Monday, August 24, 2015

another week

1. I ate cow tongue this week 
2. We taught a catholic priest this week. 
3. I have NEVER been so tired in my life.

1. False. BUT.. we were served it. A member in our ward gave it to us for lunch.. but she was really really cool about it and told me that I didn't have to eat it if I didn't want to. I wanted to try it.. but I literally could not make myself do it.. dangit. My comp ate it like a champ though. hahah.. I love her. She is seriously so great. And eats SO much.. and is like a stick. seriously. I don't know how. She has to have a hollow leg or something.. because seriously eats like double me. haha.. it's so fun.

2. True. kind of. haha.. so we were contacting last tuesday. and we clapped and a 18 year old boy came out.. and we started talking. I could immediately tell that he was super intelligent. and not to be rude.. but the majority of the people here we teach.. let's just say.. and a less than average education. But he was different. We asked if we could share a message with him.. and he said yes! So we started talking a little bit about his religious life and his background with religion. He told us that he actually was "training" or whatever they do to be a catholic priest. He was in training for a year and a half and would study with all of the other "trainees?" and they would go on mini missions for like a week long all over paraguay. super cool actually. and yeah.. he told us he decided to drop out. He didnt tell us the details.. but he stopped for some reason. we started talking about the restoration.. and he was really listening and truly thinking about our message. I loved it. A lot of the time we teach and talk to people that are hearing us but aren't really listening. Does that make sense? But it wasn't the case with him. he was really truly listening. He asked questions and had his doubts about how the authority was lost after the death of christ.. but we just bore as powerful testimony as we could.. and asked him to pray about it.. and think about it.. and that we would come back again and see how it went. We haven't been able to find him in his house again after that.. but we are going to try again tonight. I'm hoping we'll be able to find him again. he's super cool. and his name is enrique.. which is just AWESOME. so yeah. hahah.

3. TRUE. TRUE. so true. I'm so tired. I have not known tired until my mission. I'm trying to eat healthy and excercise in the mornings.. but yeah. tired.

Other than those things.. we are contacting lots. we actually have found some really cool people that I'm excited to follow up with this week! I'm having a fear of talking to people that I haven't had yet on my mission.. so this week coming I have a goal to just talk to everything that I feel promted to. And just be brave and trust the spirit. 
Hmm.. what more. We have consejo de rama this week. I don't know what's its called in english. like a meeting? With all the leaders in the branch. and we talked and stuff. it was kind of discouraging actually. we actually had a lot planned to say and stuff to talk about.. and they didn't really give us time to talk. We also found out.. GET THIS. You are going to die. We found out that in our area.. which is actually pretty big.. but still. In our area.. there is 421 baptized members of the church.. and we have an average asistance of 45. wow. right? I couldn't believe it. SO SO sad. I could't believe it. It was overwhelming. we don't even know WHERE to start our work. so yeah.. we are praying and trying to work with the members as much as we can. 
Something else I kind of struggled with this week. I have these like awesome experieces where I just get so excited and fired up about the work and I'm just so ready to work and yeah.. and then I get out and we start talking to people and getting rejected by the thousands of catholics that live here.. and then I love my drive or that fire that I had in me.. and I get lazy. So this week too.. I'm going to try my hardest to just work hard and diligently.. and not forget that these children of god NEED what we have to offer. And I just want to love them more. because if I love them more.. I will have more desire for them to know what I know and have. Does that make sense? 

So yeah.. lots to work on. :) But it's all good.

Hermana Lopez is still great. She is a delight.

The mission is flying.. and slow.. ALL at the same time. Tomorrow I hit 6 months. how weird. 

I hope you are all doing well. I think of you all often and draw strength from your prayers and words of encouragement.

I love you all so so much.

Hermana Ehlert

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Week 1 of training and white washing. whoa!

Two truths and a lie:

1. My comp is from Chile 
2. White washing is hard 
3. we have only gotten lost 1 time so far!

1. FALSE. My compion is from Buenos Aires West! Right where benson is going. He is going to be able to visit her family!!! She said they always have the missionaries over for lunch. Ah.. I'm so excited for him! 
So my companion. The best word to describe her is delightful. That's truly what she is. I love her so much. She is simply a delight! She is so fun and positive, and so willing and ready to work. Such a prepared missionary, and I'm so lucky to have her as a companion. She is my height.. and just darling. I love her a lot. Oh.. Hermana Lopez is her name! I will try and send a picture next week! I feel like sometimes she is training me!

