Monday, October 26, 2015

My Padawan

This past week was kinda frustrating, but in like a fun way. First off, I received an awful haircut which was just....great. It´s not like I´m bald but it is pretty close haha. Anyway, I got my little padawan this week and we left to Clorinda. He doesn´t know Spanish but he just wants to work and that is cool. His name is Elder Willard, de Idaho.

As white washes go, the missionaries in this area before us were responsible for putting the infomation we needed about our area in the area book. Well all the information we desperately need was somehow missplaced. When we arrived at the pension we found it a disaster! So we promptly deep cleaned our pension and tried to locate our area book; which we came to learn wasn´t even in our pension. Regardless, we were determined to go out this week and work whether we had information or not. We have a big map of the area on the wall and it has names of people. So we figured we could visit every name and see what happens. Turns out,the map is 20 years old, the addresses have changed, streets don´t have names and the people don´t know their own address. In a futile attempt to find people we had to ask argentines for direccions and that literally sent us in all the wrong directions. Like for example, we were trying to find this member´s house and ended up almost 2 miles away by the church that is outside my area. On the brighter side, my Spanish directional skills, sense of direction skills,  and walking skills have become much better. I have also become much more fluent with my Spanish because, well... I do all the talking. I love it so much. We have mostly memorized the area but because it is Argentina, no one knows the street names, or they don´t exist, so neither do I.

In terms of the area. It is very hot, humid and sunny. This pension is terrible and I keep having huge spiders on me and I keep getting bitten by them. Other than the frustrating start, the rest has been good here. Like for example, my comapnion found someone who speaks English so he got to give the lesson because my english is terrible now.  We are finding people that haven´t been visted in years and we find people that have been taught years ago. That part is exciting. 

Anyway I love it here. I actually really like the way it started here in Clorinda because it has been a huge adventure. So rock on. Today and yesterday it has been raining so here is my wonderful foto. Live long and prosper.

Elder Hoopes

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

4 month mark!!

So saturday was my four month mark!!! Its so crazy how fast time has passed.This week was very interesting. We had two service projects in which we trimmed a tree and painted a building. We also had aftershocks of an earthquake which was kinda fun too. We also had some Testigos de Jehova show up in the middle of one of our lessons, so that was challenging. Plus I had a huge spider on my shoulder.... It was sooo scary! Then on top it all of we had Mother's Day. So it has been very interesting. 

These week was transfers. Saturday was the day that the new trainers were to be called and be notified. Our phones have a setting to make it ring on a timer, so it sounds like a real phone call...but it's not. So Elder Mejia thought it was hilarious to set it and watch me panic. Well 15 minutes after the joke, the real assistentes called and now I`m becoming a trainer and I`m going to be white washed into a new area in Clorinda, Formosa Province.  It's right across the river from Asuncion, Paraguay. I'll find out who my companion will be when he arrives in the mission on Wednesday or Thursday.  So I`m really excited. So far in the last three transfers I have had three areas and now 6 companions. That includes my comapnaion in the MTC. So anyway it has been very very fun week.

I know the Lord qualifies whom he calls so I`m just super excited to be a trainer and get transfered again. Everything is good and I`m just having a dandy old time.

Love Elder Hoopes

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Great Adventure

Well this week was difinetly an adventure. Tuesday was super hot and very humid! then Wednesday, like always, we traveled to the city for interviews with president. It was great. So then Thursday. Thursday we traveled to Corzuela like always. Well this time it was heavy overcast and cold so I had my clothes for the cold. We didn`t think it would rain because the weather has been like this lately and it wasn`t like it was going to rain. I still had my umbrella just in case. We`ll we were in the very very outskirts of this town. And a microburst began. We had only one umbrella and no clothes for the rain. So I was literally soaked. Then I fell in the mud too. No one let us in and we were stuck in out in the rain no where near our town. Then when we returned to our town in the night the same storm rained on us again. I was so wet it was as if I had gone swimming in my church clothes. It was so much fun.

On Friday we travel to two towns. Both are very far away. So the Pampa del Infierno is about an hour and a half away and the last bus leaves at 3. but it always passes about 2:45 so we try to be there by 2:30. We`ll the bus was early and we were late. So we missed the last bus from this town. No taxis either. So we decided that sitting around would solve nothing so we began to walk. And walk and walk. We tried to hitch hike but literally no one would stop. Finally after an hour someone picked us up and dropped us off about half way to the next town. After that we continued to walk and walk. Well we then got chased by a pack of dogs. That made it more exciting! my companion almost got mauled but he is okay. Finally another man picked us up and dropped us off in the next town. That helped so much because we then used the train to return. Well when I sat on the train, the only seat available was all gross underneath and well, we didn`t see so, yes, I stepped in that too. So that was just a great time. And as miserable as it sounded it was actually quite fun. Literally an adventure. 

