Monday, February 9, 2015

Last Letter

Well, this is it. The last email. I can not even express how much I have loved my mission. How much it has changed me and my life forever more. Or how much I am going to miss the beautiful people of Paraguay.

Throughout the transcourse of my mission I have learned many things. But it all seems to come back to one central theme: charity and love. Love of God, and of all men. I could talk about how my testimony about obedience has grown, or of missionary work, the Atonement, home and visiting teaching, service, hard work, baptism, the Plan of Salvation, Joseph Smith and the Restoration, prophets, family, family history work, diligence, humility, patience, basically all Christ´like attributes, the Book of Mormon, the Holy Ghost, prayer, or many many other things. But for me it all comes down to how much God truly loves His children. His imperfect, confused, wonderful children. He loves them so much. He loves me so much. I have never been so sure of that basic fact in my entire life. It is my motivation for everything I do now. He has given us everything. Most important of all being our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ to save and lift us, and the Holy Ghost to guide and comfort us, both of whom also love us perfectly and immensely. And all He asks of us is to love Him back. And to feed His sheep, o sea, our brothers and sisters. I can not express how I feel as I am finishing my mission. All I can say is.. it´s not over yet. And it will never be over, not in 3 days, and not in 30 years.

Thank you to each and every one of you. You have helped me more than you can ever know. I love you all and exhort you (as well as myself) with all the energy of my heart, to come unto Christ, and allow him to change your life and your heart, forever. I love God my Father, and my Savior Jesus Christ. En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Hermana Urie

Monday, February 2, 2015

Running Away

I just love the mission. I`ve been joking about escaping at the end of this change and running away to Ciudad del Este (where Yguazu es... haha cath you can meet me there) and just secretly serving in the Argentina mission there. BUT i dont think that`s God`s plan for me, so I wont do that... probably... haha no just kidding, I am actually really excited to see you guys, just really sad to leave.

not much to write this week, it was pretty normal.

yesterday we got caught in the rain, without umbrellas. that = super wet.
Friday I had my final interview with President Agazzani. It was amazing. That man is so inspired. I left feeling really ready to just jump in to the next phase of my life, whatever it is that God has planned for me. I love the scripture in 3 Nephi 13:31-33. God KNOWS everything that we need. He already knows. And if we put Him FIRST, all the things that we need will be added to our lives, but we`ve gotta always always always put Him first, above all things.
Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting. I bore my testimony for the last time in Paraguay (in sacrament meeting). And when I sat down afterward, I started crying. I will be soo incredibly sad to leave this place!! I love it soo much!!!!!!

Love you!!! see you in.... 10 days... over and out...
Hermana Urie

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cooking for pets

Well another wonderful week in Ytororo, Paraguay. Lets see, what happened this week....

So earlier this week I was reading in Ether 7. And as I came to verse 5, I realized something. The Book of Mormon is full of examples of prophecies coming true. I know, this is kind of an obvious statement, but it just hit me in a way that it never had before. This last time reading through the Book of Mormon, I keep noticing that it often says things like "y asi se cumplieron las palabras del profeta Samuel/Alma y Amulek/Nefi/los profetas" etc. etc. (rough translation-- and that`s how the words of the prophets (Nephi, etc.) came to pass). And it says it a lot. So I started thinking about how that is really a testimony that prophets know what they are talking about. Because they really receive revelation from God, and they are always right. Sometimes we try to reason away or justify our disobedience, but if we look at what the prophets say, we`ve just got to accept the fact that wickedness never was happiness. Its clear, black and white. And also the other way. Sometimes we feel that we are doing everything right, so where are the blessings we`ve been promised? We`ve just gotta be patient and remember, every prophecy, every promise from God, every scripture, will come true, whether now or further down the road, in the way we expected or in one even better, they will come to pass. What the prophet says, goes.

