Monday, April 21, 2014

A wonderful Easter week!

Hey Mama!

I'm glad to hear that you guys had such an awesome Easter! Did you guys go to the Easter Pageant? Hermana Weeks has a best friend serving in Mesa right now, so I get to hear a bit about what was going on at the visitors center. Btw, keep an eye out for a Sister Emily Brown and tell her that her best friend's companion says "hi!" 

Easter is CRAZY different here in Paraguay! Everyone here is just so darn CATHOLIC. They celebrate the entire Holy Week. On Palm Sunday there was a huge procession of seriously just about half of the population of Ypacaraí, lead by the pastor of the church. Everybody walked in two very ordered lines, carrying palm branches and solemn faces, all the way to the big catholic chapel in the center of town. Honestly, it was kind of neat to see that kind of representation of Christ's entrance into Jerusalem. On Wednesday, everybody makes a typical paraguayan food called "chipa", which is kind of like a biscuit made with mandioca and corn flour. It's SUPER delicious, but we've eaten so much this week that I don't think I'll be able to even look at it for a month or two. We still have a small pile of chipa in our kitchen that we might just throw out.... On Thursday, everyone has a great big lunch to celebrate the Last Supper, and then on Friday, EVERYTHING is shut down. Nobody plays football, listens to music, goes shopping, NOTHING. They all stay home in solemn respect for the Crucifixion of Christ. Good Friday is definately the biggest day out of the week. Honestly, I didn't notice anything special about Saturday or Sunday. The Resurrection seems to get kind skipped over in the Catholic religion, which is a shame because it's the most incredible part! Much more important than the death of Christ is his triumph over it 3 days later. It was wonderful to get to go to church that day, partake of the sacrament, and remember that glorious miracle that allows us to become like our Heavenly Father. 

In other good news, Miguel and Karen called us Saturday night to set up an appointment with us for the next day! When we met with them yesterday, they told us that this last week they realized what a difference it was making in their family life to be learning from the missionaries. They felt closer to eachother and closer to Heavenly Father as they learned more about Him. So what did we do? Had a BOMB lesson about the Atonement, using the story about the debtor and the mediator from Principles of the Gospel. Apparently the Atonement has never made so much sense before, and they learned a lot! What's more, Miguel confessed that when he and his wife pray with us they feel the Spirit so strongly, but when they try to pray on their own as a couple, they feel like they are just talking to themselves. He told us that it feels like there is something missing. Holy cow, I just about jumped up and down when he said that! I just about screamed, "IT'S BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST!! JUST PLEASE AGREE TO GET BAPTISED!!!!!!" ....but I controlled myself. Tomorrow we are going to have a lesson about prayer and the Holy Ghost. I am absolutely determined to baptise this family. IT WILL HAPPEN. 

Anyways, it was a pretty great week! Transfers are being announced tomorrow, and I am probably going to lose my best friend of a companion, Hermana Weeks. In truth, we have been hugging a lot more the last few days in anticipation for the change. The mission can be a bit cruel sometimes, putting two people together 24/7 for 3 months and letting them form an incredible relationship, and then suddenly tearing them apart and replacing them with someone new! I'm super sad, but I know it's according to the Lord's will, and we have lots to learn from other missionary companions as well. Btw, I don't think that her mom posts her letters, but you can try looking up Courtney Weeks on Facebook. Also, did you know that there is a facebook page specifically for the moms of the Paraguay Asunción missionaries? Mom, you have got to get on that!

I love you guys. Don't worry about the package, I've gotten through this far! We'll be going to the temple this next transfer and I'm going to get to call you guys pretty soon for Mother's Day, so that's really all of the care that I need..... Ok, well I MIGHT be buying some more winter gear. 

With TONS of love, 
Hermana Jeppesen

P.S. Pictures: MACARONI AND CHEESE!!!!, super cute kids from the Alfonso family, District Ypacaraí, the district with our branch mission leader.

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