Monday, August 31, 2015

Still Serving the People of Paraguay!! Living it, Loving it!!

This week was crazy... 

We lost power in almost all of Paraguay, I got way sick again, we have the most amazing investigator and Hna Ashby and I are just loving it here!... We are growing a lot together :) !!!

So let’s get to the details... yeah, we have been with out power and without water... but, I’ve done that before, so it doesn’t feel like such a big deal.  

However, my 102 degree fever really knocked me out for a few days.  I totally thought I was all over being sick last week... I thought I could power through it, but, I think my body needed a day of just rest.  We just kept working, working, and working some more, so anxious to find anyone and everyone we can teach out here, my body never caught up.  So one day, we went out to work and my bones began to ache and I couldn’t think, walk, I seriously couldn’t even stand... nothing!  My body just gave out... I’m definitely ready to feel good again!!

I’m confident that from this point on, we’ll be A-OKAY!  And we are back out working as hard as we can again.  We have some amazing investigators and today I want to tell you about M!!

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned him before, but he speaks strait up, 100%, Guarani. He is amazing!  We have had every lesson with our Ward Mission Leader and a bunch of other member families and it has been really special seeing him progress in the gospel... I know he is going to get baptized and yesterday in our lesson with him... I saw him, so clearly, with a white shirt and plaque (missionary name tag)... He will be an amazing missionary when he chooses to serve!! :)

But I’m getting ahead of myself... M has changed so much!  He has always worked on Sundays, so church attendance was hard for him and he was hesitant to accept a baptismal date.  But, we just continued teaching, praying, fasting and working with him... praying that he could accept and embrace the gospel and prepare to be baptized.  Hna Ashby and I picked a date to work toward, September 26th.

Three weeks ago, we taught him about the dia de reposo (Sabbath Day) and asked him what he could do to better keep it holy like we have been commanded?  His response was so genius... He said that he would have to change his work schedule... that he would have to come home every Sunday so that he could make it to church and partake of the sacrament!

So, that very week, he walked up to his boss and told him that he needs to be home on Sundays and that he is going to leave on Saturday night to make it back in time!! :)  What a huge step for this 19 year-old young man to say in front of his Patron!  Wow, talk about faith!

Also, we invited him to pray about his baptismal date, that he might also receive his personal witness and confirmation that he should be baptized (and we suggested on the 26th of September).  And you know what? He prayed. He prayed a lot.  And two weeks ago he told us "Hermanas, I’ve been praying and I’ve got an answer... I know I need to be baptized."  WHEENNNNN? we asked him, and he told us that he felt he should be baptized on September 19th instead :)!! YES!!  A whole week early!  The questions M asks are so inspired, and the studying he does during the week on his own time, just shows how serious he is about this step!  We are so excited for the 19 to arrive!  He is so ready!! :)

That night we went home and we gratefully got on our knees and promised the Lord that we would do everything in our power to help him be prepared and ready for this special day and we asked the Lord for His help in doing that! :)

I love being a missionary!  This work is amazing and so special!  I know that this gospel is real and makes us happy when we choose to apply it and live according to its principles!!  I know that our Heavenly Father lives and loves us. I know that Jesus Christ lives and I know that opposition is essential and crucial for our progression towards perfection and exaltation.

Our Heavenly Father is perfect and DOES NOT make mistakes!! :)

Have a great week!!!

Until next Monday!

Hermana Fardos

Monday, August 24, 2015

Yes, We Did Carry Those Huge Watermelons Home... And Yes, It Was Raining!!

Hermana Ashby, my new companion is great!  She’s got a stand out personality and we are really enjoying our time together.  This is one truly happy companionship and we are working SO HARD!  Covering a lot of ground and making sure that every ear has heard the message of Jesus Christ and the restoration. We sleep really good at night #exhausted!!

I’ll tell you a little bit about my week, but I’ll just start with the highlights, and get to some of the details after... So, we had Zone Conference and interviews with President.  We had a very fun PDay today playing soccer all day, piki volley, eating big-ol-salads and ice cream (and you know how much I love my salads and ice cream!! ;) Ha!!)!  We bought watermelons -- they were HUGEEE!!... (but I don’t think we fully considered the fact that we would have to walk home with them)!!  So, yes, we carried them home... and yes, it rained all the way home... naturally!! :D Haha!! 

In spite of the whacky rain, it’s getting hotter and I got sunburned... and in spite of the warmer temperatures, I got so sick that I lost my voice... yeah I couldn’t talk at all!  it was no bueno!!  We also had divisions with the hermana leaders, and our investigators are starting to show fruits... o sea, they are progressing!! :D!  So I would say YES!!  That definitely makes it a good week!!

