Monday, September 29, 2014

Well, it is officially...winter...

Hola everyone!

You know that it is going to be interesting when it is only 70ish degrees and you are sweating like you had just ran 10 miles at 3 pm in St. George and all you were doing was walking around! And it is only spring...but whatever:)

This week went by SO fast. One of the highlights of this week was when I biffed it into a puddle of muddy, warm, mesquito filled water...yeah, it was great. I stepped off the colectivo, took one step, and faceplanted it into the water. Hermana Chempén started to freak out...but I was laughing too hard to notice...the front of my skirt and legs were COVERED in mud, and a lady walked by that we had taught the week before. She was like...¿Que en el mundo...? (What in the world) Yeah, it was pretty great. We were on our way to a member's home for lunch, and when I walked up looking all gorgeous, she just rolled her eyes and showed me to the water pump:)

On that spiritual note, we had a baptism on Saturday, Gabby Lequizamon, ll years old. When we visited her on Friday, we weren´t sure if she understood the importance of baptism and the changes she is going to have to make in her life. When we told her we were going to wait another week, she just...I don´t know, deflated. We felt like the worst people ever. But then we asked her to bear her testimony. It was one of the sweetest, most sincere testimonies. So therefore, she was baptized:) And when she was confirmed the next day...holy cow, the words, "I say unto you, receive the Holy Ghost" were so powerful, and she looked so happy.

We had several investigators come to church this Sunday, even though it rained. When it rains here, the attendance drops up to 50%. crazy. Anyways, one of these, Laura, came with her 2 year old daughter. She missed her collectivo, so she took an expensive taxi, which took her to the wrong church, but she still came! YAY! Her baptismal date is November 11, and I hope that she continues to be awesome.

One thing we really struggle with is the welfare progam and discerning the true desires of our investigators. Our area is really poor, and it looks like a jungle, with dirt roads and so much green that my eyes hurt. One of our investigators, Miguela, is like this, and we just hope that her desire is true and that we can help her to develop a testimony.

We contacted a new family this week, la familia Lequizamon. When we clapped, the guy that came didn´t even have a shirt on...we were like, oh great. But we had a great lesson with him and his wife. He changed his clothes,. and when he came back, he looked like he should be a general authority or something. and his wife looked like the next Relief Society President. It was great, except they didn't come to church...dang it.

There is this recent convert named Milciades that just loves the norteamericanas...he is a little mentally impaired, but is so sweet. He only speaks Guarani, and pronounces my Name hermana favi...yah, we had the kiosko again Saturday morning, and when we went to the church to pick it up at 6:30 am, he was there in his suit, ready for the baptism at 5 pm. So sweet.

I am playing the piano for the primary program, and am starting a weekly piano class for teens, to see if we can attract some new investigators. No one plays here, and does anyone have any suggestions on how to teach to so many different levels and needs? Just a thought.

Also, the scriptures are the Best, especially the Book of Mormon. I love it so much, and I cannot wait for General Conference this Saturday. We will also be able to see the Women's Conference on Saturday, which I have heard is the bomb.

My Spanish is coming along, people can understand me! WEIRD!! I am trying to memorize phrases in Guarani....and epically failing, but whatever.

I am so proud of all those in the deer hunt, congrats, I am glad no horses were shot:) Anyways, I hope every one has a good week, be obedient and read the scriptures, because that is how you will grow and develop your testimony so you can bear it to others:)

Love you all!

Hermana Farish

During a weird moment...
Baptism of Gabby Lequizamon

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Two Weeks Down!


Well, what a week this has been. It has gone by really fast, that is for sure.

On Monday, we had a lesson with a nonmember lady named Chiquita. She has a less active grandson who is struggling with lots of major issues. Our goal is to baptize her and get him help an back to church. We are trying so hard to stay positive and keep smiling.

On Tuesday, we met with a family of recent converts. My companion and her ex companion were the ones who baptized them, and so they are really close. When we got there, we were surprised to find that the mom was totally freaking out.  She told us that she no longer believed in Joseph Smith, the book of Mormon, or any part of the gospel. Hermana Chempèn did awesome, she just expressed her love for them and started to sob only after we had left. That was really hard, but when we went back on Saturday, she (the mom) said she had thought about it and was fine, so...I don't know. I also came down with a pretty legit cold. Whoop!:)

Wednesday, it was raining like crazy! We met with an investigator family for our last lesson, and it is so hard when they are such good people but they won't commit to do anything or to progress. That is what we are struggling with the most right now, helping people to keep their commitments.

