Friday, December 30, 2016

"Does He Have Health Problems?" - Change Week

What a great Christmas present it is to have changes the week after! No, not really but Christmas was great!! I loved getting to see my family so happy! So yeah, this week was changes and some pretty funny things happened. But first, let me tell you guys how Elder Parada and I were Santa’s helpers.

Saturday- December 24th, We were out doing some errands and on our way to Quattro D (an amazing ice cream place) to order ice cream for the newbies during changes. We parked across the Street and as we were walking there, Elder Parada said, “Is that Hna Evans?..” “Oh..nevermind, she is playing with a dog.” Then I looked over and said, “Woah! That does look like Hna Evans!......Wait….that IS Hna Evans! What is she doing with a dog?” So we ran over to her and she said… “She [the dog] is the Christmas present to Travis…We still don’t know if we made a good decision”. President needed us to watch her (Holly is her name) and then at midnight, we took her over to his house. So, we were some pretty good elves that night and got her over safe and sound.

Monday-Elder Bickley (chausito), Elder Crofts, Elder Parada and Elder Ticeran went to get the South mission’s van so we could borrow it to do changes.

While they were there, the Financiero for the South mission asked, “So is Elder Zaugg still in the office?”

Elder Bickley replied, “Yep, he’s still there.”

South Mission-“Does he have health problems or something? Is that why he has been in there so long?”

Elder Bickley and the others burst out laughing, and so did I when they told me what happened. I’ve been in here 6 changes so naturally, they think I have health problems. Well luckily, the people in our mission didn’t think that…6 changes and then training isn’t craziness so they just figured I was in here a long time. So changes come around and out of the 4 office elders, guess how many are training a new Elder to take his place? 3!!!! So obviously, I’m one of them and probably Elder Parada-I have been here the longest after all……WRONG. Elder Parada, Elder Proffit, and Elder Cárdenas are all training new people to do their jobs and I'll be seeing out the last of the office crew!

“Oh great,” I thought, “Now people really are going to think I have health problems!!” 

Elder Proffit is training Elder Behrens to be the new Secretary. Elder Behrens just came down from Filadelfia (the chaco). Elder Bickley (ex-asistente) is headed out to Filadelfia to finish his last 1 ½ changes! He is super stoked. Elder Fairbanks is the new asistente.Elder Cárdenas entered the office last change. He finished his training for the Cartero this week, and will turn around and train Elder Avellaneda to be the new cartero, and Elder Parada will train Elder Cárdenas to be the new Fichero. Overall, it was a good change. I’m super stoked for all the 5:30am soccer games we are going to have with so many people in the office now!

Wednesday-Changes. Everything was going well until it came to getting the Pedro Juan Caballero people off to their colectivo…It left at 2:15 and they arrived just a minute late. So, the Company put them on taxis to catch up to it! Well, they didn’t catch up to it, or so sad Santania, the Company. Oh, best part? The 4 missionaries left without phones. So there was no way to contact them! The Company had no way to contact the taxis so we were just stuck not knowing if they made it or not, where they were, and what they were planning. We called the missionaries in Pedro Juan and told them to be at the terminal at 8 to pick them up. We acted like we knew they were on there sooo we were hoping they were. We actually expected them to show up at the office or call us from the terminal a couple hours later but it never happened! Turns out, they did make it there because we never received calls from their comps asking where they were! Haha

Thursday-A very sad day. Elder Ticeran and Hna Jara left. Hna Jara was the Hna leader when I came to the office and was here for 5 changes, until the Hna Leaders were moved to a different área. She is super awesome! Elder Ticeran…too much to say! I loved having him here in the office for the past 7 months. It was so much fun and we are definitely gonna miss him. It was hard for him to leave, and some tears were shed but hopefully we see him again some time soon! They both flew back to Peru super early Thursday morning. 

A little more info about Quattro-D. So as of late we started ordering ice cream there for conferences, changes and such. Well we are going to order lomito arabes from there this monday. The boss loves me. He has given me so much free ice cream I love it. He gave Elder Parada and I free hamburgers. And yesterday, I called him about the lomitos. I told him we usually get them from another store and they are half the price than his. He told me he would make it for that price. It wouldn't be the same size as the ones in his store but that it would be great. Then he said, "You know what? Are you in your office? I'll send you 1 right now so you can see it..No, I'll send you 2 for your comp as well. If you like it, you get them here". So then about 30 min later, a guy called me and said he was outside the office with 2 lomitos ready for us to try. I love it. :) 

Make it a great week everyone!

