Tuesday, November 11, 2014

LAST POST FROM PARAGUAY

13 I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and penwrite unto thee:
 14 But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.
Rohayhu Eterei! 
Con Carino, Hermana Owen


But then she added this bit:

This was the last if you can believe it or not.   So many miracles; so many blessings. Hermana Sofia stopped chewing tabaco and is reading the Book of Mormon DAILY! Relation I think YES! :)  Oh the power it has.  In fact, Saturday Horqueta had a baptism ... Cesar Cohene se llama.  Words cannot describe the joy that filled our little chapel. Only a few were in assistance... at least on this side but I know hundreds of angels in attendance. He bore such a powerful testimony and went right down to bawlin on sunday when pte. anounced "the newest member" :)  

well just kidding i am out of time I will finish when i am with the parents i guess!!! ahhhhhh exciting things! so many emotions! rohayhu eterei!

love hermana owen


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fruits of Our Labor

I was reading in Jacob 5 this morning verses 70-75... It talks about the Lord and his vineyard.  At first I was just trying to get some good scriptures on missionary work, little did I know it was the Lord talking directly to me.  It was overwhelming his words as he said, ¨Go to and labor with all your might. For behold this is the last time... for the end is nigh at hand... and if ye shall labor with all your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit.¨   The roads is not completely finished yet. I´m still sprinting and I hope that in the end his words are somewhat like verse 75.   This work has been incredible and one of THE greatest blessings and opportunities I have had in my life.

I wanted to fill you all in a little on the miracles from last week.  General Conference was an adventure.  Saturday played but every ten seconds it cut out.  Sunday we only listened but luckily it played well.  Sunday is when la Hermana Eugenia and her darling 3 little lost boys came to listen for the two full sessions STAYING the two hours in between.  These people sacrifice so much.  It was fun and lucky hermana Border and I had made cinnamon rolls for everyone for Sunday sessions.  ALSO, Gloria Moreco (baptized last October in Loma with daughter Milagros) is going through the temple!  I called her last week and she told me the great news!! 

This week also had it´s miracles and adventures.  Hna Maura, who we got to know and taught only this past Friday, came to church SUNDAY!  Everyone was so excited to see her!   We had so many adventures:  first off we had a GIANT flying cockroach attack us one night.  I ran out of the house while Hna Border valiantly killed it with our mop.  So I have a fear of cockroaches and she spiders.  Thursday night I had just closed my eyes to sleep when I here a scream from the other room.  A creepy spider fell onto her from the ceiling!  I checked and in the morning we found and killed it. It was a cool spider though.  Friday night we are getting ready for bed and I walk into the kitchen because I heard a crackling.  Outside our blurry window I see strong flames blazing upward! ¨HERMANA BORDER!!¨  ¨HERMANA BORDER THERE´S FIRE OUTSIDE OUR HOUSE!  WE have. to leave. now!¨  We frantically grab our emergency stuff and run to the front door where we saw more flames outside that window!  We open the door, hearts pounding, sweaty hands, minds racing.... our neighbor was burning his trash... oh Paraguay. :) 

Hna Sophia and Pastora have new dates and we are pretty sure are going to be fully prepared for the 24 of October.  They are more and more excited everyday feeling part of the ward family.  

This work is incredible.  I love you all so much.  See you at the finish line.

Con Cariño,

Hermana Owen 




  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sprinting is My Favorite Part

Goodness I had so much fun reading emails this week.   Bishop Knight, reading yours I literally started having a panic attack!  What is going on!?  Three weeks left!  Good night nurse. It really is like running a race and suddenly you hit the last 200 meters and people start cheering from every direction, ¨Sprint! SPRINT!! GO! GO!! You´re almost there! YOU GOT THIS!¨  Gosh, what it´s that close! Flip!  Let´s go then!! Guys I´m sprintin okay!  Let´s win this thing!   I told Bishop, sprinting is my favorite part.  

