Monday, December 21, 2015

Out of the warphole and into the water!

Well so many things have happened this week. Its been a week full of challenges and full of blessings. But the Biggest thing that happened was I got changed. I got out of the Warphole!! Haha that means I am no longer in the Luque stake. My new area Is called "Trinidad" and I am in Asuncion right now. Its so different here. There are a TON of cars here. Like Emboscada was out there and there wasn't much of anything. Here there is everything... Cars, tons of people everywhere, lots of noise, Cigarette smoke and dogs in the street... It's so different. I feel like it's a little bit more like the states. My area is a lot smaller than Emboscada and there is a lot more asphalt here. I'm sure my shoes are loving it. I like Trinidad because it is so close to where the church began here in Paraguay. We have some of the oldest Paraguayan converts and they have some amazing stories. For example, we met with the third Paraguayan to get baptized on Friday. He was baptized I believe in 1965. He told us that he has represented the Church in Paraguay for many years and has been able to travel to Utah for Conferences and meetings. I've met people that helped build the temple here. I know an Architect that helps design and build all the chapels in Paraguay. The architect is named Jose. He speaks English and has read the Book of Mormon (In English) more than 36 times. I love all the history here.

My new companion is Elder Fermin. He is from a native tribe of Nivacle here in Paraguay. He comes from the north of Paraguay in "the Chaco" and he has about 7 months on the mission. It's hard for him because he didn't speak Spanish before the mission. So Spanish is his second language also. It's hard because he doesn't talk much. In fact he talks very little. I try to let him talk in lessons but he just says a little line and then won't say much more. I'm not sure if he doesn't understand or if he just doesn't want to talk. I feel like he just doesn't want to talk. So its been pretty hard. Just not having anyone to talk to. Or someone to respond to me. But honestly I love this opportunity. I believe that he is a direct descendant from the lamanites. Its a pretty special opportunity that I have to be with him. It's a tough challenge, but it's worth it.

So last week I told you about a crazy wind storm that tore up trees by the root... well, here there aren't any trees torn up, but there has been a ton of flooding. They say the the Paraguay river has grown over a mile wide on each side. There are tons of people with houses underwater. Honestly its nuts how much water there is. The government has given thin sheets of plywood and 2x4s so people can build temporary homes. It looks very very poor, because there are tons of wooden huts that line the street. I'm sure that some are poor and have lost most of their possessions, but I get a feeling that most are ok.  It's been a mess trying to find members, because they have all moved and nobody knows where they live now. So we honestly don't know where a lot of people are. But we will be searching this week!!

I love you all and wish you a Merry Christmas (emphasis in the Christ)
Elder Jared

Monday, December 14, 2015

Storm!

Hola familila!!

This week has been a better week than last week! We had a little bit more success getting into houses teaching people!! So that's a good thing. BUt the internet connection is really slow right now and there isn't much time so its going to be a quick letter! I just wanted to tell you a weird thing that happened this week. It was Wednesday and we had just finished an "Emergency service". The sister needed help laying a cement floor and there was supposed to be a storm coming
through this week. so we finish the service around 5 and were getting ready to leave and work when this huge wind storm rolled through. It was seriously}y the strongest wind I've ever seen in my life. It was honestly crazy. So we were about to leave and the light goes out. So in the storm and without light, we were told that it was to dangerous to leave so we had to stay inside. So the next day we leave and there are HUGE trees completely uprooted. I've never seen anything like it in my life. It was crazy! I have pictures but I don't know if i'll have time to upload. Sorry to make it short, it just that time didn't work out today! I'll write more next week!

Love you all. And I'm safe and sound,

Elder Jared

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Bag of Noodles --

Yes I know.. Very interesting interesting subject line wouldn't you say?? What does a bag of noodles have to deal with missionary work? To help you understand we have to take a trip back in time.. back to last May......

Kast May the assistants to the President came to our district meeting. They did an object lesson that really helped. They had two bowls full of two types of noodles. Most of them were big noodles that were shaped like a elbows and there were a few of the same noodles, but much much smaller... I hope you understand what I mean... but each companionship had 2 minutes too find as many of the small noodles as we could. By the end of the two minutes, we could find maybe 2 or 3 little ones. Nothing more. We had to search through all the big ones to find them. They related it to how we have to contact everyone, to find the ones that are ready.

I hope you understand the activity... But this week Elder Bustillos and I were thinking about that a lot this week. We were focusing a lot on finding. putting our hands into the bowl of noodles and as for now we have found a bunch of big noodles.. SO its been pretty dificult just not finding anyone to teach this week.. But that just means that our "2 minutes" just aren't up. We didn't give up and yesterday we calculated that we must have talked with nearly 200 new people this week. 200 people had the opportunity to hear the message of Jesus Christ. So that animated us a lot. We felt that we had done well.

But Nicanor and Reina weren't able to attend this week. We go every Thursday now so we will see what they need.

Familia Fleitas is happy as ever. Ceferino is really animated to work and help less actives come back into the fold.-

Not much else to say. It was just a week of the same ol same ol. But I will send more pictures this week

Love you bunches

Elder Jared

Monday, November 30, 2015

Man. This week has been such a great week. Quite a bit stressful getting things already for the Baptisim/wedding. Lots of pictures to come. Haha. So that was really the main part of the week. Just going over final preparations and getting already for the big day Friday!! So basically everything that I will write about happened Friday so this will be a time by time Friday!!


6:00 am- We woke up and did exercises, early today because we had a ton to do. 

6:30 Am- get to the church to clean the baptismal font. It was a bit nasty because the last time it was used was last so there was a few bugs and stuff in the font so it had to be cleaned.Usually the branch would clean it but no one could do it so we had to sacrifice a bit of time to fill it. But I'm not complaining! The font took 3 hours to fill so we were there till like 9:30 doing a little study while waiting. 

9:30-shower before the zone leaders before we go to the Baptismal interview.

11:00- Baptismal interview. we couldn't do it any earlier in the week because Hmno Ceferino was working until Thursday night. So we had to go in the morning and it took sooo long for the interview. Like 2 hours. I don't know why it took so long but in the end they passed

1:00- a light lunch prepared by Hma Fleitas. 

2:00- Making a cake and weekly planning. Elder Bustillos made a banana cake. so while the cake was baking we were doing our weekly planning. Busy multitasking day. you gotta do what you gotta do

5:00-Back to the church to help clean. Just to get things spic and span for the night

7:00- Wedding. In Paraguay the bride and the groom have to have two witnesses each (4 in total). But the witnesses for Hmo Fleitas didnt bring their IDs so they couldnt be witnesses, so luckily passport photocopies work and Elder Bustillos and I both happened to have our copies so we were able to be witnesses! Haha it was quite unexpected but it was cool. 

8:00- baptism.there was so much support from the branch- The room was full with members, less actives and nonmember friends. The Hermana Maria Fleitas asked me to baptize her and my companion baptized Hermano Ceferino!

It is such an honor to help someone take this important step in their lives. All through the night I had one scripture going through my head. all night its Docterine and Covenants 18: 15-16

15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
 16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

I testify that it is true. there is no other feeling greater than helping people come unto christ. I have felt the greatest gift in the world. The sweetest fruit that there is. I am satisfied with the work that I have done in these past 17 months and I cant waith to continue to feel this great joy through out my life. I love the work. I love my savior Jesus Christ. I am ready for this Christmas season to honor him. 

