Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hay Esperanza

Hermana Austin and I at the welcome party for President Wilson
ROUND 2 We took this our first week after transfers. I'm so grateful we are still together.   

It is hot in our house some days. I was feeling really sick. Our bathroom door is broken so you can just see in from where we study. I guess I fell asleep and Sister Austin took this picture.
Pablo the Sunday he blessed the Sacrament. We gave him that tie. He was so happy!
My first meeting with all the sister leaders.

So to start off Pablo is doing sooo much better, the bishop has been really really great with him. He had an interview with Pablo and he told them that if Pablo’s mom, Norma, was going to kick them out then the ward could pay for an apartment for them for a few months and, cool story, we are the only ones that live in our apartment complex soooo.....I think we may be getting some vecinos this week!!! I’m stoked and we are going to be able to help them so much better with them so close. Pablo was at church yesterday with Wanilda and her son from Brazil tha’ts here to visit. Wanilda gave the talk in church about eternal marriage and it was so beautiful to hear her be able to talk about it so positively like she knows that she is going to have that with Pablo some day. Also this week she was supposed to have an interview with presedente de estaca (stake president) to get her recommend for the temple back. She has already been endowed, but she was inactive for a long time. But the thing was she needed a shirt to meet with him and she had come from her work so I offered my clothes, hahah so I gave her my clothes and I just sat in the bathroom waiting for her to be done hahahah. It was great. But she gave me the biggest hug after and she was like “this is why I love missionaries, they are so willing to do anything they can to help” and now she totally has her recommend!!! So worth 20 min in a stinky Paraguayan bathroom!! The best part is her other son gets here today and they are going to the temple tomorrow for him to receive his endowment to go on his mission!!!!! I am sooo happy. I think it’s hard for Pablo to not be able to go. She was so funny yesterday. She told him “you can wait in the waiting room” haha but he was like “thanks for trying to include me.”Poor guy, but I just have so much faith in the atonement and I know in a year he is going to be there. 

So this week was just kind of loco when it came to sister leader responsibilities. We had some drama, but the best part of the week was getting to see my HIJA (daughter) hermana paredes because we were doing divisions with the hermanas that live in her same house. I don’t know if I told you guys we got more hermanas this change and received Villa Elise and hermana austin’s first area, costa bonita. Oh ya, I think I did tell you because that’s why I also had hermana rozsa last week, but anyway it was so funny seeing my hija. She was sooo happy. I love her so much. In two weeks I will get to go back to Villa Elisa, I’m sooo stoked! 

All week we were just trying to be positive. We had some really great days. We taught a lot more this week then we have been. But Saturday came along and we had lots of people who had accepted baptismal dates but weren’t coming to church because of dia del niño, which was Sunday. Quick history lesson, a long time ago in Paraguay there was a bad war and all the men started to die so they made children fight in the war. More then 2,000 niños died. So it’s kind of like Mother’s day but it’s a day they celebrate the kids. It’s like Christmas, they get presents and cake. It’s really cute but it was also annoying because everyone was traveling to the country to visit family. So we had literally past for everyone and we were just sitting on the street out of ideas. A while back we got a referral from guys that are working here from BYU. There is an English company that is here called Elivate and they work with this girl, but it’s hard to find her. Her name is Ivana. Her family has a new restaurant and so we decided to go see if the guys were there and if they could introduce us to her and her family. So we get there (also we were fasting so we were like shoot how are we going to go about this, we can’t order food) but we decided maybe we could take the food home and eat it Sunday. So we go in and we tell them that the guys sent us and told us it was a good place to eat. They were really nice but then we just sit down to wait and we are like well what are we going to do. This is like a restaurant. Oh, also it’s like almost 8:40 at night, but we decided to eat the pizza and close our fast. I don’t know why but it was a miracle because when we got all done eating this Ivana shows up and she starts talking to us. She is like let’s sit down. So we go out and sit down and she just opens up to us and tells her whole life story. She is from Paraguay but she lived in California for a while, so she speaks English really well, which was hard for us to try and teach in English. But she is sooo great, then the guys showed up. Their names are Eston and Andrew. A little more about them, I always just feel like they are elders. They are always giving us advice and trying to help us stay positive. They are really supportive. We feel like they are our district leaders because we don’t really have elders in our area, so we barely ever see the elders in our district. They show up and I had never really seen them in real clothes and we were like, this is weird. They came and sat down and they were just chatting. At this point it’s like 9:30. I just realized in this moment how awkward I have become. I felt like I was just chilling with friends and it was a terrible feeling. We had to get out of there. We were so awkward leaving and we had them say a prayer before we left. haha Yes, a lesson with a member, but anyway, it was sooo funny. When we are going to leave hermana austin whips out a Book of Mormon and awkwardly gives it to her. It was soooo funny. The whole way home we were just freaking out how weird we were. I can’t fully describe in words how hilarious this moment was for me, but it was also a huge milagro (miracle). God took a sad Saturday night and gave us a milagro. Ivana didn’t come to church, but she is great and we are going to start working with her.

