Monday, 22 January 2018

2nd Full Week in beautiful Paraguay

Tuesday -  we had consejo de lideres (leadership council) in the morning and they talked a lot about obedience and reminding us that it is summer and to use protection. They also changed and made some new rules...but then we had McDonalds for lunch 😮! (couldn't do that in Argentina) In the afternoon we were able to listenn to the Devotional of President Nelson - and there was a part where he said we need to continue with the end in mind. After the session, we were able to find Vanessa and taught her about fasting and she said with the pills that she has to take, she can't fast so we were trying to find another way. She did agree to read 24 chapters in the Book of Mormon in 24hrs, but she hasn't chosen a day yet.

Wednesday - we talked to 44 people in one day and we were able to teach a lesson to a really devout lady of another religion. She said the closing prayer to end our visit and asked God to help us find our way on the right path and not be so confused. It was nice to be prayed for. Funny part was...after we left she was saying a "cleansing prayer" for her house.

Thursday - we have been trying many times to find Familia (Family) Torres but they have never been home. We tried in the morning and again no one was there so we walked across the street to sit down for a bit and after awhile a lady came out and started cleaning the front porch then saw us and went back in. The thing is, we didn't see her face very well but she didn't look like the mom or the daughter of the we were thinking that maybe they left for vacation and this other lady takes care of the house? We were a little disheartened though because almost no one has been accepting us this whole time. Still, we had hope and carried on, passing by 2 kids outside playing - and one of them stopped us and said "oh did you come to talk to my mom"? So, we went to teach her and the little boy took my hand and showed me my seat then as we were teaching he just hugged me and then again as we left too, it was so sweet!

Friday - in the morning we had a district meeting and we had to try and use the cards we have been given with questions to teach the Plan that God has for us. Actually, that was super fun - we ended up killing it! Then we had to run to our lunch appointment but it was really good...Hna Benegas makes everything home-made and made a butter that was so yummy! In the afternoon she went with us to teach one of her friends and Adelaida about the Book of Mormon then gave us some juice to drink and crackers to eat at her house at the end of the day. 

Saturday - we got caught in the rain after lunch without jackets or boots or an umbrella and we were walking back. A family invited us into their porch out of the rain and so, never looking a gift horse in the mouth, we took the opportunity to teach them and gave them a Book of Mormon and asked to come back another day. We later went to the Branch President's house to give them cookies we had made and shared a scripture with them.

Sunday - also rained and very little people came to church but it was still nice. We were able to teach the woman who we were scared to enter her apartment building the week before. She was really happy to see us and admitted "I was scared you might not come because of the rain". We taught her the Restoration of the Gospel and gave her a Book of Mormon which she was shocked at but very grateful that we were giving her the book. We later had the opportunity to get to know Dilah and she told us the experiences she has had with faith and prayer.

Monday - well today we ate at pizza hut (loving the fast food we couldn't have in Argentina) but almost died doing it because there was a huge storm and the lightning was really close to us so we didn't use our umbrellas and ran to the Super 6 - like a supermarket - and then to pizza hut. It was funny, the server looked at me weirdly because I wanted Alfredo sauce and pasta he said no one asks for that...but I did. 😮 I keep getting asked what the weather is like down here - it has been raining every day so far but the humidity makes it worse for the heat. I keep telling everyone here that it is below zero back where I am from, and all their jaws drop haha.

P.S. sorry there aren't any pictures -  the computers here aren't recognizing my card from my camera. I will have to see if I can get that corrected. Below is just a couple internet shots .... which I don't own or have any claim to....just providing it for educational purposes
Image result for paraguay, encarnacion

Image result for paraguay, encarnacion

Not that we are counting but my companion (Sister Read) said that after today...we only have 9 p-days left....WOW!

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Brand New Area/Country - lots to do so just a short post

As I posted last week - I'm in a new area AND a new country - Encarnacion, Paraguay....kinda just across the water from where I served previously in Posadas, Argentina.

Still getting used to the area so just a small posting this week.....I'm also still trying to recover from being sick just before I was transferred. My new companions - Hermana Read was saying that I probably had mild pneumonia but don't worry I'm all good.

