Monday, November 28, 2011

Nov 28, 2011

hola familia, this week was good but nerve-racking at the same time. Before I have never known for sure that my companion was leaving, especially to her house. it has been really weird and frustrating because it makes me think about home. oh well, it will be back to normal with another companion who still has time in the mission. I have learned a lot from hna troesch. always just when I am getting settled in, we change. i always freak out when my companion leaves, but hopefully i will be more stable this time. haha. C was baptized on saturday and P baptized her. his first time. he was way nervous. it all went perfectly. we were so scared that he would have to do it more than once and would feel badly, but all was perfect. afterwards, the bishop said, do you realize what is happening? P is progressing so incredibly. he said not many missionaries get to see one of their own converts baptize someone. I felt so priveleged to see the change that has happened in him, from where he was in his life to now. we were teaching his sister D yesterday, and after we shared the first vision of Joseph Smith we asked him what he felt when he heard it for the first time?  he said that he felt the spirit and that the spirit told him, you have to change. it was so awesome.
so C lives like 2 blocks from our house, so she knows where we live. on saturday she said she would pass by our house to walk together to church for her baptism.  we said about 8 would be fine and she thought it was too late, so we settled on 7:45. on sunday morning, at 7:15 we hear a clap outside. no way, already? sure enough, we hadn't eaten or put on our shoes yet and she was all ready to go. it was so funny. so we had to hurry and eat something and go. she is always very punctual. haha. she was so excited for her baptism and confirmation. she says that before she met us, she would always wake up at night and feel an emptiness and a sadness. she didn't know why, but at the same time, it didn' go away. she says that now she feels happy, peaceful, and she doesn't have those feelings anymore. the gospel really works miracles in our lives. that is one of the biggest testimonies I have gained from my mission.
yesterday in gospel principles class, the spirit reminded me of something really important. the lesson was on sacrifice. there are 3 levels of why we sacrifice. 3. fear of God 2. to receive blessings 1. just because we love the Lord. I realized that I needed to be reminded that the only way to be completely happy and to know my savior is to do the work for nothing more than my desire to serve Him because i love Him. that applies to so many parts of our lives. oh no. I am out of time. I love you all so much. I think of you and pray for you every night. I hope you all had a good thanksgiving!!! send me pictures!!
hermana plummer

The ward asked the missionaries, serving from our ward, to write a letter to the ward.  Here is Whitney's letter to the Foothill Ward.

21 de Nov, 2011
Querido Foothill Ward,
How awesome y’all wanted to include the missionaries in your Christmas celebration.  I am excited to share a few of my thoughts about this time of year.  When my mom told me what I was asked to do, the first thing that came to my mind was something my mom sent to me in the MTC, that was called “Ten Reasons Why a Missionary Christmas is Different.”  If any haven’t read it, I’m sure if you ask my mom she will find it.  After my first Christmas in the mission, I don’t think I could ever go back to celebrating it like I did before.  Christmases before were always filled with presents, planning, traveling, parties, and a whole bunch of other fun stuff.  But when I had the best Christmas ever, that didn’t include all these things, I had my eyes opened in a new light.  There is nothing better than being able to focus completely in Christ during this time of year, when the world fills it with other things.  I am so grateful for my testimony of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and for the change that has occurred in me.  We have a change of heart when we take out distractions and focus on what is most important.  As we put our focus on Christ and as we learn more about the Atonement, the result is that we begin to become a little more like Him.  We can be instruments in His hands to let the light of Christ touch the lives of others, and not just at Christmas time either.  What a blessing to have the restored gospel in our lives to help us feel the power of the Atonement.  Let us share that knowledge with others.  They need it!!  I know that these two Christmases on my mission are so that I will never forget, and even though in the future I will be back living in the midst of it all, I hope to never forget to consecrate this special time of year.  I wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  See y’all next year.
Hermana Plummer

