Monday, December 29, 2014

Post Christmas/Pre New Years!

Hey Momma!
The mission has taught me to be way more bold when it comes to sharing
what I know is true. Just yesterday we met a guy who told us that he
wants to give up smoking, so I asked him for his cigarettes, told him
that I wasn't going to give them back, and that he had to stop and do
what the Lord wants him to do, which is take care of his body. He
completely agreed with me and took a pamphlet about the word of
wisdom, and then after the lesson, I dumped all of his cigarettes in
the nearby stream! I'm not gonna lie, I felt kind of cool....

I really did love talking with you guys on Christmas. The elders were
kind of teasing me that it would probably make me super trunky, but it
honestly motivates me to focus on the work, knowing that you guys are
doing so well and are so happy. I just love seeing all of your
faces!!!

So this week is a little different because.... TRANSFERS!!! Hna
Goering flies out TONIGHT instead of the usual Wednesday night since
it will be New Years Eve. It's way cheaper and less insane if the
missionaries just go home now instead of in a few days. I'm still
chillin' out here in Ca'acupé with the newest sister trainer leader,
Hna Jorgensen!!! I AM SO STOKED THAT SHE IS MY COMP!!! This girl is
absolutely hillarious, and we've been budies since she got here just 2
transfers after I did (that is, 3 months). The funniest part is that
at the Christmas activity that we had last week, some of us started
guessing who was going to be called as the new sister leader, and I
may or may not had been inspired by the Holy Ghost when I guessed Hna
Jorgensen. She is just a hoot and a half, and a super hard worker who
gets stuff done. We are going to work miracles during my last transfer
in Paraguay!!

Transfers themselves involved getting up at 3am this morning, so I may
or may not be half asleep writing this email.

Hna Goering's last day in the mission was one of the best days we've
ever had together. The Ca'acupé branch had their annual end of the
year activity, so she and I sang a song, everybody watched He Is The
Gift, and the Russian couple that lives here played the accordian and
sang a carol in their native language. No big deal. While everyone was
eating, Hna Grebe, the wife of said russian couple, just sat quietly
and played a polka on her acordian. I don't think I could have been
any happier. I would send you pictures... but I forgot my camera
cord...

I love you guys so much. Make sure to say hi to Hna Goering (Rachel
Goering) on Facebook for me!!! And let me know how your hinking trips
go!!!

Con mucho amor y mucho ÁNIMO,
Hna Jeppesen

Monday, December 15, 2014

Trunky????Not yet!!!!

Holy crud, Mom, I am so proud of you!!!!!!!!!!!! You look so happy and so beautiful in your super fancy graduation gown! I know you've worked really hard these last few year, and the results really show. Top 5% is kind of a huge deal!!

Also, thanks so much for the advice and comfort. I'm so happy that I have the support of my family, and that I can always count on you guys to lift me up when I need it. You guys are kind of amazing.

Can you guys believe that I only have 2 months left? It's kind of interesting how different missionaries react at this stage. For example, everyone keeps asking me if my comp is "trunky", but is working like crazy and still manages to stay super focus. I think her "trunky" though is that she gets really stressed out and just wants to know if she's doing a good job. On the other hand, we had to do divisions with a sister once who has been struggling with anorexia. I think she's been stressed out in the sense that she doesn't want to go back home "fat". Luckily she is taking some huge steps in learning how to put her life into God's hands and focusing more on her inner attributes as a daughter of God than her outer appearance. Also, it was really great to see the love that the other sister missionaries have for her as they are helping her be healthy and set good goals. (I love being a sister trainer leader) I don't feel too trunky myself yet... but I really hope that I'll still be able to focus and work hard my last few weeks with the excitement of being able to see you guys again!!

This week we went to Ca'aguazú again to do divisions. From Ca'aguazú we went straight to Asunción for a doctor appointment, which is FOUR HOURS in a bus, and then travel back to Ca'acupé during rush hour, which was ANOTHER 4 HOURS. We were just beat when we got back home. 

Ok, out of time. I love you guys, and I'm so excited to talk to you CHRISTMAS DAY AT 7PM PARAGUAYAN TIME...... 3 or 4pm your time? You guys can Google it.

Love you guys!!!
Hermana Jeppesen

My comp did an awesome drawing of me. I AM the sand queen! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thankful for....!!!

Not that I'm stressed out or anything, but this computer is stupid and way too slow, I only have 8 more minutes to write you guys, I want to upload pics to send to you, and I still have to write my mission president..... sooo..........

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED!

Monday: Slept, cleaned, organized, etc.
Tuesday: PROSELYTE LIKE A BOSS and stressing out to the max and crying in the street in the middle of a rain storm because no one wants to talk to us and we have to get ready for..........
Wednesday: SURPRISE LEADERSHIP COUNSEL!! Have you guys seen this FREAKING AMAZING initiative that the church is doing? Go visit christmas.mormon.org, and you will understand basically what all my life is about right now. Basically, the Church is loaded, this is God's true church, and he leads it by divine guidance through inspired people.
Thursday: More proselyting like a mad woman because all of our investigators are slipping through our fingers. I made chili. There is no chili powder here, so I just used cumin. It was still delicious.
Friday: SURPRISE ZONE TRAINING!! We got to teach the other missionaries about how amazing this initiative is and how many people we are going to baptise!!
Saturday: Proselyte, find awesome NEW investigators. Helped the elders baptise a family. It was beautiful.
Sunday: Super sad because important investigators didn't come to church, but super happy because a recent convert brought her dad and brother.

I love you guys.

Hermana Jeppesen

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Turkey Day!!!

I love hearing how great you guys are doing. Honestly, I love you guys so
much, and I'm glad you guys are having so much fun!!!

As for what we are going to do for Thanksgiving... well, it's the end of
the month and turkey pretty much is impossible to get here and the only ham
I've ever seen in the supermarket is sandwich meat and not very yummy.....
maybe we'll make that chili? Make sure to enjoy the crud out of all those
carbs you're gonna eat, just for me!!!

