Wow wow wow, what a week! This was honestly the best week of my
mission so far! We seriously saw so many miracles. I don't
even know where to start. Yesterday, 6 investigators came
to church (12 if you count all of their babies and kids).
It was the biggest storm I've seen so far here in Paraguay.
The streets were literally rivers. But igual, la gente
vinieron. We are working with 6 families
right now that I just love but are tough. Mostly, were
trying to complete families, where the mom and children are
members, but the majority of the time the husband isn't.
We did a special fast for them Saturday to Sunday and
I seriously testify of the power of the fast. It was amazing.
The most difficult thing for us has been to find the
WHOLE family together so we prayed specifically for the
OPPORTUNITY to teach them. Heavenly Father answered our
prayers. We went Sunday in the morning to pick up a
family for church. The missionaries have taught them a
lot before and the elders gave them to us as a reference.
The mom cuts the strings off of jeans all day for her work.
The little kids too. There are tons of Korean jean factories
and everyone in that area works for them. They live in
pretty humble circumstances but work really hard and many
many hours. We started going to their house to help them
and relieve at least the little kids so that they could go
play. They told us that they have a testimony of Joseph Smith
of the Book of Mormon, they really are a great family, but
we could tell something was up since it had been such a long
time and they still hadn't been baptized after such a long
time. We felt prompted to talk with them about the word of
wisdom again. They told us that they had no problem with
it and were keeping the word of wisdom. The next morning
when we went though, we found him really drunk and drinking
with his friend outside of the apartment. The kids were
watching. We dropped the cane pretty hard. He kept
saying "forgive me, forgive me please." We went inside
the apartment and his sweet wife was there getting the
kids ready for church. She seemed really embarrassed.
It hurt my heart so much to see how sad she was.
After many words with the husband, we asked him to say the
prayer. We all knelt down and I have never heard anyone ask
more times for God to forgive him. I started to cry as he
said the prayer. It hurt really bad to see him make a poor
decision for his family. He watched as his whole family left
with us for church. As we walked, the rain started and
we gave the little kids and mom our umbrellas. I will never
forget the contrast of those little kids in their home,
sadly watching their dad and them being in the church happy
with the members and their mom. The best joy and the
greatest sorrow. Were went to their house again after
church and are going again tonight. Were not giving up on
them just yet.
There were like a thousand other cool things that
happened this week. I seriously love being a missionary.
I know that God answers prayers and fasts. I know that God
lives, that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that through the
prophet Joseph Smith, God restored the same church that
Jesus Christ previously put on the earth. I love the
covenants I have made in the temple. I thought about them
a lot this week and realized how much protection I have
a missionary and endowed member of the church.
Anyway, please have a wonderful week.
I looovee yooouuuuu!!!!
Monday, November 16, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
I don't know if I told you, but there are Plumerias here right now
(white and yellow, deep purple, pink, yellow, and white)and there are
also poinsettias everywhere.
Hermana Jara and I are both still here in Amambay. We didn't end up
having changes yet. I really REALLY love this ward though and the
people here so I am ok with not changing for now :).
The heat was killer again. The other morning I drank 2 liters of water
by like 9:00 and kept drinking throughout the day. The heat is still
miserable but I am getting more used to it. I guess.
We found a really cool family this week! I was so excited.
We were walking and decided to knock on a random door. An older
single lady greeted us, let us in, gave us water, and told us that she
was Catholic but that her brother who had died 3 years earlier was
Mormon and had served a mission many years earlier in Uruguay.
She told us that the people from the church were really nice but
took us into a room where she had a shrine of Saints, Jesus,
incense and things like that and told us that she wasn't interested in
changing religions. It was really important to her and she was
so sweet to us. We taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel
though and visited for a little bit. She gaves us a little bag
of cookies and a piece of candy as we left. It was adorable. She
then told us that her niece, the daughter of her brother who passed
away lives close and that we could visit her. We went to visit her
and her family and they are great! They were kind of busy when
we came but were going on Tuesday to visit with them. We stopped
by yesterday too and visited with the members son and granddaughter
and they were really receptive. I really think they are going to progress.
As it turns out, the man who died was inactive towards the end of his
life. But i truly believe that things dont happen because of coincidence,
and that perhaps there is a concerned father on the other side
trying to help his family. Once again, our Heavenly Father really
is in the details.
This morning was fun. For our P-day we went to the city center with
one of the girls in the ward Vanessa Alvarez. We eat with her family
on Sundays and they are the best. Her dad is an artisan and does those
really cool scripture covers made out of leather. They're amazing.
Anyway, we took some fun pictures and went to a museum. We ate
the BEST empanadas that I've ever tasted. It was weird though. I felt
like a tourist kind of. It reminded me of being in London or Paris...all
big cities have the same kind of feel. It was fun though. Ill send you
Guess what? My mouth and dry skin are cured. A sister in the ward told
me to boil guava leaves and put the juice on my skin and it cured me!
I couldn't believe it. A modern day miracle. There are natural remedies
here for everything. It seems like that principle of there being an
opposition in all things really is true. Where the sun burns your skin,
there grows aloe or guava leaves to cure them. Go figure.
MY testimony is growing so much and I never want to forget the
experiences that I am having here.
Sometimes, many times, fulfilling our callings takes a lot of hard work.
I have seen many of the sacrifices that people here in Amabay have
made to fulfill their callings. I hope our ward and stake are doing well.
We really have such wonderful people in our ward and I love
them better and help the 27th ward in whatever way possible once I return.
Please send my love to the family. I hope Aunt Lauren is feeling
better! I am continuing to pray for her and for all of you every day.
I can't believe Ive been out 5 months. It has passed by so quickly
but I feel like I have been here forever. I really love it here.
Anyway, I'm out of time! love you love you love you!! BTW(by the way)
it's fruit season and I ate like half a watermelon the other day.
All my love,
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Wow, what a week! So much has happened!It really has been a
lot of fun and incredible. We had Zone conference and interviews
with President Callan this week which was so great and very much
needed. Our leaders are so inspired. President Callan focused a
lot on effective planning (PME ch 8) and following the Spirit
(PME ch 4). He also talked about obedience with exactness.
Well, I have to admit that I learned so much and figured out
that there are many things to improve. We focused on changing
some of the simple things....by small and simple things, great
things WILL come to pass. We went to pick up some investigators
with a member (a young girl and her sister who speak mainly
Guarani)but we couldn't get a hold of any of the other
investigators so we figured they wouldn't come.
When we got to church, we had
5 investigators that we hadnt even planned on being there!
One was a young guard who we always pass by on our way
home. We invited him to church twice when passing by and
he came with his girlfriend! It was so great! This
week also, We taught Virgina´s daughter. We thought she
wasn't going to make it to church but she came yesterday
anyway! It was such a blessing to us. Yesterday after church
we found 18 new investigators and were able to teach 6
lessons with members there as well as 2 other lessons and
1 to a less active. We had a wonderful lesson Saturday night
with the husband of a member here and it was so
special. I feel so blessed that my Heavenly Father gave me
the opportunity to see other people come unto Christ
and change their lives. That is the gift and how happy we have
been to see it.
The members have been so great too! I really love working
with them. Sometimes it is difficult for them to open up and
talk to investigators but it makes such a difference.
I am learning so much and have SO MANY things I want to
read and learn.
I am doing great and am finding ways to adapt.
By The Way... I got my packages!! And it came so fast!
Thank you so much! Well, I am out of time.
I love you all and have a wonderful week!