Monday, January 31, 2011

Jan 31, 2010

Hna Lozano and Plummer - Coronel Oviedo Chapel

hola mamá, yes this week was better. i had fewer breakdowns. haha. We are trying to really just work hard and work more effectively so as to find more people to teach. I am really noticing how the gift of tongues works. whenever i let myself get frustrated with myself and my teaching or whatever, i can´t talk in spanish. my words are all jumbled and i don´t know what to say, but when I have the spirit with me, it is so much easier to talk in spanish. the gift of tongues really is such a gift for the people, so i can teach them.
mom I am so glad to hear that you feel like you have received an answer to our prayers. I pray for you daily, and at times it is hard not to worry about my family. i know though that it is better for our family that i am here.
sounds good to do what dana richards does. PRINT...

How are your soccer skills?      not good of course, but I like playing. the latino elders are pretty intense. our zone leader elder centurion from buenos aires was practically pro but broke his back so can´t play anymore.
Do you get together on Pdays with Elders and members to play soccer? sometimes.       we did last week and today but only my rama and the rama of the zone leaders.
What do you do on Pday besides grocery shop?      clean, write letters, play soccer
What time do you have to get up on pday?            same as all other days
Are you getting any exercise in the mornings?       ha no not really. I should, but walking all day in the heat takes it out of me.
Are you cooking together yet?                             not really ha
Are you using any of your do terra oils?               I used them a lot in the mtc but haven´t much here. i should start again
When does h Lozano go home?                          she has 2 more cambios after this one which ends in a week
no we didn´t go the youth conference but i heard about it.

h gonzales and lavaka are probably not in the same area but i guess they are in the same zone. I get to see them on wed in asuncion. we have to go for some kind of training for leaders so i have to go with h lozano.
so funny moment of the week. other than every time some one talks to me. i seriously have a look of confusion 24/7. so we were at the house of the rama mission leader person. (he is such a blessing). and the elders had these peppers from another member. i didn´t know how hot they would be so i decided to try it. I tried a little bit and was nothing. couldn´t taste practically any spice. so i decided to take a bigger bite. big mistake. my mouth was on fire for like half an hour. hottest thing I have ever put in my mouth. it was quite the laugh. well i am out of time. i love you all so much. I ask for your prayers upon the future members of the church here in paraguay that will soon hear the message of the restored gospel. can´t wait to find them.
hermana plummer

hola papá, as always I love reading my letters. i just sent some pictures you can see a bit of paraguay. one is the sunset. the sunsets are beautiful here. yes you are right, i am beginning to get into a routine. still trying to figure out the roads. most don´t have names and half the people who live on them don´t know the name either. and we don´t really have a map, so you kind of just have to learn it. i am not good with directions, so this has been quite a challenge for me. thanks for the updates with tennis. there is a court close by and me and elder faber want to go play on a p day. it is clay of course. p days are so nice. not very relaxing, always doing something, but so nice to let loose a bit.
dad i really need your prayers with my teaching. i feel so inadequte. i find myself getting down because I am not very good at it. i always hear how it is so important that missionaries are good teachers, and I feel so mediocre. i need your prayers that I can have the spirit to improve in this.
we have been working really hard to teach more lessons and have new invstigators. we are doing way better! but still have so much to improv on. the elders had a baptism on saturday . un señor Hermes. i gave a talk on the holy ghost. oh did i tell you that I gave a talk in sacrament meeting a few weeks ago? It was so special to see my first baptism in the mission. gave me a boost of faith. i know the people i am here to teach are here somewhere. i am just working to find them somehow. so many people just really don´t understand the significance of th restored gospel. they are just, oh that is such a great story. muy lindo they say. i know there are people here that are going to appreciate truth. i have to keep reminding myself that. it is true, the people are so great, but they cling on to their traditions like none other. thanks for the dear elder. those are so great. i get to read them throughout the week. so it is like a little piece of home whenever i need it. i love hearing about the goings on at home. things here are good. not easy. i guess I had a bumpy start, but its all good. i know why i am here and I have faith that precious souls are waiting to hear the message of the restored gospel. love you so much.
your daughter

