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 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!!!

Hermana Farish

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