Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Week 57

(Mother's note: Holly spent her last preparation day visiting different doctors, in an effort to try to narrow down the location of any remaining kidney stones, so she didn't have time to type a letter,. Instead, she sent me pictures of her hand written note which she asked me to type. I had a few delays with my "support staff" but here it finally is! However, the upside to the delay is that I did heat back from the mission president's wife who emailed me the news recently that Holly finally was able to have a CT scan which indicated she has multiple small kidney stones in each kidney. It is hoped that once one or more of them passes it can determined what they're made of so that a change in diet or potential medication can help dissolve them so that her extreme pain will be lessoned when they decide to move. Because her infection is now cleared up and she's not in pain at the moment, we're hopeful she can stay out and work hard until the stones pass possibly down the long term future...potentially even post Paraguay! So relatively speaking, that's good news for now.)

Dear Family,

Well, this week was a good one. Hna Pisco and I are hitting up Juan de Salazar pretty hard, and it feels so good to be back in our area (and not in the hospital lolz).

True story though is that God for sure knew what He was doing putting Hermana Pisco and I back together, cause it’s been super trippy/empowering to see how far we’ve both come in the past 9 months since we were comps. Like, now we both know how to work smart AND we already have a solid relationship built on trust and understanding. Even though we have a pretty decent amount of cultural differences, I actually think H’Pisco is the comp I have the most in common with. We are both 2 chill and are about that balance lyfe. She’s coming out of her past change she had with a pretty intense companion, and she said to me this week “Hermana, I forgot it was possible to work hard And have fun!” Lolz, I feel that.

But really, I feel like if you can’t have fun on the mission, you’re doing it wrong. Amirite? Yes. (see D&C 84 and also 3 Nefi 13 (consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin...your Father, who is in heaven, knoweth that you have need of all these things. Therefore, let the morrow take thought for the things of itself.)) True doctrine that’s been internalized f’realz on the mission. This is the Lord’s work, and He will hasten it in His time.

Well, our week just pretty much consisted of planting lots and lots of seeds. Such is la vida misional. Getting V stoked for conference though. It’s my last one on the mission, so you know what that means...It’s *theoretically* “time” to receive personal revelation. Like, for my own life. Been a while...But we’ll see about that, cause I’m actually not really worried about it hardly at all #tranquinotrunky Remember the lilies of the field? I’m just gonna let the morrow take thought for the things of itself and see how that goes. But igual, still really excited for #ldsconf

Hope you had a great Easter and actually celebrated it at all cause I sure didn’t *single tear* But it’s whatever, cause everyday is a day to remember the Atonement and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Love you 5 ever!


Hermana Ross

Ps True story is that Juan de Salazar actually isn’t quite as obsessed with playing tons of music super loud as have been my other areas. Like, I hear the classic Polka Paraguya and Brazilian stuff, but that is about it. BUT, if I hear another song on the streets, it is si o si 1) sorry by J. Biebs OR SUPER RANDOMLY 2) The song Rasputin from Just Dance. Like, I’ve heard that song more than half a dozen times. So random, right?
My comp was making cookies and I had to keep taking pictures of her until she felt it looked like her....she kept saying she looked either black or Asian, and had me keep taking photos....hahahaha I was dying!

Another cookie shot


That time i was in Jurassic Park (no, f'realz tho, I was like "where are the dinosaurs?")

Finally one where she looks Latina, and featuring our outdoor kitchen
My comp was making a smoothie and a tragedy occurred!  I just heard a crashing sound and came out to find this!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 56


Alright, time for a super summary of my week!

First part: Passed it in the mission home still. I was companions with the mission president´s wife and pretty much spent all of my time in the hospital going to citas for other missionaries. It was an informative experience but also not that fun. Pretty stressful.

Middle part: So I got the clear to go on divisions for a few days with Hna Maldonado (from Ecuador) to her area in San Jorge. It was actually a really good time and she was super presh and really nice. And she hit her 9 month mark with me, so we got dinner to celebrate. Supes fun. Then on Friday night I got back together with Hna Pisco and we headed back to Juan de Salazar. True story though is that I later found out we almost got #specialchanges! Ugh, the horror!! I guess preisdent was like "Hermana Pisco, how about you and Hermana Gullen head back to Juan de Salazar and we just leave Hna Ross and Hna Maldonado together in San Jorge to avoid the trip of having to get you all back together again." And so that was totally going to happen! But then at the last minute my comp realized that I still had to keys to the house, so we all had to get back together again anyway. And then president though about it and was like, "Ok, nevermind on the special changes. Just stay how you are." So I dodged that bullet of having to change areas and companions without advance notice and in the middle of a change. Woulda been not fun.

