Monday, August 26, 2013

2 important things

WEEK 18                           2 Important Things                  August 26, 2013

Okay this week was fabulous... uhhh but not the numbers.  So, the beginning of our week was blazin´ hot here but since Thursday it has been raining and freezing (in the 40s).  Wednesday I had a surprise party planned in the capilla for Hna Toctaquiza.  She thought we had a mtg with the bishop the whole time but little did she know the ward was all there ready to surprise her.(lie, like 10%)

Thursday morning I got up early and made her pancakes and eggs and put out all the letters and packages that came for her, THANK YOU!! She seriously has never been happier.  Pancakes are her favorite and the recipe I have with me is flipping delicious! (They are like the Catie Porter´s sweedish pancakes).  Also we celebrated with cake and your cute candles and decorations, Mom, that night.  
And ya not sure what else to tell.  Awh ya yesterday in sacrament is was AMAZING!   The spirit was so strong.  Because of the CRAZY heavy rain there was only 39 in attendance, but seriously I felt so much love and joy between all.  There was a unity there that never has been.  Hno Rojas told a funny story in his talk and we were all laughing, Hna Curcui (a less active) inspired us all), and Hna Toctaquiza made us all bawl.  Especially me, because por medio la expiacion y mi Salvador I have really gained a love for her, we have grown so close, and LIFE THIS WEEK THERE ARE CAMBIOS!! I´ll let you know next week if we have cambios.  We´re supposed to get a call today but we´re still not sure who will leave or if we´ll both stay.  But we have been talking as though Hna Toctaquiza will leave.  
I´m nervous, sad, and excited all at the same time.  
What else what else?
Oh I wanted to say... so two important things that have really been impacted into my brain and heart while serving here, is

1: the importance and role of members.  We play a HUGE part in missionary work.  I could go on forever about this but really the members are where the work starts and where the work continues (it never ends:) and 

2: church attendance... it is SO important.  It is where our testimonies can constantly be nourished, where good friendships can be formed, where testimonies are built, where we can draw closer to our Savior, and learn the Lord´s will for us.  I am humbled and amazed at the power of the spirit in Sacrament as we truly put everything aside and focus on our Savior, what he did for us, and what we can become with him.  
Without fail... tears everytime.

Oh and we are placing dates! Not for baptism, but for less actives to ¨return and remember¨ because we have tons and President McMullin talked to us about how the Lord loves the less active and investigators the same.  So all is going well.  Hope you all have a fabulous week!

Con Cariña,
Hermana Owen

P.S. LIZZY and family!! Thank you for the card and pictures! I have the funnest and coolest cousins ever!! hope all is well.  Sending my love, hugs and kisses... hilly :)
P.S.S.S. Mom and Dad there is this thing called ¨23 preguntas para el Libro de Mormon¨ a member had in his scriptures.  I am sure you could find it somewhere on the internet.  If you do could you send me a copy?  It is a list of 23 questions and scriptures to match them in the LDM (BOM).  Gracias gracias gracias para todo!! LES QUIERO muchísimo!  xoxo 

 this is a cute less active family!  we do family nights and have lunch at their house sometimes.  Hna Ana, su hermana at my right and her two kids :) they came to celebrate

 eating Lomitos con Hno Pablo for Hna Toctaquiza´s birthday!

 our second home (the back of Hno Pablos truck... our chauffeur.   he is always so kind to give us rides or acompañarnos to lessons :)

 us on her birthday morning p.s. she LOVED the package :) 

 we celebrated with Dilce (21, member- adorable and like our best friend) and Yesica (pronounced Jessica she is a newly wed but like our older sister... we´re in her house)  they are the funnest!!

 Dilce is a dippy flipper and threw cake in Hna T. face for this photo haha, but apparently it is tradition in Ecuador to do that on your birthday (so Hna T. just laughed :)

Yippee - Yay

WEEK 17                             YIPEEE ~ YAY                           August 13, 2013

So this past week was freezing and today was sweltering hot.  I think winter is over folks and we’re headed for hot times from here on out.   We worked super hard this week.  We both got 76 contacts and 7x7 woo woo!! Our zone leaders really buckled down on us to really remember these goals.  

Also, we had an entrevistsa with el presidente and he really wants us to focus on working with the members, reminding us that the Lord loves the less active just as much as he loves the investigators.  So we have been striving to visit the less active and man alive you wouldn’t believe the success we are having.  In the past 3 weeks, ward activity has gone from 95 to 100 to 120 this week!!! YIPPEEE, plus a ton of our less active have been returning and we have 3 investigators that have been consistent in attending church. I seriously couldn´t be happier.  Their names Gloria (she is this darling woman who can sew/crochet super fine this specific Paraguayan design it is beautiful, she says she has lots of dreams but loves the church because it is the only church she has never been confused in... how bout that!  Her daughter (Milagros-14), and her sobrina (Faviana-16 o 15).  I am super excited because the young women have really befriended Milagros and Faviana. YAY! 

This week I noticed two things...

First off, I am beginning to develop this love for the people here.  Every time I contact people I imagine them in white at their baptism or their lives in the future with the gospel.  I thought the other day how sad the day will be when I leave this place and how much I will miss speaking this Spanish language.  I love it!! It is coming more and more each day.   Gave a talk in sacrament yesterday about the importance of members in this missionary work and ward members were saying I am beginning to sound half Paraguayan and half Ecuadorean, haha :) YAY!  they say i speak more fluently.  happy day.

Second, I seriously feel of all your prayers, love, and support.  In predicad mi evangelio or maybe it was somewhere else, i can´t remember... one of the brethren of the church made a comment about the family and missionaries.  ¨Their labors will sustain you, their faith encourage you, their prayers uphold you Seriously I love you all so much.  Through letters, prayers, and spirit I seriously receive strength and faith to carry on even when times get rough cuz I know you´re all there.  I am so grateful for you all and apologize to those I haven´t had the time to write back.  

P.S. to those in need of a little strength... I memorized a scripture in spanish that I have just fallen in love with: John 14:18 ¨No os desafíos huerfanos, vendré a vosotros.¨ The Savior lives and he comes to us.  May we remember to do all we can by our works of faith and then look up because he is waiting to throw down his rope.  He is always there for us.  By and through him we can and will surmount all.  

Much love, until next week,

Hermana Owen

P.S.  Ate me some awesome mexican burritos at this gourmet restaurant, in the states. The plate probably would have cost around 17 bucks, but here it was six!! (30 mil... a fancy meal for Hermana Tocaquiza´s bday) :)

 Hna Sanchez and her daughter Mercedez not sure if i told you about them before but they literally live in a shack with chickens EVERYWHERE in the dishes and shelves you can find eggs! Its like easter everyday...  they are the most humble and sweet people ever!  They come every monday to clean the temple and hna sanchez is a faithful temple goer 2-3 times a week .  She is always a little soft with us cuz her husband past away a week or so before I came.  We love them SOOOO much!