Monday, April 27, 2015

A Vivir Asi Yo Aqui Aprendi Hakunamata

Hey, don't need to post this picture, I was just trying to get a good
picture of my hair so you guys could see.  I love it so much. You
can't really tell, but its a lot more blond than it looks.

District Activity


This is where I painfully handwash all my clothes, haha

Our kitchen is huge

View from our balcony

One of my greatest joys of being with Hermana Guardado is she knows all the Disney songs in Spanish. ahha We just sing all the time. That’s why my subject line is that.... 
We had a really great week, still haven’t really found any new investigators which is hard... BUT we are going to have 2 baptisms this Saturday!!!! Cristobal, the son of Maria, and Rocio, the aunt of one of our other recent converts, Karen. Both are from part member families! We are sooo stoked especially because Cristobal is 12 years old so he can get the priesthood!!! He is so smart. It’s not like he is just being baptized because his mom was. She asked him the other day, “I want to know what you think about all this because by being baptized you’re going to be different than the other kids, you will have different standards and you’re going to be made fun of” and he said “I know mom but I also know that it’s the right thing!!!” He is totally going on a mission someday, haha I love him!

Sunday was so beautiful. The whole gospel principles class was filled with our recent converts and soon to be converts and investigators. I just felt so blessed! But the work here is really hard. Sometimes we go a whole day and only teach 3 or 4 lessons. When I was in Cornol I would teach like 7 lessons every day. We always had at least 5 contacts a day and here we barely ever have 2. It’s hard, but I know that it’s just a test to see if we will keep working even though we aren’t having tons of success. By that I mean new investigators, but we have faith and I think everything is going to work out. I’m getting kind of nervous because this is the last full week of this transfer. Next Wednesday is transfers and I will be in charge of this area ahhhhh. Ok, I’m not going to think about that. 

Maria had been begging to get her fingers in my hair, she is a hairstylist. I finally agreed. This week we colored and cut my hair, which was really hard for me, I feel like my hair is so short! It doesn’t look like it but I can tell. I think she cut a good 3.5 in. but I actually love it so much! She is really good that’s the only reason I agreed. Then she wanted to do it for free. That woman gives away everything. You can’t tell her you like something because you will leave with it. The other day I said I liked her scarf, its mine now haha. But I didn’t let her do my hair for free. I know that the color isn’t cheap and she only uses really nice product....

Another random fact. We don’t have nearly as many cockroaches here as we did in my last house, but they are like 10 times bigger. I think the others were just babies. Anyways sometimes we wake up to 1 or 2 dead on the ground, or so I thought, but I guess they were just flipped over and then my comp would smush them. I didn’t know this, so today I was cleaning and I began to sweep one of the dead bodies away that had been sitting there since yesterday morning and it hopped up and scampered off. I was sooo freaked out hahah and screaming and Hermana Guardado was like “what are you doing sweeping it up?” ahha I thought it was dead!!!! Apparently they get flipped over and then can’t flip back, I don’t know, but it was really freaky. 

Everything is really great with me. My comp is still having lots of medical problems, her problems with her back are making her kind of cranky ahah and causing other pains in her body but hopefully they can help her this week. It’s been a week of taking this medication so now that it’s not working she will have to go to the doctor, I hope. It’s so hard not being able to help her when she is just crying in pain.... but other than that we are just working hard in our little part of Villa Elisa!!! 

I love you all so much!!!
Hermana Ball

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

La lluvia cayo y todo se inundo y Maria en la agua se bautizo!

It rained so much this week.
This is the street we wanted to get to Maria but her street was literally a river.

Look how many people showed up.  I was so happy!!!

I'm kinda bugged because you can't see so good.  It was really dark, but she looked just like an angel!

¡¡¡Hola Familia!!!!!!

This week was full of ups and downs. I don’t know why but Hermana Guardado and I have not been feeling so good lately. One day she would feel bad and the next I would feel bad, like physically. I’m as happy as I have ever been. It’s just hard feeling sick sometimes, nothing major. I worry about her more than me. She really needs to go to the doctor and she doesn’t want to. ugh Anyway it was never anything that kept us from working, but we were moving a little slower this week. We have been really struggling finding new investigators lately. It’s a daily struggle and then one day we finally found two young girls in the hardest part of our area. We literally have no one in that part of our area. We were stoked because they both accepted a baptismal date! But then they both didn’t come to church so that stunk and we passed by their houses and they weren’t home. ugh One of them is named Jenny!! It made me happy. I still have hope for them, the other is named Maira. 

