Monday, December 29, 2014

For the first time in forever, we didn't gain in weight

Merry Christmas everyone!  How did it go?

Here it went really well.  It was fun to focus more on Jesus Christ
and what He did for us.  Really, every thing we are, everything we
have is thanks to Him and His love for us.  In Mosiah 2, King Benjamin
is talking about how even if we were grateful and served our Lord with
everything that we have to give and will have to give, we will always
be in His debt.  All that we can do to show gratitude to Him is keep
His commandments and serve Him with all of our might, mind, and

I loved talking with my family on Christmas, although it was all that
I had to push the end button...I was flip.  But something
that I realized, as I walked back out into the heat and the stinky
streets, is that now, I am more comfortable here.  This is where I
want to be, and cheesy as it sounds, is my life. es lo

Also, I wanted to give a big shoutout to Jodi and family for their
package, that was so fun to open and to see the pillowcase!  All of
those scriptures are amazing:)

Again, to explain the subject line.  We are trying to build a trust
bridge with the members here, so we decided to go caroling to all of
the members in the two areas of our ward.  We caroled in the other
area on the 24th, and ended around 8:15.  Which was fine, until we
realized that we didn`t have a bus, because the buses don't run on
Christmas Eve or on had to run for about 40
minutes to reach the house of an investigator that had invited us to
dinner.  We now know why some people think that Mormons are is because we are running everywhere all the time.  We got
there at about nine thirty, which was an hour late, and then had to
run to another appointment with a family of a recent convert, and then
we were late getting back home, so we had to run for another 20
minutes to get home and not be disobedient.  so, in total, we ran
about 1 and a half hours.  Betcha you've never done that on Christmas
Eve:)  We tried to make ourselves feel better by saying well, at least
we didn't gain weight:)

But in all seriousness, I loved this Christmas.  It made me realize
how incredibly blessed we are to be able to have the gospel, and to be
able to have families that love to be together.  We were talking to a
lady the other day that spent Christmas alone. She is about 75ish
years old, and is having health problems with her leg.  Anyways, it
made us so sad to see her and how lonely she is.

On Saturday we had a stakewide activity of Christmas. 2 days late, but
whatever.  All the wards put together a skit or...dramatization(?) of
a miracle from the life of Christ.  Our ward was the pool of Bethesda.
It was amazing to read this and to see the different miracles from the
life of Christ.  Between every skit we watched a Bible video from the
Church.  If you have time on Sunday or for FHE or something, you guys
need to watch these.  They are so powerful and...I don't know, REAL.
I loved watching them and watching Christ heal the people.

Anyway, it was a good, if really interesting week.  I love you all and
I hope that you have an amazing week!

Hermana Farish

Ward Christmas activity - "The Pool of Bethesda"

Pillowcase from her cousins

Monday, December 22, 2014

My Future Children

Hola a todos,

Merry Christmas to everyone!  How has your week gone, are you so excited for Christmas?

You may be wondering what is up with the subject line...well, i am going to tell you.  This week it rained like crazy, and when it rains, we get to walk in rivers ALL DAY.  My companion and I were trying not to think of what was in the water, we probably don't want to know.  We were walking in the water past our knees, trying to be as modest as possible, past all of these cars filled with people who were probably thinking...what is their problem?  Are they insane?  The answer is...only slightly.  We just have to hope that our future children will only have two eyes, one head, two ears, and all of the normal amounts of body parts, because this water is so gross!

This week was interesting.  My companion and I are still both pretty new to the area and the ward, so we didn't really realize that the problem here isn't the investigators, it is the ward.  We only had 46 people at church on Sunday, partly due to the rain, and partly due to the fact that we are in Paraguay.  We are really focusing in on less actives, we have around 125 only in our half of the ward.  We were thinking that we don't really want to baptize anyone if the ward isn't functioning.  We were asking around, and only one or two people are reading the Book of Mormon on a regular basis, and no one is having their family home evening.  These two things are so incredibly important: simple, but important.  We are working on a program that will help these people to read the Book of Mormon, and gain a testimony, so that they will have the desire to work and push themselves out of their comfort zone.  So...maybe we won't have baptisms, but we will have visiting teachers, home teachers, testimonies, and work, work, work.  I am so excited:)

This weather is SO bipolar.  We were dying of heat the first half of the week, and the last couple of days we almost wore nylons because it was so cold.  It can't seem to decide what it wants to do.  

We had 2 investigators in church this week, Freddy and Monse.  Freddy is 14 years old, and the cousin of a less active.  We got both him and the less active to church, and they are both reading the Book of Mormon.  We have now made that our own little personal requirement for baptism.  They have to be reading the Book of Mormon on a regular basis before they can be baptized, because the Book of Mormon is the foundation of everything we do, and if they have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, there is a better chance of staying faithful.  We have another investigator that came last week, but couldn't come this week because her grandson was sick.  Her name is Felicia, and she is also reading the Book of Mormon.  She wants us to teach her grandson and her daughter so they can be baptized as well...but does anyone know how to treat a gambling addiction?  Suggestions would be appreciated.

