Thursday, August 18, 2016

August 15, 2016

HOLAAAA MI FAMILIA. :)

I can´t describe my feelings right now as I type this.. and it´s even harder when I have to write them.
I´m sitting here on a plastic lawn chair inside an internet cafe watching the people walk by outside in a country that was completely new and foreign to me 18 months ago. It now feels like home to me.. and the smells, people, streets, houses.. are all familiar to me. And in one week I will leave this all behind. My feeling are definitely mixed. I was thinking this week.. I think of one the reasons that it is so hard to even think about leaving this place is because I have given my heart and soul to this place and more importantly these people. as cliche as it sounds.. it´s true. whenever you give your heart to anything.. a sport, a school project, a person, work.. it´s hard to leave it. And I think that´s why it feels so hard to me right now. 

But if there is one thing that I have learned on my mission is that God has our complete and best interest in mind, and the only way for us to grow, is by taking us out of our comfort zone and sticking us in a place where our comforts are stretched. And once we feel comfortable there.. he takes us out again. It´s part of the plan.. and when we get changed.. and he gives us opportunities to grow and become more like him.. we can do it with a frown and bitterness in our hearts.. or we can do it with a good attitude, trusting in him, and knowing that all things will work together for our good. 

It´s also very weird.... time. I have talked about time a lot throughout my mission.. but it´s just the most surreal thing to me. I can still remember how it felt and what I was wearing and what I saw exactly the day I entered in the MTC.. and it feels like it could have been yesterday. SO WEIRD. 
Just some of the thoughts that I feel right now.
 
Anywayssss. this week. Some highlights:

-We started the week off doing divisions with our hermana leaders.. who´s area is about 5 hours away in bus.. so we travelled there on Tuesday and we did divisions with them on Wednesday. And the funnest part was.. is that I got to be with Hermana Johnson!!! Who was with me in the MTC in my district. It was the first time that I have gotten to work with her on my mission.. and to think about really how far we have come. It was a fun day full of the spirit working with her in her area. :)

-we are teaching a lady named Karina.. and although she is 31.. it truly is like teaching a 5 year old. She never had a formal education. Never went to school or church.. and has only heard about God from other people.. but has never been taught anything. She cannot read.. and her comprehension is VERY low and slow. So this week when we taught he we just taught God is our loving Heavenly Father and who is Jesus Christ. As we explained and re-explained who they are.. the spirit gently touched me at the truthfulness of what we were teaching. It was the most simple and basic doctrine to the church.. but some of the most important. I am so grateful of the knowledge of our loving Heavenly Father and his plan for us.. which is centered in his son Jesus Christ. I am also grateful for the Holy Ghost who testifies of all things. As we learn from Peter who recieved his witness of Christ because God revealed it to him through the Holy Ghost and not because he was physically with Christ and physically SAW the miracles he performed... "evidence" is not how we gain testimony.. but only through the Spirit. Laman and Lemuel saw miracle after miracle.. even angels.. but because they never allowed the spirit to enter into their hearts.. they were never converted. 

-Something funny that happened... we were at the house of a member.. and we are teaching her dad who isn´t a member.. and we were sitting outside.. and the her neighbor infront of her house starts raking all of the grass that was just recently cut into piles. So we hopped right up and decided to help!! So there we are just raking away.. and she starts setting fire to the piles of already raked (I don´t know if that´s how you spell it) grass. As is very common here in Paraguay... they burn everything.. garbage, grass and weeds, their extra food, or their dead dog.. you name it and they burn it. Just right infront of their house in the road basically. So this lady´s yard is basically a war zone..and we quickly finished raking. we were enveloped in smoke.. and showed up to the baptism that the branch had that night just smelling lovely..... (like smokers). hahah.. it was awesome.. and fun to explain to all those at the baptism that we had NOT recently just smoked a pack each. :) see picture below of the after effects...

I hope you all have an amazing week... and THANK YOU for all your support, love, and words that have helped me through my mission.

I don´t know how powerful my testimony is through email.. but I just love this gospel. I love my Savior and your Savior.. Jesus Christ. I know he lives. He loves us, and stands with our Father in Heaven, waiting for our return. I know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true and it truly testifies of our Savior. He sustains and loves us and walks with us in times of trial.

I love you all.. and I WILL SEE YOU NEXT WEEK. :)
CHE ROHAYHU MI VIDA.

peace and blessings.
xoxoxoxox 
Hermana Ehlert
ps... next week I don´t think I will have the chance to write... so you don´t need to bother sending anything. :) 
lovessss.

the lady´s yard that I described in the story above. The after effects.
lunch with a member this week. it´s called bori bori.
cute little alison that got baptised :)
today we went to the beach to play volleyball with the district.. and of course.. had to snatch that cheesy .
playing volleyball today... I´m the one serving.. rocking the zone jersey´s that we made.

name tag pic with Posadas in the background. :)
love this place



Monday, August 8, 2016

August 8, 2016

hooollaaaa :)
wow.. weeks are passing SO fast I can't even believe it. 
I can't believe it's Monday again.. crazy. 

