Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Wishing You a Merry Christmas

¡Hola Familia y Amigos!

¡¡¡Feliz Navidad!!!

We've had another hot, sunny, great week here in Palma Loma.

This week I was a little nervous as to how people would receive us during the holidays because a lot of our investigators went traveling, however my worrying was for nothing because lots of people received us this week and we were able to find even more people that want to come unto Christ! We did some service and got to help out with a Capilla Abierta in Yberá.

On Saturday, Nochebuena, we talked with our families and spent the evening with Hermana Jorgelina.

On Sunday we had church and then visited various members and investigators to wish them a Merry Christmas. Pasamos la Navidad super tranqi. Today I had my final interview and, in a few days, I'm finishing my time here as a full-time missionary.

I love my Heavenly Father. I know my savior, Jesus Christ lives. I know that living the restored gospel is the way to have true happiness. I know Joseph Smith was a profet, called of God to restore what Jesus Christ had established before. I know the Book of Mormon is true and I know it by the power of the Holy Ghost. I know that through making and keeping covenants our families can be forever and I know that birth and death is not the beginning and end, but just a part of the plan of happiness. I know that with the Lord, we can do hard things. I know the Lord loves me and that he loves all of us.

Estoy aquí por que amo el Señor y amo la gente de Paraguay.

With love sent from Paraguay,

Hermana Carr

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Widow’s Gift

¡Hola Familia y Amigos!

This week has been super hot and full of service.

Last Monday we found a good home for the blanket we made in the Zone Conference - we found a lady who had her baby pre-mature and it has just reached 9 months... or in other words, he should've been born now, but he came 2 months early and is still growing strong!

My companion has been doing some follow up on some previous health problems she's had, so we were in and out of the hospital all week doing tests to see how she's doing and today the doctor said she's doing great! I'm hoping to never see the hospital in Paraguay again.

We've been working hard, helping people come unto Christ and preparing a few for baptism - Palma Loma should be seeing some baptisms in the upcoming months!

On Thursday we had divisions and I got to spend the day with Hermana Santos in Laurelty again - always a great time. We even found three new investigators that day!

Throughout the week we've been doing our best to give service and we've been receiving a lot of kindness in return. During the super hot/humid days people have been offering us cold water and various people have offered us food to eat on random occasions.

Funny/cool story of the week: On Friday after our plans had fallen through we set off to go find a new investigator. We started walking when we soon noticed an old lady scooting her way on a half-broken, wooden chair down the dirt/empedrada street. We caught up to her and asked her if we could help her get somewhere. Accepting our offer, we took her arm in arm and basically ended up starting to carry her and her chair down the street. We asked her where she was heading and told us, "Me voy a misa. Mi hermana es una bruja por que dio mis moletas a alguien." (I'm going to mass. My sister is not cool because she gave my crutches away) A 10 year old boy by-stander offered to help by carrying her chair and told us she goes to mass almost every day. At first it was a somewhat comical situation for us - I can't say I've ever thought to help someone get to mass before - and the grandma was really heavy and smelly, however afterwards I thought and I realized how inspiring this lady is. She doesn't have kids and lives with her sister, can't walk very well and yet still manages to worship God in the best way she knows how.

Yesterday I was reading in Jesus the Christ and the spirit made one part stand out to me. There's a section called "The Widow's Gift" that analyzes when Christ points out to the apostles the two mite offering of a poor widow. It says "...figured out in the arithmetic of heaven, entries are made in terms of quality rather than quantity, and values are determined on the basis of capability and intent... the widow's gift was her all... It was not the smallness of her offering that made it especially acceptable, but the spirit of sacrifice and devout intent with which she gave." (p.561-562) We haven't been able to get to this Señora with the restored gospel yet, but she is already making sacrifices to be able to come closer to God. We too have the opportunity to give gifts not just to friends and family but, even more importantly, to our Heavenly Father through our sacrifice in service and offerings of "broken hearts and contrite spirits". It doesn't matter the quantity of our gift - if we give our all in all sincerity it will be everything for our Heavenly Father.