Like I said - this area is similar to Posadas because it is really close but it is different too.  One big difference is Argentina doesn't allow big international companies like Mcdonald's to come and set up shop but Paraguay does. My living conditions have also changed - we live in a house and we have a microwave and the beds are bigger and better, and everything is really cheap.

 My new companion Hna Read is really awesome! She is from Michigan U.S.A., is also a readhead,  and has the same time in the mission as me,  She is really spiritual and we have made the goal to have baptisms every week (pray for us) but it will take 5 weeks to get there.

In our new area - there were missionaries here before but they took them out and put us in, I really don't know why.  However, we have seen lots of milagros (miracles) already - like on Saturday lunch was canceled for Sunday so we bought some food to make like a stir fry then on Sunday, after church, we were getting to know a local Brother and he asked us if we had lunch? We said that we were going to cook so he gave us the directions to his house and said to wait like an hour and come over and he made lunch for us and his family. It was really yummy (empanadas)! I don't think he has a ton of money - he isn't poor - but he and his wife are young, have been married for a year and a half and have a 7 month old baby. They don't even have a table but they gave us food charitable.

Another amazing occurrence was when a older Sister from the area said she had some references for us so we thought like 2 or 3, instead she ended up walking all the afternoon with us and contacting people with us.

Weather-wise - it has been raining but it is great here none-the-less.

Sorry - no pictures this week but below is my daily run-down (except I couldn't do Saturday or Sunday, again, sorry)

Monday - was a little crazy getting all ready and stuff but we taught Diego and he said the sweetest things, like he promised me he will get baptised and thanked me for the work that I had done so that he could have this knowledge 

Tuesday - we went and found an old investigator and got to know her - she showed us all of her pictures from when she turned 15. We taught about the importance of prayer and the Book of Mormon, we were also able to teach the Flia Sanabria but we especially focussed on Yanina and Aaron and they promised to come to church the next sunday and really showed progress by praying.

Wednesday - we were told we had to be in the Mission Office early but someone would come get us from the terminal, because Hna quiroga would be training and I needed paper work done. In the end I already had the paper work done but I acompanied a new missionary instead (who doesent even know where her first area will be) to do her paper work so she wasnt alone. That took most of the morning then I went back to the terminal to wait for a Hermana to go to Paraguay with her. We waited together for a member to take us over the border. We took lots of photos in the car ride but I forgot my camera in the house so next week I´ll send them. We then waited for a bit in the terminal in Paraguay, Encarnacion for our companions, Hna. Read and I went to our area with Elders and a local member. There was a church activity that we went to for a bit to get to know the members, then went and bought some stuff - unfortunately, I still had pesos and needed guaranies (The guaraní is the national currency unit of Paraguay) so Hna read had to buy everything.

Thursday - let me tell you when you are in a white wash area (where both companions are brand new and have no knowledge of the area at all) there are not many lessons being taught but a whole lot of contacts being made. In the morning we tried to find a young girl who the sisters before us had taught but we weren't able to find her, then we bought some food to eat lunch. After lunch we were really lost trying to find the houses of those who the sisters before had taught and luckily we were able to find all the houses, but only one was home but she is named Adelaida and she has a baptisimal date set. We went over the Restoration just to help her remember, but she remembered really well. We also taught about the Book of Mormon. Because we are both so new to the area - we were so lost that a member at the end of the day (when we weren't lost anymore of course) asked "are you lost?" "no, why?" "because you have passed by here about 20 times!" In our weekly planning we made goals for our last 3 months and we will be working to have baptisims every week but it will take time. Then we planned for a talk for the next day

Friday - in the morning we had a district meeting and found out that we planned the wrong topic so we quickly planned the right one in the bus, then after wards we took all day contacting and finding people and we even taught some kids on the street

