Monday, July 11, 2016

The 2 year report

Wow.. I really cannot believe that the time has come... Its my last Pday here in the field and there is just so much that I want to say, But as you may know.. I am a man of very few words.. but I will do my best to communicate everything that I want to say.

Ive been doing a lot of self evaluation recently and its been incredible to see how my mission really has effected my life. I remember my very first days here in Paraguay. I didnt understand the language at all, and honestly was very lost. I didnt really know what I was doing, all I knew is that I was trying to serve the Lord. But now. everything has changed. I really have grown in so many ways its been incredible. I never thought that the Lord could make me change in so many unexpected ways.

I guess one of the biggest ways that I have changed is in my testimony. My testimony has grown so much while I have been here in the mission. I really have felt huge growth and Love twords our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. Mom and Dad, You did and Incredible job of helping me learn and grow in the teachings of the Gospel. I knew that It was all true before I came here, But I guess the seperation really made me grow and seeing the affects of the Atonement in my life and in the life of others. Before the mission, I knew that Christ was our Savior and I knew that his Atonement was perfect. But now I am begining to understand the Atonemnet. Im starting to understand the magnitude of Love and Patience that he showed us in the act that really changed the world. Im begining to understand that If the Atonement wasnt perfect, The whole plan of God would have fallen and we would be Lost. I can honestly say that The Atonement is my compass and has really become my guide in life. I owe everything that I have to My Savior. Everyhting that I have.

I also have had a huge increase in my testimony of the Book of Mormon. Being here in South America with Descendents of the Book of Mormon has been incredible. I have seen many miracles from reading the Book of Mormon and Applying what I have learned. I do not now any other Book or Talk that can Explain the importance of the Atonement. The Book of Mormon really is a huge blessing that we have. I know that the Book is true and that our savior loves us. 

I know that the mission is hard. It has been the Hardest 2 years of my life. But I would never trade this expirence for a million Dollars. I love my savior. He is my Friend and my Brother and I am forever in his Debt. I know that the Church Of Jesus Christ is true. I know it and I love it

Ill see you all in a few days.. Love you to Paraguay and Back

Elder Jared

Monday, July 4, 2016

Week 5 Review

II can hardly believe that week 5 has come and gone... it still amazing to me how fast time flies, I thought Id be used to it by now but I guess not... Thats how crzy fast time is going ... Man Its been a good week. I had a lot of fun this week. Things are starting to change here in the mission. The first thing that happened was that we met our new Mission President. His name is President Evans and He is from Illinios. He seems like such a great guy and you could feel that he and his wife had so much love for us. Thats one of the things that many people felt from President Mcmullin and his wife.  And that was oneof the first impressins that I had from President Evans and his wife. So Im sure that the mission will be in good hands. Its really a shame that I wont get to Know President Evans super great, but from what I have seen He will be a fantastic president.

This week we had a good week. We actually have found somemore people the teach. Theres one that we found named Raquel. She Is a very intertesting girl. She seems really interested I dont know if she will start progressing but it seems like she might start progressing. so I guess the other elders will see if she progresses

Its really wierd for me right now knowing that I wont be seeing the fruits of my work now. But I know that I need to leave the field ripe and ready to harvest so that the work  can continure. Thats the way things work and I love Huguito so I want to leave it with many fruits. love you all
Elder Jared

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week 3 with a Week 2 report!


How are you all doing?? Ive  had a great week here in Paraguay. Its been a fun week this week. There isnt a ton to update on. Its just been another week here in the mission. And Ive enjoyed every minute of it.Ill just give a quick update this week

WE were able to put a date with Angie for the 25th of June. She is super excited. She immediatly accepted the date and she told us that she is super excited. Its really been a big miracle with her. A member reference, She got permission from her Dad (HUGE blessing) and she is doing very, very well. She is reading the Book of Mormon and Praying. She knows its true. Shes told us many times. She is doing very well.

Victor isn really progressing anymore. Its very hard to find him at home and its just been a little bit rough to find him. But we will be focusing on him this week and hopefullyhe will progress.

Kinda had a funny expirence yesterday. We were just walking back home last night and on the way home we passed by a drunk guy. Hes one of those neighborhood drunks that you always just know hes not in his own mind. But last night, as I passed by he started talking about how USA eliminated Paraguay, He wasnt really happy about that and he said that he would never talk to an american again. Its kinda sad, but I think of it more as being funny. Honestly Drunk people are some of the funniest people to talk to, but its not always a good thing.

Thats all for this week!! Love you all

Elder Jared

Monday, June 6, 2016

Week 2 with a Week 1 Review

My oh my what a week it has been... Long would be a good way to say it. Its always long when there are changes. Luckilly, I will be staying here in Huguito for my last Transfer. Unluckily Che Ra`y (thats Gauranì for my son) Left me.. Its always hard leaving a son😢 but hey, That's the mission for ya.

So my new Companion is Elder Cerron. He is from Lima Peru. He's been here about a year. We get a long just fine. Still getting to know each other but its pretty fun being with him. Cool act for ya, Elder Cerron's younger brother is a professional soccer player and right now is in The states for the Copa America representing Peru! Do you even know what the Copa America is? Its a huge deal here. Its like a mini world cup but all the teams are here in the Americas. It's going to be fun because Saturday USA plays Paraguay! Haha try to watch it!!

