Monday, October 27, 2014

Hello again!

Hola mi familia, còmo està?
I am doing pretty well, considering I sweat off like half my body weight every single day. Apparently it hasn't been this hot at this time of year in 55 years, and I am just lucky enough to be here right now. whoopwhoop!

And also, may I just say a gigantic thank you to Kat and Jeff for the package! It was the greatest thing ever! I loved the letters, and especially the shorts and the starbursts! I have worn the shorts every day...yeah, I am so excited! I then saw that they were from Pizza Factory, and I almost started to bawl because I have this vision in my head of warm, perfect pizza and breadsticks, with salad and pink lemonade with sprite...yeah, I had to stop that before I sent myself into deep depression. Anyways, thank you so much, it made my week.

Also mom, I haven't received your package yet! Que en el mundo!:( Oh well, something to look forward to, I guess. I received your letter, and also Bobbie, I received your BOOK! It was the greatest.

We had cambios (transfers) on Wednesday. I saw Tyson Boyer and Aaron Fielding...THAT was really, really, really weird.

This week went really well. We are trying to discern the true desires of our investigators, because we have a lot of people who are just nice and who want to talk about the word of God, but not so many people who really have a desire to seek the truth and follow the example of Jesus Christ and persevere to the end as a member of His true church. It is so hard to stop visiting people, because you don't want to give up on them, but you don't want to waste time if they don't have a true desire to act on their faith.

That being said, we had a couple of little miracles this week. TO start off, we were contacting in a newish part of our area, and we contacted this lady, who, turns out, had been investigating the church 17 years before! Say what! She had pictures with the elders and everything! And then she proceeded to tell us that she is never home at this hour, but that day, she was:) We then proceeded to teach the Restoration of the Gospel, and it was the best we have ever done it. Hermana Chempèn tells me that if, when I am teaching, I learn something new, it is because I was teaching by the Spirit. How cool is that!? And I learned so much in this lesson. We are going to visit her again this next week, and we are praying that it turns out!

The other miracle was yesterday. We contacted a house that we had contacted my first day in Paraguay. During the lesson my first day, it was terrible. TERRIBLE. I cannot even express to you how terrible it was. And halfway through that first lesson, the mom started to freak out because her husband was home and she hadn't made him his terere...yeah, so we left really fast. But yesterday, we contacted the husband, and he was totally open to us teaching him. He called his daughter out, and we began to teach. His daughter, Synthia, is 20 years old and is very smart. She had so many good questions, and, for the first time in my mission, when we challenged her to read Moroni 10 in the Book of Mormon and pray about it, I really felt like she was going to keep her promise to read, ponder, and pray about our message. It was interesting to see the difference between my teaching that first day and where I am at now. Flip. And there is still so much to learn!

The other miraculous part of this is that she is a cousin of Shirley. Shirley is 12 years old, and is one of the best people that I have ever known. She reads the Book of Mormon by herself and has memorized two or three hymns. She is so amazing, but she cannot ride the bus and attend church by herself, and her mom will not go to church. So, if we can get Synthia to attend church, she can bring Shirley and Shirley can be baptized. it is the little things, AHHH!:) We were so happy, we couldn't stop smiling.

We are working with the ward, one step at a time. We had ward council on Wednesday for the first time since I have been here, and only 4 people besides us showed up. HAYA. oh well, it actually happened, that is good.

It is interesting to see how the families function here. Rarely are both parents in the home, usually it is a struggling single mother with 5 or 6 kids from different fathers. so so so crazy. We are teaching a girl that has two kids and is living with the father of her youngest, and he is one of the creepiest people I have ever seen, which is saying something, because there are a lot of creepy people here. What i don't understand is why she is still with him...some people. enserio.

We had our double ward activity on Saturday, and it went really well. We had lots of little stands with different games, and I thought of the Andrus Reunion, because we had the nylons game going, stack the cups, the vaseline and the cotton balls, and three legged races. it was a lot of fun and we had a good turnout.

Right after that ended we had the clase de piano, and it went really well. During the week I had made worksheets and guided notetaking paper things, and that helped a lot. An entire family came that was just baptized last week, and the mom said that she learned more during this one class than she had learned from a course at the university. That kind of boosted my self esteem.

Anyways, something that I have learned this week is that when we have faith in Jesus Christ and in the ennobling power of His Atonement, we can do our best and be satisfied with the results. Everyone has their agency, but with the Help of Jesus Christ, we can do our part to help them make the right choice. The Book of Mormon is full of examples of this, I especially love in Mosiah, with King Benjamin and Abinadi. it is the greatest!
I love you all, and I hope that you have a good week! Be safe and be obedient!

