Greetings again from Pilar, Paraguy (Week #2 in South America)

Greetings again from Pilar,

Hello Everybody, I hope all is going well back home. As for me this past week has been an adventure as I´ve gotten used to life in Paraguy. So two fun stories for the week. Earlier this week we had our first rain storm in the middle of the night, luckily it only lasted the night so we didn´t have to walk in it, but when we woke up we had no running water in the apartment because of the storm, no shower, no sinks, toilets, nothing. Luckily for us it was fixed by the end of the day. Hopefully that won´t happen again. Haha, but it was good. Second on Sunday when we got to church we found out that the speakers didn´t show up so our Branch President wanted me and my companion to each give a 20min talk with 5minutes to prepare. Well all I can say is that I tried to take up as much time as possible with my limited Spanish ability, but my companion definatly had plenty of time to talk after me. But the talk itself went well…I think. As for the work, it´s going ok. Paraguay is very different from back home in the fact that people are super friendly here, everyone is willing to talk to you and hear what you have to say, in fact most people (not all) would be more than happy to let us come back many times and teach. While this sounds great, it´s actually really difficult because it´s very hard to discern when people are truely intrested or not. Most people are receptive to the messages we share, but aren´t willing to act, and in the end action is the most important part. As for the church and the members themselves, they are great, but the work is still developing here and we have been trying to strengthen the branch and help the members grow and become leaders. The Branch President has only been a member for about 2 years and is 23 years old. He is great, but it is hard for him sometimes especially being so young. The branch is small, only about 30-40 people attend church meetings, but there is alot of hope for the people here. The work will continue on.
As for Paraguay as a whole, I thought it would be fun to talk a little about the norms of the country. Like I said people are super friendly here, they also live in pretty humble circumstances compared to the U.S. There are lots of stray dogs everywhere, some want to eat us and others will follow us around everywhere. There are also lots and lots of frogs, huge frogs, and monkeys aparently, but I haven´t seen any yet, so I have yet to believe but my companion swears it´s true. Also, similar to Argentina, they have a siesta in the afternoon where most people go home and rest, or do other things. Because of this, our missionary schedule is a little different, so we usually do our daily studys in the afternoon since nobody wants to talk to us during this time. This is fine with me because it means we don´t have to walk around during the hottest part of the day. Also, there is no such thing as dinner here; people usually just eat a big lunch and that´s it. Because of this we don´t take a dinner break either, we just work through it. I thought this would be hard, but it´s so hot all the time that I´m never hungry anyway. Additionally, almost always when we teach people we teach them outside. When we show up to teach someone, the person or family will pull out several chairs and we will sit outside in the front yard and teach the gospel. I thought this would be weird, but it actually seems pretty natural. It´s interesting how many things here, while very different from back home, seem very natural to me, almost familiar, it´s crazy.
Anyway, that´s all I can think of right now. I´m excited for this week and all the possible people that we might meet. The Lord is truly preparing people to hear about the gospel, it is crazy how things work out. For example, we have taught a particular woman a couple of times and she hasn´t been progressing, we were planning on visiting her one last time before we stopped teaching her. So when we went to visit her, we ended up meeting one of her friends that was visiting. Her name is Maria and she is amazing. We ended up teaching her instead and it was great. She had so many questions, but she was so receptive to everything. I don´t know if it will go anywhere but I´m excited to find out. It´s intersting who the Lord will put in our paths.
Anyway, I don´t have any more time, but I just wanted to say that I´m so grateful for this gospel and for my Savior Jesus Christ. He is our perfect example and when we put our trust in him and have faith in him, then we will see miracles performed in our lives.
I love you guys,
Hermana Marvian

Greetings From Paraguay

Hello Everyone!

Wow, it has been a crazy week, but it´s been an interesting adventure. So my travel to Argentina was an interesting experience. I left the mtc Monday morning and arrived in Posadas, Argentina on Tuesday night. We took our plane from Salt Lake to Georgia, which only ended up being 3 hours, and everthing was going smoothly until we were about to board the plane from Georgia to the capital of Buenos Aires and we found out that one of the Elders in my traveling group left his passport in his carry on bag which we ended up checking instead of taking it on the plane, however with the rush of everything, he forgot to take it out so he didn´t have it to board the plane. Anyways, to make a long story short, I was instructed to take the rest of our goup and leave him behind, so we left him behinded with pretty much nothing. It was really sad but we had no choice, but all is well now, he ended up coming on a different plane later. Secondly, when we arrived in Buenos Aires everyone in the airport ended up having to wait four hours for our bags because something about problems with the rain, I still don´t fully understand. But because of this we were an hour late to our plane to Posadas, but luckily the plane was running really late to so we were still able to get on, what a miracle. However, when we got to Posadas, it turned out that they  lost our lugage, it got left behind at the airport. Luckily they flew it in the next morning with the next flight, but still…it was interesting. So that was my plane adventure.

So after we arrived Tuesday evening we had to stay at the mission home for a couple of days to work on more visa paperwork and take care of other business. So thursday afternoon I was finally assigned to my new mission compainion, her name is Hermana Garcia and she is absolutley amazing. She is a great teacher, has a strong testimony, and trys super hard to serve and help our investigators and me. I coul´t ask for a better companion. She is from Mexico and speaks a little bit of English that she has learned from other companions on the mission. So it´s been interesting with how we try to communicate with each other, its kind of fun. Surpirsingly to me, I can actually understand alot more then I thought I would.

