I did forget to tell you about a few things about the Council. First, we had to get up early, and while my companion was getting ready I was still sleeping. He said he told me get up a couple times and I responded in my sleep (in Spanish) that I was about to get ready. So this language is starting to become pretty natural for me. There are 11 zones in the mission (5 or 6 in the Asunción area), so there are 22 Zone Leaders. I forgot to mention that one of those is Elder Brown, who, not surprisingly, is in the same situation as me. He has a great companion and seems to be doing very well. One great thing we talked about at there was no longer "teaching" less-actives and recent converts by just sharing a scripture. I don´t know where that tradition came from, but I think most missionaries do it when it is really not effective. We have Lesson 5 (and the other lessons) for a reason. Also, we ended the meeting with the hymn "Oíd el toque del clarín," probably my favorite Spanish hymn. I don´t think it exists in English, but you can check and see.
This week we had interviews with President Agazzani, which was a great experience. I walked in and he said "What are you doing here (as a Zone Leader)?" I laughed and said "I don´t know, you tell me." He laughed and replied, "I don´t know either, but I know that the Lord plays the cards how he wants them." That, along with the rest of the interview, was very reassuring to me that God has important things planned for me. I am here for a reason, even if I can´t see that now. He told me he knows there are people here for me to baptize, and I know if I am faithful and obedient, I will be able to recieve all the blessings the Lord has for me.
Then, after telling him that I did not have many worries about the Zone, we had quite a few problems this week. That week an Elder called and said he wanted to go home. That was surprising because he is one of our best, but he feels like he can´t deal with the pressure. The biggest problem is that his family are not members and are very against him being here. Not being able to call them Christmas was a big blow. We talked to him that day, and he is going to keep working (they had 10 investigators in church yesterday...that should keep him a little happier). We also got permission for him to email his cousin, the one member in his family. There is one other missionary who is talking to girls more than he should and listening to music against the rules. We´ll probably have to talk to him, too. I have never been able to confront or correct people, so that is something I am having to learn.
The toenail is getting a little better, and it doesn´t really hurt unless it hits something. Our apartment is fairly large (I´ll remember to take pictures). It is on the second floor, but our entry way is on the first floor. Every apartment in our building has their own door going outside, which is nice. I guess I do need to give you more details on my companion and daily life. I don´t ever want to be negative, but there are a lot of negative things that happen. I will try to tell you more so I can find the balance between being positive and making sure you know what´s going on. For example, all of my companions, at one point or another, have driven me crazy. I love them, but we do not agree on everything. I don´t want to just complain in these emails, especially since a lot of those problems pass after a day or two. But, as you have seen, sometimes avoiding saying negative things about them...means I don´t say much at all. So, I´ll try to be more open with you. Elder Knudsen is a great missionary who has been a leader for a long time. That also means he is a bored with what he is doing and he is stuck in his ways. We have fun together, but I struggle to get him to see things my way. We are also struggling to have success in this area, which is why that interview with the President was so reassuring. In my last area, we never had a enough time to teach all the people we wanted to. Now I find myself walking around all day wishing we had more things to do. We really need a better way to find people. Knocking on doors, especially in an area as small as this, is not so effective. This really is one of the hardest areas in the mission, and I don´t want to get tired of it like many missionaries do. The members are great, but we are also having a hard time working with them. I did find out that one of the girls in the Grau family, who has cousins in Orem, went to visit them and knows Tyler Woolley! That could also be another sign that I am supposed to be right here right now, because the odds of that are quite small.
The Zone training is tomorrow. I have been studying and preparing a lot for that, so I am excited and I really hope it helps the missionaries work more effectively. I will try to keep you better updated on how I am doing while not being to negative about things. I also like to focus on mission things more than personal things because I am trying to forget myself and work hard. So keep me and the rest of the people here in Amambay in your prayers, because we really do need it. I always pray for the whole family, and I hope you all feel the Savior´s love for you in your daily lives.