Thursday, it rained again! We met with an 11 year old girl named Shirley. Shirley is so awesome. she has a testimony, she reads and marks up the book of Mormon, and tries so hard to choose the right, but her mother will not let her attend church. and because she is 11, she cannot go by herself. There isn't really anything we can do but pray and keep visiting every so often.

Friday, Hermana Favela Shared this quote with is kind of long, but totally worth it.

"I am a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldy talking, cheap giving and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, positions, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, praised, recognized, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, diverted or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table to the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stoked up, stored up, and paid up for the cause of Christ. I must go 'til he comes, give 'til I drop, preach 'til I know, and work 'til He stops me. And when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My Banner is clear."   - Henry B. Eyring.

How cool is that? I thought it was pretty epic. Friday night we set up a kiosk for the Church in el centro de Luque, and I tried not to take it personally that while we were setting up, every single person moved at least 100 feet away...yeah, it was great.

Saturday, the highlight was probably the lesson with Gabi. Gabi is 11 and is going to be baptized on Saturday! YAY! While we taught her about tithing and fasting, there were pigs squealing, chickens, dogs fighting underneath my chair...the works:) About halfway through we heard a scream and turns out her sister tore a tendon in her foot and had to go to the hospital, so...we kind of left really fast. It was one of those situations where you either laugh or cry.

Yesterday, I played the piano for church and for the Primary program practice. They are trying so hard, and it was fun to be in that environment a little bit again. All four of our lessons fell through, so we decided to contact, and, believe it or not, not one person was interested. So thirty contacts later...yeah. it was rough.

The food isn´t all that different...I have grown used to fat on beef, and i am trying to force myself to like bananas and mangoes (she wouldn't eat bananas even as a baby). I love pears they are so good here, and I have lost 2 lbs! yay! I like my companion, she is way chill, a little too chill sometimes, and since it is really important to me to be exactly obedient, it is kind of hard. I don't know where to draw that line between being nitpicky and on time.

As an American, and especially with my hair, I stand out like crazy. we get a lot of honks and whistles, especially from the drunk men...We live in an apartment on the second floor. I like to think of it as a penthouse, with high ceilings and lots of windows:) I have a pretty hardcore cold, but i am on the tail end of it, so that is good.

We are counting down the days for conference. We watch it at the chapels idk when. Going to the store is crazy. they have armed guards everywhere, and you have to give up your bag at the front because there is such a high risk of theft. Sad day.
One thing that I have learned this week is that we cannot do this without the members. The members help to create a lasting and enduring base of testimony that will help the recent converts. So, my invitation to everyone is to go and find the full-time missionaries or your ward mission leaders. Ask them what you can do. They need your help, and so do the investigators and less actives. I know that when you do this, your testimonies will be strengthened, and your families, jobs, studies, and lives in general will be blessed.

Also, a huge thanks to those who helped with my family history. I love to read those stories and draw strength from them. When I think my life is hard, I read about the lives of the pioneers and about the men who left their sick wives with 10 children to go on a mission.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week, and remember to be obedient! I love you!


Hermana Farish

Monday, September 15, 2014

Well, I'm still breathing....


As encouraging as that subject line sounds, it has been a good week. So many things have changed...crazy. We left for the Buenos Aires airport at 4:30 am Tuesday morning, it was really hard to say goodbye to Hna. Boehmer, but I know she will do great. Our flight was delayed until about 9:15 because of bad weather in Buenos was so cold and rainy! I placed a book of mormon in the airport, that was a good feeling, even though I am not sure how much she got out of my AMAZING spanish:) We stepped off the plane into Asunción and tried to breathe. EPIC fail. It is so humid here. W walked out of the airconditioned airport in our jackets and cardigans and started to sweat buckets. NOT fun. We spent the night at an apartment for the sisters...I was the only person there who couldn´t understand anything, and I was so tired..I was thinking the whole time....What. have. I. Done. The next morning was fine, sleep is wonderful.

I met my companion, Hna. Chempén the morning after we arrived. She is from Peru, and speaks pretty good English. Thank goodness. She has been out for 9 months, and is an amazing teacher who knows how to adapt to the needs of the investigators. She is SO patient with me and my awful spanish! I met her exchanged pesos for guaraniis, and then left for our area! Our area, Maramburé B (yes, that is guarani) is only about 1/2 hour away from the mission home. It is still in the suburbs of Asunción, but it honestly looks like the middle of some jungle place, complete with dirt roads, tons of weird looking plants, and lots of poverty. After unpacking a little, we caught a colectivo (bus) to our area, which is about 10 minutes away, and started proselyting. Here in Paraguay, they don´t believe in saying the s at the ends of words, so when the first person we contacted began to speak, I was like...What? Pretty much everyone in these poor areas also speak Guarani, so when someone begins to speak and I REALLY don´t understand what they are saying, I know it is Guarani or Portugese.