Estoy aquí por que amo él Señor y amo la gente de Paraguay.

With love sent from Paraguay,

Hermana Carr

Monday, December 12, 2016

El Fin Se Acerca

¡Hola Familia y Amigos!

So there's a song in the Spanish hymn book called "el fin se acerca"... when I look at today's date it starts running through my head. I can't believe we're already almost half-way through December!

This last Tuesday we had a great multi-Zone Conference for Christmas. We learned a lot, ate a yummy lunch and made blankets for newborn babies as a service project. Hermana Santos and I also got to do one of the musical numbers and it turned out well. Music is one of my favorite ways of sharing my testimony. (DyC 25:12)

It was a rainy week and we had a hard time finding new investigators - however throughout the week we were able to find and help our current and old investigators progress. We are working with various people and it's becoming easier to tell who are those who are progressing with "real intent" and who are those who aren't ready to make changes in their lives. When we have real intent, we believe with our whole heart that we are going to change based on the truths we learn and the revelation we receive - our investigators with real intent are super cool and easy to teach.

We've been following the "Light the World" calendar and it's been fun to see how every day we keep finding ways to apply it in our work. Yesterday, for example, was about how "Jesus Ministered to Children and So Can You". We had lunch with an Hermana that is pregnant and due the 22nd/23rd of December. During lunch her 3-year old son was bringing us his toys one by one until he decided to dump out ALL of his toys onto the floor and use the containers to make a building. After lunch we played Mom's favorite game - who can put the toys in the boxes the fastest! and for the first time in a year and a half I cleaned up after a kid to help out his mom. It's really just the little things we do every day that make the world a little brighter.

Estoy aquí por que amo él Señor y amo a la gente de Paraguay.

With love sent from Paraguay,

Hermana Carr

Monday, December 5, 2016

Ilumina el Mundo

¡Hola Familia y Amigos!

We have had a great week in Palma Loma.

First, we have been greatly enjoying the new initiative from the church, "Ilumina el Mundo", or "Light the World". People have really been responding to the video and the calendar - it's been a great way to help people understand how latter-day prophets and leaders help us to follow the example of the Savior today in modern times. We've also been enjoying following the suggestions given for each of the 25 days before Christmas. I hope each of you are finding your own ways to "Light the World"! The initiative has also formed a companionship goal we have for this month - they've given us 500 tarjetas to pass out and our goals is to pass out all the cards and have a good, religious conversation with each card given out. So far it's been great and we're on our way to completing our goal - we've even found some new investigators from these conversations!

This last week we've been embracing the heat and enjoying many chupa-chus (otter pops). We've been working hard and we've been seeing results! This last Sunday we saw many of the people that we visit in the capilla and we have been able to schedule a few baptismal dates that we're hopeful to see come through. I have been feeling/seeing the spirit work with us even more than usual and I am enjoying every second of serving the Lord full-time.

Fun moments: Saturday Hermana Diaz completed 13 months of being a missionary and we celebrated with the obvious: Lomipizza. I also figured out that I still don't like mushrooms - they put on a TON.

Yesterday, upon arriving at the capilla, Hermana Diaz spotted a GIANT caterpillar that seems like it came straight out of Wonderland - and it matched my dress! Tomorrow we have a Zone Conference and the assistants asked Hermana Santos and me to do a special musical number - today we were practicing.

With love sent from Paraguay,

Hermana Carr

Monday, November 28, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

¡Hola familia y amigos!

We've had a normal week with a crazy weekend!