I learned this week as I was reading the new testament that our faith affects others. explanation: when the 4 friends carry the man with palsy to Christ to be healed and they lower him through the roof.. and Christ forgives the sins of the man and heals him because "he saw THEIR faith". The scriptures don't say anything about the faith of the man who actually had the palsy. I loved that.

I saw that this week as we were went out with full faith everyday.. and this week was BETTER. We were able to find families and prepared people who wanted to listen to us. We were able to help the members share the gospel and invite their friends to church and activities. I worked harder than ever at being fearless. 

At one point this week we started talking with two ladies and they invited us to sit down with them infront of their house.. as soon as we went to sit down.. the three teenager boys that were there left and sat on the other side of the house.. but still within sight. as we sat down and started talking with the two ladies.. I knew I had to invite those three boys to come sit with us and listen to our message. as the conversation kept going one of the ladies asked about baptism and as we opened up the book of mormon to respond to her doubt.. the impression was overwhelming. I felt dumb though.. they had specifically gotten up and moved when we came to sit down.. but I opened my mouth anyway.. expecting a "no".. or them to laugh and turn their music up louder... but to my surprise.. all three of them immediately grabbed their chairs and came to sit with us. and before we knew it there is a group of 6 sitting with us.. passing a book of mormon around the circle to read verses in 3 nefi about when christ comes to the americas and teaches the doctrine of baptism. so awesome. we left happy and full of the spirit. 

I realized that many impressions or promptings that we recieve from the Lord may be uncomfortable or difficult to do.. but when we move forward with faith in him .. willing to do what he asks.. he blesses us. 
one of the those boys that we asked to come sit down with us.. is the son of the less active and we didn't even know until we were about to leave and asked his last name. 

ROHAYHU ser misionera.
LES QUIERO.

chauuu.

xoxoxo
Hermana Ehlert

A pineapple growing behind a members house!!!! did you know they grow like that?!?!

A GIANT TREE in our area. isn't it cool?!?

Another giant treee... obviously. like the branch is HUGE.
my area. the other side of the river is Posadas argentina... so beautiful.

today we went to some ruins close my area.. they were super cool actually. giant.




Monday, August 1, 2016

August 1, 2016

Hi cute family :)

This week was a little brighter than the last weeks. To be honest.. it was still hard.. and we are just talking to EVERYONE. I don't think there has been a time in my mission where I am talking to more people during the day. 
So a few weeks ago.. before I got to the area.. all of the missionaries in the district came to our area and contacted for the day.. and then passed us the references. Well.. one of these references is named Nelly. The elder's found her during this day of contacting.. and we were finally able to find her. She is soooo coool. She just has all the right questions.. and all the right confusion for us to be able to help her along in her journey in finding light and truth in her life. Her husband a few years ago got in a motorcycle accident.. and is not in a wheelchair and paralyzed from the waste down. She is the only one that works in her family of 3 little kids.. going from door to door selling bingo. And the coolest part is.. she only lives a block away from the church!! So cool. 
We continued exploring in our area.. and finding new places to go. 

I have been thinking a lot about fear.. and how when we have fear we cannot be effective missionaries. man.... I wish SO BAD that I would have learned this concept at the beginning of my mission. I am weak.. and am easily intimidated by others.. and it has actually been a challenge sometimes for me to get over it. I don't want to offend anyone.. which sometimes leads me to not declaring boldly this glorious message. So this week I worked specifically on overcoming fear... and ironically.. we encountered many situations that intimidated me or made me shrink back.. but as I worked on declaring the message of the restoration.. I felt the rush of the spirit backing me up. many times it required a lot of faith for me to stand up for what we are doing.. but when we excercise faith.. he blesses us. You'd think that a missionary with my time would have figured it out by now.. but oh well right? sorry... i feel like I can't express myself how I want to. It all just makes much more sense in spanish.

We also found an awesome brazilian woman named Teresa. She watched us from the door of her little house as we walked by. I felt like we should talk to her when we made eye contact.. but we were already late for our appointment.. and when we had already passed her house, I decided to turn around. We approached her.. and in her thick brazilian accent told us that she was hoping we would talk to her. We were able to chat for a little bit.. and remembering the challenge to handout a book of mormon in the street everyday from our leaders.. we marked a section for her invited her to read. she said "I will happily read .. and when are you coming back to keep teaching me?" It was definitely a happy moment of the day. 

not much this week. 

feliz and fearless is the theme for the week. :)

xoxoxox
hermana ehlert

Monday, July 25, 2016

July 25, 2016

hey sweet fam :)

I hope you had the best week.