I love you guys. the other thing I wanted to say was a while back we had Pablo give his mom, Norma, a Book of Mormon. Afterwards she hugged me and said thanks so much. She loves us but she is just sooooo into her church. But yesterday I invited her over and we sang “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” for her and she was crying so hard. We were hitting some crazy high notes. I love singing with hermana Austin, even though lots of times when we sing all the dogs in the world start to bark. So I don’t know... maybe that means we don’t sing so good, but the point is she cried! I have a lot of faith in her too. She told me she is reading her Book of Mormon.

That’s all. We had a crazy week. Lots of intervambios (splits) and I spent a lot of time on crazy Paraguayan buses. Lots of fun. I love you all. It’s kind of gotten cold again which is good because our air conditioner broke. I hope it’s fixed before the heat comes back.

Love ya xooxoxooxoxoxo,

Hermana Ball

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ire y Hare (written Aug 10, 2015)

I’m going to try and convey this week but to tell you the truth it’s going to be really hard, soo much happened. First off I got to do divisions with hermana rozsa, my comp from the mtc. It was soooo cool to be with her again. We have both grown so much since the days we roamed the streets of Argentina, confused. She is training right now and it was cool to be able to give her advice from my personal experience from training. I love her so much. 


But it was still kind of a just a hard week. Hermana Austin and I realized we are teaching way way less then we both have our whole missions. We are happy if we have three lessons in one day, which was like a terrible day for us when I was in my first area. But the thing is God is just so inspired. I think this is really what I need and more than anything we are realizing there are really specific things God needs from us in this area.


So I said last week that Pablo was having some problems. We found out this week they were more serious then we realized. Wanilda was kind of vague with me on Wednesday. She just kind of said he was struggling with La Palabra De Sabidura (the word of wisdom?).  We set an appointment to go on Saturday, but we were both just so naive about it. We were like oh we will go on Saturday and we will just talk to him about repentance and everything will be just fine. But we got there on Saturday and Wanilda was no herself. We could tell she had been crying all day. She started to tell us everything as my world just crushed down. I was such a mess as she told us that she didn’t know where Pablo was. He had left the day before for work and never came back. It was so terrible. I hadn’t been so crushed my whole mission. I wanted to just take all her pain away and tell her it would be fine. I wanted to promise her a million things and I just couldn’t, I didn’t know. I felt so blocked from the spirit. It’s cool being a missionary. We have the power to promise things and have seen them come true, but this time I just couldn’t, I couldn’t say anything. I just listened as the story unfolded. I love Pablo so much and became so uncontrollably worried about him. We stayed with her as long as we could and then we left. That was one of the hardest nights of my mission. I just couldn’t stop wondering if he was ok. We had planned with her to come by to take her to church the next day. We went by her house and I just didn’t know how to ask if he had come home. She finally said as we were walking, Pablo is home. I wanted to just cry from relief. She told us she was going to talk to the bishop and see what he could do to help. After sacrament she talked to him and in the hall after she just cried to us about how great the bishop was and how loving he handled it. We made an appointment to come by in the night. All day it was all we could think about. Finally it was time to go and we were kind of scared to see him. I didn’t want him to have shame, to fill embarrassed. I also didn’t want to see him differently, I didn’t want to judge him. But as I looked in his eyes I just felt the pure love of Christ fill me. He was so awesome. We talked and he was so open and willing to explain. We asked him to make a list of things that trigger this behavior. He wrote them and said he wanted to share them. We talked about them and made a plan to help him not be tempted in those ways. I was so shocked by the bishop. He was so great. He called twice while we were there to make plans with Pablo. It was honestly one of the most spiritual lessons. Pablo couldn’t stop crying. He thanked us for being with Wanilda when she was alone. He told us that when he wasn’t home in the night he had seen us walking home and it seemed like we were looking for him. He said it killed him to see us looking. He said it was just another sign from God that God hadn’t given up on him. I told him that he never will and that satan won’t either, that satan is working extra hard on him because he knows God has a plan for him and he wants to destroy it. I left that lesson with so much peace and hope, everything isn’t perfect yet. He is going to have to really try hard, but we are going to be here to help him.

It just amazes me how God prepares us, he prepared Wanilda for this so she could be his helper and stick with him. He prepared a way that Hermana Austin would be here at this time to help him. And I know that this is preparing Pablo for the amazing member of the church he is and is becoming. It’s strange how God just knows, He literally knows what we need and it’s so hard for us to understand at times. But He knows and when we really put our trust in him he can carry us. He can help us through all those hard things. The force behind us is always greater than the trials in front of us. It’s just like what Nefi says in 1 Nefi 3:7 that God never gives us a commandment without preparing a way for us to complete it. I know he is preparing a way for Pablo and for each of you.



Hermana Ball

Monday, August 3, 2015

It's a mission miracle. I get to be with someone two transfers!

So this week I think God heard my complaints of the cold because it got hot again. I didn’t wear a coat all week. I was actually dying. But it’s good. There are way more people to teach when it’s hot. I just saw the report. High 80 and 90’s this week, sweet it’s summer again!


