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


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!

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


Monday, August 10, 2015

The Hardest, Happiest Week of My Life


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 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!

Hermana Farish

Monday, August 3, 2015


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!

Hermana Farish

The Arrua Family