Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Happy Fathers Day!

First off - HAPPY FATHERS DAY TO ALL THOSE fathers out there! You all have made the biggest impact on my life and my decision to serve! Thank you! I hope your day was great!
This week was a crazy one! I don't have much time.. but I'll try and hurry! 
Tuesday and Wednesday were FREEZING!! Rained and windy.. and the humid cold is SUPER freezing. 
So last week I told you all about Tanya.. that amazing girl!.. well she moved this week to live with her mom which is about an hour from my area.. so yeah. that was a downer. I was sad. 
We have been having the hardest time keeping anyone interested and progressing. We basically contacted this entire week!!! Just walked around the streets and talked to people and tried to bring the spirit immediately. The weird thing is.. we have amazing first lessons with people. and they recieve us and we feel the spirit and it's amazing.. and then we pass by the next day or so and they won't come back out.. or they tell us they aren't interested. It's kind of discouraging work.. but we're trying to stay happy.. and searching for those people who are truly prepared. I know they are here.. we just have to find them.. and teach in a way that when they do.. they recognize that this is the truth. 
The best thing happened this week though that I will tell you about really quick.. we have this couple. Dani and Tanya. They have been inactive for years.. and their story is actually very complicated.. but this week.. after working with them for so long.. they have seriously  just progressed so quickly. They are reading and praying together.. and keeping the commitments that we leave with them. It's been the biggest change in people that I have seen on my mission so far. They are COMP|LETELY different than when I first met them. You can even physically see a difference. They are happy.. and seriously look forward to us coming. I have felt so blessed to be apart of this change in them.. and I truly hope and am praying that they will continue progressing. It's amazing to see the Atonement of Christ working in people's lives.. and for real changing them. It's amazing to also see how the little things like praying and reading from the book of mormon every day really does make the difference. Ugh.. it's been serioulsy the coolest thing. 
Some funny stuff.. yesterday we were walking to Dani and Tanya's.. and they live basically out in this field in the middle of no where.. and we were walking and there isn't very much light.. and 4 or 5 GIANT BATS came swooping down and were flying around every where. It was TERRIBLE. They were huge. Hermana Olvera and I just ran like crazy!! Ah.. so scary. it was not fun... but we laughed later that night. man.. paraguay.
Yesterday was struggly with spanish.. and saturday. I just felt like I couldn't find any words.. and I couldn't connect my thoughts and put them to words. It was discouraging.. but I'm working on doing my best and letting that be enough. I'm still trying and working every day. 
I'm so lucky to be a missionary. And to represent my Savior jesus Christ. 
I realized yesterday just how lucky I am. This is where I need to be.. and I wouldn't be able to learn the things I'm learning and the ways I'm growing without this experience. I'm ready for this week!! 
I hope that your week is all amazing!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

AH! Another week!