This past week was a wild one. Goodness. Let´s see... where to begin. Well we got quite the down pore for a good four days. Lots of mud and it was just THE greatest thing bein soppin wet yet workin. Everyone wanted to let us in.  That´s the thing I love about Horqueta.  We got wet again that night with a fun water balloon game with the branch.  

My favorite lesson of the week we had just after consejo de rama Tuesday night. The spirit led it all. We were teaching Hermana Sofia. We helped her see all the progression she has made and how far she has come.  We not only put a date for the 18 of October but in the end she said the kneeling prayer. It was beautiful, and she pleaded with the Lord to show and help her understand that these things are true.  We embraced after the prayer and she looked us in the eyes almost on the verge of tears and said, ¨Owen, Border, I am doing this because I KNOW (che aikua´a...) it is a commandment of God, I want an eternal family, I know this is what will bless us forever and already has... thank you, thank you.¨ Goodness I almost went right down to bawlin. Lives change every day.  Also Hermano Frutos invited us over Sunday to eat. He expressed to us how much he desires to come back. He reading the Book of Mormon without fail everyday.  He just feels guilty or shameful returning.  Pray for him.  He is awesome.  

Oh we also found a GOLDEN investigator... Danaide Barrios. She is darling and has such curiosity and burning desire to know what we share.  Apparently a few weeks ago when we had divisions with Hermana Amado and Sanchez, Hermana Border and Amado met her, invited her Sunday to church, and said we´d return Sunday at 5 to share.  Well just so happens that Sunday she got ready to go and come to church and upon leaving they received the shocking sad news that her uncle had just past away.  She didn´t come.  BUT we past by this week and she told us everything that happen and we were able to talk about the plan.  She said, ¨I knew it! I knew it didn´t stop there! I  kept telling myself that.¨  She is awesome. Yesterday we shared with her dad and mom.  Little by little I think we´ll see great progress with this family.  

Just to end with a picture of our little picture perfect life here in the little town of Horqueta:   Cropped in a tiny turquoise house, with a banana and guava tree out front.  Sawing and nailing wood all day at  President´s carpentry next door. Roosters howl at 11 pm every night and 4 am every morning.  Red dirt follows us everywhere.  Gekos splat on the windows at night and we watch them catch moths, in amazement.  There´s heavy rain, lots of humidity, lots of green, and a big sun.  Motors and horses pass us on our way.  Watermelons are beginning to flood the streets, fruit stands, and home grown herbs are sold on every corner.  There is quite a bit of wind, and it is so clean here.  The purple tyjy flowers are blossoming and falling everywhere.  It´s a tranquilo lugar. Our little heaven.

This morning I was reading about Charity and I loved the quote I had written down in my Preach My Gospel next to the attribute in chapter 6.   ¨They don´t care how much you know, until they know how much care.¨  We have been striving to strengthen the love and relationships in the families here, lot´s of reading about eternal marriage, families, and charity.  It put a lot of things into perspective and really help me realize overall what I desire one day in my family.  Remember to love and try showing love this week to those you love and those you don´t through the small things.  I love Moroni´s plea with us... ¨pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him.¨  (moroni 7:48)

May others come to Him through us, and as we strive to attain this attribute I truly believe WE come to know Him.  
Love you all so much.  

Con Cariño,

Hermana Owen

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Lifelong Pursuit

Learning to be like Christ is a lifelong pursuit.¨ (Preach My Gospel, pg. 123)  So it´s not as easy as I thought.  I realized something else this week.   We are here, as it describes in the poem of ¨After All You Can Do¨ by Robbie Pierce, to just be the callers, the herders, the preparers.  We are the ones to call down the deep, dark, damp holes saying, ¨Don´t worry, get up, nothing's the matter.  Take sticks and take rocks and build up a fine ladder.¨   Then as the people put in their effort the Savior makes up the rest.  We don´t take or make up that part, He does.  He is our Redeemer and Savior.  I know He lives and He lives for the moment when you can see someone come to know that truth as well.  Oh sweetest moment of life.

