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!

Love,
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!!!

Love,
Hermana Farish



The baptism of the Arrua family

Monday, December 7, 2015

Stupid. Ostriches.

So, let me just sum up our week in one sentence:

We were attacked by ostriches.

Yep, have a good week!!

Love,
Hermana Farish


Haha, jk, but really.  There is a lady who has two ostriches, we went to follow up, and we sat down outside, and the member (who came out with us on our appointment for the FIRST TIME) was first attacked by the ostrich...apparently they don't like hats. Whoops. he's probably not going to come out again...dangit.  So, the whole entire lesson everyone was looking at the ostrich because they were nervous, but it didn't happen again because we beat them (the ostriches) up with an umbrella.  Eesh. We finally could feel something resembling the spirit, and we were like..YES, keep going, and then the ostrich went to the bathroom.  I swear like a gallon came out.  My comp and I just looked at each other and just started to laugh.  We were like...okay, I just give up.  It was one of the funniest things I have experienced in my long life.  Not very spiritually edifying, but hopefully you can laugh a little.:)

Someone told me the other day that here in the mission, we get as much experience as an 80 year old person.  I am not sure it is to that extent, but it definitely helps.  I am so glad that I was able to come to the mission.  I know that it was the right thing and it has helped me so much to become the person that the Lord needs me to be.  I have so much to learn but I know that He will help me.

I don't have a lot of time, but it was a good week, and the rest of the Arrua family is going to be baptized this weekend!! We are so excited!  I love you all and I hope that you have a good week!

Love,
Hermana Farish

Monday, November 30, 2015

Lots Of Memories

This week had a lot of interesting miracles.  Small, but interesting.

My companion is doing well.  She comes from a very, very wealthy background (like her dad is the CEO or something like that of Apple) and there have been some clashing moments, but she is an excellent missionary who knows how to bring the spirit into the lessons, and I am learning a lot from her.  Her dad is Argentine and was baptized about 7 years ago.   They are all active, but her mom was inactive for about 15 years because her dad didn't want anything to do with the church, and now they are sealed.  It is a fun story.

I got permission to Skype with Josh, so that will be fun.  We will need to set that up!  I still don't have specific times, I will let you know as soon as I do.

But yeah, this week was crazy, we are working like locas (crazies), and having a blast.  That is the good thing about having an American comp, you can just talk about all of the inside jokes and all that...haha,  We did an open house this last week and they showed the movie  Meet The Mormons, and that last part in the airport...my comp and I were dying...we were kind of trunky,  not gonna lie. I am excited to see you guys, but freaking out about starting off in real life again.

But something that I really liked about this week was that we read and studied about "The Divine Gift of Repentance", a talk by Elder Christofferson.  He gives 5 steps to the repentance process:

First, the invitation to repent is an expression of love.  Lots of times, especially as missionaries or parents or whatever, sometimes we feel like telling people they need to repent is like the most awkward thing ever.  But Elder Christofferson says:

"If we do not invite others to change or if we do not demand repentance of ourselves, we fail in a fundamental duty we owe to one another and to ourselves. A permissive parent, an indulgent friend, a fearful Church leader are in reality more concerned about themselves than the welfare and happiness of those they could help. Yes, the call to repentance is at times regarded as intolerant or offensive and may even be resented, but guided by the Spirit, it is in reality an act of genuine caring."

That hit me really hard.  IF we really love someone, we will help them to get over what is bothering them and we will do it with love.

Second, repentance means striving to change.  "Real repentance, real change may require repeated attempts, but there is something refining and holy in such striving.  Divine forgiveness and healing flow quite naturally to such a soul, for indeed "virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; [and] mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own"

Third, repentance means not only abandoning sin but also committing to obedience.

Fourth, repentance requires a seriousness of purpose and a willingness to persevere, even through pain.  A resolve to abandon and forsake the sin and to repair, as fully as one possibly can, the damage he or she has caused now forms in that new heart. This resolve soon matures into a covenant of obedience to God. With that covenant in place, the Holy Ghost, the messenger of divine grace, will bring relief and forgiveness.

Fifth, whatever the cost of repentance, it is swallowed up in the joy of forgiveness.  "In April of 1847, Brigham Young led the first company of pioneers out of Winter Quarters.  At that same time, 1,600 miles [2,575 km] to the west the pathetic survivors of the Donner Party straggled down the slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains into the Sacramento Valley.

"They had spent the ferocious winter trapped in the snowdrifts below the summit. That any survived the days and weeks and months of starvation and indescribable suffering is almost beyond belief.

"Among them was fifteen-year-old John Breen. On the night of April 24 he walked into Johnson's Ranch. Years later John wrote:

"'It was long after dark when we got to Johnson's Ranch, so the first time I saw it was early in the morning. The weather was fine, the ground was covered with green grass, the birds were singing from the tops of the trees, and the journey was over. I could scarcely believe that I was alive.

"The scene that I saw that morning seems to be photographed on my mind. Most of the incidents are gone from memory, but I can always see the camp near Johnson's Ranch.'"

Said President Packer: "At first I was very puzzled by his statement that 'most of the incidents are gone from memory.' How could long months of incredible suffering and sorrow ever be gone from his mind? How could that brutal dark winter be replaced with one brilliant morning?"

I know that repentance is real, and I have a lot to work on, especially the sincerely trying to change and not justifying myself in repeating what I had already repented for.  But hey, we are getting there. Depending on our choices, we will all be able to arrive and see that brilliant morning of forgiveness. I love you all so much and I love this work!  The Lord is perfect and never makes mistakes!!

Love,
Hermana Farish

Monday, November 23, 2015

With Eyes Of Faith

As a mission, this week we have been studying the faith and how it is much more than something that we believe in but that we don't see.  We have been able to talk with a lot of missionaries, and it is such a privilege to hear the different things that they have been learning this past week about faith and how it has changed their perspective.

Here in the mission, we have the opportunity to exercise our faith in a unique way: finding people who will accept the baptismal covenant and the restored gospel.  We have to look at the people with the eyes of faith, as people who have eternal potential, and as people who the Lord loves very, very much.  After studying about the Atonement last week, and how he suffered for EVERYONE, because he loves everyone without exception, I have been able to see a change in my attitude towards the people, because sometimes you just want to not love them and punch a tree or something...haha, not really, but it is interesting sometimes. If we look at people how the Lord does, they will be able to feel our love and if they choose, they will want to always feel that.  Looking at them with eyes of faith makes a big difference.

Haha, my comp and I were talking about how using faith in the mission as compared to real life is kind of different.  But...to not be too trunky....we will just leave it at that;)

The scripture that we all ponderized this week was Alma 32:40:

40 And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life.

I really like it because it makes faith into an action word, and becomes something that we live every moment, not just in the bad ones.  I love this gospel, and really, from what I have been able to learn in the past yearish, faith is what sustains us and is a precious gift from God that we receive according to our desires and works (1 Nephi 2:16):

16 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers.

Nephi didn't rebel against his father like his brothers did because he had gained the necessary faith. He wanted it, and did what was needed to be able to get it. I have a lot of work to do in this area!!!

I do have to tell you the most awkward moment of my week.  I was so just like....what....?  We went to an investigator's house, but she wasn't there so we contacted the house in front and they let us in. The lady told me, "I've seen you walking in front of my house for a while now, you have lost a lot of weight!!  You were a little fat before, and now not so much!!!"  I was like...well, at least someone is noticing #onlyinlatinamerica.  I am going to miss these people.  And then she told us that she is lesbian...we were like...WHAT...yeah, Atonement much.

