Monday, November 25, 2013

A Jerkey Thanksgiving

This will be the first Thanksgiving Julia will be in Paraguay.  So of course I asked how she was going to celebrate.  She even sent some pictures this time! I am so very thankful to her and her wonderful example of service. 

No, Mom. Paraguayans do not celebrated Thanksgiving. It's kind of a strictly American thing. I have an unopened package of beef jerky though... I'll probably just eat that. Maybe I'll make some mashed potatoes or something to go with it!

That's so cool that Cody got to learn whatever Mayan language he had to speak! I kind of feel like that with Guarani. Once I feel a little bit more comfortable with my Spanish I really want to at least learn the basics. After all, I'm in the only place in the world where I would have this opportunity!

As for new investigators, we don't really have a bunch right now, but some of the people we've been working really hard with are finally ready to be baptized! Luzana and Monica Gomez, 12 and 9 years old, respectively, have been taking the lessons for I'm not sure how long. In our mission, an investigator has to come to church on Sunday at least 3 times in order to get baptized, and as of yesterday they finally have enough attendances to do so! I'm so excited for them! The only thing that we are worried about is having the definite permission from they're mom, Dominga. She really wants them to get baptized, but she wants to be baptized with them and she isn't married to their dad yet. I haven't even met their dad because he is constantly working. It's great that she wants to be baptized with her daughters, but we are praying that she will give permission, they will be baptized this Saturday, and they will bring the Spirit into their home as an example and motivation to their parents to get married and baptized as well.

Mom, I love you so much, and I am definitely praying for you while you take your tests and finish up the semester.

I love all you guys so much, and hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Con amor,
Hermana Jeppesen

I can send photos! (It's just SUPER slow on this computer...)
This is what happens when you forget mosquito repellent in Paraguay... Words cannot express just how itchy my ankles were.

We moved into a new apartment this week! Woohoo! Our awesome district helped us with the move. These are their "cool faces".

Manuel was baptized three weeks ago and due to unseen circumstances was just confirmed yesterday. He is super amazing!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Christmas List!

I found a company called Global Mission Shipping that will send packages over seas especially to South America.  They send in bulk and it helps with customs, etc... If you want to send anything, give me a call or message me(Jodie Jeppesen, mom) and we can work something out.  Thanks again for all the prayers and notes on her behalf.  

THAT AWESOME that you found a company that sends packages! I still haven't received the other one yet. I'm praying that it will eventually get to me. As for requests:

A watch (preferably water-proof and small. I lost mine in the MTC.... oops...)
Shoe liners, aka those tiny little socks at Target or Payless. Any color is fine. These pretty much don't exist here
My backpack. I don't want to buy one here because they tend to wear out super fast and fall apart.
Cinnamon Altoids. A WHOLE BUNCH. It's so fun to give one or two out to Paraguayans because they aren't used to something so strong, and they love it!
Bratzlis! Is that how you spell it? This is a far off wish. The chances of you guys actually making them anytime soon and then finding a way to send them to me are beyond super slim. Maybe you could send me the recipe and I can find a way to make my own?
Lots of love.
I made a list but I left it at home, and these are all the things I can remember. Just send me whatever and I will be the happiest missionary in Paraguay!

In this letter (at Dani's request), I want to tell you all about my amazing companion, Hermana Gonzalez! She is from Panama, is 20 years old, and the oldest of 3 siblings, one of which is also serving a mission in Columbia. Before the mission, she studied international business and almost has a degree. She is making plans to attend BYU after the mission to finish up, and is learning English while I learn Spanish. She's actually getting pretty good!

As for personality, we are pretty much at complete opposite ends of the spectrum. In school, Hna Gonzalez was a super popular cheerleader, played sports (mainly volleyball), wore only designer brands, had her own car, etc. She is incredibly extroverted and is fantastic at talking with people and making them feel comfortable. Most of all, if something is the matter, she is not at all afraid of telling it to you straight. She really tries to do things in the best way that she knows how to, and always for other people. For example, these last few weeks she's been baking cakes NON-STOP for investigators, members, our district, EVERYONE. She says that she's done baking for a little while, but I honestly doubt it. We'll probably have 3 more cakes in our fridge by the end of the day.

Sometimes we get frustrated with each other, especially in the beginning, because of our very different personalities and ways of doing things. The best part about this, however, is that we've figured out how to work together and understand each other, and I can honestly say that she has become an amazing friend of mine. I really have learned so much from her, and I'm learning more and more from her every day. I'm so insanely happy to be companions with Hermana Gonzalez!

So now you know about my companion! As for mosquitoes, YES, I am using repellant. There's this thing called Dengue... and I really don't want to catch it. OH! On that note, could you also send me more super duper strong mosquito repellant?

Anywho, I love you guys and can't wait to hear from you next week!

Hermana Jeppesen

Monday, November 11, 2013

It's getting hotter!

