Hey Momma! I'm glad to see that everything is going so well with your new job! I hope you know that I'm so proud of you and the whole family. I may or may not talk about you guys all the time ;)
I'll be honest, this last week was a rough one. Divisions have been wearing us down to the bone. I absolutely LOVE doing them and getting to help all of the sisters with the work in their areas, and not to mention the awesome Peruvian food that Hna Martinez always makes for us when we go to Ca'aguazú, but the traveling and the energy it takes to pump up the other sisters is difficult when we don't have someone to pump US up too.
We were so exhausted this week that it started to show a little bit in our work. Our best investigator that was going to get baptized this week started having doubts about why she wants to get baptised. On Saturday night she was all for it and super excited, when she wasn't in church on Sunday, we started realizing that something was up. So we decided to actually pay for a taxi to go get her and bring her to sacrament meeting. When we got to her house, she didn't want to come and said that she wasn't sure if she still wanted to get baptized! I was so mad!!! Taxis are not cheap! But we talked to her about it and realized that she had a realization that baptism is a serious covenant, and she wants to be sure that she's doing it for the right reasons and not just because she like being our friend. It's a very valid point. We explained the importance of personal revelation, and committed her to keep praying and reading in the Book of Mormon. Please pray for Fabiola that she'll receive an answer through the Spirit!
Anyways, all of that put us in a bad mood yesterday, and we may or may not have had to call a few elders last night for snapping at them during church. I won't go into details, but it was a very humbling moment to see that a lot of the problems that we've been having and have brought about a lot of stressed this transfer are things that we caused ourselves. Isn't it interesting how God shows us our weaknesses so that we can make them strong? I got shown a LOT of weaknesses this week. But don't worry! Hna Jorgensen and I have a good list of goals going that will help us a ton!
Anywho, that's what's going on in Paraguay. I'm totally trunky to the maxity-max (which is kind of Hna Jorgensen's fault for teasing me a bunch) BUT we are working like crazy and doing our best to enjoy the time that we have.
As for a homecoming party.. do you mind waiting a week? It might be a little overwhelming, and I kind of just want to be with you guys for a bit. I am so excited to see my family again for the first time in a year and a half :) A family party, however, is highly encouraged. All aunts, uncles, and grandparents are invited that first weekend I get back. MAN I WOULD LOVE THAT SO MUCH!
Have you made any plans with the stake president for my release? That's kind of important too....
Love you guys!!!!
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Sunday, January 25, 2015
HOLY CRUD I HAVE MY FLIGHT INFO!!!! It's kind of hard to believe that I'll actually be going home soon! Honestly, I don't know if I fully believe it yet.....
This week was pretty normal. The bad news is.... my camera lens broke. I'm going to look around and see if there's a place that can fix it up a little. The good news is that my comp is always taking a ton of pics, so I'll just have to steal a ton from her.
This week we went to Coronel Oviedo again to teach in their Zone Conference. It was even funner the second time! The best part was getting to practice making a bed and ironing a shirt... because apparently some of these elders have to learn.
Other than that.... well, we just worked!! It was pretty normal. I think Hna Jorgensen had some crazy stuff happen involving taking someone to the hospital because her c-section wound was open and infected, but we were on divisions with Ypacaraí, so I wasn't involved in that. The craziest thing that happened to me was a guy ripping into me for being American and is convinced that I am personally involved in/responsible for the political dominion that the US apparently has on all of South America. Yup. I just smiled and invited him to church :)
More good news! I got permission to call the bank and I got everything worked out with my card. I even had a really sweet moment when the lady on the other end of the call thanked me for my service as a missionary and for blessing the lives of so many people. It just made my whole day! And, thanks to her, I can now start stocking up on souvenirs ;D
That's honestly all that really happened this week. Please keep us in your prayers that we can keep having success and finding more people who need to hear this message!!
Con MUCHO amor de la misionera que no puede esperar hasta que vea su familia,
Monday, January 12, 2015
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM, DAD, AND NOELLE! I always loved "Birth-week". Make sure to eat LOTS AND LOTS of cake for me!!!
Mom: I love you so much. I don't know how on earth I would get through life without your advice, love, support, and comfort when things don´t go as I planned. I love that I can consider you one of my closest friends here on this earth. Happy Birthday <3
Noelle: Will you just STOP GROWING?! Geez Louis, girl! Your gonna be going on dates and all that wierd stuff soon! That is just so crazy bizarre to me. I am really proud of you, though. Thank you for trusting in me when you were struggling, and for always trying to keep me updated with what's going on in your life. I love you and am super proud of the daughter of God that you are growing into. Happy Birthday!!!!
Papa Bear: Did you know that I absolutely LOVE it when you send me little bits of your testimony? I am so glad that I have you as a father to strengthen me and remind of the things that are really important, putting in the "big rocks" before the "sand". Geez, Dad. You really are an amazing example for me. Happy Birthday :)
This week was exhausting. We had to go back into Asunción on Tuesday for Zone Conference, in the which Hna Jorgensen and I got to help teach. Everyone, including Pres. and Hna Agazzani, said that we did really well, so.... that's good! Because we have to do it all over again in Coronel Oviedo for THEIR Zone Conference tomorrow!! By the way, did I tell you guys that I got your package the week before? Thank you so much! It really did make my Christmas.... although it's already January.
