Monday, October 26, 2015

Let the Three Month Countdown Begin!!


Well... The cold bug got a hold of this girl and I have a lovely cough, so, now I sound like an 80 year old man who has smoked all his life... #notevenjoking. Haha!  It’s actually kind of hilarious! Ha! 

This week I stayed in Pedro Juan almost the whole 7 days. I went to Concepcion for a conference and then came back the next day. 

This week Hna Ashby and I found SO many new families and we are stoked to work with them!  I think I’m getting Hna Ashby sick though... just heard her start sniffling at the computer next to me... SHOOT! Haha!

According to Hna Ashby’s paper chain there is only 60 more days until Christmas... just for those that are wondering!! ;)  Bring it on!!  It’s all good with us! :) We are happy, We are working hard, We are loving life out here in Pedro Juan -- and we are also slightly nervous for cambios next week because it sounds like there will be BIG changes out here! It’s been such a good run with Hna Ashby and such happy companionship, but I think she ready to train.... Yes, mark my words... she will be training!! :) Haha!  Anywhoooo...

Well, last week I put my "ponderizing" scripture to the test and WOW! It changed the whole week.. We saw miracles! Wow, the Lord is so good!

Helaman 3:35 Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God."

I love this scripture because it’s all about experiencing true submission and repentance, or in other words, a "true change of heart". But it also demonstrates how that change is not effortless... it requires deliberate energy and desire on our part. 

SO... this week I really made an added effort to teach our investigators and families in a way that would convey the importance of repentance, that they might truly submit their hearts and be converted.  And also so that they might better comprehend our purpose as missionaries and that we are there to invite them to come unto Christ and become converted to him through faith, repentance, baptism and confirmation.  Or more simply.. HELP THEM HAVE THE VISON AND UNDERSTAND THE NEED TO BE BAPTIZED :) because they will understand it as a crucial, vital and ever so important step.

And wow, I don’t know why I didn’t put this extra emphasis on teaching sooner... it changes everything. 

We have been working with one of our investigators, C, for a few weeks now.  C was an atheist buddhist, who was angry with God for having felt abandoned in the midst of her trials (and she has truly had many).  She was not happy and she recognized that she had no peace or joy in her life.  She found herself ready to embark in this search for faith and that was exactly when WE were lead to her! :)

The first visit we had with her, we talked about faith and the process in obtaining it. We looked to understand her needs and also to help her understand the importance of prayer, church, and the scriptures in finding her faith. 

Then, on the second visit, she shared with us that YES! She had ben saying her prayers and she was reading the Book of Mormon. She is so GREAT!  We decided to show her a conversion story from the Book of Mormon. So we shared the conversion of King Lamoni.  We showed her what the missionaries in that time presented the king and what the king was then instructed to do. We broke down the conversion process to help her see the goal, what the end was. Just the fact that we are here shows YES she can have faith, BUT we are also here to help her have more than that! :) We are here to help her have a testimony, to be converted and prepare herself to return back to her Heavenly Father. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone so full of light, so full of hope as I saw her in this moment.  She even commented to it and began to share special experiences where she is personally coming to know that God is answering her prayers and that He really is there -- and has always been there for her. 

She is ready to go forward and start with the lessons, to pray and ask the Father if they are true and study and pray on her own time... and not because it’s what "we the missionaries" are assigning her to do, but rather because she really understands that these are the only things that will help were wax strong in her faith in Christ, that these are the things that will bring purification and sanctification to her.  And there are special blessings awaiting her as she begins keeping these small commandments.

I really do know that prayer and fasting are just two of the many tools our Father in Heaven has given us to succeed here in this life! :) I know that our prayers are received and that the Father, in His own time, will answer every single prayer that is delivered unto him! :)

I love you all so much! Go make someone smile! :) And every one should take a picture this week and send it to me! Haha YES!! :) I want a bunch of happy pics! :) I know Grandma will... she’s the best at that!

Keep up the good work family!

Hermana Fardos

Monday, October 19, 2015

WARNING: This email does not have photos attached... Oh, wait, Yes it does!!

Hi Everyone!!  

I'M SORRY!  I’m really dying to get some photos your way. Maybe I'll save them all onto a USB drive and just mail that or something, because I am not having any luck sending them in the Ciber... but Mom, I LOVE YOUUUU!!  :) (Lauren's camera cable was stolen a couple of months ago and the replacement cable we shipped almost 2 months ago hasn't arrived yet...)

