26 August, 2010

First meal in Paraguay is Chinese

Well the past couple of days have been quite interesting for sure. We only get a p-day this Thursday because we are new, but they are usually on Mondays. We have been told however, that we are not supposed to chat with our parents during our time to email, but rather just send emails saying how things are going. The first day here, we met the mission president and his wife in the airport. We then took some pictures in front of the airport, and then loaded our stuff up and left. When we were in the Argentina airport, we were joined by 4 missionaries going to the same mission who were natives in the Argentina MTC. Anyway, we drove to the mission home, and on the way, every single street had people selling stuff, or trying to wash windows... all sorts of things to try and get money. There are a couple of paved roads, but most of them are cobble stones, and way bumpy. We got to the mission home, where we went to the bathroom, got some drinks, and then went to the temple. It’s right near a really busy street, and is a lot smaller than it looks, but it is beautiful nonetheless. We took some pictures there, and stayed for a little while, not on the inside unfortunately. We then went out to eat... at a Chinese restaurant.... kind of an unexpected thing there. The food was really good, it was Chinese with a Paraguayan twist to it.

After that, we went back to the mission home to get the rundown of everything in our mission. Our schedule is 30 minutes different than most peoples´ because we wake up at 6, and go to bed at 10. We also aren’t allowed to wear rings in our mission because they are a distraction to the people, so i had to take that off. We receive $750000 a month.... too bad guarani´s aren’t worth as much as an American dollar. 5000 guarani is about a dollar, so we get about the equivalent of 140 US dollars every month here.

During that we had our interviews with the mission president. He and his wife are both really cool. they are in charge of 195 missionaries, and 95 companionships. There was a total of 18 new missionaries who came in with us.

After we were finished with interviews, we got some Paraguayan style hamburgers.... which is actually a burrito, except they don’t have burritos down here. They were pretty good, the meat definitely isn’t the best of the meats that they use down here. After we were done with all that, we went to the mission president’s house, and had a testimony meeting, and got to eat some carrot cake. President Callan gave all of us a paperback book of Mormon that he told us to read, and mark every scripture that talks about Jesus.

After we were done there, we were driven to a hotel that we stayed the night at. They have the weird toilet things that you can wash yourself after you are done going to the bathroom, which i also have in my apartment... I still have yet to use one though. When we woke up in the morning, we ate breakfast there, which was orange juice, yogurt, and a sandwich. The orange juice was amazing, as was the yogurt, although here it is really watery. The sandwich was good, but a little dry because it had no sauces on it. After that we drove back to the mission home to meet our companions. We went into the chapel in the church right by the mission home, and one by one he read off who we were going to be with. My companion is Elder Escarate, from Chile. He speaks some English, but not too much. He has been an excellent trainer, and is way nice.

After that we got dropped off with our companions at the bus station, and got taken three hours out of the city of Asuncion into coronel oviedo which is right in the center of Paraguay. I had time to unpack most of my stuff, and then we went out tracting for a little while. My comp is the district leader, so he had to go and do some interviews. We went over to the house of the Zone leaders who are also in our district. They are also both native, and so I’ve been completely surrounded by Spanish for 24 hours. It sometimes gives me a headache trying to interpret everything, but i feel like it is coming pretty well still. We went by the chapel that is in there area, and there were two guys sitting outside, we talked to them, and they were there to repair the baptismal font. We talked to them for a little while about the church and other stuff which was a real good experience. After all that we went back, and went to sleep in the zone leaders apartment. We woke up this morning, did personal study, companion study, and language study. Then we went to the church to play some soccer with the district. Then we went back, and now we’re here on the computers.

Well that’s about all that has happened since I got here, it’s been nice and exciting, sometimes a little overwhelming. My companion has been here for 22 months, so he will be leaving after this next transfer.

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