Monday, September 28, 2015

Do Your Duty With A Heart Full of Song

Email from Monday, September 28, 2015

Hey there Gauger family!

What a week it has been here in Bolivia, the land of missionary adventures. 

When I left home recently (because I'm still a new missionary ya know), I knew the mission would prepare me for a lot of things in life but never did I think that I would learn so much about how to clean a house. Yep, I think the Lord really just sends me to new areas to clean houses. It happened again, folks. I got to my new house last week and noticed the kitchen sink was clogged and instead of calling anyone, they just kept washing dishes and letting the nasty barf water overflow  on the other side and it SMELLED SOOOO BAD. But Hermana Gauger isn't one to "let it go" right? So on Saturday morning, after our comp study, I told my companion that we couldn't let this go on any longer. So what did I do? I got down, disconnected the whole kitchen sink tubing and we took out enough hair to make a nice voluminous wig (maybe 2) and we scrubbed it clean til it shined like the top of the Chrysler building (Steph understands me :)) And then my comp said "well now we'll have to call someone to put it all back together because we don't know how" and I responded "well hermana, we also didn't know how to take it apart but we did that, so why don't we give it a shot?" So I got down, reconnected, and cleaned all the dead and alive spiders and now we have a beautiful kitchen sink that smells like "Dulce Manzana" and I've got some experience in kitchen plumbing. Oh how the mission has changed me. 

Seriously though, it's been a great learning week. Hermana Canales is easily the most serious companion I've ever had. So she's helping me develop diligence and I'm helping her develop the attribute of humor. :) It's really awesome. I've never known anyone so sincere in all my life. When she compliments me, it's so beautiful. I love her so much already. 

Our ward needs a lot of help. Pretty much half of the RS is less active...we got a lot of work to do. But we have a really awesome pool of investigators right now especially Vilma. Please pray really really hard for her. She's one of the strongest people I've ever met and I would do anything for her. She's 17 years old and she's been through more than anyone should ever have to go through ever. Because of some tough life experiences, she is really shy and scared, but we showed her a mormon message this week and she was so touched. She didn't want us to leave, she wanted to keep watching the "beautiful stories". I wish you all could get to know her. Her little baby's name is Jennifer so obviously, I will tell my posterity that she named her baby after me. I'll write more about her next week so your prayers for her will be even more powerful. 

I just love love love this work with all my heart. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I know this church is true. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I am grateful everyday for His atoning sacrifice. I invite all of you this week to listen to general conference and hear the living prophet's voice. I love this gospel and I testify that it is the key to true and lasting happiness. I love you all more than you can imagine!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Gauger :)


Okay I guess my face shows I haven´t changed thaaat much hahahaha

Monday, September 21, 2015

One Step Enough For Me

Note from Hermana Gauger's family:

Jen has been working hard and giving her all, despite some recent health concerns. We thank you all for your thoughts and prayers throughout her amazing journey as a sister missionary. Here is a little back story to let you know what she is talking about in this week's email. 

About two years ago, Jen found a mole on her head and it was a little bothersome so she went to the dermatologist. The dermatologist said she could have it removed if she wanted, but nothing ever came about and she just lived with it. While being in Bolivia, the mole doubled in size and she had to have it removed a couple weeks ago. There was a possibility it could have been melanoma. In her email home telling her family about this procedure and possible consequences, this is what she wrote, 

"I'm doing well, a little anxious, but confident in the Lord's plan, the doctor's assurance, and hopeful that the Lord called me to serve for 18 months and He will prepare the way for me to finish strong." 

Email from Monday, September 21, 2015

Wow Family, it's been ages since I last talked to you all. 

I guess time doesn't fly by when you're in the refiner's fire...hahaha. This week was....rough. I'll give you a quick rundown.

Monday-day of miracles! We found the most wonderful family and they seriously are so perfect. The son's already planning how to raise money for his mission. He's 11, it's adorable. 

Wednesday-I was supposed to get my results back (if the mole was melanoma) but didn't so I was super sick with anxiety all daaay. It was rough.

Thursday-I get my results, read them wrong, think I have skin cancer and start bawling my eyes out. President Willard even came over and we talked about how I'd probably go home for a week and get the surgery and come back and we were seriously like making my plans to come home and I was an emotional wreck, I slept about 3 hours that night. Hermana Wilson cheered me up by saying I could now run a half marathon as a cancer survivor and we made all the plans for how I was going to be a worldwide inspiration.

Friday-Dr Foianini explains that I don't have skin cancer and everything is fine. I cry some more. We go out and have a great day.

Saturday-I wake up with an awful pain in my back. A pain I've had the hospital....We call Dr Foianini, go in, he checks me, my cyst is back! He drains it again. It turns out it's a tissue cyst and it will keep coming back unless we remove the damaged tissue. about 4 weeks, I'll be heading back into the operating room..... :( Then we couldn't go out because I was stuck resting the cut. 

Sunday-The other hermanas remind us that it's transfer day and we're like...oh yeah huh. Well there's no way we'll be transferred.... WRONG. I got transferred to San Pedro as a Sister Training Leader with Hermana Canales from Peru. Hermana Wilson, my precious little gringa, is staying in our old area and is ALSO a Sister Training Leader now. So she only got 6 weeks of training, that poor thing. But she's so awesome, I'm not worried about her. 

Anyway, it's been quite a week. I got to my new area today with my new companion and she seems awesome. She's got about 7 months in the mission and it's making me feel so ooooold. But I only have 11 that's still...right?? Okay I'm old. 

But anyway, apart from all the crying and trips to the clinic, I'm doing well. In our time in the house, Hermana Wilson and I started reading Jesus the Christ together (because we already had finished 12 weeks haha) And we had like a 5 hour long comp study, studying Jesus the Christ and the scriptures and it was amazing. She has taught me so much. Anyway, all is well here in Zona PiraĆ­...yep, I'm in the same zone where I started my mission! :) I love you all, thanks for all your prayers this week, they were much needed and much appreciated.
Have an awesome week, wherever you all are and don't get any cysts! :)

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Gauger :)

No tengo cancer, So we celebrated with a brownie sundae... :) 

Monday, September 14, 2015

There Is No End To Love

Email from Monday, September 14, 2015

Dear blog-stalkers and beloved friends,

This week was truly miraculous and I've yet to find the words to describe it perfectly in my journal but more than anything, I want to let you know that God's love is perfect and endless. He knows me perfectly. He hears my prayers. He knows how to help me and make me better, stronger, and more like Him. He lets me work in His work and He qualifies me daily. If the love and grace I am describing sounds foreign or unfamiliar, I invite you to pray today to feel it and he will grant it to you. Have an incredible week! I love you all!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Gauger :)

 Yummy Oreo Cheesecake

 Keepin' it clean

Monday, September 7, 2015

Thru cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me!

Email from Monday, September 7, 2015

Dear family and friends,

I'm hoping the boatload of pictures will make up for the short email this week. Enjoy seeing how we fought a coconut only to later find out that coconut water tastes like vomit. Enjoy our watermelon bowls on our Monday trip to get some American food. Also enjoy the beautiful sight of my companion studying while resting her spider bitten foot on my pillow. We were stuck inside all week due to the fact that her ankle swelled up like an elephant and she wasn't allowed to walk. It was rough but all is well. Please keep me in your prayers this week and I'm just hoping for a week of miracles! :)

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Gauger :)