Monday, June 29, 2015

Ai Húepate (FLIP in Guarani)


We had a huge miracle this week.  Eduardo, after two months, will be getting baptized this Saturday! He came to church yesterday, and we had an amazing lesson with him afterwards.  He was so prepared, and it was a huge blessing from the Lord that we even found him.  Something else that was a blessing was Teli.  She is the ex-partner of Eduardo, and she was born into the church, but never really had a testimony.  She decided that she didn't want anything to do with the church when her dad, who was a returned missionary and active, committed suicide.  We began to talk with her and read the Book of Mormon, and she is now active.  It has been such a blessing to be able to work with her and Eduardo.  Teli told us yesterday that she has changed so much, as well as Eduardo.

This just adds to my testimony of the Book of Mormon, that it was inspired and that it is a precious gift from our Heavenly Father.  I know that He loves us because he gave us the Book of Mormon to help us change our lives and the lives of those who surround us.  We began reading it as a mission to help us learn to better use it to help the people we teach. As I read it, the phrase, "The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion," came true!! Elder Neil L. Anderson gave us a promise when he said:

"First, find scriptures in the Book of Mormon that you feel and know are absolutely true. Then share them."

If we have a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon, we can know for certain that all of the other points of doctrine iin the church are true.  It is absolutely essential.   I was thinking the other day...I have come to depend so much on the book of Mormon, and when I finished it, I was like...Now what??  Read it again, and again, and again.  It is something that will never grow old.

My biggest challenge this week was to not work with the "Its the last week of the transfer" mindset. It surprised me a lot how much I struggled with it.  But it all worked out, with Eduardo's baptism. I may not even be here, but igual no mas.  We find out our transfers tomorrow, but I have no idea what is going to happen.  President is kind of unpredictable. One thing that was hard as well was that a lot of people said that I would be the sister training leader, and I was was kind of could happen but I would prefer that it didn't.  And I didn't get a call yesterday, so whew, we're in the open.

Speaking of time, can you believe that it has been 11 months?  It has gone by SO FAST...Marcus Alton (he's in the south mission) heads home this change...everyone is going  home!!  Have you seen Susan Hutchins?  She should be home by now...this is so nuts.

Anyhoo, I love being a missionary, and Eduardo's baptism makes all of the stuff we have to put up with worth it.  I was thinking the other day, I love Paraguay.  Its like my type of life now.  I am so used to it that I can't imagine it any other way.  I didn't ever think that driving, or asphalt roads as a normal thing, or being on time on a regular basis would scare me...whoops.

Apart from that, not much happened, lots of rain, lots se what. We find out transfers tomorrow, so we will see what happens!!  I hope that you all have a wonderful week!

Hermana Farish

Happy Birthday Family Diaz!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Head Lice and All That's Nice....NOT!

So...We had an interesting week, good, but interesting.

First off, on Wednesday, we had a mission-wide conference with Elder Gonzalez, a member of the area presidency.  It was an awesome experience, with a lot of emphasis on the Book of Mormon.  The only downer was that our phone was robbed while we were on the bus to Asunciòn, so we had to go to the police station on Friday to get a denunciation and all that.  Note: DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, make a joke about robbing something in a police station, even if it happens to be a pen.  Bad idea.

The only excuse that I have for doing something so stupid is that we had stayed up late the night before (gasp!!!) combing out lice, which we found when we got home from the conference.  We knew that some of the families that we visit had it, but we had always just hoped that being lice free was one of the perks of being a missionary, but, as it turns out, nope. So...our p-day is spent washing everything we have!  Yaaaaaayyyy!!!!

Second off, Happy Father's Day to all of the dads out there!  I am so grateful to my dad for always being awesome, being someone who is willing to cry with me and afterwards makes an awful joke, which is the best part:)  (Editor's note: the jokes are actually very funny...)

As far as investigators go, we are progressing a lot with Eduardo.  We read with him Alma 32, and he finally decided to believe and stop doubting everything.  His date is still going for July 11th, we are praying like crazy.

