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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

SEMANA 60!!!

Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works... and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.  Matthew 5:16:

Hola todos!!

Wow this last week was definitely super crazy! We had changes, and I left San Lorenzo and Hermana Ball! Can´t tell you how sad it was to leave her! We´d been together since June! I miss her so much! One of my very best friends! It was also way hard saying goodbye to Pablo and Wanilda and all the rest of the people there that I love but hey! That´s the mission!  

So crazy, Cambios! I´m no longer an Hermana Lider which is cool, lots more tranquilo! (haha) I´m gonna finish super tranquilo out here in the campo... Stress free! I do kinda miss it though... (haha) I loved working so close with the Hermanas. So, my new and probably last Area is Ypacarai! COUNTRY!!!! (haha) It´s the BEST!!! Complete opposite of San Lorenzo! I feel like I´m going on a hike every single day! One part of our area is so far away we have to take a bus for like 20 minutes and then we walk in the middle of no where for like 45 minutes and then finally we get there! It´s crazy the people drink their water out of a spring and are SUPER poor! And, the best part is they love missionaries! (haha) When we knock on a house they just let us in invite us to sit down and give us some water it´s the best! I love it here!! (haha) My companion´s name is Hna Guardado and she´s from Honduras! She´s great! Ha LATINA otra vez! We speak straight Spanish, which is good for me! (haha) It´s been too long since I've had to do that! And I like it, Spanish is great! She has been a little sick though... A few weeks ago, she was in the hospital for like a week straight, so that´s not fun. She still has to be careful. Don´t worry though, I´m taking care of her. Also, we had a baptism this last week!!! (haha) It was the greatest! I showed up and they already had everything ready to go. He was all prepared! His name´s Pedro, and he´s 15! He´s the greatest! It was such a great baptism!  

Also, we have two Mitai´s (little kids) that are gonna get baptized in the next few weeks!!! Milagros is probs gonna get baptized this Saturday and Juan Manuel next Saturday! They´re both the cutest! (haha) It´s the best, I love the CAMPO!!  

So yeah, life´s good! I´m excited to start this new and last chapter of my mission! I can feel that it´s gonna be great! I just want to go work my guts off these last few changes cause it´s the only smart thing to do, right?   Thank you all for all of your support and prayers! Love you all!

Hermana Austin

¨Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven¨ (Matt 5:16)

SEMANA 59!!!

By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.  Alma 37:6   Happened again TODAY!:

Hola Todos!!

Wow, what a crazy, tiring, fun week! (haha) We spent the week running around like crazies! A whole lot happened this week! To start things off, we had District Meeting on Tuesday. Little thing about district meeting is that each companionship takes a turn talking about their investigators, then as a district we talk about how to solve their doubts and help them progress towards baptism. It's really great. Last week though, we stood up in front of our district and didn't put a single name up on the board. We humbled ourselves and said, ¨We don´t have anyone. If you have ideas on how to find the chosen people in our area we´re all ears.¨ They started sharing things when the Zone Leaders raised there hands and handed us a piece of paper. It was a mission call for the members. They told us they had this idea and thought it was a good thing we could apply, giving the members this call. We were super excited to have something new and got motivated to work better with the members!  

Later on in the week, on Thursday, we did our Weekly Planning Session and were thinking once again on how we could get more references... We sat for probably 5 minutes talking about how we could get better, then I went to Preach My Gospel. There was an activity listed to go back and ask the members about every reference we've received in the last few months again. We started going crazy, looking up all our references and ended up with a list of like 20 names, or better said, 20 potential investigators. That same day, Wanilda had the opportunity to go to the temple, which was such a blessing, she did a session while Pablo sat out in the waiting room. She got back and told us she had put our names on the prayer roll. After that day the miracles really started pouring in. With that list we made, and the Mission Call from the Elders, we truly have been receiving references ALL WEEK LONG!! It´s been such a blessing.
For example, we were sharing with a menos activo Friday, who has told us before she doesn't trust the missionaries teaching her daughter-in-law who's not a member. We kept passing by and have been focusing on establishing a good relationship with her. All of the sudden she jumps up in the middle of a lesson Friday and is like, ¨¡Vamos a ver mi nuera!¨ (Let's go see my daughter!" (haha) It was crazy! We went and shared with her daughter-in-law, and she´s GREAT!! She´s looking for the truth and WANTS to share with us! Best thing is, she´s not working. It was such a miracle. Her biggest thing is her husband. He´s VERY much against the church, but poco a poco va a pasar (gradually it will happen).

We also started teaching the Otter Pop people, Lara and her friend Veto. We don´t really know their situation all that well. They were living together but now they´re separated... It´s really weird, BUT God sent us at an opportune time. We saw Veto walking in the street crying and he told us they were splitting up. We passed by the next day and had a great lesson with both of them about the Atonement and the importance of baptism. Lara committed to a date right then! It was such a miracle!