As for the weather.... oh boy. Not one person was joking when they told me, "Get ready to sweat!"  Hope you enjoy your nice cool weather in AZ, because it's a whole different story over here!

I still haven't received the package, but I have been getting letters, and even got one from the Beehives of Elmwood Ward! It was so sweet! To be honest, I stopped and said a prayer this morning that your package would somehow make it to me in one piece. I know shipping is expensive, but hopefully it will get to me soon!

In other news, I'VE SURVIVED MY FIRST TRANSFER! YAY! I'm still in the same place with the same companion, but it's just wierd how the time is painfully slow and insanely fast at the same time. BTW, if you look on the LDS website and search for the Ytororo ward in the Ñemby stake, that's the area I'm serving in. We're maybe an hour or so south of Asunción.

The day before transfers was P-day, and my very first district activity! We all got together (3 sets of Elders and my companion and I) in one of the church buildings and made tacos... Mexican food cooked by a Panamanian with Paraguayan ingrediants... but they were super yummy! Then we went out and played a game of fútbol. This time I actually tried playing and had a super fun time, plus I only fell down once! Woohoo! I feel very blessed to have a district that doesn't make fun of me for being terrible at sports.

Tuesday night we got together for our English class in the chapel, but since no one showed up (which, honestly, is normal) we all hung out for a while. Elder Segovia, who is home now, happened to show a REALLY bad cluster of bug bites to Catalino and Ulises, two members who help us out a TON in our ward and come to everything. As it turns out, these "bug bites" were actually just one bug bite, and it was the venom that was spreading in that area of his skin. So what did they do? Ran to the dispensa (kind of like a convenience store) to by some supplies, then spent the next hour or so dripping hot wax onto his skin, scraping it off, poking the infected area with a needle and "drawing out the poison," then rubbing crushed garlic over everything. I REALLY hope I never ever get bitten by whatever this bug is.... I think I'm going to email him and ask how his foot is....

WE HAD ANOTHER BAPTISM THIS WEEKEND!!! Have I told you about Manuel? He's actually the boyfriend of Laura, the girl who was just baptized a couple weeks ago. We have to wait until next weekend for the confirmation since this weekend was Stake Conference, though. Manuel is a super fantastic guy, and is studying to be in the police force right now. The best part about him is that his testimony and desire to learn about the Gospel all stems from his desire for a strong, happy family. He has such a great love already for his future children, and he doesn't even have this family yet! He also has an incredible love for all of the people around him now, and always has a sweet smile on his face. I feel so blessed to be able to help him have the knowledge of eternal families and grow his relationship with Heavenly Father. Wow, I am so happy for him.

OH MY GOODNESS I JUST REMEMBERED GUESS WHAT?! Elder Christofferson is coming to the mission tomorrow!!! My companion and I are going to leave our casa super early in the morning to take a bus to Asunción to hear the words of an apostle of God. I absolutely cannot wait, and I'll make sure to tell you all about it!

I love you guys so much, and of course I'm praying for you every single day. Please keep praying for me and for Hermana Gonzalez! I'll make sure to send my list of things I want in my next email, as well as any service ideas I think of this week.

Love from your missionary,
Hermana Jeppesen

Monday, November 4, 2013


This past week, our younger girls and their dad hiked 22.2 miles from the Gilbert temple to the Mesa temple.  It was a great accomplishment and we told the story to Julia.  I'm glad to hear about her baptisms and the great experiences she is having.

Hey Momma!

Oh my goodness, I am SO proud those girls, and Dad too! That must have been SO HARD! I'm glad that everyone was safe and sound though. Were they able to walk the next day? The story of the stonecutter who worked on the temple is actually one that I learned in the MTC, and is now one of my favorites. How cool that they got to experience something like that and end up in front of the house of the Lord!

Sorry I didn't tell you more about the two baptisms we had! The first was in the morning for an investigator named Carolina. Honestly, she is the hardest person for me to understand language wise because she has a very raspy voice and a sarcastic sense of humor that I just can't translate. My companion has been teaching her for several months now and she has made so many changes in her life, including leaving her boyfriend in order to follow the law of chastity. She is awesome and I'm very happy she finally made the decision to be baptized!

In the afternoon was the baptism of Laura. This girl is just so darn full of the Spirit, and you can see it even more now that she has that wonderful gift of the Holy Ghost! Her brother, Cesar, did the baptizing, but since it was his first time she didn't go all the way under the water at first. He had to do it THREE times before they got it completely right, but she was crying by the end and gave her brother the biggest, sweetest hug right there in the font.

This week we baptized 8-year-old Angie. Her parents aren't members but she comes to church every single Sunday with her Aunt and her cousins. That morning we had to go to the chapel early to clean out the MASSIVE amount of bugs in the font so it would be nice and clean just for her. I know that this gospel and the guidance of the spirit will be such a blessing for her, and I pray that she'll be an example for her mother to join the church as well.

I have more stories, but I'm gonna cut this email short to see if I can actually send some picture.


-Hermana Jeppesen