To be honest.. this week was another tough one. We went in full force.. and things just didn´t turn out how we were hoping. We ended up having a few days where we didn´t have a single lesson. We have been contacting like crazy. We got out the map to the area.. and prayed and tried to concentrate our efforts where we felt we needed to be. We started going into areas where they hadn´t worked before last transfer and we only kind of got lost. :)

Hermana Caballero is a trooper.. and always has a smile. She is just so humble.. and loves talking to people. I have learned a lot from her. She see´s everyone as someone who has potential.. where as sometimes I will automatically rule someone out just from appearance at first look.

We did a lot of walking and a LOT of talking to people. No one really let us in, in the moment.. but we think that we met a few people that we will be able to go back and visit another time. We are excited to start this week and try again. 

The thing is.. even though this week was harder.. and we didn´t see a lot of success and I felt really tired emotionally and physically.. I never really felt discouraged. I felt sustained and at peace. I felt the assurance that only comes when we are in the service of our God. We just kept telling ourselves that the next person we talked to would be baptized. We tried to picture them in white and in the temple.. or tried to see them as God see´s them. It helped us have a lot more charity.. and remember truly why we are here. 

I´m grateful for this area.. and for the Lord´s trust in me to take care of this part of His vineyard. 
Sorry.. short this week. Hopefully next week I´ll have more exciting things to report about. 

LOVE YOU ALL.
xoxoxox
Hna E

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July 18, 2016

hola mba'echaipa che familia :)

(guarani... I'm TOTALLY (not) learning how to speak guarani!!!!!!)... haha because guess what?! My new companion is from PARAGUAY!! WHAT?! So coool. Her name is Hermana Caballero and she was born here in Paraguay but when she was 12 years old she moved to Argentina, Buenos Aires. So she grew up listening and only speaking Guarani. She learned how to speak spanish in school. But she totally has a Buenos Aires accent. It's super funny.. because she speaks spanish like she's from Argentina.. but then switches to Guarani like a total paraguayan. It's awesome. Her family converted to the church when she was 14. She grew up in a family of 10 kids... really really poor from what I can gather. She doesn't open up easy at all about her personal life.. so it's kind of hard to know.. but from what I gathered she had a hard childhood. She told me that she wants 2 kids only because she wants to give them opportunities that she never had.. and make sure that they are able to get a good education and stuff. When she was 15 she dropped out of school so that she could work. She started working like a crazzyyyy person. monday through saturday. She would wake up at 4 in the morning to be able to take the bus by 5 and then usually return home by 7 at night. Her and her dad were the only ones working in their entire family.. and when she would get paid.. she gave everything to her mom. she has 4 older siblings.. and 5 younger. And the first missionary in her family. She is incredible.. and has the strongest testimony. I admire her.. and feel SO humbled to be her comp. 

 It can be hard because we meet and talk with lots of people that speak Spanish and Guarani.. but the second they find out she is from Paraguay and can speak Guarani.. they switch to Guarani and then won't switch back to Spanish... which leaves me pretty lost in the conversation. It kind of reminds me when I was at the beginning of my mission.. when I would be totally lost in easy conversations. But it's also super useful too.. because it immediately opens our teaching pool to MANY more people who normally we wouldn't be able to teach if we didn't speak Guarani.. so that's really cool too. We have a family that we are teaching that only speak Guarani.. so I basically just nod and testify of what my comp says... hahah just like at the beginning of my mission. it's definitely an adventure. But we get along super well.. she is darling.. and dedicated and has that fire and drive that all new missionaries have. I have a lot to learn from her. I know it. AND.. she's shorter than me! Can you believe it?! It's awesome to have a short comp again :)

butttt.. if I'm being totally honest.. it was kind of a harder week this week. I don't know how to explain it.. but on the mission you totally get "home sick" for your old areas.. well atleast I do. I was SO "homesick" for Minga this week. I just missed it. I missed how I would feel walking around those streets... and I miss the members.. and the leaders there.. and I miss my comp. It has been kind of a hard adjustment. It's also hard.. when missionaries in the past have established bad habits with members. Like missionaries here in the past have spent LOTS of time in members houses and just hanging out basically.. so then all the sudden I get here.. and don't want to spend lots of time just "hanging out with members".. I'm all of the sudden the strict and "not fun missionary". So there was a little bit of that this week too. 

There was a really cool thing though that happened on Friday. The branch I am in doesn't belong to a stake.. instead it's called a district. And this weekend they had district youth conference.. so on Friday morning.. all the missionaries in the district were invited to come. We did a "mini MTC" with the youth and then we went out and contacted in the streets and in the plazas for about an hour. Two young women came with me and it was SO fun. They were so happy and excited after we would talk to someone.. and it reminded me a lot of how I was at the beginning of my mission. It was a really cool eye opener. 