This week was slow and fast.. like every week!!
So this week.. we met a girl named Tanya. Well actually a two weeks ago we met her.. We were just walking by and she was out sitting on her porch like everyone does here when they have free time. We gave her a Book of Mormon and taught her a little bit about it and then said we would come back the next day and continue talking to her about it. The next day a million things came up and we couldn't pass by. We ended up forgetting about her.. I know.. I'm terrible.. but I didn't think much of it. Then this week.. after many plans fell through.. we prayed... and she came to both of our minds. We decided to pass by. She was there.. and the first thing she said when she saw us was "What happened?? Why didn't you come by again? I've been reading this book.. and I feel so happy and amazing when I read it.. but I don't really understand it.. and I needed you guys to help and explain it to me!"She continued to saying things like that for about 20 minutes. Just how she felt so happy when we were with her.. and how this book is so special.. and how we were two angels in her life.. I almost was falling out of my seat you guys.. seriously. So we taught her more about the Book of Mormon. The thing about Tanya though.. she is 14. and married. for one year. So that's crazy.. she has had some sort of abusive past.. but we couldn't quite figure out the details. We are going to try and meet her husband this week.. who is 22 I think. and we are going to try and teach them together. She is seriously a miracle.. and so so cool.
Thursday and Friday.. many lessons and plans fell through.. but it was just a happy day. The beginning of the week rained a lot.. and Thursday was super sunny and nice. So that was awesome. I'm learning to be okay with people hiding or running away from us. Well.. it's sad every time.. because there souls and salvation are at stake.. but I'm learning to not let it affect me and have more faith in the Lord's plan. It's hard when we have an awewsome lesson with someone.. and I feel the spirit so strong.. and I KNOW they feel the spirit too.. and then we pass by again the next day or so and they don't answer.. or put some excuse. So I'm working on that. My part in his plan.. is just to try.. and if they don't want to accept it.. that is there choice. But I'm doing everything I can to help these people.
Haha... so funny story. This week we had a less active call us. She has started coming back to church since the capilla has been in La Paloma.. but anyways. She called us this week and told us that her granddaughters who live in Brazil were coming. Supposedly they have come to visit before and they have gone to church a few times.. but they aren't members. There isn't a church where they live.. and she explained to us that we could teach them Friday night and then baptize them Saturday! She is so worried that they are going to get baptized in a different church.. and that "This is the only true church of god Hermanas.. so you HAVE to baptize them"... hahahha. Yeah.. not so easy. We had to explain to her why there was a few flaws in her plan. it was great. She has the best intentions.. so we tried our best to let her down easy.
Umm.. what else. We had some great miracles with finding and teaching less actives this week. AH! Seriously.. it was awesome. Prayer is such a cool and real thing you guys.
One other thing.. Sunday. We had district conference.. which is like Stake conference.. but we are a district because we are so small. Anyways.. it was in our new church! It was so fun!! Members from 4 different cities that are pretty close came! Our small sacrament room was full!!! Almost 90 of us all together. It was awesome. My mission president and his wife came! It was so fun to see them. This week I was struggling personally with feeling and questioning whether this was the right mission for me.. and stuff like that. President LaPierre gave a talk and I truly got some answers. This was it.. He talked about covenants.. and how important they are. When we are baptized we promise to take upon us the name of Christ.. and keep his commandments.. and he promises us to perfect us. He knows our potential and what we can be. He knows us better than anyone else.. and his promise to us is to perfect us. Whatever way that may be. Our part then is to have faith that as we follow the holy ghost.. we will be lead to those places and have those experiences that we will be able to be perfected. We need to have faith in him and his plan for us.. and that we will be put in those places and have those experiences that will be best for us. But that's hard.... SUPER HARD. But we need to have faith in him and his plan and his knowledge. I don't know if that makes sense.. I can't explain it.. but it touched my heart immensely.
I love you all so much. Miracles are happening here. I'm so lucky to be a missionary and be apart of this work. This is the work of God.. this is HIS work.. I just pray every day that I can be a worthy and effective tool in His hands.
I love you. Have the best week!
Hermana Ehlert

Best week!

