Monday, May 14, 2012

Final Mission Email

hola mom, dad, y familia, happy mothers´ day! I love you mom. and all
my sisters who are such great moms too.
wow. it seems unreal that I am writing my last email. I remember when
I was in leopardi when mom sent me carli downs´ last email to her
family, and I couldn't even imagine how she felt. today I had my last
interview with president callan. he started out by asking me to
reflect a bit on my mission and share my feelings about what I have
experienced. I sat there for a second and thought. As I thought, a
strong feeling of gratitude came over me, gratitude to Heavenly Father
for telling me that I needed to serve a mission. I tear up right now
thinking about how grateful I am for what I have experienced, felt,
and learned in my time here in Paraguay. I notice the change in me. One
of the most precious things I have learned is the power of the
Atonement of Jesus Christ. I was thinking the other day what has made
the change that I feel. I have felt the power of the atonement in my
life and have seen how it changes the lives of the people that I have
taught. That difference is the spririt. I understand that is so
simple. If we want to feel that our burdens are lifted, if we want to
feel the joy of repentance, if we want to feel peace when there is a
storm in our surroundings, all we have to do is do things that will
invite the spirit into our lives. because the spirit is what testifies
to us that God exists, that He knows us, that Christ really atoned for
us, and that we really can find comfort and peace in Him. Countless
times I have felt the calming sensation as I have testified of these
things telling me that it is true. Everything in the gospel,
everything that I have learned in my mission all goes back to the
Atonement. I don't know if I ever would have gained this depth in my
testimony without my mission. Heavenly Father knew what it would take
for me to learn what he wants me to learn. he knew why I needed to
serve in Paraguay. every area, every companion, every investigator,
has taught me something. I only hope that I was able to be an
instrument in the Lord´s hands. That is what I always pray for. That I
can be what he wants me to be so that I can be His hands. But I think
that I got way more out of this than I could have ever given, and I
know that as the years go by, my mission will mean more and more to
me. It is a sacred experience that will affect the rest of my life. I
feel so weird knowing that I will be back in the United States. I feel
at home here. this is what I am used to now. But I guess life goes on.
I am excited for hna little and her new companion. I love our
investigators so much. It breaks my heart that our investigator T
can't be bapized right now because her marido needs a divorce, and
divorces here are so long and costly. but she loves the church and has
such an excitement to know more. yesterday, right after my call to mom
and dad, we were walking in the street when a family contacted us.
ya., contaced us. she said, hey, we want to join your church. we are
new in the neighborhood and were visiting with the elders before but
had to move. We know a lot of mormons, and they are all so happy and
are always progressing in life. We want to be Mormon too.
We were so excited. What a miracle. This is the Lord´s work. He really
does prepared people to receive the gospel. were are teaching such a
humble man A. He wants so much to find the truth. He
feels so helpless and confused in this world. He shared with us his
concerns for one of his daughters who is having trouble. We shared
with him how the restored gospel will bless his family and will help
him know how to guide his family. He just said, oh please, I really
hope so. It is hard to leave these people in the middle of their
progress, but I will keep praying for them because I love them.
Sunday hna samaniego made the best lunch. she asked me what I wanted,
and it was all there. she is amazing. I took pictures. all my favorite
food of paraguay. Hna samaniego is kind of like our grandma. we say
goodnight every night to her, and she always comes knocking on our
door if we don't. they are a special family with such strong
testimonies of the gospel.
well, I think my email is really long. I will say chao, because I will
see you all very soon. I love you tons and tons!
hermana plummer

Monday, May 7, 2012

May 7, 2012 Sprinting to the End!!