Elder Zaugg

Elder Ticeran

Hermana Jara

Elder Parada, Elder Crofts, Hermana Jara

Going to miss Elder Ticeran

Elder Crofts, Elder Proffit (back) Elder Ticeran, Elder Parada

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Man and The Birds

today has been super fun haha but im exhausted!!! first, we woke up at 5:20 to play soccer until 7am. then, we cleaned the house to get ready for changes...from 7 TO 10!!!!!!! we deep cleaned it. ha. There are always new missionaries so we have to clean it good before we arent to great at cleaning it any other time! haha. i should get better at that but i never make the messes, so i dont clean.......i wonder how you felt with 5 kids in the house making a mess.....😬 sorry. haha then we went to TGI Fridays for lunch. (filet mignon is always good) then we played volleyball for 2 hours was really really hot. but i wore a hat, sun glasses, and sun screen! then, we got on to email, i got on for 30 min then decided to make cookies in the church kitchen. while i was in the kitchen, i heard some ppl outside playing soccer. so i went out to check. I peeped my head around the corner and they saw me and called me over. So i went and got the others (Ticeran, Parada, Proffit, Cárdenas) and we played with them for an hour and a half. It was super super fun but by the end, i was exhausted. Plus we won, so thats a bonus. The only bad part about today???? I ripped not 1 but 2 holes in my brand new nikes that E. Gibson gave me. So thats a bummer. But hey, look at the bright side, we met some new kids and they really liked playing us. Should be back to play soon! Maybe they will make it to the Christmas program on Sunday? As I am typing this, the table I'm wresting my hands on has a puddle of sweat...

So what else did we do this week here in the office? One of the busier I've had here actually. We got some bad news to start it off from the area medical doctor. One missionary had to go home. About a month ago, he fell playing soccer and broke his elbow. He didn't get good medical treatment, and it healed wrong so he will be going home to fix it. The cool thing though? He is from Cordoba, Argentina!!!! I'm praying that Cutter's first area will be serving in his ward! He should be back in 3 months if everything goes as planned, but I'm excited to see if Cutter gets to meet him. I have loved serving close with him in the mission! 

Remember that time missionaries got delayed coming to the country? Well...its caused problems. Getting missionaries used to be really easy. 1 trip to migraciones within the 1st 3 months and you are good. Well, this week Elder Proffit and I met with the viajes hermana. (one of the nicest, happiest, most patient person I have ever met!) We met with her for a week and found out that the missionaries now have to make not 1, not 2, not 3, but most likely 4 trips to different places within the first 2 months of being here...all on pday. Sorry new missionaries, that is going to be rough..

This week, I was reading in Mosiah. I came across the chapters when Alma and his people are persecuted by Amulon. They have been a good people, keeping the commandments, yet they are being persecuted, even to the point that one who offers prayer would be put to death. Yet, they kept their hearts. They had heavy manual labor placed upon their shoulders. It was becoming unbearable. The Lord spoke to them one day and said:

"Lift up your heads and be of good comfort...I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions."

I love this promise. The Lord God visits his people in their afflictions. And "afflictions" doesn't just mean labor as it meant for them, but it means ANY afflictions. No matter what we are going through, the Lord will visit us and ease our burdens. It doesn't say he will take them all away, but he will ease them, so that we can bear the affliction. The lord loves us. He will ease our burdens, our afflictions, our trials if we remember him and lift up our voices OR hearts unto him continually. I have a testimony of this. Christ suffered for our sins, pains, afflictions, tentaciones. He suffered it all, so that he CAN visit us in our afflictions and lift the burdens, because he has been there. He physically knows how to do it. One of the Christmas stories we read this week was amazing. It explains the need of Christ coming to earth in a short simple parable. I invite you all to read it:

The Man and the Birds by Paul Harvey
The man to whom I’m going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas Time. It just didn’t make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow the Jesus Story, about God coming to Earth as a man.
“I’m truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve.” He said he’d feel like a hypocrite. That he’d much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed and they went to the midnight service.
Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound…Then another, and then another. Sort of a thump or a thud…At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They’d been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.
Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it. Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in.
So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted wide open doorway of the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them…He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms…Instead, they scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn.
And then, he realized that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me…That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him.
“If only I could be a bird,” he thought to himself, “and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to safe, warm…to the safe warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, and hear and understand.” At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. And he sank to his knees in the snow.
May we all remember the true meaning of Christmas and the need we have for a Savior to come to this world and die for us, so that we might be with our familly not just for one christmas, or even 50, but for time and all eternity.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Elder Brody Zaugg

 Merry Christmas!!  Best present ever!!!  Got to skype at 7:30 am

Clayton was excited to show you his stocking!!!

 Saying goodbye to the Craner's.  They have been the best and wish them the best as they head off to a new assignment in Texas!  They will be missed so much!!!!!

Christmas Eve with Cielo Belen Gimenez

Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Timely Visit

Friday night, 9:30pm and my nokia rings (the new iphone these days). I look at it to see our Elders Quorum President's name on the screen. He explains that tomorrow (last saturday) he was going to give a blessing to a member who had called him asking for one from IPS hospital. He asked for our help. So at 9:30am we went to the hospital. Now I had only stepped into one hospital here in Paraguay up until this point. Hospital Bautista, one of the nicest if not the nicest here in Asuncion, is the hospital we use as a mission if anyone has to go to a doctor or the hospital for any reason. It's a private hospital kept very clean and looks nice. Well, IPS central is nothing like that. Hno Palomeque explained that this hospital is what the workers of Paraguay pay to. Each worker pays 5% of their paycheck and each employer pays 10% of the paycheck to run and fund IPS hospitals. I know of 2, but there are probably more. We walk in and in the room to just get attention there were 100 people sitting and standing with broken legs, bandages on their head or other parts of their body with blood seeping through. This wasn't emergency care, but it was normal care, and everyone had to wait their turn. People have explained to me that one has to arrive at 4 or 5 in the morning to get a turn for that day. Super super sad. Anyways, we walked to the elevator. Waited a couple seconds then took the stairs. It was on the 6th floor. At that point, I realized how long I have been in the office. We were exhausted climbing to the 6th floor. 