2. TRUE. Without a doubt. super hard. I felt like I was thrown back into the beginning of my mission again. I felt lonely again. Everything was new. EVERYTHING. I didn't know what was going on.. and I didn't know what we should do. I was just praying for help and guidance. We called a few members who were in the phone.. and one was able to come and show us around a little bit. It's very very different than La Paloma. Hernandarias.. our area is GINORMOUS. Huge. I think it's the third biggest area in the mission. So that's fun.

3. TRUE. We have only gotten lost one time. Por suerte. But yea.. so that's good! There has never been Hermana's in the area that we are in now. We are the very first! It's actually really cool to see how all the members are reacting to hermana's. There is a certain excitement about it.. and we are going to try and take advantage as much as possible. We are trying to visit members and get references and find less actives. there is a MILLION less actives. Get this.. the branch presiden'ts wife is less active. sad... so yeah. lots of work to do. we are planning and praying and working hard for miracles. Trying to be exactly obedient.
umm.. what else. when we arrived.. our district leaders brought us to our pension. IT WAS A DISASTER. Holy smokes. So dirty. old stuff from elders everywhere. It was so gross. the fridge was nasty. yeah. I felt bad for Hna Lopez. We have been slowly chipping away at the big task though. A little every night.

Umm.. La Paloma was really hard to say bye. I miss it!! I miss Liz! Her and her sister waited with us for the bus to come get us. They are darling. I miss her. It was sad to think that I will never see them again probably. But I'm SO grateful for modern technology. I love her so much.

Anyways.. lots of work to do here! We are working and praying for miracles every day! 

I love you all!

Hermana Ehlert

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Long Letter and Lots of Pictures!


Bugs: 1
Hermana Ehlert's legs: 0

shoot. winter is definitely ending and it's definitely getting a lot hotter here. Their winter is literally like 1 month. So the warmth.. means more bugs. yuck. 

two truths and a lie: 

1. There is a member here that read the Book of Mormon in 90 days! 
2. Liz got baptized and confirmed this week! 
3. I'm leaving La Paloma! 

1. So. LIE. I love everyone in La Paloma.. truly. We have the most amazing members here. But remember the picture that I sent you of the lady butchering meat? Her name is Hermana Rosa.. and goodness I love that lady with my whole heart. She doesn't have it super easy in her life.. and some days it just seems like she is carrying her entire family on her shoulders. Anyways.. background info. This past transfer the first counselor in the district presidency (it would be like the first counselor in a stake presidency because we aren't big enough to be a stake).. anyways.. he gave the challenge that everyone read the Book of Mormon in 90 days. So we calculated it out, and in Spanish.. to finish the BOM in 90 days you would have to read 7 pages a day. So we made little guides for all of the members and handed them out and explained the challenge. Well.. Hermana Rosa understood wrong.. and thought that you had to read 7 CHAPTERS a day. And goodness.. if this woman was ever determined to do something, it was this challenge. When we found out a few weeks ago that she was reading 7 chapters a day we quickly told her that she didn't have to read that much.. but she pressed on anyways. She ended up reading the Book of Mormon in 32 days. It was amazing. Everytime we passed by her little store we could see her reading her book of mormon at the counter. You guys.. honestly she changed so much. And the funny thing is.. my very first day in La Paloma.. it was a Friday I think.. and we passed by her and asked her if she was reading.. and she said "no" and that she has read it all before and that she didn't need to read it again. Well.. that quickly changed. She has completely changed, and is now on track to finish the Doctrine and Covenants in no time flat. I love her so much. She is such an amazing example. She told me a few weeks ago, that whenever she is having a hard day, she just reads and she automatically feels better. I love her so much. She is such an example to me. She was the first in the district to finish the challenge. many other members are doing it and completing it, but they are just reading the 7 pages a day. Goodness.. I love that woman so much. 

2. LIZ. TRUTH. She got baptized this week! Ah.. we were travelling until Wednesday and then got back Wednesday night so we only had 2 days to prep her and get her ready. We had some scares though.. and Satan was definitely working hard on her. So Liz.. she is 17. She is actually the niece of Hermana Rosa.. who I just talked about.. and is living with her and her cousins. She is also living with her sister in the same house, who was just baptized a year and a half ago. We had some problems with getting her parent of LEGAL gaurdian to sign for her, and allow her to get baptized. (She will be turning 18 in 6 months).. so it was quite a scare.. and kind of long and complicated to explain over email.. but needless to say, our entire district of missionaries fasted for her on Thursday that something would be able to work out. Man.. I have never fasted and prayed so hard in my life. I was literally sick to my stomach.. and so nervous. Friday came around.. the day before the planned baptism.. and we went by with a prayer in our hearts. She ran up to us and told us that her aunt (Hermana Rosa) now had the legal right over her and could sign! AH!. Miracle. It was so RELIEVING you guys have no idea. woah. It was so awesome.

