Monday, February 17, 2014

My first week in Isla Bogado!

Hola Hola everyone!
This week has just flown by with changes and meeting so many new people and getting to know the area! plus they took the elders out of our area and so now we have two! Plus we had to move houses this week and we moved into the elders house which meant a ton of cleaning haha but thankfully this house has air conditioning in the bedroom, blessings!
So first my companionl, hermana cowger! she has 10 months on the mission and shes from Melba Idaho and she is so sweet! we had some fun bonding experiences this week because she got lice from one of the families that we visit, the little kids always want to touch her hair because its really long and really blonde and everyone loves it! haha so we had fun putting the lice treatment in each others hair, I had to do it too because you know, we are together 24 7 haha
anyways Isla Bogado, its a lot nicer than my other area! people have like real houses, like big enough we can go in and sit down and have a lesson and some of the members have cars too! this area is like a lot more jungly i guess haha I dont know how to explain it but its a lot more humid and theres a lot more trees and everyone around here has flower nurseries and sells flowers! i love it!
my first night there we went over to the familia benitezs house because it was the dad, modestos birthday and we had a birthday dinner with the bishop and his family and another family their too. modesto just got baptized the sunday before i got there and now their whole family are members of the church and getting ready to go be sealed in the temple!
The ward here is awesome too! its bigger than my old ward and all the members are super willing to help with the missionary work. Hermana Perez is the young womens president and we live about two blocks away from her but she is the most loving lady ive ever met and right now shes making skirts for the young women in our ward so they have a skirt to wear to church. also her and her husband drive their truck to church and put about 20 people in the back of it each sunday so they can get to church too, I think our ward attendance has been going up since they started doing this haha
but anyways, Im so excited to be here! me and hermana cowger are ready to work hard! we have these 3 sisters that are so ready to get baptized, we are going to be working a lot with them! their 15 12 and 10 and they live with their dad because their mom abandoned them, but hna perez came with us to a lesson with them last night and she told them shes going to be their mama because shes the mama for all the young women and they just teared up and it broke my heart!
im so thankful for the church, we have such a support system behind us with our leaders and our ward, this truly is the lords kingdom in the earth. I will probably have more stories for you all next week! love you all so much! rohayhu!

con mucho amor
hermana meese

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sometimes we have really hard weeks.

Hola Familia!
So this week.. was very hard. and very very hot. some members told us that this is the hottest summer theyve had in paraguay in 80 years! ha! and also I learned this week that asuncion is rated the hottest city in the entire world! yep thats where I am! and you know what happens when its this hot? nobody has water... its a problem.
honestly that has been the problem of this week. we have had water in our house 4 out of the 7 days this week but thats better than the asentimientos where like all the lean to kinda houses are havent had any for like a week! so nobody was very happy this week and no one really wanted to talk to us but we kept on working right through it! there was a lot of walking during siesta which is the hottest part of the day which is like 2 in the afternoon until 5 and siesta is naptime, and everyone has naps here, like people come home from work to sleep and you dont want to wake up people during naptime, that just makes them mad haha we are just praying for some rain to bring everyone back to life! its true though that we have to go through hard weeks so that we can experience the good weeks too!
we did have some awesome moments though! Elder hunsaker our zone leader was doing divisions with an elder thats brazilian and during their division they went and visited the family of Creosa, our brazilian family weve been working with and we havent been able to talk to the dad at all because he doesnt want to listen but elder sousa from brazil, sat and talked to the dad for about an hour in portuguese and shared his testimony about how the church has changed his family and then yesterday elder hunsaker got a portuguese book of mormon from elder sousa that he wrote his testimony in so now we are going to go take that to him and try and have a lesson!
also speaking of elder hunsaker, hes going home this week! and im sending presents with him for you family! with him going home we had quite a few parties with the ward members and got some super good food and got to celebrate with the elders and them!
anyways. we have transfers this week!!! and im sadly leaving my little juan de salazar! hermana lutz is staying and going to be training, but im going to Isla Bugado with my new companion Hermana Cowger! Hermana Lutz knows her and says she super nice and im pretty sure shes from Idaho!
so that was pretty much my week! sorry there was not a ton to it! but I will have a ton to tell you next week about my new area! love you all so much! have a good week!