So big great fantastic news from this week!! You ready for this!! So Angie finally got permission to be baptized from her dad!! She was so excited when she told us! It was so cool to see her that excited. She was super excited. haha. Sadly though, We weren't able to teach her. Supposedly she had some test that she really wanted to study for. But for sure this week we will talk with her.

Other than that, there isn't much going on. We haven't found Victor which is sad, but we keep trying. We keep praying and fasting for him.

I can't think of any funny stories right know. I know there is something, but I just cant remember it. Hmm maybe next week!!

Let me know of any questions you have!! Love you all

Elder Jared

Monday, May 30, 2016

Week 1

Well this is it!! Im offically starting Week one of my last six weeks here. Its been a crazy awesome super stressful best (almost) 2 years ever!! I seriously have loved every moment out here. I 'remember much of the hard stuff. I recognize that hard things have happened but I hardly remember those. All of my memories are full of joy and happiness and I am so glad that I have had this time to serve. But now it's time for this weeks update!

We had good week this week. It was quite rainy which made it hard to find new people. So that was kinda rough. But anyway, we had some great lessons with Angie and Victor. Angie seems so set. She just a little bit scared to talk with her Dad. Her Dad is supposedly very catholic and doesnt really enjoy the fact that we are teaching her. We try talking with him, but every time we see him, he runs away from us. Her mom doesn't mind that we teach her. She will even listen to us, but you can tell that she just isn't very interested. Angie is very worried about asking her dad. She has her sister (who is a member) and her sister's husband to support her. So this week we just were talking with her and we just started talking about Fast and Prayer. It was incredible how fast and perfectly things just happened. It was so weird. It seemed to just fall right into place. It really was awesome and Angie seemed so ready to fast and pray for the strength to talk to her dad. We will see tonight if she was able to do it.

We also had a good lesson with Victor this week. We found out that he has been struggling with the word of wisdom and the law of chastity. Its been dragging him down. But he seemed to have greater desire to move on and obey the commandments. But we will also see this week how he is doing.

We had this crazy awesome experience this week. We were walking to an appointment when Elder Proffit and I both felt that we needed to visit a members house. So we decide to visit them. It turns out that a 15 year old member had just been robbed. She was not having a good time either. She didn't want to look at us and just was having a rough time. She asked for a blessing. Her mom asked Elder Proffit to give the blessing. He still struggles a lot with Spanish, but while he gave this blessing, It seemed that there was no problem with his Spanish. It was really the most perfect Spanish I have ever heard him say. It was truly amazing. The Spirit was so strong. And as for the member, we ended up finishing our visit laughing. It was amazing how the spirit was able to help her. It was one of the most powerful experiences that I have had yet on the mission. Well time is short and I gave to go. I love you all!!

Elder Jared

Monday, May 16, 2016

Quick Update

Hello!! I hope you all are having a fantastic week!! WE have had a decent week here, I just want to give a nice quick update. I just want to tell you guys that Angie is progressing very well right now. she went to church and she really wants to be baptized. Its so exciting know that she has the desires to repent and be baptized by his authority. We are a little bit worried about permission from her father, but her Mom has given us the OK to move ahead, but we will be having a Family Home evening with her family tonight. Her older sister is a member and is sealed, so I believe that she will help us a lot. Angie Really is great and we had a fantastic lesson on the Plan of salvation. Her mom was there, but she isnt really interested. One by one I guess we will have to get this family. I am super excited for them.

I really dont know what else to say, other than that there isnt much to say, just another week in the work of the Lord!

Love you all

Elder Jared

Monday, May 2, 2016

And the cold comes rolling in!

This week was a pretty good week. There most definatly were ups and downs to the week. One Good thing that happened this week is that we had a cold front move in this week!! Which was quite a relief knowing that I had beat the Paraguayan heat! its a relief to not be sweating all day walking in the blistering sun!

We had been working with an investigator named Eduardo Ozuna for a long time now. His family is active (except for his Dad) and he was baptized when he was 8 but what happened was that he never went fully under, so after 4 attempts at being baptized, he got scared and just left the font. So for 2 years, missionaries have been passing by their house trying to help him. And for the first time in these 2 years, he had accepted a baptismal date. We have been working with him about his fear of water and he was starting to be more confident in being baptized. So we were super excited for him to be baptized this weekend. But Saturday we were talking with his Dad about it and his Dad basically just said "we are going to do it another date. End of Story." We tried asking him why and he said he didnt know about the date. Which is a complete lie because we had talked about it with him many times. and his wife and Eduardo had talked about it. So it was just really frustrating for me. So Theres the Struggle between helping the Father (The ward and we have been working real hard with putting goals with him to be worthy to baptize but he just wasnt meeting the goals) and helping his son recieve the remision of his sins through repentance and baptism. Its quite a dificult balance to find! But we are praying very hard for them so that Eduardo can be baptized.

So That happened like saturday. and that really put a huge bummer on our day. We were really just kind of disanimated at that point. So we just decided to continue with our plans. We had recieved a refrence from a member that we decided to check out. And It was a great lesson that we had. her name is Maria De los Angeles, but everyone calls her Angie for short. She is 12 years old and is the sister of the member. So we just decided to stop by and see her and she lets us in really quick. She immediatly pulls out all of the pamphelts with the missionary lessons and the Book of Mormon and the Gospel Principle book. She had been studying a little bit! She had been to church so we started talking about her expirence in the Church and she told us that she loved it. She said that going just wanted her to change and to be better! I think that pretty rare for a 12 year old girl. so yeah. Super awesome. so then we teach the restoration to her and she honestly loved it! She said that she wanted to know what the true church is and she feels like it was an answer for her! But she really wanted to recieve a firm firm confirmation so she said she will pray about it! It was so great seeing something so awesome right after sucha dower of a lesson with Eduardos Dad. The Lord always seems to lift me up after something like that happenes!! I love him!!

