Monday, October 28, 2013

No bones about it!

I WANT TO SEND YOU PICTURES, I REALLY DO! The USB port on this computer is broken. The internet gods hate me.

This week we ate fish twice. By fish, I mean WHOLE fish, bones and all. It's possible that I ate an eyeball. I'm very proud of myself for finishing it, because it was worse than the liver.

You should send me some awesome 30-minute workouts. A member told me that I'm gaining a little bit of weight. You can see it my face because my cheeks are filling out a bit. I wish I had a scale! Luckily I haven't really had any stomach problems. It's impossible to eat healthy when my diet is determined by the members. The main food groups are bread, pasta, meat, mandioca, and soda. I told my companion two days ago, "¡Voy a morir por la comida de Paraguay!"

On that note, I'm understanding so much more Spanish! Yaaay! Of course I'm still very lacking in my speaking abilities, but it's to the point where I can start focusing more on other aspects of my missionary work.

How fun that you got to go to the Días de los Muertos activity at the MAC! Halloween here really isn't that big of a thing. Not many people really celebrate it, from what I understand. The most I've seen as far as holidays are different days for the saints, since so many people here are Catholic. Even then all I've seen are just decorations and balloons set out. Not much else.

There are fireflies here! I have a really cool story to go along with it, but I'm probably going to send it in a letter.

I have no idea how much we walk in a day, honestly. Lots? I'll try to pay attention and let you know in my next email!

I love you so much, Mom! Thank you for being so wonderful, and I really wish I had more time to write and tell you all the stories that I have! I am definitely going to figure out the picture situation.

Hna Jeppesen

P.S. We had TWO baptisms this week!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

So I asked her this week a little more about her adventures last week and more what the weather was like where she is at.  It sounds like an adventure of a lifetime. 

I found out that it was horse halfway through. It was still on the bone (which we threw to the dog) in a stew, and I just thought it was a tough beef at first. The liver was worse. We've had some really delicious foods too! Sopa is kind of like a really savory corn bread with onions, cheese, egg, etc. in it. Mandioca is kind of like this weird potato-like root vegetable that the people here eat with EVERYTHING. It's... ok. Not my favorite, but I'll eat it. Yesterday we sat for a while with Hna Lugo, a member in the ward who is inactive, and she made us tortillas that were so yummy, and a desert that is similar to flan but WAY better.

As for the weather, their summer is just now starting. Just as expected, it is incredibly humid, and I have a feeling the next few months are going to be very interesting. No one here has air conditioning, just fans. All the people sit out in front of their houses drinking... I forget what it's called. The same exact thing as mate, just with cold ice water instead of hot. We as missionaries are not allowed to drink it, though. :(  It does rain pretty often (at least more often than Arizona) and my shoes are completely caked in mud. Only the two main roads here are paved, and the rest are dirt. Our street is dirt and rocks. I have stumbled quite a bit, and Hna. Gonzalez told me the other night that out of all of her companions I'm the one who trips the most!

How are things at home? Is the weather finally cooling down? Are you doing more outside? Is there anything else you want to know about Paraguay? I'm trying to get my camera to load pictures on here.

I love you, Mom. Please tell everyone how much I love them, too. I think about you guys the most whenever we teach someone the Plan of Salvation.

With love from your missionary,
Hna Jeppesen

Monday, October 14, 2013

Horse Meat and Baptisms!

This week has been so much better. I am becoming a bit more comfortable with the culture and the food (did I tell you I got to eat horse meat the other day? Two days later we had liver as well. Hurray for comida paraguaya.....). My Spanish has been improving every day as well! There is a lot of truth to the scripture, "line upon line, precept upon precept."

WE HAD A BAPTISM THIS WEEKEND! This has been the first baptism in our area for 10 months! Alex Sanchez is 11 years old, and his mother is an inactive member. He has been super enthusiastic as we've been teaching him, and when he found out that he can recieve the priesthood after his next birthday he got so excited! During the baptismal interview, our district leader Elder Dahl asked why he wanted to be baptized and become a member. His answer was that he wants to be a missionary when he's older, just like us! Honestly, I just love this kid with all my heart! I pray that he will strive to be a good example to his family, especially his mother.

Hermana Gonzalez and I have been working hard this week and have had many blessings because of it. We are teaching 2 whole families now, and yesterday four of our investigators that we've really been working on FINALLY came to church and really enjoyed it! One of these investigators, Laura, brought her boyfriend and her sister along with her. I have dubbed Laura as my first real investigatore since she is the first person that I was present when we contacted here, gave the first lesson, and has a baptismal date in two weeks. This morning she called us with the news that her boyfriend wants to start taking the lessons and be baptized also. HOLY COW! I can't even begin to count our blessing this week.

I am absolutely exhausted at the end of each day, but I'm happy to know that it's because we've been working hard to share the Gospel. Some days are harder than others, but it's becoming easier and easier to keep walking, teaching, and growing. I love you guys so much, and please keep praying for me! It has been a huge help!

Hermana Jeppesen

Monday, October 7, 2013

Am I eating well? Ha! Believe me, Mom, I am eating JUST fine. From what I hear, most missionaries gain at LEAST 10 pounds in the first few months, if not more. I'm trying to really use my workout time well in the mornings.

My trainer is wonderful. Hermana Gonzalez is incredibly patient, encouraging, and isn't afraid to push or correct me. Sometimes the correcting part is a little frustrating, but that's just because I can be stubborn and impatient.

As for the language, my compañera says I'm getting a little better every day, but to be completely honest, I don't always feel like it is. The hardest part is just understanding what people are saying. The dialect here is VERY mumbly and fast and Guarani is mixed into a lot of it. I am forced to speak in very slow, simple sentences and am constantly asking people to repeat what they have said. Conference, however, was a great comfort to me this weekend. It especially helped to be reminded that through small and simple things, great things shall come to pass. Right now that's literally all I can speak, is small and simple things. I know, however, that there is a great spirit and love behind those simple sentences, or I at least have faith that they do. It's really rough right now, but this week my goal with my companion is to talk and ask inspired question with the faith that if I open my mouth, Heavenly Father will help me understand and give me the words I need to say.

Speaking of General Conference, holy cow! It really is the Super Bowl for missionaries! I cannot tell you how much the Spirit has been poured out on me and how much revelation I received. Eld. Holland's talk definitely touched my heart as well. Honestly, it was like an arrow to my heart. Also, PLEASE go back and listen to Eld. Ballard's talk on missionary work! You have no idea just how much it helps when we have the support of the members!!!! Get to know the missionaries in the ward, have them over for dinner, give them references, pray for them! Just like you are praying for me every day, their parents are doing the same. Also, please take up the challenge to reach out to someone before Christmas! We also are taking up his challenge to talk to everyone that we can............Ok. My rant is done. I just REALLY like that talk

I love you I love you I love you. Thank you for the prayers. They are a huge support to myself and my companion. Also, thank you for keeping me updated on everything at home. I love hearing what you guys are doing, and it gives me motivation and strength for the week ahead. Gracias!!!

Con amor,
Hermana Jeppesen