love hermana meese

Monday, February 3, 2014

Immigration Office

Soooo today has been a very long day! i have been sitting in the immigration office in asuncion for the past 3 and a half hours! but i can officially live in this country for the rest of my mission!
because of this i dont have a ton of time so im going to sum up my  week with some highlights...
last monday night we have a family home evening at hermana limpias house and we watched the restoration because she has a tv and it just turned into a full party when all of the kids in the neighborhood decided to show up and watch it with us! haha we had like 20 kids in her bedroom which is also the living room and kitchen haha
Tuesday we were walking along and we saw this paraguayan boy in a utah state shirt! and we were like what??? we talked to him and it turns out that his sister married a boy that served his mission in paraguay and she now lives in logan utah but she was their visiting her family! we were talking to her in spanish but she was talking all about utah and we got a little home sick! but it was fun to hear about the snow and all of that!
Thursday President McMullin came to our zone and we had interviews and I got my second christmas package! I gave one of the reeses cups you sent me to this little boy thats a member in our ward and he spit it out! he thought it tasted gross! haha but we just see things differently, here peoples favorite candy are Halls cough drops! no joke! they sell them everywhere! haha
The craziest part of the week was we were in a lesson with this 16 year old girl and we heard someone light their trashpile behind us at the next house over and it was big! and so about the time we were halfway through sharing the first vision, we turned around and the neighors house was on fire!! we were just like oh my gosh that did not just happen! they got it put out pretty quick though with buckets of water! all i can say is.... this only would happen in paraguay...
and you know your a paraguayan missionary when your asking yourself, do i drink the dirty water or get dehydrated? both are gonna make us sick.... haha dont worry we´re fine! but we really have asked ourselves this question this week.
sorry that this is all i have time for today! i promise to share more next week and i will send pictures too! love you guys! also shout out to dad! happy birthday on wednesday!!!!! love you guys! talk to you next week!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Hey Family!

Hola familia!

sorry I had no time last week! we had a good time going to the doctors office and hermana Lutz got to get her spider bite all fixed up! we have to go back today for a follow up but her leg looks all better! plus last monday we finally got our christmas packages and thank you sooooo much for all the presents!!! it was soo great! doritos and fruit roll ups never tasted so good! haha and thank you mom for the magazine about toms! can I tell you how happy that makes me?! they are helping people to get glasses here and its such a problem that people really cant see because they cant afford to get their eyes fixed. so many times we have met people and have asked them to read the book of mormon but they cant because theyre eyes are bad, and now i feel thankful for toms like they are helping us in our missionaries efforts! people need to be able to read the book of mormon!
anyways, here are the rest of the highlights of this week! Tuesday during our district meeting we were talking about how we can do more service, and after our meeting we went to hermana gomezs house for lunch and shes sick so we offered to help her and ended up washing all her laundry! haha by hand of course! they have these big tub bucket kinda things they used that are made out of tires and clothes soap comes in like a bar so you gotta scrub with your hands to get them all clean, and lets just say our arms were sore for the next couple of days! haha we washed so much!
the next day was so special! we went to visit this member named aurelio and hes about 85 years old and doesnt speak that much spanish because he speaks guarani, but after our lesson he bought us each a piece of cake from someone selling it on the street and then he read us his poetry he writes in guarani! after he told us what it meant and it was about how christ is our remedy for anything in our lives that needs healing, it was beautiful! also all the little kids were nice and dressed up all through the neighborhood because they were taking pictures at the school and putting them up on this website so they can get a sponser family for them to pay for them to go to school! its so humbling to see what an opportunity it is to be able to go to school.
also we have this family we are working with right now, and they are amazing! they told us they feel like god has prepared them to recieve the gospel, and the dad edgar is very quiet and serious but he just told us the past lesson we had with him that he just wants to know the truth and for us to teach him. I think me and hna lutz both just had mini heartattacks when he said that! im so excited to keep teaching them!
on saturday we celebrated hermana Lutz halfway mark with 9 months in the mission! Crazy! time flies when your having fun! haha
and then sunday was a true day at church in paraguay... first off because the power went off and came back on three different times during sacrament meeting and then halfway through the meeting a dog came running into the chapel! dirt and all, the young men jumped up and caught him and pulled him back outside! haha then afterwards in gospel priinciples we pulled the books off the shelf and a couple cockroaches came with them and they were big ones too! me and hna lutz died a little when that happened! haha
also exciting news is that the youth get to go to SEM this week! aka EFY but no one owns suitcases here and so all us missionaries loaned out our luggage to them for the week! sarah took one of mine and she was sooo excited about the color of my suitcases! Haha
anyways thats a little peek into my past week! also I read a super good talk that hermana lutz gave to read that I highly suggest! Its called Lessons from Liberty by Elder Holland so you guys can look that up if you have time! love you guys! hope everyone has a good week!