Jodi, thank you so much for the package, and thank you everyone for your testimonies!  I love to read one every day, and it will be so sad when they are gone:(

I hope that you all have a wonderful week, and that you can recognize how blessed you are to be able to be in the states, with all of the wonderful ideals and traditions that Christmas there brings.  I love you all so much, and I hope that you have a wonderful week!

Hermana Farish

A gross, dirty, stinky, mosquito filled river.  Whoopwhoop!

Our sad, strange little Christmas tree

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

He Is The Gift

Hola a todos!

How was your week? How are things going? Are you excited for Christmas?  Because I am TOTALLY excited.  For a lot of things, really.  There is a really cool video online that has been circulating through the world that is called, He is the gift.  You should all go watch it.  Basically, it talks about how the real reason behind Christmas is Christ, the person who started it all.  It is really good, it would make a fun family home evening.

We had a baptism this week!  We baptized Elena and Samuel, her nine year old son.  Elena was a missionary in Guatemala and Africa for an Evangelical Church, so she has a strong Christian background.  The thing that caught her attention was that she would be able to do baptisms for her brother who died.  I don't think we realize what a priviledge that is, to be able to help the people that we love who didn't have the chance in this life to be able to have a second chance.  How cool:)

Saturday was really crazy.  One of the recent converts of my companion went to the temple to be sealed, so we woke up at 5, were on the bus by 6, and in AsunciĆ³n by 7:30...yuck.  Since I wasn't involved with these people, I couldn't go inside, so we had divisions and we worked in Palma Loma (my new area) all day. My companion was Hermana Fardos.  She is from California and has a little bit less time than me, so it was fun to teach lessons.  It taught me a lot how to lead into a lesson and how to teach at all levels so the people can understand.

I received your package mom, and it was AWESOME!  My companion loved, loved, loved her stocking, she wanted to open it right then and there!  We are going to see how long she can last.  How long WE can last.

So, today we went to Pizza Hut...and on the way we passed Burger King, McDonalds, and a TGI Friday!  My mind was completely blown. It was an interesing experience to eat pizza after 5 months...bliss:)

Now that the baptism of Elena and Samuel is over, our goal is to literally search.  Clap at every house and find the people who have been prepared for the gospel.  Here in Paraguay, you only have a doorbell at your gate if you are really wealthy, so you have to clap.  It felt ridiculous at first, like the whole a kiss on each cheek when you greet someone thing, but now it is weird.

We were walking yesterday and someone drove by and yelled out in English "Hey Elderas (they don't know we are hermanas, so we are elderas, not elderes), How are you?" and then proceeded to call us witches.  Sheesh.  Some people's children.  You would think that if someone was going to learn English, they would learn something useful.

Something that really took me out of my comfort zone (more than usual) was that I was asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting with 10 minutes to spare.  In Spanish.  Something that I used was the hymn "Have I Done Any Good?" In this hymn, it asks the questions that we need to ask ourselves every day, tells us to get a move on, and then proceeds to promise us the blessings we will receive when we do what we need to. If you have some time this week, read it and ask yourselves the questions. Mosiah 18 talks about what we promised when we were baptized, and how that involves helping others.

Something that made me sad was we visited a less active on Thursday, and this lady (like 75 years old) wanted to die.  She hadn't eaten for 3 days, because she just wanted to die and go to heaven with her mom and brother.  It made me so sad, because she just didn't have anything to live for anymore. She didn't want to go outside, nothing.  So we talked to the Relief Society president and a group of us on Sunday went over to talk with her, like a visiting teaching thing. We went back today and she was 100% different.  It was a testimony to me of visiting teaching and how the people respond so much more when they know that they are valued and loved.

Yeah, life is good, I love being a missionary, even when you sweat off everything and the only makeup you have is sunscreen and bug repellent, it is the best:) I hope that you all have a good week, and remember to ask yourselves what you have done today to help someone feel the love of Christ through you.

Hermana Farish



The paper says "After a day of much heat"  Apparently this is what happens to makeup in humidity

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Stop That INFERNAL Happiness!

