Monday, November 24, 2014

Another Semana Here in Paraguay!


This keyboard I am using is broken and I can't use exclammation marks or insert smiley faces.... Please know that this is killing me! Haha!!  I hope that you guys can feel all of the smiley faces and exclamation marks while reading.  Here we go!..insert smiley face here... :)
WE HAD BAPTISMSSSSSSS!  Antonella, who is eight years old... and her sister Jacquelin, who is ten years old.  It was probably the most beatiful service of my LIFE!!  Antonella y Jacquelin, while they might be young in age, are so mature in their understanding of the gospel... They have such strong testimonies that radiate in their presence (and even more so in their smiles!).  Their Mom's family is all members (just about)... and their Mom has the desire to join the fellowship and be baptized.  Their Dad is Catholic, but because of the influence and example of his sweet princesses, he too has the desire to come to know this ´something more´! 

The baptism service was so special, their Mom and Dad both came and SOOOO MUCH family - all non members or members becoming active again... we ran out of seats!!  And it was standing room only because their were so many people The Bishop came and he shared a beautiful testimony, speaking so directly to the girl's parents, with such a love for them, it was so special to be there for it!!  Hermana Curi and I also prepared a special hymn... I had never heard it before my mission... it's a primary song and the lyrics are so lovely.  I am going to try and bring them next week to share with you guys, it really is so lovely!!

Antonella y Jacquelin's parents aren't married, but their Mom has told us ´si o si voy a casarme en la iglesia de los mormones´and that ´si o si voy a irme a la capilla Domingo´ (Yes, I'll get married in the Mormon church, and yes, I'll go to church on Sunday)... And would't you know, come Sunday, BOTH of the parents came to church for ALL THREE HOURSSSSS!!.... CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!  I know, its crazy Happy, right?!  Their Mom now wants to take the lessons for herself, and their Dad wants to listen in!...  So, this week we have to focus BIG on Antonella y Jacquelin's Mom, to teach her and help her develop a testimony for herself and begin to teach their Dad too!  So that he might come to know that which has made his family so happy!! I am so excited for this family!!...SMILEY FACEEEE :)
Other than that, I just want to give a huge WELCOME BACK TO TJJJJJ!!  Woah, I can't believe you're home all ready!!...  Give the family a big hug for me and know that I am SO grateful for the example you have set for all of us You are the definition of 'work your hardest and return with honor'!!

The weather is HOT, with some rain on and off...  The collectives (buses) get crazier and crazier and my companion and I have been getting closer and closer...  It's such a special thing to be here in Paraguay.  We had interviews with President McMullin this week and it was so cool to get to meet with him and talk about the work of the Lord here in Isla Bogado.  This really is a part of the Lord's vineyard and I can't believe that I get to be here to help the work!... Wow what a blessing it is!!

Well guys, I dont have much more to report... but I just want you to know that this gospel is so true There is not a doubt in my mind.   I have prayed, I have read the scriptures, and I have sought to seek the truth for myself and I have found it.  For those of you who haven't had the chance to accecpt the invitation of Christ and ´come and see´...  I would love to encourage you to do it. Come... and see... experiment on these words and the sweet message of Christ.

I love you all so much!
Sending all my love from Paraguay!!
Hermana Fardos

Monday, November 17, 2014

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, for Tomorrow We May Die!... What?! It Could Happen!! Haha!!

Welp... Hmmm, I don't quite know where to start with this email...  From the outside looking in, you might say  everything that could go wrong this week - DID!  It's kind of hilarious looking back at it all.

First, let's start with Hermana Curi, poor thing... First she started with what seemed like really bothersome allergies... an ichy nose, eyes, and crazy congestion. So I gave her some allegra and we went out to work.  By the second day, it was so much worse... like her eyes were yellow, her body ached, she felt like her bones were breaking, and she had a few patches of skin that had almost hive like bumps.  So, we called up the Elders so she could get a blessing. By lunch, we had called Hermana McMullin (our Mission President's wife) and had been instructed to stay in the house and give it a few days.  So, that's exactly what we did... We stayed in our home for three days and then made and emergency trip to Asuncion so that Hermana Curi could get medical attention.  Thankfully all is well now, the Doctor diagnosed her with sinusithis and has her on a HUGE list of medication!  She still has crazy bad congestion and itchiness in both her nose and eyes, but she is improving. 

We also went to go pick up our laundry about 2 days ago and on our way to go get it... the sky opened up and decided to POURRRRR!!  Haha!  It was great!  The only thing we were missing was the shampoo!!  If we had only thought to put shampoo in our hair before we left, we would have found new ways of multi-tasking like never before! :)

Hermana Curi's medication was making her dizzy and she fell and scraped her legs up pretty good - So we took care of her right then and there. 