Victor was called into work this Sunday, So once again, we have to wait for another week. But he says that he feels ready., It was cool because in the past lessons, hes been telling us that he had to work through some things, but this week he told us that he felt he was ready. He truly is repenting and the change in him has been incredible. I really hope he can go to church next week. I love you all!!!

Elder Jared

Monday, April 25, 2016

The work keeps growing!

Man this was a great week this week!! We had a great time here in Huguito, and are working really hard!! Its a little bit hard being the only companionship in a ward, because all of the responsibility of finding and baptizing is on your shoulders, but Lately the Ward has been helping us a lot this week. But I have to say that this was a very very successful week this week. We had our Annual ward conference this week and so the members were working so hard this week. But Saturday we had an activity called "Sión al Rescate" (Zion to the rescue) and we had huge sucsess. Basically what we did, we met up as members and Missionaries (we got the zone to come) in the morning and we basically Blitz the area. we just split off into little groups and we visit everyone that we could! It was really awesome because we had 102 people in church!! It was the Highest that its been for a long long time! So shout out to member work!! and among the the 102 people in church, there were 6 investigators!! WE had Eduardo Ozuna who is planning on being Baptized in 2 weeks and a part family member that we found this week with 3 kids that need to be baptized! They are called the Familia Sotelo and the investigators are named Ana who is 13, Matias who is 10 and Lucas who is 9! So with them thats 4 investigators, we had a member bring her little sister who is named Angie, shes 12 and she seems pretty interested in the Church. The last investigator ins named Alberto. And he Kinda Wondered in. He is like the neighborhood drunk, but he told us that he wanted to change so we were able to get his direction. He seems Pretty sincere in what he says, so we will be working with him to overcome his addiction. So It was pretty awesome having such a great showing by members and by investigators.

We had a stellar lesson with Victor. He was kinda dis animated because he is struggling. its been hard on him overcoming everything. So we shared Mosiah 3:19 and we focused on the ways to overcome the natural man. We talked about how we have to do things that invite the Spirit. Like reading the scriptures and Praying and going to church. and then we talked a lot about the Atonement and it was incredible!! He seemed so determined to whats good and he seems soo so convinced that this is true. He has testified of it many many times, its just a struggle with him because we have these spectacular lessons and then he seems so so good, and he just doesn't do some things. but we will keep working with him. He is Incredible. I Love him like a Brother. I really do!!

I love you all!!

Elder Jared

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Last Week

So this last week was the last week of this transfer! Its hard for me to believe that 6 weeks have already passed since I've been with Elder Proffit. honestly, Its been a great great change. We have seen a lot of progress in the ward and the members. There just seems to be lots of excitement in the members and that shows by our attendance yesterday. we reached an all time high for over 2 years with 87 people in church. It was so great just to see the chapel full. the Bishop was ecstatic and the leaders were so happy! There is a lot of excitement and with next week being ward conference, the members are going to be working so hard! Haha so I am excited for this week!! We are anticipating a lot this week, so everything is set up to be a great week!! Haha

But last week I promised a little report on our investigators, a lot of them seem like they wont progress, they just have made some excuses each time we've come to their door, but ill give a little update on all of our investigators!

Eduardo Ozuna is a little 10 year old of an active family. he was baptized when he was 8, the only thing is that he never went all the way under. they did it 3 times and the third time he got scared and just left the font, but he seems like hes ready to be baptized, we are just working a lot on getting his trust back, he has a date for the 7th of may. I feel like he will be baptized this time even though he is super shy. But he is progressing well.

Then we have Victor Azuada. He is a great investigator that has quit smoking since we have been teaching him. he really has huge desires to change. It really is incredible how the atonement of Jesus Christ has changed his life. he recognizes that he has changed, but still hast to change a lot. he is a trooper.

Next is Luz, she is an investigator that we had found contacting a few weeks ago. she is really interested and she seems like she will progress. she wants to go to church, the only problem is finding time to teach her. She is incredibly hard to find, but when we find her, the lessons are spectacular. The spirit is always with her because I believe she is earnestly seeking the truth.

That's really all of the investigators that seem like they will progress as of now. But something really awesome that happened this week is we had a huge service project for a family in our ward, they actually are recent converts and they live in very humble circumstances. Their names are Dani and Liz Paola. They have 4 little kids with 1 on they way and their house is literally sticks and bags with a roof. So as a ward, members donated time and talent to help their house, we were able to install water into their house replacing their roof and rewiring their house. The change was incredible. They were so happy and they were able to relieve a little bi of stress with that. Their home is a lot more comfortable and they are happy so I am happy!!

i love you all and if you have specific questions, just write me and Ill do my best to respond to them!!

Elder Jared

Monday, April 11, 2016

Summer's Last Laugh

Man this has been a good week of such great work!!  We had a great week of work this week so that always a good sign for a missionary!! But what made this week so great?? SO let me tell you...

