Monday, October 27, 2014

Hermana Indiana Jones!! Ha!

This mission really is the greatest thing ever!  I love everything about it and I love that I get to feel like "Hermana Indiana Jones" everyday!! Haha!!  ;)

WE HAD A BAPTISM THIS WEEK :)  Here in Paraguay, there is this beautiful family, Familia Ziya... They are like the Callaways of Paraguay #relatedtoeveryone Haha!!  Moises is 8 years old and (although he looks pretty shy in the picture) he was beaming! :)  His immediate family and grandma are all members of the church but the rest of his family are not... yet :)  Everyday we have passed by their house, there's been a different relative there - and just about every single one of them want to continue with the lessons and prepare to be baptized... especially the kids!!  They are amazing!  They all jump at the opprotunity to offer a prayer, to give us high-fives or hugs, to answer a question... they beam with enthusiasm and a love for this gospel and it really is super inspiring!! :)

We have another baptism coming up... and we just, LITERALLY JUST got a phone call from another member... and his wife is ready and wants to be baptized!!!  AAAHHHHH! :D

The baptism coming up on the 8th is for Hermano Francisco Coronil.  He is awesome!!  He is a little man, 50 years or so, from Argentina, now living in Paraguay.  When we first started teaching him, he was very interested, but lacked that real faith.  He also has a very tight knit relationship with his church (a local Christian Church), he even plays in a band with the youth.  As we continued teaching and checking up on him we found that he was soaring through the Book of Mormon... in 2 WEEKS he made it all the way from 1 Nephi to Alma 34!  This is HUGE, really!  If there's one thing that I have learned in my short time here, it's that the Book of Mormon REALLY changes peoples lives (coupled with prayer... and church attendance tambien)!  He had attended Sacrament Meeting for the last 3 weeks, but he never made it to any of the other meeting because he wanted to go to his other church too.  So maybe 5 days ago, yeah 5 days ago, I felt like we need to reread Alma 32, (Where Alma compares the word unto a seed that needs to be planted and nourished, and grows into a tree of which the fruit of eternal life is picked.  And challenges the people to experiment upon his words, and exercise a particle of faith), so we did.  And after we all read it together, we talked with Francisco more about the concept of experimenting and exercising his faith...  This desire to learn the truth for yourself.  I shared with him that if he really wanted to know if all this was true, he would have to"experiment" with 100% intent... meaning to try it out and go all in!... continue doing everything he is all ready doing but also attend ALL 3 hours. and cosas asi. ANYWHOOO, Sunday came around and Francisco came too!  For all three hours!!  And when we visited him last night - WOW! (is the only word that comes to mind)!  He is SO ready!  We taught some and talked some and the excitement and desire in his eyes was amazing and inspiring!!  It is so different, he really knows that this is TRUE.  He can feel it - and we can feel that he feels it!!  When we asked him if he had thought about a date, his response made me choke-up...  He said "Soon, very soon!  But, can we wait 2 weeks or so, because I need to go and buy a white shirt, tie, trousers, and shoes... I don't own anything of the sort right now."

So, Hermana Curi and I are going to gift that to him... We told Fransisco that all he had to do was come prepared with that contagious smile of his.... I am SO excited!! :D

The church is true you guys, the church is so true :) Live it! 

I love you all so much!

Hermana Fardos!

PS.  Here's a few photos!!

Fun Zone activities & Watermelon Jack-O-Lanterns!! :D

Monday, October 20, 2014

Isla Bogado!!


Como andan?  TODO BIEN?? I sure hope so!! :) Everything here is AMAZING!
I didn't share much about my area last week, so, I'll do that today :)  I am in Isla Bogado, a barrio on the outside of Luque.  Our area is nothing but dirt and cobblestone and foliage and houses.  Its an adventure everyday walking through little man-made shortcuts through the "Jungle" and crawling under barbed wire fences and walking through pastures of horses.... ITS PERFECT!  And Yes... its HOT, Haha!  But I like to think that the heat is just The Spirit... as the hymn says " the Spirit of God like a fire is burning" and Oh Man, it's burning in Paraguay all right!  Haha!!

Hermana Curi and I could not be better!  She is so special and this companionship was so inspired!  She has taught me so much!

This week I had a big learning experience, I have always loved to love people... I mean after all, whats not to love about people?!  But this week, I was overwhelmed with what I believe was a closer love to that of Jesus Christ and the love He has for us.  We met with Leti, she is a less-active member.  She is one of our best friends here in Isla Bogado!  She's a tough cookie with a STRONG personality and a little filter :)  But she is the best!!  We met with her the other day, just to check up on her and share a message on the 10 commandments - and as soon as we got to one commandment in particular, she broke down.  She let us in to a certain part of her life that we wouldnt have gotten to know any other way.  As she was speaking to us, my heart just broke and I had so much that I wanted to say to her, so much that I wanted to do for her.  I would literally do anything to help lift the burden and pain that she feels - because she is amazing and deserves nothing but the best!  We had a really special testimony share at the end of the lesson and we gifted her a picture of the temple (to remind her what this life is all about and why we are here).  We are going back to visit today and I cant wait to see her!!

