Thursday, July 10, 2014

March 24, 2014

Hola en guarani!  Whats up in the US?  How is the weather there?  It is finally starting to get cooler here, and thank goodness!  This week we went searching a ton of people and they all accept us at first but then the second time no one wants to keep commitments.  So we are still in the fight to try to find people that will really ACT.  We also have had some minor issues in the ward.  Still we cant get the support that we need and everyone just complains instead of doing something to fix the problem.  We are going to fix things slowly...I can just feel it!  We visited some houses with the leaders and there is definitely potential!  Also we had a great lesson with a family whos dad recently just died.  They we all crying when we taught the plan of salvation.  We felt the spirit really strong.  After we had to go to the bathroom and it was really late.  We couldnt hold it so we ran into an old gas station and went to the bathroom half peeing our pants.  We had 5 minutes to get into the house before 10...the mission rule.  So we left running.  Next thing I know, I hear Hermana Retana yelling my name...I turn around and she is pointing to my garments were showing!  My skirt was tucked up in the back and you could see my bottom!  Wow I dont think I have ever been more embarrassed in my life!  I never wanted to show my garments in public like that!  The worse part was that I left running and could hear people laughing but I didnt know why!  haha
As far as the progress of the sisters, we talked openly with them and now at least I have a better idea of what they need, what they like, and what they dont like.  I have definitely learned my lesson not to judge.  Like I always say...the mission is a humbling experience.
Well I would love to hear from you all.  I am sorry I cant write individually but I love receiving your emails!
Love, Hermana Gunter

April 29, 2014

Lorenzo se bautizara este sabado a las 3!  HE is so good and I am so happy for the choice he has made.  Mariela also went to church and had a great experience.  She has a lot to change but she is willing to be better.  She is progressing a ton and loves to read the Liahona.  I am really excited for her but a little sad because one of us wont be here for her baptism because there are changes next week.  Well I love you all,
HErmana Gunter
oh and ps I finally got rid of my lice

April 21, 2014

Ok well I have finally seen monkeys!! They make this weird loud growls in the trees in the mornings.  But is so cute when they climb with their babies on their backs...And speaking of monkeys, my companion (bless her heart-she is so great) has been picking lice out of my hair for about a week. So we look like monkeys about every night trying to kill all the jumpy creatures.  My head itches so bad!  Even this moment I am still scratching! Its super embarrassing!  There are a ton of people here with them but we have no idea who has them or where I got them from...but they dont want to leave.  I have used shampoo and the special comb, but now we are moving on to plan B...the flea powder.  Wow I never in my life thought that I would be the one caught having lice!!
We have also noticed the blessings of ferverent prayer.  We were able to find a a lady named Mariela who desperately needs the Lords help in her life.  She has been through some super tough circumstances.  First of all, she is a single mother raising 2 kids on her own.  Her crazy boyfriend who has treated her like crap is trying to move back in with her but has another girlfriend who he brings to the house of Mariela to sleep with because he is paying the rent.  She says that it doesnt even bug her anymore because she hates him so much. Luckily he moved out but we have been talking to her about forgiveness because she holds a huge grudge for him...and to be honest I dont blame her.  She also has been abused sexually by her brother and hardly has confidence in herself.  I felt the spirit so strong when I told her how important she is to God.  Compared to God we are nothing, but according to God, we are everything.
She committed to changing her life and being baptized.  She also said she would do anything to go to church on Sunday.  Sunday came and we waited and the gates but she never came.  We called and she didnt answer.  I was SUPER sad.  I wanted more than ever that she could come. Thankfully, the smiles of our other investigator Lorenzo cheered me up.  He has such faith and patience.  Although he cant understand everything, we has such endurance and tells us no its ok poco a poco voy aprendiendo.   El es un alma muy valioso para al senor.   I hope the members can look to his example.  After church we went to visit Mariela to see why she couldnt make it to church.  She told us that her x came over again to tell her that she wouldnt be able to make it without him because she doesnt even have one guarani (penny) to pay the rent and will die of hunger. She said that she prayed to God that she wouldnt grab the knife again and cut herself or kill him.  And she didnt.  After he left she grabbed her motorcycle and left for the church.  But about a block away from her house she ran out of gas and walked her bike back to her house.  She didnt find any money to buy gas and so she ended up staying home.  
I am extremely impressed by how hard Satan works on people.  Just when they are about to do something good, they are faced with the adversary or more trials and they use their agency which is a gift from God to choose to follow Satan instead of their loving God who created them.  Many other investigators committed to go to church but didnt come because they used their agency to choose not to.
In spite of the sadness of other peoples choices, my companion and I are trying to stay enthusiastic and we are extremely grateful for Lorenzo and his progress and for the love that people like the Hermana Valvina show is a cute little picture of her.  She is the 86 year missionary!  When she is the street she testifies to everyone making contacts in every street corner and always shows so much love for everyone she meets!  She is my example of the type of enthusiasm a missionary and member of the church should have.  Well I sent some pictures of can barely see it I couldnt get a good one... and the Sister Valvina.
Love you all and I hope you had a great Easter! Easter here is La Semana Santa.  Everyone supposedly celebrates the death and resurrection of Christ but in reality they all just celebrate.  No one wanted to listen to us when we tried to speak to them about Christ...yet they lit their candles in the night and gave praises to God and their Santos.  Sometimes it is hard to understand these people but I love them anyways.
Hermana Gunter