Dear Family,

To sum it up into one word, this week has been CRAZY! With a capital C-R-A-Z-Y. So, we had cambios, and I left! SAY WHAT!! I was transferred to an area about 20 minutes away by colectivo called Palma Loma. I wasn't too thrilled about it...not gonna lie. It is like, oh, you are happy? You have lots of people who are progressing? Bueno, we can't have that...entonces, changes. Haha, no, its all good. My new companion is from Honduras, Hermana Betancourth. She doesn't weigh more than 100 pounds, and is about up to my shoulder...I feel like this behemoth named Helga walking along beside her...ah well. My new area is WAY more wealthy than my last one. I am not so sure how I feel about that, but that is okay. I am learning so much with my companion (She will go home in May) and I am learning how to suck it up and just go with it. Also, Hermana Betancourth can speak Guarani really well, so it it my goal this change to learn how to bear my testimony in Guarani. We will see how it goes...

On a happier note, how was the Christmas devotional? We weren't able to see it here, but I downloaded it and am going to watch it tonight with my companion. my district meeting, I received a flipping awesome break my heart make me bawl my eyes out package from Bunkerville, Nevada. Thank you so much Jodi and Family. I wasn't going to open it because I was absolutely positive that it was for Christmas, but I did, and am saving the presents, jello, and...wait for it...WHITE CHOCOLATE POPCORN for Christmas:) Thank you so much, it made my month:)

So, Palma Loma was the area of the hermana leaders a couple of changes ago, and we have a baptism this week, with 3 other progressing investigators and lots and lots and lots of less actives. But we had a ward council on Friday, so we are doing good! This ward is functioning really well, and now all we have to do is get people there. No biggie:)

There are lights here and Christmas trees a little..we are going to buy a little one to use in our apartment. My companion has a ton of Christmas music, like the gift, and some other songs that make me REALLY miss home. But oh well. It has gone by so fast and I just need to take advantage of every day here. To celebrate, the people here go nuts on the 24th with fireworks, parties, drinking, and lots of other things. And then on Christmas morning, it is dead. Like a rock.

Anyways, it was a good week, with lots of changes, and lots of new learning opportunities. I read something this week in the Liahona that said (I am translating from Spanish, so it isn't word for word...) "When we have trials, it is either because we are being disobedient, or the Lord knows that we are ready to progress some more." So when life gets ya down, just know that if you are being obedient, the Lord will help you to progress and become stronger.

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


Hermana Farish

Ummm...the straight and narrow way?

9 year old girl they were teaching.  Erin is saying goodbye before she is transferred.

Friday, December 5, 2014


Dear Family,

This week was really awesome.  We worked hard this week to be obedient and to take advantage of every moment that we have to work every day.  It paid off, which was awesome.  We had 5 investigators in sacrament meeting this week, and 2 complete families of inactives (not anymore!!!!!!!)  The bummer thing was that Carina, who came last week, wasn't there.  She had so much work...which is a blessing, but now we have to back off on "more work is a blessing part."  We went to see her yesterday, but she was with her boyfriend...blast.  Cool beans, next lesson, law of Chastity:)

One lady who came, named Maria Lopez, has 9 children, two of which came to sacrament meeting.  We have a family home evening with them tonight, we are hoping to catch the other 7 kids and the husband.  She has read everything we gave her, including Alma 5.  Someone has to be special to read the entire chapter, right?  Maybe we will try her faith with Jacob 5...haha, no.  I can't even read all of that chapter.

We have been really blessed this week, so that means that cambios (transfers) are here.  We moved to our new huge house on Saturday, and we can't unpack because we don't know what is going to sabemos.  It is so crazy that they are here and my training is over..AHHHH!!!

How was thanksgiving?  For was interesting.  In a really good way.  The week before, I was thinking about how it would be, without all of the family, yummy food, and all of the wonderful things that make up my memories of Thanksgiving.  I honestly wasn't sure how it would be, but it was awesome.  We ate at a member's home (actually, under her mango tree), and as I was sitting there, eating food that I am not used to, sweating to death, and all of that...I realized that there was no place that I would rather be.  Enserio.  There are so many things that I have to be grateful for; things that are important and that come directly from our Heavenly Father.  I am so happy for the opportunity to be here as a missionary, to be able to help people come to the knowledge of their Redeemer, who suffered and died for them because He loves them.  I am grateful for my parents and my ancestors, who have sacrificed so much for me, so that I could have the knowledge of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful for this gospel that gives me purpose, gives me a hope that everything that we do in this life, and every mistake that we make, has a purpose, that which is to become more like our Savior, and live with Him and our families for eternity.  I love the process of repentance, and how we can repent from the stupid things that we do every single flipping day.  And how cool is it that we have a ever patient Heavenly Father and an older brother who are there with us every step of the way.

I love this gospel, I love teaching it, and especially I love it when people can feel the Spirit of what we are teaching, and when they understand that the Spirit is testifying to them.  My relationship with my Heavenly Father is so much stronger, and I have so much farther to go, but that is okay.

I hope that you all have a wonderful week, and that you can remember what you are really grateful for!!!!  Love you!

Hermana Farish