Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"Let it Snow?"

Greetings from Summer in Paraguay!
Hello hello my dearest family!
Sorry for not being able to write
yesterday. We had zone conference
so today is our P-day. The conference
was spectacular as always and we got some
great advice as to what we need as a mission.
It is starting to dawn on me that my time
here as a missionary is WAY too short.
It makes me panic a little to think about how
quickly this time as a missionary is passing.
I am starting to wish that girls could have 2 years also.
worry though, I´m not going to extend 6 months, but really I just
feel so blessed to be here as a missionary! This is the best
experience I have ever had in my life. Never again in my life will
I have this calling, blessing, and opportunity. I hope and pray that
I am noticing and taking every opportunity possible to share the gospel.
I honestly didn't love this place at first, but I can tell you right now
how much I love Paraguay. I love the
people here so much!! I love my mission so much! I love to bare my
about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. I love telling
the people here that
Christ came to visit their descendats and that
He lives today. I love to tell
people about President Monson and the
Quorum of the 12. It fascinates me and
I know without a doubt that
what I tell these people is true. The past couple
of weeks, we have had
some miracles. I've seen old investigators come
back and want to be
baptized. They remembered how they felt when we taught
they've seen the Book of Mormon make changes in their lives and in
lives of their husbands and children. It really gave me hope that
my efforts
haven´t been wasted and that they felt the Spirit and knew
what they needed to
do through me and my companion. The sad
thing is when they deny what they've
felt and choose not to continue,
but the more I read the Book of Mormon and the
New Testament,
the more realize that rejection, sadness, and disappointment are
not new experiences. For example, I am reading in Alma again about
when Alma gives up the judgment seat to go and preach the gospel.
I'm sure
this wasn't easy. In fact, Alma was el juez superior, but he
gave up his
position because he saw no other way to rescue his people
except with the strength
of pure testimony against them (Alma 5:19).
He faced those who had kept the
commandments, but many more who
had forgotten and chosen poorly. I love chapter 8
when Alma is leaving
the land of Ammoniah after having suffered many
afflictions, being
kicked out of the city, smitten, all of his words resisted,
when an angel
appears to him and tells him to lift up his head and rejoice.
The angel
doesn't tell him to rejoice because he baptized literally thousands of
people before or because he had a high position of both government
and church.
No. The angel tells him to rejoice because he has been faithful
in keeping
the commandments of God from the first day that he heard
the words of Abinadi
the prophet (Alma 8:15). To me this was really
noteworthy.We have much reason
to lift up our heads and rejoice as we
keep the commandments faithfully and listen
to the words of the prophets,
both ancient and modern day. This wasn't all though.
The angel tells him to
go back and we know that he went speedily. What a great
example of
faithfulness and diligence through trials. I have no doubt that the
Book of Mormon was written for our day and age. It has helped me
immensely this
week. I´m so glad that you all got your packages and
were able to visit Elder
Earl! That was really nice of him to do that for our
family. Speaking of
packages..I got my Christmas one this Saturday!
I was so
excited! But it is sitting in my room
tempting me every day. I know it will be worth it
to wait to open it on
Christmas. You are so wonderful to have sent me something.
thank you so much! I got your letter about Christmas in the field Dad.
Thank you so much. I really loved your advice and am excited to pass
a Christmas
here with the people in Paraguay. The only downside is that
we have transfers
15 December, so I might be in a new area, but still, it
will be fun for me to
serve other people on this day and help them grow
closer to their Savior Jesus
Christ. Its the only time of year where
almost everyone (at least in this part
of the world) is thinking about
Jesus Christ.What a great opportunity!
Honestly, Christmas here is a
lot different. Some people have lights and a
few decorations up. There
was a snowman yard art the other day that said
"Let it Snow" which
made me laugh. Really though, I feel so blessed.
Sometimes it makes me
sick to think of all the "things" that I've received in my
life that I didn't
need or that someone else could have used. For some reason,
I was thinking about when you first got married mom and dad, and how
I thought
we were poor because mom made our clothes and our house
was smaller.
Coming here has really opened my eyes and made me
appreciate how truly blessed
we are. The people here that offer us their
best food, that
buy us a soda (which is a huge luxury) that often offer us their
chair and
table to eat first because they only own 2 chairs in total or their
kids wait
for us to eat first and then eat whats left. It has truly humbled me.
I know that they are blessed when they help us, but still, it breaks my
heart and fills me with joy to see their smiles when they give to us. It makes
them so happy. Christmas here will truly be one that I will never forget.
Dad, I really understand why you don't like to receive gifts. Still though,
I hope the giving will continue in our family, but more with service, advice,
counsel, time, and love. That's great to hear about Corey and Katie!
Send them my best! Corey and I are going to be neighbors down here for a bit.
That will be so much fun. What part of Brasil is he in again? I can't remember
the mission name. Also if you could send me his address, I would appreciate it.

I love you tons!
- Hermana Rae

1 comment:

  1. Rob/Lisa-We didn't get Corey's address, and I know you aren't sure what it is yet, but when you get it, could you post it? Thanks, Kathy