Saturday - we taught Adelaida about the gospel of Jesus Christ but we made little feet cut-outs that lead to a picture of Christ and she really seemed to enjoy that. She even said she read the Book of Mormon. We had a meeting with a member to show what we have been doing. We saw a big apartment building and it was open and we were sure that it wasn't supposed to be open so we slowly went in and walked up the stairs and Hna Read said "remember Elder Uchtdorf's talk...Last floor, Last door?" Well for us it will be first floor, first door! But once we got to the floor all the doors were open and in the first one it seemed like a naked man was there and we were really scared to clap. Still, we settled our nerves and did clap (that's how we get home owner's attention - we don't knock remember) and he looked (luckily had shorts and a T shirt on) and sent his wife to talk to us. The first thing that she said was "wow you guys are so pretty. Who are you?" and then we introduced ourselves and she told us to come back the next Sunday

Sunday - we did a whole lot of visits with Hna Benegas and she was bringing us to all of her friends and neighbors. We were only able to teach one lesson but it went well with 3 elderly ladies and they didn't seem super interested...but were very happy with what we shared.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

15 months. chao Argentina y hola Paraguay (Goodbye Argentina and Hello Paraguay!)

Monday - after P-day (personal day) we taught Diego about the Word of Wisdom and he admitted before, he drank here and there and smoked a little bit but that he doesn't anymore and he even gives us reason why it is bad...haha.

Tuesday- not a great day! in the morning I woke up and felt kind of sick but I didn't have a fever and we were thinking it was probably because Monday we walked home in the rain with only one little umbrella for the both of we got a little wet and then we slept under the Air Conditioning. So, we went out and contacted, no one seemed really interested though. I got worse so at 5 we returned home and took my temp. which confirmed that I was sick and so off to bed I went and slept.

Wednesday - we heard about the passing of the Prophet the night before (it had actually happened several days before though), and I was still really sick so we called Hermana Svec (the Mission President's Wife) and she told us to buy a medicine and to rest, but also that I shouldn't sleep all day. Instead, she suggested, I try and sit out side for a bit.  Unfortunately, later in the day my fever got worse and we called Hna. Svec again. She told us to go to a clinic and then let her know what medicine the doctor subscribes. He gave me 2 different pills to take every 8 hours and a syrup thing to take every 6 hours. Neither of us slept well that night or the next.

Thursday - Thankfully, we were able to teach Diego about "chastity" and he also accepted that easily. We also had our weekly planning session.

Friday - we all had a district meeting in the morning and then after lunch I felt bad and rested for a bit again. After though, we taught a girl who was baptized back in April but hasn't gone to church in a long time (for her) because she has just moved. We were able to teach about the importance of prayer. 

Saturday - we just contacted and visited members, at lunch time we found out that transfers were going to affect us - well, me - specifically and I will be going to Encarnacion, Paraguay! It is what they call a "white wash" where two new missionaries are going into an area and have no experience or knowledge of that area. My new companion will be Hermana Read (my first "gringa" companion) while Hna Quiroga will stay here in Apostoles and train. Saturday evening we made "Torta Fritas" or rather elephant ears with the Familia Garcia de Rosa. I don't even know how many I ate...but it was yummy.

Sunday - in the morning we went to get Familia Sanabria but every one was sleeping and no one came out. At church during the in-betweens of the classes I got lots of goodbye letters, even one sister hand made a pair of slippers for me.
Standing by a local Shrine

Nice Summer Meal with a local family

Smiley Peek-a-boo

Now that's a Watermelon slice - and it's ALL MINE!


Top Step too
P.S. Sister Read (my upcoming companion) is also a redhead! We'll also both be Sister Leaders there.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Good Bye 2017!

Tuesday -  we did a lot of contacting more than anything -  but we did teach an old man named Jeronimo who was very happy someone came to visit  him and he talked for a long time. We didn't get to share very much but we did get to testify about our loving Heavenly Father. After lunch we were also able to teach Diego about the Book of Mormon and the Gospel of Jesus Christ , then afterwards Hna Christina (the girlfriend of Diego) and her mom invited us for some apple cake thing and milk.

Wednesday - on Tuesday night Pres. Svec called us and asked us to come to Posadas to have our interviews, so Wednesday morning we went to Posadas and there were lots of other missionaries also waiting for interviews. We also got lunch and some Liahonas to take. This interview was different from the normal ones we have had in the past because we were interviewed as companions so that he could look at our work in our area. He said that he was very happy with us and our work!