Happy Birthday Abu!!!!  I asked my Dad to give you a 30 second hug... not 28 and not 29 seconds – 30 full seconds!!  I love that grandmother of mine!

The sun is coming out and my watch tan line is about to become forever embedded on my wrist, impossible to correct after the mission! :) Ha!! Our investigators are progressing!  They all came to church on Sunday and Hna Ashby and I are enjoying the blessings that are coming through obedience and hard work! :) This week the Lord showed me many areas where I can and need to improve -- and I went to do divisions in Loma Pyta, San Jorge and Santani. I spent time with Hna Mera, Hna May, and Hna Douglas :) 

YESSSS, I got to work with Hna Mera again, and it was so lovely. And we had a very special moment with one of her investigators and it really taught me the importance of testifying and sharing the gospel without fear, just trusting 100 percent in the Lords promise that whom he calls, he qualifies. We taught her investigator, R (a thirty-five-ish guy, who suffers a delay in speech due to a bad motorcycle accident a few years back).  R, lives with his Mom and when we arrived, we saw his mother and of course we immediately invited her to pull up a seat and join with us. She hadn’t been part of their previous discussions, but she accepted. We started with a prayer, I prayed that the Lord would help prepare R for his baptism on the first Saturday of November and when we finished... his Mother came unglued... "OH. So you want to baptize my son?" well, yes... was our response and all she said was "NO. He is Catholic and I am Catholic, we have always been and always will.  We will never consider changing it. You can leave if that is your goal".... Woah. It was a pretty hard and bold response and we could have just said okay and left.  But the Spirit was telling us to stay... I wasn’t sure what we were supposed to say... but I knew we had to stay... so we did.  And as soon as we went to open our mouth -- the words that we were supposed to say came out. The Lord opened our mouths and understanding and we were able to share a very special message, testifying of the truthfulness of the gospel and testifying of the way of the Lord.  At the end, she was quiet.  She was thinking and she decided that we could indeed come back the following day to teach her about the restored gospel and the authority of God.  She gave permission for her son to be baptized and told us she would pray to know what the Lord desires for her.  Hna Mera and I left just so grateful and amazed at what had just happened. The Lord loosened our tongues and helped us convey His message through the power of the Spirit. If we had focused more on the intimidation we felt initially, we would have lost one amazing investigator. But by following the promptings of the Spirit, we were able to keep one and maybe even find another in the process! :) The Lord is perfect!! :) 

Hna May and Hna Douglas are fabulous hermanas!  Hna May taught me a lot about the importance of always having a smile on our faces and looking for the blessings in our trials. :)  Hna Douglas taught me a lot about the importance of hard work and never complaining. These two hermanas are so lovely and have so much to offer to this work. I am so glad they came to Paraguay!! :)

I love this work and it continues to amaze me just how wonderful all these missionaries are. It continues to amaze me how the Lord is preparing the hearts of his children. It continues to amaze me the strength that comes through personal prayer. It continues to amaze me just how imperfect I am, but even more I am amazed with just how perfect our Heavenly Fathers plan is!! :)

I love you guys! :) More than you know! Have a fantastic week, keep on keeping on! And don’t forget to make someone smile today!! :)

Until next Monday!
Hermana Fardos

Photo credits to our treasured friend, Andreia Ferreira!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Divisions, Zone Conference and Family Pictures!!

FAMILYYY! Well,  hello hello hello there!! :)

So... let’s start with my scripture of the week! This week I'm ponderizing Alma 5:40, which says... For I say unto you that whatsoever is good cometh from God, and whatsoever is evil cometh from the devil.

I love this scripture.. it is SO simple, but it says SO much. This morning when I picked this scripture to ponderize, it immediately made me think about my relationship with my Heavenly Father -- it made me think about just how much I love Him and how much more He loves me.  I began to think about all the good that has come to my life and I began to count my blessings, making that connection that all these good things really are blessings from my Heavenly Father.  I quickly became overwhelmed with just how good my Heavenly Father is to me. It has all ready strengthened my testimony of just how deep and pure His love is for us, his children! :)

I think I'm really going to like this whole ponderizing thing!  :)

But anyways back to the week!  It’s been a busy week of Divisions, Zone Conference, crazy storms, Hna Ashby was down with a bad back, but is doing so much better now (I got to play PT!! :)), and so many blessings!!

