Monday, January 30, 2012

Jan 30, 2012

Baptism for V
Ward supporting baptism
Recent convert C and her grandchildren
Caught in a rain downpour

hi mom and dad and family, thanks for your emails. I am glad you had a nice sabbath. I wish I could say my sabbath was super great, but this week was challenging. I always feel such a relief after church, but we just really struggled finding anyone to teach this week. we had a few let downs with investigators we were so sure were golden. these past few weeks have been a challenge, but perhaps heavenly father is trying to teach me to be more grateful. we are trying to help each other be more positive and point out the small miracles to not get discouraged. that is an important lesson. we read again the talk from the conference “It is better to look up.”  it is a great reminder to not feel heavy laden, but to look up with hope and faith in God. Dad you asked me if there are things that remind me of my childhood. I actually have a lot of songs I listen to on my ipod that do just that. remind me of the days when you would put church music on the intercom on sunday mornings. like consider the lilies and a few others. they are special songs to me. mom, i was thinking last week, and I feel like it is best to not talk about after the mission. it is better for me to trust that the spirit will lead you to find the right place at byu. kate said it all. she knows alot more than me about that kind of stuff. haha. I can just imagine her saying it all. everything sounds great. thanks also for the package you sent. I am way excited. I still have on my night stand the card you made from last valentines day. but i think i lost a few letters.  i shower every night and every morning. there is no way i could sleep without showering. I think for that reason our water bill was a bit high. oops.
well, like I said, this week was a bit rough, but we managed to have some great lessons. we are teaching a woman who has the cutest little baby. her baby has been really sick. in and out of the hospital for the past 3 months and only has nine months. the little baby is doing alot better, so she is in her house more, so we can teach her more. she always says how she feels such an alivio when we teach her, so relaxed. she has been going through a lot lately, and the restored gospel of jesus christ is like a breath of fresh air when we are feeling burdened. we don’t have a bunch of people right now, but that is only temporary. but yes, mom, it would be so great if you could say some prayers for salvador aquino. he is really discouraged about a few things in his personal life that impede him from being baptized. he is reading a bunch in the book of mormon, but has doubts and difficulites that are hard to find. he is a huge iceberg. the surface is only the beginning.
one thing we have been trying to do this week is even when we are walking back to the house hungry and without many lessons, we each have to say 5 or 10 blessing that we received that day. it really makes a difference in how we finish the day and start the next. being here in paraguay will make any one of us realize just how blessed we are. we meet new people every day, each with a different story. i feel so blessed to be able to bring to them just what will give them the hope they so desperately need. many times they don’t quite realize, because of a few factors, that what we have is what they need, but nonetheless, we have it and have to share it.
I am sending a few pictures. one is of us with cesi and her grandkids, the baptism of vicente, and us after we got caught in the rain. totally soaked. by the way, I am not sure how, but all the members keep saying, oh we were looking at pictures of you on facebook. pictures that I never sent. hna bracho is funny. I lent her my camara for something, and next thing I know, they are all looking at my pictures with the elders of the ward when they ate lunch with them. haha. my mission is an open book now. enjoy. they moved to another barrio, and we miss them a lot. well, I have to go. time up. love you all sooooo much.
hermana plummer