This week was bitter and sweet.  Hows about the sweet stuff.  First off Monday we had a stellar noche de hogar with Mariela´s entire family!  Celebrating her birthday as well.  We drew a giant man in the sand with the whole armor of God on it was so fun!  
CAAAAKE - Family Home Evening dessert
(notice the kids hand above Hillary's head - she didn't mention it so I will guess he didn't put her face in the cake)


Having a good time with Hermana Border and families

"It was unleashed"
referring to her "V Face" - we called it, that she discovered in like 5th grade and always made people laugh
Thursday we headed to Concepción for a zone conference. Wait, I have an Announcement!  From the first presidency!! Speaking of the first presidency I am stoked for GENERAL CONFERENCE!  Anyway it´s that missionaries now have to teach all five lessons before baptism while we were usually just teaching 1-4 before.  

A storm rolled over during the conference.  We caught a bus back to Horqueta at 7:30 or so and upon arrival the lights went out.  I felt like I was in a black maze.  Luckily our district leader and his companion live close to us so we all walked home together. It was PITCH black.  The lighting lit up the tunnels (or streets)  that made it like walking through a vortex.  It was awesome!  We had to stay home for the last hour of the night because it was dangerous to leave.  We were starving and so we decided to cook in by candle light. It was so fun!

We went running Friday morning and there were huge lightning streaks that ran across the sky every few minutes.  Kinda dangerous.  However, I got a few cool shots with my camera!  



Luckily the rain cleared up that evening to have our Book of Mormon night held in the Martinez´ home.  It is something new we are starting. We go to a members home each Friday night and read a little from the Book of Mormon.  The spirit was unbelievable I tell ya.  I look up from my Book of Mormon to see 15-20 members, books open, and listening intently to every word.  I wouldn´t have traded it for anything.  This week Hermana Severiana´s house. :)

It´s Spring! officially :)  haha the flowers were a week early.  And now they´re all gone.  Only lasted a few days.  Sunday was, ¨Día de Primavera y la Juventud¨  (the day of spring and youth) cute huh!  

English class is becoming more and more successful.  We even had a young man come and contact US, asking about English classes and stuff- friend of our Líder misional.  Hermana Border and I had fun acting out noodles, lightning, chipa, snoring and all sorts of things while two teams had to shout out the word in English.  Good times! 

Sunday we had Hermana Frutos and Sofia at church! Success!  The chapel felt full again and there was such a beautiful spirit about it all.  



I had two exciting calls this week.  One from Hermana Gutierrez in Campo Grande telling me Hermana Elizabeth!!!! Is going to the temple to take out her endownments!!!  AND Elder Crandall called from Mburucuya telling me that Flia Medina will be sealed this next week in the temple. I wish I could go sooooo bad. But I told them to advice them that we will be doing a session in October with everyone. What day should we do it?  

Love you all so so so much!  Keep on sprintin!

Con Cariño,
Hermana Owen

 
This Mary Statue is in Concepcion and is the largest Mary Statue in all of Latin America !!
You can go up inside and listen to music

This was our Zone Activity.
We won !

"The masterpiece"
some soup we don't know about - she didn't tell
but it looks good

This is Hermana S's (investigator)
 "seed of faith" plant - It's growing !!
(Hillary asked us to pray that her faith and our faith will continue to grow.  And that testimony to grow.) 

Pics from the Horqueta Cemetery.
Pretty awesome buildings around it




EPIC

Monday, September 8, 2014

May Christ Lift You Up

       6. And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.

    25 My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in yourmind forever.

My companion and I just happened to be studying the same chapter in the Book of Mormon the other day and just happened to read, focus on, and ponder THE SAME verse the other day (verse 25).  I absolutely LOVE these verses.  We have to keep going even when we are tired, even when the climb gets tough, even when we feel alone.  To all those maybe hittin a rough patch in the road remember all the Savior went through... He´s walked your path before.  He´s here for each and everyone of us to walk it again with us.   He is our Savior and Redeemer.

