Monday, December 28, 2015

Merry Christmas!

¡Hola Familia y Amigos!

This week has been a great week of holiday fun here in Paraguay.

Christmas is a lot different here in South America than in the States. Instead of going to bed and waking up tranquilo Christmas morning, everyone stays up until midnight and then sets off bombas, fireworks and eat asado. And when I say asado, we're talking a barbeque FULL of meats, sausages, chicken plus whatever fruit salad, juice, sopa Paraguaya o Chipa Guasu that they have for sides.

On the 24th we had a zone "Christmas" conference. We had a testimony meeting, thoughts from President and his wife and ate lunch while watching the Christmas videos put out by the church.

Hermana Còrdova and I did not know that we would eat lunch with the zone and we had planned to eat lunch with a menos activa in our area that lives alone and far from family to celebrate the holidays. Not wanting to cancel our appointment we figuratively "loosened our belts" and ate two lunches. We had a great time getting to know Lina and even though we were full, the food was delicious at her house as well.

For Christmas Eve we were allowed to stay out until 11pm and we passed our time with the Familia Oveido. We ate asado and watched the kids set off their various pyrotechnics. When we got to eating asado I was still super full from our lunches, so I just portioned a little bit of meat and fruit salad to eat. Taking the role of a loving Paraguayan mother, Hermana Oveido told me to not be embarrassed and placed at least 3 more servings of meat on my plate and would not be pleased until I ate all of it. I don't think I've ever been so full in my life.

Christmas morning we got up and opened the gifts from our packages and then went out to do some service. We moved a huge pile of roof tiles for the Familia Dure. The roof tiles had been sitting in their terreno for over two years and it seemed that a colony of scorpions, spiders, frogs, geckos and other various bugs had taken home in the pile of ceramics. Que miedo. With the help of Hermano Dure and my comp, I was able to move the tiles that had been thoroughly cleared of all creepy-crawlies and we were able to clear out the area so they could start building an addition to their house.

Later Christmas day we got to skype our families and that was so fun. Even though we're miles apart, I'm grateful for technology and the fact that my family is just a skype call away.

Every year around Christmas time we think of Christ's birth and what we can do to give a gift to Him. This year as I was thinking of what I could give my Savior I realized that I really only have one thing to give. He's given me life, the opportunity to serve, all of the things I have - the only thing I have to give is my voluntad. After reviewing DyC 4, I am even more determined to serve with all my might mind and strength, giving my all to the work I've been called to do this up coming year.

I love you all, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Hermana Carr

Monday, December 21, 2015

Feliz Navidad!

¡Hola Familia y amigos!

This week we had changes and I am staying in Juan de Salazar with my companion Hermana Còrdova! We are both grateful we have another six weeks to do some good here.

This week has been back and forth between clear skies and tormentas. On Monday we had a noche de hogar in a member's house and at the end of our activity it began to pour. We didn't have any choice but to walk home with it raining cats and dogs. Por suerte we had our rain jackets and I had my umbrella, but even with both my rain jacket and umbrella my shirt was wet and skirt soaked. As we were walking in the torrential downpour we just laughed and sang "I hope they call me on a mission", in spanglish.

After the storm my companion came down with a cold. As we were visiting some neighbors one day they gave us a branch of hojas de guayava, just out of their tree, and told us to boil it and drink the water to get rid of the cold. We did just that and not only did my comp's cold get better, but the stomach aches I get after eating a lot of meat went away as well! We also were given the advice to boil eucalyptus leaves and breath the water vapor - we did that as well and my comp's sinuses cleared us as well. Natural remedies work!

During the Christmas season everyone gets unusually active in their respective religions and we haven't been received as much as we used to. One day after walking and contacting a lot with little results we paused at a members house and talked with them while they drank their Terere - we can't drink Terere as missionaries but they always give us cold water. We talked about the ward and what we were all doing respectively to strengthen the ward and I realized what a great blessing it is to have strong active members who serve. There's a difference between the members who just come to church and the ones who come to church and serve throughout the week. As missionaries, we are very grateful for the people who serve throughout the week. The ones who serve throughout the week are also, generally, more strong and able to handle the trials that come their way. I've definitely got a testimony of the importance of strong members and dedicated service.

Funny story of the week: After a lot of walking and a rough night's sleep we were teaching a lesson and I was feeling pretty tired. As I started to introduce a scripture my mind got a little ahead of my words and I said, "este escritura esta redimiendonos de nuestros pecados..." or "this scripture is redeeming us of our sins" instead of "este escritura esta hablando sobre el remission de nuestros pecados" or "this scripture is talking about the remission of our sins". My comp was laughing at that one for a while.