hermana meese

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hola From the South!

hey family! so im gonna apologize right now but its going to be a shorter email this week because my companion got a spider bite and we have to go to the doctor in asuncion because her leg is swollen. south american missionary problems! haha
anyways weve had a good week! we are just down here sweating in the 110 degree weather and we have had some amazing experiences this week! especially just experiencing being diligent, so in paraguay from 1 in the afternoon to about 3 is siesta, (nap time) and everyone sleeps. and i mean everyone! for example, we were at the bella vista chapel last week and their were some construction workers working on the fence around the chapel and we came out after our district meeting and they had mattresses on the sidewalk and they were sleeping! haha
so this being the hardest time of the day to work and contact people plus it just being the hottest part of the day is our test of endurance, but 2 different days this week, when we just pushed through it we found two different families that are sooo ready to hear the gospel! its so amazing how heavenly father prepares people! both families have baptism dates set for in february and we are really hoping we can just keep the ball rolling and help them prepare!
Friday was super special though because it was Monse´s birthday and we went and celebrated with her! hna Limpia who is a recent convert and one of our really good friends bought a cake for her. and long story short, I have this water bottle that monse just absolutely loved and asked to see it every time we came over and so we bought her one for her birthday and she freaked out when we gave it to her! haha her and her mom came to church on sunday and we were so happy! we are going to be helping her to get ready for baptism too! its crazy to see how little some people have but andrea, monses mom was telling us how she feels blessed because monse got a sponser family from america that is going to send them money for food and clothes and money so that monse can start going to school!
the way school works here is that theres no public school, its all private and usually catholic and school is only 3 hours long and you can either go to school in the morning or afternoon because they dont have enough teachers so they have two schedules so they can teach more people. it makes me grateful for how good of an education we get for free in america!
anyways, i became a little more american this week because i learned how to make paraguayan tortillas and they are actually super good! i will make them for you guys someday!
sorry to cut it short this week but i will tell you all more next week! oh and good news! my packages are at the office so i get to go get those today!!
love you all! have a good week!

love hermana meese

Monday, January 13, 2014

3 months in the mission!

Hola Familia!