But anyways, I love you all so much and I am grateful for your good examples!!!  Have a wonderful week!!

Love,

Hermana Farish

Monday, November 16, 2015

Life Is Good

Life with an American comp is interesting, I speak a lot more English, that is for sure, but the member's attitude about the missionaries has changed a lot for the better and we are working like crazy to keep everything going okay.  Hermana Fardos will be heading home in March, one transfer after me, so she will kill me and then DIE:)

I am doing great, learning a lot, and just going and going.  One thing that was really hard for me this week was yesterday, we went to go get a less active family to bring them to church.  But when we entered in the house, there was a really gucky feeling, dark, and they said they wouldn't be going to church.  We left there and were talking about it.  The dad and the two teenage sons have problems with pornography and drinking.  They have an 8 year old sister there who is really kind of strange. When you go to say hi and to give her a kiss on each cheek, she doesn't want it, but she does want to be touched...I don't know how to explain it but we are pretty sure that she is being sexually abused. That feeling was so dark and yucky, it makes me so sad.  It just made me think more about the atonement and how it is all powerful, and even in cases like this, this little girl will be okay.  So many of these people are living in a nightmare, and have been for so long, and you just want to help them but...ahah I walked out of there thinking "I am too young for this!!!  What in the flipping world, I am so traumatized."  But seriously, that darkness was really bothering us, and then we went to church to take the sacrament.  It was there when the darkness left and the light of Christ came back.  We are planning an interview with the bishop so that he can take over, because that is WAY out of our league. Blech.

To answer your questions, I am good.  I know what I am doing at least half the time, which is huge, and I think that I am getting to the point where I am realizing what I have been able to do thanks to the Lord and His help.  The parents of one of my converts will be baptized this Saturday in Palma Loma, and Eduardo was just called as the ward secretary and now has the Melchizedek Priesthood. and his stepmom and sister are going to be baptized...life is good.  It is interesting to watch the chain of events.  Even if we aren't there to witness them, it is awesome to just hear about them and to know that you had a small part in making it happen:)

My goals for the next 3 months are to just keep going, to reach my potential as a missionary and as a servant of God.  Every six months I have made new goals and written myself a letter to start the new goals, and 3 months ago I wrote those goals and to finish strong with no regrets:)  I love the people of Paraguay and I want them to know it, and that their Heavenly Father also loves them, even more than they can imagine:)

One thing that I am really enjoying at this point of my mission is the new study guide of Preach My Gospel.  This last week we have been able to study the atonement as a mission and it has made such a difference in our teaching and our contacts.  We made a goal to talk about the atonement in every one of our contacts.  Yesterday, we were making visits and we passed a house of a really active member who hadn't gone to church yesterday, and we decided to see why.  We entered, and it turns out that last Wednesday a guy with a machete broke into her daughter's house and tried to kill them.  We were like "oh my heck", but then we talked about the atonement, and we used the scripture Alma 7:11-12 to kind of explain what we wanted to say.  This week of studying just the atonement has really helped me to understand it better, and how it can help us to keep going and keep enduring.  We also read a talk by Elder Bednar, called, "The Atonement and Our Journey Of Mortality".  Near the end it said something really awesome that I just loved.  Something that we can apply to our daily lives. Enjoy, and I highly suggest reading the rest of the talk.

"The Savior has suffered not just for our iniquities but also for the inequality, the unfairness, the pain, the anguish, and the emotional distresses that so frequently beset us. There is no physical pain, no anguish of soul, no suffering of spirit, no infirmity or weakness that you or I ever experience during our mortal journey that the Savior did not experience first. You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out, 'No one understands. No one knows'.  No human being, perhaps, knows. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burden before we ever did. And because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many phases of our life. He can reach out, touch, succor—literally run to us—and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do through relying upon only our own power."

When we feel like no one else understands what we are going through, when we feel like we are 100% alone, we have someone who had to go beneath everything and everyone so that He can lift us up again and give us that push that we need to start up. I love the Atonement, and I love the effects that it has on our lives and on the lives of everyone.  It is pretty shweet:)  I love you all and hope that you have a good week!!!

Love,
Hermana Farish

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Word "Comfortable"

The word "comfortable" is a very, very dangerous word, one that should never be mentioned when you are near transfer week, because Heavenly Father then makes the decision to make you less comfortable.  Unfortunately, I think that is normal, so we will see what happens throughout the eternities.

We had transfers, and I stayed here in Salado!!! WOHOO!!! and the Hermana Cordova went next door to Juan de Salazar, same zone, so we will see each other a lot.  She was so awesome and I am so excited to see her grow and change.

I received my new comp, Hermana Fardos.  She is my first American comp, so it is really weird to speak English all of the time.  My English is getting better though, so don't worry:) She came about a month after I did, and so she and I will be finishing at almost the same time. She is AWESOME and is so energetic, she will keep me running until the end;)

This week, our whole entire mission began to study a Preach My Gospel with a personalized study guide, made by President McMullin and his wife.  It is so awesome. This week we have been studying chapter one, and the power of our callings.  It helped me to realize how it is that I can change and teach by the Spirit, with the Lord supporting me in every way.  I have been able to feel like that on my mission, and I know that it is possible.  By reading your emails and letters, I have also been able to see the ways in which the Lord is supporting and helping you.  I know that He is always here, and that even though it seems like we are alone, that is so never true. never never never.

One thing that I thought was interesting this week was that it was just different.  I had so gotten used to just giving 100% and focusing on my area, and my companion was admitted to the hospital on Thursday until Saturday, with bed rest Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  It was interesting to see the trials that the Lord sometimes gives us, especially if we are "comfortable".  If you look at your life right now and you see yourself as comfortable...hold on about a week and then look again.  It is how we grow and progress towards exaltation.  For example, the church put out the policy this week on gay marriage, and I read the interview, and it looks like they did it because there were a lot of people who were comfortable, kind of in the gray area.  Well, from what I hear, this new policy has made a lot of people UNcomfortable, because they need to choose which side they are on.  They can't be comfortable in the middle.  That is definitely something I have learned in the past year.  If you have a comfort zone, you need to look at what is included and see if the Lord could be in there too.  Kind of interesting to think about.

Our ward is doing fine, the elders had transfers and the new district leader that came is AWESome, so I hope that things will continue to progress. Our investigators are doing okay, Luis is going strong, but we do have an investigator that only comes to church for the economic help.  He is blind, and his mom is totally using him to get more help from the church.  We know it is wrong, and we will see what happens when the batpismal interview comes around.  The district leader will have to be the one to tell him the bad news. que pucha.

Also, a huge miracle was that Hermano Arrua came to church!!! His wife was SOOO happy, (she is a recent convert).  She has been trying and trying and TRYING to get him to at least try, and he came!! We are going to work with them so that in one year this family can get to the temple and get sealed!!! AAAHHHHH #familiaseternas.

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

Love,
Hermana Farish


Erin's District

Erin with her companion in the hospital

Monday, November 2, 2015

Craziness of my life...

This week was crazy.  Now that I think about it, I say that a lot.  Like every email.  But that is because it is true.

This week it rained almost every day, which was wonderful, because we don't have air conditioning.

We also had divisions, and I went to Limpio with Hermana Wiscombe, and Hermana Cordova stayed in Salado.  She was really nervous, because Thursdays are our more heavy duty days, but she did great.  I learned so much in my division with Hermana Wiscombe.  She is a wonderful example of a consecrated missionary.  I have a lot to improve.  I also got FRIED.  Like a lobster.  Seriously, I think I am going to come home a different race at the rate I am going.