April 7, 2014

WOW is the only word I could think of to sum up this week.  I have had some pretty big challenges but I have also really noticed some really great progress in myself.  I was in Argentina part of the week for a conference for the leaders.  I loved seeing all the missionaries in Argentina.  Now half of my group that I came with are over on the other side.  I do have a love for Paraguay even though they can be a little difficult to work with.  
We are still looking for ways to solve the lack of members and investigator problem but we did have some success with the conference on Sunday.  2 nonactive members came for the first time in years!  I think for me it was better than watching an investigator walk in the door.  I saw the light in the eyes of Giselle Garcia as she recognized the love and peace that she had left behind when she decided to stop going to church.  We also had a successful fruit salad ward night where the wards could join together for a little laugh.  We have a new president, but he too is innactive and only has a year as a member.  He committed to come to conference but didnt show up.  We have a lot of work to do here.
I want to share a couple of insights of what I learned from conference: 
-There will be a time when we are all called upon to defend our faith and we must do so with courage and courtesy or our houses wil be left desolate.
-We shouldnt expect a smooth God that doesnt demand things
-daily family prayer, scripture study, and family home evening are the most basic and important things to strengthen us
-We need to be like a tree and stand firm against the spiritual whirlwinds
-We should let God be the leader of our lives
-God cant force us to be righteous because righteousness is chosen
-Mans quest for knowledge doesnt profit him anything if what he is learning is not the truth and the only truth comes from God
-We are eternal beings and endings are not our destiny
-You have to follow up or its like buying a ticket and not going to the movie
-Blame keeps wounds open but forgiveness heals
-There will always be opposition to the truth because Satan knows its the truth
But my favorite talk was from the David A Bednar.  I loved that he said that we are yoked with the Savior and he is the one that helps us pull our load.  I love the gospel and it blesses my life everyday.  i am so lucky to have the chance to share it.
Hermana Gunter