Good news!  Hermana Pastora Diana quit smoking!!  She is so strong and just darling.  They are so excited to get baptized.  We will be having a baptism this week infact.  Federico Sanchez (14).  He is so stoked.  Reading his Book of Mormon everyday and praying everyday, comes to all the activities and just LOVES life.  He and his siblings amaze me!  The picture is of all of us celebrating his older brother´s (Roberto) birthday on Friday for lunch.  He turned 18!  Mission!  Not just yet but we are pumpin him up and the elders are as well.  
Happy Birthday Roberto
We had a spiritual boost this past Wednesday.  We had... DIVISIONS!  It´s been to long! :)  It was fun and a little nerve racking, honestly, to be on the other end.  Hermana was real nervous though but she ended up having a BLAST!   By the end of the day she was speaking spanish like no other.  We now have a goal as a companionship to speak 100% spanish except during pday hours :)  Love it.  She is such a go getter.  

We also found a golden family this day.   Familia Ramirez.  About a month ago, we were headed through the park in the middle of Horqueta here.  I was explaining to Hermana Border how we strive to find families when suddenly one was headed our way.  We called the other day to see if we could pass by or if they were interested in learning more.  Surprisingly they were very interested.  We taught an awesome Lesson one and they´ve excepted to hear more.   We´re going today! And they said they have been praying and reading the Book of Mormon! Pray for them!   

Oh speaking of Book of Mormon... guess what!?  I finished!!!!  In spanish!! FINALLY. :)  

Also did you know there are blackberries in Paraguay!?!  I thought there was nothing of berries.  BUT they got blackberries.  I go around pickin ´em off the trees and poppin ´em in my mouth.  Your hands get purple but they are so good.  A little smaller and milder than the ones in the states.  

We had a neat Branch activity Saturday night.  We reenacted the tree of life. It turned out beautiful.  Not to many came but we had an absolute blast.  It rained A TON Saturday night so we had a low assistance as well but a beautiful testimony meeting.  Seems like it rains every fast Sunday.  I swear the Lord tests the faith of these people SO much! Well things are going well.  Just soakin up some sun; it has been crazy hot here and I am afraid it´s not gonna get any cooler.   

May Christ lift you up.  Love you all tons!

Con amor,
Hermana Owen
Traditional Paraguayan Meal
It definitely is not weird to put a tortilla on bread
President's farm
It's so lush and beautiful out here


You will LOVE this one (with the cows)
Presidente y Hermana Duarte
Delicious Fruit here
at family night last week we put them all into a big not and untied themselves... theme was unity.   it was so fun!  the kid smiling is Federico, who will be getting baptized this Saturday!
The Youth at a FHE
the Tree of Life

Monday, September 1, 2014

Just In Time

What a week!  We were exhausted!   We had two AWESOME familiy nights.  It is bringing a TON of unity to the rama (branch)!  

