Another Great Week in the Mission

February 23, 2015

Hello Everyone,

Another great week in Pilar. Transfers are this week but my companion and I are staying put so I´ll be in Pilar for at least another six weeks which is really great. There is still lots of things to do here, neither of us are ready to go yet. So woohoo, but in other news I got the chance to have an interview with my mission president this week which was super great. We usually have interviews every three months, but President Lapierre was passing through town to do some other church interviews and he was able to meet with us also. It was super great, he is truly an inspired man and we had a good conversation about my progress as a missionary and how I can best help the people here in Pilar.

And speaking of people in Pilar, we had some cool experiences with some of our investigators this week. We´ve been meeting with our investigator Catilino alot this week and we were able to teach him the word of wisdom, and it turns out that he drinks alot of coffee. However after talking with him, he told us how that it would be hard for him but he wanted to follow Christ completely. So he handed over his coffee to us and hasn´t had any since. It is super cool to see his faith. He is so awesome. But we also had a second experience with our investigator Antonio this week. We passed by his house on the way to another appointment and he wanted to talk to us for a few minutes. He started telling us how he had a bit of a drinking problem(we hadn´t talked to him at all about this before) but since he´s been meeting with us he hasn´t had the desire to drink at all and he feels different. Then later that same day we ran into his daughter that lives near by and she told us that she´s seen a difference in her father these last several days and wanted us to visit her and her family as well. It was super awesome to see how the spirit can work on people. Pretty cool miracles for the week.

As for everything else, all is going well. The work is moving along, some good days, some difficult days. My companion is super awesome and I´ve learned alot from her how to teach well and love people and she works so hard it´s crazy, but it´s been fun. Oh, and I gave another talk yesturday in church and this time was alot better then the last, a little more time to prepare and a little more spanish under my belt. Oh and I got to handwash my clothes for the first time today, we usually have a member do it for us each week, but this week she couldn´t so my companion taught me today how to do it myself. It was kind of fun, a different experience. But anyway, my spanish has gotten alot better and I can teach alot clearer now which is great. But other than that, I just look forward to another good week here in the mission.

Hermana Marvian

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A Great Week!

February 16, 2015

Greetings Friends and Family,

Greetings from Paraguay once again. So this week has been super awesome. My companion and I have had alot of great experiences this week with our investigators and members. It´s been a crazy busy week, like always, but it´s been pretty great. We had divisions(splits) with our sister training leaders on tuesday. With our training leaders I was able to work with one of the sisters in the morning and then in the afternoon we switched, so we actually had double splits I guess you could say, but it was super great. I learned alot from that experience, and our trainning leaders are awesome.
We also had a great experience with one of our investigators this week. His name is Catilino and we´ve visited him 3 or 4 times teaching him about the gospel and what not. He´s had missionaries visit him before along time ago but he wasn´t that interested at the time. He comes from a strong evangelic background(Everyone here is either Catholic or Evangelic and I do mean everyone, I haven´t met anyone that´s not yet). So anyway, one thing we always try to do is invite people to get baptized right way and so we´ve asked him a couple times actually and he´s been against it. But we visited him on wednesday and started to teach him something totally unrelated, but I guess for the last couple of days he´s been reading more about baptism in the pamphlets we´ve given him and in the Book of Mormon, so out of nowhere he started to ask us a whole bunch of questions. So we asked him again, “Catilino, do you want to be baptized?” “Yes, I think I do” (Or something along those lines). It was super cool. So we´ve been working alot with him and he came to church on Sunday and had a really good experience. So hopefully if all goes well he will be able to be baptized in a couple weeks. It´s super cool also because even though we´ve only been talking to him for a short time, he´s been changing. He´s been happier and just different. That´s my favorite part about missionary work, seeing the changes that come over people.
Besides that, we´ve also been trying to work on helping several inactive members of the church that for some haven´t been to church for a couple of years and it´s been great, not only because we´ve been able to help them, but we´ve also found several of their friends and family to teach at the same time, so it´s been a double win.
Also, we´ve been able to work alot more with our leaders in our branch this week, both in lessons and other ideas and activities for the members here. We have a super great branch presidency here. There are alot of difficulties at times, but they work super hard and are always trying to do what they can for members and nonmembers. I´m grateful for the opportunities I´ve had to work with them.
Overall, this week has been very good. We´ve still had alot of difficulties and set backs as well, but It´s just so cool to see what can happen when we put our trust in God and seek his direction at all times. This work that we are doing is real and can change people´s lives and we can all be apart of it by either helping to share it with others, or first obtaining a witness for ourselves that this gospel is real. Yo se que Dios es nuestro padre celestial y nosotros somos sus hijos y cuando nosotros poner nuestro confianza en Dios y Jesucristo todos los cosas es posible. Jesucristo pude ayudarnos en esta vida y es nuestro Salvador. Y mediante el evangelio de Jesucristo nosotros pude obtener mas felicidad en esta vida.
I love you guys,
Hermana Marvian
P.S I forgot to mention, but I did finally find some monkeys last week in the trees next to the church building. It was super awesome.
P1020007

The Weeks Are Flying By!