So this week was kind of awesome because.... BAPTISM!!! And it honestly was
the most incredibly spiritual baptisms of my entire mission. Pamela Benitez
is a 10-year-old girl who has been wanting to get baptised for quite a
while now. The thing is that we have had very little support from her mom.
She pretty much came to here baptism alone with one friend from her
neighborhood, and with the support of one sister from the branch. Besides
that, there were us 6 missionaries from the branch at the baptism. However,
when it got time for her to be baptised, tears started running down her
face. I was sitting next to her, and got share the most tender moment with
her when she turned to hug me and just cried. I asked her if she was ready,
and my comp and I led her to the door of the font to walk down into the
water. She took a couple deep breaths, turned back towards us, and although
she was still a little emotional, she looked so incredibly happy. That was
honestly the strongest I've ever felt the spirit working in a person in any
of the baptisms that I've attended in my mission. It was such a sweet
moment, and I'm so glad that Pamela got to have that wonderful confermation
from the Holy Ghost that she really was doing Heavenly Fathers will.

Honestly, that's the big thing that happened this week. I love this work. I
am so happy that I get to be a part of this change in people's lives, even
when they are only 10 years old. I know for a fact that this is the Lord's
true church, and His true Gospel. I'm working on memorizing The Living
Christ in Spanish before Christmas, and it strengthens my testimony even
more as I read the profets' testimony of Him.

Love you guys, and Happy Thanksgiving!!
Hermana Jeppesen


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Zone Conferences!!!

This week was pretty great, actually. We had interviews with Pres. Agazzani on Tuesday, in the which I dumped out all of my feelings and worries that I've been having as I come up on the end of my mission about what I'm going to do afterwards. That's when he ever so lovingly reminded me of the wonderful promises that the Lord makes in D&C 84.... I don't remember which verse. The one about the lilies and the birds of the air and not worrying about what to eat or wear or whathaveyou. So I'm doing my best to push everything out of my mind and focus 100% on the work here. I'm actually trying something new with Hna Goering to do a "40 day fast" of the English language. IT IS HARD, but we are actually doing pretty well! I think we've gotten to about 95% Spanish, exept for when we get super frustrated and need a good rant.... which has only happened once or twice! PROGRESS!!!

We also had Zone Conference on Thursday. Basically everything that we did at the Leadership Council on Monday, but we got to teach it all to the other missionaries. Hna Goering and I are trying to apply what we've learned by searching out every single member in the ward list that lives in our area that we don't know yet. That can be SUPER difficult when most of the streets in Caacupé don't even have names, and house numbers pretty much don't exist. It's like a super extreme hide-and-go-seek! The best part though, is after a long day of disappointments and frustration, prayer and motivational drawings to get us pumped to baptise, we found a family of 10 that want to learn more about the Gospel and accepted the invitation to be baptised! They've already shared with missionaries where they lived before, and have even gone to church several times!! It's so wonderful how the Lord blesses us when we put our trust in him and work our hardest to do what he (and our mission president) wants. 

In other news, Pres. now wants us to start doing twice as much divisions with the sisters than what we were doing before. Tomorrow we'll be in a bus for 3 hours to go to Caaguazú, which is super out in the "campo". We are going to be working A LOT.

Welp, time to go. We've got our district activity today, so we're going to go eat Burger King (AMERICAN FOOD!!!), take a tour of the great and abominable basilica, and then play fútbol. Yay for p-day!

I love you guys!!!!!!!!
Hermana Jeppesen



Our serious about baptism faces
Inline image 1


Phone calls
Inline image 2


Saltamonte!!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Awesome Companion and Keeping up with the work!!!

HOLY CRUD, we're not going to have anymore kids in the Primary?!?! That just about as weird as when we stopped having to buy diapers! Isn't it so cool to see how our family is growing up? And I'm sure that Ashton sang wonderfully. I probably would have cried too.

Sometimes when Hna Goering and I start talking about home, we go over all of the different foods that we miss. Chili is one of our most frequent topics. Just saying.

Btw, speaking of Hna Goering, can I just tell you guys how much I love my companion right now? I am learing so much from her!!! Here's the downlow:

-From Iowa (Oh my goodness, an Amercan comp that's not from UTAH!)
-Was studying nutrition before the mission
-1 of 13 kids (Yup... 13. They beat us.)
-Super hard worker and a BOSS.

OK, I would write more, but I have very little time. Basically, she's fetching amazing and hilarious.

This week we went on divisions in two areas calles Villarrica and Coronel Oviedo. It involved waiting for a bus for 1 hour, traveling in said bus for 2 more hours, taking another bus the next day for 30-40 minutes, and one final bus back home for 1 1/2 hours to continue working like crazy in our own area. It was only just a tiny little bit absolutely exhausting, but so much fun at the same time! Love getting to see other areas of Paraguay and getting to know the other sister missionaries. In Villarrica I was paired up with Hna Cruz from Honduras for a day. She is such a sweet heart and probably one of the most professional missionaries I've ever met as far as her conduct with the investigators. Then in Coronel Oviedo I got to be with.... (drum roll)... Hna ESCOBAR!!! It was so much fun to get to work with my old companion again! She is such a loving missionary! She actually reminds me a lot of Noelle in how she talks... except that she talks in Spanish.... 

When we got back to our area, things got a little rough. 3-4 investigators completely dropped us, and we got a TON of doors slammed in our faces. Honestly, it was pretty discouraging. I think Heavenly Father decided to be nice and make up for it though, because the next day we found two families and another investigator to start teaching that are just awesome! Plus, everyone kept giving us super yummy food to eat, so that was a huge plus ;)

It's really great to see how much the Lord blesses us when we put all of our trust in him. Right now I'm studying a talk called "The Fourth Missionary" that is just incredible, and really highlights the importance of giving our entire heart to God. That's my goal this week, is to give all of my desires, whether they be good or bad, to my Heavenly Father. Needless to say, I had a nice long chat with him this morning about my desires here in the mission and after as well.