#ASAVIORISBORN #HANACIDOUNSALVADOR

Love,

Elder Jared

Wedding

Hermana Fleitas
Fleitas Family




Monday, November 23, 2015

Oh the things that you find!

Man this week has been such an interesting week... Crazy stories finding crazy people and amazing fun. Sometimes things just happen on the mission that you cant explain. Haha missions are the best :)

I feel that this week will be a good week to do a rare day by day :)

Tuesday: You ready for a funny story?? Haha this is a good one. So Elder Bustillos had returned home to eat lunch and before cooking he takes the trash out. Then, all of the sudden, He yells "ELDER! COME HERE!" so I go running out the door to see whats happening and hes in our back yard chasing a chicken around!! Then he Yells "Help Me!!" so we spend a good 10 minutes trying to grab a chicken. after sucessfully grtabbing the chicken, for some reason he takes it inside our house. and as he walks in, the chicken escapes. So we had a chicken loose in our house. It ran right into our bedroom and hid under my bed. as we were searching for the chicken, to our amazment we found another chicken that had walked in! so we had two chickens in our house!! It was actually quite funny!
So we had to spend another 10 minutes chasing chickens around our house trying to get them out. It was pretty awesome. I got it on video. Ill try to find a way to up load it.

Wednesday: WE had interviews with President. The time that I had with him was like GOLD! He helped me so much giving me such great advice to help me become a better missionary. I love my mission President!

Thursday: I had divisions with my friend Elder Stutz! I dont know if you remember him but we were in the same distric when I was in Juan de Salazar. So we have done many divisions together. It was fun to work with him. WE were able to teach Reina and she accepted a Baptismal date for the 12 of December. She is very shy but understands what we teach. Im sure she will progress twords baptism. She loves going to church and loves the Book of Mormon.

But Thursday night, We had an activity in our branch where we watched meet the Mormons. It was going all good until the story of the Fottball coach and then the electricity went. So we couldnt finisht the movie. We were told to go right home because all of Emboscada was without electricity and the streets were dangerous. so we had to go home and light up our house with candles. It was fun but interesting.

Friday: Everything was basically normal. Until we decided to visit a less active member that hasnt been to church for a few weeks. As we were talking she starts telling us about "revelations" that she is receiving. SHe told us that The Lord wanted us to start storing water and she wants the church to build houses for the members. We were just like....uhhh... then she explains to us that she talks with the Presidents of Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador and wait for it.... Barak Obama. We honestly didnt know what to say. so we just kinda talked about profets and their role. It was a very interesting day.

Saturday: This was just a normal day. walking under the sun and enjoying the best job on the planet. I love it!

Sunday: It was our last chance to meet with Ceferino fleitas before his baptisim. He shared such a powerful testimony and I feel that he is truely converted to the lord. He has seen such a big change in his life and is prepare to make this covenent with the Lord. We see the same in his Soon-to-be-wife.

Looking forward to this week with a baptisim and a marrige!!

Love you all

ELder Jared

Monday, November 16, 2015

This has been such a great week for me. I have had a lot of fun this week walking under the blazing hot sun. I've got a few good stories for ya so I hope you enjoy.

The first story: I was on Divisions with Elder Ramirez (from Peru) and we were walking home for lunch. We were on a path that wasn't very populated. We could hear lizards running around through the bush. As we were looking for some lizards and suddenly we see this flash of green and suddenly there is a snake strangling a lizard. It all happened so quickly it was unreal. But Mom and Grandma, don't worry, the snake wasn't close to us so we were safe. But then Elder Ramirez grabs a stick and pulls the snake and lizard out of the bushes and kills the snake to take it home. It was pretty awesome to see something happen so fast. So that explains pictures this week.

Then on Wednesday, Sister Fleitas asked us to give a blessing to her granddaughter Milagros. She wasn't doing to well and they were thinking of taking her to the hospital but wanted the blessing first. So we give the blessing and she just sleeps. So we leave and we passed by Thursday to see how Milagros was doing. She was perfectly normal happily running and playing. It was a huge testimony builder for me on the priesthood.

Also this week were elections for the mayor of Emboscada. The voting was Sunday and it honestly was a mad house, so many people were there. There was lots of drinking and smoking so Elder Bustillos and I decided that It would be best if we avoided the town and went to one of the outlaying areas to work. Everything was calm over there but as it was time to go home, the results came in and everything just exploded.. We knew that we had to get home ASAP. So we basically start running, well not running, just walking super fast. We were walking down the main road and there were so many people out on the streets celebrating. they filled cars and trucks and buses with people to go celebrate in the center. We were about 2 miles from the center but we just knew that we had to go and get home. As we are walking through the center there is so much beer and drunk people, loud music and we knew we weren't going to sleep a wink with worries of drunks and loud music. But then out of the dark sky we see a huge storm cloud roll in. The cloud came out of nowhere. It seriously just appeared. There was tons of rain and lightning. So that stopped the party. We were able to sleep peacefuly last night. I know that God was watching out for us last night. I know it.

I hope you see as many miricales as I do!

Elder Jared






Monday, November 9, 2015

Changes and a softened heart

I don't remember if I told you, but this past week was changes. I am staying in Emboscada but I have a new companion. His name is Elder Bustillos from Ecuador. He came with me to Paraguay so we have know each other for a long time. He is a good friend of mine. We get a long super well. I love hearing about Ecuador. It sounds like a very interesting place. I would love to visit there. I dont know if you knew, but they use the American Dollar there! so there is no money changing. We will have to see if the opportunity presents itself to travel there.

But this week really has been a good week. Familia Fleitas has a date for their wedçding the 27th of November and their Baptisim the 28th. They are super excited and super prepared. They love the Gospel and have felt the effects of the atonement in their lives. They are super prepared to take this step.

Nicanor and Reina are progressing well. We only go to Nueva Colombia once a week. But they too look like they will be baptized here pretty soon. They are praying to know when they should be baptized so we will we this next week what they say.

But this week we have been focusing a lot on contacting and we have gotten a range of rejections and invitations. It's always nice when someone accepts you into their home. We found a family called Familia Martinez. I'm not sure they will progress. They are "Catholic" but don't do much. But you never know we will see.

It always hurts when someone rejects you. This week we were talking with a lady in the park. She grilled us hard for like 15 minutes just saying that we were wasting our time and how there isn't a true church and if there was a true church young men wouldn't preach it. We tried all our tactics (I.E. asking questions, talking about the bible etc.)  but she wouldn't have any of it. She was just hard core. So after getting grilled for 15 minutes there was nothing we could do so we just testified. It was extremely powerful. I'm sure the  spirit was with us. After she apologized to us but she didn't want us to visit with her. I'm not sure if we won the battle but at least we changed her mind about us. After testifying she said she gained a lot of respect for us. So I think we did good.

Looking forward to working with my new companion and best friend!!  Also, Pictures to come next week :)

Elder Jared

Monday, October 26, 2015

The good news

Man this has been such a great week for me. I've just been super super happy this week. It's because of a series of things happened this week. Haha everything has just added up to being a great week for me!

