Tuesday, August 31, 2010
WOW!!!! What a week yall had! How exciting! I loved all the emails and all the news. That is so CRAZY that Skyler is going to Ty’s same mission! What a small world! Wouldn’t that be hilarious if Ty trained him? Haha. And Ty thanks for sharing what the member of the 70 had shared with yall, it helped me a lot! So wow quite a week! Alright here in Paraguay we had quite a week too!!! So we had the special changes from Monday night until Saturday morning and it was probably the best week of the mission. Hna G and Hna Henderson (who lived with me my first change and were super tyte) came to stay with me for the week and we just had a BLAST! We had the capacitacion (the conference thing) from 9-3 every day and it was just AMAZING! I just love being a missionary! It was so eye opening and man there are just so many things that I need to be doing better ha but I’m working on it, so it’s all good. We probably only got in like 6 hours of work the whole time they were here because we didn’t end up getting home until like 5 every day… we had a couple interviews with President and then I got super sick on like Thursday and waiting for colectivos and yeah, and then at night we had consejo de barrio (ward council) and a meeting with our mission leader. So the work was kinda limited which really stinks because this week we have to like start over again! Because all of the investigators from the hermanas that left are not progressing!!! I kinda wish we would’ve dropped them earlier because we just found out that they have been working with the other hnas for a really long time and they aren’t keeping their commitments. Ahhh dificil! So this week we are starting over with a new clean slate. We should be having a baptism this Wednesday with a man named Luis (again…stories for after the mish) and I’m really excited for him. He really wants to be baptized but we’ve just been trying to help him prepare better and he just loves us and teases with us all the time. When I first got here I couldn’t understand barely anything he said because he mumbles! But now were good. Ha he kinda reminds me of grandpa Bill, like the way he jokes around and everything, it’s hilarious. Aver… so something happened yesterday that changed my mission for me or maybe better said, changed my life. Bueno… actually this week there have been a couple different things that have happened that just COMPLETELY and TOTALLY changed my perspective about life! 1. There is opposition in ALL things. Something I have truly come to understand and treasure. We can’t ever truly appreciate something until we have truly understood the opposite.. like living here in Paraguay and seeing so much poverty.. Things that have literally broken my heart and I have felt completely hopeless on what I could do to help. And there were times when I asked, Heavenly Father, why them? Why do these precious little children and loving people have to live like this? Why did they get this life? I look at these kids, and yall know how much I love children… and their lives are just so so so sad. Most of them don’t know who their dads are, they live in trash (the other day we were walking over this lil bridge and underneath there was this nasty steam filled with trash and pigs and was just gross, and there was this lil boy, probably like 4 years old, searching for food. I’m sure yall can’t even picture that. But that is just how it is in a lot of parts of Paraguay. And just things like that happen every day. And then these poor moms that have all these children and NO SUPPORT and can’t find jobs and can’t provide for their children. Ah it just kills me. I feel so bad for these poor children that have to live in the mistakes of their parents. I honestly don’t understand how it works. But I know that God loves them just as much as anyone and that His plan is for EVERYONE. It is the ONLY plan that brings happiness. I am so eternally thankful for this knowledge that I have. I’m serious. God loves us. His love is so great for all of us individually.. I hope you pray to understand the greatness of the message of the restoration and then that you go out and share it! I love yall so much! And am so thankful for all your emails and love and support. It means the world to me, to have family and friends that actually care and that are such great testimony builders. That is AMAZING. There are times when I try to explain to our investigators about family prayer and family scripture study and family home evening…things that honestly were not my favorite things to do growing up, but now what a treasure that is to me-and they can’t even comprehend something like that. Now, I understand the difference it makes. That opposition. Ha now I understand how important it is to follow the council of the prophet. He really does know what he’s talking about. I don’t know why sometimes we don’t follow. But I know that if we do follow, we will be happy and we will live with God and our families again. Wow this email is all over the place! Just pray for me. Pray that we will find the people that are ready to accept this message so they can have the FULLNESS of the gospel. And that we can find a house! Ahhh! I love yall! Have a great week
