Monday, March 31, 2014

New Chapel!

¡Hola, Mamá!

Mom, it's totally fine if my package is late! Hermana Weeks and I have lots of plans to celebrate, especially because it's also General Conference!!!! Whoever said that GC is like the missionary super bowl is completely and totally right. We are all SUPER stoked to meet with all the missionaries and members in Ca'acupe and listen to a prophet of God and his apostles. That is honestly the best gift I could get this year. Also, we are going to buy a tub of ice cream and eat it with Hna Week's peanut butter, so we're really excited for that too. We even managed to find some cherries today to put into it!  ;) Plus, it's on P-day, so I get to SLEEP. I do, however, expect a ton of emails from EVERYONE.

Probably the highlight of the week is that after 30-40 years since the branch was opened in this area, they are finally starting the construction of a chapel! When the branch president announced that during church yesterday, he just about started crying. The members here have been waiting YEARS to have a building to call their own, so this is such a huge blessing. This morning we went to the piece of land that the church bought 15 years ago to have a little ground-breaking ceremony. It was just the branch president and his family, the stake president and his family, and us 6 missionaries with a member or two. We sang, prayed, and took a couple pictures with everyone. Honestly, it's so great to think that the saints here are finally going to be able to meet together and worship in a building that will actually allow them to have room to grow, sing, learn, and develop in the gospel together. In the building that we have now, there is hardly any room to fit the 100 or so members that come on Sunday. Plus, it's a great way to get notice from those who aren't members!

Well, not really much happened this week, so there really isn't much to report. Miguel and Karen are still investigating. They finally managed to find all of the stuff about polygamy on the internet, so we got to answer all of their questions about that yesterday. The good news is that they're still interested and are going to come to Gen. Conf. on Sunday, so that's good! I got really worried for a couple minutes during the lesson that they were going to drop us! But the Spirit is awesome, crisis averted! Hna Weeks and I are also making more efforts to find more less actives now, too. Probably one of my favorite things to do is take our list of members and search for people that we don't know. Almost none of the streets have names here, so it's like a super scavenger hunt. The addresses usually say something like, "yellow house two streets over from the main road" or even just the name of the neighborhood and nothing else. Usually we just clap at people's gates and ask if they recognize the name, and then smoothly turn it into a contact and introduce ourselves and ask if we can share a message with them. So far we've found one less active, and we're eating lunch with him and his wife on Wednesday!

So, yup. That's pretty much what happened this week. I love you guys, and I hope that everything keeps going well. Keep up the service projects! Usually our service includes cleaning. I haven't gotten to use a machete yet, but I'm absolutely positive it will happen sooner than later.

I love you guys! Have a great week, and thank you for the prayers!!!

With lots of love,
Hermana Jeppesen

Monday, March 24, 2014

P Day is for Pedicure day!

Hola, Mamá!

Well, it's starting to get kinda chilly down her, so we'll see how my first paraguayan winter goes! I've already learned that I REALLY need to buy some rain boots, but nobody sells them in the town that I'm in right now. When we go to Ca'acupe in two weeks we're going to look for some as well as decent coat. My comp thinks I'm crazy that I don't already have these things... My argument is that I'm from Arizona ^.-

I would die of happiness if I could take a bath. Those honestly do not exist at all down here. And yay for a clean Ashton! Hna Weeks and I actually decided to pamper ourselves today with pedicures from one of our member's daughters. Oh my goodness, did my feet need it! I feel so happy, and my toes look 30x's nicer! And while Hna Weeks was getting her's done, I taught Victoria, the member, how to make pancakes. They had never had real American peanut butter before either, so my companion brought a jar that her family had sent her and we ate it with the pancakes. Her whole family absolutely loves them, and I think she's really excited to try to make them on her own sometime soon. Also, it turns out that trying to explain maple syrup to someone who has no idea what it is is really... interesting. We ended up with the explanation that it's like honey....but from a tree? Btw, that's the first meal that I want when I get back home.

The zone conference went really well! And yes, half of the missionaries are Latinos, so my zone and I sang in Spanish. We got lots of compliments, too! The best part, however, was getting to hear from Elder Viñas of the 70 teach about the Atonement and how we can utilize it as missionaries. 90% of the people hear are Catholic and already know a lot about the grace of God and the importance of faith, but what we are here to teach is that because of the fall of Adam, the Atonement is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to return to our Heavenly Father, but is only available to us through, repentance, baptism by the proper authority, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end by making and KEEPING other sacred covenants and ordinances. Having faith alone will never save anyone. Our investigators have to ACT on this faith and recieve these ordinances, or they are subject to the affects of the Fall. Yup, it was really incredibly interesting, and I learned a lot! 

The other half of his talk was more or less about helping the members endure to the end. In our zone, we have a little over 2000 members of the church, but only 118 are endowed and 70 have current temple recommends! I about cried when I heard that number!!! Something has happened that our members don't understand the importance of temple covenants in order to enter into the highest glory of the Celestial Kingdom. To say the least, we are making a lot of plans to see what we can do to change this number. Keep us in your prayers please! We need lots of help!!