So we have been having Notche de Hogar in the house of Maria every Monday but this past Monday we all were gathered (It’s so cute. We have two newly converts, our relief society president, Maria, Rocio un investigadora, and the son of Maria and her daughter in law) so it’s always a full house and anyone that we want to invite is invited. This week we watched The Testaments. It was so awesome!!! All the woman were crying at the end where Papanwa gets to see Jesus! If you don’t know what I’m talking about go watch this inspired film, it’s amazing. The next day we had a mini interview with Maria to prepare her for her interview and everything went great! She wanted us to come the next day for her interview, so we went the next day with our district leader and literally they were in the interview for like an hour and a half! Everything went great. She just loves to talk and when you’re talking to her she is so knowledgeable in the Bible that she is always teaching us! The next day she called us and said she wanted us to pass by her house haha just to say hi. haha We ended up having a really spiritual discussion. We talked about temples and we were trying to teach about King Solomon’s temple but we couldn’t remember who it was that built a temple. She was like “Chicas lee la biblia todo esta a allá” (sisters, read the Bible, everything is in there).... haha but I just love her soooo much! Saturday she was just so ready to get in the water! Everything just went so great and her son and daughter in law came and so did her other son but he said “I’m not coming in” but he came in for a minute and looked around and then waited outside. I have hope for him and his wife!!! well girlfriend, they aren’t married. No one gets married here. We will have to work hard to help them understand the importance! But ya, Maria was just glowing and Sunday we taught about la santa cena and she was answering all the questions and I just felt the spirit so strong! I know that miracles are so real because it was such a miracle that everything just literally went so smoothly. haha We did forget to bring a towel for her so she was trying to get dry from paper towels, whoops, but other than that!

I’m so grateful that I get to be here right now in Villa Elisa with Hermana Guadado. Everything is great with me. Hopefully we will be having some more baptisms soon, Rocio and the family of Maria! Pray for us!!! and I will pray for you all. I miss you sooo much. 

Siempre estoy orando para ustedes. Extraño MUCHOOO.

(I am always praying for you all.  I miss you very much)


Hermana Ball

Monday, April 13, 2015

Let Us All Press On In The Work.....

So this week we had interviews with The President! I was way scared because he speaks so fast! and sometimes I can’t understand him. But it actually went really well and way fast. I only got like 9 min with him before the elder was pounding on the door. President kept telling me how much better my Spanish is and that made me feel really good because I have been kind of hard on myself this week. I just feel like I should understand everything and sometimes I don’t and sometimes I still can’t express what I’m trying to say fully. Sometimes it takes an outsider to say hey you’re doing really good to remember where I came from 6 months ago.

So anyway, this week was really great! One thing that’s really hard about the city is that a lot of people work during the day and so they aren’t home until it starts getting dark and then they are too scared to come to their doors.  We have been having a really hard time finding new investigators. But we just keep trying haha. There are literally so many less actives here so one of my big goals is to get some less actives active. haha But less active work can also be so disheartening because they always promise to come to church and then they never do!

