November 25, 2014

Another week!

Happy Late Thanksgiving!

To celebrate Thanksgiving, we decided to have our Zone Meeting on Thursday instead of Tuesday. After the meeting, Hna Garcia and I made tacos and we all ate together as a zone. And yeah, that's about it. It's not a holiday that's celebrated outside of the U.S.- which I knew beforehand, but it was still weird to have the day actually arrive and not be eating turkey.

We went to Itapua Poty again to meet with this family. The dad and his four kids have all decided to be baptized this Saturday!!!!! The mom wants to wait and learn a bit more and be more sure in her decision, but the rest of the family is super excited and can't wait! They really are wonderful people and Hna Garcia  and I love them so much! The kids speak spanish, but the parents speak a lot more in Guarani. When we go, we try to learn new phrases and words that we can use. So now I can say "I know God lives." "Yo se que Dios vive." "Chekua nandejara oikoveja." Trilingual! haha nope, not even close. But it's fun to learn something new.

I finished reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish this past week. Yay! When I got to Moroni 10:3-5 I accepted Moroni's challenge. First, I wrote out all the instances in the scriptures and in my life where God has been merciful. Then, I wrote out what I believe to be true, and thought about my testimony. To finish, I decided to pray and ask God if these things were all true- if He really exists, if He really loves us, if the Book of Mormon really contains His gospel. 
And it is true. All of it. I know God lives; I know He loves us. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. I know that it compliments and strengthens the Bible. I know God is merciful. I know that this is His true Church.

I love you all! Have a fantastic week!
Hermana Simmons

P.S.  I definitely want to read more of and about Isaiah. They really encourage us here to just focus on learning the Preach My Gospel lessons really well, and only focus on learning the doctrine that is relevant to our investigators. But so many times in the scriptures we are commanded and recommended to read and study Isaiah. Hopefully I'll be able to find some time here to start reading.

Yep, I am definitely going to try to send pictures this next week! But the place where we are writing right now doesn't have a USB connection spot, so I can't upload anything.

November 17, 2014

The Church is true!

Busy week!

We got to travel to an area called Itapua Poty this week! There is a family who lives there, and they have woken up at 5 am the past three weeks to make it to church (in Obligado, Paraguay)! They are super interested, and so we got to ride the three hours in colectivo out to where they live to visit them this week. The entire area is just field and farmland! I can honestly say that Paraguay is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to! Parts of the trip all that was in sight were just rolling hills of vibrant green and bright yellow sunflowers! The sky was also a clear, clear blue with picturesque puffy white clouds. I'll have to try and take pictures when we go back!

This Sunday we talked with the family after church and shared with them how the true Church of Jesus Christ has been restored on the earth today- how God continues to call prophets and how the gospel blesses families. When we explained about the First Vision, and later about the Book of Mormon, there was just the sweetest, warmest spirit in the room.

I know that God loves us! I know He continues to be a God of miracles, a God of love. And that's why He has given us this gospel, to teach and help us grow. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. He truly saw God the Father and Jesus Christ that spring morning of 1820. I know that we have a living prophet today to lead and guide us. I know God hears and answers our prayers. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, which giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering." James 1:5

The only way to know the truth is to ask God in faith!

Love you all! Have a marvelous week!
Hermana Simmons

November 11, 2014

Bishapa? (sp?) - that´s “how are you” in guarani

This week just flew by again! Here are some of the things that have been going on.
I was sick with I don't know what on Wednesday. That was frustrating. We still went out and did some work, but had to keep heading back to the chapel to fill our water bottles and I had to rest.
Last Saturday a man (he is in his mid 60s) went to the temple for the first time! He speaks Guarani and scarcely any Spanish, so meeting with him is kind of tough. However he is just the cutest little old grandpa I have ever met! He was able to go and do baptisms with the Branch, and in church on Sunday he was just glowing and so happy to have been able to go.
We all can press on in doing what is right! D&C 64: 33 "Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." 
I love you all! Have a wonderful day!
Hermana Simmons


P.S. When we stay inside all day (like when it rained hard all day) we mostly do things that we have been wanting to do but never have time for. Sometimes we study a weird principle that we have questions on, or we clean the pension, or wash clothes, or cook a real meal, or hna garci­a teaches me traditional mexican dance (it´s awesome), or we'll sleep. We mostly like to catch up on sleep!

Also, we definitely never know what people are feeling or thinking on the inside. We have been working a lot here with a less active member who is only twelve years old and has attempted suicide three times now. She is better now, but we still worry about and pray for her a lot. All we can do is be kind and loving to everyone we meet, no matter what.

November 03, 2014

Hola Todos

Happy Monday!

Today we helped clean a house. I'm not sure we should have been cleaning without gas masks or those yellow toxic suits, but whatever. I'm not sure she has thrown anything (really, I mean ANYTHING) away in the past few years, but it was fun to hear the stories behind everything and see some of the pictures.

It has been raining crazy hard here this past week, and three days we had to stay inside because they cut the power and it was raining super hard. We got to go out for a few hours, but there really wasn't much we could do.

We went on divisions this past week, so I got to spend a day in Encarnacion (Paraguay). I also got to wear a straw hat because the sun is super bright and hot. Hna Craven lent me one, but I'm thinking about buying one of my own soon. Enjoy the attached picture haha.

Being in the mission I get a very good idea of my own weaknesses and shortcomings, and lots of the weaknesses and shortcomings of other people as well. I (like everyone else) absolutely loved President Uchtdorf's conference talk when he asked us to stop judging others just because they sin differently than we do. I found these scriptures enlightening as well "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law." James 2:10-11. God does not look upon ANY sin with the least degree of allowance. Whether I go about stabbing people with knives or whether I go about hurting people with words the result is the same. I am acting contrarily to God's will. My Heavenly Father is merciful, loving, and kind, but He is also perfectly just. We must always attempt our best, and then allow the repentance process to heal us when our best is not enough.

I love you all! Have a marvelous week!

Hna Simmons

Here is the Casa de Oracion where we have our meetings. It's next to a beer store. We're on the second floor.

This is what the language Guarani looks like. We have a few copies of the Book of Mormon in Guarani, but hardly anyone can read it. Most people speak Guarani and Spanish, but only read in Spanish. For whatever reason, Guarani is easier to speak but Spanish is easier to read.