hola familia!
bueno, mom, 
What other hermanas are in your zone?
hnas in my zone. us and hna lewis and hna anrade de mexico. 
Mother's Day phone call?
as for the phone call on sunday. we were actually planning to do it not in yennys house but in her moms house where we live. hna little will talk at 3pm and I will talk at 4 pm.   we will eat lunch with them that day, so it will be perfect. 
Using Yenny's hairdryer?
I will ask yenny about her extra hairdryer.  you need a transformer if you want to use your straightener. well, mine blew out. and I think I got confused in leopardi because there were so many left over transformers. well I don't really know how it happened. I thought I had everything, but I don't have mine. sorry dad.  I don't know what happened to it. also mom, yenny said that she wants to talk to you today to explain a few things about the best way to go to ciudad del este and brazil.
What kind of clothes should we bring?
as for the weather, you need to check the weather report, because it is always changing. last week was way cold. and this week is hot again. that is the way it is. so I don't know what you will need. I don't need anything. what I have is good. the prayer rock is way cute. I think the best way to say it would be roca de oracion (accent on the o in oracion). they are super cute. not sure if I want a quilt with my mission clothes. I plan to leave what I can and take back what is useless. they are pretty funny. what is in my heladera? yogurt, milk, bread, bananas, pears, mermelada de guayaba, mayonesa, mustard, ham, cheese, pinapple, cucumber. thats about it.
please tell the ward MUCHISIMAS GRACIAS for donating so much to bring. that is so generous.
this week yes, we had zone conference. it was so great! the focus was on our purpose as missionaries. invite others to come unto christ through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentence, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost, and endure to the end. we need to have that purpose as the focus of everything we do. if we do that, and even more important, apply it to our personal lives, we will be successful missionaries. well, there is more to it, but that is the essence of it. We have to convert ourselves before we can really help others be converted to the gospel. We focused a lot too on the sacrament. as misisonaries, we tend to be thinking about our investigators and so many things in sacrament meeting, but pres callan told us that we need to prepare better, and focus on ourselves during the sacrament. we need firm testimonies of the joy that the spririt gives us when we can know that as we enter in the meeting with our sins, we can leave completely clean again. pres callan shared an experience he had when he was able to be in a sacrament meeting with the 12 apostles in which they passed the sacrament and had tears in their eyes as they participated in this special ordinance. I think we often overlook just how important the sacrament is. what an incredible blessing God has given us to be able to start fresh every week and have the promise to have the spirit with us always. then at the end of the conference, each missionary has their turn to share their testimony. about 1 minute each person. I loved feeling the sincerity of each and every missionary as he or she shared their simple testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
on another note, I got a letter from Ceci today! she came back from angentina. hna jones wrote a quick note and said she would make sure ceci is home when we go to ñemby. I am so happy!! i thought i would never be able to see her again. i am so excited to see her and her grandkids. this week we were so blessed. we are teaching a woman who came to church with her cute 7 year old twins. they loved church, and it was so spiritual. we had a missionary come home, so he and his family all shared their testimonies, also the bishop blessed his new baby boy, and it was just great. teresa, our investigator, had tears. as well as everyone else. sunday's church meetings were probably the best I have had here in paraguay. yenny shared here testimony in relief society, and I had tears in my eyes. she has such a powerful testimony, and is such an amazing woman!
we also finally contacted a reference we had received a while back who has a family member who is a member and who invited him to the general conferece. this man has such interesting questions. many concerning the plan of salvation. where do our spirits go when we die? what happens after the resurrection? unfortunately he is only at home sundays, but we were excited to finally teach him. now we can prepare to teach him again. well, I have to go. I am super excited to give it one last push this week and finish sprinting. I get depressed when I think about leaving paraguay, so I try not to think about it. it is part of who I am now. I feel comfortable here. I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for this short time that I have here. I love you all so much.
hermana plummer

Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012 Two more weeks!!

