April 27, 2015

Happy End of April!

This week we had a great experience teaching a young woman named Jessica. She lives alone and is neither working nor studying right now, but was interested in learning more about the church. We knew that she was smart and would be able to understand all of lesson one, and we felt impressed during our morning study to study a little bit more about the apostasy. To explain a bit more, not many people here ever get a grasp on the idea of the apostasy or dispensations. Not many people went to school or are used to following that type of line of thinking. I know, it's not actually that difficult of a concept, but for lots of people it is something that has never occurred to them before. In Argentina we teach all of lesson one, but here in Paraguay we teach in as simple terms as possible. SIMPLE simple simple. Anyway, back to the story. As a rule, we generally don't go into very much depth here while teaching about the apostasy because people just become confused. But with Jessica we decided to teach about it. And that was the most spiritual part of the lesson! As soon as she understood that the Church that Jesus Christ had established was lost, she could feel the importance and significance of God calling a prophet in modern times to restore all that was lost. Jessica even came to church on Sunday! Goes to show that when we study and prepare, God will bless us with the Spirit. Also, we should never be afraid to follow spiritual promptings, even if it seems to go against our personal experience.

Elder Oaks went to the Argentina Resistencia mission for a fireside, and we were invited to watch on satellite. He talked about the importance of keeping the sabbath day holy. That is definitely something that I would like to improve. Sunday should be a holy day in its entirety, it shouldn't just be a day where we go and sit at church for three hours. That means the music I listen to, the activities I participate in, everything should be centered around the Savior.

By the way, thank you for the letter/package! I got the letters and candies from home and from the Peregrine Ward Beehives :) I love you all!

Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

Keeping the sabbath day holy is a another way of consecrating ourselves to God. It's what He has asked us to do so that He can purify us and so that we can feel closer to Him. I love my Heavenly Father and my savior, Jesus Christ!

Have a great week!
Hermana Simmons

Yeah, I´ve been traveling a lot for the legal paperwork of staying in these two countries and then also because I have to go and do splits with other sisters in my zone and the neighboring zone.

As an HLC (Hermana Lider Capacitar?, i.e., Sister Training Leader) I go to consejo once a month where the zone leaders and HLCs talk about how to improve the mission and how the missionaries are doing. Once a transfer I need to go on splits with the sisters I work with, and a few times a week I should call or text them to see how they are doing. During meetings I sometimes have to give trainings to both elders and sisters in the zone. That's about it.

That´s fun that you all participated in the run! That is something I miss a little, being able to go out for a jog on my own. I didn´t even like jogging that much before! haha.

April 20, 2015

Traveling and Trips and Traveling Again...

This week I got to travel to both Posadas and Asuncion! It was a little strange to be back in Argentina and see all the missionaries that have been serving there these past few transfers. We had a big meeting with President LaPierre, his wife, and the assistants. It was exciting to be working with all the other missionaries trying to help the mission grow and improve. I went to Asuncion just because we had to do tramites (legal paperwork) over there.

Even though I had to travel 5 days out of the week this past week, we still had some great lessons! I`m so glad that my companion is such a hard worker! She loves the people and never looks for excuses to avoid proselyting. I love it! She`s a good example to me of loving the Savior and loving the people.

I know that this is God`s work! I know that Jesus Christ has established His Gospel and His Church on the earth once more. No matter what happens in the world, this work will go on and can never fail. This week we were not able to work as much as we wanted to here in Ciudad Nuevo, but we did what we could, prayed a lot, and tried to strengthen our faith. And this Sunday a member brought her cousin to church! We had been praying to find someone new to teach, someone who could progress. And out of nowhere God sent us a miracle :)

1 Nephi 9:6 But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen

Love you all!
Sister Simmons

April 13, 2015

Good morning!

I am currently running on two hours of sleep. We traveled from Ciudad del Este to Encarnacion last night at 1 am. We arrived here around 7am. I traveled with another sister and some of the zone leaders nearby (nearby meaning everyone within 5 hours of Ciudad) to come down to Posadas to go to a big counsel with all of the leaders in the mission. I´ve never been to one before, so I´ll have to let you all know how it goes.

This week I have been amazed by the amount of little daily miracles God blesses me with. Everything from catching a bus right on time to finding a house that we had contacted and thought had lost again. Here I have come to realize that if we look for our Heavenly Father, we can find Him pretty easily. He doesn´t necessarily appear with numberless hosts of angels or in spectacular visions, but in the extra strength I receive to just keep walking, the feeling of peace when we make it safely home, the happiness as I work with and get to know so many new people, He truly is our Father and loves us so much.

My new companion is Hna Moreno, and she is from Ecuador. She also has a little over a year in the mission, and is a really hard worker. She did crossfit and fighting tournaments before the mission, so even though she is really short and tiny, she is kind of a fireball. She reminds me a lot of Alair :)

We have been working a lot with meeting new people this past week. It´s amazing to see how many people God has prepared, and if we are not afraid and will just follow promptings, God will help us help others.

Mormon 9:19 "And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles."

Love you all!
Hermana Simmons
ps- congratulations to Katie Sonderegger on receiving her mission call! I´m so excited for her!!!

April 06, 2015

General Conference! Transfers!

I hope you all watched the four session of General Conference! They were all so amazing and inspired! I love hearing from God`s prophet and apostles. I also LOVED the emphasis on the importance of family and its central role in God`s Plan of Happiness. That is definitely something that the world needs to remember and protect.

I absolutely loved the talks by Elder Andersen about "keep practicing, keep trying" and Elder Renlund about what it means to be a saint. It was also exciting to hear the prophet announce more temples to be built. I know that God has called a prophet to lead and guide us! I know that Heavenly Father is a God of order and He doesn`t want us to be in confusion. That`s why we have so much help given to us through the scriptures and modern revelation! I know I felt the Holy Spirit testifying to me of the truthfulness of all the messages given this past weekend.

And for Easter, lots of people here are Catholic and have a couple of interesting traditions. Thursday and Friday before Easter lots of people will eat nothing but fish and chipa (a cheesy, unleavened bread). So lots of people gave us chipa for free. I am not sure I ever want to eat it again! But other than that, it was a very peaceful weekend here in Ciudad del Este, which was a nice break from all the partying and drinking that normally goes on the weekends here.

My companion Hna Dance left today! My new companion is Hermana Moreno, and I have done a few divisions with her before. I`m really excited! She is a great missionary! Also, I ask for your prayers and support, because this transfer I was called to be one of the Sister Training Leaders. I`m a little nervous about this new responsibility, but I want to do my best to help the sisters here in Ciudad.

Amos 3:7 "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets."

Love you all!
Hermana Simmons