We found 2 families this week, and we hope that they can also accept what we have.  One family is totally Evangelical, and they attend the greatest of all of the great and abominable churches, the Center of Family Worship.  What fun.   But the mom, Gloria, knows a ton, and it is so nice to talk with her and have the opportunity to bear my testimony of the things we have and we know to be true.  There isn't anything better:)

Other than that, we are still going, still working, and loving the cooler weather.  The Pope is coming here the beginning of July, so we will see how that goes.  Everyone here is freaking out, all of the roads are being fixed, the trash is being picked up, and everything looks 100% better.  We are always saying that he should come every year so that everything is always fixed and ready.  I was thinking, what would the world do if they had advance notice of the Second Coming?  What would we do if we knew the day and time that the Savior was going to come?  How would we prepare?  Would anyone even care? What are we doing now to prepare ourselves for His presence?  Alma 5 talks a ton about preparing ourselves for the Second Coming and the judgement. We use it to teach inactives.  It is a little strong, but it goes right to the heart.

   16 I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?
   17 Or do ye imagine to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say—Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth—and that he will save you?
   18 Or otherwise, can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God with your souls filled with guilt and remorse, having a remembrance of all your guilt, yea, a perfect remembrance of all your wickedness, yea, a remembrance that ye have set at defiance the commandments of God?
   19 I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances?
   21 I say unto you, ye will know at that day that ye cannot be saved; for there can no man be saved except his garments are washed white; yea, his garments must be purified until they are cleansed from all stain, through the blood of him of whom it has been spoken by our fathers, who should come to redeem his people from their sins.
   22 And now I ask of you, my brethren, how will any of you feel, if ye shall stand before the bar of God, having your garments stained with blood and all manner of filthiness? Behold, what will these things testify against you?

I hope that we all can ask ourselves these questions, so that we can be prepared now, with pure spirits.  I know that we will feel and do so much better if we can start now. 

Tyson Boyer will be coming home this next change in August.  I am not sure what day exactly, but I will let you know when I know.  I think I may send a package home with him:)  It isn't really all that weird to have him as my zone leader, there are so many people from St. George that it is normal now. Aaron Fielding is doing pretty good as far as I know, and he will be heading home here in a few months.

This is the last week of this transfer, so...we will know next Tuesday what is going to happen with our lives, with the actual transfers on Wednesday.  I honestly don't know what is going to happen. An Elder told me the other day, "You are going to train again and stay in Palma Loma for 2 more transfers!!!"  I was like...????  I am pretty sure president wouldn't do that to me, but we will see what happens.

I love you and hope that you all have a good week! Sorry this was so long!

Hermana Farish

The Elder on the telephone pole is Elder Boyer, throwing a styrofoam lightsaber to try and knock the keys out of the Elder threw them up idea what he was thinking:)  What would we do without the Elders?

Sisters that have served in Erin's current area, Palma Loma

Monday, June 15, 2015

That Awkward (Food) Moment

Dear Family,

Well, I would tell you what we did all week, but it doesn't matter because it rained. Flip...but I'm not bitter:)

Haha, no, it was a good week, with lots of stuff going on.

The zone conference was really good, we learned a lot about having faith in contacting and how we can better meet our goals.

One thing that really hit me was on Sunday in Sunday School.  We were reading in Mathew 25 about the parable of the ten virgins.  We talked about the different ways that we can fill our lamps and obtain more oil so that it lasts until Christ comes.  One thing that I thought was about the mission, and how in 1 and a half years or 2 we get a ton of oil, but we have to work hard so that we can maintain the oil that we gain.  It is the same with our lives, and the things that we do.  For example, we get oil if we read our scriptures once, but it isn't going to do any good unless we read them again and raise the level of our oil.  If we do what we need to do on a regular basis, we are going to be as prepared as we possibly can for the second coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I love being here, and I am grateful for this experience that will help me to become the servant that the Lord expects me to be.