Monday, November 21, 2011

Nov 21, 2011 Happy, Hot days in Paraguay

hola familia, happy thanksgiving!!! thanks mom for my thanksgiving meal, I am excited to finally eat it - mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey jerkey, pumpkin seeds for my pumpkin pie, craisins for cranberries and more!!!! I am so thankful for my family! If there was one thing I could say that I learned on my mission, it would be how incredibly thankful I am to have the family that I have. I love you all so much. they don't have thanksgiving here of course, but I like to celebrate it in my heart anyways. there are so many things to be thankful for in our lives. the list never ends. I love the thing that I am most thankful for I get to talk about all day everyday. and that is the gift from our Heavenly Father of His Son Jesus Christ. I don't even begin to comprehend the magnitude of His gift to us, but I pray that I can feel it a bit more every day. 
this week was pretty good. we had zone conference. it was so awesome!! as we all know, members members members are the way to do missionary work. we watched a video of a group of teenage boys from florida. it started out that a young man was baptized in the church. he didnt want to be the only one, so he decided to share the gospel with a friend. this friend was baptized. then the friend did the same thing. and the next did the same thing. and it was a chain effect. this ward has 24 or so active young men, now thanks to one joven (young) man being brave enough to open his mouth. you should look it up . It is so cool. I know that things would change drastically if the members would just pray sincerely to know who is ready and then follow the spirit and open their mouths. persio is so eager to have someone in his family be baptized. we taught his sister the other day. she has never had much interest in God or going to church, but she sees a big change in him and wants to learn more and to come to church. the only thing is that she has problems with high blood pressure, and couldn't come yesterday and the heat is rough. by the way, persio blessed the sacrament yesterday for the first time. he was way nervous, but was way excited. he is so eager to learn and participate. we thought about inviting him to baptize C, but we are kind of scared because she is quite big, and it is his first time. we don't know how that would work out. I think someone smaller would be good for his first time. haha. C is excited for her baptism this saturday. she has had some doubts, but has gained a testimony through prayer. she had a really special experience the other night while praying to know if the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph Smith was a prophet. I knew that with patience and prayer, she would get her answer. I can't even describe how happy I felt. well, I am out of time. I love you all so much. I hope to hear from you all before the year ends. PLEASE!!! I would really love that. thanks for being my family.
hermana plummer
ps. I will send pictures next week. sorry 
hi mom and dad. I dont have much time, but thanks for your letters. I LOVE them. thanks for telling me about Doug and Kris's farewell. i am sad they are leaving while I am gone and I can't say goodbye, but I would love their address in the mission or mtc to write to them. that will be fun. dad, I can't even tell you how grateful I am for your example in paying tithing. I always paid, and was never hard. I know trials will come in the future, but it is always easier to keep a commandment before the trials come.
 I am going to try something that an elder does, and that is write letters by hand, take pictures of them, and then send them by email. so I will try that and write the letter to the ward today. hope it works. it will be more fun if it is in my handwriting. oh by the way, so you had lunch with hna Little's mom and grandma. how fun!!! I know how much she loves her family.  I'm glad you got to meet her mom and grandma.  Her grandma is probably just like Grandma Giles would be. Wanting to share in this mission experience too. I loved having hna Little as my companion, but it was too short. She was kind of my guardian angel as you put it.  Haha.. to answer your questions, hna T isnt sick, she is just tired. please keep her in your prayers so she can have a super last week of her mission. zone conf was AWESOME. I received so many answers to my prayers and felt like I got what I needed from the Lord. I still don't know who elder cleverly is. sorry. yes I have given away a few skirts, but I received a few too. my main brown one I can't use anymore though because I sat in wet paint and it is stained good with green paint. I thought the seat was dry, I touched it and everything. so I dont have a brown skirt any more, but I am making due with my gray, black and purple ones .the bows are soooo cute. they love them. I am so grateful for your concern for the people of paraguay. well, I love you both so much. I am going to write fast to the family. 
your daughter

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nov 14, 2011

6 months from this Thurs, Nov 17, Dave and I will be hugging our darling Whitney on the front steps of the Paraguay Asuncion Mission Office.  Downhill ... WHEEEEEE....

hola familia.  sorry mom and dad, that you are sick. that makes three of us. on Saturday, we finished an awesome lesson. ahh the woman we taught is so humble and said the prayer to finish. she kept saying how good she felt. so elevated, and happy. she didn't know how to describe it. we left feeling so good and with big smiles on our faces. when we are teaching and stuff, I forget if I am hungry or have to go to the bathroom or anything, but afterwards, I started to feel kind of sick. it didn't get that bad until we were at our last appointment and I really started to feel kind of nauseous. when we got to the house we planned fast, and I went to bed. I kept waking up in the night feeling sick and then finally, yuck I threw up and stuff. I am positive that it was what I ate for lunch. never eating at wimpi again. thankfully I didn't throw up much, but the next day was stake conference and C was planning to go. I woke up and felt way awful, but we went anyways to pick up cesi and then to the church. I had the aches and a fever the whole conference, but it was so awesome. pres and sis callan always come, and they bore their testimonies. I wish you could hear him speak. it is so powerful. I wasn't sure if it was because I was sick or what, but I got the chills and felt tears well up as I listened to him speak. the best part was that cesi was listening to it all. she loved it. also, a seventy always comes. elder allioud of the seventy who is an Uruguayo spoke. it was so awesome. I think it helped C a lot because this week she kind of was a bit startled by a few things a woman said about the church. how everything we say is a lie and that Joseph Smith it our god and a whole bunch of stuff. it isnt like she believed all of it because she still came to church and is reading the book of Mormon, but she was a bit taken aback and had a few more doubts. but she loved the conference, and if anyone had any questions about what we believe, after sitting through that conference, there is no way anyone could say the false things they say. after the conference, we went to the house, and I slept and slept. I planned on leaving after the siesta, but I could hardly get up to eat. well, I didn't really have any appetite, but I knew I needed to eat something. I ate a carrot and a piece of bread. I love buying carrots. it was so ridiculous. I am never sick. ugh. we had to stay  in the whole day. there is no way I could have gone out in the rain. I used my handy thermometer that I brought. I had a temp of 101.4. but I am all good this morning! it is all over thank goodness. 
this week is zone conference. I am really excited. I cant believe that 3 months have already gone by since pres Arnold came and spoke. it seems like just yesterday. probably because we are still trying to put into action everything he told us to change. like for example. he promised us that if we have kneeling prayers at the end of every lesson inviting the head of the household to say it, we would see miracles happen. it reminded me mom of how you said that elder holmgren heard the story of a mission who saw miracles by changing the way they prayed. so, after every lesson, we ask them if we could go inside the house to pray, (since we almost always teach outside since it is so hot inside their houses). it brings the spirit a lot more, and then we leave right after to leave the spirit there with them. well, I have to go. I love you all tons and tons and pray for you all every night. until next week.
hermana plummer
hi mom and dad. thanks for your emails. they helped out a lot. I am doing better this week. although in a few ways hna T is struggling with keeping up the energy these last few weeks, she says that I remind her of herself a while back in her mission. that she stressed herself out so much, that she wasn't enjoying it in its fullest. I know she came here for a reason. I am helping her stay focused and she is helping me be more relaxed. can you or dad send that talk by pres uchtdorf about the forget me nots? it would be good to have on hand. sorry I forgot to answer your questions last week. 
1.yes I still have the oils you sent with me. I use them every once in a while, but I will start using them more regularly.
2.I am in zone 3 district 1
3.we live on (it is right off acceso sur if you look at a map). fun fact, we are living next to and renting from la familia lanzoni. they are very rich and are inactive members. hno L is a big name around here for politics. he is running for something important and his name is everywhere.
4.yes I got my thanksgiving package. I totally forgot to tell you last week. it is so great!! thanks so much. I ate the Halloween candy but everything else is waiting until thanksgiving to eat. I think I will get the Christmas package next week since I got the notice that I have a package that I have to pay for. 
Your daughter