End part: So Hna Pisco and I were having a boss weekend in our area contacting like crazy, but then my pain came back and it was finsane and I was dying a little bit and still throwing up and just seriously it was the worst. So they´re thinking it´s still kidney stones mixed with a bacterial infection, and I´m going to go back to the doctor tomorrow to see how it´s all going. It´s been rough, but also has brought me a new level of empathy I´ve never experienced. I´ve been supes blessed to just not have health problems, so I guess it´s about time I get a little taste of it.

It´s funny though, cause I feel like God was like, "Alright, well I´ve been preparing you for marriage and motherhood, so now I´m going to prepare you for CHILD BIRTH." Seriously tho #painisweaknessleavingthebody

yay! so that was my week. It was freaking long as heck on account of it felt like three different weeks. And also i haven´t really done cyber for more than 30 minutes in like almost a month. But things are really good (when the pain passes haha) and I love Hna Pisco dearly and I feel just really at peace with myself in general. Our area has suffered a little in the past few weeks of us not being there, and we esentially have no progressing investigators at this point. But we are working hard and I just feel pretty calm and tranquil about doing my part and trusting that the Lord is taking care of His work in His time.

Love you soo much!! Hope you´re all getting stoked for Easter and also General Conference, cause you KNOW that I am. Mostly General Conference. Best time(s) of the year, amirite? I´m pretty sure I´m going to make conference weekends the biggest hollydays in my future family.

Hearts and stars,

Hermana Ross

from when we cleaned the temple a few weeks ago

killin it in San Jorge

 this is what suffering looks like #whenit´samilliondegrees. also, it´s not even windy, my umbrella is just that broken #desperate

Welcome to New York (it´s been waitin for ya)

My 10th agenda! Sry I haven´t been sending pictures of the more recent ones

Haha my NOT comp Hna Maldonado made her agenda with me as her companion hoping we would stay together <3

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Week 55

Heyyyyyy, so bad news bears is that this week I don´t get to write :( 

Funny storyyyy hahahahaha.... we are at the mission president´s house! Ok, I have like five minutes to summarize, so I'll try to do that #notmystrength

Changes!: So we have to be there at like 4:30am, and I'm like "whose idea was this?" Anyway, we don't know anything about who our new comps will be or anything. I found out that I did get changes, but that was all I knew. Anyway, we did practices while we waited (lololol @ doing practices at 5 am), and finally after a few hours I convinced my zone leader to tell me who my new comp was. And he was like, "Alright, alright. I think she´s Peruvian." And I was like, "Omgee, I swear #ALLthePeruvians." Him: "Her name is Hermana Pisco." Me: "AHHHHH!!! F´REALZ?! NO WAY!" Him: "Yeah, you know her?" Me: "DO I KNOW HER?!" So yeah, it´s true, and my new comp is actually my old comp! Crayzee! That like never happens, that I´ve heard of. But yeah, so I was excited.

Ok, well the bad news is that after that on Friday morning I woke up with like the craziest pain that´s ever happened to anyone ever in my lower stomach area, and it was freaking intense AM and I was throwing up out of pain. I swear and couldn´t even keep down water. I literally like collapsed on the floor haha. And the freaking elders were taking their sweet time coming over to give me a blessing. Anyway, after an hour or two the pain subsided and I was able to sleep most of it off, but it was a bit concerning, to say the least. And then my comp wakes me up and is like, "Hermana, I have a super high fever, my whole body hurts, my eyes hurt, etc." Uh oh. That can only mean one thing in Paraguay #dengue. So she had a hecka high fever and we ended up having to go to the emergency room in Asuncion at like 11 pm. And we passed the whole night there with her on IVs and it was not glamorous at all and not even a little like TV. Well, maybe a little. Then we went back home in the morning to wait until the next day to pick up her exam results. But then the pain thing happened with me AGAIN, and it was freaking weird AM and hurt supes bad. So we had been mas o menos in contact with the mission president´s wife, and at this point she was like "ok, why don´t you guys just plan on spending the week at the mission home with us?" Lololol. So we went to the emergency room again and we both had more tests done, and then we went home with Hna McMullin.

So mostly in conclusion of the past few days we´ve been chillin with the McMullins and it´s been not that good of a time, TBH. My pain hasn´t come back since Saturday, but I had to have an ultrasound today #it´saboy! #jki´mdefsnotpregnant   Mostly the problem now is just my comp, on account of dengue is super serious and she has to have blood tests every 48 hours to measure a bunch of medical stuffz and if certain medical things happen, she´ll have to be admitted to the hospital. But we´re hoping that won´t happen.