Hermana Farish

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Erin teaching piano to members & non-members

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Erin's Zone

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Seguir adelante con fe (Press Forward with Faith)

Hola mi familia,
This week went by fast and it didn't.  The days are really long, and it was really hot this week.  Like 116 degrees farenheit hot.  We have a converter on our phone from Celcius to Farenheit, and it was 40 to 46 Celcius, which is 104 to 116.  Yeah...we are drinking like 5 to 6 liters of water a day, it is ridiculous.  However, having said that, the week just flew by.  Halfway done with training, and trying not to freak out.  AAAHH!
The primary program in our ward was yesterday, and it was so fun to play the piano again and see those cute little kids singing "me encanta ver el templo" ( I love to see the temple).  It turned out really well, and I even got this little corsage thingy from the Primary President.  Cool beans.
We had our first clase de piano Saturday night, and had about 15 people come!  YAY! and tambien some non members.  It went really well, and afterwards I was able to work with a couple of the more advanced kids.  I have my frozen piano book, and when they heard it they were so excited! 
The highlight of my week was that I invested in basketball shorts...Hahah, jk, but it was pretty awesome.  I really, really like them.
Na, this week  we really focused on finding new people to teach, or finding those who are prepared to hear and accept the gospel.  Yesterday we went into a new part of our area, and we found a lady named Marcela.  After getting to know her a little bit, we asked her about her purpose, and why she thought she was here on the earth.  Her answer, word for word, was "Para sufrir."  (in order to suffer).  We were like...uh...say what?  As we taught her a little bit more, really focusing on her worth as a daughter of God, she began to open up, and turns out, she has had a more rough than usual life.  However, she accepted the baptismal invitation and we are hoping to be able to teach her again and help her realize that she has infinite worth to her loving Father in Heaven, and that He wants to live with her and her future family for eternity.
We were going back to our apartment last night when we heard a lady kind of yelling.  She was walking in front of us, kind of just yelling to the air.  We were like..what in the world?  And then we saw that she had a baby in her arms, the tiniest little baby that you have ever seen.  And she was holding it like a watermelon or something.  We walked a little faster and contacted her.  Turns out that her baby is less than a month old, she has a boyfriend who is on drugs, and is pretty close to being homeless.  We think that she was high at the time, and we didn't really know what to do, so we asked her what she needed and she said, " a prayer".  So we prayed, and in the process made sure that the baby was still alive.  It was, but it broke our hearts to walk away and abandon the lady to her crappy life.  We invited her to church and all that, so who knows?
One thing that I am really beginning to learn is that change is okay.  In this life, we are here to learn and progress from those things that change, whether  they be good or bad.  And in this process, we slowly become like our Heavenly Father.  SLOWLY.  And if we are righteous, we are promised so many wonderful blessings.  2nd Nefi 9 and Alma 5 are so amazing and promise the righteous the ability to stand tall in the presence of God in that day that will come to all of us, no matter what.
I love you all, and am so grateful for the opportunity to be together as a family forever.  So many people here have no purpose or hope for their existence, it is so sad. That is why we are here, is to help those who are ready realize their worth as children of God, and as such have purpose and an eternal potential.
Sorry, this is really long, but I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Hermana Farish pics...something was wrong with the memory card...sorry, next week.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Well Flip....

Hola mi familia!

Sorry this is so late, we went and worked until 4 and then began ciber. Anyhoo, this week was really long, but really good. To begin, we had a crazy hailstorm with stones literally the size of golf balls. I kid you not, they were huge. And when they began to fall, we were under a tin roof, so it was soo loud! We almost had a heart attack. On the upside, we were stuck there for about an hour and a half, so...we got to know the investigators really well:)

A good experience this week was when we taught the Araujo family. They came to conference last week, and this week we really wanted to push for a baptismal date. Anyways, the mom was really afraid to take the step to pray for an answer, so we read a scripture that Pres. McMullin (mission president) had just given to us THAT DAY! It is in 1 Juan 4:18. It is how if we have the true love of Christ, we have no need to fear. It was legit. The spirit was so strong and I hope that they will act on the love that they feel and pray to their Father and Heaven.

My companion made this food the other day by mixing and blending saltine crackers, bread, chilis, milk, and some other stuff all together. You put it on top of rice. It was pretty good until I thought about when Lacy had thrown up on the carpet...and how it looked...seriously, the exact same as the food I was eating. I love food, but I could not eat any appetite was GONE.

Another funny food story was when we were eating at a less active`s home and they gave us flan for dessert. For those who don't know, flan is like pudding and jello mixed, and sometimes with the texture of rice in the middle...I can't really explain it...but yeah, it was really weird. I was trying to gag it down when all of the sudden the guy started to talk about his bowel problems (gestures and everything). Yeah, wasn't going to happen:)

We found a whole family of less actives (basically our whole area is inactive) on Saturday, and we had a pretty good lesson. During the lesson, I looked at the hand I had just shook and it was COVERED in huge nasty looking planter wart thingies. It was gross...after we left, the first thing my companion said was "Jesus touched the lepers and didn't get sick..." We giggled a little and put on LOTS of hand sanitizer.