Anyway, this week was really awesome, and we're pressing forward like always. Please pray for us that we can find more new people and that our investigators can progress. I love you guys with all my heart, and I'm so glad that you are all doing well! (especially, Ashton, it sounds like!)

With so so much love,
Hermana Jeppesen

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Hey momma!

I'm glad that you guys got to have that experience to sing with Dad at the memorial service. You and Dad should definitely sing that song for me when I get back, or at least record it now and show it to me after the mish so that way neither of us forget ;)  Also, did you get a recording of his translation of the bratzli song? Anyway, the importing thing is that I love you guys, and I consider myself very blessed to be a part of this family, especially to be Grandma Vicky's great-granddaughter.

On a somewhat related note, how are Grandma and Grandpa Jeppesen? Please tell them that I say hi and that I'm thinking of them!

In other news: HERMANA WEEKS AND I ARE STAYING TOGETHER FOR ANOTHER TRANSFER!!! Seriously, we are both so stoked! I have such a good time with my companion, and I am learning so much from her. She has such a strong desire to help the people around her, learn as much as she can from the scriptures, bring the spirit as much as possible into the homes of those we teach, and just be an all around fantastic missionary. On top of that, we have some pretty awesome adventures together.

SPEAKING OF ADVENTURES, we had quite an interesting one this week. Hermana Weeks has had some skin problems (aka, a rash) for the last 3 months now, and it finally got to the point where she called the mission president's wife, Hna Agazzani, to set up an appointment with the doctor. Thursday morning, after our 3 hour weekly planning session, we set off on a 1 1/2 hour colectivo ride to the hospital in Asunción. We met some Elders from the north mission on their way to a zone conference, and then our colectivo got pulled over because they were missing some legal documents and we more or less got a free upgrade to an actually somewhat nice bus. Then Hna Agazzani called to tell us that the appointment got postponed an hour, so once we got to the bus terminal in Asuncion and took a taxi to the hospital, we had an hour to kill and got a super yummy lunch at one of the little lunch places (I don't know if I would use the word "restaurant"...) nearby. Afterwards, OFF to the hospital! I'm so glad I can understand Spanish now, or I would be so completely, utterly lost! But we got through the paperwork and sat outside the doctors office. Hna Weeks turned to me and said "I'm going to be so mad if we went through all this trouble and they just tell me it's a heat rash and put some hydro-cortisone on it." Welp, we went in and talked with the doctors, and it turns out it's a chronic skin infection, so... yay? The dermatologist prescribed a super special cream to put on it, and only two pharmacies in the area make it. So super duper fun times, we set off into the rain (oh yeah, it started raining), and walked, and walked, and walked until we were drenched. After asking several people for directions, a guy from Uruguay finally set us on the right path, and we took a colectivo for another 20 minutes to the center of town. We talked to the pharmacy, and the prescription wouldn't be ready until the NEXT DAY. We just about cried. So we called Hna Agazzani. AGAIN. For the 5th time that day. Turns out we have a zone conference in Asunción on Friday (by the way, found out later that I'm singing a solo for that), and we can go back after the meeting and get Hna Weeks cream. For her skin infection. That she's had for 3 months. After a 30 minute colectivo ride to the bus terminal and a 1 1/2 hour ride back to Ypacaraí, we finished our 8 hour adventure at 9pm, wet, hungry, and tired.

Now we are sitting in a cyber waiting for the internet to come back (it's been out for 15 minutes now) so we can actually send our emails. You might not even get to read this story.

I love my adventures with Hna Weeks. We are going to have an awesome transfer.

Yes, if you send me cake mix I can TOTALLY make a cake!! That would be so awesome! I'll have to share it with my comp since her birthday is the day before. More awesomeness to our companionship. Also, just ask Dani what I told her that I want for my birthday. Make sure she doesn't laugh too hard.

Aziel is not allowed to be that old. Tell him that I forbid it. BUT, if he insists, it would be AWESOME if he got assigned here with me!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Chugging along!

Hey Momma!

I love you so incredibly much. Let me know how the memorial goes, please. I wish there was something more I could do, but I'm sending my love from way over here in Paraguay.

So remember that investigator I wrote about who is super pregnant? Well it turns out that she's already a member! She was talking with her mom who lives in Spain that she has been receiving the missionaries when her mom told her, "Oh how great! Do you still remember when you got baptized when you were a little girl?" Yup. We call the office and found her baptismal and confirmation records and everything. That definitely threw us a bit! After she has her baby we are going to focus on her getting to go to the temple.

Other than that, it was a bit of a rough week. It rained a lot one or two days, so not a lot of people let us in. I think Paraguayans are very much like cats, and are really afraid of the water. Also, I should really get a pair of boots.... Wet feet do not make proselyting quite as much fun.