April 14, 2014

This week we decided to leave a lot of investigators that weren't progressing.  It was a really hard and sad decision to make but it had to be done.  We were wasting Gods precious time with people that weren't willing to make sacrifices for a better life.  But although we don't have as many people as we want interested, I have noticed many other blessings that we are receiving. For example, our new president of the ward is awesome and is really enthusiastic and ready to work.  There are also a lot more members willing to work with us which is a huge change.  51 members were at church this Sunday.  For us, that is super good attendance.
I am going to give you the break down of what we did this week:
Lunes- we found an inactive family The Paredes Family who we think are going to progress
Martes- we visited Catalina (a woman who is sick in bed with a disease that makes it so she cant hardly walk or move) She has to roll a bucket from under the bed to pee and so her house always smells bad.  Her poor old dad that is about 80 years old has to take care of her. Her mom recently died about a year ago and she is yearning for peace in her life.  The only problem is that she was baptized in the evangelical church and her father wont allow her to change.  But she is starting to warm up to the idea.
Miercoles- We visited Eulalia who commited to go to the conference on Sunday and never showed up.  She decided she wanted to be baptized and accepted the date with her son Julio.  We also talked to a lady that has goats.  They are funny animals they tried to eat the skirt of my companion.  But the cutest thing was the cabrita...the baby goat.  We fell in love with it and wanted to hold it forever.  We then found Lorenzo...actually we just located where he lives because we had met him before as we helped him carry his bags to the pharmacy.  He is an old little man that can barely walk...really I dont know what he has but I think it is paralysis...but yet he walks about a mile to buy his medicine. He has a cane that he uses to stable himself as he walks about .0000000000007 mph.  But I absolutely love teaching him.  He is so innocent and sweet.  Although he only has one tooth in the front, his smile is so genuine and for some reason when he looks at me, his eyes remind me of a cute cuddly bear...although he is not fat like bear, his personality is super warm and cuddly.
Jueves-We had interviews with the president of the mission.  It was awesome to finally talk to him.  I had so many things to say but when it got down to it, I couldnt remember a thing.  But he gave me some really great advice about how to contact better and find new people through having interesting ideas.  He told me a story about how he lugged around a huge rock with the 10 commandments written on it to get people interested.  I dont know if I will haul a rock around, but we are starting to think of other ideas to I guess if you have any...let me know? jaja
Viernes- I did exchanges with the sisters.  At first I was scared--even though it is my third time with them--because one sister was not too thrilled about it and didnt want to stay in her area.  But I was able to help her find new people in her area and it was great because we had great numbers and we were both able to learn from the experience. It was raining and so almost everyone rejected us but we found a young pregnant girl Fabiola and when we taught her we felt such a sweet spirit and love for her.
Sabado- We have been working with 2 other innactive families.  The Garcia family and the Galeano family.  Hermana Garcia doesnt want to go to church because she is tired of going alone and her husband wont accept the gospel in his life...believe me; he already rejected us.  The Galeano family have 2 little girls that are super cute.  The dad is always joking around like my dad.  But he refuses to accept the fact that he needs to go back to church.  Everything is a joke to him.  Their little store is struggling and they are way to caught up in worldly money instead of the things of God. After, we found a sweet little family and I felt so welcome in their home...sad thing is I can only remember the name of their daughter...Brenda.
Domingo- Lorenzo came to church!  He is so great!  When we invited him, he said SI SI voy a prepararme!  Romina a return missionary of the garcia family brought him to church and it was super special...and I mean special because the special needs boy in our ward was running around banging the piano and scribbling with his pen on the benches and members.  I really hope Lorenzo could feel the spirit with all the distractions.  Poor thing, I looked over in the middle of the meeting and he had fallen asleep. We also waited anxiously in front of the church gates for Eulalia who committed again to come...but never showed up.  But we found another woman named Mari and she wants to go to church and is very interested.  I hope she continues to progress.
Well to finish things off, we had some strange experiences this week like finding a baby scorpion in the shower and eating alligator---which tastes pretty dry chicken with a hint of bacon flavor. jaja
Well I love you all I and as always want to hear from you!
Love, Hermana Gunter
Oh and remember that at general conference we gather together to hear the words of the Lord but we return home to live them.

