Monday, November 30, 2015

week 34 (11/30/2015)

Well... I have officially finished half my mission.

The time is flying! Faster than I ever imagined. I still remember when I first started my mission and everyone told me enjoy it because the time flies. I thought they were all crazy and a bunch of liars. But it really has been flying and it really has been one of the greatest gifts of my life to be out here in Paraguay. I wouldn't trade this experience for the world. I miss my family and my friends of course, but I know with all my heart that one of the greatest gifts the Lord has ever given me, was giving me the opportunity to come out here to Paraguay to serve Him. I learn new things everyday, this week was one I hope to never forget.

This week we had the opportunity to visit an investigator named Angelina. Angelina is about 50 years old. She's bigger has diabetes and lives in a house that isn't a home that would be legal for a person to live in in the United States she doesn't have a kitchen they cook outside on a fire, she has 3 rooms for more than 8 people. But Angelina has something that many of us don't have, something that matters more than anything else, something that, out of all the people I talk to everyday and all the people we meet and teach I have never found before. Angelina has a love for God, a love and a trust stronger than I have ever felt or seen before in my life. As we talked with this sister she bore testimony to us that she Knows that He lives, and that she knows that He loves her and He listens to her, and when she said it, there were tears in her eyes and there was a spirit about her that testified to our hearts that what she was saying weren't just words, but that she truly knew it and she could truly feel it. This woman who has almost nothing, who, passes through trials I could never imagine passing through, never lost her faith or her hope, she continued forward never asking "why me?" because she knows that everything, every single thing that we go through, every trial, every disaster, every pain, they all have a purpose. God loves us, He never ever wants to hurt us, he never wants us to leave his path, He is always there to help us. The things we go through are to teach us. To strengthen us, and to help us one day return to live with Him because, to accomplish that, it requires an effort on our part.

As we talked with her and felt her spirit testify to us that what she said was true, the scripture that came to my mind was John 14:15. If you love me, keep my commandments. As we shared that scripture with her, we began to teach her that the best way to show this love and gratitude to the Lord is through our obedience. This humble sister had never been taught the 10 commandments of the Lord, but as we began to teach them to her she payed the closest attention to every word, yearning to know the Lords will. It was an experience that is hard to describe with words.
As I thought about this experience throughout the week in our studies, I thought about how I could apply it to my own life, and I began to continue reading John, and came to the scripture John 15:12. The commandment to love others as he has loved us, and then verse 13, that there is no greater form of showing our Love for others than giving our lives for them. In this scripture it is speaking of the sacrifice of our Lord dying for us, showing us His love. But as I read this scripture, a different point came into my head. That giving our life doesn't have to mean that we die for someone. Giving our life, means putting the lives of others their wants and needs ahead of our own. Just like the Lord did. If we are to truly keep all the commandments of the Lord we need to get out there and serve. A sister in our ward said something that really stood out to me. That all of us as members are supposed to be missionaries, that the missionaries with plaques, the only difference there should be is that they have plaques and are in different parts of the world away from home serving others. But that we as members of the Church, have made a covenant with the Lord to serve Him, and to serve his children. We have all been called to serve.
I hope this week you can all make your visits, you can find someone to serve, you can represent our Lord and savior through a kind word, a smile and a helping hand. Its never easy, this life isn't easy. But we aren't from this world, we are just living here in it. And we have been called here for a much greater purpose. 
Find someone, help them, save them. 

Keep His commandments, you will see the change it will make.

I love you all and hope you have a great week! 
Please, help someone in need. Share His love and you will feel it stronger in your life.

With love, 
Hermana Speakman

Monday, November 23, 2015

week 33 (11/23/2015)

Another week has come and gone.... where it went I don't know!?  The days are passing by faster and faster. 

This week we had our Zone conference. The mission president comes to our area and teaches us, then we have interviews with him and receive further instruction from our zone leaders, the presidents assistants and the leaders for the sister missionaries. 
This week our President talked a lot about obedience. One of the things that our mission struggles the most with is being obedient. 
A lot of the time the missionaries make a lot of excuses for why they couldn't be obedient, one of them is, "because its hard." Which is true its hard sometimes, but something that our Mission Pres. said stuck out to me:
"It wasn't easy for Christ, why should it be easy for us? This is the work of Salvation."  

Things are never going to be easy, but the Lord truly blesses us when we strive to be obedient. He has so many things prepared for us we just have to trust in Him, trust that He knows what is best for us. That these things He tells us to do, may seem annoying, may seem silly but at the end of it all, they protect us and He blesses us. 

