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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Struggle is REAL

April 21, 2014

So this week, I found myself in one of those classic "landlord's dog ate my boot" situations. What happened was my landlord's dog ate my boot. Classic. Which was perfect, because we had a big huge rain storm! Yes! It's this huge dog named Liam. He's actually been pretty tight and he's always really nice to me. Sometimes a little TOO nice. But I think he was mad because we never let him in our apartment or something. I dunno. Also, one time, he followed us while we were out working and got into a huge fight. No lie, like 20 dogs ran out of their neighborhood and attacked him. He's huge so he just kind of trotted along until they acutally tried to bite him. Then he just got buck and started swingin' on fools. Ended up getting chased out of the neighborhood, though. Anyway.

Boy do I have some funny experiences. Alright so Monday night we went and vistited a reference that we received from an inactive member. We were finally able to catch this lady, Rosa, at her house. She has talked with the missionaries before apparently, but her kids wouldn't let her get baptized or something. Anyway, we sat down with her and it was kind of weird right from the get-go. She seemed a little uneasy and she had two really snakey daughters who kept giggling and looking at us. One of them was like 28 with a baby, so...yeahhhh...ANYWAY. So we start teaching about the restoration. I had just finished up with a beautiful "First Vision" and the Spirit was comin' in hot. Rosa kind of sat there for a second, mumbled something, then her eyes rolled into the back of her head and she was OUT LIKE A DANG LIGHT! Just straight up passed out in her chair! Head flung back and EVERYTHING! We had a real "Alma the Younger" situation on our hands. A real "King Lamoni." So here I am, thinking that I'm the greatest teacher ever because I just made a lady pass out from the Spirit. But what we were really thinking was that she was either dead, was going to start having a seizure, or she was possessed! I'm trying to remember my CPR training and stuff, just straight up in schock because this lady just went out like a candle. Her daughters just sat there laughing...I'm sure because Elder Buckles and I looked super surprised haha. After a good awkward couple of minutes, her daughters started to burn the ends of her hair and stick it in her nose. This apparently wakes people up. But it didn't. So, after another couple of uncomfortable minutes, we asked if they needed help or something haha. We helped them carry her to her bed where we just kind of dropped her hahaha. Oh my goodness she was heavy and still just out cold. So, we talked with the daughters for a little, mostly them just asking us if we would give them our CTR rings when we finished our missions. Said no, obviously, because it was a gift from mom (shout out to Mama Sipple, love you). They told us that this has happened before, but they didn't really tell us what was going on. Then we left. Heck of a night.

Elder Buckles straight up Ryan Seacrest'd a blind guy. Straight up tried to give a blind guy a high-five hahaha. Ohhhh my goodness it was fantastic. One of the top three most awkward experiences of my life.

Like I mentioned earlier, we had a big rain storm. Also, on a VERY related note, we have a pretty leaky ceiling. So we just had water pouring into our bedroom and our kitchen haha. We were up until about 2 in the morning trying to put buckets or other related items where the water was coming in. That was fun.

I can now whistle through my teeth and do the finger-flap thing. Where you hit your pointer finger against your middle finger really hard and it makes a snapping sound. Everyone does it here. I'm pretty much a latino now.

Oh yeah, due to the rain storm, that road that I sent a picture of, the one that was pretty much destroyed, is now completely destroyed and it has a cool river of sewage running through it! Pictures to come! Also, after the streets were done flooding, we found this big eel flopping around in the gutter. Pictures to come.

This week was la Semana Santa. But it's only Friday and Saturday. Anyway. It was super hard to find people because 1. they have the siesta here, 2. there was rain and mud, and 3. it was la Semana Santa and people just stayed inside with their families watching "Passion of the Christ" all day. I'm still not really sure exactly what la Semana Santa is haha. But yeah, interesting. BUT, Pabla Ascurra invited us over to help them prepare some food for that night. We we helped them out in the morning and then they gave us lunch. We had gizo which is just like rice (or noodles) and chicken or beef with a really good sauce on top. It was fantastic. Then we came back that night for dinner ate chorizos, a rice, egg and tomato thing, sopa paraguaya (which actually isn't's like cornbread) and this meat/vegetable thing. It's this big, long piece of meat with a bunch of different vegetables wrapped up inside. Super good, super righteous.

Had conferencia de distrito this week. President Heyman came on Sunday to speak to us. It was awesome! That was his last conference here because he'll be leaving in July. But yeah, real spiritual, real powerful. All of the Elders needed to wear suits because President was coming, but we didn't want to walk around in the mud in our suits, so we carried them to the church in Elder Buckles suit-bag. We were hoping to run in and change before we saw President Heyman, but right when we got there he was there to shake our hands haha. So we went and changed then came back out and said hi to him just to let him know that we had changed. Close one.

We find out about transfers tomorrow, so...who knows what will happen! I might leave because I have been here for three transfers, but you really never know. So wild.

Sooooo on a more spiritual note, I have been reading through the Book of Mormon again. Today I was reading in Mosiah 4 and I had kind of forgotten how powerful this part of the Book of Mormon is. I'm going to post the scripture here:

"And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come..."

So, I was just thinking about what it says about remembering the goodness of God. It's almost unbelievable to think that we can forget God after all that He has done for us. But, the natural man is an enemy to God and the natural man tends to forget the source of all of his blessings and becomes prideful. I thought that this was pretty fitting for this time of year when we remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ and his triumph over physical and spiritual death and His sacrifice for all of mankind. As we have come to know the goodness of God, received forgiveness of our sins through His infinite mercy and seen the blessings brought through our faith, we should ALWAYS remember what God and Jesus Christ have done for us. We should "humble ourselves...and call on the name of the Lord daily." We have been given so much and the least we can do is remember the source of our blessings, give thanks daily, and show our love and appreciation through our actions. I have tasted of His love and felt the joy that comes from receiving a remission of sins and I know that there is no other way to receive lasting and eternal joy in this life or in the next. Thank you all for your examples to me throughout my life. I love you all so much and hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter! We out here.

Elder Sipple


                                                             The destroyed road
                                                                       The EEL!

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