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.

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. :) 

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!
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.
Hermana Ehlert
ps... 9 jehova´s witnesses moved into apartments literally right next to us. So that´s really interesting. ;)