So first thing first. You remember Nicanor and Reina right? They are a family that lives in Nueva Colombia that has been attending for the last month or so. Well I believe that I told you that Nueva Colombia is not in our mission, But Emboscada is the closest church for them. We have been working with President McMullin to get permision to enter to teach them. So for the past few weeks, President McMullin and the other mission president have been talking and this Tuesday they decided that we could enter to tech them! But we don't have permission to start tracting quite yet. But President McMullin is working on changing the boundries to include Nueva Colombia and an other district called Loma Grande. it might take a few more weeks but I'm super excited! It's always fun entering a new area! So exciting! So that made me really happy :)

In other good news, I don't know if I've told you about Familia Fleitas.. They are a part member family (2 kids are recent converts) Ceferino and Maria (The parents) would be baptized but there has been a huge confusion as to whether Ceferino is married to another woman or not. Honestly I don't understand but it has been a huge huge mess. They always go to church and really want to get baptized but can't because they aren't married. But supposedly by this Wednesday they will know for sure if Ceferino has to get divorced first, but its 90% probable that he doesn't! He just has to get married! They are supper supper excited for this. They have been waiting for nearly a year to get baptized. I am so excited for them! But we will see next week!!

So yea. Its been a really great week. :) We should have some baptisims coming up pretty soon now that we can teach Reina and Nicanor!

With all my love,
Elder Jared

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Safe and sound

Hey everyone. I suppose your wondering why I am writing in a Tuesday instead of a Monday. It's really a long story so I'll summarize. But yesterday we had to go to Asuncion to pick up some stuff for the house and there is only one road that goes from Emboscada to Asuncion. We got to Asuncion just fine, did everything that we needed to do and were planning to go to a cyber in Limpio. But there was a strike and a protest and some people basically shut down the road. So we were stuck in Asuncion in a hot and sweaty bus for two hours. The worst part is we were next to a truck that was loading cows. Man it stunk so bad. But finally after two hours of waiting in the same spot we decided to walk. So we walked and walked for a long time until the road was oppened again. But at that time it was late and we had to go home and work. So we called our mission president and he said that we could do it today. I'm so lucky but I dont have that much time.

But there wasn't much progression this week. We found some people that are willing to listen to us but I'm not sure if they are willing to act. But we will see.

It looks like we are going to have a good November. We have investigators with dates but haven't been attending but say that they want to go. so that's good news.

I have to go now! President doesn't want us to loose too much time today so it had to be quick. 1 hour is all.

I'm safe and sound and happy!

Elder Jared

Monday, October 12, 2015

For the family

(This week Brandon sent a letter to the family only) -- but he did send the following pictures with this explanation:
For Pday, my district leader (Elder Damacen) plays rugby so he taught us how to tackle (safely) into matresses. It was really fun haha so that will explain a lot of the pictures this week.






Friday, October 9, 2015

Conference Weekend!

Man what a great weekend this was. So much excitement with the new apostles! We were all really really excited to see who was going to be the next Apostles. Man so amazing. I predicted Elder Rasband as an Apostle but the other two were wild cards, but their testimonies were so strong. So full of love for us and our Lord Jesus Christ. I received the confirmation that they were called to be the new apostles.

I really loved all the talks this weekend. So full of Wisdom and Guidance.I learned so much about to apply to myself and my investigators and Converts. I left my notebook at home so I'll just give a brief thought about the talks that really spoke to me.

I really loved Elder Utchdor'fs talk about simplicity. I really feel that as humans we just make things to complicated. It's a good thing to take a step back and look to see how we can Simplify things and make things better.

I loved Elder Nelson's story. It truely is heart breaking to see a family have three little ones die, but they died to see a Prophet of the Lord live. Such an amazing story.

I loved How Elder Oaks explained the atonement so clearly. It was clearer than the air we breath and if you ask me, The atonement is more needed that the air we breath...

I loved Elder Durrant's Challenge. I hope that you will take time each week to "Ponderize" a scripture. Or this week I am doing my missionary scripture which is 1 Nephi 13:37. I have it in English, Spanish and Portuguese to help me learn. I am really looking forward to this 20 year challenge :) I hope you guys keep me update on this challenge for you guys.

I love conference so much, as missionaries we call it a 3 day pday because its a time to recharge the Spiritual batteries and learn to apply the words of the prophets in our lives and the lives of those that we teach.

The week was pretty good. We got a lot of investigators to the conference. 6 actually!! and we had 10 of our 23 recent converts go! Most of the converts are in-active right now so 10 was a lot! I struggle with these converts because it makes me so sad that the don't remember the importance of the sacrament. We didn't find anyone new to teach this week it was a week of rejections. but that means that this week can only get better!

I don't know if I have talked about Reina and Nicanor... They live in Nueva Colombia (still talking with President about going there, there are a lot more hoops to jump through than we thought) Nicanor was scheduled to work this Sunday but he said that he couldn't go because he wanted to go to conference! And he went! haha they are progressing so much even though we really can't meet with them. They are reading and praying and of course attending!! It is so fantastic!!


Love you all

Elder Jared





Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Back behind the grill

Sorry fam, but we dont have to much time today. so this will be a a quick letter. But I did take the time to read all the letters. I hope you understand that I cant respond to all of them this week. We have had a crazy Pday and we only have an hour to do everything that we need.

We were able to see the Blood moon last night. It was really cool. Im not sure if its rare or something but it seems like a big deal. but I did take some pictures that I will have to send next week (due to time).

Know I know what you are thinking, Why was this Pday hectic? well to make things short, We decided to do an asado (Barbeque) with the other Elders, We all Pitched in like two bucks and It was enough to buy a lot of meat and Chorizo. Haha we were stuffed.... But it was fun for me to get behind the grill again. Its been a long long time since Ive been able to do that. I miss it. Haha But this week has been a great week for me. We did a lot of contacting and we have found some new people to teach. One we found yesterday. It was a small family sitting on the porch enjoying a little bit of a cooler afternoon and they invited us in. The name is Familia rios. And the moms husband died od cancer about 7 years ago. SoIn these seven years she has been struggling to find answers to her questions I.E Why would God let this happen to me? or Will I see him again? she had asked lots of Ministers and Preachers but she hasnt found anything that really satisfied her. Her son had resoved to Blame Adam and Eve. Because If they hadnt fallen, His dad wouldnt have died. So naturally we shared the Plan of Salvation. ANd It answered all of her questions and changed the miond of the Son. Everything was so so perfect untill they told us that they didnt live there. They lived in a nother city. It was hard because its a family... SO hard to let it go, but the other Elders will get a family so thats good for them.

We werent able to go to Nueava Colombia this week because the ZLs wanted to have divisions and set plans... so we are planning another time. We will see.

Well I gotta go, I love you all!!

Elder Jared

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Spring Heat

Well, today is the first day of the Paraguayan spring and what do we get? The sun. It has been Blazing hot the past few days. The members are telling us that its like 40 degrees out. Man its hard to walk in
the sun, but people always offer us water. So its easy to contact.  This week was another great week. Found a new family to teach and they were very very open to us and our message. SO that always makes a missionary happy. Finding a family that is willing to listen to the Gospel.

The Family that we found is actually 2 older Parents an an young adult. The Parents are named Christine and Rodolfo, and the young man who is about 20 is named Javier. We found them in an area that we
rarely go to. Just because there hasn't been a lot of people progressing in that area and it is far from where we usually work. So it was great to find them. They were convinced that God put us in
their path in their time of need. I'm convinced too. They readily accepted the Book of Mormon and were really prepared to receive the Gospel.