As I pondered on things this week.. I realized that change brings progress. Something that I heard in the MTC is that "little growth occurs in your comfort zone, and little comfort occurs in your growth zone".. I have had that on a sticky note since the MTC and look at it every day. And how true that is. I learned that this week as I was forced onto my knees to plead for the help, guidance, and comfort of His spirit. A scripture I found this morning.. "He comprendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and through all things, and is round about all things' and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever." Somehow.. all things will work together for our good. I don't know how it works yet.. I haven't gotten that far.. but it will all work out. As Paul wrote to the corinthians.. "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him". One day all things will work out for our good.
I love you all so much.
Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven. (praise to the man)
CHE ROHAYHU PARAGUAY.

xoxo
Hermana Ehlert


saying bye to members in Minga.. :(
saying bye to members in Minga.. :(
me and Johana :)
the youth in youth conference.
that is hermana caballero studying this morning.. it´s a LITTLE cold in our pension.... hahaha.
Sister in Minga

Monday, July 11, 2016

transfers...here we go again

HEY FAM. 
This week was BY FAR my favorite week in Minga.. and maybe one of the fastest too! so SO fast. Can´t believe it. 

So first of all... transfers. AH. Can you believe that it's time for transfers already? I definitely can't. wow. 
SO... I will be leaving Minga Guazu.. and Hermana Cannon. I'm going to a city called Encarnacion that is about 6 hours away from here by bus.. and I will be training again! ah.. crazy right? But it will be aweeesssommme :) So that's exciting. But goodness... I know that I say this every time I leave an area.. but it just get's harder and harder to leave. I LOVE this area. I am SO sooo sad to be leaving. I really thought that I was going to be able to stay for my last transfer. But I guess the Lord has other plans and I am needed somewhere else in His vineyard. I leave tomorrow night to go meet my hija... :) YAY. Just another adventure.. and as president LaPierre says.. "just enjoy the ride hermana". So that I will try to do. But I WILL MISSSSSS HERMANA cannon. so so much. love this girl. 
So as I said before.. it was just the greatest week. We had miracle after miracle.. and after being here in this area for 4 1/2 months.. we were really able to start seeing some of the fruits of our efforts. Like miracles just started dropping from the skies.... and so did golden investigators. 

The first.. there is a partial member family that used to be less active.. but they are now they are totally active.. and they have an 11 year old daughter that isn't baptized yet.. so we got to start teaching her and preparing her for baptism. She is SUPER shy.. and mostly speaks Guarani.. but accepted a date to be baptized at the end of this month. yayayayy.

Then.. there is a guy named Ruben. He is 17.. and he has come to church 4 times now with his friends that are in young mens. But the thing is.. in the past weeks... we would see him and we just thought he was another member.. so we never really talked to him. Well.. last week after church.. we told our branch president that he wants to be baptized.... and we were like whatttt?! You aren't a member?! So we were able to start teaching him this week too.. and HE IS AWESOME. He also speaks LOTS of Guarani.. so the language barrier is a little tough if we don't have a member in the lesson to help us out... BUT HE IS SO COOL.. and also accepted a date to be baptized at the end of this month. 

Last night we had an amazing lesson with a less active family with our branch mission leader and our elders quorum president, and basically we just sat back and watched as the spirit worked through these to members to help this less active family. Because the church is so new in this part of the world.. I have seen VERY few times a really well functioning branch, with members that actually want to go out and work.. and to just be able to see how much better missionary work with members are was a really cool experience. What they did for this family spiritually in ONE lesson, we would have MAYBE been able to accomplish in 2 months of visiting them every week. Like it's amazing how much more effective missionary work is when we are doing it with members. 
Then the week ended on Saturday with an activity that we planned. we basically tried to invite the WHOLE WORLD... and we had 7 investigators show up!!! IT WAS AWESOME. also lots of members came and we watched Meet the Mormons and then ate treats after.. and it was just amazzzinnngggg. It was so awesome. 

So what I learned this week... I was learning about the apostles and Peter especially. I just love Peter. He is so impulsive.. and just runs on his emotions it seems like.. but anyways. I was thinking why would Christ call these apostles.. because many of them were probably not the most qualified according to smartness.. or knowledge.. and I was also thinking.. Christ is a God.. and could have done all the work himself. I was then thinking about me as a missionary.. why would he call me.. after all.. I am just an "unprofitable servant"... he could just come down and do all this work and probably convert many more people.. and do it all much more efficiently.. and never get sick.. and just be perfect.. and the work would just get done all a lot quicker. RIGHT?! well.. kinda. It would. But as I thought about when Christ came to the Americas and asks all the people to BRING the sick to him. I never really payed attention to the middle man here. The sick couldn't bring themselves. Then I was thinking why would Christ command that people help him. Well.. he calls and commands the apostles of old... the nephites in the americas.. and us in these very times so that we can learn. He is deligating Godlike responsibilities to us. He is sharing what he does.. and when we do the work of God.. we become more like Him. When he calls us.. and we willingly serve him.. he is giving us the opportunity to become more like Him.. and to share the joy and happiness and peace that only comes when we are working for the salvation of souls. Isn't that cool? (I hope that made sense)

I feel grateful for the opportunity to serve.. and to change.. and to become more like him. Even though I am slow.. and sick sometimes.. and lazy sometimes.. and just basically unprofitable. I am grateful for his endless love and patience that he had with Peter, and with me. 