On a positive note, Elías' cousin, Juan Jonas, got baptized this weekend by the elders, and Elías received the Aaronic priesthood! It's so neat to get to see his testimony grow a little stronger every time we meet with him and every time he comes to church. He even told us that he wants to work towards being able to go on a mission, as is going to start going out on visits with the elders this week!

Tomorrow we find out our transfers, and Hermana Weeks and I are pretty convinced that I'm going to have a daughter, aka, training a greenie. Either that, our Hermana Weeks will be staying here for one more transfer. I will be SHOCKED if it's not one of the two. I kind of really hope that we stay together, because my companion is super awesome and I am learning so much from her. We seriously have a BLAST every day, and we have been caught having laughing fits in the streets on several occasions. I'm a little afraid of what she's going to tell her future companions, or even her future kids, about me. She's got way to much dirt on me from our ridiculous proselyting experiences, like when she caught me talking to myself, or last night when I tried to make tortillas and the end result looked like a mashed brain, or when we were out in the middle of nowhere and I had to use a bathroom that was basically a hole in the ground and didn't have a door. I've got some pretty good stories on her too, though, so I think we're almost even.

I love you, Momma. I hope the last paragraph made you laugh a little and could cheer you up! I'm still praying for you every night. Please keep me and my comp in your prayers, specifically that we can find more people who are ready to hear the message of the restored gospel. Let me know if there is anything more that I can do for you guys, too!

Your daughter that's following the example of her wonderful mother and chugging along,
Hermana Jeppesen


Elias' Baptism

Girl Power at zone training.

Tucan owned by the Brazilian family we eat with every Sunday

Super classic mission pic with BoM

Monday, March 3, 2014


I don't know if I tell you "thank you" enough for the emails that you send me. Thank you. I hope you're doing great up in Idaho. I told Gramma to give you a big hug from me, so you have to give her a big hug from me, too! Also, please tell Grandma Vicky how much I love her and I'm thinking of and praying for her. Also, Mom, I love you so much. Thank you for everything that you do for our family and your wonderful example. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful mother.

We had a baptism this week!!! But I forgot my camera, so I'll have to send you the pictures next week. Elías is 18 years old and such a great guy. He has an incredible desire to draw closer to the Lord, and is very excited to recieve the priesthood next week! He absolutely lit up when we taught him about the power of the priesthood and how it can bless his family, today and in the future. When we asked him how he felt after his confirmation, he said, "¡espectacular!" I'm pretty sure it's his favorite word.

We are making plans to have another baptism this week of a beautiful woman, Clara, who is 9 months pregnant and due any day now. That one really depends on what happens with the baby.... Clara is so wonderful, though! She already has such a strong testimony in the Book of Mormon, and when we asked her if she had prayed to know if the church is true, this beautiful light came into her face. She told us yes, that she had been thinking about it all week, and even had a dream that we came to her house to invite her to be baptised. She knows the church is true!!! It is so wonderful to see the changes in people's lives and the spirit fill their hearts. These are the fruits of our labors here!

Mom, I know that this gospel is true. I am so blessed to have this oportunity to see the Spirit work through us first-hand. What's more is that I know that our family will be together for eternity. My gratitud for that blessing really cannot be described. Now I get to help other people have that blessing, too! The Plan of Salvation is real, and Heavenly Father really does guide us in our lives. 

I love you, Mom, and I miss you. I'm thinking of you and praying for you every night. Thank you for all you do for me.

With eternal love,
Hermana Jeppesen

On Sun, Mar 2, 2014 at 7:02 PM, Jodie Jeppesen <> wrote:
This has been a tough week. Grandma Vicky's health got worst and she went home to Idaho with Grandma Jan. We skyped with Grandma on Monday and I couldn't believe how far she declined. Grandma Jan was so tired from taking care of her so I flew into Salt Lake and your aunt Liz and I drove the rest of the way up. It was a surprise and of course we all cried. I am still here today. Grandma is worse and she doesn't have much time left. I'm sending a picture of grandma Vicky and grandma Jan. Grandma has a hard time at night and she just wouldn't settle down so Grandma Jan snuggled into bed with her. It is such a precious moment.

My heart is really tender watching my grandmother. But I know that plan of happiness is for everyone. I'm not sure what she is holding on to, but I'm sure when she passes she will be all the better.

I want you to know how much I love you.  I am so glad that you are with our family eternally. I know that our family has different philosophy about things, but I know with out a doubt that we are together.

But the good thing about this week is that I get to spend time with Grandma, Liz, and baby Georgia. It snowed and we got to play in it. Many of my cousins came down and I got to visit with them.

They dedicated the Gilbert temple today. They had the cultural celebration last night and it poured! There were 12,000 youth who performed. Many of my friends in the surrounding stakes got to participate. They Facebook posts all say they came home drenched but to happy. I can't wait to show you this beautiful temple.

I love you so much. Stay safe and I hope you and Hrma. Weeks are doing well.
 Love you,