Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Two Truths and a Lie

Two truths and a lie!
1. It rained all week 
2. Liz.. an investigator and sister of a member.. told us that she wants to get baptized this week
3. It was definitely one of the harder weeks on my mission so far.
The lie.. it was actually sunny and quite warm all week! So that was a nice change. It didn't rain once. It does get really chilly once the sun goes down.. but during the day.. it's actually really nice. 
LIZ! So Liz.. we have been officially teaching her for a little under a month now. She lives with her aunt and uncle and cousins that are all members.. and her sister also got baptized a year ago. They all live together.. and Liz moved to live with them just over a month ago. So two weeks ago we invited her to get baptized.. and she flat out told us no. It was kind of sad at first.. but I felt peace about it. I knew that one day she would get baptized and we just had to keep teaching her with love and keep inviting her and bearing testimony that it was the right thing to do. We weren't able to pass by her very much the days following.. but we saw her at church two weeks ago.. and she just seemed to be glowing. I was kind of surprised.. but she told us that she is learning lots and liking it. Then this week.. 10 days after we initially invited her.. we were sitting at her kitchen table.. and their were chickens and dogs walking around us.. and she said.. "Hermana's.. I've been thinking. And I want to get baptized. I prayed like you told me I should.. and I feel like it's the right thing to do". IT WAS THE BEST FEELING EVER. Honestly. I was so happy. and SHE was so happy. We were the first ones she told. She hadn't told her aunt or sister or anything. We encouraged her to talk to them about it that night. The next day we passed and talked about her getting baptized August 8th. She was a little hesitant.. but said she would pray about it. She has already been baptized in another church.. and it kind of hesitant to do it so quickly. But she is VERY smart.. and has such a good understanding of the things we teach her. 

Some things have happened since with her family.. and there are complications. She is 17.. and I will spare you the details before this gets too long.. but needless to say.. Satan is just working very hard to do everything that he can to stop her.. or delay her por lo menos. It's annoying. But we are praying for a miracle.. and working hard with her. SO YEAH. That happened this week. It was awesome. She also told us yesterday that one day she is going to be a missionary! It has been the COOLEST thing to see the change in her. It's completely and 100 percent the spirit. It's amazing. I love this work. Wow. 

Umm. yeah. other than that.. it was actually a hard week for me. We are still struggling to find people that will progress. We are trying our absolute best to go and teach and find by the spirit. we are working on being more obedient.. but the Lord has his own plan for us and his children.. and this week not much happened. We walked and talked to I feel like the entire paloma. We had long days. I'm trying my absolute best to be the missionary the Lord need's me to be.. and to not give up.. and keep holding on and not get discouraged.. but this week it was rather tough. I'm going into this week full of faith though.. and trying to know my Savior more. Be more converted to him and this work.. and his gospel. I'm trying. Sometimes I really feel not good enough.. but I'm trying. yeah. Boom. 

Umm.. what else! hahaha.. another funny little story. this week we were contacting like crazy. trying to think of new ways to contact and get people to listen to our message. we clapped one door.. and we started talking to this girl.. maybe about 26. She was cool.. and told us she was catholic.. *surprise!*.. not really. EVERYONE here is catholic basically. haha.. anyways. I asked her if we could share something with her that would help her and her family and that was really important. She said yes.. the first person to say yes to us that day! So we sat down.. and started talking. After talking for a while.. we found out that she had talked to missionaries before.. and she actually knew quite a bit about our church. After talking a little bit more.. it turns out that she was BAPTIZED 4 years ago. hahah.. it's always so funny.. when we randomly contact a house.. and they turn out to be members. It was a small miracle.. but I thanked Heavenly Father for the opportunity we had to find her. Her name is Eva. She is darling. We are going to try and start working with her more this week! I love how I have the opportunity to go out and not only bring more sheep to the fold.. but find and seek out the lost ones. To represent my Savior and bring the glad message to them that it isnt every too late.. and that he is waiting with arms open to bless and welcome them back at all times. What an amazing opportunity that is for me. I am excited to see how her story unfolds.. and to see what God's plan is for her. 