Monday, January 23, 2012

District in Nemby

hola familia, hope you all are doing well. I think I sweated my body weight this week, but other than that things are good. V was baptized and confirmed this weekend! before the baptism hna jones and I were way stressed because they were supposed to be there at 6:30 and didn't get there until 7:30, but it all turned out well and was super spiritual. hna jones and I sang I like to look for rainbows from the primary. V is so funny. you have no idea. he and his mom are so funny together. every time we teach them, we try not to laugh so much. he was really excited, and the hno that baptized him gave him a white shirt and tie too. it was really nice of him. a miracle of this week was S. remember S that was an investigator of hna little and me and then we saw her again, but could never find her in her house. then the other day we saw her again, and she said that she wants to prepare to be baptized. we are pretty excited about her. she is so great. 
we had interviews with pres callan on wednesday. he told me that I can stop worrying so much because I can know that my mission president is happy with what I am doing. that kind of made me feel more tranquila. sometimes I just need to take a breath and remember that heavenly father knows we aren’t perfect and that he doesn’t expect us to be perfect. something that I kind of realized this week is that sometimes it is hard to forgive ourselves because we look at our mistakes through our eyes, through the eyes of someone who isn’t perfect and who doesn’t quite have mastered the pure love of Christ, charity. for that reason, we don’t quite understand how it is that Christ, with his pure love and infinite patience, can forgive us and forget what we did wrong. to be able to apply more fully the atonement in our lives, we need to develop more charity, more of the pure love of Christ for others and also for ourselves. how do we do it? not easily. moroni says that we have to pray with all the energy of our hearts to obtain it. this was something very special that the spirit taught me, but that I feel that others need too. we all are in progress of learning how the atonement works to cleanse us. 
we went to the hogar de niños again this week. a bunch really wanted to come to church, but their leader person said that they can’t come. we were a bit bummed out, but we plan to visit once a week. it is really fun. definitely one of the highlights of my week. the next time I will take some pìctures. I have pictures to send, but we had to use a different cyber this week, and I can’t do it here. we took a picture last night of us soaked from head to toe. sure enough, right as we were walking home at night, it started to rain, harder and harder. we ran home, but still were completely soaked. but it was refreshing. well, I am out of time.  I love you and miss you all so much. mike, I am still waiting for my letter that you started in august. hint. 
hermana plummer

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jan 16, 2012

hola familia, firstly, I have to wish my niece a happy late birthday. Happy Birthday Leilani!!! I always remember birthdays right after leaving the cyber and have to wait until the next week. david and lindsay, please give her a big hug and kiss from aunt whitney. well, I hope you all are doing well, this week we got a bit of a break from the heat because it rained. and I mean it rained. we left the house, and it began to pour. I always have the greatest stories of how fun missions are in paraguay. we were trying to avoid the river in the street by climbing some hill. then the zone leaders called. so I was trying to talk to them and climb this hill, and then I saw a bus coming, so I was trying to back up to avoid the wave of water that would hit me if I didnt get out of the way. but as I tried to back up, I realized that the bus driver was laughing as he pulled closer and closer to where we were. yup to intentionally splash us. but the best part was that because of all this, ya I fell in the mud. I am sure everyone in the collectivo (bus) had a kick out of that. it was pretty funny. I was so muddy, but hna jones used her water to clean off all the mud. I was basically wet all day long. great fun. on another note, we found 3 families this week! I was pretty excited. we are praying every day to find a family that is prepared to be baptized. i know we will find one. or maybe we already found them.
please pray for V this week. he attended a baptismal service of the elders on saturday and is excited for his baptism this saturday. he and his mom have been going through some rough stuff lately, but I know that they can get through it all. we found out that he was married before, but that his wife had died. his mom has talked to him about the temples, and he has a strong desire to be able to go so he can be sealed to her for eternity.
yesterday we had a super awesome experience. a few weeks ago a woman told us about a home for children. it isn't an orphanage, but where they take in children who i guess for whatever reason need a home. so yesterday we went. turns out there are about 15 boys who live there, and there are señoras who take turns managing things. so we came, and they were all really excited to participate. there are a few that are special needs too, and as they were so loving and welcoming to us, I felt how brian must feel so privileged to be around them every day. they have such pure hearts. there was one who doesn't really talk, but just ran up to us and gave us the biggest hug, and i was just so happy. turns out also that 2 of the boys are members. I don't know what happened in their lives to bring them to this home, but they were so excited to get a book of mormon. most of them don't know how to read, but we mostly talked about Christ and his love for them and a bit about the book of mormon. it was the highlight of my week. I feel the love heavenly father has for his children, and I can't even describe what a privilege it is to be in his hands, to dedicate this time to nothing but that. to bring his children to the truth and to his love. well, that is all for today. my two stories for the week. I love and miss you all tons and tons.
hermana plummer