This week I was able to visit with Hna Larson and Hna Anazco! Hna Larson is a cute little southern blondie, who is the sweetest person in the world!!  And Hna Anazco, yes, was my sweet little Peruvian comp that left me 2 changes ago.  It was so great getting to work with them. They taught me so much about the importance of being patient in all things and seeking the good in everything. :) Also about the importance of sharing our testimonies with those we teach and come across.  I have loved getting to go to all these areas in Paraguay and having the opportunity to talk with everyone in our path. We have found people, prepared people, READY to receive the gospel -- and it just strengthened my testimony that the Lord is preparing people and we just need to take the time to be diligent and seek them out. :) 

ZONE CONFERENCE! I got to go to Asuncion and participate in a Zone Conferences where we talked about always having a plan and about the difference between a testimony and a conversion.... And I absolutely loved that.  We can’t afford to just have a testimony, we must make sure that we are converted :) 

Alma 5:26 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?

ALSO at the Zone Conference, Hna Ashby, Hna Mera, Hna Bringhurst, and Hna Anazco were all there!!  And that was seriously just the coolest thing ever!  Having all those girls that I love so much there at once!!... So, we took a ‘family picture’ of all 5 of us together and that was such a sweet moment. When I met each of them, they were brand new to the field, each burning with a desire to work and learn!  And now I see them, some almost hitting the halfway mark in their missions and there they are -- still working hard but now their burning desire has become a firey testimony of this work and this gospel!  They teach with such power and they are so special!!  I love them so much!  (Hopefully Lauren will send the 'family picture' so we can share it here, but in the meantime, I have included the following photos of each of her beloved 'daughter' Hermanas)

(Hna Mera, Hna Fardos, & Hna Bringhurst in Mariano Alonzo - photo from earlier post)

 (Hna Anazco & Hna Fardos in Pedro Juan - photo from earlier post)

(Hna Fardos & Hna Ashby in Pedro Juan, current photo)

Ugghhh, I don’t know what else to say other than I AM JUST SO HAPPY TO BE HERE!! :) This is a beautiful work, one that brings about the salvation of man and seals families for eternity.  I know that God doesn’t just intend to save a few of His children, but rather ALL of His children who will give heed unto his word and rely upon the merits of Christ! :) I know that it matters not our circumstances or where we might be.... it is never too late for the Father.  It’s not the distance that matters to our Father, but rather, the direction in which we are facing.  If we look to Him and begin to take those steps towards him... the distance will begin to disappear...  Christ doesn’t make up the difference, he IS the difference!!

I love you all and I hope you guys have a fantastic week!  Say those prayers, read those scriptures and go make some body smile!! :)


Hermana Fardos

Monday, October 5, 2015


Good morning star shine, the earth says hello!! :D

Here we are at the Ciber in the bus terminal in Asuncion at 5:30 AM!!  On our way to spend more treasured time with the Hermanas in the mission!

This week was such a great learning week!  I got to work with 3 of our Hermanas and we also got to watch General Conference!!   It was so fantastic!!!!

So General Conference.... I could sit here and talk about Conference all day!  Every talk had something for me and I could feel so strongly that these men were inspired and instructed to share what they did. I am so grateful for a living prophet and apostles who diligently seek that inspiration to guide us!

I loved how they talked about TRUSTING in God, TRUSTING in Jesus Christ and in TRUSTING the spiritual impressions and promptings that come through the Holy Ghost.  I loved that when we look to the Lord in ALL things, there we find HAPPINESS, we find love and peace.  I loved what Pres Uchtdorf said about how living the gospel DOES NOT need to be complicated!  That we were created that we might have JOY.  And when we do not find the joy in this gospel, we need to take a step back and SIMPLIFY our discipleship!! :) Because EXHALTATION is our goal, discipleship is our JOURNEY... this gospel works and it DOES bring us joy when we strive to become MORE PERFECTLY centered on the potters wheel. 

I would strongly encourage each and every one of you to continually go back and study the words which were said these past 2 days, because they are just as true and important today as they were yesterday!! :)  And if you didn't get a chance to listen to Conference - you can do it now by following the link below!!

In my divisions, I worked with the Hermana Ross, Hermana Varas, and Hermana Lundberg -- and it was such a great experience!!  These sisters taught me so much!  I really could see how much the Lord loves all of His missionaries and is so grateful for this time which they dedicate in serving the Lord and showing their love for Him! :)

I know God loves us, I know Jesus Christ love us... I know that no other level of love compares nor comes close to the pureness of love that they have!! :)

I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week!  Go make someone smile!

Hermana Fardos!