Saturday, September 27, 2014

White Shirts and Red Dirt :)

My companion is Elder Mechan and he is from Peru. He does not know much english, and the english that he does know come mostly from songs. We get along alright..More or less based on the fact that I am not going to be troublesome and he has been here for a lot longer then me. Oh and he is 26 years old and will be heading home in January.

I am living in a small town. We are currently renting a third story apartment, It is one of the taller structures in our area, they dont get much taller then 3 stories. There are vendors on every corner for fruits and nicknacks and such. There are some very humble sections of the town and some very nice sections of town, but both can be right next to each other too.

They have us on a payroll system in where every P day we take a card and go get cash at a ATM for food and such. There isnt much left over after a week of food buying and such.

We were standing in the middle of a circular roundabout and there was a collection of vans, motorcycles and cares.  They were all yelling words at us but it didn't make much sense. I only understand about 30% of the spanish but it is also mixed in with Guatanese and Portugese. Throw in some English thoughts and it makes things a bit tough.So thats how the language is comming along haha.

We got to My city by bussing from Posodas for about 6 hours to the small town and then catching a taxi ride to our apartment, it didnt take too long but im not to excited to have to take that ride back at some point haha.

One problem I couldn't imagine that I would have are the mirrors. All of the wall mounted mirrors are about 8 inches too short for me. It is becomming a problem haha and I dont enjoy bending over.

While we were walking we came across some actuall nuns and my compaion with his fluent spanish told me he wanted to get a picture with them. We didn't get the picture. haha, They were not too pleased with us..

Oh..So Apparently when it rains here we dont go tracting based on the fact that no one ever lets in wet people. While it rains the town gets really quiet and everyone just waits for it to pass haha. So it rained for about 2 days straight and so my companion and I just sat and studied and waited. It was nice to be able to study some and relax a bit but at the same time I missed saying hola to people.

People here are extremly nice, I would not go as far to say receptive of the message, But they are extremly willing to talk with us. They listen to our message and then tell us no thanks. Its tough we haven't had many people agree to meet a second time with the exception of a guy who me and my companion were convinced had a bit to much to drink the other day.

Here are some quick pictures.The computers here are extremly slow. Hopfully they will send. One is of the river that seperates Paraguay and Argentina. The other is at the Buenos Aries temple where we stopped between flights earlier. And the other is of me and my companion Elder Mechan.

Con Mucho Amor
-Elder Merrell

Monday, September 15, 2014

Not sure where the question mark is on the keyboard....oh well..

Lets just start where we left off..Short and sweet cause I dont have a lot of time.

Sorry if i spell everything wrong, I don't have a english computer..Its all spanish haha..

We had infield orentation and it was alright, not really what i expected but it was fun, I had the oportunity to speak with a Japanese Missionary that was heading back to Japan, He learned english on a trip to hawaii and we talked it was fun haha.

We came across a pillow room..And that`s about all i can say about that..

So I am convinced that my parents do not know how to pack, Cause when i first weighed my bags in Texas, They were both over 50..And then Being in Utah and weighing them 6 weeks later..I managed to drop about 5 pounds on each bag..No idea how.. For the last couple of days we traded ties, talked, studied and packed, On the Sunday night devotional before leaving Me and Elder Mahoney were asked to be ushers. It was alot of fun and i had the chance to talk to a senior Missionary, Elder Mcartney.

We got talking and turns out he knows some people from Katy! I was thinking there is no possible way that i will know the people he was about to name. The Savoie Family, from Louisiana. It was crazy..I knew them!! We talked and talked and then we talked some more about Corbin heading out on his mission and such. It was a wonderfull expereince to meet a some what similar face haha.