So there`s the spiritual thought for the week. Now to the funny part. So we have a goal in the mission to start eating lunch with different members every week, because here in Paraguay they`ve kinda gotten used to having the same people eat with us every week (Flia. Gonzalez on Tuesdays, Flia. Baez every Friday, Flia. Duarte on Thursday, etc.) So we eat with the same 5 families every week. And, well, that is not really an efficient way to take the whole strength of the house (see my letter from January 12/ DyC 101:55-57). So that`s been what we`ve been doing lately- looking for the less active families and eating lunch with them (because there are only about 5 active families in any given area). And then helping their family members get baptized. It`s actually working out fairly well. Anyway, to the funny part. When they were telling us to do this, to help motivate us to do it or something, they also made the point that if we eat with a family only once a month instead of once a week, we`ll also get better meals, instead of whatever they happen to have in the pantry (a.k.a. tallarin- noodles with meat.) So last week we were joking about that, and i was saying how we should get more lunches with other people so we stop getting fed as if we were just the dogs (because they are so used to us coming every week that sometimes they just give us our food and then go clean their house or something while we eat). Then that day we went and ate lunch (tallarin), and then the member gave my leftovers to the pets- dogs, ducks, and chickens. So we really do eat the same as the pets here. (then again people do actually cook FOR their pets here- cheaper than buying pet food). So, spent a lot more time on that story than I was planning.. haha what can ya do?

And other funny thing. Yesterday, as me and my comp were walking to church with a recient convert and some investigators I realized, this transfer is the transfer of the kids (el cambio de los niños). Our two baptisms this change were 9 and 11 years old, the two baptisms we`ve got planned are 10 and 12 years old, the 5 investigators we`ve had in church this change are all between 9 and 12 years old. and most of our current investigators and between 9 and 14 years old. This has never happened before. haha but its really fun because kids are just so willing and eager to follow Christ and to learn about him, and it`s really fun to teach them, so I guess it`s fine! (and most of these children are members of Part-member families that we are trying to reactivate)

Well that`s it for this week.

Love you!! See you soon!!
Love, Hermana Urie

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

semana 2 en Ytororo

So it was confirmed.. I DID in fact have pike. I took it out myself (don't worry, I made a video to show when I get home). BUT... I don't think I got it all out. Cuz there`s a little black dot there again... oops! I think this time I`ll have a member do it.
This week we did service! There is a sister in the ward, she`s a single mom with 3 small kids, and they just moved. So their yard is a bit of a mess, and there was a palm tree half fallen over (a bit dangerous for small children when it falls the rest of the way) and trees and bushes and thorns everywhere. So we went with the elders and our ward mission leader with machetes and chopped it all up. It was fun.
Also we found a miracle this week! We`ve started using a list that the church has called the lista de accion (action list?) and we are finding lots of part member families in our area! We already found 2. One of them is the Leon family, and 2 of their kids, Micaela and Arcenio, and going to get baptized this Saturday! and then there`s another family. They were leaving to go fishing when we found them (where- i have no idea, cuz they said they weren`t going to the Paraguay River right next to us and as far as I know, there is no other river or water source in Paraguay besides the rain and the humidity in the air). So we only talked to the daughter, but she`s super cute and says she wants to get baptized, so we`ll work with that family to help reactivate them so that she and her brother can get baptized.
And also this week, we had Conferencia de Zonas! in the offices. It was AMAZING. We talked about... well I`m not sure how the scriptures translates exactly into English.. It`s D & C 101:55-57. so you can look it up for yourself. But basically it says that we`ve gotta take the whole strength of the Lord`s house, and we`ve gotta do it now. So we are talking a lot about how to involve the members in missionary work. And not just active members, but less active and inactive as well (reactivating them). Because if we only use the active members, that means only 10 or 15% of the strength of the house. So we`re basically changing how we work with the members and trying to work on baptizing, retaining, and reactivating all at the same time.
Also we focused a lot on how we must ALWAYS bring the focus as fast as we can to Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Help people truly understand and experiment the Atonement. That is the only way to reach salvation and true happiness.
I know that Christ is my Savior. I know it with my whole heart. I know that he loves us, and that he showed us the way to follow him, through faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end., and then he suffered for OUR sins, and OUR sorrows and sicknesses and everything. I know this gospel is true. And I know that anyone can know it as well, if they just kneel down in sincere prayer, and ask God. And He WILL answer, because HE LOVES US, and we are his children.
Love you all!! Don't be getting too trunky yet! I`ve still got 6% of my mission left!! It`s not done till its done!! (and even then, its still not done.)
Love you!
Hermana Urie

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Semana 1 en Ytororo!!