We had a Hermana Eugenia (less active as of five years) come to church yesterday! It was SOOO exciting.  I had people telling me you´ll never get her to church she´ll just tell you she´s sick or something.  GUESS WHO CAME!?  :)  It brought tears to my eyes the words she said to me yesterday...  she said, ¨ The blessing brought me strength hermana, it worked!¨  We asked two men in the Branch to come give her a blessing the other day because, yes, she gave us "an excuse" you could call it that she is super sick and isn´t able to come.  Well we asked if she had ever recieved a priesthood blessing before and she said a long time ago yes. I said, "well how bout one today?"  We asked two men from the branch to come over and they gave her a blessing, and look... SHE CAME!  It was such a huge blessing.  The power of the Priesthood is real and it was definitely a testimony builder for her, especially since we had just taught her about the priesthood (the power to act in God's name) that day.  
Hermana Eugenia
We had a little dramatic catastrophe happen two days ago.  So Saturday morning we had planned to go at 8 am to clean Hermana Eugenia´s house but when we showed up she refused our help saying, ¨no no I am leaving anyway to go down town, another day hermana another day. ¨  haha okay hermana.   So we decided to stop by a couple other houses to see if there was any help to offer.  Unsuccessful we returned home, did our studies, and by the afternoon we were headed out to work.  We were stopping by Familia F (as a plan B... luckly plan A fell through because...)   As we showed up no one came for like 5 minutes. As we were about to leave Hermana F came running out from behind her house.   As she came out front I noticed what looked like cake or jam mashed to the side of her head.  I said, ¨Oh hermana you have some...¨ And before I could finish she said, ¨I know I know.  It´s sugar. I just fell.¨  uhhhh what had happen was an hour prior to our arrival, she had fallen really hard while cleaning a tile / brick bathroom floor.  It was wet and she slipped smacking her head on the sharp, brick, ridged edge of the doorway.  Not thinking much of it she grabbed her head in pain after blacking out a little and then held out her hand, noticing it was wet, and finding it covered in blood, she looked in the mirror and it was running down her neck.  She was all dizzy she said and so she put sugar on it to stop the blood... (another cool thing I've learned in Paraguay.)  It had stopped bleeding but we thought it must have been real deep.  She was the only one home at the moment.  We recognized that maybe this was the service project the Lord wanted us to do :)  We sat her down and washed the sugar out of her hair.  We ran back home to grab some oitment and medicine because she was hurt bad.  Maria and Sebas, who live around the corner, waited with her while we ran home.  We came back, shampooed her hair, cut the hair off where she had fallen.  It was pretty bad... (let me just say I will never be a doctor,  my arms were all shakey as we were doing all of this and I felt my face go cold and white).  We applied some ointment then got her laying down.  We brought in her clothes and folded them and then were able to go get her dinner.  It was just the greatest day.  Even though that sounds traumatic  she is doing a lot better.  She ended up going to the hospital and getting stiches.  Yesterday we went to visit her and brought and applied some more medicine.  It was just such a tender mercy of the Lord and actually how he placed us in her pathway at that moment.

It was another week full of miracles.  We  are having so many adventures and memories!  I love Hermana Border and this work so much!!  Let´s go dominate another week!!! Love you ALL so much!

Con Cariño,
Hermana Hillary Owen
​ 
Dessert for Family Night...
home made oreos and Cake from the store 


All three birds are names "Te Quiero",
which is the only things they know how to say.
They are so funny to watch dance.  They are so loud. 

NOCHE de HOGAR with FAMILIA MARTINEZ! 

headed in Pte. Duarte´s truck out to his farm! 


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

17 Miracles

This week was FULL of miracles! We couldn´t stop counting!  In fact there was definitely more than 17 but I´m playing off the movie okay? :)