Well, first of all, on Tuesday, we had the opportunity to attend the temple!!
 It was so great to be able to enter into the lords house. Every time its a special time. there is just so much peace, so much joy that I have when I enter into the temple. As a missionary I am sad to say that It was my last time. The temple will be closed when I go home so i was Kinda sad for this to be my last time. But I have to say, that this time was such a good learning opportunity.  I learned a lot and was spiritually revitalized. I love this Asuncion temple so much. It may be small, but Just like every other temple it is incredible. So That is such a great way to start off the week. 

I named this email because i feel like this week was summers last shot at making us miserable. Because man, it was hot this week. It had been cooling down but it shot up this week. But we had a nice rainstorm this week and everyone says that It should start cooling down. Making things a little bit more comfortable for us! So I hope that it stays cool!

But the other thing that happened this week that w<as so great is that we found 8 new investigators!! ( Ins quite incredible and never in my mission have I found so many in 1 week!! we found them all contacting! It was a great testimony builder knowing that contacting works!! but we will see how much they progress, some of them didn't seem to interested, but they accepted the baptismal invitation! ill tell more about the ones that Progress next week.

We are still working with Victor. He is doing well and has great desires of getting baptized. He really wants to change and is willing to do all he can to change. He has a date for the 28th of April, and he seems pretty firm for that date!! SO I am happy for everything that is happening here!! I love you all!!

Elder Jared

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

General Conference

Man what a great weekend it has been!! A weekend when we can listen to our Prophet and Apostles always has to be a great weekend!! I really loved these sessions there were soo much wisdom and soo much knowledge to gain from these wise leaders.. So Ill give you a quick highlight of my favorite talks!! First of all, we missed the first session and the priesthood session due to technical difficulties, But we got the other sessions!!

There were really Three talks that really stood out to me. All of them from the Quorum of the 12. I really Enjoyed Elder Christofferson, Elder Utchdorf and Elder Holland.

just a quick version on why they really impacted me,

I loved Elder Christofferson, because he really focused on the Father and the importance of them. I just want to send a quick shout out to my awesome Dad who really has done a great job. As I was listening, I could have made a list of awesome things that my dad could do. So dad, thanks for giving me such a great example. You are Awesome!!!

I loved Elder Utchdorfs Talk on the Lost sheep. But the story about the Cathedral really touched me for some reason. I believe he said something like "There is no life so shattered, torn or destroyed, that through Jesus Christ, It cannot be made whole."
I just loved it because I really have had a huge testimony increase on the Atonement. I know that everyone can repent. Its possible through him. It really touched me, thinking that that is what Im trying to do, Help others be made whole through Jesus Christ

And Elder Hollands Talk was soo full of love for us. It really was a great conference ender. I left my notes at home, but for some reason, His talk just really stood out to me. I love how much emotion he puts into his talks. It really is so incredible!! He is such a good speaker and I love him so much!!

I don't have much time, but I love you all!!!

Elder Jared

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Holy Week

First of all, I want to start off my letter with a little tribute to the missionaries out in France that have been injured in this recent terrorist attack. I know Elder Wells and my companion knows Elder Empey. I feel that even though things like this happens, many people will be strengthened by the testimony of those missionaries. Things happen and the only way to accept it is to keep going. I don't know much about what has happened, but I hear that many people have been touched by the testimony of those Elders. I know that every missionary around the world, and the members of our church and other churches will be praying for them. Together we can unite as children of God and be firm in the faith. I feel that the attack was planned during this Easter week. Maybe some of the reasons behind the date of this attack was to disrupt some of the faith, because  this week we remember our Savior Jesus Christ.  I know that He is ours Savior and that He has suffered these things for all. He will be with the missionaries, others that were attacked and everyone that has been affected some way in this attack. I know that our God loves us. And that's why He sent his only begotten son to us. So that through him, all mankind may be saved. My heart goes out to all the families that have lost a loved one or have been affected directly from this brutal attack. Viva la France!! (That's long live France in french. My comp is so cool that he speaks french too!)

But aside from that, This week has been a good week! Here, in Latin America, they celebrate the week of Christ. Not just His ressurection. But I feel that here, there is more emphasis on the day Friday. The day that Christ was crucified. The Catholic tradition here is that we should avoid walking, talking loudly or doing anything that requires effort. So Friday was a pretty hard day. We just were walking though the streets and the whole world was dead. And then Sunday, It was just a normal day, they were playing soccer, drinking, and just doing stupid stuff. It didn't really make much sense to me.

We had a good week this week. We found a few new investigators. One is named Rufina. We found her on Wednesday. We had an incredible lesson with her on the power of the Atonement and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was so powerful. She is Catholic and had a little bit of trouble understanding that she needed to be baptized again, because she was baptized as a child. But she was very very friendly and she promised to search the scriptures and pray to know what she needed to do. So that was very exciting. We also found another investigator named Luz. We shared the same thing. The Atonement and the Gospel Of Jesus Christ. But she seemed to accept it more easily that little kids didn't need to be baptized. It's very interesting to see that you can teach the same thing and people react a little bit differently each time! Its so weird but that's why I love the Gospel! I just makes sense!

Haha but this week has been an incredible week for me. So much focus on the atonement of our Savior.  I have felt the love of our Savior so much this week. It has been a special week to really be able to teach and testify of His name. Í love being a missionary for Him. I love that everyday, I am able to put on a plaque that has His name next to mine. A plaque that helps others to recognize me as a representative of our Savior. I love him with all my heart. and I will serve Him with all that I have. I know that He loves and understand each and everyone of us and that we can, with Him, overcome all the trials and pains of life. I love my Savior and I know that he loves me!