Wow! This week was a long one and fast one all at the same time! Ah! I have lots to tell you all!!! Miracles are happening people.. and it is the COOLEST thing to witness and be apart of them and recognize them! ah.. it's so awesome.
So the beginning part of the week.. I was kind of sick. And Tuesday and Wenesday were kind of struggly. We had awesome days planned.. but almost every charla that we had planned fell through. Sometimes it's hard to respect people's agency... especially when they are running from something that I know is going to help them! Anyways.. they were harder days.
Wednesday though we did teach Oriko again. He seriously is so awesome. ah.. I love him so much. His wife had to leave right when we got there.. so we just decided to teach him. But so funny.. he lives close to a baptist church or something.. and they were having church at that hour. And for almost 20 minutes.. we had the lovely company of some baptist preacher literally screaming and preaching. haha.. it was great. and by that I mean.. crazy. But it ended eventually. But it's okay. We felt the Spirit regardless. And it was a great lesson.. he had read the entire introduction for the Book of Mormon. Awesome. It's so hard to get people to follow up on commitments and he did! I really feel and see so much potential with them! They are married and everything!! But we tried to pass two more times this week with an awesome member.. and both times fell through.. so that's super sad. one time.. there was lights on in his house and everything.. and his door was open and he didn't come out. we clapped and clapped and called him and he ignored our call. It was sad.. but hopefully we will be able to get back in contact with him this week.
Friday we went and cleaned the new church in La Paloma!! IT WAS SO EXCITING!!! Finally we have a church that is close and that people can walk to!! It will be so great for members and investigators and everything!!
Saturday was a crazy day! Probably the busiest day of teaching that I've had on my mission so far. We were literally running to lessons.. and only ONE fell through. It was a day FULL of miracles. So awesome. Anyways.. one lesson that was seriously incredible. We contacted this family earlier in the week.. and so we went back to teach them on Saturday. It was awesome. The dad came out.. and we started teaching him and he was basically finishing our sentences for us! He was SO interested and wanted to go to church and everything, but his wife said maybe next week.. So we will work on her this week. Shoot. He would be the BEST priesthood holder. I'm excited to see where things go with him.
IT WAS AWESOME TO BE IN LA PALOMA!! 4 less actives came.. and 3 investigators! The feeling and spirit there was seriously like electric! All the members were just SO happy to be there.. and the investigators were happy! And they really seemed to like it. And it was fast sunday.. so that was amazing too! Our attendence was the highest it has been since I've been in the area.. and ah. AND GUESS WHAT! At the end of relief society.. there was a few minutes to bear testimonies.. and one of OUR INVESTIGATORS.. maria.. stood up and boreher testimony about the Book of Mormon and the peace she feels when her and her family reads it and she knows that it is the word of God. Welll.. that's what a member told me she said because she bore her testimony in Gaurani.. so I didn't understand.. haha.  I almost fell out of my seat of excitement. And a less active came that is 19. Her name is Andresa and she has been married for 6 years. yeah.. she married her husband when she was 13. AND SHE CAME TO CHURCH. I almost fell out of my seat AGAIN.. when she walked into Relief Society. It was just the best day. I was smiling so hard.. I probably looked crazy.. but Hermana Olvera and I WERE SO HAPPY. It was amazing you guys. Ah.. okay.. rant over about Sunday.
Then last night.. we had to travel. My comp is an Hermana Leader.. so she has to go to Posadas for a meeting. So we travelled to Ciuded Del Este. I slept here last night with Hermana Araneda. She is from Chile.. and I will be with her until tomorrow night when Hna Olvera comes and get's me! It's always fun to do divisions because it's fun to see how other people teach things and explain things. So yeah. I've been here. We've had a chill day!
Anyways.. I'm working on having an overall attitude of gratitude and praise. I've been getting down and been thinking about myself a lot.. so I'm working on thinking of others. And just remembering why I'm here.. to serve my King and Savior. I love him.. and I want others to know and feel him as well. I'm so lucky to be a missionary and share this message.
Okay.. something really quick SO funny that happened yesterday. Maybe it won't be funny to you.. but it was super funny to me. We were eating lunch after church yesterday with a member family.. and we were talking about learning a language.. and I was like "Hermana, you have to remember that it's really hard to learn another language".. and she said "well no it's not you already learned it!".. and I laughed and was like.. "no.. I really haven't".. and she said "What are you talking about?! You are more Paraguayian than mandeoca!" hahah... So mandeoca is this root that paraguayians eat with EVERYTHING. It's so funny. Anyways.. it made me laugh.
I LOVE YOU ALL. Keep praying. Get on your knees and talk with God. He listens. Prayer is so real. and So powerful. He is there. Let him be.
Thank you for your prayers on my behalf. I feel them. 
Hermana Ehlert
ps.. some things have been happening with my pictures and sim cards and camera.. so I haven't been able to send pictures.. but I'll try to next week!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Cold and 100% Humidity

Ah this week has been a fast one! I can't believe it's already Pday again! 
So.. I did the sticky note thing again and I have great things to tell you!