Well! I think that's it for this week. I love you all SO much. You are all in my prayers. Thank you for YOUR prayers. I really do feel them. When I'm down.. I think of all you at home praying for me.. and it truly does help me out! I love you! 

Also.. this week.. I completed 5 months! How crazy is that?! It has been the fastest and and longest five months of my life! 

xoxo from Paraguay 
Hermana Ehlert

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Another week and a day late!

Hola mi familia! 

I'm sorry I'm a day late! I was travelling yesterday. We had to go to Asuncion to do paperwork to stay legal. So yesterday.. I was on a bus for 8 hours to get there.. for 3 hours we were there.. and then we got back on the bus for another 8 hours. So I was on a bus for 16 hours yesterday in total. It was a lot. But anyways. 
It was such a good week! my companion and I are workng good together! I love her! 
I don't have much time... but we have been praying like crazy to find new and prepared people to teach.. and this week we found many!! It was awesome. We saw some amazing miracles too. I felt so lucky this week to be a missionary. I LOVED being a missionary this week. Everything about it. Even though it rained most of the week.. i just felt seriously so happy and lucky to have this opportunity to represent my savior and to bring the spirit into people's lives and watch them change. I love this work and this people! I';m so happy! 


I love you all! Next week I will write more! 

I love you! 

me and my new companion... excuse my chubby face. It was freezing that day.. even though it doesn't look like it! 

me in front of the temple in Asuncion! SO fun! and freezing. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Another week!

Sorry I can't think of more creative subjects.. shoot. I'll work on it!
So this email.. I'm going to start out with two truths and a lie! 
1. My hymn book got wet from so much rain.. and it never dried because it is SO humid here and literally grew mold all over the binding on the inside and on many pages. 
2. Our shower water is heated electrically.. and we have power outages very often here.. and right when I had shampoo in my hair.. the power went out and the water turned ICY cold. 
3. One night this week we walked into our pension to find our ceiling completely COVERED in tiny little ants.
Okay... the lie is 2! The shower thing actually happened to my companion. haha.. I laughed and laughed. Usually the power only goes out for short periods of time.. like a  minute or two.. but sometimes it's longer. That morning it was out for 2 hours.. and she had to finish her shower in freezing water. We studied that morning with flashlights.
My hymn book literally has mold on all of the pages. haha.. so funny. But luckily I was able to get another one from the mission office. So funny. Literally.. it is SO humid here. Nothing dries. 

And yes. It's actually a long story.. but our pension has always had these tiny little ants everywhere. They grossed me out at first.. but now I'm used to them. We put every speck of food in the fridge.. because if not.. ants get them. Anyways.. so it rained the entire week.. like literallky non stop.. and and our walls leak when it rains like that and the inside of our pension gets humid. Anyways.. we walked in and turned the light on.. and literally.. the ceiing was COVERED in them. It was the most bugs I've every seen in my life all together. We didn't know what to do. It was aweful. We marched right over to our Branch Presidents house and he came over to check it out. He decided to spray them with this insect stuff we have.. and oh my gosh. Bad idea. he didn't really think it through very well.. but there really wasn't another option. He just started going crazy with the spray.. and then they started FALLING! Everywhere.. all over my bed and the floor. It was traumatizing. hahah.. it's reallky funny now.. but it wasn't very funny then. We ended up sleeping at the branch presidents house for the night because you literally couldn't breathe in our pension. It smelled so strong like the spray stuff.. and it was covered in little tiny dead ants. So yeah.. that was awesome. We cleaned the next day for a little bit and got it all figured out. They came in through the ceiling.. and we are getting the ceiling fixed right now as we speak! So that's good. Hopefully it doesn't happen again. Oh man you guys.. paraguay rocks so much. 
Okay.. spiritual thingst that happened this week. 