Welp, times up. I love you guys so much, and I LOVE the pic of you guys in front of the temple. ALWAYS KEEP YOUR SIGHT SET ON THE TEMPLE!

Con mucho mucho amor,
Hermana Jeppesen

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Baptisms=Pool Party!!!!

Hey Momma!

This week has been so nuts. I thought that I was a busy missionary before, and I had finally gotten used to somehow finding a tiny bit of time to breath, think, write in my journal, and relax just for a few minutes, but that sliver of time just poofed out of existence. Now we are constantly working, eating, breathing, living BAPTISMS. On top of that, I got to go do my very first division as sister trainer leader this week, so we were making way more phone calls and setting up the next two divisions that we're doing tomorrow and Wednesday. Let's just say that I'm learning how to put way more organization skills into practice. 

On Wednesday we went out to Piribebuy and I got to do my first division with Hna Valle from Bolivia. She actually has a transfer more than I do here in Paraguay, but less time in the MTC because she didn't have to learn Spanish. We'll be leaving the mission together!! That being said, it was kind of weird to think that I was there to help and train her because she's more of a peer in my mind. We did have a really good time, though. It was nice to just get to work in another area and make it as fun and exciting as possible. Although, they don't have air conditioning in their little house, so I was DIEING at night. I'm so grateful for AC.

We also had an AWESOME baptism this Saturday! Araceli, 17 years old, is the cutest girl ever. She was a reference from the member that she works for, and the sisters have been visiting her for a little while.  But THIS baptism was super special. The branch president and his wife, Presidente and Hermana Burger (btw, they're german) decided to have an activity with the youth of the branch and do the baptism in the swimming pool at their house. The elders in our ward also baptised 5 kids from the same family, so we had 6 baptisms total. The youth got to swim in the pool for the first half hour or so, then everyone got out and we had a BEAUTIFUL baptismal service, including a special musical number from the best sister companionship ever (us), and then everybody got to swim again for a while afterwards. We made brownies. Best pool-party-baptism EVER. 

Have I told you guys just how much I love being a missionary? Honestly, I have never been so happy or have felt such purpose in my life. I love you guys so much, and I am so grateful for our Heavenly Father's Plan of Salvation, so that we can be together forever. Honestly, words cannot express how glad I am to be able to teach these things to the people here in Paraguay and to see all of the blessings in my life and in your lives.

That was off topic.

I love you guys, and I'll here from you next week!!!

Looovvve,
Hermana Jeppesen
Baptisms!!!!



The Burger Ranch

Missionary Feet!!!


Monday, October 6, 2014

Conference Weekend! Plus we got lost....kind of.

 I LOVE CONFERENCE!!!! 

Did you guys feel the spirit like crazy like I did? Man, I wish it was conference every day!! The talks were just so inspired, and it was so wonderful to sit back and receive revelation for all the things going on in my life as a missionary and just in general.

Do you realize that we witnessed an incredible moment in history listening to the first ever general conference talk in ANOTHER LANGUAGE?! I honestly wish that you guys could have seen all of the missionaries' faces when they announced that, and how even MORE excited we got when we heard that Eld Gavarret would be speaking in SPANISH!!! Please be reassured that we immediately muted the television and turned on the speaker to the chapel so that we could watch and understand him speak in his own native tongue with his own words. And lucky us!! We got to do it all over again when Eld Martinez spoke the next day!! WE ARE LIVING IN A WORLDWIDE CHURCH. Isn't that so incredible that we get to see this amazing development in the history of the living gospel of Jesus Christ, filling the whole earth? I had such a spiritual freak out day!

The talks that really got my attention this conference were Eld. Chin Hong Sam Wong's and Eld Bednar's. I LOVED Eld Wong's example of how we all need to work together as a ward and as leaders to bring others unto Christ to be healed. We are here as missionaries to serve the wards that we are in, and WE WANT NAMES!! We truly need the support of all of the leaders in the ward, and we need to be there to support them as well. If we don't hold up our end, there are people who will suffer the consequences, and if we are trying to pull all of the weight, no one is going to get very far either. And with Eld Bednar's talk, WE JUST LOVE EVERYBODY AND WANT THEM TO BE BAPTISED SO THAT THEY CAN BE HAPPY FOR ETERNITY!!! I have very strong desires to print up his talk and pass it out to every single one of our investigators, but it isn't available to read yet... :(

Honestly, I could talk and talk about conference all day, but that's not all that happened this weekend. We had a service project and Analia's baptism!!!!

On Friday we were assigned last minute (as in the night before) to travel to Fernando de la Mora and help Operation Smile (google it, it's awesome) unload a couple of trucks of donations. We left at 10:45 in order to get there at 12, following the directions of one of the assistants to the president and a local lady who told us what bus to take. Apparently this bus would head in the opposite direction at first and then loop around to where we wanted to go. So the whole zone, 4 companionships, got on the bus and headed out. And we drove. And we drove. And we drove, waiting for the bus to turn back toward our destination.... which in never did. We ended up in VILLETA, which is SUPER FAR from where we wanted to go! WE ENDED UP IN THE COUNTRY!!!!! Of course we immediately got off of the bus and figured out how to get to where we wanted to go, but we were at least an hour or two late. On top of all of that, we had to wait for the truck to get to the building so we could unload everything, and the first truck came pretty quick! But then we waited. And we waited. And we waited for the second truck to come. I will make sure to attach our bored waiting pictures. Long story short, we didn't get back into our area until about 7:30 that night.

On Sunday morning we had Analia's baptism!!!!!! I wish you guys could see how happy she was. She has really done a lot to be able to get to this point, and now she can finally be clean and show to the Lord how willing she is to follow him. Hermana Palombo gave a wonderful message during the baptismal service about the importance of baptism, and started crying during the talk. That's when I really started to reflect on how much work we put into these people and how much we really have come to love our sister and friend, Analia. Honestly, I am so glad to be a missionary, and I know that this is where the Lord wants me to be.