Anywho, the next day we had to get up early again to head out and do divisions with the sisters in Coronel Oviedo and the next day in Villarrica. It's actually kind of ridiculous how much we really are traveling. We finally got to our area on Friday, worked our butts off, and then had an AWESOME baptism on Saturday! Two girls that we've been working with for a little while were baptised with 2 other of the elders' investigators. The next day is where the adventure really begins, however. It was 45 minutes until the start of sacrament meeting and their confirmation, and they were still pretty far away and had no possibility of making it on time. Hna Jorgensen and I thought, "Nope, we're going for them. They HAVE to get confirmed today!" So we managed to get an incredible couple, the Chapparro family, to take us to their house in their half broken down truck to pick them up. We got the girls, hopped back in, and......... the truck wasn't starting. Hermano Chapparro and I got out and started pushing to try to get a rolling start. Once we were moving I jumped in and just started praying that God would send us angels to push us to the church building. Just as I ended the prayer, the car started!! We chugged and chugged and chugged up the hill, and the very second that we pulled into the parking lot, the car died again. NO JOKE! We barely made it! Ugh, I wish I could tell you guys this story in person, because it really was a miracle, and the two sister were able to get confirmed and recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Btw, I'm going to see you guys in exactly 1 month from today. I'll make sure to tell you the story in it's full glory then :)
I love you guys SOOOOO much, and I am so incredibly excited to see you all soon.
Divisions in Villarrica
BAPTISM!!! Irene, 11, on the left, Luna, 13, on the right
Monday, January 5, 2015
Yay for school starting again! I'm sure everyone is super excited, right?? And can we please go hiking/camping/adventuring when I get home? That would make me super happy. I'm starting a "trunky list" of things that I want to do when I get home..... which may or may not be a good idea.
And, Mom, you are going to do such a great job teaching the Relief Society this Sunday! If you can teach a crazy class of little kids, you can teach a bunch of cute ladies, no big. As for putting the Lord first, I don't think it really was much of a difficult decision. It just kind of made sense to leave everything behind for a year and a half to go serve the Lord. Obviously I miss you guys a ton, and I have no idea what's going to happen when I get back as far as a job, my studies, etc., but I have honestly never felt so happy as I feel here on the mission. Also, I have seen the blessing that come as people put the Lord first and keep God's commandments, as well as what happens when they DON'T keep the commandments. There is a sense of peace and joy when we know that what we are doing is in line with what God wants of us. WE ARE ALWAYS IN HIS DEBT.
Sorry if I'm kind of rambly, there is a sea of missionaries in the cyber with me and it's kind of difficult to concentrate....
This week was a blastity-blast.
Monday: TRANSFERS. Hna Jorgensen just straight up rocks. I have no words to describe her. Just..... no words. Also, I told Eld Lyon that his mom commented on my letters that you post online. We got a pretty good laugh out of the thought that our moms are friends. :) I guess more people than I thought are reading these letters. On that note: HI HNA JORGENSEN'S DAD!!!
Tuesday: The Kellers (the missionary couple here with us) picked us up to go have dinner with the German branch president and his family, and we may have gotten side tracked and did some off-roading to try and find a short-cut. Hna JorgensenLOVES our German friends.
Wednesday: We walked FOR EVER to get the house of the RUSSIAN couple that lives in our branch. They speak little to no Spanish, and absolutely nothing in English. Communicating is way fun with them. Their house is way way way in the back of our area, and it's kind of what I imagine the Garden of Eden would look like. They grow grapes, mango, papaya, avacado, grapefruit, banana, and who knows what else, and dehydrate most of it to use throughout the year. They are the most self-sufficient people I have ever met. I think Dad would absolutely LOVE to get a look around!! Also, that night we had to go home an hour early to avoid all the crazy drunk drivers. Happy New Year! DON'T WORRY, MOM, I'M SAFE!!
Thursday: My comp and I literally had to STUFF ourselves into a bus full of people to get to Asunción. I sincerely wish I could get a picture of what the buses are like here, but I would get robbed in a heartbeat. Think can of sardines.... and then add more sardines. We spent the night with Hna Boley and Hna Cheney because bright and early in the morning we had.....
Friday: LEADERSHIP COUNCIL! The mission is more or less changing its focus from BAPTISE BAPTISE BAPTISE to baptise, retain, and reactivate by getting away from the door to door contacting that we do everyday and depending more on references from the members, whether they be less active, active, etc. Honestly, it's the way things really should be, and it's so obvious, but it's something that we tend to forget sometimes. Tomorrow we get to teach all of what we learned to the rest of the mission in our Zone Conference. Wish me luck!!
Saturday: We went to the elders' baptism, and then worked like crazy.
Sunday: While trying to get Irene and Luna to church, we waited for 2 hours for somebody to get home to watch the house and then ran (or at least walked REALLY FAST) to get to sacrament meeting in time. When we got there... SURPRISE! Pres. Agazzani and his wife were there visiting the branch! Presidente just kind of does what he wants, I guess.... The nice part is that we got to introduce him to these two girls (who, btw, are getting baptised this Saturday!!!!)
Today: We stood in line for an hour and a half to pay our rent at the back. We rewarded ourselves with Burger King afterward.
This was my super crazy week. I only have 5 more until I get to see you guys again..... not that I'm trunky or anything....
I love you all so much. Please keep me in your prayers,