Pray, Read your scriptures, go to church every Sunday! and watch, there will be a difference!! I promise you.

 He lives. He loves us. He knows us. and He will help us in all things! 

I hope you all have a great week! I love and miss you all!!! 
Thank you for your support and prayers!!! 
Hermana Speakman

Monday, November 16, 2015

week 32 (11/16/2015)

Hey everyone!
This week flew by really fast! Sorry about last week I got a little distracted and wasted my time haha but, these past few weeks have been pretty great! 
I am still in Yukyry with Hermana Cornejo :) Things are going really well.... aside from the suffocating heat that makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry. But hey, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger... or tanner... or one of the three right?
These past weeks our mission has started a new program to help us study more efficiently, our mission president put together folders for every mission with exactly what we are to study and where to find it for every day for the next 6 weeks. I have to admit, when they first gave us the folders I was a little upset not stoked to lose my study time, but these past weeks have helped me to really understand clearer doctrines and principles and reaffirmed my testimony that our leaders really are inspired of the Lord.
This week, was a little frustrating. We have a family that we have been working with for almost 4 months and they have been progressing very slowly, but these past few weeks they were progressing a lot better they were attending church, praying and preparing to meet the goals we had set together. But this week, they did the same thing as in the beginning and started hiding from us and telling lies through their children haha it was a little frustrating I'm going to be honest. I was a little mad, lost my patience.
At church we usually wait outside to greet the members and wait for our investigators to arrive to be able to bring them to the classes so they don't feel overwhelmed with new faces, but this Sunday we went right in and sat down to listen to the classes sure that no one would be coming.
About halfway through the class the door opened and I heard someone whisper "hermanas," one of the elders was calling us so we stood up and stepped outside and waiting for us was a family of investigators that we had just gotten to know that week, we had invited them to come to church on Sunday and they told us that they were going to be coming but, we thought it was in "wha'u" (a joke/lie in guarani). They came to church, alone, without us going to look for them and were able to attend all 3 meetings. The experience was, indescribable, it was a great reminder to me, that this is the Lords work. That he truly prepares the hearts of his children to receive the gospel, and that he gave every one of us our agency it is essential to his plan. I can't control the actions of others but I can control my reactions and I know that He knows each and every one of His children. We can't ever give up, through good times and bad this is "his work and his glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of men" and we can be instruments in his hands to do the most important work possible.
I hope you all have a great week! Don't give up, don't get discouraged and always remember that the Lord has a plan. There is always a reason to smile. 

Thank you for all of your love and support!!
With love,
Hermana Speakman
Mark 8:35
"The best antidotes for worry is work. The best medicine for despair is service. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired."

ps: Happy birthday mom!!!! xoxoxox

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 31 (11/9/2015)

Marissa ran out of time today but did send some photos and a little news!...

My week was good! We didn't have changes, I am still with my same comp in my same area :)

Monday, November 2, 2015

week 30 (11/02/2015)

Hello everyone!!
This week was a great week!! We focused a lot on keeping the commandments and how it blesses our lives.
 This week had me thinking a lot, about the commandments and about how in my house, I kindaaa kept them but not exactly. Something that I learned this week, if we want all the blessings from the Lord we need to keep His commandments, with all our hearts.
 The commandments may seem simple and may seem like a little thing to not keep them exactly but I know with all my heart that when we give all of our effort to keep His commandments, to keep the Sabbath day holy, to love our neighbor, to not lie, to pray everyday, to read the scriptures, to do the little things, the Lord blesses us and the sacrifice of Jesus makes up for the imperfections that we have.
An example are some of the members here in Yukyry, in their form of keeping the Sabbath day holy. They go to church and then go home and eat lunch all together as a family, then they go out as a family, sometimes just as a couple and start visiting the members that couldn't make it to church. 
I have seen the blessings that this service brings to their lives as they keep the Sabbath day holy and truly dedicate it as a day to the Lord.
I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be here on my mission, for the lessons I am learning and for the chances that I have to make changes in my life.
 I am grateful for all of you for your love and your support, I know that I have not always been the best example and a lot of the time I've been the opposite of a good example and I would like to apologize for that. But I am so grateful that the Lord brought me here to Paraguay, to save me and to change me. I hope to be a better example and I hope that you can all forgive me for my past mistakes.
I hope you all have a great week! Don't forget to do the little things.
With lots of love,
Hermana Speakman 

(ps if you struggle to remember to pray, make a prayer rock like we made here with Natalia (photo))