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jan 24, 2010

hi, this week has been a lot better. I only had one break down. haha. i am still figuring things out, but we doubled our numbers this week, and felt a lot better about things. we had interviews with pres callan on thrs i think and that was good to talk about things. talking with hermana callan makes me feel like i am at home. so sorry my letter last week was so sad. sorry if i made you worry, but you are right. no one ever said missions are easy. in fact they say they are really hard. and it is true. but i know there is nothing more important than what I am doing, and i guess i just stress myself out a bit too much sometimes. just so you know, there are a lot of good things going on too. I realized that it probably seemed like I was just having an awful time, but that is not true. there is so much to love about paraguay, the people, the work.
i am going to try and answer your questions:
no I don´t have interviews with my district or zone leaders.
yes, elder fernelius made the connction that he knows plummers and that was cool he lives right by doug and kris (shout out to them: love and miss you tons!)
i don´t know the address of our apartment, but it is right by the palacio juicio. big building. maybe you could look for that on google earth.
davis and richards are just in my zone, so I have only seen them once
a package would be maravilloso!! I could use some more peanut butter!  i think i m good with skin care. some instant oatmeal i would love. hand sanitizer. more of that traveling toilet paper. that is all i can think of right now.
oh and i havnt been getting some of the attatchments. only some of them. like the picture of dad with raelyn and leilani. so cute.  and i didn´t get the message about hermana mekenna in arizona. can you send that again?
we dont eat at members houses very much. hermana lozano said that this is rare for the mission. we just eat what we can.
no i haven´t really emailed anyone else because i don´t really have time. i see that I got an email from nicole so I am excited to read it after this.
I hope I answerd everything. thanks for your prayers and encouragement. we are really trying to make some progress. i probably only have 2 more weeks with h lozano because if she stays for one more cambio then that would be weird bc she only has 2 left aftr this one. so we probably will be changed. we will see. 
so i decided to send it in 2 parts just in case you are by the computer and can read it. 
i got your dearelder and loved it. i got dad´s letters at the same time too. so I guess it doesn´t really matter how you send them. 
oh and thanks for the update with the australian open. please send more! 
i really do love the mission. it is quite the adventure. a very different way of life here in paraguay. but I can´t even hardly remember my life being different before.  i  love being apart of this work. I miss my family, but i am so happy to be here. love you so much
dad, i always seem to run out of time on the computer. so this might be quick. also, please tell nicole i was so happy to get her email and that she need not worry about not writing. i know she loves me. please tell her I will write her back either next week or send a letter. thanks for the letters. they came at the same time. haha. i read it over and over again. interesting to hear about the history of coronel oviedo. thanks for the updates on mom. i will fast with you both in mind on sunday. i know she will get through this. please don´t let her stress more about me. I am happy, and all is well. i want her to focus on her and you. i know it is probably a bit hard for her to get used to me not being a call away. but you can always know that I am safe and that i am doing the lord´s work. i don´t know really what I am doing to stay healthy, i just drink a lot of water. there is a grocery store very similar to what you would find in the states that we can go to. there are farmers market type places too of course, but we dont usually buy there. the heat is hot. a bit worse than georgia. but similar. you kind of just get used to sweating all the time. you are always sweating so you don´t worry about being sweaty after just showering or something. just part of life. lots of fans everywhere. I am sweating right now. a lot. haha.
how is your temple assignemnt going? i miss being able to go to the temple.
thanks for your thoughts. it is true i don´t want to give up on someone. so true. i want to help them but if they are not ready, there is a million other things that i should be doing. I am still trying to work at my teaching skills. i feel inadequate as a teacher. how to begin actually is the hardest part for me. i hope with time i will get better.  I love you so much. i keep forgetting to send pictures. i have a few to send. maybe next week. miss and love you so much!!! I know your prayers are helping.
your daughter