We also had an open house in the church, and it went really well, apart from the fact that it rained, so there wasn't a whole lot of people, but one woman came that the hermanas contacted in the street, and she said that she came because she wanted to know why it was called the Church of Jesus Christ.  She had a lot of amazing questions but she lives in the area of the elders, so they have the privilege of talking with her again.

You asked about the temple.  I miss it A LOT.  Once a year is not nearly enough for me.  I miss the peace that we can feel when we are inside.  Two of my converts entered the temple to do baptisms for the first time, and it was so fun to hear them talk about how they felt and how they want their whole entire family to enter and feel and see for themselves.  I miss it, I need a recharge...the temple always helped me to keep going.

It hasn't been so hot this week, it has stayed in the 80s, low 90s, so it has been really nice.

Last week I was so scatterbrained.  I didn't ever think that my brain would be split like it was into like 10,000,000 pieces...our p-days are pretty low key, especially today, because there is a huge strike with the buses, so we are pretty limited as to where we can go.

That is fun about Jake and his new job, and about the dating thing, although that is slightly scary. Okay, like a lot scary.  I hope that Abby plays volleyball, I want to be able to play with her when I get back.

The changes in the people here are sometimes so small that you don't notice.  But they are there.  And sometimes they don't want to push themselves to be able to get into exaltation, but at least they improved a little.  I am having some weird deja vu moments...like what was I doing last year at this time..we are almost to Christmas!!  Less than two months until I can see your face, and I am so excited!

Here they don't celebrate Halloween, because there is a lot of dark, weird Satanic stuff that happens, so they don't send their kids around to trick or treat.

This Sunday was really good for me.  It was one of the most spiritual testimony meetings that I have experienced in all of my mission.  All of the missionaries gave their testimonies, and the Spirit was so incredibly strong.  Afterwards, we were waiting for ward council to start and I thought about how much I love these people.  They aren't perfect, none of us are, but I love them so much.  I thought about that moment in 3ish months and was like...this is going to be a struggle, and I started to cry a little...(yeah, shocker). But hey, that is how it needs to be.  Dangit.

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

Love,
Hermana Farish


Fresh bread and dulce de leche...hmmm!

Halloween witches in Paraguay.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Short

This week slightly...was interesting.

Again we had to drop a few people, it turns out that they weren't going for the right reasons.

Y...eso no mas.  We are working, it rained like crazy today and it was wonderfully cool.  Apart from that we had a pretty normal, slightly odd week.

Short but shweet!! I love you all and have a good week!!

Love,
Hermana Farish

Monday, October 19, 2015

Still In Shock...

So, this week was nuts.  With a capital NUTS.  We had a lot of miracles happen, and we were able to kind of recharge.

To start off, we have weekly planning every Friday, and last Friday (1 week ago) we decided to call and set times for the members to make visits with us.  We were able to go out with a member every single day this week, and let me tell you, it made the difference.  We were able to go and visit a sister called Margarita.  Margarita has a 19 year old daughter with severe special needs, and has been wanting to go to church, but we haven't been able to find transport.  This last week we were able to go there with the RS president, who saw the needs of Margarita and this week the two of them were able to come to church.  She was so happy, and I love talking with her daughter.  She hasn't been able to receive treatments, and her spine is basically doubling in half.  She understands basically everything that you tell her, but is shut up in her body.  She is so innocent and special, and I know that Heavenly Father loves her so much.

This last weekend we were fasting, and I don't know what made this fast different or what...but it was great. The huge unexpected shocking heart attack of my life was when we were told the attendance on Sunday was 127 people, 44 people more than usual.  Seriously, after last week we were surprised to see so many people.  We knew that member involvement was going to help, but wow, mucho:) Our companionship attendance goal since July has been 120, and we finally got it.  And the best part was that everyone was involved, and we now have 80 more missionaries to help us out.  I was thinking the other day, sometimes we are trying to do things right, and we don't see the effects right away, but we were able to see the effects of 3 months of work, and I am so happy to finally see them:)

We have a really special investigator named Danny.  He is the son of an inactive and is 25 years old. A few years ago, he didn't want anything to do with the church.  But 2 years ago he had an awful motorcycle accident, and his forehead was literally caved in and now he is blind.  He couldn't walk and about 3 months ago he took his first step.  We went to this home for the first time with a member (he was a reference) and his mom (inactive) let us in.  His mom is really kind of..a...bitter lady, but, when Danny said the last prayer, his mom just began to cry.  Danny has some problems with autism now, but he remembers every single thing that we teach him.  On Sunday his mom told us that Danny had woken up that morning and told his mom, we need to go to church.  So, he, with his mom, walked to a member's home and from there the members took them. #miraclenumbertwo.

Life is going well here in Paraguay.  So crazy.  Haha, last Monday I received a call from the mission secretary...his question was "What will be your final destination?"  I was slightly confused (dork that I am) and asked...em...eternally or what?  And then I realized what he was asking - flipping St. George, Utah.  Time is going by so so so so fast, and it is slightly freaky.  But whatever, I'm cool with that.  I think I will finish here in Salado, which I am totally fine with.  There is so much work to be done.  Something that I am finding, though, is that I am tired.  This week I got super sunburned, and that took me down a notch.  I was just weary.  But then we fasted and all was well.

But, you know, life goes on, and we are going to see if we can maintain it.  But it was a good week, transfers in two weeks...si o si we are going to have transfers, so we will see what happens:)  I love you and hope that you have a good week!

Love,
Hermana Farish


Really, Really Tired

I Love Empanadas!

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Sweetest Moments

This week, to be downright honest, was one of the hardest weeks of my mission.  For the first half of the week, it was 100ish degrees, and since Thursday it has been raining, and we have to have raincoats and sweaters. Bipolar, seriously.

We were kind of bummed, there were a lot of people this week that we had to drop, and at one point we just looked at each other and were like...???  What the heck are we supposed to say to that??  For example:

We contacted a lady named Emilce like 3 weeks ago, and we have been talking with her ever since, she just doesn't go to church.  We went to her house again on Thursday and she answered the door with huge purple bruises all over her body.  We were like...oh flip. She let us in and then promptly told us that she doesn't believe in God anymore, because what kind of God would let her husband abuse her like that?  If He is all powerful and all knowing, why didn't He do anything?  She said that she has decided that if her husband comes back, she won't be responsible for what she is going to do to him.  I honestly thought to myself, "I got nothing."  Its like I know that He loves us, and sometimes we don't understand why we have to go through some trials, but she didn't want any of it.  It made us so sad, and we can't let it get us down, but just the same. We will go back next week after it dies down a little and see what we can do.

I have been thinking about the whole attributes of Christ thing,  I think we are sent to different areas to learn, develop, and strengthen certain attributes.  For example, in Palma Loma I learned humility, patience, and love.  In Salado, faith, diligence, and obedience. The hard part is keeping the other ones strong while we are developing new ones...dangit. But that is just how it goes, I think.

We finally got to the end of this week, and it ended so wonderfully with Alejandro's baptism. Seriously, this kid is going to do something awesome, like reactivate his whole family. We taught them about tithing on Wednesday, and his mom told us on Friday that Alejandro asked her if he could wash the dishes, but that she would have to pay him so that he could pay his tithing:) We giggled a little:)  It was freezing cold and raining buckets Saturday night, but we still had like 30 people at the baptism, with the entire family of Alejandro. The spirit was so strong, and the mom was so happy. She told us that we were "una grande bendicion para su familia."  Sincere compliments like that don't come very often, so that was really nice. It was such a good feeling to see them all there for the first time in 15ish years.