And this love for the people, this undescribable love. This desire to lift burdens and share the truth has been burning like a forrest fire this week!  We are loving the people and working super hard over here!  This week alone we found 18 new investigators who have all accepted the invitation to be baptized!  So this following week we have a lot more work to do to conitnue preparing these beautiful people...  and I could not be more excited!!

I love you all!  Keep on being awesome!  And special shout out to my boy Tan Man!!!  I got so many emails and pictures about your big day bud!!  Congratulations!  Holding the priesthood is such a special blessing!  You are amazing and an amazing example of choosing the right!!!

Oh yeah!! I ate chicken heart.. that was kind of cool and really yummy actually. :)

I havent been robbed or chased by dogs or caught any life threatning disease, Haha, The Lord protect's His missionaries!!  I am extremely grateful.  I love you guys!

Hermana Fardos!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hola!! From a Real Life Missionary Serving in Paraguay!!


Hola everyone!  So, as I was sitting here on this computer...  it shut down and I lost a solid hour... So, this letter is me trying to literally 'make up for lost time!'  I apologize if it's short, just know it's written with LOTS OF LOVE :) !!!  Also, there has been so much that has happened over the last 10 days - I have to apologize if I'm scattered or forget to include something!

The mission field is SOOOO AMAZING!  I love it so much here!  I have an amazing companion, Hermana Curi!  She is so tiny... my feet and hands are twice as big as hers and I am twice as tall!  Haha  But despite her small size, she has a HUGE testimony and love for people.  She has taught me so much and we are continually becoming more and more in sync, its so cool!!

We might have a baptism in a week!  His name is F and he is amazing!  He lived in Argentina for a really long time and now lives in Paraguay, so he loves it when the Argentine accent slips out every now and then. Haha!  Our last lesson was on the Plan of Salvation and, Whoa, was that special!  Hermana Curi and I both got to share some very special experiences, the Spirit was so strong.  It was such a testimony builder that the Spirit really is the one teaching.  Those words that we shared were not our own, they were of the Spirit.

On Sunday, I got to go up and bare my testimony in Spanish... that was pretty intimidating Ha!, but it was great!

We also have a girl named B (pictured below), she is 14... She is considered inactive, but I object to that :) Haha!  She has taught with us a few times and she came to church with her family last Sunday.  She is so special and has such and amazing and sweet testimony of the truth :)

Paraguay is so beautiful, but, BOY, IS IT HOT!!!  I don't think I've ever sweat as much as I have this last week! Haha!!  But it's awesome!

CONFERENCE!  Wow!!  Was conference amazing or was it amazing!?!  I'm convinced that everyone should serve a mission because watching conference as a missionary really makes you realize just how inspired the messages are!!  I have never craved the words of the prophets so much, nor have I ever taken so many notes!!... I literally went through a whole pen!.... And it was a new pen!!..... (I dont know if that's a testament of how much I wrote or how poor the quality of my pen is) haha but WOW!.  The way Elder Bednar described the love and intentions behind missionary work was amazing!!  The way Elder Uchtdorf made us really evauate ourselves with the question "Lord is it I" rather that look to cast judgement and make assumptions of other people.  I loved the saying "walking where the lord walked is not nearly as important as walking AS the lord walked"!!

What a blessing it is to be here in Paraguay!  What a blessing it is to be a member of this church!  What a blessing it is to be a child of God!

I love you all!  And I am sorry this letter isn't longer.  But I love you!!!

Keep making good choices and always remeber what we are striving for... To live with our Heavenly Father again and to bring as many people as we can with us!!


Hermana Fardos

PS... My new 'cousin' Elder Turley, is emailing right next to me!! Our Mom's share a cousin, Travis Staker,... that's way cool, right!?!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hello PARAGUAY!! Now the Adventure Really Begins!!

The week was Lauren's travel week from the CCM (Mission Training Center) in Buenos Aires, Argentina to Asuncion, Paraguay!!  So all communication this week was intermittent and focused on entering the mission field!  In Paraguay, Lauren's PDay (Preparation Day when she sends her weekly updates) will be on Mondays.

Monday, Oct 6, 2014

Well... at 4 oclock in the morning, tomorrow morning... I will be headed out to Paraguay!! WOAHHH!!! There's no one else going to my mission this week, so I am a lone wolf, but hey thats cool  Next time you hear from me, I will have a new companion, new home, and new stories to share!! Here we go :) 

Love you guys!
Hermana Fardos

Tuesday, Oct 7, 2014

Hello Familia!!! 

