Monday, December 26, 2011

Dec 26, 2011 Feliz Navidad

Canete Famila, Silvia, Whitney and Hna Jones
Feliz Navidad

"The River Crossing"

I received two pictures of Whitney this week, but not from Whitney. See attached.  The Canete familia and Silvia from Leopardi, Whitney's last area, came to visit her in Nemby for Christmas and looks like a Christmas stocking in her hand.  How sweet was that and then sent me the picture on facebook.  I thanked Silvia for taking such good care of Hna Plummer.  She said We Love Her!!!  Mama Canete loved Whitney as a daughter. The other picture I got from Hna Troesch, on FB, her last companion that has gone home.  Another "River Crossing..."  We were able to skype with Whitney on Christmas Day.  Mom, dad and Mike at the house.  Amy and Raelyn joined us for a few moments but her phone died, then we got Nicole's family connected.  So fun..  When we had 3 people on skype the pictures froze a few times but it was wonderful to see and hear her. Whitney bore her testimony in Spanish at the end, and of course we all cried.  Grateful for the technology of skype.

hola familia, last night was so awesome! I loved seeing your faces and hearing your voices. the skype wasn't perfect but none the less was so great. too bad your call dropped amy. but i was so happy to hear your voice and raelyn too. All the kids are all grown up.  for the rest, i love you too. hope you had a great Christmas! i miss you all. next time we talk will be only a few days before I'm released from my mission. can you believe it? but thank goodness I still have time to learn more and experience more of the mission in Paraguay. Christmas was really different here. mostly because it has been blazing hot. more thank 40 degrees celsius. haku! we were teaching persio with his mom, and seriously, I sweat more just sitting there than i did when i played tennis in the heat in georgia. but then it rained, which brings a bit of a cool off.  Thank goodness. 
Christmas eve we ate with a familia B in the ward (by the way mom she solicited your friendship on facebook but said that you haven't accepted.) it was funny because they all wait until midnight to eat, but we couldn't, so they prepared the food early and just sat and watched us eat. well we talked of course, but it was kinda funny. also, they set off a ton of fireworks. more on Christmas than on new years. I also took pictures of their nativities. they make them out of leaves and put fruit in them. i think I might have already said that last week. oh well. today we had a district activity and talked about Christmas in the mission. we all agreed that being here at this time has caused such an increase in our love and appreciation for the Savior. it is all centered around Him. i remembered the part in the Book of Mormon when samuel the lamanite prophesy's about the coming of Christ and the sign of his birth when there will be no night for 2 days. the sun will go down, but it will still be light. i thought about how this sign of his birth was so perfect because he is the light of the world. He came to bring light and hope to mankind. cool huh. 
we are working with a few really great people right now. they all have different needs, but at the same time so similar. they all need to feel the love heavenly Father has for them. V was going to be baptized this next Saturday, but worked all week and we didn't get to teach him last week. it was a huge bummer. he feels really happy learning about the gospel and wants to feel more of it, but he really needs your prayers. he has a few challenges that make it hard for him to really grasp what it is all about. as missionaries it is so important to teach according to the needs of each person individually. that is why preach my gospel is so inspired. i don't know what we would do without it. but he is so great and has such a pure heart. i can really see that in him. 
each week we have a sweet experience to visit an abuelita (grandma) antonia. she is a member but doesn't come to church because she can't walk and a few other things. we visit her every Wednesday. we took her some food from the end of the year dinner of the ward and read from luke 2 and sang Christmas songs with her on Christmas eve. everytime I visit her i feel the love Heavenly Father has for every one of his children. reminds me of the talk by Pres Uchtdorf from the conference called "You are not Forgotten." she sometimes feels forgotten, but i feel so blessed to be the Lords hands to help His children remember that they are not forgotten, and that He always knows what we need and where we are. that is one of the greatest testimonies that i have gained, that Heavenly Father knows each and every one of his children, because when they thought they were lost from his sight, he sent us to tell them that He is there. time and time again I see that. well, I have to go. I love you all so much! feliz navidad!!!!
hermana plummer

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dec 19, 2011

Whitney gets to skype on Christmas Day from the church!!!  Such a blessing we don't have to talk over the noise of a cyber and we know it will work..  The Lord knows this mamma needs to see her beautiful face.