This week I had been "ponderizing" a scripture that says," verily the lord seeth fit to try the patience and faith of his people. So these two expirences were great opportunities to show my faith and patience. And I know that through these experiences I will grow 

But I absolutely love it here. I had cow tongue this last week and have become a marriage counselor haha. Which I don`t think I`m any way suited to be. I lost my USB as well but I just feel like all these expirences are for my gain and that it will all be alright in the end. I`m just dandy. 

Love Elder Hoopes

Monday, October 5, 2015

Interesting Week!

Sorry for last week´s email being so short, I take notes during the week about what I want to mention in my agenda. But a little boy wanted to draw and he had no paper in his house or pen so I gave him my agenda and pan. But beside that, this week was very interesting. This week while in the shower, a huge spider the size of my hand palm crawled over my foot. That was so scary. It was like a baby tarantula but HUGE. And I also found a worm in the filter again. So I´m just thankful we have our filter and it´s working. And our pension is weird because it is clean, but every morning we find new dead bugs on the ground. So I don´t know what is happening there but I´m just glad we are finding them dead for now. And I found literally the most majestic duck of my life this week. It was so cool!!!!!! and I drew another gift for another kid.

This last week has had So much walking. The week before the collectivo (bus) dropped us off 3 miles past our town so but this week the tren didn´t even pick us up so we walked and walked liked always. It was kinda funny because we were so happy we could see the train, then it just passed us and we just continued to walk. Luckily We were being watched over and the whether in 15 minutes went form humid, hot, and sunny to cloudy, windy, and perfect. No cloud in the sky to just a wonderful overcast. So we just walked a lot this week, but really, what´s new about that. 

This week has also been a week of great food. (really just the last three days) We traded some mexican candy to a sister in our district, who is from Mexico, and she made us tortillas. We then made breakfeast burritos. My companero made salsa from Mexico (Elder Mejía is from Tabasco, Mexico) and it was great. It was a little spicy but super delicious. It was ironic because as I was telling my companion  about how the salsa wasn´t spicy, it got in my eye and then got it´s revenge. So that was painful. And  because it was conference weekend, to avoid traveling even more, we just stayed in the city. But it wasn´t just us but other elders too. So in total we had 8 missionaires in one pension. For lunch we made 8 pizzas! it was so much fun! And during this huge sleepover we have had for the last three days. I gave my self a hair cut. I cut my own hair. It was so scary but it actually turned out great! 

This week was Conferencia General. It was great, but the lesson I learned didn´t come during conference but after it was all over. We live in a small town. Our branch building is so small and we couldn´t watch conference there. So instead, we hired a bus to bring our branch members to the stake center to watch. And it went great. We had our members, plus some members who were inactive come and they were able to watch Conference. Then afterward we had to wait for the bus to take them back. Conference ended at 7 and the bus was going to pick them up at 7:30. So like then 7:30 came and passed and no bus. It wasn´t unusual because usually they are late. Well the last bus that goes to our town leaves at 7:45 and we began to consider whether we should just pay for everyone to take that bus. Well we decided to wait because the municpalidad told us that it was coming, so we waited. 8 came and passed and so did 8:30. As we began planning to move all the beds from the pension to the church so they could stay the night, or to hire 4 taxi´s to drive the hour back to our town the thought came to me,
"Why haven´t you prayed for help?"
With this spiritual instruction I told my companion that we must pray. So I somehow corraled our little sheep and my companion, The president of the branch prayed for aid. Somehow after the prayer, I began to lead a testimony meeting. As the time passed, my language and the spirit in the room grew in strength. We began to feel God´s love in the room. I was able to teach with what I felt was power and love. I know that God gave us that opportunity to teach and express His love. It was an incredible experience. I felt as a shepherd boy in the Great Shepherd's work and that I had the privileged opportunity to serve his little lambs with the same love and care he would give them. It was as if I had the wonderful glimpse into the love of God for His children. 

I´m so privileged to be in this branch and serve. Eventually our bus came and our little flock was able to return home. This experience was so special and I know that God lives and loves his children. 

I love and miss you all. 
Love Elder Hoopes