hola mom, dad, y familia
well mom, I will try to respond everything rapido.
bueno don't know why you didn't get my pictures, I sent them a few weeks ago. pictures from M's baptism. I still have all my pictures, but I put them on a cd, so they aren't on my flash drive. I accidentally erased them, so the cyber put them on a cd for me. oops. yes I worked with miriam. our first lesson was so spritual, she cried whem I shared the first vision, and i am so happy that they are going to get married and baptized. I told hna jones that everyone gets baptized when I leave. that is how it was in leopardi. everyone we found right before I left got baptized. that would be good to put on facebook my homecoming. not sure who will want to go, but it would be good. the music ,I will think about. the song I would want isn't in the enlish hymn book, so I will think of what other I want. maybe you can look up oid el toque de clarín. that is what it is called. homemade cafe rio food is perfect for homecoming luncheon.   whatever is less stress. I will make sure I get a picture with elder johnson. as for the mothers day call, I think we are just going to have to do it by regular phone this time. at 3 pm paraguay time on mother´s day in the US. I will send you the phone number next week. as for clothes. you don't need to buy anything new, you can just bring something from my closet. I don't really remember what I have, so it will be like new for me. thanks for everything mom. by the way. did you ever get my letter?
hola familia, bueno, this week I learned a lot. our investigators aren't progressing how we thought, but they are going. we had a few set backs with R and her son and daughter.  did i tell you about them? they are really hard to find.  R works and works. but I love them so much. she is so great. her son A is such a good kid. it didn't rain as much this week. but our shoes got really wet. I had to dry my shoes using our space heater because I couldn't use my other shoes because they have a big hole. but it worked. this week I studied a lot about diligence. diligence it important in missionary work. that is our vision and goal, to become as much like Christ as we can and do it for the rest of our lives. when we focus on that, we realize a lot more of our weaknesses, but at the same time, we can't get discouraged because Heavenly Father is there to help us. He asks us to be perfect like His son, but he knows it will take a while. this week I am going to study patience. we found out who stole our phone. the other night we got a call on our new phone from a guy asking for cynthia. he said that cynthia had called him from this number a few days before. cynthia is the chica in who´s house we knew we had to have lost our phone. we asked her 3 times if she had seen it and she lied to us  .now we know for sure. but we tried to not be mad and handle it how Christ would. it helps that we have nametags because I am not whitney, I am hermana plummer, representative of Jesus Christ, so it helps us be more like Him. well I have to go. time is up. I love you all so much. soooo much!!!! 
hermana plummer

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012 Rain, Rain and more Rain

hola mom, dad, y familia, 
mom, did you get the email from the mission? they sent me an email with my travel plans, but they are not the ones you sent me. maybe you can get in contact with the secretary again to tell him that you put me on different flights. also, as for the baptisms that you asked me I will have to see what I can do. i have not way of getting in contact with anyone from my other areas. so i dont even know if they will be able to go. and they have to get recommendations. but at least i could talk with shabanna to take her because she is here. also, as for taking the car across the border. since you cant, I think it is better anyways to take the car to ciudad del este and take a bus from there because the bus will take us exactly where we need to go and back. also, someone told me that it is better this time of year to see the argentino side of the falls anyways, and that there is more to see. but I know you will get all the info from yenny. no I dont have a hairdryer. I still have my straigntener, but it burnt out. doesnt work. the plan seems good to me. I want to ask and see what else there is we could do. 
Also, feliz cumpleaños keri!! i am so bad with birthdays. sorry. love you tons and am super excited to visit you and Chris all the time when i get back!
as for la obra misional, this wee in paraguay, it rained. a lot. my shoes took two days to dry out. we are doing good. this week was a bit of a struggle since we had to stop teaching a lot of investigators that we had a lot of hope for. the family we havent been able to find again. sandra, ahh. we couldnt find her all week. it was so sad. then, finally we found her in the street. it was such a miracle. especially because now we cant call her. we dont have our cell phone anymore. long story. we are almost sure someone stole it. but it was such a miracle to find her. lat week, it didnt work out to do the pancakes, but one night this week, we were so wet and tired. the whole day, every single plan had fallen through, and we just didnt know what elso to do. so we went to yenny´s house and asked her, ¨can we do service for you´? so we came in, and she said that our service can be to make them pancakes. which we did.and they were soooo good. her son had brought a mix and syrup from the US. so we had a bit of dinner, and then went to our last appontment, which was so awesome. haleluia. we are teaching a mom, and her son and daughter. they are so great. she has a son that was baptized a long time ago but lives in ciudad del este now. they really have a sincere desire to know the truth and feel so confused with so many religions that say such different things. we havent taught them very many times, but I can feel the spirit so strong in the lessons. their dad doesnt have any interest yet, but hopefully soon. the son came to church yesterday. the daughter was really sick and the mom working, but she had already told us that she couldnt and would go the next week. they are our little shining star of the week. Heavenly Father alwasy blesses us. also, Shabanna is loving seminary, and Maura is great.
I am feeling just a bit ragged (not just my clothes.  but i know that if I can have a spirit stronger than my body, i can have the strength. I know what i share is true, and that it changes people lives. 
hermana plummer

