Monday, May 27, 2013

In the Jungle

Surprise transfer: after six weeks in Costa Bonita, I have been changed to Ca´aguazú 3.2 (3rd branch, 2nd area). It is pronounced with the Spanish Z, similar to "Kawasaki". And it means "Jungle" in Guaraní. It's not a jungle as if we were in the rainforest but it is a lot more removed from the city than my last two areas. I feel like I am back in Ciudad del Este. Lots of walking (thankfully the roads are more sand than rocks), humble houses, and even more Guaraní. I am excited to learn more of that language...maybe I'll even get to teach in it. I wasn't too sad to leave Costa Bonita because it was a pretty tough area and I feel like I worked my hardest and learned a lot there. I will miss some of the members and investigators.

The landscape close to Ca´aguazú.

But the members are great here! I have already met several (we have about 60 in church every week). The Branch President is very funny. His name is President De Wet. He is a blue-eyed South African. I like talking to him in English to listen to his accent, which he also has in Spanish. He also has a dog who nips at the missionaries legs, so I can also check that off the things I have experienced. It appears that the lady who washed the missionaries clothes took advantage of them, so I had to talk to her and tell her basically how things had to be or we would find someone else. we are going to be working hard to find another place to wash them. I'm sure it will turn out fine.
"Elder Portillo and Elder Leishman, who live with us. Yeah, Elder Leishman is a Colts fan! He´s from Brigham City."
I do have to explain that "we" now means four of us. We live with the Zone Leaders, Elder Portillo (who was one of my district leaders in Amambay) and Elder Leishman (who was actually living in my room--he just moved over too when he moved up to be ZL). I am no longer a Zone Leader, now a Distrit Leader. When Elder Knudsen called me, he said he knew I wanted to train and assured me I will have that opportunity in one transfer. That's one of the advantages of being friends with the assistant. My companion is Elder Pacheco from Arequipa, Peru. He is definitely my quietest companion, but this is only his fourth transfer. He is very smart (studied banking...but wants to change to study mechanical engineering!), and works hard. I am excited to be a district leader. I am going to focus a lot on commitments (chapter 11 in Preach My Gospel). Honestly, I am a little nervous. It is a new adventure. I don't feel like I was demoted at all. I have learned that different assignments are just different opportunities to serve and learn.
Elder Pacheco, the new companion
I am still getting to know the people and the area, which is huge! It actually extends to the limit with the new mission boundary with Ciudad del Este. So I am only one ward (and about 100 miles) away from my first area. I really love it here. I helped encourage Gustavo, who was baptized a week before, to come to church and get baptized. He is missing half of his skull from a car accident, but he seems to be doing fine! He says the gift of the Holy Ghost helps him with his anxiety a lot. I am sure will meet a lot of new people. Like CDE, we always have more people to teach than time in the day. I have missed that.
Elder Morgan's new house

We also have the Arnold family in our District. They are the senior couple of the mission (his brother is a Seventy). This week we helped Elder Arnold drive around trying to update the ward list with who still lives here to help this district become a stake. That is mostly what they do all day. We also helped them with a chapel open house. Pretty easy. We just dressed in white and talked about baptism in front of the font. The other missionaries had other assignments in the tours. And, though I moved, I did get to teach English this week. Lots of new experiences!
My new shoes compared with my year old shoes.
Got my package! Loved everything. The candles said they were for my cake...was there supposed to be a cake in the package too? I may just use them on the brownies. Everyone is excited for those. They all loved the mint M&M's. Praying on the knees wasn't anything too profound. Just an important way to improve our prayers, backed up by a few scriptures (Daniel and Enos, and others). Time is flying! Love you all. Keep on doing great things and remembering our eternal goals. 

-Elder Wesley Morgan

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