We entered the room of the member who had asked for a blessing, but he wan't alone yet with 2 other people. I could not stop glancing at the man closest to the door, his body pale, purple, swollen with a bandage over his chest. Eventually, the member explained his new friend, Victoriano Franco, had just recently had heart surgery. His son, Junior, had been with him every step of the way. They were from one of the interior cities, so they had no family or anyone here. This man was in terrible condition. We first gave him a blessing. Our elders quorum president gave a wonderful peaceful ordinary blessing. By ordinary, I mean he did not command him to take up his bed and walk. In fact, he didn't say much about his recovery, just mentioned at the very end of the short prayer that he would improve. We then gave the member a blessing. The 3rd patient, a man about 40 yrs old had sat up attentively throughout the whole process. On the other end of the spectrum, his wife had walked out just before the first blessing claiming she was not in agreement with what we were doing and was of another religion. We went and talked with the other man. He was a very nice respectful man. We shared a scripture with him from 3rd Nephi when Christ heals the sick and testified that power and authority is still here on the Earth today. Even though he did not agree with all of our beliefs, and was confident in his, he showed what true respect is. He knew and recognized we came in the name of Christ and he sat up for all we did, while his wife walked out angrily. Its a testimony to me that everyone does know a certain portion to why we are here and do recognize that we come in the name of Christ to share his gospel and help anyone and everyone. After All, we do wear his name on our chest every day.

Our beloved new friend, Victoriano, passed away 3 hours after the blessing, Hno Palomeque informed us the next day. That hit us hard. I knew it from the moment we entered the room that he was not in good condition, but to know his last hours were spent with his son and his new friends are comforting. Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways (mysterious only to us occasionally) and I know that the member in the hospital (who did not appear to have anything major wrong with him) was placed in the same room as Victoriano not by coincidence but for a purpose that we would be able to visit him and offer him some peace in his last hours of life. 

To brighten up the mood, it is Christmas! Yesterday, Elder Parada and I went Christmas tree shopping for the Evan's home. We found one that was great. It would be just right in their house, probably reaching the ceiling. We got it, took it to the church to try it out, and realized it was a lot taller than we thought...Turns out, they folded down the top in the store so we bought one that was way to tall for their house. We took it back this morning and got a nice one that will actually be a perfect fit. Oh, some Christmas packages came! That made everyone happy, especially me! The whole office crew took a picture with our gifts, thanks mom! Plus, last friday night was Mburucuya's Christmas party/event. I scored having a comp who served there for 6 months. Mburucuya and Campo Grande were one ward, years ago, but they are still close. We use the same building, and they invited us to their christmas party! So we took some party hat photos. Tonight, is the Campo Grande end of the year dinner. Free food. :) oh and good company. We have been going strong every night with our Christmas stories. Every night we read another each reminding us of the joy their is in giving and serving-something our Savior perfected. E. Parada have come up with the idea to take a stocking around with us in the car and anytime someone asks for money, we are going to pull it out and give them some of the american/canadian treats we got this week. Its not much, but its something little that makes us happy and the little kids as well. And just like that, any of you can do the same! Something so little can bring a lot of joy to everyone during the Christmas season and throughout the whole year!

Merry Christmas!!
Elder Zaugg 

PS-My mom wanted me to clarify that yes, I am still serving a mission here in Paraguay. Apparently some were left a little confused after my email last week. 😉

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Back on US soil

Friends and Family,

Thank you so much for all the support you have given me in the last year and a half. It has been a great experience, but felt great to get back on US soil today! The air is different, the trees smell different, Chevy Suburbans exist, everyone speaks English, even the news is in English...I love the US! Butttttt....I still love Paraguay so I'm gonna make the most of the 6 remaining months here! But yes, today we did go to US soil. The Cranners took us on a tour to the US Embassy here. And yes, there were a lot of Suburbans. I felt right at home in Gilbert, AZ. It was neat to get an inside tour of the embassy-most people don't get to go in and there is so much security anyways! We weren't allowed to take any pictures-not inside or outside! It was a nice pday activity. This week, pday was moved to Thursday to match up with the Paraguay holiday "Virgen del Caacupe". yeah...everyone goes to the city Caacupe and worships the virgin. But hey, the rest of the country gets the day off! ha. It is quite sad that it is bigger than Christmas is down here. But hey, that is why missionaries are in the country, to bring light to the people-the light of Christ!

We had our Christmas conference this week! It was super super awesome. Hna Evans made some sweet pork and coconut rice...yeah you can imagine everyone went crazy. The best part? The other Christmas conferences to come for all the other zones will be in the office and us office elders get to eat every time😊 We also had a little service project-we made blankets for babies in the hospitals! Elder Parade and I made a pretty awesome blanket if you ask me. Christ served his entire life. Service is intertwined in the Light the World Christmas theme. It was an awesome time making the blankets, knowing that we would be helping someone in a very small way. But that is what is cool about service; service can be so small but can light up the lives of other people! 