SO YEAH. Saturday rolled around. And she got baptized at 7:00 in the night. She was at the church at 6 and nervous and ready and excited. She was glowing. And then when it came time.. she came up out of the water just glowing. Hermana Finlinson and I went into the bathroom with her to help her get changed and stuff.. and she was just so happy and smiling. It was so amazing to see. The whole service was so spiritual and I couldn't stop smiling. Hermana Finlinson and I sang "How Great Thou Art" which is her favorite hymn at the end.. and I was just completely overwhelmed with the Spirit of peacefulness and happiness. Wow.. this is what missionary work is about.This is what we are here for.

The next day she got confirmed in Sacrament. She was so happy.. and so ready. Goodness. I love her so much. SO MUCH. She did amazing.

I learned that during hard a long days.. I need to remember that night. And remember how happy she was.. and the change that I saw in her.. and then work as hard as I can so other people can feel that happiness too. To feel that love and that cleanliness and to feel fresh and to start a new. It was a great night. AH. 

3. So yeah. Truth. IM LEAVING LA PALOMA. And some other news. I will also be training and doing a white wash. My new area is still in Paraguay.. about  hours from La Paloma by bus. It's called Hermanadarias. It's right outside of a big city which will be a big change from this tiny little town. So yeah.. white wash. For those of you who don't know.. a white wash is when two missionaries come in without knowing the area. They are brand new to the area. I will have a new missionary to train.. and then also to come into this area. There has only been Elders in this area until now.. and President thinks it's time for a change and is now sending me and my new companion to open up as an area for Hermana's. So yeah.. basically I'm scared out of my mind. I can kind of speak Spanish.. and we have to get to know this new area.. and basically just start over. So yeah. Woah. I am SO anxious and nervous and scared. But at the same time very excited. I'm full of faith and know that this next area is where the Lord needs me. I'm going to just keep hanging on and having faith and GO TO WORK. I want to help this new area the best that I can. 
I'm also SO SO sad to leave La Paloma. It's my home. It's all I've known up until now.. and I'm going to miss the members here more than anything. They are my family. They have been with me from the beginning of this journey.. and yeah. I think the saddest thing is.. is that I probably will never see them again. That's maybe what's the hardest. But THANK GOODNESS for Facebook! What a blessing modern day technology is. But yeah. We will say our goodbyes tomorrow.. and then we will travel to the mission offices in Posadas Wednesday! Hermana Finlinson is going to be training too!! So we will pick up our hijas together and then back we will come to our new home.. where everything is new! WOW. Isn't that insane? So yeah.. basically it's going to be the greatest adventure. Pray for me okay?

So when I got to the field and started my mission, I started reading the book of mormon from the beginning. Very first page to the last. It's been the coolest thing. I have been reading it in Spanish.. and so it's been kind of a slow process.. but I'm now in Ether.. and I was reading about the Brother of Jared. Ah.. so fitting. I love this story so SO much. Just a quick thought I had this week about those people. Maybe when they were in those little boats.. they might have wanted to complain. And ask "Lord, why the wind? Why the waves? What the heck do you think you're doing?" They might have asked these questions in the short-sightedness.. or atleast I might have... but something that I thought of while I was reading.. is that those waves and that wind were NECESSARY for their progression toward the Promised Land. They NEEDED those waves and the wind.. and that resistance to get to where the Lord wanted them to go. Does that make sense? I hope so. It's hard to express over email.. but sometimes we may look to the heavens in frustration and say "WHY are you doing this to me? I don't need this?" But really.. the Lord is all knowing.. and we just have to trust in Him. He can do a lot more with us and our lives, than we can do alone.

Luckily those people and the brother of Jared, we read, didn't do this at all however. They never forgot their God. They sang praises to Him. and always gave him thanks. It was a profound study.. and I've been thinking about it a lot. And something else.. the Lord PREPARED THEM. He didn't just send them out unprepared. It says they had light at all times. Under the water and above. Yeah.. it was awesome. 

Hopefully I can have the faith that they did going into this next transfer. 
One more scripture from the bible that my companion read to me this week that I loved: "But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of they hand". Isaiah 64:8. Love that. 

Anyways! I hope that your week is FANTISTIC. As Liz would say, SPECTACULAR! 
I love you all. 
Hermana Ehlert

My awesome zone!

this is the daughter of a woman we are teaching. I love her so much. Her name is Ana Carolina.. and when we are there.. she is attatched to me at the hip. She is darling. (excuse my chubby face.. working on it. shoot.)