With all my love from Paraguay,

Elder Jared

Ps Dad, Left my camera at home so pics next week Sorry😥😥

Monday, March 21, 2016

The past two weeks

Man sorry to all of those that didn't get my email last week. But I just gotta send a worldwide shout out to my Little bro/best friend who got his mission call to Buenos Aires!! Argentina is sure lucky to have you bro!! I am so so excited for you i know you will love it!! So that's really the Reason why I didn't write last week!! So I hope to fill you all in today!!

To start off, Ill tell you about my new Companion. His name is Elder Profit and he is from Ivans, Utah. It's Great because he is fresh from the MTC. It's so much fun being with a new missionary.I feel like I'm re-living my training just from another point of view! Its funny because he does some of the exact same things that I did. Things that I've adjusted to that he thinks is weird. So Basically I love being with him. Even though he does struggle a bit with Spanish, he is making great great progress. He is a great worker and loves being obedient. So Basically we get a long pretty well. And all I can say its going to be pretty hard or me to be lazy(not that I want to) with him.He is full of energy and  I am so glad that he came to me at the finish line to help me go to the end. We work really well and have tons o fun together. So i love it. hes so great.

But the work is going really really well here. We have been focusing a lot on the members. Specifically the leaders to help them get animated to help us in the work. SO for the past 3 weeks, we have had some outstanding ward councils.  It was funny to hear a leader say "it feels so good to help the members!!" and that Is so so true. there is so much more excitement in the leaders and we have a great plan and goals that we will be fighting to meet. One example of the work of ou council is we have planned to do this huge service project for a family of recent converts that are living under some very very humble circumstances. The leaders are so ready to help. I feel as if we aren't alone in the work anymore!! I its such a great feeling having lots of people on the same page. So good things are to come in Huguito!!

We had a very interesting doorstep conversation this week. we just decided to clap on this mans door and initially he just says no. So I ask him why and he says that some missionaries tried to convince him that he needed to be baptized. So here is a summarized version of our conversation

Him: "how many times was Jesus Baptized?"
Us: "Once."
H:"I was baptized as a child"
U:"We need to do it right the first time"
followed by discussion about the correct form of baptism
H:"Well I'm not Jesus Christ"
U:" Do you want to be like him?"
U:"Then don't you think it would be important to follow his example exactly?"
No Reply
H: "I'm busy, Come back later:"

Yup so that is basically it.It was a little bit sad just thinking about how he thinks he can change the doctrine of salvation. SO it was sad. But we had a fun conversation. I think it was worth it.

We also heard that we got paid to baptize people. That was something new for me. So I just said that we get blessed that's it. They seemed to accept it.

Also, something super funny from last week. It was Elder Profits first meal with a member and what do they feed us? Alligator. Yup. Alligator. It was actually really really good. It was a lot like chicken just a little tougher. It actually was one o my favorite things that I have eaten here. Loved it!!!

I love you all!!!!!
Elder Jared the older (I feel like that's how I have to sign out now because of my little bro!!)

with Elder Johnson

With new companion, Elder Profit and President & Sister McMullin

Study time

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Last Week of the Change

Well its been another week!! It honestly suprises me every week just how quickly the week passes by. This last week was the last week of the change (I think English missionaries use transfers, but in spanish its "cambios" which means changes). So we find out tomorrow if we have changes.Elder Polo has like 6 months here, so its probable that he goes. It kinda makes me sad, because that means I only have three changes left. Its crazy how quickly time has gone by. But thats enough trunky talk. This week was a good week!

We are still working with Victor. He has found  a huge help in the Book of Mormon and Prayer, but has still be struggling with attending church. We have seen huge progression with him. he still is trying to quite smoking and drinking. Its a struggle thats going to take time. But this week we had planned to pick him up sunday morning to go to church together. You could just tell that he really wanted to go to church. So everything was tranquilo. Then sunday morning at like 5:45 in the morning, he called us. Elder Polo talked with him and from what Elder Polo told me he sounded like he was crying. He told us that he had gone to a party. Repeatedly he told us that he was sorry that he wouldnt go to church. We feel like he truly was sorry. but thats the start of the repentance process. Hopefully he realizes what he did wasnt good and will start to act more. Be more wise in his choices. Hopefully his progression will start to accelerate.

Not much else has happened this week. We are starting to see a lot more desire from the ward leaders in the work. They are starting to get more organized and doing their visits. Its a huge relief for us. we feel that we arent alone in the work anymore. It really helps a lont knowing we arent alone.

Im not sure what else to say. Mom sent me pictures of a possible apartment and I lost my train of thought... oops!! Hah but I love you all!!

Elder Jared

Monday, February 29, 2016

More training!!

Well so last week we had quite a bit of training with zone conference and with stake conference. And this week we got the cherry on top!! Because Elder Bednar visited the south america south area and we had an area wide mission conference. More than 6000 missionaries involved. It was pretty awesome. Elder Bednar talked more about teaching repentance. But he really gave some pretty good advice. I really liked something that he says. He says that there is a tradition in the church that we will take lots of notes and really love the talks, but then a few weeks later we lose the notes and don't use them. He compared it to the Book of Mormon. Because the Book of Mormon is basically split up into 2 plates. The large plate and the small plates. The large plates were for the historical record (wars and stuff like that) and the small plates were for the teachings of the prophets. He encouraged us to "write on small plates" or write what the spirit tells us. not the speaker. He told us that it will make the notes more meaningful and help us use them more. So these past few days, I really have been focusing on "writing on my small plates" and It is incredible the change I have seen in my studies, It really does help. its a lot harder, but its worth a lot more. So I encourage you to start writing on the small plates :) but other than that, Missionaries were able to asked Elder Bednar questions and it was fun. Elder Bednar really is quite funny. It was fun to see that side of him, but it really was something special receiving the training with him.