So anyway, my first area is actually in Pilar Paraguay! It is a beautiful place, super green. I´ll try to send pictures next time becuase my camera died earlier this week and I haven´t been able to take many. So my Mission President told me that Pilar is one of if not the hottest spot in the entire mission. So far, I believe him. Haha I´ve never sweated so much, been sunburned so much, and had this many mosquito bites in my life. But it´s all good, part of missionary work. It will pay off. What I do love about Pilar is the people. They are so kind and so humble. I love them already and I don´t even know them very well yet. Most of them live in very humble circumstances, but they try to do their best.

It´s been super diffuclt to understand the people however. The accent is very hard to understand. Plus spanish isn´t the only main language here. Most of the people also speak alot of guarani which is a tribal language unique to Paraguay. Half the time I´m not sure if they are speaking spanish or guarani. During lessons I usually can understand my companion when we teach but when an investigator says something, I´m totaly lost. It´s super difficult but I have learned something this week. Even though that it´s hard to speak spanish, the language of the spirit is universal. Even if all I can do is share my testimony and the truths that I know and allow the spirit to testify to people´s hearts, that´s all that matters. Most of the time when people look back at their experiences they remember more of what they felt then what was said. Things have been hard, it´s been hard being in a different culture, dealing with new circumstances, talking to random strangers every day, and learning the language. However, I have faith that God will help me do his work. We will always have difficult circumstances in this life, but when we put God first and trust in him, that´s when we make it possible for him to help us.

I love all of you guys,

Hermana Marvian

Last Week at MTC

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Hey Everyone!

So good news, my visa came in. I’m super excited it’s truly a miracle that it went through; I’m so glad everything worked out. That being said, it’s going to be a long flight. I leave around 6am Monday morning for the Salt Lake airport, then I’ll take a 6 hour plane ride to Atlanta Georgia, followed by an 12 hour flight to the capital of Buenos Aries in Argentina, followed by another 2 hour flight to my mission in Posadas. It’s going to be a long trip, but it will be lots of fun. I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but all 7 of us in my district are going to  Argentina, but different missions(which is actually kind if rare) and so we will all get to travel together to at least the Buenos Aries airport, before going our separate ways, which is really nice. I’m so excited!
Anyway, but besides that not much to report. The Spanish is going decent, my companion and I finished up teaching the best investigator ever this week, and besides that I’ve just been getting everything ready for my departure. Sorry I don’t have much to write this week, its hard to remember everything that’s happened, its all gone by so quick. Haha, but I’m sure that I will have a lot to talk about next week. I can’t wait to tell everyone how everything is.
Also, thanks for those of you who have been writing me, you guys are awesome. I know that myself, and all the other missionaries love to hear from the people back home. I hope all is great and that everyone is enjoying the new year.
Adios,
Hermana Marvian

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Pictures:
1) This is most of our zone, we got another district with four more elders and three more sister but I don’t have a picture with them yet.
2) Super random picture, but Sister Jones’s mother always sends all of us super cool stuff. Here are some missionary Twinkies, haha super cute…Anyway, I thought it was cool.

Happy New Year! (week 4 at MTC)

Hey Everybody,

Happy New Year! It’s 2015! I can’t believe it. This year has been crazy, and I’m sure this year will be even crazier:) Anyway, this week has been really great. Thanks for all of the Christmas wishes and support that you guys have been giving me. I love all of you guys. It’s crazy, I’ve only got 12 more days at the MTC and I can’t believe it. I still don’t know if I’ll be going to Argentina on time, but we shall see.
So on Christmas day we were able here from Russel M. Nelson of the quorum of the twelve apostles and it was so great, he was such an awesome speaker. He spoke a lot about some of the key principles that we teach as missionaries and it was super cool hearing an apostle share doctrine and his testimony with us. Also, on Sunday David Archuleta came to the MTC and talked about his mission experiences in Chile and sung several songs for us, it was amazing. He is such a great singer. I think that’s what I’m going to miss the most about the MTC, all the great speakers and also the great missionaries I’ve been able to work with.
Besides that this week has been pretty normal, same old same old. It’s absolutely freezing outside, but I love it. I’ve had way too much fun playing in the snow with my district. Also,this week is the last week I get to teach some of the investigators I’ve been working with, and it’s sad to have to say goodbye. It’s amazing how much can be said even when my Spanish is hard to understand. Haha, but this week we also got to teach someone from Mexico through Skype and it was awesome. Except it’s ten times harder to teach through technology, instead of in-person, so hopefully she understood us ok:) I’m sure it was good…
Lastly, this week we had another talk about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the power it has to change us. This was especially good, since the new year is finally hear. None of us are perfect, and we all have weaknesses and make mistakes, but as we trust in God, through Christ we can change our lives for the better. I really liked this. I have so many things that I’d like to do better, as we all do. But it’s comforting to know that we don’t have to do it alone. We are never alone. This year is going to be great! I can’t wait for everything to come, both the good and the bad because I know that throughout it all we can grow and learn from our experiences. I love all of you guys so much and hope that you are all doing well. Make good choices:)
Love ya,
Hermana Marvian OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA