Monday, May 25, 2015

Would you just look at that light:)

Dear Everyone,

This week just flew by!!! It seems like every week just goes by faster and faster.

We had transfers this week, and I stayed in Palma Loma to finish training, going on 7 1/2 months here:) Who knew, Right?:)  Name that movie!!!:)

We had a crazy change in Palma Loma, we had a whitewash, which means that they took out the other sisters in the other half and put in elders.  At first, we were a little bummed, but I think that this is what Palma Loma needs.  They are pretty chill, Elder Ramirez from the Dominican Republic and Elder Jewkes from West Jordan.

We had a couple of rather large miracles this week.  We have been working for about 2 months with a family where the mom, Teli, is inactive and her partner, Eduardo, isn't a member.  Teli grew up in an active home, was sealed with her family and everything, but her parents separated and afterwards her dad committed suicide.  After that, she didn't really want anything to do with the church, and on
Sunday, (drum roll please!!!) she and Eduardo walked up to church, hand in hand with their 4 year old son.  I was like...AAAHHHHH!!! You need to get sealed!  Of course, my opinion doesn't really hold a lot of ground, but..igual no màs, it would be awesome:)  We are working with Eduardo so that he can read the Book of Mormon and gain a testimony of the doctrine as found there.

Another miracle is that we looked up another member's referral, and found the Diaz Family.  We had a couple of amazing lessons with them, but they weren't able to come to church because of the rain:(

I was actually thinking this week, I am so old.  There are so many new missionaries, and after being here in Palma Loma for 7 months, I am very used to being the person who knows what needs to happen, or where the people live, or all that.  I thought the other crazy is that.  Seriously, the time is FLYING, and Hermana Betancourth finished her mission last week, and my trainer goes home this transfer.  SANTA VACA.  Seriously, I am like freaking out.  When Hermana Betancourth
came early in the morning she was going to leave, she stopped by to tell me goodbye and it was SO HARD.  I learned to love her so much and I miss her a lot.

I am loving the mission, it is my life.  It is my comfort zone, and it is so freaking hard.  But I figure that if it is hard, Heavenly Father thinks that I am strong enough to get through it and learn something
important.  I love talking with people, and having a new missionary as a companion has showed me how far I have come, and how Heavenly Father helped me to overcome all of my many fears.  I love these people, even if they are drunk, on drugs, lo que sea, les amo.

De la historia familiar, si, estamos trabajando mucho con ella.  Casi cada domingo llevamos a los miembros, menos activos, conversos recientes, quien sea, porque si ellos hacen su historia familiar, se
van a ir al templo, y todos necesitan esta experiencia. Nuestro presidente de misiòn nos dijo que usàramos los folletos de mi familia en los contactos.  Me gusta mucho eso porque es diferente, y las personas no lo esperan:)  (In essence this paragraph says that they use family history to work with the members to help them make it to the temple, and also use the familysearch booklet "My Family" in their contacting.)

Saturday night, we had cleaned the church and our lessons fell through, so naturally, it started to rain and it was the biggest lightning storm that I have ever seen.  We had one hour left and we were trying to follow up on some contacts that we had made.  We were kind of bummed, and we were the only people on the streets, so, to cheer ourselves up, we just started to sing a hymn that talks about light (I don't remember which one) and when we got to the part where it talked about how we always have light in our lives, there was a rather huge lightning strike, and I said, "would you just look at that light"  My companion looked at me like I was nuts, and then we just started to laugh and we were able to go to another lesson with an investigator who ended up giving us food, which was just great.

Anyway, the point is, sometimes we are in a time of darkness and storms.  There are things that happen that are scary and we feel like we are alone and that there isn't anyone who pays us attention or who we feel like understands us.  However, there are always blessings.  Sometimes they come in a form that we don't expect, but they are ALWAYS there.  I was reading in 1 Nephi the other day, in chapter 18, and it is when Nephi is tied up on the ship for so many days, and nothing that he or his family does can change the hearts of his brothers.  I love Nephi`s reaction to this trial.  he says:

14 And on the fourth day, which we had been driven back, the tempest began to be exceedingly sore.
15 And it came to pass that we were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea. And after we had been driven back upon the waters for the space of four days, my brethren began to see that the
judgments of God were upon them, and that they must perish save that they should repent of their iniquities; wherefore, they came unto me, and loosed the bands which were upon my wrists, and behold they had swollen exceedingly; and also mine ankles were much swollen, and great was the soreness thereof.
16 Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions.

He was hurting, the ship and everyone on it was about to drown, and even with all of that, Nephi never let that interfere with his relationship with Heavenly Father.  Afterwards, Laman and Lemuel
finally realize that they need to change something so that they don't die.  In verse 20 it says,

20 And there was nothing save it were the power of God, which threatened them with destruction, could soften their hearts; wherefore, when they saw that they were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea they repented of the thing which they had done, insomuch that they loosed me.
21 And it came to pass after they had loosed me, behold, I took the compass, and it did work whither I desired it. And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord; and after I had prayed the winds did
cease, and the storm did cease, and THERE WAS A GREAT CALM.

I know we have storms, we have trials, things we can't control, like Nephi.  But if we can look for the blessings, and praise our Lord all the day long, he will bless us and give us the strength to endure until we have that great calm.  I love this gospel, I love the Book of Mormon, and I love sharing it with people so that they too can have that calm in their lives. I hope you all have a wonderful week, and that you can always look to your Lord and praise him for all of the blessings that He has given you.  I love you all!

Hermana Farish

Monday, May 18, 2015

Diporri tiempo!!! (There's no time!!!!) (Guaranish)

Hello Everyone,

I don't have too much time this week but this week was amazing, with lots of miracles and hard times, but that's just part of life I think:)

We had divisions this week with the hermana training leaders, and it was AWESOME!!! I went with Hermana Taboada from Peru to her area, and Hermana Francani stayed in Palma Loma.  It was weird to leave her but I learned a lot...we got soaked!!!

Sorry, no time, but I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week!!!

Hermana Farish

Monday, May 11, 2015

Righteousness IN YOUR FACE!!

Dear Everyone,

This week was cold, wet, and wonderful.  I so enjoyed talking to my family.  I have been so blessed, and I loved being able to hear your voices and see your faces:)  Sorry for the hardcore spanglish.  We joke around that we have to switch the memory chip for one hour to be able to speak straight English for 50 minutes:)

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!! I have been so blessed with wonderful examples of mothers in my life, with my mom, my grandmas, my aunts, neighbors, everyone.  I am so grateful for your wonderful example of being steadfast in the faith and raising families strong in the gospel.  It is something that will influence me for-e-ver.

This week we have the opportunity to go to the temple in Asunciòn!!! I am so excited, it will be like a spiritual battery recharge.

Mom, I loved talking to you, it made my day, seriously.  I loved just listening to you and seeing your face:) I hope everything is going okay, and that you are doing fine with the billions of things that call your attention every day.

I hope that this Skype experience was better than the last one.  It is SO HARD to press that little red button to end the connection, but I was happy to get going again. I was so nervous to talk to you guys, I don't even know why.  Weird.

My companion was able to talk to her family.  Her parents are members and she is an only child.  Her mom had been inactive for 6 years before she came to the mission, and her first Monday in the field, she received a picture of her mom with her dad in front of the chapel. She was so happy:)

Anyway mom, I hope you have a wonderful week and that you remember that I love you and will always be grateful for everything that you have always done for me:)  You are the perfect mother, and even though you don't think so, I know that Heavenly Father loves me because He sent me to you:)

Elder Ballard said,

"Today, more than ever, we need faithful, dedicated sister-saints who … have hearts that are fixed, who trust in the Lord, and who … are willing to save souls and build the kingdom of God.”

I know that you are like that, faithful, dedicated to the Lord, and willing to work to save souls and build the kingdom of God.  I have watched you all of my life and I hope you know that your influence will be with me for eternity, and I am so grateful to you and your never-ending patience:)

Last night after talking on Skype, we left to begin working and a FHE fell through, so we went to see how everyone was after the huge storm the night before, and we felt prompted to contact a reference from a member.  We had already gone twice and nothing, but we decided to go again and see what happened.  We went and we were able to meet Lidia and Lisandro.  They have been married for 30  years, and we had a wonderful lesson with them, talking about eternal marriage and the importance of the authority of God on the earth.  Lisandro said, "it would be ideal." I know that it is the ideal, that we will not be able to get anything better here in this life.  We have been so blessed with the knowledge of the Atonement and the restoration of the gospel.  This knowledge is priceless, and for me, there is nothing more that I would rather have.  We can overcome anything with the knowledge that we have.  This couple accepted the baptismal invitation, and we are so excited to go back and talk more with them.