I love being his hands. 

Have the greatest and happiest week.
xoxox
Hermana Ehlert

1. the district.... and I lost a leg apparently
2. my comp crossing a bridge while we did divisions... I don't have a picture of me.. but like the most sketchy bridge ever right?! haha.. but just part of the adventure. :)
3. stairs and my cute comp :)
4. some of the people in the activity!!!!!! 
5. hermanas de Minga :)
6. us an hour branch mission leader who is THE BOMB 
7. empanada feast today 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July

HEY FAM!!! 
This week could not have been faster. so so fasssst.
BUT HEY. quick highlight of the week.

Wednesday I was able to do divisions with the mission nurse.. Hermana Wanlass.. and it was just a BLAST. She came to my area.. and we just saw miracle after miracle. She is seriously awesome. I respect and love her so much. 

Friday we met our new mission president! His name is Presidente Svec and he is from Chile. It was really sad to see Pte LaPierre go.. but it was his time. We met him and his wife and they are just AWESOME. Like seriously. Complete opposites of Hermana and Presidente LaPierre. I feel sad that I won't have more time than I do to work with him and get to know him. His wife is amazing too. They are just loud and talkative and friendly and "get it done" kind of people. It's awesome. And they are just hitting the ground running. :) It's a really cool time to be apart of the Argentina Posadas Mission.. and to see it's progress and growth. A quote from presidente Svec... (I can't translate it exactly.. I don't know how.. but something like this) "When you feel like you can't do something, take it out of your mind, and practice, and the Lord will do the rest". I've thought about that a lot this week. Our ability to DO, starts with our mind. 

Something Hermana Cannon and I are trying to do is "keep our line in the water" from the moment that we walk out the door. We don't want to be like the fisherman who has gone fishing and is away from his house for 12 hours of the day.. but only has his like in for 2 hours. We want to be like the fisherman who goes fishing and has his line in for as much time as possible. What that means is that ALWAYS, and ALL TIMES, we are looking for opportunities to help, serve, and mostly share about the restored gospel of jesus christ and his love for us. We are trying to talk to more people.. buses, streets, buying things. We constantly have cards in our hands to give away.. because, we never know when the Lord is preparing to put someone in our path. And if we aren't looking and opening our mouths.. we could completely miss a prepared person and opportunity. We have to do our part.

Paraguayan observation of the week: it's a really good thing that paraguayans are generally round and soft people.. because if they were sharp and bony, the bus rides where we are literally crammmmmmed in, would be reaaaallllyyy uncomfortable. ;)

Sixto.. the recent convert is doing well. He hasn't smoked since we had that lesson with him, and we visited an investigator with him this morning.. and really bore just one of the most powerful and simple testimonies about how christ changes us. Through his spirit, we are purified and cleansed, and changed, from natural men with fallen and worldly desires, to become more like our God and his son Jesus Christ. 

We also got the zone together and to celebrate fourth of july. We sang the national anthem and ate delicious hotdogs with ketchup and bbq sauce from the states and then played kickball and ate chocolate cake and ice cream. It was like a suuuper fun pday. hurrah for the united states. am I right?! pictures to come.

I love this work. I love my Savior. I know he loves, and offers peace to all those who come unto him. 

xoxoxo
Hermana Ehlert

the cake my companion and I made. 'MERICA!

some of the zone :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

"Yo quiero ser soldado fiel, al lado del Señor"

heeyyyy familyyy :)

AH. this week was seriously SO fast. really really fast. 
highlights from the week:

-we visited a less active named Celeste.. and she told us that she is moving to Brasil to work, leaving her 4 kids who are 3, 9, 10 under the care of the oldest son who is 17 who lives with his girlfriend who is 16. she says that she has no other choice.. the economic situation is paraguay is really bad right now.. and it's really hard to find work. and that she will only be gone for a few months. I looked into the 3 year old boy's eyes.. and just wondered why I got to recieve such a good life.. and he got what he got. living in a wood shack with dirt floors and one bed. I left and immediately cried. As hermana cannon and I sat and talked about it.. and overwhelming sense of peace came to my heart.. that Heavenly Father knows the situation of those little kids.. and loves them.. just like he loves me. and everything will work out.. and work together for all of their good.

-we had our last zone conference with president this week.. and it was just so powerful. I loved it. the spirit was just so strong. we talked a lot about consecration to the Lord and His work. About being consecrated missionaries. we talked about how missionaries and apostles are the only people in the world.. that are literally giving their whole lives to God. Obviously.. their calling is for life.. and different and higher on many levels.. but the lesson worked. It was a cool way to think about it. We talked about how, as missionaries, we are called and set apart to live on a higher plane and level, and requires sacrifice. but with living a higher or greater law.. comes greater blessings. we were invited to think and pray and ponder about what things are holding us back from becoming consecrated.

president also talked quite a bit. but it was mostly just simply, humble testimony. he told stories of his own mission that he served when he was 21.. and also what he has learned over the past 3 years. I love him. and he will be greatly missed.. but we are excited and readily awaiting the arrival of president Svec! So exciting! 