Thursday - we were supposed to have a lesson with Angela but she sent us a text saying she was in another town and wouldn't be back in time so we went to lots of different houses trying to find people and contacting along the way until we went to Claribel's and taught her the rest of the Plan of Salvation. We left her a chapter in the Book of Mormon to read, and invited her to pray if she should be baptized or not. After lunch we went to find Milena after a lot of time and she said that she hasn't had any credit in her phone, we invited her to be baptized but she didn't want to accept.

Friday - in the morning we went to meet up with Claribel again with the President of the Young Women's and taught her the Word of Wisdom and she said that before we came...she drank and smoked a bit but when she got to know us she stopped doing all of that! The night before all of her friends came over and partied with her and she only drank pop the entire time and made sure her glass was always full so no one would serve her alcohol. She also said that she has been praying for her baptism and she has felt a lot of peace. Hna Quiroga´s mom sent her a package and in the package was drawings to help teach the Plan of Salvation and the Restoration so we used that to teach Diego about the Plan of Salvation and he told us his mom had died and that this has helped him a lot to understand more.

Saturday - was a day so hot that we were very excited to do contacts so we could ask people to refill our water bottles. We also did some visits of less active members with the Relief Society President but nothing more than just contacting

Sunday - in the morning we went to go get Claribel but she was really sick and couldn't go but she asked us to partake of the sacrament for her. She felt really bad because she promised the members she would stay the three hours. I also had to give a talk on Sunday about missionary work and shared some stories I shared when I left home to come to the mission. After lunch we did a quick Family Home Evening and watched a short video and shared a scripture, then we contacted but mostly visited some members then we were able to have a quick dinner with a family member for New Year's eve but we had to be back by nine  (check out the cook barbecue pics below from the New Year Eve's supper)

P.S. for the Barbecue - the meat was chicken, cow, pig and sausages - they don't put any sauces on, only like salt and that's it.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Week last Christmas in the field!

Monday - we had a conference and played Scrooge Christmas (or white elephant) and I got a stuffed emoji and chocolates, then Hermana Svec and President Svec gave us a stocking full of sweets.

Tuesday - we taught Claribel the first part of the Plan of Salvation with little drawings, then in the afternoon we did service for a local member family by painting their eating room and it was 40*c so it all ended up drying in just a few hours.

Wednesday - in the morning we taught Franco about they law of chasity and he accepted it really well and even gave examples of why it is good. then in the afternoon no one was home so we just contacted the day away

Thursday - I woke up sick so we had to cancel our plans but I was able to leave a bit to go to lunch, but then we had to come back right away. However, all was not lost - Hna. Quiroga was able to call members and investigators to see how they were doing and just talk to them over the phone.

Friday - in the morning we taught Angela and invited her to the Christmas Devotional that day and she said that she wanted to go. After lunch we took a bus to Virasoro and practiced a little bit before and then had the "Open Church" which lots of people came to...and then the Devotional - which didn't go so well because it was so hot there and I got lost on words for my solo and others voice cracked, and others sang the wrong note at the end. When we sang the "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" someone pushed the wrong button and beatboxing started as we were finishing haha...but we had a lot of fun.

Saturday - we were able to teach Claribel and she wasn't so good because the night before she got "jumped" (mugged) and was all shook up. Thankfully, after we talked to her and taught her she seemed a little better, but she did say that she wanted to wait another week before her baptism and not get baptized in a week. We also tried to teach Maria the Restoration and she says she isn't interested in the Gospel ...but she asked lots of questions so maybe it'll be little by little with her.

Sunday - we gave Claribel a dress and she put it on and came to church with us! After lunch we were able to Skype our families (see my previous post where I sing with my companion and wish you a Merry Christmas and then eat a big dinner with a family. Here on the 24th they wait until 12pm to shoot off fireworks and open their gifts. One sister from the Ward got us water-bottles and another earrings. My companion bought me a ring, a shirt and her Grandma made me an owl out of yarn. Merry Christmas! Remember our Lord.
Christmas Eve Dinner Dec 2017

Fireworks for Christmas....see behind us!