Richard is still doing well. He was sustained for his Aaronic Priesthood this week and is looking forward to going to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. He is always doing well!! Haha

We haven't been able to find Victor this week. He has started his studies again so he can finish high school. So he has been really busy. But from when we talk with him on the phone he sounds like he is doing really good. He is still reading to book of Mormon, But we are struggling with him to go to church. Its always a battle, but I think if we can meet with him, he will go. He says he loves going.

We found a new family this week, they are called the Perez family. They are hardcore baptists, but we had a fun conversation with them. It was fun helping them use understand the bible and using to prove our doctrine. We didnt bible bash which was good. Just a good lesson. haha I loved it. Its fun talking with people that actually understand a little bit of the bible!

So it seems like the Paraguayan summer is starting to calm down. I don't want to jinx myself, but its been a tad cooler this week. So grateful for that!!! Haha love you all

Elder Jared

Monday, February 22, 2016

A week of training

Well this week was a good week. We had quite a bit of training this week with Zone Conference and stake conference so that took up basically all of our time Friday, Saturday and Sunday. but it was so good. There really isn't very much else that passed the other days. It was just the same walking beneath the burning sun. A Hermana told us that the real feel was around 120... so it was just super hot. Good thing sunscreen works. haha

So Friday was Zone Conference. It also was interviews with President McMullin. Time with President McMullin is like gold for us. Its always fun being with president. When we were together, we really passed a lot of time passing. President is actually really funny. I honestly dont remember what was so funny. It just was funny. But we were able to set goals for both of us (he will go home like 2 weeks before I do) so it was just fun to spend some 1 on 1 time with him. Its a little bit sad for me because I have just 1 more interview with him before he leaves... so that will be a little bit hard.

But for more on the zone conference we really are focusing a lot more on teaching repentance. Its a theme that has come from the 12 Apostles that we need to teach repentance and baptize converts. So we were practicing how to really teach repentance and we cant teach repentance without talking about the atonement of Christ. Because we really only can repent when we accept Jesus Christ as our savior. It because of him that we can repent. An alcoholic can stop drinking, but if he doesn't accept Jesus Christ as his Savior, It isn't a true repentance. Its simply a change in habits. Its so critical that when we repent we have to accept Christ. We cant repent without him. We really couldn't do much without Christ.

Saturday and Sunday we had sessions of stake conference. Elder Romulon Cabrera of the Seventy presided the sessions. President McMullin and his wife also attended. Saturday night was the Adult session that we were invited to attend. The focus was on teaching Children the Gospel. Hermana McMullin and President McMullin had everyone laughing and crying because they shared some experiences that really helped the Paraguayans learn. Everyone that I talked to after that loved their talks. Elder Cabrera gave an incredible talk on grace. He used a ton of scriptures that were amazing, It was so good.

Sunday  the main topic was repentance. All of the speakers talked about it in some way. President and Elder Cabrera were very direct and very very clear about it. I learned so much it was awesome!!

Victor is doing well. He struggles with smoking and drinking, we called him because we weren't able to meet with him and it that very moment, he told us he was reading the Book of Mormon and he hadn't smoked or drank since Monday. He really really wants to change his life and that is exactly what he is doing with help of the Gospel. Its awesome!!

Love you all

Elder Jared

after yard work

lunch with Elders

dead dog found while doing yard work

selfie surprise?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Every weeks a Good week with a Baptism!

Richard February 13, 2016
Well what can I say. It really can't be a bad week with a baptism!! Everything went smoothly with the baptism of Richard. It was awesome! Richard chose the first counselor of the bishopric to baptize him. If you ask me it's better for Richard. He has friends in the ward and it's obvious that he loved going to church. He told me he feels like he's at home and can speak freely and ask questions. This week I was teaching the Gospel Priciples lesson on the Holy Spirit and I asked Richard to tell his story of why he decided to be baptized. It's hard to tell exactly what he said, but basically he just laid a powerful testimony of the beginning of his conversion. He said that he was searching for a long time for the truth, Something that not very many 19 year-olds do these days. He said he just didn't feel right at any of the Churches that he went to. But from the very first time that he talked with us, he felt different. He didn't know what it was but it felt good. So as we were teaching him the lessons, we could tell that the spirit was with him. Hearing him testify of his conversion was incredible for me. It was amazing to see growth in such a short amount of time. But it works! It was incredible being able to teach him. It was a true honor.

As I was thinking about Richard last night and I was thinking that as a missionary, in the past 18 months, I haven't converted a single soul. I have only been an instrument in the hands of the Lord to help people feel the spirit. I feel that this advice is specifically for Dallin who is preparing to leave on a mission this summer. So Dal, Just remember you won't convert anyone. But you will see the spirit convert. It HAS to be done by the spirit. Because if it is done by any other means, they won't end up being converted to the Gospel. You just have to invite the spirit to be with the investigator and let the investigator choose. Do it for Christ Dal.