-we had divisions this week with the other hermanas that share our branch. And I got to be with the NEW hermana from Colorado. She came to my area.. and it was just so fun.. to answer all her questions.. and just love her. it was a cool day with her. Hermana Katalin. :)

-something I learned this week personally... I was complaining this week to my companion.. and Well long story short.. it was all just very self centered complaining.. and as I studied personally.. I was thinking about christ.. and about his selfless service. he gave and gave and gave.. and recieved hardly anything back. I came across Mathew 20:28.. "even as the son of men came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many".. but I like it even more in spanish.. instead of using the word for minister.. it uses the word servir.. which is serve.. and instead of using the work ransom.. it uses the word rescate which means rescue.. so translating it directly it would say "even as the son of men came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life for a rescue of many". isn't that cool?. If we lose our lives in the service of our God, we are promised to find it. 
President Eyring said: "When I find myself drawn away from my priesthood duties, and when my body begs for rest, I give to myself this rallying cry.. 'remember him!" 

I am here to serve HIM. to represent HIM. and to love and help HIM find HIS lost sheep. And it really has nothing to do with me.

I love you all. have the greatest week.

xoxo
Hermana Ehlert

Just the obviously really attractive, bright flash, short arm selfie with Hermana Katalin :) we only half froze that day. 

hermana lapierre and i. I LOVE THIS WOMAN.


driving home from church.

Monday, June 20, 2016

June 20, 2016

it's just going to be a short and sweet one this week. sorry.. I'm totally out of time..
but it was a happy and successful week. really. 

but I'll just tell one story..
this morning we went to visit an investigator.. and she wasn't there.. when she really should have been. and we just felt like we really needed to go and see a recent convert. His name is Sixto.. and he was baptized about 8 months ago. he is 53 and seriously just LOVES sharing the gospel. this week he actually told us.. "hermanas.. sometimes I just want to shove someone up the wall and force them to listen to you guys.. or hold them at gunpoint and take them to church!" We told him that he definitely shouldn't do that.. and that we need to have patience, respect people's agency, and trust in God's timing for every person as we do our part. But I couldn't help but smile.. his enthusiasm for the gospel is amazing.. and seriously every time we pass by to visit him.. he has someone new that he met or a new neighbor that he wants us to visit. 
The thing about sixto is that he lives alone.. and is lonely. He is divorced form his wife.. and his two daughters live in buenos aires with their mom. he doesn't have the easiest life.. works alot.. and has a hard time forgetting his past life before he was baptized and forgiving himself and the damage he did to himself and others. So we passed by and visited him and as we were sitting and talking to him.. I saw a pack of cigarettes in his pocket. I asked him what it was.. and he told us that he started smoking a few cigarettes a week like two weeks ago. It literally was such a shock and heartbreaking for both my companion and I.
We asked him to sit down with us so that we could talk with him. we sang a hymn which immediately brought more peace to the situation and my companion offered a sincere prayer. 
After the prayer we looked up at eachother in silence for a minute... and he grabbed the pack of cigarrettes and crumpled it up in a ball and there it away. He said.. "Hermanas I know it's wrong. and that I am in sin. But what can I do about it? It's really hard and the temptation is so strong.. especially when I'm sad or lonely."
We talked about repetance.. and about atonement of jesus christ. about how his sacrifice was for us. 
God is willing and WANTS to forgive. every time we come to him, he will forgive us. every time. 
It was so amazing to just bear such simple testimony of my savior. I know he lived. and lives this very day. I know it. 
God is our father. and it doesn't matter how many times we mess up.. he is there. and wants us clean and back with him.. and I am so grateful for our savior who was willing to do what he did for each of us. 
my heart is full. I love this work. and I am lucky to wear his name every day.

this is the last week of President LaPierre.. and it's all just very sad. really. but it will be exciting and a great new adventure to be with our new president President Svec. 

sending you all my love.. especially to all of the dads out there. I hope you all had the greatest week. ESPECIALLY TO MY DAD. :) 
AND MY NEW NEPHEW.. YAYAY.

xoxo
Hermana Ehlert

paz y bendiciones 
(peace and blessings)

jumping pic. classic.

me and an emu that we pass walking to leticia and ignacio's house. hahhaa. 

the photo.. is the OLD church in my area.. and then the new one on the first sunday almost exactly 2 years later. Isn't it gorgeous?! SO AMAZING. love this branch.

Monday, June 13, 2016

June 13, 2016

Mi querida familia :)

HEY. Weeks are just flying by I feel like. 

first of all health.. I am really feeling much better. Just a little head cold, but nothing too bad anymore. 
according to other emails from missionaries in South America.. everyone is literally freezing.. and my little part of Paraguay is just as cold. It literally is freezing.. and I stay cold for about 22 hours out of 24 hours. so yeaahh. But we battle through it, and if you walk really fast you get warmer.. so we are getting to appointments even faster :) woo hoo!