After Alejandro was baptized, we were waiting outside the bathroom with his mom, and she just started to cry.  It kind of shocked us a little bit, because she is someone who is really closed, she doesn't really ever show her emotions.  We gave her a hug, and she told us that Alejandro had told her that his new goal is to get his dad to go back to church. SO....then WE started to cry, and I can honestly say that this moment was one of the sweetest of my mission.  It made this whole last week worth it.  I can't express how grateful I am to be here and witness the changes of heart that the Atonement can bring.  It is so wonderful, and I am so happy.  It stinks sometimes, but these sweet moments are what make it all worth it.  I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, and I know that what we have will help whoever wants to receive it have a better life, full of sweet moments and tender mercies.  I love you all and I hope that you have a good week!

Love,
Hermana Farish


Alejandro with his family at his baptism

Monday, October 5, 2015

The weirdest thing that has ever happened to me

So, this week was pretty shweet.  We had a zone conference on Tuesday, and President talked about how we appear to the members and what we have to do to better gain their trust and confidence.  We left thinking about what it is that we need to change in our area, and what we could do better.  We went to our lunch appointment with Hermana Conti, and we shared a quick message and then asked for references.  She gave us the reference of a friend, Hermana Rios.  We told her, okay, we are going to go contact that right now, and she told us to wait because she was going to come with us.  We were like.....??  What just happened?  But it was real, she came with us and we were able to contact the reference. It was so amazing, and Hermana is AWESOME.   By the end of the week, we had received 22 references from members.  It was such a miracle, and we are working to contact all of them.

And...general conference was pretty much the greatest thing ever.  Like better than Christmas.  When Elder Holland talked about a mother's love, haha, all of the missionaries got a little teary eyed.  One of my questions was how can we keep progressing?  What can we do to seguir adelante (press forward???) and find everything that we need to improve and then improve it?  And in the first session my question was answered.  I liked what was said.  I don't remember who said it, but there are two things that have stuck in my mind,

"You can start where you are at, Heavenly Father will take you as you are." or something to that effect.

"It is your direction, not your speed, that matters."

I really felt, as I listened to the new apostles give their testimonies, and with all of the other testimonies, they are inspired.  They really are.  They have prayed and fasted to be able to answer the questions of millions of people, and they end up doing it.  Haha, no pressure.

One thing that was weird was that we were walking to an appointment and someone yelled "hermanitas (little sisters!)" and we were like, yup, nope, and we kept walking.  He yelled again, "La rubia es norteamericana?" (The blonde is North American?) so we walked even faster, and he ran up and began to talk about his interest in Americans and all that, it was SO uncomfortable.  So, so weird.

Other than that, Alejandro will get baptized this week, and we are looking to put a lot of dates so that people can keep progressing:)  I love you all, and have a good week!

Love,
Hermana Farish


Alejandro

Homemade...bread?

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Last Step

Y bueno, this week flew by, every day is just flying by faster.

Just so ya know, we didn't have transfers!!!  I get to have one more change with Hermana Cordova.  I am so happy, we have so much to do and Salado is just the greatest.

We had a really productive week, the Lord has blessed us with so many prepared people, and we were able to find a family that went to church on Sunday!  We had contacted a house and left a card, and then we asked for referrals from a member and she gave us the name of the woman who lived in this house...we were like um yep that would be a sign. Her name is Doris, and her daughters went to the talent show that we had last week, and it was just awesome.  We were kind of bumming around Saturday night, it had rained all day (it was WONDERFUL) and everyone was cooped up inside, so we decided to go and try to get in and contact the referral.  We went and clapped and her daughters let us in, and we had a lesson with them and with her nieces.  The next morning, we had to take a bus to go get some less actives and investigators, drop them off in the church, and then run to go get this family.  It was nuts, because we were like running to their house and we saw this group of people pass by and it was Doris with her nephew, Eduardo, niece Vanessa, daughters Jessica and Johanna.  I just about died of a heart attack. They had a great experience and we are going to have a FHE with them this week.

Also, we are still working with the Hermana Martinez and her son, Alejandro.  He has a baptismal date for October 10th, pray for him and her, please please please.  We are trying hard to activate his family so that they can get to the temple.

We are working with another lady, Victoria, who really wasn't progressing.  We weren't sure what to teach her, and honestly, we were going to drop her, but we prayed during weekly planning and we both thought about the book My Family, that talks about family history.  We had a lesson with her and she was so excited, she is going to talk with her sister so that she can fill it out (her sister is going to be visiting her, so that is why she can't go to church.  Might as well do something productive).

Today we went to the temple with Ramona and Lucia (recent converts).  My companion and I bore our testimonies and I felt the spirit so strong.  I love the temple.  I wish we could go more often, but that is okay.  Something that I have realized is that everything we do in the church, everything that we study, learn, memorize, feel, whatever, everything points to the temple.  Everything we have to endure is worth it when we understand and make eternal covenants with our Heavenly Father.  I love that so much.  That is the difference between the LDS church and the thousands of others: we will be together for the eternities.  What a blessing.

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

Hermana Farish

Monday, September 21, 2015

Talent Show

Well flip.

This week was nuts. But it was awesome.  To try to explain it I am just going to go day by day, starting with Wednesday (because it was halfway normal up to that point).

Wednesday-we had piano class and a rehearsal with the primary for the talent show, and it went pretty well.  We had assigned a recent convert to find a little sketch theater thing that they could do, and we had the help of Hermana Martinez (who is coming back to church...YAY!!!) with the decorations and the costumes.  We ended our little theater thing with the primary song "Mother I Love You".  It was so cute.  The crazy thing from this day was trying to coordinate everything between teaching appointments and class and all of that fun shtuff.

Thursday-was slightly normal as well, we started the day in a place in our area called Carmen Soler. It is an asentamiento, or in other words, government land lots, and it is the farthest away from us.  A sister who lives there is Hermana Piñanes. She was baptized about 14 years ago, and was sealed with her husband and children about 8 years ago.  Her husband stopped going to church after being sealed, and doesn't want anything to do with the gospel.  But Hermana Piñanes is awesome, she is handicapped and can't walk without the help of crutches and some braces on her legs.  She was inactive for several years, and we, being new, had no idea that she was a member (or that she existed, for that matter).  All of the sudden, one Sunday, she just showed up at church.  The amazing thing about that is that she can't get up into the bus by herself, and the majority of the time doesn't have the money to pay the bus, but she came.  We have been working with her ever since and basically all of the investigators that we have in Carmen Soler are her references, and she is always offering to make visits with us, even though she can't really walk all that well.  It is a huge testimony to me of every member a missionary, even if you can't even walk.  It doesn't matter.

Friday-Another rehearsal for the talent show, a ton of stuff to do.  We had an awesome lesson with Hermana Martinez and her son, Alejandro, who has a date for October 10th.  We have been trying really hard to find the way to help them feel the Spirit again, and we were talking and we showed a picture of Jesus Christ when He will come again.  She looked at the picture and began to cry, and told us that beause of that picture she had made the decision to be baptized.  She had had a dream with that picture, and she had in her arms her baby that had died.  When the missionaries showed her that picture, she knew that she needed to be baptized.  The spirit was so so strong and it was wonderful to see her start to feel that again.

Saturday-loco talent show.  Everything went well, there were a lot of people who came, and we died in bed afterwards we were so tired.  Haha, we did a skit that I had seen when I was at Snow in a talent show of the YSA, where someone is preparing themselves for the day, but there is another person behind them who puts their arms in front, so the arms of the other person are putting on the makeup of the person in front...so the makeup turns out really good looking.  Ya, hard to explain, but it turned out funny.