March 31, 2014

These three words explain what I have been hearing for the past 6 weeks in Pilar.  Everyone and their 3 dogs are part of la gran y abominable catholic church here.  They are all willing to invite us in, but then they say that they love to listen to the word of God but dont want to change their religion.  It is ridiculous!  They all worship idols (los santos) like Saint Mary.  They even pray to her like she is some God...sometimes it scares me!  It is pretty sad that they are praying to some object or picture instead of the direct communication with our Heavenly Father.  We were teaching this old man who grew up the catholic church (like everyone we talk to) about the 10 commandments and he kept arguing that the are only from our church. Yet we explained to him a million times and showed him that we were reading from the bible.  Then he wanted to confuse the ten commandments with the 2 great commandments of God.  AHH, I am not going to lie, I did get kind of frustrated inside.  So I asked him if he would rather believe the customs and traditions of his parents than believe the teachings and doctrines of christ in the bible.  He didnt have a response and went right back into babbling about how great the catholic church is.  Wow...people are so closed hearted here.  So are so blinded by the lies and traditions of their culture that they cant and dont want to see the light of the restored gospel. 
I am sure learning a lot about enduring to the end.  We just keep working even though we know that we are going to get rejected. We are running out of ideas.  We invite all the people that we can to be baptized and they all say no because they dont like to make commitments.  The ward is falling apart and the members wont help us.  They all sit and complain about the ward and the work that is not being done instead of getting up and fixing it.  We are being super patient and trying to work with the members that we do have but we cant change their will.  We are diligently praying each day and each moment to find ways to preach to the hearts of the people.  When we receive answers, we put them to work.  And they we have to pray again to find out what else to do.  I feel like when I am succeeding in one thing, the other seems to fall.  For example...things seem to be going ok with the hermanans in my zone, but our work is really lacking.
But overall, I see a glimpse of hope and I know that as I am a servant of the spirit, the Lord can speak through me to help us find the people that are prepared to hear us.  Right now we have only one investigator that there is a glimpse of hope.  Her name is Vanusa and she is super sweet but cant seem to let go of the catholic culture.  We just got a new President and little by little the ward will start to work together.  WE are planning super fun activities so we hope that they excite the members.  WEll I love you all and I hope you are saying your prayers.  If you can, I have learned a ton from saying prayers out loud.  I shut the door and I talk to the Lord. I have a testimony that in the hardest of times he is the only one that truly understands and can help us.  
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Gunter

March 10, 2014 Letter

The truth is that we cant do any work as misionaries in the ward unless the ward members are willing to help us.  We have tried all week to be able to have the members come with us to teach but our efforts were ignored.  This week our asistence in the capilla was about half of what we had last week.  All of our investigators had excuses for not going.  And even when they do come, hardly any of the members tell them hi.  The members here dont help us very much and dont want to fulfill their callings. Each active member has about 3 callings because we have members that are kai wei- lazy in guarani. 
Yes we have many interested investigators but it will do us no good to baptize them and then not have them want to go to church because there is not unity as a ward and no one supports them.  This is a huge problem in Paraguay!  There are more innactive members than members.  We are working with more innactive families than investigators... and they all have the excuse that no one visits them.  
So if I can give any advice to you all is to do your visiting teaching and offer to help the missionaries in your wards...go with them to visit and befriend the investigators.  

July 7, 2014

Ok well the water went down so we got back just in time to clean the church and teach the relief society.  I was surprised because just by visiting one less active member, she came to church with her children.  She has been through  a lot and is living the local school with her family because her house still has water in it.  We are looking forward to a lot of service projects this week and we hope to find more people to teach and serve.  I am also looking subconciously for the next relief society president. 
We just got back from living with sisters in virasoro and we helped them with their numbers using the same dirty clothes that we have been wearing for a week...wahoo! I think God made it so we couldnt go back to our area so we could help them.  They really needed it. And honestly I think I did too.  I was starting to stress out way too much about my new calling when there was no need to.  
I wish I could tell you all these cool stories about the people I met in my area this week, but I wasnt her this week. BUT I did get to meet other places and people.  It was a great experience and it gives me hope for our little area.  
Well pray for Santo Tome and I will keep you updated on the flood pickup,
H Gunter