We were travelling at the beginning of the week and didn't get back to our area until Wednesday. So basically just the entire week we were just running around like crazy and calling everyone and trying to invite AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE to our open house for the new chapel and for the dedication on Sunday

we had an investigator a little while ago named Lisa.. she is awesome.. but really just wasn't ready act and do her part. But we decided after lunch on Thursday to run by her house and atleast give her an invitation. well she wasn't there.. but her brother came out and we gave him the invitation to give to her.. and normally we would have just left.. but both hermana cannon and I kinda lingered and started talking with him. He asked us if we wanted to sit down with him.. so we did. And basically he just told us that he is looking for a church and he feels church is something important, but he just doesn't know where to start. he expressed that he wants to pray and he knows it's a good thing.. but he just doesn't know HOW. The scripture came to mind that people will be looking for the truth but just won't know where to find it? (that's a scripture right? haha) Well.. anyway. I have never felt that so strongly with someone so quickly. Just someone looking and longing for the truth.. but just doesn't know where to find it. He has gone to a few churches.. but he told us he mostly just leaves not feeling satisfied and mostly confused with unanswered questions. He asked us to start teaching him from 0. So we did. We talked about God and prayer. and it was just so simple.. but so powerful. So so powerful. The way he looked at us.. and was listening.. just like he was drinking in every word. It was really cool. He had to work on Sunday.. but he said that he will do everything possible to get it off for the next sunday. So we will see :)

I don't know why.. but I am continually amazed as I am reminded of God's love for his children. time and time again God helps us. by the smallest and simple things.. and if you weren't paying attention.. you would just think it was a coincidence or just luck.. or just completely let it pass you by. 

SO. Saturday we had the open house of the church.. and it was actually really successfull!! We had a few investigators and less actives.. and our members were going out in the streets and surrounding neighborhood to tell everyone about it. It was awesome.. and the chapel.. is stunning. I kid you not. beautiful. Sunday.. ended up being so spiritual and amazing. we had 3 investigators in church.. including our bread making friend Blanca! She came all by herself and she sat right in the front. 
I was playing piano for the meeting.. and so I was sitting in the front.. and was able to see the faces of all those who were sitting in the congregation. the church was literally just on fire.. and we had a grand total of 147 people in the church!!!! And last transfer..the most our attendance was 92!!! woohooo! Right?! It was such a happy day. I really just feel super blessed to be the missionary here at this very time. 

I am working to feel closer to my father in heaven. just FEEL him more. I don't know if that makes sense.. I'll let you know how it goes. 

Happiest wishes to my dear cousin addy who got married!! YAYAY.

until next week!
xoxox
Hermana Ehlert

the GIANT tree in Encarnacion!

garbage.. people just throw their garbage wherever and then burn it. this pile was waiting to be burned.


the NEW sacrament room. Itsn't it gorgeouS?!




Monday, June 6, 2016

June 6, 2016

mi querida familia :)
I actually wasnt feeling super great at the beginning of the week.. and on Fridaywe actually didnt go work because I got a sinus infection. So that was a bummer.. and the day included sleeping and watching 17 miracles with my comp :) haha. But Im definitely feeling better now. 
So here in MInga.. for more than 2 years now.. they have been constructing a new meeting house.. and in the meantime they have been going to a church super far away for everyone.. BUT. This week they announced that it is officially finished and authorized so we will be in the new church that is actually in our area this sunday! So that was super exciting. We are banking on a lot of less active members and other investigators to come now.. because now, it really is so much closer and they don´t have much of an excuse. 
It has been really hard on all the members.. and they have all had to sacrifice a lot to even be able to come to church. Many used to come to church walking.. but when they moved the church temporarily.. they didn´t have the means anymore to come to church. SO.. stay tuned for next week.. because I think it will be amazing. I can´t wait. :)
Umm.. Leticia and Ignacio are progressing slowly. THey still aren´t moving towards marriage.. and that is their biggest obstacle right now. But.. Leticia came to church this week and seems more and more comfortable. We also had one of our best lessons that we have had with them this week. We talked about Lehi´s dream.. and Ignacio really could relate to the reality of the "great and spacious building". He says at work.. a lot of guys make fun of the religious guys and say that they are wasting their time. He expressed to us.. that he knows these things are true.. and he can´t deny how he feels.. but it´s still really hard when the world is so against it. 
Leticia also told us that we should go visit her brother that conveniantly live next door to her. SO.. we went of course. His name is Ever.. and his wife´s name is Yesica. They actually aren´t married (shocker).. but they are AWESOME. Especially her. And he was actually visited by missionaries years ago.. has a book of mormon.. and went to church several times. We were only able to have one lesson with them this week.. but they are awesome. I will let you know :)

We travelled to a Encarnación last night and are here all day today and tomorrow. We have a meeting a leaders and with the assistents and president. It will be his last one. SO SAD. I will miss him so much.
Anyways.. sorry kind of boring this week.. but I´m happy and basically healthy.. so don´t even worry. :)
Thank you for your prayers.
xoxoxo
Hermana Ehlert
ps... 9 jehova´s witnesses moved into apartments literally right next to us. So that´s really interesting. ;)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Transfers!