Then we left..We walked out bags out at 6 in the morning, Right after waking up at 2 to say goodbye to Elder Evershed and Elder Foster. We got onto the Bus and it took us to the Train, and from the Train to check in and through security and such. We then flew to Atlanta, It wasn`t that long of a flight. We then had a 5 hour layover there and I was able to talk with family and some friends. Then came boarding, We got on, and it was a two isle plane..Never been on one of those before..It was alright and very interesting having meals and such on the plane. I didn't sleep at all on the 10 hour flight. After landing we went to baggage clame..And apparently the Delta airline baggage workers were on strike..So then came a 3,4 hour wait untill they came back from where ever they were and unloaded our bags..The mission workers began to scramble to get us new flights and such to our respected places. We were then crammed onto a bus and taken to the Temple in Buenos Aries, it is so beautiful there, and it is a huge temple!! WE got to walk around it then quickly go eat at the MTC there and then back onto the bus to go catch or flights. I was lucky enough to set off the metal detectors, but instead of emptying my pockets and such I received a pat down..which i passed no worries there. Our flights, which were also delayed for a few hours were fine and nothing to worry about. We laned in the Posados Airport and oh goodness is that a small Airport, It was small in a cute way haha.
After a few days at the mission home and getting cleared to enter Paraguay if needed we were assigned our areas.. I was assigned to the area in Paraguay named Hernondarias,It is about 6 hours away from Posodos and is well into Paraguay. 

When we hit Paraguay we found our zone leaders, And after some very persistent shoe shinners I managed to convince an elder to pay for me.

 Elder Pulver, A local Tremonton Utah ressident. Me and him began talking and seeing who all we knew in common, It was sweet. And luck has it he is a grandson of the Fronks Family. And was cousins to Riley Clark (Married now and cant remember her new last name). Very interesting.

One thing weird about Paraguay is they speak spanish, But they also speak Guatanese, which sounds like spanish, but if you try to pay attention..You have nooo idea what they are saying.

My first friend here in Paraguay is a 4  year old boy who's family recently joined the church, His name Is Fer, Short for Fernando. He teaches me Spanish and i attempt to understand what he is asking and teach him some English in return.

In Paraguay there are some interesting things that i have noticed, The Lightning has color to it, Not sure how to describe it but it has a redish blue hue to it, but is still very noticable. Everyone and there dog drinks Matte here and they all carry around the cups full of the stuff and along with that large coolers full of water to pour into it. There are alot of Big dogs here and a lot of small cats..Not sure how to explain that but yah haha. Oh also the money here in Paraguay isnt the Peso, It is the Mil, And 1 mil is about 20 cents in American Dollars. We went to the store and bought some food and it came out to be about 44.000 so basicaly about 8 dollars and 80 cents for 4 good peices of meat, Rice, Cereal, Tomatos, lettus, And milk..It is really cheep here..

Yesterday i had my first sunday here in Paraguay, and goodness was it terrifying when the bishop turned the time over to me. I got up and managed to let some spanish fall out of my mouth but afterwards some of the sisters came up and told me that my spanish wasn't great. Thats comforting.. But that I spoke with the spirit. So in the end i guess its alright. Spanish in general is comming along alot better then i thought. When you have nothing else to listen to i guess it just starts to make sense haha.

Not sure what else to say. ITs been a long few weeks since last time and other than that it has been some sweet missionary work. The people in Paraguay are very kind and nice and are willing to listen. Just not come to church haha. Hopefully that will change over time.

Con Mucho Amor
Elder Merrell

Hola from Posadas

HOLA from Posodas Argentina!!! So we had a lot of flying and such, and ill talk more but basically just letting you know i have made it safely here. It is beautiful, I'm not sure if i will be returning. :)

Write you later
-Con Amor Elder Merrell

I'm tired of planting seeds, I'm here to harvest.

Not much has happened in the past week and nothing too crazy happens on Friday or Saturday.  It was nice to have gotten past all of the Chin Ches, and also getting past all of the Visa scares. I was able to receive my Travel plans on Saturday and I will be flying out of SLC Airport, I leave the MTC around 7:30 and My plane boards and leaves at 11 to Atlanta, We have a 5 hour lay over there in the Airport then we take a longer flight down to Buenos Aries. Then from some well known sources we will be able to take a 12 hour bus ride from There to posadas, I really hope for the Bus ride, It would be very nice to be able to see all of the Scenery and be able to experience that in a slow manner rather then on a plane. But i guess I'm the only one who wants that.. Go figure.

Sunday was alright and the devotional was sweet, nothing crazy happened. But while here at the MTC I'm about 35% sure that i have gained about 4 pounds...Crazy right?

Monday is another simple normal day, Tuesday is nice cause we have the Tuesday night devotional and were able to here from Elder Clarke Of the Quorum of the Seventy, He had a wonderful talk and it was very powerful, talking about bringing those recent converts back into the church. Me and my companion were also asked to act as security before the devotional started. It was fun and it was very interesting to see how stupid some people can truly be..