Another act of service can be visiting the elderly. This week we went to Maria and Lila's house-2  elderly women. They actually served us and called us earlier in the week to give us dinner! I love them, but I definitely have to remind them next time an hour before we go that I can't eat pasta...bc they really like to make pasta every time we go :) After dinner, we sang a couple Christmas hymns. It really brought the spirit. Lila isn't a member, but with every time we go there, we base our visit on serving and showing love. Hopefully, she is allowing her corazón to be touched! 

Merry Christmas!
Elder Zaugg

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

House Hunters

My family and I would always sit down and watch House Hunters on Sundays while doing our laundry. Its basically our weekly tradition...really any of the house shows on HGTV. Well...these past couple weeks, Elder Parada and I were on the shows! kind of...A new senior couple arrived to the mission. They will work here in the church offices in the finance departments so it has been our job to find them a house. We went with them looking at 5 or so different apartments. Really, there wasn't even the suspense like there is at the end of House Hunters when you see which of the 3 options the couple will pick. We knew after we went through one of the last apartments that it was the one they wanted. It was pretty fun going and seeing new and nice apartments. Unfortunately the places weren't for us because we really wanted to move into some of them! Now we are moving on to step 2: the furniture. 

This week we were without internet here in the office until yesterday...So that was pretty rough. But we were able to get a bunch of other things done so it all worked out. When the technician came to fix it yesterday, he was here for about an hour. After he finished he asked me to test it. So, I pulled up a page to test it. It was super fast! But....2 seconds after I tested it, the power went out..... #Paraguay I will now missing coming back to normal electricity in the states!!!! 

On Sunday we ate with the Cranners...our last lunch with them! It was a very sad departure...they leave at the end of this month back to the states! I will miss them a lot! It has been super fun to have them in the ward! Oh...and I will also miss all the food they gave us :)

So I'm sure you all know the church came out with their Christmas video again...its so great! I love the theme. WE are the light of the world. Of course, Christ is the original light of the world, but now it is our turn to light up the world. It is our turn to act in a way Christ would act. The 25 days of Christmas calendar-what better way is there to remember the true meaning of Christmas!

It is all about giving. It is better to give than to receive. And come on, we all know how great it is to receive!! But it truly is better to give; God gave us His son. Christ gave us his atoning sacrifice so that we might be forgiven according to our faith in him and repentance. And now, it is our turn to give a little bit to everyone around us, to show our gratitude to our Savior and truly follow in his footsteps. And this isn't just a great thing to do for this Christmas season, but a great thing to continue doing! Spreading the joy and light of Christ is what heals the soul, is what brings peace, is what brings more joy and light to ourselves. 

My brother Cutter is about to just that! I'm so proud of his decision to serve a mission. For 2 years, he will spread joy and light of our Savior. Our redeemer suffered for our sins, and by doing so, he gets to choose the requirements to receive forgiveness from our sins and  to be cleansed of the manchas that spotten our body. And what does he ask? The we have AND show faith in him through repentance, baptism by immersion, receiving the gift of the holy ghost that will serve as a constant companion to guide us back to our Heavenly Father, and to keep his commandments enduring to the end of our lives. The gospel of Jesus Christ is something so simple, so basic to follow, but so complex that it takes a life time to ever learn just how perfect our Savior was and how we can live it to the absolute very best of our ability. I love you Cut! Can't wait for you to have the experiences that await you in Córdova. 


Elder Zaugg

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Do your Very Best

What a week! Well....2 weeks really. We planned for changes 2 weeks ago, found out missionaries were not coming, but igual still had changes. Then we had the Rasband Concert...So less sleep. And then the new missionaries came, so changes round 2! Plus I got sick...But it ended great with a Thanksgiving lunch with the Evans today! 

So, Elder Rasband chose to speak about a lot of things, he read the dedicatory prayer of Paraguay for missionary work. That was awesome! There are so many more people here that will come to know the gospel! And he related this to a quote the President Hinckley used to say, "Do Your Best". He explained one story how he changed the quote, and said "Do your VERY best". And that is what we need to do now as missionaries. I really like that quote. It's a great quote to live by. He explained that yes, we are supposed to do our best, that is what Christ asks of us. But there is a difference between "our best" and "our very best". He talked more, but I want to relate that topic from Saturday's mission conference to Sunday's special stake conference with the Asunción Norte Stake...luckily the stake I'm in right now! He explained 6 things necessary to build and strengthen family culture in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
1. Personal and Family Prayer
2. Personal and Family Scripture Study
3. FHE-any night or day of the week!
4. Pay honest tithe and offering
5. Serve our neighbor and help the poor and needy
6. Stand in Holy Places-homes, church, and temples

Now was this a mind breaking list? Was it something new? No! The basics once again coming from the mouth of an apostle. And that is why I know they are so important! The basics are what strengthen our testimony. It really helped me set goals (for now, but also for after the mission) to do my VERY best to fulfil these basic things all the time! If we do that, blessings will pour down from heaven! Doing our very best can apply to other things as well, whether it be sports or school or anything! Why dedicate time to something if we don't want to do our very best? So, go out this week doing your very best at everything you do, and I bet you will see some great blessings in your life from doing it!
Happy thanksgiving everyone!

Elder Zaugg

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Lost keys.....