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16, 2015

hola mom, dad, and familia,
mom, before I go on, I will ask yenny about the brazilian consulate today. we are going to her house to make pancakes. I am almost sure that you can use temple clothes here. they have extras. that is what the missionaries use all the time when they come. I want to take a few converts to the temple too to do baptisms if that is ok? yes I wrote you a letter. I sent it the week after I sent dad´s, so it should get there soon I hope. it has been a really long time. like 3 months almost. 
well, this week was really good. hna samaniego, our vecina where we live, said that last night she dreamed that we were drinking mate together (mate is a herbal drink that missionaries can't drink) and that I was talking to her in guarani. how I wish i could learn gurarani. she is like our grandma here and is yenny´s mom. they are members for a looong time. pioneers here in lambaré. 38 years ago. M's baptism was so great. she wore a skirt that I gave to her. when she came out of the water she said, ya estoy con Dios. when you translate it, it doesn't work the way it does in spanish, but it means, I am with God. and then when she received the holy Ghost, she was very emotional and so happy. she keeps saying just how relieved she feels and what an answer to her prayers it was that we came to her house. she said that thanks to us, she is on the right path to eternal life. I just can´t wait for mom and dad to meet her. hna little and I sang the primary song about baptism, and a hna in the ward always makes a yummy cake. S was confirmed too yesterday, and her mom came! she had tears during the confirmation. her mom is so great, and I love them so much. hna little and I miss them alot. thank goodness shabanna is going to seminary, because we can't visit her that much. or at all. but what a miracle that the elders of where they live, live in front of them. heavenly father is watching out for her, and we feel she is in good hands. she wakes up to be at seminary at 5 30 in the morning. temprano! we have a new investigator sandra that we taught for the first time on friday and came to church yesterday. she is 21 years old and lives with her sister, brother in law, and uncle. her dad died a few years ago, and her mom has another family. she has attended a lot of different churches and said that she feels confused like joseph smith as to where to be baptized and why they are all so different. it was such a spiritual lesson, and we fasted for her yesterday. sacrament meeting was great with testimonies and the confirmations. and turns out that M is her aunt in some way on the side of M's husband, but they lost contant for 10 years until yesterday. what a miracle. we also found another cute family yesterday! they have lived right by the church for 12 years and the missionaries never talked to them yet. he said that he was always curious about the mormons and wanted to listen. they are way way busy during the week, but pray pray pray they read the chapter we left in the book of mormon. we had a kneeling prayer at the end of the lesson offered by the head of the household, and it was so great. 
this week we had interviews with president callan. that is always good. he asked me to make a list of goals for after the mission about all aspects of my life to share with him in my final interview. I will have to think about it. well, I am out of time. I love you all soooo much. I hope I am not forgetting a birthday again. if so, please forgive. I think it was margaret´s birthday the 14th? it is either the 14th or the 26th. I dont know why I always confuse it.  mom, can you check on that and wish her happy birthday for me? until next week!
hermana plummer

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012 Love for her converts

hola mom dad and familia. Felices Pascua! mom, before i forget. the sign things need to say. familias son eternas. be sure to not put familias para siempre. families are forever doesn't translate how you think. they are going to be so cute. thanks.  (Amy (sister in law) and mom are making small tile plaques that say families are forever to give some of the families that have loved Whitney and she them too.  We'll take them with us when we go to pick her up next month.)  dad described the easter dinner. sounds pretty yummy. there is an hermana from the ward that makes something like augratin potatores. she calls them papas savorosas or yummy potatores she says. she speaks english very well. thanks dad for the pictures. everyone looks soooo churro. Nic, I remember looking at my calender of birthdays and said. there aren't any in march, so I don't have to worry. then april started before i knew it, and I didn't wish you a happy birthday last week. lo siento. I love you so much. I don't remember how many years you have, but you can know that you look great for your age.  so don't worry a spec. you still have all your teeth. happy birthday to you too Chris. your birthday was just yesterday, so i think it is ok to wish you feliz cumple hoy. rohayhu chris. te quiro. 