hola familia, I am so excited!! i can’t believe Christmas is in a week. Mom, we took pictures of the decorations you sent us, set up in the house. i will try and remember to send them. it made me so happy and we are always listening to Christmas music. in the lessons, we almost always sing to start them out. I think we have sung every Christmas song in the hymnal a million times. but I don't even care.  Christmas here is different, but I like how it isn't quite so commercialized like it is in the US. almost everyone has a manger scene somewhere in their house or yard. they are a bit different than in the us. I will have to take a picture to send. they put fruit up too or something. right now is the season of a lot of fruits like mango. thar are mango trees everywhere. and I mean everywhere. it is always funny when someone says, oh I live by a big mango tree. wow. thanks for describing all of the houses in paraguay. there are a lot of different types too. they don't even sell them in the stores because they are so abundant naturally here. 
this week was a learning experience.
on another note. V is doing great. he is going good for his baptism on the 31st. we are trying to be more creative in teaching him because he has a very short attention span. so on Saturday we used an example of repentance, baptism and the holy ghost. we have a dirty cup. and repentance and baptism is how we clean the cup. it is all sparkling clean, but the way to complete it is to fill it up with clean water, which is the holy ghost. the holy ghost is what fills us up after being cleansed, or to say it sanctifies us. I am so grateful for the gift of the holy ghost to be our consolador and to guide us in our lives as we strive to endure to the end. I still have a lot to learn, but I am learning the role of the spirit in all aspects of our lives, and how important it is to follow the spirit. on Tuesday we were walking past a park on the way to an appointment. I felt an impression to contact a house but said no, but we need to visit E.  when we got to E, she wasn't even there. so I said. we have to go back to that house. when we went back to the house, the woman at first said she couldn't because she had to leave, but when I insisted just a little bit more, she suddenly began to tell us how this week was the anniversary of the death of her son and that it wasn't even one month since her husband died and that her brother and sister had both died this year too. she then invited us in. she told us about her son and her husband as tears streamed down her face. we listened and then shared with her about how through the plan of salvation she can be with them again. tears welled up in my eyes as I could see the pain she feels but a relief to hear that she can have a renewed hope. it was a really special experience. I don't know if she will be baptized, i hope so. we will see what happens, but I know heavenly father uses us to answer the prayers of his children, and I have to be obedient to the spirit to be His hands. well, I have to go. I will see you all on Sunday I hope and 1 pm your time. I am sure mom will fill you all in. I love you all so much. and am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ who came into this world to save us. solely for his pure love for Father in Heaven and for us. 
hermana plummer

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dec 12, 2011

hola familia, I missed you all a whole lot this week. hna J has been a bit homesick. when she cried, I suddenly started crying missing my family. but I know it will get better for her. it is a big shock when you get here. for some it sets in a bit after and for others right away. certain things remind her of her family. so I try and do my best to cheer her up. she is trying really hard to stay focused though. i admire her is so many ways. I never knew what a blessing it would be to train. yes it has its challenges, but I am learning a ton. it is awesome. she has such an energy and desire to do the work. so refreshing. I want to keep the energy all the way to the finish. by the way. my truncky papers came today. it was sad. but I wasn’t the only one.
recenly we are teaching a few new people. i almost cried when an investigator who we have been working with for quite a while said she just can’t believe that there could be a living prophet and that she didn’t want to investigate anymore. it was a bummer. we were really close. I know that mas A will accept. But was really hard though. you just get so attached to these people. but we are recently teaching a new investigator V. he is really great and wants to learn more about christ. it is a bit different teaching him because he was born with a bit of a mental impediment and has lived on the street for the past 20 years. I don’t know the whole story,  but has a heart very pure and a desire to learn. his mom is a member super faithful, and he recently moved in with her after a long time. he has 38 years or so. he is such a blessing. just came to church with her and says he wants to be baptized. so he has a date for the 31st. I pray he keeps progressing! his mom is so funny. she is so excited he wants to be baptized. she has been hoping and praying for another member of her family to join the church ever since she got baptized about 8 years ago. she is so humble, is such an example of one that doesn’t have to be super educated to understand the doctrine. some think that you have to have a tons of estudios to undertand and live the gospel. but she is an example of loving the restored gospel and understanding and living the doctrine is something that everyone can do. it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from.
as I said, I am learning a ton from hna J. i love working with her, and we are working really hard. haha. I was worried that my new companion would walk slow, but she walks fast, so it is all good. jk. (just kidding)
the stockings of Christ and Thanks are so great mom. I realize more and more that when we are mindful of these things, Christ like acts, blessings, miracles, things we are gratful for; we are happier. attitude of gratitude as pres monson says and grandpa giles. i testify of that. I am so grateful for my mission and for the opportunity to serve the Lord in Paraguay. I missed you all a lot this week. I think more than usual. but I get to talk on christmas! I love you all so much!!!!
hermana plummer