Heres a pic of us at the temple. Sorry, we have no time today! It was changes this week (no sleeping), surprise! Im still in the office!!! The only one training is Elder Ticeran. Oh, another surprise. NO NEW MISSIONARIES! There are VISA problems so we only got 1 new missionary, a Paraguayan...hopefully it gets figured out soon! And.....Elder Rasband comes tomorrow! So the whole mission is coming to Asuncion for a conference. For that reason, p-day was a shorter one today:) But Ill make it a great one next week!

Elder Zaugg
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- So, today after lunch we went and played volleyball outside. We played for about 1.5 hours then wanted to go inside and realized everyone left their keys, phones, and wallets inside the office, and it has an auto lock once it closes....we were stranded! Travis was there and luckily had his phone so we called President.....they were forever away! We ended up playing for almost 4 hours because we had nothing else to do! It was super fun though! Then elder crofts and I played 2 v 2 soccer with some teenagers and invited them to our soccer tournament the 30th! They were pretty good, but we won!:)

Monday, November 7, 2016

Be Still My Soul

Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev'ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav'nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

I love this hymn. The words are so perfect and it truly shows the role of our Savior in our lives. He is on our side, like I said last week. Me + Christ = More. This hymn proves that equation! Whenever we have to bear our own cross wether it be grief or pain, we should remember that Christ is on our side to help us bear it. For He did bear it, over 2000 years ago. He bore his cross, and every cross of grief or pain that anyone ever has to bear! Yes, we will all face hardships in our life of both grief and pain that turn and spin us around in every direction. But thru the thorny paths, Christ will lead us to the happy ending. 

Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

I like this verse because it shows us the confidence we should and can have in our trials. I have met so many less actives or inactives here in Paraguay. From being offended on the soccer field, to not being called to serve as the bishop in the ward, I have heard it all. But we should never forget the way Christ has guided our lifes in the past. When we are experiencing a trial, think back to the times we have felt Christ's guidance and love in our lives, and let that be the fuel to keep going. The thorny ways the crashing waves and roaring winds will all come to an end. We know this is true because we read it in the bible. While on board a small boat with his Apostles, a huge storm came in and they were about to sink. They were distraught, probably feeling like they were going to die. With one last ditch effort, they cried out, "Master, carest thou not that we perish". And then Christ did what he does. He brought peace to the winds and the waves, just like he can bring peace to our hearts during the darkest times, when the waves and winds don't seem to stop.

Be still, my soul: The hour is hast'ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

This verse reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures: Ether 12:4. 

"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, evan a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."

The time will come when disappointment, grief, and fear do not exist. We can have hope in a better world because of our faith in God and Christ. We won't live in sorrow but in happiness--if we live his gospel. Be still my soul, when change and tears are past, all safe and blessed we shall meet at last. Christ is the light at the end of our despair and if we hold onto the hope of a better world because of Him, we will be able to push through our trials if they last one week, 2 years, or a life time. I know that Christ is our Savior and he loves us. I have experienced his love and the love of our Heavenly Father not just for me but for all his children throughout the mission. I guess I kind of use my emails as a journal so this is what I was thinking this week...something I need help on and something I hope helps at least one of you reading this. 

Love you all
Elder Zaugg

PIC: Elder GIBSON-one of the closest friends I've made out here on the mission! 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Faith Moves Mountains...Or Starts Cars

Speed walking. A great trait to have as a missionary. I think my grampy is a professional. Anyways, we were speedily walking almost running to a member/menos activo house to beat the storm that was coming in. I had decided to change our previous plans to go to this members house because we would be able to go inside and get out of the storm. Any second, the water was going to pour down. We made it just in time. As we were at the members house, we found out that their son was on on their way to the hospital. He was at his university, when apparently a super strong wind picked up a table and hit him in the head. The father was on his way so we were with the rest of the family. We read about Christ coming to the America's and healing the sick. We had a kneeling prayer and the spirit was definitely there. They were at peace with what was happening. They then gave us dinner.😊 Meanwhile, it was pouring outside. Oh, their son is doing good now. Nothing to harmful! Anyways, we didn't want to walk home in the we waited. And we waited and ate to long and left late, while it was pouring. So we started running home. We ran about 5 blocks, realized we were already soaked, weighed down by the dinner and decided to cross the street and hope for a miracle driver to pull over and take us home. We were a 30 min walk away from home and we left at about 9:30pm. So while we were walking we were talking about the miracle stories we had read or heard about missionaries in similar circumstances. Rest be assured, nobody stopped to take us. We were so wet. About 2 blocks before arriving at our house, we saw a car stopped in the middle of the road with 1 hazard on. We stopped to see if they needed help. It was just a nice plump man, about 35 with a car that would not start at all. The road was fairly busy so we helped him push the car to a side street. Then, we sat there looking at his engine talking with him. He explained that this never happened, but he thought he could fix it. Elder Parada (yes, Elder Parada is my new comp. We had changes on Sunday! I stayed in my ward, Campo Grande.) asked if he thought about saying a prayer. "Oh no no no. Its just blah blah blah". He tried starting it and surprise--nothing. This man was so clueless around cars(probably as clueless as I am). So he came back, began twiddling his thumbs in between wires. We asked again. Same response. "Fine, I thought. If you aren't going to pray I'm going to say a prayer in my head". I figured Elder Parada was doing the same thing. That morning I had just studied praying with faith and I said one of the most faithful prayers in my life. I said multiple actually. But I asked Heavenly Father to help this man continue on his way to pick up his son and get home safely, and to not perform this mighty miracle by his faith, but by the faith of Elder Parada and I. After I finished that prayer, I asked him to try starting it again. It had been about 10 minutes from the time we first found him. He decided to give it a try. 1st attempt. Nothing. 2nd turn of the key and the car started without a problem. That is the power of God. Elder Parada and I looked at each other instantly and just smiled. We had both been offering up prayers of faith and were yet again amazed by the power of God. The man sat in his car just revving the engine for literally 3 minutes after it turned on. He didn't need to, but we think he was just stunned. Nonetheless, he didn't want anything to do with us so we walked on home on cloud 9 from experiencing that miracle. 