We ate lunch at a member´s home on Thursday. This family literally has nothing. While we were there, one of their 8 kids brought a pair of shoes he had found, and the mom just put them on the little girl and those were her shoes. However, they do have a TV and a satellite dish on the roof of their shack mom, just like you said. While we were eating, a girl came up to my companion and offered her a little gusano blanco (white worm), and told her to eat it. She was like....uh no. Anyways, so this little girl popped the head off of this worm, all the guts spewed out on her fingers, and she just popped it in her mouth and licked all the guts off of her fingers. We were like...WHAAAA...yeah, we were a little traumatized. We ate at another member´s home (an actual house) and while we were eating, a huge cockroach fell on the guys head, and he just shook it off and it fell on the floor. I didn´t freak out, you would be proud of me! However, I may or may not have taken my feet from off the floor.

The people here are so incredibly nice. Like to find a legitimately mean person is weird. However, they are so laid-back that they don´t have a desire to change. Which is why we have missionaries. On Sunday, we went to go get an investigator and her brother came out and told us that she had left, which we were pretty sure was a lie. Anyways, that was really disappointing, and then when we got to church, I found out that they have the new missionaries bear their testimonies in sacrament meeting. GREAT. It actually went pretty well, not too scary when the people actually kind of want to hear what you have to say. There is this little old man in the ward named Milciades. He is handicapped, only speaks Guarani, and is in love with my companion. It was really funny until he started to touch my shoulder, arm, and hair (which I am never wearing down again).

We get to handwash all of our clothes, so everyone be really grateful for your washers and dryers. My first time was this morning and it was interesting to say the least:)

Anyways, I am slowly adjusting to the culture and the people, but I love it here. I love studying the scriptures and learning Spanish y michimi (a little bit in Guarani) de Guarani. Thank you for all of your emails, please keep them coming, I love hearing from you!


Hermana Farish

Me and Hermana Chempen

Doing laundry by hand for the 1st time!

Mission President's Letter

Dear Family of Sister Farish:

We are so happy that your daughter has joined us here in the Paraguay Asuncion North mission.  We know that as she commits to work hard and be obedient to mission rules, and continues to study and seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost, she will have a great experience on her mission.  She will grow to love the people, she will be willing to pass through difficulties, and she will come to know and love her Savior in a more profound way than she has ever known.

Their first day here, we were able to give all the incoming missionaries some training on staying healthy, finances, mail, etc.  We were able to share some of the history of the Church here in Paraguay, go to the temple grounds, and participate in a baptism at the chapel nearby. 

Your daughter was interviewed and met her trainer, Sister Chempen, who was specially chosen for her.  She has been trained to help your daughter in all the skills she will need to be a good missionary.  We hope you will enjoy these pictures that we are attaching.

Thank you for raising such a fine young woman who is so willing to serve her Father in Heaven and be a blessing to the people here and to her fellow missionaries.  We truly pray for them every day and are committed to working diligently to help them in whatever they need to be happy and successful.

May the Lord bless you and your daughter for the sacrifices, the faith, and the love that you are extending to the people here.  Thank you for all of your support.

With much love,

President and Sister McMullin

Arriving at the airport in Asuncion

Erin with President and Sister McMullin and her trainer, Sis. Chempen

Thursday, September 4, 2014

I can almost say that I am 1 18th of the way done...:)

Hola Everyone!

¿Como están? It has been a pretty sameish week here at the CCM. Even though I say that, it has gone by so fast, and the next time I talk to you I will be in Paraguay! How psycho is that? We have begun to hear some wild stories about the Northern deserts in Paraguay, like jaguars, Indian natives, and crocodile for dinner...I am sure that for the most part, they are made up, but hey, who knows?:)

I am excited to go to my mission, but there is definitely some nervousness, what with the language and new companions, new country, new food...but I know that the Lord will pick up the slack and made it possible. I am definitely ready to leave the CCM that is for sure!

I will be leaving around 4 to 5 Tuesday morning for Paraguay. The flight is only about 2 hours. I will have some time to email you on Monday, but we are not allowed to call home, probably because it would take some major therapy to refocus:)

Hermana Boehmer will be heading off to Salta, Argentina when these six weeks are over, and it will be hard to have a companion that I don´t click with as well, but oh well:) She is progressing in the language, and proselyting this week went better than before. We were in a new area that was a tiny bit more wealthy, so we weren't sure how we were going to be accepted, but it went really well.