We also started teaching a new family. its a family of three and the wife is inactive and her husband and daughter aren't members. They actually live in a different city called Nueva Colombia (New Colombia)
which is not in our mission. But there isn't a church in Nueva Colombia and our branch president went and picked them up to come here in Emboscada. Also, we got permission to go to Nueva Colombia sometime in this upcoming week to see if there is anyone ready to hear the Gospel. WE are the closest missionaries to the city so we are planning to go see how it is. But back to the family. They also are ready to receive the blessings of the Gospel. We taught them after church and they accepted a baptismal date for the 24th. It will give them a lot of time to prepare and receive answers. The daughter named Reina (Queen) is really timid. She doesn't speak a lot. so we will see how that goes.

We weren't able to meet with Marta this week. So we are still waiting to see if she will progress.

So three good weeks in a row.. I am on a roll!! haha So this week is gonna be a good one!!

Siempre suyo or forever yours
Elder Jared

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Finding

Man what an amazing week it has been. It has been such a good week!! Man thats 2 in a row!! Haha 2 super amazing weeks back to back. Im lovin it!!

But one thing that we have been focusing on is finding new people to teach. Nothing happens in missionary work unlesss we find people to teach so that's what we have been doing!! It's really hard because most people are just to nice to reject you, so they don't say no but you can tell that they really aren't interested. It's hard because you have to contact hundreds to find one person to teach, but that's what the Lord has called me to do so that's what I'm trying to do!! But we have been blessed to find some people to teach.

One was just a random tracting contact. We just started clapping and a lady came to the gate. We just started making small conversation and then she just let us in! Her name is Juani. So we just started teaching the restoration and she is very very open with us. She just starts telling us how shes catholic but how she doesnt like going to mass because she feels that a lot of people judge her for some reason. She told us that she isn't really looking to change religions but she will always accept us. But I believe that she will change her mind. I really hope she will progress.

Another cool contact that we had was when we were trying to find a reference. It was getting a little bit late but we were still trying to find the reference. So we were in the area but we didn't really know where so we were just tracting trying to find the reference. So we clap at this one house and they were sitting on their porch just talking and the very first thing they say to us is "Enter!" and we were like... ok.. because this dosn't happen very often. Their names are Marta, Lorena and Magali. They are all sisters and very interested. They told us that they were willing tochange everything if they knew that the Book of Mormon was true. They too are very open and have lots of questions. We went back yesterday and they are reading and praying to see if the Book is true!! Haha I have a lot of hope for them! More progression to come!!

Yeah. so a pretty Stella week this week. I really enjoyed it!

Elder Jared




Monday, September 7, 2015

Power of the Book of Mormon and the Spirit

I cannot believe it is September already! Man the time is really flying out here. It's hard to believe that I have been in Paraguay almost exactly a year! I left the MTC In Argentina September 9th, so that means Wednesday will be an exact year!! it Has been a  wonderful year. Learning a new language and learning some guarani. I really love Paraguay. The people are so friendly and easy to talk with, I truly love it here.

Had another great week here in Emboscada. I had some really neat experiences that I will talk about later.

Elder Garcia and I had a really cool contact this week. We were waiting for a bus to go to one of the farther parts of our area and just doing some simple street contacting. We were doing this for about 20 minutes, gotten some references to pass and some people to visit. And then they came. Basically they contacted us. They saw us from a distance and they were like "Hey Elders!! When are you going to come visit us?" So we go and just start talking with them. Get their information. We thought they were members just from the way that they talked with us. But as our bus came we asked them if they were members, they said "No, But we want to be!" But the thing is. They live in the area of the other elders. So to bad. They were really great people. Their names are Arnaldo and Miriam. Hopefully I will be able to visit them on divisions.

This next experience is one that I will remember forever and ever. It was a true manifestation of the power of the Book of Mormon when the Spirit was with us. We were at the house of a recent convert named Lourdes, She is very active and is preparing to leave on a mission. But she starts telling us a certain situation that she needed help with. As Elder Garcia and I were wondering what we were going to share we felt prompted to read the Book of Mormon with her using the Chapter that she was about to read. The Chapter was 3 Nephi 1. And It applied directly to her situation. It kinda scared her that it helped her so much. As we were reading you could just see the light of understanding in her eyes as she learned to apply the chapter in her life. It was another powerful manifestation of the power of the Holy Ghost. It was incredible.

It was a really amazing week. I have loved every minute of this week and look forward to next week!

Elder Jared

Monday, August 31, 2015

Area Conference

Man this week few by... it passed in a blink of an eye! Wow! Haha but this week was a great week. We didn't have normal Sunday meetings because we had an Area Conference, or a satellite conference with all the stakes in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. It was awesome. It was presided by Elder Richard G. Scott and Elder Quentin L. Cook. There was a Huge focus on the sabbath day and missionary work. It was an amazing conference. so much wisdom and peace came from the mouth of our leaders specifically for this area of the world.

Our area president (Walter Gonzalez) spoke to us and he spoke to us about using our different types of media to preach the Gospel. Such as facebook, instagram, text messaging and stuff. It was really kind of ironic because we have been asking our mission president for permission to share a spiritual message over the radio station that a member owns! Haha so talk about using all the media! Haha we still have to get permission from our president to do it though. But it would be great if we could.

Aldonsa is progressing really well. She is really focused on getting baptized. She is changing a lot. It is amazing to see how much the Gospel can change lives when we let it! She loves the Book of Mormon and loves going to church with her family. SOowhen she gets baptized, that will be one step closer to an eternal family!!

We have another investigator named Luz. She is like nine years old and her best friend is a member. She really wants to be baptized and has a date for the 19th. She is super happy and loves going to church! Haha!

We have found a few potential investigators. We are always super busy retaining recent converts! The work doesn't work unless the workers work! haha I hope that makes sense. But I'm working and I loving it!!

Elder Jared

Monday, August 24, 2015

The week of service

This was such a good week for me! We found a lot of great opportunities to give service to some Investigators, and recent converts! It was neat because we found a new investigator that has started to progress a lot.

First of all, our first service we got to cut through a bunch of brush and little trees to help make a path to a home that she is building. It was fun because they dont have the same tools that we have back in the states. Just machetes and hard work. Its fun to whack your way through some wilderness. I enjoyed it very much.

The next service that we did was also with machetes. As you can tell we use machetes a lot. But this time we went to go collect Leña (or firewood) for a recent convert. Her name is Juana, she is about 50 years old and is really awesome. She really knows how to use a machete. She cuts braches like nothing and you wouldnt believe how she carries the braches home. She carries them home on her head.. yeah she ties a bunch of sticks together and puts them on her head.,, it is amazing how she does that. Supposedly shes been doing that for years now and had a lot of practice. She really is a work horse.

One last service with machetes this week was for the Familia Fleitas. I mentioned them last week as investigators that have been attending for the past year but cant get baptized because the arent married yet they have two kids that are recent converts. But we did a service with them and we found a new investigator. Her name is Aldonisa and she is the daughter of familia fleitas, supposedly she didnt want to share with the missionaries but now has done a compleate 180. After the service we shared with ther and challenged her to a baptismal date on the 26 of september. she accepted and the best part is she went to church yesterday! She is progressing really really well and has made her parent super happy.