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jan 10,2010

I just copied and pasted your questions. so here I go
What do you keep in your backpack? I keep my wonderful charmin on the go (haven´t had to use it yet thankfully), pamphlets, my BofM and bible and then another BofM, my small notebook of spanish and guarani to study (such as words, phrases, contacts), flashlight, hand sanitizer (the other missionaries laugh at me), my mission manual of course, my agenda, sometimes a snack, and my water bottle, and I guess a few other things I can´t think of now
Tell us about a normal day? normal day we wake up 6.30, get ready and stuff, personal, companion, and idioma study, then out the door at 11. the days vary I guess. we of course try t have appointments to teach, we contact at least 20 people on the street everyday. but a lot of the times, the same people are on the street, so we try and find different places. we do a lot of visiting with the members. there are way too many inactives. H Lozano says we need to visit them a lot because we need to help them, which is good, but we end up just sitting there. I don´t really get it. I feel like too much time is wasted. yes we need the help the members and we want to help them, but I have more important things to do than sit around or try and reactivate people who were only babpized because missionaries wanted numbers. sorry. I am kind of struggling with this. I feel like we spend all our time teaching less actives and not enough teaching people who don´t have the gospel yet. and everything seems to take for ever here. the members are apparently used to the missionaries staying for a really long time ( I am talking like 2 to 3 hours) and they will get offended if you leave too quickly. finally I had to talk to h lozano. Yes the doctrine is the same everywhere, but it is definietely different here. I am having a hard time finding a balance. there are a lot of things i would do differently, but at the same time h lozano has a lot more experience than me with everything. I don´t know. I find myself getting frustrated that our time is not spend effectively enough .don´t get me wrong, h lozano is great. she is a wondrful teacher and a great missionary, I am blessed to have her right now, but I am just trying to figure things out. anyways, sorry, that was my short vent. but we usually get back at 9 and eat dinner. I am so tired I just eat some bread or something and get to bed.                  Have you had a normal day? yes?
What time is church? 8:30 am but they don´t start until about 9. just the way it is here. haha
What do you do on Sunday besides church? sunday is a normal work day after church
Do they have a keyboard? yes they have a keyboard. they are harder to play I found out, but i guess i will play
If so I'm sure you'll be playing and leading the singing.
Since it is raining so much, how are your shoes and socks? the shoes are good. one type of the socks isn´t my favorite, but they will be fine. I am good with shoes and socks.
Are your skirts getting wet?  Using your umbrella? no it hasn´t rained enough to flood that much yet, and yes I have used my umbrella
Tell us about H Lozano - her family, are they members? h lozano was baptized when she was I think 12. her whole family got baptized. she has a sister who already served a missin and one who will serve soon. they sound like a pretty tight bunch.
How about the Elders you work with?
You said they were Gringos.
Does that mean they are Americans? yes one is from utah and the other is from alaska. they are good to work with. It is nice that i can ask them what stuff means sometimes, or to explain a grammar principle becasue h lozano doesn´t really understand them. to her it is just the way it is.
How is the skin care? skin care is good. it hasn´t really dried out my skin. probably because it is so humid here.                   Your skin? skin is ok. not bad thank goodness. i worry because the dirt and sweat sit on my face all day long. but the skin care i think is preventing a lot                Cramps? no cramps really bad. i do have diarrhea today. (you can take that out if you want haha). h lozano says it is because of the amount of meat we ate yesterday. my body isn´t used to so much. they feed you so much. don´t worry, i would worry more of me offending them by not eating enough than eating too much of their food. they just keep bringing out more and more. it is really good, but I seriously thought I was going to die if I had to eat anymore. they eat a lot of mandyoca ( i am sure i spelled that wrong but that is how it sounds). they grow it and tastes kind of like a potato depending on how they cook it. way good.
Are you sunburned? i got a little bit sunburned. not too bad. it just turned into a tan. I already have a way cute farmers tan
Are you making your bed? yes i have made my bed every morning
Did you need your sheets and pink comforter?yes, I needed the sheets and comforter.
How far away is the grocery store? not too far. 20 min walk or so