Ok, this email is so ramble and scattered and crazy, but it's just an accurate reflection of what our weekend was like. I love you guys so much. I really hope you guys got as much out of conference as I did, and are applying everything that you learned!

SO MUCH LOVE,
Hermana Jeppesen








Monday, September 29, 2014

Two Weeks in One!!!

Last week, Julia just sent us a bunch of pictures and this week we got a long letter.  Sorry for the delay in posting. Enjoy

Hey Mommy!
 
I'm so glad to hear that Celeste's surgery went well! Honestly, I've been praying a lot about that this week, so I'm happy to know that Heavenly Father is still taking care of you guys. And worrying about who is picking up the kids from school does sound like Celeste. Make sure to send me pics next week! 
 
I'm sorry that your observation didn't go too well. The first is the worst, right? It will just get better and better from here on out! I know that my comp and I have to practice a LOT in order to teach a lesson well that the investigators will understand. I'm sure that worrying about the surgery didn't help, either.
 
As for why people fall away from the church... don't get me started on that. I have met and visited and taught so many less-actives and people who have fallen away that I have heard every reason imaginable. But you are totally right. A lot of it begins with neglecting the simplest things. I never realized what a difference it makes just reading the scriptures everyday, or even doing home teaching. Heck, I think if everyone did their home/visit teaching, these stories would be a whole lot different. 
 
As for this week, it has been getting a bit hot over here. It's not too bad yet, but that may just be because I remember what last summer was like. I will be way more diligent with my bug repelent this year. MY COMPANION HAS BEEN WARNED. 
 
Have I told you guys about Analia Recalde? She is the 20 year old daughter of Carolina, and we have been working with her for MONTHS now. She accepted the message of the restored gospel from the beginning, but could never get baptised because she was living with the dad of her youngest baby (she has 3 kids, all under the age of 3, and they are my best friends). He's only 17, and they had absolutely NO desire to get married, she had no money to move out, and he refuse to go because he had nowhere else to go either. We honestly just about gave up with her, but at the beginning of this month we had set a goal with her that she would be moved out and baptised by the end of September. Well, we may be a week late, but SHE FINALLY MOVED OUT! We prayed, fasted, and continued teaching her, and eventually she was able to get help from friends and family to get the money together and find a small place to live with her 3 kids. By another miracle and lots of guidance from the Spirit, Hna Palombo and I even managed to get an inactive member with a truck to help us out on Saturday night move everything to her new place. Analia is now officially living the law of chastity and will be getting baptised THIS saturday inbetween the sessions of Conference. YAAAAAYYY!!!!!!!
 
I thik my favorite part of being a missionary is getting to see these miracles take place. We trusted in the Lord that Analia would be able to move out and keep the commandments of God, and she has been changing her life to be able to come more unto Christ. Now we get to see how the Lord is blessing her for her sacrifices. I love having a front row seat to the effect that the Atonement has on the children of the Lord!!!
 
So that's the run down on what happened this week. We are SUPER excited to get to watch conference soon! Once again, the Spiritual Superbowl has come around. 
 
I love you guys so much and I'm so glad that you guys are happy and healthy. I keep praying for you guys every day!!
 
Con amor,
Hermana Jeppesen
 
P.S. Hna Palombo would like to remind you guys that there are 88 days left until Christmas. Yeah. She's counting.

Yummy Treats!



                                            
Holy Shoes!        





                                       Silly Girls!!!
















Monday, September 8, 2014

Over Coming the Red!!

Hey Momma!

I'm not allowed to view videos... :( That picture is awesome, though!

I am marking my calendar for the 25th and I will be praying a whole lot that day.... maybe fasting. Yeah, probably fasting. It will go super well! And now is her chance to secretly get a nose job without anyone asking too  many questions ;)

Sorry this letter is super short, but I was a little focused on other emails. This week went pretty well. Tuesday was rough, though. Hna Palombo had a "red moment" and was completely determined to go home. I think that the stress of everything had been building up and building up until she was convinced that she would never be able to teach, speak Spanish, or complete even the smallest of missionary tasks, and she just burst. I remember very well when I had the exact same feelings. I talked to her about David and Goliath, how God took this little punk shepard kid, and helped him slay a GIANT. God looks at the heart, and can see our full potential. We talked about all of the awesome things that she's doing and how much she really is learning. Honestly, after all that, she still said that she wanted to go home, so I just looked at her and said, "Well, just stay for now, and we'll figure this out." So she went into the other room, possibly to pray? and came out 5 minutes later. All she said was, "Ok, I'll stay for now. Lets go out." We went and taught a few investigators, and she started to feel better, although still a little stressed. Then on Friday we went on divisions and my comp went off to another area with the sister trainer leader Hna Kimball, WHO IS AWESOME. They actually had to run to another sisters' apartment because she was having a red day too! I guess Hna Palombo stayed and talked with the companion while Hna Kimball talked to the struggling sister, because the next day when she came back she was smiling and told me, "Hermana, I had an hour and a half conversation with a latina, and I only told her that I didn't understand TWICE!!!!" Needless to say, she is doing a whole lot better.

Welp, I'm out of time! BTW, I took out some money to buy new shoes, FINALLY, because mine have fallen completely apart. I will be getting them today, so I'll send you a pic next week ;) HEY! Did you pay my tithing/extend my loan deferment? Kind of important....

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY LITTLE NEPHEW THAT I LOVE BUT HAVEN'T MET!!!!!

Con amor,
Hermana Jeppesen

Monday, September 1, 2014

Baptism....take 2!

Hey Momma! 

