Monday, September 29, 2014

It Looked Easy Enough

September 29, 2014

It´s Monday again!! Today is some sort of holiday so everyone else in Paraguay has the day off too.  So, we got a call from this guy who is a member and his mom lives in our area and because she has the day off he wanted us to come share with her so we are going to go eat lunch with them!! And then I´m not sure what else we will do, probably a little bit of shopping.  We were going to have our district activity today, but as we are sitting here we got a call from our district leader and because it´s the end of the month, they literally don´t have any money left, although they never seem to have any money, but we will have our activity next week.
So mom, I had quite the laugh at the pictures you sent. Well the one of the cat in particular.  Ha ha, I think there was a little bit of miscommunication on my part.  When I asked for a picture of a cat I didn´t mean MY cat, but ME as a cat, like form the musical we did at MTI.  I was trying to explain what I looked like to Hermana Thacker and she wanted to see a picture.  So, when you sent me the picture of our cat, I couldn´t help but giggle.  Ha ha, but I guess it´s cool to see the cat too, all though there are tons of black cats here that look just like it.  And Paraguayans are very superstitious.  Fun fact about cats here, they call them all Michy.  I don´t really know why, it´s supposed to be like meow or something, but all cats respond to that here. 
This week was pretty good.  We are finding a lot of part member families in our area.  These are like surprise members, people that were baptized in a different part of Paraguay and moved here that we didn’t know about, so it´s be fun to start working with all of them.  A lot of them have kids and spouses that aren´t members.  We are really excited for General Conference, because the sessions are later in the day here and people are always more willing to come out in the afternoon. 
We had a funny moment yesterday.  We brought a boy from a less active family to church.  His name is Alan and he is 10 and he loves church, but his mom never wants to bring him, so whenever we are in the area we pass by for him.  We decided to take a colectivo to church because we were running late.  So, children under 12 are free, but if there is a turn style they have to go underneath it so it doesn´t count them.  Well Alan apparently doesn´t ride in colectivos very often, because he didn´t go under, even after the driver said and I said to several times.  Anyways, so the driver wanted to charge me because he didn´t go under, but I didn´t want to pay so I just told him I would go under.  The people who get on to sell stuff do it all the time and it looked easy enough to me.   For some reason I had a difficult time and I basically ended up Army crawling underneath.  Everyone on the bus had a good laugh at that.  My companion was embarrassed though, ha ha, it´s kind of a funny story now. 
Anyways that´s basically all from me, but I´d like to share a little bit from Preach My Gospel since conference is this weekend.
"Christ´s church is built on the foundation of apostles and prophets, who direct the church by revelation... We are to prepare ourselves so that when the prophets and apostles speak, the Holy Ghost can confirm the truths they teach and we can then determine to follow the counsel they give us... The teachings of living prophets provide an anchor of eternal truth in a world of shifting values and help us avoid misery and sorrow.  The confusion and strife of the world will not overwhelm us, and we can enjoy the assurance of being in harmony with God´s will." (Preach My Gospel, pg. 75).
I know that´s true, I know that the standards of the world are different than God´s standards,  and that´s why we have a living prophet, because God loves us so much that he wants to help us foresee the dangers of living up to the world´s standards.  I know that President Monson and all the apostles are men inspired of God, and if we follow their counsel we will be safe and happy.  I love this Gospel.  I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I love His church, I´m so excited to be spiritually uplifted this weekend and I hope everyone can prepare to listen to a prophet of the Lord. 
All is well!
Hermana Amy Lindsay

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's Spring

September 22, 2014

Ok well it´s not spring for your there, but it is here. Actually, they just say it´s spring and put decorations up in all the stores, but their trees are in bloom, basically all year round so I don´t think they actually know what spring is.  The winter here was actually not too bad.  There were only a couple of days where I got super, super cold, but mostly it would switch back and forth from hot and cold, the weather here is kind of bipolar. It´s all good, but I think it´s getting time for sunscreen and bug spray again.  I got a little burned yesterday and I have several new bug bites. 
This week we had a conference in the offices with President, it´s always fun to go back to Asunci√≥n and I got to see Hermana Kimball so that was fun for me.  Since she is a sister leader trainer she gets to do divisions a lot and so she had stories for me of Pinoz√°. It was fun to hear how my old area was doing.  We had a good conference and focused a lot on President Uchtdorf´s last talk on gratitude.  I really suggest reading it again, I´ve learned a lot from that talk and I´ve been trying to be more grateful.  I´m actually noticing the work is easier and I´m happier when I think with that kind of attitude. Sounds obvious I know, but really it´s easier said than done, but I think that´s why I love the mission so much, because I´m learning to do a lot of things that are easier said than done. 
We were kind of disappointed to receive a text from Mariano yesterday that he couldn´t come to church.  He´s still progressing, but we had to push his baptism back because of it, but it ended up being for the better because we still have a lot we want to teach him and he´s still working on quitting smoking.  He went from smoking 40 cigarettes in a day to 5!! I would call that progress!!  He´s funny, he talks about all the time how healthy he´s getting and he looks a thousand times better from when I met him the first time.  He just seems happier!  And that´s why I love the gospel and why I love being able to share it every day, because of that change in people.  The gospel changes people and the atonement is for everyone!!
We had our investigator Cintia come to church and it was the Primary Program.  The kids did a really good job.  They do it a little differently here, only the older kids had parts, but they all sang and it was really cute.  Little kids are little kids no matter where you go!
That´s basically all I can remember from this week, I´m sure I´ll walk away and hit myself because I forgot such and such, but I hope all is well with everyone at home!  Happy Fall!!
Hermana Amy Lindsay

Monday, September 15, 2014

Birthday Party!