Dani and Tanya are still progressing. We passed by them twice this week! It's seriously incredible to see their change and growth and their testimonies slowly kindle back into flames. They are reading everyday and praying together. They are completely different people  than when I first met them. I'm so lucky to be a missionary and to help them! Dani came last week to church and we really wanted Tanya to come this week! We passed by with a member on Saturday and she told us she was coming for sure!! We were so happy. Everytime I leave their house.. ah. I just never EVER want to stop feeling like that. It''s so cool to see the spirit work in people's lives. But sundaycame around.. and NEITHER of them came to church. It was dissappointing and I was sad. We passed by Sundaynight and they didn't answer the door. We left them cookies that we made.. and we are going to try and pass by tomorrow. I hope everything is okay with them. I love them so much! They need the church.. and the church needs them!! 

We didn't see much progress with many other people this week. We are contacting and teaching a million first lessons. We are trying to focus on bringing the spirit instantly and asking everyone to be baptized. We are trying to work the hardest we can. We put a goal this week to literally talk to everyone. Everyone we come in contact with. We are trying our best to be the best servants for the Lord. We are trying different ways to contact and ask references from members. We haven't seen any big changes yet.. but hopefully they will come soon. We have faith. 

It's been really fun to work with Hermana Finlinson. She teaches simply. I love that about her. She tries to put herself in the investigators shoes. This week.. even though we haven't seen tons of success.. I haven't had a happier week on my mission. Evey day I'm just so excited to get out there and start talking to people.. and sharing this message. I am so happy and lucky to be a missionary. There is defintiely long and tiring times.. but I'm loving this work more and more. I'm lucky to be where I am. 

I hope summer is going well for all of you at home! I think and pray for you often. 

I hope you enjoy the pictures! Finally I was able to send a few! 

xoxox until next week! 
Hermana Ehlert

Also.. we do a lot of Family Home Evenings here!!! IF ANY OF YOU HAVE GOOD IDEAS FOR FAMILY HOME EVENING ACTIVITIES I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR THEM. Simple and fun games.. or activities. I'm open for anything! THANK YOU!! Maybe pinterest a few? Or ask around? Thank you so much in advance! 

those are the elderes in the offices. They are awesome. It was taken my first transfer I think. They rock so much. 

that is my old zone. It was taken last transfer too. We had a lot of changes.. and now my zone is totally different.. but it was really fun to work with all those missionaries. 

oh my word. That is Hermana Rosa.. she is a member.. and one of my favorite people in La Paloma. She has a big family. They are all awesome. She has two sons that are menos activos and her husband is crazy and doesn't go to church either.. remember me talking about dani and Tanya? Dani is her son. Anyways.. she is SO guapa. She runs a little store and butchers all of her own meat. They gets entire cows delivered to her and she butchers it right in the middle of her living room. Sometimes we do family home evenings with them.. and literally we sit right there. She is so awesome. If you look close.. you can see the tops of the HUGE chunks of meat hanging in the back. It's gross and super unsanitary.. like flies and dogs and chickens everywhere.. but it's how they do things in Paraguay. It's awesome. I love her so much.
these are some youth in the branch. The girl in the middle of Hermana Olvera and I is Claudelina. She was baptized a little over a year ago.. and is preparing to go on a mission. Her aunt is Hermana Rosa (the meat butcher in case you forgot). She lives with Rosa and her cousins. The other girl is Liz. Claudelina's sister. She just moved and is living with them now.. and isn't a member. We are teaching her and she is progressing well. I think she will be baptized in a few weeks! The other is Jose. He is so awesome. He's 14 I think? And he is their cousin.. Hermana Rosa's son. AH. I love them all so much. Sorry if you didn't want to know their entire life stories.. but I love them. AH.