Anyways, we also did a ton of intercambios/studies with the hermanas! It was great because they really needed us this last week! That´s one thing I love about being a Hermana Lider, because it doesn't matter what´s going on with us and our area, I get the opportunity every week to forget about myself and focus completely on what they need, and what their problems are. More often than not, I´m just a listening ear and a good friend, but I know that's what they need. Every time I finish helping one of them it´s almost like I can feel God´s approval. I feel that I´m really doing what he needs! I love it!  

Also, kind of sad thing, we have changes again this week! Crazy how fast time passes! We´re pretty sure one of us is going to change cause we've been together for so long... I´ll keep you all updated for next week! Thanks for all of your prayers! I love you all tons! Have a great week!

Hermana Austin

PONDERIZE!!!!  ¨Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you that by small and simple things are GREAT things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.  And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means doth the Lord counfound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of MANY SOULS.¨ Alma 37:6-7 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

SEMANA 58!!!

Proverbs 3:5-6  My favorite scripture.:


Wow, this last week was a crazy week filled with Divisions, lots of missionary work, and LOTS and LOTS of rain! (haha) It´s been raining so much, it´s crazy! But, it´s probably a good thing...better than the heat! Also, I've picked up a habit of jumping in all the rain puddles with my nice rubber boots! I´m a child...but it´s pretty fun. 

Funny story, like I said it´s been raining a TON! When it rains like that all the giant toad frogs start coming out! That happens a lot more if you´re out of the city, but on Tuesday night we were walking along and along comes a FROG! (haha) We were pretty stoked, and started chasing it around like a couple of children... While we were running around, we had a thought... "Wanilda´s scared of frogs, and this is a frog, we should take it home and scare her with it!" (hahaha) Luckily, Hermana Ball is fearless. She picked it up, and we hauled it home. We got home and Wanilda wasn't home, but we showed Pablo and he started laughing and was like ¨She´s gonna kill you guys!¨ We put it in a bucket outside, and headed off to Ward Night in the church. When we got back we were talking with Pablo and Wanilda 'cause they were both home and showed Wanilda the frog... (hahaha) She screamed! It was pretty funny. Best part is it´s a story she´ll talk about for forever...I love frogs and Paraguay and Pablo and Wanilda.

(haha) Other than that, this week was full of rain and more rain. The great part is even though the weather was horrible we still saw tender mercies from the Lord. I saw my first MONKEY here! (haha) It was just tied up like a pet! I have pictures but I left my camera...Next week! On an especially hard day, we were out working in the rain when we stopped at a less-actives house to use the bathroom. When we finished we started getting up to leave and the Hermana goes ¨Are you guys hungry?¨ (haha) and without skipping a beat turned and ran into her kitchen and started making a snack! We looked at each other flabbergasted and sat down on her couch and started playing with the kids! She gave us some Cocido and tortillas, which is like hot chocolate here... (haha) It was such a blessing. We thanked her and she was like, ¨Yeah you both just looked really tired...I thought it was the least I could do to give you something to eat.¨ I am so thankful for the people here and all over the world that take care of the missionaries. Sometimes all you need as a missionary is a little reminder like that God´s mindful of us and knows what we need...Even when it´s something so little as a member making you a snack on a rainy day!

I love the mission! Can´t believe how fast it goes by! Thank you all for your support and your prayers! Love you all, and have a great week!

Hermana Austin

PS  Also we've started PONDERIZING our weekly scripture and I thought I´d add it into my emails!  Mine this week is Proverbs 3:5-6 ¨Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.¨ 

SEMANA 57!!!

Hola Todos!

Wow this last week was super crazy! (haha) Let´s just say the Conferencia General is the best in the mission! So many miracles happen with investigators and stuff! (haha) We wanted to take advantage of that so we made a list of all the people we wanted to invite to come. We spent the week passing by for all these people and mostly getting rejected... Whatever, it´s fine! (haha) We finally saw a miracle on Friday morning when we visited Gretel. (Our almost miracle baptism a couple months ago.) (haha) Her whole problem is she can´t come to church on Sunday! We took advantage of the Conferencia and invited her to come on Saturday! She said YES!!! (haha) We were so stoked! We passed by the next morning and she was asleep, but when she saw us she got ready and came to the Women´s Session and the Morning Session! MIRACLE!! She´s great and is progressing poco a poco! She´s gonna get baptized, si osi!  

But yeah, that´s about all that´s going on here in Paraguay! (haha) We got caught in a rain storm, and I got a nasty cold...so that´s been fun! But yeah, things are good! Pablo´s good, they´re working through their problems together so that´s good! (haha) Life´s good here in San Lorenzo!

