Well, it's starting to get kinda chilly down her, so we'll see how my first paraguayan winter goes! I've already learned that I REALLY need to buy some rain boots, but nobody sells them in the town that I'm in right now. When we go to Ca'acupe in two weeks we're going to look for some as well as decent coat. My comp thinks I'm crazy that I don't already have these things... My argument is that I'm from Arizona ^.-
I would die of happiness if I could take a bath. Those honestly do not exist at all down here. And yay for a clean Ashton! Hna Weeks and I actually decided to pamper ourselves today with pedicures from one of our member's daughters. Oh my goodness, did my feet need it! I feel so happy, and my toes look 30x's nicer! And while Hna Weeks was getting her's done, I taught Victoria, the member, how to make pancakes. They had never had real American peanut butter before either, so my companion brought a jar that her family had sent her and we ate it with the pancakes. Her whole family absolutely loves them, and I think she's really excited to try to make them on her own sometime soon. Also, it turns out that trying to explain maple syrup to someone who has no idea what it is is really... interesting. We ended up with the explanation that it's like honey....but from a tree? Btw, that's the first meal that I want when I get back home.
The zone conference went really well! And yes, half of the missionaries are Latinos, so my zone and I sang in Spanish. We got lots of compliments, too! The best part, however, was getting to hear from Elder Viñas of the 70 teach about the Atonement and how we can utilize it as missionaries. 90% of the people hear are Catholic and already know a lot about the grace of God and the importance of faith, but what we are here to teach is that because of the fall of Adam, the Atonement is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to return to our Heavenly Father, but is only available to us through, repentance, baptism by the proper authority, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end by making and KEEPING other sacred covenants and ordinances. Having faith alone will never save anyone. Our investigators have to ACT on this faith and recieve these ordinances, or they are subject to the affects of the Fall. Yup, it was really incredibly interesting, and I learned a lot!
The other half of his talk was more or less about helping the members endure to the end. In our zone, we have a little over 2000 members of the church, but only 118 are endowed and 70 have current temple recommends! I about cried when I heard that number!!! Something has happened that our members don't understand the importance of temple covenants in order to enter into the highest glory of the Celestial Kingdom. To say the least, we are making a lot of plans to see what we can do to change this number. Keep us in your prayers please! We need lots of help!!
Anyway, this week was really awesome, and we're pressing forward like always. Please pray for us that we can find more new people and that our investigators can progress. I love you guys with all my heart, and I'm so glad that you are all doing well! (especially, Ashton, it sounds like!)
With so so much love,