January 26, 2015

che i'kua andejara nderayhuha (I know God loves you!)

Happy Monday!

Well, this week just flew by! Probably because I spent the last half of the week sick in bed with a high fever and headache. Luckily we have a few Elders who live fairly near by, so they were able to come and give me a Priesthood blessing.

Can I just say that I know this is the true Church of Jesus Christ? I know that the Priesthood Authority of God is on the earth and worthy men who have the priesthood can give blessings and work miracles just like Christ and His disciples did!

Hermana Percival and I have been talking a lot about the importance of prayer lately. Something sad about Paraguay is that lots of people say they believe in God or that they belive they are children of God, but they don't actually understand what that means. God is our FATHER. He literally LOVES us and actually wants us to be happy! He is mindful of every single one of his sons and daughters. When we pray we have the opportunity to speak with the same Being that led Moses and the people of Israel out of Egypt, the same God that broke down the walls of Jericho, the same God that worked all those miracles of the past. And He wants us to speak with Him! How crazy blessed and privileged are we???

I love these scriptures in James 5. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is simple, everything He tells us is for our good. We are the ones who go around confusing doctrine or trying to make simple things more complicated.
"13) Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 14) Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord."

Heavenly Father really does want us to be happy, and if we would just obey His counsels, we could find peace and lasting joy. What do we do if we are sad? We should pray! What if we are happy? Then sing praises to God! If we are sick? Ask for a blessing of the priesthood! God has all the answers and solutions.

I hope you all have a fantastic, wonderful, marvelous week!

Sister Simmons

January 19, 2015


I'm here in Presidente Franco!

So this place is absolutely lovely. We are actually in a ward now (that was a weird adjustment), and there are a lot of people to visit and a lot of members to work with. There is definitely a lot more movement here. I can tell we are pretty close to Ciudad del Este. Actually, we are super close to everything. About ten minutes away there's a place called "Tres Fronteras" or "Three Borders" and we can see Brazil, and Argentina, from here in Paraguay.

My companion is Hermana Percival. She is from Utah and is awesome! She wants to work a lot, and so do I- we are going to have a good transfer together. She goes home in April though, so she is starting to work on her college essay questions and stuff like that because she wants to transfer over to BYU. We have been working on her "homework" a few minutes each night so that she can get them finished in time.

There is a family here that we meet with that lived in the U.S. for fifteen years! Their oldest daughter was born there, and so we have been meeting a lot with her. She is reading the Book of Mormon, believes it is true, and kind of wants to serve a mission! We just told her that she needs to be baptized first, and she is super excited. We are working towards March 7th as her goal. Hopefully her enthusiasm keeps up and she keeps saying her prayers and reading her scriptures and coming to church!

2 Nephi 9:10 "O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit." I know God is wise and merciful and just and perfect! He has prepared the perfect plan since before the world began to help His children overcome death through Jesus Christ! We just need to obey Him.

Love you all! Have a great week!
Hermana Simmons

January 12, 2015


Super quick email this week because we are having transfers!

I am being called to go work in Presidente Franco in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay! Ah! It's basically the biggest city we have in the mission (aside from Posadas). There are actually wards there instead of branches, and apparently it is just a huge melting pot of Portuguese, Spanish, German, and Guarani. I'm pretty excited and nervous!

Not much new here- after being in the same area with the same people for five months things get pretty monotonous. We have been trying to do different proselyting activities to not get stuck in the routine too much.

Scripture of the week! 1 Nephi 3:7 "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." I'm anxious to be going to a new place and meet new people, and I know that God will prepare a way for me to help people there. I will go and do!

Love you all!
Hermana Simmons

P.S.  It's crazy to think that in Meridian, Idaho my dad gave a lesson on the parents of John the Baptist and Jesus, and here, however many miles away, in a little town called Obligado, Paraguay we had the same lesson, just given in Spanish! The organization and order in the Church is amazing sometimes!

January 06, 2015

Not much new

Hey hey hey! Happy Tuesday!

Yep, we were traveling again yesterday. My companion and I went to Posadas to speak with President LaPierre. She has been having some health problems, but has decided that she wants to stay here in the mission and finish strong! Thanks for all the prayers you have been sending for my companion and I. They really do help.

We had some weird experiences this past week. To make a very long story short (you all are just going to have to wait in suspense until I get home to hear the full version), we are not allowed to visit one of our areas for the next few weeks. We have to avoid Trinidad, and will only be working in Obligado and Hohenau. It is super sad to think thta we won't be able to pass by and visit the members and investigators there, but it's for the best. I just need to trust that God will be watching over them, and if they are doing what's right, they will be okay.

D&C 61:9-10 "Through faith they shall overcome;  And inasmuch as they are faithful they shall be preserved, and I, the Lord, will be with them." God really is mindful of us and our needs. He watches over every single one of His children. If we are doing what is right, we have no need to fear.

Love you all! Have a wonderful week!
Sister Simmons

P.S.  yes, we have access to the conference talks, but only in Spanish. Today I am going to print a few out in English from lds.org because I really do want to read what they actually say haha. It's amazing what miracles God can work for us when we have the faith, desire, and ask for His specific help!

January 01, 2015

we are party animals

It was so good to see you all on Christmas! By the way, the other Sisters in the zone say you are all very cute. (we were all sharing the photos of our families).

I know you are all just dying to know- how did Sister Simmons spend her Christmas and New Years? I'll tell you.... SLEEPING. 

We actually ended up doing nothing. At the last minute we had to cancel all our plans and travel to Encarnacion on Christmas Eve. We spent the entire night in the other Sisters' apartment while they were out enjoying the holiday. Hermana Palacio and I played a lot of hangman and "I Spy.".....Yep. and that's about it. haha

Yesterday Hermana Palacio was feeling sick, so we ended up getting home early. I studied a little bit and cleaned up around the apartment. I really did want to stay up to see the fireworks at midnight but 1) it started pouring heavy rain, with lots of thunder and lightning every few seconds so nobody could set off fireworks anyways and 2) I was super tired and just ended up sleeping through the entire night.

These past few weeks we have been dealing a lot with things that are out of our control. It is really frustrating and can be discouraging at times to not be able to see results like I want. But my timing is not God's timing, and my plans are not God's plans. I am trying to learn patience, charity, and to have greater faith in Christ. "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed." D&C 123:17 I can do all I can, but then I need to realize that it is God who is in control of all!
Love you all! Happy 2015!
Hermana Simmons

P.S. Thanks for the letter and photos!!!!! I really am trying to do everything I can to send photos home and make copies of them, but the computers here are terrible! I made another effort today, but it looks like they do not want to be shared. ugh. Hopefully next week?

We really didn't do anything for Christmas. It's a very long story. But yes, people do light off a ton of fireworks. That was pretty exciting. But other than that, there really aren't traditions. They just eat a lot of asado and pan dulce.
I think you all jinxed me when I spoke with you Christmas! You were worried that I would be sick, but I wasn't. The day after Christmas I was! I got a fever and was super weak, and the next day I woke up with the fever gone, but I had caught a nasty cold! I really don't know how that happened, but now it's mostly gone. I just have a weird cough now haha.