Sunday-em...this was kind of a disappointment, because there were several people who we are bringing back to church who came, but then out of the blue some other active families decided to travel and whatever, so the attendance went down...we were like WWWWWHHHHHYYYYYY???

Sorry this is so long, but all in all, it was a good week.  I love being a missionary here in Paraguay!!

Hermana Farish

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Most Unexpected Testimony I Have Ever Heard!

This week was so so so so so so so so crazy.  The time is flying by, and I don't like it.  It seems like there isn't enough time to do everything that we need to.

This Wednesday we went to the church to have piano class and there was no electricity.  We were like oh flip.  There were a ton of people there so we put the chalkboard outside and my companion and an elder had flashlights, so we had piano a la flashlight.  It was the greatest class we have ever had:)

Thursday we were stuck with nothing to do at like 8:30 at night, and it was so flipping cold that no one was outside, so we began to knock doors and we were walking past this one house and a man ran out yelling "hermanas, hermanas"!!!  And we were like...yep, drunk man, running away now.  We walked away really fast and he didn't come out of his gate.  Afterwards we felt bad so we went back and clapped and he came out and began to talk to us, 100% drunk and probably high as well, and began to talk about Joseph Smith and the plates and all of that stuff.  He told us that Joseph was a good man, I know that he did good things and a bunch of weird testimony things all bunched together. We will go back with a member to see what his real intentions are.

Another miracle was on Friday, we were walking to contact a new area and we walked past the house of an old contact, Jessica.  We had left a brochure of the Plan of Salvation with her and had tried to return several times, but she was never there or couldn't talk with us.  We felt the "hunch" (Elder Hughes:)) and so we clapped, and she came out and we had an amazing lesson about the necessity of infant baptisms.  She accepted the baptism invitation and we will see her again tomorrow.

Saturday we were feeling a little low, super tired, and we felt like we were lacking in finding quality nuevos (apart from Jessica).  The phone rang and we looked, and lo and behold it was President McMullin.  There are three reasons for which president will call you: 1-special changes, 2-interviews, 3-referrals.  So we had a 66% chance of coming out of it alive.  But as it turns out, President had a referral for us, Javier.  We called him and he committed over the phone to go to church:)  We will be meeting with him afterwards on Sunday.

I GOT YOUR PACKAGE!!!!  AND I LOVED IT SSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!! Seriously, it just made my month.  I loved the cute notes and the pictures and the pillow case and everything about everything was just perfect.  Also, I got a letter from Brynn, could you tell her thank you for me? Cute girl.

Transfers are next week, and I honestly have no idea what is going to happen.  I would be perfectly happy staying with Hermana Cordova another transfer, but I am pretty sure one of us is going to go, I am not sure who.  Everyone is telling me that I am going to be a sister training leader, but I am pretty 100% positive that isn't going to happen.  I dunno, vamos a ver que pasa (we will see what happens). I am trying to have the attitude of "I am here to serve the Lord and what he wants will be what happens" kind of thing.  President was very complimentary in our last interview, and today (totally made me laugh) I greeted Hermana McMullin (President's wife) and she told me, "you look so good!" I laughed and thought, "I will just have to keep gaining weight" :)

And...apart from that, it was a good week.  Haha, I am reading the Book of Mormon and I was in the Isaiah chapters of 2nd Nephi.  About halfway through, I realized that I wasn't learning or understanding anything, even less because it is in Spanish.  So I started again with Isaiah, our relationship is a bit better, and I am going slower and marking all of the times that it refers to the Lord, and other events in the Plan of Salvation.  I realized that if I really, really want to learn something, all I have to do is be diligent and take my time, especially if it happens to be Isaiah in a foreign language:)

Sorry this was so long, but I hope that you all have a good week and that you enjoy the coming fall!!! I love you!

Hermana Farish


Happiness is a sugar overdose!

Hermana Cordova, Hermana Farish, Hermana Francani




Monday, September 7, 2015

Too Many Blessings

We had an awesome week here in Salado...

First off, Wednesday was great because we contacted ALL DAY and literally no one let us in, which was weird because normally the Paraguayans are pretty nice, but not on Wednesdays apparently. So...it was just peachy.  We were thinking, how crazy would it be if someone just came up and said "I would like to be baptized, please".  Later that night we had piano class, and halfway through an inactive sister came in who hasn't stepped in the church for like 15 years because a member stole the title to her land...long story...but she entered with her son and afterwards came up and asked to talk with us.  Her son apparently had asked her to be baptized, and we have begun to understand that you need to be careful with what you say, because someone is always listening....:)

Thursday we had interviews with President McMullin.  We were inside of the church for 7 hours straight, such fun.

This week went really well, and I just felt good.  We have been contacting a ton and we are working. Sometimes it is hard though because the members are the ones who are tempting us to not be obedient.  They have been so accustomed to the elders who haven't been obedient and we have to go in and get home on time and not watch movies and not spend the whole day in one home...it is something that frustrates me, because Paraguay is different than the US..shocker.  We are always moving and shaking and working and playing and DOING SOMETHING: here it is like...sit down for 5 hours and drink terere...and to a certain point we have to take a chill pill and slow it down, but we also have to do our job and be obedient.  There are so many times when my Paraguayan side is taking it out on my US roots, and it is hard.  But I know how it should be, and that a lot of times church policies and rules and programs just don't work here in Paraguay.  They are so ....lazy.  Haha, I still have a lot to learn about patience.  But other than that, I am doing well...until I read that you guys had gone to the cabin and it was 52 degrees...waaaa....it is like 100 here...dangit.  But oh well, I am going to come home a mexican blonde because I will be so so so so tan with some freaking awesome lines...super attractive.

Friday was interesting, we started to contact and we contacted a house with a guy that is 100 percent anti-Mormon.  He came out and began to bash the US and Joseph Smith and the plates and that the Mormon church didn't come from Christ and how you would have to be stupid to join and all of that fun stuff, and it was just interesting to me to see that the majority of the people don't know what they are talking about, and that every once in a while, we need to kneel down and ask again to verify and strengthen our own testimonies, so that when we have to give them, we are ready and prepared.

Another little milagro (miracle) was that we had 10 investigators in church yesterday.  We began to count and we just kept finding more and more...I don't know what happened this week to change so much but the work in in Salado is being hastened, and we are so excited to keep going.

I hope that you all have a good week!  Be happy and obedient!

Love,
Hermana Farish

Monday, August 31, 2015

"In Summerrrrrr!!!!"

Y bueno, I am now dying of heat again, seriously, I had forgotten how it felt.  Today it is 100 degrees, and we are still in winter, sad day. AND our air conditioning just went out...great.

This week went by really fast, we contacted a lot and are doing well with our two Books of Mormon every day.  We were thinking on how we could find more quality people to accept the baptismal invitation, and we decided that we are going to knock at least 20 doors every day.  Here in Paraguay (all of South America), it is really easy to let yourself get caught in the trap of working only with inactives, that let you in the door but don't really have the intentions to return.  So, new goal, 20 doors every day at least, and from there we can work with recent converts and inactives.

Apart from that...we had an area-wide stake conference, with Elders Cook and Hales, and they spoke on the Sabbath day.  It was so interesting to me, how they said that by keeping the Sabbath day we become who we want to become.  And then, we went to a member's house for lunch afterwards and they went and bought everything to make us dinner.  We were like...we need to tell them that we are not going to eat if we are the cause of them breaking the Sabbath day.  Dangit.