Our last service of the week was my favorite. because it was a baptismal service for Hermana Caballero. She was finally able to enter into this sacred covenent with God and join her family in the Church. She was super happy. So I was super happy.

Also, just a little note about Emboscada and the stones. They dont really use the stones for bulding, manily decorating and bulding streets, sidewalks and decorating houses. And Gramma, I am still yet to find any africans here...

Love you all,

Elder Jared


This is where Brandon is living in Emboscado, Paraguay.  The LDS chapel is bottom center.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Ambushed!!

Yup so this week I got changed. I am in a small little town called Emboscada (Which Translates to "Ambush!" haha.) Its a nice little town like 30 minutes away from Limpio, I'm still in the Luque stake.. I'm really starting to wonder if I will ever get out of the warphole. But I like it here. It's a pretty place. According to the Paraguyans Emboscada is "La ciudad de Pedra" or " The city of stone" just because there are a lot of stone masons here. I've met a few and every now and then you can hear dynamite exploding off in the distance. It's a pretty cool branch. I feel like I'm going to like it here.

We have a few investigators. One is the Familia Fleitas. They are super cool and have a ton of attendances, The reason why they aren't baptized is that they aren't married, But Hermano Felitas is working on divorcing his ex wife so he can get married. Their two kids Kevin and Liza are some recent converts. They are super cool. Another Investigator we have is named Irena Caballero. Her 4 daughters are recent converts. She hasn't been baptized because she has been living with a man that she isn't married too (there are a lot of problems with the law of chastity here in Paraguay) But she is really humble and she couldn't find a place to live with daughters. She has been investigating and attending church now for about a year, and because of her problem, some missionaries call her an eternal investigator. But they have been helping her build her own house out of coconut trees. She has made huge sacrafices to be able to get baptized. She is really cool and her sacrafices have payed off because a miracle came. We visited her on Saturday and she told us that the man she was living with moved out of the house. So that means she can get baptized now! She has a date for this Saturday! She really loves the gospel and will be a strong convert. So thats something really awesome!

Another thing about Emboscada is that there are a ton of recent converts. Like 22. Its a huge change for me because I had 3 in Aregua. But only like half of the converts are really active and the other half isn't quite as active. They go every now and then. Bt the active ones are really strong. We are working with an convert who is really cool. His name is William Villa Mayor. He's like 19 and is preparing to go on a mission. We are starting to read the Book of Mormon with him and helping him really understand each verse. He is super strong!

I really like it here and I am happy :) also I forgot to bring my camera so no pictures this week :(

Elder Jared

Monday, August 10, 2015

Last week of the change

Yup this past week was week 6 of change 9... Haha it was a good week. We didn't have a lot of progression. It was kinda a slow week. This letter will be a little bit shorter because I really don't know what to write.

Familia Jil is doing well.. The kids have started reading the Book Of Mormon. and praying so thats good. Hopefully they will start going to church too!!

Our other Investigator Federico didn't come to church today. He didnt have any money for the bus to take him to the church and back, So we still have to wait for his baptisim. He has the required amount of attendances, we just want him to attend the week before his baptisim.

We did some family history work with Carlos this week. He has some family names to take to the temple the next time the ward goes. He has almost finished the Doctrine and Covenants. He is super solid and super faithful. He is awesome!!

Fransisco still doesn't want to talk to us.. That Bites...

I know that this letter is short, but with changes tomorrow I could be in a different place on a new adventure!! Jaja Everything is good with me. Have a fantastic week family!!

Elder Jared

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Downward Climb

This week it happened... I finally finished a whole year on the mission. and man it has flown faster and faster every change. it has been crazy quick and I have officaly made it onto the second half. I feel as if the first year was a great year for me. But it was more of a preparatory year. I've learned the language, developed some good teaching skills and have gained lots of knowledge of the scriptures. Now its really time to apply it, so I can get better and become a more effective instrument in the hands of the lord. Looking forward to another best year of my life.

As for the work this week, It was kinda a slow week... Not a ton of progression from our investigators. We've dropped Daniel and Lili. They read the Book of Mormon and pray but they seem to find and excuse to get out of going to church. Its really sad for me. They seemed like they really wanted to change but they still lack a little bit of action. But we will still try to pas by every now and then, because they do read and pray, and any second the avalanche could break.

We did find a new family to teach. they are called Famila Jil (Hill in English) I feel like they will progress. they seem open to our message. The one thing that is difficult with them is getting the parents to pay attention. The Kids do well, but the parents. They are hard. We do our best to keep them interested, but they just sit there on their phone. But the Kids are pretty cool. Their names are Maria (16) Monica (13) and Juan Angeles (11). They seem to want to go to church, the challenge will be the parents. I look forward to teaching them.

We didn't have to much success with less actives this week. Which is a bummer. Although Richard is still strong and keeps on going. He isn't less active now.

As for the recent converts... Carlos is doing amazing. He is about to finish the Doctrine and Covenants. Super cool. A little miracle happened this week. Because he was scheduled to work on Sunday but he didn't want to. But they Doctor he was assigned to doesn't usually let people off work. (Carlos is finishing his nursing school) SO we were praying and fasting that he would be able to go. And by some miracle, the doctor let him go! haha It was your classic ensign miracle, but it was a miracle to both of us.

Fransisco on the other hand is not doing so good... Hes moved out of my area but is still in the ward but hasn't been coming. supposedly he doesn't want visits from the missionaries. It is super hard for me. It was so strong before but hes changed and I cant do anything. He cuts my calls and I haven't been able to talk to him for a while. So that was super sad for me. Its rough having a convert not really be converted.

So that was a bit of a tough spot for me.

But on the other hand, Because I completed a year, I spent a lot of time really looking back at how much I've progressed. I'm really starting to see my purpose in Gods plan. I'm seeing what I can become and I can see what I need to do get there. When I was in my moment of retrospection, I realized that my testimony really had 2 foundations. 1. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and 2. Jesus is the Christ. Everything else that I believe comes from those two things. Joseph Smith, Prayer, Fasting, everything is based off those two things. I really was blessed to have been raised in a home that surrounded me with the teachings of Christ. I knew it was all true from when I can remember. I knew the Jesus atoned for my sins and sufferings. I knew it. But one thing that has changed on my mission is that I am starting to understand how much the atonement has changed my life. how Perfect the atonement was. I realized now not only the magnitude of the pain that Jesus went through, but the amount of patience, obedience, and love that he has for us. As I was walking through the street this week I saw a sign that said

It wasnt the Nails the sustained Jesus on the cross
It was his love for you.

Its true. All of it. I know it

I love you all,

Elder Jared

Monday, July 27, 2015

Paraguayan Politics

This week Paraguay had elections. I still donty really understand how the political system here works, but I do know that it kinda drove me insane. they just voted for city positions this year. But supposedly when they vote for a new president, its crazy. It was crazy just for city positions. People were driving around with huge giant speakers in their cars promoting their canidate. That really gave me a headache. because they dont just play it loudly, they BLAST it. We could hear the car coming from 5 blocks away. yeah... huge headache. The election took place yesterday (sunday) and we really thought that our attendance was going to plummit to rock bottom, but as it turned out, It didnt dip to far.  Just a little bit.