How cool that Reid, David and Bonnie all got to speak in sacrament meeting together! I'm sure it was a great meeting. As for the thought on faith, the little things really do matter. Remember that it is a commandment to always have a prayer in your heart, which to me means always have your thoughts directed towards him in every moment. You can even pray to have the strength to get up in the morning and go to the gym! It seems silly, but I'm realized during this last year that Heavenly Father really wants to help us in EVERY aspects of our lives if it means that we are happier, stronger, and better people. Kind of amazing, right?

To give an example, this week was kind of crazy. Remember Claudio, who skipped out on his confirmation a couple weeks ago? Well, this weekend was his "take 2", so Hna Palombo and I were passing by every single day to make sure he would be ready. To be honest, we weren't teaching like we should have been. It was more like just going and forcing him to read scriptures about the importance of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost until he got it through his head that he HAD to come do this. On top of that, his mom talks A LOT, and it can make it a little difficult to focus everyone and feel the spirit. Oh man, mom. We prayed like crazy all week. We even fasted. TWICE.... although one of them was a whole zone fast. 

So on Saturday, we did the baptismal interview with the district leader so that he could be baptised Sunday morning before church and confirmed right after, leaving absolutely no time to go off and do something.... silly. And he passed! So we went through the day, still praying that he would actually come to the church in the morning. At about 7:30 that night, Hna Palombo and I were walking past our apartment when my comp stopped, looked at me, and said, "We forgot to fill the font." HOLY CRUD! How could we forget to fill the fetching baptismal font! It takes 3-4 HOURS to do it, and the baptism was planned for 7:30 the next morning! And since the font is outside, we still had to run over and clean it out!!! So we ran into the apartment, threw on some pants, and started looking for our copy of the keys to the chapel.... which were nowhere to be found. We had forgotten them in the church during Claudio's last baptism, and we never noticed because we almost never use them! So we called the bishop, who didn't answer. We called his wife, who wasn't home. She DID, however, give us permission to just walk into the house and get their copy of the keys. We jogged over, got the keys, and jogged over to the chapel, getting there at about 8pm. We then starting trying every single one of the 20 keys on the keyring to open the door, but NONE of them worked! We ended up calling the Elders, and they ran over to open up the building for us. We cleaned everything out, but the elders kindly pointed out that we would have to get up at 4 in the morning to come fill up the font in time. In their words, "Sucks for you guys! Isn't being a missionary GREAT?" By the time we finished cleaning, we literally had to RUN to drop off the keys at the bishop's and get back to the apt before curfew. 

At 3 am, I was woken up by a clap of thunder and the sound of rain. Oh. My. Crud. The alarm went off an our later, we threw on our boots, and started out in a raging thunderstorm at 4:15am. THE STREETS WERE RIVERS, and I seriously thought we were going to get struck by lightning, but at the same time, my comp and I were completely calm. I starting think about all this trouble we were going through for a baptism that we weren't even sure was going to happen. I thought about Claudio, and the Spirit came to my mind, reminding me that he is my brother. We had failed to be motivated by love for him during the week, and were fueled only by a sense of righteous duty. The Spirit was lacking in the lessons. I personally needed to repent and have faith in Claudio and that the Spirit would testify to him and get him to where he needed to be. Honestly, it was a very humbling moment for me. 

We got to the church, turned on the water, and trudged back home. We woke up again at 6:30 with the sun shining and hardly a cloud in the sky, got dressed, and got to the church at 7:15.... when we saw that the drain for the baptismal font had been open the whole time, and the font was EMPTY. All of that work for NOTHING!!!! But, I think at that moment I realized that everything was out of our hands, and we just had to be patient. Happily, we just closed the drain, waited until the font was filled half-way, and had the baptism during Sunday School. He had to sit on his butt and lay back to get under the water, but it went perfectly, and he was conferred the gift of the Holy Ghost 30 minutes later! IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED! Claudio is FINALLY a member of the church!!!

We go through a lot to make baptisms happen, but this time was just a little insane. I did, however, learn a lot. God listens to our prayers. He helps us every step of the way, and when we start to forget what's important, he gently reminds us of his love for us and for others through the Spirit. I will say, though, I am so glad it's Monday and I can take a nap!!!

So that's my crazy week. Hey! You guys still haven't sent me a picture of the remodeled bathroom! I'm crazy curious and I want to see it!!!

I love you guys!!! Stay safe!

Love,
Hermana Jeppesen

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hot Week!

Hey Mommy!

Oh my heck, I just DIED at that story about Mia calling "not Taco Bell." Probably the funniest thing I've heard all week! But in all seriousness, good luck with the interview, Mia!! Yay for your first job!!

As for being really busy, I was actually thinking about a lesson that Dad taught us once with the jar, the sand, and the rocks. If you put the sand in the jar first, the big rocks don't fit in, but if you put in the big rocks first and pour the sand into it, all of it can fit into the jar. You just got to do the big rocks first! I actually think of that lesson a lot when we have to do our planning every night for the next day.

This week was alright. Hna Palombo and I went into Asunción to do her "verificación". It was great to be able to talk with all of the other trainers and with the mission president on what we can do better with our trainees. I learning that I shouldn't be afraid of pushing my companion in order to help her learn. Little by little I'm giving her even more opportunities to make the decisions about where we go and what we do. She's been doing really great at it! We just gotta keep working on the language, is all.

Thursday and Friday were a little rough. It got really hot this week, and ALL of our appointments fell through, so we were just left with hours of contacting and trying to find someone who would let us in. In two day, we had 3 lessons in all. Ouch. BUT, to lift our spirits, we had stake conference this weekend! What's even better is that is was a satellite transmission with Elder Bednar!!!! It's so great to me that an apostle of the Lord would bring a message specifically for the saints in Paraguay and Uruguay. It was an amazing talk about the importance of repentance. In order to repent, we need 1.) a Redeemer and 2.) a sincere heart and real intent. It really was truly inspiring, and something that I am working to apply to the mission work every single day.