HEY FAM :)
so I will start off with transfers.. I don't have any! YAY. Hermana Cannon and I are staying together another transfer. 

So yay. booya. can't wait. 

so this week was just full of great things. First off.. we weren't able to work too much because my comp had to go to the dentist one day and that basically took up our entire day.. and then we ended up having to go BACK to the dentist two days later for a checkup and another filling.. so yeah. BUT.. the days that we were able to work were wonderful!!! 

Wednesday morning.. we were contacting.. and having little success and then our lunch appointment called us and cancelled. so dangit. My companion spotted a girl walking toward us.. so we decided to talk to her. We asked her where she was walking to, and she told us that she just left work and that she was walking to her house.. and she invited us to walk with her. LIKE OF COURSE! We talked with her and walked for about 5 minutes and got to her house.. where her mom was making 30 LOAVES OF BREAD. (We later found out that she makes 30 loaves of bread every morning.. and then at 3 or so in the afternoon.. goes out in the streets and sells them! That is her work! haha isn't that awesome?!) They warmly invited us in.. seriously as if we were their family or something. We started talking with the girl.. she is 22 and her name is yesica. She immediately opened up and told us about her story.. how she was depressed.. and super skinny.. and about 5 months ago she started to really know God, and God brought her out of her depression.. and gave her meaning in her life again. She told us that it's really hard because her mom is really catholic and wasn't very accepting of her change of religion.. but has slowly accepted it over the months. We were hardly able to have a lesson with her before her mom invited us to stay for lunch!! So we obviously accepted.. and then as we set a return time to come back.. she gave us a fresh, hot loaf of bread and practically begged us to come back.. because they "just feel so good when we are in their house". It's all a complicated and confusing situation with their family.. but we see so much potential in their entire family. I am just so grateful for an inspired companion!! Stay tuned of Yesica and her fam. Hope that story make sense. 
I just continually am shocked at the tender mercies of God.. whether it's putting a member in our path that needed a little pick me up that day.. or helping us catch a bus right at the time when we needed. He just loves his children. It's that simple. And even though.. we are just two little hermanas in the middle of paraguay.. he is worried about us. And helps us. I don't know if I have said it before in an email.. but I have never felt so guided and blessed in my entire mission. The day is full of these miracles. 

We were walking and I had a realization. Could it have been true that my entire mission has been full of these tender mercies and I just haven't recognized them? We came to the conclusion that it's probably true. Our capicity to be able to see the hand of God in our lives has definitely increased. 

so two more totally awesome things that happened..

Yesterday was Stake Conference!!! AND.. as I walked in I saw ISAIAS sitting right at the front waiting for it to start.. so flashback 7 months ago when I was in Hernandarias. Hermana Lopez and I found him and taught him for about a month.. and I had some of the most spiritual lessons with him.. but in the end.. he wouldn't accept a baptismal date because he didn't want to upset his entire family of catholics. But as I went over and talked to him.. he told me that the hermanas started visiting him again.. and he has decided to get baptized!!! YAY!! Like what? We ended up being able to sit by him.. and he just looks so good and happy.

Okay another flash back story.. remember a few weeks ago.. I told you about a guy named Hugo.. who we found on the side of the road? Who was a returned missionary but went inactive? WELL HE WAS AT THE CONFERENCE!!!! We passed his reference to the hermanas in his area.. and they started visiting him.. and now he is totally going to church and active again! He looked like a completely different person!! I am not kidding. I almost didn't recognize him. He had shaved and cut his hair.. and was wearing a white shirt and tie.. and just smiled the entire time!! . After he just shyly and quietly walked up to me and hermana cannon and thanked us. He called us his angels. The spirit was so overwhelming for me. Tears sprang to my eyes. 

In the mission.. you really will never see the full impact of your work.. and of all the people you talk to.. but I felt really blessed and thankful that heavenly father allowed me to see a small part of what I had done. I was so grateful in the moment to have been able to been the tool.. that was in the right place at the right time. 

So so excited for this next transfer. 
I love you all :) 
HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY TO LUKE. I love you buddy.
xoxoxoxo
Hermana Ehlert

one of my FAVE members. she is just so fancy.. and she KNITTED her dress!!! like how cool is that?! I love her.

Members from Hernandarias that hna lopez and I ran into at the conference. happiest day.
Just my favorite brazilian elder.. and also happens to be the tallest in the mission.
blanca. the mom of yesica. with her homemade bread and dulce de leche that she gave us this morning! like what? love her. isn't she darling?!
THIS IS HUGO. The guy that came to the conference! 
Hermana Nilson. Love her LOTS.
some favorite chileans.