Other than the politics. nothing really has happend, WE did have an investigator go to church. His name is Federico, he is about 80 years old. Doesnt really remember everything we teach him. he just nows if feels right. He reads the same page from the book of mormon every day, because it feels good. Hes kinda crazy, but has great desires to be baptized, Its going to be fairly interesting with things and how they go. Ill keep yall updated with him.

I did have quite an interesting contact last monday. We were wating in a bus stop trying to catch a bus back home, and this guy sits down next to us. SO naturally we start talking to him. This is basically what we did when we introduced our selves...

Me: "Yo soy Elder Jared" (my name is Elder Jared)

The guy: "Oh como Mohonrimoriancomuer (El Hermano de Jared)" (Oh, like Mohanrimoriancomuer (who is the Brother of Jared)

me (All amazed...): "Cuantas veces ha leido el libro de mormon...." (How many times have you read the Book of Mormon....)

Guy: "Como 5 veces." (like 5 times)

Turns out the guy was a returned missionary. He didnt want to start talking to us just so see what kind of missionaries we were. Supposedly we passed the test. It was a very very interesting contact that lead to a super cool conversation. It was so cool. So moral of the story, for all those on the mission or preparing. Contact eveyone. because they might just be testing to see if your a good missionary. haha

Thats all for this week. love you all!!

Elder Jared

Friday, July 24, 2015

Meeting the Mormons and the Baptism!

This week was absolutely busy. we were working like ants running all over the place. But it was awesome! It hade some down points but all in all, it was a great week. Tuesday and Wendesday were all the same. Just lots of working in the rain. It makes the work hard and the day long. but thats what seperates the boys from the men. I managed to stay pretty dry the whole day so it wasnt bad at all.

Thursday we had Zone training. It was a really great conference. WE are increasing in baptisims as a mission so thats fantastic news, but we still have a lot to work on!! Our zone leaders talked about using the Book of Mormon to extend and invitation to do something. Its so awesome that we have the Book of Mormon and we can apply so many different stories to help people accept invitations. It is really great.

Friday: It was basically a normal day until the night when we had planned with the ward to do a "practice" Meet the Mormons. just to make sure that the movie worked, and all the leaders knew what to do. Also to really clean the Chapel. But really no one came. All the missionaries, the Elders quorum president and the guy to set up the projector. It was kinda stressful because the leaders didnt really know what to do the next day, but we got it all sorted out.

Saturday: The big day. I finally completed 19 years... It surprised a lot of members that I am so young, the all respond "But your so tall! you have to be like 21!" it was super funny to see their faces. they were shocked. But they day was really good. Fiorelas baptism was fantastic. It was such an honor to be able to preform the ordinace. She was super nervous at first, but after she was super happy. She told me that she felt like a new person. Thats the power of Baptism. And a little girl that understands what baptism really is. It was amazing.

The movie was absolutely amazing. although, there werent ANY non members that went. But Meet the Mormons is absolutely amazing!! I loved! although it made me Kinda trunky.... but im over it now.

Sunday: Just a nice normal relaxing sunday. Oh and the fact that Fransiscos and threw whipped cream in my face for my birthday. It ended up in a big whipped cream fight that was fun. Haha just a little bit of laundry.

It was such a great week!!

Elder Jared



Monday, July 13, 2015

The Book of Mormon

Man what a fast week it has been!! Demasiado rapido! I really enjoyeed this week and had a lot of fun and Powerful moments. It has been a week of great growth for me and my testimony. I really dont know where to begin, So I might be all over the board with Awesome expierences. I cant wait to tell you!

First, I had Divisions with the Zone leaders. I was with Elder Jensen (You might remember him from my days in the CCM) and we were working in his area in Aregua. We really had a great day but the Highlight was a lesson we had with Milagros (I mentioned her a few weeks ago when I was in the Trio) She had a baptismal date for last saturday but when we visited her she was really shaky. She had all the attendences, she was reading and praying but she said she really hadnt gotten a firm answer. So we talked about how to recognize the spirit. It was an extremly powerful lesson. I promise you that the words that we spoke were not our words. They just came from our mouths. It is amazing to realize how the lord will fill your mouth as long as you open it. So yeah super powerful. And as we left we committed her to read a chapter (I dont remember which one) from the Book of Mormon and to pray about when she should be baptized. The Very next night, Elder Jensen called me to tell me that she was going to be baptized. It was amazingly powerful.

We really havent been able to visit with Daniel and Lili for a while. Just because when we have passed by they arent home or are too busy. But yesterday we were able to meet with them and it was really good. Daniel had been reading the Book of Mormon, Lili, not so much. But when we asked if they had any questions, Daniel said "When I have questions or doubts, I read your book. It helps me a lot" Its fantastic that he has learned to look for answers in the Book of Mormon. I hope that he will go to church this weekend.

Richard has been doing really well. Techincally he is reactivated, but He was reactivated in his heart a few weeks ago. Haha. If all goes well, he should get the priesthood next sunday. He has been working really hard on getting hios older brother back to church and supposedly it almost worked too. But his older brother (Jose) found some excuse not to go. It kinda made RIchard a little bit sad, but hopefully next week, we will have to see.

Carlos and Fransisco are doing really well. Carlos had finished the Book of Mormon for the very first time and Is now reading the Doctrine and Covenants. He is in section 89 now. Lots of progression. Fransisco is in 2 nephi and he is doing amazing as well.

This week should be a great week. Our ward has an activity where we are going to watch meet the mormons so we are inviting everyone to go. I really want the Chapel to fill up. Also, Fiorela has asked me to baptize her this saturday, and we are watching Meet the Mormons saturday, and It just happens to be my Birthday saturday. It is going to be a great day.

For my Book of Mormon reading I am in Heleman, about to finish for the 3rd time in spanish. This time through I really have realized How the Profets teach the same thing. Its the same thing that Jesus taught and what we missionaries teach and that we learn today which is the Faith, Repentance, Baptisim, Reception of the Holy Ghost, and Endure to the End. From my studies, Every Book and Profet has taught that in some way or form. If you really look, you will realize that it is everywhere in the Book of Mormon. It should be a suprise because Faith repentance, baptisim, reception of the Holy Ghost and endure to the end is the Gospel of Jesus Chirst. But it is everywhere, so it must be important.

I love the Book of Mormon, Rohyhu Paraguay and I love all yall

Elder Jared


Monday, July 6, 2015

The changes

Im sure yall are wondering what the changes are for me. to keep it short and simple, There were no changes for me. Still in Aregua with Elder Calderón. Ready to work another change! haha man this was such a great week. We saw a lot of progress with our less actives. In total, we had over 12 less actives come. It was absolutely amazing to see them there.

Before I go rambling about my less actives, one quick note. One area here in Aregua closed so that means that our area lines got changed. And do yall remember Guillermo from last week? He is now in my area. How lucky am I. Seriously. Blessed.

Richard has absolutely changed my life this week. And he did it by changing his own life first. He has read the first 15 chapters in the Book of Mormon and has absolutley completely changed his life in the blink of an eye. He is really really interested in going on a mission and has been very active about talking to the Bishop to get the Priesthood. He has changed. The fact that he was active in talking to the Bishop shows it. His mom didnt have to do anything, we just told him that he needed to talk to the Bishop and he has done the rest. further evidince of his change was that he bore his testimony yesterday. It was short, but it was pure, powerful and full of faith. Absolutely amazing.