Today is P-day, and we have a district activity at 2:30. I think we're making hotdogs and playing sports.... which is typical. I just hope I don't get hit in the face with a soccer ball.

I love you guys, and hope everything keeps going well! Don't get sick anymore!!!!!! And yes, I will totally keep Eld Ortega in my prayers.

With lots and lots of loves,
Hermana Jeppesen

HEY, I forgot to tell you guys that I got to eat cow stomach AGAIN yesterday!! Yup, still don't like it. Neither does my companion. The members told us it was chicken, and didn't tell us what is really was until we were half-way done with it. Worst chicken of my life.

The end.

Monday, August 18, 2014

One Year Down!!!!

Mommy!!

So... I realize that my letter last week was just a little bit on the negative side.... I apologize. BUT, we did have a lesson with Claudio that night in which I got to practice my "mom voice". After the lesson, Hna Palombo told me, "Holy cow. Even I felt like a sinner! I was even a little scared of you during that lesson!" Let's just say that I was VERY clear about what happens to those who lie to God. I recommend a deep study of Alma ch. 5, keeping in mind the verse in 2 Nephi that reads, "Woe unto the lier, for he shall be thrust down to hell." But don't worry! I was still loving (or at least as loving as possible), and he is on track to do the baptism and confirmation all over again on the 30th since we have stake conference this weekend!

Long story short, DON'T TICK OFF HERMANA JEPPESEN.


On a whole different note: I'M OFFICIALLY AN OLD MISSIONARY!! Happy 1 year anniversary to me!!!!!! The best part of all is that on that day (Thursday) we got to do divisions with the sister trainer leaders, and I got to go off with Hermana Kimball who was in the MTC with me. We got to celebrate our first year in Paraguay together! Isn't that so cool? We took a bunch of pics, but unfortunately I left my camera in her apartment. Hopefully I'll be getting that tomorrow....

Hermana West (the BEST sister missionary ever) did splits with my companion, and really gave her a super awesome push. Since Thursday, Hna Palombo has been talking a lot more in the lessons, with absolutely NO fear of saying things wrong in Spanish or what the people will think. Her confidence went WAY up, and it's so amazing for me to see her progression! I love my mission daughter!!! This week we have to go into Asunción for her to take a test and measure how much she's learing. Basically, it's to make sure that I'm doing my job as her trainer.... I'm not worried :)

Not much else happened this week. We found a new young couple to teach that are fantastic and have A LOT of questions, since they both grew up Catholic. The boyfriend, Miguel, REALLY wants to keep learning, but also says that he's really confused because everything that we teach makes sense, but doesn't fall inline with what he grew up learning. THIS IS GOOD. The spirit is really working in him!! His girlfriend, Romina, is just as interested, and is opening up to us more and more. 

So those are the highlights. It still wierd to me to think that Hayden is stabbing people with needles and sucking out their blood. Dad, Dani and Cece are brave souls. I don't blame Mia for chickening out. Also, totally keeping Celeste in my prayers that everything will keep healing well. It still blows my mind that you both are doing so well after something so crazy like that!

I love you all so much, and I'm so glad to know that Heavenly Father continues to watch over you guys. Don't burn up too much in the heat! ¡Cuídense!

Con amor,
Hermana Jeppesen.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Busy Week!

DADDY!!!!

Hey, Papa! I'm actually really stoked that you wrote me this week! I'm glad everyone seems to be doing so well and you're getting everything checked out with the doctor. Keep me updated on that stuff, will you? 

Questions and concerns: I think the deferment for my loan expired. You guys have all the info for that, right? Will you be able to update that? Also, I was thinking the other day that I don't know if you guys payed tithing for my taxes way back when. I don't know how much it was and I can't really do that from here... can you guys help me out with that, too? Sorry, I wish I could do this stuff myself....

THIS WEEKEND WAS SO CRAZY. I'm kind of glad it's P-day and we kind of sort of get to take a little break. Let me tell you what happened....

In our district, we've set a goal of being more direct and bold with inviting people to be baptised. With a little help from our district leader, Hna Palombo and I decided to invite an "eternal investigator," Claudio, to get baptised again, even though he has already had 3-4 baptismal interviews with other missionaries, passed them all, and then either drank the night before the baptism or just never showed up. BUT, THIS TIME was going to be different! THIS TIME we were going to be BOLD and help him understand that if he doesn't make the decision to get baptised now, he'll just keep putting it off and putting it off until he finally runs out of time. So on Thursday, we went to his house and had a lesson with him and his mother, a recent convert, and invited him to be baptised THAT Saturday, in two days time. And you know what? HE ACCEPTED. So we got everything ready and set up his baptismal interview with the zone leader who was doing devisions here, and told him to be at the church at 7pm.At 6:30 that day, his mom called to tell us that something happened with his motorcycle, and that he couldn't make it to the church. AAaaaahhh! So we went and found the elders and BOOKED IT about a mile and a half on foot all the way to his house, and the Elders walk FAST. I was keeping up with them pretty well because I've got a year of practice with these guys, but I thought my poor little companion was going to die.. We finally got there, did the interview, filled out the paperwork that we needed, and we were ready to go for the next day.

Saturday, we got to the church early to find that the ward mission leader had already cleaned the building and filled the font. The baptismal clothing was ready, and by1pm we were ready to start... but no one was there yet. We called Hna Bonifacia, Claudio's mom, and she hadn't even left the house yet. Well, that's just normal Paraguay. So we waited. For an hour. People finally started showing up, and his mom got there, but Claudio was still missing. We called him and he was still 10 blocks from his house and had to swing by there first, but he was "on his way." Honestly, all I could think was, "Crud. We're going to get stranded AGAIN." We waited in the chapel for ANOTHER HOUR when Hna Bonifacia stuck her head in where we were sitting and said, "He's here!" WE JUST ABOUT DIED. He actually came and got baptised!! Holy cow, we were so happy. Two hours late, but he finally did it.