Other than that...not much really happened.  I freeze to death at 70 degrees, and I am so excited to keep working and recognize the Lord's hand in my life.  I love you all so much, and invite you to think of someone you know who could use the gospel.  We don't know who is prepared and who isn't, so we need to give everyone a chance.  Think and pray about this person or family, and give the reference to the missionaries so that this family can have the comfort and the security that comes from the knowledge that we have.  In D&C, it talks a lot about the importance of opening our mouths.  In D&C 24:12 it says:

12 And at all times, and in all places, he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel as with the voice of a trump, both day and night. And I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men.

In D&C 60:2-3:

2 But with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man. Wo unto such, for mine anger is kindled against them.
3 And it shall come to pass, if they are not more faithful unto me, it shall be taken away, even that which they have.

There are lots of promises here, and even though we may have fear of man, I can tell you that we just have to do it.  Just do it.  And you will see the blessings that come from opening your mouth and sharing the priceless knowledge that you have.  I love you and hope you have a good week!

With love,
Hermana Farish

Monday, May 4, 2015

Portuguese Shoulder Massage

This week was a mental illness.

We started out the week really well, working like crazies. Wednesday we had divisions with the other sisters in the ward.  One has been sick for about a week, so I went with her companion to work in her area for a few hours to alleviate the cabin fever a little bit.

I am doing fine.  This week was really hard, mostly because I just felt like crap.  It is one of those things that I felt crappy enough to justify staying in, but I wasn't dead either.  SO, we went out and worked. and we kind of saw the fruits, but the entire mission is struggling with baptisms, and we are just under a lot of pressure to get baptisms going again.  I am still trying to figure out the right way to do it, and it changes with ever person we talk to.  Dangit.

Thursday, we both woke up with fevers, and we had to go in to Asunciòn to Migrations so that my companion didn't get deported;) We got back in time to go to lunch with the cow tongue lady, and we realized that the meat she gave us was a little companion threw up when we got home to study, and we still are having problems with nausea.  I am seeing a pattern here..???  I guess we just have to pray harder the next time we go:)

Friday...nothing too crazy, we are working a lot more with the members, that was one of our goals.  I read something today from a speech from President Utchdorf when he spoke at the University of Southern California, and he said that lots of times, people are our enemies when we don't completely understand them.  I was like...oops.  My attitude hasn't been all that great with these members, and I would always justify it with the appointments that always seem to fall through, or the fact that Ward Council is like WWIII.  But, that isn't okay.  Charity is so important, and I have a LOOONNNG way to go.  In Moroni 7:48, it says that all those who are true disciples of Christ must have charity...que pucha.

One miracle that happened this week is that we found Paula again!  For those who don't know, we contacted her daughter, Liz, in March and had a couple of wonderful lessons with her and her mom, Paula.  Paula set her own baptismal date, and we were so happy....and then we couldn't find her again, and a couple of other things happened that kind of gave us the vibes of rejection...but last week we passed by her house and the door was open, so we were like...okay, one more time.  So we clapped, she let us in, and on Saturday we set a new date, and she is beginning to read the Book of Mormon, and I am hoping that everything is as it seems and that she has real desires to turn her life around.

Now, to describe the subject line, a member gave us a reference for a lady named Blanca, which was awesome, apart from the fact that she neglected to tell us that Blanca lives with a very large, very drunk black Portuguese man. So...we went to contact the reference, and the guy motioned us to come in...with my last companion we had always tried to avoid him because he was always drunk or on drugs.  Anyway, we walked into his yard, and he began to speak to us in Portuguese...we were like...HUH?  ?¿Voces fala portugès? (do you speak portugese?? in Portuguese)  Anyway, he led us to Blanca, and it made me sad. She is like 50 years old, and is a drunk.   I think she had a stroke or something, because she had some physical defects.  This guy takes care of her, and makes sure that she is okay.  We weren't really sure what to do, and the guy was still speaking in Portuguese, so we asked if we could say a prayer.  We said the prayer and we all stood up, and all of the sudden, the guy told me to take off my backpack.  I was like...wwwhhhaaattt?  He asked me again, and then put his arm around my shoulders and told me that he had been a soccer coach in Brazil and wanted to give me a massage.  Yeah um. no.  Red light.  My companion took hers off and was going to hit him with it, but thankfully it didn't get to that point:)  So...just picture that in your head.

We also had stake conference, but since it rained really hard there weren't a lot of people there.  There was literally three or four feet of water in some places in our area, so our bishop didn't even end up going, because his house was completely flooded.

Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well, I love you all, and have a good week!

Hermana Farish

9 Months in the Mission!

Me and Hermana Francani (Right)