This was actually on my birthday! Hermana Neli! She for sure has the nicest house in La Paloma I think. She is the Relief Society President and we eat lunch with her every sunday. I love her so much. She rocks. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

New Comp! Hermana Finlinson

Another week! Days are long.. but the weeks are fast. It's so weird. 
First off - HAPPY fourth of July! It was awesome to be with my another American for Fourth of July! We wore red, white, and blue, and ate a brownies that we made to celebrate. It was a fun time. We kept randomly saying throughout the day.. "Happy birthday America!"There was a soccer game that night.. and Paraguay won.. and so people were setting off fireworks.. we pretended they were for us. It was great. :) I hope you all enjoyed your holiday and watched some amazing fireworks. It's for sure my favorite holiday. YAY! 
UM so yes! I have a new comp! Hermana Finlinson! She is from Utah and has one year on the mission! Basically this week summed up in two words is COLD and portuguese. Yes.. it was a freezing week. I went to pick her up and it was pouring POURING rain. And it was cold all week. Humid cold is definitely different than any kind of cold that I have ever felt. But we are working hard anyways! So yeah.. in my area.. there is a TON of Brazillians.. and there are many MANY people who speak Portuguese. And the last two tranfers.. I just kind of let Hermana Olvera take over when they were speaking Portuguese.. but now.. me and my companion are kind of dying.. because neither of us speak it (I'm still trying to keep up with Spanish).. and we defintiely dont understand. It's a struggle. We're just going to have to have a lot more faith and learn to rely on the Spirit more than ever. And now that I'm writing that down.. I think that's exactly what the Lord wants us to learn together. We need to just trust in him. And work our hardest. 
Okay.. BEST PART OF THE WEEK! Remember Dani and Tanya?! Well this week we were able to pass with two members.. and Dani came to church this week! WE had two investigators at church and FOUR Less actives! It was seriously awesome! Tanya didn't come.. so I'm going to be praying like crazy for her this week.. and hopefully she can come next week. We will be working hard with her this week!! I hope she is able to over come her fears and not feel nervous or embarrassed. I love them SO much!! 
We are working hard here in La Paloma. I'm trying my hardest to be more converted to the Lord and this week and this gospel every day! 
I hope you all had the best week! I'm sorry that I can't send pictures! I'm just too nervous to plug my camera into one of the computers here! none of them are secure.. and I've heard too  many horror stories about missionaries losing all of their pictures because of a virus or something like that when they plug it into a computer here! I'm going to try and send some soon though! 
I love you all SO MUCH! 
Remember.. if your heart hurts.. your knees should too! Prayer is such a good thing!