So we didn’t have a baptism like we hoped, but sometimes, well actually all the time, we have to wait on the Lord’s time. What happened was we went to visit Maria Wednesday and we had a great lesson and then we were talking and we discovered she has a little drinking problem. Well it’s actually really really little. She was so funny. I just like to drink wine when I’m with my sisters. It’s not like I get all drunk and crazy. But we explained that it’s still not ok. haha She was like “Not just one little sip?” “No hermana, not one little sip” haha She promised to change. It just made us a little worried so we pushed her baptism to the next Saturday. But she said “I don’t know if I want to still. Each time I meet with you I feel more sure (the first time I met her she asked if we would be mad if she never got baptized. Hermana Guardado said, we won’t be mad because we know you will be. Hahah So now she was saying that each time she feels the spirit a little stronger. We said we would come back Saturday and she agreed to have her answer. Saturday we went to her house and we talked more about the word of wisdom and then she went into this whole thing about the true name of Christ. She says that his real name is Jejua. I have never heard that name before. I guess in my last letter I was a little confused about her religious past. She was Catholic for a long time then Evangelical. They are so intense. Anyone who is baptized with them always has a hard time getting baptized again. I want to see what their baptisms are like because literally everyone says it’s super spiritual, but then she spent a long time with the Jews and that’s where she got this whole Jejua idea. So her thing is that the Catholics changed the name of Christ in the bible and that his real name is Jejua. I was trying to explain to her that his name in the Book of Mormon is Jesuscristo and nobody has ever changed the Book of Mormon. I asked if she believed in the Book of Mormon. To be honest I didn’t really understand her answer but then Hermana Guardado shared this really personal story about her family and let’s just say we were all crying and Hermana Guradado said that Satan tries to put doubt with our answers. We feel good about something and we want to do it but then there is this little píng of doubt, that s Satan! When Hermana Guardado said this Hermana Maria said Vamos Chicas! haha She is so cute sometimes when we are taking she will just be like HALELUJA! haha but she is so knowledgeable in the scriptures. She said that she has been praying to see if maybe if it’s ok with God she would like to be a teacher in the church. The other thing was she always says your church but yesterday she said our church and I started crying. We announced her baptism yesterday in church and she is just so happy. She is so cute. She asked our other investigator Rocio why she hasn’t been baptized yet. She is such a missionary. One problem, haha we had this same thing with Justina, investigators are so used to us speaking really boldly with them and challenging them to change and then they see people in the church who aren’t living perfectly and they start to be really critical of them. Justina was always doing this and Maria is the same. She is like I don’t know why they were bearing their testimony if they didn’t really have much to say. We tried to explain to her, even little testimonies can be shared, but she was like no. haha The bottom line is she is going to be baptized!! We will try and help her understand that Jejua is not the name of Christ. In church she was asked to read and whenever it said Christ she replaced it with that name. haha Hermana Guradado doesn’t seem to think this is a problem, but to tell you the truth, it worries me. But she is so ready for baptism and she is just so happy. 

Something I love about Paraguay is that there is always a fruit in season. When I got here it was mangos. We ate mangos like there was no tomorrow. Then it was avacates. It’s still avecates and great fruit and now there is also mandarin oranges. mmmmmmmmmm

Everyone is getting this really bad disease called denge chickgunguya. One of our members had it and she can’t even walk and her hands are all swollen. It comes from mosquitos so pray that I don’t get it. There isn’t really a cure, you just have to wait it out! Speaking of health problems, we will probably be heading to the hospital this week because my comp is not doing so hot. Yesterday she could barely walk again. She kept saying it’s not that bad but finally I got her to let me call our district leader so hopefully we will get to go this week and they can help her! 

That’s about it. I’m doing great. I love the scripture Mosiah 24:13-14 
“I know that God is with us in all our afflictions and I know that he knows the intentions of our hearts." The people were so strong. They weren’t allowed to pray out loud but they just prayed with all their heart and God heard their prayers and helped them. Just keep trying and trying. Sometimes we knock on the same door 3 times just hoping this time they will be home! Just keep knocking!" 

Rohayhu mi familia, estoy orando siempre para ustedes!!!!
(I am always praying for you)

Love Hermana Ball

Monday, April 6, 2015

Conferencia General

Hola familia!

Things are just going so great here. Last week was super cold. I actually got to wear a sweater, but this week it got hot again up until Saturday, of course, for Conference. It was raining super hard! I’m so stoked to talk about conference, but I am getting a head of myself.

This week was the semana santa! I have never really paid much attention to the whole week of Easter, but here it’s a really big deal. Thursday through Monday they don’t have school. Basically Thursday through Saturday every store was closed, even Stock, which is like our Walmart. It was crazy. There was literally no one in the streets. They all went to the campanea (country) to visit family. haha

One of our new converts, like 3 months, is named Moura. She is also menas activo (less active). Her story is kind of crazy. She got baptized because she had a dream where her mom was reading the Book of Mormon and she was dressed all in white with a white veil, like a bride, over her face. Crazy stuff like that is always happening here. I feel like South Americans have special gifts because they come from Lehi or something, because everyone is always telling us about dreams they have that prompt them to be baptized. Anyway, she doesn’t really see herself as a Mormon. She is always on facebook, haha and she says “Look what all my Mormon friends are saying about Conference” or the new video and such. ahah It’s really funny to talk to her because she just is always talking about mormons and facebook. Anyway, we were with her the other day and she said Friday she was out in the street working and she was walking and saw the sister missionaries that live in our building. I think I forgot to say that we have a companionship of missionaries that live in our building but they aren’t in our barrio. Anyway she saw them and then she saw the elders a little while later and then she saw us. haha She said the only people out on holy Friday was her and the Mormons hahah, but she is also a Mormon. 