Yesterday we had a great lesson with an inactive family, the dad is a returned missionary but they still haven't been sealed.  I was thinking that he stopped doing the small things like praying and reading the scriptures and that is when he fell.  I was thinking as well that the mission has made me somewhat of a cynic...haha, I don't trust ANYONE apart from Heavenly Father, Pres. McMullin, and a few others.  Even if they have a plaque, it doesn't guarantee a thing.

About the food thing, I was just thinking about that this week as well.  I was thinking about the Sunday dinners, the hours peeling potatoes and laughing and making rolls will always be a highlight of my life.  I loved it:)  That being said, how many more people would we be able to visit if dinner was more simple?  How could we include more people in our Sabbath day activities?  If we have a big dinner, who could we invite to share it with us so that they have a good experience?  I think (my personal opinion, totally 100% biased) that as a missionary, we eat as fast as possible so that we can visit more people.  That being said, maybe continuing big meals is a good thing, but how could we help others to share in the spirit and the love that we feel for each other as we prepare and share over dinner on the Sabbath Day?  Many people watch tv or are on facebook becaue they don't have anything better to do.  Just some thoughts.

I was talking to mom about Josh, and that I am so incredibly glad that I am not in training.  Those first few months were kind of hard.  But, to answer your question, I have been able to change so much, and I love that I am not the same person.

How has my relationship with the Savior changed in the past year???

Well, to answer your question, before my mission, I knew that the church was true, and that it was taking me in a good direction, but I had never really knelt down and asked God if He was there, I always just knew, but after reading Preach My Gospel, it says that we need to ask every so often to confirm the answer that we have received. So, I knelt down and asked, and from the experience that I had, I know that he lives, I know that He loves me more than I can even imagine, and I know that I am nothing without Him and His atonement.  Later, in April during the General Conference, during the talk of Elder Bednar, I had the thought that I will never deny what I have felt and what I know.  I have received my own personal witness, and it is like drugs, I decide beforehand that I am never going to take them, and I have decided now that, no matter what happens, I will not deny what I have felt, the miracles that I have seen, the covenants that I have made, and what I know to be true. I love Him, and sometimes I am frustrated because my weaknesses are in the way, but I know that through Him, I can do whatever He needs me to do.  It all just depends on what I do and if I do it with all of my heart.

But hey, life is good, a little hot, but that's okay, the worst thing that happens is that I lose a little weight;)  I love you all and hope that you have a good day!

Hermana Farish




Too Much Study!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Faith

So, this week was pretty great.  We have made a goal to give out two Books of Mormon every day, and we have been able to see miracles from that.

Something that I would like to focus on is a talk that a friend (Sister Jones!!) sent last week, by Elder Bednar.  He talks about a scripture found in D y C 19:18, which says:

18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink

He talks about an experience of a young couple where the husband had just been diagnosed with bone cancer after 3 weeks of marriage.  Elder Bednar asked them if they had the faith to not be healed.  I was like...say what?  Do I have the faith to submit myself to the will of the Lord like they did and like Jesus did?  Because of His love for us he did not shrink, He did what he came to do.  I started to read the Book of Mormon again with this theme. looking to find the examples of people who didn't shrink, and see why they were able to do what the Lord expected of them.  The first example that I found was in 1 Nephi, where the Lord tells him to kill Laban:

10 And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him.

And...Nephi, knowing and being led by the spirit, didn't shrink.  Haha, now my whole life is finding people who don't shrink.  My ancestors, my present family, and so many others who are firm examples of not shrinking.  I am so grateful for the Atonement, and for all of the strength that is given to us so that we don't shrink. I love you all and hope that you have a good week!

Love,
Hermana Farish

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Wheels On The Bus...

Hem...this week was amazing.  I have never been so tired in all of my life.  We have been working so hard to open our mouths and make quality contacts.  We set a goal to give out 2 Books of Mormon every day, and so far it has made a difference.  We contacted a house on Friday, and we clapped and then looked at who was inside.  We saw a little old lady in a wheelchair.  She couldn't talk, but motioned us in.  We asked her her name and she (obviously) couldn't tell us, so we had to change up a bit and go with yes or no questions.  She accepted the Book of Mormon, and it was so interesting to share with her; not through words but through the Spirit.  This week we are going to follow up and see if she was able to read.

Another contacting miracle was on Thursday.  We were struggling with investigators, because there aren't many who are progressing, and we prayed to find a family.  I know that answers to prayers like that aren't really supposed to come so easily, but an appointment fell through so we decided to contact the entire street.  The third house that we contacted had the windows open, and the mom was ironing.  Normally, that is a pretty good excuse to say no, but she looked out at us and stopped what she was doing, came out, and accepted a Book of Mormon (we were so confused...:)).  We will be heading back tomorrow to see how it went.

Also...We had our first Family Home Evening Guazu (Guarani for "big") and we had 50 people come!!  That is like half of sacrament meeting.  Our plan is to do one every week, once in the elder's area and once our area.  The members did their part, and some of the people received 5 visits in one week!  It was such a miracle.  We were hoping that the attendance would go up, but it went down....dangit, but we are praying and working hard.  We are going to start English and piano classes this week, and we are hoping to find quality new investigators through them.

Today my companion had to go to immigration, so I was stuck in the offices all morning, and I was able to see my old companion, Hermana Francani!  She had just come out of an interview with the Mission president, who told her that her grandma had died.  She had been listening to the missionaries and was planning on being baptized.  Hermana Francani was so strong, she was crying but she bore such a powerful testimony of the plan of salvation, and said that it was another test and that Heavenly Father will help her through it.  It bore me up, I was so proud of her and her ability to press forward ,even with all of the trials that she has.  She came to the mission with her mom inactive, and just lots of things like that that have strengthened and refined her.  I love this gospel, I love how it refines us to be more like Christ.

I hope that you enjoyed the package.  It isn't a lot, and there wasn't any other color of ties.  I hope that red is okay.  As far as the weather goes, it is beautiful.  All of the trees have purple, pink, or yellow flowers.  I love this time of year.  Thankfully, my raincoat isn't too heavy so I can wear it most every day.

I hope that you all have a good week!

Hermana Farish

p.s. oh, and the subject line.  We were coming to the offices today and we had to ride in collectivos (city buses) for almost 2 hours.  standing up.  so fun.  and the greatest part is that our driver was like off-roading to go faster, so we almost tipped over like 5 times.  Life is good....Paraguay at its best:)




Noche de hogar guazu!!!

Small but tidy

Kitchen area

Empanadas!

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Hardest, Happiest Week of My Life

Hm.

This week was interesting, like a mental illness.

We had divisions this week, I stayed in Salado and Hermana Cordova went to Laurelty, an area in my other zone.  We had a good experience, we were almost ambushed...by a baby cat.  Seriously, you had to be there.  we were walking down from the mountain that is our area, and it was really dark and there was no one out in the street, and we were kind of nervous, so we started to walk a little faster and suddenly there was a noise behind us and we almost died. Dumb cat.

I just realized today haha, there are three zones in the city of Luque and I have been in every single one...thats awesome.  That is called the Luque hole...all of your mission in Luque.

We had a lot of success with inactives, we are trying to push hard so that the leaders and the other members do their visits, and it is working.  I honestly think that members, apart from the Spirit, are the most important part of missionary work.  Seriously.  If we can understand what we are doing and why we are really doing it, we can help so many people to come unto Christ and feel what we can feel.