well, as for this week. this week was a bit loco. well, it was semana santa as they say here. everyone left. it is interesting because they have viernes santo. holy friday, the day of the crusifixion of christ. on this day, everything is closed. no one does anything. we were in a lesson with one of our investigators the other day when she commented on how we don't recognize viernes santo the way they do (the catolicos). we were with a member who used to be way catolica. she said that our sunday every week is their holy friday. instead of just dedicating one day out of the year to remember christ, we do it every week. As I watched the conference, I just felt so grateful to have the apotles and prophets who teach us so clearly, what heavenly Father expects of us and what we need to do to return to Him. It is a lot more than what most people think. it takes sacrifice, like joseph smith said. one of my favorite talks of general conference was by Pres. Eyring. I always love his talks. he talked about having a firm foundation of faith to carry us through the trials of life. he said that the way to build that firm foundation is through personal integrity, I thought that was interesting and so true. the way we live our daily life, our daily decisions are what little by little build a firm foundation upon which we cannot fall. helaman 5:12. by the small and simple things in life, we can be happy. 
please pray for S. because of family stuff, they have to move tomorrow. her mom asked us to help her find a place near the church so she can continue with everything. she searched and searched like crazy on saturday when she told us, but we found nothing. she only found a place in a different ward. I think she is going to be able to stay in our ward, but now is far away. I don't know how she is going to get to church and seminary . the other ward meets in our chapel, but they don't have seminary. I kind of started to have a breakdown last night with worry because I started to think about what will happen when we are not here. everything will be ok for now, but when I am not here? It hit me that I have to leave her and maura and gloria and everyone. I Iove them so much and probably will never see them again. I don't want to leave them. It is so hard for me to trust that they will be ok. I just want to be here with them forever to make sure everything is ok and to help them. i have a feeling I am going to be an overprotective mom or something. well, I have to go. oh, by the way. hna little and I stayed together. Heavenly Father answered my prayers. l love you all 

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012

This week starts the beginning of Whitney's last and final transfer.  6 weeks from tomorrow Dave and I leave to pick up our sweet Whitney.  I'm excited beyond excited.

hola mom, dad, and familia. sorry mom. I dont know why but i couldnt see your photo. it doesn't work or something on these computers. no mom, i didn't notice hna sargent´s sister. i only met her once. david archuletta neither. how funny. that is great he is going on a mission. I bet they sent him far away. haha that is fine to bring 10 of the famlies are forever. but, make sure you change it. it is wrong to say familias son para siempre. familias son eternas is better. sounds like they are going to be so cute. by the way, yes I get your cards. they are super cute, and I love them, only I wish you would sent pictures of the family instead of pictures of me. I want to see my family. all the pictures I have of my nieces and nephews are old now. except from nicole. well, I haven't purchased much because there hasn't been anywhere in my areas to buy anything. but I bought a few things recently. the scripture covers and stuff. would you or dad want a scripture case or something? I will check on temple clothes. they have a few because we use their clothes when we go. I will ask a member to call and ask or something. I think I would like a day in asuncion to be a tourist. there is a mercado that I would like to go to. I will ask the members and hna little. 
as for the work here, thanks for all of your prayers. this week we saw so many miracles. shabanna´s baptism was great because all of the young women of the ward came and participated. and drum roll. all of her family came! they pulled up to the church all together, and hna little and I looked at each other. no way. well, her mom, step dad, and little brother. they really enjoyed it. woohoo. because of the conference she will be confirmed this coming sunday. I will try and send pictures. conference was so awesome!! I was so sad it ended. every session flew by. we had someone come to every session except the first. It was such a blessing. I prayed and prayed that what was said in the messages could be just what they needed. I have to look over my notes and send some thoughts about it next week. I haven't looked over them much yet. last night, i didn't even write in my journal or read I just went right to sleep. we were soooo tired. sooo happy, but soooo tired. I think I heard the words covenant and atonement more than a million times. a ton about the family, plan of salvation, and love. I learned so much, and just felt such a gratitude to have apostles and prophets of God on the earth. as Pres. Monson spoke, I felt through him the sincere desire Heavenly Father has that every one of His children returns to Him. I felt Heavenly Father´s love through him even though I am thousands of miles away and it was translated into spanish. I know he is God´s prophet on the earth.
one of our investigators is vicki. she is a woman of about 55 or so and lives alone in a very very chuchi (fancy) house. but anyways, she came to conference saturday afternoon. when we called her to confirm the plans she said. remember yesterday when you were here and prayed, as I had asked, for a compañero (she wants a husband), an hour later, I got a call, she said. she said how fast God answers your prayers. it was so funny. everytime we visit she wants to invite us to tea. we drink herbal tea and she drinks cocido. a common drink here that missionaries can't drink. the members drink it, just the missionaries cant. but we are trying to learn to say no. she just says, ¨we are going to drink tea now¨. oh. have to go. I love you all so much. thanks for you love and prayers. I love you!!!
hermana plummer