We have some really great investigators here in Villa Elisa. One of them is named Maria. hahah Everyone is named Maria here, but she is so great. She has 3 asistencia so she is all set to be baptized this Saturday!! Last Sunday was here second and then this Sunday we were scared she wouldn’t come to conference because of all the rain. We didn’t see her until after the conference and she was laughing. You didn’t think I was going to make it, did you? hahah She always calls us chicas. I love it. Hola chicas. haha I love her so much, mostly because all her life she has been looking into different religions. She was Catholic but then she found lots of things she didn’t like about the church so she started going to a Baptist church I think it’s Baptist. It’s called Baptista in Espanol. They are really intense here. She loves to read and she loves the Book of Mormon. She has a hair salon in her house and she is just such a happy, crazy lady. She reminds me a lot of my Nan, Kaylynn. The other day we were sharing with her the video gracias a que el vive and she was just crying the whole time and then we sang “I Know That My Redeemer lives”’ and she told us that she loves the hymns of the church so much. She said only the true church can sing of Zion and know where it really is. After we shared the video with her she left for a second and her 12 year old son Cristabol came and was talking to us. We shared the video with him and he said he was so excited for Christ to come and establish his church on the earth. Hermana Guardado was like we have some news for you haha He already has established His church. Cristabol was so excited. We taught him about Jose Smith and about how he too can have the priesthood. He told us he wants to be baptized!!! Then his mom came back and he said, mom, they have a baptismal service 25 de abril. I want to be baptized. She said we will see, haha but he didn’t come to conference. We will find out why tonight at noche de hogar. But he is really smart like his mom. They both have so many questions.

We also have this really cute 17 year old girl named Miralla I love her so much. She is just like Maria, she always has a million questions. The other day she kept asking us why the Catholic Church does all these weird things for the samana santa like they don’t eat meat and they don’t cook for three days so all they eat is chipa. I don’t think I have ever talked about chipa before. It’s this way yummy bread that they make here with cheese in the middle. I have never eaten anything like it and all these woman sell it in the street in this big basket on their head. Anyway everyone was giving us chipa this whole week. Back to miralla, she kept asking but why do they do this and that and we told her we don’t know, haha we aren’t catholic. We explained what we believe and she was like ohhhhh that makes so much more sense! She is really smart. She is wants to be baptized, but she never comes to church. She is kind of a lifetime investigator. She loves to learn but she doesn’t want to commit to anything, but I have lots of hope for her. 

Ok so conference. Conference is like the missionary super bowl because if we can get our investigators to conference they will be baptized because there are always milagros in conference. Of course Saturday it was raining soooo hard. It was frustrating. We were calling everyone trying to get them to the capilla. On top of that, our connection wasn’t working. We didn’t get to see the Saturday morning session because we couldn’t get it to work. We just saw like a few seconds of Linda K Burton which was amazing from what I saw in two seconds. But we got to see all of the second session in Spanish. ahah I could have gone to the English room but the majority of the missionaries were in the Spanish room. I was kind of sad because everyone always says conference is the best because we get to watch in English but at the same time it was a really cool experience to watch in Spanish. And a huge milagro happened, I almost understood it all!!! Some of them were really hard because the translators were talking way fast and I was trying to take notes in Spanish but lots of my notes were in English ah ah ah haha but I understood a lot. Saturday was basically just missionaries and our stake president. Sunday was a full house and we kept having problems with the transmission. It was super sad, but it was so cool to hear the people who spoke in Spanish. They were super easy to understand! 3 NEW temples!! whooooo Man, I don’t know if you guys heard the talk from the 70 who said missionaries, you can’t go back to babalonia. haha All of us were like ok, I promise. hahah I have never spent a conference in the church. I loved it. Between sessions we had like a big party with food and just hung out. Oh I forgot, Moura came! and she stayed all day! She loved it so much! Anyway, I better go, but hopefully we will have a baptism this week!

I love you all so so much, 

Hermana Ball