September 15, 2014
¡¡Hola !!
So this week was really good.  I felt like we worked really hard and we taught a lot.  My birthday was really good.  We had a district meeting and it was one of the elder´s birthdays too, so Hermana Thacker made brownies and brought them to everyone.  Then we just taught and found people all day long!! I was very pleased with the day actually, but all day long it didn´t really feel like my birthday just another day.  Some investigators sang to me at the end of the day, in English, I was pretty happy with that, but then our Ward Mission Leader called us and my companion handed me the phone and he sang happy birthday to me too.  It was really sweet and it reminded me of when Grandma and Grandpa call me to sing to me. 
When we got home, there were streamers hanging from all of our ceiling fans, and I knew the other hermanas had our keys because they borrow our oven all the time, so I thought it was sweet, but then I walked into our room, and Hermana Walker and Hermana Flores were hiding, waiting to surprise me and they decorated the whole room with balloons and flowers and banners.  And they even went and bought everyone lomitos and had presents for me to unwrap.  It was the sweetest thing.  So I got a cute owl necklace, a coloring book, because they know I love to color and a little key chain.  So we partied a little.  Apparently that surprise had been in the works for a while, but I didn´t suspect a thing.
Right now we are teaching a man named Mariano.  He is around 60 or something like that.  He actually found us.  He was dating Juan´s mom and he was the one who came to the church looking for help because of her drinking.  Anyways,  in the midst of the Juan´s baptism, he moved out of their house and has been trying to live a better life and two weeks ago he came to church, without anyone even inviting him! And so we are teaching him now.  He is really trying to do the right thing in his life.  He´s been through a lot, but he told us that he prayed to be guided to the right path and was guided to the church.  His baptism is scheduled for the 27th, but he has to stop smoking in the meantime, but he is working really hard to quit. It´s just a testament to me that the gospel changes lives!!
We did divisions with two of the members on Saturday to help them with their visiting teaching because they have a lot of less actives and they have no idea where they all live.  It was fun to go out with them.  And the result was one of the menos activas is an older lady and she can´t get to church by herself, so they offered to bring her every week. She was so happy to be in the church again.  She´s in her 70´s and she has been a member for around 12 years, but even when she couldn´t go to church she faithfully read her scriptures every day.  Also one of the other inactive members I´ve been working with since I´ve gotten here finally came back to church for the first time, 10 years!! She has three little kids and her five year old was already begging to come back and they only were there for sacrament meeting!  Little kids just know.  So I have a feeling they will be back the next week.  I love that family so much and it made me so happy to see them in church!!
Anyways, that´s basically all from me.  These are some pictures of the party.  The other hermanas took lots more so maybe I´ll have to steal some from them later, but that´s basically all from me.  I don´t really need anything, I don´t think. Maybe a pair of shoes.  Mine are holding up pretty well, but they are starting to get little cracks and holes.  They don´t look bad, I´m just thinking I still have 8 months to be walking around, but if worse comes to worse I could always buy a pair here. 
All is well, have a wonderful week,
Hermana Amy Lindsay

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Today is my Birthday!


So today is my birthday!! Whooo! I´m  22 which is so weird, I barely feel like I was 21, but that´s because I´ve spent most of it on my mission, but thanks for the birthday wishes.  I´m sure Hermana Thacker, the Hermanas, and I will do something to celebrate, I´m not sure just what yet. 
Juan got confirmed!!!! Our ward mission leader went by their house at like 7 in the morning to get them all and bring them to church.  We brought him with us the night before to verify and they all committed to come.  His mom was a little drunk that night, but the next day she was better and came to church! Afterward all the kids were raving and ranting at how much they loved church and the parents were saying they were going to come next week too.  I really hope they do!  They need the gospel in their lives right now.  Their change is a slow process, but I can see it happening, and it´s so exciting!  I just want them to be able to feel the spirit.  I know that they can change through the Atonement and they can be a happy eternal family.  It´s going to take a little bit of work, but it´s completely possible. 
I was really impressed though.  A family that we eat lunch with, has a little girl who is 6.  Both of her parents are return missionaries, and her mom was a convert at age 18.  Her story is really cool, she is just this power house mom.  Anyways, Constanza is the name of the little girl and after sacrament meeting she came up to the kids that were with us and asked them how old they were, took them by the hand, and took them all to their classes.  It was cute and I was so impressed!! It just shows that anyone of any age can do missionary work.  That´s what every investigator or less active needs, just someone to take their hand and make them feel comfortable, guide them to where they need to go, or invite them to sit with you.  It makes a difference, because the missionaries can do all that, but then they leave, the members are the ones that stay.  Anyways, sorry if I sound like I´m lecturing on missionary work, I´m just realizing how important it is on my mission to work with the members and afterwards I want to be the type of member that we always wanted to help us.  It´s really cool what I´ve been learning about the church and especially about myself though serving a mission.
We´ve found some really cool people that we´ve been teaching, they just have to come to church in order to progress, so we´ll see.  I´m sure I´ll have more to say the next week.  But all is well and I´m pretty content!

Have a great week!
Hermana Amy Lindsay