Monday, August 29, 2011

Aug 29, 2011

HaPPy 22nd BiRtHdAy WHITNEY on Aug 30
hola familia, thanks mom and dad for the birthday wishes. and thanks david for the letter! it totally made my day to hear from you. getting a letter from home is like christmas day.
well, this week we had zone conf. Pres. Arnold of the Seventy came. woohoo. it was so awesome. it was so incredible how strongly we all felt the spirit. I felt so rejuvinated and ready to conquer the world. haha. one thing that he shared that I love was actually what someone else said - about a missionary in europe. all the other areas in the mission weren’t baptizing at all, and he was baptizing like crazy. the mission president asked him what he does differently to have such success. he said that he didn’t see the people like they were in the moment. but he saw them all dressed in white being baptized. (kind of like the secret, remember mom?) he saw their potential, like Christ would do. I loved that. some members say, oh don’t visit that person, they do this or that and won’t want to change. but it doesn’t matter. I felt strongly that if I imagine everyone the way Christ would, it will change my perspective and take my faith to another level, which I need. we also learned a whole bunch of other stuff that hna ramos and I are excited to put in action. the only thing is that there is a good chance this is my last week here in lepoardi since I’ve been here 6 months. we will see. in one sence I feel ready to take what I have learned and experience a new atmosphere, but at the same time, I feel comfortable where I am. I learned a bunch in coronel oviedo, and I have learned a ton here in leopardi. it is incredible, and I know my next area will bring a bunch of new twists and turns that will help me progress. I will miss leopardi and hna ramos!!!  we are really close and very good friends.
we had a special experience this week with Mirna.  she has a 9mon baby girl, milagros (milly for short). they named her milagros because she was pregnant 4 times before, but lost all 4.  Very sad.  when we shared with her the plan of salvation and that those precious little souls can still be hers and that she can be with them someday, tears rolled down her face. she felt such a peace. the plan of salvation is so incredible.  my life would have a very different perspective if I lived without the hope of eternal life with my family. it is so special to share it with others.
I am a bit worried that after my mission I wont be able to speak English anymore. the owner of some company, that is right in front of our pension, that makes stuff for semi trucks stopped us in the street and asked us if we could translate through the phone for him into english. he wanted to buy a truck from a company in another country that only speaks english. people think we are all americans – haha, hna ramos is from Honduras. so I agreed to talk for him.  we called the place for him, and it was so hard to speak english. I kept talking in spanish. ahhh! I think I will just be a bit weird for a while when I get back. well, got to go. I love you all so much!!!!!
hermana plummer
next time I write I will have 22 years!!

hi mom and dad, I didn’t get the packages yet because we didn’t have district meeting this week because of zone conf and we can’t receive packages at zone conf anymore. so I will get one tomorrow I know for sure. Thanks so much for sending them!! we are way excited. it cost me about 14 mil guaranies. I don’t know how many dollars that is. I hear the dollar is dropping like crazy these days. but I’m always good on money.  piano lessons are going great. we have a few that come. which is okay because we can’t teach a million people piano with one piano. it is so fun teaching. I forgot how hard it is, but it is all second nature to me. hna ramos plays a bit. she taught herself. quite impressive. we have those beginner books from the church learning how to play hymns, borrowed from a member. it is perfect. we share our emails a bit. she has a boyfriend who is actually really awesome. he was an incredible missionary and always sends advice, which she shares with me. well, I haven’t read my other emails yet, so I will go read them. I love you sooooo much. thanks for your support, love, and prayers.
your daughter
Louise – there are 3 packages floating around Asuncion and I’m not sure why Whitney hasn’t received them???  The first package has a pair of shoes for hna Ramos, since she liked Whitney’s Ecco shoes, skin care and misc items. The next pkg has BYU t-shirts and birthday presents.  The next package Lindsay and David sent for Whitney’s birthday.  They have a new system of mailing the pkgs to the missionary instead of giving them out at zone conference or transfers.  The tracking shows both of my packages have arrived, so where are they?  I’m a bit worried.

