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