Ok, well tragically my time is up :( Also, sorry if this is kinda dramatic lolz. I´m pretty sure   I´ll be completely fine. F´reals. I feel fine now. Mostly it´s just Hermana Pisco.

Love you soooo much!! Also, this week passed by at the pace of like .0001MPH, so I feel like I haven´t heard from you in like a year.

Things to look forward to:

General Conference!

Also I get to go to the temple with my zone April 5!!!


Hermana Ross

p.s. I had SO much more to say and also lots of funny stuff, but I only had time for drama. Bummmerrr

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Week 54


Lolz, so I´ve been freaking out all week, obviously, in light of my baby boo and his imminent mission call. So I haven´t been able to talk about it with anyone (besides God), so all my feelings have just been pent up and kinda close-ish to the surface about it. So I´m watching the video unveiling you sent and as soon as he says Argentina I literally BURST into tears hahahaha. Seriously, like crying super, super hard. But just cause I´m SO EXCITED! Rly rly rly hyped. 

So anyway, my vision is kinda blurry, but I only have like freaking 30 minutes to do all my emailing today cause we are going to go clean the temple! I´m so excited!! I haven´t been in the temple in like 11 months. And I haven´t even seen the temple in like 9 months or something. So way too long, essentially. But we gotta take a few different buses to get there, so time is of the essence.

Ight, so this past week started out interestingly bc on P-day we just went to my comp´s old area and did visits all day (aka I have been going hard for two weeks straight without any form of break). It was ok though, and the Lord gave me lots of tender mercies.

We were able to have a few really good lessons with my favorite jovencitas Carmen y Camila, and they are really intelligent and loving. Bad news bears though is that Juan, the investigator that was going to be baptized is now having tons of doubts and the outlooks are not too good as of rn. But I had a cool personal spiritual experience in a lesson with him this past week in which he was just going on and on about a million doubts he has about stuff that doesn´t really have eternal significance at all (aka getting caught up on the little stuff.) And he got pretty intense about it, and the spirit wasn´t really there. And then while he was going on about it, the spirit just whispered to me "don´t do this with your faith." As in, don´t let doubts about inconsequential stuff uproot my faith. Not that I would, but it was still a good spiritual reminder. And I´m sad for Juan, but we´re still trying to help him and work with him to act in faith.

In other news, super great moment of the week was that we had a meeting this week with our ward mission leader, and while we were waiting we decided to play ping pong (my first time in this ward). And there were like 45 boys outside playing soccer (#typical), and it started pouring rain. So they all came inside where we were playing ping pong, and naturally, they all wanted to play and things got real. And we had a competition between everyone that was there, and I won :`) And it was a really great moment in my life on account of there were so dang many jovenes and also like all the bishopric members and stuff that were in the competition.

Alright, well I´d also like to just take a second at the end of this cambio to share something(s) that I´ve learned. There have been a lot of things, but these are the 2 biggest lessons. 1)God loves me, and NOBODY can make me feel differently. Seriously, I dare you to try. And 2) The Atonement applies to ME, and again, nobody can make me feel differently. Like seriously, the lessons I´ve learned this change about divine nature and individual worth just can´t be bought. And as much as I´d have liked to learn them in a different, easier way, I´m grateful that Heavenly Father let me have see a glimpse of how much I´ve internalized these things. Like, my comp can attack my self-worth all day long, and I´m just not buying it. Sure, it is actually a straight bummer and makes me super sad, but I also know I´m a daughter of God and that I have the ability to develop all of His characterisitics (with time and with faith, ya know?)

Ok, I love you so much!!! And I´m seriously so excited about the Spanish club that´s gonna start up A$AP June 2018 (hahahahaha that feels SO far away). But yeah, Rachel and Daddy-o, you guys´ve gotta get on it. South America 4 lyfe.


Hermana Ross

p.s. We find out changes tomorrow #angstangstangst

p.p.s. We had a super hysterical conversation this week with some members about the story Hanzel and Gretel. And we were talking about it (it has the same name in Spanish), and there was a Brazilian elder who was like "what is that?" And we all tried to explain it and finally he was like, "OH! You´re talking about Juan and Maria!" lololz. So essentially the name is the same in English and Spanish, but Brazil decided to get creative

Visits in Salado!

kool sky

My gurl Carmen

That time ping pong got 2 intense

This cute jovencita that got baptized in Bella Vista

Me and Hna Benitez from Bella Vista. She´s the mom of a kid I was in the MTC with!