Monday, August 23, 2010
Oh my goodness! So turns out today is my 9 month mark in Paraguay and my 11 month mark in the mission and the weeks just keep flying by! I can’t believe it is Monday otra vez! And this week is probably going to go by super fast too… Friday night my zone leaders called me and they were like Hna we’re just calling bc you have a special change. Excuse me?! I was like WHAT?!! And they were like yeah we’re going to do it on Monday night and your daughter is leaving to MarianoRA and you’ll be staying here. And I was like uh elders I don’t understand. And I was like well who will be coming with me? And then they told me Hna G and I was like what?! That doesn’t even make sense… she has hijas too. So here I am like freaking out that I’m going to be separated from my darling hija and then he’s like well it’s just going to be until Friday. Ha and I’m still really confused. And then he tells me that all the trainers and district and zone leaders have like this special conference to learn how to be better missionaries and to use preach my gospel better and all that good stuff. So it’s going to be Tues- Fri in the mornings. I’m actually really excited about it! It’ll be really awesome to learn and be better and then just go out on fire! And that’s exactly what this area needs! Man, yesterday was a tough day! Ha Sundays in the mission are CRAZY! Like I’ve already explained, you always leave about an hour early so you can go and collect all your investigators for church. Well yesterday we left at 6:50 (church starts at 9) to go and stop by for all our peeps. Saturday we committed everyone to go! It was awesome, like we resolved all their doubts, promised them blessings, verified, testified, everything and at the end of the day we were pretty confident that we would have 11 people in church on Sunday and we were pretty stoked about it. So we leave Sunday morning and the weather is just BEAUTIFUL! And to make a long story short we only had 1 person come to church with us. We stopped by for everyone and more people and everyone gave us all these excuses. Ha it’s times like that when I wish I didn’t understand Spanish! It was pretty tough. We were both like near tears because it’s just like we develop so much love for these people and we can truly see how the gospel can bless their lives, how they can change their lives and be happier and have better relationships with their families and everything and we just get so excited when they read in the Book of Mormon or are doing their prayers and keeping their commitments, but then when they don’t, it really just breaks your heart! It’s hard to explain. Ha I don’t think I could ever handle a rebellious child, because you just love them so much and you see what is best for them, but all you can do is love them and teach them but you can’t force them. Ha and sometimes I just want to force these people! I have learned so much about el gran regalo del albedrio. The great gift of our agency. What a gift! Man! It’s hard to watch people use their albedrio to go down a course that isn’t right. Man, it’s all about that iron rod. Hold on to that! It’s so important to just CLING to it and never let go! I loved mom’s email and that talk. We talked about that in sociedad de Socorro tambien. But I never thought about how you explained it. But I love that. As missionaries that’s what we are doing too! Helping these children find their way home. 1. Teaching them to read in the Book of Mormon 2. Bearing testimony and 3. Teaching them to act rather than be acted upon. So thanks so much for that correlation. It makes me excited to work. It’s so true. Ah man I just love the Book of Mormon. It is so true. And all week I’ve been reading all the talks from the last general conference; AMAZING! I just love conference! And in every contact and lesson we have been saying we are missionaries of the church of jesus Christ of latter day saints, representatives of Jesus Christ and we have been called by a prophet of God to share with the people of Paragauy the restored message of the gospel. Ha it’s been great! I love doing that because it helps me remember my purpose as a missionary and it will help those who are prepared recognize us as servants of God. Love it! Love the mission! Bueno, I love yall! I hope your praying that we’ll find a new house in a good location ha because we haven’t yet! And we also want to start working in a different part of our area and we really need to be led by the Spirit to help us decide! I love yall so much and am so so so thankful to have yall in my lives. And I really appreciate your emails! Have a great week! And Happy Bday Hna Case this Saturday! Love yall!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