This was today in Saltos! A city just 30 minutes away by taxi... and of course.. HAD to take a picture! Jesus is coming! You have to prepare! hahah.. we laughed.
You're in my prayers. pray for me too! 
Hermana Ehlert

August 3, 2015

Hey there familia :)
Two truths and a lie:
1. I would now consider myself fluent.. 
2. Liz is getting baptized this week!
3. It's the last week of transfers.. already?
OKAY! 1.. is true! kind of. I'm totally fluent.. in Spanglish. shoot. But for real. Hermana Finlinson and I just talk in Spanglish all day long. It's great fun. so yeah.. still working on being totally fluent in Spanish. darn. 

2. LIZ! TRUTH. SHE IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS WEEK! Last week we had some obstacles to overcome with her and the date, and her fears. We were praying to know what we should do, and how to help her feel the spirit. We felt like she truly was ready for 8 of August, and we waiting too much time just gives time for Satan to come in and do his work. So we decided we should have a lesson with her in the chapel! We set it up, and invited her sister to come to (who was baptized a little over a year ago), and opened the baptismal font, and had a lesson with her in the church! We taught her about the 10 commandments, and why we have them. She was very religious before, so she has a very good understanding of how religion works, and she loves the bible. she just get's it. I love watching the spirit work on her, and seeing her knowledge and faith that she already has increase. The spirit was there, and at the end of the lesson, we expressed how we felt that it would be best for her to be baptized the 8th of August. We both bore strong testimony to her, and told her we knew she was ready, and we felt that the Lord knew she was ready as well. And then we just went quiet, and let her think. It was nerve racking! I was just praying my heart out! And then she looked up, and said, "okay. I'll be baptized the 8th of August.". You guys.. I wanted to do a backflip. Holy moly. It was the greatest feeling. That night as I was praying I just felt so humbled to be apart of this process of her conversion and her starting to come to know the gospel. Out of all the missionaries and people, I get the opportunity to be here and help her come to know her Savior Jesus Christ and His gospel. So this week we were with her a little bit every day, teaching her and getting her ready. Like I said before.. she is so ready, and understands everything we teach. To watch the process in this girl has been incredible. And we honestly did nothing but invite, and love, and teach. I love her so much you guys. Seriously. SO. Her baptism will be this Saturday! And then she will get confirmed in Sacrament meeting the following sunday. I can not wait! I'm praying things will go well! 

3. Truth. It is week 6 of this transfer! So crazy! Time is flying. I'm getting very anxious for the changes coming up! Part of me desperately wants to stay in La Paloma.. but another part is ready to leave and for something new! I guess time will only tell.. but I'm getting nervous! It's just nerve racking to not know where I will be next week!
Hmm.. what else this week. We are still trying to work with Dani and Tanya, but there is only so much that we can do. We are there to invite, and help bring the spirit, and then it is up to them. 
That is something that I've been struggling with on the mission. People's agency is killing me lately.. but so crucial and important in the eternal scheme of things. I'm learning to be okay with that. Slowly. 

Last week was a tough one, and as I started this week I was determinded that it would be a good one. 
I set to goal to just always think and remember my Savior in all times and places. Afterall.. we covenant to do that every week when we partake of the sacrament. And in return, we have the promise to always have His spirit to be with us.. and from the scriptures and personal experience.. it way harder to be discouraged and sad when you have the spirit with you. So my goal this week was just to always try and remember Him. Remember the grand scheme of things, and continue pressing on. I am working on my conversion like I've talked about earlier... and being a better disciple of Christ. I've promised Him to be a disciple of him.. and as I was studying this week.. and I was reading a talk by Elder Holland.. a quote that I love from him says "It is a straight path, and it is a narrow path without a great deal of latitude at some points, but it can be thrillingly and successfully travelled with steadfastness in Christ, a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. In courageously pursuing such a course, you will forge unshakable faith, you will find safety against ill winds that blow, even shafts in the whirlwind, and you will feel the rocklike strength of our Redeemer, upon whom if you build your unflagging discipleship, you CANNOT fail."Just thought I would share that. I love it. 

Hmm.. sorry this is a novel. I'm in Cuided Del Este right now doing divisions with Hermana Araneda. Hna Finlinson went to Posadas because she is an Hermana Lider. It's always fun to be out of your area, but I'm anxious to get back to my people! 

Other fun things.. there was a slug in our bathroom this week that was as long as my hand.. and big around as my thumb. that was fun.
I love you all!! 
until next week! 
Hermana Ehlert