September 30, 2013 – Paraguay
So glad to write to you! Glad to hear that everyone is doing well!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY REECE!!! You can turn ten but promise me you won´t grow up ok? I don´t want you to! I heard your party was fun. Thanks for the emails. I´m going to print them out from now on so feel free to write me as much as you want!
I have my tetanus shot, right? 😉
We had a baptism this Saturday! It was super exciting! C has been with 4 sets of missionaries, has a testimony and everything, but works Sundays. But she left her job! So we asked her if she wanted to get baptized last week and we all knelt down and she prayed about it and felt really good! So we had everything set up for this weekend and them she got a new job and it´s on Sundays. So we thought that there wasn´t going to be a baptism. But then she quit her new job so that she wouldn´t have to work on Sundays and could be baptized! We´re super excited for her. And she felt the Spirit so strongly. The Gospel is worth every sacrifice you make.
Another miracle this week was with an investigator L. She has a testimony and strong desire to be baptized, but can´t because her esposo [common law husband] doesn´t want to marry her. Her two twins S and S were baptized a month ago and are awesome. I love visiting their family. We’ve been working with L and her esposo but he hasn´t been able to change his mind. Then last night we went over to visit and he said he would marry her! He saw the positive change that the Gospel made in her life and decided that he would marry her and let her be baptized. Wow! What an amazing blessing! I´ve been praying for her since my first day in the area. She´s been praying and so has Hna. Chavez. The Lord answers prayers!
Por favor [please] send me Ensigns! I really want to read The General Relief Society broadcast because we didn´t get to watch it. The connection was too bad.
This morning, there was a bird in my shower! 🙂 I didn´t mind except that it was chirping it´s head off and it was super loud.
Pros & Cons of being Blonde:
Pros: All the kids looooove me. They like to pet me hair and think I´m super cool. I think they’re pretty purete [cool] too so it works out. I love being with the kids here and it is one of my favorite things when we get to go to church or work with a family and I get to give all the kids hugs and high fives and hear all about their lives.
Everywhere I go people say “Wow you are so beautiful!” And I´m like really? I’m sweating and I look like a drowned, mangy cat. And believe me, I´ve seen enough of those to know what they look like. But hey, whatevs.
Cons: Getting yelled at from across the street by some random guy and whistled at by creepy Paraguyan old men gets really old, really fast. Eww. Hahahaha 🙂
Hna. Chavez says that I laugh in my sleep. No talking or anything, just laughing. I think that´s really funny 🙂 Thought I´d share.
Hna. Chavez and I have had a lot of success and it´s been great! Definitely comes at a cost, but vale la pena [worthwhile]. You´re right mom, every missionary struggles, I think especially at the first. Talking to all the missionaries that arrived with me at the conference last week confirmed that. I don´t think I´m doing that bad really. Actually I´m doing quite great! I love missionary work. It´s not supposed to be easy anyway 🙂 And yes, the struggle always with the Hermanas is their companions.
Tell us more about S. On google earth it looks like lots of farmland in the surrounding area. What do they grow?
S is so beautiful! I love being able to look out from the city at the beautiful countryside. I think a lot of it is mandioca [a root crop and the main starch of the diet]. I´m not sure what else they grow here because I only eat meat. Yesterday I ate duck!
How has your stomach done? Any adjustments to the new locale and food/water?
I feel like I´m drowning in oil. I don´t get to eat fruits or veggies very often so that´s all I want to eat when I actually get to choose my food! Not that I´m complaining. It´s really nice to have meals every day of the week except P Day. But Í´ve always had an iron stomach so that´s really a blessing here! The food is good it just sits so heavily in your stomach.
How do you do laundry? Do you have a stove, oven, fridge, freezer, microwave? Normal toilet or bidet? Normal shower or shocker?
Someone does our laundry which is nice because it´s by hand here. I have stove, oven (too scared to use it), fridge, microwave (don´t use it because we don´t have any leftovers or tupperware which is a shame). Normal toilet. Plumbing is not very good here. Shocker shower, but one grade up so I don´t get shocked. It´s been super cold here though lately and the water sits outside in a giant tub. So really it only defrosts the water. I really don´t like cold showers!!
When did you feel Heavenly Father’s love the strongest this week?
Sunday. Our investigator got confirmed and I could feel Heavenly Father´s love for C and the miracle of the cleansing power of the Spirit. I love that! After church I had my normal study time and I got to study the Atonement and the power of the Spirit to change people. I have such a testimony of that! The Atonement is the only power by which we can change. Through the Atonement we can be born again, receive a remission of our sins, receive the comfort and love of the Lord in our lives, and also we can change who we are. We aren´t stuck being who we are forever. We can change. We can improve. I know it. I´ve seen it in my own life and I´ve seen it in the lives of my investigators.
How are your investigators? Is there one aspect of the gospel that seems to resonate more with people there than other precepts? Or is it something different with each person you contact?
My investigators are doing good! Of course there are always problems. Salvation never was supposed to be easy! I think the thing that resonates most with people (including myself) is that we are all children of God, that He loves us, and that He has given us His Gospel that we may be blessed in this life and the next life.
What attribute of Hna Chavez makes her a great trainer for you personally?
She has really helped me learn humility and patience. She helped me learn that I can be happy of myself and nothing else has to affect my happiness. I have hope in Jesus Christ therefore I am happy.
What’s the biggest advantage of being a sister missionary rather than an elder?
Everyone is super nice to you and likes you better 🙂 in the branch, on the street, everywhere. We never get turned away. We have a lot of opportunities to teach because we are much less intimidating than two men showing up on your doorstep.
Will you get to watch conference next week? If so, where?
Hopefully in English live in La Paloma, but probably will end up watching it in Spanish live in S.
I know you haven’t received your bday pkg yet, but I’ll need to send Christmas in a couple weeks. Requests for you, your comp, the people?
I wish I had things to give people!
Love you all! Miss you! I pray for you!