Other than that amazing miracle, we have also been blessed in our area. Unfortunately, the 2nd Joel moved to Limpio about 2 weeks ago. Forget to let you all know. But between Sunday and today, we found 5 new investigators which beats the amount of investigators we had in the previous 6 months! Hopefully they will have some baptism dates to report for next week! I will give you some more details next week...I wanted to talk about something huge I learned this week.

“How can I make my weaknesses strong? The scriptures say our weaknesses will be strong characteristics, so how can I do that?” That was my sincere question to the to the Lord right before personal study. I started by Reading 2 Nephi 32 (continuing where I currently was). In verse 3, it says to “feast upon the words of Christ and they will tell you all that you should do”. Okay..So that felt like the start of an answer. To turn my weaknesses into strengths, I need to study the scriptures more, conference talks, Preach my Gospel and so on. Great. But I didn’t feel like that was the entire answer, so I kept reading, verse by verse with my question in mind, searching for the answer. In chapter 33 of Nephi, I cam across verse 4, “And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them…” Wow. Nephi explains that he wrote his prophetic words in weakness? Yet when I read them they hit with so much power and truth! Okay, so what do I need to do to turn my weaknesses into strengths? It´s funny because up until now, I had the thought that after doing “whatever it is that I have to do to magically change my weaknesses into strengths” I would wake up one day in the future and my once-upon-a-time weakness would be one of my strongest qualities. I was still looking at my question searching for a good checklist to use in order to achieve this worthy goal! So I kept reading in verse 4, “for it persuadeth them to do good;…it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end which is life eternal”. “Hmm…maybe, just maybe, I had found my checklist” I thought. So using the 2 scriptures I marked, I made the connection—“feast upon the words of Christ for the words of Christ will tell you all things you should do” and now Nephi is telling me his words are weak but made strong unto me because they “persuade me to do good; speak of Jesus, and persuade me to believe in him, enduring to eternal life”. So my checklist to “personally change my weaknesses into strengths” is simply:
·         Do good
·         Believe in Christ
·         Endure to the end (encompassing the commandments and gospel of Christ of course)
Well great! Now I know what I need to do, right? Wow I was so equivocado! Then, the little “a” by “fortes” in the Portuguese translation of the Book of Mormon caught my attention. I moved my eyes to the bottom… “4ª Éter 12 26-27”. “Yeah, I've read that. If I do what’s right I can turn my weaknesses to strengths. That’s where my question started” I thought. You see, I wasn’t completely satisfied with my “checklist”. It was pretty vague and the “endure to the end” box…man I won’t be able to check this “checklist” off until I die! That’s kind of lame… So, I was stuck. I decided to read Ether 12:26-27 again. But first, I want to mention that in verse 23 Ether cries unto the Lord, “Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things because of our weakness in writing…” and he continues through verse 25 about the weakness of writing. Two prophets stating that the scriptures we study today were written in their human weakness. Christ responds in verses 26 and 27 stating,
  “Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness; And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them”.
And then I realized what I had completely misunderstood from this scripture. Yes, yes it does promise that our weaknesses will become strengths. But it doesn’t require that we do a mountain of things to change them. Christ give us the perfect instruction:
·         Be humble and come unto Christ
·         Have faith in Him
That is it! It is not something that requires me to stretch my limits and do everything to be perfect, no. Christ will make my weaknesses become my strengths. Not I, but Christ. I can’t do it, but Christ can because His grace is sufficient.
It reminds me of a speech on from “Hope Works” called “The Perfect Lie”. The perfect lie is the following:
Me + More = Christlike
Satan uses this impossible equation to make us feel like we need to be more faithful, more patient, more loving…to be Christlike. When in fact, I will never be exactly like Christ because He was perfect his entire life. But Satan made me think it was possible. If I could do more good, be more diligent, then I could turn my weaknesses into strengths and be more like Christ. But Tiffany Webster shows us that Christ’s equation, the perfect equation, is the following:
Me + Christ = More
If I am humble, have faith in the power of my Redeemer, He will turn my weaknesses into my greatest strengths because He i son my side, and His grace is sufficient.

Elder Zaugg

1-P-day.....for everyone else. But its cool because my friends come and visit me!
2-Thanks mom!

3-A video of a normal thing that happens in Paraguay...When it is mango season, there are 10,000,000,000 mangos. When it is strawberry season, every corner is filled with a vendor selling them for the same price. And there are certain places dedicated to sell certain things. For example, this video. If you want to buy a chair, you just have to travel to the ruta in Luque and you can buy 1 of 5 models from 1 of 100 vendors for the same price.

