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. 

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)

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 we go again

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.
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

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. 

Hermana Ehlert

the cake my companion and I made. 'MERICA!

some of the zone :)