Monday, June 30, 2014

The Garden of Eden!

I ALMOST FORGOT ABOUT THE FOURTH OF JULY!!! Holy cow, I'm a terrible American. I must be turning more paraguayan than I thought! I think it's the lack of Dr. Pepper and curly fries. What's something SUPER american that I can cook for my companion? OH! I think I still have a packet of beef jerkey that Anthony sent me!!!

Speaking of american stuff, I met another American this week! His name is Pio Gomez, and is 82 years old. He was born here in Paraguay, but somehow ended up in the USA and served in the Marines. He was in Vietnam for 3 years! He flies planes, speaks 5 different languages, and has lots of pictures of the garden at his house in Texas. His wife died of pancreatic cancer 7-8 years ago, and he says that he's living in Paraguay now to find a girlfriend. On that note, he did ask me out to dinner, and I politely declined ;) I did, however, promise to visit him in Texas after I come back home to the states. For now, we have an appointment to go back on Tuesday and teach the Plan of Salvation.

In other news, it got super cold again this week, BUT I was prepared this time and drank lots of vitamin C suppliments and bundled up like crazy! I may or may not have looked like a marshmellow, but at least I was warm! The biggest challenge was keeping up our spirits in the rain. It's really hard to find new people when nobody wants to leave their house. The biggest blessing, however, is that we found a wonderful family to teach! The mom, Carolina, is paralized on one half of her body, but we were very blessed to have the help of one of the only 3 members in our ward with a car, and she and her 9-year-old son, Manuel, were able to come to church yesterday for the first time, and are very excited to come back next week! Thank you guys so much for your prayers, and keep them coming PLEASE!! I know that your guys' faith and prayers are what guides us and helps us each day find the people who are waiting to hear this message. 

As for the Garden of Eden Pattern: When Adam and Eve were created, they were happy and comfortable in the garden. They knew their way around, everything was provided for them, and they were free from tribulation until they decided to eat the forbidden fruit and were cast out into the world. They had to learn how to find their way around again, provided for themselves, and deal with their tribulations. This sets up the pattern of life. For example, in the mission, I went to the MTC and had to learn my way around, learn how to interact with my companion, be away from you guys, etc, and it was HARD, but after a few weeks I got it down pat and was comfortable. I felt that it was my "Garden of Eden". However, I was eventually "cast out" into the mission field. I had to learn my way around again, meet new people, learn the language, etc, until after a few months when I got comfortable again. Once more, I was "cast out" into a new area to learn and progress, and so it continues until the end of the mission when (I hope) I will be comfortable with all of the missionary responsabilities and way of life, and will be "cast out" of the mission. This proccess continues all of our lives. "Cast out" into parenthood, into a new job, into studying at new school, and so on. The key is trusting in Heavenly Father and learning to progress with each stage. If we stayed in one spot were we are comfortable and knew everything, this progression would be impossible. Heavenly Father provides this pattern to help us grow and become more like him, and as we endure to the end, we will be "cast out" of this life to continue in the next. 

I love you guys! I still want to see pictures of how the bathroom is coming along! I think I'm going to print off some of the pictures I've been taking and send them in a letter. Pray that it actually gets to the house! 

Siempre orando y pensando en ustedes,
Hermana Jeppesen

Monday, June 23, 2014

Still no pics and a rough area!

I'm starting to wonder if my camera got a virus, and because of that I can't open any of the folders when I plug into the computer... That sucks.... Is there anything I can do for that, or is all hope lost?

This week was super crazy with the weather... again. And I got sick... again. BUT! after a few vitamin C suppliments and eucaliptus tea for the last few nights, plus A LOT of decongestant, I'm feeling a lot better! Plus, yesterday one of the members had me swallow a spoonful of honey with lemon and oil from this south american animal that looks a lot like a beaver but without the big tail (I forget what the animal is called...). It's supposed to be good for coughs, but honestly, it didn't seem to do very much. It's starting to get a little rediculous all of the things that I'm consuming here in Paraguay.

To be completely honest with you guys, my comp and I are in a rough spot. We don't have a single investigator who is progressing towards baptism right now. We are super diligent in contacting and teaching new people, but after the first lesson nobody seems to want to let us in again. They either hide in their houses and pretend they aren't home or they have incredibly long lists of excuses for why they just don't have time to meet with us. So this morning, Hna Aguilar and I made goals on how we are going to ask EVERYONE for references of who we can visit, and that way have a better chance of finding people who are interested and willing to progress and keep their committments. Also, we really want to do more to serve the members of the ward, but the people here aren't really that receptive to letting us in their homes and do service with them. Tomorrow we are going to go visit the bishop in his home and ask him for ideas of who and how we can serve. It would be incredibly helpful too if you guys could pray for us to help us find more people and that we can have progressing investigators, and especially that they can come to church on Sunday. Thank you for the prayers that you have already been sending our way, and know that Heavenly Father is listening and constantly helping us.

