Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

¡Hola familia y amigos!

This week has flown by - It's hard to believe we're on the brink of December.

For Thanksgiving we didn't really do anything special - here in South America they do NOT celebrate the day the colonists came - but we did have lunch at the Hermana Gomez's house and that's just about as close to a thanksgiving feast as you can get. Every week we walk away very full from the house of Hermana Gomez. This week we ate asado - barbecued meats including sausage, chicken and some kind of beef or pork - arroz quezu, mandioca, sopa paraguaya, fresh pineapple juice and ice-cream in the end. Needless to say I was stuffed.

On Saturday we had a "Capilla Abierta" and we have been inviting and contacting all this week. Sadly we only had a few investigators show up, but our ward really worked hard and we feel, at the very least, our ward is stronger because of the activity. At the end we watched Meet the Mormons. Many of the members had yet to see the movie and everyone loved it.

Fruit season is coming and we are enjoying the various flowers on the plants before the actual fruit starts to grow. We are also very excited for the new video that came out for the Navidad - it's a great way to share the true spirit of the season!

Every Thanksgiving we always say three things we're grateful for before we feast - it's a little delayed, but I am grateful for 1) my family, 2) my calling as a missionary and 3) the Plan of Salvation, especially for the Atonement.

With love sent from Paraguay,

Hermana Carr

Monday, November 23, 2015

A Little Rain and a Little Service

¡Hola familia y amigos!

It feels like last P-day was yesterday and yet we've had a year's worth of experiences this week.
We've been working really hard to find new people to teach and to utilize the time we have to proselyte and serve to its fullest. This week we've had some really cool, unexpected opportunities to serve.

Early this week we were following up on a contact we made a while ago and we passed by a lady who was cutting her lawn with a machete. Our contact wasn't home so we passed by the lady again and asked if we could help. After a brief instruction she handed me the machete and I cut the grass while my comp swept up the cut pieces. It wasn't a picture perfect, manicured lawn, but I cut grass with a machete! We had a lesson afterwards and got a new investigator.

Something different here in Paraguay is that people don't have cars and rely on the collectivos for transportation. The collectivos only run on the main roads and a lot of the sentimientos, or neighborhoods, are a ways off of the main roads. Often times, after shopping for groceries, people have to carry their groceries on their own and it can be difficult. It is a great opportunity to serve for us, as missionaries, because we can help them carry their groceries as well as get to know them as we walk. On Saturday we ran into a lady who was carrying an unusually heavy and large amount of groceries. As we started walking she told us that she'd called everyone in the world to come help her carry her groceries but only God responded. I am so grateful for my calling as a missionary and the ability I have to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. It's moments like these that make all of the sweat and toil worth it.

Funny story of the week: One day while proselyting a huge rain storm rolled in. The day had started out with clear skies so we figured it would just blow over. We kept walking and walking, getting farther and farther away from members houses. All of a sudden it started to rain, so we ran for cover under a mango tree. After a few minutes we realized the rain was coming down harder and harder and we were a few streets away from the nearest member's house -  everyone else had already shut up their windows and doors to wait out the storm. As we looked around our only option for shelter was an open patio oratorio for the catholic virgin Fatima. Hermana Còrdova and I felt pretty awkward waiting out the storm in the oratorio - yet we were grateful for the little shelter it provided. After a while the rain let up and we were able to run to the Familia Flor's house. Even though the oratorio is meant for worship, I felt more comfortable and felt the spirit more in the home of an active family. The home really is a sacred place.

This last week as a mission we were studying the topic of Faith in Jesus Christ. I love how in Ether 12:4 it says if we have faith we hope for a better world. We also ponderized Alma 32:40- I love that faith is a choice, not a coincidence.

With love sent from Paraguay,

Hermana Carr

P.S. Estamos trabajando, pero ahorra todas de las fechas bautismales pusimos con investigadores estan cayendo y la obra es muy lenta en nuestra area. Esta semana tenemos la esperanza en una "Capilla Abierrta" y tenemos la esperanza que vamos a ver muchas personas nuevas. Tambien nuestros lideres son muy inspirados. Un dìa hicimos servicio, hicimos proselytismo y pusimos todo nuestro fuerza para encontrar mas personas y nadie quierìa aceptar la invitacion bautismal. Por la noche, nuestro lìder de Zona nos llamò. La proxima dìa fue lo mismo y la Hermana Lìder, la Hermana Farrish, (tambien la mama de mi compañera) nos llamò y nos dìo animos a mi compañera. Tambien, este Domingo nuestro Presidente de Misiòn asistìa nuestra capilla y nos dìo un discurso para ayudar los miembros entender la importancìa de trabajar con los misioneros. Estoy muy agradecida por nuestros lideres. Aunque no tenemos los frutos ahorra, tengo esperanza y confianza que un dìa vamos a verlos y tambien voy a tener dìas tan gozosos en la misiòn. Ahorra tenemos satisfacciòn que estamos trabajando en la mejor manera posible que podemos.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Hot, Hot and Hotter- the Story of Living in Humidity

¡Hola familia y amigos!

We have had an incredibly productive week here in Juan de Salazar. Hermana Còrdova and I are working to become more effective misioneras and we have been contacting more new investigators and having more lessons. It's starting to get harder to write in English - I've also been working on only reading, listening and speaking in Spanish. As a result of all this work we're exhausted, but it's a good exhausted.

Walking all day everyday has started to become a full-out work out with the heat. We often arrive at houses sweating awful, but one thing I love about Paraguay is people always offer us cold water and, after sitting through a lesson, we're always ready to walk and sweat again. The Spring weather has been somewhat bi-polar, with a range from warm to hot. It gets really really humid and hot right before it rains and then it rains one night and we have fresh air again. Today it is raining a ton, so we're looking forward to starting off this week with fresh air.

