Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Letter #34 June 23, 2014

June 23, 2014

Hey Everyone!

Well I am sitting here in Encarnacion, Paraguay and I am not even sure if I am on the same planet as before.   Things are so very different here it’s crazy!!!  We spent Monday and Tuesday of this last week to say goodbye to the people of Puerto Esperanza and it didn't take long because there weren't many members ha.  We went to say goodbye to the Bogarin Family and while we were there a HUGE lightning/thunder storm happened. The lights went out and we had our last discussion by candlelight!! So cool!!  Wednesday we left Esperanza at around 3:00am in the morning.   When we finally arrived at the terminal in Posadas, we were met by a ton of other missionaries.  We all hung out for a little until it was time to head to the office to take care of some last minute paper work before I could cross the border.  We went to the police station and took care of everything and then we headed to Paraguay!!!  It’s crazy to think I’m not even in the same country anymore.  When I arrived Elder Magdeleno (new comp who turns out is from Idaho) was there directing the missionaries.  We waited until things calmed down and then headed to my area of Ita Paso (like 25 minutes outside of Encarnacion) to drop off my bags.  We got to Ita Paso and it’s like a farm town!! As we pulled in there was a man walking down the road with his 3 cows and chickens running around everywhere!! So different!!  Our pinch is a little tiny house that only has water between the hours of 7:00 to 11:00 in the morning so we have to fill up jugs of water to use at night.  Today a fuse popped so we don't even have light anymore.  On a positive side this will be great material for my homecoming talk!  We went back to the terminal where we got on a bus with Elder Vindas and his greenie Elder Quesadas.  We got on the crappiest bus I had ever seen and headed to San Pedro to help orient the Elders to their area.  We spent the next 3 hours crammed into a nasty bus on the way to San Pedro.  When we got there, it was already dark.  Here it gets dark around 5:30pm, so it's way different than summer daylight.   We worked hard this week!! I love my new area although it is very different!!  The people here speak majority Guarani, which means now I have to learn that language.   There are actually a lot of people here that don't even speak Spanish!!  We have a ton of investigators that speak very little Spanish so I have to think of new ways to explain Gospel Principles in really simple broken down Spanish. Kind of difficult!! 

We had a super spiritual/ funny experience this week.  When we were tracting one day, we realized that we were walking without purpose.  So we stopped on a street corner for a minute to refocus, and then a blue gate just seemed to catch my eye.  We decided to go and clap at the gate. Within seconds, out came Gutierrez.  He is a 77 year old man who gladly let us in.   We sat down and got to know him a little better and he told us that he lost his wife around 4 years ago.  We talked a little more, and then talked a little about how we can see our families again after we die. We can all be together forever.  As we were talking I looked over at Gutierrez and he began to cry.  There was a strong spirit as we bore testimony that the things we were sharing were true.  Then out of nowhere he asked us if he could as us a question so we said yes.  He asked us if it was bad that a lady came over and cleaned his house/visited him.  We told him no that it wasn't bad.  But then he went on into more detail and it turns out this almost 80 year old man breaks the law of chastity a couple times a week with his maid!!! We did not see that coming at all!!!  There are so many stories that I could share but they will have to wait a couple months. ha ha.  My experiences are endless.

Thanks for everything that you all have done and continue to do for me and all the other missionaries in the world!!

Stay safe and I love you all!!
Elder Ollerton

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Letter #33 June 16, 2014

Hey Everyone!
Wow I feel like I say this all the time but the week flew by!  We had a successful week this week and Elder Vidaurre and I worked in a new part of our area and had a lot of success.  We found a lot of great people!  We found a family that really is open to what we have to say!  They have a 20 year old son named Gabriel who has shoulder length hair and who just loves sharing with us!!  His mom only believes in the Bible and told us its the only way to get answers and basically prayer doesn't work.  She also went off on a little rant on how she knows its not ok for boys to have long hair, how she shouldn't paint her fingernails or wear pants and all this stuff.  So I pulled out my pictures and showed her how my hair used to be and told her that all of those things were ok haha.  Gabriel came to church on Sunday with his 10 year old brother Ian and they loved it!!  While I was giving my talk they both  were locked in and it was awesome!!

This week was a lot harder than normal because the World Cup started and so for the next month the only religion that anyone has is soccer.  I'm starting to believe that Satan uses this as a tool.  It's absolutely nuts here!! Everytime Argentina scores a goal, there are fireworks and lots of celebrating!!  Absolute Chaos!  Kind of frustrating as well.

This week Elder Cross and I headed to Posadas to take care of my visa problems.  So I haven't really talked about this much but my visa to Argentina expired 4 months ago, so I have been illegal here for this last 4 months haha.  So Thursday we went to Posadas and I assumed we were going to take care of my problems in Argentina but we ended up at the Paraguaytian Consolate and I got a 10 year long visa to Paraguay in a couple of hours!  The Argentine government just doesn't like Americans that much.  We ended up having to leave the country for a couple hours so I didn't get deported. ha good times.  We went to Paraguay for lunch and we had Burger King!  It was the best thing I have eaten in 8 months. Sad huh?  A little taste of home was unreal!!!
Today we went and played a game called Paddle.  It's like tennis but on a smaller court and you can use the walls it was great!! Today is also difficult because I found out that after 4 months in Puerto Esperanza, I will be transferred on Wednesday,  I am headed to an area called Ita Puro.  Its in Encarnacion (Yes its ok to sing the Nacho Libre song now), Paraguay!! I will be hopping the border again ha.  I will be a Zone Leader now and my companion is Elder Magdeleno from Mexico. I am looking forward to new adventures in another country.

Stay tuned!! Love you all!!

Elder Ollerton