My new comp really is lovely! She is about as tall as I am, beautiful blue eyes, outgoing, funny, and has such a sweet testimony. She is so my speed and we really enjoy teaching the lessons together!  We have been feeling the Spirit very present here these last two weeks!!  Such a gift!! :)

As I mentioned, I did get SO very sick this week. I am getting over it now... but, wow, it got me good.  I could not talk at all, I am still struggling to get words out... but at least it’s sounding more like words and not just sounds and squeaks and what not. It actually really strengthened my testimony about prayer though... that is for sure.

I could not talk, I really couldn’t, and every time I tried I went into a coughing attack... So I found myself praying repeatedly throughout the day that in all of our lessons, I could speak; that I could say the things that He would have me say and that I could continue with my missionary calling.  And you know what, in every lesson we had... I managed to talk. It really wasn’t pretty. but the words came out and the Spirit was there and it wasn’t interrupted with fits of coughing – and that’s what matters. And after every lesson my voice left again, and I went into those coughing attacks.  It really is amazing how the Lord will sustain us all, so that we can fulfill our duties and tasks! :) I know that our Heavenly Father hears our prayers and that he answers them too!! :)

I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and is always there with us. :) He hasn’t ever forgotten about us and will never forget about us! One of the greatest witnesses of that is the Book of Mormon. Christ the Lord, lived and ministered to God’s children in the Middle East, He performed miracles and served in that place on the Earth as detailed in the Bible... BUT our Heavenly Father is PERFECT and He does not make mistakes! :) And when his only begotten Son, having been perfect, crucified, and resurrected, He sent Christ to visit His other children, my very own ancestors, here, in the Americas!!  What a wonderful feeling it is to know that Christ the Lord came to this land, our land, to teach our family... to teach us!! :)  Christ taught here, just like he did in Jerusalem, he blessed, healed, comforted, as well.  He ordained men unto the various offices of His Church and He showed us the marks on His hands, feet and on His sides showing us the prophecies of the prophets had been fulfill and that He loves us.... SO MUCH!! :) The Book of Mormon talks of all of this, and does it better than I can. What a special gift it is to have the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ, and have the knowledge of Christ coming to the Americas!! :) I know that He loves us and I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  I pray that we may all take the time to open it and learn for ourselves of its divinity!! :)

I love you all!
Hermana Fardos

John 15.13

D&C 6. 37

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A New Companion and A New Appreciation for the Sabbath!!


First thing... HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMA! You are amazing and my biggest example... I admire you in so many ways!  Thank you for your patience, your charity, and your good attitude towards everything.  If I turn into the mom that says things like ´be sweet and cheerful´ ‘make it fun for everyone’ or ´lets do it to it´...  I will be totally happy with that! :)

Okay, soooo this week brought changes! Yes, some stayed and some moved on to new places. Hna Anazco finished her training and she is off to MORONI... she will now be serving right in Asuncion, in the same neighborhood as the temple!! :) Our companionship wrapped up on such a lovely note.  She is one special girl!  I can’t wait to hear about all of the great things she will be doing there in Moroni!

As for me, I am staying right here in Pedro Juan. The Lord decided to give me another six weeks here, and I am extremely grateful!  I love it here!!  And we are finding beautiful families who are ready to hear the message of the restored gospel!! :) It’s just so awesome to be on the Lords errand!

My new companion is... HERMANA  ASHBY from Mesa Arizona!!  She is a doll!!  She is the youngest of 8 and studied at UVU before the mission. Her eyes are so BLUUUEEEEE!  Her personality, so FUN!  And her work ethic, so AWESOME!  She has one month in the mission, so we are going to finish out her training here and keep on working with these amazing investigators and set out to find new ones and enjoy everything while we are doing it!!  She is spectacular!

She is even willing to go out running with me 3 times a week! OH YEAHHHH!! Haha!!

Now, on the spiritual side of things... Wow! It has been a great week to learn about los dias domingos... about keeping the Sabbath day holy. We could talk forever about the Sabbath day because it’s such a special day. 

This week, we met with a hermana named Perla, she is a mom of 2 and her husband is less active.  She got sick the other week, so sick that she couldn’t come to church.  She told us that she got so sad that she started crying.

Her husband than came out and asked her... "why are you so sad if it’s just going to be one Sunday... you can go next week, you know"

And she responded to him saying "Every day we receive countless blessings from the Lord, there is food on our table, a roof over our heads, our daughters are thriving and the list goes on.... can we not take one day out of our week to show the Lord that we are grateful for these blessings? Is it really so hard to show him how grateful we are? And if we didn’t have these blessings, if we didn’t have a roof, or food on our table like so many people now a days... shouldn’t we still go because it is a commandment from our loving Heavenly Father?"