Tuesday.. rained ALL day long. It definitely it getting into winter here. It gets dark really early and the days are wet and cold. it's very hard to contact people and many of our appointments fall through, because people just want to stay in their house! But yeah.. it's okay! We're still working hard. A miracle that happened on Tuesday... our AP's called us and so we stopped and stood under this over hang right outside a closed shop. We talked to them for a minute, and right when we hung up a man poked his head out of the door and invited us in from the rain. He is probably in his 50's and very nice. Hermana Olvera made the joke that "we didn't even have to contact him.. and that he contacted us!".. anyways. We talked to him for a while about what we as missionaries do.. but we quickly found out that he had a difficult time understanding us. He only speaks a little bit of Spanish.. and mostly Gaurani. So we left him with a pamphlet to read and we want to go back with a member this week who speaks Gaurani. It's SO frusterating when we find these golden people who actually seem interested in our message.. and then we can't even speak to them. So yeah.. miracle contact. Super sweet man. 
On Tuesday we also taught these toy boys who live with their grandma. They were both baptized when they were 8 and living with their parents, but their dad died, and after that the mom moved away and left the boys with their grandma. They are 13 and 14.. and remind me SO much of Luke and Tay. German is the younger one.. and is very outgoing and asks us a lot of questions.. and Oscar is the older.. and kind of quieter.. but both are very kind and sweet. Hopefully we can get them coming to church with us. They are darling.. and made me miss my little brothers! 
Wednesday.. the roads were flooded and it was hard to get to some of our appointments so that was a bummer. Something so fun that we did that day.. we have an investigator named Pamela. She has been investigating the church for years now. Literally.. and has gone through SO many missionaries. The problem with her is that when she was a baby.. her mom never did any paper work for her.. so according to the government she doesn't exist.. which makes is very hard for her to get legally married to her less active husband. So yeah.. that's her story. She can't get married and therefore can't get baptized.. but most weeks she comes to church.. and is seriously awesome. It was her birthday this week! She turned 21 and Hermana Olvera and I went over to her house and taught her to make pancakes and I brought maple syrup. it was So fun! and they all loved the maple syrup. they basically drank it. haha.. it was awesome. 
Friday we travelled to a city about 3 hours from here by bus. Elder Vinaz from the 70 came and visited our mission. It was awesome and so cool to meet him! The entire conference was in Spanish.. so I got the point of most things that he was saying.. but it was hard to keep up. the conference was 3 hours.. and by the end my head hurt. I sang for the conference.. and it was a super cool opportunity. When the AP's called earlier in the week to see if I could sing.. I told them that I only had one song in English.. so they asked President if it would be okay for me to sing in English.. and this was his response.."we'll just pretend she's a latina learning english and wanting to practice".. ahhahaha. we all laughed and laughed. President is so funny. but yeah.. it was a super cool experience and I feel way lucky. 
So the place we were in is called Ciudad del Este.. and it's a big city.. and certainly MUCH bigger than my tiny little area. Haha.. we had to ride buses to get around everywhere.. and oh my goodness. These buses.. wow. I have never been in a more tightly packed space in my life. IT WAS SO FULL. and definitely an adventure. I had some good butt rubs with random strangers. It was great. 
Umm.. what more? So the church in La Paloma has been under construction since October... so we have been travelling about 10 minuttes by car to another church. But this week was our last week doing that!!! This week we will be in our church!! I'm SO EXCITED. We have a lot to do. Many people have gone less active because they just didn't have a way to get to church. The walk is too far... so this week we will be going around and inviting everyone and their dog. We are planning to do an open house on Saturday! I can't wait! It should be awesome. Now poeple can come and I can't wait! 
Also yesterday we met a young couple.. and I see SO much potential with them. He told us that his whole life he has wanted to follow God and be a good person.. but when he has gone to other churches he just didn't feel right to him. She also had the same opinion. I can not WAIT to see what happens with them this week. 
We met some unreal people this week. We have been praying to find those who are READY to recieve this gospel. For sure we have seen miracles. 
We ate well this week. The members take care of us! 
When we were in Ciudad del Este Hna Olvera and I also found a SNICKERS for SO cheap. Like less than 1 american dollar. We split it and were in heaven for a few bites. haha.. it was kind of pathetic. oops! 
Anyways.. sorry this email turned into a novel. I hope your week was amazing. The work is moving forward.. some days are especially hard but I'm working hard on not letting myself get discouraged. I still can't speak any better this week.. but I'm just working on having faith and knowing that this is where the Lord wants me. 
I hope this week is marvelous for you all! 

XOXO from La Paloma! 
Hermana Ehlert