Semana 1 en Ytororo!! So I think I failed to mention last time that we are super close to the Paraguay River, and just on the other side of that is Argentina! So I can see Argentina from our window. It seems nice.

So not much to report this week. Just getting to know the area as fast as I can. It rained, like usual. It`s unbearablely hot, and we are drenched in sweat, like usual. And I am as happy as can be. :)

We found someone awesome this week! Her name is Dominga. We contacted her one day and invited her to get baptized (because we basically invite everyone to get baptized within the first 5 minutes of meeting them- its pretty awesome to be a missionary) and she said, "well, we`ll have to see. Let`s talk a little bit first." So we went back another day and shared with her and she is AWESOME. She had shared with missionaries before and she really liked it, but then she moved and lost track of it. She is like one of those people from the scripture that says that many look for the truth, but don't find it only because they don't know where to find it (somethin like that, I`m tryin to translate to English..). She`s really looking for the truth, so we are going to work a lot with her this week. We passed by yesterday but she wasn't there. Her son was there and we met him. He said he was interested and wanted to go to church too. He also said my eyes were really pretty.. like  5 times.. haha y bueno! But yeah, just working! Fun fact: 1.5 of my previous comps were in this area before! Hna. Lossa was here a year and a half ago, and Hna. Hinkson as well (that would be the "half/wannabe" comp)

This week we have a zone conference in the offices, and today we had to go as well, my comp had to sign some immigration papers, so lots of traveling to Asuncion.

I`m so glad to hear the twins are doing well!! they look SO SMALL in the pictures!!! i`m praying for you guys!!

So I`m pretty sure I don't have a concussion... or at least if I did its gone now. No more headaches, and we`re working like normal. Mañana we`re going to go running and we`ll see if that does anything, but yeah- todo bien!! though I might have pique... haha jk!!...?

Anyway love you guys!!!

a cigarra. It makes a really awesome and annoying noise

don't know how well you can see it, but that was my hand
(at the half way mark, it got bigger than that later)

The wind blew my umbrella into the river. I stared for 2 seconds and then said
"I`m goin down." I miss climbing, but its a bit harder in a skirt.

we walk with cows on the sidewalk. it's Paraguay.

Diana`s kids! Feliz Navidad!!

The Asentamiento in Villa Elisa :)

Saying goodbye to Yessica and Diana :(

First comp, last comp (Hna. Mills, Hna. Aguirre)

This is Hna. Espinoza`s cousin! (my trainer) and she`s in Reducto (my first
 area where I was with Hna. Espinoza)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Feliz Navidad!!!! and a happy new year :)

So last week we didn't do a whole lot. Tuesday was the Missionary Christmas activity ALL day. And Wednesday we had to enter the house early because everyone was gonna be drinking and setting off fireworks. 12:00am Christmas Day was SOO MANY FIREWORKS!!! Like the amount of fireworks I always hope for on the 4th of July, but never happen. (but I think the ones in the states are a lot prettier). Seriously, there literally wasn't even half a second between fireworks... just constant for like 15 or 20 minutes.
But Christmas Eve (before the fireworks) was really cool. The Hermanas from our District that live downstairs from us came up and we read Matthew 2 and sang Christmas songs and shared our testimonies our Christ. It was really cool actually.
Then Thursday I talked to you guys!!!!!!! Love you!!!!!
And Friday we stayed in most the day because there was lots of sun and we still don't know if I have a concussion or not (I don't think so honestly, just some headaches) but I`m gonna figure out for sure this week so don't worry!! All is well!!!
Yesterday was really sad, saying goodbye to Diana and her kids, Maura, and I didn't even get to see Mario to say goodbye. I`m really gonna miss them!!!!!! But the Lord sends us where we need to go. Which for the next 6 weeks is...................
YTORORO!!!!!!!!!!! WHOOOO!!!!!!!!!!
(don't even try pronouncing it- its Guarani and I cant even say it right. Its like super nasaly and the "y" makes that wierd throat "oo" sound)
Its pretty close to Ita.. more or less... Its not super out there, but definitely not city like Villa Elisa! I got here about 5 hours ago and i already LOVE it!!!!!!!! I cant wait! Just gotta get to know the ward and the area super fast!!