She’s so right, right?!

Then yesterday, Elder Krasnoselsky from the seventy shared a story with us

When he was about 14, he got up and went to church. When he got there, he noticed that a sister wasn’t there... a lady who NEVER missed a Sunday.  She was a good friend of his family and so he felt impressed to go and visit her after church to see if she was all right.

When he got there, he asked "Oh hermana, we missed you today, what happened?" She responded saying "Oh son, don’t worry. I just got my feelings hurt by a woman in our ward.  I didn’t make it today... but I will be back next week." 

And then, the spirit took hold of his tongue and put one question there, one and one only.  All he could say was... "y la santa cena?" o sea "and what about the sacrament?"

In that moment, the sweet sister’s eyes filled with tears. She had remembered the doctrine that she had learned so long ago... the importance of going to church on Sundays and Elder Krasnoselsky understood the importance of visiting our brothers and sisters who were not able to attend on any given Sunday.

I know that Sunday is a special day. :) It is a day where we can go to church and renew our baptismal covenants, a day where we can experience a renovation of the soul. It’s a day the Lord has given us to rest from our worldly labors and focus on the things the Lord would have us do, and the things we promised we would when choosing to be baptized... to comfort those that are in need of comfort and strengthen those feeble knees. :) It is not a day of restrictions, or a boring day, or a day to just take a really long nap... but rather, a day to be renewed, uplifted and to uplift others! :) What a special thing that is, no?!

As Russel M Nelson says, the Sabbath day is a delight?  Can we say that it is a delight for us as well? May we examine our attitude, our behavior and look for ways to make this day even more of a delight. If it is hard for us to keep this day holy, or it is not yet a delight for us. I would encourage you to accept the challenge in Ether 12:6..... it is not until after the trial of our faith that we receive a testimony.  Live the Sabbath day for a month, ask the Lord how you can hallow it and remember it like he has asked us too.  And after a month of living it, I would invite you to genuinely reflect asking yourself if it has not been a "delight" for you! :) I promise that if you do it with integro proposito... the Sabbath day will be a delight for you too.  And you will love it!!!

I love you allllll

Hermana Fardos!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Thank You for All of the Love!!

Hello Helloooooo!!

It’s meeee!!

Well, I have to just start by saying THANK YOU to the Pointer Family, Abu, and Mom for the all the love... I really appreciate it, you are such special people!

This week the sun is coming back out.... Yeah, that cold winter ice age phase has left the building and in comes the hot fire lava sun thing that sits in the sky above Paraguay!! Haha!! The temperatures are starting to rise. I’m excited to see what fun shoe tan lines await us this summer!! :)

My shoes had begun to wear out again... and a little faster this time... I actually walked 2 holes through them the other day!  (Don’t worry Mom, I still have a  pair of the Naots) But I needed one more to be good.  So last Pday, I actually bought a pair of Crocs (not like the old summer duck shoes) but these little sister missionary maryjane type shoes and they are SO very comfortable!  Asi que, Mom, I don’t think I’ll need shoes for the rest of the mission, we are good in that department and my feet are happy! Haha... I also won’t need any more socks. :)

Mañana will be the day when we find out who stays and who goes. *cue the music* ‘Should I stay or should I go now?’ Ha!!  There is always such anticipation right before changes!

This week has been good, although we worked really hard and we faced a lot of rejection, literally doors shut in our faces, people gave us back Books of Mormon -- it was really hard... But somehow it really strengthened my testimony of this gospel and this work. This is the Lords work :) And in spite of the discouragement, I feel blessed to participate in it. :)

I know that this is the church of Jesus Christ,  He and our Father in Heaven sit at the head of it, guiding us through their living prophets. I know that our Heavenly Father personally calls prophets to guide us, to give us current, modern-day revelation and help us learn how to live in a fallen world but without becoming part OF it. They teach us about the one and only way to return to the presence of our Creator.  I testify that Priesthood power is real -- I have seen it heal broken people. It is the same authority that the Lord used to create the world, heal the sick, and raise the dead -- and it is the same authority that He now entrusts the willing and worthy men of His church.  I testify the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know this to be true. I know that this book contains the fullness of the gospel, and that this sacred volume of scripture, with the Bible, leaves us with no unanswered questions. We can find all of the answers we could ever need to navigate this life and return to our Eternal Father. I know that Our Heavenly Father lives and loves us. I know that Christ, the Lord, is a perfect, resurrected being who LIVES like you and I live! :) And that their only desire is too see us all back in their presence one day!! :)

I love you all so much and I hope your week is wonderful!  Be good and take care!

Do something special today and make someone smile!! :)

Hermana Fardos