Sunday, October 23, 2016


Sorry everyone-I have no time! This week was such an amazing week I wish I could explain everything. But I have literally 5 minutes. First, Joel did get baptized, many of you may already have seen that. But then it was just filled with service-something I´m trying to work on-from secret doorbell ditches leaving food, to other small things, and then to service projects like today's. But Im just really happy and just wanted to let you all know that service brings happiness.

Elder Zaugg

P.S. Next week and from now on, I will be writing on Fridays (at least while I am in the office). Pday has changed to Friday!

Joel with his new art supplies that Gaga sent for him! He loves them!!
We got bikes!.....but only for 3 more days until we send them to the chaco
With the hermana that makes the super super cool ties...that's one reason I have no time now.
We helped an investigator of Elder Parada and Gibson clear some land this morning. His house is right behind us...
selfie with elder bickley in the background trying to bring down a vine

Joel's baptism

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Bad driving and Baptisms

Sorry folks, I won't have much time to write a great email today because we have a baptism. Unfortunately, the baptism will happen tonight so I won't be able to send photos until next week, but hey, its a good reason to not have time to email! 

President was gone all week in Argentina for a mission president conference so it was a little different in the office! But still way busy, I feel like there were so many places to go. For 2 days I spent like 12 hours just driving around Asuncion-I was done at the end. Too much traffic here ha. I hate getting stuck behind a colectivo because there are rarely opportunities to get around  them. You just have to wait as the people get on and off. Maybe I was sent to Paraguay to learn patience.  As much as I love having almost no traffic rules while driving, I hate it when others don't have rules as well. Imagine yourself in a super long line in Disneyland for the Cars ride and fifty people cut to the front on the outside of the lane. Yeah thats what it feels like while driving. As much as you try to stop them, it doesn't work. Oh and the line at the stoplight. Thats huge. Everyone is trying to get out first. The roads are 1 lane roads but everyone tries to make it to 2 two lane roads. Especially at the stoplight. Thats the point in which they can race to the front. Some people are so good at timing the lights that they will wait patiently in the back until just before the light turns green and they pull out into the incoming traffic and rush to the front of the line. Oh and don't get me started about the moto's. Thats another story completely. They fight their way through traffic whether it be on the right side, the left side, below the car or above they always find a way to get in the way. But don't worry, we are on 36 days without a crash so we are moving up despite all the reckless driving-mostly by the paraguayos but some times us ;)

This week, we were spending a lot of time with Joel to support him for the baptism. They only day we didn't meet with him was Thursday and that was when his tests came. Crazy how fast Satan attacks! Joel doesn't have problems with keeping the Word of Wisdom, or going to church every sunday-no just the opposite. He has a problem with thinking to much about the gospel and wanting to do too much. He gets thinking and than overthinks himself into doubt and insecurity about the church. Satan creeps into his mind this way. But luckily, he has a testimony and never let go of his decision, but help was needed! Like we all need it. Some times, we have trials and difficulties that make us question our testimony. But we should never lose site of our goal and how we can get there! The "iron rod is the word of God". The Book of Mormon will guide us AND protect us in our search for the truth. We explained that to him and he told us that the past couple days he hadn't read it. It truly is a book we should read every day to never waiver in our testimony! 

Elder Zaugg


cleaning the font getting ready for the baptism

getting ready for the baptism, which name tags do you boys have on???

Joel was baptized on 10-15-2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

Changes Part 5

Yep, I am starting my 5th change here in the office! Crazy to think I have been here that long!
It was a good week though-keeping up the streak of not sleeping. But also keeping up the streak of Paulistas. Every time we go, it gets better and better. This time I decided to go heavy on the Cesar Salad+every thing else. SOOOOOOO good. Its fun getting to go every 6 weeks because we get to pick and choose what we want rather than eat it all because we won't be back! 
Changes started off great-I mean, we have basically all been in the office for 4 changes now so we felt ahead of everything! Doesn't mean we didn't have to stay up super late, but we felt more ready and prepared to hit it on running. Well, then Wednesday happened. The actual day of changes. We are supposed to start at 4:30. We got up and started going, only to get a call that 1 elder from lejos missed his bus, the other missionaries from Concepcion didn't get off where they were supposed to, and we had to stop by the airport to give something to a leaving missioanry...Turns out when we actually got to the first stop in our loop for changes, we were 1 1/2 hours late....hahaha But it all worked out in the end and we had a good time doing it! I have a new comp! Elder Proffit! He is the new secretary of the mission. Elder Hunsaker will train him for 6 weeks then head out to his new area. 

Last night we played a prank on Elder Parada and Elder Gibson. Elder Bickley, Crofts and I acted like we were super mad at each other and it scared them 2 so bad hahaha we were laughing so hard. Then we had to scare Elder Proffit a little bit on his first night in the office so we reinacted the fight and he about cried bc it was so believable. The office crew here is super great and we just all get along so well. Some of the best laughs of the mission happen here, and also the latest nights, and earlierst mornings, and best moments ever. 