Last week Whitney talked about an EFY song that helped her decide to serve a mission.  The words are so meaningful and powerful.  Here is Kenneth Cope singing the song – I Will Not Be Still

I’ve also enclosed the lyrics.
I've never been the kind to testify
I don't have the words his truth deserves
But it's a simple thing he asks
A worthy heart and willing hands
He says if I'll make the choice
He'll help me find my voice

He calls me to serve and i cannot fail him
The one who has given me all that I have
I place my trust in him alone
He knows the yearnings of my soul
Because he believes in me
I will go willingly

How can I keep this gift to my self
When i can lift somebody else
I am(will be) a witness of his miracles and his mercy
I put my future in his hands
Knowing he's made me all I am
(When) I put my faith in him the(and) truth begins to
His power is real it moves me until i will not be

Lifting the hands that hang down in sorrow
Strengthening knees that bend in despair
Reaching the hopeless hearts who do not know his love
Seeing their lives begin to change
I know ill never be the same

His power is real
I trust in his will
I will not be still

Monday, August 22, 2011

Aug 22, 2011

hola familia, ¿còmo estàn? news of the week: paraguay es loco. last week was blazing hot, and this week it is freezing cold and with wind. they say viento sur. I think it came from argentina. so I had to take out my gloves again and all my winter stuff. I hope the cold ends soon because my tights won't last much longer. I can practically wear the same thing everyday and no one knows because I always have my coat on. our energy bill was really expensive last month since we used the heat a bit, so we are just suffering through to not have to pay. I sleep all bundled up, and it's all good. well, today I woke up to hermana ramos yelling "ahh, hermana plummer, son las 7:20" turns out we accidentally deactivated our alarm on our phone that we always use. we never set it. it just goes off every day at 6:30 am. but not today. we jumped up and hurried to get ready before 8 to start personal study. it was pretty funny. good thing hermana ramos got up to go to the bathroom, or we would have just kept on sleeping. That's what christian said yesterday when he didn't come to church. he didn't charge his phone, so it turned off and his alarm didn't go off. happens to everyone. 
anyways, I cant write much because my hands are frozen, the door of this place doesn't stay closed, and i am frozen. haha. sorry. 
anyways, this week we witnessed so many miracles. seriously, we are finding so many inactive members, one could say randomly, but we know it is the work of Heavenly Father. I know it because all have been looking or praying for help in coming back to church. they just needed a push and a bit of support. we also received a reference from an inactive of a friend who wanted to know more about the church. so we passed by on monday night, we didn't find them, but we went by the next day, and found them! this couple is so amazing. we haven't been able to talk with her marido, but once, because he works really late, but en serio, she is so prepared to accept the Gospel. she had been praying for help to know how to overcome the problems they are having in their relationship. she said, I am looking for something, as in religion. I don't want something just for tradition, but something real. the next time we met with her, she had read everything in the pamphlet and prayed to know if this is what she has been looking for. she understood everything. she said how incredible it was that this isn't just some other church, but is the original before everyone came and changed everything. we just sat there stunned. they didn't come to church on sunday, I think her marido got home really late and they didnt feel organized to go, but I pray then next sunday. she accepted a baptismal date, so we are really excited to continue teaching them. tonight we are going to watch "Together Forever," a video that we watch with a lot of people. you should look it up. so awesome. well, I have to go. my time is up. I love you all so much. I feel my testimony deepen day by day and am so amazed at how heavenly father works miracles in the lives of his children. I know it is true. I know it. 
hermana whitney plummer

Monday, August 15, 2011

Aug 15,2011

Look Mom - I made the muffins you sent and used
the muffin pans you sent too.

Hna Ramos enjoying the muffins too.

Hi Familia, well once again we didn’t have the baptism. Christian’s mom hates all churches and freaked out that he was going to be baptized. His dad was fine with it, but when she freaked out he said no too. So, I don’t have answers to most of your questions mom - sorry. That was the sad part, but we finally were able to teach Christian with his dad and brother (his parents are separated, so his mom doesn’t live with them). The lesson was great and the three came to church yesterday perfectly on time. His dad loved it and really wants to come again next week. He loved the lesson on the law of chastity and was so impressed that the youth learn it too. So that was the miracle of the week and 3 baptisms are better than one! But on top of that, we had to drop Nestor and practically all of our investigators. Nestor said he doesn’t want us to visit anymore and that he believes more in the Catholic church, which is not true and I don’t know why.  Ruben said again that he doesn’t believe the church is true and doesn’t want to come anymore. We’ve been down that road before with him.  We’ve had a few challenges this week and a few more.  Sorry my letter is full of sad news, but it is ok. I am learning Heavenly Father always provides a miracle to remind us he is there, like to walk up to the church and see Christian, his dad Andres, and his brother Diego already at church.  Hna Ramos and I both gave talks yesterday in church. We speak every second Sunday. As I prayed and thought about what to speak on, I felt prompted to share why I am here in the mission. Remember the talk I gave in stake conf before I left?   I shared part of the song “I Will not be still” from efy? You can look it up in my laptop. and you will see just how many times I have listened to that song. It really says what is in my heart.  My talk gave me a boost of faith as I spoke about how Heavenly Father helps us put into action our desire to share the gospel. The members have the desire and know it is their responsibility, but they put other things as priorities or they let their fears or insecurities get in the way of putting desire into action. I got a quote from the Liahona of July. The talk by Pres. Uchtdorf when he says, how we can’t expect all the blessings Heavenly Father has for us if we only give 50%, and it is silly to say that for now I will only give 50% and when Christ comes again I will give my 100%. I never want to give less than everything I have like I did before the mission. Christ deserves everything I can give and more. Well, I love you all so much. Happy Birthday to Hudson and Harper!!! I will see you before your next birthday!!! woohoo. I love and miss you all soooooo much. Please send more pictures!!
hermana plummer
This cambio I have learned a lot with Hna Ramos. She is great. I don’t know if I will be here for another cambio, but it is definitely possible. The hermanas are always in their second area for a while. My Spanish is good, I think. Always a ton to still learn.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Aug 8, 2011