Other than that, I had a cool experience yesterday also. I was just sitting in the Sacrament meeting, by the back door to be the "usher" and a member from the other ward tells me that there were 2 people wanting to listen. So I step out into the foyer and I start talking with Oscar and Maria Franco. I could tell that they probably lived in very humble circumstances. I understood that they were from the interior of Paraguay and mostly spoke Guaraní. But from what I understood, They had come to Asunción to go to the hospital and they wanted to listen to the Word of God. So they just entered and sat down in the foyer until the member told me about them. as I explained to them what was happening, we entered and they started listening, During the middle of a talk, I could see Oscar whisper to his wife something and tears were streaming down his face. I'm almost sure it was the spirit. Then after the meeting, the Bishop starts talking with them and I never saw them again. but it felt good helping them!

My verse of the week is Alma 37:7 love it!!

Love you all

Elder Jared

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Power of a Book

Well this week has been a pretty good week. It really flew by so so quick. I don't understand how time can pass by so darn fast. it's incredible. But this week was just a normal week in the hot Paraguayan summer. Lots of sweat lots of water. Elder Polo is back to normal so it was good getting back into the work full time. Something really awesome that happened this week was that we gave Richard (our progressing investigator) the option to be baptized on the 13th because he has met all the requirements and really has a firm testimony and a firm commitment to got to church always. He accepted and will be baptized this Saturday. Yesterday we went to pick him up to go to church and we were arriving a little bit late and when we got there, he wasn't there. We were a little bit worried because he seemed so firm, we didn't know where he was. So we get to the church and he's there. We were so relieved to see him there and so happy that he took the imitative and went by himself. I think that it shows his commitment to follow Christ.

Other than that, there wasn't anything to special about this week. Every week in the mission is full of great things and full of tiny miracles that there is no way to talk about all of them.

There is one thing that I do want to tell you guys from my studies this week. Our area has challenged all the members to read the Book of Mormon before the next conference and so as a mission we have been doing that since January. This week I was studying a lot about Ammon and Aaron and all their missionary success. As a missionary, We study them a lot and learn how to be like them. But this time around what kept jumping out to me was the people they were teaching and their conversion. I realized that just being baptized doesn't really make us converted to the Lord. Baptism is a critical step on our way to being converted, but conversion takes time. A good amount of time. So I made a list of attributes of a converted people following Alma 24: the number is the verse that I found it in.

1. Converts are slow to anger
6. Converts are peacemakers
8. Converts recognize that their conversion came from the Spirit
10: Converts become converted through the Atonement of Jesus Christ
11. Converts realize that repentance isn't easy, but its worth it
13. Converts are afraid to commit sin
15. Converts will always give thanks to God no matter the situation.
18. Converts want to make covenants with the Lord
19. Converts will prefer to die than to break Convenants.

That's my list, I want to see if you could find more attributes and then let me know!! I really feel like in these 19 months, I have become more converted to the Lord. I'm on my way and will always be trying to better my conversion. I really loved this chapter and I want to know what you all think!!

Love you all

Elder Jared

Monday, February 1, 2016

Not too much!

Well this week was... interesting to say the least.... Basically there isn't much to report. It all started out Monday night. Elder Polo wasn't feeling to well so he went to bed early. And then at about 12:30 in the morning he just turns on the lights and he is groaning in pain. So I call the Mission President's wife, because she is a nurse. She's asking me all these questions and Elder Polo really can't respond. He was just in so much pain. So she just tells us to go to the Hospital. It was the end of the month and there wasn't too much money to be able to pay a taxi and there is a member who told that we could call him at any time. So I tried him and by the end of the fist ring he picked up. For me it was a miracle that he hadn't gone to bed yet. So he was at our house in like 5 minutes and we went to the hospital. The doctor said that it was a bacterica in his stomach that was causing him some pain so they gave him some medicine and watched him for a few hours. so it was about 5 in the morning when we got home. I am so grateful for Jony (The member. He is basically our dad now :)) So the doctor told Elder Polo to rest and just make sure he gets back to full strength. SO basically there wasn't much to do this week. We were stuck inside all day every day until Saturday and then we were able to leave and work. Even then we took it easy. So it was just a slow week. Not much to tell about.

Victor wasn't able to come to church yesterday, but Richard was and is progressing very very well. His family is starting to get interested too!! So we hope to start teaching them too. I really hope all works out!!

Love you all

Elder Jared

Monday, January 25, 2016

Investigators and the nice breeze

This week has absolutely blown by! I honestly don't understand how it goes by so fast! But this week was a pretty awesome week. Lots of hard work and finding new people to teach! Its always such a a special joy to be able to find new people to teach, but more of that to come later!!

Last week I told you about how hot it had been, this week seems to have been a tad bit cooler.. Which was really nice. I'm not sure if it really was cooler, but it just seemed like God was protecting us from the heat. It seemed like every time the heat was just getting to the breaking point, a small cool breeze would pass by, or a cloud would block the sun for a minute or two just to give us a little bit of time to cool down. So that really has been wonderful! God Really has protected us here. its been sup super nice.

But you ready to hear about some super awesome investigators we have started teaching this week!! haha I hope so because I'm ready to talk about them!!

