So good to hear from you all. It was really great to be able to talk to everyone on Saturday. It sounds like everyone is doing great and getting all grown up! It was definitely hard to hang up after only 40 minutes and the time passed super fast, but it was really awesome to talk to you.
Christmas here passed really well, it was nice to visit the members and relax a little bit. Here the 25th isn't that big, it's the 24th that's a really big deal. So Christmas eve everyone was going crazy with their fireworks which were pretty much just loud bomb sounding things while us missionaries were sleeping away. On Christmas eve we ate dinner with an awesome family in Ybate and it was super delicious!
This last week has been kind of crazy because... big news... drumroll please.... I got transferred! I had to bid farewell to Ybate and the awesome people there. I will miss the members and the investigators we were teaching. I took lots of pictures that I will send, I can't do it now because it's not working on this computer.
I am now serving in one of the zones in Ciudad del Este! I'm so pumped! Yesterday I took the bus ride out here, it's about 6 hours from Asuncion to Ciudad del Este and then about another hour and a half to my area, which is a little southwest of Ciudad del Este. My area is named Santa Rita and was opened only about 5 months ago so it's unlike anything else in the mission. It was opened by a couple of really good missionaries and the work took off here. It started with 2 members and since then it's just grown and grown and now there are about 35ish. It's unlike anything else because the church is unknown here, it's a little isolated so there are people who have never heard of the church and it's kind of a new thing around here. And now a drumroll for my new companion....... Elder Woodruff! He is an amazing elder. The Elder Bonilla saga continues, as Elder Woodruff was also trained by Elder Bonilla. Another crazy thing is Elder Woodruff just trained my MTC companion, Elder Durrant, so I am replacing Elder Durrant here in Santa Rita. I was able to see Elder Durrant in the Terminal and he is doing great. I love that kid! So anyways, my first companions have been Elder Bonilla, and two of his trainess, Elder Ramirez and Elder Woodruff.
Elder Woodruff is amazing. I am going to be killing him too as this is his last change. I'm really excited to work with him and to learn a lot.
The members here are really amazing. I met many of them last night and they are so welcoming and warm. It's an interesting experience here, because everyone is a recent convert. They still don't have ecclesiastical leaders and we rent a little building for meetings on Sundays. On Sundays it's only two hours, we have sacrament and a sunday school class all together. I can tell that this will be a great area and that I will grow to love it a lot. I am very grateful to have the opporunity to serve here and to progress.
I have a testimony that the Lord knows each of us individually and that I am supposed to be here. The Lord always wants to bless us, to try us, to help us. We just have to let Him.
Well I'm about out of time, but I love you all very much. I am doing great and I always love to receive your support in weekly emails.
P.S. Elder Woodruff is from Heber City and he said he thinks he recognizes where Grandma and Grandpa's cabin is from the pictures you sent me. You'll have to ask them what their address is so I can tell him where it is and if he knows it. Also ask them if they know any Woodruffs.
P.P.S To answer questions from Dad: Jake said that they only have 30 gringos as missionaries in his mission. He asked how many gringos there were in your mission and we didn’t know the answer. So, how many gringo missionaries are there in your mission? Also, how many total missionaries are there in your mission?
I'd say at least a hundred, probably more than half of all the missionaries. There are about 190 in total.
P.P.P.S They speak lots of Portuguese here! Since it was founded by Brazilians. I'm so pumped to learn some Portuguese!