CRAZY WEEK!!!! Ha but this one went by a lot faster! First, holy shnikies I got my HUGE HUGE HUGE package!!!! And now it is just sitting there in my room staring at me wanting me to open it and I have to wait another month until my birthday lol! But I'm glad it made it! Also ha mom remember when you told me Bro. Nichols knew a girl that was coming out here that plays piano...ha turns out that is my hija! Ha and I found out that her and Hilary Heidiman are really good friends because they did piano together at BYU...small world, I love it! And now here we are walking the good ole streets of Paraguay! Ha to start this week off so well on Tuesday night we were getting ready to leave our area to go to a consejo de barrio in the church (ward council) and we didn't know exactly which collectivo to take so we made sure we finished in time so that we'd be able to figure it out. So we asked like 3 different people which collectivo we would need to go to brazilia y espana and they all told us 23 or 24, so we go out to the routa and a 24 is coming right down, so we sign it and it stops and we get on and we are like so stoked because wow que bendicion that the collectivo came right then when we needed it! and just to make sure I ask the collectivo driver that it passes by brazilia y espana and he says yes. well FAIL!!! ha our first day without hna rodriguez and we get LOST! ha we are going and going and we turn on espana and I'm like perfect we're almost there and then we pass this street called brazil...and i'm like hmmm that's weird I hope that's not what they thought I meant...but I had told them it was by the big church so we should be good. FAIL...all of a sudden we turn again and we end up en los estados unidos..ha that is what the road is called. and I'm like oh shoot this can't be right, ha so we bust out the map...and those roads weren't even on our map lol. so then i'm like freaking out and we stop the collectivo and get off. and so we had been off for less than a minute and we're like ha what should we do and then all of a sudden this guy comes up to us and he's like, can I help you? ha but he is totally talking in english! lol it was fabulous, I guess he had lived in Arizona por algunos anos and so he spoke english! and he helped us figure out which collectivo we needed to take and it was just such a blessing! and we only ended up being like 10 min late to the meeting. Ha so yeah then later we had found out we had gone into the South Mission...which you could get sent home if you go into that mission...lol but it wasn't our fault! Aver... we also had zone conference and it was really good...different than how we used to do them, but I'm excited for all the changes that are going to happen with preach my gospel and everything, and we are just going to become better missionaries but unfortunately it all starts the month before I go home..que triste, which is why I want to work in the MTC so I can still be a part of everything! Have I told yall how great my hija is? She is just so cute. She is a way better daughter than I was. Her spanish is amazing and she isn't afraid to do contacts or talk or anything, it's amazing. I love it! Training is really hard, all of this responsibility with being comp mayor...senior comp and trying to do your best to help the newbie do things right and to be a good example. But we are learning juntas and having a good time. I still get frustrated with my spanish, but I'm working on it! We've been working with all the old investigators from the other hnas but we're trying to transfer to start working in different areas that haven't been worked in a really long time, probably bc the houses are mas chu chi...like way nicer.. but the other hnas have been in the bajos (like the poorest part of Paraguay I have ever seen...it is SO SAD...they pretty much live in the trash down there and their houses are just built from whatever they could find, the people are really great but a lot of them dont want to keep commitments and the church is so far away that they don't want to walk and there isn't a collectivo that passes and it is the farthest point of our area and we're not allowed to go there at night or on sundays because it is to dangerous) entonces we are going to start working in other parts. And we have found some really cool people. First this girl named Liliana whose dad just died about 3 months ago and our first cita with her when we found her was just incredible. The Spirit was SO STRONG and ha I started crying when we sang at the beginning before the prayer or anything because we sang...familias pueden ser eternas..families can be forever...I don't know if that is the translation but you know what I'm talking about...and man the Spirit was just there and by the end of the lesson we were all crying! And at the end she was like it was a coincident that we stopped by because she was alone and she had just been thinking about her dad and that she was just so greatful for our visit. she is so cute, she's 