The first is named Victor. He is 22 years old and he went to church as a young child and has immediately accepted us when we first talked to him. His aunt is a member from a long time ago and took him to church, but that was a while ago and didn't remember much. So this week we were able to pass by 3 times to talk with him. The first time, we shared the restoration. It was something that he thought was very inter sting. and you could tell that he was so focused on the lesson. He answered our questions perfectly. SO focused and you could tell that the Spirit was working so hard on him. He told us that he really felt different and he loved it when we passed by.He also accepted a baptismal date for the 20th of February. The second lesson we were able to share with him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the need to repent and be Baptized. Victor was baptized as a little child in the Catholic church and had a hard time understanding why he needed to be baptized again. but he promised to pray about it and everything like that. So when we passed by Saturday, the first thing he told us is that he prayed about baptism and he thought that he needed to be baptized again. So amazing. then we had an amazing lesson a bout the Book of Mormon and the importance of it in our religion. He really loved the fact that Christ came to the Americas and he promised to go to church and read. And yesterday he filled his promise. He went to church! He really loved it and said he was going to return Si o si.

The other investigator that we found is named Richard. He is 19 and basically is the same story as victor. We passed by the same number of times, taught the same lessons, felt the same spirit. Although Victor was baptized as a child, Richard wasn't so he was ready to be baptized- He also accepted the same date as victor and went to church. The members were really impressed with Richard because he wasn't afraid to ask questions or to comment on anything. Hes just a intelligent young man that has loved our teachings. His family is also very interested in listening to our message, but we haven/t been able to teach them yet! but this week it will happen!!

I hope that this week has been as good for you guys as it has been fr me!!

love you all}

Elder Jared

Monday, January 18, 2016

The sun and baptisms

Man this week has be hot ho HOT!! It really has been incredibly hot this week. I honestly have no clue how I survived because it was super hot and super humid. killer combo if you ask me! But really there has been someone else helping me through this heat. Members keep saying that we definitely have angles protecting us. Because even the Paraguayans cant stand the heat. Everyone thinks we are crazy because we walk all day in the heat... Haha Crazy missionaries... but man I love it. I know the saying that says "If you cant stand the heat, Get out of the oven" But I'm convinced that Paraguay is a huge oven. The only way to escape is staying inside. but you cant move mountains sitting on your behind. and you cant preach the gospel from the bedroom (well with facebook and internet you can, but I cant ;) so to the oven it is!! Haha so we just plan appointments for time of heat. And we leave the cooler hours for the appointments that might fall. so we survive with the help of angles.

The baptism went very well. it was well attended and there was huge support from the ward. It was amazing. Wensenlada and Rosalva were so happy after their baptism. It was so great!! I love baptisms so much!! Its the best feeling in the world helping people receive a remission from their sins and see them so happy. Its amazing!!

I should be able to send some pics. My Comp has most of the pictures so he will have to send them to me. Ill put them on google drive.

Love you all!! Hope you stay Chilly°!!

Elder Jared

Monday, January 11, 2016

More Changes!

Well this week has been an interesting week. To make things short, The trio no longer exists. Elder Castillo was moved to the office this week. So right now its just Elder Polo and I. If you don't remember, he is from Colombia. A really really pretty city called Cartajena. Its a little island on the north of Colombia. Hes pretty awesome we get along well and we will be working hard together. He has been in Hugito for about 4 months now. And since the trio ended, i've been thinking that I might end my mission here. We will just have to see!!

Other than the Trio ending. There isn't really much to tell you about. It was just a normal week of contacting, teaching lessons (nothing really special happened, but whenever you teach the gospel you just feel great)). sweating in the sun and running from the rain. Just another regular week here in the Paraguay Luque mission (Sometimes I feel that that is the mission I've been assigned to, Just because I haven't really left!!)

WE do have 2 investigators that are going to get baptized. Its a mother and daughter. The mom is named Wendenlada and the daughter is named Rosalvina. They are pretty awesome and have HUGE desires to be baptized. They have been to church the past 3 weeks and love the Book of Mormon. They both know that it is true and have received their answers. So i'm pretty excited for them. So hopefully there will be baptism pictures next week!! Haha

I think I told you about Victor. He also is investigating and has huge desires to be baptized also. He should be baptized next week if everything goes as planned.

I love you all,

Elder Jared

Actividad de Navidad Fotos
These are some pictures from a zone activity we did before Christmas. The first one is me and the mission president's son named Bryant and the second is my district. My sign translates to I love Christ because He is my Savior.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Sucked back in!

Well it seems that Luque just cant get rid of me. This week has been quite a crazy week.... To start, we had special changes. My companion Elder Fermin had to go home due to medical reasons. Just as he was starting to talk to me to. And also some other Elders went home so there were a lot of special changes... So to make things short, I am no longer in Trinidad. President McMullin decided to close the area. so my new area is called Hugito.. and where is it? Its in the same zone that I just came from. So I got sucked back into the Luque warphole. I am in the City called Limpio. Im sure I've told you about Limpio. I've been here for nearly all of my mission. But its a nice ward. The members are willing to work with us a lot. Oh and I am now in a trio. Thats right, three companions together again! Haha I like being in a trio. Its fun and we get a long well. My companions are Elder Polo from Colombia and Elder Castillo from Ecuador. Up so that brings me up to 6 areas and 11 companions. Not that anyone is counting... Haha But I don't know much to report.. We do have some investigators getting ready to be baptized.. I've only taught them once, but they seem pretty cool. One is named Victor who is preparing for the 23rd of January. I don't know much about him but he really wants to get baptized and he goes to church and reads the Book of Mormon. So that's pretty awesome. Another is Rosavalda. She is getting ready for the 16th I think. So that's all I really know. I got changed Thursday so I'm still getting used to the area. I really don't know what else to report, so please respond with questions if you have them!!

Love you all, Elder Jared