Monday, January 27, 2014

Half Way Through Training

January 27, 2014


So guess what? I made it through my first six weeks in Paraguay, which means transfers are this week.  Training is 12 weeks so I´m actually at my half way point! Woohoo!! Which means, I have six more weeks of training.  I don´t think either I or Hermana Casey are getting transferred this week because of training and there aren´t a lot of hermanas coming this transfer apparently.  Probably because it was around Christmas time.  But you never know Hermana Casey had 2 trainers.  My area is a barrio called Pinozá it´s next to Herrera which is the barrio where the mission home is.  

So something you see in Paraguay that you don´t see in America.  Babies...on motorcycles.  One of our investigadores gets on the back of her brother´s motorcycle holding her new born baby! AHH!! Basically it´s like whatever here.  Everyone is so tranquilo paz. 

Last Monday we had our District activity.  It was fun. We went to Pizza Hut (Yes they have Pizza Hut even here). We did that and found a little place to rent bikes so we rode bikes around for a bit and that was fun and different.  Most missionaries just ride bikes normally I guess, so that was weird to think about.  This week also we had the Reunion for the new missionaries.  Basically it´s to see how we are adjusting, and for the trainers to get advice.  Also we had to take a test. 

One thing exciting that happened was my companion took a drunk guys alcohol.  There is this bum that just sits in the street close to the church and one day we walked by and he spoke to us and said he wanted to change.  Hermana Casey stopped and asked him if really wanted to and he said yes but he couldn´t and so she said, "You can, but you have to come to church and give me your alcohol¨" And then he said, "No I can´t my body needs it and I don´t have clothes¨". The guy that lived close by (everyone just chills outside in front of their houses) offered to let him borrow clothes and give him water and then after much coaxing he surrendered the alcohol and we gave him three of our pamphlets. Needless to say he didn´t come to church, but it was pretty funny that the neighbors got involved in it and I thought it was really awesome for that man to offer his help.  The people of Paraguay are very giving and kind.

We had divisions this week too so it was fun to be with a different Hermana for the day. Hermana Whitmire is from Utah and she has ten months in the mission and her Spanish is so good! She speaks so fast! 

The biggest thing I learned this week was that the Lord answers our prayers, sometimes though, it´s in the strangest ways.  Last week we fasted that we could have more faith and success in our area.  We were working with an old investigator and we really thought she was going to get baptized.  The zone leaders called and asked us to do a zone fast.  We complained a little because we had just fasted the day before, but they said that if you want to have baptism on Saturday you will fast.  Well our investigator didn´t come to church last week and we were bummed and confused because we had been obidiente, but we were positive and thought that maybe it was so that the other missionaries in our zone would have baptisms. But...Saturday rolled around and we had a baptism! The strangest thing happened this week. We found one of the members in the ward, his baptismal date in the church just disappeared, and he had the priesthood and was endowed and everything.  There was much searching done and he didn´t even exist in the records anywhere.  He was baptized in Bolivia so who knows what happened, but he was just a good example to me because throughout this whole process he was humble and patient, and it was an awesome thing to be a part of.  I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost and all of the members told me afterward how fast I was learning and how good it was, and I didn´t even write it out or anything!! 

I love how the Lord is always keeping me on my toes, week to week I never know what he is going to throw at me, but it´s exciting and I love the challenges and the things that I´m learning about myself. 

Have a wonderful week!

Hermana Lindsay

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mosquitoes Think I'm Dessert

January 20, 2014


Primer, ¡Feliz cumpleaños a mi sobrina favorita! Can´t believe she is already three! She is so funny and she sounds so grow up from all the stories you tell. 

I can´t believe another week as come and gone.  I´ve already been in Paraguay for a month! ¡Loco es!  But I love it here, even though it´s really, really hot and the mosquitoes think I´m dessert, and even when it seems like we aren´t having much success.