So how are the missionaries in Elmwood Ward? Do you guys still have Elders there, or Sisters? Do you guys get to help them out much? Please tell everyone in the ward that I say HI! Also, how are Grandma and Grandpa Jeppesen? Please tell them that I say hi too and that I love them very very much.

OH HEY! Were you going to send me a package anytime soon, because... well... I need more socks again. They're just so tiny and they keep getting lost or worn out!!! Also, maple syrup... or maple extract to make syrup... Holy cow, I've had this craving for MONTHS now. 

Ok. I love you guys. I miss you all a lot but I'm trying my best to do you all proud and be the best missionary that I can be for my Heavenly Father. Thank you all for your love and support!

Con amor,
Hermana Jeppesen

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Missed it Monday, but got it on Tuesday!

So yesterday was a bit crazy, and I wrote a whole email for you guys, but by the time I tried to send it, the internet in the cyber we were using competely failed us and we couldn't send anything. BUT our leaders love us! and they gave us permission to use the internet today after our district meeting to write our families again. Thanks for the prayers, because it seems like Heavenly Father is listening and let us try again!  Here's the letter that I wrote yesterday:

Hey Momma!

Sounds like you guys had an awesome week! Was How to Train Your Dragon super epic like the previews seemed? Also, you are officially obligated to take me to Georges when I get back....

Yes, there is more available in the city, but only when we actually have time to go look (P-days!). I still can't find maple syrup though *sob*. Also, I was planning on asking you how your new calling is going! That's awesome that you could find 2 more souls to save, and I'm sure you'll find lots more who are waiting. Plus, are you guys working with the missionaries to teach family history to recent converts? Because that would be totally awesome and a great help to them (cough hint cough chough) ;D

Oh my crud I still can't send photos!! Sorry, small moment of frustration. I WILL FIGURE THIS OUT!!!!

Anywho, this week we had a pretty awesome zone conference where we learned all about avoiding paradigms, working more with the members, how to ask people for food, not to flirt with elders, etc. It was pretty legit. We are now taking the ward directory with us when we make contacts to search out ALL of the members in the ward that we don't know. So far, we found out that one person moved away and nobody has ever heard of the other people. But, hey! diligence is a Christlike attribute that we are trying to develop, so the search continues!

The weather, as always, can't make up its mind. One day is warm and we're sweating, and the very next day is cold and we have to bundle up. Yes, we are staying warm, so don't worry about that. We just have to start walking for a bit and we're fine. As for the people, the city seems to be a little bit trickier. People are working a lot more and aren't always home, or they're busy doing something else and don't have time. The good thing is that they don't run and hide in their houses like out in the country! Also, we don't have to go as far to get to all of our appointments. I will admit that I miss the green landscape a lot, but at least here I know that the water is clean and didn't come out of a dirty well.

So I'm starting to think that I might never again be able to email you guys photos. By the time I finally find a computer that will accept my camera, I might spend the entire hour sending pics and not write anything. I hope you guys are ok with that when the day finally comes!

The Book of Mormon challenge that you're doing seems really great! Probably the best advice I've recieved when it comes to reading the scriptures is read for AT LEAST half an hour or more, enough time to get sucked in, to understand, and to not feel rushed, and you'll really start to build up a love for the scriptures. Now I'm at the point where 1 hour of personal study isn't enough and I want to keep reading!

I love you guys, and I hope that everything continues to go well. Enjoy the summer, especially going swimming and the hiking trips, just for me! And thank you for thinking of me in church, Momma. I love being able to share with the people here everyday the things that you and Dad taught me all my life and the examples that you've been for me. I really hope that I'm doing you guys proud out here!

Con todo mi amor,
Hermana Jeppesen

Monday, June 9, 2014


First things first....




Holy cow, I am so sad to leave Ypacaraí! That area really became home to me in my 3 transfers there, and I feel like I'm being kicked out of my Garden of Eden all over again. (I shared with you guys the Garden of Eden Pattern, right? If not, let me know, and I'll right all about it next week) It's such a beautiful little town, and I am really going to miss all of the people that I grew to love, but I know that the Lord has other things in store for me.