THE STORY ISN'T OVER. We stopped by their house that night and saw that Claudo had gotten a hair cut.... that is, a short mohawk.... That should have been the first sign that something was up. But he still seemed fine and said that he would see us the next day in church, so we left and everything was fine. We worked, went home, planned for the confirmation the next day, and went to bed. We were woken up at 3am by a phone call from Claudio. An instand "OH NO" feeling set in. I answered, and he said something into the phone, but I didn't understand from the music going on in the background. This happened 3 TIMES. The next morning, we called Hna Bonifacia and found out that he had gone out the night before with his buddies and never came back home. We went to church, and he never showed up. There was nothing that we could do. Later in the day, we went back to their house to find out that he had returned completely drunk with his right arm scraped up, crashed his motorcylce, and lost his cellphone and spent all his money. His mom even found a pack of cigarettes outside that he had hidden. Needless to say, we are going bytonight to have a VERY SERIOUS TALK with Claudio. Believe me, I will let you know how it goes. I will definately try to control the righteous fury as much as I can.

So that is my very detailed, very interesting story for this week. Please enjoy. Here is a picture of the would-be convert. Also, to cheer everybody up, a picture of me and Mercedes, the little girl of one of our investigators with real intent!!

I love missionary work!!!

Love you guys a ton!!!!!!!

Hna Jeppesen




Monday, August 4, 2014

Cleaning the temple day!


Sorry this letter is late, by the way. We got a call LAST NIGHT that we were assigned to go into Asunción to clean the temple today! Hermana Palombo and I were assigned to clean the oxen in the baptismal font, which was AWESOME, and we may or may not have taken a peak in the celestial room once the Elders were done cleaning. What a beautiful, sacred place! Honestly, there could never be any doubt that the temple is the house of the Lord. 
So this last week we had interviews with Presidente Agazzani. Before meeting with him, though, we met with his assistants to do a bit of training. We had to bring our Area Book, which is a binder with ALL of our teaching records, lists of contacts, records of recent converts, etc., as well and our agendas for them to look through. It's always a bit unnerving to feel like the assistants to the mission president are judging every little thing that I am writing down in our records, but everything turned out alright and they said that we were doing a good job. Then we watched a short video about the Atonement and talked about how it applies to our investigators, but also how it applies to ourselves as missionaries. That's were the waterworks kicked in. For the last few days, I had been struggling with feelings of ineptitude. As a trainer, everything kind of depends on me right now. I have to be the perfect example for my greenie. It's my job to show her how to resolve people's doubts, how to bring the spirit into every single lesson, how to contact in an efficient manner, how to work effectively with all of the members, and most of all, how to always have a positive attitude no matter what happens. Basically, I have to be perfect in order to be the best example possible for Hna Palombo. The catch is that I feel VERY imperfect. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING. Even after a whole year, there are so many things that I struggle with, for example, time organization, that I just can't seem to figure out. Also, I'm at a loss at times in knowing how to help our investigators progress. Over time, all these little things keep building up and building up until I get overwhelmed and feel like I am literally screwing everything up. BUT, that's where the Atonement comes in. After talking with the Assistants and watching that video with them, I was reminded that I'm not expected to be perfect, I'm just expected to TRY. Because of the Savior, I can turn over a new leaf and start again each day, doing my very best to do better than the day before. He is there to support me, and he will lead me when I don't know what to do. Most of all, this is HIS work, and will keep moving on, and he will guide me to be a part of it. There really is very little that a missionary like me can do to screw up HIS plan. I just got to trust in him and the covenants that I have made with him.
So, yup. I cried infront of the Elders. Totally not embarassing..... >.> At the very least, I've known them both for a bit now, and I know they're cool guys :D 

Hna Palombo and I are still working as hard as ever. Her Spanish is improving bit by bit. I think she gets a bit embarrassed to talk a lot infront of people. This week we are going to practice putting some spiritual thoughts together that she can share with the members that she's more comfortable with. I'm excited to see her growth as she puts herself more out there. She is doing REALLY fantastic though, and is helping me alot to learn how to keep my mind a bit more organized. We actually make a pretty killer team. 

Not the most eventful week, but still pretty awesome. Please enjoy the picture of the dulce de leche filled cake that my comp and I made for our district meeting. I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a great week!

Con MUCHÍSIMO amor,
Hermana Jeppesen



Monday, July 28, 2014

Baptism!!



Holy crud, summer is ALREADY OVER?!?! But it just started for you guys!!! Holy cow, Momma, time is FLYING. 

IN 3 WEEKS I WILL HAVE BEEN AWAY FROM HOME FOR A FREAKING YEAR. Can you believe that? Sometimes I think about it and it just blows my mind. I ONLY HAVE 6 1/2 MONTHS LEFT!!!!!!!!

OK,  WE FINALLY HAD A BAPTISM!! I told you guys about Carolina, right? Well if not, she is such a sweet lady! She is 39 years old and is a single mom of four kids, the oldest being her daughter Analia who is 20 years old and the youngest being Emmanuel, who is 9. She is actually a bit learning challenged and speaks a LOT of Guarani, so teaching her was a very interesting process. We used a lot of examples and hand signs to remember things like the word "prophet" and "priesthood power". About two years ago she had a stroke leaving the right side of her body paralysed, but the members helped out a lot in bringing her to church and her baptism on Saturday. Also, it made her a bit nervous about how the baptism would go if she couldn't support herself on her leg very well, but Gabriel, the ward mission leader, did a really good job at keeping her calm and helping her under the water. She only had to go down once, but she swallowed a bit of water so came up coughing and spitting. Once she calmed down, she looked at me with these big ol' eyes and half a smile and said, "Can I get out, now?" Everybody got a good laugh out of that.

