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Monday, April 27, 2015

Semana 28!!!

Hola Todos!

Wow what a crazy week! This week was great and our area is really moving along! (haha) Funny story this week! So,on Thursday morning we woke up and started the day like normal with Personal Study right? So, we're studying and we get a call from the Zone Leaders and they were just like "Hey Hermanas sorry to interupt your studies but we have a little emergency..." I was just thinking, "Oh man what's going on..." (haha) Turns out we had a service project with Operation Smile that no one knew about! (hahaha) We had to pack up some service clothes and leave right then! Worst part was, I had absolutely no idea where we were supposed to be going... (haha) the Elders just told us to take some random bus and get off at a hospital. I was just like, "Bueno, no se como vamos a llegar pero vamos a ver."  ("Well, I don't know how we'll get there, but we'll see.") And we made it without a problem... We did lose like a full day of work though, but it was fun to do something different! And, it was an ADVENTURE! What more could I ask for?!

We also had a Multi-Zone Conference this week and it was AWESOME!! (haha) I LOVE Zone Conferences because I get to see all of my friends! (haha) It's the BEST!! This Zone Conference was so legit though. Normally we talk a lot about all of the different ways we can find people to be baptized, but this time Presidente basically just got up and said, "Look, if you want to baptize, all you need is faith." The whole conference was about faith and it was SO good!! The best part was, Hermana Bennett and I applied it the next day which was Saturday. We fasted to find new investigators that are really good and will progress. We set out to work on Saturday with a TON of faith that the Lord was going to lead us to someone who has been prepared. Anyways, the day actually started out pretty crappy... (haha) all of our plans fell through and we spent a lot of time walking around in the heat. We were walking by Mirian's house (an old investigator of Hermana McDougal and I's) and I had the thought to stop by. We haven't visited Mirian in like a month and a half because she wasn't progressing. So, we stop by and she lets us in and tells us she's missed us a lot! She then told us she got electrocuted and was in the hospital for like 4 days and thought she was going to die! She told us she thought it was a sign from God... We were like YEAH IT WAS!!! (haha) We shared Alma 36 with her and explained that sometimes God gives us these experiences to warn us and correct us. She agreed and told us that she wants to come to church again, and we invited her to be baptized and she said YES!!! She came to church yesterday and is getting baptized this Saturday!! MILAGROS!!! (MIRACLES!!!) We also ended up finding a lot of really good solid investigators on Saturday and the area is really progressing! I learned this week that all we need is faith and the Lord will guide us to those he has prepared!  

The Familia Cesped also came to church again yesterday and Patricia is going to get baptized this Saturday!!! I love that family so much! Also, we are still working with Michele... un poco a poco va a llegar! (She is slowly coming!)

Also, you all should know! (haha) I got a letter from the Familia Flor last week! They are all doing really well! They told me that they are still preparing to go to the temple in October and that they miss me tons! (haha) I love them! It was so nice to hear from them...

That's about all that happened this week in Paraguay... It was a great week!  Thank you for all of your prayers and support I love you all! Have an awesome week!

Hermana Austin

Semana 27!!!

Hola Todos!

So this week was GREAT!!!  Honestly probably one of the best weeks I've had here in Ita Enramada! (haha) One thing that we've really been doing this last week is working with a few less active families in the really poor part of our area. I think I told you all, we decided to start working a little bit with Michele and her family again. We had familiy night with them last Tuesday, and it was GREAT! We taught them off and on all week last week, and decided to pass by on Saturday and talk about the Restoration and invite Michele to be baptized...  Like I said we gained the confidence of the mom last week, but we didn't want to lose it, so we touched the subject of baptism timidly... (haha) Anyways, we had a lesson FULL of the spirit and when I asked Mirian (her mom) she was like, "Honestly, I made a mistake in my life and had to fix some things. While I was in the middle of it I feel like the members abandoned me and I swore that I would never go back to the church, and that my kids wouldn't be baptized there again."  Turns out Mirian had to go to jail a few years back and the members of the church haven't been very forgiving since... AHHH!!! I've never been so annoyed with ward members in my life! That's the time when the members need to HELP this family the most, not shun them and ignore them! I just kept thinking, "What would the Savior be doing to help this family?" I know the last thing he would be doing is abandoning them! There's ALWAYS a way back to the path, it doesn't matter how lost we are. Mirian should ALWAYS feel welcome at church regardless of the things she's done in her life. Anyways, moral of the story is, don't judge! And we now have a game plan with Michele! We're going to pass by A LOT with members and organize a visit with the Bishop... Keep winning over the confidence of this family and I KNOW Michele will get baptized! If not this Saturday the next!