Dad and mom, yesterday we taught the Law of Chastity, and the investigator didn't want to accept that living together wasn't the right way to start off a marriage.  I told them about you and mom, and how, thanks to the fact that you are keeping your covenants and that you kept yourselves clean before marriage, you are married still, and you will have your eternal family.  I was able to bear a strong testimony of marriage and of keeping yourself pure.  It was awesome, and thank you for your strong example of love and commitment to each other.  I want to be like you guys someday and have the relationship that you have.

I am now VERY grateful for the winter clothes I brought.  It says that it is only like 50 degrees, but with the rain and the humidity it feels a lot colder.

Our week went is so frustrating to work all week, have investigators lined up to come, but then it rains and floods to the point that the people can't leave their homes, and there are only 23 people in church.  Eesh. 
Interviews went really well, President McMullin has so much patience.  We had an interview as a companionship first, and he took one look at me and said, "Hermana Farish, Palma Loma has sure stretched you good."  I was that's one way to say it.  Afterwards we were split up and I had to go first.  We talked about lots of things, it went really well, and I think he was relieved that we had a good companionship and that we don't have any problems.  Something that made me feel good was something that my companion told me after her interview.  She said that President told her that she had a really good companion, who was humble and worked hard.  For me, that was just awesome. Long story short, (I will write you and tell you the whole dumb story) something happened here in Palma Loma that helped me to realize that being prideful was definitely one of my weaknesses, and that I needed to work on that, so to have him tell my companion that was nice to hear.

On a less spiritual note, on Wednesday we ate with Hilda, a recent convert.  She is so awesome, and I love her to death.  The soup broth tasted fine, but I was a little iffy on what the meat was (you would think I would know by now).  Anyways, I was just eating, enjoying life, when Hilda told us that we were eating mondongo, which is cow organs.  I kind of just stopped eating and prayed, and then just kept going.  Thank goodness for water.

I love you and hope that you have a good week!
Hermana Farish

Monday, June 8, 2015

We Reached Our Goal!!!

Dear Everyone,

This week went by SO fast. It quite literally flew.  But we were able to see a lot of miracles.

Miracle number one: We finally met our attendance goal, 80 people!  We had lots of less actives and a couple of investigators as well.

Miracle number two: We have been working for a LOOONNNGGG time with an inactive family, Flia Florentin.  They have two daughters that are recent converts, and to be honest, I have no idea how they were baptized, because it has been a struggle trying to get them all to go to church.  But this last Sunday, we didn't call them, we didn't go to bring them, and what do you know, Nayeli, (14 years old) came by herself.  That doesn't sound like much, but to have her come by herself and walk all of the way was definitely a miracle.

Miracle number three: Eduardo and Teli.  We have been working with Eduardo for a while, and he comes to church, but he won't agree to a baptismal date.  On Saturday we had a lesson on the eternal nature of the family, and we kind of stressed it a lot.  We asked Eduardo if he had received an answer to his prayer and he said that he had, and that he needed to wait and research a little bit more.  We left the lesson kind of bummed.  We had a lesson with a recent convert in another part of our area, but we were so bummed that we just sat down for a few minutes and just talked through our feelings, what we could have done better, and how we can improve our teaching skills.  On Sunday, we had another lesson, and it went so much better.  We really felt the Spirit, and he came to church again with Teli, so that was great.

I am sitting here in an internet cafe, and the lady next to me has this tiny baby that keeps choking and she is just looking at her facebook....ahhhh kill me now...we have some elders that are here too and they are like...WHAT DO WE DO??? This baby is dying and the mom is looking at her freaking facebook...flip, some people's children.

Something that I realized this week is that time is passing REALLY fast.  Like I am freaking out. Tomorrow, we have interviews with the president and I am kind of nervous...but he is nice and I am sure that everything will go fine.  It is so crazy...I was thinking...if this is my last change in Palma Loma then I only have like 3 weeks left and the weeks are going by so flipping fast.  I honestly wish I had a clone so that we could do divisions and get more stuff done, because there is so much that we have to do.