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 2, 2014

Ok in case you are wondering why my letter is coming in so late, it is because I have been in a conference in Posadas all this weekend.  But here I am writing you all in a beautiful mall in Posadas and I feel like I could almost be in the states... its amazing. 
First of all, I want to tell you all thank you for the happy birthday wishes that I recieved!  It was great to hear from you all.  And if you are wondering what I did for my birthday, dont you worry, I DID EAT CAKE.  There is this cute little family that support and help us and they made us a super delicious coconut flavered cake that we ate all in one night...we mostly did it out of stress and shear anxiousness because this week has been one of the most dificult weeks of my life.
It started off with a zone meeting a little rushed and confused, then to do fingerprinting in posadas, then to go back and plan a wedding and baptism.  Little did I know that we would also not be able to sleep because we would hear creepy whispers at night and see shadows darting across the room.  Aparently, in the past there had been problems here with witchcraft.  But dont you worry, all is well.
So the baptism was probably the most successful that I have ever had on my mission. The attendance was amazing!  There were so many people there!  We also had a great dinner with the best chicken I have ever tasted in my life.  The wedding was super cute...Mariela and Fernando are going to be a great contribution to the church and branch here in Santo Tome.  I am excited for all the things that they will be able to do.
We also have been visiting a ton of innactives and we have found so many that just wanted to know that someone cared for them.  They just complain that no one has visited them in a while so they feel helpless and alone. And only after one or two visits from us, they showed up to church on Sunday.  Speaking of less actives, we have been visiting the family Ponce and they are a super great family.  I absolutely think they are super cute together. But as we were eating together with them at lunch, they expressed to us that they are having marital issues and that she doesnt want to live with him anymore because she can tell that he no longer loves her.  And then he responded to her that the love has died.  I wanted to break out in tears and tell them that they should never give up but the missionary side came out ofme and I told them to pray and ask God because I knew that his opinion is the most important--not mine.
Then come Sunday, our investigator, Sergio, comes to church (who is a reference from a member) and I basically have to take charge of everything because of the lack of members and I taught the lessons with my companion and we made great plans with the members to visit all of the innactives with the members. I was super stoked.  Then to my surprise, our branch president calls me in for a quick interview telling me that I have been called the new relief society president in my ward. WHAT?! How do I do that and be asistermissionary leader?  I am definitely going to learn a lot of things this transfer!  And there are only like three women active in the branch so I will definitely do some reactivating.  The president also told me that before I leave, it is my job to find and baptize someone who can be the next relief society pressure right?
And now I am really UNDER PRESSURE because I was just informed that Santo Tome has flooded and that everyone is evacuating to live in the schools because their homes are covered in water...eventhe church is full of we cant return to our area it looks like for awhile. And now more than ever, our little branch has to work togetherto meet the needs of the struggling members and provide strength and support.  Wish me luck,
Hermana Gunter

June 23, 2014

Wow I think I am regretting ever wanted to come to Argentina so bad.  I am really missing the paraguayan humbleness, dirtiness and especially the language.  I didnt really realize how much I loved being able to speak a little bit of guarani hear and there.  The people here are a lot richer and cleaner, but they are also ruder and closed off.  When I got here to my area it was left a mess....I feel like I am cleaning up someone elses disaster.  The ward is super small and there are more than 300 non members...only 20 active. I have been pretty stressed because once again I am training and I am starting out at ground zero in the area again...another church to build up again.  
the misionaries before didnt quite do what they were supposed to so I feel like no one has confidence in them.  We are slowly gaining it back.  My companion is from Idaho and is super cute.  She sometimes gets a little too worried and takes it out on me but I am really just trying not to get angry and put myself in her shoes.  She speaks great spanish for only have 6 weeks in the mission! But she doesnt have much confidence with it yet.  The spanish is kind of harder here because they speak in a different accent and definitely a lot faster!  I am slowly getting used it.
Now we have to be a lot more creative with our contacts and so we have been singing with people and asking their advice in our performance.  We even met one guy who wanted to join in with his guitar.  He had a great voice.  We have also been inviting people to read the proclamation to family by saying HEY DO YOU KNOW THAT WE ARE IN A BATTLE? JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST SATAN! That always surprises them and then we sit down and talk about the importance of have a strong and faithful family.  I also arrived to have to prepare a baptism from the sister missionary that left...and I hardly even know them!  
The highlight of this week probably was when we were doing some contacts and I almost got kissed by an Angel. ANGEL? Yep youve got it!  Its a boys name here! He was telling us goodbye and I shook his hand and then all of the sudden he pulled me in to kiss him and of course I rejected him but it was probably the awkwardest I have ever felt in my life...especially because he was kind of cute...awe well life is never dull when you are working hard and having fun!
Love you all,
Hermana Gunter