hi mom and dad, thanks for your letters. mom, I found out that we can't use computers of the members, so we have to use a cyber. since navidad is on a sunday, we can do it on the 24th, the 25th by phone, or the 26th. I will try and find a cyber that has skype. and I guess you all are 4hrs behind us here. oh ya I forgot to say that I did see elder alphin (Jonesboro Ward.) I know his trainer. we said hi, but it was all a bit rushed and I was focused on hna J. yes we have started writing in our stockings. it is great!! helps us always to remember our blessings. I will be sure to tell hna J to tell her mom about missionary moms. she is really missing her family. a lot. it was great to hear about the ward christmas party. I look forward to my notes! I expect lots of pictures of everyone home for christmas. I can’t believe it is Christmas. oh, and thanks for all the christmas stuff. I am saving all the temple holders and stuff to hand out as christmas gifts. they will love it! well, I love you both so much. soooo much. thanks for everything you do.
your daughter

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dec 5, 2011 Christmas has arrived

Trainers and Trainee or Greenies
plus our GA friend Elder Allpin!!!

hola familia, how are y'all? I miss you! in less than a month I get to talk to you all on the phone. I hope I can get skype to work here. woohoo. well, i have a new companion. hermana jones fron ohio and arrived in paraguay on tuesday. I am training her. ahhhh. she is way great. so ready and excited to work and share the gospel. very outgoing. I can tell she misses her family and is a bit overwhelmed not understanding anything, but we are going to have such a good time this change. I am a bit freaked out about the responsibility that entails training a new missionary, but I know that it will be a humbling and a learning experience. it is a bit weird to go from a companion who finished her mission to one that is just beginning, but it is a good change. her first day, it rained, and of course there are rivers in the streets here. I felt so badly, but welcome to paraguay. thankfully is hasn't been that hot this week. every wednesday we visit an abuelita (granny) that lives in not the best living conditions. that was her first appointment. I thought well, if she can survive this, she will be good. haha. I thought back to my first month or so and how I felt. I don't even remember. a whole year ago practically. I just had a permenant confused look for about 2 months.
this week, one or our investigators found out she has throat cancer. we visited her on wednesday and taught about the plan of salvation with her and her marido (husband.) please keep them in your prayers. she really needs it. she has a ton of faith, but it is still really hard. we had such a weird lesson yesterday. we are teaching a joven (youth) that is so awesome. she really wants to know if the church is true. we had a great lesson with her and left her with the commitment to read in the book or mormon and pray to know if it is true. yesterday we went to visit her again. she said that night after reading in the book of mormon and praying, she had a dream......  I sat there thinking. how astute is satan. I thought. nooo. she is so great, and really wants to know the truth. she still says she will pray and come to church. it is very part of the culture here to believe a lot in mary. always interesting experiences. a woman yesterday told us that she had read a book about our church and that she knows we are false. immediately came to my mind the talk by elder callister in the last conference when he told of a story of a joven (youth) in canada whose friend told her that she had researched the church and knew it isn't true. the girl asked, have you read the book or mormon? the other said, no. and she said, then you haven't researched my church because I have read every page of the Book of Mormon, and I know it is true. that came to my mind, but I just said gracia chao. the spirit isn't there if we contend with anyone. I am so gratful for my testimony of the book of mormon. I have read it and prayed asking if it is true, and I know it is true. I would never deny it. I know it and I know it will help anyone through anything in their lives if they read it with real intent. I love you all so much. thanks for being my family!
hermana plummer

hi mom and dad. wow. I remember the east winds when I was really young. was there any damage to our house? how was the blessing? I thought you are doing better? yes? no? I pray for you both every day.
yes I got both of my christmas packages. thanks sooooo much! we are going to decorate today. I am so excited!!! I will for sure take pictures. I think I can fix my brown shoes here. if not, I will see if I need new shoes. I don't think so. Will you please pray and put all those names on the temple prayer roll?   anyways I love you both so much. thanks for being the best parents!
your daughter