And yeah that's about it for this week. Don't have anything super inspirational.. Just be good members. Help the missionaries do their job. Remember, we are here to serve the members and help them share the gospel with their friends and family. The Atonement is for everyone! Just share the gospel with everyone you meet!! And if you don't know where to start or how to do it, ask the missionaries!!! It`s why we`re here :)

Love you guys tons!!!! Espero que todo les vaya bien esta semana :)
Hermana Urie

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bug Week

Well, the last week was Catholic week, this week was bug week in our apartment.

In our house, we`ve got spiders, we`ve got mosquitos (luckily we dont have dengue from the mosquitos), cochroaches, other random small bugs. Yesterday we had a bee in our room. Also, yesterday we woke up to maggots EVERYWHERE (seriously there were a few hundred of them running around.. don't leave your garbage in the house overnight!... picture attached), the other companionship of Hermanas that live below us had an Ura in their apartment (I`ll explain that later), and this morning we killed a scorpian in our bathroom. And on the way here to write you guys we saw a huge worm/snake thing that they`ve got here in Paraguay (I`ll send a picture next time). SO, fun times in Paraguay.
Now to explain the Ura. I`ve seen about 5 of them in the last few weeks- usually in church. They are these huge black butterflies. They aren`t really that pretty, their wings are kinda tattered looking. And they apparently spit or pee (or something like that) some acid thing on your skin and you cant get it off. And then you get some parasite in your skin. I`m not really sure of the details, but that`s enough for me. Basically when people here see an Ura, they either kill it, or they leave the area.

Now on to more spiritual stuff...

I don't know if I`ve told you guys about Maria yet. So I will now. She`s awesome, kinda quiet and shy, so its hard to know what she`s thinking (if she likes church and stuff or not), but I think she`s starting to warm up to us. And she`s really seriously thinking about baptism. She`s just gotta keep reading and praying and going to church and she`ll know! Oh and she came to church yesterday by herself!! (well with her kids, but I mean no one had to pass by for her, she just came). And she`s basically just awesome, We love her! She`s hopefully going to get baptized the 27th of December (2 days before changes! fingers crossed!!)

Also, since it`s Christmas time, and we should all be seeing how we can personally come closer to Christ, this last week I started studying 3 Nefi 11 and onward. And starting making lists of: attributes of Christ, the mission and purpose of the Savior, ways to come unto Him, His commandments, etc, to better get to know Him and His love for all of us and His teachings. And I was going to bring and share the list I`ve made so far of the attributes of Christ that I`ve found, but I forgot, so I`ll do it next week if I remember. But off the top of my head some that I remember are:
obedient, humble, loving, peacemaker, comforter, leader, confident, direct, diligent, self-less, and a bunch more. I`ll give a better list next time. But basically I just want to testify of the Savior`s love for each of us. I know He came to the Earth to  willingly suffer and die for our sins, so that we may be saved, if we but accept Him. You can give someone a gift, but unless they accept it, open it, and use it, it does them no good. That`s how the Atonement is for each one of us. We must personally accept and use the Atonement that has already been given. We must increase our faith, repent, make covenants with God (such as baptism and confirmation) and then keep those covenants so we can have the guidance of the Spirit. And then we must stay loyal and firm to the very end. I know this church is true. I know Christ is my Savior and loves me and every single person on this earth and wants everyone to accept Him and His atonement, so that they can be happy and be saved. Let us all help Him and our Heavenly Father in their work, and share the gospel with at least one person this Christmas season.

I love you guys a lot and hope you enjoy your week!!!

Love, Hermana Urie

opening my Christmas package!!! (I opened it early to put
 the chocolate in the fridge, but I left the wrapped stuff till
next week)



finally I found a baby bible!!