Monday, April 28, 2014

Where will she go next?

Dear Family,

This week was good.
My companion finally came out of denial that she was going to be in this area for a long time and started to work. I was so happy. Missionary work is so much easier when we are team. It is hard to drag. Super hard. This week, she even walked faster.  Sometimes I even made her run. But she wants to lose weight, so she was grateful. I like doing missionary work with urgency. But we really do get along well.
We found 12 new people this week and 3 new families. That is more than we have found in our 6 weeks together. It felt good. I love findng and teaching familes.
I am writing a bit late because we spent the morning translating for La Brigada Medical. Translate that one.:-)It is a group of doctors that help the people here get the care they need to turn in their mission papers. They travel through central america. A lot of dentist and oral surgeons. 

 It was super fun. Granted, Gospel vocabulary is a lot different then dentist vocabulary. Way different. But I learned a lot of new words.
For some reason I have not had the need to learn the word swallow. They wanted the patient to swallow and I had no idea. I basically told him, "you have liquid in your mouth. You need to get that liquid to go down. Win moment. Then I asked another elder how to say it. I also know how to say filling, wisdom teeth, crown, and who knows what. Maybe I will do it for a living.
Everyone was super impressed that we were missionaries. They said that Honduras looked so scary. But they have no idea what it is really like. It is super chill. Thats not completely true, but we are protected a ton.
The best part was that I saw one of my recent converts there starting his medical stuff for his papers. He will have to wait until Feb, but at least it shows he is working to go on a mission. Yay! 

I got to see my last Hna. Clark last night. (former companion) It was so nice to see her. I miss her a ton.
We are teaching a girl named Jamie. She is so great and she speaks English. One of the ex missionaries (sister) brought her to church. Member missionary work is so much easier and faster. She will be baptized this month. She doesn´t know yet, but I do. Too bad I won´t be here to see it.
I am nervous for transfers. I have barely told anyone here that I am leaving because I don´t want them to give me more food. Latins show their love through food.
I realized today that my social skills have improved a ton. But there is a catch. Only in Spanish. I had thought that they would improve in both languages, but I was wrong. I have no idea what to say to white people. But with the Latins I can talk for DAAAAYYYYYYSSSSSS. They are so interesting. I really love the people.
Basically I am just super nervous for transfers. Super. I feel like there is a challenge coming. The last time I felt a lot of peace. This time I feel the peace before the storm. Pray for me.
Love you lots! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Surviving Semana Santa

Hello family. This week was Semana Santa.
We passed it well. We volunteered to do service for a lot of the people in our ward and a few investigators.(everyone leaves town so it is hard to teach) I seriously love serving. We didn´t have a lot of lessons, but the ones we did we taught a lot about Christ and the Atonement. I am so grateful to be serving in this season.
It was a bit hard because you have to have a lot of self sustaining motivation. Luckily my cup of motivation never runs dry.
My companion found out last night that she is going to train. That means I am leaving Roble Oeste and my 2 washing machines and my 2 dryers and everything that is good. I hope I go to a little town that doesn't have water or energy. Give me an adventure!
I officially passed the deadest parts of the year in the deadest area. Christmas and the Semana Santa. But when the people are here in this area, I love it.
We had intercambios this week. It was good to get out of my area and breathe. I feel a lot of stress there because I do all of the scheduling.
Kat, I met your old ZL from Guate. Elder... umm... he has  a lazy eye and is from Honduras. Carlos is his first name. Anyway, he was nice and told me a million times how great you are. I agreed.
We had baptism interviews this week for  Lourdes, Anthony y Dayana. They were a reference from the STake President. It is a mom and her two kids. They are so great. The mom can't read.
They showed their conversion this week. There weren't any buses or taxis from their town, so they walked 2 and a half hours to get there. Dedication. When I found out I went and bought them some  food and water and juice and then we paid for a taxi for them to go home. The poor thing carried her 2 year old the whole way. I felt SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO bad. so bad.
They were baptized Sunday at 7am. It was way early. I want a nap. It went super well. And they won´t fall away because they are friends of the Stake President. Halla.
We served the Temple President and his wife. It was really weird, but I loved it. We were in their living quarters. I felt so priveleged. We swept their porch and ironed their clothes. Then she fed us a super good dinner. Their view is the temple. I took photos, but my memory card has a bit of a virus. Whoops. I can´t send pictures.
We had an activity for all of the recent converts and investigator families. It was great. There was a chorus and we watched a few videos about Christ and the Atonement and recent converts shared their testimonies. It was super powerful to hear their testimonies.
Well, I think that is about it.
Have a great week! Love you all! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

A little fun in the sun. . . and lots of hard work

Hello dear family. Sorry for the short note last week The energy kept going in and out. Mostly out. At least Roble Oeste (where she is working) is better.
So this week was... a week.
Last Monday we had the activity for all of the sisters. It was perfect. There was a spiritual part in the beginning, then talents, then we played outside, then we ate. It was great.