Monday, January 9, 2012

District 1 Zone 3 Nemby with investigator
Hna P and convert

District Christmas Activity

Jan 9,  2012

hola familia, how are you?  I kind of realized last week that I didn’t even wish you a happy new year in my email. I really can’t believe it is 2012 already. it seems like just yesterday I graduated from high school, but that was almost 4 years ago, and here I am in parguay. 4 years ago I never thought this was in the plans for me, but will be eternally grateful to my Heavenly Father for making it part of His plans for me. who knows what 2012 will bring for our family. so many posibilities. I hope you all passed the new year well. at this time of year, everyone is always making goals and new years resolutions I guess. I was never one to do much of that only because I knew that I wouldn’t stick to it. ha. just being realistic. but i guess since the mission is all about setting goals, that will change from now on. i actually have a desire to do it and to stick to it. for me right now, my goals are focused on what I am doing here, but is something very important to carry with me the rest of my life. and that goal is being in tune with the spirit. I was reading the general conference issue of the liahona yesterday about teaching according to the spirit by elder richardson, I think. it talks about how we shouldn’t try to teach by winging it and saying we are going through the spirit. But having the spirit is so vitally important in missionary work. it says in doctrine and covenants that if we don’t have the spirit we don’t teach. I can’t do anything if I don't have the spirit. but he, of course applies this to the family too. parents teaching their children etc.. it is so awesome. recently I have really realized how I have changed in that I don’t have any desire to do anything that could offend the spirit because I realize how desperately I need Him. I still need to have a goal more concrete, but that is a focus I have for the rest of my mission and to carry it into life after also.
a miracle that happened this week was on tuesday. an old investigator, C, that was so great had to leave her house because of family problems. I thought I would never see her again. but as we were leaving our district meeting on tuesday, she showed up at the church and said that she had returned home and wants to be baptized. what a miracle. she has really been throught alot. and I mean a lot. she has such a sincere desire to change her life and follow Christ. i am so excited for her. she has a few challenges in her path, but I know with faith and prayer she will be able to overcome them. also, S is reading a ton in the book of mormon. he is such a testimony of how the book of mormon changes our hearts. he sends us texts of the scriptures that he likes the most and came to church yesterday. he got there before us. I love the book of mormon so much and really is the key to everything.
on another note. we found the biggest scorpion under my bed the other day. but I handled it with calmness. after having to kill so many bugs, it doesn’t even phase me. Ummm, that is a lie, but it is less than before. (Mom and dad remember hearing a scream from Whitney's bedroom, while living in Georgia.  A scorpion had fallen into her bed from the ceiling.  Sounds like she handled this scorpion a bit better.) well, I have to go. i love you all so much. pray that we don’t scare people away with how dirty and sweaty we are every day. that would be great.
hermana plummer

que los cumplas feliz      Happy Birthday to you
que los cumplas feliz      Happy Birthday to you
en tu dia dichoso            in your day happy       (Google translate doesn't always work)
que los cumplas feliz      Happy Birthday to you

hi mom and dad, MOM I can't believe I didn't wish you a happy birthday last monday. when we were in the store afterwards I realized that your birthday was going to already have passed by, by today. sorry, but I want you to know how much I love you and that I thought of you cumpliendo años (fulfilling years) on your birthday.
dad, we had the same lesson in relief society on sunday. it was way great. so true!
sounds like all should be well with my ecclesiastical endorsement since I deferred properly my scholarship. right? 

1.   no I don’t have a guarani name tag, but i want to buy one before I leave.
2.   sorry I havent sent pictures, I was receiving so many!! woo. but looks like hna bracho sent some to you. haha
3.   tell hna lozano that I say hi too.
4.   the name of the single lady and her children are...... and.......... thanks bunches for putting them on the temple prayer roll and for praying for them.