June 16, 2014

This week we explored to the ends of our area the very deep country....and the very last house.  We were inspired and were able to find many ready and humble people that wanted to hear the gospel.  I have been able to feel the spirit really strong with my companion and I am so thankful for her strong testimony and love for the gospel.  She is the only member in her family and they still dont want to accept the gospel because they are all catholics.  She is still learning but she is super fun and different we enjoy being together! We have had quite a bit of fun laughing over our awkward law of chastity lessons...but Sadly it is not going to last long because Tuesday night I leave for Santo Tome, Argentina!  I am super sad to leave our convert Mariela--who by the way gave an amazingly spiritual lesson this Sunday.  It was great for her first time.   And the struggling ward because there are so many things I still want to put into practice...I am also going to miss speaking in Guarani. Not that I speak very well... but I love the language.  
But I wanted to write a little about something that I have studied recently in the scriptures--
Dads and why they are so great (dedicated to the best dad in the world! CAMERON GUNTER)
Using the example of Alma in the Book of Mormon, we recognize that he gave great advice to all three of his sons that they could learn in their youth the wisdom of God.  He also shared his past experiences with them recognizing that he wasnt perfect but could help his children avoid the same mistakes and put their trust in the Lord.  Alma 36:3
He shared with them the things that he learned from God and his eternal plan so they could know how to reach eternal life and bore testimony of the great and powerful atonement.  He taught with love and spoke of the importance of the book of mormon.  And most importantly, when Coriantun had committed his sins, he warned him of the consequences but didnt condemn his son, rather, condemned the sin and explained to his son the doctrine so that he understood why.  Because he understood that most people commit sin only because they dont understand the doctrine well enough.  Alma 39
Thanks dad for all you have taught me.  I love you for everything you have done for me.  I will never be able to thank you enough for all you have sacrificed for me so that I can be here where I am today.  And still you continue to serve and sacrifice for the family.  Always remember God first, then the family, and then work.
Thanks everybody and I hope you had a great fathers day!
I wish I could say ¨save some cake for me¨ but I think it might go moldy in 7 monthes! 
I love you all and remember to put on the armer of God
Hermana Gunter

June 9, 2014

Yeah! Another week with out warm showers! In the morning it is freezing outside and lucky us...we have a tank of water that freezes and we dont have a water heater! Aside from our water problem, this week has been pretty good.  We have had a ton of spiritual experiences and are working a ton with the less actives. It feels great when you can finally find and help their needs.  One of the innactive mothers in our district finally came clean to us that she is having problems forgiving the people in her life that have made her suffer so much.  She says she wakes up and goes to bed thinking about them and hating them every second that she has become so bitter.  We taught a lesson on the power of the atonement and we have been learning a ton about repentance.  I am so thankful for the Savior and his eternal love and sacrifice so we can leave it to him to take care of the mess if we can just forgive like he did and does.  
This week we and the relief society had a service project where we went to the hospital with the sisters in the ward and only our convert, our investigator, and the president showed up. But it was super espiritual and they all left with a great experience. It was great to see Mariela share the gospel with others. Elisa our investigator also shared her sweet testimony with the sick. Well i hope all is well I love you. Remember:  Dont ever let a problem be more important that the people you love. Sometimes we assume that people know we love them but we should MAKE them now because we may never have the opportunity again and you never will regret saying the words I LOVE YOU to the ones you love.  (the fambam)