It was wonderful because something clicked in my head when Hna. Fortuna was speaking to us. It was something completely unrelated, but It helped me a lot. She said super quickly that in our missions we will feel closer to Christ than any other time in our lives. And something inside me clicked. I have been kind of burdened down by the burdens of other people.

But we have also been studying the atonement as a mission. I have been looking for different ways to apply the atonement in my life. I understand more of the atonement, but I wanted to really FEEL it. Anyway, it clicked for me in the activity that one way to understand the atonement right now for me is to help other people carry their burdens. Christ always invites us to give Him our burdens, or He can make our burdens lighter. I realized that right now I can learn more about my Savior and what He did as I do something similiar. I can´t take away the burdens of other people, but I can try to lessen them.
I am not sure if that made sense, but I loved it.
Also, God chastened me good last week. We were watching conference and the prophet was about to speak and I was watching in English. There was an elder in there who I just don´t really like because he lacks maturity in every way and is quite crude and complains 24/7. Anyway he was being himself and I was ready to give him a piece of my mind so that he would be reverent in the session, but I had the impression not to because it would really hurt him.
10 seconds later the prophet got up and talked about love and kindness. I was SUPER grateful that I hadn't said anything. Then I repented of my thoughts.
So we found some athiests. It is quite curious really. I was looking through the area book and the other sisters had invited them to las puertas abiertas del templo hace un ano. (Temple open house a year ago) And then later I contacted them in front of a Pulperia (tienda). They aren´t very positive, but it is interesting.

 Anyway, our mission president is planning a fireside for Easter about the Atonement that we can invite families to. We have been practicing a coro for awhile. Anyway, we told them that we had been practicing in a chorus for this activity and they committed themselves to going to it. We should tell them a little more about it, but i really want them to come. They are so nice. I want to be their friend after the mission. Anyway, I am stoked.
Oh, my companion makes good food. Speaking of which, she made sushi this week. It was my first time eating sushi and I liked it. Addicted. Not really, but I enjoy it. 

My experience in the RS=(she shared an experience with her grandfather and so I asked her if she would also share it with me--so here it is.)
So one week we were talking about Joseph Fielding Smith in RS and they were talking about how great of a father he was and how loving and kind he was with his children and I raised my hand and said that I wanted to add my testimony of that. As his great granddaughter I have had the opportunity to receive the blessings of his kindness. I said my Grandpa Mitt, was one of the nicest, most loving people I had ever met and it was clear to see that he learned a lot from his father. And because he received that tradition from his father, my own mother also received it. I testified of the many times I have seen my mother and grandfather reach out in love to their family and friends. How they strive to teach their children and grandchildren gospel principles. And how grateful I was for my great grandfather who continued traditions of love and service. The spirit was quite powerful.
They asked me this sunday too to share my testimony of Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith. More than anything I shared my testimony of parents who instill gospel truths in their children and that from a young age I had a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Restoration. I never doubted. I also bore my testimony to the sisters that their children can have relationships like Joseph and Hyrum. I mentioned how my older siblings are my best friends and even though I am the youngest, there is still a lot of respect and love. So that was it.

Mom, here is my advice for the sister leader trainers. I asked all of the sisters in the house. (I had asked her this question)
1. Feed the sisters. During my first week, I had a super good meal with the SLT and it motivated me to continue on. En serio. I started cooking from that point on. Another time the sister didn´t feed me ANYTHING or barely talk to me and it wasn´t an uplifting experience in any way. (They do most of their own cooking so if you are on an exchange with another sister you depend on them to provide the food. or at least give you an opportunity to cook something)
2. Humility. They are there to serve and uplift. They should not have the attitude that they are going to turnaround the area in one day all thanks to their presence. The sisters are trying their hardest. Criticism is not an attribute of Christ.
3. If the sisters have planned to challenge someone to be baptized, but SLT should not rob them of the chance to do it. She is there to support. I understand that sometimes they feel the need to do it, but there are a lot of resentful sisters in our house. They can urge the sister to do it, but it will be a more positive experience for the sister to do it in her area.
4. More than anything, the sister wants to feel love. Its hard to be with someone 24/7. We need a break and we just want an outpouring of love from our leaders. It makes it easier for us to follow their example and advice when we respect and love them.
5. The SLT should have unity between their own companionship. I was with 2 SLT who didn´t have unity and it was ugly. One completely dominated because she had more experience. She was the one who always called us. After I noticed, I asked her  why she didn´t let her companion use the phone. After that, they shared. You could just tell it was rough for them. 

Well, time is running out. Sorry I am so slow at writing. Love you all! 
The first one is the best returned missionary ever!! She served in Mesa and knows Aunt Judy and Aunt Jackie. And she gives us tons of references. The second picture is of my companion. I know I look super burned but I think it is the lighting.