guess what. I hit my 3 month mark of being in the mission this past week! its crazy how time flies!
This past week was a really fun week, starting last pday I got my christmas package from grandma! and I got a postcard from london from lauren and a letter from elder lund too! Shout out to grandma, thank you so much for the toms! I have worn them like everyday this week!
and I have to tell you guys, its crazy but people wear Toms around here, and its not because they bought them. where I am now is the recieving side of the one for one. so whenever you guys are buying toms you can think of me and all my paraguayan friends wearing them while we walk on these red dirt roads down here! it made me really proud that I got the chance to work for that company, and they really know what theyre doing becuase these are the most practical shoes to wear because you can wash them and its too hot for socks and they keep your feet protected on the dirt and rocks. anyways along with grandmas package, I have never been so happy to eat fruit snacks in my whole life! they just dont have snack foods like that here!
Wednesday was a good day too because we had zone conference and so president and his wife came and taught us about how we can improve our contacting and all those things, and hermana mcmullin blessed our home with a microwave! we were sooo excited!!!! haha
Thursday hermana Velma came to our house too and she is incharge of keeping all the missionaries houses clean and she is a riot haha shes this little peruvian lady and  she comes in and just sprays everything with lysol and then reorganizes our whole house and we help her and the whole time she just tells us about the gossips of the mission and which missionaries have gone home and are getting married and whats going on all over paraguay haha ive become a pro at mopping paraguayan style with a squeegee and a rag haha
also on thursday i put my house painting skills to use again! we went and did service for our investigators that are brazilian, and they are just finishing building their house and were painting the whole thing so we went over and helped them paint practically the whole thing! haha I think the mom, creosa was surprised at how hard two white american girls work and how fast we could paint!
our other investigator right now we have that we are working with, is Monse and shes 9 and she wants to get baptized. her mom is a member but she hasnt gone to church in a longtime because shes offended with a lot of people in our ward so we are trying to help her because monse cant get baptized until her mom is back going to church again. but she came to church with us on sunday! she reminds me a lot of Mallory! it made me proud thinking of mallorys baptism just this last year!
this week was a little sad in our ward though because we had a recent convert, maria, i dont know if i told you about her before but she was really sick with cancer but me and hermana tomco would go visit her each week and sing for her but she passed away this week so the whole ward was a little sad but we know shes in a better place now because shes not suffering anymore.
To finish off the week yesterday we went over to our bishops house and met with him and his wife! The bishop is super young for a bishop, I think hes about 29 but he and his wife are really strong members and have a 6 year old daughter. The bishop too works for beehive clothing, which makes the garments for the church! his job is to put in all the special symbols haha so next time your thinking about your garments, you can remember that my bishop is making them for you!
so this was a week of my life in paraguay! I feel like i have so much to say and so little time but I hope you guys are hearing about the things you want to hear about! if you want to hear about anything else here just ask! and id love to fill you in more and whatever.
love you guys so much! everyone remember to keep reading the book of mormon everyday and do your best in your callings! ive gained a new appreciation for those that do their callings, it makes such a difference in a ward, even the little things!
talk to you all next week! chao!

hermana meese

Monday, January 6, 2014

Cambios and Hermana Lutz!

Hola Familia!

So we had changes on Tuesday and Hermana Lutz is my companion! she is so fun! she is a redhead from colorado (my district leader had been confused in thinking that I would have a latina comp) haha but she has 8 months in the mission and shes my step mom because she is going to finish training me!
So I will just start from last pday and tell you all about my week! last monday night we had dinner with the familia ayala for hermana tomcos last night in juan de salazar and had asado, which is like barbacue south american style haha and we ended up being there pretty late and to get back home by curfew we ran the whole entire way home! we got back and were just dying and we put the key in our door to get in and the key literally snapped in half! and the other half was stuck in the door! so sadly this is the only key there is for this house so our landlord lady and the elders break down the door for us! haha they had a good time doing that, its every boys dream to break down a door right?
So then new years eve and new years day was just working like normal days except everyone was just partying and drinking and we didnt really have much success at all talking to people these days because the majority of people were really drunk blasting their paraguayan music haha
oh! but we were also busy trying to figure out the area, because with cambios this week, they switched us and the elders areas, so we live so much closer to our area and its a little nicer then the area we were working in before!
So far we have just been stumbling upon all these menos activo members of the church that we dont have record of them, and so we have been working a lot with them. its funny how we find these people, what happens is we walk by their house and they are sitting in front of their house in the shade drinking their terrerre and we ask if we can share a message and so we start teaching them then like halfway through the lesson, they are like yeah I was actually baptized into your church before but I havent been to chruch in like 9 years haha Its funny how heavenly father puts them in our path.
Another fun experience this week was me getting over being sick, I wasnt really recovering but then talked to the mission nurse who told me that I needed to get on an antibiotic and so she gave me the name to go get it, and here you can get any perscription over the counter haha its like in mexico where you can just go buy whatever you want haha and dont worry I am fully recovered now!
So i would have to say the highlights of this week were saturday we were walking along and saw hermana gomez with a friend sitting in the ditch waiting for a collectivo and they had 5 minutes till the bus was going to come but hna gomez that her friend was interested in the church so we sat down in the ditch with them and gave her the lesson of the restoration in 5 minutes before the bus came! haha and then sunday one of our menos activo hermanas we have been visiting came to church! and she brought her 16 year old daughter who just had a baby and they havent been to church in about 2 years but the hermana got up and shared her testimony too! we were so excited! also they invited us over to their house for dinner tonight so thats going to be fun!
I hope everyone is doing well! Hope everyone had a good new years! Im just here working under the hot sun! haha I have some awesome tanlines going right now

until next week! love you all!
hermana meese