This week was kind of hard on Hermana Casey and I.  We wanted to have a baptism by the 25th, but our investigator didn´t come to church so her date fell.  We were really bummed, and it didn´t help that all the other elders in our district each had like 6 investigators at church, but we learned something.  One is patience, and you all know I´m not a patient person.  Well the Lord is still testing it.  The other thing we learned is about comparing ourselves to others, because a mission isn´t about the numbers. You are a successful missionary if you are working your hardest and doing all that the Lord wants you to, and we actually did have some success this week.  This week the Gomez family came to church for the second time! They are a menos activos family we´ve been visiting.  And they are awesome!

There are actually a lot of less actives here.  Retention is really hard, but the miembros here are great and always so willing to help.  And feed us too! Yesterday we were at a members´ and they fed us and it was good.  I was full, but not uncomfortable, but then they pulled out half of a huge watermelon and were like, "Ok eat it all." And my companion and I just looked at each other like "What?" So, needless to say, I´m not a huge fan of watermelon at the moment ;) I also never thought Lindsay was a hard name to pronounce until a got to Paraguay. Lind sigh is how they want to pronounce it and they are afraid of pronouncing it wrong so they are always asking me how to say it.  It´s fun. 

Most of the people who we wanted to visit are super busy.  Rosana is the one married to the José who lived with a Mormon family and she is in the middle of writing a thesis for school.  Karen is really busy too, but she told us this last time she canceled that she was really bummed because she´s been wanting to talk with us, and then Cecily, who is our English speaker.  She got back from traveling and we taught her again, but then her husband was coming home and he hates religion so she said we couldn´t meet with her for another 2 weeks!  So you can see why we might get discouraged, but I know the Lord has plans for each one of them and for us too and I know it´s all going to work out for the better.  

I love this work so much and I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer.  I know that this is his restored church and that through Christ´s authority we can be baptized and sealed to our families for eternity! I love this gospel and I love all of you! Have a wonderful week. 

Hermana Lindsay

Monday, January 13, 2014

Fruit Trees Everywhere

January 13, 2014


Another week has come and gone.  I´m on the 5th week of training.  We study a lot.  We don´t leave our apartment until like 12 because we have to study so much.  4 hours a day! My training ends in like 7 weeks and after that we only study for 2 and a half hours a day.  Which I will like better I think.  

So I feel like I don´t ever say much about Paraguay so here are some random things I thought of to tell you throughout the week.  There are a ton of fruit trees here.  Mangos and lemons, and bananas and limes.  Everywhere! Even in here in the city.  Actually there are just a ton of trees in general here.  There was a really pretty sunset here the other day and it made me think Dad.  He could get some pretty cool pictures here.  

When it rains here it really comes down and the roads turn into rivers! I´ve gotten a lot of use out of that little rain jacket I have.  I said at Christmas that everyone drinks out of the same cups.  And they all drink Mate and Terere.  Which are the same thing but Mate is hot and Terere is cold.  Other things they eat a lot of is meat and pasta and rice.  The venders all sell empanadas. Which are pretty good.  They also have Sopa here. Which is kind of like a corn bread but i think it has more flavor and it´s pretty good.  And then Chipa which I really like.  It´s a type of bread too made from corn flour.  It´s interesting they have some similar brands here but they are different things. Like Alfajores! Alfajores are actually more of an Argentina thing but they do have them in Paraguay too.  They are basically like a oreo covered in chocolate. But they have a ton of different kinds. Some are more wafer like and some are more brownie like.  

Yesterday was kind of sad because none of our investigadores came to church.  But we do have some awesome people that we found we just have to go work with them. Rebeca, might of come to church but she has a baby that is three weeks old.  Actually she had her baby like the day before we met here.  Her little sister lives with her during the week and helps out and they read the Book of Mormon together.  But she has a lot of doubts.  