We met our goal with 54 contacts in 4 hours, and we invited two people to be baptized. That was hard for us, because if we go up and talk to people for 5 mins, we are supposed to invite them to be baptized? We are still coming to terms with that. We know that we were able to meet our goal because we try hard to be exactly obedient, and because of that, we are blessed to be able to find those who are ready to accept the gospel.

We talked to a homeless guy on the corner for a few minutes, taught a mini-lesson and asked for his reference. He wrote "barbinto"(we think) and then in the address column, wrote "te amo". (I love you) yeah, we weren't really sure how to take that one, but whatever:)

We met a little old man who was so nice, and we had a really great conversation. We were going on about the plan of salvation when he asked a really good question. "if babies have no sin, why are some born with diseases and infirmities." We turned to Moroni 8 and tried to have him read the verse about how perfect little children are alive in Christ and are saved, but he would have none of it. it broke my heart to have him reject what we had to offer, and all we could do was say that God loves all his children, including him, and that whatever trials we have in this life will be compensated for beyond what we can imagine in the next life. We bore our testimonies and walked away, and I was seriously almost in tears. This gospel is everything that we have, and all the hope that we have in this life we owe to it.

Anyways, it has been a good week. Lots of learning experiences and adjustments. I love you and I hope you have a good week, be safe and obedient! Alma 57:21


Hermana Farish

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Almost there!


Hello everyone, how was your week?:) My week here at the CCM has gone by SO fast.

To start off, we went to the temple last P-day, and I am finally starting to understand the language!  It is a good feeling.

It is so cold here! When it rains the wind cuts through you like a knife and the rain is like ice. So, like the smart, sane people that missionaries are, we decided to go play soccer out on the basketball courts in the rain...yeah, definitely not a good idea.  It was so fun though, and we got so wet. The CCM president´s wife was like...if you get sick, don´t come crying to me, because this is your own fault. we just shrugged and did it anyway.

Proselyting was so awesome on Saturday. it always takes a couple of contacts to get into the groove, but once we got there, it was good. We didn´t reach our goal of 50 contacts, but we got 40 and that is more than last week, so we were happy. We were knocking on doors when we met a guy that we had contacted last week but hadn't received his reference.  He invited us in, brought in his son and his wife, and we proceeded to teach our first real lesson on the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. Oh my goodness, it was amazing to watch the light on these peopleés faces when we told them that families can be together forever. However, when we knelt to pray afterwards, we asked David (the father) to say it. we told him how and bowed our heads, waiting...well, apparently we forgot to tell him it needed to be out loud, so about 10 seconds later, Hermana Boehmer and I looked at each other and were like...What....? But he said his personal prayer and looked happy, so we think it was a success. Just something to remember!:)  One interesting experience that we had was with our last contact of the day, who said, while pointing to the area that we had been walking around all day, that because we are young, American, and pretty, it was dangerous and we needed to leave...yeah, that was a confidence booster. But as we walked away from that, I had a feeling that we were being protected. Heavenly Father was definitely keeping us safe, I know that to be true. There were people we needed to reach in that area, and Heavenly Father made it possible for us to do so. We will have a new area next week, so we will see how that works.

We watched an MTC devotional by Jeffrey R. Holland on Sunday, affectionately nicknamed "the grow up devotional".  He really gets into your face, to the point that by the end, we all felt like failures and lower than dirt. However, he said that we need to give a heroic effort always, to the point that we need to be carried home. Whether or not that is an exaggeration, I hope to be like that and to give my all to the Lord and his work.

We had a little blonde bombshell dropped on us on Tuesday. Hermana Greene, from Mesa, AZ was supposed to go to her mission on Tuesday in Argentina, but her Mission president wasn´t home, so we got her until this next tuesday. She was only at the provo MTC for two weeks because her spanish is so good, so when she came, Hma. Boehmer and I were like...crappy. But she is way nice, and it has been interested to work as a trio. Hard, but it is teaching me how to adjust. It has also taught me that the fact that Hermana Boehmer is my companion was a tender mercy.

Mom, Guess what they still have here in Argentina? SHEPHERDS PIE. I was like, ¿En serio?  Oh, and the misison president's wife made no bake cookies, that was a happy day. And we had a party Monday night before the other North American sisters left. Party meaning we passed around a Symphony bar and cried a little.  Pathetic, right?
I am loving it here, and time is going by so incredibly fast. I love the Book of Mormon, and I love this gospel. Predicad Mi Evangelio is my new best friend, and I hope that those who are preparing to go on missions, as well as those who want more missionary opportunities, will read and study it.  It builds your testimony and allows you to study the gospel in a basic, simple and very powerful way. Alma 7:11-14.
I love you, and am grateful for your support!


Hermana Farish

All of the North American sisters!