29 March, 2011

Learning Guarani

I am glad to hear that you are focusing on the less actives more. Really it is the duty of the wards. The wards here blame the missionaries for the inactivity in the wards, but our job as missionaries should just be to teach and baptize the people and let the wards focus on retention. Unfortunately here, we have to do the both, as well as many times pretty much serve as the bishop. There really are so many families that just need more support from the members so that they can return to the church again. Our area is... very interesting. We are literally in the middle of nowhere. Every direction that I look in our area I just see trees. We are about an hour away from all other cities. Our area is pretty small, the actual city anyway. We have to walk a lot, because there are streets that just go out in the fields and stuff. The people here speak pretty much just Guarani..... If they speak spanish, they don't understand it very well. Anyway, we've been studying a lot in Guarani to be able to communicate with the people, and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to speak it pretty well by the end of my time here in this area. Our church started an hour late, and so we just skipped preisthood, and had sunday school, and then sacrament meeting. The entire meeting was in just Guarani... so I didn't really understand all that much, and had a headache after trying to listen for a while. Our ward pretty much consists of a family machuca and all of their relatives. There are pretty much just women and children in the ward, adn almost all of the women are breaking the law of chastity. We have one man that was recently baptized, our investigator that is going to be baptized the 9th, and the branch president that is from a different area. There were 28 that attended, so pretty much all women and children. The branch is pretty much just a big mess, so we have a lot of work to do. Most of the people just don't really understand the gospel. Our problem is that almost all of them are single women with children, and our mission has a rule that we don't teach single women, and we don't have men to go with us. Anyway besides the ward we are doing really well. We found a lot of good investigators, and have been working really well. We have two investigators that went to chuch. One is the boyfriend of the member that has a baptizmal date. The other is a women that is deaf and can't speak. It has been quite difficult to try and teach her, but she wants to be baptized, so we are doing everything that we can. The people in this area are even more poor than in other parts of Paraguay. The typicial person lives on about 10 mil guarani every day, which is the equivelent of 2 dolars. It's really sad to see the poverty here, and the biggest problem is that there are so many single women with lots of children. They find a boyfriend, and have more children, and then the guy leaves them, and so on... There is pretty much no such thing as chastity here. Well anyway, things are going better, we are now able to cook better, and we are good and safe in our house. I hope all is going well with you guys, my prayers are with you dad, I know you will do a fantastic job. I know that God called you there for a god reason and that you will bless the lives of many people as the bishop of our ward. I love you guys, and thank you for the letters. Hasta luego. -Elder Ryan Griffin

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