Today we sang Christmas hymns at an old persons home and afterwards we Hermanas went and got ice cream. Christmas and ice cream: two things I thought would never go together.

With love sent from Paraguay,

Hermana Carr

Monday, December 14, 2015


¡Hola Familia y Amigos!

This week has been a great adventure!

We were on a division with the Hermana Leaders for the whole week and it was way fun. Hermana Wiscombe was my companion and we worked half of our area while Hermana Còrdova y Hermana Jones worked the other half. We contacted, taught and worked in general on a higher level this week being with the Hermana leaders and it was awesome. I learned SO much from them. They are going home this week, so all of the guys at BYU look out! Two amazing ex-misioneras coming your way!

Story time: On Wednesday we started out the day in calor calor calor- it was so. HOT. Not just hot because the skies were clear and it was sunny, but it was humid. After lunch and a few lessons clouds started to blow in at a rapid pace. We were grateful for the shade for about an hour, and then the clouds began to get darker and darker. We were heading to have a lesson with an investigator with a youth from our ward when it began to rain a little. The investigator wasn't home and everyone was shutting up their windows and closing their doors as the storm blew in. In about 20 minutes it went from slightly cloudy to POURING rain. We decided it would be best and safest to head back to the house of the youth accompanying us and, even though we were running as fast as we could, we got drenched. Completely soaked, through and through. After the rain stopped we were pretty cold, but we were able to head home and change before heading out again.

This week I also learned a bunch of new words and the difference between these words. Yesterday as we were contacting and we stopped a lady in the street that was walking somewhat hurriedly. She seemed a little impatient so I said, "usted parece un poco aburrida, entonces..." and I finished the contact. I wanted to say, "you look like you're in a hurry", however the word for hurried is apurada, very similar to the word aburrida which means bored. So instead I told someone "you look a little bored, so..." and finished the contact that way. Hermana Wiscombe was laughing for a while after that one.

As a mission we've been following a program made by our mission leaders to help us study Preach my Gospel more effectively and to help us improve our teaching abilities as missionaries. This week we studied about the Holy Ghost and I learned a lot about personal revelation. I realized that besides doves descending on my companions every now and then, strong impressions and intense spiritual moments are very infrequent for me. It's not common for me to receive obvious manifestations of the spirit and sometimes I question if I really am working with the Holy Ghost if I'm not seeing spectacular conversions or grand miracles day to day. However, as I studied it became more apparent to me that the Holy Ghost is sanctifying and sanctifying takes time. As I am obedient and study and work diligently, little by little I receive more and more. However the moment I decide to slack off or be "kai-way" (lazy) is the moment that the Holy Ghost can no longer sanctify me and I stop progressing. Don't get kai-way with the things of the Lord! It's too important to let our guard down just because we aren't seeing angels or having amazing spiritual impressions and experiences every day. It's the little things, day to day, that are going to add up to something greater in the long-run. DyC 50:24

With love sent from Paraguay,

Hermana Carr

At the end of our last day of  the division

We made rice and eggs this week! YUM!

We had a GIANT bug in our patio- yeah, #crushedit

Monday, December 7, 2015

Pioneers in Paraguay

¡Hola familia y amigos!

This week was a normal week of lots of contacting, teaching and working here in Juan de Salazar.

On Friday there was a huge rain storm in the morning that took out the electricity and the water for about 24 hours. Friday night we did daily planning and wrote in our journals by the light of candles and had to use the water from buckets we left out in the rain to flush the toilet.

By Saturday morning we had off and on running water and still didn't have lights, but by Saturday afternoon everything was back to normal. Friday we felt like pioneers - definitely an experience I'm glad only lasted for a day. We really have so much and only notice it when it's gone. This week I am especially grateful for running water!

Funny story of the week: This week as we were contacting we found a family of menos activos. At one point while we were sharing with them, my companion was teaching a principle of the gospel and a dove literally descended onto her head. My companion has very curly, voluminous hair and had put it in a bun that day- my guess is the dove thought it'd be a good resting spot. At first we all were a little stunned- my comp just exclaimed "¡¿en serio?!" and, while trying to stifle my laughter at the scene, I did my best to shoo the dove away. It didn't budge until I almost picked it up and out of her hair, at which point it flew off. All I can say is I don't think I can get a bigger sign that my companion teaches with the Holy Ghost.

On Saturday I got a little flu bug and we spent the day in our house, but by Sunday I felt much better and just about back to normal.

I hope everyone is doing well! If you haven't watched the new Christmas video put out by the church, go check it out! -

With love sent from Paraguay,

Hermana Carr