I dont have much time, so thats why the letter is a little bit shorter today, but dont take if for a lack of love because I love you all just as much as God loves you!

Elder Jared

Monday, June 29, 2015

One Quick Change

Yeah, This change is over now. It is amazing to think how quick this change has gone by, but at the same time it feels like an eternity since the change has started. Before this change started I had three companions... 3 comps for 8 months and in this change I have doubled that. Its kinda crazy. so yeah, but everything is great with my companions, Just a little interesting fact for this week.

I dont think Ill have changes, but you just never know whats going to happen. Its a great suprise. Kinda like Christmas every six weeks :) haha. For some reason I think the Bishop thinks that I will leave. Even though half of the missionaries here in aregua have been here longer than I have. But he knew that we had changes and he gave 2 missionaries a little bit of time to bear their testimony in preisthood meeting and then in sacrament meeting. He wanted me to do it in both. So I dont know if its revelation or if ill stay. luckily for me I find out tomorrow, you all have to wait another week.

This week has been really good. we have found lots of good people to teach so Im pretty excited. But there are two that I am super excited about. One is called Guillermo and the other is Richard.

We found Guillermo when I was in the Trio. He was just a street contact, he seemed very interested but the directions to his house were a little bit shaky. He lives in a different area from mine. But this week, I went on divisions to that area and it was like 6:30 at night and we were just contacting, and my Companion (elder Dswson from the Trio) said that he hadnt contacted this one street before so we just start tracting, and not the third house in, we contact Guillermos house, an absolute miracle that we found him again. But so we start teaching him and he just asked all right questions. Like he seriously would ask a question that would be answered perfectly but the next principle that we would teach I.E, He asked ¿why are there so many church on the earth today? bam, the great apostasy, then he asked ¿What makes you all different from all the other churchs? bam, Joseph Smith and the first vision. It was absolutely wonderful. He learned a lot and I feel like he will progress

Richard is the son of a less active that we have been working. Hermana Ana. HeIs 16 but he lived in a different house until this week. He was baptized when he was eight but hasnt been to church in a lon long time. He had forgotten a lot about the church and why its important. But he is very ready to learn and progress. WE felt inspired to talk to him about the book of mormon and how it could help him.  then he just asked a lot of questions and each one could be answered by a verse in the Book of Mormon. So he could see how the book really could answer all his questions. And then, HE WENT TO CHURCH!!!! Even though it was raning, he went to church for the very fist time in nearly 6 years. It was amazing. he is such a quality young man and will be a very good missionary some day. I have so much excitment for him

So there is progresion going on and there is nothing that makes a missionary more happy then seeing people progress!!

All my love,

Elder Jared

Monday, June 22, 2015

The sweetest fruit ever!

Man this has been a great week. It really has been. Although we didn't see much progression on the people that we were focusing on, we had lots of less actives go to church even though we hadn't been focusing on them. I guess it's God telling us that we have to change who we focus on! Haha!

SO this week we had the special opportunity to listen to the President of the Area, Elder Walter Gonzalez of the 70. It was an absolutely fantastic mission meeting. He talked about the Book of Mormon and how it is a book of levels and standards. Or meaning that we can go to different depths according to our studies and apply scriptures differently to our lives. It reminded me of some advice that my mom has sent me (more then once but it is fantastic advice!!) I think she got it from a member of our stake presidency. But anyway, There are basically 3 levels we can go to. The first is compared to swimming with our head out of the water. We enjoy the water but can't really enjoy what is under the water. The second would be be similar to snorkeling. Our head is under the water and we enjoy what is under the water. The third is like SCUBA diving. Really going deep and living underneath the waves. Ok now its time for the explanation. First we can read the Book of Mormon and enjoy what is really on the surface. We can have a great time reading, but we miss a huge part of the fun! Second we start going deeper. Thinking harder about the scrptures that we read. and starting to see the beauty of the scriptures. Third is the most difficult to do. It takes lots of practices, traning and paciencia. We are applying what we learn. Or basically we are living in the beauty of what we learn, really understanding the scriptures and living in them!

So I've started practicing really really going deep and learning. And I have been greatly blessed from that. There is one underlying theme that I have seen from these scrpirtures. That would be the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I knew that the atonement was a common theme in the Book of Mormon, I just didn't realize how much it talked about it. I have discovered that EVERY single verse can either apply to the atonement, or support a verse or story that can be applied to the atonement. It honestly has changed my life. I know that Jesus is the Christ. He suffered for us, He died for us. He lives for us. I know that the Book Of Mormon is the word of God. It has helped me understand life so much more and helped me get though the hard time on my mission. I feel like the Book of Mormon is the sweetest fruit that I have tasted. I love it!

We had another awesome lesson with Daniel and Lili. They are just so great. They were both sick this week so they didn't go to church. But I really feel like they have the desire to change. They have started reading the Book of Mormon and have felt a change in their life. They feel more peace and tranquility in their lives. They are feeling the spirit in their lives! more sweet fruit!!

Finally, we had maybe my favorite service ever... We picked strawberrys. Fransiscos uncle owns a strawberry farm so Saturday we helped him in his field.... We picked around 54 pounds of strawberries. I love strawberries so much. And to pick your own strawberries is the best. Super sweet and delicious!!

I love you all and hope that you will all really start going deep in your studies!

Love you more than the strawberries here!!

Elder Jared

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The June Rains

Hello!!!

Man I am so glad that today is Pday... I really needed this one. Its not that this week was hard or anything, I don't know. I'm just extremely grateful that is Pday right now. Its a nice time to relax a little bit and prepare for an awesome week.

this past week wasn't hard, I just don't feel like there is much to report. There were rain storms this week and that always makes the work hard. The biggest storm came Sunday morning right before church. So basically attendance wasn't very good.

Daniel (our investigator) works as a truck driver and he got stuck in Buenos Aries and we couldn't visit with him for the week. it was kinda disappointing but it is ok. From what I hear he is reading the Book of Mormon and really likes it. but I've just heard that through the grapevine.

Our recent converts are doing really good. We have Fransisco working on his family history. He is planning on going to the temple at the end of this month to be baptized for his dad. He loves the family history work. Our other Recent convert is doing really well too. Im not sure if i told you about him, his name is Carlos Torres and reads a ton. In fact this week he finished the Book of Mormon! supposedly he has read 3 chapters everyday since hes been baptized in February. And ever since he went to church for the first time. he has only missed twice. so he is pretty awesome. We have some fantastic converts.

And now for the less actives. WE have a lot of them but not much progression is happening. None of them went to church due to the rain. we are really focusing on 2 menos activos Hma Lorenza and Hma Ana. They both will go to church if the conditions are good. But if not they wont go. They are the two that are progressing the most of our less actives. Reactivating is really really hard. and its kinda frustrating but its a part of the work so I love it.

I love you all!! Don't be afraid to write me paper letters too!!

Elder Jared

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Tables Have Turned!

This has been another crazy week… yeah. As you know, I have been in a trio for the past 2 weeks. I loved being in a trio but ow its all over. I have a new companion. His name is Elder Calderón. He was born in Peru, but the last 8 years hes lived in Portland Oregon. So it is a possibility that he knew Evan Johnson when he was there. He has the same time as me on the mission and will go home with me. He really likes speaking English and I am used to speaking Spanish so he will talk to me in English and I reply in Spanish. So the tables have turned.