5.  I bought a measuring tape to get my measurements for the bridesmaid dress, but forgot to get measurements.  I'll make sure I do it for next week.
love you so much. please pray that I can stay focused until the end and love love love the next 4 and a half months.
your daughter

Monday, January 2, 2012

Jan 2, 2012 Feliz Año Nuevo

Feliz Navidad in Nemby

Christmas Dinner

hola familia, thanks nic for the pictures of your visit. they are loading right now so I can see them. I love seeing your faces. pictures are the best! more please!! well, I am thinking of what to tell you all from the happenings of this week. I get confused if i have already told certain things in my emails or if I only wrote them in my journal. sorry if there are repetitions. well, it is official that anyone here who asks my first name just looks at me weird after I say it. we were looking for a former investigator and knocked a door of a family, who let us in. we came in with plans to teach them of course, but they had other plans. the minute we sit down they just start talking and talking and bringing out pan dulce and leche (pan dulce is i guess sweet bread that they typically eat at christmas and new years.) they all love it, but i am not sure why. the bread is fine, but it has these dried fruits in it. kind of awful. hna jones cannot eat it. I tried to stop from laughing as she tried to hide that she was putting it in her backpack while the señora was trying to teach her guarani. we did our best to leave, but basically we walked away laughing. the people of paraguay are so generous. jaja. 
we worked really hard this week. hna jones and I have been working on teaching with more unity this week. i love it. we did a special fast on tuesday to help us have more faith and meet the new goals president callan has set for this new year and also to help us have more unity and have the spirit more when we teach and stuff. we are beginning to receive answers to our prayers, and I am so grateful. we also have been teaching alot of children. I feel like they teach me more than we teach them. they have such pure hearts. we are teaching a señora antonia. she is hard to find, but we are teaching her 3 kids that have 8,9, and 11 años. the son with 11 years said that he knows that the church is true because right after we left the other day, he went and prayed and felt the spirit whisper to him. I don't know how to describe what he said, but it was so precious. there is nothing more precious than hearing children pray. 
I have a few pictures to send, but I don't have my camera right now. we have another stream that we have to cross, and every time it is another experience. other missions just aren't quite as fun as paraguay. we all get here at first, we freak out a bit with all the bugs and dirt, but after a while, it is just normal. always something interesting. well, I have to get going. oh mom and dad, an elder told me that the eclesiastical endorsement for byu is due this month or something? I think you might have to get on that stuff coming pretty soon. could you look into that? well I love you all so much. I truly know and feel that this is the Lords work and that His hand is in it every moment we let Him. what a blessing to be here. I have to live it up! love you all so much!
hermana plummer
hi mom and dad, to answer your questions,
1. How do the Paraguayos celebrate New Years?
they set off a lot of fireworks and everyone goes to the interior to visit family. not too different than in the usa.
2. Do you change church schedules? 
we didn't change ward times, we just changed the schedule to sacrament first.  this year starts at 8 30.
3. yes, for Margaret's bridesmaid dress I will try and find some way to know my measurements. my jeans fit fine. maybe I can weigh myself in the store to get an idea. tell her I felt badly I couldn't talk to her on skype, but that I sent 2 letters. ask her if she got them? I will send another soon!  (Whitney was skyping with us and her best friend Margaret, whom she'll be a bridesmaid in Hawaii this summer, tried to beep in.  Whitney felt horrible but was following the rules.)
4.Who are your zone leaders and district leaders?
my zone leaders are elder boydston from idaho I think and elder ponce from honduras. district leader elder avendaño from mexico I think
5. The Canete familia came to visit on Christmas? 
yes hna cañete, david, vera, and silivia came on Christmas right before I called you. it was such a sweet gesture.
6. Your hair is so long.  
yes my hair is way long. hna ramos cut it once but I need it again. 
also mom, I didn't tell you last week how much I appreciated your gifts for the members and the Christmas stuff. it was so amazing.
hna p