My Christmas Ring from Hermana Q!

Sunday, 24 December 2017

A Christmas Bonus!

I had the wonderful opportunity to Skype with my family the day BEFORE Christmas so I can still message you all on the Monday/Christmas Day for my Blog. I wish you a Merry Christmas, tell you what the weather is like on the day before Christmas....and my companion and I have a quick song for you (see below)

Wishing you a Merry Christmas

It is Weird having Summer Weather at Christmas

                                  Our Christmas Gift to you - First Noel in Argentinian Spanish

Monday, 18 December 2017

14 months and a week ... so close to Christmas and seeing little miracles!

Monday - we taught Claribel and her friend came (Belen)...and even before we started she told us she feels like she is receiving an answer...and it felt like little butterflies! We helped her understand the Restoration of the Gospel better by showing the half hour Church video of the Restoration. It was amazing because she stopped it and rewound it to the part where Joseph Smith saw God, the Father, and Jesus Christ, his son. After she asked us to explain everything we had already expounded to her....but it was for her friend, and she continually asked Belen if she understood.

Tuesday - in the morning we did some errands then just walked around contacting and meeting new people. We tried to teach Paola, and she let us in but when we got settled we saw that lunch was ready so we said we would come back another day. In the afternoon we went to teach a boyfriend of a member (Diego) and he is an angel from heaven, even the girlfriend said he is better than her - for example one Sunday they over slept and he came to their house on time and ready to go and they weren't haha! We taught him the Restoration, but it took a little while because he talks a lot. Still, he understands so well and loves the idea that families can be together forever because he lost him mom when he was just 7. He's also really happy the church focuses on marriage and families because he thinks getting married doesn't happen any more. Afterwards we went out and contacted and ended up teaching a gentleman in the park.

Wednesday - we taught Claribel and Belen in the morning about the Book of Mormon and invited her to read it (you can see pictures of them below). Then, I don't remember how the topic came up, but we told her about transfers and that its always a possibility that one or the both of us could leave. Both the girls said "No that would be terrible - it wouldn't be the same without you guys". That was just really sweet to hear. We also helped Yanina clean her floor and shared the "Light the World" video and she gave us corn on the cob and a mango (I LOVE Mango!!!!!) and powdered milk (like a lot of powdered milk) and a melon and promised she will give us watermelon another day.

Thursday - we left to Azara to teach Familia (family) Herman which is a part-member family....and they also invited us for lunch. Afterwards we tried going to a lot of different places but no one was home so we did weekly planning instead.

Friday - the night before we had made Flan as one of our Christmas goals ...and so we gave it to a Sister at her job as a surprise! After lunch we got ready to go to Villa Cabello with the Sister Leaders to have divisions and then took the a couple of buses and to sing with them, and their district, in a was to drum up interest in and to invite people to the Christmas Devotional the next day. Sadly, there wasn't a lot of people...but we had fun anyways. 

Saturday - I was with Hermana Flowers while Hna Quiroga was with Hna Martinez from Guatamala. Hna flowers and I just contacted a lot but we found a wonderful woman who invited us in with her little girls. She shared with us how she had lost her first daughter when she was just 22 days old.  We testified to her about Eternal families and sang a hymn then invited her to the Devotional. After lunch we practiced until the open church, happened again where they asked me to sing the hard song for that night haha. The Devotional went really well and was successful (there is one picture below of us singing - I'm in the white top in the middle).

Sunday - we tried to take the bus the night before but we took the wrong one! We had to take another and the last bus we wanted to take was too late. So we had to make emergency plans to spend the night with the Sisters in Lavalle....then took the bus at 6 am so that we could pick up Claribel for church. Luckily she was all ready and came with us. She cried during the sacrament from the Testimonies she heard and even sang the hymns with us without even knowing them.
Singing at the Christmas Devotional - I'm in the White top just off the middle on the right

Watching the local kids recreate the nativity scene

Claribel and Belen (and me of course)