The one contact we had this week was kind of fun.  We wanted to go back and meet with an older lady we had taught before and her husband came out and told us no and so since we were in the area we decided to try some doors.  There was one with bikes in the front and Hermana Casey was like, "I like bikes" and rang the bell.  The guy came out to us shook our hands and invited us in.  It turns out that he had lived in Texas for year for a culturally experience, with a Mormon family! He talked about how beautiful he thought our beliefs were. He had a triple too! He got us juice and then introduced us to his wife.  And then he turned to her and said, "You know we are only married until we die, when they get married they get married forever." And then he told us we had to come teach his wife about that.  They were about to leave so we said we would stop by later.  Afterwards Hermana Casey and I just looked at each other and like what just happened?

It is so interesting to see how the Lord works with you.  And how he leads you to the people he is preparing.  I love this work! My Spanish really is getting better every day.  I still don´t feel completely adequate yet in it but I´m determined and my faith is high! 

Hope you all have a good week!! 

Hermana Lindsay

P.S. Mom, yes my feet feel better. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

You know you´re in Paraguay when...

January 6, 2014

¡Feliz año neuvo!
I´m really glad it´s the new year actually! My companion and I were talking about new year´s resolutions and how they are going to be different for us since we are on a mission.  But I´m really excited about this year, because I get to dedicate all of 2014 to the Lord and I couldn´t think of a better way to spend my year. 
They do celebrate New Year´s here.  Honestly from Christmas ‘til about now it´s like one big party.  There were fireworks but not as many as there were for Christmas, or least I had an easier time sleeping through them, I´m not sure.  But we should start having more success now that people are all done traveling for the holidays.  It seemed like everyone was gone or leaving whenever we would meet with people. 
So Hermana Casey decided we needed to write a book of, "You know you´re in Paraguay when..." or it´s sister "You know you´re a missionary when..." The one I liked for this week was, "You know you´re in Paraguay when you are riding the collectivo (city bus) and a see a little girl throw up on the floor and her mother just leaves it and gets off." Yup that really happened.  Note to self, never eat off the collectivo floors. Or, "You know you´re a missionary when you eat what´s put in front of you without questioning what it is or how it was cooked."  We haven´t eaten anything too weird, but there have been a couple of times where the members will pull meat out of the fridge and it´s cold and tastes funny, and they don´t really refrigerate chicken that´s fun :)
None of our investigators came to church on Sunday so that was pretty disappointing.  We had high hopes.  However we did get the Gomez family to come to church, they have been inactive, that that was really happy to see them there.  One thing that´s different about church here is the music, and by that I mean the hymns are the same, but they have a couple of members who can play the hymns simplified and basically everyone is tone deaf.  But it just makes me smile, because they are not too afraid to sing loud and proud and the hymns bring the spirit.  That´s actually one thing Hermana Casey and I have been doing in our lessons is starting with a hymn.  It really does make a difference, because hymns are like prayers.
So we found this really awesome lady this week.  She has a young family, two boys, a three year old and a five year old.  Her husband didn´t listen to our lesson this week, but we hope he will next week.  Anyways her name is Karen and she was telling us that she had this huge desire to learn more about and study the bible.  She´s catholic, but she said that she´s learned about different religions because she has this hunger for more and to that we gave her the Book of Mormon and promised her that this is what she´s been looking for.  We definitely are praying to see her and her family progress in the Gospel. 
One thing that I´ve learned this week is to put all my faith in the Lord.  I was having problems with my feet over the past couple of weeks.  I probably received about a total of 10 blisters. I received a blessing, but one of them just got worse and it was hard to walk. But the other day I had this change of attitude, I realized that I wasn´t completely trusting the Lord and I was thinking very selfishly about not just my feet but about everything, about learning the language and other things too.  So I decided to forget all that and really just concentrate on what the Lord wanted me to do and what He needed from me and you know what, my feet haven´t been bothering me since and the blisters are almost all healed!  It´s our spiritual well being that needs to be mended before the physically and that´s exactly how the Savior healed the sick during his life time, he always forgave them of their sins first. 
Anyways, love you all! All is well with me!
Make good metas (goals) for the New Year!
Hermana Lindsay