So, more importantly, we didn’t have transfers!!!!! I’m still in San Lorenzo with my best comp, Hermana AUSTIN!!!! whahoooooo She is the best. I almost cried when I found out. Wanilda and Pablo were worried all week, haha. Hermana Austin called them to tell them she was staying but she pulled some American sarcasm and said that she was actually leaving, to be funny, but they don’t think stuff like that’s funny. Wanilda started crying so hard. She had to give the phone to Pablo as Hermana Austin had to try and explain it was just a joke and she wasn’t leaving. 


So I totally forgot, but the past week Pablo blessed the sacrament and it was sooooo cool. I totally cried. He did such a good job and he just had a lot of respect for what he was doing. Then this week Wanilda left to Brazil to visit family and he didn’t come to church. We were way sad so we went by in the night and he told us that he had been going through a really hard time. I was shocked because I thought they were great, but it really opened my eyes to the fact that all our problems don’t go away when we are baptized. De said at a really low point he was walking in the street alone and he found a Book of Mormon in the trash. He said do you know Hermana Lindsay and Hermana Jarman? I actually know both. Hna Jarman is from my group. They had written this great thing about peace in the back of the book. He said when he found that he just knew that God was aware of him. He said I didn’t find a Bible or any other religious book. I found a Book of Mormon something someone else rejected but got put in my path. He always has the coolest experiences but he was crying so hard as he told us that he needs to be better. I felt so much love for him and I just wanted to take all the pain away and make it easy. I’m sure God feels like that all the time but we have to suffer. We have to go through the pain so we don’t do it again, so we can learn. 


We also had my first consejo de liders (leadership meeting) this week, it’s a meeting of all the leaders and president. He says what he wants us to teach all the other missionaries in the capacitacion. It’s sooooo cool. I always like capacitacion but it’s so much better hearing it straight from president. It’s also kind of scary. You have to put all your numbers up for everyone to see and they all ask you questions and try and help. But a lot of times it is just kind of humiliating but hermana austin and I were prepared and no humiliation for us. We were prepared for them and it was actually a good experience that part. I’m really excited because president has a really cool vision for the mission that I think is going to change a lot of things. He wants us to really focus on converting people and it doesn’t matter who. So this is huge. Before if you baptized a family and a year later they went to the temple you could go and be there but that almost never happens. Lots of times the missionaries aren’t still here. For example, Pablo and Wanilda, I won’t be here when they are sealed. So president made a new rule. If we reactivate a family and get them to the temple to be sealed we get to GO!!!! We are soooo excited. It is giving us so much motivation to work with the less actives. I’m really excited about this. President is great. He just is really focused on the people and not the numbers. Another cool thing that happened at consejo was that the other hermanas have 12 companionships to visit and we only have 7, so we offered to take 3 off their hands and one of the ones we got is VILLA ELISA!!!!! I totally get to do a intercambio (split) with my hija in a few weeks in the best area ever. Also I found out in consejo from the other hermanas that my hija has been baptizing a full and she had 6 converts this last change. 3 are people I taught, but the best part is that David and Mirin got married, the son of Maria and even better then that they BOTH GOT BAPTISTED!!! I started crying right there in the street when hermana bennett told me she had been there and had seen them. I couldn’t believe it. I can’t wait to go and see them all. It’s such a blessing from heavenly father, well also hermana austin and I trying to be sneaky. haha We also got hermana austin’s first area. She is stoked to go back there too, ahah win, win!


New investigators wise it was kind of a great week for rejection. We got rejected a lot but we are getting so good at it, seriously. We hardly even get discouraged anymore. I’m so happy I’m with Hermana Austin. We just have a load of fun in the middle of all this. Last week we got a reference from a member and they are great. Their names are Paco and Raquel. They are going to be a forever family I just know it. They didn’t come to church this week but we had the first lesson with Raquel. She is just really open and she really listens and Paco is great. He just loves Jesus and his family. We just got to get them to accept they need to be baptized again and married. Shouldn’t be hard, haha, we will see. But pray for them. They also have a 9 year old son!!!!!


So the 3 doubters are doing well. We got one of them, Ivan, to accept a date yesterday. That was great and the other one, Juan, came to church!!!! We were ready to drop him but then he came. we were sooo happy, and Gretel is doing great too. She said every time she meets with us she is more sure, so it’s just a matter of time with her and the other two. Pilar was one of the other’s but we haven’t been to see her. 


That’s about it. Oh two things I forgot last week real quick, hermana austin’s hair had gotten really, really long in the past year. We got some professional scissors from a member and I totally cut it one night. It was so fun, but also stressful. I got some good videos for you guys to see when I get home. haha But it actually looks really good. Look at all this companionship trust we have… but not enough. I wasn’t letting her near my hair.. haha


And I had a intercambio (splits) with Megan Gilchrist the last week. She is one of our companionships. She is doing so great. It was so fun to be with her. I was like who would have thought after all the years of Sunday School and girls camp we would be together in Paraguay. And more than that me as her leader. haha She actually was teaching me sooo much. I’m grateful for my calling. I just get to learn from everyone. It’s the best. I love ya all,


Que tengan un buena semana (Have a great week),



Hermana Ball