So, how are things with your Visa application?
I think they are good. Elder Durrant and I went over to the travel office to see if they knew anything. they didn't have any information yet but the guy we talked to said that Visas for Paraguay are generally very good and they never had problems. There were a couple missionaries that left yesterday to go to Asuncion Norte that Elder Durrant and I have kind of become friends with. They said that they never talked to anybody in the travel office and just got their travel plans right when they were supposed to. The elders going to Argentina in our district had to meet with a consolate to make sure they weren't insane or something like that. But the elders that just left for Paraguay said they never had to do that. They also told us about this tutor here at the MTC that teaches Guarani and they had been going there a little bit. Elder Durrant and I might go check that out and take a couple of lessons, we'll see.
Do you have any idea on when you will be leaving for Paraguay? I am almost certain that it will be early morning on Monday the 4th. And I think I'll have 2-3 lay overs so I will definitely be able to call and chat a little bit.
Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Vac for the ties. They are so sweet! After 6 weeks in the MTC, I feel like I've worn every tie about 123940 times so I was way pumped to get new ties. I've never been so excited about new ties, it's a little weird maybe. But anyway, thanks!
So last Tuesday the devotional was by Lowell Snow of the 70 and his wife. Mom, I'm starting to think that you may have been right about the pedigree chart but then again I always figure that it was just some lame idea thought up by an old guy in the missionary department, so oh well. Also there is another Elder Snow here, he got here the week after me and is going to Mexico Tampico. We live on the same floor of the same building so I keep hearing people yell "Elder Nieve" then I turn around to realize that it was for someone else. But anyway, you should let me know if we're related to Lowell, I'm sure Grandpa would know. Elder Snow's talk was very good. He talked a lot about choices in our lives and how they form us. We always need to strive to make the right choices. Also, if we ever try to dodge a rule or break a commandment, asking permission from leaders won't work because in reality everything we live by is God's commandment and his rules. It is him that we need to follow. He also talked about how when we pray, we should try to shape our will to fit that of God's rather than try to conform God's will to fit ours.
On Wednesday, my new teacher Hermano Milne, was talking about how a lot of the time the gospel will have a familiar ring to people. This may be because we learned everything about the gospel in the Pre-existence and now we are just re-learning in. As a missionary I need to help people realize that.
One cool thing I was thinking about on Thursday was the need to always follow the spirit and recognize when it is giving us multiple promptings. I was reading in PME (Predicar Mi Evangelio or Preach My Gospel) about how the spirit presses things on our minds when we need to learn something. When we ignore these promptings initially, the feelings of the Spirit keep pressing and we need to follow them. It's like in 1st Nefi when Nefi kills Laban after hesistating for a little bit then the Spirit keeps prompting him. Or like Joseph Smith's experience after reading James 1:5 and the thought to pray kept finding its way into his mind.
On Friday, I was reading about how we need to study the scriptures and do everything to the Lord in prayer. I get so much more and am so much alert when I have a prayer in my heart and am making a conscious effort to learn. It was kind of a bummer on Frieday the TRC mis-scheduled us and we didn't get to teach. The TRC is usually one of the highlights of my week so that was kinda disappointing, but oh well.
But then on Friday or Saturday, Elder Durrant and I started doing a different teaching method instead of just practicing the 1st and 2nd lesson over and over (it gets boring) where we come up w/ legit questions or concerns that our future investigators might have and then the other companion has to answer it using the Scriptures, and the BOM (Book of Mormon) in particular. It always amazes me how much we have learned and how many answers to anything that we have a question about is in the BOM.
On Sunday we didn't have a devotional b.c they have been redoing the gym the whole time we've been here. It's kind of a pain. Up until this week, we have kind of worked around it and had devotional in the gym anyway, but they jsut refinished the surface so we couldn't. So we haven't been able to play basketball and Elder Durrant is kind of in pain becuase of that. So it's been lots of soccer and I'm starting to get pretty good! But anyway, no devo so I just talked with some of the native speakers on Sunday night for a while. It's always really helpful to talk to them. They told me that I don't have an American accent, which I was pretty pumped about. But they said I speak with a Portuguese accent a(nd that I put my emphasis on the last syllable so it sounds like I'm from Portugal. So Dan might be pumped because of that. But I'll take that I guess, they said it's better than sounding like an American, hah. I can tell that my Spanish is getting better though.
On Monday, I was reading in the allegory of the olive tree. In Jacob 5: 21-26 it talks about how it doesn't matter what spot we are in, but with the counsel of the Lord, we'll be alright. I know this is true. I know that if we strive to follow the commandments of the Lord and do what is right, we'll always be okay.
I forgot my camera again. I only have like 10 pics anyway so not that exciting. But maybe I'll send them your way next week.
But I love you all lots and I'll talk to you later. Have a great week! Oh and it's a bummer about BYU, but oh wells.