Well it has been quite a crazy, but very good week for me. On Monday I said goodbye to the few people that I could, which was pretty sad, but I was still so happy for the Ventura Family and Virginia told me that she was sad I wouldn´t be at her baptism and that she can´t wait to serve a mission, which was pretty awesome! I feel like I really did the work I was meant to do in Puerto Rico and am excited for the new challenges.
Then, the crazy traveling began. I left Puerto Rico at 4 in the morning but when we got to Posadas we figured out that there was some kind of strike or manifestations in Paraguay so we were not able to cross the bridge. So I spent the day in Tacuarí which is like a suburb of Posadas. But it was way cool because Elder Muñoz just got changed to that area so I got to be with him and his companion for a day. He is doing really well, but was sad to leave Oberá because they were starting to have even more success. He is a great missionary and really cares so much about the people and his companions. My son is all grown up. haha
After that we finally were able to cross the bridge and I entered into the magical (and slightly more dirty) world of Paraguay. It is WAY different! A lot more how I imagined South America when I first got my call. There is a lot more poverty here and where I am at is more of a city with a bunch of cars and motorcycles and buses. People are selling things EVERYWHERE at all times. The chipá (like a hard roll filled with some cheese and or meat) is delicious and the people are super friendly. Everyone speaks Guarani and for most, Spanish is a second language. There is also a lot of Portuguese. I am excited to learn some Guarani, even though it is pretty difficult. It definitely would help to be more friendly with the people and be more accepted.
Elder Silva and I had like a day and a half to work and we worked way hard. Harder than I have ever worked on the mission before. We already teach super well together without even practicing or anything which is way good! The branch here had like 25 members about 6 months ago and this Sunday we had 80 because they recently put in zone leaders and they have been working like crazy. All the members are shocked at how hard we work, so we are gaining their confidence and support like crazy. Elder Silva is really experienced and has a lot of talents. I am especially excited to learn more about how to lead from him.
After only a day in our area, we went back to Posadas for the council of leaders (which is why I am writing today and not yesterday). The bus that we thought was leaving at 5 in the evening did not exist and no one decided to let us know so we took a bus at 11:30 at night and it was tiny and the seats only kind of inclined and the roof started leaking water in the night, and one of the sisters got her camera robbed. Welcome to Paraguay. haha So we were super tired, but we had a very good meeting and today we will be working like crazy to prepare our zone meeting for tomorrow.
Life is a lot more busy now, but I know I will be learning a lot more. Every time I start to feel comfortable and adequate, the Lord puts me in a situation more difficult so that I can learn more and stay humble. I know I am where I need to be and I am excited to start getting into things for real this week. I need your prayers even more right now. I feel inadequate in this new world I have entered, but I know the Lord will support me and help me. I love you all and I miss you!
Con amor, Elder Hawk