Transfers, Fireflies, and Stars

Hola mi familia! 
I can´t believe that it´s been 12 weeks since I´ve been in the mission field! Crazy right!! Also.. I´m in this ghetto computer place I can´t figure out how to change the keyboard to an english one.. and so I can´t type question marks.. shoot. Anyways! I´m officially done my own training! YAY! It has been so great.
So first of all.. changes! We found out this morning at our Zone Meeting that my trainer and mama is being transfered! She is going back to Argentina and I´m staying here in La Paloma! My new companion has a year in the mission.. and she´s from Utah I think. Hermana Olvera loves her! I haven´t met her yet, but I´m really excited! I am shocked actually.. I didn´t know what was going to happen this transfer, but I´m shocked that I´m getting another North American. I thought if I was going to get a new companion.. she would have been Latina.  But apparently not! haha.. anyways. I´m really excited.. and sad.. at the same time to be losing Hermana Olvera. She seriously is the best and I love her so much. I´m going to miss her. I´m also scared out of my mind. Now I´m in charge of showing someone new our area.. and getting her up to date on all of the people here and everything. I´m nervous.. but I know it´will be great. Just scary.. changes are scary for me.. but a part of life! 
So wednesday night we will head to Posadas, and I will pick up my new companion and then we will head back here! Lots of travelling in the coming week!
Okay... update on this week! 
Basically we have been struggling to find people to teach. We have seriously spent the majority of this week contacting and following up on old contacts. It´s exhausting work to be honest. Contacting and talking and trying to get people to listen to us. But it´s good. I have had lots of time to think also this week. I´ve been thinking about how badly this transfer I wanted to find and baptize someone. It was my goal. And this week it hit me that it didn´t happen. I have to admit.. I was discouraged. Literally I just want to help someone find this gospel. I expressed my frustration to Hermana Olvera one day after we got home.. and she gave me an analogy. She said.. ¨Imagine if you were at home.. sitting on your couch with a delicious box of donuts.. and watching your favorite tv show in super comfy sweats... and just eating all of your favorite yummy junk food. You are just so happy to sit there and do nothing and eat sugar and just YUM. And then all of the sudden someone comes to your door in workout clothes and drinking a green smoothie and invites you to go running or hiking or something. First of all.. you wouldn´t want to.. because it´s hard to get your butt off up the couch and change your clothes and get out the door and then actually start working out. and second it would be hard because that person is making you feel bad. You know that sitting on the couch and eating junk food isn´t good.. like who is this person to come and tell you that you need to change your lifestyle and that you´re not being healthy..
I hope that analogy makes sense.. it´s hard to type it out how she said it.. but I hope you get the point and can draw the connection. She was right. We are trying to get people to change their lifes completely. and of course that´s not going to be easy.. but yeah. My comp rocks. haha just a funny analogy. ¨Insert smiley face here
So yeah.. lot´s of time to think. I started studying conversion this week. And really what being converted means. In the Book of Mormon.. we read lots of examples of people whose desires were completely changed. Their will, was truly to do and live for the will of God. That´s how much faith they had. They truly wanted to serve him and only him. As I was thinking about that this week.. I tried and started praying to be more converted to the will of God.. and to just have faith in his timing and his plan for me and for the people here. I simply am just a tool in his hands. I am here to serve Him, and basically I just started praying and trying to not let MY weaknesses get in the way of his work.. and finding his children. It changed my attitude, and renewed my dedication and determination.
AH! I do have to you tell you though. we may  not have one single investigator that is progressing right now.. but we DO have a few less actives that are really changing and applying the atonement in their lives. One of them is Dani and Tanya! They are seriously are the BEST! We have started a routine with them almost. They have changed so much. Up till this point.. I haven´t seen a change in anyone like I have seen in them. Everytime... the spirit of the lord is working in their lives.. and it´s humbling to see the process. This week we are going to try and commit them to come to church.. because up until this point we have just been focusing on praying together and reading the scriptures and letting the spirit come back into their lives. So hopefully this week we will be able to help them commit to come to church! I´m excited to see what happens. Seriously.. it´s the coolest change you guys. I WISH you could see it. Everytime I leave their house.. ah.. I just never want to stop feeling like that. Like smiling from ear to ear. It´s the feeling every missionary knows.. and just keeps us going forward. It´s awesome.
One more thing from this week. Saturday we planned an branch activity for our branch and then two other branches that are close to us! We planned it and made treats and bought ice cream and it was going to be SO fun... and then not one single person showed up. It was sad... It was us.. and then 4 other missionaries from the other branches.. and not one person showed up. Yeah.. it was pretty sad. But after waiting and then realizing that no one was going to come.. we decided to just stand outside the church and contact and stop everyone we could and talk to them and try and get them to do a church tour. We talked to quite a few people and some people toured and it actually turned out to be a fun afternoon. Hermana Olvera and I had made popcorn and brownies for the activity and we gave them away to people and it turned out to be a really fun day! 

Umm.. what else. oh yes! Some fun paraguayan things for you! Fireflies have started coming out at night.. and seriously it´s the coolest thing ever! I wish you could see it! At night when we are walking through fields or past fields they are just everywhere! A speck of light for a second and then you see it again and few feet from where it was before. I could tell you a great analogy I thought of.. .but I´ll spare you all hahaha. Ummm.. the stars a beautiful here too. Seriously so bright and SO many. I´m so lucky to be in this area. I love it. Um what else! Saturday there was a soccer game between Paraguay and Brazil.. Paraguay won.. and literally there was riots on the streets. It was crazy.. and so loud. Music and drinking and fireworks. Ah.. it was good we had fixed plans. So that was definitely an adventure.
Man.. I hope your week has been great! I love you all so much!! Thank you for your prayers!!! I´m praying for you too! I´m so excited for the beginning of a new transfer and for the opportunity to be on a mission. I love it so much. I wouldn´t want to be anywhere else.. even through the hard times and the happy times. Wow.. am I the most cliche missionary of all time_! maybe. but it´s fine.. it´s true. Anyways. I love you all! talk to you next week!
Hermana Ehlert