February 9, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

How is everybody? I hope all is well back home. As for me things have been going well. We´ve had some really great experiences with our investigators this week. Teaching lots and searching for more people to teach as always. We´ve been trying hard this week to focus on working alot with members. The whole mission´s goal right now is to work with members in every aspect of the work. The members here are great, I believe they have a true desire to help us in anyway they can, but it is difficult for them sometimes. It´s hard sometimes to get members to come out with us because alot of appointments are far away, plus work and other life events that get in the way, but we are trying harder to encourage members to participate more in the work. Another thing my Mission President told me was to try and help the branch be more organized and self-sufficient. In general the missionaries here play a big part in branches. We plan alot of the branch activities, teach the gospel principle´s class every week, and this week me and my companion taught young womens because the young women´s leader was out sick. So we are trying to really create strong members and help the branch especially, along with finding people to teach. But it´s been great.

The highlight of this week was our zone conference which we have once a month. We had it in San Ignacio which was about a two hour bus ride away. Our conference was on friday, but there were no buses going out friday morning so we actually left thursday and stayed in a hotel that night for our conference the next day. There were 18 missionaries there that made up our zone and we had the opportunity to talk alot about how we could be more effective missionaries. One of the things we talked about was the difference between teaching doctrine and teaching application. Many times it is easy to say for example that we don´t drink or smoke, explaining the aplication of the word of wisdom, but not explaining the why. Why don´t we do those things? Why do we go to church on sunday? When people truly understand the why or doctrine behind comandments, they are more likely to except them, understand them, and live them. I thought this was really good advice, and hopefully when I teach, I can focus more on the doctrine, then on application.

Besides that, not much to report. We are having divisions with our trainning leaders tomorrow and I´m super excited for that. I´ll have to tell you all how that goes next week. The only posible problem is that I´m going to have to find all of our appointments by myself since the other sisters won´t know the area, and let me just tell you that I have no gift for direction. Haha, I was really bad at finding things before my mission, but here there is no such thing as addresses, if you´re lucky a steet might have a name, but that´s as far as it goes. Different sections of the city have names, so for instance if we contact someone and ask where they live, they might say “oh I live in barrio san miguel, two streets over, left, and a right, and its the yellow house 2 houses down from the white one” Yep, it´s impossible. Luckily my companion has a divine gift for direction and we can always find everything, but there is no hope for me, but I´ll keep trying….

Until next time,

Hermana Marvian

P.S. I´m sorry that I still haven´t sent pictures. It´s a different problem every week, but I´ll try again next week.

Week #3 in South America (Pilar, Paraguay)

Hello Everybody,

Well, where to start? This week has been full of alot of ups and downs. We´ve been working with alot of great people this week, but we´ve also had to stop teaching several people this week and it´s been pretty sad. But all the ups and downs are just part of missionary work and I have alot of faith in the people here in Pilar.
But anyway, we had a great experience with one of our investigators this week. Her name is Nunilda and we actually met her last week while walking to an appointment. She was walking home with some groceries and we offered to help her out, so we walked and talked with her awhile and ended up teaching her a little bit about the Book of Mormorn and other things. Afterwards we set up a return appoinment with her. However, to make a long story short, we didn´t end up having that second appointment, but we decided to call her a couple of days ago and invite her to church. To our surprise she was super excited and really wanted to go to church, learn more, and meet some of the members(this was a miracle because nobody ever wants to go to church down here) anyway so she ended up coming to church with us and we had another lesson and things are going well, she is so great. She has had some rough times and her relationship at home with her husband isn´t that great right now, but as we´ve been talking with her I´ve just grown to love her so much already. She is really great and I know the gospel can help her. I can´t wait to visit her again.
As for the rest of the week, we´ve been kept really busy with appointments, but also other activities. I don´t know if I mentioned before but me and one of the Elders in our area teach an English church at the church on Thursday nights and that has been pretty fun, it´s a great way to interact more with members, find new people to teach, and help people have fun trying to learn english. Also, every week we have a branch activity with games and a short spiritual thought which is run by the missionaries. It´s usually lots of fun, but this week it started to rain super hard and so after our activity we all ended up stuck at the church for an extra hour to wait for the rain to let up(since most members walk to church and nobody wanted to make the long journey in the rain). Afterwards, my companion and I tried to carefully navigate through the flooded streets to make it home somewhat dry, we didn´t really exceed, but it was kind of fun.
Oh, we also got the chance to do a little service this week! I get super excited about this because we always offer to serve people, and everyone always declines. But we ended up taking an hour to help some kids with some yard work digging up grass and weeds that had overgrown into the street and in return the kids tried to teach me some guarani. There is no hope for me in that area I´m afraid, haha. We also helped another lady gather some firewood and chop it up with a machette knife(which was not an easy task, just so you all know), but it was really great. Plus we got to share a little of the gospel with them and had a return appointment which was great, but it was also just really great to do some service. I´ve also learned an important lesson that it´s very important to try to serve people, but just as important is to learn how to accept service. So next time a missionary, or anyone else asks to help with something, say yes. Anyway, out of time. More happened, but it will have to wait till next week.
Love you all,
Hermana Marvian
P.S I forgot to mention, I´m only allowed to receive two packages a year down here, so if you want to send me something, give it to my mom to send with my two packges(I hope that´s ok with you mom?)