Our goal for this next week is to be able to help our ward get back on its feet. It is slightly dysfunctional, and the health of the bishop isn't very good, so we are trying to get things moving a little with recent converts and such. We are planning a ward activity for the 25th of October with the other ward, so I hope that it works well and we can get things moving.

I think that this is slowly becoming my comfort zone. I love meeting new people, which is weird for me. It is fun to look back and see how I have progressed, even if it is only a little. I really struggle with the slowness of everything here. Another really hard thing is that our ward is basically dysfunctional. There hasn't been a calling since the week I came, and the bishop just goes home after church and doesn't really do anything to help those people in his ward. he has a good heart and an amazing family, and we are doing all we can to support him and make his life a little easier, because there are a ton of people in this ward who only attend church every other Sunday so they can get their welfare is something we are trying really hard to work on, but there is only so much you can do. Any suggestions?

As I have tried to learn to love these people, sometimes, I am just like WHY! WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS!!! But I am trying to see them as Christ does, with all the love that I have in me. Because I can see that our investigators can tell when we sincerely want to help them. Even in street contacting, we can make an impression and help them to realize a little of what Heavenly Father has in store for them. I am going to try to work on that this week too. we can do it and compare experiences. I am out of time, but tell mom that I love her so much, and thanks for all that she has taught me, both you and her, and that I can do hard things. Because this is hard. but i can do it with the help of heaven.

Anyways, It was a good week with lots of learning experiences and lots of new people. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here to grow and learn how to help others to develop an enduring testimony of Christ and His gospel. What a responsibility, and what a blessing it has been. Thanks for all of the emails! Love you all and have a good week!


Hermana Farish

Our apartment and latest meal
Happy Birthday Jacob!

A taste of home


The Jungle Book...Paraguay Edition

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Another week gone by...

Querido Familia,

Another week gone by...REALLY SLOWLY. However, it was a good week, and we found so many families to teach! They are really struggling with the amount of priesthood holders here, so when we find men who are willing to listen, we get really excited.

Conference was PURETE (the guarani word for awesome:)). I watched the first three sessions in English (including the women's conference) and the last two in Spanish. I loved watching and listening in English, and the music was gorgeous. On Sunday, we had investigators in both sessions (yay!) so I was able to go and listen in Spanish. Obviously, I didn't understand as much, but I was able to focus less on what they were saying and just listen with the Spirit. Something really cool that I didn't know is that Elder Richard G. Scott translates his own talks into Spanish, so we could still hear his actual voice, just in Spanish. Also, everyone here was so excited when the two speakers spoke in Spanish for their talks. It meant so much more to them, and it was awesome to see their faces.

We had our own little miracle during the last session. There is this family that the missionaries have been working with since before I came, and honestly, I was wondering why we were still with them because they never attended church, never kept their commitments...but lo and behold, we invited them to come to General Conference, and they showed up for the last session! All four of them! We about had a heart attack when we realized who they were and that they were standing in the foyer of the church. Anyways, we sat down, and just before it started, Hna. Chempèn and I decided to say a prayer, and ask (again) that this family would be able to feel inspired and feel the truthfulness of this message. we were waiting...waiting..and BAM!!! the last talk with Elder Bednar...I am pretty sure that all of the missionaries around the world who had investigators at the conference thought they had died and gone to heaven. Seriously, Hermana Chempèn and I looked at each other and we just had tears running down our was an awesome experience and a testimony to me of prayer, prophets, and the power of the Holy Ghost. Now all we have to do is get them to the biggie. :)

Another highlight of this week was when we walked up to a house to follow up on a reference, and when we began to clap, we looked at their window and someone had stuck their hand out and was flipping us off...we just looked at each other and started to giggle. I am pretty sure people think we are nuts. Oh well, I keep telling myself it is either cry like a nut or laugh like one, so might as well laugh.

All in all, a good week, and now that conference is over, we get to buckle down and work hard for this next month or so. Can't wait:)

Something that I learned this week is that our older brother, Jesus Christ, is here with us. ALL of us. If we make a bad choice, He is there, just waiting to begin the healing process. I don't remember who said it during conference, but the gist of it was that our Heavenly Father and His Son know of every single step and success that we have. Whether it be we didn't eat another cookie (the struggle is real) or we were able to repent of a major sin, They know about it, and they are waiting to bless us. If we can have faith in Them and Their limitless love and patience, our lives and burdens will be so much easier to bear. Es la verdad. Mosiah 2 is an excellent chapter about the love of God for His children and how we can show our gratitude to Him.

I love you all and I hope that you have a wonderful week!

Hermana Farish