21 or 22 and then the next night we met her family and they are great. We all click just great and we're laughing and everything. But there is something that is holding the mom back, I don't know what it is...but I just know that they are so prepared to receive the gospel, so please pray for them. The mom Porfiria, and then the son Gustavo who is 18 and then there are 2 more kids we haven't met...one that doesn't live there and then another daughter. We want to go back over there tonight though. We also met this lady Alejandra that didn't want to let us in her house at first, but finally we convinved her ha. And she had told us she just had a couple minutes to share..yapoo! we ended up staying there for like a half hour. at the end of the lesson she also told us that it wasn't coincident that we stopped by because just the week before she was going through a big box of books and she found a really old copy of the book of mormon that someone had given her and that she had wanted to start to read it. ha it is such a old book! I had never seen one like it before, but it is just so awesome because the words are just the same. So we came and commited her to read it and to pray about it and next time we are going to share the first vision and story of Joseph Smith. The problem is going to be getting her to come to church because she says she is just not the type of person who goes to church and she only goes for weddings and funerals. But that is just all going to change! She is so prepared too! LOVE IT! The gospel is so true. Man I love the mission. Ha it is such an emotional roller coaster but ha the ride is just soo good! And also if you could pray for us to find a house. We have to move and apparently we are in charge of finding a house to move into lol so if you could please pray for that, that it can be in a good area and for a good price! Bueno, I love yall all so much and am so so so greatful for your prayers and your letters! Have a great week!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
HOLA!!! Oh my goodness! I think this has been the LONGEST week of the mission! I’m serious! So many CRAZY things happened and I don’t even know where to begin. And I think it has seemed so long because so many things happened every single day and it seems like in a normal person’s life it would be like within a month. Ok so first we will start with CAMBIOS! And yes…there were cambios and they are CRAZY!!! Ok so Monday night one of the hnas called us and was like hey did they tell yall cambios and we hadn’t heard anything todavia and she was like yeah well our elders called and told us our cambios but I’m pretty sure it’s a joke. And we were like well what did they tell you? (And p.s. we had talked to the office elders earlier that day about cambios and they were joking around with us and telling us what they thought would happen and we were like ha NO) And she said that Hna Remache (my old comp) would be going with Hna Garcia- now if you knew the story between them you would know that that cambio would be absolutely insane bc hna Garcia does not like hna remache (yeah just be excited for post mission stories) and so we were like they are so full of it! But hna rem heard too and she was starting to get a lil bit nervous bc that would just be insane and so we were like, no hna it’s just a joke that they are playing. Later- our elders called us and said they had our cambios… and we were like ha we already know it’s a joke but let’s see what you have to say. So he starts with hna remache and tells her she is going with hna Garcia and she just starts bawling! Pobrecita and we were like hna no it’s not true they wouldn’t do that, don’t let it get to you etc. then they told hna g her cambio.. that she would be staying in Luque and that she would be having a baby (she’d be training) and then she started freaking out bc she didn’t feel ready etc.- but that actually seemed legit. So then we were like ok what is my cambio?!!! And they said that I’d be going to Moroni (Asuncion)- seems legit- but then he says that I’ll be having a baby too- which just proves that it’s all a joke because there was an hna already in Asuncion and she would have to stay there bc Hna Leavitt was going home. So we were like elders yall are so full of it!! And they were like no it’s true you better go start packing your bags. Oh and another reason it was all just a joke is because they NEVER call on Monday nights, because we always get our changes on Tuesday during district meeting. So that night we were all freaking out a lil bit and all just so convinced that it was a joke. The next morning Hna Leavitt calls me and she says that she is busy making all these maps and writing down things about the investigators so that I wouldn’t be so lost when I came. And I was like WHAT?! You really think it’s true? And then later we got it all confirmed that it was true. WHAT?!!! So turns out now I’m in Asuncion con mi hijita se llama Hna Messina de Las Vegas