Another less active family we've been working with is the familia Cesped! They're AWESOME! They're like a younger version of the familia Flor! They have four young kids, and the oldest is named Patricia, and she's eight! She hasn't been baptized either! The dad, Antonio, has a drinking problem, (sound familiar?), and it's gotten really bad recently... we passed by to visit them on Tuesday, and his wife was there alone. We stopped to talk with her, and she bassically told us if Antonio doesn't come to church this week and put his life in order, she was going to kick him out of the house! We were like, "Whoah, don't do that! We'll organize a visit with Bishop and help you guys!" So that's what we did... We visited them on Friday with the Bishop and his wife, and talked about the Word of Wisdom and repentance. It was a really powerful lesson, and Antonio told us at the end he was going to quit drinking and bring his family to church on Sunday! Sunday rolled around and when Hermana Bennett and I got to church there was the Familia Cesped sitting in the chapel!  Ahh, I've never been so happy! (haha) We set a goal with the family, and Patricia is going to be baptized the 26th of March, and Antonio's going to perform the baptism!!! He just has to keep going strong with not drinking!!! AHH, it's going to be the best! I really do love this family and they remind me so much of the Familia Flor, it's not even funny!

Anyways yeah, (haha) so much other stuff happened this week, but I don't have time to write about it all! It was a GREAT week! I'm doing so good! Pray for Michele and the Familia Cesped por favor!!! I love you all have an awesome week!

Hermana Austin

PS I got all of your Christmas Cards last week and just wanted to tell everyone thank you! I appreciate it a TON!! It's always fun to get mail from home!  

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Semana 26!!!

Hola Todos!!!

Wow what a week!!! Soooo, we had a BAPTISM!!! Michael got baptized on Saturday and it was great!!! He´s such a cool kid!! He came to his baptism all by himself and was dressed in a white shirt and slacks! It was so cute! Everything went great, and Hermana Bennett was super excited which was the most important thing for me! The only sad part was his mom didn't come and we could tell he was kinda sad about that, but I know that if he just keeps being a good example for her she'll come around!  It´s sad that he's the one that has to be the example for his own mom! BUT I know she's already seen changes in him and will continue to see them and that's whats most important!

Let's see, we had Intercambios again this week!! This time though, Hermana Cheney went to her area with Hermana Bennett and I stayed here with Hermana Boley! Hermana Boley's awesome. We had a great day! We were in the poor part of our area and all of our plans fell through and I was just like "Bueno let's go visit Michel and her family.." So we pass by and start talking to them and Hermana Boley just wins their confidence instantly! It was really weird we were talking to them all like old friends. We set up a family night for tomorrow and I'm excited to see what happens! Hermana Boley told me we need to win over their confidence first, be their friends, and then she thinks the entire family will reactivate and Michel will get baptized!!

ANYWAYS, (haha) that's what happened this week. Basically, it was a pretty normal week here in the mish! (haha) I'm working hard, and life's good! Hope all is well with you guys! Have an awesome week!!!

Hermana Austin

Semana 25!!!

Hola Todos!

Wow what a crazy week it has been! (haha) First of all, Michael wasn´t able to get baptized this week because we found out he was drinking coffee sometimes in the mornings... WHOOPS... That´s what we get for not teaching him the Palabra de Sabiduria (Word of Wisdom) until last Monday... (haha) But it´s okay cause he stopped, so he´s getting baptized this Saturday si o si! He´s an awesome kid and his mom´s actually listening to us now. I think she´s been seeing the changes in Michael and wants to learn more. Her name's Graciela and we´re hoping to help her come to church this week so she can see Michael get confirmed a member and everything!  

Aside from Michael, we've seen a lot of other people start progressing! The one that really stands out is Karen's mom, Marisa started to really listen to us! She's stopped working on Sundays and told us that she's for sure coming to church this upcoming Sunday, which is AMAZING!!! We actually passed by earlier today to give Karen something for school, and her mom was there with her cousin named Jasmine, and Karen goes, "Do you guys have some time to share with Jasmine today? She wants to listen to the lessons and come to church!" We were just like "claro que si!!!" So we shared with all 3 of them and Jasmine and Marisa both accepted a baptismal date and said that si o si they're coming to church on Sunday!!! MILAGROS!!!  

One thing I've really learned is that the Lord is always preparing people for us to teach. We have no idea who they are but He does and He will help us find them! I honestly have never felt more guided in my entire life than I have on the mission! The Lord has a plan for us every, single, day here and if we pray and REALLY follow the Spirit we will find the people that he's prepared for us!  

We also found this 21 year old woman named Maria and she's amazing! (haha) We contacted her at her grandma's house this last week and she was like "Yeah, you guys can come visit me in my house tomorrow." So we found her house the next day and she lets us in and is like, "I know you guys were sent from God. I need to have more faith and I need help." And we were just in awe! She's from a CRAZY church down here called La Iglesia Familiar de Oracion, or something like that, and I've heard from past companions that people from this church are very closed... We invited her to be baptized anyways and she accepted! (haha) She was like, "So I have to be baptized again then?" And we were like, "Yep." And she was like, "Okay Voy a preparar." It was so cool! She's reading in the Book of Mormon and is progressing a ton!

So yeah that's about all that went on this week! Life's good here in Paraguay! I love and miss you all tons!! Have a great week!

Love, Hermana Austin