I'm glad the members are feeding you.  What did they serve you? oh i already answered this. but one thing is that they serve the meat with so much fat!! they just eat it up, but I really cant bring myself to eat it. the elders laugh at me that i cant eat very much yet they say. oh great
What do you fix for yourself? i don´t fix much for myself. when we get home at night I have no desire to fix anything. usually an apple, and bread or something. or maybe and egg.
Do you fix food together? no really. i think she wants to, so I will try and bring my self to cook. the kitchen is just so small and not very clean no matter what I do, I just don´t like being in there. ha, but I try and find ways to do something for the both of us or if not with food, do something else like fill her water bottle or clean off her shoes. I am kind of an on my own type of persn most of the time with food as you know, which i am working on, so i try and make up for it with other things.
Dad and I don't sleep well if we eat too much late at night.
You go a long time without food until you get home at night, are you ok? ya i am fine. 

well I used up most of my time answering the questions, but other than that, I am doing well. yes I sweat a lot and it is way hot, especially when we walk to Pindoty (this is guarani and for some reason is hard to pronounce). it is about an hour and a half walk. this is the campo area. and quite a few members live there. but, it is all good. there were a few things I wanted to write, but I forgot. I will keep a list of things i want to say next week. oh and I will tell you about our investigator veronica. she came to church on sunday and i will tell you all about her and all that other stuff next week. I will tell you more about the good things going on with the work nex week. well, i love you all tons and tons. i love hearing about your lives. gives me a boost of energy. I think about you every day and look at my pictures everynight before i go to bed. i am glad you had a good birthday mom. and i know it is leilani´s birthday this week right? please give her a hug and kiss from aunt whitney and tell her feliz cumpleanos. I didn´t have a chance to send a card. love you so much!


Monday, January 3, 2011

Jan 3, 2010

answer to questions: and then i will send my email
Rama 2 with about 30 to 40 in attendance
very close to the capilla. about a 5 to 10 minute walk
yes, I guess the apartment is nice. we have a conditioning unit in our room, but H Lozano doens´t like to use it much because it gets cold but the ceiling fan is so loud i can´t sleep. ha we compromise.we used it last night but I think she was cold, so I won´t turn it on tonight. some nights is is way hot, others aren´t bad.
we share the area with a companionship of elders. Elders Lamb and Faber (both gringos). they go to the same rama as us.
the internet cafe is pretty close. 5 to 10 minutes 