#1: The orange blossoms are blooming like crazy!  It smells like a Spring in Arizona and it makes every day ten times better.  The air out here in Horqueta is so clean and pure!
#2:  Wednesday you wouldn´t believe how much Hermana Border spoke!!! She is improving so much!
#3: We taught Atilio Gimenez (husband of this AWESOME investigator Zuni we have).  It was one lesson to remember.  He listened and we had his kids listening and interested and at the end we knelt in prayer and he offered the last prayer.  Oh that was a miracle!
#4:  Finally got a hold of, found the house, and taught a less active FAMILY (familia crystaldo).  They are awesome! Their niece is Suci, who was just baptized.
#5: HermanO Frutos shared with us this week!  We read from the book of mormon and he promised he would come to church on Sunday... didn´t BUT not discouraged we were just happy he was sober and home!
#6:  We arrived to teach some new converts (Roberto and Mariela) and guess who showed up right when we did!?  THEIR DAD!! He usually NEVER wants to share with us or ¨can´t¨.   But this time he ACCEPTED! And we shared the message of the restoration.  The spirit was so thick!  He accepted to learn more about the gospel.
#7:  HermanA Frutos is opening up to us so so much!  She told us her life story and conversion.  She gets so so excited to see us and ward members.  She is so much happier, despite the hard and sad life she has and does live.
#8:  Hermana Sofia (mother of Sebas)  went to pull out a good amount of money the other day.  It was for her buisness, and to do that it usually takes like 48 hours.  She was a little nervous something would go wrong or she wouldn´t be able to recieve the money.  Sebas looked at her and said something I´ll never forget:  ¨Mom, don´t forget ´the blessing.´¨  The blessing being the gospel :)  Isn´t that darling.  They have seen so many blessings since just Maria and Sebas have been baptized. :)  Anyway miracle part... she went and returned within just ONE hour with all the money!  That day we had planned to teach tithing and she was so full of gratitude, she not only accepted to be a full tithe payer but she wanted to start this  past Sunday.  haha I love her!
#9:  We have been completing all our goals this week and teaching a TON of lessons.  We were on a role.  A little sad because Saturday afternoon we were suppose to head to Concepcion for a leadership meeting and be there until Sunday.  However we recieved a call from our Zone leaders Friday night telling us that we didn´t have to come to the leadership meeting!  That meant ALL day Saturday in our area! We taught EIGHT lessons!  Haha you bet we went for another 1 mil ice cream cone! It was a stellar day. Exhausted, but success!
#10:  One night we were headed home after completing all of our goals, however we were a good 10-15 minute walk away (having 5-10 until we had to be in the house).  We started to run, but poor hermana border´s knees are a little soar from all the walkin and running so we decided to walk and not hurt her.  I said a little prayer in my heart that we would be able to make it home on time and guess what time we arrived home!?  9:27... three minutes to spare.
#11:  So there was this darling old lady expressing to us the other day how she is just getting old. Her heart is failing her, she forgets things all the time, she couldn´t speak for 15 days once, and her vision is failing her.  The poor thing!  I suddenly imagined the Savior (instead of me) sitting next to her and my perspective changed.  I saw her, you could say, as he would.  There was a sudden love that over took my heart for her and I felt as though she was my sister.  There honestly wasn´t much we could do but we took her by the hand and told her  how much she meant to her father in heaven and that she is a daughter of God.  She said, ¨ Thank you, thank you, my love.¨ And tears rimmed her eyes. Sometimes we need to take the time to see  people differently and remember their trials and difficulties do matter and learn to see them through the Savior´s eyes.
#12:   So little Faviola Frutos (daughter of Hermana y Hermano Frutos)  has now changed her mind about becoming a Judge when she is older.  She has told her mom, ever since we started teaching them, that she wants to grow up to be a sister missionary for a year and a half and then go study and become a judge.  :)  She reads to her mom from the book of mormon often, but not just reading it, she quizes her mom on what they read by asking her questions :)  So cute.  Such a little missionary already.
#13:  We found a golden investigator Liz Sanchez (21) this week.  She says she is actually searching right now in her life to know which of all the paths is the true path that will lead her back to God.
#14:  We ate like Kings!  Our mission leader is seriously awesome.  He bought us 3 meat shishkabobs(spelling?)  with  mandioca the other night; not to all the work he does for us.  Horqueta is very blessed.
#15:  ICE CREAM!  I think I mentioned this but this was really exciting!  OH one I didn´t mention was last nights´ GIANT bar of sopa paraguaya Hermana Pastora (the tiny gma who hits me and is so strong... we are BEST friends) she served us. It was AMAZING sopa! 
#16:  We completed the week with 6x7!  THat means we completed our goals EVERY day except for one!! We worked so flippin hard but it was so worth it!  I love this work!
#17:  Got letters!  That was exciting!  Thank you for the love and support you ALL give me! xoxoxo LOVE YOU ALL TONS!

Con Cariño,
Hermana Owen
 P.S. Congrats Kate on the job and starting college! What an exciting time! love you tons! 


pic: just some horqueta beauty!


I just love Hermana Border 

On the bus, our trip to Concepcion

bon apetite!  our bunny meat tortillas familia martinez gave us for breakfast! yum! actually a little creepy if you ask me.  I saw the skinned bunny.  5 days ago it was hopping around in their backyard. gulp.