Umm..Wednesday was the day new missionaries come in but we didnt receive any additions to our zone, it was rather sad but at the same time it was nice. In class Wednesday afternoon was taught by a Brother Lund and was a wonderful lesson, We were able to teach him as an acting investigator that he taught when he was on his mission (a role play essentially). Afterwards we were able to talk with him and ask him about Luis (the investigator he was playing as) and he told us he got to friendly with him and was unable to convince him to be baptised, but at the same time maintained a very strong relationship with him. I then said "Well you planted a seed for another missionary" His reply then blew me away.

 "I'm tired of planting seeds, I'm here to harvest."

I quickly after the lesson wrote down the quote and plan to serve my mission in the manner that I am here to find those the seeds have been planted for already.

Sorry for the small post today but there wasn't much that happened, next week will obviously be a lot larger and will be from Argentina!

Con Amor

Monday, September 1, 2014

Chin Chas!

So this week has been rather interesting. One thing I dislike is the fact that I have two different sets of weeks..The normal week the whole world goes by and that makes sense. And then todas las personas en la MTC. Arrive here on Wednesdays and then you base that on how long you have been here. So by that logic, I have been here 5 weeks as of yesterday. And I have 11 daysleft at the MTC. Its bitter sweet, Based on the fact that I don't want to just be sitting here in this Hunger Games like camp..Where we are divided into districts, Cut off from the outside world, Constantly monitored by small white golfcartish cars.. :)   Everyone is in white, and everyone has the rule book memorized like the back of their hand. But, I know as soon as I leave and hit Argentina..All the Spanish that I have learned and accumulated over the past weeks will slowly dissolve based on the fact of how fast they will be speaking in Argentina.

A scary thing about the Visa wait is that they tell you, No news is good news. Which basically translates to have fun being terrified that your visa wont come through. The three other elders that are going to Posadas, and also some of the Hermanas going to Posadas in a different district have all been called in to get another FBI clearance and its really scaring me based on the fact that I haven't been called in..But what ever..I'll I can do now is wait.

Chin Chas...also known as the Red Menace, Also known as the common Bed Bug...It has been interesting..Not in my room but in the other apartment for the other half of my district. They found lines of bites on Elder Jones's skin and he quickly went to the doctor. I'm not sure about how he was raised, but i was just told to leave things like that and don't scratch them and tough it out, but I guess they did the right thing by screaming bed bugs from the balcony's and everyone quickly knew around west campus. They were required to spray everything that was not dry cleanable. And it took them most of Monday to do this. They then were given a different room and required to move all their stuff there. We thought that was going to be the end of it all but come Wednesday, Elder Jones, Slaugh, Danielson and Sandburg all have bites and were required to go up to the Main MTC campus to get checked by doctors. This time the doctors were not convinced they had beg bugs even though there were 4 victims this time and not just one. None the less, they had to go find proof that the bedbugs have followed them into their room. But for now...we just sit and watch.

The Return of a consistent teacher is rather nice. Both Brother Glock and Brother Lund have returned from Vacation and are now our teachers on a regular basis! Thank goodness, But just so happens that our luck is still bad, Our third Teacher Sister LeBaron was called to go start the instate Spanish Ipad Program. And thus we were given a new teacher bringing our total up to 11..Holy cow..

OH! Super cool thing, I was able to talk with Hermana (Madi) Schofield, who none of you know. But is cool because before moving to Texas I went to school with here in 8th grade..So it was awesome to catch up with some one who graduated from Bear River High school. It was interesting to be able to catch up with some one who went to the school I would have graduated from. She told me about those who were serving missions and who is planning on leaving. I wont have the chance to run into any other people from Bear river it seams like. It's sad but it was fun while it lasted.

​Our apartment is either really cool....or really really gross. One of the elders received a package and within said package there was a small container containing a perfect balance of soap and water in order to create perfect spherical very fragile, liquid enclosed air pocket. And upon blowing them typically what happens is they float to the ground and with a silent pop all particles dispenser in many different directions. But in our apartment...After one of these perfect liquid encased air spheres were created they fell slowly and then bounced upon our carpet and on some occasions began to roll.. It was quite a fun experiment and exceedingly entertaining.

Until next week, Con Mucho Amor
-Elder Merrell