This week has been a week full of changes!
At the start of this week we had changes. Hermana Getz left our area and I get to stay in Juan de Salazar! My new companion is Hermana Còrdova. Hermana Còrdova is from Peru and came the change before me, so we're both pretty new in the mission.
This past week has been Spanish 24/7- no more speaking in English for me! Even though it was rough at first, I am learning how to speak more or less correct Spanish. Even though we're both new and I'm struggling to communicate, we're working hard and have already had some good laughs together.
This week we also started a new program for our daily studies that the mission has made for us. To encourage more unity and help us meet our goals as a mission our leaders have made a schedule of what we will be studying as a mission every week. Even though it seems strict, it's actually really cool. This past week we have been learning about our role in inviting people to repent and be baptized and this week we are studying about the Atonement.
Today we had a Zone activity in the Playa de Aregua. There's not much flowing water in Paraguay - a few rivers and lakes - and in Aregua they made a sort of recreation area and called it a beach. We had a barbeque and played some volleyball. It's always nice to get out of our areas, travel a little bit and have some fun with other missionaries.
Part of the new study program in our mission includes the new Book of Mormon challenge! President Monson has extended the invitation for everyone to read the Book of Mormon before the upcoming General Conference in April. Accept the challenge! Accept it! :D
With love sent from Paraguay,
Answers to your questions:
What are your mission rules? The mission rules are universal in the missionary handbook, but we also have a few specific rules: we can only email for 2 hours every p-day (today we're just emailing for one because we need to go do groceries). We also can't drink terere, a drink that people just pass around to sit and share here. We can't listen to anything other than church - produced music - EFY and hymns- and we can't drink beverages that are dark- so no Coke or Pepsi or anything- because our president says we don't need caffeine and we also don't know what people put in dark colored beverages. We can only visit the missionary webpage and the church web page.
What do you do on p-day? We usually have one p-day for shopping, the next we do something we want to do like travel or shop. Last p-day we made tapas for our scriptures - a recuerdo I will be taking home but I wish to use in my mission as well.
What do you eat? We usually have lunches everyday (at least in our area) with members. Tuesdays we make lunch for ourselves and we usually eat rice and veggies or make tuna sandwiches with the bread from the dispensa. We mostly just cook treats and snacks - like every week for weekly planning I make popcorn with popcorn kernels in a pot with oil. Sometimes we make arroz con leche or pancakes or something - everything is from scratch.
Do you live near any Elders? The closest elders live down the street from us. They work with us in our ward. They were Latinos and this change it is a Latino and a North American. We don't really associate much with the elders because of the rules. I have yet to need a priesthood blessing from them but if I ever will need one they are there.
Who are the missionary leaders? We have both district and zone leaders - they change with the changes as well. We have 4 hermana leaders in the mission and do divisions with them once every change or so. Right now we have all 4 hermana leaders in our zone, so we are expecting to possibly do more divisions this week.