Sunday, June 28, 2015

Villa Elisa: May 8, 2000

Um… hi…

Well, this is gonna be pretty hefty.  I've got my week to talk about and also I got two letters from you this week!  Finally!  Er.  Well, with that said, I'll talk about your letters.  I'll go in chronological order 'cause it's always good to start at the beginning.  The first was written on April 9, 2000 and the other I'm assuming was written on the 12th (of April).

… to see what Paraguay is like …
Um.  Well.  Er…  I've done a lot of talking already, so I think I've already answered this one (in previous letters). :P

… what kind of living arrangements you have.
Ahem.  I live in the top floor of a two-story building.  This means that sometimes there isn't enough water pressure to take a shower in the morning.  Our pension (no idea why it's called that (it makes a lot more sense to call it an apartment)) consists of three rooms and a bathroom.  We converted one room into a kitchen.  It is a mess, but not my fault.  'Twas terrible before I arrived.  The next room is the one we sleep in.  It's gunky, too.  Also, we've got a big window, which is bad because there's a street light right outside.  We've covered the window with a sheet.  This room has an air conditioner/heater.  Poor me.  The third room is where our… um… whatever they're called are.  You know.  Those things you put clothes in, but they aren't dressers.  [ed: I believe they're called armoires.]  Anyway.  The bathroom has a sink, a shower, a toilet, and… a bidet!  Yes, really!  All three rooms leak when it rains, so I'm probably going to move out in the beginning of June when our contract here expires.  We'll see.

It was wonderful to see you, if even for a very short time.
I know.  I mean, er, it was wonderful to see you, too. :)

Um, well, the rest of the letter is about weird stuff, so I'll just jump to the other letter now.

[Big picture of Smokey kitty]
Aww…  look at the cute kitty.  Aww…

I do not know if this is legal or not.  [ed: referring to sending the photo of the cat via pouch mail, which is supposed to be for just letters]
Neither do I.  I don't think it is bad.  If it is, though, you can just send neat-o pictures directly to the mission office (see return address on envelope).  That's also the address to use to send PACKAGES.  Just a little note on the side.  Nothing is required, of course.  But, if you want to send me, oh, a little bit of good, old-fashioned American candy, I wouldn't complain.  No, not at all.  :D

I do not have a lot to say this time…
No, no, no.  That's not the way it works.  I get to say that.  Me.  No one else.  You guys have to write lots and lots.  The great Joe has decreed it.  So let it be written; so let it be done.

… I am sending you copies of the letters that Heather Ferguson sent me on April and Eldon.  [ed: April and Eldon are friends of mine who were also serving missions at the time.  Heather is their mom.]
Thanks, but it's unnecessary, because Mom Ferguson sends them to me, too.

Yes, that's really how the letter ends.  No name.  Sheesh.

Okay, that's taken care of.  Now I get to blab about nothing in particular.  Actually, it'll be about my week, but, as you will see, my week and "nothing in particular" are one and the same.

Anywhen, Monday was kinda just there.  Oh, that's May 1st.  P-Day [ed: preparation day], but we really didn't do anything.  We were in the house all day long.  All I did was some reading.  Well, a lot of reading.  About six hours of it.

It rained Tuesday.  All day.  What fun.  It started when we were in the panadería (bread store--basically a bakery).  We go there every morning to get breakfast.  Anyway, back to the story.  We sat down under the canopy and waited for it to calm down a bit.  Neither of us had a jacket or umbrella or anything like that.  We got a little wet.  Just a little.  Okay, we were soaked from head to toe.  We got to zone meeting, with nothing special there expect the fact that I got six letters.  The rest of the day was blah because the people would stick their heads out the door and say "Go away, it's raining.  Come back some other day."  I was very certain it was raining.  It was for this reason that I wanted in!  Oh, by the way, we went back to the house after zone meeting and got our jackets.  Don't worry, Mom.

Wednesday was more of the same.  Rain all day long, and no one wanted to talk to us because of it.  We did manage to give two charla [tr: discussion] twos, but I can only remember one of them.  Wait, no.  The other was a review for a family has already had all six charlas.  Anyway, we set a baptismal goal date thingy for four people.  Hopefully, we'll actually be able to baptize them.

Thursday was not a good day.  Cold and wet.  Our numbers for charlas total a big fat zero.  No charla cortas [tr: short discussions], no actual charlas, nothing with present or new members.  Also, Noche de Rama [tr: Branch Night] was packed.  Oh, yeah.  Not counting the four missionaries, there were four people there.  We had a good hour of reactivation, though, with an inactive member.

Friday started off very interesting.  I met a member from Buenos Aires.  She was visiting her cousin here in Villa Elisa.  That's not that strange.  I thought it was odd that she had no problems pronouncing my name, until she said that there's an Elder Simper in her ward.  She knows Dallan!  [ed: my cousin who was serving a mission in Argentina at the time]  Isn't that weird?  She took a picture of me so she could prove to her friends that she met the other Elder Simper.  Then, from there, the day sluffed off into nothing.  We had half a dozen charla cortas, but they didn't amount to anything.

Saturday was probably the best day, workwise.  The rain quit (finally), so people were willing to talk to us.  Ten charla cortas with two charla ones.  Then, we went to help the other missionaries with baptismal interview.  The investigator didn't show.  Again.  Blarg.

I really don't want to talk about Sunday, but I'd better or Mom will go postal.  We had one investigator come to church.  That was the highlight.  We had three people on Saturday tell us that we could come on Sunday.  "We'll be here all day."  None of them were.  Not one.  And then we visited on of Saturday's charla ones.  Her husband gave us the Book of Mormon back and told us to bug off.  Not nice at all.  He didn't want to hear anything.  As we left, I said, "Well, kiss your soul goodbye."  [ed: not proud of that…]  We had someone scheduled for every hour, on the hour.  We left the house at 2:30p, and by 3:15 our schedule was ripped open to 7pm.  It was not a nice day.  We had a nice chat with Jorgelina, though.  We're going back on Wednesday.  Hopefully, we can talk…  We had also set up an appointment to watch a few church videos with some investigators at a member's house.  No go.  I got to watch a bit of Home Alone 2 in Spanish.  That was interesting.

So as you can see, this week was a lot of work, without a lot of fruit, or even seeds.  It was hard.  But I knew it would be before I filled out the mission papers.  I'm very happy to be here, so don't worry your heads about that.

One final note:  last week I talked about the difficulties I'm having with my companion.  Well, I've spent all this week praying and trying my hardest.  I'm not yet to the point where I can honestly say I love him.  I can, however, say I like him as a person.  As a missionary, that's a different story.  To me, it seems he's decided to slack a bit now that his mission is nearly over.  I could whine and cry, but I won't.  I'll just grit my teeth and bear it for another three weeks.  Yes, of course, I'll be praying for help.  I know that I can't do anything without the Lord's help, especially not this.

Anyway, love y'all!


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