Which brings us to... Villa Anita! I'm back in the city, baby! It's actually really close to my first area in the city Ñemby, and it is probably the complete opposite of tranquilo-pa Ypacaraí. Lots of trafic. Lots of people. Lots of businesses. Lots of noise. The super awesome part is that it's not as GIGANTIC as my last area and we don't have to hop on a bus to contact on the other end. 

My new companion is Hna Aguilar from Guatemala. I have officially transitioned to SPANISH SPEAKING ONLY mode, because in our entire district, only one elder and I speak English. I'm very grateful that the Lord trusts me enough to put my language skills to the test! I even gave a talk in the ward yesterday, and I think it went pretty well! Anyways, I got distracted.... Hna Aguilar is 22 years old, and although she just barely finished her training, is SUPER dedicated to the work and an incredible teacher. Dang, this girl KNOWS her Bible! She is way more serious-natured than other companions that I've had, but once she opens up and is in a good mood, she has a really great dry sense of humor. I know I'm going to learn a lot from her about organization and punctuality, which I need a refresher on after 4 1/2 months in the super relaxed country, and a lot about strict obedience in the small things like starting our studies EXACTLY at 8am, leaving the house right on time, etc. I'm really excited to learn and grow in this new phase of my mission. I know there is somebody here in Villa Anita waiting for me!!!

In other news, we must have missed the rain storm in Ypacaraí, because it didn't rain that hard out there and I didn't here anything about flooding. Thanks for the update on that! I'll make sure to pray for the people in Asunción who got evacuated. The weather here can be SUPER crazy. Saturday and Sunday were freezing cold, Monday and Tuesday we sweated like pigs, and now it's cooling off again. Honestly, I do not and never will understand this climate.

Btw, did I tell you guys that I ate rabbit the other day? I can't remember if I told you or not... it was super yummy! Oh, and Noelle is going to be super happy because... I FINALLY ATE ARMADILLO. It is single-handedly the most disgusting meat I have ever eaten, worse than the liver and the blood-sausage. Honestly, it tasted like rotten dirt. Did you know that armadillos have hair? Because I didn't until I was picking the thick, black fibers out of my lunch yesterday. NEVER, EVER accept a meal of armadillo from anybody. (and no, Noelle, I did not get rabies.... yet. Was it rabies that people can get from armadillos, or another disease?)

Anywho, I love the pictures that you sent me of the crafts you guys are doing. That schedule you guys have for the week is pretty genius! And Mom, that's why Sunday is a day of rest, right? It just means that you're having an awesome, productive week! OH! and PLEASE send me pictures of the bathroom, I am super curious to see what it looks like!

Also, Hayden would be an awesome blood-sucking vampire. Get on that, dude. You have my FULL suport. Plus, the ladies LOVE a guy in scrubs ;)

I love you guys and think about you lots. I hope this longer email makes up for all the other crappy ones. If I had time, I would send everybody individual letters, but unfortunately that is NOT going to happen while I'm here. Please be safe, and send me lots of pictures of the summer fun-time awesomeness going on!

Con todo mi amor,
Hermana Jeppesen

P.S. Still can't send photos for some reason. I'm sorry!!

Monday, June 2, 2014


Hey momma!

This week we had 2 more baptisms! We met the Castillo family at the beginning of the month, and they accepted the Gospel right away. They had just moved into our area right in front of a members house, and the wife, Blanca, told them that she was looking for a church to attend, since she had never really gone to a church regularly before. THAT day, Hna Esobar and I changed the plans that we had made the night before to visit that part of our area. We had absolutely no idea that a new family had moved in, and as we were walking by, Hna Patiño, the wife of the family of members, flagged us down and introduced us. We were flabbergasted and extremely humbled to see the hand of the Lord guiding this family to the true church. Now they are married and baptised! They were so incredibly happy in the church on Sunday, too. I am so grateful to see that this really is the Lord's work, and he is preparing people for us to find. 

This week about half of the missionaries (including me) got sick from the sudden change in weather. The beginning of the week was rainny and cold, and then the rest of the week was just plain cold. Did I mention that it rained most of the morning of the baptism on Saturday? But despite the decline in health, we trecked along, happy as always, doing our best to find more of the chosen and prepared! 

I know I've been sending a streak of short emails, and I'm sorry! I think I'm just taking to much time to read everything. I love hearing from you guys! I'm glad everyone had such a fun time at camp, and your project in the bathroom is just about done. I love you guys, and make sure to enjoy the sunshine!

I most definitely will repent next week and send LOTS of pictures and a super long email (probably from a new area, since we have transfers this week!)

Lots of love from your distant missionary daughter,
Hermana Jeppesen

P.S. Please tell Dad that I FINALLY had a dream in Spanish about two nights ago for the first time. CRAZY!!!!