and we are white washing the area! Ha yall know how bad I am with directions. Hna Rodriguez has stayed with us until today to kind of show us around the area and where the investigators live and everything. But it has been CRAZY! So last Tuesday we just went to all the people we are really close with to say goodbye bc Hna Remache left too (Hna H came to our area to white wash it and train too, but she has been in Luque before). So basically I just spent all day Tuesday crying and saying goodbye and I didn’t get to say goodbye to Emilio because he was in school and I didn’t know, so that just made me cry harder. And we didn’t get home until almost 10 and then I stayed up until 3 packing and have gone to bed like an hour late every night and I am so exhausted. YIKES!!! And then my daughter and a couple other missionaries flights didn’t come in time, so they ended up coming on Thursday instead of Wednesday. Oh so 3 newbies came, 2 from the states and 1 Latina and everyone thought for sure the latina would be my comp and she was here on Wed. and she came with us to work and we thought for sure we would be together bc it would be good if I had someone with me who spoke and understood Spanish to help me get to know the area and the people and everything…but NO! We guessed who was going to be our daughters and were completely wrong. But my daughter is AMAZING. She speaks really really good! More than I knew in like my 3rd change but she just doesn’t understand very well but she’ll get it. She’s really excited to work and teach and do everything, it’s great! And I’m sure we’ll get lost a ton but it’s all good. Right now we live with Hna Kimball who is a widow that is serving a mission with the temple and with our mission and she’s amazing. She reminds me a TON of grandma! We’re going to move though so we might not live with her again. The house we live in right now is AMAZING! I feel like I’m living in a hotel and she’ll cook lil goodies for us so it’s a lot of fun! And our ward is good it actually functions like a real ward and our bishop is really cool. So everything should be fine. It’s still sad because I’m not in Luque with my Luque family and it’s all really different here but it’ll all be good. I’m here because this is where the Lord wants me and we’re going to work a full and have a blast. Pray for me so that I’ll be able to follow the Spirit! Also it just blows my mind that I’m already half way done with the mish…I don’t like it. It’s crazy that now I’m the senior comp who speaks the language and “knows” Paraguay and now I have my lil hijita who is just new and adorable and I’m training her. CRAZY! Yeah I’m gonna need yalls prayers please! And it was funny because we did a Noche de Hogar the night received cambios and I was sharing a scripture and talking all about faith and trusting in the Lord and then my cambio came and I was like WHAT??? What is He thinking? Ha but He knows what He’s doing. I don’t know what I’m doing lol but I know as long as we’re obedient and diligent everything will be fine and I just decided I’m going to let God be the senior comp and we’re just going to follow the Spirit. Bueno I love yall!!! Have a great week!!!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Oh man!!! Where to start?!!!! First, what in the World happened to July?!! How are we already in August? Blows my mind! So first the really sad news… another 350 of my pictures got DELETED!!!! Yeah, not cool…and not my fault. An elder was trying to figure something out on my camera and accidentally deleted all my pictures. Ahhh and I´m so sad, I can’t even think about it because it makes me want to cry! Because this week I was going to send yall some awesome pictures (de la gallina que yo maté!- of the chicken that I killed) but now I don’t have them and they were so AWESOME!. TRISTE. Also, of the us with the chicken befote we killed it, the process, and the cena… Hna Remache cooked it afterwards. Ha it was so awesome. It’s really a great store, but we’ll save that for after the mish too. Let’s just say that was the first and the last chicken I am going to kill. Ha but it was demasiado chistoso. Ok let’s see… oh yeah so this week I went to Ybera with Hna Welch for like 3 days, I was really sad to leave my area but it actually ended up being a lot of fun. She is hilarious and we just laughed a lot and it was really cool to see her teach and meet all the people there. Ha it was so funny because in every cita (appointment) we had she would introduce me and then tell them where I was from, but she would change it everytime. Ha so turns out, I’m from Argentina, Brazil, France, Australia, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, etc. And she would make up these crazy stories and everyone believed us. Ha I was like dude, I can never come back to this area because then they will be like oh I thought you were from…. Cualquier país. And so the people would like ask me to say Words in french or portugues, ha and she