I had this thing called "pike"...  and, yeah, that was fun...  Its basically this bug that crawls into your skin and lays eggs.... AKA more pike in my foot.  Just So Awesomeeeee!!  Our DueƱa helped take it out... and that was, well,... it was slightly, Okay no, it was really painful!  And it left this lovely hole in my foot.  No worries, no worries Mom!   All is well now and my foot is all good to go, but that was my fun moment this week. 

Oh, and don't let me forget... We almost died on the collective!... The bus swerved off the road, slammed on the brakes and drifted for a bit...  Yeah, that was cool too!!  Haha!! 

It's safe to say that we are now super tight with our zone leaders - we were on the phone with them almost 3 times daily this last week.  So, we called them today just for cheers because it was weird to all of a sudden not be on the phone with them!!  Haha.  They are great and we are super grateful for how much they cared to make sure Hermana Curi was making improvements.

While this week may sound like a terrible one; Honestly, it was one of the BEST weeks I have had on my mission so far.  Hermana Curi and I were able to read the scriptures SO MUCH, pray SO MUCH, study SO MUCH. It invited such a special Spirit and we learned SO MUCH!  Not only did we grow spiritually, but we grew as a companionship.  When we both were in times of need, physically, mentally, spiritually, whatever it was...  We learned how to help each other.  We got to know each other really well :)  We have reached a new level of friendship.  It's been a really special growth this week.  When something went wrong, when we slipped, when something broke, when a lunch was cancelled, when nothing was going right... we were able to laugh :)  We were able to continue and we were able to grow!  When the other was discouraged, we were able to figure out how we could help the other.  Blessings, even when things seem like they couldn't be worse!

We also have 2 baptisms this week!  Antonella (8 years old) and Jacquelin (10 years old)!  I can't wait to send you guys pictures of these two girls :)   They are so special!  And their smiles are amazing!

Until next week! xoxo
Hermana Fardos

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Baptism was Beautiful!!


Well well well... WE HAD A BAPTISM :) IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!  Hermano Fransisco was glowing, I get all teary eyed just thinking about it.  He came in those doors just radiating with the Spirit and the smile on his face was that of pure joy!.... I dont think I've ever seen a smile so big, so happy, so pure :) 

I got to speak at his baptism and Hermana Curi and I prepared a rendition of Come Thou Fount... in Spanish of course.  We could hardly sing through our tears. 

My first lesson taught in Paraguay was with Fransisco, and the change that has taken place has been so amazing.  He has gone from a curiousness to TRUE faith. :)  He has gone from praying to just pray, to pouring his heart out unto the Lord yearning to know if these things are true.  He has gone from just reading the Book of Mormon to reading with a fire inside to learn more!  There was no doubt in our minds as to whether or not this man was ready to be baptized. 

And fast forward to his baptismal day, as he walks in, dressed in his new suit and tie, ready to commit his life to his Heavenly Father and walk the path that has been shown us.

The blessing he recieved in Sacrament Meeting, after being confirmed, was THE MOST BEAUTIFUL blessing I have witnessed...  I could barely hear it, but I could completely feel it.  This man is special... This man has a beautiful plan and purpose here.  I feel so privaleged to know him!  We are now working to help prepare him for the temple, so the 3 of us can go and perform baptisms for his family! :)  Can you believe that?!   I know, me neither.

There's something about the mission, I just can't get "the white" out of my head... All I see are these investigators in white and all I want is to see them in the font, but more than that - I want to see them in the temple! :)  Because yes, baptism is important... but baptism is only the door.  The temple is our main goal because salvation is what we are shooting for!  :)  It's not about numbers, it's about souls, THESE beautiful souls! :)

This was the highlight of the week... I know the rest of the week was great too, I just can't think of anything other than how amazing Fransisco's journey is!  This is what missionary work is all bout! :)

The Lord wasn't kidding when he said how great our joy could be if we can bring JUST ONE soul unto Christ (Yes, this includes ourselves :) and that if we should bring many souls unto Christ how much greater shall be our joy :)  The gospel is for everyone and because we are so blessed to have it in our lives - we need to share it with others because there is no other path, no other name given by which salvation can come!  It is only through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I want to extend a challenge to you all this week... I promise I'll do it too ;)  Your challenge is to share the gospel with someone - anyone.  You dont have to deliver a big grand lesson out of Preach My Gospel... Just take confidence in bringing up the gospel conversation! :)  The gospel relates to every single thing on this Earth, because every single thing we have has been given to us from a loving Heavenly Father.  Share your feelings, :) Share your thoughts, :) Share the joy that comes through Christ! :)

I love you all so very much:)

Mom - I got your packages.... I'm going to try not to cry, but Wow!  You are so sweet and Hermana Curi has a letter coming your way along with mine! :) You are so special :) I love you!

