Monday, January 25, 2016

And . . . dengue.

Remember how last week my companion had all the symptoms of dengue but it wasn't dengue? Well . . . it was dengue. On Wednesday we went back and got the analysis done, and her platelets had dropped significantly below normal.

And mine were even worse.

Yeah, we both had dengue. So we have been in the pension all week resting. My companion is back to normal now, but my platelets are still pretty low. But I got an analysis done today and they are starting to increase, so that is good!

Meanwhile we have been well cared for by the people around us. The wife of the owner of our pension accompanied us to the doctor to get our analyses done, and also made soup for us on various occasions. One family of members sent us a thermos of soup and a bag of bread. Another member, a recent convert, calls us every day to ask how we are doing. And the other sisters here in Minga visited some of our investigators for us. So we are in good hands!

I am reminded of a scripture that I found as I was in the airplane to Buenos Aires. It is in the Book of Mormon and reads:
"Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God? Know ye not that he hath all power, and at his great command the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll?" (Mormon 5:23)
I testify that we are in the hands of God. If we trust in Him and keep His commandments, He will take care of us. We don't need to be afraid because He is watching out for us.

Hermana Watts

Monday, January 18, 2016

Dang Dengue!

A few items of note this week:

1. Bicycles.
My companion went to Asunción on Tuesday, leaving me with Hna Salcido and Hna Barragán in Hernandarias (a city to the north of Ciudad del Este).  Their area is one of the few areas in the mission with bicycles.  So I got to spend all day on a bicycle!  Super fun! . . . not.  Bikes and cobblestones are not a good combination.  Also, I'm super out-of-shape.  So by the end of the day, I thought I was going to die.  I couldn't feel my legs!  

. . . okay.  Maybe I'm exaggerating a little.  Bicycles are actually super fun.  Everyone should ride bicycles everywhere!  World obesity epidemic solved!

2. Dengue.
So there is this disease called dengue.  It is spread by mosquitoes, and EVERYONE is getting it.  (I think it's kind of a precursor to yellow fever.)  Our branch president and pretty much half the branch have caught it.  It starts with a fever, and then a lot of pain in the whole body, especially behind the eyes, and if you start vomiting or your nose starts bleeding, you have to go to the doctor ASAP because you might die.  

Friday night, my companion came down with a fever.  It got really high, and we spent all Saturday in the pension.  Saturday afternoon the fever went down and she had a normal temperature, but about four hours later the fever started up again and worse than before.  It lasted all through Sunday.  We only made it to sacrament meeting, and then the elders came to give her a priesthood blessing.  This morning we went to the doctor, and they had to do a blood test to see if it was dengue, and according to the doctor and the analysis, she has all the symptoms of dengue, but her defenses are really good and it's not dengue.  We have to do one more test on Wednesday just to be sure, but for now we can go back to work.  Yay!

3. Ana.
We have a golden investigator named Ana.  She lives with her boyfriend Eddy and their two young children Tobias (age 2) and Dana (11 months?).  Eddy is a less-active member and the brother of one of the more active families in the branch.  He and Ana are eager to put their lives in order and raise their children right.  They have been attending church faithfully the past few weeks, and Ana has accepted a baptismal date!  

Is the hand of God not apparent in our lives?

Hermana Watts

Monday, January 11, 2016

Fear Not!

We get off the bus and are walking to an appointment when we see a woman with her hands full of groceries. We are walking in the same direction, so I offer to help carry her groceries. She politely declines, but we begin a conversation with her. Her name is Norma. She has three children. Two of them are baptized members of the Church. She used to attend with her children but couldn't get baptized because her husband didn't want her to. So she attended church for four years until they moved to Minga Guazú and she didn't know where the church was. Seven years later, God happened to place the sister missionaries right in her path...coincidence?

Norma shared her testimony with us. "Before I learned about the gospel, I was afraid of many things. But then I found the church, and now I'm not afraid anymore."

When we understand the gospel and the plan God has for us, there is no need to be afraid of anything! Isn't it wonderful?

Hermana Watts

Friday, January 1, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I hope all of you have enjoyed the festivities this holiday season! As a Christmas present to all of you, enjoy some photos :)

What a blessing that our loving Heavenly Father sent His Son to atone for our sins. What glad tidings of great joy! A Savior is Born!

Hermana Watts

These first pictures are from our Christmas devotional with Presidente y Hermana LaPierre. We played games, watched movies, and in the end, Santa and Mrs. Claus showed up with their elves to hand out presents!
Hna Watts y Hna Runnells

My Christmas present from Hna y Pte Lapierre
 Elena didn't identify the following two pictures.  Looks like she's having fun with the other set of sister missionaries in Minga Guazú and some of the families who live there.

Christmas sleepover with Hermana Dempsey and Hermana Runnells
By far the best part of Christmas was skyping with my family.  Love them so much!

 The following are pictures of us ice skating as a zone:

Go Cougars!
Brownies, soup, and smoothies at TGI Friday's! :)

 Not sure about these next two pictures.  They're with the zone leader and his companion in the first one, and I believe the second is from their district Christmas party.

Ward Christmas Party
 Elena wrote that they had Christmas eve lunch with one family and Christmas eve dinner with another.  I believe these are pictures from their Christmas eve dinner, but I'm not sure.

p.s. TRANSFERS!  Also, transfers happened this week...Hermana Gavilán se fue a La Paloma (sorry, she went to La Paloma) and my new companion is Hermana Martinez from Mexico!  (She is from Monterrey, where my dad served his mission, which is really cool!)  She got here just in time for New Year's Eve, which we celebrated with our landlord and his family.

the one is for first day together . . . ;)

How long has Hna Martinez been serving?  How old is she?  Is she a convert?  Which stake in Monterrey is she from (Dad)?  How many siblings?  Interests?

She's been out a little more than a year; she's 19; I'm pretty sure she was born in the covenant (her dad was just called as an Area Seventy last spring); I'm not sure which stake she is from but she said it is a new stake; she has 3 sisters (she is number 3 of 4); and interests . . . so far the gospel!