Leopardi Ward

Leopardi Cultural Hall
Is that Hna Plummer?

Ruben (Whitney's first baptism) with his mom,
Hna Ramos and Hna Plummer

hola familia. happy birthday raelyn! woohoo. amy and brian. i am in the process of writing you a letter, which i will tell you in advance demands pictures. Haha... I know you are busy, but please send some pictures! anyways, as always, the week flew by. we got rejected a lot this. week. it was so sad. I guess i got a taste of what missionaries feel like in other countries. the paraguayos have a fear of "no". so they reject you soflty, but hard rejection is rare. we got a taste of it this week. but it is ok, because our investigator Christian is puréte. he is way excited for his baptism this saturday. we still have a bit to teach him, but he is progressing so much.
there is something really hard about the mission. it is that you love the people. these people are so great. we teach people for the first time and feel a love for them. we worry about them. we want so much that they accept the restored gospel in their lives. what is hard about that? Then they close their hearts. we had a lot of experiences like that this week. mom, you have asked me what is the hardest part about the mission. that would be one of the hardest parts for me. everyday, I am reminded of what a blessing it is to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints. the world is so confused. it is so complicated, but the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is so simple, so amazing. I think back to my life before the mission. how my perspective has changed. how can we not do everything possible to share with others this amazing gift we have been given of knowing the truth? sorry this is short, but I am running out of time. send pictures please! oh I got yours lindsay and nic. so cute! until next week.
hermana whitney plummer

Monday, August 1, 2011

Aug 1, 2011

At the church

Just a typical street.

Map of Leopardi members and investigators.
The star is the church and the hermanas live close by.

hola familia, it is august and i will soon be 22 years old. noooo! I dont want to be 22 yet. dad was saying he wants to be young again, but i am only 21 and want to be young again. haha. well, I learned a lot this week. last night was the first time that someone really laughed at my spanish. how sad. haha. we were starting a lesson with a contact from last week. it was actually way great. we contacted a family on a bench last sunday and they said to pass by next sunday because that is when they both are home. last night we had plans to visit other people, but they all fell through. all our planes de respaldo and everything. so I said a prayer in my head. heavenly father, what do we do now? then came to my mind this family that we contacted last week. Perfect! so we went to their house. the mom was kind of sick, so we shared with the dad and their 2 sons, who laughed at my spanish. ugh. but is was actually such a great lesson. we had hna sosa from the ward, who is so great. she shared her testimony of the restoration and how it has blessed her family. the spirit was so strong. woohoo. we will see what happens. that was one of the highlights of my week. also when Christian accepted a fecha bautismal. (baptismal date) he still has doubts about the book of mormon, but really feels a change in him and feels that this is right. I am so excited. he is progressing so much. he couldnt come to church on sunday because of some family event, which was a huge bummer, but I know if he keeps doing what he is doing, he will know the book of mormon is true.
this week, a returned missionary kind of humbled hna ramos and I. well, practically every time he accompanies us in a cita, I feel like I dont know anything. anyways, he basically told us that a few ways that we learned to teach we shouldn’t use. I was like, I learned that from my trainer, so I thought it was good. ha. he said, it isn’t in predicad mi evangelio, (Preach my Gospel) so really we shouldnt explain it that way. he really made me think. if we just focus on being missionaries of predicad mi evangelio, we will teach clearly, with power and with the spirit. so that is my goal starting this week. nothing more and nothing less than a missionary of predicad mi evangelio. well, I am going to try and send a few pictures real fast. I love and miss you all so much. I know with all my heart that Christ lives and is our Savior. that knowledge is most precious above all things. He made possible that our family can be together forever. anyways, take care. enjoy the heat. right now it is FREEZING.