Abu - A card is coming for you too! :) 

And shout out to Tan Man for rocking those braces!  I don't think I've ever seen someone look so good in braces before! 

Keep on being awesome! :)

Hermana Fardos

Monday, November 3, 2014

Still Learning, But Ready for the Best Day in the Mission!!

Welp, one more week is done... How freaky is that?!  Time really does fly out here!

This week was a crazy!  We hit EVERY EXTREME - every extreme in weather, every extreme in emotion, and every extreme in food!  Haha!  This week was awesome :) !!

To start, this week it rained... A LOT.   And when it rains, IT POURS!  It's crazy to think that the sky can really hold that much water!  Our duena has an empty pool (we walk by it everyday and usually it's so hot it taunts me) and after one rainstorm her pool was practically full.... No exaggeration!  And one more thing.... when it rains.... THERE ARE FROGS EVERYWHERE AND THEY ARE HUGE.  (Yes Mom like a Biblical plague, and Dad, Nick, and Nat... bigger than any frog you have EVER seen) seriously crazy! 

The lightnings storms were like a firework show, I loved it.  However... not so much the fact that when there is really dangerous lightning storms, you lose all water and power.... for a long time, I might add!  Haha!  But all is well!  The lack of water or electricity won't stop the progress of the Lord and His gospel, so it wont stop us either! 

Oh and you know how there's that joke/warning we've laughed about "If you reach up in the shower youll shock yourself because of the water heater" thing... yeah, that happened too. Haha!  Just this morning!  I still feel it a little bit in my finger.  It's a super weird feeling!!

But, with every rain cloud comes a silver lining!  When Hermana Curi and I were caught in the middle of a rain storm, Noelia, a girl in our ward took us inside her house... She gave us pedicures and manicures!  And we got to teach her parents and her friend!!  Just perfect!

The work is great!  WE HAVE A BAPTISM THIS WEEK :) and we are preparing 3 more for the 20th :) and having dinner tonight with Hermana L to get her details for her baptizm all squared away!  WOOOWWWW!   There really is nothing that makes you as happy as seeing the light in these people eyes as we talk about baptism, as we talk about Christ, and as they learn and come to know the truths of these things for themselves!  These people are BEAUTIFUL, the gospel is BEAUTIFUL, and the way Heavenly Father loves his children... Well, it's more than beautiful and there really are no words to describe it... it's THAT special!! :)

This week I learned a lot.... a lot about myself, a lot about my Savior, and a lot about companionship.  I have learned that I still have a lot of learning to do, everyday is a learning experience and everday is a humbling experience.  The Lord really does show you your weaknesses in the mission, but the beautful thing about that is that he doesnt just leave you after he shows you were you need to work... He is always there.. ALWAYS ready to help you, to help you grow stronger in His gospel, to help you work on those weaknesses that they might become your strengths.  I am learning this more and more everyday that I am here.

Hermana Curi and I have learned a lot together as well, we have learned to talk about everything, to always try to laugh off those hard moments, to always accept each others help, and to always help eachother and all those we see.  We start each day with "ARE YOU READY FOR THE BEST DAY IN THE MISSION?!" and we end each day with "WOW, TODAY WAS THE BEST DAY OF THE MISSION!"  Haha!  It might sound silly, but it really is so true.  Everyday is the best day if you let it be, Every day is the best day when you strive to recongnize the Lords hand throughout the day!  And after you have had the BEST day, you can take confidence in that tomorrow will be an even better day -  as you continually strive to recognize the Lords hand in your life.   We have had some hard days and some reallllyyyy sad, heart breaking days... but at the end of everyday, I testify, we know that it really was the best day ever.

Keep on keeping on you lovley people:) I love you guys like crazy!

I know that times are hard and that we feel alone much of the time... but what joy there is in the gospel!  We know that we are NEVER alone!  Christ has been there, Christ has taken upon himself the very things that we are struggling with - our pains, sicknesses, worries, our sin and guilt.  He is here to carry us through the hard times and walk with us through the good times.  His arm is always extended to us, day in and day out... If we only reach for his hand, He will take hold of ours and we will never have to walk alone because Christ loves us forever! 

Much love from Paraguay:)

Hermana Fardos