The best part of all was the confirmation the following day. We usually have to poke and prod the members to reach out and sit with somebody new that we bring, but this time, without even being asked, the members all reached out to her in such a loving way. One sister especially, Hermana Bonifacia, helped her walk from one class to the other, and then helped her walk up to the front for her blessing. After everything was said and done, Carolina looked just so incredibly peaceful and happy. At that moment, I felt a confirmation that I am so blessed to be a part of this, and I really am fulfilling my purpose here to bring souls unto Christ. It was a very humbling and satisfying feeling. On top of that, I think it was really great for my greenie to be able to take part in a baptism so early on, too!

Speaking of greenie, Hna Palombo is doing super great. You can tell that she is still trying adjust to the language and the culture, but she's figuring out a little more every day. Now I just got a get her a little less dependent on me translating for her!

So this was my week. I remembered that I have an extra memory card, so I'm using my other camera again. Please enjoy the pictures of Carolina!!

I love you guys. Enjoy school, and stay safe!!

Su contenta misionera,
Hermana Jeppesen









Monday, July 21, 2014

A Trainer!! Plus pictures!!!!

I'm so glad to hear that you guys are healing up so well!! Celeste is definitely looking a LOT better. And, HOLY COW, the truck got smashed! Once again, I am SO HAPPY that you guys are ok! Also, I know that Heavenly Father is taking care of me over here and keeping me way too busy to think about you guys, BECAUSE....

I'M TRAINING!!!!!!

It took me COMPLETELY by surprise, but I finally have a mission baby! Can you believe it?!?! I still can't.... So about my new daughter:

Name: Hermana Palombo

Age: 20 (HER FIRST DAY HERE WAS HER BIRTHDAY!)

Hair color: Super blonde (sticks out like a sore thumb)

Skin color: Super white (a sore thumb with a bug bite on top)

Eye color: Super blue (the sore thumb had an alergic reaction to the bug bite)

Home town: Spanish Fork, Utah (surprise, surprise)

Language skills: ...yeah, we're working on that. I am fondly reminded of my training days when I didn't understand what the 
crap was going on. Right now we are working on memorizing the first vision in Spanish.

Personality: Hilarious. We're best friends. She is also super excited for the work! I'm kind of amazed at the strong desire she has to just share her testimony of the Gospel with others. 

Current state: Tired. Once again, I am fondly reminded of my training experience. During a lesson yesterday, I built everything up to allow my comp to share her testimony about prayer like we had been practicing, but when I looked over to pass the time to her, her eyes were closed and she was asleep on the couch!!! Luckily I stole the attention back and the investigators didn't notice, but I did have to fight myself not to laugh out loud.  But that's why we have P-day, right?

As for me, I'm pretty ready for P-day, too! I'm literally doing almost all of the talking in the lessons and with the members and when we contact and explaining everything that's happening and... well, needless to say, I've had a sore throat and I'm starting to lose my voice a little bit. It's a little stressful sometimes to think that everything is in my hands right now and I have to be Super Missionary until I can get Hna Palombo to the point were she can understand more of what's going on, but I know that Heavenly Father has called me to train for a reason. Whether that reason is to keep me from worrying about my family, building my confidence in my abilities, or just getting the chance to serve and teach another missionary, who knows? But I am really excited to learn from this experience and to grow alongside my little greenie. These next 2 transfers are gonna rock!

I love you guys, and I am still praying for you everyday! Please keep Hna Palombo and me in your prayers, too. Also, I decided to just start using the camera that Anthony sent me for now, so..... PICTURES!! Or at least a few of the amazing Hna Lino who I miss a ton, all of the new trainers on the way to the office to get our newbs, and my super gorgeous comp!

With so much love,
Hermana Jeppesen



Monday, July 14, 2014

A week of graditude!

My daughter Celeste and I were in a pretty bad car accident and we wrote to Hermana Julia about this.  I have a firm testimony in the blessings of missionaries and their work and the blessings that it brings to the family.  I also have a strong testimony in the power of the Priesthood and the wonderful blessings that can be given to me and my family during times of trouble.

Mom, I hope you know that I love you so much. I will be completely honest, this email kind of scared the crap out of me, just a little bit. But you know what? At the same time, I've never felt so blessed. Every single night, with out fail, I pray that Heavenly Father will protect you guys and keep you safe. Sometimes it can be a little difficult to be so far away from you guys and not know what's going on or if you guys are doing alright or not. But, Mom, I am so so glad to know that you guys are ok. Heavenly Father protected you both, and neither of you were hurt more than what you were, miraculously preventing broken bones or brain damage. He put 2 people close by to help you both until the ambulance came. He provided worthy priesthood holders to come and give you both blessings to help you deal with the aftermath. And if it's any consolation to you, he provided me a companion to give me a hug when I'm sobbing in front of the computer. 

I am so incredibly grateful to my Heavenly Father. I know that you guys are in his hands. I know that he is helping everyone cope, as well. On that note, how is the rest of the family? As freaked out as I am? Please let them know that I love them, too! And give everybody big hugs from me. 

Also, I could care less about the truck.

My week seems really uneventful, now! We did divisions with the sister trainer leaders on Thursday. I got to work with Hna Cevallos from Ecuador. She's kind of super hilarious, and we had a great time. As for me and my comp, this week was a little rough. I tend to talk a lot, and she tends to want me to NOT talk a lot... We are working on a balance. This morning we studied Ch. 6 of PMG, the sections on patience and humility. I'm learning to shut my mouth a little bit more and remember that my companion doesn't hate me, she just wants her space. 

I gave a talk in church yesterday on the importance of the help of the members in missionary work, and read a lot of what I shared with you guys in my last email. I think it went well, but I think some members got offended.... we'll see how that goes. 

Transfers are this week. It is most likely that both Hna Aguilar and I are going to stay in this area for another round.

Not a lot of details, I know, but this is the basic overview of what's going on over here. I love you all so much, and I'm praying for you guys even more now. Please stay safe. Please wear your seatbelts. I want my family in one piece when I get home, thank you very much! And I promise not to worry about you guys too much. 

Your very grateful daughter,
Hermana Jeppesen