I am alive and well!  My companion is awesome and the President and his wife are AMAZING!!!

Love you lots:)
Until next week
Hermana Fardos

Wednesday, Oct 8, 2014

Dear Family of Sister Fardos:

We are so happy that your daughter has joined us here in the Paraguay Asuncion North mission.  We know that as she commits to work hard and be obedient to mission rules, and continues to study and seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost, she will have a great experience on her mission.  She will grow to love the people, she will be willing to pass through difficulties, and she will come to know and love her Savior in a more profound way than she has ever known.

During her first day here, we were able to give her some training on staying healthy, finances, mail, etc. She was interviewed and met her trainer, Hermana Curi from Peru, who was specially chosen for her.  She has proven herself to be a wonderful and hard-working missionary and we expect that they will have a great experience learning from each other.  We hope you will enjoy these pictures that we are attaching.

Thank you for raising such a fine young woman who is so willing to serve her Father in Heaven and be a blessing to the people here and to her fellow missionaries.  We truly pray for them every day and are committed to working diligently to help them in whatever they need to be happy and successful.

May the Lord bless you and your daughter for the sacrifices, the faith, and the love that you are extending to the people here.  Thank you for all of your support.

With much love,
President and Sister McMullin

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Last Letter From Buenos Aires, Argentina!! Next Time, From Paraguay!!


Well, here goes the very last email I will send from the CCM in Argentina..... This Tuesday I will be en EL CAMPOOOO!!  I don't know how to feel exactly, there's so many crazy emotions!

We had our last day proselyting and that was super special.  We were in a more affluent area - not near as humble as our last area, and we were in a big plaza that went on for blocks and blocks and blocks!  It was hard at times because the people just wanted to talk about their similar beliefs, they didn't want to consider anything we had to offer. They were all nice conversations... but we were struggling to really find someone that was ready for our message.  So Hermana Perez and I stopped and prayed, and right after we said our prayer there was a lady sitting on a bench... literally 5 paces from us... SO we went over and started talking to her and Holy Cow!  SHE was there for a reason! :D  We got to talk to her and really connect, I could feel such a strong love for her as she shared with us her beliefs and especially her struggles.  As we began to talk with her, seeing that spark in her eyes as we told her about the love her Father in Heaven had for her and how He always will be there for her - it just made my day.  She wanted our message, she wanted the Book of Mormon!  It was such a blessing to have met her!  She is one that I would love to be updated on while in Paraguay, because if she continues faithfully, despite the opposition she will face in her life, she will continue to feel the Lord's love so strongly.  We asked her if she had an email so we could stay in contact, but she doesn't... so she will just forever be in my heart and in my prayers. I love her.

We had some really hilarious experiences while proselyting too, for example...

There was a guy delivering pizzas and what not to houses.  He was on a motorcycle and while we were walking (Hermana Perez and I made a goal to talk to EVERYONE haha!)  so, I said something like "That's a gift for me right?" just joking around, trying to make people smile. :)  About 10 minutes later that guy on the motorcycle comes over, pulls up, and tells me that he can't give me a pizza, but he could give me a kiss. WHAAAAAT?!  UMMM yeah,  So i told him 'no thank you'... He seemed a little disappointed by the 'no' haha!  But I told him I could give him a picture of Jesus instead. :)  So that was funny!

And then later, when we had maybe 2 minutes left for proselyting, we were walking back to our meeting point and this car of four guys pulls over.  The one driving started talking to me asking 'Where i had come from, What I was doing in Argentina, and Why he had never seen me before?' haha!  He kept saying I was an angel, it was hilarious!  When I told him I was from California, here to serve a mission for my Heavenly Father - he responded in broken english "I dont speak English good... but for you, I can manage because you are so beautiful, you are an angel.  I am not clean or ready right now, but can I go shower and buy you ice cream and we can eat together?" hahahahahhaha!!  I couldn't help it, I busted up laughing, I told him 'no thank you and that we had to go catch our bus'.  We should have given him a picture of Jesus too (with the website on the back), but Hermana Perez and I spaced - the hard core, dramatic flirting was hilarious and we were laughing too hard!  It was a silly little experience, but it was a fun note to end on because other than our special experience the gal on the bench, this day of proselyting was a hard one.

I can't wait to get out into the field, I know it will be so amazing. Full of challenges, miracles, blessing, and love.  I promise you guys right now, that I will be as obedient a missionary as I can be.  With my time here at the CCM, I have come to realize that obedience brings blessings, and exact obedience brings miracles.  So that is what I am going to strive to do.  The people of Paraguay deserve to know about this gospel :) They deserve to have it in their lives :)

Only 4 days till the field and I could not be more excited, nervous, freaked out, and happy!

Sorry this message is short today and there aren't any pictures. I will have more next week from PARAGUAY!!

Hermana Fardos