volunteered me to say the prayer in french lol…oh man good times. But yeah it was fun, but I was ready to come back home to Luque and I came back to an awesome surprise! We had a baptism on Friday! This girl named Fatima, she’s 22 and we’ve been working with her for like the last couple months and it was so cute. She was so happy and it was so amazing to watch her change her life, and quit smoking and drinking to be baptized. So cool! And then today for p day we had an hermana activity and we got to wear JEANS!!! Ha it was fabulous! And it was a lot of fun to hang out with all the hermanas and divertirnos un poco. Oh and I have to tell Angela to tell Tyler that I totally shared his prayer experience in the Noche de Hogar that we did last week and everyone loved it. We were talking about faith and about how little children often understand things better than nosotros. ANd just tell Tyler everyone loved it and give him a big hug. ANd mom…you told me to read Alma 32 this week and I did and I totally loved it. Such a great chapter. And it’s funny because a week ago I gave it to Belen to read for her tarea and when we went on Saturday she still hadn’t finished reading it so we decided to finish the chapter with her. Oh my gosh, it was SO PERFECT! We taught her and her sister Cynthia and the Spirit was just SO STRONG. Unfortunately, she is to into her other church right now, but I straight up testified along with my companions that la iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Días es la unica iglesia verdadera. I mean the whole lesson was just so awesome because everyone was just bearing testimony and compartiendo y todo! I dunno how it impacted them but the rest of us were all edified and my faith has definitely been strengthened. It seems like, when you’re teaching people who are just being stubborn and are just refusing the truth and who know everything but don’t want to be baptized, your testimony just GROWS! Because wow, it is absolutely incredible how much I love Belen and her sister and their family and it just breaks my heart that they aren’t accepting the message of the restored gospel (another Gustavo…ahhh!!!) and as I testified I just started to cry of course and just said… ya know what… we are representantes de Jesucristo and we are here at your house because God wants you to have this message. We are the second set of missionaries that have taught you and it’s because God wants you to have the FULLNESS. Ha it just blows my mind that people just reject the gospel. The gospel is EVERYTHING to me, now more than ever, and it’s just going to grow. Otra vez it all comes down to if the Book of Mormon is true or its not. Ha we are either all crazy and the book is false, or we are right and the book is true. Ha wow it is so true. I love it! And the evidences are everywhere. I just keep noticing the blessings everyday and just feel so incredibly blessed to have been into a family where I learned the gospel… ha I never understood what that really meant or how good I had it. Ha but now I know. I remember those times when you forced us out of bed to do early morning scripture study or prayer, ha and I hated that and man I was such a complainer about family home evening and everything haha sorry! Now I apréciate it demasiado. Seriously, thanks for all your struggles in raising us. We all turned out pretty good I think lol. And it’s all thanks to you mom and pops! I love yall and I hope yall have a great week. Oh man and we have CAMBIOS this week!!!! We are going to know tomorrow. Yeah, I am freaking out. I feel like I’m leaving and that makes me really sad. I love this area but I’m getting the vibe that I’m outta here…so now I’m just nervous of where I’m going and with who!!! Ahh pray for me so that I can know that it is right and that I’ll be ok. Love yall!! Oh yeah and tell Ty…apparently one of the missionaries here (Hna Stagg) knew him from the MTC and he told her to say hi to me…well she told me she knew you today and I was so excited! I love ya bud and you are always in my prayers! oh and it sounded like yalls california trip was a BLAST!!! thanks for the pics I LOVED them! Yall all look SO GOOD! And the kids are soooo cute!!! Give them hugs and kisses for me. ANd I hope you told gpa bill and Harry and Mary Lou and everyone that I say hi and love them! And that is SO COOL that yall saw Elder Gould in the mall...tender mercy!!! Oh and also Grandma, thanks for the picture! It is about time! Yall look great!!! And I can't believe the boat got stolen for awhile, crazy! But I'm glad everything was fixed and I hope yall have fun fishing! We'll have to do that when I get back too! Oh man also, SIs Andersen, you're awesome! Thanks for your letter! It's so you, I love it! And you are so right, Kids are so smart! It's so fun to watch them learn, and half the time I feel like I learn more from them, then they learn from me. And thanks also to mamma wariner and Emily! Love yall. Ha I love letters! Keep them coming!!!