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!!!!


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!


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!


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!

Hermana Jeppesen