Both Hermana Còrdova and I have been burning from the sun and my arms are getting tired of using my umbrella everywhere we go, so today we bought sombreros piri from an artesana shop in Limpio! I'm excited to leave my umbrella in the house this week.
This week, as a mission, we've been studying about the Atonement. I am so grateful for the Atonement and our ability to change for the better because of it.

I hope everyone has great week.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my bro Chance!

With love sent from Paraguay,

Hermana Carr

Ponderize scripture of the week: Mosiah 3:19

Monday, November 9, 2015

Cambios, Changes, Cambios

¡Hola familia y amigos!

This week has been a week full of changes!

At the start of this week we had changes. Hermana Getz left our area and I get to stay in Juan de Salazar! My new companion is Hermana Còrdova. Hermana Còrdova is from Peru and came the change before me, so we're both pretty new in the mission.

This past week has been Spanish 24/7- no more speaking in English for me! Even though it was rough at first, I am learning how to speak more or less correct Spanish. Even though we're both new and I'm struggling to communicate, we're working hard and have already had some good laughs together.

This week we also started a new program for our daily studies that the mission has made for us. To encourage more unity and help us meet our goals as a mission our leaders have made a schedule of what we will be studying as a mission every week. Even though it seems strict, it's actually really cool. This past week we have been learning about our role in inviting people to repent and be baptized and this week we are studying about the Atonement.

Today we had a Zone activity in the Playa de Aregua. There's not much flowing water in Paraguay - a few rivers and lakes - and in Aregua they made a sort of recreation area and called it a beach. We had a barbeque and played some volleyball. It's always nice to get out of our areas, travel a little bit and have some fun with other missionaries.

Part of the new study program in our mission includes the new Book of Mormon challenge! President Monson has extended the invitation for everyone to read the Book of Mormon before the upcoming General Conference in April. Accept the challenge! Accept it! :D

With love sent from Paraguay,

Hermana Carr

Answers to your questions:

What are your mission rules? The mission rules are universal in the missionary handbook, but we also have a few specific rules: we can only email for 2 hours every p-day (today we're just emailing for one because we need to go do groceries). We also can't drink terere, a drink that people just pass around to sit and share here. We can't listen to anything other than church - produced music - EFY and hymns- and we can't drink beverages that are dark- so no Coke or Pepsi or anything- because our president says we don't need caffeine and we also don't know what people put in dark colored beverages. We can only visit the missionary webpage and the church web page.

What do you do on p-day? We usually have one p-day for shopping, the next we do something we want to do like travel or shop. Last p-day we made tapas for our scriptures - a recuerdo I will be taking home but I wish to use in my mission as well.

What do you eat? We usually have lunches everyday (at least in our area) with members. Tuesdays we make lunch for ourselves and we usually eat rice and veggies or make tuna sandwiches with the bread from the dispensa. We mostly just cook treats and snacks - like every week for weekly planning I make popcorn with popcorn kernels in a pot with oil. Sometimes we make arroz con leche or pancakes or something - everything is from scratch.

Do you live near any Elders? The closest elders live down the street from us. They work with us in our ward. They were Latinos and this change it is a Latino and a North American. We don't really associate much with the elders because of the rules. I have yet to need a priesthood blessing from them but if I ever will need one they are there.

Who are the missionary leaders? We have both district and zone leaders - they change with the changes as well. We have 4 hermana leaders in the mission and do divisions with them once every change or so. Right now we have all 4 hermana leaders in our zone, so we are expecting to possibly do more divisions this week.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The last days of an hija


This is Hermana Getz and i have an announcement to make to all of you concerning your beloved Hermana Carr.

"Y ahora, hermana carr, te hablo a ti: Tú eres mi segunda hija nacida en los dias de mi tribulacion en el campo misional.  he aqui, tú has padecido aflicciones y mucho pesar en tu infancia a causa de la rudeza de tus investigadores"

You have finished your training and are now free to leave the nest of your dear mother. You have been trained well, and therefore you shall go forth and preach the buenas nuevas to all of paraguay!!!!

fEICIdadEs! ciaocito - Hermana Getz

¡hola familia y amigos!

Happy Halloween!!!

I hope you like the little message from Hermana Getz, she's awesome.

This week has been full of bipolar weather with the sun and rain. One morning we got to watch a storm blow in - the clouds were so big there was a line of where the big clouds were overtaking the smaller clouds as they blew over. Luckily we were doing studies and later that afternoon it was just cloudy and sprinkling rather than raining hard core.

On Wednesday we took a trip up to the Piedad - part of our area that's about an hour's walk away from our house - and got a little burned. We walked through a different yuyal short-cut this time and saw Dr. Seuss like trees that were pretty cool. On our way back we took a pause in the yuyal under a big tree and all of a sudden we saw a hUgE white cow come running towards us. We hid behind the tree and watched as it huffed and puffed and ran by. So scary/cool! Luckily it wasn't after us - we're still not sure why it was running, but I realized that cows are huge animals and they move fast.

On Friday we had a noche de hogar with a family we've been working to help reactivate and carved watermelons! My comp and I did the face of Ale - the youngest kid's face - and they made their watermelon into a Frankenstein/bear creature.

As Hermana Getz announced, this has been my last week of training! Tomorrow we have cambios - from now on out I'm working full-time from 10:30am-9pm proselytizing throughout the week. It'll be nice to be out of the house earlier rather than studying for half the day.

With love sent from Paraguay,

Hermana Carr

Ponderize scripture this week: etér 12:4