Other than that, we were just crazy busy.  Palma Loma is getting so much better, the visiting teachers are awesome, and now that we have elders the priesthood can get going as well.  I love you all so much and I hope that you have a good week!

Hermana Farish

Selfie in front of the temple

This is my life!

Monday, June 1, 2015

with WAFFLES and stuff

Dear Family,

We had a crazy crazy week.  BUT.  It was awesome, a lot less rain, which was definitely a blessing.

We have been struggling with investigators here in Palma Loma, mostly because our focus has been on strengthening the ward and helping them to function well.  ANYWAY, we have been so blessed this week, we put 2 baptismal dates, which to be honest, isn't a whole lot, we need to do better, but we are really excited with what we have.  The first one, Eduardo, was a contact from months ago. We had a lesson with him on Saturday, and we put his baptismal date after watching the talk by President Uchtdorf called, "How to obtain a testimony of light and truth."  It was so powerful, and the Spirit was so strong.  Eduardo's main concern is feeling the spirit, it is really hard for him to feel it and to be able to recognize what it is telling him.  When we listened to this talk, the Spirit was unmistakable, you couldn't miss it.  There are 4 things that this talk tells us to do in order to obtain our own testimony:

1) Search and study the scriptures
2) Meditate, think, ponder,
3) Pray sincerely with true intention
4) LIVE what we are learning.

We were able to bear a strong testimony to him that if he will do these things, Heavenly Father will give him his answer in a way that will be recognizable to him.  We are so excited to help him to progress, the Lord has blessed us so much.  And we had waffles for lunch, which just topped off the day as a success:)

ANNNNDDD......wait for it....the bishop's wife is ACTIVE!!!! yayayayayayayayayaya!!!  We are kind of really excited.

Other than that, we had an on Saturday, where everyone could go and see what the Mormons really do.  I honestly think that the best thing was watching the members get together and work to make it happen.  They did it, and it looked so awesome:)

I hope that everything is going okay with work, school family, callings, and the other hundreds of things going on.  Hermana Betancourth wrote me and told me that she doesn't want to be home. When she got home she found out that her niece had been sexually assaulted and when her dad found out he almost died of a heart attack, and she didn't know anything until she got home.  Her mom died when she was ten, made me sad.  She didn't want to leave, and more than ever she wants to be back here in Paraguay.  I miss her a lot, we went through a lot together.  It hurts to hear her talk like that.

On Sunday, we received a call during lunch from one of the relief society counselors who said that the president wasn't going to be able to make it to the training of the visiting teachers, and there wasn't anyone to help, so we went and helped with the training of the visiting teachers, which was a party and a half:)

This week was the first week that I really felt cold...I kind of laughed because I received a letter from a friend in Canada, and she said that they were dying of heat with 30 degrees, and here I am dying of cold at 50:)  I usually study with a sweat shirt and go out with lots of layers, because during the day it is pretty warm but at night we are dying.  The humidity is RIDICULOUS.  I still love my companion. I feel like this week was the first week when we were teaching as equal partners.  Before, I had always led out and had always looked for the scripture to share or whatever, but this week she is holding her own, and is doing really well.  As far as the area goes, I hope the president gives me one more transfer, but now that I say that I think I am going to go this transfer.  Dangit.  I honestly don't know what is going to happen.  We think that we are going to finish training and then president will take out both of us and put in elders.  Dunno.  And honestly, I don't think I have done that much here...I think president sent me here for a clase de humildad (humility class).  I think the biggest changes that have happened here in this area have been in me:)

Something that makes me really happy is when the members come and tell us that they gave a Book of Mormon to someone or that they talked to someone about the church.  I think it is so awesome because if they are talking with people about the church, it is because they have a strong enough testimony.  Woohoo!

Anyway, that is basically all for this week.  I hope everyone is doing all right!

Hermana Farish