Joel Ayala is still progressing for his baptism date-next SATURDAY! So excited for this because it has been a very very long time! haha 

A super cool thing happened this week! On Wednesday, we went to the temple to to pick up the missionaries and take them to Paulistas. While we were waiting outside, Alicia walked out! The convert I baptized from Del Maestro!!!! That was so so so awesome! Her, Hna Leonica, and Silvia were there! Man that was such an overwhelming feeling to know how strong she is in the gospel! As missionaries, we find people to teach and baptize those willing to make promises with God and keep them, with the ultimate goal being the temple. In and only in the temple is where we can make sacred covenants with God that seal families together for eternity, and we can also help others who have already passed on through the baptisms for the dead. To see someone (or 3 people) you grew to care for so much walk out of the temple was such an awesome feeling! I challenge you to make it a goal to go to the temple this coming week to receive personal revelation and to help someone else on the other side! The blessings will be poured down on you-promise you won't regret! 

Elder Zaugg
here are some pics!

1. Joel at the temple after sunday morning conference session!
2. the boiz
3. Alicia at the temple

4. Conference at Prezzzy´s

Saturday, October 1, 2016


God’s love is infinite and it will endure forever, but what it means for each of us depends on how we respond to His love. …

What a wonderful start to General Conference today! I loved hearing the Apostles and other leaders speak to us. I especially loved Elder Christofferson's message. I never even thought about unconditional love in that sense. But it is so true, God's love is better represented with "everlasting love" and "redeeming love". For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Our Heavenly Father loves us so much, that he provided us with the opportunities to receive everlasting life! He sent his son to the earth to die for our sins. He loves us so much, but his love doesn't mean we can do whatever we want without paying attention to what he asks in return and receive every blessing he wants to give us! It requires that we love him back enough to follow his commandments and the teachings of his Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are not perfect, but in the end, that is where "redeeming love" comes into play. If we truly do our best to follow his son and his teachings, I believe that His love and mercy will redeem us from any dark pit that sins confine us to. I don't know everything, but I do know that my Heavenly Father loves me and I have felt it strongly so many different times in my life! 

Think of how you felt when for the first time you believed and understood that you are truly a child of God; that Jesus Christ willingly suffered for your sins so that you may be clean again...

I felt pretty darn good at those moments of my life if you ask me. 

Sorry it is so short today! Got to get back to Priesthood session! I hope you all have the opportunity to watch conference tomorrow!
Love Elder Zaugg!

Sorry, i left my camera at President's house so I don't have pics :(

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Dog that (Almost) Got Away

So, yesterday we were out in Aratiri taking some beds to some missionaries. The chapel is right on the ruta, basically a freeway and there are cars flying by all the time. But, people still cross it like nothing. It has a huge cement barrier in the middle with some slits every once in awhile and the people just sit in the slits waiting to pass..even moto's will try and fit, but they just hang out the front and back. Anyways, So yesterday a super small dog started crossing. Instantly, that dog was a gonner. It didn't even look, just crossed in front of cars. But, somehow-basically a miracle, a van came to a screeching stop and this tiny dog curled up and ran back to the side yelping and freeeeeaking out. It was hopping on 3 legs so we figured it broke its leg or something. It came to the fence of the church and spazzed its way over to us. It laid down next to us so E. Parada started to pet it. It had a tiny small burn mark on its leg but it luckily didn't get hit. After about 3 min, the missionaries got to the church to open it up. So we went inside, got the beds and took them to their house and went back to the church to get more beds for another area. When we got back, we were about to unlock the gate when I noticed the dog was still there! Only this wasn't breathing. This dog literally got scared to death. We watched it somehow escape, but it freaked out so much we think it got a heart attack. We were in shock bc as we petted it, it stopped yelping and just laid right by us annd seemed super happy, still breathing hard, but happy. But then, somehow it just died... It was super sad, but that's my story for the week! haha

On a happier note, "J" came to church again!! His baptism date is now in October to help him prepare a little better! We are so blessed to have found him! This week, we talked a lot about repentance and baptism. The way he feels about God and his internal need to find the truth and do it correctly is amazing. Every time, he always comments on something new he learned and what he can do now to help him in his daily life! 

Being in the office, I get to see what the church is talking about. This week, the released this Religious Freedom Site 

I honestly do not have any idea what is happening in the US right now, but I haven't heard of too much talk of laws against religious freedom from my parents..So it reminds me of that time when Gordon B. Hinkley advised everyone to get debt-free...A few years later, the economy crashed. The Lord has given us modern day prophets to guide those who listen to him to happiness. To me, the apostoles and prophet are hitting religious freedom HUGE right now on I know without a doubt they receive revelation for what will come in the future so I know that soon, the freedom of religion will be so restricted that us members will have a hard time living the way we know we should. Any members of any religion for that matter will have a hard time. On the site there are some really great videos and examples of expressing our beliefs in a good way. Hopefully you have some time to check it out. Remember, in the 2014 April General Conference, Elder Holland said, "Be strong. Live the gospel faithfully even if others don't live it at all. Defend your beliefs with courtesy and compassion, but defend them."
We all need to defend our beliefs and defend the rights of all to worship how they choose. If we aren't united, everyone loses the freedom. Hope you have some time to check that site out. It is super cool!

Make it a great week!
Brody and Elder Crofts from last weeks race

This is a video of Elder Parada