During the week we found a ton of new investigators and have been following up with various people- it's always fun to have new people to teach. This week, after daily planning, I've been brushing up on my pastry skills. On Tuesday I made cookies (for the first time in Paraguay) for some recent converts that completed a year of being members. For Thanksgiving on Thursday I made a square apple pie using tarta shells from the dispensa- it turned out a little different looking, but tasty nonetheless. We had a fun Noche de Hogar and I got to share a little bit of our traditions with some members and my companion.
This week we've been really focusing on doing our very best and working by the spirit. Even just the thought of focusing more on the spirit is helping me be more attentive and see the spirit working through/with us. It's really just the small things that make a big difference when taking the effort to hear and follow the "still small voice".

So crazy weekend part: We entered into the Paraguay Spring pre-Summer storms where it gets SUPER humid-hot, then clouds roll in, the wind gets cold and it rains buckets for about an hour. All day Saturday and Sunday morning it was SUPER hot, then, right after leaving our lunch appointment yesterday it started POOOOUURING rain. We. got. soaked. After cleaning up and getting dry we had to start water-proofing our house because the rain was so hard it started dripping from the roof. The rain lightened up, we went back out and when we got home later all was well. This morning, however, we got up, set out our exercise mats and while we started stretching/exercising my comp pointed out some gusanitos that were on the floor. Upon further inspection our whole apartment floor was being transversed by various worms. We cleaned out the trash, mopped up the floor and we still kept finding some-- we're thinking that maybe they were in the roof and came down with the rain. We permitrina-ed our entire apartment and are hoping that not a living bicho will be found when we get back. Wakala. (ew)

Every day is still an adventure.

With love sent from Paraguay,

Hermana Carr

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Work is Hastening

¡Hola Familia y Amigos!

So changes happened, Hermana Douglas se fue and Hermana Diaz came to stay. Hermana Diaz is from Buenos Aires, Argentina and speaks English well- so we are helping each other mutually with our second languages. Since Wednesday we've been working hard to find more people to teach, follow up on those who are progressing and invite even more people to come unto Christ.

Saturday we had one of the coolest experiences of my mission: Elder Rasband, of the 12 Apóstoles, came and talked to the two missions of Asunción and Asunción Norte. He spoke of the potential here in Paraguay and how the work is hastening in the Lord's time and through His servants. I was inspired by a story he shared about when he participated in a reunion with President Hinckley and other general Authorities. He said that during the reunion President Hinckley told them, "I've often said to do our best, but we must do our very best." I feel truth in this statement- we must do our best, but it must be our very best- that way we feel satisfied and may have the Lord's promise that He'll make up the difference. (2 Nefi 25:23)

It's getting hotter, however we have been having random, chilly days brought in by strong winds- not complaining. Every day we come home pretty tired, but seriously- it's the most satisfying type of tired I think I'll ever feel. I love missionary work.

With love sent from Paraguay,

Hermana Carr

Monday, November 14, 2016

Paranormal Palma Loma

¡Hola Familia y Amigos!

We've had a fairly normal week this week, full of Spring tormentas and Summer sun. We've been working with the references from the Capilla Abierta and getting new, upcoming activities planned with the members.

Ok, funny story: So there is a family in our ward that we eat with on Saturdays and they have a dog. Every time we pass by their house, be it in the middle of the week or Saturday, the dog follows us for a good few blocks. This last Saturday, Sam decided to break free and have a day with the missionaries- it was horrible. We felt so bad, but weren't sure what to do because she just followed us and wouldn't stay at her house. We thought she'd go home after  few blocks, but ended up following us clear to the other side of our area where things are a little more sketch. She ran through mud, got attacked by other dogs, was shooed away with rocks by our investigators, and almost got hit by various motos-- it was a rough day for Sam. All day we were thinking she'd be killed, but somehow survived the day and, after some lessons fell through, we walked her home. She's now the inspiration behind my new Deseret Book kids book- "Sam Goes Out with The Sisters" (dibs on the copyright).

In other news, Hermana Douglas will be going home this week and we will have changes. Next Saturday we are also awaiting a conference with Elder Rasband and the all missionaries here in Paraguay- I am excited.

With love sent from Paraguay,

Hermana Carr

Sam's big adventure

our Tuesday street-river


"Ghost" sightings