Monday, August 24, 2015

Que verguenza!

¡Hola familia y amigos!

I learned a new phrase this week: "que vergüenza" (how embarassing)

We've been working with a less active family, Familia Benditez, and have been going over the missionary lessons and having Noche de Hogars (family nights) with them. This last Thursday we were playing "gato y ratòn" and my compañera was caught. When you're caught the consequence is you have to run out to the street and yell "¡mi chancho sea muerto!". Their home is set far back from the street, so they have a lot of yard/dirt driveway before the street. My compañera started running to the street, but then turned back for me to follow, so I hurried and got up and started running to the street with her.

Unfortunately it was night and the Benditez house isn't well lit, so as I started running I ran straight into a pile of wood planks and flat out ate it. Legs in the air, sweater, pen and notebook went flying and everyone just got awkwardly silent. QUE VERGÜENZA. hahaha

We kept going to the street, my compañera yelled the phrase and then we went back to the family who seemed certain I had almost died. Their little boy was more shaken up than I was after seeing a few scrapes I got - pobrecito. Even though I have a few scrapes and bruises, the family came to church on Sunday!!! So the embarrassment was definitely worth it.

We had a baptism planned for this weekend, but sadly Josè (our 71 year old investigator) got sick and didn't want to be submerged in water quite yet. We have him rescheduled for the 5th of September though, so it's all good!

We also found a calidad investigator named Nilsa this week. We contacted her at her house and she asked us a bunch of the "questions of the soul" that can be answered by the Book of Mormon, so we're really excited to work with her and see how she'll progress.

It's definitely been a crazy week, but I love being a missionary. I've been reading in the "missionary" chapters of Alma and absolutely love the stories of Alma the younger and the Sons of Mosiah. One of my favorite parts is when Alma and King Lamoni come across King Lamoni's father (the KING king of the land) and Lamoni's father is only open to listening to Alma after Alma demonstrates "the great love" he has for King Lamoni and the Lamanites (Alma 20:26). I pray for greater love for the people I serve everu day and I en serio love these people!

¡Estoy aquì porque yo amo a toda la gente de Paraguay!

Hermana Carr

The view from my front yard

Karen (our baptism last week), her family and a bunch of the kids in the neighborhood

Hna. Getz and I with Karen post baptism

Monday, August 17, 2015

¡Soy una hija!

Hi everyone!

It has been a crazy week with so much change, but it has also been a great week.

I left the CCM on Tuesday and stayed overnight in Asuncion that first day. On Wednesday we had a little training and then I was assigned my compañera, we dropped my stuff off at the house and then we got to work that evening!

My compañera is Hna. Getz, and she is awesome. In the mission they call our trainers "mamas" and the nueva misioneras are "hijas".. entonces ¡soy una hija! haha

I have been "born" (this is my first area) into the area Juan de Salazar and I love these people!!! Paraguay is awesome. Super different, but awesome. There is a ton of fried foods - each meal with members is very filling. I feel like the theme of Paraguay is "Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without". They do not have much, but they use what they have and I love that!

The work is pretty tiring-we walk a TON- but it is so satisfying. I am out the second my head hits the pillow every night and I feel tired a lot but somehow I have enough energy to keep up with mi compañera.

This week we had the baptism of Karen Dominguez. I just walked into this baptism, so I have not worked much with Karen or her family, but we have hopes that her mom, dad and brothers will follow her example and know the truth of the gospel for themselves!

We have a TON of future investigators, one upcoming baptism, three progressing investigators and then we work a lot with the less active members and recent converts. There is a lot of work to be done here, the field is truly "white and ready to harvest" (D&C 4). The people here are also super friendly, so that makes it easy to contact with my broken Spanish hehe There are many differences between here, the States and even just Argentina, but the Spirit in member's homes and during sacrament meeting is the same.

Yesterday was a national holiday- "El dia de los niños". I do not know exactly when, but once upon a time there was a war in Paraguay and all of the men were injured or killed, so the young men (about ages 14-16) took up arms and fought for their country. August 16 is the day they celebrate these young men's sacrifice/valor and it is like their Christmas - in the sense that all of the kids get presents and there is a lot of fiestas. This event reminds me of the Stripling Warriors in the Book of Mormon and how they too took up arms when their fathers were not able to. I love the verse in Alma 56:47 "they had been taught by their mothers that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them". Even though they never had fought, they were laying down their lives and they probably had a lot of fear, they knew they were on the Lord's side and that they would be alright. I gain a lot of strength from their examples of faith.

I hope all is well with everyone, my pdays are now Mondays!

¡Estoy aquì porque yo amo a toda la gente de Paraguay!

Hermana Carr

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Wrapping up the MTC

Hey guys!

It has been a surreal "last week" here at the CCM. We are all very excited to be out of the CCM - it has been a long 5 1/2 weeks - but I'm also becoming very aware that I've only had 5 1/2 weeks worth of learning/hearing Spanish, so I'm a little nervous as to how well my limited language ability will hold up out in the field. 

Even though we've been cooped up here, we´ve had some fun times in the CCM. We have had two teachers through the time here - Hermano Cristeche teaches us in the mornings and Hermana Camacho in the afternoon/evening. Both of them are going to be moving on from the CCM soon - Hermano Cristeche is going to go to school full time and study and Hermana Camacho is getting married a week from Friday! They are so kind and patient and have made learning Spanish fun. Since this last week has been all review we've played a lot of games, practiced teaching and even learned the Hoki-poki in Spanish.

We moved to a new area for proselitismo and we didn't have the greatest success. We got a taste of how rejection in the field will probably be like - no one would really talk to us and we didn't do a great job talking to those we did have conversations with. We are making a new game plan for our last proselitismo though! We'll make it a good one.

It's been a little difficult staying on task these past few days - we have been taught all of the basic grammar principles and have a solid set of memorized vocabulary, but are struggling to correctly practice and apply what we've learned. The field should definitely help us with that! For now we are enduring to the end of the CCM!

Mis compañeras and I were talking with a recent sister RM at the hostel and she told us "the CCM prepares you for the mission and the mission prepares you for life" (roughly translated to English). Last Sunday we had a lesson on persevering to the end. Our teacher shared the story of John Ahkwari - an Olympic marathon runner who fell and was injured in his race but finished anyway - and shared Ahkwari's inspiring words: "My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start a race, they sent me 5,000 miles to finish one". This has been the longest I've ever been away from home, and by far the longest I've been without seeing my family - but I have come out here to serve and learn and to see my mission through. I'm just at the start and I am excited for what is ahead! 

Next time I email I'll be in Paraguay!!! I'm so excited to meet the people I've been called to serve for the next 17 months! 

I love you all!

¡Estoy aquí porque yo amo a toda la gente de Paraguay!

Hermana Carr