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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Week 18: Ciudad del Este

Holaaaa everyone!!

Hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas. It was pretty cool here. The people in Paraguay and most of South America celebrate the 24th more than the 25th. They all get together and make tons of food and eat it Christmas Eve and at midnight they all light off tons and tons of fireworks and it's actually pretty cool. It's like fourth of July but practically everyone gets fireworks and lights them off. We spent some time with some of the members and hung out with them, spent Christmas with them and it was actually pretty fun. I figured I was going to be homesick but it really wasn't too bad. I think im starting to realize that happiness really depends on us, ourselves. That if we are in a bad situation we can think that life sucks and that life is hard and yeah life is going to be hard. But if we take the bad situation and look at the postivies and look forward to other good things it really gets a lot better. 

I think I've said it before, but I'm not really sure if would ever like to live in Paraguay because it kinda smells bad and it's kinda dirty and super hot haha but it's cool; I like it. But I'm happy to be here because I can focus on the job I have to preach the gospel to people and if i just think about that and do that, everything else seems to go away and not matter and then I'm just happy haha. I can't explain why, that when I get home every night I'm exhausted and wet from sweat but somehow happy as can be. So it's been really cool to learn that and learn that really when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. 

But also, I'm headed to Argentina tomorrow!!! I got my visa, I guess, and I'll be heading to an area really close to Posadas. So that will be super cool. I'm excited to experience Argentina and I've heard good things about the people there. so it should be cool. Anyway, have a fantasic new year and good rest of winter break everyone. 

Elder Ben 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Weeks 16 & 17: Ciudad del Este

Holaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa everyone!!! 
Feliz Navidad!!
Hopefully everyone is enjoying this awesome time of year. It's a little different here in the heat and the culture is just a little bit different. The people here are all pretty excited; there are a lot of fireworks and Christmas lights and stuff, but for me it doesn't really feel like Christmas haha! It's just different in the heat. But it's all good; I'm having a pretty enjoyable time.  

There are ups and downs. I've been eating rice and chicken and some rice and some more chicken and some burnt rice and some burnt chicken and then some rice and sometimes pasta, but this week I'm hoping to eat well haha with Christmas coming. But it's continuing to be a really cool experience for me, really humbling and eye opening. It's tough to see little kids hop on the bus I'm riding with no shoes and dirty clothes, and they are selling a big basket of apples or little candies, and this is so that they can live. Kids that are 10 or 11, and it's tough to see. 

But this will be my first Christmas away from home, and I don't think it'll be as bad as I thought it would be haha. It's cool to be here in the mission because basically all we do is teach people about our church, about Jesus Christ, and since Christmas is all about Christ, I think I'm kinda in the right mindset to be able to really experience what Christmas is about:  being like Jesus, serving other people and I really think that's what can make us happy. I didn't really think about it too much till this past Sunday when I was in church and not too many people showed up because they were traveling and the bishop came up to me and said, Elder.... can you give a talk today? haha I was like I'll try, haha.  How long? Oh just like 15minutes... Oooo was I scared. But I just got up and started talking in Spanish and talkig and talking...and for 20  minutes I went on about Christmas,and Jesus and I think I learned more while I was up there talking than all the people who were listening did haha. It was pretty cool. 

But really I invite any one who is reading this to think about Jesus this Wednesday, whathe did for us andhow that hasaffectedour lives. And I think we will enjoy Christmas more. But also, enjoythe break,time with your familesand especially the food!!!!! Sorryif alot ofthe wordshere are attatched together but the keyboard im using isnt the greatest. anyway,have a fantastic christmas everyone!!!!!!!
Elder Ben Roberts

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Week 15: Ciudad del Este

(Portions of a letter from Elder Roberts to his family) 

And I think we are going to have a Christmas party this 19th of this month. And yeah on Christmas, I thihnk we are going to be a ble to Skype. There are cameras and my comp and I are going to test them out; I think it will work. And can you figure out if there is a time difference. I'm not sure if there is and all the other missionares are from Utah or other countries and aren't in our time zone. So I'm not really sure how much it is.

…and today, we went shopping  I bought some ties and a little stereo where I can put a little pen drive memory in and it sounds a lot better than our portable dvd player we use. So I can put all the music on the pen drive from the cds and then practice the song we are going to sing with our district for a Christmas devotional thing we are going to have with the president. I didn't get to see the church's Christmas devotional however. 

...and my companion is good. He's a really good teacher, and we are finding people to teach. The people here are probably a lot easier to talk to, like we find people on the street really easily and people let us into their houses really easy but they mostly just want to talk, not really fulfill commitments. Tell the missionaries in Hagerstown that they can bring a little stool in downtown Hagerstown and stand on it and preach to people! hahaha! I'm sure they will find a bunch of people. But it's hard here because there are no addresses, so when we contact someone in the street and they tell us, yeah I live 3 blocks down to the right under the mango tree, it's kinda hard to find their house. But it works, and we have a few good investigadroes but it's constantly teacfhing 3 or 4 lessons and then dropping them because they never do anything and finding new ones. 

My memory stick in my camera has a virus I think and right now I can't send anything, but I'm going to try again. I can see all the pictures on my camera but can't load them on the computer. So I'll use the other memory I have and send some next week. But if you can, can you send a letter or something with some more pictures of the family, and one of me when I had really long hair haha?

But thanks for everything!! Love and miss the fam. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 14: Ciudad del Este

Hola everyone! 

     This week was pretty good. Definitely missed out on Thanksgiving, but it's all good; there are many Thanksgivings in the future that I´ll be able to participate in. But lots of heat, and lots of rain here in Ciudad del Este. I did have the oppurtunity to go the Zoo here and then Pizza Hut, which was a great experience and Pizza Hut today was somewhat of a replacement for missing out on the Thanksgiving meal haha. But yeah lots and lots of rain; we got stuck in a storm last night and the streets were basically rivers so we were kinda were walking through a flowing river in the streets and our shoes and pants and basically all of us got completely soaked. But it felt good, a lot better than 105 degree weather. 

     But also, my companion got pretty sick this week and we had to stay in the house for about 2 days, but that gave me the oppurtunity to read the Book of Mormon a lot in those two days. And that was actually a good experience for me. Before my mission I read it but I didn't really actually read it. I read it but never got a lot out of it. And thus far on my mission I've been able to read a majority of it and really take a lot out of it and learn a lot as well as help other people learn about it and how it can help them. So it's been a cool experience for me. Anyway, I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! 

Talk to you soon
Elder Ben