Not too much has happened this week. It seems like forever since I've had a pday. It always seems like its been forever when I have changes. So this week has flown by but has lasted forever. Weird how that works out eh? Haha its weird how time goes on the mission. The days are long and the weeks are short and the months are even shorter. I don’t understand how that can happen!! I am no longer considered a greenie now! Haha so once again, the tables are turned!! Haha

Milagros lives in the area of Elder Dawson and Silvers my old companions) so I won't really be able to visit with her. But I did see her at Church yesterday so she is progressing really good. Daniel and Lili are still in my area,. I absolutely love going to visit them. They are so genuine in their desires to change. They told us that they will only be baptized if it will truly change their lives… And they have already seen the changes. Daniel is a truck driver and is gone during the week so we visited them on Saturday. He told us that his week was unusually good and that he has been more patient since starting to converse with out Heavenly Father (Padre Celestial). He tells us that before he would just recite the Lord's prayer before. So prayer has really changed his live for the better. They are just such great investigators and their situation is just absolutely fantastic. I might have told you, but it doesn’t hurt to hear it twice. They live across the street from the Elders Quorum president. They just moved in a few months ago and immediately the Familia Domiguez (EQP) started fellowshipping them. Not by inviting them to church, but by being a friend. And that has helped Daniel and Lili so so much. They have noticed something different about him from the other neighbors. SO shout out to good examples… hurrah! Hurrah!!

But they didn’t go to church this week because there has been a little bit of a bug that has been going around. It kept them from church as well as 3 other menos activios we have been working with. But all in all, we had a good turn out at church. From our ward we had 113 come. So that was more great news!!

Have a great summer my family! Love you just as much as I love this work!

Elder Jared

Monday, June 1, 2015

Change of Heart and Beer Bottles

Man what a week this has been, Lets just say that the trio has been killing it! We've started getting into a groove with teaching and all that stuff. We have been getting along really well and working really hard. And the miracles have been coming.

Our mission president has been encouraging us to put a focus on baptizing, contacting more and helping the people of Paraguay learn the importance of Baptism. So we have been being super bold when it comes to inviting people to baptism. President Mcmullin promised us that if we are bold and not afraid to put dates for baptism the first lesson he said the Lord would soften their hearts. When I first heard this I was super skeptical about doing it. I was afraid that it would seem a bit too pushy and was ready to put that challenge behind me and forget about it. But it was Wednesday night and we had a lesson with a less active and her daughter that is not a member. We taught the restoration and the Book of Mormon and the Spirit was super strong. I just had a feeling that I needed to challenge her to a baptismal date. And she accepted. Her name is Milagros (in English, miracles) and the date is the 4 of July. So the promise from my mission president came true! And more evidence of that comes from last night. We were on divisons with Fransisco and his uncle. So Fransisco was with Elder Silver and I while his uncle was with Elder Dawson. Fransisco gave us this reference and right from the beginning we could tell they were prepared to change. They asked what they would have to change to become members of the church and when we told them that they would have to pay tithing obey the Word of Wisdom, get married, they were super ready to change. They kept telling us that they really wanted to change and already had plans to get married. They don't have a problem with the word of wisdom and said that they were ready to pay tithing even though it would be a great sacrifice. They are super prepared. They are named Daniel and Lili. and have a date for the 18th of July, It's a long ways away but they do have a wedding to plan!

So the dates aren't they only miracle I've seen this week... We have been working with a less active named Lorenza. She went inactive because she had a problem with a leader in the ward. Supposedly their neighborhood got together and own some water supply thing. She thought that the ward leader was stealing money from the neighborhood. The sad thing is she didn't even know if he did steal. So that's why she stopped going to church. We have spent the past 6 weeks with her trying to help her forgive. but she just couldn't. Thats when the miracle comes in. Tuesday we had planned to teach her about how we can feel the spirit from the Book of Mormon. But we ended up teaching repentance. It was a great lesson. And the best part of all was that the end, she told us that she was going to church! And She did!! It was great!!

So two hearts were changed this week. Mine and Lorenza's. Now I know what you're thinking. What are the Beer Bottles? Well... We had a family home evening with Hermana Lorenza and her family, and she prepared a little dinner. As she brings out the drinks they were all beer bottles... We were like uhh..... But she's like "Relax, I refill them with soda!" so yeah, we drank soda out of beer bottles!

This Pday was an adventure. We wanted to climb a hill that is close to our house but is absolutely covered in jungle. There wasn't really a pathway to the top so we brought our Machete and made a path. The view was great!! you could see Asuncion and the lake. Absolutely gorgeous! I also recreated my jumping photo. And just for kenna, some pictures of the roads we walk!

Love you all! I just hope you are all happy as I am!!

Elder Jared




Monday, May 25, 2015

Crazy Changes!

So as expected, Elder Galdámez got changed. He is in my old zone (Which is still Luque, futher evidence that it is a warpwhole). But as for me, I get the special priveledge to not only have one companions, but two. Or in more simple words I am now in a trio. Yup, three missionaries now. But my new companions are Elder Dawson and Elder Silvera. Elder Dawson is from Dallas, Texas and has been here in Paraguay 1 change more than me. Elder Silvera is from Lima, Peru and has about 3 months on the mission. Both are excellent Elders and we get along great. Elder Dawson is District leader and I'm technically senior companion.  It has been a struggle getting used to teaching. We all have a different teaching style and it's tricky to know who is going to talk and when. haha. We start each lesson with a little rotation but then the spirit will tell one of us to say something and it throws off the rotation. It's a bit tricky but we are getting better at it.

As for my area, I'm kinda in my area. Elder Dawson was also in Aregua but an odd number of missionaries came in this change, so basically President McMullin combined our areas and put us as a three some. This arrangement should last two long, one change maximum, but it could be any moment that we split. we just dont know. It's an adventure that's for sure.

But this week has been a fun week!! We've gotten absolutely soaked the past 4 days because of rain. I don't think there are enough rain jackets and umbrellas to keep you dry here! But we've had a fun week in the rain. Getting to know each other and stuff.

I had to give an improptu talk this Sunday. I had about 30 seconds to prepare it. I got the notice right as the Sacrament ended. I was the first to speak so it was interesting. It pains me to speak when I have time to prepare. But I spoke on how we have the name of Christ given to us when we are baptized, using scriptures from Mosiah 5. To me it was kind mixed up and I didn't think I got the point across but the members loved it. so I guess it was a success.

But in my studies I was studying Docterine and Covenents 93. It really blew my mind, but I'll let you guys study that if you want. But something that really struck me was the very last verse. it says
 And, verily I say unto you, that it is my will that you should hasten to translate my scriptures, and to obtain a knowledge of history, and of countries, and of kingdoms,of laws of God and man, and all this for the salvation of Zion. Amen.

What I learned from  this is basically the Lord is telling Joseph Smith to hurry up and finish translating the scriptures! Because we need this knowledge of History and of the ancient lands, But more importantly is to know the laws of God, and of man. Without the scriptures we wouldn't have this knowledge. and therefore we wouldn't have salvation. But I really encourage you all to study this section. It is fantastic!

Love you all!

Elder Jared