Hermana Gunter

June 3, 2014

I didnt write everyone yesterday because I was in a conference for leaders in Posadas Argentina.  As always we have to travel 12 hours each time and my poor companion gets super car sick like me so it wasnt the funnest trip especially when the buses move like we  are in a boat on water.  Oh well I shouldnt complain.  But this week we have made plans to activate all the young men and women because there are no jovenes (young people) in  the ward.  All of them are married with kids or old and the church has no future.  So far...we arent seeing great progress but we have hope.
Also we had our investigator Elisa go to church on Sunday which was AWESOME and such a surprise along with Royer.  Royer is Marielas son and he woke up at 530 in the morning to walk to church.  He is AMAZING!  He told us that he knows that the book of mormon is true and he has already read all of Nephi.  I am so proud of him and Mariela.  There is a real spirit in their home and it is a testimony to me of the blessings of the spirit and the gospel in the family.  I love them so much.  
Some semana funnies:  We met a 16 year old boy who is dating a 35 year old woman.  And instead of pray for his mom and brothers who get beat by his dad each night, he prays for his girlfriend....WOW.  Also another college aged boy introduced me to his parents as his girlfriend when we were contacting him...UNACCEPTABLE...that was the end of that contact.  Not even mentioning when he tried to give me a kiss as we left...GRRRRRROSSSSSS
Well I love you all and hope you have a great week,
Hermana Gunter

May 26, 2014

Well I have definitely been part of a miracle.  Mariela was able to stop smoking in like three days!  She doesnt even want to anymore!  She is super amazing!  Now I know that if we put our confidence in God, our weaknesses can be our strengths!  She was finally baptized this Saturday and it was super spiritual.  She was scared to dip back in the water but eventually she got up the courage,  She bore her testimony about her gratitude for everyone that helped her...especially us.  We have been able to teach her sixteen year old son and he is interested too.  Just before her baptism Satan knew that he couldnt tempt her with a cigarete and so he sent another problem.  On Wednesday she was running into problems in every dirrection.  Her only mode of transportation her motorcycle broke and she couldnt bring her kids to the local soup kitchen to eat which is super far from her house.  We have been trying to bring her food when we can.  But she said that she wont be able to bear watching her children starve to death.  That morning she had to send them to school hungry because she didnt have anything to give them.  That hurt me just thinking about it.  We are so dang priviledged. 
But luckily with the help of teh ward, she has been recieving some help but still needs to find a job.  I  just keep praying that she will find one so she can feed her children.  Also it is super cold right now!  I am struggling to type because my fingers are frozen!  Its not like a bitter cold but its like a humid sticky cold that never leaves!  Yesterday we went out working and it was raining like crazy and only 8 degrees outside!  I definitely was not prepared for weather like this!  But lucky I have my handy dandy rainboots!  The weather is so crazy because today we were sweating as we walked just never know what each day will bring in Paraguay.
Love you all,
Hermana Gunter

May 19, 2014 Letter

Alright, well this week we have just been searching out new people because we have a ton of investigators but we cant get any of them to come to church.  They all have kaiwei (lazyness in guarani).  We had also planned Mariela´s baptism for this Saturday but she couldnt make it because she let her cigarrette win and gave in to temptation on Tuesday.  She has been trying to quit and has been so faithful since and so now she has to not smoke for one whole week and then can be baptized.  We visit and call her everyday so that she always has constant support.  The members of the ward are also helping her stay on track by calling and visiting her.  She is super ready and excited to be baptized and it has been a miracle to see the changes she has made in her life and how God has worked through her to be a better person and find happiness in her hard life.  So far, she has not smoked since Wednesday and says she is going to make it to her baptism this Saturday.  Poor thing, it is a everyday battle for her and there are temptations everywhere, but she is strong and I know she can make it. 

Since we have been visiting Mariela each day, we have been finding and contacting more people in that area.  We always passed by this one old and small shack of a house and I always saw one special boy sitting out side.  He always stared at us and I had the impression to visit but I ignored it because we were always running late to another appointment.  Saturday night we were leaving from a visit when we heard a little girls voice calling to us from that strange house.  It said, "Hermanas, hermanas! Ayudame!" As we got closer, we could see throught the dim light at she had knelt down next to her unconcious mom.  She ran to let us in and explained to us that he dad was drunk and had been hitting and fighting with her mom when her mom fainted.  The other 3 boys were trying to get her to wake up and my companion suggested alcohol under her nose as I tried to give her water.  After some time, she finally woke up and we told her that everything was going to be ok and that we would sing a song for her and say a prayer.  

