Monday, April 25, 2011

April 25, 2011

hola familia. mom did you get my pictures? let me know if no. I am glad marilyn and willy lutz got to come visit. tell them I said hi and I hope they are doing well. I hope you all had a good easter. felices pascua. this week was full of chipa during la semana santa. it is a tradition here in paraguay to make chipa this week. chipa is a bread type food. kind of hard to describe. mom and dad you will have to try it when you come at the end of my mission! they sell it everywhere all year long but this week is way more. la semana santa is quite interesting. schools close wed thru fri and friday, everything shuts down. nothing is open. and I mean practically nothing. it was kind of hard to find people to teach since everyone traveled to the interior to visit family and such. but we worked through it and had a fairly successful week. it was interesting that on sunday, when we celebrate the resurrection of the Savior, they are all back to normal. they focus more on the day Christ died, friday. I was thinking how, shouldn't they be remembering the Savior more that he was resurrected on sunday and shut everything down on sunday? but it is a great part of tradition, they take a whole week out to remember Christ. a lot of people asked what we do in our church por semana santa, we would usually reply how we try to make every week like semana santa in our church and always remember Him. hermana knapp and I gave talks on sunday too. it was a great opportunity to get them excited about la obra misional. I based my talk on Juan 21:# I dont remember. but it is when Christ asks peter 3 times if he loves Him. and every time peter says of course. but Christ says that if he loves Him, he will feed his sheep. I was thinking of how everything we do as missionaries is because of our love for the Savior. I can't even describe how much my desire to share the gospel with others has grown as I have drawn closer to my Savior these past 6 months. (wow 6 months crazy!!)
Ruben is doing so well. He will receive the priesthood this sunday woohoo. he is so diligent. he read the entire book of mormon before his baptism and wakes up extra early every morning to study the scripture and his principios del evangelio manual. his mom that he takes care of, we are focusing on right now. she will definitely be baptized in mayo for sure. her 3rd baptism. but it will be the one that counts.
we have the greatest 14 year old kid that has a baptismal date for 6 de mayo. he attended another branch for a while, the mission decided he would have more support in my ward, so he began to attend leopardi. he is way excited to get baptized and is so great. the other day in a lesson, he asked if he could share a scripture with us from el libro de mormon that he read recently. that NEVER happens, that an ivestigator wants to share what they read in the scriptures. well, unless it is un Evangelico that wants to teach us instead of us teach him. anyways, the only problem is getting the permission of his mom. she doesn't like the church. we asked her if there was a reason why, and she just said that she doesn't like it. hermana knapp and I have been praying like crazy and thinking of what we can do to help her feel more comfortable with her son being baptized. Pray for carlos! (that is his name). I wish we could visit him more but he only has time after dark, and he lives in an area a bit peligroso, so we always have to find someone to come with us. but that is always good to have a member of course.
I can't believe this cambio is coming to a close. it has flown by. i still feel like I am just getting started. i still feel so new and have so much I need to learn and do better. it is kind of overwhelming. I really enjoy working with hermana knapp. we have fun together and there is always something everyday that makes us laugh. 2 americanas makin there way in paraguay. sometimes we just look at each other when neither of us understands someone and laugh. we have learned a lot together. she told me that when she was in the house of president callan, when her companion was sick, that he told her it was really amazing how strong he felt that we should be companions.
I really can't believe how fast time is flying by. people always ask how much time I have here in paraguay, and I hate being reminded all the time that my mission is already 1/3 over. I really miss you all, but really don't want this to end. everyday I am just in aww of what I get to do. ya there are ups and downs . we get a lot of people who yell ´´otro dia´´ , but the joy of sharing the gospel is like none other. well, got to go. love and miss you all muchisimo. I hope everyone is doing great. talk to you in a few weeks!!
hermana plummer
oh mom, here is your phrase of the week, ´´que purete´´. everyone always says this as a way of saying cool, or great, or that something is good.

