May 25, 2015

It's a Beautiful Day


Last week was a little interesting. Okay, that's a strange way to start, considering every week is "interesting" out here. Anyway, lots of the new Elders and Sisters arrived in the mission so we have been kind of busy trying to help everyone adjust and learn the rules and feel comfortable and happy. I´m not training, but in my zone we have three new sisters. I feel like we are all on edge trying to make sure everyone is all right and adjusting well.

I don't know why, but last week we had a lot of appointments fall through and a lot of investigadors we had to drop- people are not progressing, nobody was ever home, etc... It was a little discouraging. On Friday I really felt upset and was frustrated with myself, my companion, the area, everything. What was even more frustrating was knowing that it's not my fault or my companion´s fault, or anyone's fault for that matter. We can do our best to invite the Spirit, we can have powerful lessons, but in the end, our investigator's have their own moral agency. They can choose whether or not to accept this Gospel. Or maybe now just isn't their time.

Anyway, I was feeling pretty discouraged, so I started reading one of the old General Conference Liahona's. I absolutely loved the talk by Elder Joseph B. Wirthling called "The Abundant Life." I can't summarize it very well, but I hope you all go read it. It talks about our potential, and the potential of all God's children. It also mentioned that Jesus Christ is the source of all energy, hope, happiness, etc... When I finished the talk, it came to my mind that I needed to say a prayer and ask for help. So I kneeled down and asked Father to strengthen me both physically and spiritually so that I could make it through the day. I can´t describe it very well, but the second I stood up from saying the prayer I felt ENERGIZED. I felt so happy! It was a 180 degree change from how I had felt before saying the prayer. This has happened before in my mission, but not to such a quick and drastic degree.

John 4:14 "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

I know that Jesus Christ is the source of the water that "springs" up to everlasting life. He is the source of all light and energy- literally! If we turn to Him, He can help us change! He can strengthen us in whichever way we need strengthening! I love Him and my Heavenly Father so much!

I´ll try to have some cool stories or pictures next week.

Love you all!
Hermana Simmons

ps- congratulations to Alair! Woohoo! My little sister is a high school grad!

May 18, 2015

A Little Stir Crazy

The inevitable finally happened. The members have been talking about it forever, and lots of contacts we make eventually come back to this- DENGUE. Hermana Moreno had had a fever and headache for about three days when we finally convinced her to go to the nearby clinic and get her blood tested. Yep, she has dengue. There’s no cure, you just have to rest and drink tons of water for about a week and then it will go away. We have been in the pension since Thursday. We have all been going a little crazy with so much free time. There’s only so much studying and sleeping a person can do. Thankfully with three Sisters in the apartment it is a little more fun. Tomorrow we will visit the doctor again, and hopefully the results will be good.

The upside to all this is that Hermana Moreno couldn’t have chosen a better time to be sick. Thursday was Paraguay’s independence day, Friday was their Mother’s Day, Saturday and Sunday are always slow anyways, and Monday is P-day. It’s one of God’s many tender mercies. If we are inside for a week, at least we were inside on days when most people don’t want to listen to us. Maybe we don’t understand why my companion got sick, but God won’t let it interrupt this work. Doctrine and Covenants 3:3 "Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men."

I love you all!

Hermana Simmons

ps- we found out about transfers today. Hermana Moreno and I are staying together here, and Hermana Murphy (our companion for the past week and a half) will be training a brand new missionary in her same area. So all four of us will be together in this ward still!

May 12, 2015

Happy Mom`s Day!

Short email this week.
It was fun to be able to see the family on Skype yesterday; I’m glad that that technology exists!
We are now working in a trio, because one of the sisters working here finished her mission two weeks before transfers. So Hna Murphy is just going to stay with Hna Moreno and I until the transfers come and she can get a new companion.

your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God
1 Corinthians 2:5
I know God calls on imperfect people to carry out His plans. But as we depend on Him and trust in His judgment, we will recognize that He helps us fulfill His purposes. And we will also be patient as we recognize that other people are just doing the best they can with the talents and weaknesses that they have as well. I love my weaknesses because they make me depend more upon my Savior and recognize His love and mercy in my life. They might not be all that fun, but in the end they help us come closer to Christ.
Love you all! Have a great week.

Sister Simmons

May 04, 2015

Letting the Spirit guide...

Miracle of the Week: Another sister missionary asked us if we had ever visited a man named Alcides who had stopped coming to church for a while. We said now, and asked where he lived. She didn't know how to explain it exactly, but she told us that a family we visit often should know. We went to this family and asked them, but only the wife was home and she said she didn't know where he lived. All she knew was that "He lives over THERE, way way back at the end of the street. I think." Great. 

So we started down the street, and after 4 or 5 blocks we started clapping at doors, asking people if they knew this man. Nobody had even heard of him. We kept walking. We didn't know if he lived on this street or on a smaller street that connected to this main road. We were out looking for about half an hour without any luck, but we really felt like we shouldn't give up. Finally we decided to stop trying to ask directions from the neighbors and just walk for a bit. 

We walked all the way to where the road ended, and then we took a turnoff. Then we walked all the way to the end of THAT street and we saw three paths in front of us, all leading to different neighborhoods. We decided to talk the smallest street first and so we walked all the way to the end of that street. The last house we found we asked the lady outside if she knew a man named Alicdes. She looked at us for a second and then said, "Well, yes. He's my neighbor. He lives right across the street!" Without any other help than God's gentle guidance, we had walked for about 15 minutes and ended up right at his house! When we started talking with Alcides, he informed us that that morning he had felt to pull out his scriptures and prepare the house because the sister missionaries were going to come over. And there we were! This man thought that God had forgotten about him, but we were able to share with him that God loves all His children.

As a mission we are working on finding people who are ready to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Even though I love working with less actives and members, this week my companion and I are really going to walk and talk and work with everyone we can to try to find the people that God has prepared to accept the gospel now. Lots of people we teach feel the Spirit and say that they know they should ask God if our message is true. Their obstacle? They are too afraid to change religions. I have literally had people tell me that they know the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, but they don't feel prepared to leave their own congregation. Argh! It's so sad! They don't understand that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ offers lasting happiness, peace, comfort, support, joy, and purpose! God`s invitation for us to repent and be baptized isn't an invitation to leave behind happiness and start a life of drudgery and sadness. It's an invitation to healing! An invitation to living with Him eternally!

"13 will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?  14 Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.
21 Behold, I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin.  22 Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved." 3 Nephi 9:13, 14, 21, 22

I know Christ lives! He is the Son of God and our Savior! I know Heavenly Father lives! His plan is that we can repent and return to Him through Jesus Christ! They know and love us individually. All we have to do is choose to follow them.

Have a great week!

Hermana Simmons

HLC- hermana lider capacitadora, or sister training leader

Yeah, even as a mission we are trying to think of ways we can better sanctify Sunday. Out here, teaching the Sabbath Day lesson so many times, it kind of hit me how dumb it was that before the mission I considered sitting in bed watching Netflix an appropriate Sunday activity haha. Good thing there is the repentance process :)

love you!