hola familia. So sad that we can´t do the chat thing. so I guess you just reply to my emails to this address. i have more time to read them and stuff, so it is better that way. well, it has been almost a full week that i have been in paraguay. goodness. crazy. well, yes, I started my mission about 2 1/2 months ago now, but this mission is way different than the mission in the mtc. haha. that is for sure. there are a lot of adjustments. I am a lot more emotional for one thing. I have never been one to cry much, but just looking at my photo album made me cry. don´t worry though. I am still happy. just stressed and happy.
where to begin... well, this week has been a bit slow actually. in coronel oviedo, they have done what i guess the missionary world calls a white wash. the 2 elders we share the area with are brand new to the area. so h. lozano is the only one who knows anything around here. so we have basically been going to all the houses of the members with the elders so they can meet them too and since they don´t know their way around. so we haven´t really had a normal work day yet. so I kind of have been just walking around with them, because I don´t know what is going on really when they talk to the members. I can figure out what the conversation is about and stuff, but I don´t quite understand enough to contribute. especially when h lozano is a native speaker and doesn´t even have to think. but this week we will be able to really start goin. yesterday we were contacting in the calle and ended up basically teaching a lesson to this guy Adriano ( I swear, the names here are impossible to remember). he asked us why there are so many churches, and we said, we have just the answer for you. :) which then lead into a lesson. we have an appointment this week! H. lozano did most of the talking but I made my contributions. I practiced my lessons a few times with the members. when we contact, we switch off starting, but she usually has to come in because once they reply, I have no idea what they say. I can usually understand h lozano because I am getting used to her accent, but there are so many times I think she thinks I understand and I totally don´t. she was trying to explain to me how we count referrals differently here. it took like 15 minutes and I still don´t get it. oh well. I will figure it out.
I was going to send some pictures but I forgot my hookup. lo siento. next week. the main area of coronel oviedo is pretty normal. but a lot of the members live out in the campo. and I mean the campo. yes, with the bathroom as a hole in the ground. thank goodness I didn´t have to go. it will probably happen sometime though. eww sick. haha. The members are so nice though. I have learned a few guarani phrases. if I say one, they get way excited and are always saying how I need to learn guarani. I am like, oh ya totally. I will learn. ha. It is way hard. the pronunciations are weird. depends on how long I am out in the campo how much guarani I learn. hmmm. little by litte. that is what h lozano always says. so yes, the members are great. not very many here, yet ;). the four of use plan on taking coronel oviedo by storm. we are trying to get the rama organized. right now the members really rely on the missionaries for a lot. we are trying to get the president more involved and help them be self-sufficient. that is way important. testimony meeting was great though. some of the testimonies are incredible. apparently there was a lot of guarani, but I didn´t even notice. ya, that is how much I understood.
it is amazing here though. it is so different yet so much the same. we are inside a house with no lights in the room, dirt floor, only room enough for beds, or outside a house with loud cars and music rolling by but we sing a song anyways and the spirit is so strong. it is such a testimony builder seeing the lives of members in such a different setting. the church is the exact same everywhere. that alone tells me it is true. such unity can only be found in the church of jesus christ.
it has rained a lot. and yes the streets flood so my shoes are way muddy. but I would rather walk in the mud than those cobble stone streets. my calves are sore from those. it is an adventure. love it.
spanish... well, I think I understand a tiny bit more than I did last time I wrote. I pray for patience every night and that i can speak through the spirit. but still, i don´t understand a lot. apparently the paraguayos talk slow though. false. I hope i can get better soon, but i know it will be a while. h lozano is so patient with me. she has to repeat herself a lot. and gets a lot of huhh in response. It is harder to get to know each other with the language barrier. she is learning english though too. and knows a little bit. her accent is so cute when she speaks in english. we are very different, but I know our unity in purpose with help us bond. she is so in tune with the spirit, and I respect her so much.
today was weird, I heard english! we had a zone activity, so we met with the zone and talked about goals (2 baptisms per comanionsip for the month of january- minimum), played football, and ate. most of the zone is latin. probably 2/3. but the american elders talk english a lot. breath of fresh air being able to understand everything that a person says. so that was fun. now we need to go back and clean the apartment. I think I am going to have to get used to a bit of dirtiness for a while. haha. but I am going to try and clean it up a bit.
well, I got to go. I love you so much. every day my testimony grows stronger. I know I have the help of my savior everystep of the day. or else, there is no way I could do this. When I am able to feel the spirit and see the testimonies of the people, it makes everything worth it. I can´t wait to my first baptism!! oh, I almost forgot. dad asked about the food. way good. we were at these members´ house and I thought i would never be able to eat againt they gave me so much. but after walking around all the rest of the day, when we get back to the apartment at 9. I am so ready for dinner. the juice is way good too. mmm. they always have some kind of juice. well. adios

oh and I forgot to tell you. yes I got the package. I didn´t get to open it for a few days. no time, but it was the best. I love it so much. I think all the cereal is gone. haha. thanks so much mom. I love you so much. 

Now as a mother I can relax.  Life is good and the church is true.