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 18, 2011

First Baptism R with Plummer/Knapp

Reconnecting with MTC comps
Hna Gonzales and Lavaka

hola familia, i am sending pictures of the baptism. woohoo. so amazing. R is the tall and skinny white one, the viejita next to him is his mom who wil be baptsized soon. she just doesnt know it yet. the dark muchacho is M, a member who just got home from his mission a few weeks ago and has helped us out so much with R the past few weeks. then there is me and and then hermana knapp. we are in front of the chapel. this was on saturday and then his confirmation was on sunday during sacrament meeting.
oh before i forget, you dont need to send weird garlic pills. i think we are fine. dengue is quite rampant right now, but we use repellant everyday. a few people have died, but don't worry. and no we don't share the ward with other elders. we share the chapel, but there is a branch that meets separately. we only walk a few blocks to the chapel.
anyways, R has had a really rough life. he is 49 years old, was married but not anymore and has 2 kids, but we don't know anything about them. and right now lives with his brother and mom to take care or her because she is in a wheelchair. she is so cute, and so evangelical, but already says she likes our church better than hers.  she has come to church twice now, and was so emotional at the baptism. david caƱete picks her up to bring her to church. well, tuesday he called us and told us he didnt feel like he wanted to be baptized anymore. he has had some major problems and said he was going to move back to his house in the interior. i cant really go into detail, but it was really bad and i cried. but we met with him on wednesday and he decided to stay so he can be baptized here. then on friday night before the baptizm he basically got jumped by guys who tried to steal his cellular. so much opposition, but all was well in the end and he was baptized and is so happy now and has worked out his problems. the power of God always overpowers the attempts of Satan. i can't even describe the happiness i felt at his baptism and to see how happy he is after such a difficult road to find happiness and peace. this work gives you a feeling like nothing else in the world, and is so incredible.
on another note, one miracle slash funny experience of the week was when we were teaching these 3 women for the second time. the first time we invited them to be baptized, and they accepted and the second time we finish teaching the restoration and then one of them says, ummm, i have to tell you, we are members. we were like, of our church? yup. but they have been inactive for a long time. a really long time. one of them isn't a member and is way interested, but all of them felt the spirit and was really incredible. they said they know the church is true but she doesn't want to come back to church until the bishop is changed because they are related to the bishop and she doesnt want an interview with a relative. but we invited them to church anyways and i really feel like she is ready to come back to church. it is going to be hard after such a long time, but she felt comforted that we are here to help her. at the end, we went into the house for a kneeling prayer (so much more powerful than sitting). we invited her to say the prayer and didn't want to at first but accepted. her prayer was so tender and heartfelt as tears streamed down her someone is ready to let him into their life. it is not by coincidence that we found them. we almost didn't pass by because after the first lesson we passed by tons of times and they weren't there and we were going to pass by one more time when we finally found them again. i am learning to see the miracle of how heavenly father works, and it is such a blessing to be apart of it. well, i have to go. i hope everything is going well on the homefront. i miss you all so much, but i am reminded everyday how little is my sacrifice Jesus Christ.
oh and here is a phrase for this week mom, se que la iglesia de jesucristo de los santos de los ulitmos dias es la unica iglesia verdadera sobre la faz de la tierra
hermana plummer

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 11, 2011

Coronel Oviedo

Streets of Coronel Oveido

Saying goodbye

Saying goodbye with Hna Lozano

Chicken farm

hola familia, dad, I can just imagine you reclined on the couch watching golf and getting alot of enjoyment out of being able to fastforward though all the commercials. i can imagine our beautiful yard in PTC and how pretty and green it must be in augusta right now. in coronel oviedo, there were some really pretty areas in the campo. I have some pictures I will send. very green too. not much of that here in leopardi. it is all built up.
I just got done reading your email, and I dont have too much time. the answer to all your questions mom is, sure. whatevery you want to do is fine with me. but it seems like you think I am closer to the office than I am. we have to take a 30 min collectivo ride to get there. I am going to send some pictures so this will be short. but this week was so great. first of all, I read the transforming power of faith and character by elder richard g scott. so amazing and everyone should read it. I just want to read it over and over again. next, my testimony grows and grows every day of this work. it is so much bigger than me. sometimes I am just in aww. Ruben is so ready for his baptism and I couldnt be any happier. he bore his testimony in sacrament meeting and I just cried. the spirit was so strong and I feel blessed beyond words to be able to bring the gospel into his life. all we did was knock on his door and teach him the doctrine, and the Lord and the Spirit did the rest. I am learning really what it means to be an instrument in the Lord´s hands. this feeling takes away everything else and you dont want to be anywhere else but here. I cant even describe the happiness I felt yesterday. we were both crying, hermana knapp and me.
ok sorry. the computer isnt working out with the pictures.
please send my love in some way to the ptc ward. I still feel like it is my home there in ptc.
thanks mom for all the updates and everything you do to send me little parts of home. oh and dont worry about your heart you sent. I have it right by my alarm clock by my bed and I have it in my hand when I pray at night. I love you all so much. the expereinces of the mission have opened my eyes to so much and I am realizing more and more how much my perspective is changing. and it has only been 5 months. actually, almost 6. I cant believe how the time flies. crazy. my mission is almost 1/3 over and I feel like I am just getting started. cant wait for may 15th when I get to talk to you for mother's day! one month away. I think it will be really weird to talk in english. in my interviews with pres callan, we talk in english and stumble to talk in english, spanish always somehow is taking over. well, next time you hear from me Ruben will be miembro de la iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias! I cant believe it is really happening. 
k I added pictures. I hope it works. they are a few of the pictures I took before leaving coronel oviedo and one from my new apartment and one from the polleria (way gross). yes I know I look awful in all of them. dont make fun. love you all so much.
hermana plummer