Hermana Austin

SEMANA 56!!!

Otter Pops, Assorted Flavors, 100-1.0 oz Pops

Hola Todos!

Wow what a crazy week!  This week was a lot better than last week! Partially because I wasn't sick, but also because we taught SO many more lessons! We taught ten more lessons this last week than we taught two weeks ago. We are finding people in their houses and are finally seeing some progress!  

(haha) It was a great week, but it started off with a little craziness... (haha) After we wrote our families on Monday, we were on our way to the church to play games with the other Missionaries in our district... We were REALLY late because our air conditioning has been broken and we had it fixed last Monday (Thank HEAVEN... it was so freaking hot last week) So anyways, we´re walking down the street on our way to catch the bus, and Hermana Ball conveniently remembers that we need to call a member to confirm family night that night, she starts rummaging through her bag to find our phone and steps RIGHT in a giant hole!! (hahahaa) She started screaming like she was dying, and running around like a chicken with her head cut off... I was just laughing cause I could see she obviously hadn't twisted it... she was just in a lot of pain. Turns out she has a nice cut on the back of her ankle. It looks pretty painful I guess, but not painful enough to get stitches. We went back to the house frustrated and I cleaned and bandaged the cut and we finally made it to our district activity. The crappy part about having a hurt companion is when one of you´s hurt you´re both hurt by fault... She´s been really great about it though, luckily! (haha) There are so many Hermanas that would want to stay home and rest but not us! We left that very night to our family night and have worked full days every day, she´s been in a lot of pain though, so we´re kinda taking it slow... Anyways, that´s not the end of the story... (haha) Remember how we got our air fixed? We got home Monday night and turned the air on, we planned and then I started cooking dinner. (Not really dinner just egg sandwiches) When all of a sudden the power goes out! No lights, and worse NO air conditioning... even worse than that, our little fans didn't work! It was SO HOT!! We were just like, "WE are NOT sleeping without Air AGAIN!" (haha) So we went and talked to our landlord who lives right below us and he called the electric company. He told us someone would come to fix it soon. (haha) Keep in mind at this point it´s like 9:55 and we need to be in bed by 10:30... so, we wait and wait and wait and no one showed up... finally at like 10:40 we decided we were going to have to sleep in the heat. True missionary style, we took one of our mattresses outside on our deck and set up camp on that. SLEEPOVER!!! (hah) but really it was the worst... We were just lying there half asleep dying... At about midnight, I rolled over and saw the LIGHTS ON IN the house!!! (haha) I scared Hermana Ball half to death waking her up and we both ran inside and slept in the nice AC! (haha) It was so funny! The mission´s the best! 

Really though, after Monday things were a lot better! The Lord kept sending us tender mercies all week! In the beginning of the week, we were walking around in the heat talking about how much we missed Otter Pops from the states and how great they were. Then, we were out doing contacts on Wednesday and it was blistering hot! We ended up contacting a couple who let us sit down and start sharing with them! When out of the blue, the lady gets up and brings us each two frozen Popsicles that look and taste just like otter pops! It was the greatest! We were both more than happy with the two, but she then goes and comes back with a box of 40 of them!! We were so stoked! We stuck 'em in our freezer and have been eating them all week long!!  

Also, I would like you all to know the four years of piano lessons I took without hardly ever practicing have NOT gone to waste! About a month ago, I found a simplified hymn book in the house of some of the Hermanas and have started playing a little on P-days, and while we wait for all the Paraguayos to get to their meetings in the church (they´re always late). We had a piano player in our ward, but he moved recently so last Sunday we sang without a piano... (haha) It was awful. Think 80 tone deaf people singing without a piano... It was pretty bad. So, after I told Rita (the Hermana that leads the music) I could probably play this last Sunday... She was like, ¨Sure it's always better with the Piano.¨ Thing is, I´m not really that good, but I really applied myself practiced Monday and for like 15 minutes before our meetings during the week, and when Sunday came around, I played the piano during sacrament meeting!!! Whod´ve thought I´d ever do that in my life... (haha) It was so funny! So mom, all those piano lessons weren't a waste... They prepared me to play piano here in Paraguay. :)

So yeah, that's a few of the things that happened last week! We're working so hard and finding tons of people! Also, Pablo´s doing a lot better! He went and talked to a psychiatrist last week and they told him he doesn't need to go to the clinic, he´s just gonna go talk to this councilor and work things out at home! It´s going to be such a great thing! He´s doing so much better. He´s gone eight whole days without a drop of alcohol! Thank you all so much for all of your prayers! I love the mission. It´s such a great experience! (haha) Can´t believe General Conference is next week! We´re so stoked, it´s like a holiday in the mission! Love you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Austin