Cleaning behind the oven
Before
After

Monday, August 18, 2014

We Tookem' to Zion

So let me just take a deep breath here.  I am having a hard time breathing. I think that was definitely the bubble burster? fauset turner onner? cherry on top? no, last straw? no, big whammy?   Anyway, seeing those pics of Michelle and Jake, thanks for the warning dad, but I went STRAIGHT down to bawlin.  Man, I am so so happy for you both.   Sending my love and felicidades!

This week was one to remember (not to mention Mish´s wedding).  We have been preparing these youth to go to the temple by gathering names of family members that have past on.  Almost everyone brought at least 1-2 names.  The spirit of Elijah was incredible, and radiating in their faces.  The President of the temple told us we made history, by being the first group of youth to bring their own family names to do in this temple.    
 
with all the young woman waiting at 10pm at night for the colectivo to come pick us up to go to ZION!
(haha asuncion ... the templo:)

this is daise (21) our temple pte´s daughter

this is dora!  she is 19 and wants to serve a mish

We had em all watch a little of 17 miracles and talked to them about how sacrifices bring such incredible blessings.  They saw what these early saints were so willing to do, why wouldn´t they too?  They got so excited.  We challenged them to cut out worldly music and tv to try and prepare spiritually.  Hermana Amado and I had the wonderful opportunity of accompanying them.  We had three of our recent converts going (Sebas, Maria, and Suci).  We loaded the bus Thursday night at 10:30pm.  Traveling all night was rough.  It was freezing!  2 am I had been tossing and turning all night and felt so bad for everyone.  We had a few blankets but it was so cold.  I prayed for everyone to have warmth or at least a little rest so we´d be able to stay awake for the temple and this amazing experience.  I suddenly felt part of my own little pioneer company traveling to zion.  In the temple as they each did 15-20 baptisms at 8 in the morning, the sun was rising and came pooring in the baptistry as if the heavens were opening.  I imagined their family entering the gates of heaven, closing my eyes, tears dotted my dress, and for two hours (or the whole day) I 
couldn´t wipe the smile off my face.

 I don´t think we recognize HOW blessed we truly are.  For the past month or two they have been gathering together to have huge hotdog sales, and selling pizzas like crazy to earn money. We earned a little less than half of the travel money needed but luckly the branch pitched in and we will be doing more selling of hotdogs and pizzas to earn the money back and earn for next year.  Oh it was incredible.  Plus to bring family names they literally go around doing interviews and went to graveyards.  There is nothing on the internet on their family search like there usually is ours.   These people are incredible and I just want to sacrifice EVERYTHING so that EVERYONE of them can go.  I tell them how much their Heavenly Father loves them all the time and it just lights them up. :) I would say that´s one of the greatest blessings being a tool in the Lord´s hand is seeing the spirit work through me and touch their hearts, helping people feel and see who they truly are.  

Hermana Border and I got back on Friday at 7:30 just dead and sore.  We dropped our stuff at the house, grabbed our proselyting stuff and went to work.  An hour and a half of work and we completed our goals!  We came back exhausted but Saturday we worked even harder, teaching a total of 8 lessons and reaching our contacts goal.  We decided to celebrate by buying icecream. So that is our new tradition.  Everytime we teach 7 lessons in one day we buy ourselves a 1 mil icecream cone from ¨puerto rice¨.   yum!  The Lord is so good to us!  We also completed Sunday.  I´ve learned you literally just have to trust 100% completely in the Lord. He makes the impossible seem possible, like Audrey Hepburn said, ¨Nothing is impossible, the word itself says i'm possible.¨   :)    Remember you are possible and to trust in the Lord!
the beautiful purple flowers that actually only grow in
Asuncion at this time of year... I LOVE THEM!

some of the flooded houses in Asuncion, so sad!  just miles and miles of this when the river rises

the sunset on the way back to Horqueta after the temple

here´s an excerpt I loved from Bishop Knight´s email the other week... from C.S. Lewis: 

¨Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.¨

Con mucho cariño,

Hermana Owen :)