Monday, April 4, 2011

April 4, 2011

YEA Whitney's large package arrived in 3 weeks and she didn't have to wait until the next transfer!!!  Peanut Butter and Nutella over dose and Easter candy before Easter!!!!!  She had a request for Charmin on the go.... now she doesn't need it in Leopardi.  Also included was a bottle of wrinkle resistant spray. I was worried customs would open the package because of the large liquid container.  I prayed this package would arrive un-opend and in good shape.  Prayers answered.

hola familia, this week was great. it happened to be one of those weeks where you get rejected alot. as a missionary, people lie a lot. and sometimes there are days or weeks where it seems like everyone rejects us, but so many good things happened this week, it didn´t even matter. first of all, Ruben is still going strong. he is such a miracle and such a blessing. he has such a desire to learn and understand and really find Christ in his life. he keeps saying how blessed he is that his hermanitas came to his house and shared this message with him. he has had a difficult life and steared away from God for a while, but really is looking for happiness and truth in his life. he came to 2 sessions of general conference and loved is. so many times hermana knapp and I looked at each other and were like, ahh this is so perfect for him. Such a testimony that Heaveny Father uses his servants to speak to us. conference was amazing. I cant even describe it. well, the week started off good. normal week. we had to do our weekly planning on thursday since friday we had interviews. so friday we went to the mission office for our interviews. my interview was great. President Callan always knows what to say and always has the right counsel. We talked about what a successful missionary really is, a missionary through which the spirit can work. I decided to ask if I had a package and sure enough, my package had arrived the day before. how perfect!! mom and dad you are the best. I am in heaven with all my goodies. thanks you thank you thank you!!!! hermana knapp also says thank you since she gets benefits too. so friday was way good, plus the weekend was conference. we got to attend all the sessions of conf. Pres Callan decided that is was necessary that all the missionaries be able to see all sessions but to do everything possible to bring investigators. we invited so many people. all our investigators we could think of. and called them and stopped by their houses, but no one but Ruben came. We were really hoping that someone would come since a few really said they would, but when it came down to it, Ruben was the only one who came. but I am just so grateful for him. quality is better than quantity right?
I learned so much from conference and have to admit it made me a bit homesick. when it was over I had mixed emotions. I had a stronger desire to go and preach the gospel, but also it was like saying goodbye to home again.
I noticed a theme of service. We have been summoned to serve others more. I realize that when I get back, I need to live my life a lot differently, to look outside of myself more. the life of a college student can be a bit self centered. also, a theme of the importance of the family. really the grand scheme of things is all about the family. everything we do in the church is to help the family and to achieve an eternal family. I dont have my notes with me, and there is so much! I cant wait to read the talks in english in the liahona. we had to travel about 30 minutes by collectivo to a chapel. it is so huge. bigger than some in the states. they had a big screen with the video and then a voice over in spanish of the talks. I learned so much and felt the spirit so strongly. I thought of dad at the end when they sang more holiness give me since he always said that is his favorite hymn. (oh dad, before I forget, I i believe we live in fernando de la mora). well I have to go. I love you all so much! happy birthday Chris and Nicole. love you both so much! I love this work.
hermana plummer