One hard thing this week was that we lost our three progressing investigators until further notice. Seriously, it was kind of a shock.  We went to Jessica's house on Friday (Jessica is the one that came to church on her own TWICE), and the first thing that her mom told us is that she wants to return the Book of Mormon.  We were like...wait...what??  But they told us that the dad doesn't want anything to do with us or with the church.  So...we left that lesson kind of bummed.  Haha, we looked at each other and said, we need to find a private place to bawl our eyes out...but you would be so proud, we didn't even cry (all that much:))  We just started to contact and contact and contact, and I realized that talking to others about the gospel is what makes me happy.  It distracts me from all other problems or thoughts that I have.  Seriously, the best therapy ever.

One miracle that we saw was yesterday, we were trying to find new people to teach and we saw a woman get out of her car with her kids, we talked with her and turns out that she is the daughter of a member...I had seen her on Wednesday but had forgotten...whoops:)  Oh well, must be important. Anyways, we talked to this lady, and when we finished the conversation, I turned around and saw a young man sitting by himself on the soccer field.  I felt that we should talk with him, so we went, and, again, we had already contacted him!! ( I have problems...;))  However, this time, we were really close to his house, so we walked with him there and met his mom.  The miracle was that Junior's (the kid) aunt had just been diagnosed with cancer that Sunday, and the mom was in desperate need of a venting session.  We were able to talk with her and help her realize that whatever happens, she will be able to overcome it.  We shared 1 Corinthians 10:13 (my computer won't translate it...) but it basically says that Heavenly Father will not give us something that He knows we won't be able to handle.  Throughout my entire mission, this has been my comfort.  He knows us perfectly, and whatever happens, we will be okay:)  

I love this gospel, I know that our Savior lives, He loves us, and because of that love He suffered for every single one of us and has endless patience, thank goodness:) The mom accepted the baptismal invitation, and we hope that we can get to know the family Lopez more this week.  Keep them in your prayers!!

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

Love,
Hermana Farish

Monday, August 3, 2015

WHEW...

This week has been CRAZY.  With a capital C. R. A. Z. Y.

We had two baptisms this week, the Arrua Family (well, half) was baptized this Saturday!!!  We didn't know if they were going to be able to until Wednesday, when she told us that her husband had given her permission!!  Thank you for your prayers, and we have officially decided that we are going to fast every weekend, because it has brought us such miracles.

Another miracle that happened was yesterday.  Background: Last week we contacted a member referral, and she came to church!  On Tuesday, the member told us that she had fought with her and that she wasn't too interested anymore...we were kind of bummed.  A lot.  To make it even worse, this week we literally had NO TIME to contact Jessica (the referral) again, but we called to see if we could pass by Saturday night after the baptism, and she didn't answer, so we left a voice mail.  We weren't expecting too much, but hey, fasting is awesome. We had to go bring someone to church, and on the way, we found Jessica, walking to go to church.  We were like...I stand all amazed.  She now has a baptismal date for August 15th, and we hope that we can help her to continue to have a good experience at church and progress to baptism.

Something that I have learned this week...lots:)  But the main thing that I learned was that it doesn't hurt to have a little faith in the Lord.  Lots of times during my mission things have happened where I thought...wait.  I totally expected that NOT to happen.  I had faith that what I wanted to happen would come to pass.  But...unfortunately, it just doesn't happen that way.  Heavenly Father knows us perfectly, He knows how we have felt, what we are feeling, and what we are going to feel, and, according to that, will put us in situations that will help us to improve the most.  Lots of times when the people tell us their problems, or some trials that they have had, I think on what my mom told me..."Sometimes as a missionary we feel like we need a degree in psychology." which is totally true.  I have felt so inadequate sometimes.  Luckily, we have our Heavenly Father, who knows the other person perfectly, and will help us to say the right things through the Spirit.  One of the ways that we can know that we are a successful missionary is if we feel the Spirit testifying through us.  I am not perfect, but there are moments when my testimony is strengthened as I try to help others feel what Heavenly Father feels for them.

I love this work, and I love the people here in Paraguay.  I hope that you all have a good week, it looks like last week at the reunion was a party!  I love you!

Love,
Hermana Farish


The Arrua Family

Monday, July 27, 2015

Man Eating, Dinosaur Riding Blondes

So...yeah.  This week was pretty sweet.  We were able to see a lot of miracles and laugh a little.

First off, Thank you Jill and Family for the package!!  It was so fun to receive, and Ashlyn, you are so beautiful!  Thank you for sending me your announcement!

Second off,

We were nearing the end of our day, and all of our plans had fallen through, so we went to the main road and decided to contact everyone we saw until the end of the day...and...we got to the road and it was empty.  Not a soul, until we saw that there was a security guard in his little box thing, writing Jesús te ama (Jesus loves you) on the windows.  So we were like...okay, sign.  So we went to talk to him, and after we figured out how to get his attention, he came out and began to talk to us.  We talked to him about the Book of Mormon, and when we offered it to him, he declined by describing to us a dream that he had supposedly had.  In this dream, he had seen  2 girls, one with brown skin and the other a blonde, and that they were enticing all of the men to go to them and then they proceeded to eat them. And then rode off on their dinosaurs.  I kid you not, that is what he said.  While trying not to burst out laughing, we were like...if you don't want it, just say no, we won't bite.  We thought it was pretty funny:)

On the more spiritual side, we had a wonderful week.  Eduardo, an investigator from Palma Loma, was baptized on Saturday, and I was able to call and talk to him a little.  He has progressed so much and just goes to show how the gospel can change our lives for the better, it doesn't matter what we have done.

We have 3 people with baptismal dates for this weekend, but we aren't sure if any of them are going to make it, because Satan is working hard on them.  We have the Arrua Family.  The elders worked a lot with them, but could never get them to commit to a date, because the husband doesn't want his wife to get baptized.  We were able to put a date, and we fasted with them on Friday so that they would be able to reach this goal.  Yesterday, Ramona (the wife) still wasn't sure, so she talked with the bishop, who told her to wait until she had the approval from her husband. We were kind of ticked, but then we realized that it would be better that way.  We think. Keep them in your prayers!!

Other than that, we are just working hard, finding new people.  When we fasted on Friday, we tried hard to find new people that would accept the baptismal invitation.  We found 2!  Juana lives behind our house, and we had talked before with her mother-in-law, but we had never tried to talk with her. When we prayed before leaving to start proselyting, it came into my head that we should go and talk with her.  We went and were able to have a great lesson on the Plan of Salvation.  The other miracle was Joana.  We had contacted her house before, but she was way busy with her kids, so we finally followed up and had a lesson on repentance.  She had her first baby when she was 17, and since then has been involved with drugs.  She is awesome and is ready to start over.  Our last miracle was Jessica.  She was a referral from a member and we contacted her mom on Wednesday, and then we went back on Friday.  She told us that she would come to church, and she did!  She came because she has a friend who is member, and a wonderful example of how members should be.  There are lots of people who don't want to talk with us because of bad examples, but if they have had a good example, there isn't anything better:)

The time has gone by SO FAST.  Seriously, it seems like yesterday that I was crying my eyes out in the airport before leaving.  And now, everyone is asking me "are you ready to go??", and I am like...no.  Not even a little  bit.  Normally we don't receive our travel plans until our last transfer, so I think that is when I will be receiving them.

Anyway, on a more trunky note,  EVERYONE asks us if we have boyfriends.  It is RIDICULOUS. It makes me think that the main topic of conversation with the elders was their girlfriends, because the first thing they ask is if we left someone.  Eesh.

I hope that you all have a good week, thank you for all of your support, and now that Josh is in the field (okay, weird,) keep him in your prayers!!  I love you!

Love,
Hermana Farish

Monday, July 20, 2015

Rolls Dude!

