where you only use your head, feet, and chest to get the ball over the net. Its called piki.
We are also teaching a man named Antonio that is 32, he has been studying with the Jehovah`s witnesses too, and we had a lesson the other day where we taught him about the Plan of Salvation. He said he really enjoyed how we taught and that it was much different than the Jehovah`s witnesses. He accepted a baptismal date but wasn`t able to come to church, we don`t know why yet.
Other than that, all is pretty normal, we will have a conference this week with a member of the 70, so that should be fun. And Elder Kjar`s Spanish is coming along great. Many members comment how much he has improved. I know the Lord blesses us with the gift of tongues as we study diligently to obtain it. We also went to the temple to clean it this last week, that was really enjoyable too. When we are outside, we can hear the noise of the streets and cars, but when we enter, it's complete silence.
Other than that, not much else new, hope you are all doing well,will be the last transfer for my mission, so we will see if I stay in the area or go to a new place. Can`t wait to hear from you soon!
|Cleaning the temple|
|11 weeks with Elder Kjar|
Posted by Chris at 8:04 AM
Monday, February 13, 2017
Thanks for the emails as always, and the pictures as well it's crazy to see how much Will has grown and Theo has gotten fatter haha. I am doing well, the sad news is that Nancy Mendoza got a job to pay for some of the house bills and she has to work on Sundays. We have talked with them and she and her husband still want to get baptized and married, but they want to wait until thenow. I might not be in the area, but I hope that they can still follow through with their goals. They are a very special family.
Other than that we have been finding a few other families. Tatiana and Deisy are attending church even though their mom hasn`t signed the permission yet, lots of prayer and fasting. A member brought a family to church this week, the only problem is that they don`t live in our area but we talked with the Mission President`s wife and she said that if they desire to be baptized, we can organize something so they can attend church here in Kennedy. The church that is part of their area is super far from their house.
Interesting note, we were writing in the morning but the power went out in the whole city so we had to wait until the afternoon to be able to write again. That happens a lot, the power going out, another blessing of living where we live. I won`t take for granted many things now.
We have been working hard and I hope to be able to send some pictures from our trip to the temple to clean, it was another great experience. Many of the worries and preoccupations of the world leave my mind as I enter into the temple, it really is a blessing.
Hope all is well at home, to answer your questions, we do try to speak spanish constantly. It helps Elder Kjar learn quicker, and it helps me as well to not get into the routine of speaking English because it affects when we teach/talk to people.
Have a great week and can`t wait to hear from you soon!
|Pizza! With corn on it!|
|Enjoying some ice cream|
|10 weeks out!|
|With the other missionary roomies|
Posted by Chris at 12:20 PM
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Happy to hear Camille is doing better, and her arm is healing fast, I have been praying extra for you all this week. And it sounds like you are all eating a lot of cookies haha. I wouldn't mind a box of the trefoils too, thanks :)
Not much new here this week, we were working hard trying to find new investigators and all, because only a few of our investigators are progressing., a storm passed through in the morning with lots of rain, so I knew that we would have very few people attending church. We had only 20 people come, and we combined with the branch that shares our same building. It was fast and testimony meeting so I decided to bear my testimony and that made me feel better, I always enjoy Sundays even if we don´t have investigators at church.
The Mendoza family is doing well, we are visiting them with lots of members, and in the ward council we had, we started planning a bit of their wedding and we are going to have a family home evening with them and some other families They always give us food when we go to visit them, and we talked with them about the temple, because they had a daughter that passed away as a baby, and they seemed very interested in that.
Not much else new, no news with Tatiana and Deisy´s mom yet, we will keep praying for them and hopefully at least in the future she will accept. My companion is doing well, his spanish is much better and he is learning a bit of Guarani too, he is much more diligent than I was when I was learning spanish :)
Haha, hope you guys have a great week. I will try to take more pictures and can´t wait to get the cookies you guys send :) Can´t wait to hear from you soon!
|Elder Kjar at nine weeks out!|
Posted by Chris at 10:32 AM