All of the sudden her crazy drunk husband walked out of the house saying that Jesus forgives him and that he would never hit his wife and children.  We ignored him and started to sing Come Come ye Saints.  He didnt like it so he turned on his music super load so that we were hard to hear.  We keep on singing anyways.  He then started to pray out load Padre Nuestro (the catholic prayer) almost yelling.  We hurried and said a prayer feeling that we were fighting against Satan.   As I finished the old man shoved his kids one by one against the wall.  I wanted to leave but I couldnt let the man beat they kids up.  Then the mom fainted again and fell to the floor. (Luckily, because it made the old man stop beating the children) We and the three boys carried the mom into her room and onto her bed.  

As we put her down, the evangelical pastor walked in.  He announced that we should not worry and that he was going to take the demon out of her.  I told him no, that she wasnt the one with the problem, it was the man hitting and yelling at his children.  Next thing I know, he is practically strangling her and taking her to the floor he yells "God I take this demon from her!  Leave from my presence and never come back!" He said other crazy stuff but the woman was howling out in so much pain from his tight grip on her neck that it was hard to hear.  It honestly looked like he was trying to kill her.   By then I was grabbing my companion to run get out and run away. The little girl pleaded with me, "Por favor ayudanos, mi papa me va a pegar!"  We kept running until we found a house where a police officer lived.  We asked if he could help or give us the number of the police station and I couldnt believe my ears when he said that he would have to look for the number! 

Finally the police showed up and I explained the situation to the officer.  He then told us that they couldnt do anything unless they got permission from the woman to enter into the home.  But she had fainted!  The little girl ran to get her mom and I dont know how, but she walked out of the house. We talked to her and she gave permission to go into the house.  As the police walked in,and tried to talk to her she fainted again!  Then the kids tried to carry her to the truck bed and the police said that they would take her to the hospital.  They were about to leave the kids with the dad but we told them that they needed to take the kids or the dad would beat them.  So in the end they all went to the hospital.

I was really frustrated with system because the police should be there to protect and save.  They are the only people who dont need permission from any body to enter and to save! We want to visit them again but we dont know if it is safe but we really hope to be the only light in the eyes of the children.  They need and are searching for the gospel.  

Well,  Love you all and talk you later
Hermana Gunter

It has been a while

So we have been bad with updating the blog so far so we are going to start again. This is Syd's letter from May 5, 2014...

We have been so blessed to be able to work with a such a great soul and son of God Don Lorenzo.  He can hardly walk and doenst speak much spanish...mostly Guarani but could feel the power of the restored gospel in his life.  Just this Saturday he was baptized and in spite of his disability, with the help of an elder and the president of the branch, he was baptized and confirmed as a member of the branch.  We tried to sing a song to bring the spirit...I sang alto but we were so nervous and stressed that our voices were super shaky...and i am pretty sure i hit some bad notes.  But Lorenzo sure felt the spirit and love for the gospel because on Sunday he wanted to beat his small testimony in Guarani.  I was utterly shocked as her hobbled slowly up to the pulpit to tell the everyone that he felt good in the church and that he knows that Christ lives.  
Our other investigator Mariela is progressing so much and realizing the changes in her life that she is making.  I have seen her testimony grow and I am so impressed by her amazing example.  I can honestly say that she was chosen of God for this time.  She even fasted to be able to quit smoking this Sunday.  
We werent able to work as much as we wanted this week because we were preparing for the baptism, some of my sisters had some emotional problems and then my companions mom had an operation to get rid of her breast  cancer so she had permission to call her famiy.  So if you get a chance, Luckily, she is recovering fast we just hope that they dont find anymore or she will have to go on chemotherapy.  Please keep her in your prayers.  
Last of all, there were changes...but dont worry...I am staying in Pilar.  My companion is going to Argentina and leaves tomorrow!  I thought I would be the one leaving but the Lord needs me here.  I am fine with it because I can make sure that Lorenzo has an easy transition and that Mariela gets baptized but I am sad to see my companion leave because we got along really well.
Well I love you all,
Until next week,
Hermana Gunter