Dear Everyone,

This week went so well until I opened up my email and realized that Josh will be leaving this week...what in the weird!! I know that he will be an amazing missionary and will be able to help so many people.

We had an awesome week this week, lots and lots of rain, but it was fine.  We had zone conference on Thursday, and it was a little different than usual.  President McMullin spoke about the dangers of pornography, and how, in a world where it is shown everywhere, we can protect our minds, spirits, testimonies, and companions.

He told us to close our eyes and make a video.  We were like...what?  But he had us think of the day when we will be sealed in the temple.  He said, you need to plan every single detail, from the paint on the walls of the sealing room, to the chandelier.  He told us that if we can make this our goal, if we can have this video playing constantly in our minds, we will not have a problem with the pornography, because we know what awaits us in the temple, on the day that we are sealed to someone for the eternities.  We will be able to look away and not have that temptation, not even go near that line.  It was a powerful reminder of what we can accomplish, and what needs to happen in order to get there.  I am so grateful for the gospel and the knowledge that we have.  It is so...so...dunno, so precious a gift.

This week we found a lady named Jessica, we did follow up on a street contact, and we were able to talk with her for a few minutes.  She is a single mom with a 3 year old girl who has severe brain damage due to a leak in the bag that the baby was in while she was in the tummy(sorry, I don't remember what it is called in English).  She is amazing and we are planning on helping her out a lot.

I am surprised how much I thought of home this week.  Everyone asks me how much time I have, and when I say 11 months, they are like..AHHHH you are almost done, are you so excited and blahblahblah, and I have tried so incredibly hard to not think about it.  Today my plaque fell off in the bus and I was freaking out.  I felt so...off without it. I am trying so hard not to be trunky, because I know that I will regret it afterwards.

The popes visit was ridiculous.  There are reruns still playing on most of the channels of all of the miracles he did...and how is it that he can heal people?  I have been trying to think it through but I can't figure it out.  There is the scripture that talks about how all of the people who said to Jesus that they had done miracles in his name but he didn't know them...no se.

I am doing fine, loving life, working hard.  Sometimes I feel so inadequate that I let my faith down a little, but I am working on that.  In Palma Loma I learned patience and humility, and I am here to learn about faith.  It is so interesting how there is something specific to learn in every area.  I cannot even express my love for these people.  I love helping them, I love feeling the spirit with them, and I love them so much.  I love being a missionary, and even though it is the hardest thing that I have ever done.  It is so worth it, so incredibly worth it.  Thank you for giving me this opportunity to come here and learn how to be a good servant of our Lord.

Also, Eduardo, from Palma Loma will be baptized this week!!  Junior also will be baptized this week!!!  Also, Vicente, was a reference from a member, has a date for the 1st of August, we will see how that goes!!

I love being here, I love the cool weather, and I hope that you all have a good week!

Love,
Hermana Farish


My "Homemade" Rolls

Monday, July 13, 2015

It Is Raining Here!

Anyways, this week was CRAZY.  We were able to get a lot of new people, and we got to know the members and got some amazing references.  In this area we have lunch and sometime dinner every day, and we are dying from so much food. The best death ever:)

Emmm...We met an inactive named Lorena.  Her family is super active, they have a son in the mission, but she got married and stopped coming.  Her husband had been baptized, but he also stopped coming.  We had an amazing lesson this week, and they came to sacrament meeting!  We were kind of bummed because they hadn't come earlier, so we were sitting in sacrament meeting kind of depressed when we saw their little daughter run up front, and we turned around and they had come!!

We also had a progressing investigator.  We found him through a member family, we just went to their house and he just happened to be there.  Junior is 17 years old, and is fulfilling every single compromiso that we give him.  He has been coming to church for almost 3 months now, he is like gold.  And..he doesn't live in our area.  But hey, its all good, he is so strong and I know that the elders will do a good job with him.

Last night, we were stuck outside at about 8:30, and all of our plans had fallen through.  Our options were: walk home slowly or go follow up on contacts.  We decided to stop by a house we had contacted last weekend, a lady named Antonia.  We had set an appointment with her for Saturday, but she didn't answer when we went, So we decided to try again and we found her and had an amazing lesson.  When we contacted her last week, we left a card with the question, "will I be able to see my loved ones again?" and when she read the question, she started to cry, and we were able to testify to her of the plan of salvation, and when we went back last night, she told us that it would be okay to pass by again and talk with her and her husband. MIRACLE.  I was so proud of Hermana Cordova, she was able to testify to Antonia and the spirit was SO strong.  I can't wait to see how this turns out.

Something funny this week was that we found a lady named Snow White, who just happens to have 7 little grandchildren.  We are still laughing about that one. We clapped and she let us in, and we were like, AHHH FAMILY but it turns out that they were baptized a while ago..that has happened about 3 times now.  There are la lot of inactives but thats okay, gives us a lot to do.

Other than that, we have had a good week, Junior gets baptized next weekend, and we are working to find more.  I love this experience, and I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for letting me come.  I love you all and hope that you have a good week!

Hermana Farish


My new greenie, Hermana Cordova

P-Day Fun!

Can you shave a balloon?




Monday, July 6, 2015

(Hashtag)flabbergasted

Bueno...

Lots of you guys asked me how the transfers went...let me tell ya...flabbergasted would be the word I would use to describe the transfer.

I don't know why our zone leaders thought of this, but to give out the changes this time they had little objects that represented what would happen with the changes.  So...when I received a binky and a pink bar of soap, I was like...WHAT?? So, now I am training and doing a pinkwash, which is when hermanas open a new area or replace the elders.  What fun.

My new companion is Hermana Còrdova, from Peru.  She is 21 years old, and is a lot of fun.  She played libero on the Peruvian National Volleyball team, and is one year away from graduating in civil engineering (Joel!!!).  It is a little different training a 21 year old than a 30 year old, but hey, lots of fun.  Our new area is in Salado, in a city called Limpio about 35 minutes away from Luque and Palma Loma. Super far. It is way different, a lot of green and cleanliness, which is awesome.  The ward functions decently well, which is also an improvement, so we will have fun going around, getting lost, and talking with everyone we happen to see.

At first, I was really worried about how ON EARTH I was going to be able to do this, but I know that Heavenly Father (and President McMullin) know what I can do, and that even if I make several hundred mistakes, I am where I am supposed to be.  We are the first hermanas ever to enter...so we will see how everything turns out.  Pretty good thus far.  AND we found an old semiautomatic airsoft rifle with bbs and everything in our house. Someone had an interesting Pday:)

So, this week, we had goodbyes on Tuesday, which was rough.  I grew to love Palma Loma, even with all of the fights between members, gossip, and all of that fun stuff.  I learned a lot, and I should have known that when I said I wanted to leave the area (this was in December) I would stay there half my mission.  I would say that the biggest thing that I have learned was to be humble and to listen to the Spirit.  It was something really interesting to make mistakes and to keep trying to learn how to do the things right.  Hermana Francani stayed in Palma Loma as the senior companion.  She will do great:)

Apart from that, this week was just getting adjusted, cleaning up after the elders (it was DISGUSTING), and enjoying freezing to death.  Seriously, I told someone how much time I had in the mission and she told me, wow, you are almost done!  I was like...um...no.  I don't want to be almost done.  I am so happy here, I love being a missionary and sharing with others what we have to say.  I love this work, I love my Heavenly Father and am grateful to Him for trusting me enough to let me bumble my way through this adventure.  I hope you all have a good week, and that you can enjoy the rest of summer!

Love,
Hermana Farish