Monday, January 25, 2016

I am not the same as I was

Well bueno gente, here goes nothing.

It has been an adventure, I just finished crying through my final interview with President Mcmullin, and it officially just became real. It has gone by so fast, and I am grateful to everyone for their love and support.   Without it I would not have made it this far.

Now looking back, I am so glad I came. President just asked me, ¨If you had stayed home, would you have been able to invite people to be baptized and to repent and obtain their salvation?  I was  I can`t imagine my life without my mission, it has been such a blessing.  I know that it is the work of the Lord. He is in charge and I know that He is aware of the needs of every single one of us.

I had a pretty cool experience this last week, I was able to go do divisions in my first area, Marambure, and I was able to see someone that I had taught WAY back when.  Maria Lopez wasn't baptized while I was there, but a little while after.  Anyway, I was talking with her and she told me that she wasn't the same that she had been when we had found her last.  When we began to speak with her she was having a hard time because her son was in jail.  That just destroyed her, and we were able to help her get out of it a little.  Now, a year later, we went back and she said, I am not the same person that I was when you found me.  I am better stronger, and firmer.  Those words were so powerful for me, and I loved hearing them

I love being in the mission, and I have been able to learn so much.  I love this gospel, I know that it is true, and that after a long period of apostasy it was restored to the earth by Joseph Smith. I know that the Savior is all powerful, and that if we follow Him, we will be received into His presence.  I love this work.  I love it, and I have been so privileged to be able to participate in it.  I am not the same, still quirky, still weird, still imperfect, but I have been able to feel the power of the Atonement in my life.

Thank you for your love, thank you for your support, and see you in 4:)

Hermana Farish

Monday, January 18, 2016

Goodness in Everything #Godnevermakesmistakes

This week was CRAZY, we went to Itagua (about 2 hours away) on Tuesday and our PJC loop through Horqueta, Ybyjau and PJC Rama 4, getting home on Saturday morning at 10.  WHEW.

SO to be able to get to the faraway places, we have to take a cool double-decker tour bus thing, so we got on one, got settled in, and we realized we were right next to the trash can.  We were like, GREAT!!  That means that we won't even have to get up to throw things away!  Haha, it was so funny when Hna Noorda looked over after a few minutes and saw a few cockroaches...haha. We looked at each other and busted a gut and then said a VERY VERY heartfelt prayer:)

Itagua: I went with Hna Diaz, and we had a good day, with lots of contacts and we went to contact a new part of her area, and there were a ton of cool people, I am excited to see what happens with that.

Horqueta: I was with Hna Ross, but when we got there they told us that she was sick, so I ended up staying in half the day to clean their house and study. From what they told us, they have had some interesting experiences in the last two weeks that have been challenging, so I hope that in some way we were able to help them.

Ybyjau: I was with Hna Chamberlain, One thing that I really do like about her is that when she gives her testimony, she does it in a way that invites the Spirit, which is, ya know, kind of essential.

PJC Rama 4: I was with Hna Ashby, and we had a good day. We contacted a lot, and it was so nice.

We left Pedro Juan at 10:30 Friday night, and then about 2 hrs in our tire went flat, so what usually is a 7 hour trip ended up being a 10 hour one, but it was really nice, because I was able to see some parts of Paraguay that I had never seen before, and we were able to do everything that we needed to do on Saturday, even though we ended up getting home at 10:)

There were so many experiences this week that helped me to realize that God's hand is literally in everything we do.  There were so many things that could have gone wrong, and a few did, but in the end, they were what we needed, and I know that God is aware of us and that He knows what we need and when we need it.  We just have to have the patience to hang on a sec and see what He has in mind.

Home again, home again jiggity jig.  We had a couple of awesome days here in Salado. We have some great investigators, one of which is on track to get baptized this Saturday, and even though the majority didn't come to church, we went afterwards and had some great lessons on the dia de reposo and the Book of Mormon.

I asked for a priesthood blessing yesterday, just to help me stay focused.  I haven't had one in 18 months, so I had missed the priesthood A LOT.  It was so nice and sweet, and, like usual, I cried my eyes out.  I know that everything will turn out okay, and I am going to miss these people so, so much. Not the third worldness, though, I am SO EXCITED for a few things like:

a decent piano
central air conditioning
did I mention carpet?
and a washing machine  #smallthings

Yeah, I am scared, but excited.  I have learned so many new things in the last few months, and I am interested to see what kind of differences there will be because of the new things I have learned.  Its gonna be interesting.

But I am doing so well, we are so busy and it will keep me running until the very end.  That is what I want, and I hope that everyone knows that I am so grateful for this experience.  I love this gospel, and I now can apply it in my life and continually strengthen my testimony of the truthfulness.  It is the greatest.

We are both learning so much, and I am happy where I am at. Thank you for your time and have a great week! I love you all!!

Hermana Farish

Hammock in the kitchen.  The best!