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Nov 7, 2011 Another Baptism and pictures of the new pension. Where is a picture of the watch dog and guard?

New Pension - pictures from last week.

Study Area

Bathroom - looks very nice.  I barely see Whitney's
pink towel hanging in the front of the picture.

Bedroom.. Whitney's pink bedspread and I
see that familiar camera case. Hna Troesch must
be changing her sheets.

hi. sorry , I dont have time to write a second email today. today is a bit rushed. we couldn't leave the house until way late because people came to install air conditioning. it will be way great, but it took a while. I feel like I am kind of in a fluster. this week was a bit hard. isidora was baptized and confirmed. she even bore her testimony at her baptism and then in relief society too. and it was perfect because the topic in relief society and principios del evangelio (Gospel Essentials class) was keeping the sabbath day holy. the hermanas bore their strong testimonies of the blessings of keeping the sabbath day holy. It was so perfect. it is so important to go to church. heavenly father has prepared every week a feast for us. the sister who gave the lesson shared an experience of a time when there was a storm on sunday morning and a lot of people decided not to go. when she and her family were one of the few that went to church the bishop said something like, what if you hadn't come and this was the day that Christ came and you weren't here? I know it isn't tomorrow, but it makes you think.   my testimony and understanding of the sabbath has increased so much. what a blessing. 

cesi is doing great. she came to church on sunday and persio received the aaronic priesthood. he was really excited about that, as well as I. cesi listened to the missionaries actually quite a few times before, but never had any interest. she said she used to tell her nieta (granddaughter) to say that she wasn't home or was sleeping when she was actually just watching TV. haha. but she said it is different now and that she understands and is so much happier learning about the plan of salvation. we got to a lesson the other day and she said, can I say the prayer? I have been practicing. I practiced a ton last night. it was so cute, and I felt so happy for her. I am realizing more and more that the miracles and special experiences don't have to come in big ways to make a difference. ya I hear all sorts of stories about missionaries who baptized a thousand people or had this experience or that experience. I feel badly sometimes that I don't feel that way, but I think it is a lot like that way I think elder bednar described our testimonies - like light filling a room all at once or when the sun begins to rise little by litte until before you know it is full day light. my testimony came a little bit like the sun rising, and my mission is the same way. I try not to think that because I don't have all these incredible experiences or I don't have the spirit or something, but that I need to focus on the little things first. I have so much to learn still. patience. well, I have to wrap it up. oh, funny moment of the week. we were walking to an appointment when we saw a little old lady sitting alone, so we decided to talk to her and see if we could stop by another day. turns out she only speaks guarani and was so excited to have visitors, she wouldnt let go of our hands. I felt badly, but at the same time, she kept talking to us and I had no idea what she was saying. I tried to make conversation with the little guarani that I know, but it lasts for about 5 seconds. ha. but anyways, the funny part was that as I was trying a bit to sneak out my hand, I realized that she was wearing an oakland raiders beanie. it made me laugh. it is funny how they get stuff here fron the US. it reminded me of the time that the brother of the branch president in coronel oviedo was wearing a red atlanta falcons shirt. anyways, I love you all so much. happy birthday lindsay! 
hermana plummer