Flooding in Paraguay.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Laundry Lessons

This week was AMAZING.  With a capital a-m-a-z-i-n-g.  But really though.  We had a busy week with divisions,

This week on Tuesday we began with Hna Ramos and Alor in Isla Bogado (Luque, about 40 minutes away by bus)

Wednesday, Moroni with Hnas AƱazco and Santos in downtown Asuncion.  I stayed in Salado this time, and we had a great day, with a ton of contacts, She is the greatest, and has no fear whatsoever of contacting.

Thursday, Loma Pyta with Hnas Mera y Varas.  They are such good missionaries, They just work and work.  We contacted a lot and we found a lady named Fanny, we set a date, and I just talked to Hna Mera and she went to church!!! WWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!  So they are doing good.

Saturday, Juan de Salazar with Hnas Carr and Cordova.  I went to their area, and it was so nice to be with Hna Cordova again. She is now the Senior comp and is doing a great job. We had a lot of laughs.

Sunday, we had 6 investigators in the church, we have a date for the 23rd and one for the 30th, and then one for Feb. 20. We are going strong, seeing lots of miracles.  We have our Pedro Juan run next week (we will be 8 hours away, right on the Paraguay-Brazil border), so that will be a blast.

One cool thing that happened this week was last night, we had to take our clothes to get washed, and we had just our phone and our bag of clothes.  We got to the house and gave our clothes and then in walked a friend of the member, Miriam.  We were like "hey let's talk to her", so we did and we ended up sitting down to talk with her with a member.  It was the most convenient lesson that I have ever had.  It was such a good lesson, with the help of Hermana Blanca and her Book of Mormon...we hadn't brought ours...whoops.  Lesson learned, if you are going to take your clothes to get washed at the end of the day, always be prepared.  Miriam accepted the baptismal invitation, and I am so excited to see what happens.

I am loving life, loving the Book of Mormon.  This week it talked a lot about how we will not be ashamed to be called disciples of Christ when Jesus comes again.  I hope that I can always be proud to be called His.   I hope that you all have a good week!

Hermana Farish

Ice Cream Social

Hermana Cordova, Hermana Farish, Hermana ______,
Zone Conference

Hermana Cordova and Hermana Farish

Monday, January 4, 2016

Faith in the Face of Danger

Haha, so this week was crazy crazy.  We had 3 divisions Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, all in a place that is called Capiata.  It is about 2ish hours away from home, so we were there for 3 days straight.  We had some wonderful experiences, and I appreciate the opportunity to get to know some of the hermanas from the mission.  One fun/interesting experience that we had was in the last division, the sisters told us that they had a tarantula problem.  We were like...that's peachy, even more so because we sleep on the floor (haha, I saw Nate's pics...I feel your pain!!:)).  So, we had to decide how to accomplish this feat without breaking any we pushed the two beds together and all four of us slept on the two beds...I am not sure how exactly obedient that was, and afterwards, we were talking with my comp and we were like...what the heck???  Where was our faith?  If we had chosen to just sleep on the ground in spite of the tarantulas, that would have been better, because the Lord would have protected us...yeah, whoops.  Learning experience, that is for sure:)   So, if you are choosing between sleeping on the floor and being eaten by tarantulas or bending the rules, choose to sleep on the floor:)

A miracle that we saw this week was that we were contacting in our area again, and we contacted two ladies that were sitting outside their house.  At first they didn't seem to have a lot of interest, but we asked them a few questions and they let us in, we talked about the Book of Mormon and where it came from.  The mom, Karen, told us that she had recently separated from her husband, and that she was in search of peace.  Thankfully, in the intro of the B of M, it says that the Book of Mormon helps us to have peace, and learn how to hold onto it.  We have a lunch appointment with them on Saturday, so we will see what happens:)

Also, something cool was that President McMullin asked us to give a 40 minute training on how to plan in this months mission leadership council.  It was a privilege to talk and discuss with other missionaries how we can work more effectively.  We did that today and it was a party hardy. Something else that was just a ball of fun was giving my testimony in the MLC.  All of the people who are finishing are asked to do it, and I was like...this is not gonna be pretty, but it turned out great and I realized how much I really do love this place

Anyway, it was a good week, and I hope that you can all start the year off well and that you can love where you are at.  I love you!

Hermana Farish

Monday, December 28, 2015

Merry Christmas a week late!

This week was nuts. With a capital N-U-T-S. We had a division on Tuesday with Bella Vista, Hermana Harper and Hermana Douglas. I stayed in Salado with Hna Douglas, and we had a pretty good day. We contacted a ton of people, and I was able to get to know Hna Douglas a little better.

And then...Wednesday was normal, Thursday we had a multi-zone Christmas conference, which was just amazing. I do have to say though, when we watched the slide show with all of the crazy mission pictures, I just lost it. After seeing the picture of the little old lady just walking down the street with a full grown dead chicken in her hand...haha, I was like...well flip, this is my last zone conference. I am not trunky, but I am worried about leaving this place I have grown to love so much. I know that I'll survive, thousands already have, but it stinks.

On Saturday and Sunday was when we weren't able to do a lot of finding. We had to go empty the pila with buckets, which was A LOAD of fun, even more so when we turned around and saw that a piece of the ceiling had fallen off and into the font, and there were black worms in the font... I thought when I saw those and tried to squish them and the head was still moving...I was like..."how much do I love Gabby??"(the kid who got baptized).  I just took a breath, imagined that this font was like the pond up at the Andrus reunion and that I had survived until now, and we got it emptied and clean and worm free.  Heck yes.

We had the baptismal interview and then the end of year dinner with the ward. A fun miracle that happened was that my comp and I were outside and we saw a middle aged couple and their teenage daughter, dressed in Sunday clothes, standing awkwardly outside the church. The girl went inside and then came back out, which was weird because I had never seen them before, so they weren't members. So therefore, we went to contact them and they asked us if there was a meeting going on. We were like, well no, but there is going to be a huge dinner! Turns out that they had gone to their pentecostal church but the doors were shut, so when they saw that ours were open and that there were people, they decided to go see what was going on. We invited them in, and they stayed for the whole evening. We and the elders had put together a spiritual thought at the beginning, and we were praying that they could feel the spirit. The elders got their reference, and they are going to go see what happens!! Does that count as an attendance?;) haha, no, but it was a good night.

Sunday morning, baptism, church, ward council, there are a ton of people affected by the rising river and flooding from all of the rain so the ward has put together a relief effort, and it was amazing to see these people work in unity to help others. It was a good feeling.

Other than that, it was a good, spiritual week.  I love being here in Paraguay, I love the people and all of the experiences that the Lord has let me have.  I love you all and I hope that you have a wonderful New Year!

Hermana Farish

Monday, December 21, 2015

Well, Crazy Life

This week was crazy, what with changes and all, and I am now with my new companion, Hermana Noorda, from New Hampshire!! We hit it off right from the start, and we are so excited to be working together.

This week was really hot, like 115 degrees, with occasional flooding.  All of Paraguay is under water, it seems like.

And, my old comp Hermana Fardos is out of danger.  She is still recuperating, but was transferred to another area a little closer to the hospital in Asuncion.  I was so grateful to work with her, she taught me a lot about how to bring the spirit into a lesson and how it is so necessary.  I learned a lot from her.

We had changes on Wednesday, and we were able to get a lot of things done this week and find a lot of new people.  We are contacting like crazy, and handing out the cards about the "A Savior Is Born". A ton of people are so much more open if we talk about just Christmas.

One thing that was interesting to me this week was that we went to follow up on a contact named Monica, but we found Maria, her mom.  We began to teach her but we really didn't feel the spirit.  I said a quick prayer in my head to ask for it, and just as I finished a couple of drunk guys next door began to fight and punch each other, and we were like, "oh flip". But what was interesting was that the guys just randomly stopped, sat down, and began to talk again, and it was tranquilo.  When we began to teach again, the spirit was with us, and Maria was so much more open, and she accepted the baptismal invitation.  Strange how the spirit works sometimes.

The work is progressing, we are working as hard as we can, and it is interesting...everyone makes trunky jokes and whatever, but I have realized that I am going to miss this place with its dengue, lice, mosquitos, heat, whatever.  I have grown to love it, and it has become my world. I love this place so much, and I may or may not be freaking out a tad bit.   Not too much, just a tad:)

I love you so much and I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas!! A Savior is about to be born!!

I love you,
Hermana Farish

Monday, December 14, 2015

Dangit, Dengue

The subject line says it all: my companion, Hermana Fardos, has dengue.  WOOHOO!!!  For those who don't know, dengue is a mosquito transmitted disease, kind of like malaria, and it is nicknamed the bone breaking disease.  Doesn't that just give you warm fuzzies? She was admitted to the hospital on Thursday and is getting out today, so we had special changes, and I am with Hermana Borjas, a local missionary from the chaco. She is awesome, and speaks Nivacle, like German and Hebrew mixed together, it is pretty sweet. She will be heading home this next week, so I have no idea what is going to happen with transfers.  We will see what happens.  So, we have been in and out of the hospital all week, and on Saturday Hermana Borjas and I went back to Salado for the baptisms of the Arrua family, the other half.  It was awesome, and it was nice to see someone with whom we have been working for so long get to baptism.

So yeah, that was basically our week.  As far as the spiritual side goes, we are studying the Holy Ghost as a mission this week, and yesterday I was reading in 3rd Nephi 19, and I looked up a reference in 3 Nephi 9:15, which talks about how Jesus glorified the name of his Father.  The question that came to my mind is whether or not I am glorifying the name of Christ by my actions, words, thoughts, whatever.  Just a question to have in mind!!!  I love you all and I hope that you have a good week!!!

Hermana Farish

The baptism of the Arrua family